In order to get your website up and running and starting to gain traffic, your best option is to focus on a few different areas. This means that you ignore a lot of the complicated tasks that you can do, and focus simply on the most important things.
One of the first things you should do is make sure that the company hosting your website is good. This is one of the basic things which many people overlook, but a hosting company will affect your site-speed and uptime, which will both have a big impact on both UX (user experience, user interface, etc.) and how search engines will crawl and rank your website. As it doesn’t require you to actively do any work and can be done before you’ve even started to build up your website, it is an ideal starting point.
After you’ve got this out of the way and sorted out, then you need to start looking at how to organise your website so that search engines can understand what it is you’re selling or what services you’re providing. This means writing relevant content on all pages; product pages; category pages; the homepage. It also means writing relevant content for you meta-descriptions and title tags.
Optimising your Content
Writing SEO content for your website can actually be difficult. Most CMS’s (content management systems) will simplify it by taking out the hard coding side of things, but you’ll still have to bear a few things in mind:
It used to be the case that you could basically just jam as many “keywords” as possible into your content. Since then all search engines have come up with a variety of ways for to punish people for this, which has the end result of forcing people to create a balance between being relevant for the search phrases that they’re targeting without being over-optimised. Many people will use “keyword-density” tools to help manage the frequency of keywords in a page. The optimal frequency for keywords seems to be somewhere between 5-10%, but it can vary a lot from website to website and sector to sector. If you have too many pages with too similar content then you could also be at risk of being penalised as well.
Another important thing to understand about your site content is that there is a hierarchy of value. This exists for both your whole website; with the homepage being the most important page as far as search engines are concerned, followed by categories, then sub-categories, then product pages (for a typical e-commerce website), and it also exists for individual pages as well; search engines will typically value the page-title as the most important element for determining a page’s relevancy to keywords, followed by H1 tags, then H2, H3, etc.
A good method for making your pages relevant to search phrases is to use your most important keywords in your page title, i.e the one you’re most eager to achieve a high ranking with (while considering how achievable the goal is too), then using slight variations of those keywords in your H1 tag (to avoid too high keyword density), and potentially your H2, and then building normal content around those keywords to compliment those. For this content you can also use LSI keywords (latent semantic indexing), which are keywords which search engines may or may not consider to be relevant too.
In order to avoid having too many pages focusing on the same thing, which we advise you to avoid, you should make sure that your homepage and categories all target different keywords. This will benefit you both by reducing the risks of receiving a penalty for over optimisation as well as by meaning that you can expand your targeting, thereby increasing the numbers of visitors your site gets.
Another thing to consider doing is starting either or both a news section or a blog on your website. Fresh content is another key part in of the evaluation of your content which search engines conduct, and a news section or a blog are an ideal way for you to do this, as well as useful method for providing important updates about your business, products and services.
External SEO and Development
Another important area for you to focus on when trying to improve your website’s rankings is to provide positive signals which point to and validate your website. Social Media accounts like Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube all have a part to play in improving your website’s rankings, of course with the added benefit of giving you a public domain for dialogue between you and customers which can be used for reputation management and product and brand promotion.
These are of course things which you manage, which means that you also need to be prepared to put the work into keeping them up-to-date with fresh content and interacting with the people who contact you through them. You also need to try and create an online presence through sources that you don’t control, like industry and local directories and relevant blogs. These external sources of validation can be looked at as a kind of vote in favour of you, your products and your services. This will in turn increase rankings for your website.