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What is The First Step in SEO?

by Web Design Southampton

by Web Design Southampton

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Did you know that the first five results in Google receive 67.7% of all clicks? So you know you need to ensure your business appears in the first page of Search Engine. So you might be thinking, what is the first step in SEO.
It’s no secret that succeeding in the business world today requires a strong online presence. But what many businesses don’t realise is that building that presence starts with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of optimising a website for Google search to earn higher web traffic levels and improve the visibility of the site. SEO techniques include optimising the website content, structure, and on-page elements like titles, metatags, and anchor text. The purpose of SEO is to improve the site’s ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant queries.

Why is SEO important?

Search Engine Optimisation is important because it helps your website earn higher web traffic levels, which can lead to increased visibility and brand awareness. In addition, SEO can help you attract more qualified leads and convert them into customers.

What is the first step in SEO?

While it may seem like a daunting task, there are several key steps involved in optimising your website for organic search, including conducting keyword research, creating relevant and engaging content, and building strong backlinks to your site.
If you are looking to start optimising your website for organic search, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, it is important to understand the user intent and find out what your users are searching for and what kind of content they are looking for. This will help you create effective target keyword lists and develop content that truly resonates with your audience.

In this article, we will talk you through the most important steps to take when it comes to SEO.

Keyword Research

Arguably one of the most fun parts of SEO is to perform keyword research. By identifying the primary and secondary keywords for your website, you can optimise your content for better SERP ranking. There are several different tools and techniques that you can use for keyword research, but the best way to start is by brainstorming what keywords your target audience might use to find your site.

Once you have a list of keywords, you can start incorporating them into your website’s content. When used correctly, keywords can help improve your website’s visibility and attract more visitors. However, it’s important to use keywords sparingly and not stuff your content with too many of them. A good rule of thumb is to use keywords in your title, in the first paragraph of your content, and a few times throughout the rest of the piece.

How to create a list of target keywords?

One effective way to create a list of keywords is to use keyword research tools. These tools can help you identify popular search terms and uncover new opportunities for content creation. Some common examples include the Google Keyword Planner, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, and SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool.

What is the first step in seo photo screenshot of SEMrush keyword magic tool
SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool

Another useful strategy is to look at what your competitors are doing. By analysing the keywords that your competitors are targeting, you can gain insights into what’s popular in your industry and what strategies may be working well for them.
Once you have a list of target keywords, it’s important to prioritise them based on search volume and competition. This will help ensure that you focus on the keywords that are most likely to bring traffic to your site.

When you’re looking for the main keyword to rank for, don’t forget to research for long-tail keywords. They tend to be less competitive than “short tail” terms, so even though long-tail keywords have relatively low search volume, they are much easier to rank for.
For example, if your business sells shoes a ‘short tail’ keyword would be “shoes.” But a ‘long tail’ keyword might be “women’s size 7 black shoes.”

Once you have found the relevant keywords for your business, you can start incorporating them into your website’s content. This will help optimise your site for search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site.

Content Creation

After you have conducted keyword research and built a list of keywords that are relevant to your business, it’s time to start creating content. As the cornerstone of any SEO strategy, content is what drives visitors to your website and helps you rank higher in SERPs.

The first step is to create keyword-rich titles and headlines for each piece of content you publish, as these are what the search engines use to determine what your page is about. But remember, as tempted as you are, you should not be stuffing keywords in hopes of showing Google that your post should be ranked first. In reality, the opposite is likely to happen.
After that, you should focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience. This means writing content that is interesting, informative, and engaging.

It’s also important to make sure that your website’s content is easy to read and understand. To do this, you should break up your text with subheadings, use short paragraphs, and include plenty of visuals.
In addition to creating a steady stream of content, you should also dedicate time to promoting and sharing your work. This can involve sharing your articles on social media or participating in relevant industry discussions on sites like Reddit and Quora.

By prioritising these first steps in SEO, you can help optimise your website for search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site.

Optimise for On-Page SEO

Once you have a list of relevant keywords, it’s time to start optimising your website for better ranking. This process is known as on-page SEO and it involves optimising your website’s content, structure, and design to make it more search engine friendly.
One of the best ways to optimise your website for SEO is to use keywords in your site’s title and content. This will help signal to Google and other engines what topics your website covers and what keywords you are targeting.

