Search engine data has become the lynchpin of many companies today, making or breaking certain business models. At the heart of this are the firms that handle this data and harness it to its full potential, drawing actionable data for businesses to analyze and use.
SEMrush, a US firm, is one of the key firms driving this data revolution.
AMEinfo had the opportunity to speak with SEMrush’s Head of Communications, Fernando Angulo, to learn more about their business and the latest data trends in the region.
In introduction, Angulo explains that the SEMrush brand was founded in the United States and represents its largest market globally. They have six offices around the world, three of which are in the US. They also have offices in Cyprus, Prague and Russia.
This month, the company was recognised with a win for the second year running at the MENA Search Awards 2019.
This is the first of a 2-part interview feature. In the 2nd part, we explore the growing importance of voice search for brands and SEO.
Can you brief us about SEMrush and the main services you offer?
SEMrush is an online digital platform. We help individuals and companies – [anyone] that owns a website – to improve their online visibility across all of their marketing channels: SEO, advertising, content creation, social media and of course, business intelligence. All these channels are supported by [the] different tools that we are providing. Right now, we have about 30 different tools and we are supporting more than 4 million customers in 150 countries.
Our main focus is to create a perfect environment for every digital marketer.
How is SEMrush distinct and different from other analytics firms, given that the market is really dense with competition in this field. How are your services and philosophy different from other firms?
First, when you are trying to identify the best tools for search engine optimization, you will find that there are about 8000 or 10000 out there. Approximately 40% of them are our clients.
We are data owners, so we own all the data – we have the service but are not the supplier. There are just a few companies that use their own data. For one, the price is really high to run such a service, and we have been working with different algorithms for the past 5 years to ensure our service is optimal. We have been in the market for 11 years, and as such we have a lot of data. Therefore, we are data owners, not data suppliers in that sense.
Secondly: our philosophy. We are growing really, really, fast. When I started working with the company, we were almost 16 people. We were a startup. That was 9 years ago. Today, we are about to be 1000 employees – we’ve been growing exponentially.
The reason for that is that we are an agile company. Every single process we have in the company is managed by people. We don’t have directors, or a board of directors. We have C-level management, which say to the employees that this company is yours, and you are free to fulfill your personal and business ambitions.
So, that’s our philosophy. We need to feel the market’s needs.
Can you share with us five key areas UAE e-commerce needs to focus on continuously and why?
Firstly, the most important aspect of search results that companies need to work on is the feature snippet. These [snippets] are usually generated in response to a question search query. How, where, when, etc.
One of the reasons for [its importance] is that feature snippets are the foundation for voice search.
We conducted research at the beginning of the year and found out that 60% of search results that are voice-based are based on the feature snippet.
Essentially, the same question you’d type into Google, you are likely to use voice search to look for. As such, the feature snippet serves as the blueprint for both search methods, and is why companies need to focus on it.
For every feature snippet that your company nets, you will also net a voice search result. One search query will result in one result.
In other words, the answer a voice assistant like Alexa would give you in response to a question query is the result found in the feature snippet, often the first result you find on a search results page. Technically, the feature snippet result is assigned rank 0, higher than the 1st-place ranked search result you’d find usually, Angulo explains.
Companies need to focus on feature snippets right now. It is the basis of voice search, which will change the way we search in the near future. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, IBM and others are actively investing in voice search.
Secondly, you have influencer marketing. Personal branding and personal growth on social networks is really great. Having influencers market your products is a really great push for your business.
Thirdly, you have content marketing. Without content marketing, you cannot run your ecommerce business. Content marketing is the foundation of your online visibility.
Fourthly, e-commerce companies need to consider page speed. Everything needs to open really fast. Most of the ecommerce websites today are not so fast because of current technology, Https security and existing protocols.
Finally, video marketing. All the trends right now point towards video marketing and video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. We also have a lot of advertising in original shows by VOD (video on demand) companies like Netflix and HBO.
Product placement is working. With digital platforms, it’ll work even better. Therefore, video marketing will continue to be a trend in the years to come.