Here are 47 really useful and actionable SEO tips for newly designed or redesigned websites.
Table of Contents
How to start SEO
No matter how well you researched Google or wrote your content it’s going to take time to get your website ranked and earning traffic.
Don’t be disheartened but it took me 6 months to get traffic to an article about local advertising.
Google tend to favour more established website but, like a good bottle of wine, SEO is worth the wait.
First up do this.
Check traffic using Google Analytics
I shall assume you or your web designer added Google Analytics to track your website visitors.
If not, learn how to add Google Analytics to a website here.
Google Analytics will track all sorts of website metrics such as
- Where website visitors came from
- Which device they used
- What pages they visited
- How long they spent on the website
- What they did next.
Login to Google Analytics and type “traffic” into the search box or go to
- All Traffic
This chart will show you how many users visited your website in the last 30 days and where they came from.
- Paid Search
- Organic Search
We’re only concerned with organic search traffic.
In this example the company decided to spend money on paid search to quickly earn traffic to their website.
As you can see paid search traffic is 5 times larger than organic search traffic at this moment in time.
But you can see from the graph the traffic declined at the end of January; I assume they stopped advertising.
Best Google Analytics tip
The best way to use Google Analytics to improve SEO is to find keywords that rank on page 2 or 3 and try to improve the page content and relevance.
Another SEO tip is to use Google Search console.
What is Google Search Console ?
Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google that helps you monitor, review and improve your website performance.
If you haven’t already done so, sign up to Search Console and add the tracking code to your website home page.
Here’s how to use Search Console.
Open the performance report and check your pages are getting impression and clicks.
- Click pages and make sure each page gets clicks and impression.
- Click coverage to make sure you have no page errors or warnings.
- Click Sitemaps to ensure you have a sitemap of all your pages and Google have successfully indexed all your pages you want indexed.
- Click links to check that each of your pages internally link to each other.
- Check top linking sites to see if other websites link to yours.
If you don’t have links from other websites to yours then follow these link building tips below.
Best Search Console Tip
- In Performance Reports, choose the last 6 months.
- Select Total Clicks, Impressions, Average CTR and Average Position
- Then select Pages
- Now down arrow key to export this report to Google Sheets.
This will enable you to review your website on a per page basis.
How to research keywords
You really should be doing keyword research before your website gets designed or redesigned.
However research is an ongoing process.
People type keywords into Google and other search engines because they are looking for an answer to their question or problem.
Keyword research is great at discovering the questions and problems your prospects and potential customers have.
Then it’s your job to provide your web page content and Google with the best possible answer to that question or problem.
Types of search questions
A common question I get is “how do I ranked on page 1 for my services or products?”
Wait a second, think about this.
There are basically 3 types of searches.
- Informational – how to, what is
- Navigational – branded search eg: Apple website, supermarkets near me, high school phone number
- Commercial Investigation – best, compare, alternative, this product for that person
- Transactional – buy, order, get, download
This research is really outdated but it’s estimated that only 20% of searches are transactional.
On that basis, when researching a new website you should plan for :
- 20% of your pages being product or service pages and
- 80% of pages being pages to serve commercial investigation and information searches.
So if you are just trying to get traffic to your service or product pages you’re missing out on 80% search opportunities.
So to start your keyword research use these 2 approaches.
Cheapest Keyword Research Tip
- Go to Ubersuggest
- Enter a seed keyword, eg: bookkeeping
- Select view all keyword ideas
- Filter by low search difficulty eg: 0 to 20
Don’t worry if the search volume is very low just make sure the topic is relevant for your business.
Click the little arrow next to the keyword and on the right side of the screen you’ll see the top ranked pages for that search query.
If the top 10 pages get “estimated visits” then write down this keyword or add it to a spreadsheet.
Now enter another seed keyword in the search box and follow the above steps.
Or enter a seed keyword into Ubersuggest and enter the word “how” in the “include keywords” filter box.
This will help you find informational search query ideas.
You want to build up a list of around 50 topics or ideas; a blend of informational, commercial invention and transactional topics.
Alternatively use a premium keyword research tool that will uncover more keywords.
Best Keyword Research Tip
- Use Ahrefs to analyse the organic traffic to 10 to 20 of your competitors top pages.
- Choose the top pages rank that rank for more than 100 keywords, earn more than 100 organic visits and have less than 10 referring domains.
