Why Do Startups Fail at SEO?

As competition increases in the market, brands are doing all they can to stay ahead. It means revamping their SEO efforts to evolve with their market.
The problem here is that good results require specialized SEO processes. It is something that not all agencies can deliver successfully. It is especially true when you consider startups.
Here are the reasons why startups do not fare well when it comes to SEO.

30 Reasons Why Startups SEO Strategy Is Failing?

Let’s take a look at some of the SEO challenges faced by startups -

1. Not Opting For Experienced Agencies

SEO might have been a simple process earlier.
All you need to get to the top was to fix metadata and spin a few pages of content. But today, it has become difficult to rank on the first page. A lot has to do with the choice of SEO agencies.
Choosing inexperienced agencies cannot give you the results that you are looking for in Google.
Competition is heating up, and there are a billion websites in the same niche. It takes professionals to overcome the hurdles faced by modern businesses.

2. Lacking Proper Initial Analysis

Several SEO agencies are eager to get started on new engagements. Because of their hurry to kick things off, they tend to neglect a detailed analysis.
An initial analysis is the most important part of the entire SEO process. It sets the tone and depth of the engagement.
Without proper SEO analysis, the process will not be as effective as proposed. In some cases, it can even be detrimental to the brand.
A detailed analysis should always be a top priority. It saves all parties a lot of time and effort in the long run.
Lacking proper analysis means you don’t get a strong keyword profile. It leads to inaccurate results.

3. Not Hiring The Right Team

Having the best tools and infrastructure still won’t be enough if you don’t have the right people.
Several startups confuse ability with facilities, and this is the problem.
SEO is all about people. It is built by the people, for the people. The software does make it easier, but without skill, it’s hard to do well.
When it comes to the team, always go for the best one. You need to thoroughly vet the members to ensure they are up to standards.
23% of all start-up businesses fail because they have an inadequate team. SEO requires a high output of individuals who can work as a team.

4. Not Enough Data On Competitors

When it comes to creating SEO strategies, competitor analysis is a critical step.
Brands need to be more active when it comes to this type of data. Proper competitor analysis can give a brand valuable insights.
How your competitors are doing gives you a good idea of how to create an SEO strategy.
Proper research also makes sure you have the same quality of execution as they do. Sometimes it also helps to reverse engineer their successful campaigns.
You could then improve this and use it as your own.

5. Wrong Choice Of Keywords

Proper keyword research is probably the foundation of a good SEO process. The keywords you select here are going to be valid throughout the process.
You need to spend a considerable amount of time, making sure that you have the right ones.
Keywords vary when it comes to niche, complexity, and budget.
As a company, you need to take all these factors into account before selecting them. It doesn’t mean you should only focus on keywords.
Make a choice based on the relevance and performance in the long run.

6. Budgeting Issues

Budgeting is a complex problem and one that almost all new entrants have.
As a service, startup SEO is not a readymade thing to order. It can cause pricing to be inconsistent across different niches. Most times, this is due to a lack of experience with SEO.
Newer brands make the mistake of being inaccurate with their spending. Or they don’t know how to forecast their budget.
If you’ve never carried out an SEO campaign, this can be another problem when predicting spending.
One way to solve this is by getting professionals working for you. While you’ll have to factor them in your budget, their forecasts are accurate. You’ll end up saving money in the long run.
Talk to the expert SEO agencies for an accurate report on your budget plan.

7. Not Having The Right Customer Profile

As part of the initial analysis, you need a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a simulated version of your ideal customer. It helps to highlight problems with your marketing funnel.
Every top SEO agency spends a lot of time and resources on getting this right. Most problems start with having an inaccurate customer profile.
Experts cite that one of the prime reasons for failure in the B2B sector is not having the right persona.
Many factors are included here, like behavior, age factors, ideals, and goals, to name a few.

8. Unappealing Website Design

Website design is one area of the SEO funnel that people often overlook it during the process. While this was not true while SEO started, it is critical now.
Dynamic website design that remains consistent across devices is crucial for new companies. Search engines take into account load times and user experience as ranking factors.
Several startup businesses fail at SEO because they are not able to understand this fact. Having a graphically-intensive website is not ideal for your SEO score.
The website should be simple but look good. Also, mobile optimization is a huge part of web design.
Mobile traffic is forecasted to grow more than 50% in the coming years.

9. Thinking Of SEO As An Instant Fix

Brands that were not using SEO think of it as something that fixes problems immediately. But that is far from the truth.
SEO is the process where you need to make sure that you optimize every facet of your website. It will help you to improve your brand scores and get more traffic.
The thing to note here is that it is a continuous process. Once all the optimization is done, and you rank well, the process needs to continue. It is because other brands are working on their SEO profile as well. If you stop your SEO improvement, they will outrank you.

