Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For Startups: Research, Research & Research

Before starting your search engine optimization , you have to do research and make sure that your plan is, in fact, perfect to your industry and the competition around you.

For Competitive Research:

  • Examine the search results for your ideal keywords.
  • Expand out into long-tail keywords and see who is ranking for those terms.
  • These are the people who are attracting more qualified traffic.
  • After gathering keywords and doing your searches, gather the URLs and domains for the top 30 to 50 results.
  • Identify which of these domains shows up the most in the rankings for a range of keywords.
  • Ask yourself if those companies are really your competition.

This research phase doesn’t end with a list of competitors. You should now start to note what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong.

Make a list of everything from the size of their site to the number of back-links and the way they use keywords. Determine what you can emulate and what you can outdo.

For Keyword Research:

  • Determine your current keyword performance using Analytics (this is more difficult these days, but it is still possible).
  • Find the pages that have been performing well and delivering the most conversions and determine which keywords have likely been sending traffic here.
  • Start building out your keyword list and determine search volume. This can be done with tools like Google’s Keyword Planner.
  • Expand your list. Build it out as far as you can. You can focus it down later.
  • Identify the keywords that speak to consumer behavior. This will tell you the types of searches that indicate the customer is ready to buy and which ones mean they’re just looking for information.
  • Optimize those pages for the keywords that are more likely to convert.
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