- Note these pages in a spreadsheet.
- Write down the topic and title of pages.
- Write a better page or answer on your page.
Topics and categories
If you look on my website, I have a category about SEO.
All the articles in this section are about SEO.
I group all SEO articles under this SEO category.
It’s good for the user visiting my website and it’s good for Google to structure pages this way.
Each article is written about a topic.
For example this article is about adding backlinks.
And this one is about writing copy for SEO.
I don’t create separate pages about :
- How to write copy for Google
- How to write copy for Bing search engine.
- How to write copy for Yahoo search engine.
Topical Research Tip
When you’re doing your keyword research, you want to find a main keyword that also has 100 or more keywords (if using Ahrefs, 50 if using Ubersuggest) containing the same terms.
Are your pages and keywords in the top 100 search results ?
The quickest and cheapest way to find out where your pages and keywords rank in Google is to use Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest tool.
This will give you a very quick summary of your rankings.
- Go to UberSuggest
- Enter your domain
- Select Top Pages
- Then, on each page, click view all
You’ll see the estimated total of visits per page, the search volume, position and estimated visits per keyword.
These are estimates so bear that in mind.
Do your pages get traffic from Google ?
Next, using Ubersuggest, I would look at your pages that send little or no traffic to your website.
Just scroll down the list of the pages shown.
Click “View All” and look at the number of keywords, the search volume and the SEO difficulty.
Find the keyword with the highest search volume.
I would copy that keyword and open up Ubersuggest into another browser tab.
Paste the query in the search box to find all the other keywords related to it.
The page will return keyword ideas and related keywords.
Look for keywords that aren’t included in the list of keywords your page ranks for.
Try and rank your pages using related searches:
These are your related keyword searches.
Pick some of these keywords and think about how these keywords could be included if you added a new section to your existing web pages.
What keywords and topics do get traffic to competitors websites?
If you know your competitors enter their website address into Ubersuggest.
If not click the website address of a website that’s ranking on page for your query.
Then click top pages from the left hand navigation to see their top pages.
Ubersuggest will show you the traffic to their top pages and you can check if these are topics you currently write about.
Keep finding new competitor websites and check their top ranked pages.
Find new easy to rank low difficulty topics
Using the keyword from above you can find other easy to rank keyword ideas with either Ubersuggest or Ahrefs.
How to find low search difficulty keyword ideas with Ubersuggest
- Enter a one word query into Ubersuggest
- Then click the filter button
- In the SEO Difficulty boxes enter something like 0 to 20 and apply
Now you have a list of ideas with low search difficulty and their search volume.
Click the arrow next to one keyword idea that would be relevant for your business and you think you could write about.
After clicking the arrow I would check the SERPS box that open on the right of your screen that the top 10 pages all earn traffic (est visits column)
If they do, add this topic idea to a spreadsheet, now go find more keyword and topic ideas.
Page Content Creation Tips
Once you’ve researched keywords and pages and chosen the topic you want to write about I would recommend you follow these page creation tips.
This article about website copy covers element as what tools to write with, how to layout out your draft article, web copy elements, copy length and more.
On page is as it sounds; making additions and amendments on your page that are search engine and user friendly.
The following tips are universal and apply to the majority of web pages.
Write better title tags:
The title tag is like the advertising headline for your page.
Here’s an example of a page in purple that isn’t maximising it’s page title.
Compare that page title with the one highlighted in green.
I’ve used a tool to analyse the effectiveness of both headlines.
Clearly the latter is a more powerful title.
Boy, do I feel fired up and ready to get supercharged after reading this headline.
Best Tip to write better title tags
Pop your headline into https://headlines.sharethrough.com/ and it will give you a headline, engagement and impression score.
The tool will teach you how to increase the length of your page title, include a brand name, use more alert words and use less passive words.
Write more persuasive meta descriptions:
The page meta description are the 2 or 3 lines of text that appear underneath the page title.
It’s space your page deserves in the search engines and an opportunity to explain in more words to Google and the user about your page.
To find all your page titles and descriptions very quickly enter site:yourdomain.com into Google.
You’ll spot the pages with meta descriptions that are missing, too short, too long or aren’t very persuasive.
Let me choose one of my own page meta descriptions that’s written poorly.
It’s my own contact us page and I’m only using one line of the meta description.
What a wasted opportunity to persuade people to contact me.
