16 Reasons Why Startups Fail at SEO and How They Can Recover

Failure … a rather hard to digest word. Failure is the bad guy everybody avoids. Winning, on the other hand, is a whole different story. But with new beginnings comes the challenge to keep your head above water and not to mess it up.

 

It is not science per se. It is just sweat, practice and A/B testing based on your data and real data examples. Startups fail at SEO because they aren’t prepared or do other rookie mistakes, but in the next few minutes you’ll find out how to steer away from them.

 

Why Startups Fail at SEO

 

Failing can give you a real sense of what works out for you and what doesn’t. Startups fail because they take the wrong approach, don’t know their audience or overlook making a market research, bringing a product to an oversaturated market and so on.

 

Discover all the reasons why startups fail at SEO. Learn from the others’ experience. Find out the best examples of startups SEO failures and find out how you can get better from today’s article. In addition, learn what makes a startup successful.

 

It’s filled with peppery examples, appealing explanations, and strong SEO solutions.

 

  1. Selling to the Wrong Customers Profile Will Kill Your Startup
  2. Believe SEO Is Just a One Time Thing Will Make You Lose 92% of Your Audience
  3. Not Scaling Your Results Gets You Only 50% of Your Goals
  4. Ungrounded Overconfidence Will Leave You Stuck in the Pivot Phase
  5. Not Knowing Your Target Will Bring Higher Costs and Fewer Users
  6. Choosing an SEO Company That Will Rank You First in One Week Will Tank Your Ranks Definitively
  7. Having a Slow Loading Website with Bad User Experience Can Decrease Conversions by 100%
  8. Targeting Misleading Keywords Will Bring Zero Traffic to Your Website
  9. Not Using Marketing Tools Won’t Bring You SEO Opportunities
  10. Using Old School SEO Techniques Will Get You a Google Penalty
  11. Building Low-Quality Links Gets You 25% Search Visibility Fall
  12. Over-Optimizing Anchor Texts Sends an Alarm Signal to Google 
  13. Not Adapting Your SEO Strategy to the Evolving Industry Will Crash You
  14. Having Unrealistic Timeframe and Budget Means Game Over
  15. Poor Content Investment Makes You Lose More Than 67% Leads
  16. Writing Low-Quality Content for Another Purpose Won’t Bring You Any Leads
 

1. Selling to the Wrong Customers Profile Will Kill Your Startup

One of the major reasons why startups fail is selling to the wrong customers. It all comes to your audience. You’ll never have to bleed out customers.

 

Your audience must be on the top of the list. They are the ones who will use your product or services. Your business should revolve around them.

 

There are a lot of startups that don’t know their audience, which their purchase flow is,  their interests or other behavioral characteristics.

 

It’s exactly like when you would like to invite some friends to dinner but don’t know their preferences. Do they eat pork? Does anyone have food allergies? Does anyone eat vegan food? You need to know this information before you start preparing the meal.

 

Calxeda, the company that started to provide computers based on the ARM architecture for server computers, had a problem regarding their audience. They moved faster than their customers could move, having problems getting in line with their level of knowledge. They started acting faster than their customers’ understanding.

 
We moved with tech that wasn’t really ready for them – ie, with 32-bit when they wanted 64-bit. We moved when the operating-system environment was still being fleshed out – [Ubuntu Linux maker] Canonical is all right, but where is Red Hat?
Calxeda  Calxeda testimony
 

Wrong customers don’t see value and they won’t come to your site and eventually won’t buy. If you focus too much on the best channels to reach your targets you won’t succeed either.

Selling to the wrong customers will kill your startup.

The mistake startups do is focusing on channels rather than target customers. They start their marketing backwards: Channels > Segmentation > Customer > Message.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Not Targeting Your Customer Profile?

To improve your chances of success you need to start your online strategy in reverse.  

 

Start with the customer, make a profile for your buying personas, then continue with the segmentation process, create the message and select the right channels. If you defined your customers’ profile, but the channel you reach out to them is not the right one, you’ll lose them.

 

When you finish those steps you will be prepared, you’ll understand your customers. You’ll speak the same language. But your job is not done yet. You have to set the right goals.  