10. Slow Loading Website

Website loading is another website design criteria that is often overlooked by startups.
Modern SEO practices highlight loading times as a critical ranking signal. Even if your website has everything else optimized but slow load times, your competitors will easily outrank your website.
Slow load times come under the bad user experience category. The penalties for this are severe.
Most brands have optimized landing or home pages with short load times. It improves the rankings and traffic to the website.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to fix errors on your page related to loading times.

11. Creating Low-Quality Content

While content is the focus of good SEO, content quality is more important for rankings.

  • Just filling pages with content for the sake of doing so is bad for branding.
  • 2021 is the age of content marketing - brands that create exciting content wins the hearts of people.
  • As much as 94% of businesses use content marketing to generate leads.
  • The problem is when brands opt for mediocre content.
  • When creating content, it is important to strategize.

When it comes to content, the most popular medium is video.
Create a plan that takes both niche and the distribution medium into account.

12. Following Non-optimal Strategies

As a process, SEO has been evolving continuously to keep up with marketing. It means that strategies that worked well might not have the same results.
Most brands are not aware of this fact and rely on old or badly optimized strategies.
Earlier agencies did SEO just to deliver just rankings. It will not work for brands now. Today’s strategies need more focus on people.
It is a good idea to get professional help when working on SEO strategies. You need more support when your site is in difficult niches that are competitive.
Opting for experienced SEO agencies can give you an advantage.

13. Not Integrating Marketing With Social Media

The social media platforms have more than 3 billion active users. These people highly engage with brands they like.
With the rise of social media as a business platform, most brands build SEO campaigns around this.
The top agencies all have SEO campaigns that make use of the social media platform. It gives great results and is more of a necessity than an option.
Several startup brands have gone big, just using social media. Not using social media can leave your business at a disadvantage.

14. Not Scaling The Process

A lot of brands make the mistake of thinking too small. When their business grows, they do not bother growing their SEO process. It is a mistake - as the brand grows, you need to expand your SEO as well.
For startups, since they tend to grow quickly, this is a critical point.
When a brand does not scale their SEO process, the benefits diminish quickly.
The bigger your business goes, the more competition it will have.
That is why you need to scale up your SEO process. You can get more customers and improve your ROI.

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15. Choosing The Wrong Agency For Your Business

There are several things that you need to know about your choice of agency.
Most SEO agencies offer specialized services for certain niches.
You need to take these factors into account before choosing an agency.

  • Make sure that you look online for reviews on their services.
  • Search for reviews that are related to your industry.
  • The best way to find out if they’re right for you is to talk to them.
  • Have a list of questions compiled to ask them. It should include their expertise, size, and process breakdown.

All of this can give you an idea about the company.

16. Getting The Time Duration Wrong

Even today, many brands are not exactly clear about how long SEO takes to produce results. And the truth is, SEO depends on various factors. It means that results will take varying amounts of time.
The problem here is that businesses do not allocate enough time. It gives them poor results.
Ideally, the duration is something that you need to discuss with a professional digital agency.
They can give you a much better idea of scope. It can help you plan your marketing better.
Something to note - SEO isn’t a short-term process. It can take time to deliver results.

17. Not Investing In Digital Marketing Tools

Digital marketing tools have gotten better over the years. These days, buying the right tools can make a world of difference.
Most tools today are AI-assisted and help brands get results quicker.
SEO is all about people and experience an agency has in the niche. But not opting for tools is going to set you back in your schedule.
Tools can save you a lot of time while also delivering more accurate results.
Getting the right tools means your team can spend time on productive activities. Tools reduce work fatigue for the team and are worth investing in for SEO.

18. Reporting Needs To Be Better

As a critical part of SEO, there should be a lot of focus on proper reporting.
Reporting helps keep the provider and client on the same page. It needs to be direct and without fluff or useless data.
The error most agencies commit here is that they focus on the wrong numbers. Unsurprisingly, this gives mediocre results.
For reporting to be successful, it needs to be as detailed as possible. You need to research the metrics that are most effective for the niche.
Reporting should also include actionable advice for improving the campaign. Also, it should talk about the things that you need to carry out.

19. Relying On False Promises

When it comes to SEO, a lot of times, what you see is not what you get.
Many digital marketing companies focus only on sales. They talk about results that are not achievable or unbelievably low prices.
These are warning signs, and you should stay away from companies that do this.
The best thing to do here would be a comparison. Ask the best SEO agencies in the area for quotes.
You can use this as a guide to get the right ballpark figure. It can also give you an idea of what is possible.

