A 16-Step SEO Plan for Beginners That Gets Results
Launching a new website?
First, and maybe most important, there is no “easy button.” There are hundreds of algorithm variables, trillions of websites, and more keywords with variable intent than we can count.
There are far more than 16 steps followed by a seasoned SEO expert. But to keep this simple for you, I have laid out a series of steps with detailed articles on each. This SEO plan for beginners will guide you in the right direction and help you get the ball rolling with your search engine optimization. Let’s dive in.
1. Do Keyword Research
Use SEO tools and analytics to discover what people are typing or saying as they look for the information, products or services you offer.
2. Refine the Keyword Set
Evaluate your potential keywords by finding the websites currently ranking for those terms. If the websites that show up in the search results have similar information, products or services as you, the keyword is likely relevant enough.
3. Finalize the Keyword Set
Organize your keywords by category (topics, products, services, etc.). Once you do this, it will be a guide to organizing your website and its content. (I’ll touch on that soon.) Have a good mix of broad and long-tail keywords. And think about how you will combine keywords on pages.
4. Do a Competitive Analysis
Analyze the webpages and sites that are ranking for your desired keywords to find out what they are doing so you can meet or beat them.
5. Structure the Website
Organize your website content in a way that communicates your expertise and authority on a topic to search engines, and allows your audience to find what they need.
6. Follow Technical SEO Strategies
Make sure your site is set up for search engines to crawl and index easily. (And to create a good user experience). This cannot be overlooked.
7. Optimize the Site for Mobile
Create a mobile-friendly site so that you offer a good experience to mobile users and have a better chance of ranking.
8. Write the Content
Write original and compelling content that your audience (and Google) will love and want to share.
9. Optimize the Content
Make your content perform even better with some best practices in content creation, SEO copywriting and page optimization.
- Learn more about how to use keywords in content.
- Learn more about how to take content to the next level of optimization.
10. Create and Optimize Rich Media Content
Create a better user experience and have the opportunity to gain more visibility in the search results by using images, videos and other rich media.
11. Create an XML Sitemap
Create an XML sitemap so that search engines can crawl and index the website better.
12. Submit the Website to Search Engines
This is an optional step but a good idea in many cases. Especially for new websites.
13. Attract Quality Links
Follow a link-earning (not link building) strategy that will get people to link to your website’s content.
14. Avoid Search Engine Penalties
Know what it takes to create a website that is in compliance with search engine guidelines, so you can avoid penalties that can reduce or stop organic traffic to your site.
15. Monitor Backlinks and Remove as Needed
Monitor the links that point to your site from other websites so that you can ensure they are quality. If they are not, you’ll want to get rid of them.
16. Monitor Progress
Monitor performance indicators like search engine rankings, organic traffic to your site and conversions coming from the organic search channel.
Finally, loop! When you are done going through this SEO plan for beginners once, start again knowing that you can win through effort.
For more SEO strategies and tactics, access our great SEO Guide to learn how to do search engine optimization now.