We know that Google tend to bold relevant keywords in your page title and description for relevant search queries hence you should use page title and description to the fullest.
The meta description displayed in Google will vary in length depending on the device the user is searching on.
The Yoast WordPress plugin has a nice feature that will preview your meta description length in mobile and desktop views.
Best Tip to Write Better Meta Descriptions
Write the meta description as a longer version of your page title using more persuasive or call to action phrases like this one.
Ignore meta keyword tag
I’ve been doing websites and SEO since 2005 and have never, ever used meta keywords for pages.
Google has publicly stated that keyword meta tags are not used in web search rankings.
Use short URLS
The URL is the letters or words you use to uniquely identify a web page.
Just looking at the above URL, you probably have an idea what that page is about.
Now if I named this page /?p=5638 you would have no idea what the page content was about.
The big Google machine will see /seo-tips/ as being a little clue as to the page subject matter.
There was research done that showed that a short URL was one of the strongest on page factors in ranking a web page.
Note that I said a short URL is a strong on page ranking factor; off page factors are considerably more powerful in higher rankings that off page factors.
Best tip for creating URLS
Keep the URL short like /seo/ or /seo-tips/ and make sure the word or phrase used for the URL is based around the main keyword identified during your keyword research.
Do not, under any circumstances, include a month or year in your url.
Add ALT tags to describe images:
According to Shopify, Google Images is now the second largest search engine on the planet.
Bigger than YouTube.
Whilst image search could be partly driven by fashion searches there’s many people looking for the right image for a blog post or designing a website.
Or they are looking for inspiration for adverts or websites.
The ALT tag is just a way to describe an image to Google.
Best ALT Tag Tip
Install the SEO Minion Chrome Extension, visit one of your web pages, click SEO Minion then Analyze On-Page SEO.
In this example my page has 51 images and 45 images without ALT Text.
All I need to do is describe these images.
Then I can actually track my ALT Tag click performance using the Performance Report in Google Search Console.
Use headings on your pages
The heading on a page helps to explain to the visitor what the page is about.
If you previewed my SEO Tips page in the search engines and clicked on my link and then I showed you tips about another subject you’d feel disappointed or mislead.
So the page heading just reinforces that you’re on the correct page.
But not everyone comes to your website comes from Google.
Some people come from adverts or social channels or from other pages on your website, so the page header should be explanatory and persuasive.
Best Page Heading Tip
Make sure the page headings are formatted in the H1 style and ensure the header starts with your main keyword.
For this page I could just use SEO Tips but SEO Tips for New Websites better describes who the page is for and what this page is about.
Improve your page content
Your content should answer the searcher’s query and it should also be up to date.
So if you’re page isn’t ranking in the top 10 search results, I would do this.
Best page content tip
Take one of your pages and the main keyword.
In this example, the page is about payroll services.
Now copy and paste this main keyword into Google.
Look at and read through the top pages.
These pages are on page one for 2 reasons; they are the best and most relevant pages that serve the user question.
Look at the length of their page content, notice how the page is broken into sections, look for facts, quotes and data.
Now compare one of these pages with your page.
How do they compare ?
I’m not recommending you copy their page but instead figure out how you could make your page better than the top pages based on the query the user has.
There are so many parts and elements to a website that we shall call this Technical SEO.
If we compared a website with a building it needs an architect to conceive the structure, it needs strong foundations, good brickwork, insulation, ventilation and so on.
Without these elements the building won’t last long.
That’s technical SEO and it’s about how search engines are able to crawl and view our web pages.
Do a Website SEO Audit
The best website health check tool is the Ahrefs Site Audit tool.
Run an audit with the tool and it will show you :
- Comparative SEO health score since your last audit
- HTML Issues
- Duplicate pages
- Low quality pages
- Broken links
Once your report has been generated they’ll explain each issue and how to fix those images in fairly plain English.
Check website is mobile friendly
When your website is being designed your designer should be able to show you a test area where you can view the website in all browsers and devices.
I use a little Chrome extension called Resizer to preview a website or pages in the web development process.
I have found the Google Mobile Friendly test tool unreliable so use with caution.
Test the speed on your website
You want to test more than the speed of your website, you want to test the speed of each web page.
I’ve a client that is guilty of uploading images straight from Photoshop without saving an optimised image for the web.
Large images are the biggest culprit for slow pages.
