How Do You Do SEO for a Site that is Under Construction?

Sep 4, 2008 • 9:48 am | comments (10) by twitter | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Sometimes it's better to do SEO for a site before it's launched. Such is the case for a High Rankings Forum member who is looking to build up his site's presence before it's actually live for the masses. How do you do SEO for a site that is not yet launched, though?

It's not that hard, believe it or not, even though some other forum members suggest that you shouldn't do this until the site is completed.

For one, if you know what your site is about, you can start writing articles on a related subject matter and build links to the content. But make sure these pages have the place in the final site design, because if you do changes on a site that's under construction, it really is doubtful that it will help unless you know exactly what you're trying to accomplish.

You can definitely rank webpages that are under construction, but the value in doing so is lost on me. Even if you work hard and get ranked early on, you will only rank for the content that is on your website, so if the page is not finished and you change that content in the future your rankings will change.

That said, SEO can be done just about any time, but it's generally agreed that the best course of action is to do it after the final site is launched.

Forum discussion continues at High Rankings Forums.

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09/04/2008 03:42 pm

IMHO it is best to always try and get the technical onsite SEO completed and fully tested on the dev servers. If there's a fundamental flaw by the time it is live, it is often to late to do much about it. We have always termed this part of our process "pre-flight testing" and it's what our own tools were designed for. Sadly there are lots of instances where for one reason or another sites get pushed live by developers or for other reasons before all the fixes are in place, but certainly there is a lot that can be done.


09/04/2008 04:05 pm

For me, I think it is best to get SEO into the site design as soon as possible. This saves going back into the way the site is developed later on, to add SEO items in.

Sammy Russo

09/04/2008 06:00 pm

These are the best sites to work on really. It allows you to build a strong foundation with search friendly design for starters. The keyword research is a little more difficult but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to find the general keyword terms a site should / could show up for. It also allows you to develop a stepped strategy which could mean a long term relationship... do phase 1, analyze the data, then refine / restructure SEO and keyword universe as needed in latter phases.

Steve D.

09/04/2008 07:25 pm

Do nothing. A site is never even put up with "under construction" anywhere. Minimally have a one page ebusiness card. That will suffice, but stay away from any unfinished pages and particularly the ones that state "under construction." Don't waste time submitting the pages to all the search engines. They are intelligent enough to discover the site. As you complete one section at a time, then incorporate that into the site and fully SEO optimized. This will wake the spiders up.


09/05/2008 09:20 am

I've done this recently. I didn't want to SEO my page all the way to the Top 10 SERPs because it would look bad as it's just a holding page, but I want to get its ranking kick-started so I have less of an uphill struggle when it launches. How I did it: I created a really awesome design for the holding page and then submitted it carefully to every relevant CSS gallery. I got about 140 backlinks in the end this way. The site: At one point it was up to around #20 in the SERPs for "best mortgage deals", but has since dropped down a fair bit. This was the best method I could think of for pre-launch SEO. I made a pact earlier in the year to only do white-hat SEO. I've seen too many friends' sites get delisted and their whole business go down the drain because of it, so I wasn't willing to do anything even grey. I'll be launching the site soon with tons of really great content on there, and then I can start getting the proper linkbuilding going.

Rob Abdul

09/05/2008 03:34 pm

Charles, nice design, I like it. The minute your resister your NEW domain name, you should have something up there. And Charles there better ways/strategies that can be employed to even have a hold page retain good SERPS.


09/05/2008 05:05 pm

IMHO SEO Should Start: - Before launching a site (when you work at its architecture) - When you THINK of the PROJECT, yet without a PC on your desk. SEO shall natively be part of site architecture, not a fix to apply later. My 2 cents


09/07/2008 05:24 pm

Hey Rob, thank you for your comments. I'd love to hear what ideas could be implemented to have a holding page keep its SERP position!


10/05/2008 12:38 pm

Hi , This is a nice post .. Am new to SEO and as stated in this forum SEO can start before stil acyually built. Have a typical query.Have 2 domains and Both the sites are under construction and have the same content. On google search vnetsite is the first search result and if u search aonesite it does not list at all. Would be more than happy if come one could explain the reason for same. Regards, Gaurav Jain


02/23/2011 06:26 am

There's a lot of varying information I've come across when searching about whether or not I should build the site completely offline first before launch. I tend to do it bit by bit, but I am curious if anyone knows whether broken links etc will just have a negative impact on ranking in the short term or if google will take a bad view of your site because of them?

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