Startup marketing professionals who are familiar with SEO will rule the Google rankings. But if you’re new to this way of thinking, SEO can be a daunting concept. Even though it’s complicated, learning how to optimize your content for search engines is a critical component of startup marketing success and one that you should make time for ASAP.
What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization. The goal is to help your content appear first in search results when users type questions into Google or other search engines related to what your startup offers. It can be valuable because users are more likely to click on the top three links at the beginning of their search results instead of scrolling down and clicking through pages and pages of results. 75% of people never scroll past the first page when doing an online search!
But getting your content to show up on page one can be pretty challenging. It is especially true if you’re a new company competing against larger, more established ones with bigger budgets and resources. To help get you started, here are a few tips for optimizing your site for maximum visibility in search results. Alternatively, you can even reach out to a digital marketing agency to help you out with these.
Build a Brand People Trust
In short, your brand is the sum of all the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that people have about your company. It’s more than just a logo or a tagline. Your brand is your identity in the marketplace. Specifically, it encompasses what your company does and what you stand for.
Your brand is hyper-specific to each stakeholder. Clients will have different impressions of your business than employees or investors will. Ultimately though, they come together to paint a picture of your brand image as a whole.
When someone thinks about your business, they won’t think in quantifiable terms like “our customer satisfaction rating is 97 percent” or “we raised $10 million last year.” They think in terms of feelings, positive or negative, and that informs their decision to engage with (or avoid) you on an emotional level.
If you create a positive impression on them, there’s no better marketing than word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers!
You can take some time to consider how other people perceive your business by asking yourself questions like:
How do our competitors talk about us?
What would our customers say about us if we weren’t around?
Write Relevant Content for Your Audience
Make sure that the content you write is relevant to your audience and meets their needs. If you’re not sure what kind of content your audience wants, ask them! Borrowing a friend’s sound advice, I’ve decided to write this piece in response to the hundreds of emails from readers asking for this exact information.
You shouldn’t be afraid to share your expertise on a subject even if it seems like it might be too basic for some people or too niche for others. You can write in plain language, using clear topic sentences and paragraphs. Use tools like Grammarly to help with spelling and grammar errors.
Startups usually have a small marketing budget and need to make every dollar count. That’s why it is critical to build the best possible foundation for your startup marketing campaigns.
Upfront keyword research is a must for businesses of any size, but it’s especially important for startups where every dollar counts. Many startups find that their first foray into SEO provides some of their highest ROI, so long as they make smart choices on keywords and other areas of focus. But how do you figure out what keywords to target?
You use a keyword research tool like [one], [two], or [three]. There are also keyword research tools available through search marketing platforms such as Google Ads or Bing Ads. Once you’ve identified some top keywords, you’ll want to focus on long-tail keywords. These are typically three words or more that narrow in precisely on your target audience.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile
With more and more people using mobile devices, it’s important to optimize your site for mobile use. Here’s how:
Determine if your site is already mobile-friendly with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
To test the speed of a page, visit WebPageTest.org or Google Page Speed Insights.
Optimize images so that they load faster on mobile devices by compressing them with a tool like TinyPNG.
Make Sure Your URLs Make Sense
Using clear and straightforward URLs is a best practice for any website, but it’s especially important now that Google has announced its intention to address “confusing” URLs. If a user can’t make sense of your URL due to its length or lack of clarity, they’ll have trouble finding the information they need.
Here are some basics to keep in mind:
Keep URLs short so they’re easy to remember.
Use descriptive language that accurately describes what the page is about.
Ensure consistency across every page on your site by using a standardized template for URLs.
Make sure the slug at the end of your URL matches the title of your web page exactly. For example, if a particular webpage is titled “5 ways SEO can help grow sales,” then an appropriate ending for this URL will be something like “5-ways-SEO-can-help-grow-sales”.
Format Your Content for Easy Reading
Format your content for easy reading. If you want Google and users to read your stuff, you need to make it easy for them to do so:
Use headings and subheadings (H1, H2, H3)
Use bullet points
Use images to break up text
Use a font that is easy to read (Arial, Verdana, or something similar)
Use a well-designed template
Use short paragraphs instead of long blocks of text
Use short sentences as opposed to long ones
Tie Social Media to Your Website.
If you haven’t already, tie your social media accounts to your website. Having links to social media accounts on your website is a way for search engines to see that you have an active following or at least a presence on those platforms.
You should also include links back to your site in the content of all posts you publish across major social channels. It shows search engines that people are interested in what you have to say. And it provides another means of driving traffic to your website.
Target Local Search Results
Not every startup will be relevant to a global audience, so it’s important to think locally. You can create an Optimized Google My Business Profile. Every company should have a verified listing on Google My Business (GMB).
You can provide thorough company information on Your GMB Listing. It’s important for your GMB profile to accurately reflect your business. This aspect includes providing thorough information about the company.
You should get reviews and reply to them! The number of reviews you have on your GMB profile matters in search results, as does the rating provided by those reviews (it’s more important than ever to provide consistently excellent customer service).
So, as you can see, the above can help alter the course of your company’s SEO efforts. SEO can be a make-or-break strategy for startups. These tips lay a powerful SEO strategy for companies of all sizes, including startups! You can either apply these yourself or hire an agency to do it.