Have you recently joined this growing business world with your start-up?
And have you thought about how the internet is going to take a major role in your business plan?
And what do you think your role as a new startup would be?
As a start-up, you need your target consumers to easily find your business either by oral, message, email, social media or any other online mode of communication; that only becomes possible because of search engines. Thus taking steps to ensure that your business reaches the maximum audience only becomes possible due to the internet.
If your target consumers and audience already know your brand, they would search your brand name directly instead of keywords which would define your brand on a search engine.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is tricky for any business, but you as a start-up are at an added advantage to learn something at a quick pace and hence you need to make an impact fast, get things moving and start building your credibility before these limited funds run out from you. While planning your business as a start-up you need to importantly consider SEO.
A start-up considering SEO during the process of developing a business plan is most likely to achieve results at an easy pace.
First of all the question comes what is SEO?
In a previous blog post, I explained how I explain SEO to clients.
“SEO is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.”
Sounds complicated? Relax it’s not at all that way, the most important thing you need to consider is that your brand should stand out in the sea of other competitive brands.
Achieve SEO Success from the start?
Any search engine does not care whether you are an already set-up business, a major business or a minor one or you have just entered the business race; all they care about is connecting people with the most relevant content for their search query. Every other well set-up business has their well designed and implemented SEO, so as a start-up even you are required to have such SEO.
What’s difficult to tackle and make a difference for most startup’s is a scale of the challenge, as you are a mere startup you possibly don’t have all the high standard resources available but you aim to grow as fast as possible and compete at a global level and that is absolutely not impossible.
Due to the limitation of resources, as a startup, you need to start your business’s SEO on a small budget which definitely comes with some compromises. So you need to get a fundamental spot on the search engine to tackle with compromises. It’s better to get things done rightly, in an easy way; and faster you get that, the faster you would be able to build a self-sustaining SEO strategy.
Your SEO Business Goals
SEO can help you achieve your business goals. The purpose of SEO is greater than simply driving traffic to your website from search engines. Actually, depending on your business goals, an SEO strategy that brings less traffic, but the right kind of traffic, can ultimately help you more for future reference.
Here are some business goals SEO can help you achieve:
- Brand recognition.
- Increased business longevity.
- Generate demand.
- A steady and growing source of targeted leads.
- More profit, revenue, or ROI.
- Higher customer loyalty.
- More networking.
- Maintain a business’s credibility.
What do Search Engines Demand?
As mentioned above, any search engine doesn’t care what kind of business you are or what your marketing objectives might be. Search engines have their own agenda and when it comes to SEO it’s all about awarding high-ranking positions to pages that provide the:
- Accessibility: Before search engines can rank any pages, they need to be able to access them.
- Quality content: This means relevant, unique and useful content that provides the answers users are looking for when they type in a query on a search engine.
- Great user experience (UX): The website is an extension of the search experience and search engines wants to see great UX from those pages.
- Engagement: Quality content and great UX should keep users on the site and engaging with the content of the website, which is precisely what search engines want to see.
- Optimisation: All the optimization essentials that make pages easy for search engines and users to understand.
How do you think search engines measure these things?
Go through the following to understand the same:
- Keywords – Any search engine uses keywords to match relevant content to its queries.
- Links – Content that earns a lot of links from trusted sources is likely to be engaging, high-quality stuff; cause it is the quality of the links you earn, not the quantity that really matters.
- UX signals – Any search engine uses various combination of UX signals to get an idea of how good the experience is on your pages. This includes loading times, secure encryption, mobile-friendliness, content placement and the navigation of your site.
- Engagement signals – How many visitors actually went through your entire page before going back to and checking another listing by search engine plays an important role. So make sure you have exactly what a visitor would expect.
- Location – Where your startup is, what you provide, which area it would cover, how is the quality of your products, etc. plays a major role in listing your website on the search engine.
Build an SEO Friendly Website for your Startup
As you already know that user experience and engagement factors are a crucial part of your search marketing strategy, and so you need a website built for SEO. So make sure that you have a perfect website for your startup and consider the following when deciding on it:
Hosting – Your goal as a start-up is to grow as quickly and sustainably as possible, and choosing the wrong hosting package is the worst way to get things moving. The package you sign up for will also place a limit on the number of visitors that can access your site and how much data can be transferred from your site to them. Which means, if your startup outgrows your hosting package, people aren’t going to be able to access your website. You also need to think about the uptime record of your service provider, what security system they have in place and what additional performance features are available.
Code – The other key factor in website performance is code, and this impacts everything from the way search engines access your website to how quickly your pages load and the mobile experience you are able to provide to your audience. Clean and fast code is important and you need to be aware of this if you are using WordPress themes or other CMS platforms that typically come with a lot of bloated code.
