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A Complete Guide to Vanquishing SEO Problems for Startups
Author: Bizzman; Published on: September 15, 2019
As search engine ranking algorithms evolve almost daily, optimizing their visibility in search results for businesses become more and more difficult. For startups, this is far more challenging since word needs to be spread, but funds are still limited. If you are a startup, you have to let people know you, and why they should pick you for what they need. And the best way to attract the right people to you is to ensure you are ranked high up in the right search results.
Successful SEO practices let you leave a huge impact on consumers’ minds, and which in turn gives you an important edge over your competitors. Larger volumes of targeted consumer traffic can be directed to your website and you can engage with the audience who actually matter to you. In order for this to happen, you must prepare an effective SEO strategy for your company. The most efficient way to do this is to hire the services of an SEO specialist for your website. An SEO expert works to help your website gain visibility to your target audience. They also help you plan and implement an SEO strategy for your startup and prevent your site from attracting Google penalties.
The following article discusses the major SEO challenges faced by startups, and how they can be overcome to help your business take wings.
PRIMARY SEO CHALLENGES:
The first step to getting solutions is to know the problems. Knowing the challenges you will face while optimizing content for higher search ranking makes the path smoother. Are you are a startup owner, or know someone who is? Check out the following list of challenges that startups face regarding SEO, and some ways to tackle them:
1.SEO Expectations and Reality
When you spend money on hiring an SEO specialist to help your startup grow, you will naturally expect to results quickly. However, no matter how strategically your website is optimized, it will still take some time for those optimizations to be reflected in search results. Search engine algorithms are only a small piece of the larger puzzle of SEO strategy. Consistency in producing quality content and building up high-quality backlinks over a period of time is a more effective strategy. This takes time.
Your competitors may also have a higher budget allocated to SEO strategies, thereby preventing you ranking above them.
It is therefore essential to determine a realistic time-frame by which SEO strategy results will be visible.
2.Fake SEO Experts
Fraudulent SEO companies today have popped up in dozens. These so-called experts will swear only by keywords, and may even trick you into black-hat techniques and hoodwinking.
Unreasonably low charge is usually the most common way to identify these fraudsters. The other most tell-tale sign is an abnormally low time-frame. If an agency promises amazing results within a week, you must rethink your choice. Take time to analyze your options and select the right consultant or agency to manage your SEO requirements.
Usually startups, under monetary constraints, do not allocate a specific budget towards their SEO strategy. That is a big mistake. If you want to magnify the results of any SEO strategy you adopt, you must allocate a fixed budget for it at the very onset. Chalk out specific goals for your startup to achieve in terms of search traffic or keywords, and prepare a strategy thereafter to achieve it. Once this is done, start allocating budgets to different areas of your strategy, taking the following as a rough guide:
· Hiring an SEO specialist experienced in working with startups
· Produce high-quality authentic content which are relevant and optimized
· Reach out to websites with high domain authority for guest posting and link building
· Promote your startup related content through social media, online communities, press releases
· Subscribe to paid tools for market analysis
4.Outdated SEO Tactics
Search engine algorithms are constantly being revised and updated. It is vital to ensure your SEO strategist is up to date with all such updates. SEO tactics that showed a hundred percent success rates a few years back will today attract severe penalties from search engines that may even go up to your website being blacklisted. Make sure the SEO strategy expert you select is aware of all the latest updates related to search algorithms.
Optimizing your website for ranking higher on search results involve a combination of a number of tactics. SEO tactics involving paid campaigns and tools usually show results instantly, but with other unpaid SEO strategies, it usually takes a longer time for results to be visible. Ask your consultant specifically to give you a clear picture of how long it might take for your SEO tactics to give you results. Then conduct some research yourself to verify their claims.
