If you have an idea for a website and you’re confident you’re going to go through with it, always buy the domain and get a holding page up. A common mistake people make is to put up a brand new website and expect Google to start directing people to it straight away. It is actually the case that a new website can often take 3-4 months before it starts appearing where you would like it in Google rankings.
It is important to give yourself a head start. To this end, buy your domain as soon as possible and get a holding page up. Your holding page should be relevant to the business and not just an amusing animated gif of a “Under Construction” sign. The text of the holding page should give an idea of the services that users will find on your website when it is done. Subtly use keywords and keyphrases in your text which will boost your search rankings. That is to say, use words/phrases which you think people looking for your services might search for. Also pay close attention to your page title, meta keywords and meta description. These should all be put in place to encourage the search engines to index you more positively. Your meta description should not be over about 140 characters – this is all Google shows.
Also put Google Analytics on the site and also turn on Webmaster tools. These will give you an idea, before you launch, where you currently stand in the search rankings.
The holding page doesn’t need to be anything flashy – short and to the point is better. I recently knocked up the holding page for TL Chimney Sweep Services which an image of is below. This is based on a simple template from http://sampleresumetemplate.net/. Although the main site isn’t designed or built yet, this holding page will boost the new site’s search rankings, before it’s even launched. It may also even attract a couple of customers.