Understanding a New Website SEO Strategy
Upon completion of an SEO audit, you will have a list of items to tackle to get your website into a good foundational position to start building organic traffic. There are five key pillars that make up a solid SEO strategy for a new website.
SEO Keyword Research
Search engine optimization (SEO) starts with understanding what phrases and keywords should bring new users to your site. Our search engine optimization specialists use keyword analysis tools to determine a list of high-value terms to rank your site’s content and take up valuable space in search results. The volume of terms will depend on the scale of the website, industry and competitive landscape.
The core list of keywords and phrases may be broken down by category: navigational terms (search terms indicating an intent to find something specific, such as your business contact information), informational terms (indicating intent to find answers to questions about your products or services) and transactional terms (indicating intent to take an action or “convert”—such as book an appointment, register or fill out a form).
These keywords are further analyzed by priority value, search volume and degree of competitiveness in search results. An organized list of core keywords and phrases informs meta content (page titles, meta descriptions, image alt tags, etc.), blog content and linking opportunities and is a vital component of a complete New Website SEO strategy.
Technical SEO is an often-overlooked but critical element in positioning your website to be easily found, crawled and served to users who are searching for your products and services. The SEO Audit uncovers any and all technical issues that may impede search engines from serving your website’s content to users in search results. These issues include poor crawlability and indexability, suboptimal metadata, slow site speed and poor user experience. Implementing items that arise from an SEO Audit is the foundation on which your New Website SEO strategy is built.
Content refers to the copy and rich media that make up the bulk of your website. Content tells users what you do, how what you do benefits users, and why they should choose you. This includes service, credibility and marketing content, which are all designed to educate, persuade and convert users.
Content should be optimized for search engines (refer to your core list of keywords and phrases), and for all stages of the customer journey (i.e., what information should you serve a user in the awareness stage vs. the decision/conversion stage). A thoughtful content marketing strategy for ongoing blog posting ensures that your resources are being used effectively and that each content piece you produce has clear and measurable goals associated with it.
Building Website Authority
Search engines have made it clear that the expertise of a source is a major factor in how they index information in search results. One metric of credibility is the volume of other relevant sources that link to your website. Google, for example, looks for sites that many users seem to value for similar queries. For example, if other prominent websites link to your pages, it’s a good sign that the information is trusted. In other words, if many relevant or credible sources link to your website, your site becomes an authority in the minds of search engines and is more likely to show up in search results as a good destination for answers. Link-building can have a bad reputation in the SEO industry, because it was once exploited as a “blackhat” tactic for gaming search engines. In reality, when you focus on producing high-value, linkable content that deserves to be ranked, your audience will be more inclined to link to it.
Measuring SEO Success
Like any marketing goal, SEO goals should be specific and measurable. The key metrics that our search specialists use include the following:
Organic traffic acquisition: The volume of traffic coming to your website from search engines.
Organic click-through-rate (CTR): The percentage of users who click through to your website when your website is displayed in search results. Organic CTR is based on ranking position, page title, meta description, URL and presence of rich snippets.
Keyword rankings: A website’s rank for specific keywords or phrases. The goal is to get as many of your core keywords (refer to your keyword research) to rank in the top twenty search results.
Indexed pages: The volume of pages on your website that are currently in Google’s search index, ready to be served in search results. Ideally all relevant website pages are crawlable and indexable.
Metric search specialists use a variety of tools to measure the success of search optimization. These include Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs, SEMrush and more, depending on the project. Insights are provided through ongoing customized Metric Insight Reports that use Google Data Studio for streamlined reporting through various tools, all in one place.