Seo strategy

How to build the perfect SEO strategy

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Today almost all businesses live and die on brand visibility. With over 4 billion people on the planet now on the Internet, much of this visibility is online – on social media, digital publications and email inboxes. However, organic search is the main driving force behind website traffic, with 35% of all visits coming from Google and other search engines (according to a Shareaholic report).

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Google is a clear market leader in the search engine segment, with over 90% of the global market share. And they have repeatedly stated that the algorithm prioritizes established brands over unfamiliar brands, through various factors that place more importance on brand entities, mentions and searches.

In such a scenario, online promotion and search engine optimization are among the biggest challenges for new businesses without a significant brand presence. There is no need to lose heart, however, if you are a fledgling or early stage startup. Here are some tips to help you plan and implement a long-term SEO strategy.

Approach SEO as a strategy, not a tactic

Many business owners and founders still make the mistake of assuming SEO is an offshoot of web development. Understand that SEO is an inseparable and ongoing part of marketing. It’s more than adding titles and meta descriptions to your web pages or asking a “writer” to post to your blog twice a week.

If you think you can get a monthly SEO package and reach the top of Google in a matter of weeks, you’re going to be shocked. Rand Fishkin, author of the books The art of SEO and Lost and Founder, went so far as to recommend that VCs and angel investors grill their SEO strategy to founders before deciding to fund them. It’s common knowledge that startups like Yelp and Airbnb have made concrete plans to drive traffic through search and have executed them well while moving up the ranks.

Know what your audience wants

Before building your website, you need to identify and understand your target audience. Well, to be honest, you need to do this before you even perfect your product or service, let alone your website. Indeed, 71% of consumers discover new products and services through a search engine, and search influences 75% of all purchases, according to a Forrester study.

Traffic from search engines – or any online source, for that matter – gives us in-depth insight into the exact position of your visitors throughout the customer journey. To understand your visitors’ goals, whether it’s search, compare, or buy, you need to differentiate branded and unbranded searches, as well as informational, browsing, or transactional intentions.

This is where keyword research comes in. Proper keyword research will help you create content that your audience is more likely to consume and find new opportunities to show up in Google search results. In a specific SEO context, customer intent translates into terms and metrics such as

  • main terms (general queries, one or two words) and long tail keywords (longer questions and sentences that indicate a specific intention)

  • monthly search volume

  • click volume (the number of clicks generated by each search)

  • keyword difficulty (how difficult it is to rank the keyword)

Make your website like Google

Even though Google’s algorithm is inclined to ‘trust’ established brands, given their larger presence, ‘Googlebot’ lives up to its nature in giving every site equal opportunities (or disdain ) when it comes to crawling and indexing web pages. Since startups usually don’t have the budget for a full-fledged SEO team, they tend to mess here and there when it comes to onsite optimization.

  • Start with a very good information and navigation structure. Your site should be organized in such a way that visitors (and bots) can find whatever they are looking for in three clicks or less, as a rule of thumb.

  • Make sure your URLs are organized in a clear hierarchy, as short as possible, and relevant to the pages they lead to. They must be lowercase, use nothing other than hyphens for separators, and contain no special characters. Be careful that the platform you use to build your site does not automatically generate and store pages with query parameters.

  • One of Google’s recognized ranking factors is page load speed. Speeding up your speed also provides a better user experience, so this is something you should be doing regardless of SEO. Use caching and compression, minimize your JavaScript and CSS, and optimize your images.

There are many other technical factors that you need to keep up to date to make sure that Google crawls and indexes your site at an optimal level. Over time all sites tend to get unwieldy due to changes in code and content, so always monitor and adjust accordingly.

Look beyond the links

Google started with links as the primary metric for measuring a website’s authority. For many years, links have been the primary signal influencing website rankings. This is no longer the case. To keep up with the changing nature of the Internet, Google is moving away from links and incorporating a lot of “real world” signals like high quality content, mentions, engagement and branded searches into its search algorithm.

This was clearly stated by Gary Illyes of Google in his opening speech at Brighton SEO 2017, where he said: “If you post high quality content that gets highly cited on the internet – and I’m not just talking about links, but also social media mentions and people talking about your branding. , bullshit like that – so you’re doing fine. “

Therefore, it is essential that you do not base your SEO strategy on link building alone. Instead, focus on creating broader conversations around your brand. Get people to follow and engage with you on major social media platforms. Encourage them to leave reviews and ratings for your products on Google, Facebook, and other specialist sites. Onboard micro-influencers (the startup’s response to brand ambassadors) to help you increase brand awareness across various social channels.

Yours

SEO is like a conveyor belt that never stops. It is a reality that all startups and small businesses will have to face. You’ll need to relentlessly create content, watch your competition like a hawk, mix and remix your overall digital marketing strategy, and keep chasing Google’s algorithm to stay afloat. Automation and tools make it easier to acquire the basics, but they also serve to increase competition. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to make the right decisions (in line with your business goals) at the right time, and to turn the wheel.