When you have registered your domain name and you start designing and developing your website, one of the most important things to consider in the early stages is how to draw organic traffic to your website when it is finally launched. What are the things you need to do to have your website discovered and ranking in google and getting organic traffic from search engines? Early considerations are very impactful and if well done will save us a lot of time and effort in the long run.
We should know that what search engines basically do is to direct users to websites with content that are relevant to what they are searching for. In doing this search engines consider 4 major elements to determine which website is more relevant and should show up in organic search result pages. These elements are
- Content. Is your website content relevant to what the client is looking for?
- Speed. Does your website load fast and does it work properly? Websites that load faster usually perform well and are in priority.
- Authority. Does your website have enough quality content that is used as backlink and reference from other authoritative and relevant websites?
- User experience. Is your website user-friendly, safe and easy to navigate?
These are the element that search engines consider to determine the relevance of your website, so it’s very important you focus on these elements when optimizing your website. Here are some vital SEO steps you need to follow to ensure the visibility of your website in organic search result pages.
USE TARGET KEYWORDS TO STRUCTURE YOUR WEBSITE.
To effectively and efficiently structure your target keywords, you need do some research and identify a targeted list of keywords, review which words your prospective audience use when trying to find the product or service that you provide and then structure your website so that each page targets its own set of closely related, relevant keywords. Google Keyword Planner is a good tool for keyword Research. For a more detailed research I will recommend Serpstat. It is a complex tool that can filter keywords by their search volume and level of competition.
Structure your website in a way that enables each page of your website targets one primary keyword and several secondary keywords. Break it down into categories where category will rank for its target keywords and attract searchers looking for a specific type of products or services. It is also better to have several relevant pages that one page covering multiple topics without relevance.
The way your website is structured has a very huge impact on its visibility and ranking. To effectively achieve this you need to avoid generic keywords, keywords with low searches volumes, irrelevant and ambiguous keywords; and go for the relevant keywords with high search volumes.
OPTIMIZE YOUR TITLE TAG, META DESCRIPTIONS, ALT TAGS AND INTERLINKS.
Your title tag is what displays in the user’s browser when they visit your page and also in search engine results as your page title. You have to optimize the title tag of your website with keywords that is attractive and draws the attention of users and shows search engines that your page is relevant to the search, as it tells what your page is about. It is advisable to start your title tag with your target keyword, then a short description of what users should expect when they click through to your website. A well optimized title tag should accurately describe the content of your page while mentioning the target SEO keywords.
Always keep your title tags brief and simple using your primary keyword and then relevant information about your page. It should be between 45 and 55 and not more than 60 characters.
The meta description on the page of your website is a short information that gives search engines a summarized insight into the content on your page. It appears below your website’s title and URL and shows up in search engine results with the title tag. There is no guarantee that meta descriptions will help with the ranking of your website, a well written meta description with relevant keywords will have a big impact on our page’s organic clickthrough rate and how your website shows up in search engine results.
Each page on your website should have its own different and unique meta description that explains the page features and ideas in more details and offers a reason for users to click. It is advisable to use to your business or brand name and keywords in both the title and meta description as it helps your website standout in search results. If you’re using WordPress, you can quickly add unique meta descriptions using a plugin like Yoast SEO or SEO Ultimate.
If your website is built on WordPress, you can quickly add unique meta description to your pages using free plugins such as All in One SEO, Platinum SEO, Yoast SEO or SEO Ultimate. You can also get SEO suggestions by using premium plugins such as Scribe SEO. Just scroll down to below your page’s content box and find the SEO settings area and add your title and meta description.
There are also additional SEO elements apart from title tag and meta description which you can incorporate in your website to further optimize it. This alt tag is used to give a short description of an image with your keywords. This helps search engines find good images and it increases your chances of showing up in image search results.
Interlinking can help search engines know more about your website by internally linking certain phrases or words within the body text of your pages, to other pages where relevant. It guides users around your website to other content they might be interested in. Basically, it does a task of linking other resources that are relevant to a specific topic and that you believe users might find useful. Do not link the same keyword or keyword phrase hoping it will increase ranking for the same keyword, it will harm your SEO. Only add a link if it is useful and relevant and always make sure that the link is functional.
CRAFT YOUR CONTENT TO BE SEARCH ENGINE-FRIENDLY.
Content is king and a great investment. Content is great for both your website visitors and search engines. Developing and creating quality marketable content for your website can be very tasking but it’s worth it. Make sure that your website has content that is engaging and useful to its visitors. High quality content is the key to pleasing both visitors and search engines. Quality content can include a variety of things including, but not limited to, the following.
