This guest blog post comes to us from Phil Singleton of Kansas City SEO, an ECJC workshop presenter. To hear more of Phil’s expertise, keep an eye on our upcoming classes for one of his SEO workshops!
Just because you’re a startup doesn’t mean you can ignore Google or search engine optimization. The right SEO strategy can propel your business to unimaginable heights.
Yet, tf you don’t have the right strategy early on, SEO is going to be an infuriating process.
This blog post will clarify the process of creating such a strategy. We’ll go through exactly what you need to do to create a winning outcome. By the end of this article you should know what needs to be done, and in what order.
1. Do Keyword Research Early
SEO is all about appearing in the search engines when people search for a certain keyword or phrase. Therefore, you need to know what keywords you want to ‘rank’ for before you do anything else.
Choosing keywords will often depend on what your product is and what problems it solves.
Generally people will search around the problem, not the product. That means you’ll want to rank for the keywords based on the problem.
For instance, someone looking for a time management app might search for tips on time management. Albeit they might also search for time management apps too. That’s why keyword research is important. It lets you know which keywords are being searched for most.
Keyword research can be a complicated process. Tools such as Google’s free AdWords Keyword Planner tend to make the whole process easier.
You can even use keyword research and user search behavior to validate your startup idea.
2. Get a Website Up and Running Sooner Than Later
SEO is based on ranking websites in the search engines. And so if you don’t have a real website, you are not going to be found. In other words, a blank ‘coming soon’ web page has very little SEO value,
Therefore, consider setting up a website as soon as you can.
The website does not need to be complicated, and can just showcase what you’re going to bring to the market in the near future. Doing this quickly is important, as search engines often recognize active websites that have been around for a while.
3. Use a Free SEO Website Tool
SEO has been around for a long time. That means that there are a ton of tools out there that will tell you how to get better at it.
Here is a free one-click website SEO report tool. This free tool will give your website an SEO grade and will also provide details on what you need to fix.
The changes will help search engines view your website more favorably, as your site will get more SEO ‘points’ by qualifying for more of the known search engine ranking factors.
When it comes to SEO, optimization can be split into two camps: on-page (website content, coding and structure) and off-page (backlinks, social signals, citations, etc). Online tools can help you improve both on-page and off-page SEO ranking factors.
4. Start Blogging on Relevant Topics
Though search engines can rank a website that’s ‘thin’ on content, they’d rather a site that’s packed with high quality, useful content instead.
As a result, make an effort to produce some blog posts based on the industry you’re in.
The blog posts can be based on a variety of topics and formats. List-based posts tend to attract a lot of attention, so you might want to start there.
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, just think about the market you’re trying to serve, and the problems they face. Create blog posts that help solve these problems.
You want to do all of this ahead of time, preferably well before you launch your company.
5. Get Your Social Media Accounts Set Up
Social media is such a big thing nowadays, that search engines can’t help but acknowledge them. As a result, make an effort to build a social media profile as soon as you can.
That means creating accounts on each of the platforms out there.
Once you’ve created these accounts, share your content on them. This will help drive people to your site, and, therefore, improve the odds of you ranking higher.
6. Work on Creating Content
As mentioned, blog posts tend to help you rank higher in the search engines.
However, you want to make an effort to create blog posts that align with the keywords you’re looking to rank for.
Here is a Duct Tape Marketing article on website content strategy on how to do that.
Of course, content can exist in forms other than blog posts. You can also produce content in the form of video. The videos you can create can be posted on YouTube.
Whichever medium you choose, it’s important that you get started as soon as possible and that you optimize your content for the keywords you want to rank for.
7. Start the Outreach Process Early
An outreach process can help you reach the audiences of bloggers who might be relevant to the niche you’re targeting.
There are several benefits here. Firstly, if the person you’re reaching out to endorses you, then you’ll get traffic to your website. This traffic will be highly qualified and more likely to try or buy.
On top of that, if the other blogger links to your website, there’s a chance that your website will rank higher as a result.
You might want to establish relationships in a manner that allows for you to be blogged about when your product is being released. This will help improve your marketing efforts.
8. Use An SEO-friendly Press Release Service
Press releases can help get the word out there, by notifying people of your ambitions. However, a press release can also improve your SEO efforts.
By using an SEO-friendly press release service, such as eReleases.com you’ll be able to get the word out there, and optimize your site at the same time.
There is a right way and a wrong way to create a press release. Here is an example of the perfect SEO press release.
Consider using a proven press release service, when you’re about to launch.
9. Create an eBook and Use it to Build an Email List
On top of what has already been mentioned, you might also want to create an eBook to giveaway. This eBook will help you build an email list.
SEO can sometimes be temperamental, and though you’re ranking high today, tomorrow you may not be – because your competitors are always trying to outrank you.
As a result, if you can capitalize on your current position, by building a list, you’ll be able to safeguard yourself from ranking fluctuations.
10. Don’t make SEO an after thought
SEO needs to be done over time and can’t be something that you think of at the last minute. It also needs to be built into all of your web development and marketing efforts.
Make an effort to implement your SEO strategy from day one. If you fail to do this early, you might miss an enormous opportunity to leverage SEO in a way that will help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals.
The Benefits are Waiting…
SEO can be the best way to ensure that potential customers can find you.
However, for SEO to work properly, you need to implement the right strategy.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with some tips related to that. All you need to do now is get started and reap the benefits that are waiting for you.
About the Author: Phil Singleton is a search engine optimization consultant at Kansas City SEO, and he owns operates the web design and development agency Kansas City Web Design. Phil is also a Duct Tape Marketing™ Certified Consultant and has co-authored the Amazon Best Selling book: The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Local Lead Generation. To get the latest tips and strategies on SEO and Internet marketing, connect with Phil Singleton on LinkedIn.