by Larry Kotch, co-founder of The Brains
SEO is a digital marketing tool that cannot be ignored by any startup looking to attract new clients, boost brand awareness and increase revenue. Even as we move out of lockdown and restrictions are eased, people are continuing to do much of their browsing and shopping from the comfort of home.
As a result, any startup looking to make an impression needs to be able to be found on the SERPs (search engine results pages) – and to do that, a powerful SEO strategy is needed!
In this guide, we’ll be looking at 7 SEO tips that every startup should be implementing in 2021 and beyond.
1. Define clear goals.
Every successful SEO campaign begins with a well thought out strategy that clarifies where you are and where you want to be. By creating clear goals for your business, you can also set more specific KPIs to help determine whether you’re on the right path.
The beauty of SEO is that you can use it to achieve a wide variety of goals:
- Boost brand awareness and help grow your audience.
- Increase organic traffic to your website and landing pages.
- Generate leads and feed them into the top of your marketing funnel.
- Improve sales and conversions.
Whatever you’re looking to achieve, be realistic and be sure not to get sidetracked by other enticing campaign opportunities or marketing channels. Stick with SEO and you’ll benefit in the long run.
2. Conduct in-depth keyword research.
Now you know what you want to achieve, it’s time to start doing some keyword research to discover what words and phrases your prospective customers and clients will be using to find your business. You can do keyword research for free by analysing the types of keywords and phrases that bring up your competitors in the SERPs, but if you want to get laser-focused on attracting the right target audience, consider purchasing an SEO tool such as SEMrush or Ahrefs.
Both tools offer excellent keyword tracker softwares that allow you to monitor keyword difficulty and search volume to see which words and phrases you need to go after to start ranking.
3. Conduct regular competitor research.
Identifying who your competitors are and what they’re doing to achieve a high ranking position is something that every company should be doing, regardless of size. However, it is particularly important for startups as it will help determine how exactly you can achieve similar SEO success.
By carrying out thorough competitor analysis on a regular basis, you’ll be able to create a blueprint on how companies overtake other competitors, and you’ll also have a clear view of where your competitors are lacking in their SEO strategy. Using this information, you can exploit these weaknesses and begin to use them to your advantage and increase your search engine ranking.
4. Create high-quality content.
When creating content, it’s easy to get carried away and focus too heavily on placing the right keywords throughout your text, which can ultimately affect the quality of your content. If you find yourself doing this, try to remember, “write for people, not search engines”. Even if your keyword strategy is first-class and you’re attracting lots of visits, if your content doesn’t provide users with any useful insights and is difficult to read, users will leave without further action.
Remember: it’s better to have 200 users visit your site and have 50 make a conversion, rather than 200,000 who bounce within the first three seconds.
5. Invest in technical SEO.
Although much of what has already been discussed pertains to on-page SEO, there’s much more to achieving a high-ranking search position than what meets the eye. A large portion of SEO goes on behind the scenes, and it can be difficult to get to grips with the technical aspects of SEO if you’re new to it. However, if you’re looking to invest in a first-class SEO strategy for your startup, make sure that you put some of your budget aside to invest in some form of technical SEO.
It doesn’t matter how good your content is or how much thorough research you’ve done of competitors. If your technical SEO isn’t up to scratch, your rankings will suffer.
6. Keep your eye on any SEO algorithm updates.
A successful SEO campaign isn’t so much a destination as it is a journey, which means that it requires constant attention and optimisation if you’re looking to achieve the best results possible.
However, one of the main drawbacks of SEO is that Google is always making algorithm updates, which means that what worked yesterday may no longer be relevant today. This is particularly frustrating for startups as they are already on the back foot, given that they have to compete with businesses with well-established SEO strategies. Therefore, startups need to pay extra close attention to any major SEO announcements.
7. Be patient.
SEO is a slow burner, so don’t be disheartened if you’re not ranking in pole position overnight. Even companies in the first 100 positions have to be patient when it comes to SEO, as the route to success is never entirely clear.
Add in the fact that you’re a startup business having to do everything from scratch, and you might find that you don’t see results for up to twelve months. Even if this is the case, you still shouldn’t feel that your campaign is entirely ruined 3 months in. Keep being patient and use best practice SEO, and you’ll soon see what is working and what isn’t.
One final word for startups looking to improve their SEO strategies.
SEO can be one of the most powerful digital marketing tools for any startup looking to grow in 2021, and it is something businesses should always look to invest in, even if it means creating a couple of blogs yourself to get you started.
Startups need to remind themselves that SEO doesn’t have to break the bank – the ROI can be incredible so long as you invest in a bespoke SEO strategy that suits your business goals.
Larry Kotch is the co-founder of The Brains, an award-winning digital marketing agency. Ranked #3 in B2B Marketing’s Global 30 under 30, Larry leads a dedicated, remote team of talented digital marketing professionals.