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How to create and promote a website yourself

Bring your business online even if you don't have programming and SEO knowledge. Explore this guide and use Serpstat with a set of tools for creating text content, internal and external optimization, and site tracking.
как провести аудит сайта

Step 1. Define the idea and objectives of a website

Creating a website without an offline business, you should choose a topic, and define the project's tasks and goals.

Choose topics in which you are competent.
Use Serpstat reports to check frequency, competition, difficulty, and dynamics of keywords.
Transferring an offline business to online, the topic is already known. In this case, focus on the site's tasks.
Analyze traffic, competitiveness, PPC and cost per click, seasonality for keywords.
Think over the structure and sections of the site.
Check out what basic knowledge is required to create, administer and promote a site if you do not have such experience.
Searching and analyzing competitors is an important stage of work both before creating and in the process of promoting a website.
Automate and simplify the process using Serpstat.
Find relevant sites by the keywords in the selected niche.
Analyze the list of competitors in organic and paid search results.

Step 2. Find and analyze competitors' sites and context

Check out the best pages and ads for the selected keywords.
Supplement the list with relevant competitors.

Step 3. Collect keywords for the semantic core of the site

Collect a semantic core before creating a site. It's a complete list of all keywords and phrases by which users will find a resource.
To collect the semantic core, use the Serpstat "Keyword research" and "Search Suggestions" tools.
Check the quality of the collected keywords using the same Serpstat tool.
Prioritize according to the frequency, difficulty and level of competition for the keyword.

Build the most complete semantic core with Serpstat

After collecting semantics, analyze the competitor's semantic cores by analyzing their sites. Go to the "Domain analysis"/ "Keywords" report and select phrases that will bring additional traffic.
Find out the keywords for which the most popular pages of competitors are ranking, and their estimated traffic.
Include non-branded keywords (those that do not contain the name of the competing company) in the semantic core.

Add relevant keywords from competitors' semantics

Check your competitor's popular pages with the "Missing Keywords" report to add new keywords to your semantics.
Analyze the competitor's page meta tags (Title, Description, and H1-H6 titles). Add appropriate keys to the semantic core.
When adding keywords, consider their frequency, difficulty and level of competition.
Collect additional keywords using the Serpstat tools:
Keywords selection — to get all the variations of an entered keyword, for which sites rank in the top 100 organic Google.
Related keywords — a complete list of keywords semantically related to an entered keyword.
Search suggestions — keywords that the search engine offers when entering the desired keyword, collected in real time.

Expand the semantic core to attract the target audience to the project

Step 4. Create the site structure

Analyze the structure of competitors' sites to find the best solutions. Consider the semantic core when building the structure.
Analyze competitive sites and display their structure in a table or diagram.
Take into account filters, tags and sorting of competitors sites forming the structure.
Break down keyword semantic core into groups using Serpstat's Clustering tool. Use the clusters to form a structure based on the semantic core.
Design the final structure of categories, subcategories and necessary filters using the data obtained.

Step 5. Make a website prototype

A prototype is an initial sketch of a site that shows the location of key elements and functions. The layout saves time and budget. All edits are made at the initial stage.
Use a sheet of paper or a whiteboard to create a prototype.
For full-fledged work on the website design, use Photoshop, Visio, Sketch. This option requires skills and time.
For teamwork on a prototype without deep knowledge, use online tools: Draftium, Just in mind, iPlotz, etc. Combine ready-made templates and blocks to create a website prototype in a few hours.
Yaroslava Nevmerzhitskaya
Yaroslava Nevmerzhitskaya

Step 6. Choose a website builder

Constructor is an online program for creating websites using built-in templates, blocks, interactive elements, and functionality for customizing the mobile version. Constructors do not require knowledge of programming languages. Select and drag the appropriate elements from the library.
Choose a suitable template, for example in Tilda. For inspiration, check out examples of other users' sites.
Build a site using a library of ready-made blocks, based on the prototype.
Add images, if necessary, use the library of icons, connect additional services or insert ready-made blocks of HTML code to expand the functionality of the site.
After completing the work, connect the domain and publish the site.
For landing pages, portfolios, information sites, use Readymag and Cargo Collective. Use a more powerful constructor Squarespace to create an online store.
Vitaly Zakharov
Elina Shandarova
Yaroslava Nevmerzhitskaya
Vitaly Zakharov

Step 7. Learn site promotion strategies of your competitors

Use ideas of competitors to increase your website traffic:
evaluate a competitor by indicators: estimated SEO traffic, domain visibility in Google, the number of keywords for which the resource is ranked in the top 100;
analyze top pages of your competitors to find out topics that are popular with your target audience;
evaluate the external optimization of competing sites using the Serpstat "Backlink analysis" module.

Conduct a comprehensive site analysis

Step 8. Make a content plan and prepare texts for the site

Create a content plan with topics relevant to your target audience and prepare unique articles based on them. Working, use the collected semantic core and the most popular topics of competitors.
Select topics and relevant keywords that you will place in each post using semantics.
Add the topics and keywords of the main competitors' top pages.
Prioritize topics based on keyword difficulty and frequency.
Create a table with information about the type of post, the planned date of its posting, keywords for promotion. Add a detailed Task list for the job, for example, searching for materials, writing text, editing, selecting illustrations, uploading to the site, etc.

