For every new business, there is the excitement of bringing all the pieces together in order to start trading, and one of the most important pieces is the website.
Having a website is all good and well, but if yours fails to rank well for important searches related to your business, then you are fighting an uphill battle almost from day 1. You might choose to employ an SEO agency from the outset to deal with your SEO, and while that is certainly a wise move, not every business is in a position to do so.
In that case, you may need to undertake the initial SEO for your website yourself, and if so, there are several important first steps you need to take. Here are 3 of them that will help your website start life with the core SEO pillars in place.
Choose a Great Domain Name
It is a total myth that there are no great domain names still available, and that is especially true at the local SEO level. While lots of short domains have long gone, and ‘dot coms’ are a bit trickier to find than other suffixes, there are still many you can find and use for your website.
For local businesses think about your brand, the location, and the searches that customers looking for your type of business might type in. Use them to guide you towards choosing your domain name. A great tool you can use that only shows dot com domains that are available is leandomainsearch.com.
Whether you are an SEO expert or a complete beginner, keywords are going to play a part in your SEO. For new websites, this means establishing the kinds of searches that the customers you want to attract might search for when they are on Google.
This can be done to some extend by good old-fashioned customer research, and you can also create additional ideas by simply brainstorming keywords.
Bear in mind local keyword research differs somewhat from general keyword research as local locations such as towns, districts, and even neighbourhood areas need to be included
Ultimately you are going to need a keyword tool because you need insights into how difficult a keyword is to rank for, in order to determine the amount of effort required to rank for it. Knowing the number of searches a keyword gets is also important as it lets you know which ones should bring you the greatest amount of traffic.
Optimise Your Website’s Data Structure
In order for Google to index and subsequently rank your website, they need to know what it is about. One of the most significant ways in which that is achieved is the data structure that lies within the part of your website that no one sees when they visit.
Some of this data is called metadata and this metadata includes the title of every page your website has, the description of each page, and header tags such as the main headline you use in a blog post, for example.
Setting metadata is a relatively simple process provided you approach it logically. There are also plugins such as Yoast SEO plugin that make this task even easier.
Get this part of your initial SEO correct and Google can more readily see what you are trying to rank for, which is good for them, but more importantly, good for your website’s ranking.