Basic SEO Tips For Startups

By | July 12, 2013

Search engine optimization can mean the difference between you getting clients online, or your competitors getting there first.

A start-up business needs SEO (search engine optimization) tools. Here’s why: SEO = advertising. Your new business needs customers, and to get them it must advertise on the Internet, because many of your customers will come to you that way, or at least do online research before buying. Your website must be high on their results page when they search for your products or services. How do you make that happen? By showing the search engines that it makes sense to pull up your site, that it’s relevant to the search. For example, if you run a florist shop, you’ll want your site to appear prominently when searchers type in words like “florist” or “wedding flowers.” Since the engines will naturally be looking for sites with matching terms, if your website uses these phrases often and prominently enough, the site will rank it high on a related search engine results page (SERP). These search words or phrases are called keywords.

Test Your Keywords

But say there are several keywords that customers might use to search for your product or service online. Which are the most effective? You can quickly test and compare possible keywords using tools like Google’s Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, or SEO for Chrome. These tools will show you how much interest there is in potential keywords (how often they’re used in searches), and performance data for similar, alternative terms. Sometimes, the addition or deletion of a single word in a search phrase can make a huge difference in the results. These tools can show you which terms are likely to perform best. Some of these tools are also free to use.

Inbound Site Links

It’s also very important for there to be inbound links to your website, because it’s one way the search engines determine the ranking of your site. You can start by placing a link to your website from your company’s other Internet properties, such as its social media sites. Starting a company blog will help you attract inbound links, especially if others share your blogs or articles on Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to add a “share” button to your website’s blogs or other content to encourage this. Original, embedded videos and compelling photos or artwork will also encourage links, especially if you upload them to video sharing sites like YouTube. If you sell merchandise, be sure to add a Pinterest button to your website.  It also makes sense to do your utmost to get links from relevant blogs or online websites. Linking to other sites (if it makes sense) may sometimes garner a reciprocal link. Once you begin to build inbound links, some online SEO tools, like Open Explorer, will show you where they’re coming from, and which ones are producing the best results for you.

Have Someone Help

If you’re unfamiliar with SEO tools and strategies, and uncomfortable with the thought of doing these things yourself, there are many online sites that will take care of search engine optimization for you, to keep your site high in the SERPs. But whether you do it yourself, or hire someone else to do it, SEO savvy is essential to the success of your start-up business.