Every entrepreneur/founder ponders this question – “How are we going to grow the company”. I believe the biggest challenge to scaling and growing a company is the strategy behind acquiring new customers and providing recurring/repeatable revenue streams all within a large potential industry. Driving revenue with great margins has to be job #1.
After investing in alterations to the WhiteClouds website, building out specific content, and building an SEO technology foundation, our SEO efforts have started to pay off. Please, stick with me here for a few paragraphs - before I lose you because of lack of interest in tech-stuff called SEO, this is the SECRET-SAUCE that allowed my last company “Purch.com” (I was the founder) to grow into one of the Top 30 Internet Web properties in the world and is approaching a value of a half-billion dollars. The SEO platform (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the underlying reasons Purch drives over 100 million unique visitors every month to its websites. For example, you can type into Google “Antivirus Software” and the organic search results will return two entries in the top 10 search results that both belong to Purch. For over a decade, this antivirus keyword has driven about $2M in revenue. Imagine what 1,000 or 10,000, or 100,000 keywords can do from a revenue perspective. Imagine creating a new content page with specific keywords appearing on the first page of Google Search results within 24 hours. This is how Purch grew into the company it is today, implementing a core foundation built around online marketing strategies.
SEO is only one element of WhiteClouds’ marketing strategy, but two weeks ago our SEO efforts began making a significant impact. August financials and metrics are on-track to be our all-time record highs in visitors, sales leads, call-ins, revenue, and most importantly, profitability – primarily due to the SEO platform we have invested in and the success we are now seeing. These keywords are not 3D Printing keywords, they are keywords that focus in on products/services that can be built with 3D Printing and our new mixed-media fabrication. Here is an example: A few weeks ago we closed a deal to fabricate a 10 foot tall sculpture for DreamWorks. They found WhiteClouds by typing into Google the keyword “Foam Sculpture”, where we appear #1 and #2 out of almost 6.6 million search results. See the image below – these search results on Google are FREE to WhiteClouds. This type of keyword also drives people that are at the bottom of the purchase funnel. For the DreamWorks sculpture, 3D Printing was the selected method of production over foam.
Want to see some of our initial SEO results - here are a few examples of keywords on Google and our position in the FREE (organic) search results.
- “Medical Models” - #6 and #14 out of 23.9 Million results
- “Foam Sculpture” - #1 and #2 out of 6.6 Million results
- “Interior Models” - #5 out of 225 Million results
-“3D Large Letters” – #1 out of 148 Million results
- “Topographical Models” - #1 out of 27.7 Million results
Typically, scalable customer growth comes from selling to multiple verticals (retail, travel, etc.), selling to more than one market segment (enterprise, mid-market, small-business), or selling through more than one channel (direct, online, VARs, etc.). Online search allows us to hit multiple verticals and multiple market segments all at the same time. For example, this month alone we have brought on new customers that are Fortune 500 down to small businesses-these new customers come from many different verticals, ie hospitals, universities, architectural firms, agencies, museums, retailers, manufacturers, publishers, and even professional sports teams (Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks).
Why should search be such a big deal for WhiteClouds? Five main reasons:
1) 68% of all Google clicks go to the first five organic listings on Google – the remaining 32% go to the 6th-Millionth listing. SEO is extremely competitive. Once you get in the top spots at Google, have great content, and aren’t playing the black-hat SEO games, your chances of keeping keywords high in search results is very good. At Purch we have loads of keywords that have been in the top 3 search results for 15 years continuously, driving millions in revenue from individual keywords – ALL FOR FREE. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) can still be very effective for quickly identifying which keywords are the correct ones to invest in for SEO, but also to drive new customers until SEO kicks in.
2) On Google, higher keyword placement results in higher brand credibility and higher close ratios (people trust Google). It is very possible these individual keywords can each drive thousands of dollars in revenue per month while acquiring new customers (small and large) all over the world and from many different segments.
3) We have built the foundation for the platform to create content focused on specific keywords, but we can go as wide and deep as we want as investment warrants. These can be keywords in specific verticals and specific products and services that fit our model.
4) Once you have the front-end working for driving customer revenue growth, scalability for the rest of the business can come from in-house growth or from partnerships where the actual fabrication is done all around the world. Revenues can come from lead generation, sales commissions, affiliate sales, advertising, or manufacturing of the 3D Objects. This gives us a lot of revenue options.
5) Internet success (and It’s associated IP) can create much higher exit valuations using multiples of revenue as opposed to multiples of EBITDA. How about a 2-10 times multiple of revenue compared to a 6-10 times multiple of EBITDA. Could be a 5-10 fold difference in an exit scenario. One of the closest public companies compared to what WhiteClouds does is Proto Labs. They produce on-demand parts primarily through CNC and Injection molding. Their revenue multiple (EV/R) is 8.95 and their EBITDA multiple (EV/EBITDA) is 34.43.
Can WhiteClouds really see these type of impactful SEO results? Yes, it is extremely difficult, but we have already done it at “Purch” and we are working on doing it again. We are still in the early phases and have a lot of work left to do, but we are really pleased with our initial results. The future will require investment - part of our use of proceeds from our Wefunder fundraising activities will be to expand in additional marketing and sales. For more information, go here: https://wefunder.com/whiteclouds
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