You have an idea, you want to make a website to promote that idea and you get going right away. A few months later you don’t seem to be getting enough attention from search engines that you expected of them and now you are looking to hire an SEO executive to do that job for you. Let me make it simple, if your website is not built from the ground up keeping search engine optimization in mind, your SEO executive will face a tough time with you and the developers of the website to make those necessary changes. In this post, I will discuss the following 5 On-Site SEO Tips for New Website Owners to start ranking your website higher in the search results from the get go.
A. Content is King
B. Internal Links
C. External Links
D. Meta Titles & Description
E. URL Structure
1. Content is King:
Let it speak to the search engines. If you are planning a vacation to Murree or Swat, what will you search on the internet? Some searches can be ‘best tourist places in Murree’, ‘Top hotels in Swat’, ‘best restaurants in Murree’ etc. You will never search ‘Iftikhar Bhai ka farmhouse’ because you don’t know any such thing exists in those cities unless someone has told you about it. Hence trying to make your website rank on that keyword will be a very hard job. Therefore think like a consumer.
Ranking the USP of your own business in search results usually will take a lot of time but by using frequently used key terms in the content of your website can be really helpful to start bringing that initial traffic.
A good way of finding out the most used search terms on the Google search are the related keywords shown at the end of the results page. For example when I typed ‘top hotels in Swat’ and scrolled down, following terms appeared.
Similarly a search for ‘home services in Karachi’ brought the following related search terms back.
What you need to do now is incorporate these related search terms into the content of your website if they fit into the context of what you are writing.
2. Internal Links:
Before you can start doing Search Engine Optimization, you need a website and if you don’t already have one, I have written about a brief 3 step process of how to make a website at home in half a day. See what I did there? I created an internal link. A link that points to another page of my website. By doing this you are making your user stay on your website with topics of their interest. The more time a visitor spends on your website, the higher the credibility of your domain and higher the rankings.
3. External Links:
Sometimes you won’t have all the necessary content or guides of a particular topic. In that case, you should route the visitor to a credible source where they can find all that they require in complete detail. For example, if you want to keep yourself updated with all the latest happenings in the world of SEO, you can visit Search Engine Land and sign up for their daily newsletter for news and reviews related to your digital marketing or SEO interests.
4. Titles & Description:
The title of each and every content of your post should be unique and it should help the visitor in his\her decision-making process. For example, a recent study found that if numbers are mentioned in the heading of a post, it grabs more attention of the reader and they end up clicking on it. For example 5 best restaurants in Karachi, 3 must see places in Lahore etc.
Description of your content should have all the relevant keywords that a person might search over the internet. The focus keywords should be there in the first paragraph as search engines don’t show more than 2 lines of text on their search result page. So the topic should be immediately clear to the reader and grabs their attention for relevance. An easy way to find those keywords is Google’s Keyword Planner. In order to use it, you have to create a Gmail ID. Once logged in, go into Tools and then Keyword Planner as shown below. We will go into more detail regarding how to use the keyword planner efficiently but for now, you can give it a try to get yourself familiar with the space.
I cannot stress this enough that you absolutely cannot copy someone else’s idea or content. Google has checks in place to find out duplicate content.
5. URL Structure:
- Make sure the content of your website is divided into categories, for example, you are reading this particular post in the SEO category of this website.
- Use ‘-‘ as a separator between the permanent links of your website.
- Use the right keywords in your links which Google and other search engines can pick up easily.
- Make sure your links are present in an HTML Sitemap which search engines can read.
- A Sitemap page in the footer of your website is also necessary for users who want to find particular categories which you might not have mentioned in your main menu and want to jump directly to it.
All 5 on-site SEO tips mentioned above are for beginner level website owners. Soon I will be posting an advanced guide. Hope you found this post useful and will share it with people in need of this knowledge. Thanks.