SEO for Early-Stage Startups: How to Get Found in Competitive SERPs

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A new article on Search Engine Journal reports that early-stage startups typically don’t have the budget to compete against established brands for top keyword terms, but you can learn what to do instead.

In early-stage startups, funding and cash flow are tight, but it’s important to build sustainable acquisition funnels that can be scaled as the business expands. Investing in your SEO early on can not only help build an acquisition funnel and create brand visibility but can also function as both customer retention and customer service aid.

Invest in Support Center Content
We invest in specialist CRM and support platforms, map them as a support subdomain, and then just add a few FAQs and questions. We don’t really invest in them. We may even have some hesitancy of putting good content on the subdomain because it’s a subdomain, or we may dismiss most questions (search phrases) because tools show a very low (or no) search volume

Or maybe they don’t fit a particular persona that has been identified. By investing in your Support sections and taking feedback from customer service and sales teams, you can build it out with both the standard FAQ-style support articles.

Optimize Content for Pain Points
A common pitfall among startups is that the concept of pain points is mistaken for solutions or product features. These are great, but a list of features and sales messaging doesn’t always directly (or even partially) address the user’s pain points or address why they’re on that page in the first place. Scrutinize the scenario in which your product would provide a solution.

Balancing Gated & Ungated Content
This means content that’s designed to be lead generative in nature, such as whitepapers, ebooks, and webinars. Whilst this type of content does have a place in the wider ecosystem, strategy conflicts between sales and marketing can occur early on. This is especially true where this lead generation content is produced, taking into account prominent search queries and topics.

It’s unlikely that this content will rank well and drive the leads it’s designed to, especially when competitors have ungated content covering answering the same questions. When trying to create content that offers the same value proposition as the gated content, you’ll face conflicts from other stakeholders. By ungating this content, you can potentially build and scale assets that can be used to attract relevant traffic to the site — assets that will build trust.

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