Startup companies are what the American Dream is all about, but launching these companies from infancy into a successful "adulthood" isn't always easy. Marketing for startups is a tricky game -- especially in terms of SEO. In order to attract customers, companies need to get their names to the top of the search engines, ranking even above competitors with a nationally recognized brand.
At first glance, this may seem like a truly impossible goal but we're here to let you know that this isn't the case. Not only is SEO possible for startups, but it's also pretty simple. Don't worry, though -- we wouldn't leave you hanging to figure it all out on your own. To make sure that your startup's marketing campaign is a total success, we've asked our experts to assemble some of their top tips for SEO. In the end, we got so many suggestions that we had to break them up into a two-part post. Check out the following ideas to get started:
Research Your Keywords
Keywords are the foundation of any SEO marketing strategy. This means a whole lot more than simply picking a few words or phrases at random and then sprinkling them throughout your content. Instead, you need to actually invest a bit of time on determining which keywords will have the most impact given your specific buyer personas and the current industry trends. Google Adwords is an excellent tool for conducting this type of research. Here, you have the opportunity to get your marketing strategy down, as you observe which keywords are being matched most frequently and inspiring clicks. You'll learn a lot more about what makes your audience tick as you work to interest consumers in your products and services.
Keep Content Mobile Friendly
As you've probably heard, Google updated their algorithm toward the end of April. This change causes Google's web crawlers to look beyond the typical SEO ranking factors and into how well your content is being displayed on mobile devices. The mobile compatibility (or lack thereof) will significantly impact your ranking in mobile search results. When you consider just how many people rely on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to conduct web searches (nearly half of users), this is a very big deal. Make sure that your startup's content can be accessed via a mobile-friendly website right from the get-go to ensure that you don't miss out on serious sales opportunities. Not sure if yours is up to the task? Simply make use of Google's own Mobile Friendly Testing Tool on each of your pages.
Create Topical Infographics
Let's face it: today's consumers have shorter attention spans than ever before. No one wants to be forced to read through long blocks of copy in order to pick up a few relevant facts or statistics. It's because of this that so many businesses are turning to the creation of useful infographics. As the name suggests, an infographic is a hybrid of valuable, text-based information and insights paired with eye-catching graphics. The text is typically short, concise, and to-the point, making it easy for readers to quickly absorb the information that appeals to them most. When your infographics are topical and on-point, you'll find that they are frequently "liked", "pinned", or "shared" via social media channels. This can boost interest in your brand and improve your overall SEO with minimal effort on your part.
Make Use of Social Media Channels
Everyone knows that social media is an incredible tool for connecting with consumer audiences, listening to conversations pertaining to your industry and brand, and even advertising. Did you know, though, that social media is essential to SEO exposure and maximum success online? There are a host of benefits that come from incorporating social media into your SEO strategy. For example, social media acts as a means of building links back to your website, which improves search rankings. Social media also ensures that your content can be shared and linked to other websites which, again, will move you up in the results.
Build Links the Right Way
Since we touched on link building in the previous tip, it's important to take a closer look at how to go about doing so in such a way that you're actually improving SEO rather than detracting from it. It used to be that there were a lot of "shortcut" or "cheat" tactics that would enable businesses to build links that would move their pages up in the rankings. Unfortunately, these links were pretty "spammy" and not very useful to readers -- a far cry from the real purpose of link building, which is to provide added authority to a website. To combat these issues, Google Penguin has been updated to decrease the SEO of sites that deploy these types of schemes. Instead, you absolutely must build your links organically by creating stellar content.
Keep Content Relevant
No one likes to click on a link only to find that the promised type of content is not delivered. Your content should stay true to what the keywords are indicative of, and should stay focused on your industry niche. Not only is this important when attracting new customers and building their trust and loyalty, but it also makes a difference with Google. Their Panda Algorithm is based around ensuring that top-ranked content is of quality and relevant.
If you don't know how well your marketing campaign is actually going or how much impact it has had on your SEO, what's the point of even trying? The only way to maximize your effectiveness is to regularly run analytics on your strategies and to determine where you can fix or improve certain areas. Analytics tools make it possible for you to quickly pinpoint where your efforts have been successful, or where things aren't working as intended. This will enable you to continue putting out content that is attracting your target audience while fine-tuning areas that need a little extra help. Be sure, though, that you don't start to rest on your laurels after some time has passed. The SEO game is one that is constantly changing and evolving, so you need to stay on top of your analytics. What worked for you one month may not be as successful the following month, so make it a point to look over your strategy on a regular basis and make changes where necessary.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to boost your SEO -- even if you're a humble startup. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Get in touch with the pros at Madison Taylor Marketing and get started today!