Why your startup can’t afford to ignore SEO

In order to succeed as a startup, you either need a killer idea or a killer marketing plan. Ideally you’d have both but it’s not always the case.

Marketing seems to be something placed on the backburner by a lot of startups because they’re too busy focusing on pulling together makers/developers/producers but there’s often no one in the team who knows marketing. From the startups I’ve talked to, they view marketing people as non essential on the journey towards launch. They say they’d rather have iOS developers or a full stack front end genius or someone with a keen eye for UX and UI. But no one says ‘I want a great SEO person’ or ‘we really need to get our marketing efforts sorted pronto!’

And this is where so many startups fail, not because their product didn’t go to market in time or they failed to be profitable – they failed to market adequately and in a timely manner.

Working in SEO for over 10 years, one of the mantras that sticks is the idea that you need to start today with your SEO because tomorrow is too late. SEO can take time and if you’re in a competitive space then you’ve already got an uphill battle ahead of you. Planning ahead will help smooth the path towards launch.

To this effect I even wrote an online marketing roadmap for startups to consider as part of their marketing plan in the leadup to launch. It is simple in its approach because it strips out the complicated deterrents to marketing and gives it to you in a way that you can break down into simple micro tasks.

A startup that has a strong SEO plan in place from the start puts itself in a better position to get noticed by more people and I daresay this all comes together as part of a higher valuation. In fact, as an investor with considerable SEO experience, I’d be inclined to see how a particular startup would be tackling its SEO challenges.

I know a developer knocking off tasks on a daily basis looks more like progress to you than a marketer who just optimised some meta data but there’s more to SEO than many realise – and this is perhaps where this reluctance to tackle it, stem from. Fear of the unknown and a general lack of SEO knowledge are impediments to progress but reading from some of the best in the industry, hiring a reputable agency (even as a once off) will help allay those concerns and put your startup in the best position to grab as much organic traffic and visibility.


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