When it comes to startup marketing, optimizing a website for Google is one of the first things that comes to mind. Today, the competition is such fierce that a basic website isn’t enough to secure attention. This is where content marketing and business blogging jumps in. With content marketing it becomes a lot easier to stand out and make your mark.
Search Engine Optimization i.e. SEO is the technique used to rank website pages in search engines. The goal is to rank for the keywords which your prospective buyers might use on search engines (especially, Google). Due to increased competition to rank on the first page of search results, SEO has become a very challenging task. A study from Slingshot SEO shows that in case of Google, 18% of organic clicks go to the #1 position, 10% to the #2 position, and 7% go to the #3 position. This shows the importance of scoring a higher ranking on search results. To stand out from the crowd you need to perform everything strategically. In this blog, we will discuss the 5 steps to create an SEO strategy for a fresh business blog:
1. Understand Your Business:
Your marketing strategy should always be in sync with your business goals. SEO can be done for almost any business that has an online existence or is looking to create one. During this stage, you need to know what kind of positioning you want to create and how much time and money you can invest in search engine optimization. You will need answers to these 5 questions:
- How much time can you spend in SEO?
- What are expectations regarding ROI?
- What is your budget?
- What is your primary product/service?
- Whether you want to reach on a global or local level?
These will guide your entire SEO strategy so don’t rush through these steps. Once you have these answers you can move ahead to the next steps of creating a successful SEO strategy.
2. Find Relevant Keywords:
Once you know your target product or service the next step is to find relevant keywords. A keyword is a term which people use to search on google. Keyword research is the process where you identify the words your potential buyer is likely to put in Google to search for your product or service. The goal is to find keywords that have the maximum volume (average number of searches) with minimum competition.
The keywords are not only limited to the product you aim to sell they can also be ancillary products, industry jargon, etc. In this stage, tools like MOZ, Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush etc. can be helpful. Simply enter your keyword in the MOZ keyword explorer and it will come up with suggestions and insights about your input. You can also find keywords in communities, forums and on social media. For a start, it is good to list down 5 to 10 target keywords that would be fruitful for your business.
3. Check Site Health:
Before going ahead with your plan you need to know where you stand. At this point, it is crucial to study your website and find out issues with site health and low-hanging fruits to get quick wins. SEMRush, Ahrefs, Moz all have great tools for site check-up and many of these come with white label reports for users. You can also use Screaming Frog for deeper analysis of websites.
After checking your site health, you need to analyze your position. The best metric for that is the MOZrank. Moz comes with a toolbar for Chrome browser that gives you metrics regarding your site’s authority. This can be a good starting point for planning further efforts. If your authority (DA and PA) is decent like 30 or above then you can opt for difficult keywords early in the SEO process.
4. Create a Content Plan:
Creating a content plan involves mapping your buyer’s journey and generating content that can be useful for your prospective audience. You can easily do research for a short-term SEO project by brainstorming. But if you are planning to do content marketing then you will need to do a deeper analysis of your buyers. The content plan can vary based on multiple factors like expectations, business model, time available, etc.
For a small project, you will likely want to target keywords (topics) with good buying intent. For example, an app development company keywords might include ‘app development company’, ‘iOS app development company’ etc. Creating a content plan is overall a complex activity if you are planning for a full-fledged content marketing campaign.
5. Create a Link Building Strategy:
The number of back-links viz. sites pointing to your website is the most important ranking factor. If you want your site to rank in Google’s search results then you need a strategy to build links. You can try following techniques to build quality links:
- Connect with other bloggers and write guest posts in exchange for links.
- Create good images and designs that others can use by giving you credit.
- Find listing sites in your niche and get your company enrolled.
Use multiple link building techniques in your project for better results. To create a good link building strategy, list the types and quantity of content required, possible opportunities and the MOZrank of the sites you would want to obtain a backlink from. You should also document the time and resources (content) needed to implement the strategy.
SEO as much a science as an art. Once you start your work don’t just depend upon the ranking keyword to showcase your success. Consider using ranked keywords, traffic increase, behavior metrics etc. to understand the full picture. As you execute the strategy keep measuring the results preferably every week. This will keep you on the right track and ensure that you are able to double down on successful endeavors. Apart from traffic, you should also analyze the change in the subscribers and leads. Sometimes you might increase traffic but reduce the quality of the visitors. Conversion rates and behavior signals are excellent measures of these metrics.