For entrepreneurs, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an integral part of building a successful startup from the ground up. SEO is complicated, so let’s break it down into a few snackable pieces of information.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation: Optimising your website for search engines. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well unfortunately not, because the rules of SEO seem to change on a daily basis. The internet pulls over 19 million search results with SEO in the title. All full of their own contradictions making it feel like you're playing a losing game. We’re going to keep this post really simple so that by the end you know what SEO is, why it matters and how you can utilise it to start getting found by prospective clients.
So let’s put the plethora that is the internet into perspective with a little bit of Trivia. In 1997, there were approximately 1 million websites in existence. In 1998, the amount doubled to 2.4 million. By 2000, there were 17 million websites. Now, 21 years later, there are over one billion websites in existence. So why does this matter? 87% of shoppers turn to Google search to begin looking for products and services, up from 71% last year. Every time a potential customer goes to google to find their match they have the potential to reach a billion websites and the race begins.
Search Engine Optimisation is important because, without it, your business will be flung into the abyss of the Internet Universe, neve to be seen again… okay maybe not, but you get where we are coming from. Having a website is one thing, but if your audience never sees it, does it even exist? Despite the importance of SEO, many founders neglect this low cost, high reward business strategy.
Here are a few reasons why optimisation needs to be a priority for any business owner.
Effective SEO encourages traffic to your website, which opens up opportunities for conversions and revenue. No matter if you’re selling a product or service, if you can optimise your site to rank on particular keywords that aren’t competitive and don’t appear in high searches, you will start driving organic traffic. So if driving leads to your website is a goal of yours then instead of putting all of your eggs in your social media tactics, try staying up to date with Google’s best practices because google has been proven to convert up to 400% better than other traffic sources.
Providing Consumer Data
Consumer data is invaluable for startup owners, and SEO can unveil significant data about your audience. You can use this data to understand what prospective clients are searching for. By using certain SEO tools you will be able to work out which search terms specific to your business are being used the most. The more research you do, the more data you will accumulate about what drives your customers to search for the product or service your business provides. This strategy not only gives you valuable insight into your marketplace but allows you to change your written content on your site to help you meet your customer’s needs.
SEO Builds Trust And Credibility
Various research indicates that a lot of people don’t trust sites that aren’t on the first page of google, in fact only 0.78% of Google searches click on results from the 2nd page. And that’s where SEO comes in. SEO is the best visibility tool that moves your website up the rankings, absolutely making the brand more and more visible. Without SEO, a business is less likely to succeed.
The role of SEO for startups has significantly grown over the last few years and although it has its challenges, it brings opportunities that no other growth tactic can provide. So however small or large your business is now is the most appropriate time to invest some of your time and money to include it in your strategy.