Before you get too excited about building something as great as a house, a building, or a new website, there is the important task of search engine optimization or SEO. Implementing SEO for a new website shouldn’t present barriers to your site going live, but it is critical that you do a few things before launching or to make a few steps before you start walking. After all the work you’ve already done on the site, you might not be eager to invest even more time and energy. But SEO is one of the best ways to ensure that potential customers can find your site in search engines, and is arguably even more important than the beautiful design you’ve spent the past few months creating. Keep in mind, SEO takes some time to yield results! But don’t get discouraged — the results are amazing!
Step 1: Keyword research for the new website
You need to be aware of what your audience is searching for. You need to know what words they use in their internet browsing. Keyword research means getting inside the heads of your audience and making sure you focus on the right terms. If you offer a product, people might not be looking for your product or words that relate to the product. They might be searching for the problem your product is solving. Talk to your audience, make sure you understand them. And use tools like Google Trends in order to make sure you’re focusing on the right search terms. You should end up with a list of keywords you want to rank for. You’re probably already ranking for some of them, or thinking about them yourself as an audience member. Divide the list in keywords you’re not ranking for yet and keywords you’re already ranking for, but for which you want to rank higher.
Step 2: Setting realistic goals for your SEO campaign
It’s impossible to start ranking for the most competitive keywords overnight. If you’re in a competitive niche, it will be hard to rank for certain keywords. You’ll need to focus on more specific and less competitive keywords in order to stand a chance of ranking. Take into account the traffic potential of the future website (how many people search for a certain keyword) and the ranking potential (how many big brands are already ranking on that term). Read more about how to determine a realistic goal in our ultimate guide to keyword research or check out our keyword research training. Adapt your list of keywords according to the chances you have to start ranking or improve your rankings. You should start with keywords for which you have a good chance to outperform your competitors.
Step 3: Match content of your website to keywords
Evaluate your content based on the list of keywords you have made. Does your current content match the keywords you have been researching? Did you write articles that were optimized for the right terms? Perhaps you’ve used the wrong wording? And, which keywords do not have a post or page yet? Which content needs to be written from scratch? It could well be that you already have content that is optimized for the right keywords, but that is not ranking as well as it should. Make sure to check out whether or not you’re suffering from keyword cannibalization. If you have been writing about similar topics, chances are rather high that you are in fact lowering your chances to rank for a certain keyword, because you’re competing with your own content. In that case, you should improve your internal linking strategy or combine articles that focus on the same content. You should end up with a list of content ideas that need rewriting and re-optimization and a list of content ideas that haven’t been written yet.
Step 4: (Re)Write content for the new website success!
Write and rewrite the content that needs to be improved upon. One way to do this is with the useful feedback you get from the constant feedback you get from your website visitors and constant users. This analysis helps you improve the readability and rankability of your text, linked sources, and other content you get on-site helping you write fresh and natural content that your users and search engines will love. Make sure to start with the content that has the highest chance of improving your rankings. Develop a nice social media strategy in which you can share your content with your audiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Your content SEO strategy could be a great social media strategy at the same time.
Step 5: Improve the internal website linking
As websites get bigger, internal linking becomes more and more important. Your internal links are a guide to Google. Google follows links, so the way you internally link pages in your website content to each other will give Google important clues which content is the most important. Especially if you have a lot of content on your site, you should make sure to take some time to improve the internal linking structure of your site. Internal linking can be rather hard because of the different views of visitors, and the different aspects of website needs, but with research and the help of site members all can be achieved in rather reasonable order. Let’s start with the first lesson – Make sure that your most important content has the most internal links pointing towards them.
Step 6: start all over again with your SEO strategy…
Of course, everyone who’s starting a new website would now love to hear – finish with these steps and your SEO strategy and campaign we’ll all be over and done. Success is everything that follows, but unfortunately, after small steps start the big ones. A few steps for a successful website would be amazing. However, your SEO campaign is never over. It will be an ongoing process of measuring the success and making changes to your SEO campaign. Your website will change and grow, Google will change and grow and your audience will change and grow. So next year, you’ll need to start all over again. However, your chances to outrank your competition will most definitely be higher than, because of all the efforts you’ve made! Never forget, everything that you are doing to be successful and original, somebody else is trying to do as well, so every day of originality and getting better and bigger in understanding steps and making them yourself counts.
Step 7: Determine your most important website pages
In order to increase the traffic to your site, you need to know what aspects of your website should be optimized the most. What would be smart to tackle first? Which improvements would increase the chances to rank in the search engines the most? In order to answer these questions, you should determine the most important pages of your website. Determining the most important pages on your website can be rather difficult. Ask yourself: which pages would I like to show new customers? Which pages are most close to my mission? Compare the answers to these questions to the results of your analytics: which pages have the highest page value? With which pages do you actually make money? Which pages have a lot of traffic pointing towards them? You should end up with a list of pages that are important to you, but that doesn’t have much traffic. These should be improved upon further. And, the pages that have much traffic, but were not that high on your ‘importance’ list should not be forgotten either. These pages are ‘successful use cases’ you can learn from. They’re performing well, even though they’re not the most important pages.
Don’t forget, it’s the well-planned work and well-designed strategy that pays off ahead and after. Stay motivated every day that comes with your work on the new website. That motivation will follow the growth and success of the SEO in the beginning and the success of the website every day that comes.