When potential SEO clients approach me my first question always is “how old is your domain?”. Then the second question is “how long has it been indexed?” Most people don’t know how important that is and I prepare them for my answer to their first and second question:
How much does SEO of my site cost and how long does it take to see success?
My answer always is: It depends! Whenever I tell them the truth (it might take a year or longer) they never call me again. Well it’s just the dark part of the truth. Once you know you have a new site and all SEO experts know that Google does not like new domains, we can adapt our keyword research and thus aim for goals that can be reached within a shorter time frame.
The solution to overcome the problem of the so called Google sandbox (Google not allowing new sites to rank for competitive terms) is focusing on modifiers. While a new site will rarely be able to compete in a crowded niche it can immediately fight for keyword phrases and keyword combinations that are neither the most competitive terms nor long tail (very specific or unusual) phrases.
Keyword modifiers to optimise new websites for can be (as I refer to keywords I will write everything in lowercase like search users do):
A city or region
Even with Google Local/Maps getting more popular people will still look for local businesses like in the traditional Google results.
A verb that signifies the searcher’s demand
It’s incredible how many people really add verbs like “buy” instead of the noun “shop”. Also “rent” is popular.
A noun that signifies the searcher’s demand
An adjective that specifies the demand
A noun that specifies the demand
A term that specifies the target audience
This can apply also to students, women, seniors or whatever demographic group you want to reach.
Brand or product plus alternative
I see a lot of searches like that where people know only one brand but don’t want to stick with it.
Entering the market late means you’re a “mom and pop shop” opening in the vicinity of a huge WalMart or Tesco store so you can’t compete by offering exactly what the huge chain offers. You got specialise and be different.
Choose several of these modifiers, the most apt ones for your business and start optimising for them right away. Using modifiers brings SEO results much quicker. Later on you still can rank for the most competitive terms.