HOW TO START SEO FOR NEW SITE

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Pages you don’t want to pop up in the search results ever? Those should have a noindex . But you probably don’t need to noindex many pages (if any at all). If you want your pages on Google, that means you don’t want those pages set to noindex . Sometimes developers forget to turn off things like this after they finished working on your site, so it’s worth checking.

My friend’s site now ranks on her domain name. That’s about it. She’s got some work to do to start ranking on other terms as well. When you want to improve the SEO for a new website you have carry out some proper keyword research. So go find out what your audience is searching for! What words do they use?

One of my closest friends launched a website recently. After my friend launched her website, she celebrated and asked her friends, including me, what they thought of her new site. I love her site, but couldn’t find her in Google, not even if I Googled the exact domain name.

Next step: check (or tweak) your settings…

So getting a link from another website can help your SEO a lot! But not just any links will do. Links from quality sites and articles about related topics are more powerful. Meanwhile, links from low quality websites, directory pages and social media have less weight. Aim for quality and relevance!

Take a look at your results in the search engines once you start ranking (the so-called snippets). Are those meta descriptions and the titles of the search results inviting? Are they tempting enough for your audience to click on them? Or should you write better ones?

My first question to my friend was: do you have another site linking to your site? And her answer was ‘no’. I linked to her site from my personal site and after half a day, her website popped up in the search results. The very first step when working on SEO for a new website: getting at least one external link.

After that first link, your site probably will turn up in the search results. If it doesn’t turn up, it could be that the settings of your site are on noindex or is still blocked by robots.txt . If that’s the case, you’re telling Googlebot not to index your site.

How does a new website start ranking? Does it just magically appear in Google after you’ve launched it? What things do you have to do to start ranking in Google and get traffic from the search engines? Here, I explain the first steps you’ll need to take right after the launch of your new website. Learn how to start working on the SEO for a new website!

Yoast SEO helps you to write great titles and meta descriptions. Use our snippet preview to create awesome snippets. That’ll really help in attracting traffic to your site.

Google follows links. Links are important. So get the word out and start link building! Reach out to other site owners – preferably of topically related websites – and ask them to write about your new site. If Google follows multiple links to your website, it’ll crawl it more often. This is crucial when you do the SEO for a new website, and will eventually help in your rankings. Don’t go overboard in link building for SEO though, buying links is still a no-go!

Important third step: keyword research.

If you execute your keyword research properly, you’ll end up with a long list of search terms you want to be found for. Make sure to search for those terms in Google yourself. What results are there already ? Who will be your online competitors for these search terms? What can you do to stand out from these results?

Then you start writing. Write about all those topics that are important to your audience. Use the words you came up with in your keyword research. You need to have content about the topics you want to rank for to start ranking in the search results.

You don’t need a Yoast plugin to do SEO. But it makes life a lot easier! With the plugin automatically taking care of loads of technical SEO stuff in the background, you can focus on the things that matter. So the very first step we’d recommend for a new (WordPress) website is installing our plugin! Tip: To get access to all the features, opt for the Yoast SEO Premium plugin.

If you do ever need to set a page to noindex , Yoast SEO can help you set it up easily.

It is possible to get your site indexed by Google without having an external link — but ‘indexed’ is not the same thing as ‘ranking’. By getting an external link, not only will Google crawl and index your site, it will also attribute some extra value to it based on the value of the website where it found the link. And that value is what will get you ranking .

First: you’ll need to have an external link.

Which pages and posts are most important? These should have other pages and posts linking to them. Make sure to link to the most important content (we call this your ‘cornerstone content’). Google will follow your links, the post and pages that have the most internal links will be most likely to rank high in the search engines. Setting up such a structure is basically telling Google which articles are important and which aren’t.

Our text link counter can be a great help to see if you’re linking often enough to your most important content. If you get our Premium plugin then you’ll get internal linking suggestions too, as well as access to our SEO workouts to help you set up (and maintain) a good site structure.

Google is a search engine that follows links. If it finds a link to your page on another website, it can follow that link and crawl your page. Google found my friend’s site because I put a link to one of her pages on my personal site. When Google came around later to crawl my site, it followed that link and crawled her site too. Soon after that her site started to show the site in the search results.

