When to Do SEO

Before investing in SEO, evaluate whether or not it has the potential to have a large impact on your business. Not every business benefits in the same magnitude from SEO. The way to tell is by seeing if there is already a big market and your site has existing authority.

To tell if it’s already a big market, look at product competitors and audience competitors to see how much traffic they have. Product competitors are direct competitors or ones that have significant overlap with your business. Audience competitors are sites that reach the same kinds of personas or segments that buy your product.

Using Similarweb, you can see how much traffic sites are getting. Make a Fermi estimate to see what that traffic would do for your business by taking to amount of traffic, an estimated conversion rate, and avg revenue.

Next, evaluate your exiting site for search engine authority—non-search engine traffic and backlinks. Getting growth from SEO is more successful when you have existing traffic and referrals. You can check for traffic by going to Similarweb and putting in your website. You can check for backlinks using a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush. Generally speaking, you should have 1000 visitors per day and 1000 referring sites.

From The ultimate guide to SEO on Lenny’s Podcast.

See also:

  • Three Kinds of SEO

    There are three kinds of SEO: technical, programmatic, and editorial. Technical SEO is about setting up the right infrastructure for pages including page speed, internal link architecture, redirects, and so on. Programmatic SEO generates pages automatically from a database (e.g. a page for each address on a real estate website) and sometimes comes from UGC, user generated content. Editorial SEO is content written by a person about a set of topics to drive traffic around relevant keywords.

  • Choosing the Best SEO Strategy

    Which of the three kinds of SEO works best depends on the business, but these days editorial content performs the best. Previously, having highly optimized technical SEO with the right tags and keywords was enough to rank highly in search results, but not anymore. Not every company has a natural fit for programmatic content that matches what people are searching for (e.g. Zillow with a page for each address). However, every company can write editorial content.