Why we built SEO Buddy?
My name is Romain Brabant, a French webpreneur based in The Bahamas.
My LinkedIn profile will share some details about my previous business ventures; some of them succeeded, others failed, and a few I’d be too embarrassed to discuss in public. At one point one of my sideline businesses was to buy and sell websites on Flippa marketplace, which I still enjoy doing when a good opportunity presents itself.
As all my ideas and businesses are online, SEO has always been at the heart of the success of my various business ventures. And over the years, I have worked with many SEO Agencies, including the most famous.
With that said, I easily spent $500,000 USD just on SEO services alone over the past 10 years; some of these agencies charged me as much as $10,000 USD per month for some of my most successful businesses. They did nothing short of fantastic, but through time I noticed a few major problems that kept reoccurring with all of them.
Don’t get me wrong, these agencies were great and they helped me achieve +300% increase in organic traffic for established businesses that were over 3-years old, and which already had a considerable amount of audience and traffic. But every time I tried a new agency, I had to go over the same steps:
- Site Audit and preliminary On-Page SEO Optimization of my Website,
- Understand my business as it is their own,
- Create a content pipeline according to the limitation of my monthly budget,
- Find similar content if any available, on the web, and try to make it better,
- Influencer outreach to get links from third party website to your content,
- Analyze Result (Keyword Position, new Backlinks) in a Monthly Report
- And then repeat from Step 3.
Having worked with the bests in the industry, I figured jumping from one agency to the next is not the most efficient way to attack these common problems.
And that is why we built SEOBUDDY.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Birth of SEO Buddy
- 2 Problem #1:At some point, most SEO Agencies start to plateau
- 3 Problem #2:Not all of my businesses could afford SEO Agency.
- 4 Problem #3:How to train your team to do SEO and make it sustainable?
- 5 Problem #4:An SEO agency is not your best brand ambassador.
- 6 Problem #5:It’s not a sprint nor a marathon, it’s a lifetime commitment.
- 7 SEO Buddy IS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED
The Birth of SEO Buddy
The idea of building my own tool to solve these issues came to mind when I was reading Rework by David Heinemeier and Jason Fried, the founders of Basecamp.
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In 2012, while reading #rework I got the #idea to build #seobuddy – it took me 4 years to finally get the strength to finally put time & resources on this idea and 3 additional years to finally have a minimum viable product. We’re now ready for #saastrannual2019 #saastr #saastrannual – thanks @jason.fried and @dhh79 for the #inspiration – from The Bahamas 🇧🇸
I was especially captivated with the chapter called “Scratch Your Own Itch.”
This galvanized my desire to build a software that I know I would need for my own business. I believed in my own team, and I know if I can make a tool that would make SEO a task that everyone can share in, it would help me efficiently allocate the resources I already have.
After over a year of building and testing the tool, we’re finally pre-launching it to the market. And certainly, here are the list of problems SEO Buddy solved for me, and could do for you, too.
At some point, most SEO Agencies start to plateau
The first problem I noticed was, if you keep on paying the same amount of money to the same SEO Agency, you’ll get the same amount of effort, and probably method, that will not always deliver the same awesome results. They simply STOP improving and hit a plateau.
In fact, I see SEO agencies as security experts. If you order a security audit from an agency such as Cure53, they will recommend, for extra security, that you work with one of their competitors such as Synacktiv. Clearly, sometimes it takes another point of view to discover new ideas or methodology and have a new breakthrough moment.
Moreover, working with a new SEO Agency at that point would mean having to argue that you don’t need a new on-page optimization that you already paid for with the previous agency, and having to re-explain again what is your business and know-how and what has been
SEO Buddy is a tool that would allow you to take onboard new talent for your SEO efforts where previously you had reached a plateau, without losing
historyof what havebeen done in past, and to do it in a cost-efficient way so as to deliver consistent effort.
Not all of my businesses could afford SEO Agency.
SEO Agencies that are at the top of their game cost a lot of money, money that not all businesses can afford. And of course, their results don’t happen overnight, unlike CPC advertising where you can rip off the profit almost overnight if you have good Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) to deliver a positive Return on Invest (ROI).
If you’ve worked with an SEO agency before, you’ll know SEO efforts will give their first result only after a few
weeks months, and during that time you just have to sit back and hope you’re not wasting your money with the wrong team.
Clearly, if my business is not yet successful, from the outset I simply couldn’t afford the high premium of their service. If you are a cash strapped startup now, you have to build your product and stay frugal in order to become a master of SEO.
SEO Buddy is a tool that allows entrepreneurs to take control of their SEO efforts; it not only empowers them to do it, more importantly, it also helps them with a cost-efficient strategy.
With SEO Buddy, it’s now possible for your startup team to handle your own SEO strategy, without necessarily having to hire from the beginning an SEO agency or a full-fledged in-house SEO / Content Marketing team
How to train your team to do SEO and make it sustainable?
