Search engine optimization (SEO) is a relatively slow process. It takes time for a website to create a favorable site architecture, cultivate a plethora of high-quality offsite backlinks, develop useful and engaging content and perform other tasks that search engines reward with high ranking in search results. Most SEO experts are careful to set client expectations such that they do not expect any ranking movement for at least six months after SEO efforts have begun.
Despite the slow nature of SEO, SEO is undeniably important in the digital age. More than 90 percent of web traffic begins with a search engine, and few web users will scroll farther than the first handful of results. Thus, all businesses need to invest in SEO services to ensure they are connecting with their target audiences online.
Yet, when you run a business that needs to move quickly to garner attention — like a startup — can you make SEO work for you? The answer, fortunately, is definitely, though you might need the following tips to make sure your SEO strategy helps accomplish your goals.
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Don’t Try to Do It All
Arguably the most important SEO advice you can receive as a startup entrepreneur is that your digital marketing strategy should include SEO — but not solely SEO. As explained above, effective SEO takes time; SEO firms that promise quick results are almost certainly utilizing dangerous practices that will harm your online authority in the long term.
Still, some amount of SEO will allow your new business to appear in key searches, connecting with some members of your target audience and increasing your renown. Perhaps more importantly, the sooner you begin your SEO journey, the sooner you will start seeing results, which will be good for your business into the future. Instead of trying to tackle every element of SEO from the get-go, you should focus on certain SEO practices that align with your startup goals.
Focus on an SEO Foundation
Before you begin building your startup website, you should start thinking about the foundation of your SEO strategy. By integrating strong SEO practices into the earliest digital marketing activities, you will find it easier to accomplish your SEO goals in the future. Some basic SEO practices that most startups benefit from include:
Minimize Load Speeds
More than half of web users will navigate away from a webpage if it takes more than three seconds to load. Search engine spiders also appreciate faster load times, which make it easier to crawl a website. As tempting as it might be to make your website as dazzling as possible, it is much more valuable to ensure that your startup site will load in one to two seconds.
A majority of web traffic comes from mobile devices. You should strive to create a dynamic website, which will reorganize the content of your webpages based on factors such as device type and screen size. Then, you can be certain that the important components of your website will be attractive and accessible regardless of how web users visit your pages.
Publish High-quality Content
Search engines love to see content, which help them understand and index webpages accurately. Still, you should focus on publishing for people, not bots. You should strive to produce high-quality content, which should be unique to your website and filled with information, links, images and more that your site visitors will find useful.
Target Niche Keywords
Startups should avoid trying to compete for common keywords, which are likely claimed by more dominant and established businesses in their industry. Instead, you should look for niche keywords that are currently underutilized by your competitors and integrate those into your website and content.
Link-building is one of the most time- and energy-intensive tasks in SEO, so you shouldn’t expect to create a comprehensive link portfolio for your startup in its earliest months. However, the sooner you start accumulating links, the better. You can submit guest content to blogs, swap links with business partners and more to build authoritative links for your website.
Of course, all startups are different. While the SEO foundation built from these essential practices are likely to be useful to most startups, you should talk to an SEO firm — or a digital marketing agency working with high-quality SEO resellers — about your startup’s specific SEO needs.
Just because SEO is slow doesn’t mean your startup can ignore it. By finding a strong SEO partner, your startup can begin benefitting from SEO as soon as possible, building a better business foundation for the future.