Can you imagine how advanced our society would be if every innovation that was tested and developed by technology geniuses actually achieved mainstream success? It’s a shame that so much amazing innovation that has emerged from the world’s brightest minds will never see the light of day.
And all because they lacked the online exposure that SEO could have provided—at least that’s our completely objective and unbiased opinion about it :-).
Moving beyond the startup phase into the growth phase is as much a shift in your state of mind as it is in your business practices. The startup phase is all about making investors happy, getting noticed, focusing on lean spending, and above all, increasing sales at a manageable pace.
But now you want to take your business to the next level, so here’s how to grow your technology company, courtesy of your biggest fans.
Understand Your Audience Now
Are you sure you’re targeting the right customer—you know, those who will actually buy your product or service? Understanding who wants your product is the foundation for successful marketing and sales…and it isn’t always that obvious.
Before brushing this whole “do you know your audience” question aside, understand that even well-established companies struggle with knowing not only who their real customers are but also how they search the internet.
It’s easy to overlook the customer when your product and the problem it solves are so clear in your head. But getting into the mind of the customer and understanding their pain points are what marketing is all about.
In our opinion, the best way to understand how your target customer looks for your product or service on Google is to find out what search terms your competitors are ranking for.
This is all part of a bigger marketing process that we like to call keyword research and strategy. If you have a wicked website that’s responsive, eye-catching, and mobile-friendly, and your traffic still isn’t that great, your pages might be missing those key search terms that’ll put your brand in front of more people and get you more customers.
Overwhelmingly, our Geeks want to see technology being used to help fight rapid climate change. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you see it), there are many industries within this sphere, and we’ve tracked down some companies that are taking world-changing technology to a whole new level.
Relinquish Some Control
You’ve reached the stage where growth is crucial and you’re ready to scale up. It’s now time to give up some control. Whereas the startup phase was all about tightening the purse strings and not outsourcing labour or spending money on expensive launch parties (as you do), the growth stage requires your delegation in order to grow.
Why? Because in order to expand your business, you can’t be everywhere all at once, and you want to start investing in people that have the skills to improve your company. We’ve seen many CEOs burn themselves out by refusing to relinquish even a little bit of the responsibility. And when that happens, they start to limit their own tech company’s growth.
While we can understand the fear and angst of trusting other people to do the job without your constant supervision or input, we know that the time you take back for yourself will be better spent selling your technology to more customers.
What Does This Have to Do With SEO?
In many ways, you may be just as attached to your website as you are to your technology. It is, after all, how the world sees your company. But if you’re not willing to leave the marketing up to your marketers, you might not be making the best decisions for your website, or (as we often see), your need to approve of every little change or detail before it goes live can slow down your transition out of the startup phase.
Don’t Sweat the Branding Stuff
Try not to focus on the granular details of your brand just yet. While your logo is important and will become the visual shorthand of your company, in the grand scheme of things, getting your product in front of the right people and making sales is far more crucial to the next phase of your business.
The fastest route to more customers in this day and age is an online presence that can’t be ignored. Do you have a site that showcases your technology? More importantly, does it work? Does it rank?
Considering your branding will likely change over and over again, don’t be precious about it at this stage. Instead, focus on boosting your site’s traffic with a solid search engine optimisation strategy.
Get Your Name Out There
If your only form of publicity is your social media, it’s time to start spreading the word. Your company details should already be added to company directories and review sites, and your team should be getting involved in industry forums.
The more often your company is linked or mentioned on other sites, the more authority you have in the eyes of Google, which will boost your site’s rankings and ultimately, your visibility.
Don’t be shy about asking for a backlink or a mention, but be careful about who you ask, as some shady sites will drag you down rather than build up your credibility.
By the way, we call this off-page optimisation in the SEO world, and if you want to encourage other authorities to start name dropping your technology, here are some non-shady ways to do it:
Find a Strategic Marketing Partner
As a startup, you have to wear many hats in order to keep your spending to a minimum. But as you’re ready to expand, you’ll benefit from finding a marketing partner that will help you reach your sales goals through increased online visibility.
As we previously mentioned, growth requires delegation, and that includes your marketing partners. Invest in an agency that understands your industry and that can support your business goals with intelligent marketing and advertising practices.