Search Marketing As A Pathway To Growth

by Rick Elenbaas
25 September 2014

I was fortunate enough to attend the Sunrise conference last week to hear from some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs including Salmat’s own Phil Salter. The line-up was excellent and the speakers were incredibly candid in sharing their (often tumultuous) journeys to success as the founders of highly successful Australian companies.

One of the things that resonated with me was the impact that search marketing can have on a business’s growth trajectory. A number of speakers explicitly referenced the impact of SEO on their businesses.

Key points that stood out were:

  • Technical SEO can be a deal breaker
  • Content is crucial
  • Domain selection counts
  • Design matters

Technical SEO can be a deal breaker

Bevan Clark who co-founded RetailMeNot referenced battling a number of technical SEO issues. These included accidentally blocking Googlebot which resulted in de-indexing the site and another issue where the development team incorrectly implemented canonical tags site wide referencing the home page. Both issues removed large swathes of Retailmenot’s content from the Google index which correlated with “dips in revenue growth” according to Bevan. My takeout is that getting technical SEO right is crucial for all businesses (including start-ups) and that getting the best SEO partner possible should be a priority to both prevent issues and accelerate the growth curve.

Content is crucial

Collis Ta’eed from uber-successful start up Envato (parent company to digital market places like Themeforest) referenced the impact that adding content to the site had on traffic in the early days and how a lot of effort went into sourcing content. “As soon as we started getting content we starting getting traffic and once we got traffic we started hustling for more content again”.

Bevan Clark from Retailmenot also referenced the decision to run Victoria’s secret discount coupons despite having no affiliate relationship. This content attracted large volumes of new traffic and users along with inbound links which helped to grow the brand and the overall SEO performance. My view is that all businesses need to have a publisher mind-set and be sourcing and developing content that appeals to their users. I also think that taking Collis’s approach and hustling to source and promote content can’t hurt

Domain Selection Counts

Matt Barrie from Freelancer.com referenced his decision to invest ~$325,000 USD in the Freelancer.com domain and rebrand from Getafreelancer.com; this was an incredibly brave decision for a fledgling start-up with minimal capital. The decision paid off in spades from both a brand marketing and SEO perspective with the sites rankings surging after being redirected. My opinion is that domain selection matters for SEO (along with branding and marketing) and that the choice of domain can help to accelerate growth.

Design Matters

A number of speakers referenced the impact that great digital design can have on a business. Martin Hosking co-founder of the creative community and marketplace Redbubble.com talked at length about sweating the details of the initial designs as the site needed to appeal to artists and art lovers. Sites with great design can realise a number of benefits from a search perspective specifically around; user engagement, conversion rates and looking more authoritative (which when combined with great content can help to attract links organically).

In summary, great search marketing and design can help to grow businesses of all sizes from fledging startups to well established corporations. As marketing evolves it is increasingly important to continuously try and test different methods and to stay agile and hungry.

Find ot more about Salmat's search offering here or call us on 1300 725 628.


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About the author
Rick Elenbaas
SEO Operations Manager

Rick Elenbaas is the SEO Operations Manager for Salmat with more than four years of digital agency experience, working for strong brands in competitive markets across Australia. Specialising in technical SEO operations, Rick is passionate about continuously improving and automating processes to accelerate the optimisation and organic growth of his client's websites. He has also strong web analytic abilities and advanced knowledge of web based technologies, including Wordpress.

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