How to do SEO for a Startup

KNOW YOUR CONCEPTS AND KEYWORDS

Start by determining what customer behaviors you want to be a part of and what concepts you want to be associated with.

PLAN YOUR CONTENT INVESTMENTS AND PRACTICE CONTENT MARKETING

Now that you have a handle on your key concepts and have built a strategic keyword list, you’re ready to create a high-level plan for content creation.

ENSURE YOUR SITE IS TECHNICALLY FLAWLESS

Modern content management systems do a pretty good job in this area, and if you are using WordPress you are really lucky as there are some great SEO plugins that make tuning the technical side of things easy.

GET YOUR ON-PAGE AND METADATA ACT IN ORDER

Best practice is to build this front-end metadata into your templates where appropriate and have them pull the right attributes from the database or have your writers enter the values into the CMS at the point of content creation.

DEVELOP YOUR SOCIAL AUTHORITY PLAN

This means you need to determine who in your company will become active on Google+ and other key social graph and authority platforms like LinkedIn to champion your brand, create content, and get connected to other authoritative people.

MOBILIZE, LOCALIZE, AND SOCIALIZE YOUR CONTENT AND PEOPLE

Search engines are geo-locating results more and more – not just the local results block but the core web results as well. Create geo-targeted evergreen pages, create geo-optimized profiles, location pages, support or reseller pages, whatever. No matter how abstract your business is you can find some way to make it locally relevant.

PRACTICE DISTRIBUTED, SEARCH-INFORMED COMMUNICATIONS AND PR

It’s not just press releases. It’s interviews, it’s getting your employees to link to deep pages from their Google+ profiles, and it’s drawing attention to the deep functionality of the site so that bloggers and other folks will link to them and discuss them.

TRAIN EDITORS, PUBLISHERS, AND WRITERS ON SEO AND LINKING

Be sure to put your writers and editors through SEO and social media bootcamp before you go live. Get them to understand content metrics and target keywords. Make sure they push their content on Google+, LinkedIn, wherever it’s relevant. The idea is to do content marketing, not content creation. If a particular writer gets a lot of inbound links or tweets, let them know rewards will follow.

PUT KEY METRICS, REPORTING TOOLS, AND REPORTING CADENCE IN PLACE

Having a content metrics and inbound marketing reporting plan in place before you launch is a great way to ensure these elements don’t get de-scoped or forgotten. There are a ton of tools out there to help you evaluate content both from a social sharing as well as an SEO perspective. Add in traditional web analytics and you have a good idea of how well acquisition content is doing.

ALLOCATE DOLLARS FOR CONTENT PROMOTION AND SYNDICATION

At this point, you pretty much have a plan in place. Now you need to understand how you’re going to promote, syndicate, and generally give you content a push out the door.