If you are a driven entrepreneur and you have a clever idea that you want to see into fruition, you probably have a lot to think about already. There is hardly a startup out there that develops as planned. This is why you will probably spend more time fixing problems than implementing creative ideas. So, why with all this trouble should you bother with SEO? Well, as you will soon learn, having decent SEO ratings is a must if you want to see any online traffic. Therefore, to help you out, we’ve devised a straightforward SEO checklist for startups that should help you tackle your online traffic with relative ease.
How can we help?
A comprehensive SEO checklist is what you need to boost your site’s organic traffic and obviously rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). You’ve found the right article to help you. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of SEO best practices and tasks you should be aware of in order to achieve SEO success. Use this as your go-to guide for everything from the basics of SEO to the essentials of analyzing your off-page signals.
Our SEO checklist for startups
The following steps that we will outline should give you the basic framework for handling SEO. Keep in mind though that SEO management is a complicated subject. So complicated in fact that there is hardly an article out there that could cover the whole of it. There is always something new to learn when it comes to SEO, which is why a lot of people opt for hiring professional help. If after going through our checklist you still feel that you need help, don’t shy away from consulting with SEO professionals. AZ Citation Services will gladly guide you through any troubles you are having.
Let’s start with SEO basics
Still, learning exactly what SEO is? If you haven’t got the basics covered, your site may struggle to rank for competitive terms. We recommend you start your research on the AZ Citations blog. You will be able to find a lot of useful information there. The following points are very much housekeeping tasks but form the basics of implementing a successful SEO strategy.
Step 1: Set up Google Analytics
When it comes to SEO management tools, there is hardly one that is as necessary as Google Analytics. No matter what SEO strategy you opt for, you will need a reliable way to track your performance. After all, that is the only way to know for sure whether it is working. Well, Google Analytics is a must-have tool for any serious SEO performance tracking. Once you get comfortable with it, you can add other analytic tools for SEO. But, for starters, set up Google Analytics.
Step 2: Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools should be set up as soon as possible
Search Console is a vital tool that provides you with valuable information about your site’s performance and a wealth of your data. You can use that information to improve your site’s organic visibility and traffic. Learn more about the significance of using in one of our blog posts.
Step 3: Install the right SEO plugin for WordPress
In the event that you are using WordPress as your CMS, an SEO plugin should be installed and configured to provide you with the features and options that you will need to optimize well your site for search engines.
For the sake of this article, we are going to assume that you are using WordPress to create the website for your startup. There are other platforms out there. But, seeing that WordPress is the most popular, we feel that it’s worthwhile to focus on it. So, once you set up a WordPress website, you will need the right SEO plugins to help manage it. The most important one to install is Yoast SEO. This plugin is so widespread that most people see it as an integral part of WordPress. It will monitor your content while you create it and give you advice on how to improve its SEO rating.
Step 4: Do keyword research and do it thoroughly
Keyword research is an essential part of a successful search engine optimization strategy. Traffic will not convert at the rate you expect if you do not appear high in search results for relevant keywords.
The Yoast SEO plugin will help you optimize your content for SEO. But, unfortunately, only using it is far from what is necessary. In order to properly tackle SEO, you will also have to do keyword research. Knowing what keyword to use and in what density can be the determining difference in your website coming up on Google’s first page of results, or on the tenth. So, do yourself a favor and properly research the keywords that you are going to use. Ideally, you will in time formulate a keyword plan where you will outline which keywords to use and how to connect articles. Some helpful tools that you can consider are:
- KW Finder
- Google Keyword Planner.
We suggest that you start with either KW Finder or Google Keyword Planner and progress from that.
Identify your competitors
In order to get started with keyword research, look at what your competitors are using (i.e., competitor keywords). We believe that no time spent conducting a competitor analysis is wasted. To quickly see who else is in the same market as you and how your presence/visibility compares, use Semrush or their Domain Overview to run your own domain (and the domains of your main competitors).
