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Decision Foundry is a top-tier Salesforce integration partner supporting Datorama (now called, Intelligence), CDP, Tableau, Tableau CRM, and Marketing Cloud. Their global team, with offices in New York, Toronto, and India, includes some of the industry’s leading practitioners in data analytics and visual communication. As Salesforce consultants, Decision Foundry helps companies make sense of their data by connecting scattered data points while blending and visualizing marketing performance data.
Decision Foundry is a professional services company supporting agencies and advertisers using popular SaaS platforms. DF’s key audiences extend to about 10,000 high-value brands. And in terms of the search opportunity, it's about half of that. Yet every sale they generate brings a high lifetime value.
While the company is known for its Business Intelligence and Analytics, they had recently sold their well-established brand name and ancillary services to another company. After the sale, they instantly lost 18 years’ worth of brand awareness and customer sentiment.
Overnight, Decision Foundry was rebranded but had a huge brand awareness challenge — more specifically, they had none. Moreover, many of the great articles they published and had previously ranked well for had to be archived, deleted, or carefully migrated from the old website to a newly created one.
Taking a shortcut to online visibility using PPC wasn’t an option for Decision Foundry, as they’d have to compete against the wrong companies - large technology providers and other well-known SaaS category leaders. They were completely priced out of the market. This meant they had to build organic presence in lightspeed to start scoring leads, fast to meet their 1 and 2-year financial goals.
Decision Foundry are not SEO professionals, nor do they have a staff of search engine consultants, yet their sales goals remained aggressive. The team determined what they call “the 45 golden terms” they should be ranking for on page #1.
A small band of talented marketers started from scratch to build their brand strategy from zero. They gave themselves six months to drive awareness and test their in-market strategies. Thanks to Semrush’s tools and guidance, they bested that goal in three months (between May and August 2022).
Read on to learn how they did it!
Decision Foundry’s aggressive SEO campaign began in May 2022. The data below was collected in August 2022.
As they launched their new website, the team ran a Semrush Site Audit to iron out technical SEO issues. This was a critical point because if not done correctly, they could have lost months’ — if not a year's — worth of work.
The tool returned a list of errors and warnings, ordered by priority including:
The team exported the list and sent it to their web developer who easily fixed the issues without the support of an SEO expert.
Decision Foundry continued to run the site audit on a weekly basis, At the same time, the team ran a content audit to avoid duplicate content and migrate the best-performing pieces to the new site.
After the technical work was done, the company saw many of its posts instantly gain traction. For example, the article on Datorama - one of the company’s golden terms (core keywords), appeared in position #5 on Google:
That was a great result for a two-month-old site but the team was determined to get to position #2 - after all, beating Salesforce in its own game was unrealistic but why not rank right next to it?
Next, it was time to optimize the existing content to perfection and write new articles targeting untapped keywords. Here are the steps Decision Foundry took in their research progress:
The team was most interested in:
The Semrush Keyword Magic Tool allowed Decision Foundry to find terms with a particular search intent - in the case blog, it’s almost always informational. All they needed to do was to enter a keyword and filter by intent:
The team makes sure to choose a broad set of related keywords, including questions, to support the core term and give it a boost in search. Sometimes, search volume is not their top priority:
“We ask ourselves: is it something we need to own and to have our voice there? If so, we go ahead even if the volumes aren't necessarily there because this is such a niche market,” explains Ross Jenkins, the CEO of Decision Foundry.
“It's the long-tail terms that help us in a lot of ways. Some of those are very small but can bring a $5,000 contract on the low end.’
The team entered the keyword into Google and checked the resources where their audience actually interacts: media outlets, private blogs, etc. They paid attention to the content type and the intent it serves, the language those resources used, etc.
The collected insights get sent to the internal copywriter. Once the piece is published, the team runs it through the Semrush On Page SEO Checker. The tool analyzes the top 10 real-time organic competitors for each target keyword and gives a multitude of SEO recommendations, including:
The team makes sure to carefully review all the suggestions and implement them:
“It's those little incremental changes to a page that could be the difference between ranking on the first page or the second. Obviously, you get basically nothing in our industry if you're not within the first five positions,” says Ross.
The team enters the new keywords into the Semrush Position Tracking tool to get daily updates on their performance. If the post doesn’t gain traction in a month, they go back to optimization.
And it’s not only about pleasing the search engines, it’s also about providing the most up-to-date and complete information to their readers. The Decision Foundry team constantly follows the industry news and makes sure to update their articles several times a week.
“We see through Semrush that our competitors are playing the keyword game and we're playing the informational content game,” Ross says. “Your content needs to be extremely relevant and timely. Technology changes and the content does need to as well.”
By August 2022, Decision Foundry ranked #3 on Google for their top keyword “datorama”.
“Semrush gave us the sense that we could go higher. The difference between positions two and three is about 100-150 visits a week for us. That’s a significant number for a small high-ticket market like ours,” shares Ross.
Three months into the optimization process, the company reached position #2 for “datorama” with a site authority score of 3 - much lower than most of its competitors:
Finally, Decision Foundry set up the Semush Eye On tool that sends them a weekly report on their competitors with their:
This gives plenty of ideas for their content calendar.
The team can then inspect each of the competitors’ posts in the Semrush Organic Research tool to get a full list of keywords it ranks for:
As a new website, Decision Foundry’s biggest goal was to battle the backlink gap with their closest competitors. Here are the steps they took:
1. To find the best link opportunities, the team entered their and a competitor’s domain into Semrush’s Backlink Gap tool to get a list of domains that linked to their competitors but not them:
Next, they filtered the results to the preferred domain authority.
2. Paying attention to the domains’ monthly visits, the relevancy, and quality of the content, the team put a tick next to the best matching prospects and sent them straight to the Link Building Tool tool.
It allows to connect your email account and be able to:
“It’s a nifty tool that adds a lot of value. We don’t have to manually search for every single contact email, Semrush does it for us automatically,” says Arjun Karath, Associate Marketing Director at Decision Foundry.
3. The team also runs regular Semrush Backlink Audits to protect their website from DDoS attacks and sudden ranking drops.
The tool flags links with a high toxicity score that can be checked and exported for the Google disavow tool.
“The audit resits come straight to my inbox and alerts if there is a sudden surge in suspicious backlinks which is very convenient,” Arjun says.
To give even more boost to the site launch, the team needed to submit it to as many directories as possible in a short time.
They used Semrush’s Listing Management tool to automate the process. All they needed to do is fill out the business contact information once and submit it to dozens of maps, apps, and directories with a single click.
“Within minutes they were able to list the company in more than 60 directories. This gave us great backlink leverage in almost no time,” Arjun shares.