So you’ve just launched your new website. Congratulations! But if you’re anything like most new website owners, you might be asking: “How do I get people to actually see it?” Enter: Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a strategy used to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. It involves improving your website’s visibility in search engine rankings which makes it easier for potential customers to find you. Simply put, SEO is the process of making your website more “attractive” to search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Now, when we say “organic traffic,” this pertains to traffic that comes through search engine results without you having to pay for it. This is why SEO is so important: it helps your website reach its target audience free of charge.
How SEO Works
SEO works by optimizing various elements of your website to make it easier for search engines to understand what your content is about. This involves using relevant keywords that your target audience might search for, creating high-quality content, and ensuring your website loads quickly and is easy to navigate.
In addition, search engines also consider the number of other reputable websites that link to yours, known as backlinks. By optimizing these areas, you can improve your website’s ranking in search engine results, thereby attracting more organic traffic.
There are many elements that make up SEO, and it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start. But don’t worry! Our guide will teach you the basics of SEO so you can get started on improving your website’s visibility.
Why Does SEO Matter for a New Website?
Imagine building a fabulous store in the middle of a desert. No matter how amazing it is, if no one knows it’s there, you won’t get customers. The same is true online. Your website may be a masterpiece, but without proper SEO, it’ll be hard to attract traffic.
In short, you need to know what people are actually searching for online so you can make sure that your own website fulfills these needs. The good news is that with a few SEO strategies, you can start driving targeted traffic and potential customers over to your website.
The Importance of Technical SEO
When we say “SEO for a new website,” many immediately think of target keywords and content. But before diving into content strategy, we need to ensure that the foundation, or the technical part of the SEO, is solid. Think of technical SEO as setting up the infrastructure to ensure search engines can easily crawl, understand, and index your site.
Here’s a quick technical SEO checklist for a new website:
- Responsive Design: Ensure your site looks and works well on mobile devices. Google primarily uses the mobile version of content for indexing and ranking.
- Fast Loading Speed: Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to check your site’s speed.
- SSL Certificate: Secure sites (those starting with HTTPS) are a must. Google considers it a ranking factor.
- Sitemap and Robots.txt: These help search engines understand and navigate your site.
- Eliminate Duplicate Content: Ensure each page on your site is unique to avoid confusing search engines.
SEO tools like Screaming Frog and SEMrush can be useful for beginners to scan their websites for common technical SEO issues. These tools will also help you identify any errors and fix them quickly.
What Every New Website Should Have
Before diving deep into SEO specifics, ensure that you have these essential elements:
- Clear Navigation: Make it simple for visitors to move around your website.
- Contact Information: Display this prominently, preferably on every page.
- Quality Content: Ensure your content is valuable, well-written, and original.
- Optimized Images: Compress and optimize images for the web to improve site speed.
- Social Media Links: Allow visitors to connect with you on various platforms.
These five together help set up the foundation of your website. From here, you can start optimizing for SEO.
Understanding Google Search Console and Analytics
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. This means it’s important to track your progress, and that’s where Google Search Console and Analytics come in.
Google Search Console shows you how your website performs on Google. It helps you identify issues like broken links, crawl errors, and indexing problems. You can also use it to see which keywords are driving traffic to your site.
Google Analytics is a tool that helps you track your website’s performance. It provides information about your visitors, such as their location, device used, bounce rate, and time spent on each page. You can use this data to make informed decisions about how to improve your website and its SEO strategy.
To get started, sign up for these tools, verify ownership of your website, and start exploring the data they offer.
How to Structure Your Website’s Content
Creating valuable content is one thing, but structuring it effectively is another. Now, what does “structuring” mean? It means deciding how your content is going to be organized. This should be based on the user experience and search engine optimization.
Here are a few tips for structuring your website’s content:
- Prioritize a Hierarchy: Main topics should be top-level pages. Subtopics or related information should be sub-pages or posts linked from the main pages.
- Use Header Tags: H1 for main titles, H2 for subheadings, H3 for sub-sub headings, and so on. H-tags are important because they help search engines understand the hierarchy of your content.
- Internal Linking: Link to other relevant content within your site. Internal links help spread “link juice” and keep users engaged longer.
- Keyword Optimization: While you don’t want to stuff keywords, ensure they’re naturally present where relevant. “Optimization” means making sure your content is easy for search engines to understand while still providing a great user experience; it does NOT mean putting in so many keywords to attract search bots.
- Include Metadata: These short snippets can boost click-through rates from search results. Metadata includes page titles, meta descriptions, and primary keywords.
Top Tips and Tricks for Beginners
For beginners, entering the world of SEO can be overwhelming. Our SEO checklist for a new website can help you start your strategy:
1. Start with Keyword Research
Keyword research is the cornerstone of SEO. It helps to unveil the actual search terms people are using, guiding you to optimize your content accordingly. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush offer free keyword research features.
