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Shane Barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant, named the #1 social media consultant in the nation by PROskore Power Rankings. He has expertise in business development, online marketing and is an SEO specialist who has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and a number of A-list celebrities.

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7 Challenges Faced By Startup Businesses In SEO And How To Overcome Them

Investing in good SEO efforts will result in a constant stream of business. The great thing about search engine optimization is that the costs are much lower in comparison to traditional means of print and electronic media advertising.

Marketing startup businesses in SEO can be a challenge, even though they bring new, unexplored, and interesting ideas to the market. It’s important for any startup to get the word out about the nature of their business while reaching an audience that matters. That’s where having a good SEO strategy comes into play.

Hiring an experienced webmaster is highly recommended. The expert will implement an array of techniques to get your website noticed by search engines. In turn, these search engines reach your target audience so that you can convey everything you want about your new business. Webmasters well-versed in the unique challenges of startup businesses in SEO will be good team members.

Investing in good SEO efforts will result in a constant stream of business. The great thing about search engine optimization is that the costs are much lower in comparison to traditional means of print and electronic media advertising. The entire SEO process is best handled by a professional because Google will punish and penalize websites that don’t adhere to the best cyber practices. In this article, I’ll provide solutions for a few roadblocks often faced by startup businesses in SEO.

Introducing the Challenges

Here are some of the primary challenges that your startup will likely come up against. Knowing the tough parts of marketing startup businesses in SEO beforehand makes the journey easier. That’s especially true for brand new entrepreneurs busy with handling several things at the same time.

Expectations vs. Reality of SEO

It’s in every client’s right to expect value and quick results when hiring an SEO expert. However, results can sometimes take time to show up. There are a number of factors, including search engine algorithms, that can impact performance. Perhaps a competitor is spending much more on online marketing and SEO than you are. All of this plays a part in determining how quick you see results. It’s wise to get a realistic picture of when you start yielding results rather than simply dismissing your webmaster’s skills as inadequate.

Fake SEO Companies

Fake SEO companies have popped up in the dozens. They’ll tell you that SEO is all about keywords, black-hat practices, and hoodwinking search engines. If someone promises you heaven and earth for $50 a week, you better be skeptical about it. Unreasonably low cost is the first bait that a fake SEO company will throw at you.

They’ll likely urge you to guest post on irrelevant, low-ranking websites and create accounts on social media websites that have abysmal memberships just to show you that work is being done. If a company promises results within a week, you better steer clear from them. Also, keep in mind there’s a difference between web design companies and SEO companies.


Startup businesses in SEO must realize that their efforts can be effective, yet they’re almost always time-consuming. There will be costs involved in creating banners, blogs, and new websites. Social media marketing and maintenances shouldn’t come cheap because it’s valuable for outreaching. Then, of course, there’s a fee that your SEO expert will charge you. Startups must understand the relevance of earmarking a budget for all SEO activities.

New vs. Old SEO Tactics

Search engines like Google constantly change their algorithms and introduce new ones. In other words, the parameters to index your business presence online will always change. It’s vital that your SEO expert is in sync with the latest updates. Mostold SEO tactics that were sure-shot winners a few years ago, attract penalties from search engines today. So, webmasters dwelling in the past can actually pull down startup businesses in SEO.

Slow Progress

SEO is a culmination of several online efforts at getting your brand name noticed on the World Wide Web. Certain SEO tactics, such as AdWords and paid social media campaigns, can show instant results. However, other generic SEO efforts can take time to show results. If you want a clearer picture about the amount of time it takes, ask your SEO consultant about it. You should conduct some research on your own and verify the claims too.

Social Media vs. SEO

We’re surrounded by social media nowadays. It’s natural to believe that presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms is the end of all. However, the reality can be quite different. Social media and SEO aren’t competing forces, but they do complement each other. In other words, social media management is a part of SEO. So, if you’re facing the dilemma of choosing between the two, stop worrying.

Return on Investment (ROI)

It makes common sense for startup businesses in SEO to shelve any particular campaign if it fails to generate adequate ROI. Calculating the ROI of SEO campaigns can be quite a challenge though. Luckily, there are enough tools out there to effectively measure the ROI. Most SEO experts will conveniently give you the statistics on ROI so that you don’t end up calculating it erroneously.

How to Overcome These Challenges

Overcoming the challenges faced by startup businesses in SEO and choosing the right SEO expert won’t be as tough as you think. All you need is a bit of time to do adequate research. Here’s what you need to do to get on the right path.

Make a List of Competing Experts

Initially, you’ll have to take enough time to find the right person. Don’t engage the first SEO expert that you put your sights on. Narrow down your list to a few experts that you feel are good for the job. You can then eliminate the rest and stick to one. An expert who gives a tailor-made solution to problems poised by startup businesses in SEO is always the best choice.

Check Online Reviews

Online reviews by reputable businesses and business personalities are important. This is mainly because one can’t forge reviews by such entities. These reviews will give you a good idea of how happy the clients have been with the SEO expert. The expert’s response to the reviews will also throw light on the kind of personality you’re dealing with.

Get Referrals and Recommendations

Don’t ignore suggestions made by family members, friends, colleagues, and business acquaintances. If you get a reliable referral through someone who has your best interests in mind, there’s nothing like it. Get in touch with the referred SEO expert and explain your startup to him or her in detail. Even if the person isn’t the best fit, you’ll surely get some valuable advice.

Make Certain the Expert is Up-to-Date

As mentioned before, it’s imperative that you hire an SEO consultant who knows current SEO strategies.

Prepare a number of questions to ask your expert. Make sure that they’re not suggesting any unethical online practices like link farms. Ultimately, startup businesses in SEO who use these strategies are penalized.

Double Check Past Experience

People can easily claim to have extensive experience to get ahead of competition. Steer clear of fraudulent claims by cross verifying the expert’s past work history. Don’t shy away from calling the reference or previous employer to check the expert out. Be wary of so-called SEO experts who tell you that reference contacts can’t be provided. If they’ve mentioned a name in the proposal given to you, they must be open to verification.

Make an Appointment

In this modern world of technology, you don’t necessarily need to meet someone in person. You can always use tools like Skype to get in touch with the SEO expert at a particular time to discuss matters and strategies. This can also become a channel for quick communication in the future if you strike a deal.

Negotiate a Competitive Fee

This is another important aspect for startup businesses in SEO. You’ll need to be cautious about your outward cash flow. Negotiate a fair fee that works out for the both of you. Understand the kind of time that the job demands. Ensure that your payment is in accordance to the expert’s skill sets and experience level.

Execute an Engagement Letter or Retainer

Make your deal with the SEO expert official by executing an engagement letter or retainer. Don’t involve yourself in an informal relationship that’s not governed by anything in writing. This works in two ways. For you, it’s a guarantee that the expert works for you at least a set number of hours a week. For the expert, the agreement signifies guarantee of payment. You are more likely to trust each other in this setting.

Take Monthly Updates

Sure you’re not an expert on SEO, but that doesn’t mean you don’t check on the progress. You must know what the expert is doing and how it works. A good SEO consultant will explain the progress in a language that you understand. If they don’t, you can always ask them to do so. Just ensure that you’re not impeding the work while trying to keep track of things. Have a set time each month to check whether the previously set milestones have been reached.


It’s natural to for startup businesses in SEO to experience the above challenges. The secret lies in anticipating and avoiding them so that you enjoy maximum ROI. I advise that you consult with an individual SEO expert rather than a company. You’ll never get the personalized attention from a company that an independent expert can give. A consultant, unlike a company, will never give you a one-size-fits-all approach.

This article was originally published here.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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