You can have an amazing website but if no one is around to see it, it’s of no use to anyone. Search engine optimization is a natural and practical way of leading potential visitors to your site’s doorstep.
That is especially true for startups. You can’t count on visitors coming across your new brand by chance. You need to be a well-known business before customers can find you directly.
Until then, you must figure out other ways of getting people to visit your website.
Paying for ads is by no means a long-term strategy, but you still need prospective customers to find your business.
You need a solution that is going to increase traffic to your website over time, and keep increasing it even when you reach high brand-awareness levels. You need SEO.
SEO can serve your website in the long run and create a powerful online presence that every business can benefit from. It’s the most organic way of putting your brand on the radar, and companies that do not realize this are at a disadvantage.
Here’s how you can drive traffic to your website and make a name for your startup.
Keys to Successful Startup SEO
The following five keys to SEO success can do more than help a startup company. You will find that the tips we provide here work for most other websites as well.
Even niche industries need decent SEO, which is why casino SEO
and adult SEO
are a thing. In fact, it doesn’t matter at all what niche you’re in, the goal of SEO remains the same — to increase visibility and traffic.
With a strong long-term strategy such as SEO in place, you’ve set up a solid foundation for your startup. Such a strategy requires:
- An SEO-friendly website
- Clear business goals
- Keywords and content
- Technical SEO
All of those steps are equally crucial to the success of your startup. You can’t avoid one and hope that everything will work out fine for your website. You should incorporate each of those keys into your SEO strategy.
We’ll go through each key, one by one, and explain how it is relevant to your startup business.
What is an SEO-friendly website? Isn’t it the goal you’re trying to achieve rather than a simple key, or step, toward reaching that goal?
The answer is both. Having an SEO-friendly website is as much a goal as it is a baseline of a startup business. In other words, you should think about SEO from the earliest stages in your startup’s life cycle, all the way to its maturity.
That’s why SEO is referred to as a long-term strategy and why it’s essential to have an SEO-friendly website from day one.
So what are some of the SEO steps that you need to take early on? You need to think about what your users want to see and answer their queries punctually and promptly, i.e. provide them with outstanding user experience.
At the very core of an SEO-friendly website lies a reliable hosting company. Sign up with a dedicated and stable web hosting provider, and you’ll have all the uptime in the world.
Moreover, you get to make use of cutting-edge technology that guarantees fast page loading times and the latest security measures.
As you’ve no doubt noticed yourself, web pages that take longer than two seconds to load (or aren’t available at all) have a strong negative effect on user experience, and thus SEO.
Another expectation that visitors often have is a website that is consistent across all devices. Visitors value consistency more than you might think, and about half of them access your site from a mobile device.
That’s why it’s important to have a well-designed layout that won’t mess something up on other devices.
Finally, your startup is a brand, or at least you’re aiming to establish it as one. Web design should reflect what your brand is all about, and do so consistently.
Clear Business Goals
SEO can do wonders for your brand. It can elevate your website to new heights and raise awareness of it.
But before you make use of SEO and reap the benefits of a great SEO strategy, you need to formulate your business goals.
If you have clear objectives, you can measure the progress of your business in a specific and controlled manner.
Since SEO can do more for you than just drive traffic to your website, you need to know how to optimize your site to get results that align with your goals.
For that purpose, you’ll need trackable and comparable indicators that show your progress towards the goalpost.
Otherwise, you won’t be using the full potential of SEO and would be stumbling in the dark. This is where KPIs come in.
Key performance indicators are statistics that measure your website’s performance. They’re numbers you can use to track the progress of the website to your goal.
Your site’s KPIs can be completely different from those of other brands, which is why it’s crucial to know what you’re measuring.
Do you want to generate more targeted leads? Maybe you’d just like to increase the demand for your brand. Or perhaps you’d like a raw increase in traffic to the website.
In any case, you’re looking at different KPIs, so know what it is you would like to achieve. Since we are discussing startup businesses, increasing customer awareness, and reducing resistance to future transactions could be your primary business goals.
Don’t lose focus, and always strive to achieve the goals you’ve set for your website. If you don’t have crystal-clear, trackable goals, you won’t know which KPIs to look at.
When you don’t know what your KPIs are, you can’t really tell if your current approach to SEO is productive or effective.