Another important factor is page load speed. Search engines like Google take page speed into account when ranking websites, so it’s important to make sure that your site loads quickly and efficiently. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom to test your site’s page speed and find ways to improve performance.
Other important on-page optimisations include image optimisation, meta tags, alt tags, and internal link structure. Each of these factors can have a significant impact on your website’s search engine ranking, so it’s important to understand what they are and how to optimise them.

Another thing to keep in mind is that in search engines short URLs usually outperform long URLs. So have URLs that are just your keyword or your target keyword plus one more word.

Meta Description

What is the first step in seo photo meta description of web design southampton google result

Meta descriptions are what show up in search engine results as the snipped preview of your website. They are a valuable opportunity to sell your site to potential visitors, so it’s important to make sure they are well written and enticing.

There are a few things you can do to optimise your meta descriptions for better SEO:

  • Include your main keyword
  • Write a unique meta description for each page
  • Keep your meta descriptions under 155 characters
  • Make sure your meta descriptions are interesting and informative

Off-Page SEO

In addition to on-page optimisation, there is also off-page SEO. This refers to the process of promoting your website through external sources in order to improve its search engine ranking.

One of the best ways to promote your website is to build quality backlinks from external websites. Backlinks are considered “votes” in the eyes of search engines and can significantly improve your website’s visibility. You can find quality backlink opportunities by researching what sites are linking to your competitors, or by guest posting on popular blogs or publications in your industry.

There are a number of different link building strategies that you can use to build more valuable links to your website, including:

– Creating high-quality content that attracts backlinks naturally.

– Building relationships with influencers in your industry.

– Finding directories or resources relevant to your niche and reaching out to get featured on them.

– Using outreach and guest posting to build relationships with other site owners.

– Promoting your content on social media and other channels to drive traffic and gain backlinks.

It’s also important to promote your content through social media and other channels. This can help you reach a wider audience, drive traffic to your website, and ultimately improve your ranking on search engines.

Whether you’re optimising for off-page or on-page Search Engine Optimisation, the most important thing is to focus on what’s best for your audience and provide them with a great user experience on your website. By creating engaging and valuable content that appeals to your target audience, you will be able to build a strong online presence that can help improve your search engine ranking over time.

SEO Analytics

SEO analytics is the process of tracking and reviewing the performance of your website in search engines. This can include tracking the ranking position of your website for all your relevant keywords, as well as analysing the traffic that your site is receiving from search engines.
By understanding what SEO analytics is and how it can help you improve your website’s performance, you can take the first step towards achieving better SERPs visibility and higher website traffic levels.

Several different factors can affect your website’s ranking position in search results, including backlinks, site speed, content quality, keyword usage, 404 and coding errors, overall design, and more. When using SEO analytics tools, it’s important to understand what these factors are and how they can impact your website’s performance and visibility.

If you want to get the most out of SEO analytics, it’s also important to have a clear SEO strategy in place. This can include conducting target keyword research, building high-quality links, creating valued content, optimising your website for speed, and more.

You can also use Google Analytics to track your business’ website’s traffic and see how it is performing over time. This can be a helpful tool for understanding what is working well, what needs improvement, and what content is driving the most engagement. And by analysing your website traffic data and using other SEO analytics tools, you can identify what tactics are working best for you and what strategies need optimisation to help improve your search engine rankings over time. With the right approach and a focus on quality over quantity, you can achieve better results from your SEO process and improve your website’s overall performance.

Focus on Design

When it comes to SEO, design is often one of the most overlooked factors. But the design of your website can have a significant impact on your search engine ranking.

Some of the main factors that affect your website’s design and how it is ranked by search engines include:

– Overall design and layout

– Use of images and videos

– Navigation and user experience

– HTML and CSS code

If you want to improve your website’s ranking, it’s important to focus on creating a well-designed and user-friendly website. This means making sure your website is easy to navigate, has engaging and relevant content, and is free of errors. By focusing on these design elements and paying attention to the other factors that affect SEO, you can improve your site’s performance and visibility in search engines.
There are many tools and resources available to help you optimise your design for SEO, including web analytics software, SEO testing tools, and more. You can also enlist the help of a professional designer or SEO consultant to help you create a website that is both effective and search engine friendly.

