Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can lead to more traffic to your website, more leads, and more sales.
SEO is especially important for new websites, as it can take some time for them to establish authority and start ranking for competitive keywords. However, by following the SEO best practices below, you can help your new website rank higher and attract more visitors more quickly.
Below Are 7 Tips that Are Still Considered SEO Best Practices for New Websites Today
1. Choose the right keywords
The first step to SEO is to choose the right keywords to target. These should be keywords that are relevant to your business and that people are actually searching for.
To find relevant keywords, you can use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs. These tools will show you how many people are searching for a particular keyword and how difficult it is to rank for that keyword.
Once you have a list of relevant keywords, you need to choose the ones that you want to target. You should focus on keywords that have a good search volume but are not too difficult to rank for.
2. Optimize your title tags and meta descriptions
Your title tags and meta descriptions are the two most important on-page SEO elements. Your title tags are the headlines that appear in SERPs, and your meta descriptions are the short snippets of text that appear below them.
Your title tags and meta descriptions should be clear, concise, and informative. They should also include your target keywords.
For example, if you are a web design company that targets the keyword “web design services,” your title tag could be “Web Design Services | Your Company Name” and your meta description could be “We offer a variety of web design services to help you create a website that meets your needs and budget.”
3. Write High-Quality Content: Merging Human Touch with AI Insights for Exceptional Results
Content, often dubbed “king” in the digital realm, remains the heart and soul of any successful SEO strategy. High-quality content resonates with readers, establishes authority, and drives organic traffic. But in 2024, with the rise of artificial intelligence in content creation, where does the balance lie between human touch and machine learning? Let’s unpack the importance of content and how to navigate this evolving landscape.
The Centrality of Content in SEO
The primary function of search engines is to provide users with relevant and valuable information. Therefore, the content you produce should always:
- Address User Intent: Understand why a user is searching for specific information and ensure your content fulfills that need.
- Offer Unique Insights: Your content should provide a fresh perspective, or delve deeper than existing materials, setting you apart from competitors.
- Be Comprehensive and Accurate: Readers and search engines value content that is both thorough and factually accurate.
Artificial Intelligence in Content Creation
AI tools have undeniably made significant inroads in content generation. They offer:
- Data Analysis: AI can quickly analyze vast amounts of data, identifying content gaps or trending topics you might not have spotted manually.
- Content Efficiency: For repetitive tasks or basic content drafts, AI can expedite the process, saving time and effort.
- Personalization: AI can help tailor content based on user behavior, creating a more personalized experience for readers.
The Irreplaceable Human Touch
Despite the advances in AI:
- Emotion and Empathy: Machines cannot replicate genuine human emotions and empathy. Content that connects emotionally, tells a compelling story or draws from personal experience requires the human touch.
- Contextual Understanding: While AI can generate content based on patterns, humans excel in understanding cultural nuances, humor, and context, ensuring the content resonates authentically with the audience.
- Ethical Considerations: Humans can gauge the moral implications of content, avoiding potential pitfalls that AI might inadvertently overlook.
Striking the Right Balance
To create standout content in 2024:
- Use AI as a Tool, Not a Crutch: Leverage AI for insights, efficiency, and augmentation, but don’t solely rely on it for content creation. Let it be an assistant rather than the author.
- Human Review is Essential: Even if initial drafts are AI-generated, a human editor should always review the content. This ensures clarity, emotional resonance, and cultural appropriateness.
- Stay Updated: As AI tools evolve, it’s essential to keep abreast of the latest developments. This ensures you harness the best of both worlds – AI’s efficiency and the unique human touch.
4. Build Backlinks: The Cornerstone of SEO in 2024
Backlinks, sometimes referred to as “inbound links” or “incoming links,” are links from one website to a page on another website. Seen by search engines as votes of confidence, backlinks have consistently remained one of the most potent ranking signals for websites. But why are they so crucial, and how can one go about building high-quality backlinks in 2024? Let’s delve into the details.
The Significance of Backlinks
Understanding why backlinks are pivotal to a website’s SEO strategy involves recognizing their multiple benefits:
- Referral Traffic: Beyond SEO, a high-quality backlink from a popular website can bring in substantial referral traffic. This traffic is often highly targeted, leading to increased user engagement.
- Brand Authority: Being linked by reputable sites signals trust and authority in your niche. It portrays your website as a reference or authority in its subject area.
- Ranking Boost: Search engines, especially Google, view backlinks as endorsements. The more high-quality links pointing to your website, the more likely you are to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Effective Strategies for Building Backlinks in 2024
Backlink building strategies have evolved over the years, and 2024 is no exception. Here’s how to navigate this landscape:
- Guest Blogging: Despite being an older strategy, guest blogging remains effective when done right. It involves writing content for other websites in your niche, which in turn gives you a platform to link back to your site. Ensure that the guest posts are high-quality and relevant to the host website’s audience.
