How a Startup can start its Digital Presence? SEO for Startups

Yes, by saying Startup it meant that all resources are mostly available in limits say – people, funds, investment, time etc., This is the scenario in most startups. And, I am going to share a few things in this article that revolves around this case.

How to get your strong digital presence and what helps in getting it?

Okay, whatever medium that gives a space online to showcase you/your brand can be taken as Digital Presence. It can be – having your own website, blog, social profiles, digital public relations, review websites and much more. The marketing efforts you put over these is called Digital Marketing. This has got its own channels SEO, SEM, Social Marketing, Email Marketing and Influencer Marketing. So, there is really, really more stuff on the plate. Being a startup entrepreneur, what helps you to make a stamp in digital medium with your constraints included? The answer, It is SEO.

Here is a quick mini-bite on SEO – a FREE digital medium that can be used to build your brand identity in organic search, maintain it and acquire your target business when done smartly.

Learn how to SEO your Startup website

When you search about SEO, you can see a lot of stories roaming around saying it is not effective for business, SPAM, the concept is DEAD and more. I strongly say, it is NOT. Anything turning out to be an Angel or Devil is in your work, as simple as this. Being a Startup, let’s look after the basic things that need to be done.

SEO for Beginners

Set your base right – Who you are; what you do; how you do and have your goals.
Get your audience – You know your target audience. Try to get things from their shoes, what’s in their search bucket, how they need it and try starting from there, clearing the air.
Tick the checklist – Now, start ticking your basic SEO checklist – the On-Page and Off-Page SEO factors. I say, following just the process does not make the fruit ripe. Same time, SEO is not difficult. All it takes is smarter work with lots of analysis.
Audit your Website – Check your website and find out the criteria you need to follow that are set by Search engines to make your website search-engine friendly covering all the aspects – the technical side, performance, usability and the SEO side of things.
Some of my favorite tools for website check are:
Now, you have the plan where you need to start on. Try working on them one by one.

Audit your Competition – You must be knowing your competition in your industry. If not, take help from your SEO techie. Audit and research what your competitors are doing, that gives you a kick-start on what you need to do and where your gaps are. Research is the only thing that is going to help you gain success in your SEO efforts. Keep researching them, in-fact just spy them.
Spy them with competitor research tools to see what they do and what their traffic potential is. A cool tool on competitor analysis is,

Keyword Research – Keyword Research is a crucial part of SEO, where you have to do a lot of brainstorming sessions, collecting the data from keyword research tools, competition, search volumes, trends and practical usage terms of the geographies for choosing the right set of keyword bunch.
Use Google keyword planner for your analysis
This keyword bunch has varied keyword funnels for each user – that is, users seeking for information, users who want the actual service or the product, users who are looking for offers, keywords that are to be optimized for your brand and the usage of long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are nothing but 3 to 4 key phrases that defines your service. For example, if you are selling “handmade photo crafts”, you can mention them with your “location” or “brand”. Long tail keywords help in the rankings and to bring more visits.
This clearly states that, though you get the keyword suggestions data from the tool, a clear cut analysis is required to build your keyword list. This applies to each and every action you are going to take on your SEO module.

The Base of SEO: Make your base strong with On-Page SEO

Meta Title – Make the title simple, short and unique using the right keyword. Focus on one keyword per page, or a max of 2 and certainly not more than that. Don’t forget to include your branding.
Meta Description – Describe what the page talks about in a sentence using your targeted keyword for that page. This tag has a greater impact on getting the traffic when done right, because this is what the user is going to read at the first sight. Unique, to-the-point descriptions likely to get more clicks.
SEO Tip: Search engines have their character limit to set your Title and Description tags. However no need to be so much keen on it instead, try focusing on creating a unique, relevant, short and simple tags, this is more enough.
Search Engine Friendly URLs – Make your website URLs search engine friendly, keep relevant file names for pages using targeted key phrases and use hyphens in between words.
SEO Tip – Try avoiding dynamic URLs unless needed. Don’t create more sub-folders as it will increase the levels of URLs. Try keeping up to 3 levels deep. Again, for eCommerce websites it differs.

H Tags – Have headings and sub-headings all over your content and tag them between <h1>….. </h1> <h2>……..</h2> like this till h6 you can have your subheadings. Make sure your web page has only one H1 tag which should be your main topic.
ALT Tags – All your images should be given a proper file name and this ALT tags help Search engines to understand what the image is. Give relevant ALT texts to images. Use hyphen (-) to fill up the spaces in between the filename instead of an underscore (_) For example, if the filename is web design services, use web-design-services.jpg
Breadcrumbs – Make sure to have good site navigation and breadcrumbs that helps the users to follow your website path without getting lost in the middle of their search.
SEO Tip: See whether you can use some of your target “key phrases” there.
XML Sitemap – Create your XML sitemap that helps in faster indexing of your website URLs by search engines.
Tool that you can use – (you can generate a free sitemap if your website has got < 500 URLs).

Interlinking – Interlink all your relevant pages that you might think useful for your visitors using targeted key phrases as anchor text.
SEO Tip: I have mentioned it as “key phrase”, don’t try to overload your actual keyword everywhere; even key phrases can help you.
404 Error Page – It is a good practice to design your customized 404 error page, in-case if a page is does not exists, it will help your users with more options.SEO Tip – Try to have you important links of your website here.
Content – Try to fill up the content gaps and optimize your existing content for your respective key phrases.
SEO Tip – It is okay if your “exact keyword” appears once in the entire content and try to balance with key phrases. After all, Search engines loves relevant content flow than spamming the content with over usage of keywords.
Footer – Have all your social icons in your footer and it is good to have your footer menu.
Website Speed – Try optimizing all your files, scripts and images so that page speed of the website can be improved.
Make a check here and get insights about your website speed

Off-Page SEO – Basics

 Social Profiles – Create profiles for your company in social networks. The most relevant referral traffic can come in from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google My Business. Provide the information about your services/products. Start posting the updates of your company.
SEO Tip – Keep your content engaging that makes the users to engage with you in some way. Use your brand name and other key phrases with a hashtag whenever necessary. Don’t overuse the hashtag.
Assets Creation and Distribution – If you have your whitepapers, press releases or videos about your services or products distribute them in sharing resources available online.
Some of the distribution resources: (There are lots of distribution websites available online, check the authority of them and start distributing)
SEO Tip – Don’t follow the out-dated directory submission or link exchange techniques which does not yield you any benefits except spamming. Try to acquire backlinks in a natural way.
Here is an interesting tool that gives all information about Backlinks.

Account Setup

Google Analytics – Create your Google Analytics account here to track the performance of your SEO efforts.
Webmaster Tools – Create accounts in Google and Bing webmaster tools and submit your XML sitemap there and verify your account. You can improve your website’s performance by seeing the indexing status, search queries, errors found and much more.

To conclude, SEO helps startups providing a strong long term foundation when done RIGHT. And, the Strategy differs for each industry and even the test cases differ from doing SEO for an eCommerce website comparing optimizing a general website. Play Wise and Play Smart. Once you start seeing some results from your SEO efforts, try to convert your SEO visits into Sales by creating lead generation strategies or hire a Digital Agency to help you with.

Looking to get more SEO Tips or need assistance in planning your SEO campaign? Drop us a line here

About the author: harini osc

Harini OSC, senior consultant and digital marketer at ShareSoft Technology. A core SEO Marketer with hands-on experience in building brands through Social Media, SEO and Email Marketing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.