I’m going to tell you why your startup must have an SEO Start-up Strategy in 2019 and hopefully give you a few pointers to create something effective.. Launching a startup in any niche is tough. With so much competition out there it is almost certain someone out there is doing something similar. So how do you stand out and show the world that your product or service is worth your customers time and consideration? Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The art of optimising your website to appear high up in Google search results for competitive keywords.
Let’s get started.
1. Without Keywords SEO doesn’t exist
Keywords are the bread and butter of your website’s content. It’s a fact that startups often pick the wrong keywords if in-fact they pick any at all. This is a big mistake.
When you hear ‘keywords’ it means the words that a potential customer will type into a search engine. An example would be someone looking for an SEO Consultant in Barnsley. They will type something like ‘SEO Barnsley‘ The search engine will then list the most appropriate results.
If you are a Plumber in London and you were to optimise your website and select ‘London Plumber’ as your keyword, the competition would be very strong. Your content would be competing with the biggest plumbing companies in London. However, if you were to choose ‘Boiler repair expert North London’ the competition would be significantly less.
Your business would then have a fighting chance of appearing on the first page of Google.
2. ON-Page Optimisation Matters
ON-Page SEO is the non-content related aspects of SEO and it needs to be a key element of a startup SEO strategy. Things like, site structure, meta content, internal and external links etc are included in on-Page optimisation.
Resolving any issues on your site is a must but it can be a pain, especially if you’re not comfortable with the technical aspects of web design. The good thing is once its done it does not take too much to keep on top of.
A couple of good takeaway tips:
- Review metadata specifically sites titles and descriptions and match these to your page’s keyword targets
- Compress images so they load faster, and optimise both server and CMS for HTML compression and web caching for faster loading
If you are employing a web designer, make sure they have a good grasp of SEO. You would be amazed at how many don’t. SEO is one of those things that is so much easier to from the beginning instead of trying to correct retrospectively.
3. Startups must have a blog
I believe the single most powerful tool in a startups armoury is content. Having a blog on a site is critical when it comes to ranking your website in 2019.
The content that appears on your site must be useful, written well and optimised. It needs to add value and engage the reader. The more engagement with the blog, the more shares it will generate and the better it will rank. Not a writer? Do videos. Don’t fancy either? Hire someone to do it for you.
If you invest in SEO and particularly content it will pay off in increased search visibility and ultimately revenue.
4. Page speed matters
Another key component of a successful startup SEO strategy and an extension of on-page optimisation.
You can use Google’s Page Speed Insights to locate the areas for improvement. Increasing your site’s page speed will vastly improve your potential visibility. This can be quite tricky so it may be best to speak to your designer if you are unsure.
5. Mobile has overtaken desktop
Mobile web browsing has been growing since 2009, while the desktop’s share of web traffic has steadily decreased. In October, the two crossed over, with mobile and tablet browsing taking 51.3% as opposed to desktop’s 48.7%.
Your startup MUST have a site that is optimised for mobile browsing.
Another startling fact 72% of consumers who did a mobile local search visited a store within five miles. Not sure if your site is optimised for mobile? Use HubSpot’s site grader to find out.
6. Create relevant links in your content.
This may sound counterproductive to the untrained eye but outbound links to other websites are important. Why would you link to other sites I hear you say. The three biggest reasons are:
- Outbound links give search engines a clear idea about your blog.
- Offer the best way to be in touch/build relation with bloggers having the same niche.
- It helps your readers. I’ve already said that providing helpful content is crucial to SEO.
So pointing them in the right direction is great too. It doesn’t take long to create relevant links within the content so that people can continue their journeys. You should always have at least two relevant outbound links within each piece of content you create.
7. Use Social Media to share content that links back to your domain
An essential part of a startup SEO strategy. Social media can drive an incredible amount of traffic to your site when done correctly. Use social media channels to build a network and share content that adds some sort of value to your clients or like-minded colleagues.
Don’t just blast out sales pitches, instead involve yourself in conversations, help potential clients and offer advice. All the above can bring traffic through to your site.
8. Create a Profile on Business listing sites
There are some great business listing websites where you can create your free profiles. A business profile contains your NAP (Name, Address and Phone number)
Business listings increase your visibility online and occasionally allow do-follow links to your website which may help in your SEO campaign.
Make sure your listings are consistent as this is a ranking factor and a word of warning… Once you sign up to these sites your phone will go off the hook for the first couple of weeks with people trying to sell you marketing products. Fortunately, it does settle down.
9. Hire an SEO Company to save time
All the advice above is great if you have the time to do it. Many business owners and particularly startups simply don’t. Never ignore SEO as it will negatively impact your business.
Set a budget for SEO from the beginning and find an affordable freelancer or agency that specialises in startup SEO strategy.