Best Page Speed Tips
Go to Google Analytics and type “Speed Suggestions” in the search bar at the top.
You’ll be taken to a report showing
- Average Page Load Time
- Page Speed Suggests
- PageSpeed Score
Pick a pages with the lowest score and the most suggestion.
A window will open and Google will analyse the page.
Click on desktop and mobile to see your page score.
WOW my page on mobile is 51 out of 100.
Verging on slow.
Look down at opportunities.
That’s how you can quickly improve your page speed and enhance the user experience.
Use TinyPNG to optimise images.
You probably need a web developer to help you improve your overall site speed.
Shop about and look for developers that specialise in this area and ask for case studies of speed improvements.
Fix broken links
Broken links create a poor user experience and there are two types.
You might have external links to other websites that you quote or reference.
Or you may have removed or changed pages in your own website that create broken links.
The latter occurs after a change from http to https version of your website, a website redesign, a website audit or a change of CMS.
Best broken link tip
Use a free tool called Integrity and run your website through it and it will show you all the broken links to fix.
An XML sitemap is a list of web pages that you want Google and Bing to show in their search engine results.
It’s also how Google generate the information you see in Search Console reports.
Most content management systems will supply an XML sitemap or you can generate a WordPress XML sitemap with the Yoast plugin.
Once you have your sitemap upload it to Search Console and/or Bing Webmaster Tools.
You can disallow pages such as secure or login pages that you don’t want people to see.
Best XML Sitemap tip
My rule of thumb with an XML sitemap is only give Google your best pages.
Fix duplicate content
My rule of thumb is to give Google my best pages and content.
I tend to cover one topic per page.
But duplicate content can arise when multiple pages that cover the same subject.
This can be overcome by using the focus keyphrase in Yoast that will alert you if you write about the same subject more than once.
However duplicate content can arise when you don’t even realise it.
For example, if you have an online store you can end up creating many different catalogue and collection containing the same products.
That’s duplicate content but can be overcome by using a canonical url to tell Google your preferred URL.
Or you may have to use 301 redirects, disallows or no indexing instruction.
Here’s some recommendation from Google on duplicate content.
A robots.txt file is a little file that sits on your root server that tells the search engines who crawl your website which pages to look at or ignore.
You don’t need log in pages or secure files showing up in the search engines so you can block these files in your robots.txt file.
I block all PDF documents that I upload to my website as I don’t want Google or prospective customers seeing them.
Will you link to my page ?
Go onto most forums and marketing community websites and the most common SEO question is “how do I get backlinks ?”
Listed below are strategies to create business citations and industry directory websites.
But most business or website owners are aware they need high quality or industry website links.
You don’t get links you EARN links.
So that’s the first link building tip.
Change your mindset from getting to earning links.
An Ahrefs study showed the relationship between referring domains and organic traffic.
Find out who links to your website
The first step is to find out who links to your website.
If you have a fairly new website you probably don’t have many websites linking to yours.
Perhaps your web company, your local newspapers or industry association website link to you.
But that’s not enough to have a highly ranked website earning organic traffic.
Best tip to see who links to you?
Log into Search Console and click the links section and look at the top linking sites section.
It’s just data and not very useful isn’t it ?
Well there’s a better strategy and that’s to look at your competitors links.
Who links to your competitors?
The search operator link: has been retired by Google but you can try this.
Type this into Google.
Just change domain.co.uk to your domain.
This will show all the website that link to you excluding your own pages.
Write down the number of links.
Now replace domain.co.uk with your competitors website.
And write down the number of their links.
9690 links is an extremely large number of links to analyse but it will give you some ideas where your competitor gets links from.
I recommend an alternative approach.
Reverse engineer competitors link strategy
You can save time, money and frustration using paid for SEO software such as Ahrefs, Moz or SEMrush.
- Enter your website into Ahrefs
- Write down the number of referring domains
- Select competing domains
- Pick a competing domain from the rows (with at least 200 referring domains)
- Click best by links
Now look down the list of pages and read the page titles.
This website got 18 websites link to a page about advertising a local business.
Write that down.
Move onto another page.
11 websites link to a page about how to break down goals.
When you go below pages with less than 10 links, click competing domains and follow the above process.
When you have about 30 or 40 page titles written down, you’ll being to see a pattern as to how competitors earn their links.
You will notice that websites get most of their best links from guides, how to’s, images or data studies.
Why do people link to competitors ?
