DIY SEO for Startups: Implement SEO Best Practices Yourself

  • August 30, 2023
  • SEO
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diy seo

Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for getting any new website found online. But for startups with small marketing budgets, hiring an expensive SEO agency usually isn’t feasible.

The good news is that with some persistence and effort, startups can absolutely implement SEO best practices themselves to boost their search rankings. This guide will walk through the most essential DIY SEO tactics startups should focus on.

Laser Focus on Relevant Long-Tail Keywords

One of the biggest mistakes startups make with SEO is trying to target hundreds of broad keywords right out of the gate. This leads to superficial content that won’t rank.

Instead, research to identify just a small handful of high-value, long-tail keywords that are highly relevant to your startup’s specific offerings. For example, a startup selling AI coaching software could target “AI life coach app” or “virtual life coaching platform.”

Look for keywords with decent search volume that aren’t ultra competitive. Optimize your site architecture and content for those keywords by including them in:

  • Page titles
  • Headings (H1, H2 tags)
  • Meta descriptions
  • Image file names and ALT text
  • Product/service descriptions

Make sure each page targets different primary keywords. Your blog can cover additional long-tail variations.

Technical SEO – Do Site Structure Right

While keyword research is important, technical site factors impact SEO too. Ensure your website:

  • Implement responsive design for fast loading on all devices.
  • Use sitemaps and robots.txt to guide search engine crawling. Update sitemaps frequently.
  • Optimize page speed by minifying code, compressing images, and eliminating render-blocking resources.

On-Page Optimization

  • Craft descriptive, keyword-rich page titles and meta descriptions for better click-through-rates.
  • Include target keywords in headline tags, image ALT text, content, etc. But avoid over-optimization.
  • Structure markup for FAQs, products, reviews, events and other content types.

Eliminate Technical Issues

  • Fix broken links and errors like 404s immediately to avoid penalties.
  • Redirect outdated pages properly and consolidate thin content.
  • Check for security issues, incorrect canonical tags, duplicate content.

Monitor with Search Console

  • Connect Google Search Console to monitor crawl errors, performance, manual actions and more.
  • Review crawl stats, click-through-rates and query impressions regularly.

Regular Audits Are Key

Conduct periodic technical SEO audits using Google Search Console to catch any creeping issues before they harm your rankings.

Create Content That Ranks and Converts

Creating high-quality, substantive content should be a top priority for startups’ SEO. But blog posts must also convert visitors into customers.

Optimize Blog Content

  • Target one primary keyword per post while also optimizing for related long-tail keyword variations.
  • Craft compelling titles and meta descriptions that draw readers in.
  • Structure posts with strategic subheads, bullet points, and bold text to facilitate scanning.
  • Include visual assets like infographics, charts, diagrams, and photos to reinforce key points.
  • Insert relevant internal links to other site pages where appropriate.

Promote and Repurpose Content

  • Promote blog posts through social media, email newsletters, and outreach to drive traffic.
  • Repurpose blog content into video, podcast, and visual formats to generate more visibility.
  • Conduct interviews with industry experts and customers to turn into blog posts or videos.

Optimize for Conversions

  • Funnel blog traffic to high-converting landing pages through clear calls-to-action.
  • Place relevant ebooks, sales offers, or email signup forms within posts.
  • Use on-page elements like trust badges, testimonials, security guarantees to address visitor concerns.

The focus should be on producing content that simultaneously attracts visitors, ranks highly, and converts readers into customers.

Build Backlinks – Focus on Quality Sites

Backlinks remain a key ranking factor. Startups should focus on earning backlinks from contextual sites through:

Strategic Guest Posting

  • Identify high authority sites in your niche by researching metrics like domain rating, organic traffic, and number of quality backlinks.
  • Be selective when guest posting. Focus on contributing one great piece to a top site vs spamming lesser blogs.
  • Create an outreach template that clearly communicates the value you’ll provide to their audience through your guest article.
  • Follow up periodically if no initial response to avoid being seen as a spammer.

Thoughtful Community Participation

  • Actively participate in relevant communities like subreddits, Quora Spaces, industry forums, etc.
  • Provide thoughtful expertise and engage sincerely with the community – don’t just blast links.

Resource Sharing and Promotion

  • Monitor brand mentions to identify opportunities to contribute free resources on topics people are discussing.
  • Partner with other startups/influencers to co-create and cross-promote assets like ebooks, tools, and datasets.
  • Promote new resources through social media, email outreach, etc. to maximize visibility and links.

The key is getting a diverse mix of high-quality domains linking back through contextual strategies. Avoid spamming low-value directories.

Continuously Analyze and Refine Your Approach

It takes time for DIY SEO efforts to impact rankings. Leverage analytics to identify issues and optimization opportunities.

Use Essential Analytics Tools

Key Metrics to Track

  • Rankings and organic traffic for target keywords
  • Top landing pages, content, and conversion paths
  • Visitor acquisition channels driving the most traffic
  • Engagement on site pages and blog posts

Regularly Evaluate and Refine

  • Review reports weekly/monthly and prioritize issues to address.
  • Double down on high-performing areas; optimize or eliminate underperforming tactics.
  • Maintain an editorial calendar to plan and ideate future content.
  • Re-evaluate target keywords and adjust optimization focus as needed.

DIY SEO is an ongoing process of constant learning and iteration. Analyze results and keep improving.

Based on the data, double down on tactics that move the needle. SEO is always a work in progress.

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What DIY SEO strategies have worked for your startup? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

With over 10 years of SEO experience, Aamod Pathak is the leading SEO expert in Nepal. As founder of Fixtrail Media, he provides strategic guidance and technical expertise to help businesses improve rankings and conversions. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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