Published on November 1st, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi0
Common SEO Mistakes Most Startup Businesses Commit
The Internet is a marketplace, and your website is your lemonade stand. If you want to sell lemonade, you need people to visit your site—and not the thousands of other lemonade stands out there.
That’s where SEO comes in.
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves the optimization of a website and its content so that it ranks high in a search engine’s results page.
SEO means that, when someone Googles “lemonade stand,” your website is on the first page of Google’s search results. The higher the ranking, the more page visits. The more page visits, the more likely your visitors will become customers.
Many startups struggle with ranking their website. SEO requires technical knowledge, and a fast-paced industry means SEO can be hard to keep up with at times.
If your startup isn’t ranking on Google, it’s time to diagnose the problem. Here are the top 3 SEO mistakes startups are making.
Keywords are what a person enters into a search bar, like “attorney websites” when they’re searching for a law firm or “best red velvet cake recipe” when they’re in the mood for baking.
The number one challenge for startups is that they have a lot of competition—and the competition is usually more established than they are. How do you begin to compete with big corporations?
The answer is this: find a keyword that suits you.
If you’re a startup law firm, you’re probably not looking to represent everyone from Singapore to Canada. You’re likely looking for customers in your general area or for cases that fall under your expertise.
So, instead of using the keywords “law firm” for your homepage, use something more specific. Choosing a good keyword requires knowing your business. If you have a good grasp of what your law firm stands for, finding a legal SEO keyword should be easy.
Here are some guide questions for choosing a keyword:
- Where is your business located? (e.g., “law firm in Indiana”)
- What is your business’ niche? (e.g., “law firm for labor cases”)
- Who is your target market? (e.g., “law firm for domestic abuse survivors”)
The reason you want a specific keyword is that you have less competition. There are thousands of law firms in the world, but only a handful who focus on labor law in Indiana. Your website is more likely to rank when there’s not a lot of competition vying for the top spot.
Google has announced that website speed is a top factor in ranking websites. Slow websites annoy viewers; they’re not going to sit around waiting 10 seconds for your website to load. So, why would Google rank a page that provides poor user experience?
Here are a few tips to make your website load more quickly:
- Upgrade your web hosting plan. A basic hosting plan works for a website that doesn’t have much on it. However, as you add more pages and content, your website will get progressively slower unless you upgrade to a better plan. Contact your hosting provider so they can help you choose the best hosting plan for your needs.
- Resize images. If your company logo doesn’t take up much space on your website, check that it doesn’t have 1024×1024 resolution. Size down your images to something more appropriate, so browsers don’t have to load large images and then resize them afterward.
- Get rid of bloat. Bloat refers to the pages, plug-ins, or anything on your website that doesn’t need to be there. Check your plug-ins if any of them can be removed and delete old, archived pages that aren’t of use to anyone.
- Limit videos on your homepage. Autoplay videos are a quickly fading fad. Not only can they annoy users, but they also take a long time to load. Stick to static images, or if you really need a video, stick to one video maximum.
Nothing beats good content. Even if you have a great keyword and a quick loading time, if your content is plagiarized, Google is going to penalize your website.
Good content is original, readable, and well written. Here are a few of the questions Google asks to determine good content:
- Does your site have overlapping, redundant, or duplicate articles on the same or similar topics?
- Does your page provide significant value in comparison with other pages in the search results?
- Is the article edited well, or is it badly written?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
Whether you’re selling lemonade or marketing your law firm, a search engine-optimized website will help you find the clients you need. Identify your website’s weaknesses and start optimizing so you can soon get the top spot on Google’s search results page. Life will be handing you lemons in no time.