Showing posts with label Free SEO Tools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Free SEO Tools. Show all posts

Monday, September 2, 2013

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Ever since Google announced the impending demise of the AdWords Keyword Tool and their preference for its new avatar – the Keyword Planner, yet another hot discussion has sprung up in the SEO community. This time, strong adherents of the free-for-all ideology are riled at Google’s decision to make the Keyword Planner accessible only to marketers who’ve explicitly signed up to Google’s AdWords (which is one step more than having a Gmail account), taking it closer to being a paid tool in future! I don’t see this as a hindrance, because most other keyword (or other) tools require you to create an account and sign in before you can use them, even if they’re free. But if Google does it, we have reason to pounce on them, don’t we?
One possible problem is that although the Keyword Planner has some cool new features (including integration of the Google Traffic Estimator, which will be retired too), as of this writing, the indispensable Exact Match and Phrase Match features are nowhere to be found! Whole books will become useless without these, so I hope Google will eventually port them to the Keyword Planner. Nor do you see the “Include specific content” option, which is a life-saver for the adult industry, which spends the most on Google PPC.
We’re not here to dwell on the good and the bad of Google’s decision. I personally am elated that this debate has brought the crucial SEO function of Keyword Research into the limelight once again. There’s more to it than taking the first 10 results from the Google Keyword Tool and scattering them left, right and center in your content. Savvy keyword research is what separates strategists from headless chickens.
The team at Nile Marketing is taking this opportunity to analyze other significant (and free to use/try) keyword research tools out there. We are asking ourselves what data and logic should ideally go into keyword research, how this logic can be programmatically applied to the creation of tools, and what the best ways are to consolidate and use their output. Here’s a quick look at 10 other keyword research tools, some well-known and some you’d do well to know. These are not alternatives to the AdWords Keyword Tool on their own, but each of them performs some function of the AdWords tool in its own unique way, and all of them aid and abet your keyword research quite well.

We’ll start with a simple one that might soon fade away. Mergewords displays three boxes, where you can enter distinct parts of a long-tail keyword. You could use one for your primary product-related keywords, another for product attributes and the third for a location or query strings. Just press Merge! to see the assorted mishmashes. It’s now done in by the new Keyword Planner, because Google has incorporated a “Multiply Keyword Lists” feature that does exactly this and then clusters it into Ad Groups.

WordStream boasts of a trillion-keyword database and you can try 30 keywords for free. There are little checkboxes enabling you to customize searches by filtering adult keywords or “nichefying” results. There are more options for finding negative keywords and grouping your keywords. The full version spews out tens of thousands of results for many keywords, the top 100 of which are available for free.WordStream

SEMrush is a true heavyweight. Only the first 10 results are free, though. You can search by putting the keyword itself in the main box to see volumes, trends and other data across ten different Google regional domains and Bing. Or better still, you can type in your site or that of a competitor to see the top 10 organic keywords it ranks for.
So you get only 10 keywords right? No! SEMrush also indicates 10 organic competitors for the site! You can then go to these competitors’ profiles and get the 10 organic keywords they are ranking for. It might turn out that five or so of a competitor’s keywords may not be in the niche of your liking or will overlap with your results, but you can find use for the remaining five. Thus, you can grab about 50 valuable keywords, give or take a few. I don’t recommend going more than one level deep with competitors, because the keywords your competitors’ competitors are ranking for may not be closely relevant to you and you’ll tend to lose focus.

SEO Book Keyword Tool
Powered by WordTracker, the SEO Book Keyword Tool shows you realms upon realms of data. So much that I can’t even decide on a screenshot. To call it exhaustive would be a gross understatement. You get search volumes from WordTracker, Google and Bing, data from Google Trends and Google Insights, traffic estimates Compete and Alexa, and much more. SEO Book points you to the 10 suggestions provided by Google Instant for your keyword, and then 10 more for each of those suggestions, and so on. It also delivers Yahoo! suggest results as returned by
Finally, you can also click onwards to vertical search results including blogs, directories, answer sites, classifieds, videos and groups to form a holistic synopsis of your keywords and your competition.
SEO Book Keyword Tool

Keyword Eye
This is the new kid on the block. Keyword Eye is a “visual” tool that displays keywords in increasing or decreasing sizes based on their search volume or AdWords competition. The Basic version offers 10 keyword searches per day on any of 10 different Google country keyword databases and 100 results per report. Keyword Eye is powered by SEMrush, and consequently gives you great data on competitors.
Keyword Eye

KGen is a nifty Firefox add-on that is somewhat like the Google Index > Content Keywords feature of Google Webmaster Tools. It can be viewed as a sidebar in Firefox and calculates the strength of keywords on the page you’re on by evaluating the number of times they’re used, the weightage assigned to them according to the HTML tags wherein they’re enclosed, and their positions in the text. You can take quite a few actions such as setting up negative words to be ignored, changing tag weights and exporting results.

