After choosing a web design package and your new website has gone live, then this article is some of the first steps, or foundation SEO, that can be implemented which will help you to boost rankings.
10 SEO tips include:
Improve site speed
Show that you have done the research. Link to other sites
Write for humans first, search engines second
Encourage other trustworthy sites to link to you
Have web analytics in place at the start
Write unique and relevant meta descriptions for every page
Create easy to understand URLs
Social signals are important too
Keywords and images are a perfect match
Create content that answers your users' questions
A lot has changed in the world of search engine optimization over the last few decades.
However, certain fundamental principles remain unchanged.
For example, using only keywords with the intent of improving organic rankings no longer works with search engines, but keywords are still essential.
There has been a huge shift towards creating content that will help answer questions a user may be looking for online.
So let's jump into the 10 tips.
1. Improve site speed
Page speed (how long it takes your web page to load) is one of the most important ranking factors for SEO.
A slow website can frustrate users and gives a bad user experience. Search engines will then penalize you because of the bad UX, especially with mobile devices.
To give an example, a study done by Akamai showed that a 0.1-second delay can cause a drop in conversions by up to 7%.
An easy way to determine if your website needs speed improvement is by using Google's PageSpeed tool. It's a free SEO tool and will give you opportunities for improvement to rank in the Google search results. Check it out here.
A slow site can cause a sense of untrustworthiness in your users. And that is never a good first impression.
Trying to get to the first page of Google for organic results with the penalties from search engines, you will be fighting a losing battle no matter how great your onsite content is or how professional your website design is.
According to Google's internal studies, when a page loads slowly, visitors spend less time there. On the other hand, faster loading pages reduce operating costs and improve user experience, among other benefits.
To help improve your site speed remove anything unnecessary on your website. Including removing cluttered content, optimize your images and videos that are hosted onsite.
2. Show that you have done the research. Link to other sites
This may seem strange, why would linking to other authoritative sites improve your rankings?
You may be thinking that wouldn't lining out remove user from my content?
Linking out to content (outbound links) remains a fundamental part of a smart search engine optimization strategy.
Firstly, Google and other search engines want to rank authoritative content in the search results. And unless you have done all of the research around the topic you are creating content for, it shows the algorithms that you have researched the topic yourself.
Linking out will also create a more comprehensive article/blog for your website by giving the user more information around the topic.
Secondly, you can't expect to get links from another website without first linking to other websites. If your SEO strategy includes inbound links from authoritative blog and websites (which it definitely should), then first you must show your willingness to link out.
But don't just include links. Ensure the links are valuable to your user and relevant to the topic you are covering.
Link building is also all about quality, not quantity. You’ll build more trust in your niche if you have a few authoritative links rather than a dozen poor quality links.
3. Write for humans first, search engines second
With the recent update by Google which includes a powerful natural language processor, there is no need to try to write for algorithms. Search engines are looking and ranking engaging content in the search results.
This means that creating content for a users search intent is much more important than keyword stuffing. Producing quality engaging, valuable content will produce considerably higher results.
While creating content many people are still not capitalizing on long-tail keywords. Rather trying to short-cut the system by stuffing short keywords throughout their content.
That’s the wrong approach.
Don't create content for search engines. Focus on people who will actually have eyes on your content. Thease are the people who will engage and who you will ultimately make a difference to. Search engines don't convert and buy your products.
By increasing the engagement of your content you will see a shift in your content up the search results.
So, what does it mean to write for users first, before search engines?
Well, it’s simple.
Forget that Google and other search engines exist when you’re writing. Instead, create content that will help someone. This is known as SEO copywriting.
Funny enough, when you put users first, you’ll write helpful content that search engines will reward because search engines follow users. It’s not the other way round. At the same time, you’ll be enhancing the user experience and building trust with your audience.
4. Encourage other trustworthy sites to link to you
Inbound links are still one of the most important ranking factors for SEO.
Combining dofollow and nofollow links will help give you a natural link profile which Google will reward and improve your search engine rankings.
Creating high-quality, engaging content through content marketing will help encourage people from another website to link back to your content.
Greate content will also help improve your clickthrough rates in search engines.
Content like link building is not about quantity but about quality of the content. Investing time and money into creating a comprehensive piece of content will produce much better results than many low-quality pieces of content.
