You’ve had this great idea. You’ve built this amazing website. And then, you want that website to attract visitors! You want to be found! What to do? How do you get started with SEO? How do you start with SEO on a brand new site? In this blog post, I’ll talk you through the 7 steps you need to take in order to get your SEO strategy up and running.
So, you’ve started your first site and you want it to be found, so you can share your thoughts and views with the world. What to do? Let’s go through the steps of starting with SEO!
Install Yoast SEO
Provided that your website is on WordPress, installing Yoast SEO should be the first step in your SEO strategy. Our Yoast SEO plugin will help you to make sure your website is crawlable and findable. Yoast SEO will immediately take care of some technical SEO issues, just by being installed on your website. Besides that, our plugin will help you to construct your website in such a way that Google will understand and rank it. We offer a free and a premium plugin. If you’re just starting out, you’ll probably won’t need our premium version yet, although it can already save you some valuable time.
Get that first link
Google needs to know your website exists. And, in order for Google to know about your awesome new site, you need at least one external link towards your site. The reason for this: Google crawls the web. It follows links and saves all the webpages it finds in a very large database called the index. So, if you want to get into that index, you need (at least) one external link. So make sure to get that link from an external website!
What do you want to rank for?
Make sure to attract the right audience to your website. Who are your customers? For whom did you build this website? What terms do your customers use when searching on Google? Find out as much as you can about your audience.
SEOs refer to this stage as doing your keyword research. This is a hard and important phase. There are a lot of helpful tools that make doing keyword research easier. Some of these tools are free, others are rather expensive. While these tools will make the difficult phase of keyword research easier, you should remember that you can’t outsource your keyword research to a tool. You really need to think about your audience and about the search terms they are using. Take your time for this phase. It is crucial. If you do your keyword research correctly, you’ll come up with a long list of keywords you want to rank for.
Set realistic goals
For a new site, it is rather hard to rank high in the beginning. Older sites already have a history, established their authority and a lot of links pointing towards them. That means that Google’s crawlers come by more often at older sites. For a new site to rank, you’ll always need to be a little patient. And remember: some search terms will be out of reach for a new site because there’s too much competition. Trying to rank for [WordPress SEO] will be rather hard for any new blog, because of some fierce competition on that term from Yoast.com.
If you’re just starting with your site, try to aim at ranking for long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are keywords that are longer and more specific and have far less competition than the popular head keywords. After a while, when your site starts to rank for the long-tail keywords, you could try and go after the more head keywords.
As I already mentioned in step 2, Google follows links. Google also follows the links on your website, your internal linking structure. It crawls through your website following the internal linking structure of your site. That structure is like a guide to Google. Make sure your internal linking structure is flawless. That’ll help with your ranking.
If you start with a brand new website, you’ll probably don’t have much content yet. This is the perfect time to think about structure. Now it is relatively easy. It’s like having a new closet and you haven’t started buying clothes. Now is the time to think about the things you want to put on the top shelf and which items you want to hide in the back of your closet. So, decide which pages are most important to you. What are the pages you want to rank with? Make sure that these pages have the most internal links pointing towards them.
In order to get ranked, you need to have content. A very important step in how to start with your SEO is to write amazing content for all these search terms you want to be found for. The content analysis in the Yoast SEO plugin will help you to write that content. Our analysis will help you to write a text that is both readable and SEO friendly.
External links are important to get your site in high positions in those search engines. But gathering those external links can be a hard process. Make sure to write content people want to share and link to. Original ideas and great, valuable content will make the chance that people would want to share that much bigger.
Of course, reaching out to people and making them aware of your awesome website and product can be a good strategy to get those external links too. Read more about a successful link building strategy or find out what link building is first.
And then what?
The truth is that SEO is more than these 7 steps. This is only the very beginning, the steps you take to start with SEO. In order to get longterm high rankings in the search engines, you need to do hard work. Your content has to be amazing, your site structure has to remain flawless (and that’s challenging when your site is growing) and you’ll have to keep earning those external links. The only way to really do that, in the long run, is to make sure that your audience enjoys visiting your website. If you want to rank the highest, make sure your site is the very best. Good luck!
