Incorporating SEO from the Ground Up: A Guide for Launching Your New Website
Launching a new website is undoubtedly an exciting venture for any company. Every detail, from color schemes and logos to fonts and images, is scrutinized meticulously. However, amidst all this creative fervor, one crucial aspect is often overlooked: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In many cases, SEO is treated as an afterthought, and the consequences can be expensive and frustrating when web traffic fails to materialize post-launch.
Incorporating SEO right from the inception of your website is not only cost-effective but also yields quicker and more sustainable results. This article outlines the three key stages of a website launch and how SEO should be an integral part of each phase.
Stage 1: The Strategy Phase
During the strategy phase, discussions revolve around the website’s design and functionality. While debates rage on about design elements like color photos, your role is to lay the SEO foundation. This is achieved through critical tasks that significantly influence how designers and developers shape the site:
- Keyword Research: Keyword research is the cornerstone of aligning your website’s content with the search queries of your target audience. The keywords identified at this stage will shape your website’s navigation and content. Engage your team by asking questions such as:
What are the core topics our website should cover?
What search terms would potential visitors use to find our offerings?
How does our audience describe our products or services?
What problems do our products or services solve, and what search terms are associated with these issues?
Once you’ve gathered this information, refine your keyword list using SEO tools. This refined list will guide the website’s main navigation, a topic we’ll explore further in SEO siloing.
- SEO Siloing: SEO siloing is the process of organizing content and links within a website to enhance user navigation, keyword relevance, and the site’s authority on a subject. Using your keyword research, you can map out a site architecture that supports these keywords with relevant content. For instance, imagine you run a power tools website with cordless, electric, and gas-powered tools. Your keyword research may highlight the importance of terms like “cordless power tools” and “electric power tools.” You can then work with designers and developers to structure the site’s navigation and content accordingly.
Stage 2: The Build Phase
As you transition from the strategy phase to the build phase, designers and developers begin creating the website. This phase is often the most time-consuming, and it’s essential to ensure that everyone involved considers SEO. There are three primary areas of concern:
- Technical Aspects: Many web designers and developers may not be well-versed in SEO, potentially building sites that hinder search engine crawling and provide subpar user experiences. It’s crucial to discuss SEO-friendly web design principles before they start their work. Consider aspects like:
Accessibility and crawlability for search engines.
Compatibility with various devices.
Site speed and security.
The website’s design should adhere to principles like clean code, mobile-friendliness, and core web vitals for optimal SEO performance.
- Content Development: Content is a pivotal component of SEO. Google rewards high-quality content, especially considering the fierce competition online. As an advocate for SEO, ensure that each landing page and subpage is filled with valuable content. Ask questions like:
Is the content created with expertise in the subject matter?
Does the content position our website as an authority in the field?
Can visitors trust the information provided?
Does our content outperform competitors in answering user queries?
Are we incorporating data from search results, including “People Also Ask” and related searches?
Are we including original research, data, opinions, and images?
Is our content fact-checked and supported by reputable sources?
Is our content accurate, especially when discussing “Your Money or Your Life” topics?
Ensuring high-quality content is a significant part of SEO success during a website launch.
- On-Page Optimization: Once the pages are built and content is in place, the next step is optimizing each page. While there’s no one-size-fits-all checklist, consider these essential on-page tactics:
Readability: Ensure the content’s readability matches the audience and subject matter.
Meta Tags: Craft compelling title tags and meta descriptions with appropriate character counts and relevant keywords.
Heading Tags: Format heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) correctly.
Keyword Optimization: Fine-tune content with keywords for improved relevancy.
Image Optimization: Optimize images for search engine visibility.
Alt Text: Include alt text for visually impaired users.
Schema Markup: Use schema.org to clarify page content to search engines.
Other Structured Data: Format content for ease of understanding.
Links: Ensure links are fully qualified and maintained
Stage 3: The Launch Phase
As the launch phase approaches, pressure mounts, but with proper preparation, it can proceed smoothly. Nevertheless, several critical SEO tasks must be addressed during the pre-launch and launch phases:
Accessibility: Crawl the website with an SEO tool to identify any errors.
Analytics: Confirm that Google Analytics and Google Search Console are configured correctly.
Technical Considerations: Ensure essentials like the XML sitemap, HTML site map, and robots.txt file are correctly set up.
Monitor for technical errors and address them promptly.
Keep an eye on indexing to ensure all site pages are crawled.
Understand that SEO is an ongoing effort, and as long as there’s competition and search engine updates, your website will require continuous SEO attention.
Start Strong with Your New Website
With today’s fierce competition in search results, embedding SEO from the inception of your website offers a distinct advantage. Every day counts when striving to outperform competitors. If you’re part of a website launch team, ensure that SEO is considered at every stage, from strategy and build to launch. By doing so, you position your website for success in the ever-evolving online landscape.
If you’re seeking expert guidance on SEO for your website, consider reaching out to 360 Digital Idea. We are a leading digital marketing company with a proven track record in optimizing websites for search engines and driving targeted traffic. With our expertise, you can ensure that your website not only looks great but also performs exceptionally in the online marketplace.
Why is it important to incorporate SEO from the beginning of a website project?
Answer: Incorporating SEO from the outset of a website project is crucial because it allows you to build a strong foundation for search engine visibility. By aligning your website with relevant keywords, optimizing its structure, and creating high-quality content, you can maximize your chances of ranking well on search engines. This proactive approach is more cost-effective and yields faster results compared to retrofitting SEO after the website is launched.
What is keyword research, and why is it essential for a new website?
Answer: Keyword research involves identifying the specific words and phrases that people use when searching for products, services, or information related to your website’s offerings. It’s essential for a new website because it helps you understand your target audience’s search behavior and allows you to create content that matches their queries. By using the right keywords in your content and navigation, you improve your website’s chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Why is ongoing SEO important after the website is launched?
Answer: SEO is an ongoing process because search engines continually update their algorithms, and competition in the online space is fierce. To maintain or improve your website’s search rankings and visibility, you need to adapt to these changes. Ongoing SEO involves monitoring performance, making necessary adjustments, creating fresh content, and staying up-to-date with industry trends.
How can a digital marketing company like 360 Digital Idea assist with SEO for a new website?
Answer: A digital marketing company like 360 Digital Idea can provide expert guidance and services to optimize your website for search engines. We can assist with:
Comprehensive keyword research and strategy development.
SEO siloing to organize content effectively.
Technical SEO optimization to ensure your website is search engine-friendly.
Content creation and optimization for high-quality, SEO-friendly content.
Ongoing monitoring and adjustments to maintain and improve search rankings.
What role does content play in SEO for a new website?
Answer: Content is a critical component of SEO for a new website. Google prioritizes high-quality, informative, and relevant content when ranking pages. To optimize your website, ensure that each landing page and subpage offers valuable content that:
Demonstrates expertise in the subject matter.
Positions your website as an authority.
Builds trust with visitors.
Outperforms competitors in addressing user queries.
Includes original research, data, opinions, and images.
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