68% of online experiences begin with a search engine – so it’s essential that your new website is search engine optimized.
No matter how fancy your website looks, without SEO no one will find it.
SEO allows your website to appear in relevant search results and drives customers to your business for free.
The remaining article will cover how to do SEO for a new website and other helpful tips and tricks to get you started.
Ready to boost your traffic? Keep scrolling!
How to Do SEO for a New Website
You should begin your SEO efforts as soon as possible, and that process starts with your domain name.
Think of it as your very own slice of online real estate. It’s going to shape how customers find you, and also the credibility of your brand moving forward.
For that reason, there are a few key factors to keep in mind before selecting and securing the right domain for you.
A good website should be easy to search for. This means it needs to be:
- Use a .com
- Use keywords in your domain
- Make it easy to pronounce and spell
- Keep it unique
- Avoid hyphens
- Don’t use double letters
Aim for a domain name that relates to what you do or sell, with little to no punctuation getting in the way.
Here are a few other tips for new website SEO suggestions:
Make it crawler-friendly
Despite domain keywords not being as important today as they once were, domain names still count as a valuable ranking factor.
Search engines like Google and Bing have crawlers that will analyze your domain name to gauge what your site is about.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to include your primary keyword in your name.
If you’re unsure about your target keywords at this point, a quick search on a free keyword planner tool can help you out.
However, try not to overload your domain name with several target keywords as this appears spammy to search algorithms and is often referred to as “keyword stuffing”.
Strive for brand authority
Not only will a keyword-heavy domain name like “keyword-keyword.com” look spammy to search engine crawlers, but it also looks untrustworthy to potential customers.
Internet users are scam-savvy, and anything other than “yourcompanyname.com” can ring alarm bells.
Choosing a domain name that is solid, credible, and trustworthy will provide the perfect foundation to build brand authority online.
And the more brand authority you have online, the higher search engines will rank you.
An easy way of finding domain name ideas is to run a few searches on a domain checker.
This will tell you if your company name is available as a domain, and provide other formats and ideas if it is not.
You could also try using a free domain authority checker tool to see how your competitors’ domains are performing. The domain names of top-performing sites could influence your choice.
The next key step in making your new site search engine optimized is setting it up in a way that is easy for search engine bots to crawl.
This is called “technical SEO”.
Search engine algorithms prefer to rank websites that fulfill certain technical criteria, as it ensures they are recommending the most user-friendly sites to browsers.
When you are in the process of setting up a new site, it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re ticking all of the following boxes:
Pagespeed is essential.
In fact, 53% of web browsers leave pages that take longer than 3 seconds to load.
And a mere second delay has been shown to reduce page views by 11%.
Not only does a slow website produce fewer page views, but Google’s crawlers also have a limited amount of time to spend analyzing each website.
As a result, faster loading sites will always rank higher in searches.
There are several easy ways that you can boost your site’s pagespeed, including:
- Make sure you are using a fast DNS (domain name system)
- If you are building your site on WordPress, you can try to limit the number of plugins you use
- Use smaller image files without compromising on quality and user experience
- Compress your site’s web pages
Friendly for mobile devices
Google has stated that 79% of people say that they are more likely to revisit or share a mobile site if it is easy to use.
Therefore, having a mobile-friendly site is an important ranking factor in the Google algorithm.
Ensuring that your website features a “responsive” design means that it will automatically adjust the user experience to best suit those browsing on a desktop, mobile, or tablet.
Map out your web pages
The architecture of your website not only makes it easier for customers to find their way around but also makes it easier for crawlers to index your site.
Before you start building your website, or before you finalize and publish it, sketch out a site map that includes all relevant web pages.
The core pages on any website will be the homepage, the contact page, the about page, a page for services, as well as any individual service pages you might need.
It’s also a great idea to include a blog page so that you can publish more content that boosts your SEO.
All of these core pages should be easily accessible via your main menu. You can then opt to include another menu in your site’s footer that adds to the user navigation process.
Planning your menu and page structure ahead of time will help you organize your site’s content in the most user and bot-friendly way.
