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5 Steps to smashing your SEO ranking in 2018

Bump up your startup from page 10 to page 1 on Google in a matter of weeks.

If you’re just starting out with your new startup and struggling to get traffic then this should be useful to you.

At the early stage of your company’s life lead generation usually requires a lot of manual effort, stalking and searching for potential clients or users on social networks like Linkedin and community forums. At this early stage you never really know who your target audience is. You think you know, and you might be right, but sometimes results can surprise you. This method is great as you can really hone in on who you want to do business with, plus it’s personal. However, if you adopt a two pronged approach you could set your site up so that you have clients searching for you, allowing you time to focus on the quality of the work, rather than searching for your next project.

I wanted to share my journey and tips with you as I’m quite proud that we’ve gone from ranking on page 10 on Google to page 1! Now you might think – well great but ranking for what? Well that’s the first step.

1. ’Creative agency for startups’ – Choose your target keywords wisely.

The VERY first thing I did with my SEO strategy is select very targeted keywords to rank for. Sidekick Studios now ranks for ‘Creative agency for startups’. We focus on offering creative support for startups so we tried to think what founders and marketing directors would search for. Really get into the head of who your target audience is and think like them, what would they type into Google? Also consider that short tail keywords will likely be very competitive so you need to be a little cunning and go for slightly longer tail keywords to begin with. Placing your chosen keyword in prominent h1 and h2 headers on your site will allow Google to notice your site more easily in relevance to the search word.

Think about how you can adapt your site to focus on these keywords. Of course you don’t want your site to sound cold and robotic by just listing keywords. However, it’s good to have some steer. Google searches through your website content and assesses the priority of the information. Your h1 titles are the most important, then come the h2, h3 etc. So it’s good to put your keywords in the right hierachy, just like the one above.

2. Refine your structured snippets.

Structured snippets are the summary words that appear in the Google Search. Of course you have Bing, Yahoo and various other search engines but we’re going to use Google as it’s the largest. Your structured snippet should tell Google what your site is about. It’s like a miniature ad to identify you – your business card. You want to be accurate here as if you’re a shoe shop and you tell people that you look after feet, people might think you’re a massage parlour. So be specific, use your keywords and make sure that you don’t exceed the word amount. Getting customers to your site isn’t enough, you want the RIGHT customers so that they convert into paying customers. With a Word Press site it will warn you when you exceed the recommended word count and is generally great for SEO as you can use plugins like Yoast. I know this first hand as I upgraded from coding my site in the slightly archaic Adobe Dream Weaver to Word Press four months ago and now we’re on page one.

Google can penalise you for things like a wordy snippet. The devil is very much in the detail with SEO.

3. Next Step – Optimising your website.

So your content strategy is one arm to this. You then need to focus on the technical element. Optimising your site to be search engine friendly. By that I mean your load speed and general navigation and image tags. It’s very important to label all the content on your site and make sure it’s fully responsive to work on all devices. All images should be given descriptive text. This is for those who have their vision impaired. They will rely on a description being read out by their computer. So describe each image you upload as well as possible. I won’t go into too much detail but just check all your site links. I used a free tool called Nibbler, which checks the health of your website. Your hosting provider will also have a website checker so try a few and see what score your site gets. Then it’s just a matter of tweaking. SEM Rush is one of the best sites for checking the quality of your site but it’s a little pricey.

4. Lots and lots of great content.

So you’ve done all the above. Now it’s time to start posting. No matter what your business is whether you manufacture pies or parts for Spaceships. Write about it. Google checks how often you post and it’s a given that this is one of the key ingredients for climbing to the top. Write content that your audience will find useful. Picture who you’re writing to in your head.

Make sure you post your article on as many relevant social sites as possible. So many great articles go unread because they are not publicised. If you think you’ve written a masterpiece you could even reach out to bloggers and press and share your article with them. Since we focus on helping start-ups I try and offer useful tips and support for startups and then share my posts with the relevant hashtags to give them a boost. If you do this enough someone will eventually notice and you may even get people sharing your content, which is when you’ve made it! 

5. Get sites with a high domain authority to link to your site.

It’s also really import to get links to your site. Admittedly this is also my next step to my SEO strategy. Each good link is like someone giving you a leg up. You want to make sure that these sites are related to your field and have high volumes of traffic. But of course you should start small and build up. Contact bloggers and writers who might be interested in what you do.

I’ve been contacting writers in the startup world. Those on sites like Tech Crunch as well as crowd funding platforms. Now I don’t just say that we’re another advertising agency and I just wanted to say ‘hi’. No. I think about what makes Sidekick Studios different and what would be interesting to their readers. I think about what makes us newsworthy. Well for starters we work remotely so we don’t have the usual office overheads. That’s my angle that I use. So think about what makes you newsworthy. Or if you’re not selling your business then sell an article. Write a smashing article for your industry and tell bloggers about it like I mentioned earlier. Guest blogging is something you should also check out.

From 10 to 1, just like that.

Now you can get very granular with SEO and a lot of it comes down to fine tuning your site from the back-end code to the content people see and read. I just thought I’d share some of the actions we took, which have helped Sidekick Studios rank higher. I still have a lot more work to do with our SEO but I hope some of that was helpful. Good luck and happy climbing!

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