7 Hard Truths About SEO every Startup should be aware of

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Mar 22, 2024
Navigating the world of SEO can be complex for startups, but understanding a few key truths can make a big difference. In this article, we'll provide a quick summary of the most interesting truths About SEO to get you started.
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Navigating the world of SEO can be complex for startups, but understanding a few key truths can make a big difference. Here’s a quick summary of the most interestinf Truths About SEO to get you started:

  • SEO is a long-term strategy, requiring patience and ongoing effort.
  • Content quality matters more than quantity; helpful, in-depth content is key.
  • Mobile optimization is essential as most searches are on mobile devices.
  • Machine learning impacts SEO, making search engines smarter and more personalized.
  • There’s no ‘magic keyword’ that will solve all your SEO needs.
  • User experience is crucial; your site must be fast, navigable, and engaging.
  • SEO requires ongoing investment; it’s a continuous process of improvement and adaptation.

These are the core areas every startup should focus on to improve their online presence and search engine rankings.

1. Truths About SEO:  is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

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SEO isn’t about quick wins. It’s a long game that needs you to be patient and keep at it. Here’s why SEO is more like a marathon:

  • Google changes a lot. Google updates how it ranks websites over 3,000 times a year. This means what helps a website rank well can change all the time. You have to keep learning and adjusting.
  • Building good links takes time. Links from other websites to yours are really important for SEO. But getting these links doesn’t happen overnight. You need to create content that other websites find valuable enough to link to, which can take a while.
  • Your website’s rank can change. Even if you get to the top for certain search words, you can’t just sit back. Google keeps checking websites and might change how they rank at any time. You have to keep working on your website to stay at the top.

The main thing is to keep going and not get upset by slow progress or small setbacks. Think of SEO like preparing for a long race. With time and effort, you’ll start to see better results. It’s all about sticking with it for the long haul.

2. Truths About SEO: Content Quality Over Quantity

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When it comes to SEO for startups, it’s way better to focus on making a few really good pieces of content instead of a lot of okay ones. Here’s why focusing on quality is so important:

It’s Not About How Much You Have, It’s About How Good It Is

Having a lot of blog posts might seem impressive, but if they’re not interesting or useful, they won’t help much. One really helpful article is better than 10 that just repeat the same old things. Make sure you’re writing about stuff people actually want to know about.

Google Likes It When You Know Your Stuff

Google is always looking for websites that really understand their topics. Just filling pages with a bunch of keywords isn’t enough anymore. You need to dive deep into your subject and show you really know what you’re talking about.

Good Stuff Gets Shared More

Articles that are actually useful or interesting are more likely to get shared around and linked back to. This tells Google that people trust your content. On the other hand, articles that just repeat keywords are easy to spot and usually ignored.

Be the Expert in Your Area

Instead of trying to talk about everything, it’s better to be known as the go-to person for one specific thing. This helps you build trust and become an authority in that area.

The main point is to make content that’s really helpful and interesting, not just filled with keywords. Focus on making a few great pieces rather than lots of okay ones. Stick to what you know best, offer real value, and you’ll start to see better SEO results.

3. Truths About SEO: Mobile Optimization is Non-negotiable

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Nowadays, a lot of people use their phones to go online, so it’s super important for your website to work well on mobile devices. Here’s why making your site mobile-friendly can’t be skipped:

More than half of web searches are on mobile

Since 2015, more people have been using their phones than computers to search the web. If your site doesn’t look good on a phone screen, you’re probably losing out on a lot of visitors.

Google likes sites that work well on phones

Google has said that if your site isn’t easy to use on a phone, it won’t show up as high in search results. Things like loading quickly, being easy to read, and not needing to zoom in are crucial.

People leave sites that are hard to use on mobile

If your site is slow, hard to read, or just annoying on a phone, people won’t stay. Making your site better for mobile can make fewer people leave.

A good mobile site can get you more customers

If your site is easy and pleasant to use on a phone, people are more likely to stick around and maybe even buy something. Make sure things like buying or signing up are simple and quick.

To sum it up, start with making your site great for phone users, then work on the computer version. Test your site on actual phones, make sure it loads quickly, and keep it easy to navigate. Keeping up with mobile is a must if you want your startup to do well in search rankings.

4. Truths About SEO: The Role of Machine Learning in SEO

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Machine learning is getting more important in SEO because search engines are using it to better figure out what people are looking for and which websites should show up first. Here’s how machine learning is changing the game:

Understanding What’s Important

  • Search engines look at a lot of information from what people do online, the links between websites, what’s on a website, and more to decide which sites answer people’s questions the best. They’re getting better at picking the top sites because of machine learning.
  • By spotting trends, search engines can get a clearer picture of what people really want, how good a website is, and its reputation. This means you get more useful search results.

Always Getting Better

  • Machine learning lets search engines try out and refine different ways to rank sites. So, the rules for being at the top are constantly evolving.
  • Websites have to keep updating to keep up with these changes. Regular site audits and updates to your SEO strategy are key to stay competitive.

Making Searches Personal

  • Machine learning helps tailor search results to each person’s situation, where they are, what device they’re using, their past searches, and other factors. So, two people might get different results for the same search.
  • To get more people to click on your site, you need to understand how you appear in searches for different people and make your content appealing to them.

