Congratulations on starting your new business!  A website is the best way to get more business online as you can showcase your work and offerings in a way that suits you.

If your website is relatively new (within one year) you may be in a position where you are not getting much work from your website and wondering why?  Often start-ups backed by funding can spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising, building up a reputation and excitement straight off the bat.  Not all start-ups are this lucky though and may need a longer-term approach to getting traffic to their website.

Good SEO is the healthiest way to do this as it is a long term strategy, that, when done right, stands the test of time.  When SEO is wrong, or ignored, the website will take much longer to attract people.

The main SEO areas that you should pay attention to are listed underneath.  Get these right and you will be off to a flyer!

Easy SEO Wins

Regardless of what those in the game may tell you, SEO is not rocket science! It is simply understanding the relationship between your website, a search engine and the searcher.

When someone performs a search on Google, Google will want to display the best results most closely matched to that person’s search term AND search intent.  If your website is determined the best match to the person’s search, then Google will show the result higher up the rankings.  Google has lots of ranking factors in place and ranks every website in the world, making these decisions on every search term entered.  It has done this better than any other search engine so far and that is why Google is number one.

The checklist underneath is a brief overview of some of the main areas Google looks at to determine where your website should appear for any given search.

  • Page title

  • Page and content headings

  • Backlinks

  • High quality, valuable content

Page Titles

If you look at the tab you are using in your browser, you will usually see an icon and some text next to this icon.  This text is your page title.  It is usually the heading that appears on Google when your website appears in a search.  Often people don’t know how to edit this so leave it alone as it shows their website title or the title of the page.

But think about what the title of the page actually means and the relevance of the words to your website.  Does your home page have a title of ‘home’?  If so what relevance does the word ‘home’ have to your site or services?  Not just home, but an ‘about us’ page, a ‘contact us’ page etc.  Leaving these as they are will do next to nothing for your SEO efforts.

If you use WordPress, you will need to use plugin like Yoast SEO to be able to alter the page titles and meta descriptions of each page.  When you edit the title, try to add in the main search phrase you would like to be found for on Google for that page.  This page, for example, has the title ‘SEO Tips For Your Startup’.  My home page title is: ‘SEO & Digital Marketing Services’. This is much better than just home, or SEO tips.

Content & Page Headings

Adding in headings to your page provides context and breathing space to Google and to your audience.  A wall of text just won’t be read.  Make sure you break up your content into smaller, easy-to-read sections with an appropriate heading.  Headings are given a higher value by Google than normal text as they are used to help understand the context and content of the page.

Headings, (also known as H tags) are ranked by importance by the type of heading.  H1 tags have the most SEO weight, followed by H2, H3, H4 etc.  But you shouldn’t use more than one H1 tag per page as this can make the page confusing for search engines, as it is not sure what the main heading should be. As a rule, only use one H1 tag per page.  Other headings that start a new section should be H2. Headings that are sub-sections of that part of the page should be H3.  It is like writing a report on Word really.

Link Building (Backlinks)

Link building is essentially listing your web address on other websites around the internet.  It can be tough to do as a start-up and it may be tempting to ‘buy’ links from one of the spam emails I’m sure you have received.  But don’t do this…the chances are the site would receive a boost for a few months, but then you would lose your Google traffic as you would be associated with bad websites linking to you.  this is known as ‘black hat’ SEO which I may write about at some point in the future.

As mentioned before, all websites are ranked and have a score set against them.  This is called a domain score, or DS for short.  Well trusted websites such as the BBC and sites like that will have a score of 100.  Universities and education sites also tend to have a high DS.  The more high DS websites that link back to you the better your site will perform.  Of course, getting those links is hard, as why would they link to your site?

The ‘proper’ answer is to create fantastic content that people want to link to and want to share with their audience, but there are more ways to do it.  You will find out lots more by reading this fantastic article by Moz (they wrote a great article and this is a link to them….) about link building for beginners which will cover lot more than I can in this blog post.

High Quality, Valuable Content

One of the most straightforward ways to improve your SEO is to create content that is sought after.  The golden nuggets of SEO are finding search terms, questions and queries that are either not answered, or not answered well enough.

If you can find these through keyword research and research on Google, then write about it yourself!  Writing this with good spelling and grammar (use a copywriter if you need it, they are worth their weight in gold!) will be high quality and provide the value that end-users and Google are looking for!

There is more than this when it comes to SEO, but I think I have covered the basics that should be able to give you a headstart in understanding what is required for good SEO on a website.

If you have any questions about any of the SEO areas mentioned above, then please feel free to reach out to me and I will happily help as much as I can.

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