SEO for Startups: COMPLETE Guide to Positioning Your Company

SEO for Startups

Startups are hotbeds of innovation and creativity, but they also face unique challenges on their path to online success. In this comprehensive guide, we discuss why SEO is a crucial action for startups and provide a detailed analysis of key strategies and essential tools necessary to enhance a startup’s online visibility and achieve long-term success.

What’s Unique About SEO for Startups?

While the foundation of SEO strategies is very similar across different sectors, each of these involves specific analysis and actions to address their unique challenges and fully leverage their advantages. In startups, both the products and the services offered can undergo sudden changes as well as business models, unlike in traditional companies. This presents a challenge for SEO, which must be able to adapt to remain effective.

Why Might a Startup Need SEO?

The reasons for implementing SEO strategies in a startup are not too different from more traditional online projects:

  • Achieving or improving online presence
  • Being found by potential customers
  • Driving qualified traffic to their website

For startups, investing in organic positioning is a long-term race that can be even more advantageous: since financial resources are often more limited than in more established companies, investing in building an organic base allows them to not rely on paid advertising, which is much more expensive than SEO.

A good example of a startup with a successful track record thanks, in part, to a well-designed and executed SEO strategy is SEOcrawl.

SEOcrawl Dashboard

Greater Online Visibility

One of the biggest challenges for startups is to stand out in a crowded market. SEO increases the chances of appearing in the top search results on Google and other engines for their target keywords, which helps to increase the startup’s visibility and exposure to the target audience.

Organic Traffic as a Source of Potential Customers

Organic traffic, which arrives at the website naturally through search engines, is a very valuable source of potential customers. Startups can benefit from attracting highly relevant visitors (those genuinely interested in the products or services the company offers) and converting them into customers through SEO strategies designed to appear where users are searching.

Higher Conversion Rate

SEO is not just about attracting visitors, but about increasing qualified traffic, i.e., traffic that is truly interested in the products or services a website offers. Once on the page, providing the user with a good experience includes ease of navigation, relevance of content, and fast site loading speed, factors that can lead to a higher conversion rate, i.e., an increase in sales.

Increased Credibility and Trust through SEO

A solid and well-optimized online presence not only attracts more visitors but also builds the startup’s credibility. Appearing in the top search results and offering a strong user experience conveys trust to users, which can be especially important for startups that are not yet well known to the general public and must earn their trust.

A Long-Term Strategy

Unlike paid advertising, which provides immediate results but whose effects disappear as soon as the investment stops (and with very expensive plans), a well-defined SEO strategy can begin to deliver results fairly quickly but will also continue to generate effects over time. Before you start, remember that SEO is a long-term race, a long-term investment that can provide a steady flow of traffic and customers in the future.

Keys to Improving SEO in Startups: Checklist

Now that you know why SEO is a fundamental strategy for startups to achieve online success, let’s delve into some key actions to ensure that your project succeeds:

1. Keyword Research Based on Search Intent

Identifying the right keywords is essential. To achieve this, it is crucial to understand users’ search intent and select keywords that align with the products or services offered by the startup. This is accomplished by using keyword research tools to find relevant terms with high search volumes.

2. Analyze Your Competitors

Although startups often introduce disruptive and original ideas, it is essential to analyze potential online competitors. This allows us to identify opportunities, understand the competitive landscape, and better define your target audience. Remember that, in the case of startups, your main competitor may be the lack of awareness in your target market, i.e., the fact that your potential customers have not yet detected the need that your project comes to meet.

SEO Alive's competitive analysis
Example of a real competitive analysis for one of our projects

3. Prioritize Quick Wins in Your Action Plan

Start with key actions that can generate quick results. Depending on the project, this might include optimizing the core business pages, correcting technical issues on your site, or creating high-quality content to work with the most accessible keywords. These early victories can bring initial results, as well as boost confidence and momentum in your SEO strategy.

An example of a quick win that could be implemented in one of the analyzed startups would be allowing the indexing of business-relevant pages that currently have a ‘noindex’ tag implemented. Specifically, the startup in question is not allowing the indexing of their store’s landing page where their recommended products are offered, preventing them from appearing in searches as relevant to the sector as “electric breast pumps”.

Recommended product conversion landing page labeled with noindex.

With this simple modification, changing the ‘noindex’ tag to ‘index’, it would start to be visible in search results for transactional and relevant KWs for the sector as previously mentioned.

