What does that mean? Surely SEO is SEO regardless of the age of the company? Well, yes and no…
Startups do need slightly different optimisation and the focus is slightly different compared to an older site.
Why?? Well an older website will have been around for longer (obviously) which means that Google and the other engines will already know about them, an older site is likely to have some rankings already (brand name at least) and older websites are likely to have links coming through to them already. A new website is less likely to have this.
Even ranking for your brand name is more difficult when your website is new.
So, if you are a startup (or have a website which is less than a year old) what do you need to do?
Building your website
Get SEO right from the get go, don’t wait until your site is nearly ready to go live. SEO from the beginning of the process can help in the following ways:
- Help to make sure that the site is easy to crawl so that your pages are easy for Google to find
- Make sure you have all the basics sorted (sitemap.xml file, robots.txt file, working custom 404 page etc)
- Research keywords for you so you know what to focus on
- Help you create a content strategy for the new site – this strategy should include industry news (so you can be seen to be talking about the latest developments as soon as they happen) and blog content so that your company has a voice
- Help you create your company a social media strategy – covering what social sites to engage with, the use of social buttons and ideas of how to build your following on social media sites
- Begin link building to the brand name and URL if you have a holding page
Something else every startup looking to do SEO needs to be is realistic. You might have the best idea for a women’s clothes website since sliced bread BUT “women’s clothes” as a keyword is insanely competitive and as a startup it is highly unlikely that you will be able to rank for this in the short or medium term (we talking a couple of years people). The more competing pages there are in Google to longer it is likely to take you to rank when your website is totally new.
So, consider your keyword research and your keyword focuses, you won’t launch on the 1st August and rank 25th on the 7th and 5th on the 20th August if you target your site on a BIG hero keyword (such as “Women’s clothing”) so make sure you keep your eye on the short term too, better go for some longer tail, localised keywords in the short term, get some juicy rankings for these and make some money now, than sit around waiting for payday until you rank for “women’s clothing”.
In terms of creating a buzz for your website you need to remember two things: don’t just rely on SEO and think outside the box.
Get yourself a PR company, someone who can help create some interest for your business and your site locally and possibly even nationally. This will help drive visitors to your site but can also create some great links for you too, from sites such as the BBC, Guardian etc which only a PR company can achieve!
Create fantastic content
- Create a video, put it up on YouTube and on your site. This can help with your SEO and can also help you create a voice for your new company and create more awareness for you.
- Make sure your blog is the sort of content which is cutting edge, informative, and useful. By giving people hints and tips, great new ideas and thought provoking commentary on the news, you create a higher likelihood that your content will be shared on social networks, that you will become a name people know AND by doing this you are helping your SEO too!
- Be social from day one. And when I say this I don’t mean create a social media profile in Twitter, Google+ and Facebook and then ignore them. Interact with people, share thing (and not just your things), replay to people who have commented on your content and make sure all of your details are correct (including a nice company logo)
Just because your website is new doesn’t mean you can’t get great results from SEO and social media. You just need to remember the core things:
Be realistic, be social and be creative! Think outside the box and you’re onto a winner!