SEO requires knowledge on so many levels. There are terminologies that are oftentimes confusing, and it really is intimidating to learn especially for the not-so-techy employees.
Moreover, SEO requires a lot of organization that’s in itself time-consuming. I had experienced having been in this dilemma in the past, and even though I have a reliable team in the Philippines, it wasn’t smooth sailing at all.
It was quite a nightmare not just for me but for everybody. Even though I presented this training as a way for them to grow into a new, more rewarding role, it didn’t give them enough motivation to learn SEO or to do it consistently.
This happened despite having all the training materials and an SEO expert I hired in-house. Most importantly, I had a hard time trying to spot who did what, who has the best talent, and where the results were coming from. Ultimately, we all gave up and our SEO expert lost faith.
After dealing with hundreds of spreadsheets that stay probably unopened, I thought of a way to solve it. We can make SEO exciting if we make it less of a chore and more like a short game.
SEO Buddy helps you train your team to practice good SEO, in a sustainable way by creating a backlog of “Short Mission” that would never take more than 20 minutes. While giving your team incentives to stay motivated in delivering consistent results, allowing you to to discover who are the best talents in your own team, what is the specialty of each talent (content idea, keyword discovery, analyst, outreach specialist, … ) and finally what sprint delivered the best success and the ammunition to repeat this success.
If it’s visible to everyone else, it would be easier for them to emulate the process. Hence, we won’t plateau, and we eliminate the guesswork faster than using the services of an SEO Agency.
An SEO agency is not your best brand ambassador.
The heart of SEO is CONTENT. You want to work with someone who understands your business as much as you do to make your SEO efforts effective. If you work with SEO agencies, you’ll have to feed them with the know-how and all the good stuff about you and your business.
They certainly don’t know it better than you at the beginning, and even if they try their best to become an expert on your behalf, you’ll still invest a lot of your time and knowledge for them to give the best results. And ironically, instead of taking one major burden off your shoulders, you start your journey with so much added weight on your plate because you’ll need to cooperate with them.
Under the impulse of an SEO agency you’ll move mountains to ensure that, if it fails it won’t be your fault because you didn’t listen to all their advice (that again means a lot of effort from you or your own team) and your investments don’t go down the drain due to your attitude.
I invested so much time and effort to make things happen with these SEO agencies that I sometimes wondered why I simply didn’t take the time to have these discussions with my own team? I would have saved so much money. If you have a great company culture then the best ambassadors of your business, who knows it in-depth so as to write constantly about it and make great outreach on a regular basis, are those in your own team.
To give you an idea:
Could your CTO write some content on Medium about the challenge to scale your business?
Could your CFO write some content about how you bootstrap money to grow your business?
Could your CEO share his experience on how to build a successful business?
Could your Customer Success employee write about customer success and happiness?
Could your Support agent answer questions on Quora related to your business?
If you have a team of 5 people and they all spend just one afternoon per month sharing their positive experience, that’s already more than 1 post per week to publish in your content pipeline. And yes, they all can write educational content that will respect your audience’s time with honest advice based on their own experience.
With SEO Buddy, your team can discover and organize new content ideas and share it within a tool where everyone can see to maintain a proper content pipeline in an efficient way.
It’s not a sprint nor a marathon, it’s a
This cliché is not strong enough for SEO. Your efforts need to be consistent for the rest of the life of your business. Even if the content you produce is evergreen, it will still fade with time, and once a year you will have to improve your evergreen content.
And still, on a weekly basis, you will have to monitor your competition so as to uncover new opportunities or follow the trend set by the influencers in your niche to be one of the first to react to a new product, or speak with your customer success or support team on a regular basis to find the “one” idea suggested by one of your customers that might disrupt your industry.
SEO is a never-ending journey and definitively not a one-man show mission. It takes a team of people passionate about your business.
I’m a strong believer that if you have a team of 3 or more people, and if each of them spends just 20 minutes a day towards some specific SEO Chores, every single working day, and a half-day a month producing content, it would deliver the most amazing results for both your SEO, organic traffic, and your bottom line.
SEO Buddy creates short “Daily Missions” that only takes less than 20 minutes per employee, and somehow ‘gamified’ them to keep your team motivated while not boring them to death so they can deliver consistent efforts, and results, in the long run.
SEO Buddy IS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED
SEO Buddy makes SEO and content marketing simple and friendly for businesses of all sizes. Now we aim to improve it every day to release a fully-fledged SaaS solution to train teams to become more efficient in their SEO routine.
We will release a series of new posts to showcase the features of the product we’re building with love; we really want to deliver value to any business who gives us a chance to shine.
Since the 21st of August 2019, our Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is ready to onboard our first users, and our goal is to conduct as many prospective user interviews as possible to make sure we build a product that people wants to use.
I welcome and offer a one-to-one video call to anyone who wants me to showcase our product in person, and I look forward to collecting your feedback so we can improve SEO Buddy every day.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below.
I will personally answer all of your concerns.
Very good blog