How to start SEO for a new website? simple guide for 2021

Hi I’m Praneeth Kumar.

In this blog post I will walk you through everything you need to know about how to start SEO for a brand new website from start to finish.

Believe me this is the only guide you need to learn about how to start seo for a new website from start to finish.

So without further ado let’s get started.

Here is a 30000 foot view of the blog post.

What is SEO and why is it important?

seo of blog

Before you learn how to start SEO for a new website, let’s get some basics right and understand why SEO is important in the first place.

SEO is an acronym of Search Engine Optimisation.

To summarise it in simple words it is a process of optimising a website to be able to rank higher in search engines like Google, bing and get more traffic to your website.

Traffic is the number of people who visit your website from search engines and social media.

We use that traffic to make money or generate leads for a business.

Hold on,

Seo is not just for driving a traffic it will also help you in improve your brand and build trust with your audience because the fact is that,

93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and Google is an important search engine because, 91.75% is the total worldwide search engine market share Google currently holds.

Now I think things are quite clear about SEO.

Hence SEO is very important for a website and businesses.

Now let’s take a look at how you can start SEO for a new website from start to finish.

The process I am laying down to you is backed by data, best practices in the industry and proofs.

how to start seo for a new website-The only guide you need!

There are 13 important steps you need to follow from start to end to learn how to start seo for a new website and get traffic consistently with right strategies,

So lets dive right in.

1. Get the right website builder.

wordpress vs other blogging platforms

The first important step you need to take for SEO of your new website is to set the right foundation for your website where it is built.

Just like how pillars are important for a building to stand tall and solid, a good website builder plays a similar role for websites for SEO optimization.

There are many website builders you can choose in the market like,

Wix, Weebly, WordPress, blogger, joomla and Drupal, etc.

Before we learn which website builder is the best.

You first need to understand there are 2 types of website builders.

Open source and closed source.

The main difference between closed source and open source software is that open source software is distributed under a licensing agreement that allows code to be shared, modified, and viewed by whoever wants to work on it.

Closed source is a proprietary software where the source code is not shared with the public to look at and change.

Open source software is free of cost to use where as closed source software costs money to use.

The other most important thing is when you build a website with open source software you completely own the website both front end and backend where as

it is not the case with closed source platform as you are a customer and user of a particular company’s product and that company can stop and remove you from using the product any time.

There are lots of other differences between both open source and closed source softwares which you can learn here.

Some popular examples of open source software and website builders are, WordPress.org, joomla and Drupal where as closed source examples are Wix, Weebly, square space.

The reason you need to know all of these things is because, you should select the right website builder and lay the strong foundation for your website right from the day1.

I want you to start building your website using WordPress.org as your website builder.

The reason is over 41% of the websites on the Internet are managed by WordPress not just that there are hundreds of thousands of themes and plugins you can use to optimise your website and

add any functionality on your website within a matter of a few clicks and the best part is you don’t have to take a single line of code in the process.

Compared to all other website builders, wordpress gives you more options and ways to optimize your website for SEO because it is simple to use, as we know it is open source so

any third party company can create any product like themes and plugins to improve SEO on WordPress and it has a huge community.

Unfortunately this is not the case with other closed-source website builders like Wix and squarespace.

Compared to other open source softwares like Joomla and Drupal, WordPress is more beginner friendly and

very easy to use and simple and it has a large community of people using it which is 41% of websites as mentioned earlier so it has better support and security features compared to other open source softwares.

You can read my ultimate guide on pros and cons of using WordPress.

But for now I think things are quite clear and easy for you to understand why you should be using wordpress as your website builder compared to other website builders on the internet to SEO optimize your website.

Now let’s see the next step.

2. Select the right Domain name for your website.

domain

Look, as we have learnt in the previous step that wordpress is an open source software which means anyone can use it because no company owns the WordPress software,

if you want to build a website on wordpress you need two things to be able to start building a website which are a

domain name and hosting and there are a couple of things you can do to optimise those things for SEO as well which we will learn in the following steps.

For now, a domain name is the name of the website on the internet like my website domain name is called entrepreneurshipera.com 

Your website domain name could be anything you want.

Look, in my website I talk about things related to entrepreneurship, blogging and digital marketing.

