Launching a new website is a bit like moving into a new house. You do a lot of planning beforehand, you try to make certain that you’ve thought everything through and there are lots of people around you offering their advice. Everything is shiny and new. But, once you have moved in, you soon realise that the work only continues while you settle snagging issues, structural defects and try to make this shell of a house a home.
But if a new website is a new house, SEO bleeds into the foundations, the walls, the plumbing and the electric. SEO will address every aspect of your website. It is so important because it will be one of the main ways your new website gets found online and achieves digital success.
But, SEO is a long and complex process. So when you launch a new website, it is difficult to know where to begin. But, if you’re going to think about how search engines will rank your website, you must first understand what they’re looking for.
Here at Colewood, we believe in optimising for users first. All search engines are trying to do is present users with the best results they can, so making sure your website is as good as it can be for visitors will, in turn, please search engines. If you wouldn’t do it for a person, don’t do it for a search engine.
SEO for any website, not just new ones, should start with authenticity, relevancy and popularity. Your website should be authentic and trustworthy, not trying the manipulate users or search engines in any way. It should be relevant with unique and engaging content that provides the user with exactly what they are looking for. Your website should also show popularity, with high-quality links pointing to you from relevant sources. Bearing all this in mind will help you achieve SEO success.
But what specific SEO steps should you take with a new website?
A lot of your website’s SEO should occur well before the site launches. You need to carefully select your domain name and structure your website’s architecture to make it easy for users to navigate and search engines to crawl. Much of this is to help search engines crawl and index your website once it goes live. You may also want to prepare a lot of your content in advance, so there is plenty there for people to see.
If you’re going to do SEO, you must make sure you have analytics on your website, so that you can track the success of your digital marketing efforts. We suggest setting up Google Analytics and Google Search Console as soon as possible so that you have more control over the indexation of your website, and access to detailed reports that will tell you whether your SEO work has the desired effects.
One of the first SEO steps you should take is to perform thorough keyword research. This will help you identify which keywords you want to target. It will also help you take into account how competitive some keywords are, and how relevant they are to a page on your website. Once you have selected keywords for each of your target landing pages, you must optimise your pages for those keywords by adding them to page titles, meta descriptions and page content. But, you must always be careful not to overdo it, or you can get penalised by search engines for keyword stuffing.
The content on your website is what will tell search engines how relevant, unique and helpful your website is. After all, users aren’t going to like your website if the content isn’t engaging and helpful. Write content that will engage your target audience, and that provides something unique and insightful. This could be in the form of page content, blogs, how-to guides, infographics and more.
Once your new website is launched, you should start to think about link building. When I say link building, I mean both internal and external link building. A well thought out internal link building structure helps tell users and search engines which the most important pages are on your website, improving their rankings.
You should also start to think about how you are going to get external links from relevant, trustworthy sources. Some ways you can get started are to sign up to directories, implement some online PR and create link-bait content that people will want to share and link back to.
When you launch a new website, SEO is one of the most important things to think about. But, there are plenty of other digital marketing channels that you can explore, in order to help your new website reach success. That might be PPC, CRO, email or social media. So make sure that while you’re implementing effective SEO, you aren’t ruling out other channels that could work together to grow your business online.
While you’re carrying out the first few steps of SEO with your new website, one thing you shouldn’t forget to do is to create a long-term plan. SEO is not a short-term solution and often takes months to build up and to see results. That’s why it’s important that you set realistic goals for the future and plan how you are going to continue your website’s SEO, long after it’s launch.
If you need any help with your SEO, get in touch with one of our digital marketing specialists today to get expert advice.