How to Use SEO to Promote Your Startup

seo startupFor many startups, spending money on their online presence might seem too costly. However, even a small investment can greatly improve the effectiveness of your online presence. Online exposure can make or break your brand, so as a startup, it is crucial to promote a positive image that reflects the details that make your brand special.

Before we get to my 4 SEO principles for startups, however, I have to point out the most basic component of building a strong online present. You have to be using SEO. No matter what. SEO tactics prepare your online presence for search engines to index and crawl so that it ranks highly in search results. If you aren’t incorporating SEO strategies into your online marketing campaign, no one is even going to see your clever marketing techniques. Once you’ve made the decision to add SEO strategies to your marketing campaign, you can begin to incorporate the 4 following SEO principles.

1. Get On Board With Mobile

Mobile is quickly becoming the most influential aspect of SEO in 2013. An effective mobile strategy will maximize the effects of all your other SEO efforts. Mobile tactics allow you to cater your online presence to specific devices, so that your pages are user-friendly for mobile visitors. One specific strategy that is gaining in popularity is responsive web design.

One particularly important aspect of mobile optimization is the influence it has on Facebook, which is likely to be the best source of exposure for startups. Mobile makes Facebook an even more powerful tool thanks to options that let you advertise directly in a mobile News Feed. For more information about how to use mobile advertising to optimize your presence on Facebook, check out this fascinating infographic on the growth of Facebook on mobile.

2. Know Your Keywords

Keyword research is a foundational principle of all good SEO strategies. It is especially useful for startups to understand what keywords are going to be most helpful in increasing their online visibility. An important component of a startup’s keyword strategy is to focus on both industry and branded keywords. This means that you must integrate keywords that will also be used by competitors in your industry, but in addition, it is vital to promote the keywords that are specific to your brand.

Bonus tip: as you develop your keyword strategy, don’t forget to consider search volume and competitiveness.

3. Build Your Links

Links to your site improve your search engine ranking dramatically, so devise a plan to obtain inbound backlinks. Since Facebook is probably a significant part of your online presence, you might consider posting content that will encourage viewers to share your content and create automatic link building. Or you could volunteer to create a guest post for another site in your industry. There are many other tactics that effectively build links, but make sure to stick to organic link building strategies so that you don’t get nailed by Google’s increasingly harsh crackdown on spam with the Penguin and Panda algorithms.

4. Produce Great Content

All of your SEO devices will be useless if you are presenting lackluster content. As Ian Lurie puts it, “Marketing is about communicating true value and significance to your audience. Period.” High quality content is the most reliable way to gain links, increase your rankings, and gain popularity.

If you are unable to put in the time and effort necessary for developing excellent content, you might consider hiring someone to help you.

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Sarah Beth

Sarah Beth Wiltse earned her BA in English at Boston University. Though she currently lives in Dallas, TX, she spent a year in Paris, France after college, cultivating her love of the French language and a passion for travelling. She has spent much of her life developing her skills in the arts, primarily as a ballerina, violinist, and pianist - and now, a writer! Follow her on Twitter!

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