The SEO startup that raised $7.2 million
By Fernando BiZ
The French SEO software startup Botify recently raised $7.2 million in series A funding.
This would not be anything special – many startups are raising similar amounts and of course we hear the occasional Instagram or WhatsApp story – an acquisition for billions of dollars.
There are reasons why this story is interesting to the SEO community as a whole however.
SEO softwares – accepted in the mainstream corporate world
It has been very rare to see small or medium businesses purchasing SEO softwares for their SEO activities. While there are of course plenty of SEO softwares, they have been designed exclusively for internet marketers and SEO agencies to fulfill some of the operations behind the ranking process.
With Botify, this is changing. The mainstream corporate world is now more open to purchasing softwares to do “their own SEO”. The businesses that are targeted are digital businesses such as ecommerce. This is perfect for them as they have many pages that are set up without much structure and so a software that goes thought them and corrects on-page errors is well desired.
Companies are paying $569 to $999 a month for Botify services. With 300 clients, it’s no surprise they were able to raise $7.2 million. The concern for SEO agencies is that this might be the future of SEO, so specific client segments are at risk to be taken by big players in the SEO field.
Expect clients to ask you to work with their tools
The startup provides the companies that subscribe a back-end panel and a dashboard. The dashboard provides insights into the SEO strategy and metrics of the website.
As business owners are to get used to similar softwares, so will the SEO freelancers. A business owner that has invested in such software will want to keep it and to outsource the recommended actions to freelancers.
With this, for the entry level SEO freelance jobs, we expect the business owners to pay less as most of the work has already been done by the software – at least from their point of view of the client.
What this also means is that the entry barriers into the SEO freelance jobs are being lowered. The job will become less of the know-how based on experience and more just the on-page administrative tasks based on what a software tells one to do.
SEO skills are scalable to big ideas
Many people have dissed SEO, saying that the skill is not scalable into real businesses.
While there are of course SEO agencies, it’s a service business that’s different to that of a product based business and scaling is much more tougher as one needs to have great operational capacity and structure.
The rise of Botify however means that SEO can actually be made into a product based business model. Of course this has already happened – SEO softwares have been around since the beginning of SEO, but they were never for the end user and medium sized businesses.
For the highly skilled SEO freelancer, this should open opportunities to join or even found similar startups developing similar products and ideas. The amount Botify raised also indicates great sentiment from the venture capitalists to fund such an ideas.