 

Let’s say your customers are mainly on Twitter and your social activity takes place on Facebook. You should be where your users are.

 

For example, Get Vero’s social media strategy focuses more on Twitter. You can see in the next screenshot that their articles get more shares on Twitter. That is the secret: become famous through what you write about way ahead of who you are.

getvero-content-marketing

 

Multi-channel promotion is also an option. But stick to 3-5 social accounts. Adapt your message to each channel.

 

Another thing you could do is ask for feedback from your prospects. Spend enough time talking with customers to find out how you can improve your business.

 

2. Believe SEO Is Just a One Time Thing Will Make You Lose 92% of Your Audience

 

Believing SEO is just a one-time thing is a definitive reason for failure.

 

Don’t set and forget. This a vicious mindset for every goal you make. Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) objectives and then follow their evolution, take a decision based on them.

 

Always have continuity for everything you do. Never let things unfinished because you’ll not evolve. That is a mistake that even older firms do.

 

SEO is what you do to push your website on the search engines. If you’re not there, you don’t exist.

 

There was a saying: The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results. Lots of studies say only 8% of searchers end up on the second page of Google. More than that, the total of average CTR for top 10 queries is 208%, meaning users click more than twice on the first result page.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Not Having Continuous Monitoring?

 

It is important to make an SEO strategy you have to follow. If you don’t have the knowledge for it, hire or collaborate with a trustworthy party. Make an SEO audit and invest (time, money) in SEO because you need to make it to the first page.

 

Use audit tools such Site Explorer for a quick analysis.If you want something more complex use cognitiveSEO or call a hard working Pro.

 

Make a blog, where you post new and qualitative content on a weekly basis or a period of your own.

 

Take, for example, the help desk software GrooveHQ, that has created a link profile in the tech and business industry using mostly blogs. Another great thing they did was to build anchor text that is extremely specific besides the branded ones.

groovehq-content-strategy-marketing-no-seo-tricks

 

Their accurate way of building online presence helped the startup to develop a steady and valuable growth.

groovehq-digital-marketing-strategy

 

Groove HQ has an excellent content strategy because they worked to offer catchy content, grab bloggers’ attention and have a great social strategy in place. It was the safest SEO strategy to ensure nothing came back to haunt them.

 

3. Not Scaling Your Results Gets You Only 50% of Your Goals

 

Not keeping track or results of poor accountability is another SEO startups fail.

 

Pursuit results in every goal you make. Results must be measured no matter what. Otherwise, you can’t learn anything. Make sure you mark your key milestones. During your product development process, you have to establish which are the most significant points. 

 

If you don’t do that you’ll never know how much you’ve invested and you won’t be able to make a comparison with the outcome. Eventually, you’ll lose focus and this will kill your startup.

 

The postmortem company MyFavorites has a story you should learn from. The initial idea of MyFavorites was showing and telling your favorites, but in the end that was all: an idea.

 

Steve Poland, the founder of postmortem MyFavorites said:

When we came back from SXSW, we all started losing interest, the team was all wondering where this was eventually going, and I was wondering if I even wanted to run a startup, have investors, have the responsibility of employees and answering to a board of investors, etc.
Steve Poland Steve Poland
Currently the Managing Director of Z80 Labs / @popo

And he didn’t go on with it.

A successful entrepreneur will set aims, test hypotheses and evaluate the results.

An SEO plan can include lots of activities that you need to break into tasks, set a timeframe for and organize. This way you can have a bigger picture.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Not Scaling Your Results?

A clearly defined road map, with tasks assigned to specific team members, can consolidate and enhance your SEO strategy. There are lots of tools for that: Meistertask, Trello, Blossom and much more.

 

Use tools such as Google Search Console, cognitiveSEO, Google Analytics for tracking data and your SEO activity.

 

Setting goals in Analytics and Google Adwords can help you see if the strategy and SEO campaign you’ve conducted is the right one to fulfill the target.

 

4. Ungrounded Overconfidence Will Leave You Stuck in the Pivot Phase

An SEO consultant/expert’s job is to understand the role of the clients, to deliver what has been promised and to educate them in terms of what SEO can and can’t do for their business.  

