How To Get Started With SEO For Your New Website
Ariane Alyerunga

Ariane Alyerunga

March 3, 2020

So, you’ve launched your site, and you’re ready to welcome hundreds of new customers and readers. But if no one can find your website, how will they see what you have to offer?

That’s why search engine optimization, the process of improving a page’s results, has been such an essential subject for website administrators for over 20 years. Organic traffic, as it is known, is the life force of all websites. The problem with SEO is that it’s not as straightforward as flicking a switch. Nor is it a fire-and-forget kind of thing; SEO must be a consistent component of your daily marketing activities. True, there may be a vast amount of information online, but it is also overwhelming, how do you know where to start, for instance?

This post is a quick compilation of SEO tricks, tips and tactics to help you through the critical first months after you launch your website.

The good news about SEO is that despite its relevance, most site owners pay no attention to it. So with a little dedication, you could quickly jump ahead of your competition. Better still, you won’t need an in-depth knowledge of code to put it into practice. It may seem intimidating, but anyone can grasp the basic principles, so no matter your skill level, it’s possible to improve your website.

The first step towards drawing traffic is setting your website up for SEO. This doesn’t mean altering your site, at least not yet. Before you get into all that, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the tools that will help you, and many of these are freely available. With these in hand, it’s possible to assess your site’s current situation and gather data to determine what to do next.

Google analytics

If you had to choose a single tool, Google analytics would be the ultimate choice for your SEO efforts. Flexible, free, and freakishly powerful, Google analytics will enable you to track how many visitors your site receives and what they do when they visit your site. It can monitor sales data, content interests, and help you determine how your audience finds you. Setting up Google analytics may require some technical knowledge. Still, if you are using a popular content management system such as WordPress, several tools will make it a lot easier.

Google search console

Would you believe it if someone told you Google also has a vast collection of tools that tell you exactly how often its search engine crawls your site, what it thinks of it, and even offer advice on what you could do for a better ranking? What if they also told you that it’s free? You’d want it. Well, Google does offer a free suite of applications that do all the above. It’s a free tool that will help optimize and monitor your website’s performance in search results. In essence, its free advice from the person you are trying to impress

Setting it up is easy. First, you’ll need to verify that you are the site’s administrator or owner by adding a Meta tag to the HTML code for your home page. If this isn’t possible, you may also verify ownership by uploading a file to your website’s server or through Google analytics and Google tag manager. The platform will need a few days to gather some data. After that, they’ll be a variety of options available to you. You could use the search console to verify whether Google understands your content and to view which queries generate the most traffic. Google search console will also monitor spam, website efficiency, and even tell you who is linking to you. Though it’s often overlooked, adding your site to Google search console will yield tangible benefits.

Bing webmaster tools

By far, Google has dominated the search engine market. However, Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, still registers millions of searches each day. Understanding Microsoft’s rating of your website is another way to improve your online marketing efforts. Similar to Google, they have a free analytics platform, known as Bing webmaster tools, to help you.  Although its data differs from Google search console, it will definitely improve your website. It includes SEO reports and an SEO analyzer dashboard to help you get started with actionable suggestions. Just like Google search console, there are several ways to integrate your website

How to do keyword research.

One component of search engine optimization you may have heard a lot about is keyword research. Keywords are the building blocks of SEO campaigns. Knowing what the audience within your specific industry searches for online presents a powerful advantage.

Speaking a language your audience understands is how you’ll get through to them – just as it is in real life.

Once you’ve chosen keyword ideas, you can use them in your content, for on-page SEO, and to build helpful pages that answer the specific needs of your target audience.

On-page search engine optimization involves optimizing a web page’s content for users and search engines. Common on-page SEO approaches include title tag optimization, and internal linking, and content optimization.

For effective on-page SEO, first, you’ll have to improve your site’s title tags. The title tag is displayed as a blue link in search engine results and works as the main heading whenever a page gets shared on social media. It can be optimized in two ways.

First, ensure you include your main keyword to show search engines what the page is about. It’s always advisable to put it at the beginning of the title.

Secondly, ensure your title grabs the reader’s attention. A unique and exciting title will stand out in search results and help you earn extra website traffic. Obviously, how you’ll write your title will depend on your audience and the type of page in question.

Lastly, similar to title tags, Meta descriptions are a simple but remarkably effective way to optimize your website. They are used to generate the short text that appears below a page’s title in the search results. You’ll want to make them catchy and compelling to draw visitors to your website.

Though these tips aren’t an exhaustive list of all that you could do to optimize your site. They’ll definitely get you started in the right direction and help you beat your rivals in search engine results pages. For advanced SEO, you’ll need to a lot more research. You could also consult a digital marketing agency for recommendations on which advanced tactics will work best for your website. There are several digital marketing agencies in Uganda to choose from. These include Kawande digital solutions, Optibrave, and Sadja WebSolutions.

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