I have been approached by many startups over the years to help them with their search presence and I find one common thread in all of these startups, they don’t have the funds for a full SEO marketing campaign. I usually will not recommend hiring an SEO for a startup company that has a limited budget because I believe that there will be better places to use your limited capital. That being said there are things that you can do on your own to increase brand awareness and your search presence.
Build Your Brand
Google loves brands so letting Google know that you are serious about your brand will help build trust and authority for your website. A great way to start building your brand is to find social networks that you can register your brand with. A quick way to check to see if your brand is available is to use a site called KnowEm.
Use KnowEm to research available social sites for your brand name.
You can just plug your desired brand name into the search bar in KnowEm and it will show you what social accounts are available.
KnowEm is free to use and they also have a paid service that will set up these accounts for you. I have not personally used the social account setup service so I cannot personally recommend this service.
Building your brand is a good first step in showing Google that you are serious about your business and that you are in this for the long haul. Make sure that you set up these accounts as complete as you can including adding images and logos. This will increase the visibility of your brand by having it show up not only in the traditional Google search results but also in the image and video results.
In addition to adding your website URL to these social accounts, most of these accounts will allow you to add links to your other social accounts. For example, when setting up your YouTube account add links to your Facebook, Blogger, Weebly, etc. to the channel heading.
I would recommend the brand building phase to be your first phase of your SEO marketing plan along with my next tip. When setting up your social accounts using proper keywords in your social account descriptions is helpful in letting Google know what your website is about because all of these accounts will be pointing to your startups website.
I have researched many websites that appear at first glance to have a ton of traffic only to find out that the traffic that they are getting has very little to do with their business. This can be frustrating for many startups because they think that just putting out content on their blog will get them traffic from the Google searches. This can be blamed partly on all the SEO guru’s touting content being king and Google loves fresh content. This is partially true Google does love fesh and unique content but you have to make sure that this content is going to serve your business. This is where keyword research comes in, knowing what you want to rank for and how much traffic it will bring you is one of the most important parts of SEO. Without knowing what your target is you are just wasting your time and effort.
One of my favorite tools for keyword research is SEMRush this tool has a free and paid version but to start out I think the free version will give you some great ideas. Let’s start with the keyword research section this will give you search volumes (how many people are searching monthly) and keyword suggestions. All we need to get started is a seed keyword.
For this example we are using the search term “lead generation software”, Semrush will display the search volumes for your phrase match keyword as well as other related keywords. This is a great way to find keywords that you may not have thought about.
Competitor Research With Semrush
You can also research your competition and see what keywords the are ranking for and “borrow” those keywords for your campaign. Just copy and paste your competitor’s domain into the domain research section of Semrush. With the free account, you are limited to how many results you will see so to get in depth information you can sign up for a free trial.
What To Do With The Keyword List
Once you have a good list of keywords you will want to prioritize these into the main keywords that you want Google to know what your website is about and also keywords that you want to use in blog posts. It usually works out that the higher volume keywords are what you would want to use for the main keywords for your website and the lower volume longer tail keywords can be reserved for blog posts.
On Page SEO
There are two types of SEO, on page SEO and off page SEO. On page SEO is any optimization that you implement on your website whereas off page SEO is any optimization and link building you perform on other websites that point to your website.
On page SEO is crucial to ranking for your keywords because this is where we let Google know what your website is about. This alone will not rank your website for competitive keywords but without it, it would be hard to rank no matter what you do for off page SEO. Off page SEO is like a vote for your website from another website, but not all votes are created equal so the higher quality the website the more weight it carries in Google’s eyes.
We are going to be working mainly with meta data in this section. The meta data is the data that Google and other bots read to know what your website is about. The meta data we will be working with is page title, description and image alt tags. We want to use the main keyword list for these areas, implementing this varies from website to website so I am not going to go into this in this guide.
For more information on how to implement this please see my 12 steps to dominating Google video in this post.
If you would like to get a free 20 SEO minute consultation please schedule on my calendar.
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