When I was researching on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), I was bombarded with loads of information on the Do’s and Don’ts of SEO. There are a zillion gazillion articles on the web that teaches one on SEO. Naturally being an internet startup, I do take active interest in how SEO works, why Google prefers certain webpages over others. Given the dominance Google has in making success out of internet startups, it is but natural for entrepreneurs to give in to the hype that surrounds SEO.
Although startups should not devote too much time on SEO, none the less, having the right SEO strategy in place from the start helps in the long term. When you are in the 6th – 8th month of your startup journey, the effort that you have been putting all these months will begin to show results. Getting customers organically is the best thing a startup can aspire for. Also having a high Google Rank helps in establishing yourself as a brand quickly, because you have the stamp of authority by Google.
So, as an entrepreneur, what should you do to make the SEO strategy consistent and ensure that the basics are in place, without shelling out money behind SEO. I found this diagram by Search Engine Land, which I believe highlights all the things one needs to make the SEO work. Just make sure that you read each point, and check whether you have implemented them correctly for your website.
Please keep in mind that On-The-Page SEO and Off-The-Page SEO (as suggested on the diagram) have equal bearing on your Google Ranking. All the points listed above are like the “Cogs in a Wheel”. All of them together make the Wheel rotate.
The Elements in Red and Pink are the ones which are the negative aspects which you should be careful about. These elements are the ones which can get you penalized and throw you off the ranking. So don’t take a chance.
The key aspects to keep in mind are:
- Hire a good developer: The developer should be competent enough to write proper HTML codes (correct tags) and give your website a good hierarchical architecture such that all pages are connected properly without any broken links (Avoid the Error 404: Page Not Found).
- Think like a Human and not like a Search Engine: You build websites for your target market. So think what will make a human come to your website. Design your website keeping that mind. Don’t make the mistake of making the website to fool search engines to crawl you better.
- Research Search Keywords: Brainstorm on what are the various keywords that one can search to come to your website. Make sure those keywords are relevant to what you are offering. Make your content rich with those keywords without stuffing.
- Blog More: Blogging creates regular updated content. This gives search engine a chance to crawl your website more often
- Be Ethical: Avoid anyone or any company that promises to make you come to Google Page 1 in a span of few months. No one can promise that as SEO is an evolutionary process.
- Don’t lose your Sleep over it: Measure your improvement regularly, but don’t obsess over it!
SEO is no different than the principles behind Marketing
As you would have noticed all throughout this article, that the principles that exist behind a good marketing strategy are the same ones which exist behind the SEO.
All entrepreneurs need to be marketers in some form. Unless you know your customers, your target market, your demography, your product, what it is solving, you cannot create a consistent marketing communication.
In SEO, these same principles exist. Often in the race for Google Rankings, we forget the softer and more important aspect behind SEO.
If you see all the elements of the Periodic Table listed in the diagram above, you will realize that even Google respects those websites which provide genuine value to customers in a clear consistent manner. A good website design, with proper HTML coding and architecture helps customers to navigate through your website easily. Similarly as you create more authoritative content, which more people read and share, Google understands that you are providing value to people. Similarly when you see Off-The-Page strategies, even they are supporting the same principles that go behind good marketing.
In the end, it boils down to the basic tenets of doing a business. Provide value to your customers and they will reward you by being loyal to you. In SEO parlance, give value to your customers online and Google will reward you by pushing you up the rankings.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Raunak Guha – Co- founder FounderMates
Raunak holds an MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Imperial College London. Prior to starting FounderMates.com, he was working as a Business Development Executive with a Financial Analytics SME in the UK. He has been very active in the startup eco-system in London and possesses a deep passion to foster entrepreneurship globally.
He can be contacted at +91 9008 639 690 and his email id is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raunak’s past article(s): Find them here