The Internet has fueled an almost exponential growth in startups. Industries worldwide see a total of about 50 million new startups per year.
From biotechnology to social media, each year sees a staggering number of new businesses. Each one struggles to get its operations off the ground to profitability. A few get lucky by landing a generous venture capitalist who is willing to shell out millions of dollars for their growth.
Not all startups get lucky, obviously. Some fold after months of fighting to break even. Others pump thousands, even millions, of dollars of their own funds into the new venture.
But a few startups quietly rake in profits from the get-go. Even without the help of angel investors, these winners often take advantage of a factor the others fail to fully utilize: Search Engine Optimization.
Experts disagree about whether startups need SEO or not. Some contend that all a startup needs are brilliant ideas and access to VC funding, which is what happened in the case of Facebook and Twitter.
But if luck isn’t on your side, and no investor is buying your story, SEO can be a solid bet, for several great reasons.
#1: Most online experiences begin with a search
About 93% of all online experiences start with a search. That’s an astounding figure, given the fact that, at any moment in time, hundreds of millions of people are online. Most rely on search engines more than social media recommendations when they look for products or services. The subjects of searches range from plumbing to roofing to health care and cosmetic surgery.
If your startup isn’t optimized for search, chances are your customers will end up finding your competitors instead.
#2 SEO provides proof of sustainability
If you are running a startup and looking for a significant amount of funds to expand your business, it’s just not enough to have brilliant ideas on your side. One of the first things investors look for are proofs of sustainability.
How visible is your site during searches? How much traffic does your business attract on a monthly basis? How many of your visitors convert into leads?
While investors may not ask you these questions directly, when you can show them the numbers, you will start from a position of tremendous confidence and impress your audience.
Proper SEO helps ensure that a significant number of highly targeted people will visit your site on a monthly basis and many of them will likely be converted into paying customers.
#3 Marketing intelligence
Marketing intelligence used to be a highly expensive proposition. Mega-corporations spend billions of dollars a year to find out what the market wants. With SEO, you will have an extremely affordable method of sussing out the market. You will gain access to what your target audience is specifically searching for, how many people are looking for the products you are offering, and what language they use to find your business.
You may also gain information on factors driving people toward your business that you might not even have considered.
#4 Cost-effective lead generation
Developing leads to whom you can steadily market your products and services can also be extremely costly. With the advent of SEO, however, getting your products right into the faces of your target customers has become remarkably cheap. The rise of Social SEO has made it even easier to get the word out about your business, at an even faster rate.
#5 SEO lets startups build a solid search engine reputation
SEO can not only push startups to the top of searches; it also provides them with an effective way to build a solid reputation online. In the cut-throat world of Internet marketing, competitors sometimes generate damaging reviews about a business.
With proper SEO strategies, you can dominate the search engines with your own content, and direct your target audience to favorable reviews when they search for you or your business.
#6 SEO helps you expand your niches
By properly researching your market using SEO tools and strategies, you could identify niches related to your business that no other companies have yet explored. You can also dominate your local market by identifying your business with local attributes.
As they say, luck favors the prepared. In the world of online marketing, the best way to prepare a startup for success is by creating a solid presence in search.
If you’ve got questions about how SEO can help your business improve or corner a market, let us know and we will gladly show you how we can help.