SEO challenges for startups: How to overcome them

Marketing   |   
Published September 22, 2020   |   

One undeniable fact is that a growing startup cannot meet its corporate and marketing goals without the help of proper search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. SEO is useful in helping small establishments reach wider markets, improve local ratings, and increase brand awareness. You cannot bring sufficient online traffic to your new ecommerce website without employing effective SEO techniques, and neither can your site stand out as an authority site within your niche. Your only chance of improving your online presence and generating interest around your startup is through SEO.

But even with this realization, many startups don’t have the needed understanding of SEO; from how to get started to how to leverage its benefits. Many startup entrepreneurs serve as the CEO, COO, CFO, and almost every executive role available, and they still have other lighter duties to attend to. That leaves them little or no time to think of SEO. To a greater extent, lack of proper SEO knowledge has killed the entrepreneurial dreams of many startup entrepreneurs.

To help you maximize on SEO benefits for your startup, we have outlined 5 challenges that you are likely to encounter and how you can navigate around each challenge.

  1. Insufficient SEO budget

Not many startups vie SEO as a basic necessity, so they don’t set aside a proper budget for it. They think that it is possible to implement a powerful SEO strategy by squeezing it in the general marketing budget. To them, SEO is an afterthought that can be accommodated as a mini-budget within another more important budget. But they can never be more wrong. The only way of guaranteeing excellent SEO results is to allocate adequate resources to your SEO strategy, right from the outset.

“When allocating a budget to your SEO strategy, be sure to consider the competitive environment in which you operate. If your competitors are spending generously on SEO, try to match them or at least come close” suggests Tactica. It is also important that you set your SEO objectives beforehand so that you can know the SEO consultant to hire and how much you will be paying for their services. You will also need to pay content developers and web designers to optimize your website and its contents, so you better budget for that early enough.

  1. They are vulnerable to fake SEO companies

A highly reputable marketing and SEO consultant will help you produce the right content for your audience. They know the relevant and authentic content for your niche. They know how to optimize your content for important keywords. Fake SEO companies, on the other hand, will ignore most of the legitimate strategies to help your content rank on Google. They will charge you “fairly”, but they will do your SEO strategy more harm than good.

Fake SEO consultants are known to use black-hat SEO tactics and hoodwink Google’s search algorithms into ranking your website highly. However, it doesn’t take long for the search engines to discover your unscrupulous path to top rankings and demote it unforgivingly. Be very careful with the company you hire to optimize your content, be it on Google or on social media. If the company is unreasonably affordable, avoid it.

  1. Relying on outdated SEO tactics

This is particularly common with startup entrepreneurs who want to take shortcuts just like the fake consultants we’ve discussed above. Cutting corners and using the same SEO tactics you paid for two years ago will not work for you. Search engines update their search algorithms all the time, making the old ones obsolete. The sure-shot SEO tactics that brought you immense success in 2019 should remain in 2019. Invest in the latest updates to obtain the most recent SEO benefits, and to eliminate the chances of Google pulling down your website from its rankings. If your budget allows, it is wise to invest in SEO training for you and your staff so that you don’t have to keep paying an SEO expert for minor SEO updates.

  1. Ignoring SEO completely and shifting to SMO

Social media optimization (SMO) is important, but it is not a substitute for SEO. Build your social media presence as a complementary strategy for your SEO strategy. The two marketing strategies aren’t in any competition with one another, so you need to enable them to complement each other for optimal effect on rankings.

  1. Some have unrealistic expectations

Many startups expect too much from SEO that they stop investing in other marketing strategies. They forget that as much as SEO helps them build an online profile, they still need to popularize their brand and products offline through offline, traditional marketing techniques. Others expect instant results and when they don’t come, they fire their SEO managers or discontinue their investment in SEO. It is imperative that you understand that SEO is not a one-day event. You have to keep investing in it, keep promoting your website on social media, and keep holding marketing events in your locality in order to pull both online and offline traffic, consequently boosting your SEO rankings.


As we have established, SEO is crucial during your business’ early years. It is understandable if you cannot afford to go full-swing technical with SEO in the early growth stages, but you should make genuine efforts to leverage the benefits of SEO. With a little more resilience and commitment, you will be able to gain a firm foothold within your niche and maximize on your ROI.