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The Playbook for SEO for Startups

As a startup owner, an SEO strategy is a need, not a want. Your startup will see growth and potential after your SEO strategy is implemented.

5 mins read time
Haley Kuehl
Haley Kuehl

Mar 28, 2023

So, your startup is ready to take off and you’re starting to see some results, but you feel like you’re missing something. How is your SEO looking? Often left to the back burner, SEO is that last push most businesses need to see organic growth. Another benefit of SEO? It’s free. You’ll need to put in the work and keep up with the changes, but the results you’ll see will be worth it. Now let’s get started crafting an SEO strategy that’s going to help your startup.

Why You Need a Startup SEO Strategy

SEO can give you the leverage you need to be a top-ranking brand. In fact, much of a brand’s success is reliant upon its search engine rankings and the keywords being used on its website. People are searching for what you have to offer regardless of how niche or widespread your offerings are.

Having an SEO strategy increases the chance of them finding you and you building your brand. Not to mention it's free, scalable, and gets you organic traffic. You have the why, so let’s move on to the how.

The Startup SEO Guide You Didn’t Know You Needed

We all love anything that’s free, but there is a lot of effort needed as you begin to create your SEO strategy. We’ve put together the perfect SEO guide for you to follow along with as you start putting together your brand’s strategy.

Set Goals

Everyone has the same goal in mind when it comes to SEO: boost organic traffic and turn prospects into paying customers. While it’s a great end goal, you also want to achieve other successes with the strategy you worked so hard to create. Goals could include:

Goal #1: Rank in the top five for a certain high-ranking keyword of yours for five months.

Goal #2: Get 20 high-quality backlinks to a particular page over three months.

Goal #3: Increase time visitors spend on website.

Achieving smaller goals helps you dial in on the intricacies of your strategy and not just focus on one big goal. With your goals set in place, let's find out how to achieve them.

Keyword Research

Keywords will literally be the key to your SEO strategy. Without keyword research, you won’t have an SEO strategy to implement. Keyword research is the process of finding search terms that your target customers are using. It's not just finding any keyword but finding long-tail and short-tail keywords that will help your content get ranked. You need a mix of both types of keywords to have the best ranking success.

Long-tail keywords get a smaller amount of searches because of how specific they are but they often convert better. They're also less competitive and easier to search. These phrases often contain three to five words, one of which is usually a keyword associated with your main topic.

Short-tail keywords contain up to three words about a broad topic. These keywords have a high search volume, high competition, include generic search terms, and don't covert as well as long-tail keywords.

Once you have determined both your long-tail and short-tail keywords and implemented them into your content and onto your website, Google will rank your pages, ideally near the top of the search, getting you organic traffic in return. How do you find the keywords, though?

Step 1: Brainstorm your “seed” keywords — AKA the terms that would be commonly searched for your brand. Make a list of these and keep it handy. To start your brainstorming session, you can use Google Search Console. This tool monitors your website's performance and gives you insight into your best-ranking keywords.

Step 2: Research your competitors — what keywords are sending traffic to your competitors’ websites? Identify your competitors, then search your keywords from your seed list and see which competitors come up on the first page. Build another list of your competitors and the keywords they are coming up for.

Step 3: Content, content, and more content: Use all of your keyword lists to create one more important list: a content list.

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Create Content

Your mounds of keyword lists are useless if you don’t put them to work for you. How are you going to incorporate your keyword research into useful content on your website?

  • Determine content type based on what’s appearing in the search engine for your top-ranking keywords. Is it mostly blogs, videos, or podcasts appearing? Whichever is most popular, focus on creating that type of content. What is the format of the content? If blogs are the popular content type, is the format of the blogs a list, news, or reviews?
  • When creating the content, it's important not to keyword stuff and that your content is unique to you and your brand. Google values content that is trustworthy and expert-level. Try getting quotes from experts or adding in your own thoughts and experiences in order to differentiate your content from others' content.
  • Go mobile-first. With mobile being the go-to place for search, it likes content that is mobile-friendly.

Use this information to plan your content while incorporating your keywords. Next, publish the content and then repurpose it. If you started by publishing blogs, use a topic from it to create a video. When you develop different types of content it allows you to be wherever your audience is.

Technical SEO

For Google to find you and crawl your website, your technical SEO needs to be top-notch. Without Google indexing your website, you won’t see any results. Technical SEO includes some of the following:

  • Filling in your metatags
  • Having titles of the appropriate length
  • Not having too many redirects
  • Add internal links from pages on your website to your other internal pages
  • Make your website mobile-friendly

These steps may not be noticeable to your visitors but will make all the difference in your SEO rankings. To get started, you'll want to do an SEO audit. We offer a free SEO audit that will provide you with recommendations. Once you have our recommendations, there are numerous tools you can use to make improvements. Ahrefs is a great tool to use. It can crawl your website for how many URLs you have and determine if your website is indexable or not, among many other items.


Link building, tracking, and measuring your progress are a few of the many other tools you can use as you dive even more into your SEO strategy. While an SEO strategy can be never-ending and ever-changing, these steps will get you started and get your SEO headed in the right direction. Don’t want to create a strategy yourself? At FPS, we are strategic marketers who can put together a startup SEO strategy and implement it for you. Reach out to chat about how we can help.

Grow Your SEO  The right SEO strategy can drive thousands of qualified leads to your site.  We've grown organic traffic by 400% and revenue by 300% for clients – see what  we can do for you.  Learn More

Haley Kuehl

After getting her start in teaching, Haley fell in love with SEO because it let her combine two of her favorite things: writing and getting nerdy with data and code. She now has more than 12 years of SEO and inbound marketing experience with clients ranging from small ecommerce brands to huge associations and SaaS companies.

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