Hence I have added the word entrepreneurship in the domain.

And this is what I want you to do as well.

If you want to start a website about finance or saving money you should consider using the target keyword like financeblog or savingmoneydudes.com.

You get that.

Whenever possible always try to include the target keyword of your blogging topic in your domain name so that it can give you at edge over your competitors to rank higher and it will also help users know what the website is all about by just reading the domain name of your website.

There are lots of important things which I need to cover in this blog so I will not dig deep into learning more about the domain name as you can read my ultimate guide on domain names here.

You can search for amazing domain name ideas using tools like this one and buy domain using bluehost which is one of the best domain registrars out there.

Domain-Name-Check-Registration-Bluehost-India-Bluehost-India

3. Get the right web Hosting.

The next important steps to get the right web hosting for your WordPress website.

Web hosting is a place on the internet where your website will be stored so that other people can have access to it.

I will not get into further details about web hosting as I have written ultimate guide about web hosting which you can learn here.

Your web hosting plays a huge role in optimizing your website for SEO because,

Website loading speed (how much time it takes for a website to load on a browser of users) is a proven ranking factor in Google and the most important factor that can improve the website loading speed is the hosting you select for your website.

Just imagine do you want to visit a website that takes 10 seconds to load completely, no you dont want, you dont have that much time or patience and attention, hence it is a ranking factor in google because users hate slow loading websites.

Hence now you can see how web hosting is connected with SEO optimization.

There are many web hosting services available.

But.

I would personally recommend you to consider using bluehost web hosting service for your wordpress website.

Bluehost is a web hosting company which has been running since 2004, it has more than 2 million websites so far and it is the official hosting recommendation of WordPress.

It is one of the best beginner friendly and fast web hosting you can select for your website.

You can click here to learn how to start with bluehost, install wordpress.

OR

use this link to start your website using bluehost hosting with 65% off on your hosting price for first year and 30 day money back gurantee.

You need to follow the next steps only after installing wordpress on bluehost and start your website.

4. Setup Google search console and analytics.

After you get the domain name and hosting and install wordpress on your hosting.

What I want you to do is to immediately  connect your website with Google search console and Google Analytics.

These are two free tools of Google which i think every blogger and SEOs must be using.

Using Google search console you can see how your website & content is performing in Google search results and identify and remove all the errors that are holding your website back for getting more traffic from Google.

You need to use Google Analytics to be able to see how users are engaging with your website on the Internet like traffic, bounce rate, dwell time, real time stats, etc.

In order to use google analytics, visit the website on google analytics, sign up, create an account here for FREE, and after creating an account for your website,

all you need to do is to add a little piece of code in the header section of your wordpress website to let google analytics know that you own the website and that is the tracking code of your website and you give some time ideally 1 day or 30 hours to let all the data pour in the tool.

You should do similar thing in google search console and you need to verify the ownership of your website by adding code to your website.

You can use codeinserter plugin in wordpress if you dont want to get yourself deal with those codes.

Now after connecting those tools with your website, it is the time to do some other work.

If you are struggling to connect the tools with your website, you can find many tutorials online to help you with that.

5. Install the right Theme and plugins for your WP website.

is wordpress worth it

After you install WordPress and connect it with the important tools I mentioned earlier.

It is the time to get the right theme and plugins installed on your WordPress site.

Let’s start with theme.

A theme is basically a design and layout of your website online.

There are more than 30000 themes available for WordPress websites but, not all of them are best and optimized for SEO.

Yes.

Themes will also need to be SEO optimized.

Themes of a website will play a huge role in,

  • Website loading speed.
  • Website security and safety.
  • Website design and user experience.

These are all important things in SEO.

So. Be careful and select the right theme for your website.

Although there are various number of themes that you can install and activate on your wordpress website but I would personally recommend you a couple of themes that work for every type of website and are highly optimised for Speed, customization and safety and they are,

You might have to invest money in purchasing anyone of these themes mentioned above to have full customization, support and performance for your website, prices vary for each theme.

And now let’s talk about plugins in WordPress.

In simple words, plugins are simple line of code that gets attached to your main wordpress code and extensions for your WordPress website which can help you add new functionality to your wordpress website within a matter of a few clicks.

According to wordpress there are more than whopping 58,000 plugins.

