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This course is intended for business owners or marketers who are interested in implementing an SEO strategy for their company website. This course equips learners with a primer on the benefits of SEO for startups and a 5-point SEO action plan they can use as a guide when strategizing.
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Why We Have Invested in SEO
What does E-A-T mean?
SEO Success Case Studies Here are some stories about how SEO played a significant role in the growth of three startups.
Weebly6 Weebly is a web-hosting service and drag-and-drop website builder with over 30+ million users. Their strategy focused on entrepreneurs who needed a low-cost platform for setting up their websites. With this, Weebly created a blog featuring entrepreneur-related articles such as “Free Places to Advertise Your Website” and “Starter Guide to Pinterest Marketing" to let these entrepreneurs know about their product, helping them spread the word out faster and gain subscriptions.
Mint6 Founded in 2007, Mint has become one of the most successful personal finance destinations on the Internet. They used startup SEO techniques that helped them reach over a million users in only 2 years.
With a limited budget, Mint’s initial strategy was to build a blog, which eventually led them to become the #1 personal finance blog during their time. Eventually, they also offered links in exchange for content, in the form of infographics; this became huge hits on Reddit and similar platforms. When they launched, Mint had more traffic than all its competitors combined.
College Raptor6 Founded in 2014, College Raptor is a planning tool helping students and families to make better decisions about going to college. From zero traffic, the startup managed to grow organic traffic to more than 100,000 visitors per month using some effective startup SEO techniques.
The startup focused on three specific content types for their strategy: Evergreen Content: Topical, keyword-rich articles that answer the questions their market typically asks when searching, such as “What is a Good ACT Score?” Social-Viral Content: Content designed specifically to generate likes, shares, and traffic from their social audience. Linkbuilding Content: Content assets aimed at earning links, developed around the interests of other sites, writers and publishers
What factors matter the most for search engines?5 Quality and Engaging Content Optimized Content Quality Links Good Website Experience Technical SEO "How should I create my SEO strategy around these critical factors?" In the next slide, we present to you a 5-point SEO action plan for startups, which we'll then discuss more thoroughly in the succeeding lessons.
Defining Your SEO Business Goals
Identifying the right set of goals is the critical first step in your startup SEO strategy. Having well-defined SEO goals early on and working directly toward them can help you save valuable resources (e.g. time and money). However, before you begin setting your SEO goals, it is vital to take a step back. To ensure that your SEO goals are in line with your company's high-level goals, you'll need to know your business and marketing goals. Further, you'll also need to benchmark to know where you are right now in terms of SEO.
How do you choose the right SEO goals? As a business/organization, decide on what you need to accomplish and ask yourself questions like: Does the company need direct sales, traffic, branding or some combination of these? Is the organization/brand subject to potentially negative material that needs to be controlled/mitigated? Do you have products/services you sell, either directly over the web or through leads established online? Once you have the answers, you can attack SEO with the right list of goals in mind.
Which of these are reasons why you should do keyword research at the onset?
To avoid beginner mistakes, here is a manageable keyword research process you can follow: 1.Brainstorm relevant topics and observe your industry 2.Identify appropriate keywords using SEO tools 3. Do competitive keyword research 4. Plan content with your chosen keywords
Between the two types of keywords, which do you think is better for startups?
Step 4: Planning content with your chosen keywords At this point, you should have found some high-value, low competition keywords you can incorporate into your site. You may focus on two aspects when implementing your keywords: those that would be best for your homepage and overall site structure, and "quick wins" that you can use for your content.
Planning for High Quality Content
The SEO goals and the target keywords you've identified will be central to your content planning.
This may involve the generation of content, such as: Blog posts Podcasts Videos Images (e.g. infographics) Tools and web apps Lead magnets
Example #1: If your goal is lead generation, your content needs to be centered around creating lead magnets that encourage your audience to provide contact information.
Example #2: If the goal is to boost traffic to your e-commerce site, you may need to create content, such as video reviews or blog posts, that would make clicking to visit a product page the next natural step.
What are some of the best startup content marketing strategies and practices to help bolster SEO?
Tips on How You Can Be Efficient in Content Planning
**Use free tools for content planning and production. ** You can maximize the available free tools available online, such as the Google Workspace, MindMup, HubSpot, Asana, Buffer, and Canva. Some of them have premium tiers, but you can accomplish a lot with their free versions.
Produce content all at once and schedule them ahead. When creating new content pieces, it will save you a lot of time if you produce them all at once. This will also help you avoid procrastinating and sacrificing quality for quantity.
Crowdsource content. 5 Social networks provide an incredible opportunity to attract and engage likeminded people. Once you have developed any kind of network this way, you can crowdsource content around your mutual interests. You can run polls, surveys, and contests. These are also great ways to engage with your audience and let them feel how important their insights are to your brand.
Repurpose content. 5 This is a practice that makes content creation much easier to scale. You won't need to produce new content from scratch. Instead, you can use a current piece of content as the basis for new posts. For example, you can transcribe videos and create a blog out of it (or vice versa). Further, you can use still images from videos as a source of stock photography for your content. Another popular technique is to break up blog posts into smaller pieces, and post them on social media.
Collaborate with influencers. 5 Develop a strong relationship with influencers in your industry and the opportunities for content will widen. Everyone wins with these types of collaborations: influencers get exposure and access, brands get credibility and content, customers get credible and useful information from experts they trust
Why should you work on your link building today3? Builds brand awareness Links to your website can help spread the word about your your products and services, something that is very valuable during the early stages of your company. Drives traffic to your website If you’ve chosen the right keywords and you’re building quality links, you’ll quickly be able to rank for competitive terms. Positions you as an authority By writing content on big-name websites, especially those that relate to your niche, you’ll be able to convince potential customers that you know what you’re talking about, and that journalists and bloggers respect your opinion enough to give you a spot on their website. Future proofs your business Link building is a marathon, not a sprint. The truth is that link building can be incredibly time-consuming and expensive, and generate very little return in the short-term. But thinking about the long-term benefits will allow you to grow your business and enjoy long-lasting results.
One of the most common aspects that startup miss out on is technical SEO. Essentially, technical SEO refers to improving the technical aspects of a website in order to increase the ranking of its pages in the search engines.1 Technical SEO will help you do well in technical aspects that search engines also highly consider when crawling web pages; these include page load speed, structured data, and website security. This subject will need a more in-depth discussion, but for the purposes of this lesson, we'll only tackle the immediate aspects you need to create your SEO strategy around.