SEO for Startups in 2018: A Candid Interview with MarketGoo’s Marketing Manager
MarketGoo was born out of the need to provide easy search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help small businesses increase their rankings on search engines. After a successful launch in Madrid, Spain, in 2012, the company has tremendously grown to several thousands of customers even as it looks to launch their new product version in October, 2017.
Pressfarm had a chance to chat with Larissa Murillo who is the marketing manager at MarketGoo. In our chat we focused on what lessons startups could learn from MarketGoo’s growth to improve their search engine traffic and consequently improve growth.
MarketGoo recently signed up with Pressfarm to help with their PR efforts. As well as pushing the message on the focus of their product which is ease of use, customer support and personalization of different platforms, the company intends to use this time to spread the word about their new product version.
SEO STRATEGIES IN 2017
Startups make several mistakes in SEO and there is also the mistake of thinking that strategies that worked over a decade ago can be implemented today. “There are so many mistakes we see all the time, the ones that stick out the most are the Page 1 Myth, which means that startups have unrealistic expectations about SEO – they think that Page 1 can be guaranteed (it can’t), and that if they implement best practices, they will see results in 24 hours.”
When you are new in the SEO field but have an online business, you should know that SEO cannot be achieved as quick as in a day. A lot of work goes into making SEO effors successful and like she puts it: “SEO is a long road that demands consistency and can take months to show results.”
At the core of the SEO process is content. It may be in the form of written articles, videos, graphics and infographics. It doesn’t matter what you call it, the cliché statement of “content is king” is very alive and essential. “Another mistake we see is not having a blog, or having one that is rarely updated. That is just missing a great opportunity to create content around your niche and keywords you want to rank for, and one of the easiest ways to show Google you have fresh content,” Larissa remarks.
RECENT ALGORITHM CHANGES
Most startups don’t really follow up with algorithm changes from Google and other search engines. However, aside from that being a mistake that keeps you out of the loop on what is going in the SEO space, you miss out on the opportunities that come with these updates.
“Additionally, Moz has reported that around half of sites on page 1 results are secure sites, so that’s another incentive to have a secure site. The bottom line is, it used to be optional to have a secure site, now it isn’t. If a startup is migrating their site to HTTPS, they should make sure not to forget to update any local citations.”
Larissa continues with comments on the Fred update which occurred around March 2017, “On or around March of this year, we saw a lot of fluctuation and there was consensus around the fact that the most affected sites were those with very thin content (not enough content, or a bad text:image ratio), as well as those that had a lot of affiliate content or way too many ads.”
Startups can take advantage of this update to improve their website security as well as content. “Startups should bookmark Google’s Search Quality Guidelines and make sure that each page on their website has enough content. Most of the startup sites we’ve seen don’t really have an affiliate or ad problem, but it’s something to keep in mind.”
ROLE OF CONTENT IN SEO AND PR
The question we asked was what the impact of content is on SEO and PR in magnitude. On the role that content plays, Larissa exclaims, “A big one!”
“Content is an important way for websites to focus on relevant keywords continuously and to keep visitors engaged on their pages,” she continues. “This affects time-on-page and click-through rates which play a role in user experience and search engines will take this into account.”
If you thought SEO and PR work in similar ways, you are right. According to Larissa, “PR works in a similar way, with mentions in press, social media and the distribution of targeted press releases making target keywords, audiences and trending search topics work together to really attract people to your website.”
Suffice to say, the right PR efforts when done correctly will earn your startup a lot of backlinks, social media mentions and a spike in audience. PR could as well be a good SEO strategy.
MONITORING THE RIGHT DATA
Recently at Pressfarm we looked at some of the emerging trends that have brought a change to how PR is done in 2017. One of the most important aspects we noticed was “data”. In the current time and age, it is impossible to ignore the impact of data on PR efforts. As Larissa remarks, the same goes for SEO. “I think analysis paralysis can be very real when it comes to looking at all the metrics associated with SEO. Entrepreneurs should be permanently monitoring their site traffic and keyword rankings.”
She argues, “All the rest are details that form part of a comprehensive SEO audit that can be done at certain intervals (monthly is fine), which offers context to traffic and ranking numbers (like where they shared their new blog post, or what new backlinks they obtained, whether their site is insecure or loading slowly, etc.) and help them identify and continue to execute actions that help keep improving those two key indicators.”
FOCUS FOR COMPANIES NOW
With all the information available online in 2017, it can be easy to lose your sight on what to give more attention. “Focus on giving a good experience to mobile visitors: this includes adopting AMP if it makes sense for your content, as well as making sure your mobile site is responsive and doesn’t have any annoying interstitials.”
As 2018 draws near, the strategies to fosuc on should be looking to the future. “Don’t neglect link building activities: outreach for building links usually is a drag for all parties involved, however there are ways to do it right; if you offer real value in exchange for a link back to your site, and make it easy for the webmaster to do, you’re miles ahead of everyone else who is still looking a bit too spammy or automated.”
As we get to the end of our discussion with Larissa, she advises other startups to work on improving content with a focus on 2018 and how you can tackle growth in the coming times. “Make it engaging and interactive! Quizzes, polls, videos, live streaming will all continue to gain popularity. Most importantly, if you’re using social platforms to publish content, make sure you always provide a call-to-action that takes audiences back to your website.”