That’s really HUGE.

Even though there are lots of plugins, only a few thousand are helpful.

The plugins you install on your website can directly or indirectly affect the SEO performance of your website in terms of,

  • If you install the wrong type of plugin on your wordpress website it can cause your website to get hacked and cause bad UX and bad for safety issue of users.
  • If you install wrong type of plugin or excessive plugins it can cause your website to load slow which directly impacts the SEO performance of a website.

Sometimes if you are not aware about the plugins that you install then it can also cause a breakdown of your website due to plugins conflict and

incompatibility with your WordPress versions which can cause users to bounce away from your website when your website breaks down and it directly impacts your SEO performance.

Hence, you should be very careful to select the right type of plugins for your wordpress website.

I have listed down 19 of the top plugins you can install on any wordpress website for any purpose.

If you want to install any new plugin for your website apart from my list I would highly recommend you to read this ultimate guide on what are the things you need to check while installing a plugin.

Now you are done with plugins and theme of the wordpress.

6. Configure WordPress SEO settings.     

top wordpress plugins for bloggers

After you install wordpress there are a couple of important wordpress SEO settings you need to configure which are mentioned below

  • Categories.

For example if you have a blog that writes about digital marketing concepts then you can create individual categories like SEO, SEM and PPC and include many sub categories in those categories so that

people can easily find relevant articles from those categories itself and it will also help you improve the website architecture and navigation.

Here is how you add new categories in WordPress, 

Click on posts and then categories and then you can add the categories from there.

  • Home page.

Believe it or not in most cases, website homepage is going to get more traffic than any blog post published on the web site because most people after reading the article prefer visiting the home page of the website so

when you have a new website because you don’t have a lot of blog post published on your website consider

having a homepage option that shows latest posts that you have published and when we have decent it blogs published you can switch to a static post which you can design yourself using website builders like elementor.

  • Menu.

Make sure that you add all the categories and custom links that you have created into the the navigation section of your blog so that users can easily navigate through the blog.

You can do this in the appearance section and then click on the menu and add the categories.

  • Title and tagline.

Go to settings and click on general and change the title and tagline of your WordPress website and that is what will appear in google search results when people view your website.

This will let people know what your website is all about in google search results so you should change them as per your website.

  • Permalinks.

Click on settings and then in the permalinks section in your WordPress dashboard.

Now select the permalink structure shown in the image below as a dot.

permalinks

Permalink is basically the URL structure of your blog posts.

For suppose, If you have published a blog post about how to start a blog, the ideal permalink should look like this,

Yourdomain.com/how-to-start-a-blog/

Rather than having something like this,

Yourdomain.com/686335/45789

You get that.

Having a short and keyword-rich permalink will indirectly help you get more rankings in Google because in search results users can better understand what the page is actually what by looking at the permalink structure and click on your rankings more than others.

And that my friend, will get you more rankings.

  • First post.

When you first install WordPress on your website you will have a default blog post published on your website which you need to to delete before you start publishing any new posts.

These are all the important SEO settings in WordPress.

7. Focus on technical SEO.

technical seo

After you publish a bunch of blog posts on your website it’s time to take care of technical aspects of your website which we call as technical SEO.

Technical SEO has more to do with website and hosting optimization for Google or any other search engine crawlers and spiders to crawl website without having any issues.

There are 8 most important technical SEO factors which we need to consider and let me give you a quick overview of them.

  • Robots.txt file.

Robots.txt file is a way websites use to have communication with web crawlers and search engine bots like Google bots or bing bots.

Using this file you can tell the search engine bots and grant permission or do not allow them to crawl and index your website in their specific search index like Google or bing.

You can use my SEO plugin recommendation called RANKMATH as this can automatically generate a robot.txt file for your website and you don’t have to do anything additional to it if you just install this plugin.

  • Speed.

Google has declared in June 2021 algorithm update that website loading speed is going to be an important ranking factor in Google search algorithms.

They call it core web vitals where you need to optimise your website in different ways like, LCP, CLS & FID.

Basically, you will have to get a few things right to improve your overall website speed.

First Things First, get a fast loading servers, however we have built the website on bluehost so if you have a problem with the shared hosting speed of bluehost then you can consider switching to a higher plan of bluehost or maybe a VPS plan which offers faster speed.

