#1 SEO is “dirty”
I don’t blame you for thinking that SEO is a dirty tactic. It’s not your fault. I mean, does 100% “good” SEO exist anymore?
I myself have experienced a fair share of “Hi I’m so and so. I wrote an article (insert non relevant article) and I’m sure your audience will benefit from it. Please link to it” or even worse “great post! check out my website…”
And also getting pitch after pitch from SEO “agencies” offering to write keyword optimized articles and submit them to hundred of sites around the web. Don’t even get me started on freelance sites like Fiverr.
Usually businesses will have this excuse because all you see are bad and lazy marketers doing SEO and the dark side of the SEO force. Which brings us to the next excuse.
#2 Lack of knowledge
Startups know that SEO exist and it does something to help the business since their target audience most likely googles for information. But startups will not start looking into SEO until further down the road. Until the next hire with practical SEO knowledge.
Without deeper understanding on SEO, you will only see the bad side of it and which will prevent you even more from starting SEO projects. Deeper understanding and know how requires time and effort which is something that must be allocated carefully. As a result, you will just forget about SEO.
This goes back to excuse #2. Focus is a big thing for a startup. You optimize time to spend it on things that you know will drive results, and cut off on the areas that don’t bring return.
All of your team are busy with development, support, social media, promotion and you don’t really have the capacity to shift focus to SEO.
What to do?
You don’t have to totally shift your focus and allocate lots of resources to SEO. You can start with smaller tasks that fit into your team’s current schedule. It’s better than nothing.
If you are already looking into data & analytics, include the reports for traffic and conversions from organic search. See if that changes about what you think of SEO as a strategy. Also get suggestions from the team.
Someone might volunteer to look into it.
You probably already have people responsible for working on your website. Technical SEO is something that you can include in their task. It’s not as hard as you think. Simple things like a mobile friendly website, loading speed, site structure and usability makes a whole lot of difference. Look into that if you haven’t already.
Low hanging fruits
If you have implemented Google webmaster tools into your website, you can see search terms that are already getting you traffic. Ignore the search term of your brand name.
Look at those pages that are bringing in organic traffic and optimize title tags and meta description for those pages. You want to improve click through rates which is the number of impressions over how many people click.
Include benefits and special offers. Make sure you answer the question “what do I get when I click on your link”. Don’t forget to use actionable call to action to get them to click.
Provide useful content
People search on Google for information they need and Google provides them with a list of content that will help them. So what can you do? That’s right, you need to provide those content. If you haven’t already, your business needs to start a blog.
Don’t be scared to start a blog. It’s easier than you think. Your business already provide solutions to users and you have communicated that countless times. All you have to do now is just document it and put it on your blog. It can be tutorials, answers to FAQ, case study, or even customer testimonials.
SEO is a long term game but it doesn’t mean that you should put it off until later. Start with the things mentioned above like designing your website based on SEO best practices, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, or starting a blog by documenting what you already tell your customers.
If you are ready to start diving deeper into SEO, start with case studies like David Zheng’s guest post on OkDork which talks about the step-by-step on how they gain 200% more traffic.