Reading blog after blog on dispelling SEO myths, you finally wonder, “When should I start seriously considering SEO for my startup?”
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a term used for when a website makes its mark on the web driving organic traffic by content creation. You conduct this process by optimizing content for spiders to crawl your webpages with ease. For startups, time and money is always a scarce resource.
As an entrepreneur, the last thing you want to think about is dispelling some myth you came across on the internet. Beginning to grow your startup business to the next level can be challenging, but SEO can take you there.
Ask yourself, what’s the purpose of wanting to grow your business? How bad do you want to grow? Do you have the time and resources? Before continuing, write your WHY statement down on a sheet of paper.
In this article, we’ll decide if your business needs SEO, the steps your startup can take to implement this strategy and a few resources you can look into along the way.
Do all startups need SEO?
Since the dawn of the .com era, people have tried cracking the code of Google and other leading search engines. If you’re not too familiar with SEO, think about it as having a business with no customers. It’s the same concept of having a website with no traffic. Whether you’re a product-based business or a service, know the importance of web presence.
Now, it’s story time. You have an idea to sell Mickey Mouse ears out of your home, so you use a site like Shopify. But like any startup venture, you’re limited when it comes to monetary resources. You buy your domain and begin creating your website. Before you even sell a product, you’re already creating content, writing blogs and producing videos to bring in relevant traffic to your site.
The material you’re writing while you save up to launch is blasting on search engines, and it’s about time you sit down and create those Mickey Mouse ears to sell a product.
Your site already has traffic coming to it because the content you’re creating and optimizing is bringing in the right traffic. You have to know who your audience is before you start to grow it. In a perfect world, that’s the best information a marketer can give you.
If any of the following applies to your business model and growth, you should have already started implementing SEO.
- I want to reach a broader audience
- I want to solve people’s problems with my product or service
- I want traffic to my site
- I want more qualified leads
- I want people to read my content
Reaching a broader audience and generating more website traffic ultimately earns more leads if you bring in the right traffic. Back to the Mickey Mouse example; writing about new Disney attractions and similar blog content will bring people who love Disney to your site.
Then comes your product launch. If you haven’t begun SEO at this point, it’s not too late. Here’s how you start…
To embark on the journey of bringing in tons of web traffic, evaluate your resources.
Everyone needs SEO; it’s just a matter of when you decide to make the financial investment or time investment.
1. Hire an SEO expert or DIY?
There are plenty of guides that teach SEO. However, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the daily changes search engines make. Maybe you spend one hour a day on education and three hours a day of implementation aside from what your business is already doing. There are many free tools out there for you, including Google Search Console.
2. Start with Google Search Console
Here, you access organic search results for your business. You can see search analytics, keywords your website came up with and your overall click-thru rate. Take a few minutes to add a TXT record to your domain and add Google Search Console (it’s free)!
You can work on traffic that’s already coming to your site by targeting specific keywords (without stuffing) on the webpage, meta description and title tags.
3. Use target keywords in title tags
Title tags appear on search engine results pages, identifying the title of the page. Use keywords in the title of the page and ensure the tag is a perfect representation of what the page is about. Title tags display when you share a page on social media, as well.
Keep your title tags to 50 to 60 characters long. Do not stuff keywords in title tags, either.
4. Answer questions in your meta descriptions
A meta description is a blurb telling what your webpage is about. Google pulls keywords used in the meta description to form a search engine results page. Your meta description is what SERPs use to show results. When content is created, it’s written to address the pain points of the searcher and answer questions. In your meta descriptions, write out the question you’re addressing while targeting the proper keywords. In 2018, there will be more modifications to meta descriptions.
5. Increase the length of your meta description
Google algorithms made an update that you should know about. Until now, it was suggested that meta descriptions should be around 160 characters. Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, came out with a recent whiteboard suggesting meta descriptions should be around 250 to 300 characters, answering questions searchers have.
6. Site speed
Another determining factor of SEO is how fast your site is, for a number of reasons. If your page doesn’t load within five seconds, users will go elsewhere. In more technical terms, the term “site speed” refers to when your server receives the first byte of information for the webpage. Google puts a strong emphasis on site speed for SEO rankings.
7. Conduct regular competitor audits
Keep your competition close! If you do not know who you are competing against, how will you see how you rank compared to others? It can be stressful to conduct competitor audits, but it is essential to examine what they are doing well, as well as what they are doing poorly and why.