2. Create Quality Content
High-quality, original, and helpful content is king. Search engines reward sites that provide valuable information that matches the user’s intent. Ensure that your content does not only provide useful information but is also comprehensive and easy to read.
3. Optimize Your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
4. Work on Building Backlinks
Backlinks from reputable sites tell search engines that your website is trustworthy. Guest blogging, creating valuable content that others want to link to, and networking with other websites in your niche can help build backlinks.
5. Optimize Your Images
Optimizing your images can improve your site’s speed and user experience. Be sure to compress your images, use descriptive filenames, and include alt text with relevant keywords. The ideal speed for a website to load is under 2 seconds, so use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to track your progress. If your site takes much longer to show up, then you should investigate ways to reduce its loading time.
6. Improve Your Site’s Mobile Usability
As more users rely on mobile devices, optimizing for mobile-first has become an essential part of SEO. Ensure your site is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check your website’s performance on different devices.
7. Submit Sitemaps
Submit an XML site map to help search engines index your website faster. A site map should include all of the pages on your website, including a link to each page and its last modified date.
8. Utilize Social Media
Social media is an important tool for driving traffic to your website. Utilize platforms like Facebook, Twitter (X), Instagram, and TikTok to reach out to more people. Social media also helps boost SEO by increasing engagement and improving brand awareness.
9. Monitor Your Progress
Monitor your results regularly using tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics. This will provide you with insights into what’s working and what isn’t. It also helps to identify areas that need more work in order to improve your website’s performance.
10. Keep Learning
SEO is a constantly evolving field, with search engines frequently updating their algorithms to deliver the most relevant and useful results. Staying up to date with the latest SEO news and techniques is crucial to ensure that your strategy remains effective in driving organic traffic and increasing visibility. By continuously adapting and implementing best practices, you can stay ahead of the competition and improve your website’s rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy. It may take some time to see results, but the effort is well worth it in the long run. By following these tips and continually learning, you’ll set your website up for SEO success.
New Website SEO: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Beginners in SEO will understandably have plenty of questions on getting started and navigating the field. Let’s look at the most commonly asked ones:
1. What is a “crawl budget,” and why is it important?
A “crawl budget” refers to the number of pages search engine bots will crawl and index on your site within a specific timeframe. This is crucial as it influences how quickly new or updated content on your site gets indexed and shown in search results. You will come across a “crawl budget” when you analyze your website’s performance on tools like Google Search Console.
2. How does social media play a role in SEO?
Social media does not directly influence search rankings. However, it can boost brand visibility, lead to increased web traffic, and create opportunities for backlinks when your content is shared, indirectly supporting your SEO efforts.
3. What are long-tail keywords, and why should I target them?
Long-tail keywords are specific, often three to four-word phrases that visitors are likely to use when they’re closer to making a purchase or when they’re using voice search. They might have lower search volumes, but they often have a higher conversion rate due to their specificity. New website SEO strategies include long-tail keywords as they are more likely to drive organic traffic and increase conversions.
4. What is local SEO, and how is it different from regular SEO?
Local SEO is a strategy that focuses on optimizing a website to be found in local search results. This involves optimizing your website for the city or area you operate in, setting up a Google My Business account, and managing online reviews and ratings. Local SEO is crucial for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to attract customers within their vicinity.
5. How long does SEO take to work for a new website?
SEO is not an overnight process; it typically takes several months to see noticeable results. The time frame depends on various factors such as the competitiveness of your industry, the quality of your content, and the strategies you implement. For a new website, it can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to start seeing improvements in organic search traffic. However, SEO is an ongoing process, and continuous optimization is necessary to maintain and improve your rankings.
6. How often should the website’s content be updated?
The frequency of content updates for a website largely depends on its nature and the industry it operates in. However, as a general rule, websites should aim to publish new content at least once a week to maintain their SEO ranking and keep their audience engaged. Remember, consistently adding fresh and relevant content is a positive signal to search engines and helps improve your website’s visibility.
7. As a business with a new website, do I really have to set up a Google Business Profile?
Yes, setting up a Google Business Profile is highly recommended for businesses, especially for those with new websites. This tool not only improves your local search visibility but also establishes credibility with customers. It provides an easy way for potential customers to find essential details about your business, such as hours of operation, contact information, and location.
The SEO Journey Ahead
Embarking on your SEO journey can mean a lot of work, especially when your website is new, and the competition is high. However, by following the mentioned practices, keeping your audience at the heart of your SEO strategy, and adapting to changes in the search landscape, you will be well on your way to achieving visibility and success in the digital domain.
Remember: patience and consistency are key. Over time, your efforts will pay off with improved search engine rankings, increased organic traffic, and, ultimately, more conversions. Here’s to your SEO journey and the success that lies ahead!
If you ever need professional help or feel overwhelmed with your new website’s SEO, don’t hesitate to reach out. The team at Markitors is the best in the search engine optimization field and is available to help you navigate the process.
Feel free to reach out to us — we’re a friendly and accommodating bunch, and we’re more than happy to help!