How Important Is Website Optimization for Startups?
Website optimization, in layman’s terms, simply means improving your website to make it more “search-engine friendly”. This is why website optimization is also known as search engine optimization (SEO) in the digital marketing world.
If you’re a startup, chances are that website optimization is not one of your priorities. It’s understandable given that you have meager resources and there’s a lot to do. But what many startups don’t realize is that, in a digital world, a great online presence is just as important as an offline one.
In this post, we’ll talk about how website optimization can help even with the most limited resources and why it should be on your list of things to prioritize if you want to succeed.
Why startup websites don’t rank
If you do a quick Google search on just about any topic, you’ll notice that most of the top results are from well-known sites. That doesn’t mean startup websites can’t rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). But they tend to make amateur mistakes that keep them from ranking.
So if your site isn’t on Google’s first page, here are some things you could be doing wrong:
1. Google doesn’t know you exist
It can be frustrating when your startup website isn’t ranking and getting any traffic. One reason could be that Google just doesn’t yet know your website exists. With billions of websites on the internet, it may take weeks or months for Google to crawl new sites and rank them in SERPs.
2. Search engines can’t access your website
Some sites restrict search engines from crawling their pages by blocking URLs within the robots.txt file. If you’re not familiar with robots.txt, it’s simply a file that tells search engines where they should or shouldn’t go.
If your site’s robots.txt is blocking some important URLs, then search engines can’t access them. As such, you can’t expect your content to show up on search results.
3. Your website lacks domain authority and backlinks
Domain Authority (DA) is one of the indicators that Google looks at when ranking websites. The higher the number, the better you’ll do on search pages. If your site has low DA, it’s no wonder it’s not showing up at all.
4. Your website hosts duplicate content
It’s important to keep your startup website clear of duplicate content. Google is not keen on indexing websites with the same or similar content, which can lead to lower rankings for those sites.
5. Google has penalized your website
Google rarely penalizes websites but they do happen. One indicator is if your organic traffic has suddenly dropped without apparent cause. Unless you’ve made a really huge mistake that violated a major rule, there’s a very low chance of your website getting penalized. Besides, Google will notify you of any penalties via its “Manual Penalties” tab within Search Console.
How website optimization can help your business
Now that you know why your startup website doesn’t rank, you’ve probably already realized why you need website optimization. If you’re still not convinced, here are the top ways website optimization can help your business:
Optimizing your website for search engines is one of the best ways to increase traffic. If you want people to visit, your site must rank high on Google and other search engines. Otherwise, your content will be buried at the bottom of the results page. And who goes that far to search for information anyway?
Web optimization is way more cost-effective than other traditional marketing strategies. It enables you to reach the right people with your message, without having to spend heavily on ads and other marketing campaigns.
That’s because it targets an active market – audiences who are looking for products and services online. These people are more likely to visit your site and buy your products giving you a higher return on your investment.
Increased consumer trust and brand value
Your website is a reflection of your brand and how it’s perceived by others. If you rank high on search engines, people will want to visit even more because they perceive the site – and the brand – as legit and trustworthy
Better online visibility
Ranking high in search engines also means better online visibility. Your clients won’t have a hard time finding information about you. If they want to know something about your product or your company, a quick Google search can give them the information they want.
But if your website isn’t ranking, they may get that information somewhere else. And there’s just no telling what other sites will be saying about you.
Better perspective on consumer behavior
SEO is a great way for startups to gain a better perspective about what their audience or customers want. The more SEO work you do, the better data you have on your target market and their search habits. That data accumulates over time and you can continue to benefit from it long after you’ve launched your business.
What do search engines want?
Google’s algorithm looks at lots of different ranking signals to determine a website’s rank in the SERPs. That means a startup website can rank as long as they provide the following:
Accessibility: This is an important factor for search engines to rank your pages. Google needs access to your site to be able to read and index the content of web pages.
Relevant and quality content: The more relevantly you can answer a user’s search query with content, the higher your site will rank in Google results. That means that if a user searches for “car insurance” and all of their competitors have pages about car insurance plans but yours has testimonials from satisfied customers about how they saved money on it, then people are going to click through to your website first because those other websites’ information is less relevant or helpful than what you’re providing.
Seamless user experience: You need to remember that Google’s loyalty is on its users and not on the website owners. So user experience comes first in all circumstances. If your website takes a long time to load or has a very confusing design, the user won’t stay long. This will tell Google that your website isn’t worth a visit and therefore isn’t worth ranking.
With proper website optimization, you can provide all these and more. And if you’re consistent, it won’t take long before you’ll ace the SERPs and build a brand that’s recognized worldwide.
The point of website optimization is to give search engines what they want. Building an optimized website might be a complicated and expensive process. But one thing is for sure: it’s worth your time and monetary investment. You may not appreciate it now but several years down the road, you’ll wish you’ve started today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mandy Schmitz is a freelance consultant and project management expert with 10+ years of experience working internationally for big brands in fintech, consumer goods, and more. Join her on Changeaholic.com to learn how to optimize your business operations and find the latest software reviews.