Just created a website? Now all you need to do is bring people to it. For your website to appear as one of the top results on search engines like Google and Bing, you need to understand a little bit about the world of Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
With so many sites on the web today, and 576,000 new ones created daily, there is no guarantee that your site will rank first on Google. There are, however, plenty of things you can do to increase your site’s chances of showing up on Google and then ranking well.
10 tips to improve your SEO and get you ranking:
01. Choose the right URLs
Before your website goes live, you need to give it a name. Also known as your domain name, this is the address that visitors will type in to find your site. Like the giant sign above a storefront window, it’s one of the first things visitors see when they come to your site. That’s why it’s also the first place Google looks to understand what your site is about and to decide how to rank it.
The ideal domain will include your business name and perhaps a relevant keyword or two that are relevant to your business. For example, if you are a contractor, you might want to choose a domain name like www.yournameconstruction.com.
The same is true when choosing the right URLs for all of your sites pages. Wether its a product page, or a blog page — make sure the URL you use reflects the content on the page, and the keyword or keywords you want this page to show up in search results for.
If you're a contractor, offering house painting services — make sure you include this in the slug of the URL for that page. Something like, www.yournameconstruction.com/house-painting-services.
Pro Website SEO tip: Make sure all your pages’ URLs are clean and clear This means no special characters, no hashtags, no page ID. You get the point.
Once you're started with your SEO you might want to think about your domain authority too.
02. Create unique titles and descriptions for each page
Did you know that you can write a unique title and description for each page of your website? These are brief texts that accurately and clearly describe what your business does. Ideally, they can come with a few keywords and phrases mixed in.
Ever hovered over a tab on your browser? That short phrase that pops up under your mouse is the title tag of the page. While the description is not visible on your page, it’s very important for search engines in terms of understand what your site and webpages are about.
Pro Website SEO tip: Once site does show up in a search results page, web surfers will read your title and description to learn what your site is about and decide whether or not to check it out. When it comes to improving your SEO optimizing for your users is as important as optimizing for search engines.
03. Utilize anchor text
As you write the text for your website, consider where you can use anchor text within your site. Anchor text is the clickable text on a hyperlink that visitors can use to be taken directly to another web page, either within your site or anywhere on the internet.
Effective anchor text should be used to help users navigate your website and find what they are looking for. It should also include keywords and phrases related to what you do. If you own a t-shirt printing business, for example, the words, “Check out our selection of print on demand t-shirts,” on your homepage can link via anchor text to your online store that’s stocked full of – you guessed it – t-shirts.
Pro Website SEO tip: Anchor text is a great way to boost your SEO, but keep in mind that excessive linking or anchors that don’t really help your readers can raise some red flags with Google.
04. Add alt text to all your images
To understand what’s displayed in a photo or graphic, search engines look for “alt text,” a concise written description (no longer than just a few words) about each image on a website. When writing alt text, be sure to accurately describe what is shown in the image, but also try to include the name of your business or a few keywords related to what you do.
Pro Website SEO tip: You don’t need to write alt text for images that are purely functional or design related, such as a background image that is just shapes. If the image doesn’t have anything to do with the topic of your site, you can skip the alt text.
05. Give your site structure with the right headers
Every page on your website should have a title, a subtitle and so on. When search engines scan your website, they’ll understand your content better if you are using the correct text hierarchy. The most relevant part is the title of your page, and you should define it as H1 (in the Text’s Editor).
The H1 should be descriptive of the page’s content and you shouldn’t have more than one H1 per page. Choose your title carefully and don’t forget to include your main keywords. Following your H1 in the hierarchy of headers is H2, H3, etc. While H1 corresponds to your title, H2 and H3 correspond to your headings and subheadings, respectively.
Pro Website SEO tip: The clearer your text structure is, the easier search engines will digest your site’s content.
06. Create quality content
Creating great content is one way to improve your SEO and get more pages of your site ranking, for more search terms. For many businesses this might involve creating a blog as part of their SEO strategy, and wider marketing strategies, but it could also just mean making sure your homepage, product pages and other site pages adhere to Google's E-A-T.
Following their Medic update in 2018, Google incorporated the concept of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) into their Search Quality Rater guidelines. Exactly how Google measures web pages for E-A-T is unknown and unlikely to ever be. But when creating content you want to rank make sure you know what you are talking about, can back it up and users can rely on it to make decisions.
Pro Website SEO tip: Get experts to write your content, where you can - if you're writing about business topics, make sure to get someone who knows the business world to at least contribute to your article.
07. Do keyword research
Your website can't rank if you aren't targeting keywords. Every SEO optimization you make on a page - wether it's the url slug you choose, or the H1 you decide on or your meta title - will need to have a target keyword or keywords to focus on.
