When you’re establishing a new startup, there’s only a finite amount of resources you’ll have to start. Often, you’ll be going at your endeavor alone for a while until you get enough clients to necessitate hiring employees and a sales team. The stakes are incredibly high for startups, with more than half of them failing within the first four years of business. Think wisely and carefully about how you’ll be allocating resources, time, and energy to your startup business.
The reason many startups fail to succeed is due to lack of PR and marketing initiatives. You can have the most innovative startup idea ever, but you’re not going to make waves remaining in obscurity. Your startup has to be found by the right target audience, and that’s what search engine optimization, or SEO, makes possible.
In this article, we’re going to explain why SEO is a must for every startup to have and why you should have a reputable web design and SEO company in the Atlanta area work with you. You’ll go from a complete SEO novice to someone much more savvy about the industry taking advice from our seasoned digital marketing and SEO experts!
Is SEO for My Startup Dramatically Different From Any Other Business?
The main principles of SEO remain the same whether it’s used for a startup company or an established business. Startups will face greater challenges at the beginning, especially there’s no existing website or domain yet. Before contemplating on doing any SEO, make sure you already have a site. It doesn’t have to have too many fancy frills yet. Buy a domain and get it out of the way as soon as possible.
If your startup already has a website, you’ll still have many hurdles to overcome. Because you’re creating a whole new brand and have limited resources, there’s more pressure to get your startup lots of traffic in a matter of months. There are no easy shortcuts for SEO, but focusing on the basics of SEO and getting them right the first time is what will set your startup up for maximum success. We recommend allocating a large portion of your marketing budget on SEO at the beginning to get the flow of traffic going. Later, you can expand into other digital marketing tactics and strategies as email marketing, affiliate marketing, and social media marketing.
The trick is to look at SEO as a puzzle piece in a larger goal to establish brand loyalty, authority, and trust.
Where Should I Begin with Creating a Solid SEO Strategy for My Startup?
In SEO, two main components go into achieving the results you want. First, you’ll need to plan out your keyword research and find your target audience and niche. Keyword research refers to the practice of looking up potential search engine terms that will get your startup relevant traffic. Don’t be fooled by someone who promises that your website will skyrocket to the top for a specific keyword in 30 days. You could rank for “#1 puppy shelter in Cucamonga”, but the ranking means nothing if it doesn’t relate to any part of your business.
Keyword research helps you stick with a small set of keywords and themes you’ll focus your website content around. To start with keyword research, try using some of the following keyword research tools such as:
• Google Keyword Planner
• Keywords Everywhere
• Long Tail Pro
Some of these tools you’ll pay a monthly fee, although you can also get a free trial before committing. SEMRush is our favorite keyword research tool, although it costs $99 a month. You can gather all sorts of information about the keywords you want to target such as:
• Search volume
This refers to the total number of searches on a given keyword each month.
It doesn’t cost a penny to click on a meta description in search engine optimization. However, this metric does show you how much the same keyword would cost if you were running Google Ads.
• Competition score
You can see how difficult it will be for your startup to rank high for a keyword and get enough traffic.
Here’s an example of what you’ll find when typing ‘atlanta web design” into SEMRush’s search bar:
SEMRush is also powerful enough to suggest related keywords. You can get more ideas on appropriate keywords to target throughout your website and find potential opportunities and gaps in the market.
What Comes After Keyword Research in the Startup SEO Process?
After you’ve done your keyword research, create a buyer persona of the ideal customer you want to target for your startup. A buyer persona may look like this:
Name: Rudy Anderson
Background: Single graduate student is living in Long Island, NY.
Lifestyle: Often goes out to eat and brings his iPhone everywhere he goes.
Works part-time at Starbucks, and is working on a master’s degree in philosophy.
Pain points and challenges: Limited funds to keep up with paying apartment rent. Lives in a less affluent area in Long Island. Has to rely on family for other expenses.
Favorite social media platforms: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Uses Twitter once a month.
Creating buyer personas like these keep your SEO extraordinarily tight and focused.
Work on developing a specific niche for your startup to position yourself as an authority quicker and have less competition to worry about. For example, you’re interested in getting into the automotive business. The automotive industry is reasonably competitive, so it makes the most sense to focus on a specific audience and market to start, and something you can become a trusted expert in too. You notice that there aren’t as many companies focusing on food truck transportation.
There will be some competition to face in the smaller niche markets. However, it’s also more realistic to get your startup website ranked high enough to get traffic. Not just any traffic either. We’re talking about search engine users that you’ll convert and get sales from. That’s the difference and ultimately what you want out of your startup SEO strategy.
It’s also wise to create reasonable business goals to meet with your startup SEO strategy. What do you want your new startup website to do?
• Generate more business from B2B companies
• Increase number of newsletter sign-ups
• Attract interested investors
• Get more professional staff on board
Remember these goals as you’re developing the SEO on your startup website. You’ll know when something’s not working when these goals aren’t met.
Now Focus on Creating the On-Page SEO for Your Startup
With a strong set of SEO goals, some buyer personas, and thorough keyword research now complete, you should direct your efforts towards improving your startup’s website.
With a website already in place, it doesn’t hurt to consult with an experienced web design company to see if there’s anything worth redesigning. SEO won’t be as effective without a website that’s mobile-responsive. You don’t want people searching from their IPads or Android phones to disappear the moment they see your website’s broken.
SEO is also about keeping website visitors satisfied and happy. There’s much technical stuff that goes into SEO too. With an experienced web design company working with you, you should get detailed information on whether your current website has these sorts of problems:
• 404 Errors
• Duplicate Content
• Missing H1 and H2 tags
• Duplicate Meta Descriptions
• Missing HTTPs domain
Keeping your site free of these problems leads to better user experience, increasing the time people spend on your site. It’s common sense. Faster website with no bugs and with everything easy to find keeps your audience happier. They’ll convert quicker and not be so tempted to go straight to the competition.
Get all these problems fixed with a professional website design company, then work with an SEO professional to get the on-page SEO working correctly.
The SEO Specialist is someone who’s well-versed in the best practices for on-page search engine optimization and also knows how to create content and using keywords naturally in the text.
Content with repetitive use of keywords makes it look like you’re trying to game the system. A good SEO or Content Marketing Specialist knows how long each meta description on your site should be and understands the importance of H1 and H2 tags, site URL structure, easy-to-read landing page copy, and knows something about WordPress and its many useful plugins like Yoast SEO.
Work on the Startup Blog and Social Media Marketing
You’re nearly ready to go on your mission to generate more traffic to your startup’s website. Give your search engine marketing a gentle push by focusing on developing a regularly updated blog concentrated on more long-tail keywords your target audience would find helpful.
Blogging takes commitment and time before the results pay off in spades. Please give it a couple of months of consistent posting. We recommend publishing a new article at least once a week to keep your startup website indexed on Google at regular intervals. Then, take some of your best posts and content and share it on social media.
Find out where your audience likes to hang out the most and focus your social media marketing on that. Use paid ads on social media to give your content promotion strategy a boost. In time, you’ll improve the engagement rates on your site and garner authoritative backlinks naturally without having to pay hundreds of dollars to get them.
Other Startup SEO Tips
Regularly conduct SEO site audits on your website each month to find new problems to fix. Examine the data on Google Analytics and Google Search Console and make adjustments to your SEO strategy as needed.
Make sure you also rank high on branded keywords as you develop a greater following. Your most devoted customers are going to do a Google search on your company, so look sharp by filling out your Google My Business listing and local SEO citations.
You can be successful in developing the SEO for your startup, but as you keep growing, you’ll need an SEO consultant to take care of the daily aspects of maintaining your wins.