How do I start SEO for my new website?

You’re creating a new website to promote your business. It’s an exciting, and busy time with lots to think about. But where to begin? Before you start choosing fonts and images or writing copy for your new website, you need to work on an SEO strategy. It may not seem as fun as deciding on the design colours, but if you want people to find and visit your new website, it’s absolutely vital.

Trust me, trying to retrofit a website to an SEO strategy that’s been defined after the site’s built is a real headache. You’ll get a much better result if you put in the SEO effort early and create your website around your strategic plans.

This guide will show you how to plan SEO for your new website, step-by-step.

What are the benefits of SEO for a new website?

You can create a lovely looking website with a gorgeous design and fancy graphics, but if nobody finds it then it’s rather pointless. Underpin it with an effective SEO strategy and you have a different story. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the determining factor that can result in website visibility, rather than it being lost like a needle in the internet haystack.

Implementing SEO on your new website is an important part of your digital marketing strategy. Done well, it’ll help your target audience to find your site, and Google (or Bing) will make it easier for the searcher to discover it.

You’re unlikely to get overnight success with a new website. Don’t expect to appear on page one of search engine results pages (SERPs) immediately. Organic traffic takes time to build. And with ever-changing organic search trends, search algorithm updates and frequent changes in technology, it can be hard for new website domains to get ahead.

But don’t be disheartened. Following our step-by-step guide to effective SEO strategy will give you the best chance of success.

Your 10 step SEO strategy for new websites

1. Pick a good domain name and homepage url

Your domain name or web address is an important consideration. It can help you to attract organic traffic and build your brand. Make it descriptive, short, simple and unique. It could be your company name (like ours, or include descriptive words to match your niche ( Make sure it’s something you’re happy to include on promotional material and say out loud to people.

The location of your customers will also have an impact on your URL. If your target audience is in the UK, go for a URL, if they are in the US then go with .com. This URL ending is a location signal to Google and helps show where you do business.

The same principle applies to your url structure throughout your new website. Use urls on subpages that are relevant to that page’s content (eg

2. Do your keyword research

Our key bit of advice here is to think like your target audience. Imagine their search intent (what are they looking for? Which question do they need to answer?) Create a list of relevant search terms that best describe your products and services. Try them out in Google to see which competitors rank for your target keywords and also which search terms are suggested.

There are plenty of keyword research tools such as SEMrush, Google search console and keyword planner, which well help you to conduct in-depth keyword research. It’s a good idea for new websites to start by focusing on low-competition (in terms of search volume) long tail keywords rather than trying to compete with major players from the get-go. Really think about those keywords and search terms that you want to rank for and be associated with.

3. Plan your website structure

Think about the pages that you need to include on your website based on your keyword research. A well-organised site structure makes a better user experience (people can find their way around easier), and it’s easier for search engines to find and index your pages. The logical site structure consists of a homepage, followed by priority landing pages (such as About, Products, News, Contact) and then individual product pages and articles.

4. Set up Google Search Console and SEO tools

Google Search Console is a free SEO tool, so it’s a really good resource to start with. Use it to monitor, maintain and troubleshoot your new site’s SEO performance on Google. It helps you to understand how Google views your site, and also how it appears on Google SERPs. You’ll get insights into your site’s ranking and the search terms people are using to reach your site.

There are various other SEO tools that can provide more in-depth metrics and analysis, but Google Search Console is a good starting point.

5. Focus on website optimisation

Technical SEO is an essential part of your SEO strategy. Neither Google nor your visitors will tolerate slow load times and poor page speed. To keep both happy, make sure your website is optimised to function well. You need Google to stick around so that it crawls and indexes your site. And you want your target audience to stay long enough to engage with your website content and your business.

SEO content writing is done in a way to achieve a spot on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs). The focus is on keyword research and creating relevant, high quality content.

6. Make it mobile-friendly

You need to make sure that you’re providing an optimum user experience however people access your site. Navigating a website on a wide screen desktop is a very different user experience to viewing it on a small mobile screen. As the majority of people will view it on mobile devices, it’s vital to make sure your site is responsive and works well on phones. Google also prioritises and rewards websites that are set up correctly for mobile devices – another reason to ensure it’s mobile-friendly.

7. Create effective on-page SEO descriptions

They may seem like small fry compared to your main article copy, but all of the descriptive fields used on page make an impact to your site performance. Include target keywords in fields such as page urls, page titles, alt text, title tags, anchor text and meta descriptions. But make sure that each one is unique and appropriate for that specific page as Google will penalise duplicate content.

Your meta description will be shown as a snippet on Google SERPs, so it needs to encourage users to click through and give them an idea of the page content. So it’s not just about including target keywords, it also needs to make sense and entice the user to interact with your site.

8. Produce high quality content

Each piece of content that you create needs to match a user’s search intent. A product page needs to be optimised for people looking to buy, whereas a blog post is more about providing information not necessarily a transaction.

It’s not just about writing high quality content though. It needs to be underpinned by effective SEO techniques. Make sure it has a good heading structure with a singular, keyword rich H1 heading and subtitles using H2 headings for example.

Make sure you include internal linking throughout your optimised content, using relevant keywords as anchor text. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, it encourages users to spend more time on your site and move from one page to another, reducing bounce rates. Secondly, it shows search engines how your pages are connected and provides information about what’s on the page.

Your content strategy will inform the new content to create to meet search intent and to target keywords that will attract the right people to your site.

9. Submit xml sitemap to Google

For new websites in particular, it’s really important to let Google know about your site and the pages that you need it to look at. To do this, you need to submit your xml sitemap through Google Search Console. That informs Google that your site exists and is ready to be crawled.

If there are pages that don’t need to be crawled (such as login pages, duplicate content, thank you messages etc) then don’t include them. Submit the canonical pages only – those to be indexed and crawled by Google.

10. Promote your website

To help visitors find your website, you need other people and platforms to play their part too. Link building from other sites will boost your credibility and encourage people to click through from that site to yours. Securing backlinks from other trusted websites is a really beneficial SEO technique.

Social media is another key channel to use here. Start posting on your social media platforms to promote your website and refer visitors to it. It’ll give your new website an initial boost.

Website promotion should be a component of your content marketing plan. Which levers can you pull to raise awareness and visibility of your website? Social media posts, email newsletters, and marketing materials are all possible ways to present your website to your audience and attract traffic.

Ongoing SEO tasks

Your SEO work doesn’t finish with the launch of your new website. You need to keep on top of ongoing maintenance and improvement tasks. Firstly, find and fix any issues promptly. Regularly check Google analytics to see how your webpages are performing (using metrics including page views, bounce rates, click through rates). This may highlight issues to fix and/or new content to produce. Promotion via social media and other digital marketing platforms like emails should be scheduled as ongoing content marketing initiatives. It’s important to monitor SEO performance and ranking to see what’s working well and what needs to be adjusted over time.

Key takeaways for SEO on your new website

Think about your target audience every step of the way. Put yourself in the searcher’s shoes to make a great user experience and use the best keywords to match their search intent. Picture them when you devise your strategy and write your high quality website content, complete with relevant search terms. Of course, you need to optimise your site to meet Google’s criteria, but you must satisfy your user’s needs too.

Implementing all of the points in our step-by-step guide will tick the main SEO boxes, delivering website traffic and domain authority which are two of the main objectives. But if it all feels overwhelming, we’re here to help.

Get in touch to arrange a free discovery call to see how our SEO expertise can drive your business forward.