Video: SEO for Startups in Under 10 Minutes

video-seo-for-startupsGoogle has released a new video called “SEO for startups in under 10 minutes.” Since we at OurChurch.Com provide SEO services for startups, I thought I’d take a look and offer my thoughts on it…

Good Advice

The video has a lot of good info in it, including several suggestions people might not think to do like:

  • Choose whether you want to use the www. or non-www version of your domain name and set up a 301 redirect so the one you don’t want to use redirects to the one you do.
  • Verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools and set yourself up to receive email notifications of site problems.
  • Do a domain name background check
  • Include analytics code

The Google SEO POV

But keep in mind the video is done by Google. Their goal is to get as much information about you and your site as they can and to promote their services like Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, AdWords and Google+ (all mentioned in the video).

Google doesn’t care whether your site ranks better or worse than your competitors, so the video doesn’t provide any advice on how get ahead of your competitors. There’s little advice about on-page optimization other than helping Google understand what each page on your site is about, and no advice concerning link building.

The video also underplays the importance of keyword research. The video gives the example of using the words “running shoes” instead of “athletic footwear” because “running shoes” is searched for more often is good, but that’s only part of it. It’s also important to understand how competitive the phrases are that you’re considering targeting because it’s not beneficial to target phrases you have no hope of ranking well for just because they’re popular.

The video also makes no mention of running regular search ranking reports to see how well your SEO efforts are paying off and to detect any problems.

Lastly, I take issue with the statement that if a company that provides SEO services guarantees anything it’s “bad news.” We at OurChurch.Com guarantee five Top 10 and ten Top 20 Rankings. Does that mean we get every client those rankings? No, but it shows that we are so confident we can achieve those rankings that we’re willing to risk giving a client their money back. For the record, in 7 years of providing SEO services with a guarantee, we routinely achieve 3 times the guarantee or more and have only fallen short once. That’s why our guarantee is not “bad news.”

Bottom line is…

…the video is very typical of Google’s SEO philosophy: help us do our job by making sure your site is structured well and don’t worry about your search rankings.  The information is good but very incomplete.

What do you think of the video? What did you find most helpful? What was left out that you think is important.

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

2 Responses to “Video: SEO for Startups in Under 10 Minutes”

  1. Well said Paul. Google tends to go back and forth between 2 methods of success in search.

    1. Just make a good site and have a great product and magically you'll get great search rankings and be a wild success.
    2. You need to create lots of great, fresh, viral content for your site. That will get people to link to you and share you site and will cause your site to rank well.

    The first concept (aspoused in this video) is delusional and ridiculous. A start up site that only does a little on-page SEO will end up only ranking for a handful of noncompetitive keywords that few people search for. Without link building they will never grow from there and will eventually go out of business.

    The second concept works, but it takes a lot of work. Google expects people who want to engage in a certain type of business to put that aside and become content creators and marketers. For small start ups who don't happen to love writing and marketing, this is unrealistic. Even those entrepreneurs who do like creating content, they tend to have little time for it because they…I don't know…have a business to run.

    But, this is Google's world and we just live in it. So, start up sites need to find a way to create content and get people to link to them. So, they either have to figure out how to do this themselves or hire someone to help them do it. That's the reality of it.

    Like you said, Paul, this video has some good advice, but it's surfacy and leaves out a lot. For most start up companies, if they soley followed the advice of this video, they end up out of business in less than a year.

  2. Keywords are huge and are pretty much ignored in the video. A good way to promote your site is to create a video and share it to video hosting sites like youtube, dailymotion, vimeo, etc. Especially if you pick good keywords, it can really boost your SEO rank. Video is 53 times more likely to be on the 1st page of Google according to comscore and thus it is important to try and take advantage of this avenue of promotion.