You’ve developed an exciting new business idea and have started working on it passionately. You’ve found designers to create beautiful images and graphics to showcase your idea across the web. It all culminates into the perfect website and you are finally ready to launch. After all the work is done you can sigh and smile widely. But wait… this is just the beginning. Your next task is to make sure that Google and other search engines can easily discover your website, otherwise, why did you go through all the effort of building it?

Questions that many people ask at this point include: How does your website start to get ranked? How do the people you want to target find it? What can you do to make your website more visible? The answer is simply “YES”. It all boils down to something called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Unfortunately, this is a long-term process that does not yield results immediately. The good news is that if you persevere and take all the right SEO steps from the very beginning, you’ll save yourself plenty of work further down the line. So, it is a good idea to approach your website with an optimized state of mind. Here are the first SEO steps that will make sure your website gets noticed.

Link Building

Link Building

Before getting started it’s good to have a basic understanding about why you actually need links and how the search engines use them. The number of links pointing to your website can determinate how useful and important is. These are called backlinks. The more backlinks a website has, the more important the search engines find it. It is good to know that links from websites that have a lot of incoming links themselves are generally more useful. Be aware that Google is smart enough to understand if you use shady and non-logical links. Buying or trading links can also turn into a risky SEO strategy.

Keyword Research

Keyword Research

How do people find what they need online? They use keywords. So, if you really want to improve your SEO you must do extensive keyword research. You must be certain about what your audience is searching for, and should understand the words they use to find it. Successful keyword research gives you the ability to create a list of search terms you want to be found for. The simplest way is to search for them yourself and note the results that are produced by the search engines. This is also a good way to uncover online competitors who use the same keywords. Targeting relevant keywords can have a huge effect on your website’s organic ranking. Targeting non-related keywords on the other hand, can hamper your website’s organic strength.

Google-friendly Content

google friendly content

Even if you have chosen strong and relevant keywords, there is no point if your content does not engage your audience. So, before starting an active SEO effort, it’s necessary to make sure your website has the content that engages and helps its users. Normally a page with 2000+ words of content is ranked more highly than those with short, light content. It is very important to write about the topics that your audience is looking for. Your website’s pages must contain information directly related to what you want to be ranked for.

Optimize Your Title Tags

optimize your title tags

The page title that Google displays in its search results are taken from the title tags on each of your pages. Title tags also determine the text that displays in the user’s browser tabs.

Add Engaging Snippets

add engaging snippets

Snippets refer to the information that appears below your website’s title in search engines and gives each page a relevant, keyword-focused meta description after you start being ranked. This meta description can have a huge impact on your search result click-through rates. Also be sure to pay attention to your titles. Are they tempting enough that your audience is likely to click on them? Do you need to write new ones? What can you improve, so you get even better ranking? In order to get as many as possible clicks, you have to optimize what your site content looks like when its shown in the search results.

Have a Good Website Structure

have a good website structure

You must identify which pages on your website are the most important, and ensure that they have other pages linked to them. Do not forget to make your most important content more visible than anything else. This can be done by using <h1> and <h2> tags which indicate to the search engines what the topic of each page is.

Set up Google Analytics and Build a Long-term Strategy for Producing Ongoing SEO Results

google analytics

After building your website, developing content and giving each page a unique title tag and meta description, you must install Google Analytics, a free analytics and tracking platform. SEO is definitely not a short process, so if you’d like to rank for competitive keywords, you need to put together a long-term SEO strategy with clearly defined purposes.