 

Not being able to see the bigger picture is another startup SEO failure. Usually, this happens if the entrepreneur is overconfident in his knowledge but doesn’t know SEO. And it can easily turn into arrogance and therefore another startup fail, even if you have the best business plan of all business plans.

<div class='cgn-shortcode-anchor' id='keithbnowak‘ style=’height:30px’> 

If you may, please learn from other mistakes. Keith Nowak, the founder of what had to be Imercive, a social media marketing company that provided branded instant messaging applications, says on this site:

We were caught mid-pivot – half way between a strategy we knew wouldn’t work and one which we believed could be successful but was not able to be aggressively pursued.
Keith Nowak Keith Nowak
Founder and CEO of Ten Thousand / @keithbnowak

He continued with the explanation about his postmortem Imercive experience, saying:

We were extremely frustrated at not being able to properly go after our new strategy and every day that passed without meaningful progress was one step closer to the failure of my first company. Even though we put everything we had into getting through this phase we were never able to make it through the pivot.
Keith Nowak KEITH NOWAK
Founder and CEO of Ten Thousand / @keithbnowak

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Ungrounded Overconfidence?

Work on your weakness or collaborate with somebody who sees the bigger picture. A good couple can make a “big picture” person and somebody who’s detail-oriented. Find out who you are and start working on your approach so you can fulfill the plans.

 

Look for trends using Google Trends or search for news in your industry, subscribe to feeds to get the freshest insights.

 

Use BrandMentions to get notifications with different mentions you’ve set up so you can be aware of what your competitors or other companies are doing.

 

Listen to Google Webmaster Central and Hangouts to hear news, get new features insights and find out what other changes happen inside Google. Or search for summaries with the most intriguing SEO facts exposed on Google Webmaster Hangouts.

 

5. Not Knowing Your Target Will Bring Higher Costs and Fewer Users

Not segmenting your SEO efforts to target customers with the highest potential Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is another reason why startups fail at SEO.

 

Don’t conduct link building techniques on sites with thin content such a web directories of all sorts of websites that have a list with links. Don’t try and build links on all kind of sites that are not related to your industry or sites that are too general.

 

The wider the audience, the larger the SEO costs of attracting them on your website.

 

The sad and real fact is that many startups assume which their target is. You wouldn’t believe, but some startups think that because they are developing the next app, all the smartphone users are in their target.

 

They couldn’t be more wrong. There are so many different types of smartphone users that you can’t count them even using your both hands.

 

As Mayank Jain writes in TalentPad’s post-mortem:

We failed because of our inability to figure out a scalable solution, which addresses a large enough market in India. One of the things that our entire team has been passionate about is making a big impact to a wide-ranging audience. We could not figure out a way to achieve that.
Mayank Jain Mayank Jain
Tech Entrepreneur / @jainmayank_943

TalentPad was a marketplace for technology recruitment.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Not Knowing Your Target?

 

Create a name for yourself. Start building a reputation and create awareness around your name and your business. Make a connection between them.

 

You can start by creating relevant content to your niche and write on websites that are newsworthy and have lots of viewers. This means to go narrow and deep. Work on from there.

 

After that bring them to your blog. Here, create content and share it on other platforms such as Inbound.org, GrowthHackers, Medium.

 

I bet that there are many other tools and platforms you could use to get the word out, but that it’s up to you to find them since they are targeted by the industry or type of activity.

 

More than that, you can appeal to amplification techniques to reach a wider audience and multiply your links by hundreds.

 

6. Choosing an SEO Company That Will Rank You First in One Week Will Tank Your Ranks Definitively

 

Among the reasons why SEO fails might be because you collaborated with cheap SEO “consultants”.

 

How many times did you hear a cheap SEO freelancer performed black hat SEO and poor link building on a website?

 

rank number 1

How many sites did you hear complaining about the fact they got penalized for this? Make sure you don’t do these kinds of mistakes.

 

Just a few days ago we had a client who was saying he was struggling to clean his site of a bad vicious collaboration in the past.

 

The company used a cheap “specialist” to do SEO and made a mess on the previously good SERP with a terrible and absolutely dreadful link farm.

 

Being new in the business and needing to do SEO so that people will find you in Google is hard.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Choosing Shady Companies?

