Author: Rodrigo Silveira
I just saw this quick video on YouTube by one of Google’s software engineers. At first I was a bit hesitant to watch it because it wasn’t Matt Cutts… The video describes 17 tips for starups. Maile focuses her tips is sites trying to rank for fewer, but related keywords (rather than trying to rank for thousands of unrelated keywords, like an e-commerce site). In other words, the following tips are ideal for startup companies with a focused and specific product and/or service. I’m including the video below so you can watch it for yourself. BUT, don’t worry about taking notes on her SEO advice – I’ve already done that for you. See below.
Why 301 redirect instead of 302? Because 301 is a permanent redirect, which triggers signals in search engines to transfer pagerank and other positive attributes from one domain to the other.
Sign up for all email notifications so you can be kept updated on anything that Google finds wrong with your site.
If the domain was once owned by a spammer, it’s likely not going to rank well now.
How to do a background check? Use Google Webmaster Tools to see what keywords the site is currently associated with.
This feature not only allows you to have Googlebot crawl your page, but you can also tell it to submit the page to its index right away.
This doesn’t have to be Google Analytics, but since it’s free, and super powerful, it wouldn’t hurt. The key here is to start gathering historical data about the site.
Before you dive deep into an eye-candy design, first identify the persona you’re targeting. The key here is to identify your users the best you can, then only focuse on satisfying their needs. The main (if not the only) focus of your site should be directly related to the primary persona you’re serving.
That means that you identify a goal (namely, to get people to register for your newsletter list, buy a product, or hire your company by submitting a form on the website), then make it possible for users to accomplish this goal on as many pages as possible.
Include relevant keywords in a way that people are more likely to use. If the way your products/services are described can be reworded in a way that’s more natural to most people (aka your persona), then by all means, include those words instead of your own.
Maile also suggests that you use tag clouds and consider misspellings of these words, since people might use those when searching for your products or services.
Show other users’ reviews, return policy, etc.
In other words, every page in your site should have the following attributes:
The old advice still applies:
While some users might consider 2 seconds to be an acceptable load time for an e-commerce site, Google considers anything above half a second to be less than ideal.
Aim for nothing less than number one result. This is a pretty obvious one, so be sure not to ignore it or neglect it.
Participate in relevant online communities, blogs, and especially social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. The hope is that people that find you in these communites will make your site known to his/her friends, and from there the positive spiral will help your site rank better.
No point in putting up a very expensive, sophisticated, and clever billboard by a highway that nobody drives through. Again, the key is to identify exactly who it is you’re trying to attract and impress, then only focus on those people. Find out where they are, and tell them about your company.
The key is to add value to something. By doing so your users be delighted, and will return to you for more.
Remember, valuable conversion happens on your site. No matter how many people come to your site, in the end, if your site is poorly designed, not functional, or confuses users or breaks their trust (or never allows them to build any trust in the first place), the your conversion rate will be non-existent. Focus enough effort on making the user experience on your site the best it can be, so that however many users find your site, the highest possible percentage of them will convert.