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Common SEO mistakes Start-ups (and everyone else) make

SEO mistakes for starts-ups can be costly and take time to put right. From ingnoring technical SEO issues to failing to optimise for the right keywords and writing the wrong content for your customers - SEO can be a minefield of mishaps and wrong turns. 

We look at the most common mistakes that start-ups make when it comes to their SEO strategy so that you can avoid them in the future.

1. Lack of Keyword Research

'Keywords' are search terms that your customers type in search engines while searching for a particular query. If that search engine is Google (90%+ market share in the UK and counting - so likely) then Google works to match the search term of a user with the best possible match on the internet.

Keyword research is the process of finding and researching the best and/or most relevant search terms that customers enter when looking for products, services or information of a specific topic. 

It’s an important part of any SEO strategy, but one of the biggest mistakes a start-up can make is to approach it like a one-and-done exercise, or not do it at all!

A lot of start-ups will perform initial keyword research so they know what to target during the start of their business but miss the chance to expand on this research to identify and explore new opportunities to rank in search results.

Others don’t perform any keyword research at all and fly blind with their content creation.

You might introduce a new service, product range, or extend your business or change your scope. You might learn more about how your target audience is searching for you and your related products. You may identify a market you can better compete in or invest more time building your digital footprint.

Acting on this information is crucial in growing your SEO strategy, so don’t forget to regularly review your keywords. After all, SEO is about tapping into that current volume flow of search intent (exisiting and new).

An important point to understand is the more appropriate your keyword research is, the closer you are to your potential customer. A strong keyword research strategy allows you to be able to figure out which search terms work best for your product pages, content and website pages.

And don’t ignore long-tail keywords.

The appeal of high-volume search terms is clear, you have the chance to be viewed by a significant audience and they’re the keywords that are the most obviously linked to your business. However, it’s a huge SEO mistake to only target these keywords and ignore more niche, long-tail keywords. Yes, these words tend to have much lower traffic, but the competition is much lower too, so you’re more likely to appear. If there is an opportunity to position and own a market, do it.

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2. No Proper Content Strategy

Many start-ups make the mistake of not feeding in keyword research into a proper content strategy, rather setting up basic product grids and web shop pages with limited content around them, then focus on driving traffic to these pages through paid media or social media ads.

We understand why this happens. Budgets are small and time resource is tight.

The temptation to try to become as profitable as possible, as quick as possible, without considering the big picture is common.  And while it is tempting to take shortcuts and splash high volumes of low-quality content on your website, buy low quality links and throw money at Paid Adverts – long term this won’t bring you sustained traffic.

Google is smart and has over the years become very strict on quality content indicators and will penalise you if you plaster your website with low relevant and low value content with your brand becoming impacted negatively as a result.

ChatGPT overuse beware. Google will see it a mile off.

SEO should be a key part of your content strategy. As you create content to go on your website, it must have a human element to it and clearly demonstrate your expertise and authority on your product, the industry and your customers themselves.

Content should be original, and keyword driven. Again, a lot of start-ups fall down with time constraints, cutting corners with duplicated content and using the same page titles. Google will punish you for this and you will lose rankings.

Also remember the structural content strategy side of things including metadata, content models, taxonomy, and sitemaps.

This is for better user experience for customers and Search Engine Bots (like GoogleBot) to scroll your pages for content information.

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We hope you're enjoying our take on Common SEO Mistakes.  If you would like to find out more about working with Seeded Digital, please feel free to get in touch via our contact form at the bottom of this page or email us via

3. Having A Single Page Website

Just don't do it.

Your aim should be two-fold. Aim to satisfy the search engines and deliver an amazing customer experience.

Most start-ups ignore the user experience while putting more stress on complex UI/UX design. Others opt for a single (landing) page with basic product information, in order to go live and direct paid advertismeent campaigns to.

With no depth of content, categories or the ability to build an internal link flow connecting product pages with optimised content within your website - your SEO abilities are doomed to fail.

Remember your website is the virtual representation of your company. So, your website should concentrate on being simple and easy to navigate as an interface, ensure proper page linking to facilitate users to navigate from one page to another with ease. It should educate visitors about the products and services offered and help them take actions to purchase.

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4. Not conducting a proper SEO Audit

By conducting a proper SEO audit you can start your SEO path in a right direction. Remember, SEO takes time.

An audit gives you enough scope to take action to rectify your SEO strategy, to understand your current SEO strength (or weaknesses) and unearth the SEO mistakes you may be making wihtout realising.

Many brands can end up investing a lot of time in keyword research, without having the correct technical SEO visability and scientific appearence of their pages on SERPs. SEO audits play a vital role in determining how your website is performing. Without an audit, it is virtually impossible to uncover everything that could be affecting your site.

There are hundreds of ranking signals that Google (and other search engines) use to evaluate in order to determine where your site should rank for any given search query. Some carry more weight than others, but all of them, if not optimised, can hinder your site's performance.

Another aim of an SEO audit is to review as many of these (known) ranking signals as possible to indicate what is working well, what elements need improving and what parts of your site need attention.

A basic SEO audit will help you uncover and determine any SEO weaknesses you currently have on your website, help you set the metrics to measure your progress, prioritise your website and SEO marketing actions, track your current keyword rank and the progress you make and review your competitors strenghts and weaknesses.

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5. Forgetting about Link Building

Link building is a misunderstood SEO practice!

Many start-ups see it as another form of spam (and of course, it can be if it’s not done right) but, Link Building Strategies have changed a lot over the last 10-15 years.

There are many ways of building links that can be extremely beneficial, especially for start-ups. By engaging with your community, finding opportunities for guest posting, and generally finding ways to join the conversation, you can start to create a positive link building strategy that won’t cause damage to your site.

Given the fact that Google’s algorithms are highly complex and constantly evolving, links remain an important factor in how every search engine determines which sites rank for which keywords. Therefore, link building is an important tactic used in SEO because links are a signal to Google that your site is a quality resource, worthy of citation.

Website with more quality backlinks tend to earn higher search rankings.

But remember that not all links are created equal.

For example, a link from an authoritative website like the BBC will have a greater impact on your rankings than a link from a small or newly-built site. So, ideally you should focus on earning links from websites with a higher domain authority than your site with a decent amount of backlinks.

Tools like SEMRush will easily pull data for you to identify these sites.

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Remember that SEO is for the long term

You won’t see results in a few short weeks and any agency promising you that is not worth talking to.

However, you can make immediate changes to start your SEO journey by reviewing the common mistakes businesses make and putting in place a website audit and keyword strategy to get going.

It's important to remember that Google updates to its algorithms A LOT. The best people to discover and adapt to these changes are the experts who are immersed in the industry (like us).

We are the ones that build SEO auditing processes and monitor the plethora of updates and re-assess websites based on the data we see.

So do feel free to reach out and let's chat about how we can help you get growing!

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​About Seeded Digital

We're a small and fiercely independent search marketing agency with our own unique way of doing things. We enjoy working with like minded start-ups, scale-ups and SME’s who prioritise getting things implemented and getting results. We're based in London and service clients UK-wide.