Just as with everything in business, you first need a plan before starting SEO for your startup.
Your SEO strategy should be organized and detailed with actionable steps to improve your website’s probability of showing up in organic search engine results.
What is organic traffic
First, let's look at defining a common term you’ll need to know.
Organic traffic. Organic traffic is when internet users find you—not because of ads (PPC)—but because your website has content and products closely related to their search.
Goal setting for SEO
The most important question to ask is: what does success look like for your business website. Once you have the answer to that question, you can take the steps you need to achieve this.
How search engines like Google find your website
SEO revolves around the theory that organic traffic, i.e., those people actively looking for the products or content you have, are more valuable than those gained through paid ads.
That means your SEO planning must revolve around making your website “findable” to these people.
How does organic search work
You’ve built your website. And now, you begin the wait for people to come. But it’s not that easy.
As of 2021 there are 1.88 billion websites online—with more showing up every day.
To find all those new websites, search engine giants like Bing and Google use “crawlers, bots, or spiders” to search online for new websites.
Based on information the crawlers find, search engines then categorize your website under certain categories. It is then that users are able to “find you.” That, along with a complex algorithm heavily guarded by search engines, determines who sees your website.
But if your content looks spammy or the website is poorly organized search engines won’t rank your site very high in their results.
Step 1: Do your homework—who is the competition and what are they doing
Start with your competitors. See what they’re doing.
• How is their webpage organized
• Do they focus more on visual content (photos/videos) or written content (product descriptions/blogs)
• What about social media, what do your competitors use, will it work for you?
Step 2: Keyword planning—what is it, and will it help you
Choosing the right keywords is very important. This is why looking at your competitors’ websites is so important.
Check their website. Also, look at their social. The hashtags they’re using in their social media will contain many of the keywords they use most commonly.
Step 3: Determine who are your clients, really
Know who your audience is.
If you are selling a product that is geared to males 18-35, find out what type of content they like. Do your research. And be specific.
Step 4: Track, test, repeat
There are numerous metrics you can track but the easiest place to start will be:
• Search engine rankings (where you stand, your competitors)
• Organic visits: people who visit your site based on search engine results
Step 5: Become an expert
You can use other, less obvious websites like LinkedIn or Medium to become a thought leader or an influencer in your field. It adds instant credibility to you and your business.
This kind of content marketing is especially usefully for B2B or for service providers who are trying to differentiate themselves from others in their industry.
The first step starts with you
That’s just a few tips to start your SEO planning for your startup.
The first step is the most important one: start with a clear idea of what you want to achieve, then act.