As a technology startup, you know how challenging it can be to attract investment and gain new customers. You’re obviously going to expand your digital reach with a website, but how will you get people to see it? Since over 90% of all websites don’t even rank in Google, you need to make sure that your site isn’t one of them.
This is why you need an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that boosts your rankings and delivers the right website traffic. But how should you proceed?
Before we look at the steps you should take, let’s examine some fundamentals of tech startup SEO, and look at the factors that will affect the search rankings for your tech startup.
SEO factors that influence search rankings
There are several factors that affect website rankings. Google’s algorithm relies on a variety of signals to score a site’s relevance to keywords along with overall quality so that it can deliver content it believes will provide the highest degree of user experience.
Without getting too technical, here are some of the biggest SEO factors that will determine how well your tech startup site fares in the rankings.
On-page SEO for tech startups
As the name suggests, on-page SEO refers to how well content is optimized for keywords, META tags, headings, as well as overall quality. It analyzes these factors to determine whether it’s both relevant to a user’s query, and how informative it’s likely to be.
Google uses the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) guideline to measure content quality. Simply put, it’s Google’s attempt to make sure that the content it recommends is likely to provide the best user experience while penalizing sub-par content that doesn’t.
Although the concept has been heavily debated and scrutinized since being introduced in 2013, you don’t have to overthink it. If you work to ensure that your content is well-researched, tightly written, uses a logical heading structure (H1, H2, H3, etc), and is of appropriate length for the subject matter, then you should have no problem outranking your competition, which is why you should always analyze their content and go one step better with yours.
Since quality is 90% of the battle, making sure that you use the right tags and headers, and that your keywords are distributed correctly, will ensure that your excellent content matches the relevant search queries.
Off-page SEO (backlinks)
Off-page SEO consists primarily of building trust and authority for your website, mainly through the creation of a diverse and robust backlink portfolio. The way Google sees it, the more people linking to your site, the more value has been invested in it, which in turn signals to the algorithm that your website is worth ranking higher for a given search term.
Because off-page SEO involves activities that are mostly beyond your control, it can be a difficult process to undertake. Still, it’s a critical ranking factor, and you need to ensure that you have a comprehensive backlink strategy in place to be able to rank competitively.
Technical SEO for startups
As the name implies, technical SEO involves the ranking factors that Google uses relating to a website’s technical performance. For this reason, most SEO experts will recommend a thorough SEO audit to determine areas for improvement.
Technical SEO factors include:
- Mobile optimization
- Site speed/load time
- Database optimization
- Crawl errors
- HTTPS status
- XML sitemap configuration errors
- Robots.txt file configuration errors
- Duplicate content and metadata
- Broken links
It can’t be overstated: keywords will make or break your SEO efforts.
Your keywords will not only signal to Google how to interpret the relevance of your page content, but they also serve as the foundation of your site’s structure. They help determine what your website is all about, and having the wrong ones in place can be extremely detrimental to not only your search rankings but also to your lead conversion efforts.
5 SEO tips for tech startups to help you outrank your competitors
1. Research the best SEO keywords for tech audiences specific to your niche
As mentioned above, your SEO efforts depend on good keyword research. This process involves finding and sorting out keywords in your niche for both SEO and general marketing efforts.
While the practice has been well-known for over a decade, what many fail to understand about it is that you need to analyze your data for not only those keywords that you can rank for, but for buyer keywords that will make it easier for your audience to convert into buyers.
Google Keyword Planner is the best place to start to research relevant keywords within your tech startup’s niche. You’ll find a variety of primary and related keywords, with estimated search volumes, as well as an indicator of their competitiveness. But when you’re going through the keywords, make sure you go beyond the numbers and determine which ones are the most relevant to your buyer’s intent.
For example, let’s say that your business offers billing solutions. While your keyword research may indicate, at first glance, that “what are billing solutions” is a worthwhile keyword to use, it’s more informational than buyer-focused. So try to pursue keywords with a clear buyer intent behind them, rather than flat keywords that may serve to educate rather than solve a problem.
However, having said that, those keywords are still useful. You’ll just have to add them creatively into your content strategy.
2. Choose your website platform wisely
There is a wide variety of content management systems (CMS) available to power your website. Bear in mind, though, that not all CMS’s are created equally; while some may have more attractive features than others, you need to ensure that SEO factors into your choice.
The vast majority of websites are powered by WordPress. It’s a popular choice thanks to the fact that it’s powerful, customizable, flexible, has great SEO value, and above all — free. WordPress gives users the ability to access and customize a wide range of factors affecting SEO through a robust plugin library, and the Yoast SEO plugin can help you automatically adjust your page content and META tags for maximum SEO value.
Other popular content management systems like Drupal and Hubspot offer varying degrees of SEO customization. However, they are not necessarily as ingrained or readily accessible as WordPress, and you may need to use coders to manually make changes.
At the end of the day, make sure you choose a CMS that can easily support your SEO efforts.
3. Ensure your content is SEO optimized
Create and execute a thorough on-page SEO strategy before you create a word of content. With your buyer-focused keywords in hand, craft the content to attract and convert your audience who will discover it because it’s relevant and informative.
- Proper keyword density
- Using a logical heading structure (H1, H2, H3, etc)
- Using semantically related keywords
- Putting primary keywords in headers
- Observing proper content length for the topic
- Optimizing headers and metadata
Above all, make sure your content is tightly-written and provides value for the reader. Poor content means your readers will quickly click away, which will hurt your bounce rate and negatively affect your rankings. Remember: if Google decides that users aren’t interested in your content, the algorithm will penalize you for it.
4. Build your backlink profile with shareable content
Building backlinks is one of the hardest SEO activities to undertake, especially for new website owners. In the old days, you could easily hire a black-hat SEO “expert” to spam your URL to thousands of forums and directory sites. But not only will that not work today, having low-quality backlinks pointing to your site will actually harm your rankings.
Use outreach to share your content links, and encourage other reputable website owners to link to your website. How? By creating quality content that others will want to share. Reach out to other websites in your niche, and ask them to share it if they feel it will provide value to their readers.
You can also use other tactics like creating roundup posts that quote a variety of experts in your field, which will then encourage them to link back to your article.
Conversely, you need to ensure that you maintain a healthy backlink profile, which means disavowing poor-quality links in Google’s Webmaster Tools. It’s not unheard of for unscrupulous website owners to flood their competitors with spammy, low-quality links in the hopes of hurting their rankings. So above all, make sure you are constantly working to acquire quality links while disavowing the poor ones.
5. Don’t forget about local SEO
While you may have a national or even an international footprint, you still need to optimize your business for local SEO. There are several approaches to take here, but the two main ways are to create local listings in your Google My Business account and to create content based on local keywords that help to anchor your website with a local presence in Google.
It’s a fact that potential buyers prefer to support local businesses, and your tech startup is no different. A GMB listing means your company will show up in local search results, and using it to capture local traffic, host reviews, and create local blog listings and announcements should be the low-hanging fruit of your SEO efforts.
Generate traffic and boost sales with these tech startup SEO tips
Your tech startup company needs customers. Without SEO, your website won’t be able to rank highly in the search engines or attract that much-needed traffic.
Follow these five website tips to ensure that your website has a solid SEO foundation for maximum growth, visibility, and lead generations that will help you meet your business goals — now and in the future.
Miromind helps firms in the technology sector around the world boost their website’s visibility, attract and convert clients, and maximize their marketing ROI. Contact us to learn how our team of experts can leverage our SEO experience to take your tech startup website to the next level.