A Start-up’s Guide to SEO

If you’re one of the many people who decided to take a leap of faith by starting your own business, either as main employment or a “side-hustle,” you’ll have a thousand and one things to juggle.

If you haven’t been fortunate enough to have a huge lump sum of money and a large group of employees to cover for you, you’ll have to take on a few of the tasks yourself.

One of the ever more popular aspects of this is making your own DIY website using WordPress.

This enables those without the knowledge to create a website without many hours of frustration involved in the process.

When it comes to having built a website, many entrepreneurs will find that their website is there, but people wouldn’t even know it was there. This is where SEO comes into its own and where even knowledge of the basics can make a big difference in the starting point of your digital presence.

What is SEO?

Let’s start at the very beginning. If you’re looking for the best places to learn about and discuss SEO, it’s hard to beat the information provided by Moz thanks to their huge network of experts. 

So how do they describe SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

Hopefully, that was quite a simple explanation. In a bit more detail, SEO covers any changes that affect the quantity of traffic, quality of that traffic as well as organic results positioning.

When you search through Google, there are so many factors behind the results it shows you and they all depend on the individual words and even the order you input them. Some website factors to be considered, among others, are:

Backlinks, “Domain Authority”, Content, Keywords, Traffic, Social Signals.

Why Should I Bother?

If you want to give your business an opportunity to catch a slice of even the smallest quantity organic search traffic then you need to understand and modify your site to take the above into consideration.

SEO can be split into three separate aspects, which all overlap. These are technical SEO, on-site SEO, and off-site SEO. For such an initial and brief article such as this, I won’t go into the technical SEO as it takes a bit more knowledge than your average user.

If you’re curious, however, check out this agency’s description on the process and value of Technical SEO.

What Can I Do to Improve My SEO?

What someone with limited knowledge will be able to do in order to make a difference to their SEO is making edits to the content on their site. Although the level and detail of these changes will vary compared to an expert doing it, it’s always better than not even trying!

Unlike what you might first think, creating content for a website is much more specific than simply knowing “what people say” or copying content from a competitor.

There are many tools out there that enable those new to the game to have a good go at it. For this, you can take a look at this list of free tools curated by Ahrefs.

Another aspect that anyone can attempt is commonly known as “linkbuilding.” This is where you send outreach to sites in your niche that you believe you can share content or by asking for a link back to your site within the content you’ve submitted.

The aim of this is to show Google that your website has enough useful information on it that other websites are happy to reference your page.

There are many versions of this and some are likely to get you penalized by Google (e.g. buying links).

The thing is, manual outreach isn’t an easy task and can be very time-consuming, but as one of Google’s largest ranking factors, it’s certainly worth attempting!