Your 7-Step Guide to Building an SEO-Optimised Website from Scratch
Launching a brand new website is no small task. Forget the promotions we all see about how you can build an effective, optimised website in less than an hour with this platform or that. No reputable website design agency would ever make a promise like that.
It just doesn’t work that way. The market is way too competitive.
To succeed in today’s online world, there are specific principles and strategies you’ll need to follow if your new website is ever going to get noticed by search engines — and ultimately customers.
In this article, we’ll cover a solid seven-step guide to building an SEO-optimised website from beginning to end.
Keep reading to get started.
1. Your Domain Name Is Vitally Important
Your domain name is your piece of real estate in the digital world. The name really matters.
Don’t concern yourself too much with having the desired keywords in your domain name. In 2012, Google released their Exact Match Domain (EMD) update to discourage spammy domains from ranking highly on search results.
Instead, focus on a domain name that is highly brand-able and that people will link to as a trustworthy, reliable source. Don’t settle for a domain with any hyphens, and if your business name is easily misspell, choose a branded domain easily marry with your business name in the minds of customers.
2. Use the Best Keywords
Do your keyword research before you start adding content to the site. What keywords is your audience searching for when they need your service or products?
Before starting, ask yourself few questions.
First, what exactly is your site about? Have a clear focus and vision for the direction of your site, and make it obvious to search engines in the keywords you use.
Next, what is the overall intent of your site? What are your main goals? Are you trying to sell something directly or provide information on a certain subject matter?
By staying focused on your website’s clear intent, you’ll more effectively choose the keywords that’ll get attention.
3. Begin Crafting Content
Without crafting high-quality, keyword-targeted content you’ll never achieve the top search engine rankings you’re looking for. This doesn’t just apply to the content on your web pages.
Stay focused on keyword use in all other site content such as:
- Blog posts
- White papers and reports
- FAQs, tip sheets and brochures
- Video descriptions
- Sales pages
- Infographics and pictures
When all of these website content components consistently use the same high-quality keywords, search engines will know exactly what you do and will drive traffic to you.
4. Make Sure Your Code is SEO-Optimised
Having the best possible SEO-optimised content is vitally important. But if your code doesn’t do the same, you’re missing a huge piece of the overall puzzle.
The specific URLs within your website tell search engines about who you are and what you do just as much as your website content does. If you have URLs that are filled with random numbers, symbols and punctuation rather than an easy-to-read text with pertinent keywords, search engines won’t figure out what content you’re putting out there.
You also want to have a unique title tag for every page of your website, which should also contain your focus keywords.
5. Set Up the Technical Side of Your Site
The first thing you need to do is set up Google Analytics and verify your account.
This will be a huge help as you gauge how effective your SE efforts are, and will give you details into how your site is performing. At a glance, you’ll see which of your pages are most popular, how much overall traffic your generating, what keywords are driving them there and much, much more.
This is a vital step in your process and cannot be overlooked.
The best thing about Google analytics is that it’s completely free, relatively simple to use (even for an SEO novice), and gives you high-quality information on the behaviours of your site visitors.
Without using an analytics platform like Google Analytics, you’re basically flying blind and hoping for the best. That’s not a winning formula in the competitive world of SEO.
6. Earn Links
Links back to your site are a highly important factor in your search engine ranking and a solid indicator of what content you have that’s important and relevant.
However, earning links is not about instantly getting hundreds of paid links that go back to your site through a linking service. Search engines see through this method and will actually penalize your ranking for it.
Instead, you want to earn those links by putting out quality content that authoritative sites link back to organically.
You should also be promoting your content to that it’ll be read by the right people who will want to share it. Also, build relationships with influences within your industry that will want to share it with their much larger followings.
7. What To Do After You Launch
Now is the time to focus on usability. You want your site to offer an exceptional experience for users and ensure it’s simple to navigate. Information should be useful and easy to find.
To test your site’s usability, ask friends to navigate through it as though they were customers. Find out if there are too many steps to navigate to certain key aspects of the site or if there are any areas where they get “stuck” and aren’t clear on what to do next.
Then you need to test the speed of your site using Google’s PageSpeed tool. Because site speed is so important to your SEO rankings, make sure to test each individual page and make sure each is optimised with compressed images and loading scripts.
After you’ve completed these tests on the desktop, do the same for your mobile site. This is equally important for SEO.
Wrapping It Up
With these seven steps, you’re well on your way to a brand new SEO-optimised website. Your future earnings will thank you for your diligence now.