As an early stage startup with a small budget (friends and family) you should be thinking about how to grow your newly formed company organically. There are two ways that you are going to convert visitors on your website into leads which will then hopefully turn into paying customers (if you create great and relevant content). When someone searches keywords to find your company they are going to come to two options: paid search results and organic search results.
75% of the time the searcher/potential customer is going to click on the organic search items. How can you get your company to the top of the organic search results to get more traffic to your website? By understanding how to do this, you will ultimately draw potential customers into your website enabling them to give you more information about themselves with good call to action items to lure them in.
HOW: Start writing posts on your blog. For people to find you in the search engines, through social media or other outlets you have to start creating content that is relevant to their searches and what they are looking for. Put yourself in the minds of the consumer to figure out what types of keywords they will be searching for. This will help you to create a strategy on what you should be creating content on.
IDEAS: Blog posts on relevant facts in your industry, a you tube video on questions that you keep getting on a daily basis, photos on a Flickr stream showing your company culture or a webinar on a topic that your visitors are currently confused about.
Make sure the content can be found by the search engines.
HOW: What are your potential customers typing into the search field in Bing and Google? Make sure you are keeping those keywords in mind as you create your content. Have a brainstorming session with your team to figure out the keywords that you want to rank for and be found for. Start with those.
IDEAS for On-Page SEO Elements: Your page titles, URLs, H1 tags, body of your post and images should be in line with the keywords that you are trying to rank for on that page. Each page is a chance to be found in the eyes of the search engine. The better you are at aligning these elements the easier it will be to be found when potential customers are searching. Help searchers to end up on your website. You are now that much closer to getting new customers.
Use social media to push your content to your followers, fans and potential customers.
HOW: You are active on social media, you have a LinkedIn profile and a group to promote your business on Facebook. As an entrepreneur you probably already have connected your blog with retweet buttons, Facebook share and like buttons, etc. Once you have created your awesome content you will want to push it out for others to help you do the sharing. The social media world is a great way to share your work and share others work as well. By sharing your content you will create authority to gain respect as a trusted advisor in your industry. Analyze what you are doing to see what is working over time and repeat the steps.
IDEAS: Make sure that your title to your content is one that will gain a quick response with a flash of the eye. Sometimes the page title is more important than the actual content in the article. The name of the article is going to be the first thing that people see in the social mediasphere. Make sure the title is something that people are going to ultimately find catchy and relevant. Will your potential customers and sharers want to click on the link connected to that title in your tweet or in your facebook status update?
As a young startup team you are brimming with ideas. Use those ideas to create great content around the targeted keywords that you want rank for in the eyes of the search engines. Promote the work you have done by sharing it through social media. If you start to create and share your content at least once a week (better would be at least 3 times a week) you will get noticed. Do this for six months religiously.
Over those six months I can bet that you will steadily start to receive more traffic to your website. This traffic will create a constant stream of prospects to turn themselves into leads. Make sure you are giving your visitors good reasons to give you information about themselves. The more content you create the better your chances are at being ranked in the eyes of the search engines. I dare you not to spend any money on marketing. Start by creating content well, promote that content and you will grow organically. Your startup team is smart, use your collective brain power to create inbound marketing programs without spending any money.