Once your site is ready, use a sitemap generator to create an XML sitemap.
This provides search engines with the valuable information they need to index each page, as we’ll explain in the next step.
Register with Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to submit your website to be indexed by the search engine. Bing also offers a similar tool called Bing Webmaster Tools.
Once your site is complete and published, submit your XML sitemap to both of these tools so that they can index your pages and start displaying you in their search results.
Keywords are the words and phrases that browsers enter into search engines, so incorporating the right ones into your website content will help you appear in relevant search results.
Keyword research helps you find the right keywords for your site. It tells you exactly what your target audience is searching for, and any relevant questions they have that you could answer.
It also tells you the keywords that are searched the most, the terms that are easiest to rank for, and some tools even show you the keywords that your competitors are ranking for.
We’re going to dig into our top 3 free keyword research tools on the web and explain how to use them.
Then we’ll follow up with how to do SEO for a new website and how to find the most useful keywords.
How to do SEO for a new website using keywords
Your keyword research tools will have provided a variety of key terms, phrases, and long-tail keywords.
And each one will be paired with data on search volume and competition.
You can then use this data to locate keywords that will help you rank higher on Google.
An ideal keyword would have a high search volume paired with low competition, but unless you’re running a very valuable niche this probably won’t be an option.
However, you can locate easy and valuable keywords to target by:
- Ignoring key search terms that have little to no search volume
- Prioritizing relevant keywords that have low competition
However, you may want to take a look at Google Trends to see if any terms with a lower search volume are projected to rise in popularity in the future.
If your keyword research reveals a low competition term, try running a Google search to see how many sites have relevant and up-to-date articles for that term.
If there are less than 5 pages battling it out, you have an opportunity to win a top ranking by default.
All of the above keyword SEO tools will provide you with the appropriate target keywords for your on-page SEO.
Now, let’s get into how to write and format a website that search engines will love.
The HOTH Google Keyword Planner Tool
We can’t help but begin this list with a shameless plug for our own tool – and why not?
It’s a totally free, easy-to-use tool powered by Semrush, and we wouldn’t be recommending it if we didn’t believe it was one of the best on the market.
To use our tool, simply enter any keyword or phrase related to your website/business into the search bar.
Hit the button that says “view keyword research” to reveal high-volume relevant keywords and phrases related to the subject of your site.
You can then use this list and relevant data to decipher a primary keyword to begin targeting, in addition to long-tail keywords that will help draw searchers to your site.
Your search will reveal a list of key terms and phrases in order of the highest search volume.
You’ll also see the cost per click (CPC) for each term, level of competition, number of results, as well as the search trend.
When choosing your main keyword, you will want to look for a balance between relevance to your business, high search volume, and low competition.
Unless you’re setting up an especially niche site, there will probably be a certain degree of compromise here.
Google Keyword Planner
If you already have a Google Ads account, the search engine’s keyword planner is free to use and can be helpful for guiding your keyword research.
The tool has been designed to inform your PPC campaigns, but it also offers valuable insights into search trends and competition.
Using Google’s Keyword Planner is a fairly similar process to the other tools mentioned on this list.
You simply enter one or several keywords related to your website, and your search will reveal relevant key terms and data.
Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tool
The unique thing about this free tool from Wordstream is that it offers strategic advice.
It is also an especially handy tool for PPC research if you decide to reinforce your SEO efforts with paid marketing.
To begin, you can enter either a keyword or a URL to reveal a list of key term suggestions.
Every term includes the cost per click for both Bing and Google, search volume, and competition.
They offer 24 industry verticals to filter your search by, in addition to 23 countries.
On-Page SEO for a New Website
How to do SEO for a new website involves on-page SEO practices of optimizing your web pages so that they rank better on search engines.
You will need to use the keywords you found in step 3 in order to make the following elements more Google-friendly:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- HTML code
- URL structure
- Page content
- Internal linking
Optimizing each of these aspects of your web pages will allow Google’s crawlers to better understand what your pages are about so that they can rank you in the most appropriate search queries.
