Are you building a start-up and need to know the basics of how to grow your business online organically? Do you have your website and maybe you’ve set up Google Analytics, but you are wondering why your ideal customers aren’t coming to your site and buying your products or services?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is still one of the most important factors to making your site search engine friendly and getting customers to your site. We love the guides from Moz, SEMRush, and Kissmetrics – but sometimes, it’s good to just have the basic fundamentals for your start-up – without too much technical jargon.
Optimising your website doesn’t have to be difficult – it’s an ongoing process that is essential to growing your business and it is constantly changing. So whether you choose to adapt to the waters and keep up to date with SEO or hire someone to do it for you, let’s take a look at the crucial elements for SEO for start-ups.
Search Engine Optimisation for Start-Ups
When doing keyword research, think about search intent, rather than just search terms. And then make sure that your site actually uses the words that people are searching for. Know your niche and stay relevant in it. We like using Google's AdWords Keyword Tool and Keyword.IO when doing keyword research.
A blog is an excellent way to stay relevant for both your audience and for Google bots as you are constantly updating your site and staying fresh in your industry. Moreover, there is an opportunity here for harnessing rankings for long tail keywords that your audience wants to know more about.
Using a combination of keyword research, Google suggest and related search, plus your customers’ questions and comments can help you in creating a regular content calendar that keeps your brand on the top of the Search Engine Results Page.
One of the keys to SEO is creating and scaling keyword-targeted, valuable, and unique content. It needs to be relevant, helpful, unique, and user-friendly.
This content can be in the form of blog posts, branded images, social media updates, email newsletter, infographics, white papers, e-books, downloadable PDFs, podcasts, video, webinars, workshops – any type of content that a consumer can engage with and consume. The first step in this is to know your audience and how they like to engage with your industry. Then create a funnel that takes your customer from discoverer of your brand to buyer.
And remember, once that content has been created, don't just hit publish. Share it, promote it on a rotating schedule, analyse it, expand it, make it better, mention it to influencers, etc.
Another important factor in improving search traffic is to simply make your site search friendly and accessible to search engines. Search engines are limited to how they can crawl the web and your site, so making your content indexable is an easy way to ensure visibility.
What does that mean? Images should be assigned relevant alt tags, audio and video should have transcripts, Flash content should have HTML text, URL links should have crawlable structures, images should be compressed, pages should load quickly. Does your start-up’s site pass these tests? See what we mean? Quite a bit of work, but worth it to have your site structured in the right way (Let us know if you're stuck here - we can help you).
Also make sure to use Webmaster Tools (Search Console) to make sure your site and its new content are being indexed regularly.
Inbound and Outbound Links
Make sure to link to authoritative and respected sites in your industry to show your brand’s trustworthiness. And in turn, you want other sites to link back to you. Guest posting, commenting on other blogs, and sharing on forums are all great methods for providing this social proof.
But let’s take it one step further. Instead of simply thinking about buying (which Google may penalise you for) or building links, Google is more interested in how your website can earn links editorially. In other words, your website needs to be seen as an authority by other well-trafficked and reputable sites, and you have to earn your stripes with your content and partnerships.
It’s so much more important today to take the time to build relationships with influencers and sites who are willing to amplify your message and content. This can take time, but it’s also where an integrated PR, publicity and content strategy, both online and off, comes into play.
Use social media to amplify your content. Schedule consistent social media updates at specified times throughout the day at a schedule that works for you and your audience. It’s not about spamming your customers or readers, it’s about sharing relevant and timely information to your audience and making your brand trustworthy and significant in your industry.
Quick tip - make sure that you are building relationships on Google+ and sharing your content updates there. It may be the outlier in terms of social media, but Google's algorithm makes it a must-have in your social toolbox.
Do you need help with your site's SEO?
In 2017, great SEO encompasses so many different areas – including email, mobile, links, crawl, user experience, localisation, rankings and much more. Let's face it, a great content strategy takes time and investment.
If you’d like some help in improving and maintaining your SEO for your website, feel free to get in touch with us for a complimentary consultation to discuss the value we can bring to your startup and we can create a customised quote for you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org