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You’ve got a great product or service. You know this thing can go. And you want to tell everyone about it. Now.

But the best best piece of advice we can give you is this: Don’t try to launch with a killer website. You’re more likely to shoot yourself in the foot with this approach to your spending and start-up costs.

Here’s why

It’s going to take time to establish your organic search ranking. That’s just a fact. Don’t take it personally; every new website is subject to the same thing. You are not going to rank for months – and that’s assuming you’re actively optimizing. Use that time to get it right before ramping up your spending. This will not only mean a clearer message, it will also save you start-up costs in the short term.

SEO rank times can vary a lot, depending on a grab bag of factors. Not a very scientific observation, but the reality is never attractive to enthusiastic start-up owners. It takes longer than you imagine for your awesome website to rank in the top 10 search results. It doesn’t matter how innovative your business model is. In fact, innovative is often just another word for counter-intuitive – not a quality search engines (or your potential customers) immediately get.

The standard answer to the question, “How soon will my site start ranking?” is between six and 12 months. If that comes as a shock, please sit with your head between your knees and breathe regularly. We’ll walk you through your disappointment while you thank us for curbing your start-up costs.

The first positive spin to consider is: don’t take it personally. Everyone is in the same boat, and we all have to pay the ferryman. Analytics powerhouse Ahrefs mined their massive data bank and came up with the following tidbit:

Ranking - start-up costs

Ranking of pages within one year of launch (from Ahrefs)

What this tells us is that only 5.7 per cent of all new pages rank in the top 10 for at least one keyword in their first 12 months. Ouch! Double ouch when you consider the other 95 per cent who weren’t even that lucky (where Luck = Hard Work + Knowledge).

Let’s assume you are going to be one of the lucky ones. Why? Because you are going to bring in specialists to get you there, right?

Of the 5.7 per cent who made it in their first 12 months, only 0.3 per cent got there using high-volume (more generic) keywords. The following chart illustrates a key consideration: your surest path to ranking is going to take between 61 and 182 days, and it’s going to come using low-volume (more specific) keywords.

ahrefs top 10 lucky ones

Days to rank in the top 10 for the 5.7% lucky pages (from Ahrefs)

You get the point. Your bad-ass website – the one that’s going to take the market by storm – is going to be invisible to organic search for at least six months. You should save your money by limiting your start-up costs. Reapportion it to other short-term urgencies, or wait and invest it at a better time downstream.

Why would you put $12,000 to $15,000 or more of your early start-up capital into a website that the vast majority of your future customers won’t be able to find? What if your principal concern is to simply establish SEO credibility? That can be done by spending only what is needed.

One big way to manage your start-up costs

At Plasmechanica, our value to you is over the long haul. It’s why we advocate for building strategically. We advise taking advantage of our Start-up Fast Track packages. Starting at only $1,500, why spend $12,000 or more for a website you’re going to have to change (and pay for) within your first 12 months?

You will get a powerful promotional presence on the Web, while crafting rock-solid SEO value during those relatively dormant early months.

Save all the bells and whistles for when visitors can actually find you organically. Save those projected ambitions for a period one year from now when you have a much sharper sense of your company and its natural place in the market.

And we’re always here to talk about it.

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