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The main task of any website is to attract target customers and help create a recognizable brand. Today, many business owners still believe that only visual design plays a crucial role in achieving these goals, but it’s not enough. On-page SEO is also important for website traffic, especially for a new site. To quickly break into the game and be ahead of competitors, newcomers should pay more attention to their SEO strategy.
SEO (search engine optimization) is the set of practices for comprehensive site promotion that meet the current requirements of search engines. Its main purpose is to increase the position of websites in search results, taking into account specific user requests.
But why is it so important to be at the TOP of search results? Well, here is a deal.
At Sistrix, they analyzed more than 80 million key queries and discovered that about 28.5% of traffic comes from the top position in the search. The second spot accounts for 15.7%, and after that, the percentage is gradually declining. Only having reached the TOP of the search results, a site is guaranteed to receive more users and, consequently, increase sales.
If you want to get your new site up in search before you can say Jack Robinson, we recommend observing this list of SEO tasks.
You should think hard about the right domain name for your website, as you’ll be unable to change it later. To make the best choice, we suggest you check the following SEO rules:
The domain name you choose is a crucial ranking factor for search engine bots. So, if possible, you can add a concise key search query to your domain. For bots, it will greatly simplify the understanding of what your website is about.
When talking of a domain name, we should also mention hosting providers as they are interconnected. To help you better understand why it is so important, let’s start with the definition and main features.
Hosting is an online service that provides the infrastructure necessary for anyone to put a website on the Internet. In simple words, it’s a computer where your site is located. To be successful in the long run, the website owner ought to select the best hosting for their purposes.
There are numerous criteria when choosing the right hosting service. Some of them are measurable, like cost and guaranteed uptime, while other criteria (e.g., customer support) are more nuanced and subjective but equally important.
There are 3 types of website hosting:
It will be hard enough to choose the right hosting for your site without using special terminology. Therefore, we suggest you hire a specialist to help you select the most optimal host for your website.
When a user looks for something on the Internet, search engines show results that match the query the most. But how does a search engine determine which site will better fit a user’s query?
A search engine analyzes each indexed page in the search query for similar words, doing the same with the text content on your page. Such words are called keywords. They can help you to develop a successful SEO strategy, create targeted advertising campaigns, and produce relevant content for your audience.
The most basic signal that information is relevant is when content contains the same keywords as your search query. For example, with webpages, if those keywords appear on the page or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information might be more relevant.
Using keywords is one of the best ways to attract the target audience. You’d better think about them ahead, even when only planning your future site. A well-chosen group of keywords is then used to build a semantic core that describes the site’s general theme and determines the structure and promotional strategy. To pick it correctly, you need to do comprehensive keyword research and find out which words your customers use when they search for your products or services.
To better understand this info, imagine yourself in New York: you’re washing dishes after a cozy dinner with friends, but suddenly you notice that the sink got clogged. What should you do? Of course, you need to google for a plumber near you.
We can see that Google has analyzed your request and suggested suitable websites. The sequence of sites may change depending on user behavior, e.g., if most users click on the fifth site, it will gradually rise to higher positions.
Before collecting keywords, it’s important to consider your target customers and how they might search for your site. Now, let’s picture the next scenario: you have a small and sweet flower delivery business, and you get the first google query from potential clients — “flower delivery.” To check this and other queries from your audience, we recommend using the following tools:
Now gather all the key queries together and delete the ones you don’t need. Once that’s done, key queries must be clustered, i.e., combined into target groups for convenient optimization. Then, you can group them by specific criteria, such as price, product type, and so on.
All search engine queries divide into 3 main types of frequency: low (up to 100 searches per month), mid (up to 1000), and high (more than 1000). Naturally, high-frequency queries can bring more traffic to your site because users are more interested in them. But we do not recommend removing low-frequency queries, as they also play a vital role in search engine optimization.
The search for SEO competitors is a crucial stage of promoting a new website. Generally, your competitors are those websites that operate under a similar business model and occupy the top positions in the search results for your keywords. After an in-depth competitors analysis, you’ll not only get a deeper understanding of their online marketing strategy but also realize what you need to do to stay ahead of them.
