The goal of any business is to make money, and the only way to make money is to get clients/customers. For my Boston SEO company, getting clients means doing a lot of upfront work to find, cultivate and close the deal with a great lead. But for every great lead that comes down the pipeline, I have to sort through at least a dozen bad ones. My business has reached the point where I don’t have to take on every potential client that comes my way. I can afford to be a little picky, and I strive to work with clients that I know I can help. If I think that my company is not the SEO firm for you, I’m not afraid to say so.

After 12 years in the search marketing industry, I have found that most of the “bad” SEO clients are startups and new site owners. It usually has nothing to do with the personality of people running the sites, or even the sites themselves. More often than not it has to deal with their expectations. One of the most important things to remember is that SEO is long-term! What you do know may not have an immediate effect on your site, but it will resonate for years to come.

Here are 5 tips for new sites and startups to help you along your SEO journey:

Avoid Getting Greedy

Launching 1,000 sites at once (something I’ve seen happen) is not a good way to go about SEO. First off, every single one of those sites needs to be optimized and have its own link building campaign developed. I’ve found that many new site owners don’t always understand how much time that takes. If you want to build any kind of brand, stick to one site when you launch! Getting greedy and trying to take on too much at once means the majority of your sites will suffer. There just isn’t enough time in a day to do proper, white hat SEO for that many sites and have it be cost effective for you.

No Microsites

I’ve talked to plenty of new site owners who think that the only way they will ever rank for their chosen keywords is to create keyword heavy microsites that link back to the main site. Don’t devalue your brand by creating all these microsites! Let’s say you get your wish and those microsites rank really well, even better than you actual site. Wouldn’t it be better to just have the main site ranking well? Having a mircosite serve are your landing page means visitors have to click through one more thing to get to your site. Chances are you’ll lose a lot of traffic along the way.

Start Your Blog Now

New sites have little to no established trust factor with the search engines, so you have to start thinking long term. If you start your company blog at the same time you launch your site, those older posts are going to amass a tremendous amount of trust over time. Developing your blog’s reputation as a good source of industry information doesn’t happen overnight! If you want to build a community of loyal readers, you need to give your blog time to age. If you don’t think you can commit full-time to a company blog, try to get at least one post published a week. As those blog posts age they will rank in the search engines, increasing your brand presence and help drive traffic to your site.

Optimize Your Site Before Launch

It is much easier to optimize a new site for SEO before it has gone live. For one, you aren’t trying to fit keywords into a pre-existing “script,” so it much easier to keep the content sounding natural. Secondly, if you are paying a web designer to create and launch your site, chances are it will be very expensive to have them go back and optimize it for SEO one it’s live. Having them do it now will help save you money down the road.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Wrong

Very few sites hit the SEO nail on the head right from the start. Sometimes keywords need to be tweaked, content rewritten, graphics replaced and so forth. SEO is long term process which builds upon itself, but you won’t instantly know if what you are doing is having a positive, negative or neutral effect. You have to be willing to be wrong and try again! Site analytics are your best friend, so make sure you sign up for Google Analytics from that start. It will keep track of all the data you could ever want to know about your site, helping you make more educated SEO decisions as time goes.

About the Author

Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing (, a Boston Internet marketing and social SEO firm.  With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO articles to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal, and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 140,000 opt-in subscribers.

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