How to get SEO Working for Your Website – 2: Development and Launch

sam hollis

Sam Hollis is a Web Designer, Business Owner, Dad,  Digital Marketing Expert and Podcaster

‘I’m always happy to chat and advice is always free’

How to get SEO Working for Your Website – Development and Launch

Welcome to Sam Hollis’s second search engine optimisation blog on designing and launching your SEO site. Read the first on planning your website and search engine optimisation campaign here. This article will give you all the information you need to launch a page that ranks well for your chosen keywords on the World Wide Web. If you followed the first article in this series you should have an ordered keyword list for your website, split into different pages. This article will take you from there to the point where you have designed and search-engine-optimised your site.

First, put those keyword lists aside for a minute. We will start with geography.


Go Local

Google and other search engines put a lot of emphasis on your location, including the host country of your server, local domain extensions like, and your business address. In every circumstance, be local to your target market and be honest with your business address. You can’t fool Google. Even try to ensure the sites that you link to are geographically close to your business’s target market as this helps your business turn up for searches in the right area.


Use a layout that’s easy to search

When you’re laying out your site, aim for a design that is orderly and easy to navigate with keywords where relevant. Include a simple, easy-to-use menu without too much junk, a table of contents, contact, and legal information. These are easy ways to ensure your site ranks reasonably well in general. Meanwhile, avoid any links that might leave users lost or confused.

Interactions such as comments are indications to Google that users of your site are engaged and enjoying it. This will help your site to rank higher, so aim to attract them.

When you have put all your effort into a simple, effective site layout, you will need to submit a sitemap to Google, so that the search engine knows how to search your site. A sitemap is basically an ordered list of everything on your site and the web address at which it can all be found. They normally take the form of HTML documents, which are the simplest, or XML ones, which are most versatile. Submit them by uploading them to the web, then going to Google Search Console > Sitemaps and inputting the location of your sitemap. If you’re not sure how to submit a sitemap, just ask a web developer like myself.


Make those keywords work for you

Remember those lists of keywords you compiled in section one of this plan? Well, now is the time to really break them out. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that where you include these keywords is a delicate science. If you have been through part one of this series, you should have an ordered keyword plan including every page of your website and which keywords you want on each page.

Use these plans and your writing skills to fill your pages naturally with a good number of keywords, but not too many. One to two keywords per hundred words is an ideal number, as long as you maintain some variety, according to HubSpot. You should focus on one priority keyword for each page, which should make several appearances.

Only insert keywords where they would make sense in a sentence you heard or read. Google has several AIs designed to check that your keywords are naturally used in the content.


Focus on the right keywords

Ensure your content is genuinely topical to the keywords because Google checks. Cramming your content full of irrelevant keywords that you want to rank for is one of the worst things you can do in terms of SEO. One of the best things you can do is be very unique and original in creating your content, as this is what Google wants. Remember, we have content writing services if you’re less than confident with this.

One place where it is good to focus your keywords is in the first 100 words on the page, as well as your heading tabs. Search engines take these introductory parts of the site as highly important.

As well as having search engine optimised pages, blogs are another good addition to your website. They allow you to cover subjects and keywords that you cannot in the main site, as well as letting you update your site regularly, which is another thing that Google likes. Having a blog can mean the difference between getting on page one and not doing it over the long term.

• Domain name • Subdomains/page addresses • Headings • First 100 words • First paragraph • Link anchor text from page • Anchor text of links to page • Around site to achieve 1-2% density overall


The rest of the content

In-depth, quality content is more important to Google today than ever before. Expect your content to get subjected to the EEAT test for this. This means it must demonstrate “expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness”, not to mention being useful, clear, specific, and original. All of these are things that Google has claimed to be looking for in recent years. Don’t try to be too clever though, search engines prefer a lower-mid reading level of around 12 that most people can read. Remember to check grammar and spelling, too.


SEO Tips

  • Avoid duplicating content from elsewhere on the Web.
  • Include more original content to rank higher.
  • Be clear & specific about people, objects, events, etc.
  • Cite references and sources where possible.
  • Avoid adult content and curse words to stay on the right side of safe search.

Generally, you should format content for user-friendliness and readability. Keep words, sentences, and paragraphs short and simple to read. Keep headed sections short too, splitting your text up with sub-headings every 300 words at most, and throw in bulleted lists like the one above wherever you have something to list.

Finally, while there’s no particular prescribed length for a top-ranking search result, it’s generally accepted that longer articles perform better in searches. The average page one result had 1447 words in 2020 while the top three results are 45% longer than those on page two, on average. While search engines are unlikely to straightforwardly favour long results over short ones for the sake of it, lengthy articles have more space to demonstrate EEAT, originality and other types of value, so they are more likely to appear high up the page. The lesson here is that while you should be concise, you should not go cutting back articles for the sake of it, especially if you want to top the rankings.


Extra SEO Tools – Yoast and Hemmingway

Some of the pieces of advice above were taken from Yoast and Hemmingway, which are two excellent apps for ensuring your content is optimised for search engines and the web in general. Hemmingway is a simple but incredibly useful app that ensures your writing is short and to the point. This is ideal for most websites.

Yoast meanwhile, is a more in-depth app that can be installed on WordPress to check that your pages and blogs are optimised for the web in a variety of different ways. It checks for search engine optimisation, readability, and more. It’s a fantastic add-on that I would recommend to anyone who is even thinking of writing their own web content.

If you don’t have a WordPress website though and just want to check some text you have written, you can do this too via the Yoast online SEO tool.


Layout a good internal and external structure

Having a good structure can make all the difference to your site’s SEO success.

Perhaps it should go without saying that it’s important to avoid having error pages or broken links on your site. Meanwhile, having a user-friendly page and site layout that loads quickly and is easily readable will do wonders for your SEO.

You can dictate to Google which pages on your site are important and should get ranked well. Does this sound too good to be true?

Simply link a lot to the important pages, including linking them to original, high-quality pages with a lot of valuable content. This lets Google know that they should be ranked highly on an internal level within your site.


Mobile and link optimisation

Optimisation for mobiles is another very important part of modern SEO. The experts believe you can’t get to the top without it. You should also avoid hiding content on mobiles while you’re doing it.

A useful little trick to try is putting keywords in the highlighted text of your links. That’s the clickable, underlined text that forms the visible part of the link on your screen. If I was trying to rank for the phrase Sam Hollis in this blog, I might tell you to contact Sam Hollis at the bottom of this page, rather than contact us. Because the words Sam Hollis form part of the link, Google takes this as a sign that the phrase is important.


Include valuable extra content

Use a variety of multimedia including images, apps, downloads, and rich media such as videos and slides. it is important to describe picture and video content and meaning in alt tags, titles, and file names, including relevant keywords so that they can be searched and found properly. Alt tags are messages that the site displays instead of the image or video if the latter cannot be rendered for some reason. They also display on some systems for visually impaired people. They are used to describe the content in question and can make a lot of difference to SEO.


Welcome to your SEO home

This advice, along with that from article one should provide what you need to plan a good search engine optimisation campaign and launch it through your website. The next article will help you to manage your SEO campaign and keep ranking over the long term. If you want more help to rank for your chosen terms, contact us or book a free website MOT.

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