Keywords and Content
You can optimize pages as much as you like and have them load flawlessly on mobile devices, at almost instant speeds. Without content, however, the chances of driving significant traffic your way are quite slim.
Companies often tend to cut corners when it comes to content. They try to save as much money as they can by providing low-quality content that’s of little to no value to their customers.
Needless to say that this approach is far from optimal and leaves much to be desired.
Good content is the cornerstone of driving traffic to a website. High-quality content will make you stand out from the crowd and show visitors that you mean business.
It highlights your commitment to improving the longevity of your website, and your customers can appreciate that. You can’t achieve that without providing valuable and useful content to your customers.
Optimizing pages can only get you so far. To become an authority in your niche, you need to put out high-quality content that is useful to your audience.
That does not come cheap, and you shouldn’t try and save on content quality. Think of it as an investment in your brand — especially since the content has a very high ROI potential.
Before you actually create some quality content, you need to know if there’s enough interest in it. That’s why keyword research is fundamental — without it, you’re just creating random content that may or may not hit the mark.
Instead, research what your target audience is looking for, and give it just that. Answer its queries with exquisite, outstanding, and useful pieces of content, and you won’t regret it.
On-page SEO is only half the story. Once you have high-quality content, proper keywords, and SEO-friendly web pages, it’s time to take a look at off-page SEO.
Link building is a crucial SEO strategy to employ. The goal is to increase your site’s authority and reputation so that you can show your customers that they’re safe in your hands.
To emphasize the trustworthiness, relevance, and authority of their brand, companies often reach out to other people and websites online.
By creating relationships with influencers in your industry and offering cross-promotion opportunities to similar businesses, you establish your online reputation.
The most common method of boosting your site’s online presence is by having other people post links to your content. Link building involves exchanging links with reputable websites, either by writing guest posts or promoting one another.
There are a few important details to remember here. First, not every backlink is equally valuable. Having hundreds of links from sketchy and spammy websites is not nearly as useful as having a dozen links from reputable sources.
If your link-building strategy relies on quantity rather than quality, you might end up doing more harm than good to your website.
Second, you should never trade links for money or goods. Paying for backlinks might seem like a great idea, but it’s not. It’s one of the “black hat” strategies that will most certainly get your website penalized.
Instead of buying links and risking getting sanctioned by Google, build the links organically. That involves doing your research, finding relevant influencers and websites, and reaching out with the goal of creating cross-promotional opportunities.
The result is a more diverse link profile that will prove to your audience that you’re a trusted brand.
Once you have your website completely set up and your SEO strategy in place, you need to monitor its progress. SEO is an ongoing process that never really ends and that you should constantly keep track of.
That’s also the reason why many people simply give up working on SEO themselves. Instead, they find companies that do this kind of work and know the best practices.
Now that you have an SEO-friendly website, clear business goals, keywords, content, and links, you can keep an eye on the more technical side of SEO. In other words, you get to perform audits and see how your site has been doing.
Frequent in-depth technical SEO audits will tell you all you need to know about your website.
SEO audits consist of a thorough evaluation of the website’s ability to show up in search engine results pages. Audits can help you identify issues with your website and figure out an actionable plan that helps you improve your SEO standing.
There is no better time to look at the data and see how your website is performing than during a technical SEO audit.
A technical SEO audit reveals the performance of your website in comparison to your competitors. Use this information to constantly better your SEO strategy and stay ahead of the competition.
That’s why performing an audit gives you an edge over your competitors who still haven’t realized the importance of SEO.
Moreover, an audit will reveal any weaknesses your website might have, helping you address them before they become a real issue. You can also see the results of any changes you made previously.
If a certain tweak has shown to be detrimental to your overall ranking, revert it and try something else.
Finally, a technical SEO audit allows for an objective assessment of how far you are from achieving your business goals. It’s an opportunity to see if you’re heading in the right direction and what to expect in the future.
You might have to make some new arrangements if your expectations don’t align with what the audit is showing.
All of the keys to SEO success are equally important, and you can’t really do away with any of them. From finding a reliable hosting provider and formulating business goals to actually creating content and building domain authority, SEO is a never-ending process.
Even when everything else is out of the way, you still have to perform in-depth audits to get a better view of your SEO efficiency.
Without SEO, however, your startup is unlikely to get the attention it deserves. Regardless of how time-consuming SEO is, it will make an enormous difference for your brand down the line. All it takes is patience and consistency in your efforts.