True enough, search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term process, an ongoing undertaking. Results are not immediate. However, the things you do after launching your new website impact the site’s performance on search. Such performance pertains to ranking primarily and thus, bringing in more qualified traffic, leads, and sales.
The goal is simple: get SEO right from the start. And this is also the reason why Optimind advocates launching an optimized website. Integrating elements that make the website SEO-ready instead of fixing a new website that was not originally built for search engine displayability and findability.
Then again, even if the website is SEO-ready, work does not stop at launching. Quite the opposite really wherein more SEO works are necessary to build the site and rake more traffic from organic search.
Major SEO tips to keep in mind
Before we jump into the actionable SEO tips, here are three major SEO tips that should inform your choices of SEO strategies and tactics.
Build and earn links
Once you’ve configured Google Search Console and Analytics, you can now move on to building links. Link building refers to the process of acquiring a link placed on another website.
If you have a personal network, which basically includes colleagues and influencers, then, by all means, reach out to them. Ask for their help in promoting your newly launched website.
It would be best to reach out to site owners that are relevant to your website. For instance, if you are in the catering business, you might also reach out to events marketing or wedding planning websites or blogs.
The same applies if there is anything newsworthy. Contact your local newspaper and pitch a feature or report on your brand, product, or service.
Promote on social channels
Social referral traffic is a ranking signal, so you shouldn’t ignore this aspect. Social link building can help your website stand out from the rest of the competition.
SEOs use these channels in a multitude of ways. For instance, content creators use them in mining content ideas. And since it is from social, there is natural traction because these are the social search and hashtags that real users used while exploring new products, brands, personalities, etc. So, yes, social channels are search engines on their own.
The goal is to make the social channels a point of engagement and convergence一where your business and target audience meets. You engage first before you look for prospecting opportunities. This is also important for new websites, whereby engagement means exposure and exposure also means engagement.
One more thing, there is potential for virality, though this should not be your main goal. If a post will become viral, it will. But if a post went viral, you can also expect more traffic and link through that post.
Build a network and community
The purpose of doing outreach is to build a network of professionals around your brand and a community of users around your brand, products, and services. Both of them are important to SEO.
By now, you have realized the importance of doing SEO simultaneously with other major digital marketing strategies such as social media marketing. Search, social, and mobile are inseparable, that you need to approach them individually and collectively.
Outreach is trial and error, and it involves several entities. As you go, you will learn which platform (social, mobile, or even email) is best used in contacting them. No matter which you choose, though, it all boils down to building relationships. It would be best if you networked for the sake of networking, not because of the expected benefits.
Actionable SEO tips
Moving forward, here are some of the actionable SEO tips to implement after launching your new website.
1) Write quality evergreen content
In the world of SEO, content is king. Google and other search engines improve their algorithms constantly, which means they will not rank poorly, plagiarized content. If your article or blog post has a misleading title for click-bait purposes, Google will also bury it deep into the results pages if it will be included in the index at all.
Strive to write content with impeccable quality. Make it unique, engaging, and useful to the readers as well. This is one way to make your content一textual and visual一as share-worthy as possible.
2) Publish content consistently
In keeping with the rankings, publishing fresh content is the key. This tells us the importance of publication frequency. Google favors websites with new content to offer its readers, indexing and ranking fresh, relevant, and valuable content high on the results pages.
There should be a balance between the quality and quantity of content, though the former is more important than the latter.
3) Utilize proper URL structure
URL readability is also important in SEO. From the domain, URL structures must be “human-readable” first than bot-inclined.
Some of the best practices in SEO-friendly URLs are:
- Includes the HTTPS protocol
- Hides the www
- Contains relevant keyword
- Uses hyphens
- Eliminates stop words
- Includes lowercase letters
- Has no dates
- Spells out numbers
- With no dynamic characters
4) Optimize the title tags
Title tags, which are also called SEO titles, summarize what the page is about. Title tags should be up to 60 characters long. Anything beyond this, Google truncates.
In optimizing titles tags, it is best to include the target keywords. You may include the primary and secondary keywords but do it organically. You don’t want to alarm Google with keyword stuffing. Each title tag should be unique as well.
5) Optimize the meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are a summary of the page in a more detailed manner than title pages. A meta description is about 150 to 160 characters (not words).
Meta descriptions should be unique for each page. It would help if you avoided generic descriptions. Instead, each meta description must be relevant to the content. The description should match user intent. If possible, include the target keyword. Sentence case is also used. It should be click-worthy as well to encourage click-through.
6) Optimize the text format
Make articles and blog posts scannable by using heading tags. Use heading tags to signal the most important content while also creating a better content structure and reader experience. Optimize the text for featured snippets also.
Here are some things to keep in mind about heading tags:
- There should only be one h1 tag
- Keep h2 tags to two
- Include the keyword in either h1 or h2 tag
- Keep the heading tags consistent throughout
7) Optimize the images
Image optimization is equally important in SEO. First, use a descriptive image file name for each image. Don’t use IMG_3245. Next, put an alt tag describing the image. You may put the keyword in the alt tag, but only if it feels natural. Remember that Google crawlers cannot read the image but the accompanying text. In coding, this is how it looks: <img src=”image.jpg” alt=”image description”/>. But if you are using an editor, you may easily locate it by clicking the image, and a panel appears.
8) Implement internal linking
Linking back to existing landing pages, product pages, service pages, evergreen content, and the contact us page is vital in creating a better site architecture. It is all about spreading the link juice to other more relevant pages inside your website.
