We live and operate in an extremely competitive environment. It’s increasingly difficult for newly launched websites to attract visitors and drive traffic. And as you know, these are important factors for increasing the search engine rankings of your site. To help you set off on the right foot, we’ve collected twenty SEO tips to boost a new website’s rankings.
With 1.13 billion websites currently available and 0.252 million created every single day, competition is fierce. What’s more, the vast majority of more than 90% of sites are never visited. How can you avoid such an undesirable and desperate fate?
Read on to find the steps you need to take before and after your new site launch in order to ensure you’ll stay afloat and thriving in the densely populated digital landscape.
First, let’s dive into the multiple benefits of SEO for your new site.
Why Is SEO Important for a Brand New Website?
Improved Search Engine Rankings
Given that 68% of the trackable website traffic actually originates from search engines, the most effective advertisement is positioning your site on top of the list of relevance shown for a given search. Your rankings are improved by optimizing your new website for the current algorithms of search engines. Thus, effective SEO ultimately boosts the rankings of your new website, which means maximizing its chances of appearing on the first results page.
Did you know that three-quarters of consumers never go beyond the first SERP? So, your rankings directly impact the visibility of your new website. Actually, enhancing visibility is one of the primary purposes of SEO, helping users find you fast and easily when they search for something related to you and your offerings.
Enhanced Website Traffic
A boost in your web traffic is the immediate consequence of improved rankings and visibility. Just think of the fact that the Google Top 1 organic result attracts almost 30% of all clicks, and moving up just one position generates an average increase in relative Click Through Rate of 32.4%.
Boosted Website Authority
Domain Authority, ranging from 1 to 100, is indicative of trustworthiness, relevance, and quality. You can use tools like Ahrefs DR checker or Moz DA checker to learn your website's current authority. Basically, it’s based on the number, quality, and credibility of the backlinks and is achieved through highly effective SEO efforts.
Improved User Experiences
Investing time and effort in the SEO of your new website ensures that your website is fast-loading, easy to navigate, usable, and full of high-quality content. These are all features required for technical and on-page SEO. At the same time, they ensure outstanding and seamless visitor experiences.
Now, let’s discuss the importance of the timing of your new website optimization. Why should you opt for ensuring SEO prior to the official launch?
Advantages of Doing SEO Before the Website Launch
Cutting Down Waiting Time
Search engines take time to crawl and index all your pages. By taking care of SEO, you’ll start off on the right foot and help your site build authority faster.
Generating Organic Traffic Right from the Beginning
Driving as much organic traffic as possible and doing so as soon as possible is vital for achieving high search engine rankings more quickly. Addressing your website SEO before launching helps incorporate the right keywords so that users can find you more easily.
Saving Money and Time in the Long Run
Taking care of your SEO as early as possible (before your site goes live) will help you avoid multiple redesign and adjustments, which are costly and time-consuming. So, your best choice is to have your site built by a web development agency with SEO expertise. This will empower you with a website optimized for search engines at its very launch.
Facilitating Branding and Building Identity
Interweaving the relevant keywords with engaging copy and outstanding design that speaks to your values can go a long way in building your brand and bringing you closer to your potential customers. So, doing SEO before your website launch allows you to start off by presenting a full-fledged brand image to your audiences.
20 Proven Tips for SEO on Your New Website
To help you avoid taking your online journey blindfolded, we’ve collected twenty highly effective tips for SEO to ensure successful search engine optimization of your newly created website. We’ve divided them into two categories: before and after the official launch. Let’s take a close look.
- Decide Who Will Build Your Site
Based on web development expertise and the time availability of your team, decide if you want to build the site yourself or you’ll outsource it. You can also opt for a combination of the two ways, having a developer help your team and build the skeleton of your site.
Considering the many diversified tasks you have to handle, perhaps, it’s a viable option to hire a dedicated digital agency. You can entrust it with all development, marketing, and SEO activities while interacting closely to give your ideas, keep up with the process, and provide constructive feedback and comments.
- Come Up With a Great Domain
This is an essential first step to building a website that creates a true and impressive picture of you, your business, your values, and your mission.
Think of a Short and Sweet Domain Name
When coming up with a domain name, you have to be really careful - keep in mind that you cannot change it later.
Go for something concise, meaningful, and memorable – happypizza.com is much better than thebestpizzarestaurantlondon.com
Be careful about any unexpected letter combinations when written with no spaces and punctuation. You wouldn’t like to have a domain name like teacherstalking.org or childrenswear.co.uk, for instance (just to mention two of the many inappropriate examples).
Carefully Choose Your Top-Level Domain (TLD)
Although .com is considered best, as it’s still the most recognizable, frequent, and trusted, there are many other options that may perfectly fit your needs. For example, .ai is a perfect choice for businesses in the field of artificial intelligence.
Make sure to check the availability of the domain name you’re thinking of. Use GoogleDomains, Bluehost.com, Godaddy.com, or Domain.com to do your research.