 

You have a lot of options for this SEO failure. Have a well-structured approach before you contact somebody. Do your homework and be prepared. Take your time for a thorough job. Acknowledge one or more of the next solutions:

 

  • Start looking for trustworthy references.
  • Analyze the payment method: never work with SEO consultants that put a price on a link. For example, the cost per link e 1 euro, etc.
  • Look at their portfolio, if they have any or ask for one.
  • Ask for an SEO plan. See if it is transparent. A renowned expert won’t disclosed his tactics in detail but for sure will tell you which strategies to follow so they can fulfill your goals within a timeframe.
  • Look for references. They shouldn’t have a negative image on the internet.
  • Ask for a list of past clients. Vanessa Fox, author of Marketing in the Age of Google says a reputable SEO consultant shouldn’t be afraid to show a brief list of his clients.
  • Test them by using tricky questions. For example, ask them whether they can bring you on the first position in Google. If they says yes, you should run and never look back. It is impossible to guarantee a number one in any search engine. 
  • Make sure you establish a way to communicate with each other in a way that fits you both.

 

Besides all the solutions above, you need to keep track of the evolution of your website. To do that, use Google Analytics, Google Webmaster tools or other tools mentioned before.

 

When you finish the collaboration, you should have ownership of all the optimized content you paid for.

 

7. Having a Slow Loading Website with Bad User Experience Can Decrease Conversions By 100% 

 

Another internal reason why companies fail at SEO is the fact they don’t have a good website. A good website means a good structure, a fresh design, a natural user flow, fast loading speed time, a non-spammy looking with all kinds of ads, scalable font.

 

Having a slow website speed could drastically decrease conversions. Dom Perignon Champagne made this mistake by compromising content for an appealing website design. Studies showed that if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, the customer will forget about your page.

 

Their web design was a big failure since you had to wait more than 40 seconds for the website to load the first time, 38 seconds the second time. And then the page was so crowded with vague options, showing a lack of good site architecture. This is a big NO NO!

Dom Perignon Champagne Website Design Fail

Source: onboardly.com

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Slow Loading Websites?

Don’t bring any revolutionary changes because you think it would look good. Don’t change the natural flow and the habits people have. An architecture that changes the customer journey can mess up all the SEO efforts.

 

Look at your competitors and understand what their site architecture is and look for patterns. Work from there, building a better website.

 

Do your research and think like a client, not like a business owner. For this job you also need a good UX designer. He will have a professional look and he will understand the users better.

 

Matthias Metternich, co-founder of Believe.in, an online fundraising service for charities, says it better in an online interview:

Good advice is generally relative, but our tip is to look beneath the surface and beyond the interface, through to the problems that pervade the systems we lean on day in and day out. True disruption happens on a systemic level – after which ingenious interfaces and design make simple, elegant and beautiful what were complex problems that few ventured to solve.
Matthias Metternich Matthias Metternich
Matthias Metternich / @MMetternich

You can improve your website by doing a few changes:

  • Use Schema markups to structure the data on the website. Schema.org helps you to organize the website like a few maps so that Google understands better how your website works.
  • Create internal linking for a qualitative on-page search engine optimization.
  • Keep a short and friendly URL structure.
  • Use redirects for broken pages.
  • Use breadcrumbs to help with navigation.
 

8. Targeting Misleading Keywords Will Bring Zero Traffic to Your Website

One of the many reasons startups fail at SEO is the use of the wrong keywords. Choosing the best keywords can be an exhausting job especially if you don’t know that much about SEO or you are in a highly popular niche.

 

Use the language of your audience. There is a difference between table linen and other table cloths.

 

There are differences between different geographic locations. If your business focuses on local targeting, then your SEO strategy should be based on local keyword targeting.

 

It shows in a way when you’re searching for best SEO tool in www.google.ca and www.google.com. Google is giving a lot of emphasis to the local SEO. So this is another important aspect you should take into account.

Google wants to know your location

Another mistake is to make a bad choice of word order. Let’s say you offer transfer services from and to the airport in New York. You must be very careful with your choice of word position. Otherwise, you could mislead the reader and create misunderstandings.

auto service new york example

 

From the example above you can see that the “auto service new york” is not really a happy choice. It can be misinterpreted with car services in New York, as you can see from the suggestions list Keyword Planner tool gives.

