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Do Startups Need SEO?

Startup Needs SEO
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Just a second, don’t be surprised by this data! 2.24 million Americans search for the term “SEO” every month. Out of them, 52% are men and 46% of men are ages 35-44. Most importantly, 3.5 million people look up SEO on Google. Definitely, there is something powerful about SEO, and this is why so many people want it.

SEO is like an elixir for startups. We’ll try to give you a detailed analysis of why.

We are all aware these days of the rapid development of startups all over the world, thanks to the accelerated growth and accessibility of technology and the Internet. The exchange of ideas has become so simple and instantaneous; people have been encouraged to formulate new creative ideas and translate them into meaningful businesses, giving birth to startups.

These days, we see the rise of new startups almost every single day. Funding firms such as Kickstarter infuse millions of dollars every few days just to get a project up and running, and to prove its worth.

But not all startups live long enough to prove their worth. Some prosper, while others perish before they can even get their ideas to market. One reason why these startups didn’t see the light of day, especially Internet startups, is because they lacked not the funding, but the visibility they deserved. It’s sad to note that many Internet startups have neglected to carry out a strategic Internet marketing plan.

What’s ironic is that while many startups lack the budget necessary to get widespread recognition, some tend to ignore the most cost-effective yet extremely effective marketing strategies of all; suitable Internet marketing strategies.

Indeed, the Internet has opened the doors for many startups to acquire the tools they need to compete with businesses that are beyond their league.

Viable ways to get the word out about Startups

Thanks to the Internet, and Internet marketing methods, startups now have an even more powerful way of getting the word out about their ideas. Below are some of the Internet marketing strategies that work extremely well for a lot of startups:

  • Press Release: Gone are the days when using a press release to announce a product launch are only taken advantage of by big corporations. Today, there are now a significant number of online services that allow startups to distribute their own press release material. These services are being offered by PRWeb, PRLog and many others.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Companies have had tremendous success with online pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. This performance-based advertising proved to be an extremely cost-effective means for advertisers to precisely target their audience. PPC strategy works well at different stages of the startup process, including pre-launch, during launch, post launch and beyond.
  • Display Advertising: Advertisers now have a convenient way of targeting their audience, based on the context and surrounding content, or the audience’s behavior. This is accomplished with display advertising. This has proven to be a powerful promotional method that precisely targets people who are more strongly influenced by visual stimuli like banner ads.
  • Content Marketing: The Internet is teeming with all sorts of content that cater to every type of audience. Blogging, Podcasts, Comment Marketing, White Papers, Infographics, Email newsletters, Videos, Brochure and Data sheets, eBooks, Reference Guides, Microsites, Webinars, Reports, Case studies, Tools & Widgets, presentations, and online courses all proved to be powerful content marketing methods, as long as they are catered to the right audience.
  • Organic Search (Search Engine Optimization): Billions of people use the search engine each day, and a staggering 92% of Internet users turn to search engines for products or information. That’s why Search Engine Optimization plays a huge part in every startup marketing effort, by helping establish strong visibility in search results.
  • Email Marketing: Most of the billions of Internet users still use email for sending and receiving personal and business messages, as well as for obtaining their daily dose of information. The staggering number of people using email has made it a lush market for Internet-savvy companies to gather leads and produce new customers.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Also known as Referral Marketing, affiliate marketing proved to be an extremely powerful way of getting a word out about a new product. Advertisers pay publishers, or affiliates, a certain percentage or commission from the sale of products. Affiliates are provided with several marketing tools directly by advertisers or via an affiliate network such as ShareASale or Commission Junction.

These and other Internet marketing strategies have proven very lucrative for many business, but one has emerged as having the biggest impact on traffic and revenue, both short and long-term. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a strategy that has leveled the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete with big businesses.

Why SEO is indispensable for startups

If a startup doesn’t invest in SEO, it’s chances of success are relatively low.

