SEO For New Websites

Well, hello, everybody.  We have an exciting segment where we’ll get into the nuts and bolts of SEO for new websites.  What you should you do to make it rank.  Can you manage this on your own, or should you hire somebody?  If you have just started a business and want SEO for new websites, Stacey will tell you precisely what to do and avoid.

Stacey Ivol is an expert in SEO and all things digital marketing.  I’ve worked with many SEO experts since the website there was on the Internet created.  And Stacy’s the best, no doubt about that.  And so Stacey Ivol has a company called IFTS Integrity, First Technology Solutions.  And she lives in Pittsburgh.


Stacey Ivol discusses SEO for a new website
Stacey Ivol PRESIDENT - IFTS, Inc.

SEO For New Website Tips For DIY

David: I have many questions for you about SEO for new websites.  First, is it realistic for a business owner to be the primary person responsible for creating an effective website?  And if so, should they buy a pre-built website?  

Stacey:   Pre-built websites wouldn’t be a good option to get started because those pre-built websites often use the exact text.  So, the business owner doesn’t know how to change the text.  And so if they buy it and use it as he is and fill in, you know, the like the address, the phone number, things like that, they’re going to put that website up, and their website is going to be the same as you know, 100 other people that bought that template.  And where that will hurt you is in search engine optimization.  

Google looks for unique content. If the information on your website is not original, if the descriptions or the pictures on your website are not unique, you won’t rank.  And the only person who will be Kylie will be the first person that buys that template.  Then everybody else behind them, it’s going to be seen as, you know, copy content, and Google’s going to penalize you for it.  

Defining Unique Content

If I wrote my blog on a pre-built website, the blog wouldn’t count as a copycat.   That would be unique, right?

Yes, that would be unique.  Yeah, that’s correct.  So if you bought a WordPress site, and it had, you know, the general site structure, so home about us services, contact us to get a quote, right?  And then it had a blog section.  Yes, you’re correct.  That part would be unique if you wrote and put your blogs on your pictures.  But you usually Google looks at, you know, your, you want to put your homepage in and your Google My Business Profile, or Google business profile.  Now they changed it.  So whenever you put your information, you’ll probably put it on the homepage.  If Google looks at the homepage, they will see that as a copycat.  But yes, it’s possible that if you wrote your blogs, you could get those blogs to rank decently.

Generating SEO For New Websites

What would be the most critical steps that somebody should focus on SEO for new websites?  If they are going to, let’s say they have a friend or a relative who does website design.  Maybe they’re not SEO experts for new websites, but what could they focus on with their custom-built website?  

Google has about over 200 signals that they look for ranking a website.  And there are on-site pieces that Google notes.  And then, there are off-site pieces, such as backlinks, that Google looks at.  

So if you want to talk about on-site, optimize your pages for certain keywords, and you can use specific free tools like UberSuggest, SEM Rush,  and things like that to see what keywords are prevalent in your area.  So you can see how many times they were on Google per month.  And then, you can optimize those keywords.  

To optimize to those keywords, what you’ll want to do is you want to use them in your headers, you’ll want to use them in your page description, you’ll want to use them in the title of the website, you’ll also want to use them; whenever you put pictures on, you have the option to do Alt tags, and you name the image.  

Typically, I recommend using, you know, the keyword that you’re optimizing towards, in the alt tag, and then use a synonym for that keyword, you know, in the name of the picture.  And so that’s one of the things that you can do right to optimize to a keyword.  

Generating SEO For New Websites Via Interna links

Another thing that you can do is you can do what’s called internal linking.  Google likes to see that your website looks like a spiderweb, right, so this page connects to this page, which links to this page.  And they want to know how everything intersects.  What you can do is, if you’re on the home page, and you happen to mention your exterior painting services, right, you link to your exterior painting page, or if you talk about your candidate painting, you link to that page.  Internal linking is a great way to improve SEO for a new website. 

Generating SEO For New Websites Requires Predictable Patterns

Another thing that you mentioned was blogging.  Blogging gets you one of the things Google looks for in fresh content.  

New content posts to your site are done at least once every two weeks or once a month.  Google prefers you post on the same day and time.   So Google starts to look for a plan where your website’s updated.  When working with painters, we try to update their websites simultaneously and on the same day each week.  For instance, we change your website every Wednesday from noon until 6 pm.  And so that’s when all of your changes go out.


