Back to basics. Building a solid SEO foundation for your website

Posted on Categories Myrtle Beach Web Design

Congratulations! You have arrived at the point in life where you need a website for your business. Whether you saw how useful a website can be, or you need one for booking your vacation rental, let’s dive in and review the steps needed to have a good SEO foundation to grow on.

Creating a website is just the beginning. To ensure your online presence is strong and effective, it is important to build a solid SEO foundation. This foundation will help search engines understand your site and make it easier for potential customers to find you. In this guide, we’ll cover the essential steps to set up your website for SEO success.

The first step, offsite SEO.

Believe it or not one of the first things for SEO will be done offsite. Before we start working on your website we will need to create a Google My Business Profile. This is an essential step, probably one of the most important in this guide. While creating your profile pay close attention to the address and phone number of your business. You will want to ensure that this is the exact same as shown on your website. Continue to complete your profile to the best of your ability, remember you can always go back and continue working or updating your profile.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool provided by Google that allows business owners to manage their online presence across Google Search and Google Maps. By creating and verifying a GMB profile, businesses can provide key information such as their address, phone number, hours of operation, and services offered. This helps potential customers find and interact with the business more easily.

What if I do not have an address for customers and or clients?

If you don’t have a physical address for customers or clients, you can still use Google My Business. Here’s how:

  1. Service Area Business: If you operate a service-area business that serves customers at their locations (like a plumbing or cleaning service), you can list your service area instead of a physical address. During the setup, select the option that you deliver goods and services to customers at their locations and specify the areas you serve.
  2. Hide Your Address: If your business is home-based or you don’t want to list your physical address, you can choose to hide your address. When setting up your profile, simply select the option to clear your address and list only the city or region you operate in.
  3. Virtual Business: If your business is entirely virtual and you don’t meet customers face-to-face, consider other ways to enhance your online presence. You can still complete your GMB profile with accurate information about your services, contact details, operating hours, and regular updates to engage with your audience.

In addition to Google my business you should consider creating a Google Search Console account and a Google Analytics account. These tools are absolutely essential in further improving your website’s SEO strategy. Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider using them for your website.

Google Search Console (GSC)
  1. Monitor Search Performance:
  1. GSC provides detailed insights into how your site performs in Google Search, including data on search queries, impressions, clicks, and average position.
  2. Identify and Fix Issues:
    • GSC alerts you to technical issues like crawl errors, indexing problems, and mobile usability issues, allowing you to fix them promptly to maintain site health.
  3. Submit Sitemaps:
    • You can submit sitemaps to ensure Google efficiently crawls and indexes your site, helping your content appear in search results.
  4. Analyze Backlinks:
    • GSC shows which websites link to yours, helping you understand your backlink profile and identify opportunities to improve your site’s authority.
  5. Receive Notifications:
    • Google will send alerts for critical issues like manual penalties or significant spikes in errors, enabling you to respond quickly.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  1. Track User Behavior:
    • GA4 provides in-depth insights into how users interact with your site, including page views, session duration, bounce rates, and conversion tracking.
  2. Understand Audience:
    • GA4 offers detailed information about your audience demographics, interests, devices, and locations, helping you tailor your content and marketing strategies.
  3. Measure Marketing Effectiveness:
    • Track the performance of your marketing campaigns, including traffic sources, user acquisition, and ROI, to optimize your marketing efforts.
  4. Event Tracking:
    • GA4 allows you to track specific user actions (events) like clicks, form submissions, downloads, and more, providing a deeper understanding of user engagement.
  5. Enhanced Reporting:
    • GA4’s customizable reports and advanced analysis tools enable you to gain actionable insights and make data-driven decisions.

There are numerous offsite strategies to enhance SEO, but establishing a solid foundation is crucial first. The information above provides a strong starting point for offsite SEO. Since SEO can be daunting, it’s often best to tackle what you can and revisit for improvements later. Remember, SEO is a continuous process that evolves with changes in algorithms and market trends. Now, let’s move on to some onsite SEO techniques that can further boost your website’s visibility and performance.

The second step, onsite SEO

We are going to first come up with some good keywords for your vacation rental, or business. If you have not already created a domain name, it’s best to start with keywords in the domain.

For example if you own a vacation rental business with properties in Ocean Isle Beach you should consider your domain name to be or

Before you find a good domain name, you want to ensure you have done your research on the keywords. If you found that the keywords are high traffic then adding it to the domain name is a nice start.

What if the domain name is already taken with my keyword?

In this case, there are still ways to be effective. Have you considered your business name + Try combining your brand name with the keywords, or even the location. Just remember to do your research, which can be as simple as Googling the keywords and see what comes up.

The next step will be creating business schema. This can be an intimidating at first, but it is really simple.

What is business schema?

Business schema is a type of structured data markup that helps search engines understand the information on your website more effectively. By adding business schema to your site, you provide specific details about your business in a format that search engines can easily read and interpret. This can enhance your search engine results and improve your online visibility.

You can easily find plenty of tools to help you with creating your schema. While creating schema, ensure your business address is the same as in GMB and your website (if you have an address). Once you are finished it’s best to always test to ensure there are no errors. You can test your structured data by using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool

The final step

Our last step in ensuring you have a solid SEO foundation is creating your Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, and H1s.

Page Title

What it is:

  • The page title, or title tag, is an HTML element that specifies the title of a webpage. It appears in the browser tab and is often the first impression users and search engines have of your page.


  • It is crucial for SEO as it helps search engines understand the content of the page.
  • It is displayed as the clickable headline in search engine results, influencing click-through rates.
  • It should be unique, descriptive, and include primary keywords relevant to the page content.

Best Practices:

  • Keep it under 60 characters to ensure it displays fully in search results.
  • Include your main keyword near the beginning.
  • Make it compelling to encourage clicks.
Meta Description

What it is:

  • The meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of a webpage’s content. It appears below the page title in search engine results.


  • It doesn’t directly impact rankings but influences click-through rates by providing a compelling reason for users to visit your page.
  • It helps users quickly understand what the page is about.

Best Practices:

  • Keep it under 160 characters to ensure it displays fully in search results.
  • Include relevant keywords, but ensure it reads naturally.
  • Make it engaging and informative, highlighting the unique value of your page.
H1 Tag

What it is:

  • The H1 tag is an HTML element used to define the main heading of a webpage. It should clearly describe the primary topic of the page.


  • It helps search engines understand the structure and content of your page.
  • It improves user experience by providing a clear, concise description of the page’s content.
  • It is typically the largest and most prominent text on the page, grabbing users’ attention.

Best Practices:

  • Use only one H1 tag per page to maintain a clear hierarchy.
  • Include the primary keyword to signal the page’s main topic to search engines.
  • Make it descriptive and relevant to the content that follows.


Together, the page title, meta description, and H1 tag play crucial roles in SEO and user experience:

  • Page Title: Captures user interest and signals content to search engines.
  • Meta Description: Summarizes page content and entices users to click.
  • H1 Tag: Defines the main topic and improves content structure and readability.

Using these elements effectively can significantly enhance your site’s visibility and user engagement.

As you embark on your SEO journey, remember that consistency and adaptability are key. Keep monitoring your site’s performance, stay updated with industry trends, and be willing to adjust your strategies as needed. By focusing on creating valuable content, optimizing your site for search engines, and engaging with your audience, you’ll be well-equipped to achieve your goals and grow your online presence effectively. Here’s to taking your website to new heights with a solid SEO foundation!