- Skyscraper Technique: This involves creating the best piece of content on a particular topic, then reaching out to websites linking to inferior content and asking them to link to your superior piece. The key here is genuinely creating top-notch content.
- Leveraging Broken Links: Websites often have outbound links that no longer lead to valid pages (broken links). You can use tools like Ahrefs to identify such links on relevant websites and suggest your content as a replacement.
- Engaging in Relevant Communities: Be an active participant in online forums, social media groups, and other communities relevant to your niche. By sharing your expertise and linking back to your content (only when it adds value), you can build both relationships and backlinks.
- Infographics and Original Research: Websites love linking to original research, statistics, and visually appealing infographics. If you can generate unique data or create compelling visual content, it can serve as a magnet for backlinks.
- Collaborations and Partnerships: Team up with non-competing businesses or influencers in your domain for joint projects, webinars, or studies. Such collaborations often lead to natural link-building opportunities.
A Word of Caution
While backlinks are valuable, it’s essential to prioritize quality over quantity. One well-placed link from a reputable website is worth more than dozens of links from low-quality sites. Also, steer clear of purchasing links or engaging in any tactics that violate search engine guidelines, as these can result in severe penalties.
5. Make your website mobile-friendly
More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet. As a result, Google now gives priority to mobile-friendly websites in its SERPs. See a previous article I wrote on tips to make your website mobile-friendly here.
If your website is not mobile-friendly, you will be at a disadvantage in SEO. You can check if your website is mobile-friendly using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
6. Submit Your Website to Search Engines: A Key Step in 2024’s SEO Playbook
Once you have optimized your website for SEO, you need to submit it to search engines. This will help search engines discover your website and start indexing it.
In the constantly evolving landscape of SEO, some principles stand the test of time. One such enduring best practice is the submission of your website to search engines. While search engines have become increasingly sophisticated in discovering new websites, manual submission remains an invaluable step to ensure visibility. Here’s why and how you should be taking this step in 2024.
The Importance of Manual Submission
While it’s true that modern search engines like Google, Bing, and others routinely crawl the web to discover new content, relying solely on this automated process can be a gamble. Manual submission serves several purposes:
- Speeds Up Indexing: Once you’ve created new content or launched a new site, manual submission can expedite the indexing process. It’s essentially a direct invite to search engines to come and crawl your website.
- Ensures Visibility: Especially for new websites, there’s no guarantee that search engines will stumble upon your site organically. By submitting your website, you’re ensuring it’s on their radar.
- Accuracy and Control: Manually submitting allows you to provide search engines with precise details about your site, like sitemaps, which can guide the crawling process for better content categorization.
Steps for Submission in 2024
- Create a Sitemap: A sitemap is an XML document on your website’s server that essentially lists all the pages of your site, ensuring search engines can find and crawl them all. Tools like Screaming Frog or XML-sitemaps.com can help generate one for you.
- Google Search Console: After setting up an account or logging in, go to the ‘Sitemaps’ section. Here, you can submit your sitemap URL, which will notify Google about your site and its structure.
- Bing Webmaster Tools: Similar to Google’s platform, Bing’s Webmaster Tools allows you to submit your website and sitemap. With Bing powering several search utilities, including Yahoo, it’s a crucial step not to overlook.
- Regular Updates: Whenever significant changes are made to your site, or you add new content, consider re-submitting your sitemap. This ensures that search engines are always updated with the latest version of your website.
- Monitor for Issues: Both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools provide insights into potential issues with your website, such as crawl errors. Regularly monitor these platforms to catch and rectify problems early on.
To submit your website to Google, you can use Google Search Console. To submit your website to Bing, you can use Bing Webmaster Tools.
7. Monitor your SEO results
Once you have submitted your website to search engines, you need to monitor your SEO results. This will help you see how your website is ranking and identify areas where you can improve.
You can use a variety of tools to monitor your SEO results, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Additional tips for SEO
- Use images and videos on your website. Images and videos can make your content more engaging and can also help you rank higher in SERPs.
- Use internal links. Internal links are links from one page on your website to another page on your website. Internal links can help users navigate your website and can also help you rank higher in SERPs.
- Promote your content on social media. Sharing your content on social media can help you attract more visitors to your website and can also help you build backlinks.
By following these SEO best practices, you can help your new website rank higher in SERPs and attract more visitors.
SEO is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. By following the SEO best practices above, you can help your new website rank higher in SERPs and attract more visitors.