Generating SEO For New Websites Requires Knowing Google’s Best Practices

seo for new websites needs blogging done just like this lady typing
I understand Google will ding a website if it doesn’t have an SSL Certificate.  Could you talk about that a bit?

An SSL certificate is, whenever you look at the URL of the website, it starts with HTTPS, colon, backslash, backslash, right?  And then you know, then, the name of your website.  Ensuring you have an SSL certificate is of utmost importance; you need a lot of content, topics, and different keywords; you can’t use the exact keywords all the time.


Refreshing Old Content

You said you wanted unique content going up every two weeks.  What about the old content?  Should old blogs be updated?

 Yes,  rewriting the first few paragraphs of every blog and adding the current year to the content are all best practices.

You add updated information, and you can leave some of the blogs the same, but you want to make sure the first two or three paragraphs are entirely different.  And that you’ve added new information, things that may have changed that are important to that topic.  So, refreshing blogs is a great time-saving thing you can do that will also get you new content.

David:  How many hours a month are we talking about that somebody should probably be spending on their website?

Why Are Blogs So Important For Creating SEO For New Websites?

Stacey:  The small business owners who write their own blogs takes them about an 1-1.5 hours per hundred words.  That means a 1200 word blog could take between 12-18 hours on average.  That would include time for links, keywords, alt tags and those types of Google Best practices.

Professional writers can typically write the same quality material half the time.  We have a staff of writers on our team that write content for our clients bi-weekly.

 How many words should the blog be?

Stacey: If you want a blog to rank, you’re probably starting around 1200 words.  Occasionally, you can get away with 800-1,000.  If you want to rank in front of your competition, you will have to see how many times they use the same keyword, and beat it without getting busted doing keyword stuffing.   

To find out what the competition is doing, visit Ubber Suggest or SEM Rush.  

You can look to see what the top three are or what the top three ranking websites are; then, you can look to see how long those articles are.  And if you want to rank, your length needs to be similar to those.

Common Mistakes That Kill SEO For New Websites

  What are some common problems you see when you look at a company’s website for the first time? 

Duplicate content kills SEO for new websites or any website.  You can get dinged if you copy and paste even a few sentences from another website without using quotes and a source.

Another example is hiring people to write copy for you.  Be aware that unprofessional businesses will use the repeated copy.  The duplicate copy will get noticed by Google and hurt the SEO.

It doesn’t matter if your website has duplicate content from another page on your site.  Each webpage must have original content for the first half. 

For instance, let’s say we’re working in, you know, the Maryland area.  So they’ll say we serve in Anne Arundel County, then we’ll say they’ll say we serve Annapolis, and they don’t change any of the other text.  

And so Google calls these doorway pages, and they do not help your SEO, even though many people think they do.  Because you’re saying the same thing.  You’re just changing the location.   

Newsletters can also be a problem.  If you hire a company to write a newsletter for you, it has to be original content.  

 So duplicate content can kill SEO.

                                                              You must change everything in the first three or four paragraphs.

 Correct.  Yeah, you got to change at least, I would say at least the first half.  So, if not done correctly, doorway pages are SEO killers for new websites.

Stock Photos Hurt SEO

 Another thing I would say for big local service businesses is they don’t show themselves.  They only use stock photography, images, and video, which is horrible.  People want to see you; they want to know the owner and the people working; they want to see work sites.   

Your own before and after pictures will help the SEO for new websites.  Using only stock photography is a huge problem that we see often.  Just yesterday, we looked at a couple of potential clients and websites, and four of the ten companies we looked at had the same Adobe Stock picture as the main picture on their homepage accurate.  Avoid stock photography when possible.

A best practice is not to use stock photos when trying to sell a service.  

Stock photos like these should not be used to often.

Video, Reviews Improves SEO For New Websites

 As of 2022 and 2023, Google has ranked sites with video content.  Even highly-viewed YouTube videos have a rippling effect on SEO.  It shouldn’t be too surprising that Google wants you to have videos on their pages and YouTube because they are under the same ownership.

The length and quality of the video are not essential to Google.  What is important is how long the consumer is watching.   The longer someone watches –the better.

Google Reviews are the most straightforward yet most difficult things to achieve.  If you look at the top-ranking companies, the ones with the highest reviews are always near the top.  

A best practice is to post a new video every other week and get 2-5 Google Reviews each week. 

Klappenberger & Son YouTube Channel

Paying Homage To Googles Toy Chest

Google is the largest search engine and has a lot of stuff they want you to use.  They have powerful tools such as Google My Business, Google business profile, and YouTube.  Using Google’s tools is critical to improving SEO for a new website.   

