This post is by Aurora Johnson of Custard.

Kick-starting a business is not an easy task. Before you even begin earning revenue, you need to set out your business plan, get funding and build your product, along with many other essential tasks.

In order to increase your projected revenue, you’ll also need an excellent marketing plan that will give you access to the right audience. Implementing SEO in your website design will help you to gain a higher level of visibility and you should also see a spike in traffic thanks to it.

But what’s the best way to do this for a startup? Your SEO techniques should be as white hat as possible, rather than dipping into the murky underworld of black hat tricks that produce instant yet damaging results.

If you’re in the process of implementing an SEO plan for your startup business, make use of these five white hat techniques.

1. Make On-Page SEO the Backbone of Your Strategy

A lot of startups head straight for content creation and social media in the first stages of a new site, but that could be a big mistake. Without a solid basis of technical (i.e. on-page) SEO, all of this will be meaningless.

5 Essential White Hat SEO Techniques for Startups

Make sure your website can be crawled by search engines by giving it good architecture that’s easy to navigate. The next step in your technical SEO process is to ensure your pages are being indexed by Google. The aim of these two steps is to get your pages to rank, so you can nudge higher up the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and beat your competitors.

With a backbone of technical SEO, you can grow the other aspects of your strategy around it.

2. Use Social Media to Build Awareness

Social media is ridiculously powerful, but its main aim won’t be to generate revenue. Instead, you can use it to encourage online conversation, which will increase your brand awareness and follow through with the natural creation of links. This is because as people share your content they’ll also link back to your website.

Create a good social media strategy before your site goes live and implement it from day one. A viral ad wouldn’t go amiss either, as the hype it could create would ensure your brand’s name was on everyone’s lips.

For instance, The Santa Monica-based subscription company Dollar Shave Club rocketed onto the market in 2012 with a hilarious video that quickly went viral. The video, which used quirky humour to sell the company’s service, was shared across social media sites almost instantly and racked up over 4.75m views in just three months.

This translated to 12,000 people signing up to Dollar Shave Club in just 48 hours, but that wasn’t the main aim of the ad. It was designed to go viral, ensuring everyone knew the brand, and aiding the company by counting on the fact that a number of people would link back to the Dollar Shave Club’s website when sharing the video.

3. Implement a Strong Content Marketing Plan

Content marketing is one of the oldest tricks in the SEO book, but it’s not the same as it used to be. Google’s rules regarding content have changed a lot since the old days, so you’ll need to focus on creating useful, informative content. Create content that people will find interesting, and which is more likely to be shared over social media.

Your content marketing plan doesn’t only have to include written content either. You could also create infographics and videos that will pique the interest of more than a few bloggers you approach.

4. Give Your Site Good Content

Make sure that every single page on your site has meaningful content on it. Each page should contain the relevant keywords you’re aiming to target, along with a user-friendly layout.

People spend less than a minute on a site before clicking off, which means your content needs to be top notch. There’s no time for waffle and filler, you need to get straight to the point. What does your business offer, why should people use your product or service, and how can they find out more?

5. Set Up a Consistent Guest Blogging Program

Submitting guest posts to high quality blogs can become an invaluable part of your link building scheme, and it’s often one of the most important aspects of it.

By becoming a regular guest blogger, you can build up a relationship with the blog owner and anyone that replies to your post. By forging a relationship you can network effectively, so you’ve a better chance of writing for guest blogs in the same network later on.

If you set up your own blog you can then target long tail keywords that will help to build your visibility and increase your audience. This is because these keywords can be much more specific and they’re often much less competitive.

Conclusion

Any SEO strategy for a startup needs to focus on white hat techniques that will help to grow your business online. By mapping out your strategy as early on as possible, you can get the jump on other startups that only get to grips with SEO once they’ve been around for a few months.

Do you know of any other white hat techniques that could work for startups?


This article was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf of Custard, a digital marketing agency in the North West offering search, social media, design, PR and marketing services. You can visit custard.co.uk now to find out more about the agency.

From Misha: This is the first time we have a guest post here at Marketing Before Funding. I'd love to hear your feedback! And if you want to write for us, go here.

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