Bing Keyword Research
Bing Webmaster Tools is becoming a force to reckon with with each passing day. It has some super-powerful tools that must be giving sleepless nights to Google were it not for Bing’s paltry market share. Click on a site added to your BWT, navigate to Webmaster > Diagnostics & Tools and click on the second one in the list: the Keyword Research tool. You can filter your search by country and language. You can also search for keywords that appeared in Bing results within a custom date range. I wish this tool wasn’t so tedious to access, what with you having to add a site to BWT before you can use it, even though your keywords need have no relation to the site in question.
Bing Webmaster Tools Keyword Research

In its own words, KeywordSpy enables you to “unveil your competitors’ most profitable ad copies & keywords” and “learn from time-tested ad campaigns.” It offers a magnanimous wealth of data; the “Related,” “Similar” and “Misspell” results taken together can give you keywords similar to Phrase match and Broad match results. Further, KeyWordSpy now allows you to comb most major Google country domains.
KeywordSpy is one of the best tools for competitor research. Like SEMrush, it shows you organic as well as PPC competitors. And there’s a bonus—you also get to see their ad copies! However, just like SEMrush, KeywordSpy displays only 10 results (Whoever said the best things in life are free… wasn’t a digital marketer!) and you have to resort to looking at your competitors’ keywords for more data.
One severe impediment to non-native English speakers in India, Europe and elsewhere is lack of vocabulary. If you hated grammar class in school but are now faced with the herculean task of keyword research, consider your problem half-solved. Head over to for synonyms and related terms. For example, a search for “interior design” returns terms such as décor, colors, furnishings of a place, adornment, color scheme, decoration, and ornamentation. It also returns a couple of “relevant questions” that your targets are likely to ask, such as “How to become an interior designer?”
I said your problem is half-solved because even if you don’t speak the Queen’s, you still have to know that “interior decoration” is a reasonable substitute for “interior design,” but “interior ornamentation” is not.

Show of hands – weren’t you wondering if I forgot Übersuggest with each passing tool in this list? Well I saved it for the end. The king of secondary keyword research, Übersuggest gives you all the terms “suggested” by Google for each letter after your keyword, in alphabetical order. It now offers vertical results for images, news, shopping, video and recipes.
There’s a clear explanation of how this tool works on the Übersuggest home page, so I’m going to skip on the duplication. Plus, its popularity and usage is probably next only to the AdWords Keyword tool.

There, now. We’ve given you a preliminary overview of ten cool keyword tools. Of course each of these has its own strengths and caveats, and at least for now, none can match the effectiveness of Google’s Keyword Tool, particularly in language, location, or device-specific results. Google gathers and analyzes vast amounts of data and as you know, the rich only get richer.
I also want to emphasize that Microsoft Excel and Google Docs perhaps play an equal, if not more important role in keyword research than any of these tools, because at the end of the day, the mountain of data you end up with is of no use if you can’t perform calculations, sort, filter, present or store it in a way that’s best suits the task at hand. Head over to Distilled for a comprehensive Excel for SEOs guide. Alternatively, bug this guy—he’s the Sensei who trains Excel ninjas in the dark of the night.
As optimizers and marketers, we have to constantly keep testing and fine tuning search terms. Tools will always be there to help us collect and organize data but only humans can fully understand human intent, even if you argue that husbands can’t understand wives!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Over the past couple years, Google updates and penalties have cleaned up the search results. The impact has been positive for consumers, but for many webmasters it has, quite honestly, been brutal. Google continues to hold a monopoly over the search industry, though according to the FTC, it is a legal monopoly.

