Building a brand new website can be a fun but overwhelming task. We definitely get it. There are so many different things that need to be done from adding images to writing copy and finding a cool design, but SEO or Search Engine Optimization should be another task to add to the list.
SEO is the process of improving positions in organic (non-paid) search results in search engines. As a rule of thumb, the higher your website ranks for a search, the more people will click through to your website.
If you’re building a new website, you know the value of being online. If you’re reading this article, you understand the value of being found online, and SEO is potentially the best way out there to be found digitally!
Let’s help you get to the top of those search engine results pages with these tips!
Choose domain name carefully
You can’t have a website without a domain name, and a strategically picked domain name can really help you out in the long term!
You want to look for a few things when picking a domain name for your website.
Your domain name should help explain what your business is. If your business name is available that’s a great start, but that’s not always an option. If you are an SEO Marketing Agency, but your domain name is something like “wesellplants.com”, people are going to get confused. Something more similar to “bestseoagency.com” might better do the trick!
Keep your domain name short if possible. This isn’t as important as it once was since search engines are much better nowadays, but it is still important for when people type in your domain name directly, or if they’re copying your email address from a business card. Those are just a couple of examples, but if someone ever needs to type your domain name in, it can be a hassle if it’s too long.
Make sure your domain has a relevant keyword if possible. In the example above, “bestseoagency.com”, having a domain name that includes the keyword “SEO” can help us out in the long-term by having a keyword we want to rank front and center!
Pick web hosting that fits your needs
Do some research before just picking the first web hosting provider you see. Every web hosting provider has their strengths and weaknesses. Some have better customer service than others, some are better for beginners and the prices can really vary from one provider to the next.
Something to make sure is that the provider you choose has fast servers. We made the mistake early on and chose a provider that had servers that slowed down our website drastically. Switching hosting providers isn’t the easiest thing in the world, so make sure you take the time to do the research upfront to pick the best provider for you.
This is one of the most overlooked tips we’re going to give you today, and it’s one of the most important!
Keyword research is the process of figuring out which keywords you want your website to rank for. The most common way to start keyword research is by completing a search engine query for whatever keyword you think you want to rank for. Take note of the pages that rank for these queries. If these are the same types of pages you’d imagine your website having, this is potentially a good keyword to learn more about.
A common mistake people make here is assuming that the keyword they just decided on has people searching for it every month. Never assume this, because there are a lot of keywords out there that have no traffic! A great way to check this is to use a keyword tool like this.
If you want to learn more about keyword research, we have an entire chapter dedicated to it in our Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
Design your website with your user in mind
Search engines are putting more and more emphasis on the need for websites to be incredibly easy to use and to have a great user experience. When users are happy, search engines are happy. When search engines are happy, your website ranks higher. Talk about a win-win!
When you’re building your website make sure to have other people test it out and ask for any pain points they had while trying to navigate it. Ask them if they were able to find what you want them to easily.
You’ll definitely want to make sure you have an easy-to-use menu navigation too.
Create content with the user in mind
All of the content on your website should have a purpose and should be beneficial to the user on your website. A great place to start when creating content and pages for your website is to think about the most common questions you get for your business, product or whatever your website is about.
The more of these questions you can answer on your website, the better. Users want to be able to find answers online easily here in 2021. We’re in a digital world and people are used to finding information this way. Of course, they can always call you for answers, but the more you can provide before that call, the better!
Learn about backend SEO
There is a lot to learn when it comes to SEO, and perhaps the most complicated is backend SEO or technical SEO. Make sure you spend some time understanding backend SEO because even though it mostly includes the things that the user doesn’t see while they’re on your website, it is incredibly valuable
This includes elements such as alt tags for images, meta descriptions, and title tags to name a few. Without diving into too much detail, you want to make sure that these elements are not missing and completed to the best of your ability.
If you want to learn more, we have plenty of useful information about technical SEO in our Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
Remember to build relevant links
Link building can be one of the more time-consuming parts of SEO. It’s a task that takes a lot of tedious work, but it definitely pays off when done correctly. We say “correctly” because there are a lot of black hat (or unethical) practices people do to try and cut corners.
We highly recommend against black hat SEO in any capacity and recommend that you learn more about the right way to do SEO.
There are two main types of links. Backlinks and internal links.
Otherwise known as inbound links or external links, are a hyperlinked section of content that points from one web page to another. You can think of backlinks as SEO word-of-mouth.
The other major category of links is called internal links, and these are the links that connect internal pages on the same website. This SEO word-of-mouth theory also comes into play with internal links, but you have complete control of these. Overall, the more links pointing to a specific page, the more important search engines deem that page.
To learn more about best practices and overall education on link building, check out the link building chapter in our SEO Guide here.
Use your analytics
Step one is to make sure your website has Google Analytics installed and that it’s set up correctly.
Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful and free tool that allows you to see how many people are visiting your website, who those people are, and what they’re doing once they’re on your website.
The key with any type of data is to actually use this information to implement change to make improvements. Just checking this data isn’t enough. You need to be able to tell a story of what is succeeding on your website, what isn’t, and then be able to do something about it.
For example, if you notice that users spend five times longer on one page on your website than another, you could assume that page is doing something right. Take some tips from that page to implement to the others and see what type of effect this has!
SEO is so important in this day and age. The more you can do to set yourself up for success when you’re building your new website, the more it’ll help you in the long term. Building a new website can be a tough task, but make sure to put in the work upfront!