4. On-Page Optimizations: Titles, Meta Descriptions, Headings, and CTR

On-page optimization refers to improving all specific parameters within the webpage itself and involves improving crucial elements of your site, such as:

  • Title: This is the phrase that we can see on the results page just below the page’s URL and must describe its content concisely and clearly so that it can be understood by both the search engines that must position it and the users.
  • Meta Description: Appears on the same results page, below the title, and is a slightly more expanded description of the URL’s content. In this case, search engines do not access it, so its function is to attract potential users of the site.
  • Headings: Constitute the structure of the content and organize it logically, to inform the search engines about what the text is about, and to help users have a clearer overall vision of the page’s content.
  • CTR (Click Through Rate): This is the number of clicks a search result receives relative to the impressions, i.e., the number of times it is shown, and serves to give you an idea of the interest your page generates in users (if it appears many times but receives very few clicks, its attractiveness needs improving). If it is very low, Google may interpret that your page does not give users what they are looking for and will penalize the positioning of the page. Good title, meta description, and headings optimization can help to increase the CTR.

It is very important to ensure that each page of the website is structured coherently and that the content is unique, relevant, and top-quality. However, analyzing some startups found on the net, we have detected that certain projects with high potential are missing the opportunity to be more visible in search engines because they have not optimized the points mentioned above. Let’s see a clear example of this:

The project in question is an online academy that offers different types of training. Practically none of the landings for the courses are optimized.

For example, regarding preparation for university access for people over 25: we see that the first results of the SERP’s show titles related to “cursos de acceso a la universidad” (university access courses), while the project itself presents a title that does not match what Google is showing in the first positions. Moreover, the meta description does not mention the main KW at all.

SERPs for the keyword "acceso a la universidad para mayores de 25 años" (university access for people over 25 years old)
Summary of tags extracted with SEOcrawl extension

If we focus on the next element, the heading structure, we see how the page lacks an SEO-optimized architecture.

Non-optimized header structure

By optimizing these elements based on the main KW, the page could gain visibility in the SERPs of search engines and, therefore, increase the number of clicks. This example can be extrapolated to practically all the landings of that startup.

5. Design and Execute Your Content Strategy

Quality content is the foundation of SEO. Once you have completed the keyword analysis, establish how you will work on each one to design your content plan:

  • Work on transactional keywords through categories and product pages
  • Target informational keywords through blog posts

Set your priorities based on the traffic and relevance of your products or services and remember to work on each keyword from a single page, to avoid cannibalization problems. Moreover, all your content must be completely original and in line with the user’s search intent.

In the startup we are analyzing as an example, we can see that, although they have implemented a blog, it is not optimized at the SEO level, so they are missing a huge opportunity for organic growth:

Cómo Prepararse para Obtener una Plaza en las Oposiciones de Correos en España: this article has great potential if it were adjusted to a correct structure, taking as an example those competitors that appear in the first results on the SERPs:

Example of poorly optimized header structure

We have detected that the main KW “como preparar oposiciones correos” (how to prepare postal exams) does not appear in the headers (except in the h1) and there are no h2 headers worked on to reinforce the main keyword. No resources such as images that support the content are used. There are also no attractive CTAs that help with conversion. In addition, bolding is not used to highlight relevant points of the content and internal linking has not been worked on.

6. WPO (Web Performance Optimization)

Website loading speed (how fast the site loads) is an important factor in SEO, especially in mobile environments: it is estimated that a loading period of 1 to 3 seconds can generate up to a 32% bounce rate.

There are several metrics to measure a website’s loading speed:

  • TTFB (Time To First Byte): refers to the time it takes for the page to start loading.
  • FCP (First Contentful Paint): the time it takes for the first element to appear.
  • FCP (First Contentful Paint): the time it takes for the first element to appear.

Make sure your website is fast and efficient, which improves the user experience and can help you reach higher positions in search results.

In the case of the startup we are analyzing, we have identified important opportunities for improvements related to WPO, since according to Page Speed (Google’s official tool), the home page’s overall performance obtains a score of 36 out of 100.

Page Speed Insights Results

7. Strategic Link-Building

Link-building strategies involve acquiring links from relevant and high-authority websites. Building a solid network of links, and doing it naturally, as your startup grows can significantly increase your position in search results and avoid possible Google penalties.

