An SEO Guide for New Websites
It’s never too late, or too early, for organizations to formulate an effective SEO strategy. With COVID-19 turning the global economy on its head, many businesses are now appreciating the importance of a comprehensive online profile. In many cases, this includes establishing a new website.
The list of tasks for creating a new website can often seem overwhelming. From choosing the right layout to putting the final touches on e-commerce functions, SEO planning can easily take a backseat on any website planning. Neglecting SEO is a common, but no less significant, mistake made by many businesses. By contrast, organizations that start their website on the right foot save themselves a world of trouble in the future.
- Carefully Choose the Domain Name
Domain names are one of the ranking factors taken into consideration by search engines trying to understand different pages. Organizations should focus on choosing a domain name that is easy to remember and still relevant to the industry as a whole. Ideally, the domain name will incorporate the main keyword that the business wants to rank for.
Note that this is not something a firm should try and force. If a hairdressing business called Cat’s Curls, for example, is weighing up between www.cats-curls.com and www.washcutcolor.com, it would make pragmatic sense to choose the former domain name.
It’s worth taking the time to brainstorm relevant and long-term domain names based on what is available. Brands that make a rush domain name decision often have to backtrack in a costly and confusing re-brand later on.
- Plan the Architecture of the Website
It is vital that organizations plan out their site architecture in advance. This means that a structure is already in place as the brand evolves, and can be used as a guide when that digital marketing to-do list is starting to look overwhelming.
Most websites use a site resembling a pyramid structure, with the homepage at the top, followed by the next most important pages right below. When the site architecture is planned in advance, brands can check that the most important pages are prioritized, and made easiest for visitors to navigate to.
- Make a Mobile-Friendly Website
Google has announced a swathe of SEO algorithm updates in recent years, including several that refer to mobile-friendly websites. Since 2014, one of these features has been to inform internet users whether the site they are about to open is mobile-friendly- with websites optimized for mobile-users receiving a boost from Google.
As more internet users than ever are turning to their phones to do the bulk of their browsing, search engines and users alike are coming to expect that brands provide a streamlined mobile experience.
In practice, this means ensuring that text can be read without zooming in, links are spaced far enough apart that they can be tapped, and steering clear of software not common on mobile devices, such as Flash.
Setting up a new website can be an exciting and creative undertaking. Brands that plan ahead and take SEO seriously will surely find that their website serves a vital marketing purpose in the long-term.