To protect the integrity of its search results, and its competitive advantage, Google’s algorithms are kept under lock and key. Algorithmic updates are rarely announced ahead of time (though they have given us the courtesy of warning that a major Penguin update is coming this year). Webmasters rarely have any useful details on how the next update will play out, and seldom do they get direct answers on how to recover in the aftermath. Is it possible to recover?
Yes, it is. We’ve seen this 10 step process work for many clients who were hit by updates. I shouldn’t have to tell you that there’s more than one way to accomplish just about anything in SEO, but we highly recommend, at minimum, taking inspiration from this guide if any of your clients have taken a hit.

Step #1 – Dig Into the Data

It’s important to get a handle on exactly what’s going on before you take any real action. You need to determine whether the drop in traffic is actually the result of an update or penalty, what kind of penalty you’re dealing with, and fully understand how it’s impacted your site.

Google Webmaster Tools

Start here. If your site was manually penalized, you will receive a message in webmaster tools. There are almost no exceptions to this. To clarify some of the lingo, this is the only situation that Google actually refers to as a “penalty.” If your site takes an algorithmic hit, you won’t necessarily receive a message, and while it certainly feels like a penalty, Google disagrees.
It’s also a good idea to export your link data to a spreadsheet periodically. That way, if you see a sudden drop in the number of links that Google is reporting, you know that they have been removed from your link profile.

Google Analytics

Next you’ll need to pull up Google Analytics and determine where the loss of traffic is occurring. Are you seeing a drop in traffic across your entire site, or are you only seeing it on specific pages? Are all of your keywords affected, or are you only being hit for specific keywords? Understand that not every penalty or update hits your site the same way, and the way you were hit is going to affect which response is optimal.

Check Your Rank Tracker

A rank tracking service such the one provided by SEOmoz is also very useful to have when you’ve been hit by a penalty or update. You’ll be able to see exactly when your rankings dropped, how far, and which keywords took a hit.

This is also a good way to identify whether the drop in traffic was the result of a genuine penalty, or merely increased competition. If you only dropped a few spots, there’s a very good chance that a competitor pulled ahead of you, and no penalty or update is responsible. If, on the other hand, you see a drop of several pages, you can be fairly sure a penalty is to blame.

Check Your Competitors

If you only saw a small drop in rankings, you can’t be sure whether the change was the result of an update or merely increased competition. Take a look at your competition using a service like ahrefs, even if you have to use the small number of limited free queries to do it. You’ll be able to compare the growth of your competitors’ link profiles against your own. If you see an increase in the number of links to your competitors, it’s more likely that increased competition was responsible.

Check Trends

If you see a gradual but dramatic loss in traffic, this may or may not be a penalty. Google is now releasing Panda updates gradually, and gradually devaluing links across the web, so the impact of an update isn’t necessarily swift anymore. However, this kind of drop in traffic can also be caused by increased competition or simply a loss of interest in your keywords.

After checking whether your rankings have indeed dropped, you’ll also want to check Google Trends to see if there has been a loss of interest in your keywords, and especially your brand name. A decrease in searches for your brand name and your exact match keywords can send a signal to Google that there has been a loss of interest in your website. This can negatively impact your rankings.

Please understand, of course, that if your rankings haven’t dropped, it’s never a penalty. Don’t confuse a loss of interest with a penalty, but understand that a loss of interest can trigger a penalty (or more accurately, an algorithmic demotion).

Step #2 – Identify the Cause of the Penalty

Now you need to identify what caused the penalty in the first place. This is where the vast majority of clients, and even consultants, will go wrong. By failing to identify the true cause of the penalty, you can waste resources correcting things that don’t need to be corrected, and possibly even do more harm than good in the process.

Check the SEO Community for Updates

If the drop in traffic was swift, and it’s easy to identify which day it occurred on, the best way to identify the cause of the penalty is to check with the SEO community to find out what is happening. If you were hit in 2012, check our infographic of Google Updates to identify which update was responsible.
Google has said they will no longer confirm Panda updates due to Panda Everflux. However, you can check with SEO forums to see if other people are being affected and what seems to be causing the penalty. You can also check MozCast to find out if there were dramatic shifts in rankings on that day.

Identify the Patterns of the Penalty

Now that updates can hit you gradually due to Panda Everflux and gradual link devaluation, it’s not always possible to find out which algorithm is responsible simply based on the date you were hit. In this case, data analysis is the only way to find out.