Step 5: Look into your local SEO
While putting your website online may give you an idea that you are suddenly going against everyone there, the truth is far from so. In actuality, most of your competition will come from people that are local to you. Now, depending on your startup the definition of “local” can change. But, in essence, it usually means that people can do what your startup does, or something similar, in your area. In order to beat that local competition, you will have to tackle local SEO. This is usually done with long-tail keywords, but there are other methods to implement as well. The important thing to keep in mind is that dealing with local SEO can be terribly important, especially if you are having a tough time finding that initial customer base.
Step 6: Optimize your content
Once you have your keywords and your local SEO figured out, the next step is to optimize your content. The reason why mention this in our SEO checklist for startups is due to the fact that a lot of startup companies opt for outsourcing content writers. Know that quality content, especially if it is about your startup, can only come from you. If people are going to understand what you are about and how you want to help them, you need to roll up your sleeves and deal with some content writing for start-ups. Once you set up your voice, you’ll be able to more easily outsource content writing as freelance writers will have an easier time figuring out how to present your startup.
Here is a pro tip for your website
Since we are talking about optimization we need to mention this one thing. If you have a website and any kind of content whether you have a blog, shop, or anything else you need to optimize your site for mobile phones.
Step 6: Promote your website via social media
This step of our SEO checklist for startups is a relatively straightforward one. And that is to promote your website on social media. Now, depending on how much you want to invest, this can range quite a bit. You can choose to simply post something on Facebook and Twitter every once in a while. Or, you can outright hire a social media influencer to help you out. Our advice is to first devise a long-term marketing plan before you set out to spend a lot of money on it. No matter how good your startup is, you will have to deal with marketing. So, do yourself a favor and first set it up properly.
A quick guide to promoting your website via social media
In order to promote your site before some other strategies like SEO are implemented, the following eleven strategies are recommended:
- first of all, you need to build a social media presence but don’t focus only on “old” social media platforms – explore the new hip ones like TikTok
- LinkedIn can be of help, join the groups
- start creating video content and focus on quality
- start using infographics since they are often linked to and they can be great for your link-building strategies as that can help your SEO too
- chances are you will need to pay the ads to stand out
- use hashtags to your advantage and start writing alt images descriptions (on Instagram)
- try making contests and promote them on your social media
- teaser images can build anticipation and can help you to get new followers and readers
- Share testimonials from your customers
- start collaborations with influencers (especially with micro-influencers since they got the power now)
- you can also use social listening in order to connect with your potential customers
Can Google actually index your site?
Getting your site indexed by Google is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Not every website can be indexed by Google, which isn’t as unusual as you might think. You’d be surprised at how often developers accidentally leave noindex tags when moving code (from a staging environment to a live environment) resulting in a sudden de-indexing of a site. Your website can be checked for indexability using the Site Audit Tool. Initiate a project-related Site Audit. The Crawlability report can be accessed after the audit has been completed. You can save yourself a lot of troubleshooting headaches by double-checking that your site’s main pages are in fact indexed.
Analyzing the intent
You must ensure that the content of your page corresponds to the searcher’s intent. To do this, spend some time looking at the top-ranking pages (for your target terms) and you will need to make adjustments to your own. For example, let’s say that you’re trying to target some term across the country. Regardless of how many searches you’ve done and how difficult your keywords are, if the SERPs only show results from your local area, you’re not going to do well. You won’t be able to make sure your content aligns with the purpose of the content that Google is ranking if you don’t understand it.
Outsourcing SEO needs to be on our SEO checklist for startups because for many people this is the best way to do it. Everybody can learn SEO and strategies (and how to do it well) but not everybody has the time for it. Even though you can become an SEO expert easily doesn’t mean that you need to. Outsourcing is a way to go if you have a lot on your plate right now. The only important thing is to think and choose carefully the SEO company before you hire them.