SEO in 2024 best practices for new business owners

Increase your SEO in 2024 (ps. it’s not just about Google anymore)

Increase your SEO in 2024 (ps. it’s not just about Google anymore)

Consider this your friendly guide to understanding and applying basic SEO techniques in 2024, minus the techy mumbo-jumbo.

What is SEO, Anyway?

I’m so glad you asked because this brings up a huge point. SEO in 2005 is massively different than SEO in 2024.

Today, optimizing your marketing content for search is no longer only about ranking on Google. Many online apps and platforms are majorly relying on user search inquiries to get users to the content they want.

Which means you need to understand how to optimize for search on Instagram, on TikTok, on Pinterest, on YouTube, on Facebook and on and on. If it has a search feature, you should be optimizing for it.

The good news is once you understand the basics, you can apply this to all your marketing content and it will improve your search ranking wherever you’re publishing.

Also, not to majorly date myself but I had a blogging for SEO gig back in 2005. Yes, in the B.C. era. So I’ve followed SEO utilization and trends for a looonnnggggg time.

I remember when keyword stuffing was the actual strategy. Don’t do that.

Simply put, SEO is about making your content (whether it’s your website, blog, or social media platform) more visible and attractive to search engines like Google or their own platform search feature. It’s a key player in digital marketing, applicable across various platforms beyond just your website.

The secret to great SEO: Think like a searcher

  • It’s Not Just Technical: You don’t need to be a coding wizard. SEO is more about how you write your content. When people search, they use certain words – the best way you can do SEO in 2024 is to think hard about what those words are and put exactly that into your messaging.
  • Think Like a Searcher: The golden rule of SEO is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What are they typing into that search bar? HINT: It’s probably not going to be the first thing you assume. This takes some mental shifting and practice.

Easy SEO Strategies You Can Implement Now

Ready to get found by searchers with SEO in 2024 best practices? Here are some straightforward strategies:

1. Know Your Audience – like, really know them

  • Define Your Target Audience: Your marketing, including SEO, should be laser-focused on your ideal customer.
  • Narrow Down your Audience: Avoid being too broad. The more specific you are, the more effective your SEO will be.
  • Don’t try and get found by every Joe-Schmo typing in “healthy cookie recipes”. Instead, go for the smaller population typing in “healthy chocolate chip cookie recipes”.

2. Keyword Research

  • Start with Search Terms: Think about what your audience would type into Google.
  • Use Variations: Explore different phrases that lead to your products or services.
  • Check Google Suggestions: When you type a possible search phrase into the search bar, Google offers a list of related search terms – use them for inspiration.

3. Create Fresh and Unique Content

  • Avoid Copy-Pasting: Google loves originality. Ensure your titles, descriptions, and image captions are unique.
  • Keyword Stuffing is a No-No: Old-school techniques like stuffing your content with keywords won’t work. Keep it natural and conversational.

4. Utilize Every SEO Opportunity

  • Fill in SEO Descriptions: Use the SEO sections on your website effectively. Write comprehensive, relevant descriptions.
  • Images Matter: Name your images and use ALT text for further optimization.

5. Be Specific and Conversational

  • Write as You Speak: Ensure your content feels personal and engaging.
  • Cover All Bases: Don’t leave any SEO opportunity untapped – from website settings to image descriptions.

Why SEO Should Be on Your Radar from Day One

At first glance, SEO might seem too complex or technical for early-stage business marketing strategies. You might think, “I’ll just hire someone to handle my website’s search engine optimization a few years into business.” However, SEO is an integral part of your digital presence from the get-go.

In 2024, nearly every online marketing platform, from Google to Pinterest to YouTube to Etsy to Podcast platforms to TikTok to Instagram, has a search function.

If you’re putting marketing content on any of these platforms, the way you write that content makes a big difference in your search ranking on them.

SEO for New Startup Entrepreneurs

  • SEO is Not Just for the Tech-Savvy: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a web developer or a tech wizard to improve your SEO. At its core, SEO is about crafting your marketing content to meet your target audience’s search needs.
  • Think Like a Searcher: Whether writing website copy or posting on social media, approaching your content with a searcher’s mindset is key. Imagine what your ideal customer would type into a search bar to find your offerings, and tailor your content accordingly.
  • Copywriting and SEO Go Hand-in-Hand: Good copywriting is essential for effective SEO. Engaging, well-written content that addresses specific search queries can dramatically improve your online visibility.

My mini course on SEO for the new entrepreneur includes copywriting tips.

Likewise, my brand messaging workshop on sales copywriting puts a lot of emphasis on SEO.

Simple Steps to Improve Your DIY SEO

Improving your SEO when you’re just over here trying to DIY a little new business marketing might seem daunting, but it’s more accessible than you think.

Here are my favorite, easy tips to make your search result potential truly optimized and not a lead-generation pitfall:

  1. Target Specific Searches: Avoid generic terms in your content. The more specific and detailed you can be, the better your chances of ranking in searches. Think about the detailed searches you make on platforms like Amazon or Etsy—your content should cater to similarly specific queries. A mom shopping for her 7-year-old daughter’s back-to-school outfit doesn’t type in “back-to-school outfit”, she types in “back-to-school outfits for 7-year-old girl” or “size 7 outfits for young girl”. See how those extra words lead to a more defined phrase and search?
  2. Adopt a Human Writing Style: With the rise of AI and automated content creation, maintaining a human touch in your writing is more important than ever. Platforms like Google prioritize content that reads as though a real person wrote it. So, even if you use AI tools to draft your content, always give it a personal edit. I love to use ChatGPT or Gemini to get me started, but I never copy/paste – and you shouldn’t either if you want good SEO from your writing.
  3. Focus on Relatable, Helpful Content: Content that engages readers and provides them with valuable information or solutions to their problems will always rank better. SEO isn’t just about including the right keywords; it’s about creating content that resonates with your audience and encourages interaction.

Everyone is doing some form of SEO in 2024 – make it count

By focusing on specific, search-oriented content creation and maintaining a genuine, human approach to your marketing efforts, you can significantly improve your SEO without becoming an overnight tech expert.

Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, not a one-time setup. As your business grows, keep refining your SEO strategy to match your evolving goals and audience needs.

Bonus Tips: Beyond the Basics of SEO in 2024

  • Avoid Generic Terms: Is there a different way to say or search for phrases related to your business? Use those.
  • Geographical Keywords: Include locations in your keywords to target local customers.
  • Descriptive Adjectives: Make your keywords more descriptive for better targeting.

Wrapping It Up

Remember, modern SEO is all about careful messaging.

It’s about understanding your audience, using the right keywords, and consistently updating your content. And remember, if you ever feel stuck, there’s always more help available – whether in online forums, private groups, or through professional assistance.

By Lindsey Wagnon, Founder of Lindsey Wagnon Marketing startup marketing agency and startup marketing automations specialist.

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