I’ve had the honor of working with several startups on their SEO over the past 10 years – as well as doing enterprise level SEO in-house and have come away with some interesting observations. Large, profitable enterprises are based on org-chart decision-making. Because of this, corporate in-house SEO’s inevitably grumble at the layers of bureaucracy and office politics necessary to get even the most basic SEO projects implemented.
It can be great fun to consult with small startups, who are often resource challenged – but tend to find a way to get important SEO projects done quickly. These startups are clearly very savvy when they hire an SEO as they launch their web presence and get a long list of advantages over competitors who launch without benefit of early SEO guidance.
Having worked with both types of companies (large established firms and small startups) – I’ve come away with some realizations about how much fun it is to work with startup founders who believe in SEO and lead enthusiastic teams who want to prove they can do anything. I love working with smart entrepreneurs and energetic engineers at startups.
I’ll continue to work with both large and small because the rewards of seeing big results at a large company are unmatched once you’ve successfully navigated the minefields of corporate logistics. Even a 5% gain in search referred traffic at the enterprise level can mean huge rewards if you love seeing results in the bottom line. But in terms of getting things done – nothing beats a startup for taking decisive action and outmaneuvering the competition.
Jump on it
- Startups want every advantage and leap quickly to launch each new SEO project. 10% of your time spent convincing 90% implementing.
Try It Out
- Startups believe in new tools and untried approaches and will look favorably on testing and launch quickly.
Go, Go, Go!
- Startups launch Fast and move on. Startups need a sketch on a napkin, a verbal approval and an extra cup of coffee to go live with a project – course corrections and iterations included.
I was working in-house at a mid-sized company a while back and we had an associate SEO on contract for a short time, then offered them a full-time position near the end of the contract. I was startled that they turned us down saying, “I’d rather work for a smaller company.”
I remembered how well they had done with the SEO audits they had completed and the great recommendations they’d made – but then it hit me … We didn’t implement any of those recommendations – it was almost an academic exercise. This was a smart SEO who wanted to have an effect on outcomes and improve search traffic, not simply outline suggestions and see them go unheeded.
I have realized that the thing SEO’s want most is to see results in the form of increased search traffic and improved rankings – it’s why we get up in the morning.
- I love it when a consulting client is able to sell their online business at a premium because they now rank well for important keyword phrases we gained for them.
- I’m energized and excited when a client I’ve worked with for years goes through a major redesign and URL restructuring without losing those carefully cultivated rankings we’ve accomplished and at the same time, gains in several important areas.
I love this work. SEO results matter.