You’ve finally decided to build a new website for your business and, this time, you want to make sure that you can be found easily through search engines. You know that you need to consider search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques, but you aren’t sure where to start.
When it comes to setting up a new website, you have an excellent opportunity to build SEO value into each page from the beginning. While you may not have the resource available to create and manage a full scale, ongoing SEO campaign, there are some key considerations to keep in mind as the site is developed and its content is written.
Read more: How will voice search affect your SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the SEO factors that sit within each page. These are both the most frequently missed issues and the easiest to fix:
An alt tag is the description of an image that page readers can see and use to relay visual information. This is an accessibility issue that also impacts SEO. Best practice advises that each image has an alt tag/image description.
A meta description is a description of the page that gets displayed in search results. Without a dedicated meta-description, search engines will pull text from the page which may not be the main focus. This is also an opportunity to make your page sound enticing to searchers!
Each page should have a single goal. The goal should work both in regard to the user journey and your keyword focus. Try to focus on one major keyword in each page, using synonyms and similar phrases to support throughout. This looks much more appealing to search engines.
Avoid over-using a single keyword though - it can be seen as something called ‘keyword stuffing’ and makes search engines think your page may be spam.
Ensure each page has a single, clear H1 heading. This includes main pages as well as sub-pages like blogs or landing pages. H-tags help search engines understand the layout of the page and which topics are most important.
Page titles that appear on search engines (and the tops of tabs) are important because they help searchers and visitors know that they are in the right place. Try to avoid creating duplicate page titles as this confuses search engines and your site equity may be penalised for it. Best practice also advises that titles be limited to 70 characters which is less likely to get cut short in search results.
During website builds, this is mostly internal linking. But you may want to consider where your pages sit and how they link to relevant content. This is especially true for pages like blogs that will need linking beyond what is created for a sitemap and conversion plan.
Above we touched on the idea of one page=one goal with regard to keywords. That’s an important thing to keep in mind, even as you decide to target additional keywords. Gathering a list of targeted keywords that you know you want to be found for is a good way to start.
The key to developing a strategy is understanding both the business goals and your customers’ needs and where those intersect through keywords.
One way to begin is to choose broad search terms that you can focus one full page on and use it as your head keyword. These terms should be related to your proposition and based on what your target audience will search for.
But to really build equity, you’ll want to use a tool like SEMRush, AlsoAsked, or Answer the Public to find related long-tail keywords that you can address through content creation. Ideally, you’ll also put a plan in place to link these together under one topic cluster.
Ready to build a new website or just interested in getting some help with SEO? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.