Just a quick post today. One of the most common questions I get asked is how to maximise your chances of getting to the top of Google’s organic search results pages with a new website. While there isn’t a one size fits all approach, below are my ‘Top 10 SEO Tips for New Websites’ for ensuring strong ranking in Google and other search engines when building a new site from scratch:
Choose a ‘keyword rich’ domain name. If you’re a landscape gardener, servicing clients in the Limerick City/County area, a domain name such as “landscapinglimerick.com” would be perfect.
Choose an Irish web hosting company, such as Blacknight. If you’re focusing on the Irish market, it’s essential that your hosting server has an Irish geographic IP address.
Build your website on the WordPress CMS platform. Very user friendly, some great integrated SEO functionality and plenty of themes & plugins available to create a professional looking site.
Make sure you activate SEO friendly permalink settings in WordPress admin. I adopt the custom structure “/%postname%/” on virtually all my websites.
Write optimised meta titles & descriptions for each of your pages & posts.
Optimise each of your pages & posts for a specific keyword/search phrase. Include the main phrase you’re targetting in the meta title & description and also the first paragraph of your content. Don’t use the keyword too often within the content as Google may interpret this as ‘keyword-stuffing’ which could result in a penalty.
Set up a blog page within your WordPress website and publish relevant, informative articles regularly. Using our landscape gardener example, you could post articles about common landscaping/gardening problems such as ‘best time to sow a lawn’ or ‘best bedding plants for cold weather’. The trick is to publish content which mirrors the information your prospective customers/clients are searching for online. By doing this, you will gain traffic from the SEO pull of your content and, perhaps more importantly, your content has a good chance of being shared and linked to across social networks which will establish you as the ‘go to’ person in your particular industry and location.
Set up a Google Places for Business listing. Online searches for services are often appended with a geographical location, e.g. ‘landscaping limerick’. If there are relatively few suppliers of these services in your area, there’s a good chance you will get a fairly high listing within Google’s geographic search results. As these appear above the organic results, this is a great way of getting near the top of Google even if your website is relatively new.
Install Google Analytics tracking code to monitor your traffic and enable you to gauge where your visitors are coming from and how they are engaging with your site.