Should you focus on SEO before or after launching your website: An Experts Guide.
In a day and age where SEO is indispensable to rank on the top search engines, when should you focus on SEO?
Our SEO experts and experts worldwide prefer and recommend that business owners focus on SEO before they launch their website or even write the first code for the website!
Ranking on top search engines organically depends on your website’s relevance and authority.
Four elements indicate whether your website is relevant or not:
- Content: Is the content relevant to what the user is searching for?
- Performance: Does the site load fast, and does it work properly?
- Authority: Is the content valuable enough to link to, or do other authoritative sites use that website as a reference or cite the available information?
- User experience: How does the site look and behave? Is it easy to navigate around? Does it look safe? Does it have a high bounce rate?
In this article, I will go through the main pillars experts believe you need to focus on to get your website ready for launch.
Your Domain Name
A solid SEO domain name will set you up for success.
Here are the main things you need to have a strong Domain Name:
- Relevant to the brand: instead of isellclothes.com, go with something like ryderwear.com, this is an actual sportswear brand name, and you can tell from the domain name
- Keep it short and simple: the goal is to make your brand name easy to remember, so your visitors can easily find your brand!
- Choose a trusted domain extension: .com is king, but if it’s not there, you can go with .co or .net; however, try to avoid extensions that you wouldn’t click if you saw them.
- Research your competitors’ domain name: “Ask yourself:
- How simple and brandable is the domain name? Is it less than 14 characters max?
- Consider the uniqueness of the domain. Does the company own all domains with similar gTLDs to protect against imposters (e.g., swimsuit.com, swimsuit.net, swimsuit.biz)?
- Is the domain authoritative? How does it line up with their branding?
The more information you glean from your competitors’ domain SEO, the better decisions you can make about the domain name you choose to purchase.”
Once your domain name is secured, you can move on to doing keyword research, and there are a ton of platforms out there to help you with that, like SEMRUSH.
Your goal with keyword research is to find relevant keywords that your audience is searching for and optimize your website to include these keywords, whether on the actual page’s content or in blog format.
When you are writing your website content, you naturally write for your visitors; however, with SEO, you write for people and engines without ruining the experience for your visitors.
Depending on the purpose of your website pages, you do your keyword research, find the main focus keyword and its density for each page you want to optimize, and you begin writing and injecting the keywords where they fit without overdoing it.
According to 123 Reg, here is what you need to focus on:
Titles: Write catchy titles that grab your visitors’ attention.
Keywords: Focus more on adding relevant and valuable information that will bring people to your site. Also, combine relevant keywords and focus on adding varied forms of keywords rather than adding as many keywords as you can.
Topics: Every page needs to focus on a unique topic. At the same time, ensure you don’t optimize more than one page for the same product or intent, as this will be confusing, and you’ll have two pages competing for the same keywords. You don’t want to be your own competitor, do you?
Quality: Your content needs to be unique and purposeful. People come to your site searching for information, for a solution to a problem, so make sure you can provide it, so they don’t go elsewhere. Find out what Google sees as high-quality content and ways to create it on your site.
Freshness: Add new content regularly. You can create a blog where you constantly share information your visitors might find useful, or you can share e-books or whitepapers.
Length: We recommend having more than 500 words on a page. But the idea is this: your content should be long enough to answer visitors’ questions about your product or service.
Another thing your developers need to focus on when coding your website is the neatness of the code. When the code is neat, it makes it easier to optimize the website without facing issues or relying on multiple plugins to fix an issue that could have been averted during the development process.
Optimizing the code
A lot goes into optimizing your code for SEO, and here’s an in-depth article that we summed up its essential elements for you:
- Title tag: optimize it to describe the page while including your most important keywords.
- Meta description: one of the main things a meta description can do for you is increase your click-through rate (website visits).
- H1 heading tag: each page should have one H1 heading tag, and that tag needs to be relevant and enticing for the reader to continue reading.
- Internal links and anchor text: whether it’s a link to your website or another website, it needs to be clear; you can use the anchor text to describe the content of the link’s page.
- No-follow links: this directs the search engine to focus on certain pages, so whenever there’s an irrelevant or spammy link, all you need to do is add the no-follow tag to keep things clean.
- Image alt tag: use it to describe your image; this helps rank your image on image search.
- Canonical tag: canonical tags are useful for setting a preferred URL for your content.
An in-depth article by Springboard discusses how user experience affects your website’s SEO and suggests that you focus on the following:
- Increasing your time on page
- Decreasing the bounce rate
- Focusing on the users’ engagement with the website
And you can achieve the above by:
- Simplifying your website’s navigation
- Focusing on page speed
- Prioritizing mobile users
- Giving the users clean signals
- Use consistent branding throughout your website
Setting up Analytics
Once your website is designed, and its content is written, it’s time for you to set up your Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor and improve your website’s performance.
SEO is always a work in progress toward improving your website’s ranking and attracting more and more organic traffic. So using SEO plugins, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and your preferred SEO software, you can begin to hone in on optimizing certain pages or gaining traction by focusing on a specific lucrative keyword.
One thing you should be aware of is that your SEO success depends on your consistency; it won’t happen overnight, and it takes a lot of work for you to see traction and to maintain and increase that traction, but sticking with it will save you a lot of time and money.