Launching a New Website? Don’t Neglect These SEO Basics

You’re excited about building a new website and can’t wait to share it with the world, but how will people even know it’s there once you launch? Nobody will unless you plan a solid SEO strategy right from the start. Take a look at these essential steps for making your site stand out to visitors and search engines the moment it goes live.

Map Out Keywords
You should know by now keyword stuffing will only get your site ignored, but smart planning does just the opposite. Make a list of site pages, and choose one or two keywords to target for each. Use these phrases in the URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, and image ALT tags. Be natural when including keywords in content to maintain a consistent voice across the site.

Make Smart Connections
Users and search engines need to be able to move between the pages of your site in a logical manner. Create a link structure in which every connection is relevant and works to point visitors on the most direct route to the pages they want to visit. Use a tool like Google Search Console to perform a crawl before the site is live and confirm the links actually point where they should.

Ensure a Universal Experience
Choose a mobile-friendly responsive layout for your site, and test every page in all major browsers. Users on smartphones and tablets should have the same smooth experience as those on PCs, and visitors using Chrome, Firefox and Edge should see all pages without any errors in layout. Run your site through Google Speed Test to identify pages with sluggish load times so that you can improve the overall user experience.

Expand and Track Your Online Presence
If you don’t already have social profiles set up, create them using handles representative of your new site. Update existing profiles to include the new URL and reflect any rebranding associated with the site’s launch. Now is also the time to set up an SEO tracker, such as Moz or SEMRush, to monitor keyword performance and sign up for webmaster tools from Google and Bing to start collecting analytics data.

Enrich Content
If you can enhance any page with schema markup, star ratings or reviews, do so. These elements improve visibility by identifying page elements for search engines and highlighting popular content. Do everything you can to make your site easy to share, such as including OpenGraph information or creating Pinterest-friendly images.

Generate Buzz
Create a robust promotional campaign to let the world know your site is about to go live. Use your social profiles to talk up the impending launch. Reach out to friends, family members, clients, brand ambassadors and anyone else you know who might be willing to give you a shout-out. Influencers and bloggers in your niche may also be up to making a little noise on your behalf if you’ve developed connections through other projects.

Don’t wait until your site has languished for weeks without visitors to implement an SEO strategy. Build keywords, links and a stellar user experience into the design as the site comes together to create a final product with appeal for both people and search engines. Make every tactic work toward increasing visibility, and watch performance begin to increase.