18 Jan 2016

4 SEO Challenges Startups Face

So you’ve recently launched your startup’s website (or it’s coming soon) and you have everything going for you. What a great opportunity to start your SEO campaign right out the gates and not have to worry about previous mistakes that could come back and hurt you later. With this type of clean slate, how is it that startup SEO campaigns go wrong? There’s more than one way, actually.

Here are 4 SEO challenges startup founders must be aware of:

1. Disruptive/innovative keywords don’t have any search volume.

If you REALLY have created a product that is revolutionary, it is quite possible that you have created your own niche. This can be a mixed blessing for startup SEO since it means little to no competition for your top keywords — but it also means none of your potential customers are using those keywords in search. So part of beginning a startup SEO campaign means relying on less-than-perfect keywords when you start while you slowly begin introducing new ones, building awareness for your audience and generating demand (and search volume) for your new keywords. SEO is a long-term process as it is, and this kind of approach to SEO can make the process take even longer because you have to start from scratch, without being able to piggyback on commonly used and accepted keyphrases. How can someone search for something when they don’t know what to search for?

2. Websites need time to age and earn search engine’s trust.

It doesn’t really matter how well-optimized and amazing your website is upon launch, the search engines won’t automatically give you a stamp of approval. Brand new sites, no matter how well built, still have to earn the respect and trust of the search engines by gradually building quality inbound links and generating fantastic content over and over again. Even if you launch with your startup SEO engine roaring, there is only so much you can do in the early phases — time is necessary as well. I’ve seen several startups start to give up on SEO right as the wind starts filling up their sails so to speak.

3. Don’t expect the initial press to sustain your SEO.

A really awesome startup is going to get lots of love from major news sites and industry blogs when it launches, but don’t expect that to carry your startup SEO forever. You may see a huge spike in traffic during those initial months when your CEO is doing interviews, you have a booth at all the major industry trade shows and conferences and are getting tons of great press, but sooner or later it’s going to drop off. Once the shine has worn off your startup SEO campaign, it is in the same boat as last year’s hot new companies.

4. Remember to budget for SEO from the start.

If your startup was lucky enough to receive VC capital, please allocate an SEO budget from the very start. Too often, startup SEO campaigns get tacked on at the last minute, which means there’s hardly any budget left for actually implementing and executing campaigns.

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