What is SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation for “search engine optimization”. Simply put, it means the process of improving your website to make it more visible when people search for products and services related to your business on Google, Bing and other search engines. The more your page appears in search results, the more likely it is to grab attention and attract potential and existing customers to your business.
When you start a company, your target customers need to find your business online. One of the primary ways to achieve this is through search engines. If your audience hasn’t heard of you yet, they won’t search for your brand. Therefore, search engine optimization (SEO) specially for start-ups should not be an afterthought. As a fact, SEO should be an important consideration when planning your business regardless of being a start-up and even if you already have an established business that has recently been taken online as well. Companies that consider SEO as part of their business plan are more likely to succeed if they consistently incorporate the elements necessary for SEO success into their business.
So how can a company be successful with SEO from the start? Let’s have a look at how PayPro was able to use SEO for fintech.
As a start-up PayPro has a lot of competition as a payment gateway solution. PayPro has to compete internationally with PayPal and has to compete with local giants like EasyPaisa. PayPro similarly uses SEOs to optimise the search results. The company is itself a start-up and understands that. However, it uses the words such as Merchant Account, Payment Gateway or Payment services. The company was able to identify the following keywords through research and relevance.
Now let’s jump on to a global giant’s example of using an inbound marketing strategy with SEO.
In order to generate more new leads, Stripe, a payment solution company breaking into merchant services enabling their customers to make online payments through debit and credit cards on checkout partnered with HubSpot which helped them create an inbound marketing strategy that has helped them increase leads. As a result, among all the leads generated for Stripe, 50% of leads were generated from Hubspot and a 10% increase in leads which also increased the website traffic by 190%.
Here are a few points on how to factor SEO into your online business game plan.
Your SEO Business Goals
The primary objective of SEO is to help your company achieve its business goals. SEO isn’t just about driving search engine traffic to your website. Depending on your business goals, an SEO strategy that brings in the right kind of traffic with less traffic, may end up paying more.
Here are some business goals you can achieve with SEO:
Revenues & ROI.
Brand & Company recognition.
Consistent and increasing source of targeted prospects.
Longer company runway.
Increased customer loyalty.
You can also know which topics, motivations and issues will interest your audience and which will generate the greatest business potentials. If you are concerned simply about boosting brand visibility, prioritising relevance will not be a big concern here. The goal in these situations is to make your brand known to your audience in a way that makes them more likely to purchase your product. This approach is perfect for companies that aim to solve problems that their audience may not be fully aware of.
Putting it simply, if you want to generate demand, you can prioritise and focus on your keyword search and competitive evaluation on the topics that generate the most traffic over relevance, in the most general sense.
Content Generation Engine
Any SEO strategy you develop would require you to generate content on a regular basis. Here is a list of types of content you can produce:
Tools and web apps
Because SEO is all about getting attention in the form of links and repeat traffic, you can get limited attention with shopping pages and product pages, Etc. Hence, you will have to articulate ideas and themes that can be the pillars of your available content and that too on a regular basis.
The SEO business goals of your company need to orchestrate the type of content you create. For example, SEO strategy focused on lead generation should focus on creating lead crowd-pullers that viewers find attractive enough to provide their contact information in exchange. On the other hand, if your primary goal is to drive traffic to your product page, you should develop ways to create blog posts and other content that makes clicking to your product page a natural next step. Whereas a SEO strategy focused on visibility requires a process of developing ideas with high traffic potential. This is because not only is there broad appeal, but competition is limited and there are many influencers willing to show interest and link to target their content.
Here are some ways to identify topics:
Use KeywordTool.io to see a large list of suggestions based on the auto-suggest features of various search engines (including Google, YouTube, Amazon, and more) that are related to any given keyword that you put into the tool.
Google Keyword Planner (part of Google Ads) to get rough estimates of how popular a search term is
You can simply use KeywordTool.io to view a large list of keywords based on various search engine auto-suggest features related to specific keywords you enter into the tool.
Google Keyword Planner provides an estimate of the popularity of your search terms.
If your company has the capacity, you can use various tools such as SEMrush to assess the keyword difficulty by assessing the difficulty of your competitors who might have also used similar or targeted your keywords.
You can search forums and social media hangouts that our targeted audience regularly visits to identify concerns, issues, topics, interests, and subculture icons that tend to generate attention and engagement and identify those topics with keyword research. You can use it as a starting point for your brainstorming.
An Audience of Influencers
A solid SEO plan should be able to get links from credible sources that includes but is not limited to top bloggers, credible companies and organisations, journalists, etc. Moreover, smaller scale influencers who don’t necessarily have a large audience base but have loyal followers can also be a valuable source of links. It is necessary to develop an approach that helps you think out of the box and consider ways other than using search engines.
Keep in mind that a link that helps SEO in the short term doesn’t send referral traffic or increase brand exposure, the link itself is unlikely to help its SEO, so it’s useless and a wasted effort. This will not help you increase exposure in the long run.
When developing a business plan for your company, consider how your product or business activity itself can generate press coverage by attracting interest from relevant influencers. This includes not only the content you may create, but also any positive promotional practices or actions that may be considered newsworthy. It will be more fruitful to leverage your business and related knowledge to become a trusted resource for journalists and reporters as well.
What makes start-up SEO different from regular SEO?
Nothing! (except for the scale of the challenge). Google won’t care if you’re a new company in the market, a large financial institution, or even a small online retailer. Google only cares about connecting the right people with the most appropriate and relevant content for every query.The requirements for a start-up are just as that of the world’s biggest brands, and search engines wish to see the same things that other types of businesses do.
What makes the difference for most start-ups is the magnitude of the challenge. You possibly might not have the resources of the bigger companies, but your goal has to be to grow quickly and start competing with big names in the industry.
It means conducting enterprise SEO on a small-scale budget for start-ups, which comes with some trade-offs. The problem is that Google wouldn’t compromise on search optimization, so you must understand the fundamentals on the money. However, the good news, the sooner you get all this right, the quicker you’ll be able to construct a self-sufficient SEO strategy that won’t run out of budget down the road.
Your SEO strategy should be part of your business plan from the beginning. This strengthens the marketing potential of the company in the long run. It also removes obstacles that can make your start-up essentially invisible to the audiences who want to find it on search engines. Identifying your SEO business goals, developing a search engine content generation process, identifying your influencers, and preparing for the technical hurdles SEO poses will help you stay ahead of the competition.