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Startup SEO, all you need to know to boost your organic KPIs

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We all know that startups are always looking for ways to grow their client base and traffic with little or no money. That means “free” digital marketing strategies to market their products or services. 

This is where SEO for startups comes into play. It doesn’t require huge budgets and keeps paying off long after the initial time and resource investment. Plus, a good startup SEO strategy can help other marketing tactics and strategies to boost the overall results. This article is the first of our series of blog posts about effective digital marketing for startups and will focus on exactly that, the best way to do SEO

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of increasing traffic, leads and conversions coming from organic or natural channels. It is achieved with web and content optimization making a website relevant for different search engines and reaching higher rankings in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). 

How does SEO fit into a startup’s digital marketing strategy?

Bear in mind that about 89 billion searches happen on a monthly basis only on Google. It just sounds natural that you want to be in the results of these searches to promote your products and services.

Therefore, and we will never be able to stress it enough, a Search Engine Optimization strategy is key to a good digital marketing campaign. It often gets forgotten since the results are not as quick as with other marketing tactics, but it is the most cost efficient way to acquire leads and convert online traffic into sales.

Generally, SEO goes hand in hand with SEM as it involves a thorough keyword research and competitors’ benchmark to define the overall direction of your organic campaigns. Plus, it will allow you to come up with ideas for new content that is relevant to users across the globe and will give you pointers towards how to rank higher on Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest of search engines.

Additionally, by bringing organic traffic to your website you will be able to gather information about your target audience and, who knows, you might find a niche that has tons of potential customers for your business. That, added to the remarketing, email marketing and link building opportunities, will offer you endless opportunities to reach your potential customers and boost the growth of your business.

6 essential startup SEO strategies

Let’s get straight to the chase and talk about actual strategies you can start implementing as soon as you finish reading this post. Be aware that implementing a startup SEO strategy requires some time and effort and is not a 1 hour job. That’s why we would recommend hiring a digital marketing agency to help you with their knowledge and expertise. 

However, if your resources are scarce or you just want to have full ownership and control on what’s happening and the results you get from it, here are 6 actionables that will improve your search engine ranks:

1. Check your technical SEO

Contrary to popular belief, content is not everything when it comes to a startup SEO strategy. Your website must be on point, it must run smoothly, have no coding issues, include meta data and a long etc.

At Arcomm we normally use an industry recognized tool called SemRush, which allows us to gather real-time accurate data about our site health. However, it’s an expensive tool and you might want to take a more manual approach. In that case, make sure you check the following:

  • Good header hierarchy: Make sure you use your H1s, H2s and so on properly. If something is a subtopic, the HTML importance shouldn’t be higher than the one from the main theme.
  • Meta data: Make sure all your pages have a well written meta title and meta description. This is the content that’s displayed on the SERPs and will be the first thing a user will see when they find you. If you don’t have it set up, Google will generate the content automatically, but, as you can imagine, the results are not always the greatest.
  • Duplicate content: Avoid copying content from other pages at all costs. Be it from your own website or from third parties, duplicate content is actually penalized by Google and might even ban your site from search results.
  • Broken media: Remember that broken links or images that are not showing up is not a great user experience, which is exactly what search engines give relevance to. That means that your chances of getting higher positions are lower if you have such issues on your pages.
  • Site speed: As of the latest updates, high importance has been given to site performance. Having a website that loads fast and doesn’t have any technical issues is a huge plus when ranking for relevant keywords. You can use Google’s official tool to check your performance index.

2. Perform a keyword research

The next key item that should be high up on your list of startup SEO essentials is performing a thorough keyword research to find out what people search for and how you can approach them. Normally you will use the Keyword Planner included in any Google Ads account or a tool like Semrush.

This keyword research will be your go to list for all content marketing campaigns, SEM strategies and KPI definition initiatives. You will need to include generic and niche keywords, always checking both the short tail and the long tail keywords

Also, always check the following metrics:

  • Keyword volume: How many people search for this specific keyword on a monthly basis
  • Keyword difficulty: An index showing how much competition there is for this keyword, therefore how hard it will be to climb the rankings for this specific search
  • Rich snippets: Does this keyword allow you to get a featured snippet?

As a rule of thumb, you will want to start with high volume, low difficulty keywords and climb your way up. However, always try to have a holistic approach and work on several keywords at the same time.

3. Define your SEO goals

Traffic is not king when it comes to your organic KPIs, define your funnel and make sure you can measure the impact of your startup SEO efforts on your business. It can be lead generation, sales, newsletter subscriptions, recommendations, you decide. Just make sure you have a measurable metric that will tell you how well you are doing.

This, paired with a tracking of the positions for your chosen keywords will help you understand what’s happening and how to get better.

4. Create a content calendar

One of the most important steps for your startup’s on-page SEO and content strategy. Define lines of content that fit your audience’s needs and interests. It can be random articles or a series of posts providing all the information in smaller pieces. You will need to decide the format depending on how much you want to tell and the keyword volume, difficulty and your own business strategy.

5. Implement the content strategy

Write SEO-friendly content for your website that includes your target keywords. And we are saying “website” because having an SEO-optimized blog is not all there is. You should also optimize your marketing pages as well as work on high-converting landing pages that attract relevant organic traffic. 

Keep in mind that you will need to work on internal linking and look for reliable sources when writing content so as to provide search engines and visitors with a sense of accuracy and authority in your field.

6. Measure your results

Make sure you have Google Analytics or a similar tool in place to measure the impact of your on-page SEO and off-page SEO on your KPIs. This will be essential when deciding the next steps and adapting to your industry’s demand.

Having good data will help you define your target audience, decide the next content pieces, look for niche markets and overall progress with your startup SEO strategy.

Is it worth it to work with a Startup Marketing Agency?

You might have seen it already, but implementing a startup SEO strategy that works is not that easy. It involves a lot of steps, has a lot of nuances and can become a real challenge unless you count on very specific marketing tools that tend to be quite expensive.

There are several agencies for startups that already have all of that, plus tons of experience and knowledge on how to do these tasks in the most efficient way. That’s why it might be a good idea to contact a few and allocate some budget to hiring one. Plus, if the marketing agency you hired does a good job, you can always add social media management, performance marketing or any other marketing related services to the package. This will save you time and allow you to focus on more important things while your marketing is running itself.

At Arcomm we are experts when it comes to startup marketing and can help you out with every single one of your needs. Be it SEO, online ads, email marketing, community management or the plain old marketing strategy, we have an expert ready to help you. And, the best thing, you can reach out without any obligation to discover everything we can do for you.

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