Richard Hart

Head of Something @ Somewhere
Kent, UK

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SEO from the start

My generic SEO strategy for a startup is a) be the best on the Internet for b) as many topics as you possibly can be that c) matter to your paying customers – Strategic SEO for Startups

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been spending an increasing amount of time learning about SEO and how to go about applying it to our day to day business. There’s a lot of stigma attached to doing “SEO” and while a lot of it is very shady, once you learn how to do things properly, it’s not as dirty a subject as people would have you think. Personally I’ve found the whole learning experience absolutely fascinating.

It’s very easy to think that SEO is something you do to your site. Adding keywords, making sure things are tagged correctly etc, but the real meat of SEO comes before all that. Researching competitors, finding keywords to compete on and own, building trustworthy and relevant linkbacks, etc. The SEOMoz Beginners Guide is an excellent resource for learning the basics while the link at the top is a a great way of learning how to apply the concepts to your startup/site.

For anyone thinking of hiring an “SEO Expert”. Be extremely cautious. There are a lot of people out there dying to sell you their black hat techniques to drive your search engine performance up, there are also a lot of people out there who really don’t know what they’re talking about. If someone offering to give you advice doesn’t first ask to see your analytics and your content, but rather focuses on technical changes (especially things like LOC and embedded Javascript), I’d personally look elsewhere for help.

There’s no point having the best content in the world if people can’t discover it, and really SEO is all about making that content discoverable.