A Step by Step Guide to Improve a New Website's SEO
A Step by Step Guide to Improve a New Website's SEO
The world is changing. We are witnessing a digital transformation.
People are becoming more powerful, customers are becoming more aware and Google is getting smarter!
Organizations are working relentlessly to find ways that would bring a tremendous revolution in the business world and guess what?
They have found one!
Search Engine Optimization, commonly called SEO is a method to increase website traffic through non-paid search engine results. It is an understanding of the consumer's needs and preferences and helping them connect to the right platform. Marketing is an integral part of every business. The first and foremost step of marketing consists of knowing the customer's needs and preferences. A business should thoroughly research their target audience's intent like what they are seeking, the type of content they wish to consume, the problems they are facing, and accordingly market its products and services online through Search Engine Optimisation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to digitization. Even the businesses which were operating offline have been shifted to the online mode. They are marketing their products over the internet with the help of websites and mobile applications. But all this is not easy for businesses entering into the digital world for the first time. They are encountering numerous problems and are at the infant stage of learning digital marketing.
Many new websites are running over the internet and a lot of products and services are available but businesses are not aware of how to expand their reach and widen their customer base. We are aware of a very few websites that are famous or I should say have a good SEO.
Have you ever thought about how a particular website comes up on a particular rank whenever you search something on Google?
It is all about the SEO game and businesses need to master this game.
SEO is not that complex. There is absolutely no need to hire a professional SEO unless and until you are a large organization. It can be done by anyone who has a basic understanding of how the Google algorithms work.
That's why I have put together some tricks and tactics which can be used by new websites to improve their website traffic.
On-page SEO is a process of optimizing the content of a web page for search engines. The main objective of on-page SEO is to gain more traction and help search engines know better about your business.
The first and foremost step in Search Engine Optimisation is Keyword Research. You need to tell Google what your business is all about and what kind of products and services you are offering to the people. This requires you to use keywords that are very common and dominate the search bars. By including some specific keywords businesses can start attracting more and more website traffic with less effort.
These keywords are known as the long-tail keywords which are very exact and intention-driven and increase the chances of a person diverting towards your website. There are several tools that can be used to find such long-tail keywords and identify the trends like:
- Keyword Shitter
- Google Search Console
- Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Keywords Everywhere
- Keyword Snatcher
These tools help you to get thousands of keywords that can be used on your website and can increase website traffic. Try to get a strong list of 5-10 keywords. There is no need to gather thousands of results. Just a few keywords and you are good to go.
Now that you have gathered a pretty good list of keywords, the next step is to identify whether these keywords have enough search volume or not. This is basically a filtering process where you will filter the keywords that are stronger as compared to the whole list. There would be some keywords that would not relate to the exact products or services that you are providing so it is important to eliminate such words.
The Google Keyword Planner helps you to identify the google trends and give a rough idea of the traffic levels. It helps to know the search volume data and trends and accordingly, you can decide which keywords are more effective for your website.
The Google Trends display a graph that shows the popularity levels of different keywords and by reading the graph one can choose the strongest ones out of a long list of keywords.
But there is a drawback with these Google trends. Google displays data according to the paid search traffic and not the organic search results which make it difficult for businesses that depend on the non-paid search engine results. But the tools mentioned above would help you to get an exhaustive list of keywords that would help you to increase your website traffic.
Step 3 :
Now that you have chosen the strongest and most relevant keywords for your site, you need to make sure that Google knows about your website. The main aim of On-page SEO is to help the searcher get the best results for their search. This involves a number of steps to be followed to improve the on-page SEO.
- The first and foremost step is to create better title tags. The first thing a searcher sees on a website is whether those particular keywords are mentioned or not. He would not open a particular website if the keywords used by him are not displayed on the blue link. Therefore, in order to grab the attention of the searcher, it is important to use interesting titles that would earn more and more clicks or use clickbait titles. Using better titles increases the chances of a searcher to check a particular website.