Also connect your website with a CDN, and if you are using bluehost as I have recommended then it offers a free cloudflare CDN integration.

Also, enable a browser level caching for your website and you will get this with Bluehost hosting so you don’t need to worry about it, 

You can also consider using the performance plugin for WordPress like WP rocket or wp-optimize for minifying the JavaScript and HTML and CSS files on your WordPress website and improve the loading speed as fast as possible.

Use an image Optimisation plugin like WPSmush to compress the image size and lazy load them that you upload on your website.

Now you can use tools like Google pagespeed insights and GTmetrics to test your website loading speed and you can optimize using those suggestions in those tools.

  • User experience(UX).

You should also optimise your blog and website for User experience because ultimately you are trying to bring real people from search engines to your website so optimizing for better UX is always a great idea.

The first important thing you need to do is to optimise your blog for mobile friendliness and you can use this tool to check whether your website is mobile friendly or not and if your website is not mobile friendly then first of all you

either have to change the theme that you have installed on your website or you might have any plugin that

conflicts with your website theme which you need to identify and fix or you should consider hiring a WP website developer to do it for you. 

The next thing you need to do is to increase the font size of your blog post and make it somewhere between

16px to 20 px so that it is easy to read for users on the internet and you can do this in the theme settings in the customization area.

Make sure that you go easy not TOO aggressive on ads placements and popups on your website that can hurt UX in your blog.

And the last thing you need to do is to include all the categories and subcategories that you have created previously in the menu section of the website so that users can easily navigate to different categories and find different content on the website faster.

  • Security.

Because wordpress is largest content management system out there which power is more than 41 % of the websites on the internet so it is very favourite for hackers.

Hence, wordpress is the top most vulnerable blogging software for getting hacked.

But.

Don’t worry, there are a few things you need to get right to secure your wordpress website from hackers and malware.

WordPress security is a huge concept which cannot be summarised in a few words so I would highly recommend you to read my ultimate guide on security of wordpress website and top free wordpress security plugins you should install on your website.

Just follow these guides and you don’t have to think about wordpress security again.

  • Structure.

Even though if you have proper categories and menu section placed in WordPress you still have to focus on structure of your website by properly implementing the internal linking structure.

Building internal links from one post to another post will help Google find all of the posts on your website and it improves your overall website structure so focus a lot on internal linking of your site.

  • Redirect all Duplicate versions of site.

There are different duplicate versions of your domain name like,

Http://yourdomainname.com

Https://yourdomainname.com

Http://www.yourdomainname.com 

Https://www.yourdomainname.com

All these 4 URLs are duplicate versions of your website and make sure you use 301 redirects to redirect all the URLs to the targeted URL which could be anyone between www or non www version,

your wish but it has to be redirected to Https only because having SSL is a ranking factor in Google.

Again you can use rankmath plugin to do redirections.

  • Submit Sitemaps.

A site map is a list of pages of a web site within a domain.

A sitemap will help Google’s spiders crawl and index all of your website pages faster.

If you don’t have a huge E-Commerce Store or a huge website with thousands of blog posts published on your website then you don’t have to worry about submitting a sitemap and

if you are interested in sitemap then you can install a plugin called Rankmath which is the best SEO plugin which I also recommend and use, this plugin will automatically generate and index the sitemap of your website.

  • Fix Crawl errors in GSC.

Just login to your Google search console and click on coverage report and it will show you all the errors and issues that your website has which you can pick and fix them immediately and

this can help you directly or indirectly get more rankings and traffic from Google because these are the common errors that Google’s crawlers have found When crawling and indexing your website.

These are al the important technical seo you need to check.

Now comes the important stuff.

8. Do the Keyword research.

pros and cons of keyword research

Now after you get all of the things right, you should start consider doing some keyword research for your blog post.

Keyword research is the process of finding keywords and questions that people are searching for related to your niche and targeted topic on Google and on social media platforms.

If you don’t know which topic you want to target and write about for your blog then it is the most important thing you need to do and find before you think about SEO and starting a website.

I will not get into details about finding the right topic and niche for your blog, I have written a ultimate guide on that you can check it here.

