Semalt Expert Answers Why SEO Must Be Considered At The Beginning Phase Of Your Business
One of the most common mistakes start-ups make is considering the SEO aspect of their business too late in their development. We advise clients who come to us that planning for organic search and SEO in the early stages of a start-up has many benefits.
Launching Your Business The Right Way
The early stages of a start-up are probably going to be the most difficult time of that business. With a solid proof of concept and, if you're lucky, angel investment or some funding, you're most likely still going to have to do a lot to make sure your business takes off. As you try to develop your brand, you will have to manage a large number of business functions where you push the vision of your business and grow your empire.
One of the most significant hurdles you face as your business begins to take root is that you need to source more investments, either from new sources or old ones. While searching for investors, it is common to see businesses present a growth chart, ROIs, and investment opportunity points. While all these business plans and marketing strategies are great in the early stages of your business, you must be able to look ahead.
Investors need you to not only present reports but show growth in areas like:
- Product / business revenue
- User statistics
- Product and Service success
For the most path, taking the organic route to SEO can be seen as a secondary or tertiary channel approach to success as it usually takes some time to build until it begins showing tangible results. Alternative channels such as PPC give marketers a more direct approach in acquiring better quality leads. However, getting it right organically will help you not only build a long-term acquisition funnel but significantly increase your brand awareness and visibility in established markets. All this is possible, especially when you involve SEO into your business plan from the start-up phase.
As we've worked with several start-ups through their IPOs, we've learned some important secrets that you need to practice in the early funding stage of start-ups to give you the versatility needed to implement change and last long in your industry.
SEOs Prominence In Your Marketing Strategy
Investors are highly invested in seeing your go-to-market strategy. Having this alongside your business plans and marketing strategies makes you an attractive business for investors. Having a a GTM strategy provides a set of value propositions gotten by understanding the products and services you offer and through what mediums are communicated by and what is the customer base.
Your GTM may be included in your marketing strategy, but show your investors a product-specific plan for creating a market presence for your brand, product awareness, and communicating your value proposition. When developing a marketing strategy for a brand or channel, we will first build personas, and with that, we will begin developing your user journey. This action is a strong crossover with intent analysis as well as keyword research.
Rather than replicating the same activities repeatedly, we find it meaningful to involve your SEO experts early in the GTM strategy process. Doing this comes with advantages like:
- Creating long-lasting and effective SEO strategies.
- It tells your investors that you aren't focusing just short term ROI on funding received but that you plan on creating a system that generates consistent profits for a long time.
- It will show that you plan on creating a sustainable market opportunity by optimizing to create user journeys based on your value propositions.
Over time, SEO strategies can be developed and optimized for a more effective response by creating feedback loops by collaborating with customer support and sales to understand where gaps may exist in service / product delivery versus what customers initially expect from the brand.
By reducing the friction between what users experience and their expectations, it becomes easier to reduce customer churn and improve the value of the products and services to consumers.
Early SEO In Framing The Product And Solution Messaging
SEO helps you understand how to frame your products, solutions, and features. A lot of SaaS companies fall victim to confusing their product features as solutions, but to any prospect, they are just bullet points.
If you have products that have a number of features that cross over with other multi-feature and specialist products, it is next to impossible for all, or a majority of your audience will want or need those product's functions.
Developing an excellent messaging strategy will also influence your site's architecture. While you may be considering creating one webpage that frames the product as a product, and another frame showing the product as the solution, and multiple other pages framing the individual aspects of it, they are generally unrequired. We say this because all of those pages can be combined with the right messaging and content. This means that having an SEO pro work with you from the very beginning saves you the cost of publishing unnecessary content.
That way, you wouldn't present your prospects with several pages of the same thing. If you were to be an investor and you read a 5-page proposal where the same thing was explained on every page, but in different ways, you would feel like the presenter was simply playing on your intelligence.
Creating multiple pages from a keyword perspective will make sense, but having multiple pages of the same thing can become confusing. Investors are more interested in how you can demonstrate how your product can perform and expand its portfolio over time, especially when the products and the brand share the same name.
Turn Your High Traffic Informational Content Into Content That Converts
If you choose to see SEO as a soiled function, you immediately miss out on opportunities, especially when dealing with content. Content may be treated as a commercial or informational bit of text. We may be blinkered at real-life events and other irrelevant factors. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many changes in individuals and the way we live our lives. These changes inevitably affected businesses which introduced new challenges and a need for rapid business transformations.
This is where informational content gets positioned as an MQL driver who isn't too commercialized or who doesn't change the intent of the content. Semalt is a great example of this. During the pandemic, there was a significant increase in the number of teams working remotely. We moved our customer relations from being a project management system to a remote teamwork enablement solution. To pull this off, Semalt became more than a brand; we helped our clients get through this difficult time by positioning ourselves as an authoritative voice on how you can run your business remotely, set goals during and after the pandemic, and provide quality services to your customers despite all that is going on.
While this content isn't directly commercial, it helps establish trust between Semalt and its clients. Imagine a new start-up that already had SEO efforts in place; the coronavirus, which spelled doom for much of the offline business, provided an opportunity for online businesses. With more time on our hands, we were able to stay online longer.
By connecting shared interests and addressing the pain points of your target customer base, start-up businesses can develop a list of luke-warm prospects.
SEO is not a channel or marketing tactic preserved large scale businesses alone. In fact, we find it more meaningful to have SEO as a fundamental part of any early-stage start-up's marketing strategy.
Semalt understands that now more than ever, you need to cut down your budget and spend only when necessary. But the fact remains that the internet provides an amazing and affordable platform to get your brand the exposure it desires. By starting off your business with an SEO-oriented mindset, you won't just impress prospective investors, but you'll give yourself a better chance at succeeding quickly.