A website is an essential part of any start-up strategy in the modern business world, irrespective of the industry sector in which you’re operating. A website needs many things in order to succeed, and a good digital marketing strategy comprising SEO is most certainly one of them.
One of the major problems start-up business owners face is that they usually have a lack of resources to invest in SEO, both from a time and from a financial perspective. However, it is definitely worth giving some attention to. There is no escape from the reality of SEO and digital marketing: success only comes over time. That’s not to say you cannot lay the foundations in order to have your site in good shape from day one, though.
Here are some SEO tips that all start-up businesses should have in mind.
You’re probably not going to find a designer who knows everything about SEO, but you can easily find a number of designers who know enough to make sure you get a high quality design that is user friendly.
More often than not, top designers will also have copywriters and SEO specialists within their network, so you should be able to get some great on-site copy and keyword research done to get you started. This is much easier than having a wonderful site design that effectively becomes a shell with no real substance within it.
Reconcile yourself with how much money you should expect to pay for top-notch web design, too, and then there’ll be no surprises when you start shopping around.
Unless you have been fortunate enough to secure private equity investment or you’re putting a lot of your own money into the business it is unlikely that you’ll have a big wedge to pay out for digital marketing activities. You’re never going to learn everything by simply reading industry blogs and resources, but you can learn a lot and probably pick up enough information in order to get by.
At the very least you should be looking to learn as many of the SEO basics as you can, so when you do any work yourself you can be confident that you’re supporting the long-term success of your site and not making life harder for yourself by unwittingly undermining your performance.
Features such as Whiteboard Friday at Moz.com are worth watching, while some of the top sites featured at http://seo.alltop.com should also be on your reading list.
This is probably the most important piece of advice we can give to you. What many people don’t realise with SEO is that success – which is usually defined in terms of getting onto page one of Google – is often determined by what your competitors are doing. Some people say they don’t have time for SEO but don’t actually realise that they might not need to spend too much time on it at all in order to trump their competitors.
You will probably already know who your competitors are in the “real world,” which is great. Understand that while many of your online competitors will be the same as these, you might have different competitors based on what keywords you decide to target and depending on your geographic location.
Think about how many pages you need on your website, and make each one count. Many small business owners treat and launch their website like it is some sort of vanity project. The bottom line is that the number pages on your website don’t matter. Don’t be one of the many who fall into thinking that 100 pages must be better than 10. If 10 pages is enough to sell your service or product, that’s all you need.
It is far more important to focus on every page of your website and think about what it does. Every page should have some sort of meaning, be it a commercial page, an information page, a blog, a resource, or something else. If there isn’t a reason for a page to be on your site, then it shouldn’t be on your site.
Even if all you do is write a new blog entry once a week, if this is more than your competitors are doing then you’ll see the benefits. It is crucial that you keep SEO on your business agenda at all times. If you believe you can “do SEO” and then forget about it, your website will sink to the point that it will be very difficult to breathe new life back into it.
Take advantage of as many free tools and resources as you can, such as the ones featured here on our website, and even if the time you can dedicate to your digital marketing strategy is short, you’ll at the very least be doing something.
The main reason you should be looking at SEO from day one is that it provides you with a strong platform to work from when the time comes when you can dedicate extra time or money to your SEO campaign. Do nothing, and not only will your website struggle to bring you any business, you’ll also find that it takes probably 3 – 6 months to build your foundations when you do turn your attention to digital marketing.