- The second step is using attractive meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are the first thing after the title tags that a searcher notices. It is basically a small paragraph or text that appears below a page's title in the search results. If these descriptions are concise enough and give a proper view of what the website contains and cater to the needs of the searcher, then he would definitely visit the website. But if the descriptions are ugly and miss important information then there are chances that the searcher would skip the website. To improve the quality of meta descriptions, one can use "Search Console" which helps to frame attractive and useful descriptions.
- Another important area that needs to be taken care of is having sensible URLs. URL should be short, readable, relevant, and should include the keyword subject in order to attract more traffic. If these are long and complex and do not contain any descriptive text then a searcher is less likely to visit the website. There are some basic principles that should be followed while making the URLs like:
- Using hyphens instead of underscores
- Short and crisp
- Must include product/service description
- The main heading of the page is another aspect where attention needs to be diverted. The heading should be short, simple, and descriptive and should include the main keyword subject. It should describe the page accurately but at the same time, the keyword should not be repeated excessively. Some variations should be made to avoid a situation where people get off your page.
- Another important point that should be considered while optimizing on-page traffic is the size of content and images on your website. The size should be as little as possible so that the data and images don't take much time to load. This helps to boost your page's speed which ultimately improves the SEO ranking.
- Last but not least is to have quality content on your website. The content on your website should fully cover the topic in question and include all the relevant keywords with variations. It should address the problems of the searcher and provide him with effective and actionable solutions. The content should be made in such a manner so that it improves the engagement of your website.
- Do you know what hurts consumers the most? Duplicity. Make sure that your websites include original images and content. Duplicate images can lower your Google rankings and can hurt your popularity badly.
- In order to improve the rankings of your website, you can use the weapon of internal linking. Internal linking is basically using links that would redirect the searcher to pages within your website and provide more and more information about his specific search. The best example of a website using this weapon is Wikipedia. It adds a lot of keyword-rich internal links to every webpage and now you know why it is always at the top of the search results. This method also enhances the user's spent time on your site and they find it very convenient to get more and more information about their searched topics under one roof.
- Another strategy for on-page SEO is external linking. It refers to adding links to your site which can redirect the searcher to another website i.e. on a different domain. Now you must have a question in your mind that what is the benefit of such external links. When you link out other websites and let them know about it, it increases your brand image. They would be pleased to know that you have linked their site and this would definitely help in relationship building. Your external links serve as backlinks for other websites and they will definitely return the favour by linking your site on their web page.
- Most of the searches on Google are from mobile devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, then you would be losing half of the potential traffic. Thus, to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly, you need to fix certain problems. Test your website on mobiles like a real user and fix the problems and make sure that there are no interruptions. A better interface and responsive design would definitely increase the mobile-friendliness of your website and gain traffic.
- Another strategy that is often ignored by businesses is commenting on blog posts. It is believed that comments don't help much in gaining traffic but it is a myth. Comments help in increasing your traffic by increasing the time spent on your page and your website. Before reading a new piece of content, people generally read the previously published posts and their comments to take an overview of your website. Therefore, make the best use of the comments by publishing only the ones that are relevant to the page content and add value. Always reply to the comments to encourage more people to comment and do not approve comments which seem fake.
Off-page SEO basically refers to all the activities that take place away from your website. These activities hold an important place in determining the rank of a website in search engine result pages. Businesses should focus on having a strong off-page SEO strategy that can help them improve their website traffic and rankings.
An important off-page SEO strategy is Link Building. The best way for this is NOT to build links. You need to get other websites to link to pages on your website in order to help them get a higher ranking in the search results. Web Pages that have more Backlinks tend to rank higher in the search results.
Some tricks to build effective links:
- Manually adding links to websites: There are many ways of adding links manually. You can post links to your social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogs, Tumblr. You can also post to forums, Q&A sites, and business directory submissions. This method is quite useful but should not be used excessively because it doesn't have much value in the eyes of Google and there are chances of your website being reported as spam.
- Reaching out to other websites: Give other websites a valid reason to link your website on their web page. Build an exceptional page with high-quality content and have credibility and authority. Offer money/promotions/free access to your products and services or offer a link in exchange.
