SEO Strategy for Startups in 2021

SEO is a viable channel and sustainable source of qualified traffic for startups heading into 2021.
Though make no mistake, SEO becomes more difficult by the month as more and more local and online businesses grasp the concept and implement it into their overall growth strategy.
There are many steps to securing a strong organic presence, namely, link building, content marketing, on-page optimization, and delivering quality user experiences, for most, this is where issues begin as many are unsure which areas to focus, worry not though, this guide will show you the way. 
In this Dice Media Group post, we’ll make the signal easier to hear through all the noise with simple yet effective strategies for long-term SEO success in 2021 and beyond; prepare for accelerated growth.
If searching for SEO strategy 2021, know you are not alone; many ranking hopefuls search the same and arrive here to learn strategies that leave their competitors behind and their traffic and earnings ahead.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.

The SEO Problem

SEO Problem

Modern search engine algorithms evolved and are more sophisticated now than ever before; strategies that once worked years ago no longer do today, so it’s time to rethink your approach to digital growth.
SEO is harder too for startups needing enterprise SEO solutions on a small-business budget, as such, it’s important to follow the steps below as they will help you to achieve a stronger organic presence for the newfound brand or local business you worked hard to launch; your efforts should be matched with an equally working strategy that brings you the rankings, traffic, leads, and conversions you and your wallet deserve.
To achieve results, you first need to know how to rank a website, and more importantly, what Google is looking for when choosing where to position a site.

What Search Engines want in 2021 – SEO for Startups

Startups are held to the same SEO requirements as a corporation or large retailer website.
Startups are held to the same SEO requirements as a corporation or large retailer website.
Google does not focus on the market you’re in or the marketing goals you prioritize, rather, they care most about the user experience you provide to those using their search service.
Those satisfying the check-list of website traits Google looks for are awarded higher-ranking positions, but what do these so-called traits consist of? 

When choosing where to rank a website, Google’s algorithm checks the property for:
  • Accessibility: Before ranking a site and its pages, Google ensures the site is accessible.  This is done via the Google Spider Bot which scans web pages to ensure accessibility and compliance.
  • Quality content: Google prioritizes quality content that is informative and helpful; your content should solve a problem or answer the visitor query.
  • Great user experience (UX): Websites are an extension of the search experience, for your site to thrive organically, it must be well-made, user-friendly, mobile-optimized, and easy to navigate.
  • Engagement: Quality content, when paired with a great UX, should keep visitors on your site and engaging with content, which is precisely what Google wants to see.  If visitors stay on your site and read your content, this signals to Google you are offering value and solutions to readers.
  • Optimization: On-site SEO is a process involving steps that include adding metadata to pages and relevant keywords to your content but involves other steps too that include keeping your site free of broken links and non-optimized images.  Check the Dice Media Group blog frequently for upcoming guides on how to perform on-site optimization.

Essentially, your website should provide great content and visitor experiences while covering technical optimization as well; precisely what Google and users want to see from you.  Do this and your startup SEO efforts will produce results sooner than you might expect.

One the essentials of technical SEO are understood and your site is properly optimized, eighty to ninety percent of the results you generate will come from adding quality and valuable content.  With that said, let’s cover the ten golden optimization rules all start-up ventures should follow in the year to come. 

6 Must-Follow SEO Rules for Startups in 2021

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Fast-track your startup’s path to success with tried-and-proven methods used time and time again by Dice Media Group to deliver astounding results to client campaigns.  Each step is vital to the success of any SEO strategy, improve yours today with these strategies below or contact one of our ranking experts today for a free thirty-minute consultation.

Establish SEO Goals and Realistic Expectations

Your goals will depend on the nature of your business and the way you generate revenue. For example, if your business is generating revenue through the monetization of ads or affiliate commissions, focusing on generating organic traffic through content marketing would likely be best.

If running a local business, your goal should include ranking for “near me” searches.  Adding to that, many of your local customers are likely doing voice and mobile searches as well, so have a website optimized for users visiting from phones and tablets.

You may even approach SEO in ways you never expected.

For example, here at Dice Media Group, we helped a client drive a ton of new sign-ups simply by optimizing their site for a specific keyword that wasn’t even related to the product directly.

This client now ranks locally in the highly-coveted, number-one position for “sales management” which attracts 9,900 searches per month, and we did this just by solving a problem within the content for a key customer segment.

On this topic matter, do no spend a lot of time attempting to forecast SEO results or the amount of traffic you will receive, just take action; a startup company can’t afford to not be executing at all times.  

If needing goal ideas there are many templates available to inspire ones you should work on.

Create a System for Measuring Progress and Results

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Determine the metrics in which you want to follow, they could be the number of visitors you receive, the amount of organic traffic you generate, or the number of conversions you produce per + acquisitions.

Develop a strategy around these metrics though don't go overboard, in the beginning stages of a startup, you do not need anything outlandish.

Once you’ve chosen the metrics you wish to monitor, you can then:
  • Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
  • Integrate marketing automation and your CRM with lead-capture solutions.
Doing additional research is a good measure to take too; you can come across useful topics, such as:

  • AARRR Pirate Metrics for SaaS
  • How to Use Google Analytics to Improve SEO Performance
  • 10 KPIs to Track Your SEO Performance and Drive Better Results
  • The 6 Marketing Metrics Your CEO Cares About Most

Scan your Site to Assess Errors and Fixable Issues

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This is an important step, especially if your startup and its website are in the first year of operation and has been publishing content since launching.