A research study by Backlink.io showed that blogs with a word count closer to 2000 words saw much better rankings.
When you’re at the forefront of your industry, creating useful content and linking to authoritative blogs, you’ll find that more people will link to you naturally. This is the essence of effective link building.
5. Have web analytics in place at the start
After deciding what your conversion goals are for your website, being able to track conversions is essential.
From the data collected it's easier to start optimizing your website and content to boost conversions even further.
Google offers an array of free to use platforms for tracking everything on your website. Including users, impressions, mobilefirst indexing, queries and much more.
Both of thease platforms are easy to implement and easy to use for basic metrics.
Ensure they are both tracking before you send the first user to your website.
6. Write unique and relevant meta descriptions for every page
Your meta descriptions are vital to your SEO strategy. Many people overlook them and this can show in the CTR of your URLs.
Your websites meta description will be the first thing a person will see when your website shows in the search results. This will be the difference between a click and someone scrolling past.
Also, ensure each page has its own unique description which has been optimized for SEO. Search engines don't like duplicate content and your pages rankings will be affected.
Duplicate descriptions will also not provide a great user experience. It may show the user you haven't taken the time to label each page and rather just copy-pasted.
Each page's meta description should be thought out and created so that a user understands what the page is about just by reading the description. It should also include your pages targeted keywords naturally to help search engines understand the page as well.
7. Create easy to understand URLs
Take the time to demystify your URLs and make them easy to understand. Complicated URLs with numbers and random letters don't help users or bots crawling the web.
If a human won't understand, there is a chance that neither will a bot.
A good URL will flow in order.
An example may be:
https://"brand name.com"/"overarching topic"/"specific topic keyword"
URLs like the one below help no one:
A well organized and labelled URL may also increase your CTR by becoming more relatable to the search queries.
Brian Clark once said that "Google bots are like infants, who need to be spoon-fed regularly."
One of Google's ranking algorithms, RankBrain, is still a bot crawling a website. They are programs and not humans and still need to be guided around your website.
If you were to adopt a new URL structure, we would suggest that you might pattern it after Brian Dean’s website structure. He ensures that only 2-4 words are included in any URL.
Making the URL more friendly will help both users and search engines. It will also help your customers to remember where they found specific content and help increase return traffic.
8. Social signals are important too
Search engines are looking for a full brand across the web. Social media is included in that and the algorithms keep an eye out for your social signals.
This makes social media an integrated part of your overall SEO strategy.
Google hasn't specifically added it to their ranking signals but there is a definite correlation between the two when it comes to ranking.
With the several case studies that have come out showing the correlation between the two, this is one part of SEO that can not be ignored.
SEMrush did a research study and their results were quite convincing.
This just shows that engagement on your social platforms including likes, shares and retweets does indeed have an impact on your rankings.
If you want to get more social signals, the rules haven’t changed. Here’s the summary:
-Create useful content that’s share-worthy across your social media platforms.
-Add share buttons to your post and make them visible.
-Encourage people to share, by asking them to.
-Host a social media contest to get more shares.
-Mention and link to social media influencers/power users in your post and notify them.
9. Keywords and images are a perfect match
Google has a whole search section dedicated to images.
This shows that there is high importance with the images you use on your website.
When searching for images you would type keywords into the search bar in Google or other search engines.
Therefore optimizing your images text and using the correct images will improve your rankings in the search results.
Keeping in mind that keyword stuffing your images is still a no-no and shouldn't be done. Rather use less more relevant keywords for images.
To find keyword ideas you can use tools such a Google Trends to find relevant ideas.
10. Create content that answers your users' questions
The Content Marketing Institute said that most brands or marketers battle to product content.
It's a task that is often overlooked because of the time investment it can take to produce high-quality content.
No matter what niche your business is in, content is still king and producing it will help your website climb up the rankings.
New content shows search engines that you are committed to your customers and helps increase your freshness score which is an important ranking factor.
If your business relies on online traffic then producing quality content is a must. And something that should be done regularly to keep your website high in the search results.
If you’ve chosen to market your business online, then creating unique and helpful blog posts isn’t an option — it’s a must.
The SEO tips in this article is a great starting point and if implemented correctly is sure to produce results and help your website to start moving up the result results.
With most things SEO, remember quality is more important than quantity.