For a startup to snag a million dollar funding, it must first show proof of sustainability and revenue potential. SEO can take care of both. Excellent visibility on search, a viable and significant amount of traffic, and engagement (especially conversions) help establish a startup’s image of being a promising enterprise that effectively lures investors.

In a broader sense, SEO is a long term investment, and if done properly, virtually guarantees high ROI over time.

The online market is a cutthroat environment. That’s why no matter how tempting and lucrative your products or services are, if your customers can’t find you on Google’s first page, they’ll find your competitors instead.

Link Building Misconception – Link Building process is more than just link acquisition

Link acquisition, one of the most important factors for SEO, offers tremendous advantages to startups.

But if you run a startup, don’t look at link acquisition solely from an SEO perspective. Instead, look at it as a powerful form of reaching out to potential prospects.

SEO is especially important for early-stage startups to help them more effectively and cost-efficiently promote their products or services to their target audience. Effective and high quality link building processes play a vital role in building awareness about the startup’s offerings for many tech savvy people.

Ultimately, Link Building, SEO’s most crucial aspect, helps increase new startup awareness as well as improving visibility in the search results.

Below are some of the common SEO tactics that startups should take advantage of if they were to create a viable and cost-effective presence on the web.

  • Press Release Distribution
    Syndicating and distributing news that relates to a startup’s launch or product and service announcements are a common but proven SEO tactic. Press release and news sites like PRWeb.com, local news websites (City, County, and State level) bring exposure and links.
  • Content Marketing
    Developing great real-time content related to your startup for publishing on major blogs within your industry is another great SEO tactic that seems to be getting a lot of traction these days. For most tech startups, getting published on top tech blogs such as Mashable, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, ReadWriteWeb, BusinessInsider is high on their list. When creating content for your startup, do not forget to explain HOW and WHY your startup can help your target audience in their real life. It’s a sure way to pull in more leads for your business.
  • Guest Blogging
    Identify the top blogs that are visited by your target audience and reach out to them. Ask if you could write a guest post and point a link back to your startup website. When linking back to your website, be sure to use a combination of your startup’s brand name and keywords as anchor text (the text of the link itself). Keep in mind that this may not be an easy process. Creating great content could take time, and getting published on an industry-related blog could take a lot of patience and outreach on your end.
  • Infographics Marketing
    Infographics are more than just today’s ”in” thing. They offer a very engaging way to capture an audience. When preparing an infographic, highlight points that are specific to your industry, and submit to as many sites as possible for greater exposure.

SEO also allows startups to build a solid search engine reputation

Proper SEO could propel startups not only to the top of the search engines, but, most importantly, help them build a solid reputation online. If you are running a startup, imagine this; a customer is looking for a product or service that your startup is offering. If you don’t have a solid SEO in place for your startup, chances are they’ll find your competitors while your site is shoved several pages deep into the search results.

What does it mean for your customer to find your business on the top of the search engine results page? It means you are doing something right, and that the search engines are giving you a favorable ranking for your good reputation.

Conclusion

Finally, have your say – is SEO a must for startups? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” SEO can make or break a startup. In all likelihood, as experience and real-life cases have shown, a startup that has established a solid online presence can take advantage of massive traffic and better conversions, ultimately resulting in astounding revenue.

What are your thoughts about using SEO for startups? Please let us know what you think in the comment section below.

(Images Credit: Burned Out, MAGNIFYING GLASS, In words, A question of misconception, Reputation)

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Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder & VP of Marketing at E2M. Feel free to reach him out on pratikd@e2msolutions.com.
  • Spook SEO

    Hello Pratik,

    This is a catchy post. It seems like asking a question if a guy who really wants to learn how to play a guitar needs to buy the instrument. Of course for crying out loud! Just like SEO, it is so basic that every startups should equip. First things first, understand Google. It will guide every startups to do the best technique that adapts with the system. We’re having a great deal of SEO evolution in a fast phase right now. Anyway, this post is really helpful.