Reading Time: 3 minutes
So, you’ve got yourself a new website. You’re probably all excited and can’t wait to launch it. But wait, have you made sure you’re up to speed when it comes to the SEO basics for new websites?
If you’re a total beginner, you might wonder what SEO is. SEO is short for search engine optimization. Simply put, it’s what makes your website attractive to search engines, and what helps get your site displayed at the top and on the first page of search engine results.
How Does SEO Work?
Search engines need to deliver results that are as close as possible to what the user is looking for. This means crawling all the websites out there to check for high-quality content, so the way your site is built and how easily it can be navigated factors in a lot on how high you rank on the results page.
When you optimize a website, it’s important to put in keywords and phrases that are relevant to your content, and, of course, to what users are most likely to type in when searching for something. This is another thing that search engines will be looking for.
Remember, you want to get on the top page for more visibility. By creating more SEO-focused content, you can drive more organic traffic to your pages.
The SEO Basics for new websites
Now that you’ve got an idea of what SEO is and how important it is to the business that you’re building, it’s time to check how prepared your site is for launch by getting to know some of the SEO basics for new websites.
When businesses create websites, they often take the time to make it look as engaging as possible to the users, forgetting that speed is of paramount importance. If your pages take too long to load, that’s going to put off visitors from your site, and the number of visitors that turn away is equal to the number of potential sales lost.
- Mobile-Friendliness and Accessibility
Nowadays, people tend to use their mobiles to search and purchase things more than they do their laptops or tablets. The reason is that it’s fast, easy, and you can do it anywhere.
It’s also a massive plus that websites with mobile-friendly designs get higher sales conversion rates and do better on rankings.
But don’t neglect the other devices too. As much as possible, your content should be accessible to all: desktops, laptops, and browsers of all kinds. Your aim is to reach as many people as you can.
Once you’ve built up your website, you can optimize it for specific keywords. You can begin by looking over your site and listing down all the topics that you cover.
Take each topic you’ve come up with and try expanding it into keywords by thinking of ways someone might search for your content and what words they might use to do so.
You might end up with an extensive list. There are several applications online that can help you trim that list down—some paid, some free. You would want to remove the ones with little to no search volume and keep a healthy mix of short and long (more than three words) keywords.
Related Content: Learn how to do your keyword research
Before your site even goes live, you must have amassed a pile of content that targets those keywords you’ve chosen. Websites with too little content don’t get much traffic, or worse, people don’t trust them as legit sites.
Once you do go live, don’t forget to keep your site active by keeping a consistent frequency in publishing posts. Those sites that maintain a consistent pattern when it comes to posting are generally perceived to be credible and enjoy a steady increase in traffic.
- On-Site Optimization
Carefully pick out a keyword for each page of your website then write unique title tags for each page. These tags provide search engines with a brief description of what each page is about. Ideally, they should run up to 55 characters only to avoid getting cut off in search results.
Meta descriptions offer a little more detail about your pages. These are the parts users usually check first to see if your pages are relevant to their search. Here, you can use as much as 160 characters (but it’s always better to go lower).
Remember to include your business name and your keywords in both the title tags and meta descriptions so you’ll stand out more to the searcher.
Lastly, create sensible URLs that reflect what each page’s topic is. Use hyphens instead of underscores and try to keep them as short and brief as possible.
Pri Kruijen is an award-winning SEO and the founder of Brilliantly Visible. With over 10-years experience as an SEO, Pri has worked for well-known brands like Notonthehighstreet and has been featured by the Rising Tide Society.
She is also the SEO expert for a number of leading communities like The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners and Small and Mighty Co.
When she’s not teaching SEO to small business owners, she loves to cook up a storm in her kitchen, travel to new destinations and watching Spanish movies on Netflix.