It’s important to understand that there are two primary ways an update can hit you. Either you can be directly penalized, or you can see a drop in rankings because sites that linked to you were penalized. What most consultants and clients fail to realize is that the vast majority of “penalized” sites were indirectly hit.

I’m not aware of any official Google announcement to that effect, but our experience tells us that the vast majority of our affected clients saw a loss in traffic because sites that linked to them were penalized. Links from those sites are devalued or effectively “no-followed” by Google’s algorithm.

Sites that are directly hit by Penguin are either publishing spam links on their sites, or are identified as building spam links toward their sites. In this case, the offensive links are actually counting against you.
Sites that are indirectly hit by Penguin received links from sites that have been directly hit. 

These links don’t count against you, they merely lose their value.
Sites that are directly hit by Panda are publishing content that Google interprets as low quality, in that it fails to meet its intended purpose for users (or lacks such a purpose).

Most Panda affected sites are indirectly impacted by Panda. They have links from sites that were directly hit by Panda, and those links lost their value. It’s worth noting, however, that Panda updates are much more likely to hit you directly than Penguin updates are, even though most Panda victims are still indirect victims.

It’s important to understand the difference between direct and indirect penalties because the best response you should take is very different.

How can you tell the difference? A directly penalty is typically more obvious and has a more artificial pattern to it. A direct Penguin penalty, or similar “spam link” penalty, is especially obvious. These types of penalties typically take you almost entirely out of the search results, and impact your entire site.

Direct Panda-style penalties are less obvious, but still have a very artificial feel to them. Your entire site is likely to take a hit, and pages that were especially low quality will take a larger hit.
The effect of the more common indirect penalty is more subtle. You may see drops in rankings across your entire site, but these have the look of a decrease in domain authority, rather than the look of an artificial penalty laid over top your site.

There are two types of pages that will be hit hardest by indirect penalties. Pages that received most of their links from spam sites or low quality content will lose the value of those links, and see a drop as a result. Pages that had no links and were ranking because of your domain authority may also see a drop if enough of your inbound links have been devalued.

An indirect penalty shouldn’t have as dramatic an impact on pages that have high quality inbound links, especially ones that were completely natural.

An indirect penalty of any kind can resemble a direct Panda penalty as far as rankings go. The best way to tell the difference is to look at the pages that were hit hardest. If the pages that were hit hardest had low quality inbound links, an indirect penalty of some kind is probably responsible. If the pages that were hit hardest had low quality on page content, then you most likely took a direct hit from Panda.

If your site takes a direct hit, you will likely need to respond to both on site and off site factors. A direct hit from Penguin or a spam link penalty means you need to remove as many of the offensive links as possible. The on site links are easy, but off site links can be more difficult to remove.

A direct hit from Panda doesn’t require any off site action in the immediate future. Focus on removing low quality content, duplicate content, and content that isn’t designed to meet a purpose for users.

A word of caution. If your site took a direct hit, there is a good chance that Google has algorithmically decided that it simply doesn’t like your business model. This is not what webmasters want to hear, but pretending otherwise is counterproductive. If you don’t make serious changes to the way you do business, there is a good chance you will never recover. In addition, if you took a direct hit, you may want to seriously consider starting an entirely new domain with entirely new content. Not good news, of course, but true nonetheless.

Sites that were indirectly hit should focus most of their efforts on off site changes. You should almost certainly shift toward attracting natural links, building influential relationships, and focusing all manual link building efforts on high impact strategies. (All of this is true for sites that have been directly hit, of course, but it takes second priority to removing the offensive material.)
You may want to start making an effort to remove low  quality inbound links, and using the disavow links tool, but tread lightly. 

We’ve mentioned before that you should be very careful with the disavow tool, and the same logic goes for trying to remove low quality inbound links.
In most cases, you shouldn’t bother removing inbound links unless you received a notification in Webmaster Tools, or you took a direct hit from Penguin, or a similar spam link penalty.

