SEO for Startups: A 11-Step Guide to Online Exposure (Part 2)
Welcome to Part 2 of Startup SEO: A 11-Step Guide to Online Exposure (Part 2).
In Part 1, we talked about the basic steps in preparing your website for SEO, keyword research and how to optimize your contents for SEO.
Now in Part 2, we are going to explore process and steps to distribute your contents; how to monitor important SEO metrics; how to scale your SEO tasks and so on. Ready?
Step 6: Build backlinks for your website
When a third-party website referring a link that is linked to your website’s pages, it’s called a backlink.
Think of it as someone has given a “vote” or “like” of your Web pages so they decided to tell their readers to visit your website.
Backlinks are highly valuable in SEO because:
- They can drive more traffic to your website
- Google will rank highly for websites that have great number of high quality backlinks
- They promote your contents and help you build trust and authorities within your industry
How to earn more backlinks?
Here’re some actionable steps you can follow:
Step 1 – If you want people to “like” you, write thorough contents that share valuable information about your industry (this is why Step 4 matters).
Step 2 – Find bloggers in your niche who might be interested in what you are talking about. Just Google and look for blog posts that come up at the top
Step 3 – Reach out to these writers using email. Politely ask them if they’re willing to mention or give a “shout out” about your article or products.
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Step 7: Create a Strong Social Media Presence
Having strong presence on all major social media platforms can benefit your branding and SEO campaigns.
Google considers every Likes, Comments, Shares or Mentions as “social signals”. These social signals will appear in the form of social backlinks, and eventually contribute to rankings success.
SEO Impact Factors from smobuddy
Here’re a few best practices that set up social media for SEO rankings:
Create social media accounts for all your main brands and sub-brands. Complete the social media profiles with Bio, description, links, and website details.
Increase social followers
The more followers you have, the more social signals you will be able to gain. Host a contest, giveaway or promo code to increase followings base.
Use social media to distribute your new blog posts or other forms of contents relevant to your business. Share something your followers might find interesting. Use various formats of social media contents: video, images, questions, quick tips, etc.
Improve social engagement
Engage with your followers and encourage them to comment and re-share your social contents. Optimize image thumbnail with great titles and images can increase click-through-rate of your social contents.
Step 8: Track and monitor SEO metrics
If you can measure, you can improve. SEO is no different than other forms of paid marketing.
Successful SEO strategy requires measurement of various data points. This will help you understand the ROI of each campaign. Let’s look at the top 5 SEO metrics every company should track:
Track how your keywords are being ranked on the SERP position using SEMRush. Have they improved, dropped or remain unchanged? Is there any new keywords entering the rankings this week?
Image via [drillseo.com]
Click Through Rate (CTR)
How many times a page URL is clicked when it appears on SERP? In other words, having keywords ranked on Page 1 is useless, unless it converts a user to visiting your website.
Number of website visitors that are coming from direct search, organic search and search referrals. You can gain this data in your Google Analytics > Acquisition > Overview
Number of backlinks pointing to your website. Having tons of backlinks doesn’t automatically result in high rankings. As Google now focuses on high-quality backlinks, and penalize website that acquire spammy links.
Is your visitors buying from your website? This is entirely based on the type of keywords you’re targeting. If you use the wrong keywords, you will attract the wrong audience. This is why keyword research is an important step.
Step 9: Keep Track of Competitors
What if you can reverse engineer a successful SEO campaign and make it yours? This is when analyzing your SEO competitors and see how they are performing on search comes into play.
Notice that I mentioned “SEO competitors”, not business competitors.
This is because businesses that are in the similar industry doesn’t necessarily competing with you on SERP for your target keywords.
Here’s how you can analyze your competitors:
Identify your competitors
Perform a search on particular competing keyword and pick the page URL that appears on top rankings. Once you find out your SEO rivals, list them out.
Identify their rankings
Use a tool call SpyFu to analyze your competitors rankings. How many organic keywords are they currently ranking for? What are the expected monthly traffic of these keywords? Are they competitive?
Discover their backlinks
Use a tool call Ahrefs to analyze your competitor’s backlinks. You will need to look for link metrics including: domain authority, backlink sources, and number of referring domains.
Understand these data will help you discover types of backlinks they have acquired so you can target the same technique.
Discover their on-page optimization
How well is your competitor optimizing their on-page SEO? What keywords are they using in title, URL, headings and anchor text? How user friendly is their Web page?
Step 10: Train editors, writers and marketers on SEO
If you follow this Guide from Step 1, you will see SEO involves a lot of work.
One way to scale your SEO tasks is to train your in-house team with SEO knowledge. Here’s how you can align your entire startup team with SEO tasks:
For web programmers
Make sure they understand technical SEO and avoid these costly mistakes that can affect your rankings. (To check out my technical SEO guide, click here)
For content writers
Get them to understand keyword research and content optimization. Make sure they build backlinks for your website by reaching out to bloggers within the similar industry.
For digital marketers
Get them to promote your contents through social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. The idea is to acquire social signals and increase rankings.
How to train your team with SEO, fast?
If you’re looking for SEO training tailored for in-house team, you can check out our complete SEO Training Course
We also provide online workshop & training dedicated for startups on how to kickstart their SEO, live Q&A and the entire process steps. To find out more, contact us for more information >>
Step 11: Rinse and repeat
SEO rankings are truly rewarding because it gets you FREE traffic without having to pay for it. However, it takes hard work – repetitive hard work.
Therefore to keep you on track, I have put together a snapshot of what is it like to conduct ongoing SEO effort:
- Keyword research – research the best keywords prior to writing blog contents
- Content creation – produce high quality content once a week
- Onpage optimization – optimize for content SEO before your blog post goes out to the public
- Content distribution – promote new articles throughout social media and groups
- Link building – promote new contents via organic backlinks once a week
- Rank tracking – track and analyze keyword rankings once a week, including your competitors
- Google analytics data – analyze traffic sources and relevant metrics once a month
- Website audit – perform ongoing SEO analysis on your website once per quarter