How can startups get good at SEO?

We’re delighted to invited Charlotte from Imaginaire Digital to discuss how startups can get up to speed with SEO in their early, bootstrapped days.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to a marketing strategy focused on increased visibility in search engine results. SEO involves creative and technical elements required to drive Internet traffic, improve search rankings and increase brand awareness on search engines.

The benefits of ranking for terms that are searched for a lot are clear. You’ll get more traffic to your website and, ultimately, drive more conversions.

The reason that SEO is so attractive to startups is that it usually constitutes a cost-effective, high ROI marketing channel.

High search rankings are a pinnacle of business success. Studies have shown that 95 percent of traffic from search engines goes to those on the first page of search engines and 5 percent or less on subsequent pages. This creates the old SEO joke ‘if you’re looking for somewhere to hide a dead body, try page 2 of Google’.

For a startup business to get it right when it comes to SEO, it demands creativity, persistence and patience.

First, it is important to understand the Google ranking algorithm and how it works as this could determine your success on SEO. Most websites do not rank since they may not be credible for a particular search topic compared to other sites linking to the same topic. High-quality links to your website contribute a credible search score referred to as domain authority meaning the higher the score the better the rank.

As well as this, Google use the EAT principle (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) to determine whether the actual content is worth them sending traffic to.

Keyword research is an essential part of an SEO campaign. Keyword Research is the process of finding words or phrases on your website that are unique and less competitive and are more likely to appear at the top on the search rankings. Reserve a page on your website that primarily focuses on your target phrase. Your objective is to make a quality page designed for that topic.

Analyse the page through a Google lens by asking yourself why that phrase would improve the page rank, how many times it appears and where. The key phrase should be used once within the title of the page and once within the header. It should also be used severally within the body of the page depending on the number of words. A high-quality page is more likely to get links from other sites this making it even more effective.

For startups to get good on SEO, they must publish good content specifically designed for the target users as this is a key driver of search engine rankings. Make use of heading tags to highlight your key phrases but this should be done sparingly not to compromise the quality of content. Write your page with the user in mind, not the search engine.

Utilising a good quality content marketing strategy can lead to huge boosts in authority as other websites link to you.

There is no shortcut to ranking higher than your competitors, these SEO tactical tips should do the magic that will get your new business on top. Appearing on the first page on Google is not enough, your business must rank first. Websites that rank highly receive considerable click-through rates by users which translate to a better brand awareness that is good for the business.

To keep your site relevant, regularly update your content as search engines will probably also notice fresh content. Failure to have a good SEO strategy positions your business in a bad place and this could have an effect on your sales. Use of wrong keywords could mean low internet traffic and this could jeopardise your marketing campaign. These are just but a few of the many strategies for startups to get good on SEO.