Step #3 – Learn All You Can About the Update or Penalty Responsible

Once you’re fairly sure you know what type of penalty you’re dealing with, you’ll want to educate yourself about it. We’re providing some resources worth taking a look at in the list below. Most consultants should already be aware of this, but many webmasters may find the information useful:
Link Devaluation:
  • Our coverage of how link devaluation works (some of which we’ve already covered here)

Step #4 – Find Case Studies

Don’t work in the dark or take advice at face value. Look for concrete examples of sites that were hit with the same penalty you were, and what they did in order to recover. Here are a few examples.
  • The Holy Grail of Panda Recovery on SEJ. Here a consultant reveals how he helped a client recover from Panda with even higher traffic levels than before they were hit.
  • Thankful For Penguin Recoveries During Panda Updates on SEJ. This is an example where inbound link removal did cause a recovery from Penguin. The client’s link profile was in very bad shape, which is when it is worth (carefully) removing inbound links. The consultant did just about everything perfectly, although we may not have bothered with the reconsideration request (more on this later).
  • Recovering From an Over Optimization Penalty on SEOmoz. Originally identified in the post as a Penguin penalty, this was actually an over-optimization penalty, in which the removal of off-site over-optimized links can lift the penalty.
  • Penalty Lifted: How to Use Google’s Disavow Tool Case Study on Cyrus Shepard’s blog. This is an example of recovery from a penalty where the webmaster was notified in Webmaster Tools. In this case, you always want to respond by making an effort to (carefully) remove the bad inbound links, and using the disavow tool to (carefully) remove the rest of the bad links.

Step #5 – Put Together an Action Plan

We won’t say much here, since the plan depends so much on the type of penalty you’re dealing with. Suffice it to say, you’ll want to have a solid idea of what your next steps are, and why you’re taking each step, before you take any action. Set measurable productivity goals, and measure the impact of your efforts. Impacts won’t always be immediate, especially with periodic updates, like Penguin.

Step #6 – Boost Efficiency With Tools

If your site has taken a direct hit for offensive inbound links, it can take a serious amount of effort to remove them, since you don’t control the sites in question. Google explicitly advises against going straight to the disavow links tool, and wants to see that you have made an effort to remove links first.
To do this efficiently, you’ll need tools. Use Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, or ahrefs to find the offensive links if you don’t already have a record of them. Then use one of the following tools to get your bad links removed:
But remember, we can’t stress this enough: this is only if you have been directly penalized for inbound links. Indirect penalties cannot cause links to negatively impact your site, they are simply caused by a loss of link value. We keep reiterating this because most of the affected webmasters who contact us have been penalized indirectly.

Step #7 – Submit a Reconsideration Request?

Google has explicitly stated that you should only file a reconsideration request if you have been manually penalized. So if you haven’t received a message in webmaster tools, you should not submit a reconsideration request. If you do, you will get the same message every time: “no manual spam actions found.”
If you have received a message in Webmaster Tools saying that you have been penalized, you should submit a reconsideration request. Wait until after you have taken as many actions as possible to fix the issues that would have violated Google’s webmaster guidelines. The purpose of the reconsideration request is to make your case that you have corrected any issues that would have caused a violation of the guidelines, so make sure everything is in place, and be completely honest, when you submit your request.
Try to avoid sending multiple reconsiderations if you can. If something new comes up, feel free to send an update, but don’t send multiple copies of the same letter and “spam” the reconsideration request, since these are read by human beings.
Put yourself in Google’s situation, and try to imagine what would convince them that you have made significant changes to prevent this from happening again. Show evidence and details of the efforts you have made to eliminate offensive links and other actions that violate the guidelines. If the actions were taken by an SEO consultant who deceived you or took risks you were unaware of, be specific about this.
Be completely honest and open in your reconsideration request. If you try and misrepresent things or pass the blame, you only hurt your chances of a favorable result.
If you have also used the disavow tool, be sure to mention this in your request. Again, make sure that you can prove you’ve made every effort to fix the problem before using the disavow tool.
Remember, if you receive notification of a penalty in Webmaster Tools, it means that a human being has reviewed your site and decided that it needed to be penalized. You should never talk about your site as though it was dinged by an algorithm when you submit your reconsideration request.
In short, be honest, helpful, and polite when you submit your reconsideration request.

