About a third of all the small businesses start with less than $5,000. Luckily, 73% of startups share that they can arrange initial capital. Even so, several startups fail for numerous reasons. The top reasons for failure include lack of market demand, lack of money, and the wrong team.
As a business owner though, your objective should be to minimize the odds of failure. In other words, you need to take all the steps that you can to ensure success. In this regard, a crucial element is search engine optimization (SEO).
eMarketer reveals that 35% of the product searches start on Google. So, it makes sense that your startup ranks high in search engine results pages (SERPs) so that people can easily find it. Plus, you need to avoid any SEO mistakes that you may be making.
Here’s a dive into typical SEO mistakes that can keep your startup from taking off:
Blogging on a third party platform
Several startups blog on third party platforms such as Medium. While this isn’t wrong, it does stifle your SEO growth. For instance, any backlinks that your content gets go to the third party platform, not your website.
Backlinks are the SEO juice that signals the browser that your page is authentic and trustworthy, which is why others are linking to it. Consequently, backlinks help you take your ranking high on the search engine, which translates into greater visibility.
It is also important to note here that people reading your content on Medium may not click over to your site to visit your startup even if they liked what they read. This is because too many clicks negatively impact the user experience. When you blog on your site, your audience is already on your page, and you don’t have to worry about getting them to click further.
Improper or inadequate keyword research
Keyword research can be tricky, but keywords are the only pillars that can help your startup stand on its feet. Aim at ranking for long-tail keywords. These are keywords comprising of 3-5 words that people type as queries in their search box.
Changing trends show that people are typing longer queries into their browser, so it makes sense that you target them to show up in search results. Moreover, WordStream’s latest research reveals that long-tail keywords boost your conversion rate with the average conversion rate standing at 36%.
Therefore, start with proper keyword research and plan to rank your page for specific keywords. If you find this part hard, consider working with an SEO Marketing Agency. Additionally, create content around these keywords, which boosts your ranking chances.
Lack of mobile optimization
Google mobile search stats reveal that over half of all search volume results come from smartphones. More interestingly, 50% of all mobile search is related to local businesses. But what if your site is not mobile friendly? Simple. You risk losing all those prospects who visit your website via their portable devices.
Google confirms this as well as it reveals that 40% of mobile consumers move to a competitor’s site after a poor experience. What’s more, 57% don’t even recommend a business site with a bad mobile web experience. Hence, your next steps in this context are straightforward.
Optimize your site for mobile users. And, this isn’t just a one-time thing. You need to keep your mobile audience in mind every time you publish something. For instance, centralize the images that you add to your content.
Not paying enough attention to internal linking
So, you’ve added backlinks and external links to your SEO checklist but forgot about internal links? Wrong move. Internal links work in two ways. For one, they enhance users dwell time on your site.
For example, a user is on page A reading content that is helping solve his concern. If there is no internal link, he may move on. But, with some internal links, pointing to your site’s other pages, the chances of the user staying on your site increase as he may want to read other relevant content.
Secondly, internal linking can positively influence your ranking and change the search engine’s crawling patterns. By properly linking, you give Google an idea that each page is relevant, and there is a relationship between the pages. Consequently, internal linking is another critical factor that determines your ranking.
Blogging about thought leadership only
While thought leadership reflects your personality and turns people into fans, it is not always so fruitful, especially, as you are a young startup. Folks want to, chiefly, read content that solves their problem.
So it is best to give them what they want. Create valuable content around problems that your audience has. Don’t focus on product-centered blogs. Instead, subtly explain how your product can help by including a relevant call to action (CTA).
Not publishing enough long-form content
Long-form content is content that is over 1200 words. The word count can go to 3000+ words. However, it all boils down to the value that you offer, not the amount of words written. Long-form content gives you the opportunity to rank better with all the high ranking content being lengthy by nature.
This type of content allows you to solve your audience’s problem stepwise. You can also add keywords to your content naturally. A case in point here is HubSpot. It’s hard to believe that this giant was a startup once, but it grew significantly with the help of long-form content such as case studies, eBooks, white papers, and more.
In fact, innovative content helped HubSpot generate 75% of their leads. They offered all this content for free but to get it, users had to give their information in exchange, which resulted in several leads. Besides, their CTA tripled the leads generated by their blog.
Take home message
SEO is the number one recipe for improving your search engine ranking and visibility. Mistakes such as paying less attention to long-form content, backlinks, and internal links can cost your startup substantially. It’s best to blog on your site and research keywords thoroughly.
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.