By Sukrut Vanani, Sr. SEO & Digital Marketing Executive, Kesari Exports
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the term given to the practices and methods applied to improve a website's ranking and visibility in major search engines by increasing its reputation among other websites as well as the end users. But wait, website ranking is the only thing to look for in SEO? No, better ranking is just a one side of the coin. Nowadays SEO carries a very broad perspective which includes better rankings, building brand reputation, winning trust of your customers OR readers and provide the best online experience to visitors of your online portal or application which will make them visit you again and again and if this is achieved then we can say you have got a good optimized website.
Unfortunately most of the people still thinks SEO as just a process of building huge amount of back links and keyword stuffed content pages, this was a popular practice in early 90's but search engines are getting smarter and smarter every single day. You will be surprised by knowing that on average Google updates it's core ranking algorithm every 30 minutes, So applying such old optimization techniques this will take you nowhere but in black box and ranking penalties making current rankings even worst and steady.
Startups and SEO
As I mentioned earlier SEO is something most of the startups are still giving less importance as a part of digital marketing campaigns, Reason? Everyone wants measurable and fastest possible RoI. Of course SEO is a nightmare for new startups because of tight budgets, return expectations and many more things. But a very good planned digital marketing campaign will surely give good results.
How to Build A Better SEO Plan?
One can find SEO professionals, freelancers, agencies all over the world quoting from few hundred dollars to huge five figure amounts monthly leaving the startup in a great confusion. Now in this situation if any startup hires a low quality service providers to save money OR due to tight budgets then it will surely penalize the website and clearing their mess will take even more money and efforts which was invested. But..
If you don’t have budget of hiring an experienced SEO agency then don’t worry, just follow below essential elements of any SEO strategy and methods of how you can implement it correctly until your startup is ready to go with some professional help.
Get Your On-Page Optimization
Many startups (and SEO companies) forget about one of the most important search engine optimization factors for long-term success, and that is the on-page optimization of the website. Neglecting the on-page optimization is like attempting to run a marathon with one leg. Sure, you might eventually get to the finish line, but it is going to take much longer and you are putting yourself at a severe disadvantage from the start.
Build a Strong Social Media Presence (Attract Social Signals)
A startup needs to have a strong social media footprint from the day of birth, and a well thought-out social media effort can help the growth of the startup along with providing a SEO benefit. Every re-tweet, share, like, mention, etc., is referred to as a social signal, and these signals are an important component of a successful SEO plan. A full time social media manager or agency might not be in the budget but that doesn’t mean the startups social presence must be neglected.
I know of a start-up that would designate one employee as the “social king” for the day and they would be responsible for running all of the social accounts for the day. This included posting the new daily blog posts across the social profiles, interacting with their followers, and handling any customer support inquiries that came over via social media. They were starting out on a shoestring budget but got creative and made it work.
Launch a Blog & Keep it Updated with Fresh Content
Every startup should have a blog on their website and it should be updated on a regular basis. A simple way to get good content for the blog is to source it from within the organization. In the beginning have one employee manage the blog and delegate writing assignments throughout the company.
Employees of a new startup should have no objection to contributing a weekly blog post, as it will help with the growth and success of the startup.
Assigning blog topics that are based around keywords that the startup is going to target for SEO is a great way to help get some quality content posted that can benefit the search engine optimization effort.
Guest Blogging is NOT Dead When Done Correctly
Look for industry blogs that have potential to get provide the startup with exposure and traffic and then pitch them guest posts. Again, this can be spread out through the startup at first. Have a contest that rewards the employee who obtains the most guest posts and reward the employee that creates the guest post that drives the most traffic back to the startups website. This kind of internal competition can produce great results while building work place camaraderie, something that is very important for a new startup.
Finally, I would recommend a good SEO strategy with effective implementation and if done correctly it will surely give promising results at a long run.