The simple SEO tips any new website can benefit from
Why should I care about SEO?
So, you’ve just built a shiny new website. You’re probably excited to start driving traffic to it and converting those visitors into leads and sales.
But before your site hits the internet, it might be helpful to know how search engines rank websites so that you can make sure yours ranks as high as possible in search results.
Create a sitemap.
A sitemap is a map of your site, and it's one of the easiest ways to help search engines understand where everything is. This can be especially useful for large sites with lots of pages that may have moved around over time, or for sites with unique navigation structures.
You can create a sitemap in Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), which will let you visualize how all of your pages are connected together and allows you to submit it as a resource that will help Google crawl your website more efficiently.
It sounds simple enough: just put all your pages into one big list! But there are actually some things you'll want to consider before crafting one. For example, should you include images and videos? Is it worth adding metadata? How do I make sure all my internal links still work?
There's no right answer here—you'll need to think about the specifics of how your site works and what will benefit users most on their journey through it—but we've seen some great results from creating decent sitemaps over time (and updating them regularly).
Write quality content.
It's the oldest saying in the book: "Content is king." And it's true. Your site needs to have quality content that is engaging and easy for visitors to find what they're looking for.
- Write long-form articles that provide value instead of just linking out to other sites. The more information you give, the better chance your visitor will stay on your website longer, which increases their chances of finding what they came for.
- Make sure everything you publish is unique, not just copied from somewhere else on the internet. If people see that you've copied their work without giving credit or even taking steps to hide it (like having a completely different author name), then Google will know something isn't right here and may penalize your site by ranking it lower than its competitors' pages in search results.*
Title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags and URL structure can all be manipulated to include keywords you want to rank for. This is the easy stuff — just keep it in mind when you’re writing content. Use your keywords naturally and make them as prominent as possible without overdoing it (you don’t want Google to think that you’re trying too hard).
What is a backlink?
A backlink is a reference to your website that directs someone to it from another website. Backlinks can be in the form of text links, image links or video thumbnails embedded in search engine results pages (SERPs). They're important because they tell Google and other search engines that you're an authoritative source on whatever topic you cover. The more authoritative a site is, the higher it will rank in SERPs for certain keywords.
How do I get quality backlinks?
There are two main ways: doing guest blogging and building link wheels. It's important to note that these are not black hat tactics but rather white hat methods that can help improve your rankings over time if done properly. Backlinking should never be done blindly; instead, focus on getting quality results by ensuring that each link is relevant and appropriate for both parties involved (i.e., your website and its content).
Use social media as part of your SEO strategy.
- Use social media as part of your SEO strategy.
- Social media can help you rank in search engines if you use it to solve customers' problems and build brand awareness, but the benefit is indirect. For example, if a potential customer sees your posts on social media before searching for you online and then clicks on one of your links in the SERPs, that's great! But it won't directly affect your rankings for that specific keyword—it will only help increase organic traffic overall.
- Social isn't a direct ranking factor (SDF). While some people claim that social signals have become SDFs, this isn't true; Google has said so itself: "We don't view things like +1s or retweets or shares as an indexation signal."
You can do a lot to help your new website's SEO without having to hire an expert
You can do a lot to help your new website's SEO without having to hire an expert. Let's get started by looking at the basics:
- Make sure you have some keywords in your website title and description. The more relevant they are to your business, the better!
- Make sure you have at least one keyword in your tags.
- Make sure you have at least one keyword in every single , and tag on your webpage. These are most important for SEO purposes because they're used by search engines to determine what each page of content is about (that's why it's so important that they contain those specific keywords).