A new website SEO should never be built unless the business foundations have been addressed first.
Any or marketing activity aimed to promote a website should always have the above statement addressed first. After that, an SEO strategy will target both the search engine and the business ideal audience.
A new website SEO – Indexability & Crawlability
By default, Google can crawl and index any site. To keep an eye on website errors, register your website to Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Google Analytics will track the incoming traffic and website activities, while Google Web Console will report any crawling and indexing errors.
A new website SEO – Speed & Device Compatibility
According to recent Google Ranking Guidelines, the website should be loading fast (less than 5-7 seconds) and compatible on any device (desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile.)
Analyse your site speed on PageSpeed Insights and aim for (at least) a 70% score. This software also analyses the site’s compatibility on both desktop and mobile devices. Even in this case aim for a 70% score.
A new website SEO – Meta-tags & Visibility
To address both the search engine and audience visibility, meta-tags should be provided. Meta-tags as help the crawling spiders index your site more quickly while encouraging users to select your site over your competitors when the site appears in SERP.
How to craft great Meta-tags: Title and Description
First, avoid unrelated or over the top titles and description. They are scored low by search engines and might even look like click baits to potential users. Instead, craft a title that is truthful to the page’s identity. And use the meta-description to support the meta-title statement.
Second, the landing page should answer the question by displaying expertise, knowledge and authority or E-A-T. Wondering if your page is E-A-Ty enough? Do a quick Google search for page related keywords. Click on the first SERP result. Is the page written with a higher level of expertise and knowledge? Is the website or author an authority? If the answer is no, consider tailoring your page for higher user experience by including better graphics elements (background, text colour, font size) and/or additional content elements (longer text, higher image quality, video tutorial, supportive quotes and references, relevant links.)
Budget & SEO Tools
In terms of budget, I employ scalability. First, I search for free options. Only when a free option is not available or sufficient for achieving the expected result, I scale up to a paid one. So, I would encourage any new business to explore free options first – as most of them can accommodate small businesses. Only when such an option becomes insufficient, consider upgrading to the next available option.
Google Analytics & Google Search Console
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are mandatory for any online enterprises. On Google Analytics, even an unskilled marketer can keep track of incoming traffic. Go to the main menu and click on Acquisition. From the new menu click on All Traffic and then on All Channels. A graph and table will load showing the incoming traffic in the selected time period (one week by default).
Google search console will get notified when something goes wrong, such as indexing issues or incurring penalties.
Yoast & SEO optimisation software
Yoast SEO can be installed for free on WordPress. It helps to identify common readability and SEO issues. Again, as anything else described in this blog, Yoast SEO is a guideline. The software doesn’t keep into consideration the topic complexity or the technical knowledge of your audience.
Personally, I’m not a fan of keyword tools. If you want to understand the type of keywords your customers will look for, talk to them. No keyword planner will ever be better than your customer. My strongest recommendation would be to talk to your sales team, clients, and anyone who might be your ideal customer. If you are just starting out, ask family and friends, explore social media channels, or any “ask a question” platform such as Quora or Reddit.
Link Building & Domain Authority
Having spammy links pointing from and to your site doesn’t affect your ranking score. However, if you are worried about backlinks, have a backlink audit once a month. Ahrefs or any other (free) backlink checker are good options to identify spammy sites pointing to your site.
Keep up with your technical SEO
Finally, I would recommend an SEO audit software such as BeamUsUp or Screaming Frog. These plugins can crawl any sites and report SEO issues such as 404 pages, missing or duplicated meta-data, slow responses, or non-crawlable pages. Screaming Frog is free up to 500 pages – that should satisfy the majority of small businesses.