Marieke van de Rakt is creative marketing manager at Yoast. She loves writing about content SEO, speaking at WordCamps and improving Yoast SEO and the Yoast SEO Academy: the online courses platform.

Once your keyword phrase is chosen for a given page, consider these questions:

Always describe your image and video media using alt tags, or alternative text descriptions. They allow search engines to locate your page, which is crucial—especially for those who use text-only browsers or screen readers.

Title metadata is responsible for the page titles displayed at the top of a browser window and as the headline within search engine results. It is the most importan t metadata on your page.

Placing Keywords.

You’ve probably noticed that we feel pretty strongly about content . Search engines do, too. Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy , so be sure to keep it fresh. Audit your content on a set schedule (semesterly for example) and make updates as needed.

Beyond page URL, title, and headings, content is most influential on search engine rankings. Repeat your keyword phrase several times throughout the page—once or twice in the opening and closing paragraphs, and two to four more times throughout the remaining content. Be authoritative. Strategically link to relevant sources and additional information—both within your organizations broad website and even to other websites which are useful.

If you want to rank for multiple keywords phrases with your website, you will need to make a separate webpage for each keyword phrase you are targeting.

Quality, authoritative content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content—this is especially true when doing SEO marketing. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site’s authority and relevance. Fine-tune your web writing skills and present yourself as an authority on the topic you are writing about.

When designing your website, each page contains a space between the <head> tags to insert metadata, or information about the contents of your page. If you have a CMS site originally produced by the UMC web team will have pre-populated this data for you. However, it is important for you to review and update metadata as your site changes over time.

Writing additional content, rich with keyword phrases, on your departmental news blog can also boost your search engine rankings. Blog posts can even be shorter updates about the specific topics you are targeting. Interlink your related CMS webpages and blog posts when it helps give the reader a better picture or additional information about the topic.

4. Have a link-worthy site.

Don’t forget to use bold , italics , heading tags (especially an H1), and other emphasis tags to highlight these keyword phrases—but don’t overdo it. You still want your language and writing style to read naturally. Never sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the user , not for the search engine. Read more about SEO marketing to help you find new content opportunities.

Description metadata is the textual description that a browser may use in your page search return. Think of it as your site’s window display—a concise and appealing description of what is contained within, with the goal of encouraging people to enter. A good meta description will typically contain two full sentences. Search engines may not always use your meta description, but it is important to give them the option.

It is very difficult for a webpage to achieve search engine rankings for multiple keyword phrases—unless those phrases are very similar. A single page may be able to rank for both “biomedical engineering jobs” and “biomedical engineering careers”. Ranking for “student affairs” and “dean of students” or “gender discrimination” and “violence reporting procedures” with a single page is unlikely.

Answering yes to these questions can improve your search engine ranking. Be natural and user-friendly , though. For instance, you do not want the word “engineering” to show up three or more times in the URL or have the phrase Northern Lights repeated in the page title and also every heading. Readability and usability still trump search engine optimization.

3. Metadata.

Identify and target a specific keyword phrase for each authoritative content page on your website. Think about how your reader might search for that specific page with search terms like:

Improve your authority and credibility by adding relevant links within the text. Instead of having “click here” links, try writing out the name of the destination. “Click here” has no search engine value beyond the attached URL, whereas “Michigan Tech Enterprise Program” is rich with keywords and will improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to. Always use descriptive links by linking keywords—it not only improves search engine optimization, but also adds value to your readers, including those with disabilities or who are using screen readers.

A webpage which is content-rich, authoritative, unbiased, and helps visitors learn more about what they are interested in is most likely to attract links from other websites, which improves your search engine optimization.

Follow these suggestions to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and watch your website rise the ranks to the top of search-engine results.

Keyword metadata is rarely if ever used to tabulate search engine rankings. However, you should already know your keyword phrases, so it doesn’t hurt to add them into your keyword metadata. You’ll want to include a variety of phrases. As a general rule, try to keep it to about 3-7 phrases with each phrase consisting of 1-4 words. A great example would be “computer science degree.”

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