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SEO Magnifying Glass

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Startup companies have a lot to take care of just to get going. You have to deal with staffing your company, outreach, paperwork, testing, financing, and a thousand different things with little time. It is either sink or sail, and success relies on managing a multitude of problems.

It helps that most successful entrepreneurs are experts in their own field, and usually have at least a little bit of online business savvy. But, chances are they aren’t exactly well-versed in search engine optimization. While some of these startups might defer to a professional SEO resource or marketing team, it isn’t always required.

Getting even the most basic SEO considerations taken care of early on may seem superfluous, but SEO can take quite a while to grow. Starting early means you will start seeing the dividends later.

The most basic considerations of SEO simply ensure that searchers can find your business’s name and website fairly easily. Of course, a more comprehensive SEO plan extends that to ensuring you outrank your competitors and improve your larger web visibility, but that can be achieved after you’ve gotten yourself set up with just a little extra work.

Ashley Kemper from Search Engine Land put together a checklist for startups to get the most important SEO considerations taken care of early. Her list is a little more extensive than others you might find, but you’ll see much better rewards down the line by following her suggestions, and you’ll understand what you are actually doing much more.

If your company is trying to establish itself on the internet, a low quality site isn’t an option any more. If you want your business to stand a chance online, you must have a quality design that is as professional as it is memorable.

But, as a business owner that doesn’t focus on web design, getting a great looking professional website can be hard. A lot of startups, hoping to save by not hiring a professional, push a non-designer into the role of developer. Others settle for a shoddy website or no site at all, hoping to have the extra resources to do it properly. Neither works well.

There are ways for startups to get the professional website they want, however there isn’t a magic formula. Getting a great website that will draw in customers takes a lot of hard work and time, but it pays off well. To help get you started, Lior Levin gives some tips on how to work towards the design you want and save a little time and money while you’re doing it. With his tips, all you will need is a competent designer and the drive to create a webpage people will want to visit.

New business have a lot to manage in a short period of time if they hope to be sustainable, and one of the most important marketing tools they can use is SEO. Establishing your company online is a huge step towards establishing your business in your community, and the only way to get popular online is to have a website showing up in the search rankings.

In the past, creating a respectable website with good content would have been enough to get your page on the search results page, but the internet is now an incredibly competitive arena. To get your website on the front page, you have to create great content while also managing a number of ranking signals that Google and Bing use to rank websites.

These signals are read by “bots” or “spiders” that index web pages and all of their internal information, which are sorted by algorithms that decide what pages get ranked where. There are seemingly countless signals, and it can be overwhelming when you are just getting started.

Startups trying to understand SEO often feel completely confused by the barrage of technical information out there, but there are some basic steps you can take to get started. Sujan Patel has five rules you can apply to running your website which will help any fledgling business firmly ground their online presence.

 

Many startup companies make the same mistakes when conducting their sales campaign. We’re here to help you avoid them. Here are the seven most common mistakes for startups. While some of these may sound like common sense, knowing these ahead of time and knowing how to fix them can save your company a lot of trouble.

  1. Not Understanding Your Customer: Treating all clients as the same is a huge mistake many startups make. It is easy to make assumptions about what your customers will want but they will all have unique concerns and problems that have to be dealt with in a personalized way. Not every customer responds to the same sales pitch. Asking questions early on will allow you to answer their questions and sell them on your service.
  2. Not Selling: Rather than focusing on the extras and luxuries of your product, pinpoint the ways it will solve that specific client’s problems. This means asking the questions that will tell you what the customer needs. Showing a few ways your product will directly benefit a potential client goes a lot further than telling them about what you plan to put into the product later.
  3. Being Absent: Failing to meet potential customers in real life to close the sale means missing two of the most essential experiences for a startup. Not meeting in person hinders the ability to directly connect with clients and build long term relationships. It also means not hearing the specific concerns of the customer, which is easily the best way to improve what you are selling.
  4. Failing to Follow Up: After you give your pitch, follow up. While it seems that giving your pitch and traveling onto the next potential client increases prospective customers, moving on actually makes the clients forget about you. Don’t harass your leads, but keeping your product fresh in their memory until they make up their mind never hurts.
  5. No Process: Tracking basic information such as phone calls and emails, connections to decision makers, closed deals and deal values is an essential activity for startups, but many forget to do it. Having a process in place means knowing where you stand with all potential customers.
  6. Charging the Wrong Amount: While skewing prices cheaper seems like it would make your product more attractive, it can sometimes make customers question its value. Don’t undercharge. Set your price at one that will allow for a sustainable business and reflects the value of your product. Attract customers with what your product does, not how cheap it is.
  7. Not Asking For a Sale: If you have been in contact with a potential client for a relatively long period of time, don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. If you’ve put effort into establishing a relationship with the potential client, they should be happy to close the deal.

While startup founders come from all walks of life, knowing how to be an effective sales person is required to make a product succeed. Even if you’ve already made one of these mistakes, they are easily fixable. With these problems solved, you’ll be well on your way to making your service a reality.

 

You can read more in Steli Efti’s article at TechCrunch