SEO is at the heart of connecting with your current and future clients. Therefore, it must be considered when you create and build a new website. Search engine optimization (SEO) allows people to enter search terms or keywords into a search engine and receive the best possible results for their query. For the purposes of your website, several items must be included for your pages to come up as the results for the products or services you sell. Even if you don’t “sell” anything, instead provide information or free products, the SEO process works exactly the same way. Here are the areas that must be SEO-optimized for best results in search.
For the Entire Website
When creating the summary pages and architecture for your website, the following items must be optimized for SEO.
- Site Title and Subtitle
- About Page
- Navigational Structure
- About the Owner/s
- Create a Sitemap
- Use a Mobile-Friendly Design
Additionally, tell the search engines which pages shouldn’t be crawled such as internal search pages by using robot.txt.
More than half of all people searching online do so from a mobile device. That number just keeps growing. Therefore, you will automatically lose traffic if your site isn’t mobile-friendly. Google has a separate search for mobile and mobile-friendly sites receive preference in search results on it. If you and a competitor have exactly the same site, and yours is mobile-friendly, yours would come up first in mobile search.
For Each Individual Page
There are several items that need to be SEO-optimized on each page as it is written. This is sometimes called “on-page SEO.” These items can be optimized by the page author as long as they know in advance.
- Page Title – <h1>
- Page Subtitle/s – <h2>
- Alt Section for Images or Videos
- Description Meta Tag
- Structured Data if recommended
Each content page for your website should have a specific focus or primary keyword. This is true of blog posts, product descriptions, and informational articles. The singular focus allows search engines to “understand” what your page is about along with the SEO clues in the list above.
Once your website is live, even if it only has a few pages to start, there is a list of steps to take to help optimize it for Google.
1. Add Your Website to Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools)
Google Search Console is an excellent way to let Google know that your site exists, and give the search engine a head start on crawling it. You start by filling in the URL of your website, and the sitemap. Google will connect with it and offer you a look into what is working and what isn’t. At first, you won’t get too much information, but over time, you can see if there are page errors, which are the most popular links and where your traffic is coming from. Adding your site also gives it legitimacy with Google.
2. Add Your Website to Google Analytics
Google Analytics is often used to help decide on ad placement. However, whether you run ads or not, you can gain quite a bit of information about your site from Google Analytics such as:
- Traffic quantity
- Where traffic is coming from
- Which pages people land on
- How many pages they visit before they leave
- How long visitors stay on your site
- Which pages have the most/least traffic
- Most popular times of day
- Geographical location of visitors
- Which pages visitors leave from
This data is only the beginning of what you can learn about your website from Google Analytics.
3. Create Valuable Internal and External Links
This will happen naturally as you create individual pages. But, you can also add links to your website later. Pages should link internally to related pages that give background or further details about the same or related topic. External links should only be used for background/resources, references, or further detailed information from another expert. That method is in use on this page.
4. Follow Through with Updates and Additions
SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it system. Your audience changes, and so do keywords. Links can break, and new information comes to light. Search engine technology becomes more sophisticated rapidly. And all of those things mean your content needs to be updated periodically. So, now that you have a new website, people will find you as long as you optimize for SEO. To get started, contact us.