The company that I work for, One Click Ventures, entered to win tickets to the Distilled SearchLove NYC Conference. Wish us luck! Below is my official entry on why my organic search team is awesome.
One Click Ventures is a small company that owns several e-commerce stores, and we are strictly in-house. We are located in Greenwood, Indiana, just a few miles south of Indianapolis.
We think we’re unique in that, as we’ve grown as a company, the organic search team has been the focus of that growth. It’s not often that you find a startup company where the value of SEO is so readily recognized and the team so supported. In less than one year, our organic search team expanded from one person to 12. Knowing relatively nothing about search marketing, our organic team has embraced education and expanded in personal growth, while each member specializes in various elements of SEO to make our team whole and complete.
Our team structure is unique in that we create teams within our organic search team. We also have some pretty fierce names: Thundercats, Wolverines, and Honeybadgers. Each team, consisting of three members, is in control of organic strategy, content, and implementation for two stores. We also have our own organic analyst and a promotions specialist who work with the teams. Teamwork is encouraged within the team, as well as with other teams. Once a week, the organic team has a “team consult” meeting, where the whole team comes together and brainstorms for the stores of one team. This gives us an agency feel, while being completely in house. Also, One Click does not outsource any organic tasks. Everything we brainstorm, plan, and implement is created right in our office, by our team members, and is 100% original.
Education is a primary focus for the One Click organic team, and we want to give each team member opportunities to grow, despite our small size. There are several educational tests, given in time increments (30 day, 60 day, 90 day, etc), to evaluate the educational progress of new team members, identify strengths, and work on weaknesses. One Click also has an in-office library, where members across the company are encouraged to check out books, donate their own, and increase their knowledge. Leaders push their team members to be on the forefront of the SEO field, and we’re proud of working hard to be the best SEOs we can. Aside from traditional educational research methods (webinars, videos, whitepapers, books, etc), we also focus on more non-traditional methods of education. One Click hosts, as well as attends, lunch and learns and social media outings with local area companies such as FormStack, ExactTarget, and Slingshot SEO. Despite our small size, we’ve made an effort to send selected team members to the industry’s top conferences. In July, we brought Distilled’s Tom Critchlow to our office for a day-long training session, so the entire team could get expert advice. Additionally, our director of organic search presents at Affiliate Meetups to share SEO knowledge with affiliate marketers, and she also provides SEO advice to smaller companies that lack an organic department – we believe in SEO, and we like sharing our SEO knowledge with the community. For a company of roughly 40 people, where less than 15 members are in organic, we get around.
As far as YoY growth, our organic channel has seen impressive growth from July 2010 (with one member) to July 2011 (10 members). For our six most popular stores, organic visits increased 257%, conversion rates increased 550%, and organic revenue increased 546%.
The effects of our growth as a team have not just been restricted to organic results, however. The organic team works with other channels on a daily basis, integrating our content projects with email marketing, collaborating with public relations and social media, and working with PPC in keyword research and identifying cross-channel opportunities. We actively engage in social outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, etc, which has led to growth in organic traffic, conversion, PR opportunities, and links. For HandbagHeaven.com, we have branded two members to become the “faces” of the store. See it here. We also are bringing a personal feel to some of our blogs. We host YouTube giveaways, routinely guest post, and the whole organic team is active throughout all social media networks.
In regards to some awesome, hard to get links, we’ve got ‘em. At One Click, we take relationship building very seriously, and it has paid off. We’ve been mentioned in the NY Times, Life and Style Magazine, and People Magazine, just to name a few…
As part of our link building, our organic team creates valuable resources based on the content of our stores. We currently have the 37 Ways to Tie a Scarf, The Eye Health Guide, The Handbag Heaven Style Guide (a work in progress), The Sun Authority, as well as a few that are in the works. We also have several widgets, like this one that tells you what travel adapter you’ll need when visiting a foreign country, then takes you to a landing page of adapters and converters for that specific country. Our focus is on long-lasting, sustainable SEO.
Not only does One Click take pride in our organic search team, we have award-winning email marketing, affiliate marketing, PPC, public relations, acquisitions, development, and we have an outstanding customer service team. Organic team members work with each department directly. Roughly 30% of employees at One Click are on the organic search team, and we’re unique in that we are mostly female. Of the 12 organic members, only three are males. We are e-commerce, and we warehouse all items we sell directly in our office. This makes for the fastest shipping, and the happiest customers. :)
“Our organic search team is playing a critical role in our company’s rapid growth. The team is not only filled with amazing people, but the level of sophistication they are applying to their work is separating us from other e-commerce companies.”
-Randy Stocklin, Co-Founder and CEO of One Click Ventures
“As the line between social media and search becomes finer and finer, the organic search team has made every effort to leverage trends for link acquisition and, ultimately, SERP domination. I’ve enjoyed seeing my channel utilized in creative ways, beyond brand building and engagement.”
-Bridget Johnson, Director of Audience Development at One Click Ventures