 

If you really want to use this keyword, optimize your content for multiple keywords or the content that it isn’t important in generating revenue.  

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Misleading Keywords?

Use Keywords Planner to get the best fitting keyword match. Look for long-tail keywords to get near the first 10 positions. Don’t be too specific, though.

 

One of the best tactics is to do keyword research to boost organic traffic on your website.

 

The next thing you should do is choose the topic, write about it and place the keywords naturally within the same word-field. Use related keywords — Google uses LSI — Latent Semantic Indexing, a natural language processing that determines the relationship between terms and concepts in content.

 

Try Google Instant’s Autocomplete Suggestions or Ubersuggest for that keyword ideas.

 

Search for the keyword you want to use and Google will show you suggestions as you can see in the next screenshot:

Accommodation in London search query

You’ll see an extended list at the end of the page:

Accommodation in London search query

You shouldn’t neglect localization in SERPs so you won’t miss on local search opportunities.

 

Next, go through all the steps regarding the on-site SEO optimization: place the keyword in the title tags, meta description, image alt descriptions, URL structure.

 

9. Not Using Marketing Tools Won’t Bring You SEO Opportunities

Not using marketing tools is another SEO fail experienced by startups. It is a known fact that the marketing tools can be a lot of help in the first phase of starting a business.

 

Digital marketing tools can help you achieve your goals in your marketing strategy. The right instruments are real assets to get ahead of your competitors.

 

If you don’t use them, you won’t be able to see the results you’re anticipating.

 

Using tools is a good start because if you’re new they can lead you the way and you need support.

Not using marketing tools is like driving an old car blindfolded on the highway .

If you want your SEO effort to succeed you have to use tools. At least the standard ones: Google Analytics, Google MyBusiness, Search Console.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For the Lack of Marketing Tools?

Search for tools that have been tested and used by others. You can search for experts to see what are they using and get insights.

 

Feedly created a list of specialists and their best choice for tools and platforms on a certain topic such as marketing, social media marketing, inbound marketing, brand marketing, content marketing, SMB marketing. This is just an example. I bet you can find many others.

 

Siftery is a specialized site that shows you the products that are most recommended by other companies like yours.

 

You have to log in and see for each company the list of products they use for everything they do.

Siftery

Here you can see alternatives for each product and the list of users that use a specific tool.

 

AlternativeTo is an example of a platform you could use to find alternatives to different websites, tools, and products.

 

Find new websites launches on Product Hunt to be up to date with everything that’s going on.

 

If you want to find specific companies and people Crunchbase is a powerful choice. You can find valuable information from each search.

 

10.Using Old School SEO Techniques Will Get You a Google Penalty

Ever heard of black hat SEO? Stay away. There are many ways to damage your website if you follow that.

 

Using outdated techniques is an SEO startup failure. I can understand that being new into the business you can fall into taking all kind of shortcuts just to get higher and faster on the first page of Google.

 

Expedia experienced a visibility drop from 773,776 to a low of 551,548 after they created a WordPress theme with a keyword rich footer, which is a 2008 – 2009 SEO technique, now counted as an unnatural link building technique.

 

Mediaup, a web design agency from Germany, got hit by Google’s algorithms because of an unnatural link profile. 

unnatural-links-drop-rankings

As you can see in the picture above, they’ve encountered a big drop in rankings.

 

Based on this information gathered from the cognitiveSEO tool, it’s no big surprise that more than three-quarters of all links were low quality or have no authority.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Old School Techniques?

To recover their ranking, they started reviewing their backlinks to see how many were unnatural or suspect.

 

They classified their anchor text to see how many were brand, commercial and misc.

 

After a thorough link analysis, they disavowed the bad links and sent the file to Google.

 

If you don’t want to be in the position when all the damage had been made, you should be careful what technique you are applying to your business. It is better to prevent than to correct.

 

Stay on top of the game. Use a mentioning tool such as BrandMentions to receive notifications for your topic of interest. Read the latest news from the industry.