This means posting new pictures and updating information about your company at least once a week.

I know; the list keeps getting longer!  Though I mentioned earlier that there are about 200 factors Google uses to rank websites, only about 10% you need to practice.  I will have a complete list at the bottom of the page.

What Is The Cost Of Getting Good SEO

Is it realistic for someone with little experience to figure this out correctly?  If not, how much would one expect to pay a professional each month to build a proper website gradually? 

  I would estimate that an elementary website could be built for $500 – $3,000 but would not rank.  It may look decent, but people will only see it to who you send a link.

The website is only step one, then you know, it’s not, it’s not the 90s anymore.  It’s not if you build it; they will come.  You see, if you make it, have backlinks, and follow the steps laid out above. 

So, I would say, you know, you could start with a $3,000 site, but then you have to take steps.  We recommend spending between $500 to depending upon the size of your company; you know, we have people that pay up to $5,000 per month on SEO alone.  It just depends on where you are on that journey.  

Building backlinks is essential, and we haven’t discussed that building backlinks will help your SEO for new websites.  That’s another thing that takes time or costs money.  So you know, that’s another step after the websites are built, then you got to drive traffic to it.  

Dollars & Time For Good SEO For New Websites

 Ultimately, a business owner spending X amount would not want X to exceed what you expect to pay for leads from other sources.
For example, in our painting industry, we can get leads from other sources for about $75.00 per.

If we have a monthly SEO budget of $750, we hope to average about ten monthly leads or $75.00 per.

Another way to examine the RIO is to ensure the monthly expenditure does not exceed 5%-10%of your gross sales.

For example, if your gross sales are $75,000 monthly, you would not want your TOTAL Advertising budget to exceed 7,500.00 monthly.

SEO Leads Are The Highest Quality Internet Lead

An advantage of SEO is if, at some point, you want to stop spending money on SEO for a couple of months, you’ll still be getting leads.  Ranking a website typically takes months to change unless something drastic occurs.

Also, leads from someone who visited your website are of higher quality than those from a portal such as Home Advisor.

If you sign up with a company that will send you leads, they also send that leads to your competitors.

When you get a lead from your website, they are higher quality leads.  SEO leads mean the customer went to your website and liked what they saw and may not request an estimate from someone else.

If you think of SEO for a new website as a flywheel, you know that at first, it takes a lot of energy to get it to spin, but after time, it can turn a while all on its own.  That is the beauty of SEO and why it is worth the effort.

Pay Per Click is the opposite.  It is like a faucet.  Leads come in immediately and stop once the money is spent.

Waning Off PPC


So you’re investing in both SEO and pay-per-click.  And over time, you can reduce your pay-per-click as your SEO gets trusted by Google.  Over the months, you have done everything that makes Google trust your site.  While the site is climbing from the back pages to the front, do customers ever search on those pages? 


Yeah, so whenever people are looking for results, about 95% of people will only go to page one, 5% will go to page two, and only about 1% will go to pages three and four.  Unless somebody’s looking for something, specific people stop searching 95% of the time on page 1. 


Let’s use the Home Service industry again as an example.  If a new home service company in Houston opens up, creating SEO for their new website will be more challenging than in a small town.    It’s very competitive in Houston.  There are 8 million people who live there.  There are hundreds of home service companies, some of which have been doing SEO, blogs, and everything that Google wants them to do for years.  And now your new company has entered.  In addition,  they will also be competing against Angie’s HomeAdvisor, Neighborly.  These companies spend maybe $100,000 monthly on SEO and blog writing.  Isn’t that too much to overcome for SEO for a new website?

Creating A Niche

 Good SEO for new websites will take at least a year. But I do have a recommendation. Now, there is one way: look for longer keywords. So maybe instead of ranking for a painter in Houston, you do a particular type of painting. Such as kitchen cabinet painting, your keyword is “repaint your kitchen cabinets.”

And so if your website had a page dedicated specifically to “repainting your kitchen cabinets” instead of “cabinet painting,” If you concentrated on that little niche area while trying to work up the rest of your SEO.

The goal is to have longer keywords. Indeed, the longer keywords are less often searched. However, you can quickly rank if you have a blog with 1,200 words or more and follow Google’s best practices. Trying to rank for something as generic as a painting contractor will take many blogs and a couple of years of dedication.

Comparing SEO

If someone is looking to buy a franchise or a business and wants to compare SEO, how can they figure that out? 


