The rise of digital marketing has changed the way we promote our businesses forever. Today, merely having a website is not enough to set yourself apart from your competitors and attract new customers. Why? Because websites have become mainstream- to survive, every business needs to have one.

So, to rise above your competition and reach out to your target audience, you need to optimize your site for search engines. This is an investment in the long-run that will help you boost your rankings, as well as skyrocket your site’s visibility and conversions. Most importantly, it improves your customers’ experience and turns them into your loyal customers.

Keywords Help your Customers Find You

To understand what your customers search for, you need to think like them. For example, what phrases do they use to find businesses similar to yours? These search terms are called keywords and they are the foundation of your SEO campaign.

You can start by making an ideal list of the keywords you want to target. This list will probably contain all popular keywords, meaning that it will be hard for you to reach the top of the search results using them. Keep in mind that SEO is not about attracting thousands leads to your site, but grabbing the attention of the right ones.

This means that you shouldn’t target only those phrases with the greatest popularity in your industry, but also those that are relevant to your target audience. When doing your keyword research, you need to:

  • Assess your keyword’s relevancy, search volume, and ranking difficulty. Your keywords shouldn’t be too broad or too competitive.
  • Monitor your competitors. Pay attention to their website architecture and see what the most profitable keywords they rank for are.
  • Use the right keyword research tools. With the help of platforms like Google Analytics, Google Keyword Research Planner, SEMrush, and Moz’s Keyword Explorer, you will not only be able to see how you rank for certain keywords, but also find the best opportunities for keywords to target.

On-Page SEO Improves Conversions

In laymen’s terms, doing proper on-page optimization helps you rank well in the SERPs, as well as increases the overall readability of your site. In other words, on-page SEO boosts user experience and conversion rates and, at the same time, lowers your bounce rates.

It includes a wide range of practices and it can be too overwhelming for newbies. So, unless you have at least some basic experience in doing on-page SEO, you should consider outsourcing it to an SEO consulting agency or a freelance SEO specialist. Just make sure they are trustworthy and transparent, like one New York based SEO company I had a great experience with.

If you, on the other hand, want to optimize your pages on your own, here is what you need to know:

  • Boost your page speed. If your page doesn’t load in 3 seconds, most of your users will dump it. To boost your site’s speed, you should compress your images, use browser caching, switch to faster hosting, remove auto-play videos and redirects.
  • Add keywords to the most relevant elements on your page, such as title tags, URLs, meta descriptions, and subheadings.
  • Optimize your images by adding your primary keywords to file names and alt tags.
  • Leverage social sharing buttons, as they can boost social sharing by 700%.
  • Link internally to every post to pass the link juice to pages with a lower PA and improve your site’s structure.
  • Use outbound links. Google uses outbound links as a relevancy signal and pages using them outrank those that do not.
  • Invest in a responsive website design to appeal to both desktop and mobile users.

Quality Content Builds your Authority

The quality of the content you create is the backbone of your SEO strategy. If you create too promotional articles, filled to the brim with spammy keywords and poor outbound links, you’ll never see success. You will not only drive visitors away from your site, but the chances are you’ll get penalized by Google.

That’s not what you want, right?

To create quality content that converts, you first need to know your you need to know your customers’ preferences, cover the hottest industry topics, as well as adapt your content strategy to the latest trends in this field.

Let’s take a simple example of the forms of content we use today. Traditionally our content marketing strategy was based on creating articles. But, in today’s era of AI and VR, that’s not enough. Your target audience wants content that is relevant to them and, at the same time, highly intriguing and engaging. That’s why we’ve adopted visual content formats, such as photos, videos, infographics, and even gifs and memes.

The point is, by creating awesome content that really matters, you will drive more traffic to your site and boost your customers’ engagement and conversions. Most importantly, your content will be liked, shared, and linked to, telling Google that you are a valuable source of information.

Guest Blogging Boosts your Trustworthiness

Guest blogging provides you with quality backlinks, boosts your authority and, most importantly, helps you build firm connections with the key influencers in your niche. But, to harness all the power of this strategy, you need to use it wisely.

For starters, make your guest blogging contributions regularly. To build your startups’ credibility and grow it into the powerhouse, you need to write consistently. Just make sure that the quantity of the content you craft doesn’t compromise its quality.

Focus on those blogs with engaged readers. Always keep in mind that every guest article you write requires a lot of work. That’s why you should publish them on blogs that will give you a distinct benefit in a form of greater traffic or leads.

Overview

When entering the world of SEO, startups need to understand that online presence is not something you build overnight. On the contrary, it’s a long and carefully planned process that requires your utmost patience and devotion. Even though it may seem like a tedious task to you right now, investing in SEO pays off. It will boost not only your rankings, but also your visibility, brand awareness, and niche authority.

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Nate Vickery is a business consultant mostly focused on trends and technology regarding small business and startup marketing. He is the executive editor a Bizzmark Blog, and a writer on many other online publications.

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