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Krystian Włodarczyk

3 years ago 5 min read

The Ultimate Startup Advice to Get Tons of Traffic

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Krystian Włodarczyk

There’s undoubtedly widespread interest in growth hacking among startups and young companies as a new way of acquiring traffic with non-conventional methods that try to fit within the informational noise around the Internet.

Probably you read about big companies that did one brilliant thing that left the gates with traffic opened. It’s a pity that when you try to copy them, most of the times they just don’t work for your product.

I tried many of those “surefire techniques” that ought to take the traffic we get to another level. Some of them brought some results, but most of them didn’t. Personally, I don’t believe in growth hacking, because…

Your growth can’t be hacked, it has to be built and in the most of occasions – it takes time. There are no shortcuts, sorry!

If you’re looking for another technique that you could add to your list of growth hacking tricks, you won’t find one here. Instead, I’d like to give you one solid advice that will help you grow your product from the very beginning.

Beta List Case Study

Betalist

If you created a product, you probably heard about Betalist. It helps you get early adopters and beta testers aboard. It also gives you some visibility that you really need in your first steps on the market.

Some time ago I had a little chat with a creator whose product was mentioned in Beta List. The page looked really good, but the devil was in the detail – the page wasn’t optimized for any keywords.

I quickly analyzed the first few dozens of listed products. The key outtake is that most of them fail with the basics!

The Ultimate Mistake The New Startups Make

SEO has been around for a while – ever since search engines became popular (one of them, actually). You might be thinking that SEO is old-school, but it’s still one of the best marketing techniques you can use nowadays. Believe it or not, but many of today’s top brands in the online world grew thanks to search engine optimization.

Most of the startups don’t use SEO at all.

Startup On-page SEO Optimization Chart

30% of websites mentioned in Betalist used on-page optimization, but did it incorrectly. Only 10% Startups properly optimized their product’s website.

The Growth Potential

Thanks to SEO your product can be found by users who have a particular need, but aren’t familiar with your brand. One of the key ingredients of SEO is on-page optimization. To keep it short, it’s preparing your website to be found on Google. How can it make a difference?

Let’s take one of the random tools I use to give you an example. Have you heard about Breeze.pm? I suppose not. Probably you’re not aware of the name or the brand either. The number of monthly brand searches in Google is very poor too.

Number of monthly searches for a brand term - Breeze

It’s not about the brand though. Breeze.pm has put specific keywords in title. Those keywords simply describe their product.

Keywords in web page's meta title tag - Breeze

The same keywords are used by potential customers who aren’t familiar with the brand, but have a particular need and look for products or services similar to what Breeze has to offer. It’s perfectly optimized for search engines.

Non-branded keywords monthly searches and competition

Non-branded monthly searches for a secondary keyword

2 Most Popular On-Page SEO Mistakes

Let’s analyze a few more random examples for the most common on-page mistakes.

1. Naked Brand Name

Naked url in meta title tag

Inkly Tiles looks like a good product. The main line clearly explains what the product does. With naked url in the title (not mentioning the meta-description tag) there’s no chance that the app will be found on Google. That’s turning away a potential source of free traffic – not an acceptable solution for a startup looking for growth.

2. Incorrect Keywords Next to the Brand Name

Incorrect keywords in the meta title tag

Netlify optimized their web page incorrectly. Next to the brand we can see “Where your Frontend Lives”. The line sounds good, but from the SEO point of view there’s no way anyone would find the product (ok, maybe by an accident). You don’t have to be an SEO expert to see that the sub-headline would be a much better choice to describe what the product does and what its potential clients might be looking for.

How to do SEO the Right Way

The proper on-page optimization isn’t difficult. As you can see it’s all about small changes within a website, which on the other hand may have a high impact on your growth. The title tag itself is only one of the elements I analyzed. There are also other important on-page SEO factors:

  • URL of the web-page
  • title tag
  • meta-descriptions
  • alt-text of images
  • meta-descriptions

Perhaps your product will score some reviews, comparisons or will be mentioned in other kind of publications. Along with gaining popularity, you will get more visibility in search engines. Make sure to be visible for the right phrase.

Additional Resources

  • To learn more about on page optimization you might want to check out this article
  • There’s no SEO without keywords. Check out how to find and choose the best ones here
  • If you’d like to learn more about SEO in general, take a look at our Free Guide to SEO for Beginners

If you liked the article feel free to share it. Waiting for your questions and comments below!

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Krystian Włodarczyk

Your man at Positionly
Marathoner, traveller, SEO/SEM practicioner. Feel free to contact me on Twitter!

Latest posts by Krystian Włodarczyk (see all)

Written by

Krystian Włodarczyk

Your man at Positionly

Marathoner, traveller, SEO/SEM practicioner. Feel free to contact me on Twitter!

Comments (7)
Lawrence (3 years ago) Reply

Some interesting points. We're always amazed how many Start-ups have no SEO plan or any desire to implement one. The common belief being that disruptive ideas are difficult to develop SEO plans for, when the ideas are so new to the market. 12 months later and they are usually struggling regardless of any attempts to growth hack.

Mathias (3 years ago) Reply

Hi Krystian, Good point on the title tag for https://www.netlify.com I've taken your advice and updated the site now :)

Krystian Włodarczyk (3 years ago) Reply

Hey Mathias, Almost perfect ;) The phrase your clients might be using could be slightly different, e.g. "How to build and host static websites?". I think that changing it to the first grammatical person would be a much better option, e.g. "Netlify - Build, Deploy and Host Static Websites". Remember to put similar set of keywords in you meta-description tag and H1 as well! That will be a clear signal for search engines that your web page is relevant for the typed query. I'm glad I could help. Thanks for stopping by!

Tom (3 years ago) Reply

Thank you for your post and for mailing me about it. But unfortunately your english is so bad, it isn't much fun to read it.

Krystian Włodarczyk (3 years ago) Reply

Hey Tom, Sorry to hear that. I always try to check my blog posts before hitting "publish", but sometimes a mistake here and there can occur. Hope you found it useful though. Thanks!

Pierre Lechelle (3 years ago) Reply

That's a great article. However, to keep going with Breeze, they would probably have a hard time trying to rank for a keyword such as "project management software". Only on-page optimization clearly wouldn't be enough. The main issue with SEO is that it takes plenty of time. Startups may therefore focus on other channels first, and then spend time and energy working on their ranking to acquire users. They should however, always keep SEO in mind. I wrote an article on this exact subject, you can find it here: http://www.pierrelechelle.com/startups-seo-focus Hope that helps

Krystian Włodarczyk (3 years ago) Reply

Hey Pierre, I never said that ranking for such a term is easy ;) On-page optimization is just a good start and applying the changes to your website - not an effort at all. Thanks for commenting!

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