- Select a User-Friendly Website Platform and a Reliable Host
Website platforms enable you to build your website and manage it continuously. There are two options you can choose from: hosted and self-hosted solutions.
- With hosted platforms, you have ready-to-use design templates and no-code content management, and the site is hosted by the provider.
- With self-hosted platforms, again, you have ready-to-use design templates and no-code content management, but hosting and installing is your duty.
Self-hosted, open-source platforms like Webflow and WordPress are preferred due to their customizability and the availability of multiple plugins, which can extend the functionalities of the platforms.
When choosing your web host, the major factors to consider are security, reliability, support, and server location. Opt for a host that provides you with a free SSL/TLS certificate, 24/7 support, and high website speed.
- Study Your Competition
Use Google Search and additional solutions, such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, SE Ranking, and SimilarWeb, to analyze your competitors. Learn what keywords they are using and ranking for and identify any content gaps you can take advantage of. Study the overall strategy of the competition and build on it, improving every aspect that can be improved.
- Develop an Effective User-Focused Site Structure
There are different types of website structures suitable for different purposes:
- If you’re planning on building a very simple site, the Sequential Website Structure would work best for you.
- For more complex sites including various products or services, the Tree-Like Website Structure will best serve the purpose.
- For extremely populated websites that contain multiple products, services, and blog content with topic clusters of pillar and cluster articles, the Webbed Website Structure would be the best choice.
Keep in mind that all pages on your site have to be organized and linked. Internal linking makes it easier for search engines to find and index new pages and analyze the quality of the page content. Another essential consideration is avoiding any orphan pages as they impair your SEO.
Your site structure should be logical and natural, helping both users and search engines find the information on your site fast and easily. Drawing a mind map is a way to visualize your website structure and facilitate the process.
- Design for Mobile Compatibility
As of the end of 2022, almost 60% of website traffic globally was generated by mobile devices, not accounting for tablets. With almost five bln mobile internet users around the world, ensuring mobile compatibility of your site is vital.
- Come up with a user-friendly design
Focusing on user experience when designing your website can help you increase its rankings. Keep in mind that your site is part of your visual identity and one of the elements of branding. Therefore, it’s vital to build websites that visitors will love.
There are several factors to consider:
- Website Loading Speed: 1-2 seconds is the ideal time to load. Note that keeping visitors waiting for longer results in an increased bounce rate.
- Layout: Go for a clear, visually appealing, and logical layout.
- Typography: Ensure your website offers content that is easy to read by using large, user-friendly fonts.
- Clear navigation: As already mentioned, making it fast and easy for your visitor to locate the content they need is vital for offering them smooth experiences with your brand while helping search engines evaluate and index your content.
- Research the Relevant Keywords
Identifying and using the right keywords with adequate keyword intent is what will drive your website to top positions on the SERPs. There are a few aspects to take into account:
- The keyword must relate to your product/service
- It must match the customer’s questions throughout the buying journey
- The keyword difficulty shouldn’t be excessive (you don’t want the fierce competition to rank for that particular keyword)
- It should also have a good search volume, which indicates adequate customer interest
- What types of pages are shown on the SERPs for the given keyword – home pages, landing pages, or blogs
The keyword intent is a critical concept that determines our chances of ranking high on SERPs. It reveals the purpose followed by the user with the search. The keyword intent can be commercial, informational, transactional, and navigational. It’s vital for your new website to correctly identify the intent and select the keywords based on that.
- Target Primary Keywords for Each Page
Choose a focus keyword for each of your website pages and make sure to avoid the competition between your own pages by selecting a different keyword for your different pages.
- Outline a Content Calendar for Future Content
Developing a content calendar will enable you to keep your content generation organized and on track. Identify:
- The content clusters you’ll want to build: Think about the pillar and the cluster articles so that you cover all important topics (and keywords) relevant to your products and services. Also, think of your content as a way to provide value to your audience by offering relevant and current information on trending topics.
- The interlinking strategy: Develop a practice of interlinking all your website pages in a network so there are no orphan pages on your site.
Note that your content plan has to be built based on keyword research, which has identified the most relevant and important keywords.
- Create Content Before Launch
Make sure to populate your site with content before it goes live. Also, come up with SEO headlines, title tags, and meta descriptions.
Note that title tags and meta descriptions are used by search engines to find out what your pages are about. So, these are additional spots to include your primary keyword. Another important detail is their length – make them short to avoid important elements being cut out. The best rule of thumb is to keep the title tag and the meta description up to 60 and 159 characters, respectively.
Remember that you have to ensure your site offers high-quality content only, as bringing quality and value is what connects us with our audiences and builds credibility. What does quality entail when talking about content?