 

11. Building Low-Quality Links Gets You 25% Search Visibility Fall

A low-quality link uses link schemes techniques, which include:

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.

In 2014, Expedia experienced a decrease of 25% search visibility after building low-quality links using link schemes. This came up with a manual penalty from Google.  

 

At first, experts thought it was a negative SEO attack, but after a thorough research, it appeared to be exactly the opposite. Their link profile was loaded with links on private blog networks, sponsored low-quality articles, and WordPress Themes with a hidden link to www.expedia.com etc.

 

Their spammy campaign was based on old school SEO techniques such as using black text on a black background as you can see in the picture below:

 

WordPress-blog-with-expedia-com-links-injected

source: cdn.linkresearchtools.com

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Low-Quality Links?

 

First of all, build links in compliance with Google’s Quality Guidelines. There are other significant aspects you should have on the top of your mind:

1. Build links on influential domains. Having a natural link profile link means to have a higher distribution of links with no influence because the internet has a higher number of domains with no influence. Take the example below:

Link Influence chart

It is mandatory to have links on high influence domains so you can have a natural link profile.

2. Depending on your industry and your the type of activity, you should have links to similar websites from websites in that category. In the picture below you can see for sure that the websites are in the tech industry. 

 

leapmotion-webcategory-classification-tech

 

The links coming from .edu websites are highly appreciated. They give a high value and trust.

 

A bad example for the tech startup above are the links coming from Adult websites. There is no connection with those links. If you don’t want that type of links you need to disavow them or check the website before getting a link there, to avoid future surprises.

 

3. Set a clear webpage type. If you want awareness in the blogosphere then build links in blogs. Web directory links aren’t in style now. Don’t go in that direction. Aim higher.

 

Webpage Type

 

4. Earn links that are positioned in a short paragraph of text. Having links in a group of links is never better because it is not considered qualitative content.

 

12. Over-Optimizing Anchor Texts Sends an Alarm Signal to Google

 

Back in the old and wild days of SEO, over-optimizing anchor texts used to do some magic and get websites rank higher in SERP for those specific keywords. But things have changed in the past few years.

 

Another lesson by Google Penguin that we taught is never excessively optimize the anchor texts. If you’re a rookie, you might fall into the mistake. It is considered to have an unnatural profile if you have more than 40% commercial anchor texts.

 

Listen to what Joshua Ballard from Paradox Marketing says about the correct use of anchor texts:

 
The only SERP metric that a brand marketer cares about is branded search volume. An SEO marketer cares about all relevant organic keyword positions. The same goal, from two different perspectives. 
Joshua Ballard Joshua Ballard
Founder at Paradox Marketing / @BallardJoshua

Keyword-rich anchor text is another mistake you should never experience. Using a paragraph of text as anchor text can trigger a flag. Take a look at the next screenshot:

 

Bad anchor text example

Source: billmetzgerplumbinghuntingtonbeach.com

 

All your anchor texts should look natural. Review them and see what improvements you have to make. Google devalues websites that have backlinks with anchor texts that excessively use money keywords.

 

Accordingly to Microsite Masters, websites that had money keyword for anchor text in 65% or more of their inbound links were penalized by Google.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Anchor Text Over-Optimization?

You have to accept the prohibition against over-optimized anchor text. Even though there are startups that fail the test of natural anchor texts, there are others that succeed.

 

HelpScout is a living example. When it started, the help desk software focused on using match anchor text and only a few commercial anchor texts such as “help desk system” and “affordable desk system”.

 

Now, their anchor text distribution is manly focused on the domain name – Help Scout.

HelpScout Anchor text distribution

Source: https://explorer.cognitiveseo.com/?u=buyautoparts.com&m=*U*#section/4

 

13. Not Adapting Your SEO Strategy to the Evolving Industry Will Crash You

Google is continuously adapting in the online environment. Too many people (especially those who are new in the business) look where Google has been instead of looking where it is heading. 

 

There comes a need to adjust and evolve. 

 

Not adjusting your SEO strategy to the evolving industry will come back to bite you on the bum. How could you manage your business if you don’t know what’s happening in the world? 

 

It is like walking blindfolded with your hands in your ears on the highway. It is dangerous!

