If you’re building a new website or taking a new look at the role it plays in your digital marketing strategy, then you’re likely to have heard about the importance of SEO before. Search engine optimisation is, effectively, what dictates how soon your site appears on search engine results pages (or SERPs.)
Due to the sheer amount of traffic that you can get from a high ranked spot in SERPs, as well as the brand authority and recognition this can build, SEO is considered a worthwhile investment by most. But how do you start optimising a new website? Lets look at a few starting points to kick you off.
Step 1: Choosing the right set-up
First of all, let’s look at the domain name and your web hosting provider. A domain name that’s short, easy to remember, easy to type, and relevant to your business is one that’s going to offer some SEO power right off the bat. A domain name can be relevant if it, for instance, incorporates a major keyword, although this is less important than it has been in the past. This is why many business websites will have a word that describes their industry or what they do, rather than just a brand name.
Site speed and reliability are both factors that contribute to the ranking of pages in SERPs, as well. For that reason, investing in a web hosting provider that can guarantee good load times and relatively low downtime is a must. Part of this is also making sure that you choose a provider that meets your needs. If you choose a relatively small hosting package but have a much larger website, then it is not likely to work very well.
Step 2: Research keywords
Keywords are no longer the be-all and end-all of SEO, but they are still the most important factor in any strategy. While it is no longer a working strategy to simply load your website with as many keywords as possible, using them in relevant content and context can still play an important role in your SEO strategy.
Effectively, these keywords and the words, terms, and phrases that your online audience will use when typing search queries. Finding keywords and key phrases that are relevant to your audience and their searches will mean that your content directly matches their search queries. When this happens, your website is a lot more likely to be amongst the first that appears in the SERPs.
There is a range of SEO tools that can provide keyword suggestions. It’s important to look at not only how relevant the keyword is, but also how much traffic you could potentially win from it, and how competitive it is.
A brand new website shouldn’t be competing for the most highly contested words, even if they also have the potential to yield the most traffic. More established and optimised sites are going to perform better than you. For that reason, it’s better to get more specific and to incorporate long-tail keywords, instead.
Step 3: Produce valuable content
You have the keywords that can help you gain a better share of the audience on Google and other search engines. But how do you use them? Creating long, value-rich content that utilizes those keywords and placing it on the website is perhaps the most reliable way.
There are guides that can give you plenty of detail on the ideal length and formatting of blog posts for your website. Follow these guides, spruce up your content with great visuals and formatting, and make sure that it’s valuable to the reader first and foremost.
Step 4: Keep the website well-organised
SEO is affected not only by the quality of your content but also the quality of navigation and organisation on the website, as well. Essentially, how easy is it for a visitor to find any given piece of relevant content?
To make the user experience much more in line with what search engines are looking for, adopting the right site architecture is important. While it’s not always the case for every single website, a pyramid architecture is most likely to be the most effective setup available. This means having the homepage at the top, with the primary pages of the website (often resembling particular categories) on the navigation bar, and any other pages in subcategories beneath them. Pages that are related or refer to each other should also link to each other.
This not only makes it easier for visitors to navigate the website but also for the bots used by search engines to crawl and index the website. If pages on the website can’t be indexed by search engines, then they won’t appear on SERPs.
Step 5: Optimising existing content and pages
SEO is all about making little tweaks and ensuring that your webpages have the materials they need to make them search-engine friendly. As such, looking over existing pages and improving them where possible is important. There are a few ways to keep pages optimised.
For one, you can utilize keywords in page titles, and make sure titles effectively match the direction and theme of the content on the page. Use meta descriptions and meta tags to make sure that your page is highlighting topics and words most relevant to search engine users.
Outside of individual pages, you can do things like submitting the website to relevant directories on the internet. This is a form of link-building, which is important as Google also looks at the authority and reliability of websites that link to yours, not just your own website.
Step 6: Keep going
Search engine optimisation isn’t a “one-and-done” deal. For one, there are more technical sides of the discipline that you might need some help with. Furthermore, even if you do greatly improve the search engine performance of your website with the steps above, those results aren’t going to last forever.
Other websites are going to constantly be applying pressure as they aim for the top spots in SERPs. Your website requires continual effort to maintain whatever success it gets and finding an SEO Agency in Sydney CBD to handle the SEO for you can make sure that you keep the top spot once you get it. Here at Hesk Digital, we have the people and tools you need to make your SEO really shine!So long as your website remains an important tool for the business, SEO is going to remain just as important, so you have to keep investing in it.
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