​​How to use SEO to scale up your startup on a budget

Mar 11, 2022 by
​​How to use SEO to scale up your startup on a budget

SEO isn’t just a marketing tactic that established businesses should be using; it’s also an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to scalable growth. It’s an affordable and flexible marketing channel that has the potential to bring in free traffic and even be automated to an extent.

Why your startup should invest in SEO

People are not searching for your brand. Not most of the time anyway. Nine times out of ten they are searching for a product or service. These are generic terms that you’re going to have to fight to rank for. Otherwise, your site might be sitting lingering on page 25 of the results never to be seen.

No matter how niche your offering is, somebody somewhere is searching for it. Why would you be in business otherwise? So, if you’re looking for ways to boost your initial traffic that stretches beyond a few measly Facebook posts, read on to learn how to use SEO to scale up your startup on a budget.

Get the buy-in – As with all marketing investments, SEO is not something that’s going to pay for itself overnight. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of work. It’s even going to take time for Google to actually index your content. Whoever you need to convince to buy into the idea of SEO, illustrate the benefits (it’s affordable, creates brand awareness and converts customers) and break down exactly how and why it will be beneficial for the bottom line in the long term.

Set your goals – Once you’ve been given the green light, figure out what it is you want to achieve with your SEO campaign. The main goal is always going to be to reach customers by ranking on the first page of the Google search results, of course, but there are lots of little goals that can keep you motivated along the way too. For example, set individual keywords you want to rank for and set a goal to be in the top 10 in the next six months.

Prepare the resources – Of course, any startup is going to be more careful with their funds than an experienced company. There are four things SEO needs to work on – research, content, backlinks and analysis. You can outsource all of your SEO operations to a specialist SEO marketing agency, hire somebody with the right skills or figure out how to do it yourself. Either way, there are plenty of great SEO tools available to get you started.

Get technical – Technical SEO is the part of the process that allows you to maximise your chances of Google crawling and indexing your page favourably. Thankfully there are dozens of tools that allow you to put your site through its technical paces. Our favourite is probably the old reliable Ahrefs Webmaster Tools.

Research the right keywords – Knowing which keywords to work on and attempt to rank for is always going to be the trickiest part of the equation. Do you go big and attempt to rank for the more generic terms? Do you try to be more niche and specific? Or do you go all-in with branded keywords? For startups, we’d recommend trying to be as niche as possible. At least at first.

Create your content – When you have an idea of what kind of keywords you wish to target, the next step is to create the content that will attract traffic. Today, Google skips right over obviously keyword-stuffed content and goes after quality over quantity. It’s a much cleverer beast than it used to be. So, we’d recommend hiring a specialist agency to create content that is designed with your audience and search intent in mind and can be managed and edited as and when required. They will also build links for you, which is probably the most important and potentially stressful aspect of SEO.

Measure the results – Finally, use tools such as Google Analytics to see how your efforts are working out. Only then will you be able to make the necessary changes to make your startup and your brand stand out from the competition.