Basic SEO Tips for Startups

SEO is a process that takes time but can be worked from everyone. Check out some of the basic SEO tips that you can implement today!

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There is nothing better than starting your startup with great foundations. SEO takes time, that is true but by following some basic guidelines you can help kickstart your organic growth right off the bat. 

SEO or search engine optimization refers to the practice of optimizing one’s page in order to perform better in search engines such as Google. Why is that important?

Well, keep in mind that a recent study from BrideEdge showed that more than 50% of the average traffic that goes into a site comes from Organic. 5-10 perfect comes from paid and the rest comes from a combination of all other channels.

If you want your business to succeed there is no other way around it. You need to invest in SEO. 

SEO is a process

On the contrary to popular opinion, SEO is not hard. Anyone can do it given that they are willing to invest the time. One thing that I teach on my SEO tutoring sessions, is that SEO is the process or changing certain habits. Whether you are a developer building a new web app or a marketing specialist creating a marketing campaign for your big launch. 

You don’t need to be a tech genius to understand the basic technical SEO requirements your site needs to comply with and in all honesty, in most cases, you don’t need an SEO Specialist to help you with your SEO. Especially one that will ask for a retaining fee. 

SEO is human-centered

Engines are complex machines that use algorithms, AI, Machine learning and a whole lot of other words that can cause severe brain damage to even consider thinking off. 

What you need to know though is that engines in their core are simple, products. They are no different than the coffee machine that you bought to make your amazing Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato. Imagine having to do that with some manual way… only the caramel would take you a few hours. 

Similar to the coffee machines, search engines are solving a very real problem. People need answers to certain questions. Search Engines search for the answers and they present them to the user. 

Now would you buy a coffee machine that takes 4 hours to make a single coffee? Probably not. Similarly, people wouldn’t use engines that listed sites that take a long time to load. 

Would you buy a coffee machine that you asked for a Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato and it gave you a double espresso? You probably wouldn’t. In the same manner, you wouldn’t use an engine that gave you the wrong results for the query you just typed.

Basic search engine optimization is human-centered. That means that all you need to do is focus on your site rather than how engines perceive your site. 

Thankfully we live in an age that engines can really “get” what a site is all about. They are also somewhat forgiving when they encounter errors. But what they are not forgiving at all, is when you don’t do your best for your users. Or even more… theirs. 

Basic SEO Tips for Startups

One of the most common denominators across all industries and businesses I had the pleasure of consulting is the question regarding a checklist. 

Even though I am not overly fond of SEO checklists since things can hugely differ from industry to industry or even site to site, I think that the basics can be applied almost globally. 

Titles

Titles are important. They are not only an on-page ranking factor but the first impression someone gets of your site when they are looking for your products or services. 

Imagine searching for a commercial coffee machine and you get the following results one next to each other. 

commercial coffee machine SERP

Which one would you click on? Don’t answer that.

Meta Descriptions

Since we are on the subject of human-centered SERP results, a meta description is the description that appears under the title on the above screenshots.

They do not hold any ranking power so no matter the keywords you choose to put in them you wont be able to rank for them.

Their real power though is that they offer a more in depth explanation of what the page that follows is all about. That being said, writing unique and human-centered descriptions can help increase your click through rate which can make a huge difference in your conversions.

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Not only I know that Webstauranstore.com has what I am looking for but they also provide brewers, dispensers and fast shipping. That is very informative.

Content is King

People turn their eyes every time I mention this. Well to be honest, I turn my eyes every time I mention this now. It’s been said so much and for so long it feels like it’s a myth. Well, it’s not.

Search Engines are content eating machines. They eat it, digest it and spit out results. That’s all they do. If you want to rank high for the terms that you are targeting then you need to write something about it.

I am not asking you to write a full-blown article for every category within your eCommerce store, but trust me, you need something to let the engines know what that category full of links (products) you are asking them to add in their index, is all about.

Same way the engines need to know, your users need to know as well.

If you believe that content can’t be used properly for aesthetic reasons then you need to do your research. Check out how Mixkit implements copy cleverly within their landing pages to capture their audience and educate them.

seo tips - on-page content

Performance Optimization

Remember the good old 90’s where the internet was not so fast but the people were happy and free? Well those days are long gone and users will eat you alive if they can’t find what they are looking for fast.

Imagine clicking on a result that takes too long to load. And just to make myself clear, too long is anything above 3 seconds. Yes, our attention span has became that small and also our patience has diminished to a mere nothing the last 20 years.

As I said before, basic SEO is human-centered. You don’t need to be a developer to figure this out. If you open up your site and it feels slow then you need to reconsider what you have on that page.

Performance optimization is a tricky problem that might require a technical person, but you don’t need to be one to figure out that the 10MB photo of the smart golf club you are selling is a bit too much.

Optimize your images, remove unnecessary links or eliminate as many links with redirections that you have on that page.

Worst case scenario? hire someone to help you with those.

Internal Links

For small websites, this is quite straightforward yet I see it as a common problem. The internet is basically based on hyperlinks. Search Engines, function because of them.

Imagine having 100 products on your site’s CMS. You have added the photos, the titles, the description and everything you think is necessary for the user to buy them. They look amazing! but you don’t have any links pointing to those items from within your site.

Mixkit Internal Linking Example
Mixkit Internal Linking Example

How are your users going to find them? How are engines?

You need to guide them to those pages and you need to make it as easy and as fluid as possible.

Forget backlinks for a moment. Internal link building is entirely up to you, they hold enormous value and you are not using it properly. Once you master this then you can master external link building.

Alt Texts

Images are part of the web. We are using them constantly about everything and we should. They are amazing. In some cases an image can sell a product 100 times faster than any content would. You know.. the whole image equals 1000 words thing.

But what about engines? They are pretty smart yeah, and in some cases they can read images pretty well (it is 2020 after all) but we need to help them do it.

Alt texts work as descriptions for the image and also boost the images in Google Image search. They also work as placeholder if the image doesn’t load properly and help screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers.

Don’t try to trick the system. It will not work. Write proper descriptions for the image you are adding on your site. Remember. Human-centered.

Conclusion

One of the things that I often try to teach through the consultation sessions I have with businesses is that you rarely if ever need to pay someone a recurring fee for your SEO. If you reach that level of need then that means you’ve done a pretty good work yourself, to begin with, and I wouldn’t really trust an SEO agency but rather pay someone in-house.

SEO is human centered and is a process that requires you to spend a few hours a week in order to get a massive return.

On the off chance, you feel like you need some SEO consultation then I am always open to having a friendly chat with you and/or your team.

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