10 Steps to SEO for a Startup
Today we’re going to talk about the 10 steps for SEO as a startup. So what defines a startup online? At Guardian Owl Digital, we define a startup as a website that has less than 50 pages. Even if you’re looking at your website right now and saying “I have more than 50 pages but haven’t really been practicing SEO” this video may be for you. So the first thing to do if you have a brand new website is install Google Analytics.
#1. Install Google Analytics- Google Analytics is very accurate and it’s a free analytic traffic tracking system that allows you to measure your site visitors who just like if you were in a retail location you want to have a great understanding as a business owner how much of your traffic is repeat customers coming in and out of your storefront every day every week or once a month also as a business owner needs new sales and new Revenue each month you want to ensure. You’re measuring how many new people are heading this site every single month and the org day and what are they signing relevant to them this is going to allow you to better understand your target audience and opportunities to change or pivot.
#2. Verify Your Business on Google Search Console – You’re going to verify your ownership in Google Search Console. Google search console is a free tool that Google allows (Bing also has their version, It’s called Bing webmaster tools) you to see what people are typing in before clicking on your website. Type into Google “Google Search Console” and you’ll see a hyperlink that directs you to search console to setup your website domain and choose whether or not you want your website showing with www or maybe just the start of your business like Guardianowldigital.com. Once you do this make sure you’re then linking Google search console to Google analytics.
#3. Fetch & Index as Google- In Google Search Console you can tell Google to “fetch” your website. Imagine you’re standing in a line waiting for Google to read your website, this puts you higher in the line! You have a brand-new storefront and if you do a search in Google you are competing with hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of similar sites just like yours. This is how you move to the front of the line. When logged into Google Search Console, manually insert your url’s in the url bar and click “Request Indexing”. This is essentially like knocking on Google’s door bringing them cookies and inviting them to look at your site.
#4. Audit Your Website Navigation- Do an audit of your homepage and see the actual call to actions on site and you have relevant landing pages for your ideal customer to take action. for example if you’re a window cleaning company that does both Residential and Commercial companies you’re going to want to have two separate silos to make it super easy for a visitor to navigate the site and distinguish where to go. This also gives you as a business owner the opportunity to measure (if you have Google analytics) what your visitors look like and what side of the business you’re attracting through your website.
#5. Call To Action on Landing Pages- Make sure you go through all of your landing pages and ensure you have call to actions whether it be an email or newsletter signup, a contact us button, or consider even using an image banner that takes you to another landing page on your website. Having call to actions allow more visitors interactions and ability to engage with your website which indirectly helps your SEO.
#6. Align Brand Terms & Search Terms- Ensure your brand terms align with the search terms that your visitors are using on Google Search. You can see the search terms being utilized in Google search console once you have it setup. Take the example of “athletic shoes”, maybe your branding is all-encompassing around utilizing the term athletic shoes however you realize that people are actually finding your website by searching “running shoes” or “trainers”. You don’t need to necessarily adapt your brand strategy, you just need to make sure that those search terms are located within each landing page of your website.
#7. Refresh Meta Data for 2020- You’re going to want to make sure you conduct an audit of your page titles, meta descriptions, and descriptions in your images with are called “alt text”. You want to ensure that you’re utilizing the Search terms and queries people are using in Google Search. Within this metadata do not just add your brand name and brand terms. Find what your page titles and meta descriptions look like by using tools like screaming frog or just by searching for your company in Google search results. Your page title is the blue hyperlink within the search engine page and the meta descriptions are the black descriptive text below the blue hyperlinks. This is certainly something that you’re going to want to focus on because if you don’t have information like page titles and meta descriptions, Google’s not going to know what you’re landing pages are about and make it harder for customers to find your website in search results.
#8. Build Out an FAQ– You’re going to want to ensure that you build out an FAQ page highlighting questions Google wants answers to questions that consumers have relative to your service or product. The more that you can answer current objections you’re receiving or the most frequently asked questions you’re finding about your business the more Google is going to showcase that site your site at landing page to potential prospects researching your product or service as a few pages are really important because it helps you be found locally and gives your site a little boost which is needed initially when you launch your website.
#9. Generate Quality Content- To rank high on Google, you need to make sure that you have at least five heavy content-related pieces on your product or services being offered. Each content piece needs to thread in top search terms and search queries your potential prospect or buyer is utilizing online. The rule of seo for a startup is five quality content pieces per each individual service or product your business has. Each content piece should be between 600 and 1200 words and we know this sounds a little scary (and a lot of work) so if this isn’t your forte, now is the time when you need a really good SEO agency or copywriter do understand SEO and how to do the research behind it.
#10. Focus on Being Found Not Fancy- Last but certainly not least, stop focusing on being fancy and make sure you’re focusing on being found! Fancy websites don’t necessarily rank high in search engine results are aesthetically pleasing to users but if you’re aesthetically exciting the user but not being found online you’re literally losing out on revenue. So stop focusing on fancy and start focusing on being found.