How to build a global SEO company: 5 tips from the SEMrush founders
SEMrush co-founders, Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitri Melnikov, together with a small group of SEO and IT specialists with a big mission in mind – to make online competition fair and transparent, with equal opportunities for everyone.
Fast-forward nine years, SEMrush has turned into an SEO giant, with a team size of 400 people passionate about marketing, teamwork, and agile culture.
With an annual revenue growth of 80%, four offices around the world, including Philadelphia (U.S. headquarters), Czech Republic, Cyprus and Russia, SEMrush is working toward a goal to have customers all around the world.
Here are the 5 tips on how to build a global venture to all aspiring entrepreneurs.
1. Experiment a lot
We treat any specific advice with a grain of salt.
A particular strategy may not work for your company, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work for ours. And vice versa. There are countless stories that prove this theory right.
We would advise any entrepreneur to think with your own head because every company is different.
It’s more important to build the DNA of your business and then believe in it and defend it.
Many solutions might work for one business but will never work for your company. Every company has an entirely different DNA.
2. Be greedy for knowledge
The second thing we would say to a future entrepreneur is about greed. Don’t be afraid of being greedy.
Don’t be greedy for money though, be hungry for changes, evolution, and development.
“We want to make it even better,” that’s what we say to ourselves, and that’s what fuels our desire to work hard.
3. Protect areas that are vital to your company
There is a story about survivorship bias from the Second World War that runs parallel to running a business.
Researchers were helping the American Navy find a solution for minimizing bomber losses to enemy fire.
They decided to analyze the damage done to the aircraft that had returned from missions and had then recommended that armor should be added to the areas that showed the most damage.
The statistician, Abraham Wald, realized that it was wrong to only look at the damage done to the aircraft as those aircraft managed to return home, unlike the ones that were shot down in action.
He proposed to reinforce the areas where the returning aircraft were unscathed since those were the areas that, if hit, would cause the plane to be lost.
It’s the same in business.
Don’t make a mistake by only looking up at companies that have succeeded.
Look at the enterprises that are dying and try to understand why it is happening to them and what you can do to avoid their failure.
4. Take care of your team
If you run your own business think not only about expertise or money, take a look at people with whom you work, trust and believe in them.
We put in hearts and souls into what we do. That’s the way we work and the way we created our product. There’s one truly unique thing about SEMrush – our people.
Take care of your team, give your team members enough freedom to act, and the rest will follow.
5. Listen to your desires
We suggest following your desires rather than intuition.
The clear understanding of your own desire is more robust than simply following your intuition. To us, desire is the highest level of intuition. Some people follow desires unconsciously; we try to do it deliberately.
The critical decisions we make are always based on the question, “Do we really want to do it?”
We’re particularly interested in sub-personalities and the Karpman Drama Triangle; these theories and tools are helpful when dealing with your subconscious mind. They help listen to ourselves carefully.
How do you find these tips? Which advice did particularly strike chord with you the most? Let me know in the comment section below!