Get started with SEO: A guide for startups and small businesses

In today’s digital age, establishing a strong online presence is vital for the success of any start-up or small business. While the world of SEO may seem overwhelming, especially when starting a business and juggling many tasks, this guide will walk you through the essential steps, and provide additional resources to help you get started with SEO and set your business on the path to increased online visibility and organic growth.

1. Understand the basics of SEO

Before diving into the technical aspects, it’s crucial to grasp the fundamental principles of SEO. SEO revolves around optimising your website and online content to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for relevant keywords. Organic search traffic can drive a significant amount of qualified leads to your website, making SEO an invaluable long-term marketing strategy.

2. Conduct keyword searches

Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. It involves identifying the keywords and phrases that your potential customers are using to search for products or services similar to yours. Use keyword research tools like Surfer SEO to find relevant keywords with a balance of search volume and competition.

3. Optimise your website

Your website is the digital storefront for your business, and it must be user-friendly and search engine-friendly. Here are some key on-page optimisation steps to follow:

1. Create High-Quality Content: Develop informative, engaging, and valuable content that aligns with your target audience’s needs and interests.

2. Incorporate Keywords: Integrate the selected keywords naturally into your content, meta tags (title and description), headings, and image alt tags.

3. Improve Site Speed: Optimise your website’s loading speed to enhance user experience and rank higher in search results.

4. Mobile Responsiveness: Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, as mobile searches have become increasingly prevalent.

4. Building backlinks 

Backlinks, or inbound links from other websites to yours, play a significant role in SEO. Focus on acquiring backlinks from reputable and relevant sources, such as industry directories, guest posting, and partnerships. High-quality backlinks signal to search engines that your website is trustworthy and valuable, potentially boosting your rankings.

5. Local SEO optimisation

If your business serves a local audience, prioritise local SEO efforts. Create a Google My Business (GMB) listing and verify your business information (name, address, phone number). Encourage customers to leave reviews, as positive reviews can enhance your local search visibility.

6. Monitoring and analysing performance

Regularly monitor your website’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These tools provide valuable insights into your organic traffic, popular keywords, and user behavior. Analyze this data to identify areas for improvement and capitalize on opportunities.

7. Stay updated with SEO trends

SEO is a constantly evolving field. Stay updated with the latest industry trends, algorithm updates, and best practices. Follow reputable SEO blogs, attend webinars, and participate in online communities to expand your knowledge.

Embarking on the SEO journey as a startup or small business can be both exciting and challenging. By understanding the basics, conducting thorough research, optimising your website, building strong backlinks, and monitoring performance, you can lay a solid foundation for your SEO strategy. Setting up SEO is a gradual process, and it may take some time to see substantial results. While it may take time to see the full impact of SEO efforts, the results are sustainable and provide ongoing benefits.

Are you a HomeWork Business Club member? Contact us to book in a free 30 minute consultation with SEO expert, Dexter Stevens.