Consequently, you’ll end up with organic traffic from the warmest leads.
We’ll guide you through optimizing each of these on-page elements:
Title tags and headings
Your title tag is the page title of your web page in an HTML format.
This title tag will appear as a clickable headline in search engine results pages, so you will want it to be a short, snappy, and accurate description of your page’s content.
Depending on your content management system or website builder, you may sometimes see title tags referred to as “meta title tags”.
When crafting your title tags you will want to ensure that they are the right length.
Google has a 600-pixel width limit, so we recommend keeping your title under 60 characters.
For SEO purposes, it is also a good idea to place your keyword or phrase as close to the start of your title as possible.
You can use our free title tag generator to create optimized header ideas.
Once you have your title tag, you can go ahead and build the content for that specific page.
In which case, there are certain HTML tags you should be using for headings throughout the page:
- The primary title should use the H1 tag.
- Secondary headings should all use the H2 tags.
- And any other subheadings should use H3 and H4 tags accordingly.
The meta description is the little preview snippet that will appear below your clickable headline in Google search results.
Just like the title tag, search engines have some guidelines that will help you optimize these snippets.
- Make sure your snippet is around 155 characters
- Use your focus keyword, and some synonyms where possible
- Make sure it concisely summarizes the content on the web page
Meta descriptions are important as they will help you generate click-throughs to your page.
Although Google is not actively crawling meta descriptions to decide where they rank you in searches, they do measure click-through rate.
The URL is the web address that provides access to a web page.
URLs matter for website SEO because they tell Google exactly what your page is about, and they also affect the user experience.
You will want to ensure that every page on your website has a simple and logical URL slug.
Sometimes website builders can automatically generate a URL that’s just a bunch of numbers.
This tells Google nothing about the web page and they will struggle to rank it in their search results.
Simply change this slug to use one or two words, and if that includes a keyword – even better!
For instance, your about page URL should be:
Once you have some blog posts on your site, these will also need a special slug too. The best way to do this is by using hyphens.
For instance, if you had a blog post titled “SEO: 8 Steps To Optimize A New Site”.
You may want to use a URL like: youcompany.com/blog/seo-for-new-site
Images are a huge part of the user experience, as many browsers will be intimidated by a wall of text on a web page.
Images are key for quality content, but only if they are relevant and helpful.
However, for SEO purposes there are a few other factors to consider when uploading images to a page.
- Reduce the file size to ensure images load quickly.
- Use alt text tags to tell Google what the image is about – include a relevant key term.
- Give your images titles and file names with relevant keywords.
When writing new content for a web page, you will want to ensure you utilize your keywords from step 3.
To decide how to best use the results of your keyword research, you might want to begin by dividing them into groups based on each web page on your site map.
Every page should have a target keyword, as well as a range of related keywords, long-tail keywords, questions, and synonyms.
You will want to use all of these terms wisely in your page content.
For every web page, you will want to begin by mentioning your target keyword in the first paragraph.
This not only makes the page’s purpose immediately clear to visitors but also to search engines looking to decipher your site rank.
Furthermore, build out a plan for each page’s content before writing, taking care to plan each section and header.
Then you can make sure that your relevant related keywords feature in H2 tags where possible.
Outbound and internal linking
Lastly, when planning and writing your page content you should be sure to include outbound and internal linking.
Outbound links are links in your content that lead to pages on another website. Whereas internal links are links to other relevant pages on your own website.
Both of these are important in organic search optimization as they provide Google with more information about the subject of your page.
Internal links make your site more crawler-friendly, and they are really easy to implement into your content.
If you mention a product or service, pair the relevant anchor text with a hyperlink to the appropriate page. Every page on your site should be linked to several other pages on your site.
Outbound links provide you with an opportunity to link to high-quality and high-authority sources. This can help reinforce your own authority and trustworthiness.
Develop A Content Marketing Plan
No digital marketing strategy is complete without a content marketing plan. Remember when we told you to make sure there is a blog page on your new site? Now is the time to use it!
