Even if you’re “just” a startup, your online presence needs to follow search engine optimization (SEO) and maybe even local SEO (LSEO) best practices. It’s not just your website. Any related blogs, social media presence, and virtually any other part of the online world needs to be SEO-focused. SEO is always evolving, but one thing remains constant: You need to have the perfect SEO keywords and phrases to drive your rankings up and drive traffic to your site.
SEO is impossible to describe in a brief article, but it’s basically what gets your website(s) and online presence ranked in a certain order when people query keywords related to your startup. For example, let’s say you’re a florist in Nashville but you ship within the continental US, too. Your key demographics might Google “Nashville florist” or “cheap flower delivery.” This means you need organic keywords including “Nashville florist” and “cheap flower delivery” peppered throughout your online content and ideally in URL and tags, too.
Know Your SEO
How can you know which SEO keywords and phrases best suit your startup? Start by using Google AdWord’s Keyword Tool Finder. This lets you see what real people are also searching for when they Google things like “sheet music.” These words and phrases will likely change over time. Also start checking out your competition’s sites to see the language they use, but never plagiarize (this is a black hat trick and you’ll be penalized).
While Google is the most common search engine, all search engines use SEO to rank sites. It’s much easier to get started with proper SEO as a startup than try to fix it down the road. Yes, it will take more work, more time and more headaches but it’s worth it. Studies show that most people don’t look beyond the first few hits of Google searches and almost nobody looks beyond the first page.
There’s no way to guarantee you’ll make the top spot for your best keywords, no shortcuts and no one size fits all answer. You just need to keep up with SEO trends, make sure all your content is original and of the highest quality, and ensure that your keywords keep pace with what’s happening in SEO today. Sound like a lot of work? That’s exactly why so many businesses pay for SEO management.
As a startup, it’s only natural that budgets are tight and you’re trying to DIY as much as possible. That’s a noble effort, but there’s a very good reason why SEO firms and professionals charge a pretty penny. They have skills, knowledge, time and experience that you don’t and it’s likely in your best interest to squeeze these services into the budget. Remember that as a small business, tech support and consultation is a tax deduction so you might financially benefit from an SEO pro more than you think.
Before blindly choosing keywords, do your research, consider hiring a pro and know that SEO isn’t a one and done process. It requires constant effort and you can’t opt out of it or your competition will take your customers. Are you up for the task?