 

What will happen eventually? You’ll lose revenue, money, investments, website traffic, opportunities and put your business at bankruptcy risk.

 

At first, your eyes should be wide open and seek for the best option. Decision makers look straight at the tactics and implementations and forget about the analytics, goals and strategic planning. Then developers and designers don’t really understand the importance of organic results and the list goes on. 

 

Do you know many websites have been penalized by Google because of bad SEO techniques? A lot of that is because they were using old methods and didn’t stay up to date with the information considering that will go on just fine like they did before. 

 

Google estimated that the initial Panda change affected about 12% of queries to a significant degree. 

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Unsuited Strategies?

First, don’t do it. Second, you can start by subscribing to newsletters from Google or newsworthy websites that offer industry insights. Follow experts on Twitter. Use social media to engage with people and get real updates on changes that happen in your industry.

 

If you’re a fan of GrowthHacker, you can stay up to date if you follow some great minds there, too. There is also Inbound.org, where you can do the same.

 

There are also a few things you should be following rigorously:

  • think on a granular level;
  • integrate social media into your SEO strategy;
  • don’t hurry to implement your strategy.

 

There are great examples of business that recovered when they started following the pieces of advice and recommendations from Google. Who would believe that a Google penalty can help other websites?

 

Buyautoparts.com is an example of a website that had an impressive recover from a Penguin penalty because they learnt it the hard way.

buyautoparts recovery penguin 4.0

Source: https://explorer.cognitiveseo.com/?u=buyautoparts.com&m=*U*#section/4

 

After they adapted their SEO strategy to the new change of algorithms from Google, the website experienced 320% increase in traffic.

 

14. Having Unrealistic Timeframe and Budget Means Game Over

Did you decide to implement an SEO strategy for your startup but didn’t set a realistic timeframe and budget? You’ll sink faster than the Titanic. Most of the entrepreneurs want immediate results with minimum efforts and forget about this.

 

Not having a budget can lead to careless costs on things that maybe weren’t mandatory and you can easily run out of cash. That’s how you lose control of your spending and don’t know how much you have to gain back.

 

Not measuring your expenses and income is another mistake.

 

The timeframe can help you have a perspective and choose the best time for launching. You can be too early or too late.

 

SixDegrees.com was supposed to be the original social network, but people weren’t ready for it in 1997 when it started. The name was pretty smart. It came from the game “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” and the idea that we’re all six degrees away from everyone on Earth.

Six degrees

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Dealing with Unrealistic Timeframe and Budget?

 

There are lots of ways to build an SEO strategy on a limited budget, too. You just have to choose the ones that suit you.

 

A set budget can help you stay focus and a well-established timeframe can keep you up to date and let you know where you stand in every moment. And you’ll avoid running out of money. 

 

You can ask a few experts to test your product first. Create a teasing campaign on social networks.

 

Make your launching day even more special by promoting it on ProductHunt. Sign up your product and let people review it. Gather opinions and feedback from your users. Create a relationship with them.

 

ProductHunt can be really helpful if you know how and when to use it. Hey – a mobile app created for the sole purpose to communicate with people around you just to talk and not to find a partner.

 

Hey mobile app

 

The launch on ProductHunt was a hit. 99% of the users that downloaded the app came from ProductHunt. They even had a lot of activity, as you can see in the next screenshot.

Hey a success on ProductHunt

Source: medium.com

 

15. Poor Content Investment Will Make You Lose More Than 67% Leads

Haven’t you heard about business owners who wanted to start a company with few investments and have employees with the same dedication as them, working for the minimum wage?

 

That is not the solution. Think smart. Set your priorities.

 

Working with the wrong team can also screw up your startup and increase your failure rate. Hire intelligent people with knowledge and abilities in copywriting who understand your vision and value it. Invest in your employees because they can grow along with your startup.

 

Content goes hand in hand with SEO. Being at the first attempt might be hard for you to make investments.  

 

SocialMediaB2B says that B2B companies with a strategic content marketing generate 67% more leads than companies that don’t. So can understand why it is good for you, not to mention it is vital to invest in content marketing.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Poor Content Investments?