People link to useful, helpful or awesome assets that match the story they want to tell.
People link to assets that just so happen to reside on a web page.
A study by Buzzsumo showed that list posts earn more links than any other content format; including quizzes, why posts, how to posts, infographics and videos.
This web page you are reading right now is a list of SEO tips.
Create a link earning resource
Have a look at this illustration website.
This page has 310 websites linking to it and the entire website has 731 website linking to it.
It’s a linkable asset because it’s useful for a web professional to create and download their own custom coloured web illustration for a website project.
It’s a website that well get mentioned when writers and website editors are talking or writing about web graphics.
This website is a great example of a link earning resource.
Best link building tip
Next time you hire a photographer for a project, commission them to take photographers of offices, building and landmarks of your town or city.
Get the photographer to take extra photographs of your office and work situations.
For example, I was working on an accountant website in London and needed photographs of an office exterior in London and an accountant at work.
I spent hours trying to find royalty free images as the client did not have budget or time for bespoke photography.
If you created those images and added to your website, I could download and use them.
You would just need to advise that I had to credit your with a link for free usage.
More link building resources
I’ve outlined 5 link building strategies including :
- Guest Post Link Building
- Social Media Link Building
- Infographic Link Building
- Resource Page Link Building
Promote your content
Spend 20% of your marketing time creating content and 80% promoting it.
Sadly I’m guilty of not promoting my content and so are many other marketers.
Best content promotion tips
Use the assets you have at your disposal such as:
- Emailing your database
- Promoting your page on your social channels
- Using a content promotion service.
Socially share your content
It literally takes minutes to share your content on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google Posts.
However, if you don’t have a large follower base then you need to reach out and find a wider audience.
Best social promotion tips
Post your article to Facebook and run a boost post to the audience you want to target.
Ensure you have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website and then, post campaign, you can use Facebook Analytics to see how your audience reacted to the content.
How to do local SEO
Here are some local SEO tips and strategies I use when setting up a new website or business.
Set up business on Google My Business
Google My Business is a solution for businesses with a local presence or location to tell Google and users about their business.
It helps you to earn rankings and website traffic when people search your business name, your type of business or businesses in a particular geographic area on Google Maps.
You can add your company name, address, phone number, photographs, reviews and links to your pages, products, services, events and offers (from your phone and computer).
Best Google My Business tip
Use Google’s own guide to setting up and using GMB here
Build citation links using consistent NAP (Name, Address, Postcode)
Citations are the foundations or building blocks your business needs before building links to your website.
You need to supply citation sources with a consistent business name, address, postcode and telephone numbers.
Best citation building tip
Follow my own citation building guide here.
Ask customers to leave reviews
A popular type of search query are company and product review searches.
You can email customers directly and ask for reviews, use the WhiteSpark review link generator tool or use a 3rd party solution such as Feefo to capture review post purchase or transaction.
Do review help your SEO ?
Yes according to Leverage Marketing and the Local SEO Ranking Factors study.
Best customer reviews tip
Use the WhiteSpark review link generator in an email campaign to customers that have a gmail address.
Customers with gmail addresses will find it easier to login and add a review of your business.
Sponsor a local team
In my local advertising guide, I recommended that local businesses sponsor a local team to promote their business.
The price of local sponsorship will vary but a link on their website, branding on their shirts and joint social promotions will add credibility to your business.
Use Google Posts
Google Posts are a feature within Google My Business that enable business owners to promote articles, services, products, offers and events.
Once you’ve set up your Google My Business account login into Google My Business or download their iPhone app.
Here’s my video guide to Google Posts.
Best Google Post tip
Create a free account with Canva.com and create a 400 x 300 template and insert an image and headline.
Download the image and upload to a new Google My Business post.
Choose to link to a page on your website, write a paragraph about the post then publish it.
The post will appear next to your business listing on Google and you can also share the post on other social channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter easily.
Many of these SEO tips aren’t specifically about ecommerce SEO, so you can read my details guide to Shopify Ecommerce SEO here.
I cover topics such as :
- Collection Page SEO
- Shopify 301 redirects
- SEO for Shopify product pages
- Image optimisation
- Link building for ecommerce
- Duplicate and junk content
- Website structure for Shopify SEO and more
My SEO Box training programme covers SEO strategies and tactics in details with step by step video guides.
You can register for 26 free SEO Video Tips here.