Delivering the best content, which is going to serve the requirements of both the present as well as potential customers, is one of the most important considerations of most professional SEO marketers, especially with all the new algorithms that have been released. However, it can sound easy in theory but while practicing, it can be rather challenging. Most of the SEO professionals believe that they have the best content strategy just because they are using ideal keywords. However, the issue associated with using keywords for driving content strategy is that all the requirements of the customers are not captured. According to www.forbes.com, having content marketing strategies are essential for a perfect site.
Apart from that, keyword research has been tempting most of the businesses to create content, which has no connection with their brand. It can help in increasing your organic traffic but they are not going to be converting customers. Therefore, you need to concentrate on various other important strategies as well. Firstly, you have to consider the following:
Who your audience is?
What are the requirements and pain points?
What are the kinds of content that your customers are looking for?
What is the unique expertise that your brand offers?
How can the expertise be matched with the requirements of the audience?
Next, you need to consider all the strategies that have been listed below to boost search engine optimization.
Set the goals
You need to ensure that you are starting from the end. This means that you have to consider everything that you are interested in accomplishing, understand whether you are interested in increasing your sales, etc. Make sure that you are documenting all these goals. This will help in understanding the kind of content that you are interested in creating and what calls-to-action you should have.
Identify the primary audience
The next and most important step that you have to do is identify the customers that you are going to target with the help of your content. There are different kinds of people who will help you with this process within your organization itself. You need to ensure that you are having a conversation with the following teams:
Social media marketing
These people are responsible for interacting with your customers. Therefore, it is your responsibility to unfold what the customers are constantly struggling with and what is the type of content that you should be creating for solving their issues. You can also research by going through social media and searching forums. You are going to identify your primary audience along with the grievances that they have if you are doing it properly.
Determining the unique expertise of your brand
You need to make sure that you are digging deeper and finding out everything responsible for making your brand unique and helping it to stand out from the competitors. It is not going to be only the service or product that you are offering. You need to think regarding your subject matter experts and how they are responsible for contributing to your organization. You can also consider how the products are being developed.
This process can indeed seem boring but it is a valuable process. Once you understand the expertise of your brand, it will be easy for you to impress your customers and also help the search engines to move you up the ranks.
Develop ideal content topics
Once you are done with the steps that have been mentioned above, you have to consider brainstorming the topics. Since you already understand your audience and the issues that need addressing, it is not going to be a difficult job for you to create content. You will ultimately end up with topics that your customers are going to care about. Make sure that you are involving people from your organization to be a part of this so that you get only the best possible topics that will help you to gain a higher rank in the search engines without any hassle.
Conduct keyword research
As soon as the list of topics is ready, you have to consider diving into keyword research and find out the ideal keyword targets around all the content topics. Several good tools can help you with keyword research. Some important tools include:
Moz Keyword Explorer
Create an editorial calendar
Based on the findings of your keyword research, you have to develop an appropriate editorial calendar for the content. Ensure that you are including the keyword targets especially if you have hired someone else for developing the content. Doing it perfectly will also help you to gain motivated seller leads, which will be beneficial for your business!
Determine how you can measure success
As soon as you have an idea about the type of content that you will be creating, you have to figure out how you are going to measure your success. You need to ensure that you are focusing on lead generation. You can focus on the leads that you are getting on your gated content along with the conversions that your business is making. If you find any problem, you need to understand why your content is not performing as it should be and make the necessary amendments and tweaks for fixing the problem.
As soon as all the pieces are ready, you have to concentrate on creating the content beautifully and strategically. This can seem extremely fun, which it is, but you also have to understand that this process can be extremely daunting. You need to be extra careful when you are creating content. When you have the content tilt on your mind along with the proper keyword research, the creation of content is not going to be much of a tedious task. Ensure that the content that you are creating is capable of attracting the attention of readers as well as potential customers, which will help you to gain a high rank in the search engines.
