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SEO basics for new businesses and start ups

Written by Ben Welch on September 29, 2015

Are you a start-up or small company which hasn’t quite good a foothold in its niche market yet?  Then one thing you can do to really help your profile is think about Google as your home page.

That’s because you – more than bigger, more established companies who’ve had years to get their brand out there – need to get on the first page of Google far more than they do.  And it’s all about getting your basic Search Engine Optimisation tactics right from the start.

You won’t have as much money to spend on this as the huge multi-national firms in your field. And another setback comes in the form of Google itself.  Sorry to say but they probably don’t trust your site yet because you are so new and they don’t know anything about you yet, especially if you don’t have a number of other authoritative sites linking to you yet.

So how do you rectify this?

  • Get your goals sorted before you even start thinking about adjusting your website

Are you looking for sales, brand recognition, community engagement?  Check out the various analytics tools available these days to make sure you’re setting your goals properly.

These tools can tell you not just how many visitors you’ve had but also how long they stayed on your website and what they did there. They’ll also give you valuable marketing demographics of visitors such as sex and age range

  • Create engaging content for your readers and not the search engines

Make sure your keywords for your company and products/services are in there but also ensure it’s interesting and relevant content for your audience.  Here at Candesco we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – both search engines and humans love fresh, quality content and it is the reason why people return to your site to read what you have to say, and why Google likes to send people to your site.

The best way for a start-up or small company to do this is to create a blog linked to your website.  You should also start up some social media accounts to help drive traffic back to your web site.  All of these can be time-consuming activities, especially for the sole-trader but there are ways around this.  What about approaching other bloggers to write about your products/services for instance?

Note: according to a recent study done at Cornell University in the States, the first search item which comes up on Google under a specific keyword search gets around 56 per cent of clicks. The second gets a far poorer 13 per cent.

If you’re doing the above and don’t seem to be getting any decent results. Don’t worry. Keep at it.  It can take a little while to get traction with the search engines and your audience but it is worth persevering with it though as in the long-term it WILL pay off.

Just remember to set goals and – just as importantly – track them. That way you can see first-hand if some strategy isn’t working and alter it accordingly – for instance maybe some of the topics you are choosing aren’t quite what your audience whats to read.  Or perhaps the search engines are indexing some of your content and not others.  Take a look at which articles are working and which aren’t and then tailor your next batch of articles to be along similar lines.  This is easy to change and will make a huge different to your site’s ratings.

Here at Candesco we’re always really keen to hear how you are finding SEO and whether you’ve had to make any significant changes along the way.  Also, have you had great success with a social media channel?  We’d be delighted to feature you in our next blog if that’s the case.