So, you are about to complete work on your shiny new website. The design is sleek and user friendly, your copy is unique and engaging – seems like a good time to hit the big red “publish” button. But wait! Isn’t there something you are forgetting?
Search Engine Optimisation. What good will your fantastic site be if it isn’t easy to find with a simple Google Search?!
Sure, you have that fancy SEO plugin installed, but if you take the time now, you’ll save yourself a lot of hard work and precious time in the future!
- To truly maximise your site SEO potential, your site should be ready to meet Google’s lofty expectations with:
- Positive and intuitive user experience
- Regular updates
- Unique High-quality content
Taking the time and care to do this will set you up for success. Putting you one step ahead of your competition from day one.
1) Check your domain
You might have already done this, especially at this point in the development process. Wherever you are in the process, it won’t hurt to perform a quick check of your domain’s history. With tools such as Wayback Machine and WHOIS Search at your disposal, there is no reason not to. Your domain may have a negative history associated with it, which could have adverse effects on your site’s reputation.
2) Check your host
You deserve the confidence that comes with having your website hosted by a reliable provider. Your site is at risk when using an unreliable provider’s server, especially on a shared server. Where the server can go down due to something a neighbour has done on their site, this, in turn, can negatively affect your rankings.
3) Is your site secure?
Google has recently updated Chrome to tell visitors whether or not the site that they are visiting is secure. From Google’s perspective, any website that accepts or deals with a customer’s sensitive information (eCommerce, payments, personal info and location) as insecure. You can mitigate this by getting an SSL certificate and HTTPS for your site.
4) Keyword Research
In a perfect world, keyword research for your website’s content and metadata would have been completed earlier on in the process, before writing any copy. Most of us? We don’t have time, especially if you are a busy Business Owner or Marketing Manager.
There is no time like the present, though to get this critical piece of work done. There are fantastic tools such as kwfinder and Answer the Public, which you can use to identify the best keywords for your site.
5) Page Optimisation
Okay, so you have your keywords selected, now it’s time to optimise your content around them. You want to use the keywords enough throughout your content, helping visitors and Google have an easier time figuring out what each page is about. You only want to be using one keyword per page – this a focus keyword. You can, of course, use a couple of secondary keywords. Still, you’ll notice that most SEO plugins will only want you to pick one primary keyword per page or blog post.
6) Tag Inclusion
These are a bit different to the tags typically used for blog posts. We use on-page tags to establish hierarchy. They also help with readability and providing a clear idea of what your content is all about! Your focus keyword should be in these tags too.
Building a new site and web design can be exciting and stressful. While you might be eager to put a bow on your shiny new site and publish, you want to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. These steps are crucial in setting up your website for success upon launch!