SEO Strategies and Tools That Can Be Used in Startups

We have already talked about generic SEO strategies: those that must be applied to all projects and that generate positive results regardless of the type of business and the sector in which they operate. However, in addition, each web project has its own needs and peculiarities, which make it necessary to develop specific strategies to ensure the business’s success.

Generation of Conversion Landing Pages to Boost SEO in Startups

In the case of startups, to ensure a project’s viability, it is necessary to achieve results quite quickly, so the generation of landing pages or conversion pages is, undoubtedly, one of the most beneficial strategies. A correct landing page:

  • Must be optimized for a single transactional keyword: metadata, content, images.
  • Must include one or several attractive CTAs (call to action) that make it clear to the users what is expected of them (download a file, book an appointment, make a purchase…)
  • Must meet the technical requirements so that the search engine positions it at the top of the search results.
  • Must load correctly and offer a positive user experience.
  • Is recommended to include a form to capture the information we are interested in from the user.
  • Can receive links, both internal (from other pages of the same site) and external (from other websites), to help search engines understand its importance to the project.

SEO Tools That Can Be Used

When designing and executing the most appropriate SEO strategy for each project, professionals and agencies do not act blindly: in the market, there are a whole series of specific tools that provide us with all the data we need to make the most appropriate decisions at all times, assess the results of the actions implemented and implement the necessary changes. Some of the most interesting ones are as follows.

SEOcrawl

SEOcrawl is one of the most complete SEO tools on the market, which was born to be an evolution in the analysis of data provided by Google. It currently offers no less than 32 SEO tools used to develop your strategy and monitor all your projects. Some of its most interesting features are:

SEOcrawl Features
  • Dashboard: an overview of the performance of your project.
  • Rank tracker: monitoring of all your keywords of interest.
  • Annotations: analyze the results of each of your implementations to check their impact and make any necessary improvements.
  • SEO Monitor: controls all changes in the most important areas of your website.
  • Cannibalizations: identifies possible cannibalizations and solves them before they become a problem.
  • Crawler: analyzes your website in the same way as Google’s bot would.
  • Opportunities: discover the software’s recommendations to maximize the benefits of your SEO strategy.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a crawler, that is, a robot that behaves in the same way as a search engine’s bots, completely crawling the web through its internal links. This tool analyzes the website’s structure, identifies technical problems and provides valuable data for optimization.

Google Search Console

The main value of Google Search Console is that it provides us with direct data about how Google sees and considers the web, helping to find possible errors and offering solutions accordingly. A correct interpretation of GSC data will allow you to:

  • Improve your pages’ loading speed.
  • Understand where the traffic you receive comes from.
  • Identify and correct possible defects in your HTML code (index and noindex tags, hreflang, follow and nofollow links, etc.)
  • Improve your link-building strategies.
  • Optimize the internal linking on the web.
  • Expand and improve your content strategy.

Ahrefs

In essence, Ahrefs is a tool used to monitor the external links that your website receives, as well as those of other websites, which allows you to track your competitors and implement strategies to surpass them. In addition, the tool has options for researching keywords, detecting trends, creating content calendars, and monitoring your website’s performance.

Semrush

Semrush is a set of optimization tools that allow you to increase your website’s visibility by developing and monitoring your SEO strategy with features as interesting as:

  • Database of keywords, with search volume and trends.
  • Analysis of traffic, sources and origin of the same.
  • Analysis of domain, both own and competitors.
  • Tracking of backlinks, to execute link-building strategies.

Google Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is a free Google tool (subordinate to the existence of a Google Ads account, for which it was initially created) that will allow you to discover new keywords and their search volumes and future forecasts, with which to continue developing your content strategy.

As you can see, each of these tools (most of which have an often significant cost) is specialized in one or several areas of the SEO strategy, which is why we SEO professionals usually use several at the same time, something that is usually not within the reach of a single company or project. This is one more reason (although not the only one nor the most important) to trust the design and execution of your SEO strategy to a team of professionals like those who make up SEO Alive.

SEO is a fundamental strategy for startups looking to stand out online and effectively attract potential customers. By implementing these actions and using the right tools, your startup can achieve sustainable growth and successfully position itself in a highly competitive market like today’s.

Have any doubts? Contact us now to receive your free SEO diagnosis and a personalized work plan to maximize your project’s results.

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