- Current, reliable, and relevant information derived from credible sources
- Claims and statements backed with trustworthy evidence from credible sources
- To-the-point, fluff-free content that is neither too much nor too scarce but sufficient to help audiences find the answers they need
Right at this point, it’s relevant to mention building an external linking strategy that involves linking to relevant high-rated sites, which serves the twofold purpose of building credibility and improving SEO ranking.
- Come up with an SEO-friendly and straightforward URL structure
Think of a logical URL pattern that works for you, your audiences, and search engines alike. There are various options, such as date and name, numeric, month and name, etc. Consider the following variants:
Perhaps, the best option is to use the name of the page in the URL.
- Plan on the Off-Site SEO for Your New Website
An effective off-page SEO strategy boosts website traffic and, hence, improves its search engine rankings. What does building an off-site SEO strategy involve? It entails all efforts invested on any platform other than your website, aiming to drive more visitors to it, including:
- Guest Posting
- Social Media
- Email Newsletters
Such an omnichanelling approach is a powerful way to increase brand awareness, visibility, and engagement, helping you rank higher on the SERPs. To maximize its effect, make sure to plan your off-site SEO activities before its launch and start them as early as possible.
Now, let’s look at the steps to take and the tips for SEO to apply once your site has gone live.
SEO Tips to Follow After Launching Your New Website
- Set Up Analytics and Diagnostic Tools
- Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to track your site visitors and acquire various details like why and when they visit, how long they stay, what they engage with, how they convert, and much more.
- Google Search Console is another free tool by Google that empowers you with insights about your site performance, such as sitemap submission, Google Search traffic, your pages’ quality and usability, any crawl and index failures, URL issues, site errors, average CTR, and more.
- SEO Plugin: SEO best practices recommend installing an additional SEO plugin to help you with your website audits, performance evaluation, and optimization efforts. Yoast is a perfect option for WordPress, and Semflow is designed to improve the SEO of websites built in Webflow.
- Submit Your Sitemap to Google
If your just-launched website is set up in line with SEO best practices, Google will crawl and index your pages naturally without your attendance. However, if you want to speed up the process, you have to submit your site and pages to Google to help the search engine find your site faster, even without backlinks. How do you do that?
Make sure you have a sitemap at hand. This is a list of the main pages on your site you want to have indexed by Google. If your sitemap is already created, find it at site.com/sitemap.xml or site.com/sitemap_index.xml. If you can’t find it, you’ll most probably have to make it.
Once you have your sitemap, you have to submit it via Google Search Console (GSC). This will probably take a matter of seconds.
- Keep Posting Following Your Content Plan
After you launch your site populated with the content you created in advance, ensure you follow the strategic content plan. This will help include more keywords, discuss relevant topics, position yourself as an expert, and generate organic traffic. Establish regularity of posting new content and opt for different types of content – informative and how-to articles, case studies, company news, videos, etc.
- Maintain Regular URL Submission
Google gives website owners the opportunity to request crawling and indexing of single-page URLs using Google Search Console.
To accelerate the indexing of your new pages, submit the URL of every new page you add, whether a blog post, an additional service page, or other resource pages.
- Follow Internal Linking Strategy
Internal linking helps search engines know what your site and pages are about and generates traffic between pages on your site. The way your pages are linked also shows which are the pillar and the cluster pages, identifying the structure of your website. Therefore, it’s essential to build and implement an internal linking strategy and ensure that all your new and existing pages are linked in a relevant and natural way using a suitable anchor text.
- Implement All the Planned On-Page and Off-Site SEO for Your New Website
It’s vital to follow the SEO activities and plans you created before launching your website. Your tasks don’t end with officially publishing your site – they just begin. Irrespective of how busy you may get delivering your products or services, taking care of your on-page and off-page SEO is critical for attracting and onboarding more clients.
You can opt for hiring an agency that takes all these tasks off your plate, or you can entrust some members of your team with the duties of maintaining the search engine optimization of your site. Whatever option you choose, you have to ensure that everything goes on plan and on schedule.
- Regularly Track Your New Website Performance
Keeping an eye on your metrics, analytics, and performance reports is an effective way to identify what works and what needs improvement. With the multiple and frequent updates of search engine algorithms, tracking performance is crucial to stay on top of the competition.
Show Time - Go Live, Measure, and Improve
Now that you know what steps to take to ensure your new website ranks high on search engine results pages, it’s time to start applying everything you learned. The best results are guaranteed if you do your competitor and keyword research, prepare your content, and develop your linking strategies before your site goes live.
But, even if you’ve missed that opportunity, waste no more time and get down to work. Identify the keywords that best match your business, create your content calendar based on your keyword analysis, develop an on-site and off-site SEO strategy, and start implementing every single step.
Never forget to track your performance and visitor behaviors using Google Analytics and Google Search Console. And use the insights you get to improve the features and elements that don’t meet your expectations.
It’s your time to shine now! If you need a trustworthy and reliable partner by your side, don’t hesitate to reach out to the NUOVA Digital young and dedicated team! It’s our mission to help you in your struggle for improved SEO and performance.