I Built My Website, Now What? Essentials to Get Your Site Ranking

Essentials to Get Your Site Ranking

When you are building a website, one of the most important things you want from it is it to rank highly on search engines. This process of achieving this is called search engine optimisation, or SEO, and it incorporates a lot of different things that you can do.

Whilst some may feel overwhelmed by the subject of search engine optimisation, there are lots of basic SEO things you can do that should not be overlooked, and we are going to look at some of these in this article.

Of course, as your knowledge of SEO grows, you can do more and more things, but these are just some of the essential first steps you can take to get your site ranking in the early stages.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it is basically a series of processes that you can do to improve your website’s visibility on search engines such as Google. This means that when someone searches for something to do with your website on Google, your website comes up high on the search engine results pages (SERPS) for them to look at.

They could be searching for something like the products you sell on your website, or the service you provide or even information that you have written on blog pages. The higher the visibility of your site, the higher it will rank on the results pages and therefore the more traffic and visitors you will attract.

There are lots of different types of SEO, including technical SEO, On-Site SEO and Off-Site SEO, all of which are different areas of your website to optimise to improve visibility and drive this organic traffic that is so important.

Why Is It Important for My Website to Have Good SEO?

As we have just discussed, good SEO is what ranks your website highly on search engine results pages, so of course this is important for driving organic traffic to your website, who will, with any luck, be satisfied with what they see on your site and buy from you/return to your website for information.

Having repeat visitors and a good user experience are all things that will also boost your SEO, and Google is one of the biggest drivers of organic search traffic, so ensuring that you tick these boxes is essential for being seen.

Think of it this way: you don’t want to spend hours and hours crafting brilliant website content or copy for no one to see it. Or to make products, spend time offering services, for no one to look at them and buy them. Therefore, if you get your SEO in good order, you increase your chances of having your website seen, you have relevant traffic engaging with your site, and you see the results you want.

What are Some Essential Things I Need to Do To Get My Site Ranking?

So how do you go about doing this? Especially if you have never worked on optimising a website before? Here are just a few essential things that you need to do to get your site ranking.

It is worth noting that search engine optimisation is not a one time job. It can take a long time to see results from optimisation, and you also have to keep on top of it- changing and adapting your strategy and actions as time goes on.

For now, here are some of the basic and essential steps that you can do to kick start the optimisation process:

Do Keyword Research

Keywords will be a term that you hear and read a lot about when you are learning about SEO. And I mean a lot. Keywords are essentially the words that people use when they search on Google for a specific product, service or piece of information.

For example, I want to find out where a good vegan lunch place is in Manchester. So I type into Google these keywords: ‘vegan lunch places Manchester.’

It’s as simple as that- then, if your lovely vegan lunch place that is based in Manchester has a optimised site that includes those keywords ‘vegan’ ‘lunch’ ‘Manchester’ and comes up on the result page when I hit search, I will see it, take a look at it and hopefully go there because you made it look so appealing.

Using the right keywords is a great way to boost your SEO ranking- Google will associate your site with those terms, displaying it to people when they search for them, which is exactly what you want.

You should use your keywords in the title, meta description and throughout the content on the site too, but not in over use, just enough that it flows and looks natural.

Optimise Your Site’s Navigation

We have already touched on this a little bit throughout the article, but a good way to boost your site’s SEO ranking is to reduce bounce rate and encourage repeat visitors to your site. This can be done quite simply by ensuring that your website has a layout that is easy to follow, has easily accessible information and is generally user-friendly.

This means that when someone is presented with your site, they have a good experience and are more likely to go back to it, or to stick around on it for some time. This boosts your SEO and is an essential way to get your site ranking highly, and is relatively easy to do.

Make Sure Your Content is High-Quality

This follows on nicely from the point above- there is no point in having a website that is super easy to use, with great navigation and a user-friendly interface if the content you have got on it is rubbish.

Read also: UX and UI Design in Digital Marketing

Bad content won’t keep people sticking around, nor will it encourage repeat visitors, no matter how user-friendly it may be. Your content should be well-written and engaging, so people find the answers they need easily and without finding that they don’t understand any words. The user should feel like everything they googled is answered when they read your content, and it should also include the keywords in places where you feel they are appropriate.

Using things like headings, sub headings and breaking up the text where needed are great ways to keep your content readable too, which also improves your ranking level- search engines love readable content.

Any visuals you can insert are great too, and keep engagement levels high. After all, who wants to read a massive block of text? Not many people will read the whole thing, especially not online- they need broken up, visually appealing and high-quality information, and these are all things that will get your site ranking highly too.

Understand Search Intent

The user’s search intent is basically the purpose behind their search. So if I am searching for a vegan lunch place in Manchester, to keep that example going, my search intent is to find a good vegan lunch place in Manchester that I can go and eat at.

Likewise, if I am searching for a book to buy, it’s because I want to buy that specific book.

If you can understand the user’s search intent, you can produce your content in accordance with this, meaning you will rank better because your content is recognised as relevant to the search terms.

There are four main areas of search intent to be aware of:

  • Navigational search intent is where the user is looking for, and searches for, a specific website or page like Amazon or a Facebook page.
  • Transactional search intent is where the user wants to buy something or book something. For example searching for a phone to buy or a ticket to book.
  • Commercial search intent is where the user is comparing different products or services online, such as ‘Apple vs Android’.
  • Informational search intent is where the user wants to find out the answer to a question- for example, ‘how to change a lightbulb’.

Bearing these in mind and keeping your user’s search intent in mind is a great way to ensure that your content is relevant, and will be seen in the same way by the search engines, boosting your ranking.


SEO is essential to having a site that ranks highly on the search engine results pages, driving traffic to your site and ensuring it is seen. Whilst SEO is an arduous and long-term commitment when it comes to having a website, there are lots of easy steps that you can take to initially optimise your website and set it up to start ranking on the results pages.

Having a basic understanding of keywords and user search intent is a great starting point, along with ensuring that your content is purposeful and easy to read and navigate on the site are some basic ways that you can begin the ranking process.

Remember, SEO is a long-term process, and whilst it may seem like your efforts aren’t paying off initially, it doesn’t mean that it won’t in the future.

Amelia Cutting
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