Young Upstarts

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Why SEO Is The Best Marketing Strategy For New Startups

New startups frequently struggle with their approach to marketing. They don’t have much brand history to capitalize on, and they don’t have much capital to work with. But at the same time, they need access to a marketing/advertising strategy with the potential to win them some early clients and help them grow far into the future.

Search engine optimization (SEO) could be the perfect solution to address all these challenges at once. SEO for startups is focused on using a combination of different strategies, all of which have the effect of increasing your website’s rankings in search engines.

So why is this strategy so valuable for startups?

A Briefer on SEO.

Let’s start with the basic premise of SEO. Search engines like Google are the biggest conduit for discovery on the web; if you can get higher rankings for queries relevant to your target audience, you’ll get more traffic, and therefore generate more revenue. Strategies either focus on increasing the relevance of your onsite content (like with keyword optimization) or on increasing your domain authority, the perceived trustworthiness of your site (like link building).

SEO is a long-term strategy that takes time to develop. You’ll need tons of well-written onsite blog posts, a diverse array of inbound links, and plenty of time to measure, analyze, and adapt your approach.

With that structure in mind, there are many benefits that make this strategy perfect for startups.

Low Costs.

SEO doesn’t cost much, especially when compared to other marketing and advertising strategies, so it has a disproportionately high return on investment (ROI). Some SEO strategies can be done even with minimal expertise, such as drafting onsite blog posts or improving your site speed. Others should be handled by a professional agency, but you’ll still enjoy relatively low costs, since you don’t have to pay for things like ad placements or physical products.

Universal Visibility.

Everyone uses Google for one reason or another. This means SEO is appropriate for almost any kind of business. In fact, most startups have the option of targeting one or more of several different target audiences; you could target business owners looking for more information on a given topic, or end customers ready to buy, adjusting your strategy as you see fit.

Traffic Quality.

SEO also returns high-quality traffic to your site. It’s qualified as an inbound marketing strategy, rather than an outbound strategy, and allows you to target only the niches that matter most to your brand. In outbound marketing, you’ll go out of your way to get in front of people and spread the visibility of your brand. But in inbound marketing, you’ll simply be providing materials that your demographics already want (i.e., content). This means the clicks you get are inherently more valuable, provided you strategize appropriately.

Cohesion With Other Strategies.

SEO works incredibly well as a complementary strategy, since it relies on and supports other forms of marketing. For example, it’s almost impossible to be successful in SEO without an onsite content marketing strategy, which also serves as an independent strategy of its own. Social media marketing, while not affecting search rankings directly, can help you popularize and syndicate your best content, earning more visibility and links. Improving your site speed is good for SEO, but is also simply good for your users. And of course, higher rankings in search engines can also bring support to the other branches of your strategy, since you’ll have more eyes on assets like custom landing pages and premium pieces of content.

Asset Permanence.

Next, startups can take comfort in knowing that the assets you create for SEO purposes will exist permanently, or semi-permanently. Instead of placing an ad that will expire in less than a month, you’ll be writing a blog post that will remain on your site for as long as you choose to support it. The links you build will continue sending referral traffic and passing authority your way for as long as the publishers keep them—which is usually for as long as the publisher exists.


Finally, SEO is scalable. It’s an approachable strategy for brand-new startups, but can also be improved and expanded to serve large-scale corporations. As you reach new target audiences and gain access to more resources, you can build more links, write more content, and generally expand your SEO footprint to make your strategy work each step along the way.

The one weakness of the strategy is the time it takes to get started, since it oftentimes takes months to build momentum. But when combined with complementary strategies with faster potential, there’s nothing stopping it. Every startup entrepreneur should consider investing at least some time and money into the strategy.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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