Being a startup in the fierce digital marketing landscape is not simple. No matter how great your website is, how valuable your content is, or how quality your products are, without a good SEO strategy, you don’t stand a chance.
SEO makes you visible in Google’s SERPs. It helps you put yourself in front of the right customers, generate more leads, and convert these leads into sales. Above all, it lets you build a solid brand and highlight your uniqueness in the overcrowded market.
But, with so many SEO tools and practices, where to start?
Here are a few tips that may help you.
Optimize for the Right Keywords
Keywords are probably one of the first things that come to your mind when I say “SEO.” They determine what your articles will be about. They influence the choice of your domain name. They also dictate your link building efforts.
So, how to get the most out of your keyword research?
● Do it continually.
One of the major mistakes inexperienced SEOs make is researching keywords for a couple of weeks and then stop. Experienced marketers update their keywords regularly. This is the only way to identify the phrases that really work for you and focus on them to increase your rankings.
● Pick the right keywords.
Optimizing content for irrelevant keywords results in driving irrelevant traffic to your site and, consequently, poor conversion rates. Marketers usually target keywords with the highest search volume. But, this may be a terrible mistake, as these keywords mean greater competition you’re up against. To get your startup ranked as high as possible, you should choose keywords that are not overly competitive, but still can help you drive relevant traffic.
● Focus on search intent.
In 2019, instead of observing what keywords searchers Google, you need to focus on what kind of content they want to see when they hit “Enter.” That’s the main idea behind search intent. By understanding what results your customers expect to see in the SERPs, you will be able to adapt your keywords to their expectations and drive more qualified traffic to your site.
Create Content that Brings Value
To get the most out of your keywords, you need to contextualize them properly. And, this is where content marketing steps in. It engages your visitors, evokes their emotions, educates them, and builds relationships with them. Most importantly, it helps your startup become an authoritative online resource. These are all elements that will boost your brand image, build trust with your target customers, and persuade them to buy from you.
Here are a few characteristics of a good content marketing strategy:
● Quality over quantity
When creating content, you become a teacher. A mentor. A friend. You help readers fix their problems faster and make the right decisions, no matter what industry you’re entering. That’s why your content needs to be original, fresh, insightful, and actionable. These are the ingredients of a quality piece of content.
● Keyword optimization
Keyword optimization is not about jamming your phrases into the article. This may only get you penalized. Keywords are here to guide your writing, to provide you with a specific context. They’re more about semantics, the meaning. So, pace your keyword strategically into the text a few times and make sure they always make sense.
● Diversify your content
Creating just one type of content is fine. However, to cater to wider audiences and keep them engaged, you should experiment with the content forms. For example, not everyone likes reading a lengthy article. To speak to such users, create videos that are easier to follow. Infographics are an amazing option to appeal to visual learners, while quizzes may provide targeted user experiences.
Appear in Local Searches
If you’re targeting a specific market, then you need to invest in local SEO. Now, there are many tactics you can use to put yourself in front of the local searchers:
● Optimize for local keywords.
To attract the right local customers, you may want to add the city name or some neighboring locations to your keywords. For example, if you’re selling sportswear in New York, then keywords like “leggings New York” may bring you more visibility in the local search than simply “leggings.” In this case, working with a local, New York-based SEO company may be a great option, as such agencies understand the local search intent and help you choose and optimize for profitable keywords.
● Claim Google My Business listings.
Without a Google My Business listing, you don’t exist. It makes you visible on Google, tells your customers who you are, shows what your users think of you, and builds trust with your target audience. However, just verifying your account is not enough. To get people to visit your business, you need to provide accurate NAP information, the description of your location, street view, business hours, your logo, as well as the photos of your products.
● Be present on all major local business directories.
Your potential customers visit sites like Glassdoor, Angie’s List or Yelp to find more about you and learn how your customers feel about you. In addition to gathering customer reviews, make sure the information you show across these sites is accurate and consistent, just like with GMB.
Build Links on Authoritative Sites
When launching a new company, your goal is to boost its niche authority and get it noticed by the right people. And, this is where link building, especially guest blogging, can help. The idea behind this practice is simple. You want to find credible sites and bloggers in your niche that target the same audiences and build relationships with them.
Before you even reach out to a site, make sure you check their domain authority, engagement rates, bounce rates, as well as niche relevance. Getting links from low-quality sites may harm both your online image and rankings.
Contributing to authoritative websites brings numerous benefits to you. First, backlinks are one of Google’s major ranking signals. So, the more reputable the site that links back to you is, the higher rankings you will earn. Second, you will increase your online reputation. By creating an amazing article, you will inspire a reader to read your bio, visit your website for more content and, ultimately, turn them into repeat visitors (and customers).
Focus on User Experiences
SEO and UX go hand in hand. User satisfaction impacts your engagement rates, conversion rates, and bounce rates, which are all important factors Google considers when ranking your site. So, what to do to increase user experience?
● Make your site responsive. In today’s mobile-first era, ensuring that your site is easy to load and consume across multiple browsers and devices is not optional anymore. It’s a necessity for everyone who wants to survive.
● Boost your site speed. Use different speed testers like Google Page Speed or Pingdom Website Speed Test to check it first. Most of these tools will even give you suggestions on how to improve your website speed. For starters, invest in a reliable hosting plan, choose a good CDN, remove any unnecessary code, and compress your images.
● Simplify your website architecture. Good one provides exceptional user experiences at every stage of a buyer journey and helps your visitor find the desired information fast.
● Prove your site is safe. Invest in a good SSL certificate to get your site labeled as “Secure” and display trust seals to build trust with your customers and get them to complete the purchase.
Sure, SEO is difficult when you’re just starting off. You’re basically building your brand image from scratch. However, you cannot afford to ignore it anymore. It gives your startup exposure, boosts its authority, and builds stronger customer relationships.
And, I hope these 5 tactics may help you avoid the common mistakes startups make and focus on what can really increase their online presence.