When building a new website, there are two main considerations to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to consider your target audience and what they are searching for. This way, you’ll build a site that’s relevant to their searches. Second, you’ll need to consider search engines. Search engines are the technology you’ll rely upon to ensure that your website is accessible to your target audience. Both considerations must be applied through search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that you get the desired results. But how do you establish and run a successful SEO campaign? Here are 10 steps.
Step 1. Keyword Research
The first step involves finding the keywords to use on the website. These are the search terms used by your target audience to find the information you’ll use on your site. It involves more than just finding the keywords. You’ll need to find the keywords that have a high amount of monthly searches and low competition. This is especially so if you’re in a very competitive niche. Some things to keep in mind with regard to keywords include the following:
– Opt for long tail keywords compared to short ones
– Focus on one specific keyword and between two and five supporting keywords per page
– Try to find keywords your competition is using to rank high on search engines
Step 2. Create Content
Search engines might have made major advancements over recent years. However, they are only able to read text. That’s where your website content come in. Content is the second most important SEO factor after keywords. The content you create should be focused on your chosen keywords.
Step 3. Using Keywords
The keywords you choose for your website need to be placed in strategic positions within your webpages to get the best ranking results. Here are some of the key places:
– The page heading
– The page url
– H2 subheadings
– First and last paragraphs and a few times within the main content
Step 4. Website Structure
Although, it’s great to have a visually appealing site, remember that you want it to be search engine friendly. Your site structure should be lean. That is, avoid using too much code to achieve a single task. For example, if you can be able to use CSS rather than use images, go for it.
In addition, make it easy for search engines and visitors to find specific web pages within the website. A general rule is to ensure that a specific page can be found with at least two or three clicks. In addition, create urls that include the target page’s name.
Step 5. Make Website Faster
Load speeds will affect how well your website ranks in search engines. Fast sites usually give preference. Although your web host plays a role in how fast your web pages load, you can play your role by applying the following strategies:
– Limit the amount of files needed from a page when loading
– Use CSS over static image files
Step 6. Go Responsive
The number of internet users searching for content using mobile devices has increased exponentially over recent years. This statistic has had a major effect on how search engines are ranking sites. As of April 2015, Google, the largest search engine announced that ranking priority will be given to mobile friendly sites.
Step 7. Create a Sitemap
A sitemap is a list of the website’s urls. This allows search engine bots and visitors to easily find specific pages within the website. Having a sitemap therefore makes it easier for search engines to index your website, especially if it has numerous pages and deep linking.
Step 8. Use Media
Images, infographics and video are popular types of media used on modern websites. They help to break up content and at the same time increase user interactivity. However, they can also be used to optimize web pages for search engines. Since search engine bots can read such media, you can use relevant keywords to describe the media through the “alt” HTML attribute. This is what search engines read and if used effectively, it can help your web page rank better.
Step 9. Build Quality Backlinks
Quality backlinks are one of the important SEO ranking factors. They simply tell search engines that your website is being endorsed by other sites. Easy ways to get backlinks is creating sharable content and using content marketing. For a backlink to qualify as high quality, it should meet at least one of the following criteria:
– It’s a follow link
– It comes from an authority site
– It comes from a related site
Step 10. Update Content
Search engines and internet users love content that’s considered fresh and unique. In order to ensure that your site remains within the first pages of search engine results, you’ll need to keep updating it with fresh content. A blog is a great way to achieve this.