SEO must be a priority for startups in 2021. Most startups have limited resources, so they need to make every blow count. The following are some simple steps that can serve as a roadmap to help startups build strong on-site SEO.
Set and Define Goals and Desired Outcomes
The desired outcome for your organization will vary based on the industry you are in. For example, if you are a large publisher, your primary concern is traffic and personalization. This is because the money comes from ad revenue.
Conversely, an e-commerce store is going to want higher conversions. Their SEO will be focused on funneling customers to sales pages and encouraging them to purchase additional products. To this end, their goal may be increased rankings for purchase intent keywords. They will work to decrease product page bounce rates, especially if traffic is coming from organic search results.
For example, a local business, which is likely a brick-and-mortar store that only has a handful of locations in a localized geographic area, is going to want to optimize for “near me” searches. They are going to want to show up on voice and mobile searches. Most retail customers are searching for product information using their mobile phones while they are already out shopping.
Converting Trial Users to Paying Customers
Your business may offer a freemium product or a time-to-free trial. You do this with one goal in mind. You want to convert trial users to paid customers. Converting free users to paid users is easier said than done. It requires specialized on-site SEO optimization.
A reasonable conversion rate from the free trial process to paid is between six to 10 percent. A key to converting trial users is to deliver value during the trial. Make it easy for users to discover your product’s value.
Next, optimize for your most valuable features. This means knowing the features that are being used most by your customers and then turning that into your USP to get the competitive edge.
Once you understand your product’s most valuable features, optimize your site to highlight those features for customers during the free trial. Let customers try some of your most sought-after features at no cost. Once customers see the benefit of a product, they are more likely to buy it.
Another option is to allow users to try all the product features for a concise amount of time. This gives them enough time to have the full experience before paying. This can lead to higher activation rates and better sign-up rates.
On your page, you may wish to include a promotional timeframe. The timeframe should benefit your business and transmit the feeling of exclusivity, urgency, or something limited. This is a good way to convert a free trial into a paid activation.
Evaluate Technical SEO
There are several tools that you can use to crawl your website. Most startups have smaller websites, so free tools can be used. Whether you have a WordPress.com vs WordPress.org site will determine what technical know-how you will need to evaluate your technical SEO.
A high-level on-site SEO audit should search for duplicate content. This is especially important for e-commerce sites. However, duplicate content can plague just about any site. Duplicate content can come in several forms, sizes, and shapes.
Redirect chains and improper redirects can ruin hard-won link equity. Not only that, but it can destroy the user experience. The same is true with broken media assets. Broken video files or broken sound files can make your page frustrating for users. This not only impacts your SEO but can turn users away from your page. If you have an e-commerce store, customers can become so frustrated with you because the media doesn’t work that they will ditch you for your competition.
Keep your URL structure clean. It should be short, and it should be consistent. Your URL structure should be keyword relevant. For example, when a person visits your About Us page, they should see the words “about us” in the URL.
Finally, minimize page load times. Load speed is an important factor in on-site SEO. Google offers page speed insights that can help you improve the load time of your pages. Hiring a web design expert can help ensure that you are following the best technical SEO practices and have the best user experience on your website.
Search engine optimization is hard, and it’s even harder for startups with a limited amount of money. You need to take a targeted approach to your on-site SEO. Focus on small, manageable wins. Don’t try to compete with the big boys right away. Your search engine optimization should be tactical. Once you have that down, then you can move on to larger content marketing initiatives.