But for now I assume you have found a niche and topic for your blog like let’s say,

For example your blogging niche and topic is,

Digital marketing and online business.

Then, you should do keyword Research and find topics and keywords that people are searching for on which you can drive those visitors to your blog.

Keyword research is a huge concept and process which if I were to explain in this blog it would make this blog 10000 words long which I don’t want so,

I have written a detailed guide on how you can do keyword research for your blog using Google and find keywords.

You can also use this ultimate list of free keyword research tools for doing keyword research.

Now lets move forward.

9. Create SEO optimised content.

affiliate marketing vs freelancing

Now comes the most important part of Search Engine Optimisation which is about creating high-quality content on your blog and website.

The content and blog post that you right now will determine your success in SEO because at the end of the day content is king in SEO.

After you do the keyword Research and find all the keywords related to your targeted niche,

You should start writing blog post optimising those keyword in them.

By the way I have written a detailed guide on how you can write a blog post from start to finish you should read that for better understanding of writing blogs.

Many studies have resulted in the fact that higher word count articles which are around 2000 words have higher rankings in Google because more word count means more information in the blogs so

focus on creating comprehensive piece of content on your blog instead of short 500 words posts which don’t add any unique value.

And also make sure that you add relevant and attractive images and multimedia in your blog post as the fact is that blogs that contain at least one image get 94% more views and traffic then blog post that does not have any images,

You can use tools like canva to create amazing custom images and multimedia like infographics for your blog posts.

While writing content for your blog there are lots of tools you can use in the process and I have listed down 37 of the most popular tools which you can use to write blog posts and create content for absolutely free of cost.

Make sure that you properly optimise the blog on page SEO by including the keyword in relevant places like, title tags, image alt text, meta description, permalink, in the first 100 words of your blog, etc. But please avoid keyword stuffing in your blog posts.

  • Wherever and whenever it is possible consider using structured data in your blog posts like FAQ schema or review to let search engines better understand the content of your website and Boost Your rankings in Google indirectly.
  • Also make sure that you interlink your blog post to other similar posts that you have published previously on your blog so that users can stay on your website longer and read other articles on your blog and this will also reflect to Google that your blog is a comprehensive and Authoritative resource for that topic and it can pass page rank and link juice from one page to another page and improve your rankings of other blog post in Google overall.
  • Along with that you also have to link to other external websites which are authoritative and trustworthy in the industry in your posts whenever possible.

Make sure that you publish such type of blog posts consistently over a period of time on your blog and you can read my guide on how frequently you should be publishing on your blog to learn more.

Note;

Before you start publishing any content on your blog make sure that you publish some important pages on your website like about contact and terms and conditions pages and you can learn more about them here.

10. Do the Promotion and link building.

affiliate marketing

Look, You should not just publish the post and you are done, you should rather promote the post and think of getting a few but quality backlinks to those posts.

Millions of blog posts are published every single day on the Internet and the only way you can separate and

stand out your blogs from the crowd is by promoting the content and blog post to the right audience and build some quality links to it in the process.

We will talk about links later but for now promotion of your blogs are not just important to make your blog stand out rather a study by semrush shows that the number of direct website visits of audience is a huge ranking factor of blog in Google.

What this means is that if more people visit your website or any blog post from social media and other platforms apart from search engine then Google will notice that and it will give you a higher ranking boost because

when people visit your website directly, it is a clear indication to Google that your blog post is of high quality and useful/helpful and engaging for users.

There are many ways to promote a blog like,

  • You can use Pinterest to promote your blog on social media apart from using Facebook and Twitter.
  • You can also Re publish your blog post on medium and LinkedIn.
  • You can use web push notifications like onesignal.
  • You can build and grow email list of your audience.
  • You can promote your blog on forums like Quora and Reddit.

Although you have learnt about how you can promote your blog on social media and other platforms now it’s time to build some quality backlinks to your blog post.

Backlinks are just links that are pointing from other websites to your website and backlinks is by far the top most ranking factor after quality content.

There are many studies that proves this, and Google also clearly stated that links are huge ranking factor in its algorithms.

But.

It is one of the activities in Search Engine Optimisation which you need to do outside of your website and you don’t always have control over it.

Without a doubt, building backlinks to your website is one of the most time consuming thing because you are not working on your website, rather on other people’s websites.