Yeah. If you want to compare franchises, you could use those tools: Uber Suggest, SEMrush, or Ahrefs. And you can paint, you know, you can type in painters near me.  They’ll tell you, what the results are for that, or what you can do is, if you have specific ones that you’re comparing, you can type them both in, you can type in their websites, and then you can see where they rank, what their top keywords are, how many backlinks they have.  And so you can compare how many keywords they’re ranking for, what locations they’re typing in, how many backlinks they have, and how many reviews they have.  So, you know, you can find all of that using those tools, which are free, which is nice.

An Alternative To Everything SEO For New Websites Requires

 Could You explain the Google Guarantee Local Service Ad?  Google offers a $2,000 guarantee to the customer if you select one of their preferred customers.  What’s that all about?

Stacey:  Yeah, Google guarantees.  Yeah, that’s what the Google Local Service ads are, GLSA.

You only pay for the lead if the customer calls books an appointment, or messages you from the ad. 

In the home service category, GLSA offers guarantees awarding the customer up to $2,000.00 if the provider fails to uphold the contract. 

The GLSA also tells the customer that the contractor is fully licensed and insured.  

  Okay.  Is this an alternative way of getting SEO for new websites?  And that’s something that somebody could get started right out of the gate?


SigningFor GLSA

Yeah, so it’s pretty easy to sign up for that.  All you do is you’ll have to have a Google account and then you’ll go to Google Local Service ads, and sign up.  After all the information is obtained, they will do a background check.   

 A third party will perform the background check.  And then the other thing you need to put in is the credit card that will be charged for the ads.  And then you know, once those go through, you’re back on track and look good.  Then you receive the Google guarantee.

GLSA vs. SEO For New Websites


How’s GLSA working for your clients?

 It’s working well, actually, um, most people; I will say I’ve had people verified in under 12 hours, which was crazy.

 I’ve also had a couple of people for it took a little over a week, having said that the one’s last name was Smith.  It didn’t surprise me.  The leads seem to be doing well, and we’ve heard from multiple people that their clients said they picked you because your Google guaranteed.   I have no hard data, but people seem to be responding to the guarantee in a positive way.  

The GLSA is an excellent two-prong approach.  The GLSA is on the fast track while the SEO for the new website is growing.

One interesting thing is that Google likes to see you answer the phone quickly and not miss the calls.  If you start missing the calls, number one, your price goes up.  And number two, you don’t get as many leads.  So if you’re on top, on top of things, and answering the phones, it’s more likely that you’ll get more information than your competitors.


What Do The GLSA Leads Cost?

Google has a nice calculator that you can go in, you put in your zip code, and they’ll tell you how much a lead cost.  

One nice thing is you don’t get charged for calls that Google listens to the ring.  

They know whether or not an appointment was made, or whether or not, you know, a person talked to somebody for a while.  And so, you don’t get charged for the ones that you know, you didn’t that didn’t get picked up or didn’t have, you know, a lead per se.  

It’s nice on that, whereas paying per click, you know, they when if you’re doing search ads, or display ads, or things like that, you can’t necessarily they can’t guarantee that something’s going to turn into a lead from those clicks.  On that hand, it’s something good to try out and compare the pricing and see, you know, where you win, and definitely, tracking is enormous.

Are GSLA prices fixed or are they based on supply and demand?

  Is the GLSA a lead a fixed price, or do they go up and down depending on the market?  

Yeah, they’re, they fluctuate.   I would say most of my clients get most of their leads, like midweek and not as many on Saturday or Sunday.  So if you’re running the GLSAs on Saturday and Sunday, your leads will cost a little bit more because there are not as many to go around.  And so yeah, the, the, the prices fluctuate daily,


Special thanks to Stacey Ivol, CEO of IFTS

Stacey Ivol discusses SEO for a new website

Contact Us For more information about franchising with Klappenberger & Son 

David Klappenberger Author of Best franchise opportunities

Steps To Creating SEO For New Websites

  • Proper Meta Description
  • Keyword in Title
  • Long Keywords
  • Internal links
  • refreshing old content annually
  • Original pictures
  • Min. 1,200 words per page
  • Outperforming your competition on key factors
  • Google My Business 
  • Google Business Profile
  • Google reviews
  • Youtube video
  • Blogs
  • Predictable Output of material
  • Alt Tags
  • Unique Content on every page
  • Including GLSA
  • Using SEM Rush / Ubbersuggest
  • External links
  • Backlinks