Crypto marketing and SEO guide

SEO for crypto-related businesses is different from SEO for other types of businesses. By the time the latest DeFi protocol shows up in conventional keyword tools, the latest NFT mint is already blowing up. By using conventional tools and SEO practices, you'll always be a few steps behind the latest trends.

In this guide, I'll show you my approach to crypto marketing that gives me a competitive edge.

Wouter van der Meij
Wouter van der Meij
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SEO for crypto-related businesses is different from SEO for other types of businesses. The market changes really fast.

The first step in marketing is finding who your customers are. In the case of crypto you can think of the following: Internet native and crypto savvy, young internet native, boomers and institutions

To target the first group, the internet native, crypto savvy people. You need to think of targeting them via Twitter (Crypto Twitter), Medium and probably Discord and Telegram.

The second group is the group that isn't probably as technically savvy, but is curious and wants to learn and invest. This is the Robinhood and Tik Tok generation.

The third group, the older generation is less internet-savvy. You can still reach these people via old marketing methods like TV commercials, radio and billboards. But, you can also target them via Google text ads and SEO.

The last group: institutions, has been around for a while and knows exactly what might be a project with potential. You better come up with a great pitch to get in the loop. Don't forget that these people all know each other. So once you've got one of them to invest in, you'll easily find more.

How is crypto SEO different from normal SEO?

Crypto SEO is a lot different from other SEO. Most sites in the crypto space don't have a lot of content, and most are built on a javascript framework that Google can't really index very well.

Next to that, try doing keyword research for an industry that is developing by the day.

I've built an alert system on top of Google Trends. I basically scrape the Google trends data of crypto-related keywords to get notified of the latest trends in crypto.

Technical SEO for crypto businesses is most often quite the same as technical SEO for other businesses. The only thing is, that a lot of crypto projects behave more like web apps.

Crypto SEO is a little different from other niches. The main difference is that you want to stay on top of the latest changes in the industry by using Google trends or the trends API.

Next to that, a trend within crypto is to build sites on javascript frameworks that Google doesn't really understand that well. Make sure to prerender your site, or use server side rendering.

And links, be sure to build links.

Crypto marketing in a nutshell

The first step in marketing is finding who your customers are. In the case of crypto you can think of the following:

  • Internet native and crypto savvy.
  • Internet native, young generation, but new to crypto
  • Boomers, not internet native, slightly older generation
  • Institutions

To target the first group, the internet native, crypto savvy people. You need to think of targeting them via Twitter (Crypto Twitter), Medium and probably Discord and Telegram. That's where they hang out. You'll get the most out of Twitter, specifically the Crypto Twitter community. Maybe you could target these people via Reddit as well. Consider sponsoring podcasts or try to get featured in interviews with big shows.

The second group is the group that isn't probably as technically savvy, but is curious and wants to learn and invest. This is the Robinhood and Tik Tok generation. You want to target this group via Youtube, Tik Tok and maybe Instagram as well.

The third group, the older generation is less internet-savvy. You can still reach these people via old marketing methods like TV commercials, radio and billboards. But, you can also target them via Google text ads and SEO. This group is generally just starting to dip their toes in crypto, they're not fully aware of the opportunities yet and need help in getting invested. You'll need to explain more about your product and they need more guidance.

But, this is a large group with a lot of money. There's a lot of potential in onboarding this group of people.

The last group: institutions, is quite a difficult one. A lot of money sloshing around while the group itself is quite small. I personally consider the big crypto Twitter OG's and VC's to be part of this group.

This group has been around for a while and knows exactly what might be a project with potential. You better come up with a great pitch to get in the loop. Don't forget that these people all know each other. So once you've got one of them to invest in, you'll easily find more.

How is crypto SEO different from normal SEO?

Crypto SEO is a lot different from other SEO. Most sites in the crypto space don't have a lot of content, and most are built on a javascript framework that Google can't really index very well. 

Next to that, try doing keyword research for an industry that is developing by the day. 

By the time most keyword tools show the search volumes for a new protocol (it takes a few months), the next three protocols might already have blown up. And you'll always be late for the party.

There is a way to tackle this.

Automated Google Trends data

Umbrellum has found a solution for this. Instead of using the Google keyword planner API (which is the industry standard). I've built an alert system on top of Google Trends. I basically scrape the Google trends data of crypto-related keywords to get notified of the latest trends in crypto. This way, I'm notified of the latest daily trends or even hourly trends. And, if I want to use this data for trading, even on a minute by minute basis.

This is gold for content creation. I'm the first to see what coins, trends, protocols and releases are blowing up in the space. And can write content briefs accordingly.

Google keyword data is great for long term growth and general crypto-related keywords and subjects (keywords like "best crypto exchange", "where to buy bitcoin", "What is DeFi"). But, to stay on top of the game you need to know the latest trends. 

You could follow influencers on Twitter, and keep on top of things in a sort of manual way. But you can also track suggested searches in Google trends. These trending keywords often show you what is happening in the space before it blows up on Twitter, or is even shown in other keyword tools.

