Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a major part in where your website is ranked on search engines result pages. And where your website ranks can be a huge driver for organic traffic to your website.

But getting started on SEO can be overwhelming. Where should founders begin?

In a recent newsletter, we asked the owners of the Hello Alice community to give their top advice on implementing SEO to their websites. Below, some of the winning tips you shared with us.


Start with the Basics

Before getting lost in the weeds, one owner recommends every founder master the basic principles of SEO:

“The first thing you can do is take a course on SEO to help you understand it better or read blogs that offer “SEO 101” style posts. Coursera offers a free SEO class that I think is very well produced. I also recommend checking out Moz, Search Engine Journal, and Google’s Webmaster blog to learn more.”

— Macala Wright, founder of Grace, Grit & Wit


Optimize Your Website Performance for SEO

As this owner attests, increasing site speed is a simple way to boost conversation rates:

“The No. 1 thing that I did for SEO optimization was to get my site loading speeds down to the three-second mark. I did this using HubSpot’s free website grader. It showed me my current load time and areas to get it down. It took some work on my part, but I was able to get the speed down to 2.9 seconds by working with my e-commerce platform; in this case, it is BigCommerce. Once I did this, I have been able to get a much higher conversion rate month-on-month.”

— Chris Willis, Director of Sales & Marketing at C & S Supply

Similarly, this owner recommends optimizing every website feature, including image size and mobile design:

“We would recommend the user ensures they have a mobile and desktop friendly site, website architecture ('design') with great flow, fast speed, meta description tags for all images, and title tags, so their page ranks better for SEO.”

— Raven Harris, founder of The Startups Specialists


Set Up a Google My Business Profile

This founder told us that setting up a profile with Google My Business increased their website ranking:

“After attending a small business webinar on marketing and business startups, I followed through with setting up a profile for my business site on Google My Business. I update it regularly and recently linked it with my online store so that my products are automatically updated on my Google profile. My SEO descriptors help my business 'pop up' easily on Google internet searches.”

— LaVonne Wallace, owner of Joeny Shop


Research Keywords

The above tips will help, but foundation of any great SEO strategy is researching keywords that customers might use to search for your products or services:

"I think all business owners really need to understand the language that their ideal clients are looking for their products and services by. They need to know what their target keywords are. This is very important. In addition, it is important for companies to use those target keywords in their website content and blog!"

— Zhe Scott, owner of The SEO Queen

There are plenty of tools to help you predict the most important keywords:

“In terms of tools, Google Trends, SEMrush, and the WordPress Yoast plugin are pretty good. Honestly, the main thing we used to do is besides writing about problems we were seeing was to go to Google in incognito mode and start typing in terms before homing in on the exact SEO phrase to use. Google will usually display the most frequently searched phrases in that way as well!”

— Erica Ho, founder of Map Happy


Implement SEO Keywords to Your Website Copy

Once you've identified the keywords, it's time to implement them to your website copy! Chris Willis, the person who optimized his site speed above, says that using keywords in his website copy helped noticeably increase his company's SEO ranking:

“The second thing that I have done, and it seems to be working, is to focus on my top 30 selling items, discover keywords that directly relate to them, and build that into meaningful copy in their individual product descriptions. This way, when people are searching for these products, I’ve got a higher organic search ranking by answering their questions. But what are their questions? I use another free tool, answerthepublic.com, to come up with keywords and relevant questions.”

— Chris Willis, Director of Sales & Marketing at C & S Supply

Beyond general site copy, writing original content on your website is probably the best way to create lasting SEO traction:

“I know it sounds cliche, but I think the focus is really creating great, evergreen content. Our blog focuses on solving travel pain points, and we always took the approach of solving problems we were encountering ourselves. Google really, really rewards original, quality content, and the more in-depth you can go, the better. Generally, if it looks like something that could have been written by anyone else on the internet, that's probably not a great piece. Really focus on serving the reader. SEO is not Instagram or Facebook, and it's definitely not instant gratification. Sometimes it takes us several months to rank for a piece, however the flip side of that is posts tend to generate more traffic over time.”

— Erica Ho, founder of Map Happy


Learn more about you can improve your SEO through the Get Serious About SEO Guide. Interested in featuring your advice in an upcoming blog post? Subscribe to our our newsletter to discover our weekly prompt!