Getting a startup off the ground in the first year is a challenge. Brand awareness, website traffic, and sales don’t happen overnight, especially if your startup is lost in a sea of competitors.
Startups need solid marketing strategies to establish themselves in competitive markets and get their name out in the world in the first year. Without effective marketing tactics, the startup may not get the traffic to last into the second year.
In addition, startups are often dealing with virtually nonexistent budgets and a small marketing team (if they have one at all). Most of the capital is devoted to brand strategy and product development, instead of marketing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is just the solution. It costs nearly nothing and can significantly boost your search engine ranking to drive traffic to your website, and all it takes is some effort.
The key is to get your website or content on the first page of the search engine results, however. When most people conduct a search, they’re clicking on the first few results on the first page. If you appear low on the first page, or worse, on the next few pages, you may not be found.
Getting your website and content on the first page is crucial for generating organic traffic, and the best way to accomplish that is with an SEO strategy designed for startups in the first year.
Why SEO Matters
SEO is a valuable marketing strategy that optimizes search engine rankings to drive more organic traffic to the website or pages. Unlike paid ads, which give you traffic in return for money, SEO is totally free. Searchers simply come across your content and click on it, directing them to your website.
If you can deliver valuable and timely content that answers searchers’ questions, you can gain a higher ranking and more brand authority. Your content should be suited to your audiences, such as podcasts, webinars, blog posts, web pages, articles, and videos.
For example, if you were a parent of a teen driver preparing for a permit or driving test, you may search for learning resources for student drivers. When you see the first few results on the search engine results page and click on them, you may find information that’s helpful to you. This may lead you to look for more information on the same site, showing the search engine that the results were relevant to your search.
How SEO Helps First-Year Startups
Startups are pulled in a million directions, from product development to building a brand to managing day-to-day operations. Most startups simply don’t have the capital to throw a lot of marketing spend at paid advertising or targeted brand awareness strategies.
SEO is an organic way to boost traffic and brand awareness, giving startups incredible ROI and numerous other benefits.
As mentioned, SEO is practically free in that it only takes time and effort. If you hire content creators, it can be more expensive, but still not as much as paid advertising. And for that effort and marketing spend, you can generate excellent returns in organic traffic.
Startups are often up against a lot of competition from enterprise brands. SEO helps you stand out against the competition if you provide better and more relevant content. As searchers find your content, they learn more about your brand and your products or services. Over time, they can become paying customers and may recommend your brand to others.
Brand authority is the credibility, trust, and expertise your brand has in the public eye. You can gain brand authority through providing positive customer experience and positioning yourself as an industry authority through valuable content.