6.SEO and Social Media
Today, social media has a ubiquitous presence. As of 2019, Facebook alone boasts of more than 2.40 million active users, and the number is constantly increasing. The prominence of social media may lead you to believe that a presence on these platforms is all you would need for your startup to reach the maximum number of people. Or you might be tempted to focus on only one: either your social media strategy or your SEO strategy. However, these two are not competing forces, but are complementary. Search engines also factor in social media activity while ranking websites. Which means social media engagement is an integral part of your larger SEO strategy.
7.Calculating ROI (Return on Investment)
Since startups usually operate with very little capital, it is logical for you to drop projects which do not generate sufficient ROI, and this may also include services of an SEO expert. However, do not take drastic steps too soon. Calculation ROI is difficult for startups, but there are a number of handy tools which you can use together with the estimates from your SEO strategist to calculate the statistics regarding ROI.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES:
The above challenges may seem daunting, but it is not impossible to overcome them. Take some time to conduct a thorough research, select the right SEO specialist, plan an effective strategy, and you are all set to go.
Let us then take a look at some ways by which you can deal with SEO problems your startup will face:
1.Shortlist the Experts
You may initially be overwhelmed by the sheer number of SEO experts on the market, and simply go with the first person you come across. That would be a mistake. It is always prudent to take some time to decide on the specialist early on rather than facing losses later. Make a list of those you like, and shorten the list further to those who you think are more qualified. Continue this till you find the SEO specialist just perfect for you. Ideally, go with someone who has experience working with startups and can offer solutions to problems specific to your startup.
Reviews posted online by reputable and successful business personalities are usually a very good determinant of the quality of the SEO expert you are looking at, mainly because such reviews are difficult to forge. How the specialist responds to these reviews can also be a good indication of their personality.
3.Get Recommendations and Check Referrals
As a startup you must always be open to advice and suggestions, and even more so if these come from people who have your best interests at heart. If friends, relatives, family members, etc. recommend someone to you, take the time to check them out. Even if they are not who you are looking for, you will add to your experience.
4.Check Credibility of Expert
As mentioned earlier, older SEO tactics are today penalized by search engines. It is thus imperative for your SEO expert to not only be up to date with the latest strategies, but also to be ethically sound in their techniques. Prepare a list of questions for your specialist. Make sure they are not dwelling in the past or are suggesting unethical SEO tactics like link farming. Stay clear of these practices.
The market today is filled with so-called ‘experts’ who are anything but. Spurious claims and extensively falsified documents are the main weapons of these con-men. Perform a thorough background check on the SEO expert of your choice to ensure they really are who they claim to be. Insist on them providing details of previous employers or references, and contact them to verify the claims. In the long run, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Do not, under any circumstances, skip a proper interview with your SEO specialist. A face to face interview allows you to understand the person you are going to work with, and invest a significant portion of your capital in. Also, you do not need to go meet them for a talk. With the technology today, it is always possible to talk face to face without meeting face to face. Video calling facilities allow you to talk to people miles away, even across the world if necessary.
7.Draft Your Deal
Legalize your relation with the SEO expert by drafting a proper employment agreement. A formal agreement fosters trust on both ends. You are guaranteed to get a fixed amount of work from the SEO specialist, while they are guaranteed to receive fixed payments on time. Do not get involved in an agreement that is not governed by anything in writing.
You need not be an SEO expert yourself, but you can certainly keep regular tabs on the work being done by the expert you employ. The right SEO consultant shall explain their work to you in simple layman terms that you can understand. Set fixed deadlines for work review every month or other convenient mutually agreed time period. Keep track of how things are progressing and tally that with real-time results. Just keep in mind that you do not hamper their work trying to keep track.
It is quite normal for you to face the above-mentioned SEO challenges during the initial stages of growth. Do not be deterred by the complexity of the problem at hand. Follow the above rough guidelines and prepare a solid SEO strategy, and hire the services of a well-experienced SEO agency or professional to optimize your website for relevant queries on search engines, and soon you shall see a marked increase in search traffic, which can be converted into definite business opportunities. We wish you all the best.