If you are a small business without a large online marketing budget, content marketing provides a low-cost way to attract organic traffic and warm leads to your business.
Furthermore, when you plan your content ahead of time – it’s pretty pain-free too!
Boost organic traffic with a content calendar
Securing a content marketing plan before your site’s launch ensures that you will be continuing to boost your SEO efforts, rising through the ranks and attracting more of your target audience.
You already dabbled in SEO writing when you wrote your on-page content.
However, these pages like the “homepage”, “about us”, and “services” page are permanent to your site.
Blog content allows you to target all of those specific keywords, phrases, and questions that you haven’t been able to use yet.
Additionally, blog content provides an opportunity to regularly expand your website’s content and increase your organic traffic.
Most bloggers aim to publish a new search engine optimized blog every week.
You can put together a basic content calendar for every month of the year, ensuring you’re always working a month in advance.
Every week should have a topic, a title, and a target keyword to begin with.
If you are a plumbing and heating business your keyword research may have revealed search queries about pricing, repairs, and certain products.
In which case, you can sketch out an article title that answers these search queries.
Then go back to your chosen keyword research tool and search for your new focus keyword.
This will reveal an array of related key terms and phrases to also include in your content.
Off-site SEO refers to factors outside of your own website that impacts your search engine performance. These factors include:
- Anchor text
- Link equity
These factors help inform search engines of your site’s authority, authenticity, and relevance.
The core of any off-site SEO strategy is link building or backlinks, which are links from other sites that lead to your web pages.
The more authority a website accumulates, the more sites will naturally link to them as a resource.
It can feel challenging to accumulate links as a new website, but we’ve put together a list of methods to receive low-hanging, easy-to-access links.
Link building for a new site
Securing a few quality backlinks from high authority sites can provide you with the fast track you need to rise through the search results ranks. In theory, this is easy to do.
You simply have to ask a relevant site for the backlink.
However, you have to understand that a lot of these backlink requests will be ignored.
Some easy ways to begin your link-building portfolio include:
- Ask your suppliers and manufacturers
- Ask relevant colleagues, business partners, friends, and family.
- See if your college has an alumni list complete with website links.
- Industry directories online.
- Look for relevant broken links.
- Submit guest posts.
- Contribute to crowdsourced posts.
- Ask bloggers for product reviews.
- Look for micro-influencers on social media.
An SEO strategy is worthless if you can’t track the results. So get ahead of the game and learn all about analytics before your site gets off the ground.
There are a variety of SEO analytics tools available on the market, some paid and some free. However, the best place to start is with Google’s own analytics tool.
Getting started with Google Analytics
First, you’ll need to make sure that you are signed up and have an account with Google Analytics that’s paired to your website.
Once your website is up and running you will be able to see all kinds of metrics about your site’s traffic. Including:
- Organic and paid traffic.
- Where you are acquiring site visitors from.
- Website visitor behavior.
- Where website visitors are located.
- How much time do users spend on your web pages?
- Bounce rate.
You can then utilize this information to enhance your website.
For instance, if users are spending more time on one specific type of content you can add more content like this to your site.
Check your domain metrics
A free domain authority checker tool can help you check and track key SEO metrics for your website.
You will be able to see an overview of organic traffic to your site, as well as the strength of specific pages compared to others.
You can also use this tool to compare a page on your website to a similar page on a competitor’s site.
All of these factors can show you where you need to improve in order to perform better in search engine results.
Search engine optimization is a never-ending process as search engines continue to update their algorithms all of the time.
If you need help getting your new website to rank, give us a call today!
I am currently experiencing the ups and downs of my ranking since 3rd week of January, the week before they announce the penguin update.
Anyway, my question is aside from GWT(console) do you have any free tools that you can recommend for monitoring?
You can track up to 10 keywords free with our Rank Tracker here: https://www.thehoth.com/ranktracker/
Interesting advice on internal pages linking out to related websites with authority, I’m working on a couple of nice websites that have info that this method will work well for. I will try this out, hopefully this is another procedure i can add to my toolbox;) cheers!