My top 10 SEO tips for startups…

StartupStarting a new business and promoting it online against well established companies and websites can be a tricky task.

Here are my top 10 tips to give your new website a boost in the search engines.

1. Start your SEO before the website is launched and use something like http://launchrock.com

One mistake many new businesses do is starting their SEO after the website has been launched. As soon as the domain has been purchased start link building and add a sign-up page so people interested can enter their email. This is also another great way to gather email addresses for future email marketing campaigns and promotions. To do this I’d recommend something like http://launchrock.com.

2. Write engaging META elements

The META title and META description tags, apart from SEO purposes, are some of the most important elements to gain you clicks and potential visits. Remember, these are used to entice visitors to click on your website from the search engine results page.

3. Write unique and focused content

With the recent Panda update now upon us, Google has become very focused on the user and content plays a major factor. Website content needs to be:

  • Well written
  • Unique
  • Engaging
  • High quality

Along with the above, the copy needs to find a happy balance with SEO, so whatever you do, don’t keyword stuff, keep content natural with the golden rule – user focused.

4. Connect with related communities

Start connecting with related communities, spread the word about your business and potential offers you may have. If you have great deals and offers, members in that specific community will start to spread the word and share your domain name with other which could result in links back to your website.

5. Get social and spread the word

As a starting block, add your business on the following:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin

These will all gain you links back to your website. Then you need to start engaging with others on these networks:

  • Befriend others on Twitter, share messages and retweet related tweets and start spreading the word about your company.
  • Facebook can be a tricky one to crack but create a custom page on Facebook and ask friends and colleagues to like and comment on this page. Also add the like button on your website and product pages which will help spread the word.
  • Make sure all staff members are listed on Linkedin with a link back to the website. Also create a company profile page and join discussions.

6. Get listed on local, national and niche business directories

These websites promote your local area, so for Nottingham, here is a great list of websites to get listed on:

Here are a few national directories which are better known:

In terms of niche directories, do a Google search for “[your niche] directories” or “[your niche] business directories”. All of these are a great way to create company profiles, spread the word and gain further backlinks.

7. Get listed on Google Places

If you are targeting your local area, adding your business on Google places can be a massive advantage. There are a few golden rules you need to follow:

  • Make sure the address and phone number match what is displayed on your website
  • Always make sure that your Google Places profile is 100% complete
  • Getting users to review your profile can help positioning
  • Having your business listed on other business sites with the same details can also help with positioning
  • Don’t keyword stuff the profile page

8. Blog about your company, products and niche

One thing that Google loves is fresh new content added to a website on a weekly basis. One great way to do this is by having a blog. Here are a few blog post ideas:

  • Product reviews
  • Product news
  • Customer testimonials
  • Company news
  • Industry news

Remember – whatever the niche, there will always be news which can be blogged about and related to your website, company or products. Take the royal wedding for example, could you link that to your business?

9. Sitemaps

A sitemap is a list of pages which appear on your website and the search engines will use to find all of the web pages on the site. Also, web users can use these to find inner website pages if they are having problems.

Having a sitemap doesn’t mean that your web pages will be included in to the search index, but it is one of the best ways to tell Google, Yahoo and Bing about everything on your website which could result in good rankings for niche products and keywords.

10. Google Analytics and Webmaster tools

Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools will have no affect on SEO, but I always recommend that you have these in place as you can learn about your website, how visitors are finding your site and what terms convert, just to name a few areas of interest.

and finally…

If you need some free SEO help – post your question by clicking here.

Image from SXC.hu

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