Top 6 SEO Tips for Startups
SEO can help a startup establish a presence. Here’s a top 5 list on how to get started with search engine optimization and which areas to focus on.
It’s a common challenge for startups to find the resources and the time to focus on all the different activities that can take a business to the next level. It’s also easy to get lost or not know where to start.
SEO is sometimes ignored as a priority, but it can be very useful with:
- Establishing authority
- Reaching a wider audience
- Increasing traffic and brand awareness
- Generating interest in your business
1. Set Goals
One of the most crucial steps with SEO is to align your goals. It's helpful to set short term and long term goals that match up.
These goals must be clear and measurable. For example:
- Double the number of visitors to the site in the next quarter
- Increase blog traffic by 30% in the next three months
- Generate interest from 20 new prospects in the next month
- Increase sales by 20% until the end of the year
The next step is to examine how content fits each goal and what that means for SEO.
For example, if your first goal is doubling the number of visitors in the next quarter, this can be achieved by creating more targeted content that can also be optimized for search engines.
2. Keyword Research
Keyword research can help you discover new opportunities, while it can also improve your existing content.
The focus on the right audience and the right content is important.
You can start by creating a list of the keywords you want to target. Chances are that this list will consist of many popular keywords, which are harder to reach as a new startup. You must find other keywords and combinations to achieve ranking on. Long tail keywords offer more chances to show up higher in the search results.
Keyword research can also identify more keyword-focused content in an authentic way.
3. Content Audit
Review and analyze all existing content – any blog posts, key pages, FAQ or general content. This helps identify any content gaps or content requiring updates or even removal.
A content audit is a spreadsheet that features all your published content including:
- Page URL
- Page title
- Meta description
- If you still haven’t written meta descriptions, then these can be filled gradually, as you start organizing your SEO strategy.
- Type of content
- Condition of content – Evergreen, out of date, re-used, off-topic, etc.
Duplicate content can be a problem on your website and a good content audit will identify duplicate content. If you find duplicate content, then choose one item and make sure it's up to date. Then remove the other content and place a 301 re-direct if necessary.
4. Check for errors
There are many possible errors that can affect your content’s SEO. That’s why it’s a good idea to spot and fix any issues, including:
It’s easy to have a broken image on your site, especially if you’re sharing it from an external source. All images should be reviewed to ensure they are not only appropriate - but still displaying.
404 error pages
A page that’s no longer working can affect your site’s rankings in search engines. If you recently migrated content or changed any URLs, you may need to check for any 404 error pages.
It's wise to also create a custom 404 page that helps drive people to the best possible page when they encounter a 404. Don't leave it blank and boring - make your 404 page useful.
As with broken images, broken links can harm your site’s reputation, affect page ranking, and also the user experience.
5. Optimize content
There are many ways to optimize content for search engines::
The structure of your URL can affect both your page’s ranking, but also the user experience. Thus, it’s a good idea to create clear and readable URLs, both for humans, but also for search engines. For example, this url www.example.com/seo-best-practices is better than this one www.example.com/index.php?id_see=360&id=4j3898en0223bns9
The title of each page should be clear and concise. It can improve both the traffic on your page, but also the search engine ranking.
A focus on the formatting of your page can assist the crawling for search engines, while it also enhances the readability for your visitors.
The title and the description should describe the content. The title is like the cover to the book and the description is the introduction.
Internal linking is not only effective - but it's also a requirement for good SEO. It’s a strategic way to inform search engines about the content you want to serve as an authority.
SEO for images
Search engine optimization goes beyond text. Visual content also requires optimization in order to be indexed by search engines.
The title has to be descriptive rather than generic. It’s also necessary to have an alt-tag for all your image. Image size affects speed - so use the right size and image type.
Excessive use of generic stock photographs can undermine the authenticity of your content. Using real photos of your actual business will have a higher return on investment and create trust with visitors. See our post about using real images.
Google’s featured snippets, also known as “position zero” on the SERP, are great opportunities.
Anyone can get a featured snippet spot if you know how to optimize for it.
The first thing to understand is that your content should provide an clear answer to a specific question. The format, word count and even presentation can increase the chances of getting a featured snippet. Check our post about getting a Google Featured Snippet
Another useful way to build your authority and help SEO is through backlinks. If your business and content are interesting enough to grab other sites’ attention, then larger audience will be able to find you. Backlinks appear to be among the top three Google ranking factors, making them crucial.
It’s required nowadays to optimize your site for mobile devices. Google has already acknowledged the importance of mobile and as more people view content on mobile and tablet devices, it becomes an even bigger priority. Responsive and mobile design are no longer optional, it's a requirement.
A common question is how to measure its success. There are many ways to measure SEO success, but the most common metrics include:
- Traffic - Organic traffic is the number of users who visited your page/site through search engines. This is a good indication whether SEO has placed your content high in the rankings.
- Engagement - Engagement is measured by the amount of time users spend on the page/site (also called the bounce rate). Engagement can also include shares, likes or comment. It's how users are interacting with your content.
- Ranking - Your content’s ranking on search results will gradually show your progress while improving SEO. Ranking is only relevant if your content is able to convert.
- Conversions - Conversions aren’t just sales – conversion can refer to any action you want users to perform after visiting your page/site.
Original Source: Search Engine Watch
Pictures Source(s): Dyno Mapper