In simple terms, machine learning is all over SEO, helping to sort through the complex stuff and making sure websites that do the best job answering questions get seen first. To keep up, websites need to use tools and analysis to adapt to the changes brought by machine learning.

5. Truths About SEO: The Myth of the Magic Keyword

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Some startups think there’s a secret keyword that will shoot their site to the top of Google’s search results. But, really, there’s no single ‘magic’ keyword that fixes everything in SEO. Here’s why the idea of finding a perfect keyword doesn’t work:

Google looks at more than just keywords
Google’s really smart. It uses advanced tech to understand what your page is about. Just stuffing a page with a word over and over won’t cut it. Your content has to be genuinely helpful.

You need to think about lots of keywords
People usually search using phrases, not just one word. So, your SEO should focus on a bunch of related keywords, not just one.

Keywords change all the time
What people search for changes. If you only focus on one keyword, you might miss out on new trends. Keep doing keyword research to find new words to target.

Some keywords are super competitive
Some keywords are so popular that it’s really hard for a new site to rank for them. It’s better to use a mix of easier and tougher keywords.

In short, SEO isn’t about finding a secret keyword. It’s about creating good content, keeping your site running smoothly, and building your site’s reputation. There’s no shortcut. You need a good plan that targets different keywords and keeps up with changes in how people search. Don’t fall for the myth of the magic keyword. It’s not real!

6. Truths About SEO: User Experience is Paramount

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Making your website easy and enjoyable for people to use is super important for getting noticed by Google and getting more visitors. Here’s a simple breakdown of why focusing on how people experience your website matters:

Mobile Responsiveness

Since a lot of us use our phones to browse the internet, your site needs to work well on mobile devices. Make sure your site:

  • Loads quickly (ideally in less than 2 seconds)
  • Looks good on both phones and computers
  • Has buttons that are easy to tap

Site Speed

How fast your website loads can make or break whether people stay or bounce. Check how fast your site loads and make improvements like reducing image sizes or choosing better hosting to speed things up.

Easy Navigation

If people can’t find what they’re looking for easily, they won’t stick around. Keep your menus simple, make sure your important links are easy to find, and help people do what they came to do without hassle.

Quality Content

Content that’s interesting and helpful keeps people on your site longer. Make sure what you write is:

  • Easy to read and not just stuffed with keywords
  • Useful and gives people what they’re looking for
  • Something people would want to share

Trust and Authority

Show you’re trustworthy with reviews, expert info, and secure site badges. This makes people more likely to spend time and maybe even buy something.

Calls-to-Action

Make it super clear what you want visitors to do (like sign up or buy). Test different ways to say it and where to put your CTAs to see what works best.

Analytics

Keep an eye on how people are using your site with tools like Google Analytics. Look for where you might be losing visitors and try different things to keep them around.

By making your website more about the people using it, you’ll do better in search rankings. Always think about making things better for your visitors first.

7. Truths About SEO: is an Ongoing Investment

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Think of SEO like taking care of a garden. You can’t just plant seeds and walk away. To see your garden grow and thrive, you need to keep watering it, pulling out the weeds, and sometimes planting new seeds. Here’s why SEO needs your steady attention:

Competition Keeps Moving Just like in a race, if you stop running, others will pass you. This is true for your website too. If you stop adding new stuff or making improvements, your competitors will get ahead in search results. Keep adding new content that uses the right keywords to stay in the game.

Google Changes the Rules Google updates how it decides which websites to show first a lot – thousands of times a year. When the rules change, you need to adjust your website to fit the new rules. This means staying informed and tweaking your website often.

New Ways to Get Noticed Things like asking Siri a question or videos popping up in search results are becoming more common. These are new chances for your website to get noticed. Pay attention to these trends and see how you can use them to your advantage.

People Want Different Things Over Time What people are interested in or need help with can change. Use keyword research to find out what’s new and update your content to match. This keeps your website relevant and helpful.

In short, SEO isn’t something you can do just once. It’s like a marathon where you need to keep running. Spend time each week on things like creating content, building links, and keeping up with SEO news. This steady effort will help your website rank better over time.

Conclusion

Getting SEO right is super important for any startup that wants to do well online. It might look a bit complicated, but if you stick to the basics like making great content and making sure your website is easy to use, you’ll see good results.

Here are 3 simple tips for startups to nail their SEO:

  • Be patient. Getting people to visit your website naturally takes time and effort. Don’t look for quick fixes; focus on doing the basics well and keep at it.
  • Think about your visitors. If people enjoy using your site, you’re more likely to get higher rankings and more links naturally. Pay attention to making your site fast, easy to navigate, works well on phones, and has interesting content.
  • Keep learning and tweaking. SEO changes all the time because of updates to how searches work, new ways people search, and what they’re interested in. Make sure you’re always trying new things, researching, and updating your site to stay on top.

Seeing SEO as a journey rather than a one-off task is key. While you won’t see big changes overnight, sticking with SEO best practices over time will help your startup get noticed and do well online.

The main thing is to be patient, keep making your site better for your visitors, and stay open to learning and changing things up. By understanding SEO and avoiding common mistakes, your startup can grow its online presence and stand out from the competition.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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