How does a startup become a unicorn?

1 out of 3 startups don’t survive the first 3 years! This heavy observation evoked by these numbers is the harsh reality for any startup company. However, they might find their salvation by working on their natural referencing (SEO) from the start. There is a simple strategy that has been proven by successful nuggets. Here’s a return to the recipes that work to improve your activity on Google.

The idea for this article came after my recent visit to the “Station F” campus in Paris, where dozens of promising young shoots are concentrated. Not all of them are candidates to work on their visibility on Google. The prospecting of their customers works without. Still, I was surprised to see the desire of these young entrepreneurs to learn more about natural referencing techniques to try and stay afloat in the heart of this ocean of pages and content that Google is bringing together. .

Nothing is more frustrating than believing in your product without being able to put it at the top of the bill!

The benefits of working on SEO for a startup

  1. Small Investment: The investment to improve your website’s SEO is small as it consists mostly of elbow grease and a few flavor enhancers to improve it. The Ellenbogenfett features a good technical platform to encourage crawling and usage of the site. A reflection on the content of the site, the intention and goal of each page. For the enhancer, this leads to natural acquisition or through paid, thematic and high-performing links that rise in search results.
  2. Doing it sustainably: In fact, the great benefit of SEO is making an effort at a given point in time and reaping the benefits over time. Unlike a digital investment like buying keywords or display, the investment stops when the budget is cut.

The recipe is simple, but requires a change in investment style, since the ROI is calculated after several months of effort (unlike SEA).

To convince the most undecided, you should also know that optimizing your pages for SEO will help you pay less to buy your keywords on Google Ads. In fact, Google analyzes the relevance of the page with the keywords purchased: in short, you have everything to gain!

Feedback on launching a future unicorn

Search Foresight had the honor of supporting startups that are now well known to everyone: ManoMano (Monechelle), Evaneos, Cheerz, Malt (HopWork), SosAccessoires, Legal Start, etc.

What all successful start-ups have in common is that natural search engine traffic has become a growth lever above a certain SEO optimization threshold.

In fact, it must be understood that every day Google discovers new companies that are desperately trying to get back to their “core business” queries. However, the search engine must be able to present the best answers to its users: this has made it successful!

The startup’s website must be perfectly optimized in terms of content (texts, images, videos), technically (good loading time, researchable technical structure and responsive UX) and in terms of popularity (getting recommendations from their digital peers). Without them, you can’t stand out from the competition!

A startup always starts in the sandbox!

Seniority matters, and that difference disappears more or less quickly depending on how intense you are in your optimization efforts from the start. When you put your website online, Google chooses to place the websites in the SandBox. Google always puts up-to-date websites in this “filter” until they can prove themselves in terms of response quality and authority.

If we take ManoMano’s example, the site had a low SEO visibility curve in the first year and they started to grow after 2 years. The first fundraisers made it possible to receive press articles from highly authoritative digital media (Strategy, Lemonde, Lesechos, etc.). The first backlinks appeared and allowed to generate some legitimacy towards Google, which got them out of the sandbox.

Visibility curve on SISTRIX by ManoMano

Another notable point about Manomano, they started very quickly with thousands of product references in their catalogue. However, Google doesn’t appreciate a website that only offers a list of results (like it does itself). They therefore took the risk of blocking product listing pages from being indexed as long as they didn’t meet a certain number of criteria:

  • An SEO text of at least 300 words
  • Thirty products in the list are still available
  • A presence in the tree structure
  • A business interest

They have mastered the indexing of their site to prevent it from being perceived as an empty shell: a site with many pages that are poorly filled or presenting content that exists in other e-merchants with no added value to differentiate itself.

Become an expert in your industry!

To become an expert in the eyes of Google and users, and to build brand awareness, you need to develop content around your product and its solution. This is known as a brand content strategy. This consists of creating content on all topics that cover your activity. This letter will have at least 5 positive effects on your search engine visibility:

  • They cover a lot more inquiries than with your simple product pages
  • You can support your users so that they decide to buy your product
  • You get spontaneous links when your content links to other sites
  • Given the multiple intentions behind a request, Google will see you as a relevant page
  • This is how you make your brand known and strengthen your legitimacy

Let’s take the example of Legal Start, which offers entrepreneurs all services from incorporation to management and the end of a company’s life. Part of their success lies in the creation of several thousand pieces of content informing entrepreneurs of all the administrative procedures to be carried out. Legal Start is both an information site and a company offering services to help managers run their businesses. This content development is so pervasive that of the site’s 3,154 pages, 85% are hands-on sheets!

Become “the unbeatable” in your job

If you’re lacking inspiration, the first thing you may be prompted to do is enter your target queries and see if PAA (People Also Ask) appears in the search results.

Example: I am launching a new expense report application that dematerializes the process 100%. No more scanning, the app is connected to Uber, restaurant checkouts, the SNCF, etc.

Review the questions that appear on the expense report request and post guides that provide answers to all of these questions.

List of PAAs in the Google Expense Report request in November 2021

You already have a lot to do with the development of your company, be it due to the economic situation, administrative and fiscal constraints, financing or strengthening your teams. However, if you are starting a business without any means to sponsor your traffic, SEO is a great way to improve your visibility. In addition, if you have enough to start SEA campaigns, you can start by buying the keywords that your SEO positions are missing. Once you have established a good presence on both levers, the famous SEO-SEA synergy occurs: Another exciting topic of our job as SEO!

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