Google Search is perhaps the biggest driver of website traffic to most businesses. It’s also an amazing source of high quality relevant visitors who have a serious buying intent. So if you can rank your website well on search results, then your business is bound to grow faster.
However, most startups fail because their website is not optimized for search engines. To make matters worse, search engine optimization (SEO) is not a DIY topic that you can get done with, over a weekend. Google uses complex algorithms and ranking factors to determine search engine rankings. So if you don’t know what you’re doing and how it impacts your search rankings, there’s a good chance your efforts won’t yield much result, or may even get you penalized by Google.
Here are 5 basic SEO Tips every entrepreneur can use to improve their search rankings and help people find your business in online searches
1. Target the Right Keywords
Keywords are one of the most important search ranking factors, and it’s crucial to identify the keywords and search phrases used by your target customers, when they search your products or services online.
If you’re a new businesses, then mostly likely people won’t search your business by its name or brand, because they haven’t heard about you. Instead, they would look for what your product or services does. For example, if your business offers an online tool to schedule meetings, then your target customers may search for “online meeting scheduler”, or “web-based meeting scheduler”.
They may also search for a tool that solves their problems. For example, they may search for “tool to schedule meetings”, or “which tool to use to schedule meetings”. You can always use one of the many keyword research tools available online, to make a list of keywords that your target customers may be using to find your business. As your brand grows, people will search your business by name, instead. For example, people directly search for “Nike” & “Coca-Cola” because they’re well established brands and people already know about them.
Once you’ve identified the keywords and search phrases that your potential customers use, integrate them with your website naturally by adding them to your website’s page titles, headings and body. Don’t overuse keywords on your website, else you’ll be penalized by Google, for keyword stuffing.
2. Create high quality, useful content
Great Content is the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. It allows you to organically use keywords on your website. More content means more opportunity to use more keywords. It also helps SEO in a couple of other ways: good content makes your audience stay longer on your website, as well as improves user engagement (via social media shares). Both these factors boost your search engine rankings. So ensure that you maintain a blog on your website, that regularly publishes highly relevant and useful articles for your target audience.
3. Get Relevant Backlinks from Quality
Backlinks are basically inbound links from other websites to your website. Backlinks are one of the most important search engine ranking factors, as they indicate that others find your website & its content to be valuable. The more backlinks you have, the more authoritative it is considered to be, and the higher its search rankings.
However, it’s important to get organic backlinks from only high quality websites that are actually relevant to your own website. For example, if you run a website about automobile spare parts, then backlinks from fitness websites and forums won’t do any good. So get backlinks from niche sites related to your business.
Also, when it comes to backlinks, quality is way more important than quantity. Getting a few backlinks from good websites will have a much bigger impact than getting tons of low quality backlinks.
You can also use tools like Moz Explorer, Ahrefs or Majestic SEO to find the backlinks of your competitors, and understand from where they’re getting their backlinks.
4. Do On-page SEO
On-page SEO stands for all the SEO activities that you do on your own webpage. It’s the most important factor that enables search engines to understand what your website is about, and for which keywords it should index your web pages. So optimize each web page on your site by :
- Starting title tag with your target keyword. Title tag helps search engines understand the main topic of your web page. So ensure that your title is actually relevant to the topic covered in your web page.
- Using H1 & H2 headings to organize your content. You can also use relevant search phrases in your headings to rank your page for more keywords.
- Using an SEO-friendly url structure that uses proper words and keywords. For example, “http://www.example.com/5-seo-tips-for-startups” is better than “http://www.example.com/?p=312”
5. Monitor SEO Performance for continuous improvement
Like every marketing strategy, it’s important that you regularly monitor the performance of your SEO strategy to find out what’s working and do more of it, and also figure out what’s not working and fix it as soon as possible. Google Analytics is the best tool to monitor your website visitors and understand user behavior on your site. It provides easy-to-understand dashboards that enable you to track how many people visit your website, from which locations, using what device, and so on. It also tells you what they do on your site – which pages they read, how many filled your online forms, and even how many downloaded your content.
Even if you simply get the SEO basics right, it will provide a tremendous boost to your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website. However, it’s important to remember that it takes time for SEO to start showing results. This is because it takes time for Google to crawl your web pages after you update your site, and also crawl other websites to discover backlinks to your website. The key is to target the right keywords, build useful content around those keywords and get backlinks from high quality website to improve search engine rankings.
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