Despite its chunky build, one of the key benefits of using WordPress is its structure of templates that allow you to create new pages at the push of a button and create content in a visual interface, rather than code everything yourself. If you’re building your website from scratch, create your own templates for new pages and important elements so you don’t have to keep typing out the same code.
Also, make sure you’re familiar with dynamic web pages so you can edit elements like your website’s header in one place instead of having to make the same changes manually across every page.
Design – While search engines can’t see the visual design of your website, they can interpret the navigational structure and basic layout of your pages, as long as you mark them up correctly. As things stand, the user experience is only a direct ranking factor for mobile pages but this doesn’t mean UX and engagement signals aren’t going to hurt your desktop ranking as well.
If your bounce rates are sky high and your loading times are sluggish, you’re not giving search engines much reason to recommend your pages to users on any device.
Content – Content is why people turn to search engines in the first place, and being able to produce what they are looking for will decide how successful your SEO strategy is. Creating quality content is one of the biggest challenges modern businesses face, especially when resources are limited.
First, you need to create content that is good enough and then you need to find a way to produce a high enough volume of it. Make sure your content is link-worthy, shareable, exclusive, actionable, optimized and visual.
On-page optimization – It’s important you get this right for every page you publish, but there is no shortage of guides on this subject and, once you’ve got a hang of it, it’ll be the most straightforward part of your SEO strategy.
Now what you need for your webpage?
- Page URL – Make it descriptive, readable and include your main keyword wherever appropriate.
- Page titles – The title for search engines that appears as the blue link text in search results is page title. Make it descriptive, readable and include your main keyword; so that your website is on top of search engine.
- Headings – Make sure your page content is broken up into logical chunks and separated by the suitable headings tags.
- Content – Make it unique, useful and highly specific to a single subject.
- Keywords – Include keywords in your page title and headings where appropriate while using a variety of synonyms, variants and closely related terms in the main body of your text to avoid keyword stuffing.
- Use images – Break up chunks of text with relevant images and optimize them for search.
- Internal links – Include links in the main body of the text to any relevant pages on your website
- Mobile optimization – Pages that are optimized effectively for mobile perform better in a search.
- Structured data – This gives search engines structured information about your content at the code level by marking sections of your page as articles, reviews, addresses, etc.
Automate your Startup’s SEO Strategy
Automation is progressing at a rapid rate and that is now able to cut out a lot of the repetitive SEO workload. You are not going to automate your way to high rankings overnight but you can save huge amounts of time and resources by automating repetitive tasks so you and your team can focus all of your efforts on other things.
What should you automate?
- Optimisation – You can automate a range of core SEO tasks such as image resizing, URL formatting, page creation, CTA embeds and other things.
- Notifications – Set up notifications when issues like broken links, slow loading times or high bounce rates are detected so you can fix things before they hurt your search ranking.
- Keywords and backlinks – You don’t need to manually repeat keyword research or monitor your backlink profile.
- Lead generation – Use multi-step forms to generate segmented email lists and automate your responses.
- SEO reports and audits – Run automated SEO reports and audits to get regular feedback on your technical SEO performance.
- Performance reports – By automating performance reports on your content you can find out what your audiences are responding to most and where you need to make improvements.
- Social sharing – There are plenty of social automation tools to help you make your content go further.
The more you automate, the more time you can spend focusing on the tasks that need human attention like content creation and strategic decision-making which is crucial for startups.
On-Page SEO for Startups
Here the main idea is to tweak your website’s elements so that you rank higher is SERP rankings. On-page SEO is a very wide topic to understand the fundamentals of the process. Other than the aspects covered in point 4 and 5 above, consider the following elements:
- Paragraph Optimisation – It is an important aspect when it comes to on-page SEO. The keywords of your content should definitely appear in the first and the last paragraphs. Also included Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords in the body of your content.
- First Paragraph – As we all know the certain sentences from your first paragraph is displayed under your URL on the search engine. Which helps the search engines to understand the intent of your contents and also the audience to reach your website.
- Body Paragraphs – Make sure that the focused keywords form part of your body paragraphs. Avoid stuffing keywords every time, instead, you should use semantic keywords to maintain the impact of your content.
- Final Paragraph – Make sure that you have your final paragraph giving your best opinion. Further, you can give a conclusion about what you actually prefer or do from the options or tricks mentioned in your blog or article.
- Multimedia – Multimedia includes all non-text page elements. It gives a greater or extends understanding to your audience to know about your business in debt. Make sure that the multimedia you are using is easy to load and doesn’t take much time of your audience.
