By Rachel Meranus, Vice President-Public Relations, PR Newswire
One of the most important tools to raise awareness of your start up is developing a website.
This website will be the glue that holds your business together, so it is important that it is built right.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technique used to help your website rank higher in search results. It makes your website more visible to people who are potentially looking for your product or service.
You may ask yourself, why is it important for your business website to be listed on search engines?
Well, to put it into perspective, on Google alone, there are nearly 700,000 searches conducted every second. This is where people will most likely find your information.
To prepare you for this endeavor, we’ve put together SEO "Do and Don’ts" for your startup…
Do and Don’ts
- Know Your Audience
- Use Keywords Reasonably
- Linking is Key
- Make Searches Easy
- Be Consistent
Audience is Key to Your Success
Before building your site, use tools that will help you understand who your audience is and what they are searching. Sites to start with are Google Trends, Google Insights, Quantcast, Compete or Alexa. Using these tools, you can identify the keyword search volume, regional interest levels, additional search terms related to your keywords and the relative traffic and visitor demographics for your own and competitor’s sites.
This Site Has Keyword Overload
Over saturating your content with keywords may drive your visitors away. Keywords will only create good results when they make sense. They should be included in your titles, URLs, headers, first paragraphs and at least few additional times in the body of content depending on content amount and keyword relevancy. The goal is to use keywords without affecting the flow of the content.
Where Does This Link Take Me?
A great way to increase SEO is to create links to your most important pages within the body of content. A sitemap or a blog archive will link to all pages on your site, and is highly recommended. Of course, linking has to be relevant, and you must use anchor texts with keywords.
Additionally, driving viewers back to your website by placing content with links on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, or through the distribution of news releases with services like PR Newswire, is a strategy that should be included in your marketing plan. This is of course after your website is fully functional.
Most importantly, set up a frequent maintenance schedule. Search engines do not work well with broken links and neither do your visitors. You can try the Google Webmaster Tool to help find broken links and 404 Not Found errors.
I Can’t Find What I Need on This Site
When creating the concept for your start up’s website, it’s important to keep in mind why people are visiting. The content needs to be useful and easy to understand. Be explicit with your information and resources. Your content and multimedia should be simple to navigate.
A great way to ensure people stay on your website is to clearly label menu bars and avoid linking out to other web pages from your website or other sites.
Be Consistent with Your Domain URL
Not reaching the top of search engines results does not mean your website has been built incorrectly, but consistency will help its success in time. To search engines, websites that begin with www and websites without it count as two different URLS. When promoting your site, it is wise to keep to just one.
Most importantly, give your website time. There are multiple websites out there serving a similar purpose.
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