One of the most significant mistakes that a startup website could make is to totally ignore SEO from the beginning. It is a huge task to attempt, especially if you’re a new comer to online marketing, but we feel it’s an effort worth making, even at a minimal level. The main reason why is that you’re giving Google an incorrect message right away. They will try and index your pages, and if your pages are lacking any SEO, often they are either unable to index, index the page incorrectly, or because on-page SEO is such a large part of the search algorithm, rank them so far down the search results they might as well be invisible. That’s too bad, because there are some really easy ways to get started with SEO that don’t require a full-blown SEO firm to get done.
So what is Minimum Viable SEO?
Priceonomics.com coined the term, “minimum viable SEO“, which means basically what it says: exactly what can you get by with in terms of SEO to begin with. Even though this is by no means an ideal strategy, it’s a lot better than not doing anything. Here are some of the things they pointed out, with a few of our own ideas tossed in.
Decide on a keyword strategy – This should help you see not just what your site structure should look like, but also how fast you’ll be into profit. One option is to go after the long tail of search, meaning keywords which are usually 3-5 words long, often with product or model numbers. They don’t get a ton of searches daily, but are infinitely easier to rank for. Add a few thousand of these up, and you win. Another way to go is to go after a single keyword, like “auto insurance San Diego” you’ll typically be attempting to rank only your home page. If you have a business with a local presence, be sure you have local geo-modifiers on your keywords, as in the above example.
Use breadcrumb navigation – You’ve seen this on many web pages. It is a set of links that show where you’ve been on the site, and where you are now. This is great for the searcher, (which Google likes) and takes care of a good deal of internal linkage. Here is what it usually looks like: Home > Tablets > Apple > Ipad 2 3g
Use accurate title tags – Making sure the title tag on your page is accurate, which means it is or contains the keyword you would like that page ranked for, is perhaps the most important SEO task that you can do. Using local geo-modifiers is important here too.
Doing minimum viable SEO is a start, and far better than not doing anything. Just don’t let it be the end!