The best time to start thinking about SEO is about the same time you decide you need a website … in fact it’s a must if you want your website to perform. Early planning and integrating good SEO practices from the beginning are imperative if you want your website to accomplish excellent results.
Going online with a pretty website isn’t enough … you need to consider the following if you want success:
Domain Name: Choose your domain name carefully and consider incorporating the main keyword that is relevant to your business without making it too long to remember easily. One of the ranking factors search engines look at to figure out what a page is about is your domain name so make it count.
Hosting: Selecting a reputable host is necessary to ensure delivery speed and uptime. This will affect your Google rank as well as the initial impression made on the viewer. People don’t like to wait for your pretty banners and high resolution images to load … and neither does Google.
Platform: These days there are a lot of web content management systems available that make it easy to build a website without any prior training or knowledge. When researching the platform you’ll use to build your website, choose one that has integrated SEO like WordPress. I use WordPress because of the built-in SEO capabilities and the themes and plugins that make it easily customisable.
Structure: Whether you’re planning a small site with a couple of pages or a large site with multiple pages … the structure is important right from the very beginning. Pages named with relevant keywords will perform better than generic page names. Ensuring you have keywords in your page titles will give you far better SEO results than pages that are named About or About Us. Consider titles that include your business name or keywords … About <<Business Name>> or <<Relevant Keyword>>.
Text and Keywords: Plan your text and keywords carefully. Whilst nobody wants to read lots of text there’s a minimum that Google needs to list your site correctly. Your text should include strategically placed keywords without overdoing it … keyword stuffing can mean your site is penalised by Google. Well written content will ensure your site is indexed correctly.
Images: Before uploading images ensure they’re not high resolution and too large … 72 dpi is enough for online images and 800 x 600 pixels is ideal unless they’re for a banner or custom shape. This will give your pages faster download speeds. It’s also a good idea to save images using keyword names such as keyword.jpg or mainkeyword.jpg which will give you better SEO results.
Social Media: Whilst I don’t believe in having multiple Social Medium which becomes a nightmare to manage … I do recommend picking one and using it effectively and regularly. If nothing else it will improve your SEO results.
Once your website is online and you’re happy with the final content perform the following to ensure it’s indexed by Google:
Register with Google Search Console: Registering and performing some basic steps will help with getting your site indexed sooner rather than later. Firstly, make sure your website has a sitemap and submit this in the console. Secondly, use the URL inspection tool to request indexing.
Other Google Tools: Also consider registering with Google My Business and Google Analytics to ensure you manage your online presence well. These are both free tools which allow you get noticed by Google as well as analyse the results of your website for improvement.
The next step is to continually improve your site and ensure it changes regularly. This is imperative for good SEO results … a stale website will drop to the bottom of the list.