The vast majority of online experiences start with the search engine, so knowing how to optimize SEO is critical.
July 26, 2019 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
An interesting statistic reveals that 93 percent of online experiences start with the search engine. And your rank during a search is dependent on your domain authority, which is also highly dependent on other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors. So, the best place to start is to invest in the SEO of your startup's website.
Related: This Ingenious PR Strategy Will Improve Your SEO
Check out these simple (and cheap) SEO tricks that will help boost your startup’s website rankings.1. Create high-quality content to optimize SEO
First up, the Google search algorithm tends to give priority to high-quality content. Valuable high-quality content pulls readers to your website and it makes them stay on your site a lot longer. The amount of time your readers spend on your website is called dwell time. And that helps to boost SEO rankings.
Why? It’s because the longer your readers stay on your website, the stronger the message you send to Google, that your content is something worth consuming.
In addition to this, if you consistently publish relevant quality content, it will keep bringing more people back to your website. This plays a great role in improving the SEO ranking of your startup’s website as well.2. Use relevant keywords
You have to understand how your target audience searches in order to rank well on the Google search results. This brings us to the use of keywords. Figure out what keywords your audience is using that are relevant to your industry. Tools like Google Trends, Keywords Everywhere and Google Keyword Planner are great at showing which keywords people are using.
Once you've hunted down the relevant keywords, create content around them. But make sure that your content doesn't lose value and meaning just because you want to add keywords all over your website. Remember, you create content for people and not Google.
Related: The Best Free SEO Tools to Increase Your Rankings3. Consider focusing on local SEO
Local SEO makes use of keywords that are specific to the location of your business. For example, if your startup is based in Texas or its target audience is majorly living in Texas, then you should use keywords that contain the words Texas in them. So, let’s say you’re a coffee shop in Texas, then you want to rank for keywords like “Texas coffee shop”.
This will help you rank for location-specific terms which increases the chances of you showing up in the search results.4. Improve your website speed
You know how frustrating it is when it takes forever for a page to load. In fact, it was discovered that 40 percent of people will leave a mobile site that takes longer than three seconds to load.
Well, search engines like Google consider user experience to be important. That is why web page load speed is one of the things the Google search algorithm takes into consideration while ranking a page on the search results.
Tools like Google Page Speed Insights, Google Analytics, W3 Total Cache and a host of other tools will help you improve page load speed. These tools either help to optimize the images on your website, compress the code used to design your website or show you the culprits guilty of making your website run on snail’s speed.
Related: Drive Your Website Up the Search Rankings With These SEO Tools5. Work on your backlinks and outbound links
Ever wondered why blog posts have links? Well, they were not put in there by chance.
Links play a huge role in improving your search rankings. Backlinks, for example, are the links that refer to relevant content in your startup's blog. Outbound links are the links that refer to links outside your blog.
This is how it works: The backlinks help to allow the search bots to easily crawl through your website. The more backlinks you have, the better. Plus, it will help increase the time your readers spend on your website. This is also significant if you want to improve your search rankings.
Outbound links to authoritative, recent and relevant content will show Google that your startup's blog was well researched and of high quality. These help to boost your rankings as well.6. Start using header tags
You know how you come across a great blog post and it was so easy and even fun to read? It makes you want to read more content from the same source, right? This means that what you do to help improve your readers’ user experience equally has an effect on your SEO rankings too.
Breaking up your content into headings and subheadings makes your content easier to read. And for the skimmers out there, it gives them something to consume while they scan through.
Related: 7 Reasons Why SEO Matters for Every Startup7. Fill out the meta description
When you search for something in Google, the search results come with a short excerpt or description of the content of the web pages. After the headline or blog title, the meta description is the next thing you see while searching for something in the search engine.
Most people ignore filling in the meta description and just allow the first couple of lines from the website to be shown instead.
A lot of us make our choice of which link to click on the search results from the meta description. So why not take the opportunity to define exactly what appears there? While filling in your meta description include the keywords you want your content to rank for and let the description be short yet precise enough that it captures exactly what your content promises to offer.