It is not easy to persuade people to link to you. What is extraordinary about your website? Show them!
- Naturally earning links: Sounds easy, right? But it is not! Why would a website link you unless and until you have something exceptional and truly outstanding to offer? Earning free links is an easy game but requires your hard work and smart work. You need to build an extraordinary website that has worthwhile content and automatically compels the other person to use your link.
- Preserving links: Your job is not done by just earning links. You need to preserve them as well. Links don't last forever. They might get deleted or the website may update its content and remove the links. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to lost links. You can reach out to the owner of the website and get your link restored. Another way of preserving links is to restore 404 pages and 301 redirect them to your website.
- Content Promotion: You need to make your web pages linkable and another effective method to attract links is to promote your content. This can be done by way of advertising, outreach, and communities.
- Advertising and Social Media Marketing: The more you advertise your content, the higher the chances of other people linking your website. You can promote your website by way of advertising on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. These include paid promotions. You can also reach out to other websites and get paid promotions there.
- Outreach: Another effective method to promote content and make your website linkable is outreach. You can reach out to people by curating personal emails and asking them for links. Try to impress people with your high-quality blogs and articles that are persuasive enough to make them check your website. Do not just straightaway ask them to link to you.
- Communities: Promoting content in communities is another effective method that can help you gain more traction for your website. You need to become an active member of communities and gain some respect from its other members so that you can start promoting your content. Make sure that you promote only the content which is your best work and not every other article that you publish on your website. Communities help businesses to get relevant and genuine audiences to their websites.
Guest content and guest blogging is another effective online marketing method that can improve the off-page SEO strategy. Who would not want high quality and valuable content on their websites and that too with money? Make an irresistible offer and enjoy the gained traction on your platform.
To sum up, I would like to highlight the importance of both on-page SEO and off-page SEO strategy. Businesses believe that one of them is more important than the other but actually in order to keep your users happy you need to take care of both.
But if you are running a new website and want to start with applying the SEO techniques and tactics to increase traffic on your website, then you need to focus more on the on-page SEO initially.
There are various reasons why on-page SEO holds an important place in the whole SEO strategy.
- Rather than convincing the search engines to give you better rankings with off-page SEO, it makes more sense to start with on-page SEO and let search engines identify your website's importance and relevance to customers themselves. You need to learn to speak their language and understand how search engines work, what are Google algorithms and by giving them various signals you can automatically improve your page rankings.
- Off-page SEO strategy may bring more traction and traffic to your website but if the users don't find your website relevant to their needs or your website is not successful in providing the users an ultimate and seamless experience, then you're going to lose all the traffic gained. Hence, focus more on the on-page SEO first to retain your customers.
- There are many websites that undermine the importance of SEO because of which they are lagging. But if they keep focusing on their on-page SEO strategy by continuously improving the quality of their content, products, and services and provide a seamless user experience then they are definitely not out of the game!
- An on-page SEO strategy can also help local and small businesses to get local customers who are searching for various products and services on Google.
The first step is always to work on the on-page SEO strategy. After that businesses should gradually move towards the off-page SEO strategy. If you want to gain a competitive edge then you need to apply all the tactics, techniques, and marketing tricks that your competitors may or may not be using.
In the end, I would like to emphasize the importance of that one thing that can help you achieve your business goals: SEO. It not only helps in improving and enhancing consumer experience and building better relationships with your audience but also increases your authority and drives more and more traction to your site giving you a competitive edge. It helps in bringing loyal and genuine customers which will ultimately result in your business growth.
SEO is evolving rapidly. It is made up of a lot of elements and understanding each of them and working accordingly can help businesses achieve their objectives. It is a valuable tool for building relationships, gaining conversions, authority, trust of your customers, enhancing your brand reputation, and accelerating business growth. Therefore, businesses must keep up with the changes and spend time on the fundamentals of SEO strategy in order to enhance their website's engagement.
More traction, more profits, and tremendous growth!
What else do businesses need?