Search engine crawlers index all the pages on a site and validate the backlinks based on what's known as the HTTP Response Code.  To detect such issues on your site, you can use a range of available SEO tools, such as Screaming Frog, which has a free version.

SEER Interactive also has a guide that makes sense of this step for you, it’s worth the read.

Things to look for in a crawl report include:

The most common on-site SEO mistakes include:

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Audit the User Experience (UX) of your Website

Here is something you may not have known; UX is a ranking factor.

Poor navigation, layouts not optimized for mobile devices, and any other issue that impedes the experience a user has on your site can cause rankings to quickly deteriorate.

There are some countermeasures you can pursue, namely:
  • Tracking user engagement, you can do this using Google Analytics or heat map software.

  • Determining why visitors are disengaging by using the Google Analytics Funnel Tool, here is a great guide on optimizing your funnel using this software.

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During this optimization process, you will also want to organize your site with user-friendly navigation and internal links that direct visitors to relevant pages and content.  Last but not least, considering over sixty percent of search traffic is now done from mobile devices, it is important you make your website usable to phone and tablet users, do this using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test software.

On-Page SEO and Optimization

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This is the process of aligning your content marketing strategy with topics, user content, and search terms specific to your market, niche, and audience.

Dice Media Group composed this SEO checklist you can use to track on-site optimization efforts:

  • Choose a target keyword.
  • Run a SERP analysis to see if you can compete for top-three ranks.
  • Create a sixty-character title tag; include the main search term and buzzwords for higher CTR.
  • Write Meta Descriptions using the main search term; include a compelling CTA for higher CTR.
  • Use H1 Tags in your content that includes relevant keywords.
  • Use H2 Tags in your content that targets secondary keywords.
  • Use your target keyword within the first two-hundred words of your content.
  • Your content’s Keyword Density (KD) should appear natural and not over-optimized.
  • Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords within your content.
  • Content length should be long enough to answer visitor queries.
  • Content structure should be scannable, broken up, and easy to follow.
  • Content should use rich media or images to improve visitor engagement.
  • Use URL structures that include the target keyword, it should have clear taxonomic organization, no underscores, and be a hundred characters or less.
  • Your website should have internal links with one to two links to relevant content per article.  You should hyperlink relevant anchor text and include them within your site naturally too.
  • Content should include one to two high-authority outbound links to relevant content or pages.
  • Images should be optimized with its file name containing the target keyword.
  • Your website should include links to your social media pages; especially important for startups.
  • All alt tags should contain your target keyword.

That’s an exhaustive list, so if you need help from optimization experts with decades of combined SEO experience, reach out to Dice Media Group for a free consultation.  Our on-site SEO service will have your website’s on-page SEO performed to perfection to maximize your ranking potential.

Assess Branded Search Opportunities

This is where brand awareness begins.

Your startup's reputation should be credible on review sites and other sources around the web. 

Searching your brand online, checking reviews, and seeing where you and your startup are already listed provides good opportunities to increase awareness and establish authority.

Google-search your brand and evaluate the results you see:

  • Check for bad press and negative reviews.
  • Search your name or startup online for negative reviews.
  • Review your search engine listing to verify that your metadata clearly describes your brand and services, be sure too relevant keywords are added as well.
  • Ensure external links to other platforms your startup is listed on is included within your site, and also embed feeds or links to social accounts you have made for the brand.
  • Make the most of mark-up opportunities.
  • Check the bottom of page-one results for ideas on what similar keywords your customers and competitors are targeting.
  • Use Google’s auto-suggest feature for long-tail-keyword ideas; a great way to generate low volume, laser-targeted, buyer-hungry visitors.

Another good idea is to research “alternatives to” and “versus” search queries, such as:

This is a powerful SEO and traffic-generation tip.

Search engine users love to compare services and alternatives, as such, you could begin publishing content with topics including ‘your competitor + alternative’ and then list your startup as the best alternative to users; a powerful, high-conversion strategy to generating new clients for your brand.

Plus too, alternative-based search terms typically have high search volumes so it’s a great opportunity for your brand to reach new audiences.

Dice Media Group uses such strategies within content marketing campaigns we oversee for clients as it’s a powerful technique that within weeks to months has allowed us to scale client’s organic traffic by as much as 200%; impressive results for such a simple-yet-resulting strategy.

SEO in 2021- Ranking for Startups with Dice Media Group

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As a team comprised of branding, development, and search engine optimization specialists, we assist startups and digital venture investors with building credible brands backed by strong rankings sustaining with time.

Allow Dice Media to show the world who you are through strategic SEO campaigns that will take you from startup-status to corporate-level success; high-volume levels of organic traffic can work wonders for your business and bring about profitability and scalable growth like you never imagine; we make that possible.

Join us today to accelerate rankings and startup success, and do so with peace of mind knowing your growth is in the hands of the best in the industry.  Contact us today for questions or to schedule a free thirty-minute consultation to see the ways we can help you reach goals in a matter of weeks.