SEO 101: Every Factor You Need to Consider When Launching Your Website
Starting a website can be stressful enough in itself, but the real stress comes from launching a website that isn't getting any traffic.
One way to combat an unsuccessful site early on is by optimizing your website before you even launch it. Not familiar with the basics of SEO? Not sure what you'll need to do before your website launches in order for it to be ready and bringing in traffic?
No worries. We'll cover the essentials in this article.
How to Optimize Before Launching a Website
In order to know how to optimize your website before launching, you'll need to know what SEO is.
The Basics of Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of tailoring your website to best fit the preferences of search engines. Search engines are really the almighty factor in determining your site's success.
Because of this, a lot of effort has been put into understanding how things like Google's algorithm work and how a website can use that algorithm to get a lot of online traffic. You can personally optimize your site, but investing in a professional SEO service is an investment that every company should consider.
So, how do you optimize your site?
There are hundreds of elements that determine what sites come up in the top of a search. Some of those factors are more important than others, however, so we'll cover the main ones.
One constant factor in SEO is the use of keywords. Search engines determine which sites are relevant by the words in the query. So, if someone searches "goat yoga," it's likely that their results will be the sites that have the most significant association to the keywords "goat" and "yoga."
A lot of importance falls on which keywords you use on your site. They should be relevant to your niche, your local area, and your region. In that sense, it would be useful to do some research on keyword optimization.
Another important element in SEO is the value of links. Links are essentially "votes" in favor of you coming up high in the results. Backlinks are links that direct users to your site from other sites. Those are the links that hold the most value.
Not all links are the same, though, and there are a few considerations that you should make when strategizing. First, you want to seek out links from sites that have a lot of authority. The most popular sites give the most valuable links.
Alternatively, links from little-known sites will not yield much value. Links should also come from sites that are relevant to your niche. If you are a plumbing company and you have links from a number of baseball websites, those links aren't likely to do much for you.
So, What Do You Do Before the Site Launches?
In order to effectively optimize your site before the launch, you'll need to get out a pen and paper and get specific. Here are a few essential tips for starting your site off right.
Associate Keywords with URLs
Write out each URL on your site and separate them by sections. Each page should have a specific keyword strategy.
A basic way of doing this is to think about the message of the page and who would benefit from reading it, then think of what terms they are likely to search in their efforts to find your information.
To stick with the plumbing company analogy, let's say you have a page about fixing clogs. Someone who wanted to unclog their toilet would likely search "how to unclog my toilet," or "ways to plunge the toilet." Identify a few hypothetical queries like this, then identify the most common words and phrases.
Those common phrases will be your keywords, which you should embed organically throughout the text within that page.
Search Engine Accessibility
This step involves determining whether or not your page is set up in a way that makes it easy for search engines to find and index. Search engines "crawl" throughout the internet with things called "spiders" in order to archive the web pages available online.
Essentially, the spider starts on one site, archives it and ranks its relevance, then moves through links to other websites and does the same thing. You need to make sure that these spiders can find your site.
There are a number of sites that give you an analysis that states whether or not search engines will be able to access your site.
Is Your Content Accessible to Users?
You also need to make sure that your website is accessible by all devices and users. This means that you should have screen-readers for blind users and make sure that your content is available on laptops, phones, tablets, and the like.
Additionally, you'll need to make sure that your page is accessible by all web browsers. In the same vein, you should make sure that your site is enjoyable to use. This can be discovered simply, even by just getting your friends' opinions on what could be better.
Make sure that your site is easy to navigate. Site architecture is actually an important aspect of search engine optimization. Your word processing interface should have the option to use titles and headings which signify different levels of importance.
Use these title and heading functions to structure your site rhetorically, making it easy for readers to understand where they are in the article. Use at least one keyword in your title.
Search engines rank titles and headers as more significant, so when a keyword comes up in the title of your page it will be more relevant to searches with that phrase.
Having Trouble? Hire a Pro
If you're not entirely sure what you're doing with your SEO when launching a website, take the time to research professionals who can help you. These people are out there, trained and knowledgeable about how to make your website the best it can be. They're especially valuable when you're launching your website.
If you're looking to consult with someone about your site optimization, contact us and we'd be happy to help.