Step 9. Publish articles and set up backlinking

Add new articles according to the content plan, and pay attention to structure and posts' meta tags.
The text of an article must contain one heading H1, as well as the required number of subheadings H2-H6, lists, paragraphs.
Meta tags affect page rankings, snippets and click-through rates. For the selection of the optimal Title, Description and titles, use the recommendations of Serpstat Text Analytics.
Create technical assignments for copywriters for the necessary articles. The technical specification should contain the topic of the article, structure, keywords, requirements for uniqueness, style, volume and other parameters.
When posting on the site, work on internal linking by adding links to articles to similar posts useful to the target audience.

Step 10. Carry out content audits regularly

Analyze content to find out which posts are the most effective and understand the causes of potential problems, such as lack of traffic and drop in conversions.
Find out the list of site top pages with the best traffic and focus on such content.
Track pages with outdated content that needs to be updated.
Remove irrelevant articles and combine publications with similar content to facilitate promotion.
Determine how increase traffic and develop the project.
Conduct additional optimization of the pages with the lowest traffic.
Evaluate the content in terms of commercial effectiveness.

Step 11. Improve the published content

Find posts with low traffic and low positions in the search results to edit them to improve metrics:
check for what keywords the article ranks in the top 20 of a search engine;
optimize the article with missing semantics;
add high-frequency or less competitive keywords to your post. Use the "Related Keywords" and "Search Suggestions" reports for this;
fill in the Alt attributes of the images by adding relevant keywords to them;
add internal linking to redistribute link weight and improve post promotion.
Join 400,000 business owners and SEO professionals who are promoting websites from scratch and increase your company's online visibility now.

Step 12. Carry out a technical audit of the site

Create a project to identify site SEO issues in Serpstat audit
response codes containing errors on the client or server side;
Serpstat Audit detects over 60 technical issues identifying their priority. Issues prevent sites promotion and require fixing. What Audit checks:
absence, duplicates, incorrect length of meta tags H1, Title, Description;
problems with the content of the pages;
too large or broken images;
issues in indexing pages;
incorrect use of internal and external links;
problems with the HTTPS certificate and AMP;
incorrect hreflang attributes of multilingual sites;
slow download speed for computer and mobile versions;
incorrectly configured redirects.
Fix critical issues first to improve your site's rankings:
correct non-unique meta tags and titles based on the recommendations for their optimal length;
adjust your redirect settings and pay attention to errors in server responses;
remove duplicates and fix broken links;

Fix issues according to their priority

increase your page loading speed using Google PageSpeed recommendations;
correct the micro-markup, remove issues in AMP, robots.txt, indexing tags.

Step 13. Track the position of the site in the search results

Track the position of the site for all the necessary keywords to understand the dynamics of its promotion relative to competitors. Configure the necessary parameters and track frequency in Serpstat:
country, region and language;
a schedule for receiving automatic reports containing information about changes in positions;
the necessary search engine;
landing pages for keywords;
if necessary, start position tracking in manual mode.
Analyze the position of the site in order to make adjustments to the strategy if necessary:

Compare site rankings in organic and ad rankings

use keywords in contextual advertising for which the site is significantly inferior to competitors;
do not use the keywords in context for which the site ranks high in organic search results.

Analyze mobile and desktop search results

Make sure you're not missing out on the mobile SERP potential. Compare the SERPs in both versions to get the best ROI from your ad campaigns.
analyze the devices used by the target audience. If they mainly visit the site from mobile devices, and you are targeting the desktop version, you need to make changes to the promotion strategy;
compare the competition in desktop and mobile search results. If competitors are promoting on the desktop, it will be easier to rank among the top mobile SERPs.
Track a niche using a list of keywords:
submit keywords collected using Keyword research;
add keywords that are suggested in Rank tracker;
specify the URL of the landing pages for the keys to understand whether relevant posts are displayed in the search results;
use tags for groups of keywords in your project to make it easier to filter data by key categories.

Add additional search keywords

Check your competitors' positions to keep up with other sites in your niche.
Track the positions of competing sites in the top 100 Google search results and the top 50 Yandex.
If necessary, add new competitors to the list.
Analyze all competitors

Step 14. Enhance external website optimization

Successful external optimization requires regular analysis of the link profile and the search for trust donors of suitable topics for placing links.
Check the external links of the site.
analyze competitor strategies — pay attention to the number of referring domains, the ratio of nofollow / dofollow links, anchor texts, etc.
Develop a link building strategy.
Get links from credible donors using various link building methods — outreach, crowd, guest blogging, etc.
credibility of the donor site, the presence of traffic from posted links, anchor texts and types of links.
the ratio of new and lost links.
the variety of the link profile indicates the natural origin of the links. A large number of anchor follow links lead to search engine sanctions.

Analyze the external links of your own site

presence of malicious donor sites, links from which must be removed.
Evaluate the quality of your link profile by paying attention to the following points:
Evaluate the backlinks of competitive sites on a number of parameters:
the number of backlinks and outbound links
the ratio of Follow and Nofollow links
countries
pages with the maximum number of links
Analyze competitors' external links
the presence of redirecting domains that redistribute link weight
common donor sites of various competitors
dynamics of new and lost links
anchor texts and link types.
High-quality external links are important for successful website promotion: