SEO for startups – my top tips, recommended websites and tools

Startup SEO

In June 2011 I wrote a post around SEO for startups which you can read here. Whilst many of the points still stand, there are other tasks you should be doing.

The reason for me revisiting this post is due to Google algorithm updates (Panda & Penguin) and varying online marketing techniques.

Below are my existing and new top tips, recommended websites and tools:

Domain, hosting and holding page

Register your domain/hosting and get a holding page live, from there start a small amount of link building around it to get some buzz going.

Recommended websites and tools:

Keyword research

Start to think about how your potential customers might find you, don’t just target broad keywords like ‘cars’, consider local phrases such as ‘car dealers in Glasgow’ or longtail phrases such as ’used ford focus dealers in Glasgow’. Use the ‘Google Adwords Keyword Tool’.

Get a voice, get social

Get active in the social sphere as soon as possible, use Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, etc. Social is now a major part of SEO and is a great way to connect with customers, you might also want to consider some social media management tools.

Recommended websites and tools:

Website copy and META

Start writing the copy for your site asap, the copy needs to be unique and user focused and a good length – 400 words+ is a good starting block for each page. When you write the pages don’t forget to write the META data as well.

Recommended websites and tools:

Crawlable and accessible

Make sure the website and content is crawlable and your website URL structure reflects the content and the area the user is based on the site.

Recommended websites and tools:

Internal linking structure

A solid and internal link structure is a must, link certain keywords and phrases to other parts of your site that might be helpful to user. This will also tell the search engine what others pages on your site are about.

Recommended websites and tools:

Image names and ALT text

Don’t forget to name all of your images well and add ALT text to each one, this can be another great way to drive traffic to your site via Google images.

Recommended websites and tools:

Sitemap and RSS feed

Always include sitemaps, especially an XML. This will inform Google about all the pages on your site.

Recommended websites and tools:

Blogging and website updates

Start blogging and  keep blogging, Google loves freshness and to see a website being updated on a regular basis, try adding 2-4 new posts a month.

Google products and resources

Register with Google Products such as Analytics, Places, Webmaster Tools, Feedburner, Alerts and start learning from all the data around your website.

Website share buttons

Make it easy for users to share information and include like, tweet and share buttons on your site. This is a great way to build links and gain exposure via your customers and website users.

Recommended websites and tools:

Do you have any recommendations or tips? Leave your comments below.

Credit: Power button image from SXC.hu

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