As a founder of a startup company, you might have a lot of questions concerning your business that need addressing. Let’s take a good guess. Do you wonder what costs you will incur this year? Are you trying to figure out how to get a return on your initial investment in the next three to five years? Maybe you’re strategizing how to let people know who you are and what you can do to answer their needs? Or, you’re pondering how to make your site visible on search engines? And finally, is SEO for startups important altogether?
Setting up a business of your own takes more than just sweat and tears. Startup companies do everything in their power to pull things through. From strategic planning, market research, competitor analysis, capital generation and so on.
Despite these challenges, there is no excuse to ignore basic necessities of starting a new venture. If you want to help people easily find your business online, learn who you are and what you can offer them, then the solution you must revert to is SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
But, what is search engine optimization really? How essential is SEO for startups? And what are the SEO fundamentals and how can business owners leverage them? Let’s take a good look and find out.
SEO Is a Staple for Today’s Businesses
Search Engine Optimization has become a staple in digital marketing. People conduct billions of searches on a daily basis, most of which are with commercial intent. What is more, search compliments other digital marketing channels, as it’s often the primary source of traffic from many brands? Hence, having great visibility and ranking higher in search engine results than your competitors can have a significant effect on your bottom line.
By definition, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process that involves improving a site’s online visibility when users search for products/services related to that business in search engines. The better the visibility in search results, the higher are the chances to intrigue and attract new prospects.
Hence, the main goal of SEO for startups is awarding higher ranks to pages able to provide:
- Quality content: Relevant, unique, and useful content that can answer users’ questions.
- Accessibility: Important for search engine crawlers and users.
- Great user experience (UX): Your site is an extension of the search experience hence i should allow visitors to seamlessly browse the content on all pages.
- Engagement: The longer users stay on your site the more they will engage with it, which is what search engines want to see.
- Optimization essentials: Include all essential elements that boost SEO like quality backlinks, image alt tags, sitemaps, meta descriptions, etc.
1. SEO Is a Powerful Marketing Tool
An SEO strategy is a powerful marketing tool for any startup. Search engines such as Ask.com, Bing, Google or Yahoo Search have become a big part of our day to day activities. For business owners, these are the bridges successfully connecting them to their target clientele even on a smaller budget.
For example, how can a famous beach club in Spain reach its international guests if not for online research and digital marketing? In the business world, the absence of Search Engine Optimization is unthinkable!
When asked if SEO is important for businesses, the answer is definitely yes. In fact, when concerning startups, it’s incredibly important. As a startup owner, you need to create a well-planned SEO strategy to achieve website optimization and maximum visibility.
2. SEO Can Help You Scale Your Business On a Budget
The requirements for SEO for startups are the same as for any other business, the only difference is in the resources each business has. Google, in particular, doesn’t differentiate between startups, small to medium businesses, or large enterprises. It only cares about providing users with the most relevant information for their search query. Hence all types of organizations have to adhere to the same SEO practices.
The reason why SEO for startups requires strategic efforts is due to the scale of the challenge. More often than not, as a new venture, you won’t have the same marketing resources as large firms. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to compete with these industry players for better search engine visibility. Hence, you need to learn the SEO fundamentals and ensure you don’t make any compromises with your SEO practices.
Once you get these right, you’ll be able to create a strong SEO strategy that can self-sustain. This, according to Entrepreneur, will allow you to promote your business, and your products and services without spending money on advertising. All you need to do is find the right long-tail keywords to rank for, so you can start driving organic traffic.
To illustrate the benefits of a good SEO strategy for your startup, let’s look at a couple of examples.
- You want to travel abroad for a long weekend. Which airline company would you prefer? In a survey by the Statistics Portal, among the top factors that travelers consider when choosing an airline carrier are prices, availability of non-stop flights, routes and schedules, and customer service.
- You want to change your mobile provider. Did you think of Verizon? Or many you’re considering AT&T as an option? No matter which one of these brands comes to mind, what this actually suggests is that subconsciously you already have a “favorite” service provider.
3. SEO Collects Valuable Consumer Behavioural Data
According to a study, by the International Data Corporation (IDC) published at Business Wire, in 2016 there were an estimated 3.2 billion people with Internet access worldwide. Fast forward to today, there are now over 4.66 billion active internet uses across the globe, or 65.6% of the world’s overall population.
In addition, Search Engine Journal stated that 93% of online experiences start with a search.
According to DOMO’s latest report Data Never Sleeps 8.0, due to the intensity with which our world is becoming more digital, a new era has emerged – one where data and technology now play more significant roles in our daily lives.
In particular, users continuously generate loads of data, thanks to social media, streaming content, ad clicks, online events, etc. This provides an incredibly valuable source of information. By examining this data, businesses can better understand past, current and upcoming trends within their industry and their target market, and successfully adapt their SEO strategy.
As a startup owner, you should take advantage of this vast pool of data and continuously find better ways to promote your business. So, in order to not miss out on any potential customers, make sure to leverage this data through search engine optimization.
Here’s a visual representation of the internet demographics:
4. SEO is Cost-Effective and Offers Endless Possibilities
As a startup, financial factors are major considerations. When setting up your business, in addition to solving customer problems, your goal also is to get a return on your investment, as soon as possible. But, getting to that point can be a bumpy ride with numerous challenges along the way.
This is where search engine optimization comes to the rescue, explaining why it is just right for startups. A strong SEO strategy will allow you to position your business and your products and services, so they can successfully reach your target market.
By making your brand more “searchable”, you’ll make it much easier for your ideal customers to find you organically. This in turn will provide you with a cost-effective way to generate more traffic and lead conversions.
As a startup, all you need to do is devote enough time for proper implementation. First, you need to understand how your chosen content management system can support your SEO strategy. Then, you have to learn how to set up and use your analytics accounts. And finally, have some patience so you can generate enough data about how users behave on your site, so you can improve the right features.
As these customers reach your website, web page or blog, you have just successfully generated leads at a cost that will definitely fit your marketing and sales budget. The rise of social media platforms, video hosting sites, blogs, and other tools made it remarkably cheap to market products and services.
To reiterate Forbes’ post, SEO is low cost in comparison to costs associated with other forms of online marketing (i.e. Social Media ads, purchasing leads, pay-per-click advertising, etc).
Starting a new venture is like taking a roller coaster ride with no stop. The demands on your time and money may be greater than expected. Challenges come every day from planning to full operation, and they will never cease unless you call it quits.
However, with careful planning and proper implementation, some worries can be eliminated. Just take things slowly and overcome challenges one at a time. More importantly, if there is something out there that can relieve you from stress, do not hesitate to grab that opportunity.
As simple as considering Search Engine Optimization is a good way to help you start your business. For one, it is not costly yet the benefits it can offer to help grow your business are limitless.
If you need some professional help along the way, we at DevriX will be happy to provide it.