Want a page to rank? It needs a target keyword, or several. This is where keyword research tools come in really handy. From basic, free tools that show you keyword trends over time to paid, comprehensive tools that allow you to choose keywords to target based on intent, competitiveness and potential traffic - there's no excuse not to get your keyword research right.
Choosing the right keyword is important, not only in terms of your brand perception and visibility but also in order to rank. When choosing a keyword to target one of the first things you'll want to understand is the intent behind the term. When users search with this keyword, what does Google think they are looking for? Someone looking for 'seo tips', for example is looking for informational content - a blog post perhaps. So the best thing to do, when targeting that keyword is to write a blog article.
On the other hand someone searching for 'seo agency,' is, search engines assume, looking for a services or product page from an SEO agency. The intent is commercial. Don't create a blog article here - it won't rank.
Keyword research can also help you understand the competitiveness of a keyword. Even if your initial research shows it has blog intent - take a closer look at the blogs ranking for it. if they're well established blogs, with a history of ranking, lots of pages of content and a big company name behind them - you can assume this is a potentially competitive SERP to rank in. Nothing is impossible in the world of SEO, and there are plenty of David and Goliath stories, but don't go chasing after SERPs where you content just might never rank based on competitiveness.
Pro Website SEO tip: Choose the right keyword research tool and it will not only help with keyword research, it will also empower your competitor analysis. We love Semrush and Ahrefs if you're looking for tools to get started with. They can also be used for local SEO research too.
08. Prioritize proactive indexing
Once your site can be indexed (once you've connected it to Google Search Console and submitted your sitemap to the search engine), the next step is to go about making sure priority pages on your site are indexed. The internet is awash with more websites and pages than potentially anyone could possibly count - if you want your priority pages indexed, there are things you need to do to make it clear to search engines just exactly what those important pages are.
There are a number of ways to do this. For Crystal Carter, Head of SEO Communications at Wix, this means first of all excluding pages in robots.txt that you don't need Google to crawl because you don't want them to rank. This can be low value pages, landing and campaign pages, duplicate tag and category pages, or customer order pages. This takes them out of the equation and clearly signals to Google which pages they should crawl.
Another part of this is utilizing your social profile links - wether it's through the automatic sharing of your website content on your social platforms, claiming local citations and registering in online directories.
Getting your internal linking strategy right is another part of helping your entire site rank better. Internal linking helps search engines navigate your site - it directs them to your most important pages, and not only understands its hierarchy but also how users might move around your website. The clearer this is, the better Google, for example, understands not only your site but your strategy and the better it knows how to place and rank your content - at least that's the theory.
One way of doing this, with blog content for example, is creating pillar pages which sit at the head of a topic you want to rank for - and then link out internally to other pages in your site which target different parts of the same subject. For example, a pillar page on marketing strategies will then link out to articles on many different marketing strategies.
Pro Website SEO tip: Make sure you surface the right content on your site, so that both search engines and users know what it is. This can be tricky depending on the size of your site but get it right and it can be incredibly impactful for your organic growth.
09. Build impactful external links
External links, matter. High quality backlinks from strong domains are a powerful signal to Google that your content is worth ranking. Think of it as a vote of confidence in your webpage, which Google sees and hopefully rewards you for.
Good backlinks are not easy to come by, and will involve a great deal of outreach on your part in order to get your content shared and distributed by quality sources. You'll need to gain the trust of publications, or reputable PR sources.
Pro Website SEO tip: Original content is more likely to be shareable, and more likely to be picked up and gain reputable backlinks.
10. Track, report and improve
Perhaps the best SEO tip we can give is that SEO is not a sprint but a marathon. Successes are often the result of months of hard work, constant content updates and optimizations while improving internal linking and technical SEO fixes.
To make sure this hard work is paying off and to show how you're reaching your KPIs, you'll need to make tracking rankings and your organic traffic an integral part of your SEO reporting workflow.
To do this make key web analytics tools - Google Search Console, Google Analytics (soon to be GA4), Wix Analytics and other various keyword tracking tools your best friends.
These tools will help you understand if you're ranking for your target keywords (or new ones too), and how much traffic you're gaining as a result of your rankings. You'll also be able to note and act on drops in traffic rankings, loss of SERP features and any consequent organic traffic decreases. Drops and decreases may mean you need to optimize a page better, or update its content, or address if the SERP intent for that particular target keyword has changed.
Pro Website SEO tip: Be prepared to act quickly to ranking and traffic drops, be alert to Google Algorithm updates and plan accordingly.
Bonus Website SEO tip: Take your strategy to the next level with Wix SEO
If you’re really serious about your SEO, which you probably are since you got to the end of this article, we have just the thing for you — Wix SEO.
You can also check out Wix Learn SEO tutorials for more in-depth content and information.