his SEO list is essential if you have a new business (or even an established local business).Everyone knows that SEO is important if you want to increase your website’s ranking on a Google search engine results page. If you’re a start-up business, you need every competitive advantage you can get, and good SEO is one of them. Today, however, SEO is more complex and involved than it has ever been. However, despite the complexity, there are some simple truths you can follow if you’re looking to beat your competition online. Clear Digital has put together 5 of the most important things you’ll need to consider.

4 SEO Tips For Start-Ups

With so much information available, it can be difficult to determine which specific activities you should prioritize to have the greatest impact. To help you, we have compiled a short list of 5 imperatives. They are:

  • Claim and Improve Your Google My Local Business Listing

  • Perform Keyword Research

  • Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly

  • Build Real Relationships For Link Building

The sections that follow will go into greater detail about each, as well as some actionable next steps(SEO Tips) you can take right away.

1. Claim & Optimize Your Google My Business Local Listing

For those who are unaware, Google My Business is a free service offered by Google. If you haven’t already done so, the first thing you should do is go here to claim your Google My Business account.

What it is:

Google My Business is essentially a local business listing that you can fill out with important business information such as your company name, address, phone number, website, and photos, videos, and virtual tours.

Why it is important:

  • When someone performs a Google search and the keyword phrase they used has both business and local intent, Google will populate the search engine results page (SERP) with a variety of information. You will see Google Ads if businesses are bidding on that keyword in the Google Ads auction, websites if they have earned their way onto the first page of results, and Google My Business listings. For the majority of search results, Google currently displays three listings on the first page, with the option for the user to click through to see more.
  • For the vast majority of searches, Google My Business listings appear above organic website listings and just below Google Ads. When properly optimised, your Google My Business listing can be more powerful and important to your business than your actual website.

How to optimize for SEO:

There are several ways to optimize your Google My Business listing, including but not limited to:

  1. Adding attractive photos
  2. Adding engaging video content
  3. Adding a virtual tour
  4. Adding a concise business description
  5. And finally building out additional local listings such as Yellow Pages that include your Name, Address, and Phone number.  Google leverages 3rd party data sources such as these to validate your business location, name address, and phone number among other things.

2. Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important research exercises to undertake. This will give you a better understanding of what your target audience is searching for online.

What it is:

There are numerous tools available, but some of the best are ones you may already be familiar with:

  1. Google Keyword Planner
  2. Bing Keyword Planner
  • If you want to go a little further, there are also a number of paid tools available.  One of the most popular ones is SEMrush.

Why it is important:

  • Using tools like the ones mentioned above is important not only for understanding what your target audience is searching for online, but also for determining which ones have the most search volume behind them.
  • In Canada, for example, the keyword “Cyber Security” receives an average of 1,300 monthly searches, whereas the keyword “Cyberattacks” receives 5,400 monthly searches. We won’t delve into hypotheses about why the difference exists in this blog, but we will in a future entry.

How to optimize for SEO:

Once you have identified the keywords your target audience is using, you can now take advantage of them in different ways. You can optimize SEO in the following ways:

  1. Did the URL website consider these keywords
  2. Did the copy on your website and your Google My Business take these keywords into consideration?
  3. Do you have online marketing materials that you promote for your business, and if so, are those keywords embedded in those materials?
  4. There are plenty of other ways to exploit these search terms, and we hope the three examples above have given you a quick springboard to get started.

3. Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly

Today, mobile traffic accounts for more than half of all web traffic. The mobile-friendliness or responsiveness of a website is one of Google’s ranking factors (another term you may have heard).

What it is:

  • A mobile-friendly website is one that loads quickly, functions well on mobile devices, and provides an excellent user experience.

Why it is important:

  • More people are spending time on mobile devices than ever before – whether that’s at home or in the workplace, even when a laptop is right there that could be used.  More purchases are being made via mobile phones than ever before. It’s even to the point that as a society, it has become the expectation that websites function well on a mobile device, and if a site does not, it is quickly dismissed.

How to optimize for SEO:

  1. Most web development platforms, to name a few, such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify, have excellent mobile experiences. The best way to ensure you have a great mobile website is to actually navigate through it and see if what you see on the desktop version has translated correctly to the mobile version.
  2. Going through the exercise above may reveal that some elements, such as photos, videos, and buttons, may need to be rearranged in order to deliver the desired experience.

Build Real Relationship For Link Building

You’ve probably heard that link building is beneficial to SEO. You may have also heard that one of the most important ranking factors is links. Both of these statements are correct, but not all links have the same effect. Creating relationships for the purpose of link building is one of the most important SEO activities you can do.

What it is:

So, what exactly do we mean by “real relationships?” These are relationships that you most likely already have. As a start-up, you will most likely have fewer than other more established businesses, but you will still have them. Relationships could include other professional services with whom you have collaborated to help launch your business. They may include (but are not limited to) the following.

  • Your lawyer’s accountant
  • Your landlord
  • Your vendors
  • And so on…

Why it is important:

Developing linking relationships with and from the aforementioned potential linking partners aids in the establishment of trust and credibility in the eyes of your prospects as well as Google.

How to optimize for SEO:

Having a variety of links coming from real businesses with which you are affiliated is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your SEO efforts. Request that your suppliers and partners link to your company’s website, using either your company’s name or URL as the link. You can reciprocate by linking to their websites. Both the link giver and receiver will benefit from this.