Invest time and money. Don’t be cheap. Use the possibility to do guest posting or create valuable content on platforms where you have the possibility to become a contributor. And then promote it and amplify it.

 

Take for example Anthony Kosner, designer, developer and contributor to Forbes. At first, he was a magazine designer for Time Inc., Conde Nast, McGraw-Hill and then moved to content marketing strategy. He has managed to have more than 400,000 unique visitors at the moment.

 

Sticking to topic knowledge, facts-gathered content is the key to successful SEO. That type of content will always be ahead of everything is published online. That’s what Anthony aimed for and that is how he succeeded in having so many readers through contributing.

 

Learn from the SEO success story Buffer had. Leo Widrich, the co-founder, used a good growth hack technique. He started writing content about Twitter, how to get followers and how Twitter can help your SEO.  Then he reached out to other blogs to see if they were interested in reading his content or if they were interested in similar topics.

 

Write for the influencers.

Write for the people who influence your potential customers.

leo widrich Leo Widrich
Co-founder Buffer / @LeoWid

He started creating relationships. He gained his audience through guest blogging and after 10 months, Buffer had over 100,000 users.

 

This is a type of startup you can follow to see the factors for success, for understanding their SEO strategy, for acquiring customers in the end. 

 

16. Writing Low-Quality Content for Another Purpose Won’t Bring You Any Leads

Not writing valuable content might lead to an SEO startup failure and harm your website. You don’t write qualitative content, you don’t rank.

 

Content marketing fails when content fails to serve the purpose of the brand. Grabhouse is an example of a content marketing failure. The startup was designed to be a real estate listing portal. Instead, they started to write content and ended up a viral content magazine.

 

Its content was more appropriate for Buzzfeed or a similar website, but not for Grabhouse. That’s how the business failed. They gathered lots of views and visitors but didn’t collect sales.

 

What Is the SEO Solution For Low-Quality Content?

Jeff Bullas explains the importance of organic traffic came from qualitative content.

 
So long form content is now a key component for serious content marketers.  SEO traffic is often 50% of the attention for a blog post. Over half this blog’s traffic comes from organic search.
Jeff Bullas Jeff Bullas

Founder at JeffBullas.com / @jeffbullas

The solution here would be to have an integrated content marketing plan to gather users from everywhere.

 

Leadpages, an automated software, had a very well-planned content marketing strategy. Their blog was updated regularly with fresh content together with an email marketing campaign to hook the readers and users and get them on the website.

Leadpages

This technique helped them grow from 0 to 15,000  subscribers over the course of a single year. Great numbers!

 

Leadpages also offers webinars and tutorials for its platform.

 

There are other approaches. Buffer, for example, based on long and in-depth well-researched articles to generate more traction on the social media platforms.

 

When you decide to plan your content strategy establish what makes you different and explore the differences, set the goals and engage with your audience.  

 

Conclusion

 

Failure hurts. Nothing new here. Learn from the biggest mistakes others did and take the solutions to improve your SEO efforts.

 

There are a lot of SEO startups failures, but do you know how to recover from a loss? If you listen to all the SEO solutions proposed, you’ll find the right way to do it.

 

Don’t start your business blindfolded. Look at others, spy your competition. Do some reverse engineering. You can also find a lot of case studies of successful startups. Be one of them instead. Learn how a startup succeeds in SEO by following the good practices. Look for bootstrapped startups and learn from their experience.

 

Searching for business models and creating the best one isn’t enough. 

 

Make use of the marketing tools you’ll find on the mesmerizing land of the Internet. Think and overthink the SEO strategy. Then act! Set SMART goals, track them and see what you have to improve.

 

Even though there were unfunded startups that managed to survive, it better to set a budget with at least a few financial resources to allow you to make some moves and hook customers. Invest, invest and invest. Collaborate with trustworthy people and don’t use outdated tactics. 

 

Have a strong content marketing strategy which you follow rigorously. Always do SEO. You need to have a dedicated person for that.

 

Create a team that you can work with and can achieve what you set forth. And in the end, search for quality achievement in everything you do, don’t accept shortcuts and cheap work.

The post 16 Reasons Why Startups Fail at SEO and How They Can Recover appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.