Web page content
Blocks of text
Tutorials & How to Guides
Brochures, tips sheets, and FAQs and any information about your business
Images (pictures, infographics, avatars, etc.)
Videos and Podcasts
EBooks, white papers, and reports
Make your content engaging, useful and catchy. Search engines will “crawl” your website and try to figure out what it is about and then determine what queries each of your web pages should rank for.
The on-page content of your website should be engaging and useful. To achieve this create on-page content with a catchy title with relevant target keywords. Your content should also be unique, up to date and detailed. Develop contents that that are detailed and has solution to someone’s needs. Long detailed on-page content is likely to rank higher than a page with short undetailed content in google search results. Detailed content always have a positive effect on your website’s visibility and ranking in organic search especially when you occasionally and relevantly include your target keywords to your content.
When you have developed content and give each page a unique title tag and meta description and built your website, then you have to install and verify Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. Google Analytics is free easy to setup and use tracking tool that allows you measure and monitor how people find and visit your website. It shows how your website is performing, spots opportunities and gives valuable insight for further optimization of your website for its target keywords. Installing Google Analytics is simple. Signup for a Google account and visit Google.com/Analytics then configure your website in Analytics. Once you have configured your website, you’ll need to paste your unique Analytic tracking code unto your website. If you use WordPress you can add the tracking code using Google Analytics by Yoast plugin.
When you are done with setting up your Google Analytics, then you set up Google Webmaster Tools. The Google Webmaster Tools gives detailed and deep information about your website. To add Google webmaster to your website, visit Google.com/webmasters. You may not need further verification if you already have a Google Analytics account. Link Google Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics to get more insight into how visitor find your website organically. Create a robots.txt file and upload it to the root directory of your website. Create a sitemap.xml file and upload it to the root directory of your website. Submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools for indexing. You will get to discover how important and useful these step are when your website starts generating organic traffic and starts ranking for its target keywords.
BUILD AND EARN LINKS BY REACHING OUT.
Quality link building is an important ranking factor and an important SEO task. The basic goal of link building is to get other authoritative websites to link to yours. It is always good to start improving the visibility of your website for some target keywords by link building right from the earliest days of your website. You can start building links to your website by reaching out to friends and colleagues on your personal network and ask them to help promote your website. You can also create purposeful and shareable content like info-graphics, blog post, guest post etc. that is so useful and engaging that people want to link to it and share it with others. The more people see your content, the more chances it will become popular and shared.
A cost effective way of link building is to build relationship with people who are interested in promoting your content and to advertise your content to targeted audience who are interested in your content in social networks. Find and follow industry “influencers” with large existing followers on social networks and convince them that your content is of a high enough quality to share on their profile.
POST-LAUNCH TESTING AND MEASURING.
Test and measure the effectiveness of the optimization that you have done and see how it is performing. Find out where there is need for modification and addition especially your target keywords, website content and links and do so to improve your website’s visibility and search engine ranking.
Test for usability. It is a very important part of your SEO as it helps to keep your visitors happy. When users have a great experience navigating through your website, they will visit again and even recommend it to others. The best way to know how user friendly your website is, is by asking friends and getting feedback from them how easy it to navigate through your website.
Test for speed. Speed is another important ranking factor. Test your website’s speed and improve loading times if necessary. If your website speed is low you, make some adjustment such as compressing images. Google’s Page Speed Insights is a good tool for this, you can check the loading time for each of your web pages with it. It also provided report on your websites speed performance with pieced of advice on that can be done to improve on it. You can also contact a developer to help you with this.
Test for mobile version. Make sure that your website works properly on all devices – desktops, smartphones and tablets and make it a priority. It is extremely important because search engines favors mobile-friendly websites and mobile friendliness is now a ranking factor as mobile device traffic is increasing every day. You can use Google Webmasters Tools to test your websites mobile friendliness.
SE0 is a long term process and there is need to develop a long term strategy for continuous improvement and for better results.
As you start building your website, it is important to follow the necessary steps we have discussed. It sets a good foundation will lead to a lot of benefits in the future. They are simple steps that are effective if well implemented, so put in quality time and effort to make it work.
Take time to develop an effective SEO plan that audits your requirements, analyzes the structure and performance of your website and make sure they are in line with search engines constantly updated algorithms and devise strategies that constantly improve on them. At Raphaam Technologies, we have an effective search engine optimization plan that we implement to constantly improve a website’s visibility, organic traffic generation and search engine ranking.
Raphael is the CEO of Raphaam Technologies. He has great passion for WordPress Web Design and Development, Search Engine Optimization, Digital Marketing and Social Media Campaign. He writes articles to help readers improve and grow their online business