20. Considering SEO A One-time Solution

Most companies think of SEO as a one-off solution that needs no further investment. It is far from the truth, as SEO is a continuous process.
A brand has to keep working on their SEO profile to stay at the top. It is part of a marketing life cycle for a brand. Even big brands are not exempt from this rule.
Billion-dollar brands like Nike and Apple are constantly upgrading their SEO techniques. It is one reason why they are the most popular with people.

21. Need To Evolve SEO Process

The needs and methods of digital marketing are always changing. What started from just a revision of title & metadata to rank better on searches has now evolved.
SEO today uses multiple platforms to maximize reach and leads. And this is where new businesses drop the ball.
SEO processes need to adapt to different business requirements to stay competitive. It includes using content effectively and new tools as well.
Not many startups are aware of these changes. And because of this, their SEO processes remain at the basic level.

22. Need To Measure Cost Per Conversion

Measuring cost is an important factor when it comes to streamlining revenue.
Most startup brands do not spend enough time with assigning costs. It can lead to a lot of problems later in the process.
A business’s ultimate goal is to get conversions. But, to maximize revenue, you also need to track spends.
Measuring the cost per conversion can help you improve your process. It can help forecast dips in ROI and adjust the process accordingly.

23. Not Curating Backlinking

Backlinking is an important part of the SEO process. The only catch is that you need to do it right. Otherwise, there can be issues where you may need to deal with those.
Backlinking from relevant websites gives yours a huge boost. But brands that are not well versed with SEO tend to abuse this. They fill their backlink profile with low quality and irrelevant links.
The solution to this is to curate all your backlinks on your profile.
Set standards so you’ll only use the best websites in the niche. It can considerably improve your backlink strength and get you a better ranking.

24. Not Opting For The Right Content Medium

While the text was fine when SEO was at its infancy, now the game rules have changed.

Video Is the Most Preferred Content Distribution Method

It came about because of 2 main factors.

  • People all over the world had access to broadband internet. It meant faster speeds, which paved the way for video.
  • Another reason is the penetration of high-performance mobile devices.

Phones these days are equipped to handle the demands of HD video. Most top brands have a lot of content catered to people who consume video.

25. Anchor Text Over Optimization

The word optimization is a key part of the SEO acronym. And actually, SEO is all about optimization.
From website design, content, promotion, and everything else - optimization is a part of it all.
The problem arises when there is over-optimization. It happens when digital marketers lose focus on the most important aspect of SEO - people.
Anchor text is one such area where over-optimization occurs. Over-optimization of anchor text can result in penalties.

26. Data Interpretation Errors

A comprehensive SEO campaign generates a lot of data and numbers. You need to interpret it correctly to achieve maximum results.
These large datasets need to be handled by professional digital marketing agencies. It often is a byproduct of experience.
Newer companies might fail to identify what they need to do with the data at hand.
Get experienced digital marketing brands for your SEO needs. They will have a team of experts who can help sort out any problems with your SEO campaigns.

27. Not Measuring Results Accurately

SEO metrics are all about the accuracy of data and results.
The more accuracy a brand can bring to their campaign, the more successful it is. It is important to track these metrics without missing anything.
The best thing to do here would be to choose the right tools. They can help with large sets of information and improve accuracy with your process.
Better accuracy will help you forecast and plan better for your SEO.

28. Relying On Grey And Black Hat Techniques

It is almost shocking to learn that some companies rely on black hat SEO for results.
Search engines have been improving all the time. There is no chance for spurious SEO methods to succeed.
These days, updates come without any warnings. And these updates penalize anything resembling a black or grey hat.
Opting for hacks is a lose-lose scenario. It might work for about a month, but the odds are entirely against you. And when penalties hit, it can most often be irrecoverable.
Only choose white hat methods to improve your SEO profile.

29. Being Overconfident About Your SEO

Several startup companies fail at SEO. They think they have the expertise to tackle the demands of digital marketing today. It might not always work as expected.
Executing an effective modern-day SEO campaign is a complex task.
One which not all companies might be able to handle. This, coupled with the fact that search engine updates are much more frequent today.
Rather than tinker around with unproven strategies, startups should get professional help.
Expert SEO companies can deliver great results despite the complexities involved.

30. Only Focusing On SEO Metrics

SEO metrics are an important part of the process, no doubt. But today’s campaigns are equally focused on the people involved.
Google’s message to rank better on searches is to work towards better people engagement.
It means that despite high optimization or ranking, your campaign may have bad results. It’s not to say that you need to ignore the metrics completely. Companies should remember to retain the human element when carrying out optimization.
It is a known fact that most startups fail at SEO. And to be honest, it is not their fault.
SEO today requires a much more focused approach. It is something that the people at Haitna can help you with this. Find out what we can do for your business.

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Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.


Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.

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