In case you didn’t know, 75% of internet users today don’t scroll beyond a search engine’s first page. What does this mean? Well, it basically means that if you’re not in the top, 75% of people looking for something online won’t find your business. Out of a myriad of marketing techniques and strategies available online, SEO (search engine optimisation) is without a doubt the most compelling. Increasingly more companies today are acknowledging the power of search engine optimisation, and since we’re talking about a precise and detailed process, some might find it confusing. The good news is you don’t have to be an expert to choose a capable SEO team to help your business rank higher.
What’s up with SEO and web design? Are these two connected in any way? Sure they are. Most start-up owners already know that a user-friendly approach when designing a website improves SEO rankings. For example, Google recommends online businesses to consider responsive design. The benefits are numerous, although, what matters the most is that responsive web design allows your company’s website to perform optimally on all smart devices. HTML5 is a web design power tool. However, implementation might be rather troublesome for search engine optimisation. Even though HMT5 designs are inspirational, groundbreaking and interactive, Google will see nothing but an empty page if they’re not properly coded.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is a methodology of tactics, strategies and techniques used to boost a website’s number of visitors, thus gaining a high-ranking spot on main search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. In layman’s terms, SEO means increasing your company’s visibility in the online marketplace. For example, if you have a business that sells “boots for dogs” and you want people to find you on the internet, SEO is the best strategy to implement to help people find “boots for dogs”. The more visible your websites becomes for search engines (preferably in the first page of Google) the higher the chances you have to sell more “boots for dogs”, thus boosting organic traffic and generating more revenue.
How does SEO work exactly? Google displays only the most relevant websites on its first pages. So if you type “boots for dogs” in Google, you’ll get only the best sites advertising precisely this product. It won’t show you “hats for cats”. Relevance is the backbone of SEO; and it can only be achieved through great content. SEO strategies abide by Google’s famous quote: “Content is King!” For a website to be ranked higher, it must feature qualitative keywords embedded in qualitative content. If you want your website to be seen by search engines but you’re new to SEO and can’t really wrap your head around the whole process, start by:
- Writing useful, informative, engaging content focusing on keywords that potential visitors might search for when looking for your product
- Keep the content easy to understand by everyone (not all your visitors will be scientists or university professors, so you have to make it easy to digest)
- Don’t stop!
Of course, there’s more to SEO than just great content and smart keywords. However, if you’re just starting out, it should be enough. Just remember to put the need of the client first, and give him exactly what he wants.
SEO strategies for start-ups
Properly implemented strategies will make sure your start-up remains relevant in search engine results. However, if you’re new to SEO, you might want to stick with the basics. Don’t waste your time trying to understand Google’s algorithms, as they might seem a bit overwhelming for someone unfamiliar with search engine optimisation. Centre your attention on techniques that are easy to digest and at the same time effective.
- Keyword implementation – targeting the right keywords is the first thing you should do. But since the competition is fierce out there, this tactic might also be the most difficult. Some keywords are impossible to rank because there may be too many online websites targeting those exact keywords. What you can do is focus on terms and phrases that are slightly different, or perhaps a bit more specific to your site.
- Have a target audience in mind – prior to getting started with SEO, any type of business should have a properly laid out target audience. For example, if your new start-up is selling wrinkle creams & lotions, your target audience should be women in their 40s and 50s. Put the needs of the customer first. What do they need? What can you offer them that other companies can’t?
- Mobile–friendly website – it is important to have a mobile-friendly website because many people today use their smart devices to access the web, and not necessarily their desktop computers. There are lots of online resources that can help you make a mobile-friendly version of your website.
- Transparent content – make a connection with your target audience by creating easy to read content. Simple articles and blog posts that are informational and useful are the best. Focus on writing content that everyone can understand.
- Use infographics – infographics are extremely easy to understand. In fact, increasingly more businesses are using them because they can quickly catch a reader’s attention. Blending text with graphics is the best way of grabbing people’s attention and piquing their interest.
- Define your competitors (spy on them, too) – don’t let your competitors scare you. They might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t mean they’re impossible to beat. Head over to Google, type in your keyword or service, and you’ll immediately know who your most fierce competitors are. Check their website; assess their offers, products, content, etc. And then, find a way to set yourself apart. Come up with something new, something they can’t provide and use it to your advantage.
Advantages of SEO
SEO is the internet’s favourite marketing strategy, and many start-ups today have been convinced of its effectiveness. We live in an age of advanced technology; an age where we can’t spend a day without browsing something on the internet. SEO comes with a lot of benefits. Among the best we have:
- Increased traffic – proper SEO keeps your business at the top of search engine results. Relevant keywords, quality content, optimised tags & descriptions, and a targeted audience will boost traffic. Increased traffic makes your business easy to find online, thus improving your reputation and boosting revenue.
- ROI – SEO prides with providing quantifiable and trackable results, whether you’re an e-commerce or non-ecommerce business.
- SEO is cost-efficient – believe it or not, search engine optimisation is an extremely affordable marketing strategy. It only targets users that might have an interest in your services or products due to its inbound nature.
- Improved site usability – thanks to SEO, your website will become easier to browse through. It will rearrange the architecture and links of your site, thus making the web pages appear easier to navigate.
- Brand awareness – having your website ranked first increases brand awareness through increased online exposure. Being on the first page of Google instils trust, and increasingly more people will see your website as trustworthy. The higher the ranking of your pages, the better the chances for users to check out your content; and even pass it on via social media thus increasing your company’s reputation.
These days, having a nicely designed company website is not enough to draw in customers and make them buy your products. Unless your website is properly optimised, nobody will see it, let alone Google or other search engines. SEO is all about outstanding content (continuous content), targeted keywords and responsive design. Start-up should aim at defining their audience first; then come up with the keywords, content and general layout. If you’re new to SEO and you want to know more about this pioneering marketing strategy, the following resources will help you master the art of search engine optimisation:
- Udemy.com – Excellent SEO course by Udemy. It offers video tutorials on SEO basics, as well as useful advice to help you get started.
- The Art of SEO, by Eric Enge – for avid readers, this book will tell you everything there is to know about SEO. It provides an in-depth analysis on the best strategies, as well as useful advice on how to use SEO to market your business.
- SeoMoz.com – active since 2004, SeoMoz prides with a lot of information on SEO and other online marketing strategies for business. The platform is extremely detailed, however the guideline offered caters to beginners too.
- SEO for beginners – this YouTube video on SEO is a must-see. Aimed at beginners, the tutorial will help you understand the strategies better so that you can apply them to your own start-up.
SEO goes hand in hand with website design. In fact, these two are fundamental for start-ups that want to boost revenue and make themselves known to the masses. A good-looking website can’t function properly without SEO, and vice versa. Don’t you want Google to find and place you at the top? Sure you do. However you need proper optimisation to make your site seem relevant for search engines. IT Enterprise can help you understand SEO, its strategies and methodologies. Let us do the heavy lifting and we can guarantee that you’ll become a Google favourite in no time.Tags: optimisation, seo, startup, strategy, website