- Responsive Design – It’s a web design methodology that ensures that your website operates and looks correctly on any screen size. It would help search engine to rank you higher if your website is friendly enough to fit on any device without giving many problems to your audience to actually go through your content.
- Outbound Links – Any search engine priorities recommending you for any queries when you have external links on website pages. Outbound links help the search engines that your page and content provide value for the users and hence is collaborated or linked with other websites.
- Internal Links – Just similar to outbound external links, internal links passes your user from one page to another of your website for easier access to your previous content. Hence that would easily grab your audience’s attention.
- Website Speed – It’s an important ranking factor on any search engine. If your website loads in no time and does not lag often, the search engine would definitely rank you higher for their queries.
- Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords – It’s just an alternative to your keywords that can surely boost your SERP rankings on any search engine. These are usually available for two common sources; first, it’s for an autocompleting feature of any search engine that offers long tail keywords variations or secondly, it’s for related searches section at the bottom of the search engines your audience uses.
- Image Optimisation – The images you use on your website’s content should be optimized for any search engine. That would help the search engine to rank you higher as more audience would reach you.
Off-Page SEO for Startups
This includes all the activities carried out to improve the SERP rankings of your website and its contents. Some of the activities are explained below:
- Guest Post Outreach – It is the best way of increasing the traffic for your website. You can invite guest posts for free or if you have enough funds you can easily invite paid guest posts. This would definitely bring even your guest’s audience to your website.
- Do-Follow Links – do-follow links plastic an important role in determining your search engine rankings. If your content provides a do-follow link to another website, it means that your website links to the other websites content too, providing weight to your website. If your content provides you a no-follow link to Other websites, it means that your website links aren’t trustworthy or credible enough or is a paid link.
- Blog Commenting – To increase the traffic load on your startup page, blog commenting on relevant blogs is an important activity. This helps a greater impact on the rankings in SERP. It is also a wide way to get linked with other blogs
Forum Postings – This is another off-page SEO tips for effective startup marketing. Find forum related to your industry, create thought-provoking posts that would engage your users, promote your startup in the designated promotional section, add a signature link so that others can know who you are and what you provide. This would help you to create great networking for your brand.
- Brand Authority Enhancement – It’s important for you as a startup to build brand authority in the industry. You can easily start this by networking with the industry influencers and start contributing to various industry related blogs, this would help you to teach the audience at a wide range. This easily helps you to build your brands reputation and grow your startup in the niche.
- Review Sites – Reviewing any website is the best way to increase traffic to your startup as most search engines prefer to show the reviews. The challenge is to maintain your good ratings throughout the course of your business survival
- Republish old posts – It is an approach that works for search engines optimization for any startup business. As we all know things are changing drastically with the going competition and so the old content is not enough of knowledge, hen e republishing the same with adding today’s knowledge would help people to go through your website’s contents.
- Promote on Social Media – With this incredibly increasing trend of using social media instead of being updated about what’s happening in the world via newspapers, news channels, etc. it has become must for every business to have a profile on social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, and others just name them. Adding your contents URL on your social media posts would help you to get traffic to your startup’s content.
Further, blogs play an important role in marketing your brand these days.
Blogging is generally a personal medium for communicating your brand with various people. If you have an inquiring mind and you can write things explaining your points, chances of your excelling at blogging are very positive. Blogging is like a diary where you maintain all your important notes in order, but here people having access to it can read it anytime they like and similarly you can write it anytime you prefer the most.
Here are some Tips that you can use to drive traffic to your business blog:
- Promote with social media.
- Choose suitable titles.
- Study your audience.
- Write precisely and write more.
- Produce unique, exclusive and knowledgeable content.
- Write understandable language.
- Know your niche.
- Incorporate keywords.
- Incorporate links.
- Include images and gifs.
- Add videos
- Invest in the promotion.
- Invite guest contributors.
- Write guest posts.
- Add social sharing buttons.
- Conduct give-away events.
- Cross-promote to your mailing list.
- Actively reply to your blog’s comments.
- Comment on blogs of industry influencers.
- Retain your audience with providing them links to your various blogs.
SEO can help your startup grow in the crucial early stages of your business. Following some simple steps will aid in the discovery of your new brand, and help you to gain a foothold in your chosen niche, as you don’t need to get hugely technical with SEO at this stage.
An SEO strategy should be part of your business plan from the very initial stage of your business startup that will help you to strengthen the credibility, marketing potential of your start-up for the long run. Having a structured URL, webpage, heading, content, keywords, UX signals, and other essential things would help you to have an exclusive and unique style for your brand and you would be able to stand out from your competitors gaining more visitors and customers and audience.
Have any more things to share, do comment below and let us know what you think about this blog. Your valuable feedback awaited.