All businesses need effective marketing in order to grow and be competitive. This is especially vital for startups. Lack of a solid marketing plan is one of the main reasons why so many startups fail.
Marketing strategy is the process of developing an integrated plan for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
One of the most important components of marketing strategy is SEO (Search engine optimization). SEO boosts organic traffic and helps customers discover brands when they search for something they need.
SEO helps websites rank better, so they show up on the first page of Google Search Results. Most people never go past the first page. Websites that appear on the second, third, or fourth page, are much less likely to get the click. Ranking at the top of the first page of the search results can be difficult, but with proper SEO and a better understanding of how to optimize the website, it can be done
Successful startups know the importance of marketing and use proven SEO strategies in order to survive and excel.
So if the startup wants to take advantage of free organic traffic, they need to understand and apply SEO to attract and grow organic traffic.
What is SEO and Why Startups Need It
SEO is a method of optimizing the quality and quantity of organic traffic to a website from search engine results pages. This method drives unpaid traffic, rather than ad and affiliate link traffic, using blogs, articles, web copy, videos, and other content.
For example, a user may search for specific terms, such as “driver’s education practice resources” in New York, and click on the top links. This helps them find what they need when they search and drives traffic to the websites that provide this information – in this case, NY driver education resources.
Benefits of SEO for Startups
SEO is vital to brand awareness and growth, especially in the early stages. Below are specific benefits startups receive when they implement SEO as part of their overall marketing plan.
Search rankings are one of the best ways to help your audience find your brand, and hopefully, turn them into customers. Many people find brands through searching for content on search engines, such as answers to common questions or solutions to common problems. Used correctly, your SEO content can drive the target audience to your website and get them interested in what you have to offer.
Startups typically have limited marketing budgets, especially compared to large, already established companies. While it can be difficult to stretch resources, SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. SEO takes time and part of the budget to create content, it’s much less expensive than paid traffic or paid ads. SEO also offers a remarkable return on investment.
Trust businesses acquire over time is referred to as brand authority.
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Brand authority is the ability of a company’s marketing and advertising to build its credibility and goodwill with consumers, investors, and potential employees. Building brand authority can be done through social media, press releases, and content creation.
When your customers see you as an industry expert, they’re more likely to seek out answers or solutions to problems with your brand than others. When your content appears at the top of the search results, your customers are more likely to view your brand as a credible authority.
Positive User Experience
User experience is the way a person feels when interfacing with a company or brand. A good user experience makes a customer feel valued and appreciated, improving their emotional connection to a product.
User experience is a combination of multiple factors, including usability, aesthetics, branding, and emotion. This can mean ease of use, utility, efficiency, and more. While SEO differs from user experience, certain aspects of SEO, such as a mobile-friendly site and optimal load times, play a direct role on user experience.
How to Boost Organic Traffic with SEO
Now that you know more of why SEO matters, here are some SEO strategies and techniques that can help you boost your traffic:
Choose Low-Hanging Keywords
Low-hanging keywords are keywords that have good rankings on search engines and low competition. Using low-hanging keywords will help your content receive rankings on the first or second pages of the search engine results since they already perform well. Include these keywords in your content when you can to boost your search engine results ranking.
Refine Your Target Audience
Traffic is great, but it doesn’t do much if you’re directing people to your website that don’t need your product or service. In the first year of your startup, it’s important to find your target audience, or the audience most relevant to your product or service, instead of trying to reach a large, wide audience.
When you narrow your focus to a target audience, you’re more likely to generate traffic that can result in a customer in the future.
Consider these questions to find your ideal audience:
- What are my customer’s pain points?
- What problems am I trying to solve?
- What are my ideal customer’s demographics?
- What type of content will help my customers?
Another strategy you might consider using to increase organic traffic is with long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are phrases that have a lower search volume than broad keywords, but still, get a substantial amount of traffic.
For example, “preparing for the Oregon DMV test”. Keeping keywords specific, rather than general, can attract targeted users who are more likely to convert. Long tail phrases like “how to prepare for a driver’s permit test in Oregon” or “practice permit test for OR” may be effective for finding people who are particularly interested in these topics.
SEO is a great way to grow your organic traffic, but it isn’t an overnight solution. It’s also much harder to rank now, than ever before. Because of the fierce competition, it can take much longer to rank your content. Good SEO takes time and patience, but it pays off in a long run.
Post Authoritative Content
You only have one chance to make a good first impression. That is why you need to differentiate your brand from the competition and build a foundation for brand authority. Focus on the topics you know best. Search engines prioritize content that performs well and provides solutions and value to users, so stick with what you know.
Long-form blog posts perform well and give you a chance to showcase your brand’s expertise with valuable information. It also ranks better than short-form content, in many cases.
Keep it Consistent
Startup founders often wear many hats and take on a lot of the burden of day-to-day operations. Incorporating SEO into your daily routine, and your schedule can be difficult. Staying consistent and organized is vital to your success, so make sure you have a plan that suits your schedule and availability.
Remember that it’s better to post less content on a consistent basis than a lot of content in random spurts. If you think you only have time for one or two blog posts a week, for example, then just focus on creating effective blog posts and keeping to a set schedule. It’s not about how frequently you post as much as it is about consistency and quality.
Improve Technical SEO
Though it often gets less attention than other types of SEO, technical SEO plays an important role.
Here are some tips for improving technical SEO:
- Check your page speed and load times and improve wherever possible
- Optimize your site and content for mobile devices
- Include a schema markup
Google now uses website speed s one of the factors in determining how to rank pages. Skipping a technical SEO Audit can result in google being unable to find your pages, resulting in errors from which it can be difficult to recover.
Boost Your Traffic with SEO
Online traffic is crucial to the success of every startup, Thus SEO must be an integral part of your marketing strategy. Follow tips and strategies in this post to create valuable, optimized content that attracts high-quality organic traffic for many years to come.
Author: Leo Waldenback
Leo Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers’ education to help teens get their license. Leo founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable and easily accessible for all.