Content strategy is extremely important if you want to gain a high rank in the search engines with the help of the content that you are creating. Ensure that you are following all the tips that have been mentioned above so that you can do it perfectly.
Great SEO and website design always go hand in hand when it comes to improving the ranking of that website. While it is important that you have a well-designed website that immediately grabs the attention of the users, you still need to implement SEO methods that can ensure a high ranking for your website. Here are 5 SEO tips that can help you to improve website design and enhance your online traffic.
Keep your site’s navigation features search engine friendly
Do not ignore the Image Alt Attributes
Keep all the image alt attributes of your website perfectly descriptive so that they can be detected by the search engine crawlers. The image alt attributes should be completely W3C-compliant if you are to obtain positive SEO results. It is too bad that many people choose to add whatever text they feel like, not realizing that it can make or break SEO ranking. In fact, no alt attribute text is much better than poor or inaccurate alt attributes. The search engines are going to read through the alt attributes and consider whether they are relevant to the keywords used in a search engine query. This same technique is also in use for ranking in Google Images and other image-oriented search engines.
Use content that can be easily read by the search engine spiders
Keep in mind that content is the basic driving force for any website and it is this that determines the online ranking of a website. Therefore when you design your website, you should come up with a good structure for arranging your website. Sites that have gotten very little content usually tend to suffer from poor ranking. This is something that you can avoid when you plan your website’s design for proper placement of content. As all web designers and web developers in India will tell you, avoid using images for text if you cannot work with a technique for replacing the text in the CSS background image.
Block the pages that you do not want indexing by the search engines
While designing a website, you may have a number of pages that you do not want indexing by the search engines. Such pages may include server-side scripts that have no immediate value in terms of their content. In many cases, these web pages may also simply help you to evaluate the designs as you create your new website. In such cases, it is better not to let web robots have access to them.
Most web programmers will tell you to block these pages as they can lead to duplicate content issues in case you get them indexed. These pages can even undermine the importance of your actual content and negatively impact your online search engine ranking. The most effective way to prevent these pages from getting indexed by the spiders is to make use of the robots.txt file. To separate a section of the website that you as a testing environment, you can keep it protected by a password or work with local web development programs like WampServer and XAMPP.
Update Pages with Fresh Content
In case you maintain a blog site for your business, you should put some excerpts of your latest blog posts on the various pages on your main website. By posting fresh content every now and then, you get to increase your chances of having better online ranking in the search engine result pages. It is a well-known fact that regularly updated content always has a better chance of getting a higher ranking. Just keep the postings short as you don’t want to fall prey to the issue of duplicate content.
Following these above guidelines can really help you a lot when you want to improve the SEO and design efficiency of your website. You can also ask for further help from any web design and development company specializing in search engine optimization techniques.
About the Author
Manoj Rawatis an experienced writer and usually writes on growth hacking, web development, startup ideas, innovations, SEO, SMM, and content strategy. He has over 8 years of IT experience and loves to share marketing tips & strategies among online marketers. He is an avid sportsperson, traveler, & nature lover.
A few years ago I started a website and to my delight, the SEO efforts I was making to grow it were yielding results. However, one day I checked my rankings, and got the shock of my life. It had fallen, and badly.
I was doing my SEO right and I felt that was enough, but I didn’t know there was more. I hadn’t paid attention to my website security, and I didn’t even know that it mattered when it comes to Google and its ranking factors. Also, there were other security concerns I wasn’t paying attention to. As far as I was concerned back then, it didn’t matter since I had good content.
Obviously I was wrong, and I now know that if you really want to rank higher and increasing your site’s search traffic, then you need to understand that there is more to it than just building links and churning out more content. Understanding Google’s algorithm and it’s ranking factors are crucial.
Currently, Google has over 200 ranking factors they consider when they want to determine where to rank a site. And as expected, one of them is about how protected your site is. According to them, website security is a top priority, and they make a lot of investments all geared towards enduring that all their services, including Gmail and Google Drive, use top-notch security and other privacy tools by default all in a bid to make the internet a safer place generally.
