Optimizing A New Website
Proper optimization can be a challenge. Search engine optimization is a process involving numerous steps and constant testing. Excessive trial and error is usually necessary to find success. And since building a new website requires plenty of resources, failing to do your SEO homework may heavily impact your return on investment.
Here are some suggestions to keep in mind while developing your website that will allow you to improve your site’s organic rankings.
There’s no substitute for good, relevant content. If you’re missing this, then don’t even continue. Develop content around common questions. Use the Google keyword tool to get insight to how competitive your targeted keywords/topics are. Don’t spam or stuff and be aware of your keyword placement. Write succinct titles and avoid click bait and sensationalist titles. These typically annoy the user and diminish brand quality. Keep your content fresh and always provide updates as to what you are doing.
Your site needs to speak the same language as search engines. Meta tags (title, description), schema (micro data in your HTML that helps crawlers understand your content), and social tags (Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc.) all allow you to communicate with search engines and social media in their language.
Do not create pages for Google, create them for the visitor. If people like your site, they’ll use it and share it. Also, your website’s navigation should be simple, clean, and accessible. Enhancing the usability of the site’s navigation allows the user to have a more positive experience. At most, any piece of content should be no more than 4 to 5 clicks away. It’s frustrating navigating through multiple pages to find specific content. This also allows bots to find, crawl, and index your pages easily.
Code and Servers
Use minimal code and a decent server. Often times, people stuff their pages with clunky plugins or huge videos and images. Less is more, especially with code. You want to aim for a load time of less than 5 seconds. Any higher, the user tends to bounce off. Google PageSpeed Insights allows you to check your page load score and displays suggested fixes for desktop and mobile.
Using social media channels is an easy way for you to let the world know about your website. Share content (but don’t be spammy), engage in conversations (this shows you care about your customers’ needs), and also make your content accessible and shareable.
Link building is one of the most important strategies you can do for your site. Links from other domains signal authority and trust. Google looks at these links as a way to evaluate your site’s caliber. If a lot of domains are linking to you, it’s an indication that you have added value. And since Google’s goal is to rank high-quality sites that offer the user the best experience, quality backlinks will ensure a greater footprint on the search engine results page.
Moving Beyond the Basics
There’s a lot more to SEO than what most people realize. It’s more than just on-page elements (what is visible); there’s also a host of backend components (what isn’t visible) that represents a huge role in helping your website rank.
- Structured data and Schema
- Link prefetching
- Optimizing CSS delivery for page speed
- Internal URL structure
- Advanced Analytics
- Optimizing the user experience
- Understanding user intent and behavior
- Understanding the anatomy of an optimized page
- Defining conversion funnels
- Tracking and analyzing statistics
- Monitoring competitors
- Continuously looking for keyword opportunities
- Link flow/juice analysis
Implementing SEO best practices are fundamental to growth and making your site search relevant. There’s more to optimizing a website than just writing content, keyword stacking, and crossing your fingers. Google has fined tuned its algorithms over the years to ensure only quality sites get first page preferential treatment. Although there’s lots of grunt work involved, adhering to correct guidelines and constantly testing will likely make your site relevant in the search results.