Do Startups Need Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

by | Oct 15, 2018


Do Startup Businesses Need SEO?

Whenever we meet with clients we discuss the potential small business marketing strategies and tools that are feasible taking into the account the marketing budget. All the usual suspects get raised, websites, click funnels, social media marketing, online advertising and SEO.

Of course, for our Business Startup Clients, a common question we get asked by new business owners is do startups need search engine optimisation (SEO)?

In short, yes they do! However, that’s not to say they need a full-blown package with monthly fees. There’s a time to invest in an SEO package, but typically funds are better spent in other areas of digital marketing first. The main reason for this is that we typically find, to get good results from search engine optimisation it simply takes time.

Small Business Marketing – What Is SEO?

Just so that everybody is on the same page as to what search engine optimisation (SEO) actually is. SEO strategies seek to get the different pages of your website ranking higher on the search engine result pages (SERPs).

SEO experts utilise different strategies for different business models and target audiences (local SEO vs. global SEO) in order to drive more organic traffic through to your website. In today’s digital age using SEO for effective small business marketing is almost second nature now and even though you might not even know it, you’ve most likely done some form of SEO for your small or startup business yourself.

The majority of small businesses normally concern themselves with Local SEO.

According to the Omnicron Agency, 18% of all local searches turn into a sale within one day, you really can’t ignore SEO as part of your marketing plan.

Is SEO For Your Small Startup Business?

Now that we know for sure what SEO is, ask yourself the question “Do Startups Need Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?”. Yes, startup businesses need SEO but how much optimisation needs to be done is dependant on the business, the target audience, currently available website content, and most importantly, whether the business wants to rely on traffic from Google to generate new business.

Even though SEO tends to be an expensive investment for startup businesses there are times when search engine optimisation can equal success. If you’re in a niche, or can identify one, that hasn’t been catered to extensively you could virtually be driving hundreds of people to your small business website overnight.

They key to effective startup business SEO is to ensure adequate research has been done. The main areas startup businesses should research before starting SEO:

  1. Keyword Analysis looking at the potential traffic volume, long tail keywords, and keywords placed into question format
  2. Competitor Analysis looking at potential traffic opportunities that could be taken from non-optimised competitors
  3. Backlink Analysis of both your own website and that of the major competitors you’re trying to outrank. Backlinks (links back to your website) are still one of the best ways of ranking higher on search results.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should be an integral part of your digital marketing campaign for your startup business but is definitely not for the underfinanced or DIY approach to a new business.

DIY Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) For Startups

Whether you believe it or not you’ve done some form of DIY SEO. Maybe you’ve worked on your website’s user experience or tried to tweak your online presence in any way in order to grow your business and the volume of search traffic you’re getting. It’s all about optimisation after all.

One of the most common steps business owners take when they launch their online presence, is to create a Google My Business profile. This is especially important for local businesses wanting to rank for suburbs and other local users searches.

There is an incredible amount of DIY SEO that you can do for your startup business so make sure you’re doing some of the ground-work yourself. Start with long tail keywords, search phrases longer than 4 words or more, and work your way up the rankings from there.

The Benefits Of SEO

Improving your search rankings is ultimately driving more traffic to pages that are relevant in growing your business, usually pages talking about your products and services. Like many other digital marketing tools, like social media, you are able to get attention for your business.

Unlike many other digital marketing tools though, with clever search engine optimisation (SEO) you can directly grab market share from your competition. Through extensive competitor analysis you’d be able to determine your competitors’ most valuable traffic sources and traffic content, and try to work towards taking it from them.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) can bring you high-quality, self-qualified website traffic that is highly likely to convert, directly impacting your business’ success. SEO will also work towards reducing the power your competition holds online.

The Benefits of SEO for Startups

When it comes to startups the benefits of including fundamental SEO practices into your new website build does give business owners a head start.

In light of the fact that to see good SEO results it simply takes time, putting in at least some effort early on, will mean that Google should have an easier time indexing the website, and with that begin the slow crawl up the ranks.

Which Elements of SEO Should Startups Consider

Here’s a simple list of the things we think you should consider implementing even if you’re a startup:

  1. Build broad – Each one of your services, or products, should have its own page. Google loves specificity.
  2. Caching – Install a simple caching plugin or app. It helps with load speeds and thus SEO. Check our blog post on WordPress plugins which includes our favourite.
  3. Include NAP – Include your business details such as name, address, phone number and location to your website. It helps to build authority
  4. Blog posts – Start posting news items and blog posts early. It gives SEO agencies an opportunity to work with pre-existing data.
  5. Data tracking – We say it over and over again. Install Google Analytics & Google Search Console. It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s your own personal little data farm on your website.

DIY SEO or Hiring An SEO Company in Perth, Australia?

As we’ve already discussed, there are an endless amount of things you can do to optimise your website that would qualify as SEO. Having said that, in the long term and given everything is going according to plan, you’ll be too busy running and growing your business to be worrying about your startup business search engine optimisation or any of your online marketing.

If you believe you’ve found an untapped niche that could be ripe for SEO, then make sure you speak to your local digital marketing agency to help you with your startup business SEO.

Sooner or later you’ll definitely want to entrust digital marketers and clever content marketers to grow and retain your share of the search engine traffic.

Do Startups Need Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Do startup businesses need SEO? Yes but only if the funding is there or the business is operating in a niche that has been untapped or poorly optimised by the competition.

As a digital marketing agency for small businesses we have helped many companies through the startup process and in about 20% of cases SEO is an effective and feasible tool to use to ensure success. More often than not, the business should be at least somewhat established to justify SEO.

In Australia, at a local SEO level, you’re looking at a minimum price of about $750/month for a minimum period of 3-6 months, and that is really scratching the bottom of the barrel. In that time you can expect massive, or little, results so your budget needs to be able to allow for that.

If you’re a small business and absolutely want to dominate the search engine results page but have exhausted the DIY options, it is usually recommended to couple the SEO with an online advertising campaign like Google Ads or social media marketing in order to offset the initial low return on investment of SEO with the more immediate results that tend to come from online ads.

If you’re a business startup in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne or wherever you are in the world, we would love to hear from you and talk to you about your startup business digital marketing. With the power of the internet we can work with you on a global level.

Business Startup Package

Our Business Startup Package gives your startup marketing or rebranding project a big green tick. We’ll take care of everything, building and ranking your website with SEO right through to sourcing printed materials for you. Keeping costs down while supporting local small Australian businesses.

If you’re not quite ready, or sure, we also offer a free 1-hour consultation, where we sit down with you and go over everything you have in place at the moment and what you might want to consider implementing over the next 3, 6 and 12 months. Consultations available via Skype if you’re interstate or international.

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About the Author - 3am Ideas

3am Ideas is digital marketing agency focussing on providing data-driven services that get measurable and trackable results.

Based in Perth, Western Australia, we've been looking after small and medium-sized businesses since 2014, having worked with clients all over the country.

Our aim is to adopt the role of Virtual Marketing Officer for you, becoming part of your team, sharing in the successes, the blood, sweat and tears.

We're here for you. Let's get the job done!