Step #8 – Switch Toward Quality Tactics

No matter why you were hit by a penalty, it almost always comes down to quality in one form or another. We have discussed at length how to build links and win SEO in the modern era:
  • 10 Post-Panda/Penguin Era Link Acquisition Strategies
  • 7 Advanced Link Building Strategies for a Competitive Edge
  • 7 Uncommon and Powerful Link Building Techniques
  • Content Marketing is Not Rocket Science
One thing I keep finding myself repeating: if you wouldn’t build this link if it were no-followed, you probably shouldn’t build it. Aim for links that will draw traffic and attract additional natural links.

Step #9 – Consult Professionals

This advice is meant mostly for webmasters, but it’s good advice for consultants too! No matter who you are, if you can speak with somebody who knows more about a subject than you do, it’s well worth the money and certainly worth the time to do it. Penalty recovery is an opaque process, and you should take trustworthy information wherever you can get it.

We’re not just saying this to promote ourselves! If you take the wrong steps you can really end up shooting yourself in the foot, or wasting resources taking actions that aren’t necessary. This is especially true if you have a business to run. Talk to somebody with some hands on experience. We’d like it to be us, but it doesn’t have to be!

Step #10 – Monitor the Results

If you’re dealing with a periodic update, like Penguin, the penalty won’t be removed until the next update. If you are going on the offensive by building engaging content and natural links, however, you can see positive results even before the next update goes live. Be patient. Recovery rarely happens over night.


We hope this has been an informative guide and that you’ve learned some things. Remember the difference between direct and indirect penalties, as well as between manual and algorithmic ones. Focus most of your energy on future-proofing your business with high impact strategies. Chase quality, not quantity, and build an SEO strategy that is guaranteed to succeed even in the absence of great rankings.
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why SEO For Startups ?

Just a second, don’t be surprised by this data! 2.24 million Americans search for the term “SEO” every month. Out of them, 52% are men and 46% of men are ages 35-44. 

Most importantly, 3.5 million people look up SEO on Google. Definitely, there is something powerful about SEO, and this is why so many people want it.

SEO is like an elixir for startups. We’ll try to give you a detailed analysis of why.

We are all aware these days of the rapid development of startups all over the world, thanks to the accelerated growth and accessibility of technology and the Internet. The exchange of ideas has become so simple and instantaneous; people have been encouraged to formulate new creative ideas and translate them into meaningful businesses, giving birth to startups.

These days, we see the rise of new startups almost every single day. Funding firms such as Kickstarter infuse millions of dollars every few days just to get a project up and running, and to prove its worth.

But not all startups live long enough to prove their worth. Some prosper, while others perish before they can even get their ideas to market. One reason why these startups didn’t see the light of day, especially Internet startups, is because they lacked not the funding, but the visibility they deserved. It’s sad to note that many Internet startups have neglected to carry out a strategic Internet marketing plan.

What’s ironic is that while many startups lack the budget necessary to get widespread recognition, some tend to ignore the most cost-effective yet extremely effective marketing strategies of all; suitable Internet marketing strategies.

Indeed, the Internet has opened the doors for many startups to acquire the tools they need to compete with businesses that are beyond their league.

Viable ways to get the word out about Startups

Thanks to the Internet, and Internet marketing methods, startups now have an even more powerful way of getting the word out about their ideas. Below are some of the Internet marketing strategies that work extremely well for a lot of startups:
  • Press Release: Gone are the days when using a press release to announce a product launch are only taken advantage of by big corporations. Today, there are now a significant number of online services that allow startups to distribute their own press release material. These services are being offered by PRWebPRLog and many others.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Companies have had tremendous success with online pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. This performance-based advertising proved to be an extremely cost-effective means for advertisers to precisely target their audience. PPC strategy works well at different stages of the startup process, including pre-launch, during launch, post launch and beyond.
  • Display Advertising: Advertisers now have a convenient way of targeting their audience, based on the context and surrounding content, or the audience’s behavior. This is accomplished with display advertising. This has proven to be a powerful promotional method that precisely targets people who are more strongly influenced by visual stimuli like banner ads.
  • Content Marketing: The Internet is teeming with all sorts of content that cater to every type of audience. Blogging, Podcasts, Comment Marketing, White Papers, Infographics, Email newsletters, Videos, Brochure and Data sheets, eBooks, Reference Guides, Microsites, Webinars, Reports, Case studies, Tools & Widgets, presentations, and online courses all proved to be powerful content marketing methods, as long as they are catered to the right audience.
  • Organic Search (Search Engine Optimization): Billions of people use the search engine each day, and a staggering 92% of Internet users turn to search engines for products or information. That’s why Search Engine Optimization plays a huge part in every startup marketing effort, by helping establish strong visibility in search results.
  • Email Marketing: Most of the billions of Internet users still use email for sending and receiving personal and business messages, as well as for obtaining their daily dose of information. The staggering number of people using email has made it a lush market for Internet-savvy companies to gather leads and produce new customers.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Also known as Referral Marketing, affiliate marketing proved to be an extremely powerful way of getting a word out about a new product. Advertisers pay publishers, or affiliates, a certain percentage or commission from the sale of products. Affiliates are provided with several marketing tools directly by advertisers or via an affiliate network such as ShareASale or Commission Junction.
These and other Internet marketing strategies have proven very lucrative for many business, but one has emerged as having the biggest impact on traffic and revenue, both short and long-term. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a strategy that has leveled the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete with big businesses.

