15 SEO Tips for New Websites

You’re a business owner, and you’re ready to launch your new website. You purchase your domain name and consider your hosting and website builder platform (I recommend WordPress).

Now it’s time to start building the site. If you’re DIY-ing it, then the 15 SEO tips for new websites below is for you.

Hey, I’m Seth. I’m a freelancer with 7+ years of experience in digital marketing. I help you earn more and work less. Check out some helpful guides to assist with your workflow.

Do you need a website SEO audit? I can do a complete overview for you and help increase impressions, engagement, and conversions.

If you want to chat about marketing, strategy, or SEO, schedule a free call.

Now, here’s the list:

1. Do Keyword Research

It’s wise to consider keywords before jumping into the design.

As an example, if you’re a hairstylist in Dallas, TX, Consider a few keyphrases that your audience may search. Here are examples:

“hair stylist in Dallas, TX”
“best hair stylist in Dallas, TX
luxury hair salon Dallas, TX”
affordable hair salons Dallas, TX

These are the starting keywords for your website. You will use these words and phrases later in the content-creating process.

BONUS TIP: Consider these keywords in your domain before purchasing.

117 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

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2. Install a Site Certificate (HTTPS)

Once you purchase a website domain, add a site certificate and secure it for HTTPS. This is essential for the security of your users. Also, it’s a strong factor for organic Google ranking.

RELATED: 7 Reasons Why SEO Matters & How to Optimize It

3. Have Engaging Content on the Homepage

It’s a best practice to have at least 1,000+ words on your homepage.

Doing this will help communicate to Google what your website is about.

Remember, you’re writing for humans and Google when drafting content.

Further, ad call-to-actions from your homepage. Lead users to the “money pages,” website pages that generate income.

4. Create Pages that “Do” Something

Meaning, pages that have a purpose. The About page has a purpose. There should be 1,000+ words on this page.

A “Contact” page has a purpose. It should be easy for users to ask a request of you through this page (check your spam folder if you’re not getting messages).

The “Blog” page has a purpose. It’s a place where you share insight and industry tips. It’s also a place to capture leads for later selling.

It’s a best practice to eliminate (or not create) pages that don’t incur traffic. These stagnant pages can decrease SEO rankings.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Why Having a Design Strategy is Important for Your Business (Guest)

5. Add Meta Titles

This is one of the most important things you can do to increase traffic to your new website.

Here’s why:

When a user searches your website in Google, they will see a 70-word title in blue on the Search Engine Results Page (shown below).

In this example, the top result titled “Tips for Writing Great, SEO-Ready Content for Articles & Blogs” is the Meta Title.

Think about it from your perspective.

If you saw a Meta Title as “Home | SethKingdon.com,” would you click it?

Maybe…but most likely, not.

Because it’s not enticing.

The goal for a Meta Title is to include keywords AND be enticing for a click.

NOTE: The Heading 1 (H1) tag on a website is the article title and not the Meta Title. Although, Google often takes the H1 as the Meta Title if you don’t specify this in the SEO section of your website or pages.

SEO AUDIT for increased impressions and conversions

6. Add Meta Descriptions

Similarly to Meta Titles, a Meta Description is the 170-word paragraph below the Meta Title on the Google Search Engine Results Page.

This content area should be enticing and accurately describe the page a user is about to click.

This area has no keyword relevance to your domain. But it does have SEO relevance since it’s a factor in a user’s decision to click.

RELATED: 11 Tips for Time Management as a Freelancer While Working Full-Time

7. Add Proper Headings (H2-H6)

H2-H6 headings are used to structure your content into sections. Think of it like an outline.

You will start with H2, and then any information outlined in that heading should be classified as H3 tags.

Back to the “hair stylist in Dallas, TX” example…

These could all be good H2 headings for the homepage:

H2: Your Affordable Hair Stylist in Dallas, TX
H2: The Best Hair Stylist in Dallas
H2: Look No Further Thank This Hair Salon in Dallas


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8. Add Google Analytics and Google Search Console

Adding Google Analytics and Google Search Console to your website will tell a deeper story than just a beautiful design.

These tools track the success of your website.

You’ll be able to see how and when users enter your site and by what means they came.

You’ll also see the keywords users are searching to find your website.

Further, you can see how many impressions your website has had and how many clicks have happened from the impressions.

RELATED: How a Videographer Landed 2 Clients in 3 Months | An Interview with Evan France

9. Ensure Your Website is Indexed

THIS IS HUGE: An indexed website means it’s showing in Google for the world to see.

Not to sound harsh, but if your site isn’t on Google, what’s the point of having a website?

I met a freelancer who only had 3 of 10 pages indexed. This means 7 pages, like the service page, about, and contact pages, weren’t showing in Google Search.

This freelancer was missing out on valuable traffic.

Google Search Console can help with indexing issues.

10. Consider Your Visiting User: Make it Worth It

Conversions are the goal of a website. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for a user to become a conversion when they land on your site.

If you can’t create a conversion from their visit, your next goal is to keep them on your site as long as possible. Add helpful content, enticing visual media, and relevant internal links.

RELATED: Freelancing in College: Your Guide to Your First Paid Invoice

11. Ensure Your Website is Optimized for Mobile

Mobile optimization is much more important than it was 10 years ago.

This is because users are using their phones to search for content more and more.

In fact, 63% of Google’s US organic search traffic originates from mobile devices.

You can see how well it’s optimized by doing an SEO audit or by clicking “Mobile Usability” on the left side of the Google Search Console.

RELATED: 11 Easy Ways to Get Your Brand Noticed Locally

12. Ensure Your Website Loads Quickly

Quick loading speed is a major factor for higher rankings in Google.

The average web page load time is 2.5 seconds on desktop and 8.6 seconds on mobile.

The average user won’t wait longer than 3 seconds for the page to load.

Improve page speed load times by decreasing the size of images and reducing HTML code.

Use Google PageSpeed Insights to test the loading speed of your webpage.

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13. Add Call to Actions

What’s the point of a website without a call to action?

Direct users to your “Contact” to send you a message. Or if you’re a store, send people to your product pages.

Encouraging users to do something is essential to having a website.

RELATED: How to Get 100,000 Streams on Spotify as a Musician | An Interview with Jonathan Wright

14. Have Short Permalinks

Short permalinks (or URLs) are important because they’re not only easy to remember, but they look better in Search Rankings.

Look at the screenshot example above. The URL sethkingdon.com/seo-writing-tips-for-articles is as long as you want to go.

Two to five words are perfect.

RELATED: 9 Productivity Hacks to Keep You Focused, Motivated, and on Task

15. Create a Content Calendar and Backlink Strategy

Backlinks will come naturally once you have great content on your website.

But if you want to get started quicker, try some backlink outreach.

A simple way to do this is to use Google Search Operators to find in-text keyword phrases. like,

“SEO writing for articles”

Use this Google Search Operator for results in the last week to find these results. Like this:

intext:”SEO writing for articles”

Now, pitch your link to this website and ask for a link. It’s like public relations but for websites.

I’ll admit, however, that this is a long and hard strategy. This is a simplified version of this, but there are ways to make this very effective for your website.

I’m here if you need help

I’m passionate about strategy, marketing, content, and SEO. I have an SEO audit that will help get your website more impressions. Check out some guides to help you in your workflow. Schedule a free call and let me help you build your freelancing business.

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