This is good for user experience (UX), encouraging the readers to explore the website further at the same time through a chain of relevant content.
9) Implement external linking
This is where link building also comes into play, linking to other websites. External links aim at creating a semantic connection between two relevant pages.
When doing external linking, make sure that the domain you are linking is/has:
- Root domain volume
10) Optimize the anchor texts
When linking, especially external linking, the choice of anchor text is equally critical. The anchor text is the one users actually click onto. And when they do, the link becomes visible to the search engine while allowing readers to navigate better from page to page within your website or from your website to another.
The secret lies in making the anchor texts as diverse and natural as possible. Either branded or generic anchor text, make sure that they are wrapped into the context of what the pages and websites are about. Never interrupt the flow of content just because you want a page to rank or rank higher.
11) Conduct a keyword research
If you haven’t done it yet, now’s the perfect time to choose keywords to target. Or better yet, if you’ve done keyword research before, you may do it differently this time by targeting long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are more specific and less competitive. They may not have that high of a monthly search volume, but people using these keywords purchase-ready. They know what they are looking for exactly, and when they do find the product or service, the chance of purchasing right after is higher than usual traffic.
12) Place the keywords properly
After choosing the right keywords, the next step is to know where to place them. Again, prioritize natural keyword placement. But, again, you don’t want to arouse Google’s suspicion on keyword stuffing by placing the target randomly or irrelevantly.
To maximize their impact and effectiveness, keywords must be placed in the title, heading tag, meta description, URL, and, of course, the body of the text. Always think of semantic relevance instead of keyword density, though—Google ditches keyword density in favor of well-written content. But, of course, when we say well-written, we mean content backed by research and internal and external links.
13) Check for any broken links
Broken links are generally disappointing and annoying, ruining the momentum that is already built. These error pages are a dead end that also leads to users questioning why they are on your website in the first place when there are other more optimized sites out there.
You can use a broken link checker tool online. The tool may also check for broken images. Fix the links and images accordingly.
14) Check site speed
Your website should load fast enough. When we say fast enough, it means loading times to up to 5 seconds onlyー3 seconds on mobile. Users leave a website that takes more time to load. Actually, people expect websites to load in as fast as 2 seconds. Expect low traffic, high bounce rate, fewer returning visitors, less dwell time, and more if your website loading speed is more than 5 seconds.
Furthermore, site speed is a ranking factor. It is directly proportional to the number of pages Google can index. For example, if the website is slow, it would be difficult for the bots to crawl the entire website and only display those pages that it could crawl. Monitor speed regularly as well using tools like PageSpeed Insights. Diagnose and fix the issues accordingly as well.
15) Compress the images
Using these tools also reveals image-related changes to implement. For instance, speed is directly proportional to the content of the website一how heavy or bulky content is, especially the images. For one, unoptimized images impact site speed by up to 90%.
Here’s what you can do:
- Resize the images
- Compress the images
- Keep images at 1MB or less
- Reduce file dimensions (1200 x 795 pixels recommended)
- Use JPEG instead of PNG
- Use image sitemap
16) Make sure the website is mobile-friendly
Websites should be responsive, which means they should load regardless of the devices and browsers used.
Moreover, there are other reasons you should prioritize the mobile-friendliness of your website. First, your users are probably mobile-first users. They would search for products and services using their mobile devices. Second, Google pushes mobile ranking. It means the tech giant prioritizes mobile pages when ranking sites and pages. So if your website is not at least mobile-responsive, then you are surely running behind the trend.
17) Integrate social shareability
Social traffic is a ranking signal, which means social activities are getting more influential to search activities. So now is the perfect time to develop a social presence by linking your website with your social media channels. These channels are content distribution tools that should be on your arsenal.
You can put the social icons on each page to easily share the content on their social pages. As for you, you may also easily integrate your social channels so you may share the content socially upon publication.
18) Submit press releases
Press release submission is still valuable SEO-wise. Such content is directly about your brand, organization, products, services, and the relevant changes to all these. Some PR sites allow links, while others don’t.
Nonetheless, even if there is no link whatsoever, Google still thinks of the mention as a vote of confidence. This is more so because it is a different domain.
19) Do guest posting
When it comes to link building, the volume of linking domains is vital. More means higher domain authority and PageRank.
A proven tactic in raking in contextual and relevant links is through guest posting while connecting with your target audience. Some guest blogging sites allow up to three links. Others do not, though; they allow guest bloggers to include a link in the author bio.
20) Create infographics
Some guest blogging sites are visual, accepting infographic submissions only. True enough, infographics are a league of their own, helping with branding while generating both backlinks and traffic for websites.
When distributing infographics, keep these things in mind:
- Create infographics for a targeted audience
- Show, don’t tell
- Prioritize the flow of information
- Choose typography that complements the information
- Use simple color schemes
21) Generate do-follow links
In SEO, there are do-follow and no-follow links. This is a prompt telling Google to follow the anchored link.
Do-follow links have more weight than no-follow links. That is why website owners would want to receive the former than the latter. Unfortunately, scoring these links, especially from well-established, highly authoritative websites, is rather difficult. Difficult, yes, but not impossible, more so if your website has linkable, share-worthy content.
So this circles us back to our first two actionable SEO tips: writing and publishing quality content.
Apart from these and the other technical fixes mentioned, it is critical to
22) Think about UX always
Whatever you do, always put the users in mind. Invest some time checking the quality of the website, from navigation down to the tappable links, icons, and buttons.
Anything you do that improves the UX will be rewarded by Google later in terms of ranking and, thus, traffic.