Biz Tips: How to use SEO to make your startup more attractive for investors

Biz Tips: How to use SEO to make your startup more attractive for investors

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How to use SEO to make your startup more attractive for investors

Long before you get into deep negotiations, due diligence or just even get to pitch your startup to an investor, your chances of getting funded may be damaged by your online searchable reputation.

Your startup’s web assets, such as website, social media pages and any type of online content, as well as your personal online assets, are exposed to basically anyone who knows how to search on Google.

When someone new is interested in doing business with you, the first thing they’ll do is search your name and your startup name on Google. When this happens, you want to be sure that they are presented with the most complimentary information of yourself and your business. It means that web pages which contain positive information about you must be ranked at the top of the SERP (search engine results page).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results. — Wikipedia.

In order to do that you need to be able to control or at least influence 2 things:

1. The content on the top search results of the SERP.
2. The rankings of the SERP for your name and your startup’s name.

How a search engine algorithm works?

Search engines such as Google use web crawlers to collect data from all around the world wide web. The collected information is then analyzed for each web page and domain through various parameters. The most important parameters are links to a web page, and content on a web page. That is how when you search for “Chicago Bulls,” you get the official website of the NBA team, and not of a bull farm in Chicago. This is accomplished simply because there are more links and content about the Chicago Bulls basketball team than any other bull in Chicago.

A SERP for the search term “chicago bulls”

While it is a huge and complex topic, which many thousands of engineers and marketers around the world everyday try to figure out, manipulate, and use to their advantage, there are actually a few things that anyone, even without previous background, can do to optimize theirs SERP rankings and content in a way that will support their online reputation.

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Social Media Profile Optimization

Social media websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus and more, always rank high on Google for the account name search queries. Search engines love social media pages because they are usually the most relevant page when a user is searching for a specific name of an individual or a brand.

Here’s what you can to optimize your Social Media profiles/pages on SERP:

1 — Write persuasive profile bio:

Search for your name on Google and see how high your Twitter and LinkedIn profile appear. Pay close attention to the content snippets of the search results.

Does the text in the description create the best image of you or your brand?
If not, go to your profile settings, and edit text in the description. It may take a few days for the changes to appear, but it’s better late than never.

2 — Get a legit profile image:

Are your best images featured in the SERP? The images you see in the middle of the results page are taken from your social media accounts. If you are not happy with them, switch your profile pictures.

Make sure that your profile image is authentic, legit, and leaves a good first impression.

For your brand profile images, make sure your logo’s image is customized to the displayed size and isn’t cut in the middle of it.

3 — Remember I said it may take a few days for the new content to be indexed in search engines?

This one can sometimes help Google call its web crawlers to review your profile pages sooner. Submit the URL of your profile page to Google Search Console.

Submit your new social media profile page to get them indexed faster by Google

4 — Links are super important for search engine algorithms.

They show that a specific web page is relevant for a certain search query. Use the profile bio areas of your social networks account’s to link to your website and to your other social media accounts. Do it from your both personal and brand profile, and make sure that you link to your social media profile from your startup website as well, same as from your personal website if you have.

5 — Signup to more social networks.

If you see on the first page of the SERP other pages that you are not happy with their content or preview, go and open more social media accounts and optimize them. It will take some time for them to get indexed and climb to the top page, but it’s worth it.

Here is a list of recommended social networks to have your profile at, as they tend to rank high on SERP: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, About.me, Quora, Medium, Pinterest, and Facebook (I guess you have that. Though pay attention that the profile bio from your Facebook profile won’t be displayed on SERP.)

6— Pay special attention to these 3 social networks:

Twitter:
There are 2 main reasons why Twitter is so important for SEO. One — it almost always ranks on the first page of Google. Two — many second tier social networks are automatically generating your default profile bio using your Twitter bio description. Make sure that you pay close attention to your Twitter bio.

LinkedIn:
As with Twitter, LinkedIn will almost always rank on the first page and in many cases will be the first search result, especially in situations where you don’t own a personal website. LinkedIn will also have a higher click-through rate than any other social network. It means that if anyone is searching your name, they will more likely to end up on your LinkedIn page than on any other of your social network profile. The reason for this is that on LinkedIn users expect to find more background information about you, but also to have it outlined in a way which is more organized and easy to read.

Google Plus:
Beside the fact that this is the official social network of world’s largest search engine, there’s also a much more pragmatic reason to pay much closer attention to your Google Plus profile. Here is the reason why.
When your Google Plus contacts search for information about you on Google search, they will be presented with this box on the left side of the SERP. Ask a Google Plus contact to send you a screenshot of this box while they google your name and edit the description and the image on your Google Plus profile to deliver an optimized message to your potential investors.

People that you connected with in Google Plus will see this box (on the right) when they’ll google your name

7 — Customize profile URLs.

Include your first name and surname in profile’s URL. For brand profiles, make sure to include the exact brand name.

Guest Blogging and Content Contribution

Another group of website that search engines love is large publications. By becoming a content contributor of online magazines, you will be entitled to have an “Author Bio,” which you will use to not only brand yourself as an authority in your field, but also to link to your website and other social media profiles.

More than that, if you create the most relevant content about your brand and yourself, then you have a good chance to control more real-estate of SERPs for relevant search queries.

So here’s what you can do:

  1. If you are not writing at the moment, start with blogging. You can open a blog on Medium and begin writing articles about your niche product, or your journey as an entrepreneur.
  2. To get ideas on what to write about, you can use Google Keyword Planner which is a free tool that exists in a Google AdWords account. This tool allows you to explore popular keywords and searches of your product niche. Use these insights to optimize your writing to include answers to popular search queries.
  3. Distribute you blogs posts. You can use popular Twitter hashtags to help reach the most relevant audience.
  4. Use Facebook and LinkedIn groups to engage with other entrepreneurs or professionals in your niche and share your articles with them.
  5. When you feel that your writings has reached a good enough level, outreach to popular bloggers and editors and offer to contribute articles. You can use this list to find website that are open for content contributions.
  6. Mention your startup brand name in your articles to increase the chances of that content appearing on your startup’s brand name search queries.
  7. Link to your startup website in an authentic way, which will add value to the readers. If you do that, it will improve the rankings of your startup website.

Hope you found this blog post valuable. I sometimes get special coupons and discounts to digital marketing tools from my friends at the MarTech industry. Join my Facebook chat bot if you’d like me to send these to you 🙂

See ya!

Yuri

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