When it comes to building a new website, the saying “if you build it, they will come” unfortunately does not always ring true. And considering that the number of websites online at this very moment tallies to almost 1 billion websites, to say that internet competition is steep would be a vast understatement. However, this should never deter you from pursuing your dreams of online success, because with smart SEO strategy and determination, it is still very possible to achieve massive success with a brand new website today.
If you’re thinking of starting a new website, or are planning for your new website to go live in the near future, here are several steps to ensure that your SEO strategy is on point:
1. Install tracking software
To take full advantage of SEO for your new website, the first step is to install a tracking software such as Google Analytics that’ll give you data-based insight into your website’s current and future performance. Google Analytics is the industry standard when it comes to website analytics and it’s also 100% free so even if you’re new to SEO it’s worth installing so that when you’re ready, you’ll have access to all of the historic traffic data for your website from the time it’s launched.
Some of the insights Google Analytics provides about your website include, but are not limited to: number of visitors, location of visitors, what device your visitors are using, referral sources, bounce rate, time spent on your website, and top visited pages.
2. Do initial keyword research
If you have any long-term business goals for your website, then an important step that helps define the focus of your website’s content from an SEO standpoint is through keyword research. Keywords are the words and phrases search engines use to categorize and rank the pages on your website and they’re also the words people will type into a search bar to, ideally, lead them to your website. By discovering and targeting the right keywords, you’ll maximize your website’s visibility on search engines in the long-term.
The best ways to do keyword research is through Google Adwords Keyword Planner,Keyword Tool, Google Trends, Google’s Search Suggest, competitive research, and later on, your own Google Analytics data once your website has been publishing content for some time.
3. Create high quality website content
While search engines typically evaluate websites using complex algorithms and technical measures, there’s one non-technical on-page element of your website that makes the biggest impact on your website’s SEO and that is high-quality content that provides value to readers. So naturally, once you’ve set up the outline of your website, the next step towards SEO greatness is to fill it with great, value-driven content.
The type of content you should create largely depends on your industry or niche and your overall website goals, but as long as it informs, educates, demonstrates, entertains, or otherwise provides real value to visitors of your website in clear way, then you’re on the right track.
4. Keyword-optimize every webpage
As we mentioned earlier, keywords are how both search engines and potential visitors are finding and evaluating your website so it’s incredibly important to make sure that your target keywords appear throughout your website. While you shouldn’t add keywords where they don’t belong or where they sound unnatural, a great rule of thumb is to work relevant keywords into these areas of each webpage:
- Webpage URL (or permalink)
- Page title or heading
- Meta description
- Body of the page
- Image name
- Image alt attribute
5. Add internal links to improve website architecture
If you’ve made it to this step, then congratulations! Your website is already in better shape than the vast majority of new websites on the internet. The next step towards fully optimizing your website for SEO is to add internal links, which are hyperlinks that connect one page of a website to a different page on the same website.
Internal links are important for SEO for three reasons:
- They allow users to easily navigate your website
- They help establish information hierarchy for your website, and
- They spread link juice (ranking power) around your website
The first reason is self-explanatory, but the second two reasons aren’t as clear to those who are new to SEO. To put it simply, when evaluating your site, search engines “crawl” each webpage from link to link, so having an information hierarchy allows search engines to better understand what your website is about.
And as for link juice or ranking power, search engines categorically rank every page on a website based on a huge number of factors and for the majority of websites, the homepage is the page that has the most ranking power. Having internal links throughout your website ensures that this ranking power, and that of any other high-ranking pages on your website, benefits lower ranking pages on your site as well.
6. Seek inbound linking opportunities
Now that you’ve laid the foundation for your website and have taken the steps to optimize your website from top to bottom, now is the time to seek inbound linking opportunities in the form of external links. External links are links that point at any domain (which in this case would be yours) other than the domain the link exists on and they are one of the best ways for search engines to determine the popularity of a given web page since they act as third-party votes.
There are many strategies for inbound linking, but some of the most popular and search engine-friendly ways are: guest posting on relevant, authoritative websites in your niche, submitting your site to reputable business listing and resource pages, pay-per-click advertising, social bookmarking, conferences and social interaction, public relations and press releases, and possibly the best method, publishing highly valuable pieces of content that garner links naturally.
If you’re a business owner who is new to SEO or if you’re already established but are looking to use SEO to gain more meaningful growth, contact us to learn more about how our content marketing, social media, and SEO services can help you reach your goals.