When launching a startup or venture there are challenges around every corner. Fortunately, when it comes to digital marketing, savvy startups can now compete with big businesses through search engine optimization (SEO). Alongside the help of a good digital marketing company, startups can make sure their business gets seen.
Here, we’ll explore some of the top SEO trends that can help startups thrive even in highly saturated markets.
Set achievable, but ambitious goals
Predicting the results of SEO strategies is extremely difficult, so your goals will want to be more generalised and hinge on your product or service. While startups should have ambitious goals, your SEO efforts should involve achievable targets that can be adjusted on the fly.
For example, if you are selling a service, you may want to have your website listed in the top 3 results on Google for a certain keyword within the next 12 months. Or, if your startup plans on generating revenue through the number of website visits, your goals may be visitor focused. For example, 50,000 views a month within 6 months.
Google describes snippets as “a description of or an excerpt from a webpage” and are used to give a glimpse of a website’s content.
If a snippet from your webpage is featured, it will be displayed in a box at the top of the results page with an accompanying link to your site. They typically answer questions succinctly and are a great way to get more clicks, beating even the top search result in terms of page position.
While Google has not been too forthcoming with advice on how to get a snippet featured, the algorithm tends to prefer ordered and unordered lists, with an appropriately keyworded title, 40-60 words in length.
High-quality, long-form content
For businesses in general, authoritative, long-form content is now increasingly being seen as a way to stand out from the crowd. After analyzing one million articles, Moz discovered the internet is now over-saturated with content less than 1000 words long, making up 85% of all webpages.
Publishing longer content is beneficial for different reasons:
1. Search engines prioritize long-form pages
2. More chance to inject keywords
3. Engaged users will spend longer on your website
4. Probably shared on social media platforms
5. More likely to receive backlinks
In fact, research now shows pages with over 3000 words can attract 3x as much traffic and receive 4x more shares than short-form content.
In 2022, voice search is expected to see yet more usage as smart speakers and mobile phones are increasingly being spoken to. Being more convenient in a lot of situations and now with more accurate detection, voice search is becoming extremely popular.
With 65% of 25 to 49-year-olds talking to devices every single day, companies offering SEO services now recognize voice search offers growth opportunities.
One way to capitalize on this SEO trend is to observe the way searches are conducted with such devices. Most voice searches use simpler language and are more conversational in nature. Ensure your targeted long-tail keywords are question-based and are at a 9th-grade reading level to maximize results.
Long-tail keywords based on your service/product
Whether you’re selling to other businesses or directly to customers, your startup’s reputation is likely still being established. Moving into 2022, it’s worth bearing this in mind and keeping your keywords related to services and solving problems.
A blockchain startup, for example, may enable the transfer of funds using specific cryptocurrencies before conversion back to cash. People who need such a service, however, will more than likely be searching for long-tail keywords in the form of a question. For example, “easy way to send money to relative abroad.”
These long-tail queries will direct traffic to your startup’s website organically, letting your company grow.
YouTube and other video platforms integrated into social media are great ways to engage with expanded audiences that may not be searching for your startup’s services.
With YouTube alone racking up more than 2 billion active users a month, reaching out through video is a potential goldmine in terms of SEO. While your video content will play a big part in determining your effort’s success, you can help things along with well-chosen titles and descriptions that integrate keywords.
Your thumbnail, too, will be instrumental in driving clicks. YouTube tends to prefer facial expressions and bright colours. Ensure your video is short, answers questions, and you direct traffic to your website in the video and in the description.
A good SEO agency will be able to advise startups on using YouTube to further grow their audience.
Don’t forget the basics
While SEO trends may come and go, the basics remain important. Overlooking these will mean the success of your other efforts will be diminished.
You will want to:
1. Audit your website’s speed and usability: using Google’s Lighthouse tool, you can analyze the user experience of a website. This includes more complex issues such as time-to-render, and script content blocking.
2. Integrate monitoring: make sure your website has Google analytics installed correctly to monitor traffic and behaviour on site.
3. Generate backlinks through social media, reach out, and produce great content.
4. Make sure your SSL certificate is installed correctly.
5. Optimize images, URLs, keyword placement, and content.
Keeping up with these vital aspects of SEO will mean you can then explore new and innovative practices that can boost your results yet further.
With the SEO basics nailed down, startups can look to these trends to generate conversions and reach new customers. With these strategies requiring nothing but time and a bit of know-how, they can be implemented by businesses of all budgets, meaning the humble startup can compete with the industry giant.