Tools that can help you

There are many tools and resources available to help you optimise your website for search engines, including web analytics software, SEO testing tools, and more. You can also enlist the help of a professional designer or SEO consultant to help you create a website that is both effective and search engine friendly.

Some of the most popular tools and resources for optimising your website include:

Google Analytics

This free tool from Google can help you track your business’ website’s traffic and see how it is performing over time.

SEO testing tools

There are many different SEO testing tools available, both free and paid. These tools can help you identify what areas of your website need improvement and what changes could help improve your search engine ranking.

Web design resources

There are many web design resources available online, including templates, tutorials, and more. These can help you create a well-designed website that is also optimised for search engines.

Professional help

If you want to get the most out of your website’s SEO, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a professional. This could be an SEO agency, web design agency, or another expert who can help you create a website that is both effective and search engine friendly.

Plugins

What is the first step in seo photo Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO WordPress plugin

If you are using WordPress, we recommend downloading a Yoast SEO plugin. That helps you optimise your website for better search engine ranking. It includes features like keyword optimisation, page speed analysis, and XML sitemap creation, all of which can help you improve your website’s visibility and traffic.
This is a great tool for beginners who are just starting with SEO or for more advanced users, as it offers an easy-to-use interface and comprehensive features.

Mistakes to avoid

SEO is all about finding the right balance between providing valuable content for your audience and using relevant keywords strategically to improve your site’s ranking in search results. However, one of the biggest mistakes that websites can make when it comes to SEO is using ‘black hat SEO’ methods.

Black hat SEO

Black hat SEO is a term used to describe the unethical and frowned-upon techniques used to improve a website’s search engine ranking. These tactics can include spamming, keyword stuffing, cloaking, and more. While these methods can be effective in the short term, it is not sustainable and can lead to penalisation from search engines.

Having broken links

Having broken links on your website can hurt your search engine ranking and visibility. Not only do they create a poor user experience for your visitors, but they can also negatively impact your website’s search engine ranking.
Broken links are easy to fix and can be found with a simple link checker tool. By fixing anything broken on your website, you can improve your site’s usability and search engine ranking.

Not using H tags properly

One of the most common mistakes that websites make is not using H tags properly. H tags, or title tags, are used to indicate the most important parts of your content. They help search engines understand what the content is about and can help improve your site’s ranking and visibility.
However, many websites do not use H title tags properly, either using too many or too few. When used incorrectly, H tags can hurt your SEO efforts.

To avoid this mistake, make sure to use H tags strategically to highlight the most important parts of your content. Use only one H1 title tag per page, and then use H2 and H3 tags to highlight subheadings and smaller sections of text. This will help search engines understand your content better and can improve your site’s ranking.

Failing to optimise images

Images are an important part of any website, but many websites fail to optimise them for SEO. When images are not optimised, they can hurt your site’s performance in organic search results.
To ensure your images are helping your SEO efforts, make sure to include relevant keywords in the file name and alt text. This will help search engines understand what the image is about and can improve your site’s ranking.

Conclusion

SEO is a long-term process, but now you know what is the first step in SEO you need to take after launching your website, to rank well in search engines. With the right approach and commitment, you can achieve better results from your SEO efforts and improve your visibility in search engines. By providing a great user experience and creating valuable content that appeals to your target audience, you will be able to build a strong online presence that can help improve your organic search results over time.

Bonus Tip

As said previously, SEO is a timely process, and if you want to save time and be confident that your website has a strong SEO strategy, contact Web Design Southampton today or find out what we can do for your business here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What are the steps of SEO?

To have a great SEO strategy you need to have a plan and ensure you’re aware of all the steps in SEO process.

  • SEO audit
  • Keyword Research
  • On-Page SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Content writing & editing

2. What is authority in SEO?

Authority score shows if a website can be trusted. The higher the score, the more the site is trusted by search engines, other websites, users and industry experts.

3. What are the different types of SEO?

  • On-Page SEO – the process of optimising the content on your website for keywords you want to rank for. Ensuring you have meta titles and meta descriptions on your site.
  • Off-Page SEO – the process of creating exposure and trust for your company site which results in more visitors. Most work is focused around link building.
  • Technical SEO – the process to help search engines crawls your site and enhance user experience. You need to address website speed, mobile optimisation and site structure.
  • Local SEO – this focuses on a specific location. This depends on your Google my Business profile.
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