A Basic SEO Checklist for New Websitesadmin
I can relate.
It is indeed discouraging when you spend weeks creating a new website for your business, a business that you have been dreaming of for months (or maybe longer).
Domain name, hosting, technical stuff, installation, design, tweaking, CSS, HTML, content writing, designing, getting work done from others, budgeting, meeting deadlines, and so on. Creating a new website is time-consuming.
When you do not see a single visitor from search engines after publishing your new website, you wonder what you are doing wrong.
One of the most common reasons why you are not seeing any traffic weeks after your new website launch is no or poor SEO. Optimising your new website for search engines ensures that it is visible to search engines as well as those using search engines.
Before jumping to the SEO checklist for new websites, it is crucial to understand why SEO is important in the first place.
Why Optimising Your Website for Search Engines is Important
There are two main reasons for investing resources in SEO.
- It makes your website search engine friendly. Search engine crawlers will not visit your website if they cannot see what your website is about. In order to make it easier for search engines to find, crawl, and index your website, it has to be optimized.
- Well-optimized websites are user-friendly. When you follow the SEO guidelines and fix your website, it gets better. Readers love it because it gets easier for them to navigate, read, understand, and get benefit from your website.
SEO Checklist for New Websites
The checklist below will optimise your website. Most of these tasks do not require a lot of time.
So let’s get started.
Let’s assume you have created a website on stuffed toys. Now you need to find the keywords, phrases, and words that people use to find stuffed toys. Use stuffed toys as the seed keyword in Google Keyword Planner to find all the related keywords with their monthly searches and competitiveness.
Download the list of keywords.
Select the keywords that are most appropriate. For instance, someone searching for I hate stuffed toys is not probably interested in your website. You need to narrow down and choose a few keywords with decent search volume and low to medium competition.
Use these keywords in the content so that search engines can understand that your website is about stuffed toys.
Create unique title tags for each web page on your website. The title tag should have one of your primary keywords. Inserting keyword in the title tag will help search engines (and the readers) what this page is about.
It is a unique description of each page on a website that describes the page’s content. It is a short summary of the web page. Make sure you include the primary keyword in the meta description. Make it descriptive and include a call-to-action because it is viewable in the search engine results.
This tag is used for images. Whenever you use images on your website, add alt text. This tag is purely for search engines. It tells the crawlers what this image is about. The alt text should describe the image. Do not fill it with keywords. If the image is a toy cat, the alt text should describe the image.
There are six heading tags that should be used on web pages (where applicable). Headings make content easier to read for users and search engines. There should be one and only one h1 tag on any given page.
Other tags (h2 to h6) should be used in order.
Start a Blog
Search engines love fresh content – I bet you have heard that many times. It is rubbish.
A blog acts as a place to store information that you will use for social media marketing, answering common customer questions, and targeting keywords that your product or services pages cannot.
Each blog post should target one of the target keywords and must promote at least one of your products.
Aim for one very detailed long post a week – aim for 1,000 words plus.
Add Content on Every Page
Make sure every single web page on your website has at least 300 words. This is minimum word count. Add more words if you like search engines to push your website up in SERPs.
Always publish unique content. If the content has been published elsewhere on the internet, search engines will not rank yours because the original publisher’s content will be ranked.
The easiest way to acquire backlinks that search engines love is to guest blog. It has several benefits.
Find relevant authority blogs in your niche. Pitch them article ideas. Write great content and send for publication.
Every guest post is your brand ambassador. It promotes your website, business, and it links to your website, which improves search engine ranking.
Syndicate your blog posts for publication on syndication and curation networks – only after you have posted it on your own blog. Scoop.it is a great resource.
Every syndicated post sends traffic and is a source of a backlink.
Send a link to your new blog posts to those who might be interested in it. Find people who have shared or commented on similar blog posts in the past. Tell them that you have created a similar (and better) piece on the subject.
You will not just build relationships but free backlinks.
Here is a list of tools that will help you with SEO.
- Create an account with Google Analytics.
- Set up your website with Search Console.
- Add sitemap and submit your website for index in Search Console.
- Create an account with SEMrush to monitor your website’ SEO health.
- Use Open Site Explorer and Majestic to see how well your website is doing in terms of backlinks.
Once you have optimised your website, sit back and be patient.
The changes might not influence ranking immediately. It can take anywhere from a month to six months for the SEO efforts to impact your website’s ranking.
Be consistent. Be patient. Stick to the rules, (mostly).
Eimear is the Marketing Manager for Powerpoint Engineering. She has managed the launch of four new websites during the last year and knows how important SEO is for the success of each site.