Running a business is no easy feat in today’s digital world. Entrepreneurs and business owners have more opportunities than ever to connect with consumers, but it can be difficult to know where to start, especially when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Understanding what should take priority when nearly everything needs to be done, well, yesterday, is downright tricky.
Leveraging search engines for traffic starts with an understanding of the fundamental strategies that make websites search engine friendly. Billions of searches are performed on a monthly basis worldwide, and some of those searchers could end up on your site if all goes according to plan.
Launching your SEO from zero doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may think. With a bit of ingenuity, education, and planning, you’ll be well on your way to SEO success in no time. In this article you’ll learn some of the most important SEO fundamentals and how to start your startup’s SEO from scratch in 2017.
The most essential factor in gaining more business online? It all starts with having a website.
Seems simple enough, but having an effective website that provides the information your prospects need is sometimes a rarity with startups. Splash pages, “in construction” websites, static HTML, and one-page websites just don’t cut it anymore. Today’s consumers demand more information and will search online until they find what they’re looking for. Will your site show up?
Before diving too deeply into SEO, make sure you have a “place” to drive your prospects to. Without a website and associated landing pages, it’ll be hard to truly be effective with your marketing. A good website usually has a few key components:
- Keyword Placement – Each page of a website should rank in search engines for specific keywords, and those keywords must be placed in specific areas of the page for a search engine to understand. Additionally, a good website will have keywords mapped to specific pages, and those pages will have keywords sprinkled throughout.
- Mobile Friendly – The majority of users online today access the Internet through their mobile devices. If your website is not mobile friendly, search engines may not send as much traffic to your website. Websites should be mobile and tablet friendly.
- XML Sitemap – Telling a search engine where all of your pages are on your site can be done through a sitemap, an index of all of the pages on your domain. Search engines know to visit the map of your site to discover all of the pages you’d like to have ranking in search engines.
- Robots.txt – In addition to the sitemap, a robots.txt file helps a search engine know what pages to discover on your website and any specific instructions they should be aware of as they discover pages on a website.
- Multiple Browsers & Versions – A good website will resolve nicely in each of the popular browsers available online, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Using a browser checker, you can discover the shortcomings of your website by testing and fixing browser loading issues that may impact how the end users use your websites online.
- Page Load Speed – A fast, reliable website is a key factor in SEO. A good website should load pages quickly and easily, on both mobile and desktop, and on every page.
- User Friendly Design – Can users find what they need on your website quickly and easily? Factors such as time on page, average pages per visit, and bounce rates can impact how optimized a website is for search engines. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and provides a good user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).
- Analytics – Being able to track your progress and performance is free if you install and verify Google Analytics and Google Search Console. On a weekly and monthly basis, make sure you know your search analytics, conduct tests, and start working on improving the factors that directly affect SEO.