Launching a brand new site can be exciting.
With today’s tools, the steps involved in website creation include registering a new domain, picking a theme, and installing plugins or extensions to add functionality.
It’s a process that even marketers with no prior development experience can pick up in less than a day.
The not-so-sexy steps, however, are the marketing aspects of running a website – particularly the discipline of Search Engine Optimization or SEO, which pretty much encompasses every other area of content marketing.
Sure, having a professional-looking website up and running is a leap forward, especially for startups and entrepreneurs who need to establish an online presence. But a website that gets no traffic is just as meaningful as a store in the middle of nowhere.
As far as profitability goes, they’re both ineffective.
The good news is, there are tons of learning resources and tools out there that will help you crack the SEO code. To set you off in the right direction, this post will cover the crucial elements of a successful SEO strategy for a new website.
Let’s get started.
1. Build for Speed
Your website’s performance affects your search engine rankings in two ways.
First, loading speed is already recognized as a ranking factor for both desktop and mobile search.
Google measures a website’s loading speed via aggregate Chrome usage data. This pertains to the collection of performance data acquired from users who agreed to send usage statistics and crash reports.
Additionally, loading speed affects two important engagement metrics that are also proven to have a correlation with a website’s rankings – bounce rate and dwell time.
According to statistics, 40 percent of users will abandon a website after three seconds if it doesn’t load completely.
To ensure better loading speeds on your new website, consider going with a lightweight theme to optimize bandwidth usage.
Most content management systems and website platforms have a library of well-optimized themes that are ready to use.
Here are some examples from Wix’s selection of e-commerce templates.
Of course, the theme is only a part of the equation.
On a new website, you probably have dozens of optimizations you need to perform to improve loading speed.
If you have no idea where to start, you can use Google PageSpeed Insights for actionable recommendations. Simply enter your website’s URL, click “Analyze,” and give the tool a few seconds to complete its analysis.
2. Do Keyword Research
A guide to new website SEO won’t be complete without a section on keyword research.
Remember, none of your SEO activities – from link building to influencer marketing – will yield profitable results if they were based on the wrong keywords.
It’s one of the fundamental rules in online marketing. To make sure your efforts reach the right audience, you need to find the right keywords and optimize your content for them.
Long Tail Pro is equipped with all the features you need to execute an effective keyword research strategy. It can generate hundreds of long-tail keyword suggestions from a seed keyword, which can be any relevant term in your niche.
Why long-tail keywords?
Not only do they reflect how actual users search the internet, long-tail keywords also have more potential for monetization and are generally less competitive than broader search terms.
To help you pick out the best keyword suggestions, here are a few tips you ought to remember:
- For new websites, aim for keywords with an average keyword competitiveness of 30 or less.
- Create filters to find keywords with commercial terms, such as “buy,” “shop,” or “for sale.”
- Use the rank value to gauge the profitability of keyword ideas on search engine results pages.
- For local SEO, don’t forget to set the right region before you look for keyword ideas.
3. Scout the Competition
By clicking on a long-tail keyword suggestion, the tool will bring up the top ten search results along with valuable metrics, such as the domain’s trust flow, age, and the number of referring domains.
Other than giving you a closer look at your competitors, this handy feature will allow you to understand the type of content that ranks well for your target keywords.
Here’s a tip: If the majority of the top 10 results are social media networks or Q&A sites with a high domain keyword competitiveness rating, just look for a new keyword. Looking at the number of referring domains should tell you that the keyword is well beyond your reach.
If not, the next step is to dissect their content strategy by inspecting their content or landing page firsthand.
Below is a list of page elements you need to pay attention to:
- Page Title and Subheadings
Keyword-optimized titles and subheadings are a staple in new website SEO. Observing these elements from your competitors’ sites will also provide you with relevant content ideas.
- Word Count
Although longer articles tend to rank higher in search engines, you don’t always need to pour in thousands of words in a single post. Use the average word count of the top 10 results as a baseline.
- Visual Content
Visual elements like infographics and videos are great tools for increasing user engagement. Your top competitors’ pages should reveal what visual content types work best for your audience.
- Page Title and Subheadings
4. Work Out Your Content Workflow
Regularly publishing high-quality content is one of the most important SEO tips for a new website.
Understanding your competition’s content is a step in the right direction. You just need to bolster your content strategy by integrating internal linking, on-page optimization, and promotion strategies that extend their reach.
Search engine crawlers discover and index content by navigating through links.
To help them discover more of your site, establish an internal link structure that ties related content together.
The “silo” structure is often used in a new website SEO strategy. Put simply, you need to design static silo or category pages that organize and link to content according to the topic.
The content under each silo must then link to one another with relevant anchor texts to maximize dwell time and improve the user experience.
When it comes to on-page optimization, learning proper keyword placement is an excellent starting point.
Aside from your page titles and subheadings, here’s a list of other places where you should insert your target keyword:
- URL slug
- Main body
- Image filenames
- Image alt text tags
- Meta description
In SEO, ensuring content quality can only get you so far.
To maximize your content’s link potential, you also need to put in the extra effort to promote them on distribution channels.
Social media networks, for example, can expose your content to high-quality traffic and potential influencers who might be willing to give you those much-needed backlinks. They’re also free to use, which is why they’re perfect for new website owners on a tight budget.
Unfortunately, social media is a blog post for another day. For now, you can click here for other learning resources about social media marketing.
Contemplating how to start SEO for a new website can be intimidating, but it’s more than doable with the right strategies.
Here are the takeaways that will help you attain measurable results:
- When building your website, prioritize performance over appearance
- Do keyword research to make sure you generate the right kind of traffic
- Perform competitor research to identify the tactics that work in your niche
- Plan your content strategy ahead from development all the way to promotion