How to rank a crypto business

To rank high on Google you need three things:

  1. Content
  2. Technical SEO
  3. Authority

These three aspects all work together. If the site is unreadable technically by GoogleBot, it won't rank for any word that is used in the content. If the site is technically correct but has the wrong content and wording that nobody searches for, you might rank high, but for keywords, nobody searches for. And finally, if your content is in place on a technically correct website, but you lack authority, you will rank for the right keywords, but deep in the search results. Not that high.

You basically need all three to rank high on Google. It depends on the site what you need most. Some sites need more content, others more authority and others need to get their technical crawlability together first before optimizing anything else. It all depends.

Content SEO for crypto

Content SEO for crypto is almost like every other content strategy: you write content about keywords that are searched for the most. But, the problem with crypto is: things change very fast. So you need to change things up a bit. 

You can always try to rank for evergreen keywords that will always have search volume in the market. Think of keywords like "buy bitcoin". Ranking for keywords like that will always bring in traffic, no matter what.

But, it's also very difficult to rank due to the competition. Maybe you want to rank for the latest technological innovations or trends. If you're early to that it can be quite easy to rank for and attract a lot of visitors if it catches on. One way of keeping an eye on these trends is via Google trends, as described earlier. Personally, I've built an app that alerts me based on Google Trends' API when new trending searches come up. But, you can also make it a daily habit to have a look at the Google trends dashboards.

Next to normal content optimization, you can also focus on questions people ask about crypto. Crypto is still quite a mystery for a lot of people, the group of people searching for information is quite big. You can utilize this by analyzing the questions Google shows in its search results, the so-called People also Ask questions. Our Umbrellum software scrapes these and saves them for users to use. We've also made them publicly available via our question database tool. You can basically query any keyword and it will return a list of questions that are found in the database. 

Technical SEO for crypto

Technical SEO for crypto businesses is most often quite the same as technical SEO for other businesses. The only thing is, that a lot of crypto projects behave more like web apps. And that often forms a problem. So, without diving too deep into the technical SEO aspect in general, I do like to expand a little bit on one of the technical SEO problems that occur most often in crypto SEO: Javascript frameworks.

Javascript rendering

Next to knowing the latest content trends is making sure Google can understand your site, otherwise the content won't rank. A lot of sites in the crypto space are built like an app and have a lot of javascript to make the site as fast as possible. Google might not understand anything of it though. Google works in the following manner: 

  1. When Google finds a link, it adds that page to the crawl queue. 
  2. The page gets crawled. Basic HTML is parsed and links that are found are also added to the queue.
  3. The page gets indexed. This means that the page can be found on Google.
  4. The page gets rendered, but only if there is javascript loaded on the page. New content that's found will be indexed as well.

The tricky part is between 3. and 4. If the content of the page only shows up after rendering. The page at step 3. will literally be empty. Only after step 4, Google will see some content.

The problem is that rendering a page takes a lot of time compared to steps 1 to 3. Google only has a limited crawl budget per site, and when that time is finished, it will simply stop. If the queue fills up faster than Google can render, you'll end up with a clogged up queue and content that's not indexed. This problem gets worse as the site grows.

There are multiple ways to fix this. In a sense, you can try to squeeze in as much rendering as possible in the time window that Google reserves for your website. Simply make the site render faster. Or, you can try to increase its authority, to increase Google's crawl budget. But, the problem won't even exist if you simply make sure that in step 3 Google can see all the content it needs to see.

That's the best solution. Make sure that you serve a serverside rendered version of the site to Google the moment an HTML document is requested. Make sure that no Javascript is needed to see the content on the page. Of course, you can modify the content with Javascript, that's not a problem. As long as Google can see the content in step 3, you're good.

Most Javascript frameworks like Angular, ReactJS, Vue, etc. have a built-in prerender or have the ability to serve serverside rendered content.

Link building for crypto companies

The third element to ranking high in Google is authority. Google sees every link on the web as a vote. The more votes from other sites to yours, the higher Google will value you. But, votes (links) from highly authoritative sites are valued more than links from sites that aren't that authoritative. So you want as many high authority backlinks as possible. And you want them to be as relevant as possible. Basically, you want links from other high authority crypto-related websites.

I've done a lot of link building over the past few years. Below I'll list some ideas to get started:

  • Sites related to crypt linking to other sites. Enter this in the Google search bar and you'll end up with a lot of relevant sites to crypto that has a page with links: "crypto" inurl:links
  • Sites that allow guest posts: intitle:guestpost crypto.
  • Sites that allow sponsorships: intitle:sponsors crypto
  • Sites that link to merchants that accept crypto: "Merchants accepting cryptocurrencies"
  • Startup directories. There are a lot of startup directories where you can sign up and get listed with your business, they often also allow for links to your site.

Next to that you can take a look at the backlinks of competing companies and see where they get their links from. You can use Ahrefs for that, or Umbrellum in the near future.

To conclude

Crypto SEO is a little different from other niches. The main difference is that you want to stay on top of the latest changes in the industry by using Google trends or the trends API. Next to that, a trend within crypto is to build sites on javascript frameworks that Google doesn't really understand that well. Make sure to prerender your site, or use server side rendering.