Unfortunately, I was uninformed about these factors until my rankings started dropping. Below are four things you can do to protect your site.
Four steps to get started on website security
1. Get security plug-ins installed
On average, a typical small business website gets attacked 44 times each day, and software “bots” attack these sites more than 150 million times every week. And this is for both WordPress sites and even for non-WordPress websites.
Malware security breaches can lead to hackers stealing your data, data loss, or it could even make you lose access to your website. And in some cases, it can deface your website and that will not just spoil your brand reputation, it will also affect your SEO rankings.
To prevent that from happening, enhance your website security with WordPress plugins. These plugins will not just block off the brute force and malware attacks, they will harden WordPress security for your site, thus addressing the security vulnerabilities for each platform and countering all other hack attempts that could pose a threat to your website.
2. Use very strong passwords
As much as it is very tempting to use a password you can easily remember, don’t. Surprisingly, the most common password for most people is still 123456. You can’t afford to take such risks.
Make the effort to generate a secure password. The rule is to mix up letters, numbers, and special characters, and to make it long. And this is not just for you. Ensure that all those who have access to your website are held to the same high standard that you hold yourself.
3. Ensure your website is constantly updated
As much as using a content management system (CMS) comes with a lot of benefits, it also has attendant risks attached. According to this Sucuri report, the presence of vulnerabilities in CMS’s extensible components is the highest cause of website infections. This is because the codes used in these tools are easily accessible owing to the fact that they are usually created as open-source software programs. That means hackers can access them too.
To protect your website, make sure your plugins, CMS, and apps are all updated regularly.
If you pay attention, you will notice that some URLs begin with “https://” while others start with “http://”. You may have likely noticed that when you needed to make an online payment. The big question is what does the “s” mean and where did it come from?
To explain it in very simple terms, that extra “s” is a way of showing that the connection you have with that website is encrypted and secure. That means that any data you input on that website is safe. That little “s” represents a technology known as SSL.
But why is website security important for SEO ranking?
Following Google’s Chrome update in 2017, sites that have “FORMS” but have no SSL certificate are marked as insecure. The SSL certificate, “Secure Sockets Layer” is the technology that encrypts the link between a browser and a web server, protects the site from hackers, and also makes sure that all the data that gets passed between a browser and a web server remains private.
A normal website comes with a locked key in the URL bar, but sites without SSL certificates, on the other hand, have the tag “Not Secure”. This applies to any website that has any form.
According to research carried out by Hubspot, 82% of those that responded to a consumer survey stated that they would leave a website that is not secure. And since Google chrome already holds about 67% out of the whole market share, that is a lot of traffic to lose.
Technically, the major benefit of having Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) instead of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is that it gives users a more secure connection that they can use to share personal data with you. This adds an additional layer of security which becomes important especially if you are accepting any form of payment on your site.
To move from HTTP to HTTPS you have to get an SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer certificate) installed on your website.
Once you get your SSL certificate installed successfully on a web server and configured, Google Chrome will show a green light. It will then act as a padlock by providing a secure connection between the browser and the webserver. For you, what this means is that even if a hacker is able to intercept your data, it will be impossible for them to decrypt it.
Security may have a minor direct effect on your website ranking, but it affects your website in so many indirect ways. It may mean paying a little price, but in the end, the effort is worth it.
Segun Onibalusi is the Founder and CEO at SEO POW, an organic link building agency. He can be found on Twitter @iamsegun_oni.
We are Win Makers Marketing founded in 2018 by Hang as a Digital Marketing Freelancer, evolved as a mini Digital Marketing Agency in Malaysia specializing in search engine optimization (SEO) Services, Website Design, Facebook & Google Marketing by 2020. Dedicated to helping SMEs to grow online by using proven and practical digital marketing strategies.
We have successfully helped over 50+ SMEs grow business to online, RM 150k+ advertising experience, 30+ Website Design, 1000+ SEO Keywords to Page 1, and 200+ FB Google Ads running. Multiple 6 figure 7 figure results for our clients.