Creating a website just for the sake of it will never help a new business start off its operations on the right foot. Your website needs to serve a specific purpose and the onus is on the entrepreneur and the executives to leave no stone unturned in achieving that purpose. SEO is a means of making your website more visible to your target audience via search engines. The better your SEO is, the more traffic your website will receive and the greater will be the probability of converting visits into sales.
Implementing the correct SEO strategies can be a daunting challenge for a new business, especially one that lacks expertise in the field. To make work easier, a new business should meticulously follow a standard SEO checklist for their website. Here are the most important elements of optimizing your new website for search engines:
1) Title Tag
The rule of the thumb is to keep the title tag restricted to 9 words or 65 characters. The idea is to display the most important information, including significant keywords, to the online user. These essential words must show up before the cut off in the SERP in Google that is approximately 600 pixels. This equates to somewhere around 65 characters including spaces. In other words, you need to be very specific in the way you get your message across. There is absolutely no room for fluff or words that serve no purpose.
2) Description Tag
This is not much different from the title tag. Only useful information goes into the description tag and the sentences must be filled with keywords to grab the attention of the audience. You have about 24 words or 156 characters including spaces to play with. Precision is the key here, but you cannot let that affect the overall quality of the writing. Search engines do not just look for keywords, they look for content that is actually worth the online user’s time.
3) Heading Tags
The purpose of the headings is to give the viewer a general idea about the main sections and points on a page. Think of it as a visual cue for the reader. In addition to making navigation easier for the visitor, the heading tags help search engines identify topics on a particular page.
4) Word Count and Content Quality
It is so easy to overestimate or underestimate the word count required for a particular web page. Some businesses want their new website to be a symbol of simplicity. Hence, they decide to minimize the word count as much as possible. Other businesses are more interested in feeding the visitors with as much content as they possibly can within the space available. Both of these strategies are extremities that are better left avoided.
The word count of a web page depends heavily on the topic, keyword competition and user intent. If you are not sure about the word count for a particular page, the best option is to find out the number of body words on the top ranking pages for a specific keyword that you are targeting. This gives you a general idea of what a decent word count would be in the eyes of the search engine. If it is an informational webpage on the new site of your business, then 800 to 1200 words is the range that you should aim for.
Remember, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to content. It is worth mentioning that the Google Panda Update penalizes website for low quality content. Hence, you should avoid posting repetitive or duplicate content and focus on showcasing your expertise on the subject you are addressing.
5) Call to Action (CTA)
A webpage without CTA is like a store that encourages people to window shop and leave. You want your visitors to interact with you in one way or the other so that it brings them a step closer towards making a purchase. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of SEO is to bring in more revenue for your new business.
Every key page on the website has to make the visitor understand what kind of primary action they are expected to take. For instance, on a product page, it is essential for the CTA to “purchase”, “call” or “get a quote” to be as prominent and visually appealing as possible.
Remember, it is not necessary for a page to always promote transactional behaviour. For example, an informational page should be designed in such a way that the visitor is encouraged to explore your line of products and services for their personal research purposes. In other words, you should be looking to quench the visitor’s thirst for knowledge. This is how a new business can inspire consumer confidence and gain the trust of first time customers.
Technically not part of on-site SEO. However, the first part of local search optimisation should be completed right as your website is launched.
Many business owners falsely believe that local SEO is only for retail or businesses where customers walk in. Local though is for every business that has an address. For example if you search for CCTV Dublin you will notice this search box at the top of the search results.
Those three companies do not have addresses where customers walk in off the street. But by looking after their local SEO they are getting the lion share of the traffic due to the local search display.
The first thing to do with Local SEO is register your business with Google at Google My Business. Once you do that online, Google will send a verification card. Without this step it is unlikely that your business will ever appear in this local pack.