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Building a website lays the foundation for your startup's marketing strategy. However, a foundation alone is not enough. It really matters what you build on that foundation. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most rewarding, yet highly competitive, digital marketing channels. Given its competitiveness, it may seem like a distant dream to many startups, which often leads them to make the mistake of ignoring it altogether. Here are some reasons why startups need to incorporate SEO into their marketing strategy.
Effective SEO begins in the planning phase of the startup marketing strategy
A solid marketing plan gives your startup a clear direction and is critical to the growth of the business. Some of the most important aspects of any marketing plan are setting goals and objectives, identifying your target markets, budgeting, analyzing the competition, and prioritizing by focusing on strengths. SEO strategy is not one size fits all and is doomed to fail if pursued this way. Hence, a marketing plan needs to be strategically focused on creating an SEO strategy that is specifically tailored to your startup's goals.
SEO aims to improve the ranking of your website on search engines like Google in order to increase the organic traffic to your website. But getting traffic to your website may not be your startup's goal and goal. Hence, aspects of your marketing plan determine your SEO strategy. The SEO strategy serves as a framework for structuring your website and generating content that will implement your startup's goals. Even the domain name you choose has something to do with SEO – one more reason to include it in the pre-website marketing planning phase.
Related: Why Exceptional SEO is Critical to a Successful Business
Web design: do it once and do it right
Time is of the essence in startups, and a sense of urgency is a commendable trait, but that shouldn't be a source of complacency. Unfortunately, complacency is exactly what will happen when SEO is not part of your website design and will cause problems later on. Search engines are very user-centric. They thrive on providing high quality, valuable results for their users' searches, and they rank websites at the top that are considered valuable by the sophisticated automated algorithms of search engines. Search engine web crawlers crawl the Internet to discover, index, and rank websites based on relevance and quality.
Technical SEO is a huge part of website design and a crucial piece of the puzzle. Optimizing it helps make your website crawlable for search engine bots. And each of its optimized aspects indicates the value of your website to search engine ranking algorithms, which in turn increases the chances of improving your website's ranking. The technical SEO elements that you must know and have as part of your web design are website loading speed, website security, mobile friendliness, responsive web design, no duplicate content, XML sitemap, no broken links, improper use of robot.txt- Files and structured data.
Related: 5 Tips for Choosing Your Next SEO Company
SEO is not a separate entity
Improving the organic visibility of your website seems like a simple and straightforward goal of SEO. However, the various factors required to achieve this goal are much broader and implementing them can have a positive impact on different aspects of your startup. As mentioned above, technical SEO includes all the elements that improve your website's user experience.
Link building and online mentions are an integral part of SEO strategy and a ranking factor. SEO strategists build links and mentions using PR, content marketing, local quotes, directories, influencer marketing, and guest blogging. These strategies can increase your startup presence which leads to engagement and bringing in your startup backlinks from various authoritative websites relevant to your startup. Backlinks and mentions are a vote of confidence in your startup products, both with your target audience and with the search engine ranking algorithms.
Keyword research is market research
You can learn a lot about your prospects through keyword research. For example, you can find out which questions you are looking for in connection with your products and services and which of your products and services have the most and the fewest searches per month. These are very strong insights, especially for the startup. It helps you discover new topics that are important to your potential customers and provides valuable information about your products and services.
Keyword research is at the heart of the SEO strategy. By learning popular keywords and phrases that are used by your prospects to search for products and services related to your startup, you can incorporate them into your content to get relevant keywords and drive high traffic to your website .
You can also target low search volume keywords or long tail keywords that are less competitive to quickly improve your page ranking compared to the highly searched competitor keywords that are difficult to rank on search engines. All of this is an essential part of your SEO strategy.
Building brand awareness, trust and credibility
Achieving top search engine rankings for keywords related to your products and services is synonymous with reaching the peak of brand awareness, trust, and credibility. This is not possible if you are just starting out. But the SEO strategies you use go hand in hand with building brand awareness, trust, and credibility. These three factors are crucial for both the search engines and your potential customers.
Related: This is what makes SEO important to any business