SEO Guide for Startups
The path to starting your own business is very exciting as well as challenging. It isn’t always easy to venture into the world of startups and entrepreneurship. This is because even though you are brimming with confidence and energy, there is also the fear of the unknown. Some of which include -
- Should I quit my job which assures me a regular income?
- How to make the new business resonate?
- How to drive a successful business and achieve goals with the limited budget?
Although the above thoughts quickly start racing in your mind, I think the most important questions that you one must ask are –
- How to market the services which my startup has to offer?
- Do startups need marketing from a professional SEO digital marketing agency?
Constraint for Startups
Most startups which are budding in the country are hindered due to the lack of right skilled manpower. This challenge is followed by the stability concerns and budget constraints. In such a scenario, SEO comes to rescue.
SEO – A Magical Potion for Startups
The most primary thing that Startups need is to connect with the right users. This will help them build their own brand identity. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” You can call it a process of getting traffic or customers from the search engines.
Let’s take an example that shows how SEO can help startups – Suppose your sell all types of mobiles and offer mobile services. Let us assume that a person wants to buy a mobile phone. He will first visit Google and start to enter a search phrase into a browser. If you have a website and have done a great job with SEO, your site will have a very good chance of getting listed in the first page of the search results. Studies have proved that making your brand and business available on the top results increases the credibility of your business. So, the user will surely click on your link and can buy a phone thus adding to your sales and profit. Moreover, the next time he will surely return if you offer him best products and services.
There is no denial that in today’s digital arena having an online presence impacts the success of your business operation.
As per studies approximately 30% of ecommerce site traffic is accounted by SEO which offers a massive opportunity for tapping unpaid traffic.
Therefore, most experts prefer Digital marketing over the traditional forms of marketing. As most startups have budget constraints, SEO can help entrepreneurs reach and grow consumer base without incurring huge marketing costs. Search Engine Optimization is a cost-effective and measurable method which gives visibility and organic traffic to the website - 365 days of the year.
How to Proceed?
I had made a firm decision to start my own business in 2007. Today, I am a successful entrepreneur! With all my experience of more than 9 years in the SEO industry and after handling more than 500 SEO campaigns, here are some of my personal guidelines that will help you structure your online presence to reach its potential.
SEO friendly Website: Primarily have a website that is mobile and SEO friendly. Ensure all your pages are working, and check if you have used appropriate tags, headers and Meta descriptions.
Install Google Analytics and set up a “Destination Goal” in it.
Set up Google Webmaster Tools and link it with Google Analytics to insight of how users are finding your site organically.
Create a robots.txt file & a sitemap.xml file. Upload them to the root directory of your site. Submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools for indexing.
The next step is to build your website for users and not for search engines. So, get proactively involved with your SEO team and work as per the following pointers-
Make a list of all products and services you offer. Come up with as many combinations of phrases the way you and your potential customers would refer them. Use the Google Keyword Planner tool to get additional keyword ideas. Later, narrow down your list by segregating target phrases having relatively large volume searches as well as with low competition. These are your target keywords and now use them in your blog.
Write a unique title tag (under 60 characters), meta description (under 155 characters) for every page with a target keyword and your business name.
Ensure that you incorporate a target keyword in every URL.
Each page you design must have an h1 tag, headers (h2 – h6) which should appear in order.
Moreover, all the website pages must be accessed in less than 3 clicks from the homepage.
Linking must be done using the target keywords associated with the page. However, if the site is image-heavy, add ALT tags to make the search engines understand what the visuals are about.
Content has been the backbone of digital marketing. It can generate more traffic, more leads, and builds brand awareness.
The minimum blog content length should be at least 300 words. Go beyond text. You can create videos, webinars, infographics, PDF’s and more!
Create unique content based on the pain points or salient features of your audience needs.
Don’t just stick to the hard product pitch. Rather talk about other related topics that will interest your audience and make them a returning visitor.
Build quality links by using Open site explorer. See from where your top competitors are generating “Inbound Links / backlinks”. Try reaching out to those sources and pitch your industry-leading products or services there.
It is also advised to follow the industry “influencers” until you get an opportunity to reach out and pitch your content.
Press Releases are one of the best ways to give exposure to your brand and to gain links as well. Aim for branded anchor text in the link.
Keep a habit to monitor your website monthly, check the keyword rankings, the best traffic sources and improvise on the same.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media is practically free to use. So pick the right social platforms as per your business and promote your services there.
Following this will surely help you generate organic leads. Stay tuned for an upcoming Social Media Checklist for Startups.