Why do startups need SEO? Uncovering the benefits of SEO for your startup
My name is Joe Hale, founder of Verde Digital. I have 11 years of experience in SEO and digital marketing. In this article, I’ll be exploring why startups should be leveraging SEO.
Does my startup need SEO? Will SEO bring my startup success?
These are common questions, with organic search sometimes seen as slow to generate results in highly competitive spaces. SEO can feel like something that founders know they should look at but isn’t a priority with other digital channels seemingly delivering quicker results.
So what are the benefits of utilising SEO for your startup?
Increase website traffic cost-effectively
Most startups typically have tight budgets, making cost-effective marketing strategies a priority. SEO is one of the most cost-efficient methods to gain organic traffic and build brand awareness.
However, unlike paid advertising (PPC) where once switched off the traffic stops from that channel, SEO work can deliver long-term benefits, meaning that spending on SEO at an early stage will be effective over a longer time period. If you continue to invest in SEO, that benefit will compound and your website will see even better long-term returns.
Support your PPC strategy
As mentioned, PPC requires you to continue spending to deliver results. Although it is not as simple as saying SEO is “cheap” and PPC is “expensive”, given startups are rightly cost-conscious, continuing to put more and more money into low-ROI paid ads may not be feasible in the long term.
If you haven’t conducted foundational SEO work on your website, organic traffic driven by SEO can’t support paid traffic driven by PPC, making paid traffic by itself difficult to achieve and unsustainable in the long term. Therefore, investing in SEO is important to support any investments you may make in PPC.
Reduce your PPC costs
It’s important to understand how SEO and PPC can work together, rather than seeing them as two separate channels where one is ‘wrong’ and one is ‘right’.
Ensuring SEO and PPC work together is where you can see real benefits. For example, especially for a new website, you may be struggling to find core keywords that rank competitively. This is where you can use PPC to target these keywords.
However, there may be keywords that you rank well for via SEO which means that you can then reduce your PPC spend. Therefore, investing in SEO allows you to be efficient with your PPC budget by targeting other important keywords or even utilising your PPC budget to try out targeting new audiences.
Target the right audiences for your business
It’s important for startups not to waste limited budget targeting uninterested or irrelevant audiences. SEO allows you to target specific keywords and demographics, ensuring that your website is seen by those actively searching for your products or services. This targeted traffic is more likely to convert into paying customers.
Enhance your credibility and trust in your business
Ranking highly in organic search results (also known as SERPs) lends your startup credibility and trustworthiness. Many consumers trust Google's rankings and appearing near the top of these indicates that your business is reputable and relevant. Building this trust is essential, especially if your business is newly entering the marketplace, as it allows you to begin brand awareness and ultimately revenue, converting first-time purchasers into loyal customers.
This greater brand awareness can be enhanced through the creation of longer-form blog content, allowing you to talk more about the brand or create content that you think your ideal customer would be interested in.
SEO allows businesses to drive potential customers to your website via keyword targeting and content creation.
Because of how SEO works, benefits are seen long-term and do not stop when you suspend the SEO work, unlike with paid channels such as PPC. However, continuing to improve your website’s SEO, building informative and engaging content and optimising your platforms for your audience over the long term will ensure your business sees compound benefits over time.
For more details on how SEO can help your business grow, contact firstname.lastname@example.org