You can find out who exactly your competitors are by referring to the list of your key queries. Let’s turn to the same example with the flower delivery and suppose that you chose Google Search to reach your SEO goals. With it, you can search for the most popular queries and see your competitors in the search results.
The main disadvantage of this method is personalization. Google tries to personalize the results as much as possible so that you spend less time searching for the required information. Its algorithms consider interests, geolocation, and search history to give you exactly what you are looking for. For this reason, the Google Search method cannot be deemed entirely objective.
Besides Google Search, there are other services that can help you with SEO competitive research:
Having selected the right service, pay attention to the following significant points when analyzing competitors:
If you are interested in becoming a guru in website SEO, you can find even more useful info in our article on competitive analysis and research. But be sure to finish this one first, as these are essential SEO tips.
The structure of a new site outlines the arrangement logic and hierarchy of all the site’s landing pages. The correct structure will make it easier for users to navigate through the website and find the necessary information.
A properly designed site structure is the key to successful search promotion. You should pay particular attention to it, as having the right web structure will help you avoid many problems with the subsequent SEO efforts.
There are several types of site structures:
If you find this info absorbing, our team wrote a comprehensive article about website architecture to help Halo Lab readers understand the topic better.
Once you have a semantic core, it’s time to create the main content for the site launch and build a strategic content calendar. You see, high-quality content is a fundamental criterion as it helps you to communicate with your audience. That’s why the text on your site must be optimized using key queries— search engines will analyze your website through it, deciding what queries they should focus on to rank your web pages.
It’s also important to remember that we primarily write the content for our audience and only then for bots. The text should be valuable and attractive enough to make users become your customers, so we don’t recommend sacrificing content’s usefulness for SEO purposes.
When creating content for a site, carefully consider the following criteria:
Checking your website’s technical condition plays a great role in SEO optimization as well. A technical audit is a series of activities carried out to determine the effectiveness of a site or its individual parts from a technical point of view. During such a process, you can check whether:
But even if you have perfect content, optimizing a slow site riddled with errors makes little sense. Users will just return to the search again and find what they need on the sites of your competitors. In this case, you should focus on crucial indicators, such as site loading speed. To achieve the maximum value, find out what factors affect the loading speed of the site elements and fix them. We recommend you start with image optimization as it may improve at least several SEO-related issues.
The following tools will help you check your site for errors to ensure that it works as best it can:
PageSpeed Insights, for example, provides a score that summarizes the website’s performance and gives you detailed recommendations for improving your site’s SEO strategy.
To sum it up, a technical audit is necessary both when the site is just being launched and when it’s already working. In both cases, we recommend you conduct this analysis at least twice a year or even more often. It will allow you to achieve the best results from SEO through the timely detection of technical errors and consideration of other important factors.
For site research, we recommend you set up such tools as Google Analytics and Google Search Console. This will help you analyze your site’s performance: conversions, promotion and indexing success, technical issues, and so on.
Google Analytics is a free analytical service from Google that will start collecting statistics about website visitors once you plug it in. With Google Analytics, you can:
This is just a brief overview of the capabilities offered by Google Analytics. In reality, there are numerous additional services available.
Google Search Console is also a free tool that monitors a site’s search performance. Search Console provides reports on queries, clickability, landing pages, region, and other parameters that affect a site’s promotion efforts in Google.
Thanks to Google Search Console, you will be able to:
Both tools will be useful if you want to analyze your site, create a better strategy for website optimization, and reach a new target audience through deep SEO research. You may get all these features for free, but remember that the proper work of any analytics tool directly depends on your ability to use it correctly.
If you successfully accomplish all the steps we described in this article, there will be no problem with the basic optimization of your website. But it’s important not to stop there and keep working on the SEO because Google’s algorithms are constantly changing, so your website should evolve too.
Another important point here is patience because Google needs to index all your edits to change your site position in search results. So don’t be scared if you can’t see the desired results immediately — just give it some time.
Also, remember that you are always welcome to text us if you have any problems with optimizing your new website. Just leave a request on the Halo Lab site, and our experts will help you enhance your SEO efforts to make your business more successful.