Why SEO is indispensable for startups

If a startup doesn’t invest in SEO, it’s chances of success are relatively low.

For a startup to snag a million dollar funding, it must first show proof of sustainability and revenue potential. SEO can take care of both. Excellent visibility on search, a viable and significant amount of traffic, and engagement (especially conversions) help establish a startup’s image of being a promising enterprise that effectively lures investors.

In a broader sense, SEO is a long term investment, and if done properly, virtually guarantees high ROI over time.

The online market is a cutthroat environment. That’s why no matter how tempting and lucrative your products or services are, if your customers can’t find you on Google’s first page, they’ll find your competitors instead.

Link Building Misconception – Link Building process is more than just link acquisition

Link acquisition, one of the most important factors for SEO, offers tremendous advantages to startups.

But if you run a startup, don’t look at link acquisition solely from an SEO perspective. Instead, look at it as a powerful form of reaching out to potential prospects.

SEO is especially important for early-stage startups to help them more effectively and cost-efficiently promote their products or services to their target audience. Effective and high quality link building processes play a vital role in building awareness about the startup’s offerings for many tech savvy people.

Ultimately, Link Building, SEO’s most crucial aspect, helps increase new startup awareness as well as improving visibility in the search results.

Below are some of the common SEO tactics that startups should take advantage of if they were to create a viable and cost-effective presence on the web.
  • Press Release Distribution
    Syndicating and distributing news that relates to a startup’s launch or product and service announcements are a common but proven SEO tactic. Press release and news sites like, local news websites (City, County, and State level) bring exposure and links.
  • Content Marketing
    Developing great real-time content related to your startup for publishing on major blogs within your industry is another great SEO tactic that seems to be getting a lot of traction these days. For most tech startups, getting published on top tech blogs such as Mashable, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, ReadWriteWeb, BusinessInsider is high on their list. When creating content for your startup, do not forget to explain HOW and WHY your startup can help your target audience in their real life. It’s a sure way to pull in more leads for your business.
  • Guest Blogging
    Identify the top blogs that are visited by your target audience and reach out to them. Ask if you could write a guest post and point a link back to your startup website. When linking back to your website, be sure to use a combination of your startup’s brand name and keywords as anchor text (the text of the link itself). Keep in mind that this may not be an easy process. Creating great content could take time, and getting published on an industry-related blog could take a lot of patience and outreach on your end.
  • Infographics Marketing
    Infographics are more than just today’s ”in” thing. They offer a very engaging way to capture an audience. When preparing an infographic, highlight points that are specific to your industry, and submit to as many sites as possible for greater exposure.
SEO also allows startups to build a solid search engine reputation

Proper SEO could propel startups not only to the top of the search engines, but, most importantly, help them build a solid reputation online. If you are running a startup, imagine this; a customer is looking for a product or service that your startup is offering. If you don’t have a solid SEO in place for your startup, chances are they’ll find your competitors while your site is shoved several pages deep into the search results.

What does it mean for your customer to find your business on the top of the search engine results page? It means you are doing something right, and that the search engines are giving you a favorable ranking for your good reputation.


Finally, have your say – is SEO a must for startups? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” SEO can make or break a startup. In all likelihood, as experience and real-life cases have shown, a startup that has established a solid online presence can take advantage of massive traffic and better conversions, ultimately resulting in astounding revenue.

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