But, there are many best practices you can use to build quality backlinks to your website like, 

  • you can guest post on other websites, 
  • you can use broken link building which is about finding broken links on other websites related to your industry and asking the website owner to replace the broken link with your blog post.
  • You can do competitors research and Steal backlinks from your competitors by email outreach.

One of the best ways you can build backlinks to your website initially is by building actual relationships with the real people who manage the websites from where you’re looking to get a backlink from and

then when you have established a good relationship with them you can approach them for work as a guest post or are any other backlink purpose which way it would be a win win situation for both of you guys,

you can use LinkedIn to connect with those bloggers.

There are so many other strategies you can use to build quality backlinks.

Note:

But, don’t start link building of your website right from day one rather you should focus on creating and

publishing high-quality content like at least 20 to 30 blog posts on your website then you should consider starting to build backlinks to your website.

If you build backlinks as soon as you start your website then it may look quite fishy and unnatural to Google because

your domain is quite new and young so always let your domain get some old like to 3 months old before you start building backlinks if not you can get a penalty from Google.

Also when you are working on link building for your website make sure that you build backlinks on a steady pace, don’t rush, and build too many links at once, otherwise you would gift your website a penalty from Google.

Make it slow and steady when it comes to link building.

And also avoid keyword rich anchor text and follow the google’s best practices.

11. Most important SEO skill you need.

which one to choose

Now please allow me to reveal the most important truth of blogging and SEO that, 

It really takes a lot of time for your blog to get traffic from Google.

There is no silver bullet and a magical hack you can use in SEO that can grow your traffic over night.

SEO takes time by default.

It doesnot matter what you do and how you do.

Because you are starting a new website it takes time for Google to build a trust with your website and rank your blog higher and you need time to build that authority on the topic, domain age is also a huge ranking factor.

And even Google also stated that new websites rankings will continue to fluctuate in Google search results if the domain is less than 1 year old.

And even by a study by Ahrefs on how long does it take to rank on google shows that the average page that ranks on first position of Google is approximately two years old in the image below.

What I want to say is that, amount of time it takes for your blog to rank on google will depend upon various factors like the competition of the keyword(lower the competition the faster you would rank obviously)

the blogs that are ranking and the authority of the websites in top 10 and whether the keyword is related to YMYL category.

So you can’t do alot of things but being patient enough and repeat the process of creating the content promoting and building backlinks to it.

12. Look at the website analytics and measure the growth.

Ahrefs and semrush keyword tools helping in seo

After a couple of months of publishing content and building backlinks you will start getting some traction and traffic from Google and

it’s time to analyse your website performance in Google search results using the tools which we have already connected earlier which are Google search console and Google Analytics.

You should now look at how your content is performing in Google search results using Google search console,

take a look at individual pages performance report, take a look at clicks, Impressions, click through rate and average position to have a overview of the post.

You should also look at the dwell time and bounce rate of the page in Google Analytics.

You should analyse which content and blog posts are performing well and bringing in good amount of traffic to your website.

You should also look at which posts are not performing well in search results like not getting traffic or not higher rankings so that you can build a few links and improve rankings.

It is not just about publishing great content rather you should also focus on how your website is performing measure the growth and work on things that are working well for your website in that niche.

13. Perform regular website audits and inspections.

affiliate marketing

Now you should be performing regular website audits when you have good number of blog posts published on your website and good amount of traffic visiting your blog every month.

You can use many popular tools like,

To do website audits both SEO and of content.

You should also find and fix duplicate content and keyword cannibalization issues on your website, you can use tools like siteliner to do this,.

Also make sure that you check and remove all the broken links on your website and you should also consider having a screen reader for people who are deaf and blind and cant see your website but want the information.

There you go these is the exact process you need to use to learn how to start seo for a new website from start to finish.

I know this blog has been too long and it is quite extensive but it is worth knowing for beginners.

With that said lets conclude the blog post.

Ending remarks:

These are all the things you need to know about how to do SEO for a brand new website from start to finish.

Do comment down what do you think about the steps and are you starting SEO for your website or not.

Share the blog post with all of your friends who are complete beginners to blogging and SEO industry.

Sharing is caring.

I will catch you next time till then keep learning and keep growing.