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How to Get Started With SEO (Without Buy-In or Budget)

We all know optimizing for search can help your business, but knowing how to get started with SEO can sometimes be intimidating. That’s where too many orgs get caught up — they know SEO is important, but they don’t have the headcount to make an impact, either due to lack of executive buy-in, budget constraints, or uncertainty about whether organic search can move the needle in their unique business case.

When learning how to get started in SEO, know the journey ahead is long.
Marge knows a thing or two about pivoting marketing tactics.

That was the issue at Tipalti, a leading global payables automation solution based out of San Mateo. Tipalti’s core offering — automating business’s supplier payments, a process that used to take 40+ hours a week — is a novel approach to accounts payable, and as the business was heating up, CMO Rob Israch was brought on to build out a marketing team.

Israch had to pull together the company’s first marketing team from scratch, and with an offering that may not always get much organic interest outside of the long tail, he was ready to get started with SEO, but didn’t know if he could justify the hire.

“It’s not like people are typing in ‘supplier payments automation,’” Israch said. “What we’ve created is pretty disruptive.”

Tipalti's core offering is disruptive.
Star’s Hollow had a notoriously difficult time finding an SEO specialist.

So what’s a marketer to do? Israch, an SEO evangelist with a budding-but-not-there-yet marketing team, called in the cavalry: Conductor’s Managed Services department. A built-in team of SEO specialists attached to Conductor’s SEO Platform, Managed Services would serve as a temporary in-house SEO for Tipalti to get them started. If it worked, Rob could justify hiring a full-time specialist, who would have the added benefit of several months of Conductor’s reports and workflows fully built out.

“The priority was: get us started with SEO, and teach us so we’re more powerful in the future,” said Rob Israch. “That way, we can walk and run on our own, and we’re in a better position to bring on an inbound specialist of our own. That’s exactly what happened.”

This well-managed SEO strategy sounds like a real SLAM DUNK…Guys? Hey, you guys?

After six months with Managed Services, it was clear that Tipalti needed a full-time SEO specialist. “The ROI was strong,” said Israch, “and through Conductor Searchlight we could see the opportunity for growth, and the need to hire a top-notch SEO person.”

That SEO, Brett Greenbaum, was happy to be coming onto a team with months of built-out workflows and reports waiting for him. “I was able to come onboard and hit the ground running,” he said. “All the infrastructure was set up — the categories, the keyword tracking. The Managed Services reports made the knowledge transfer seamless.”

It’s nice when things work out well.

And now, months after Greenbaum joined the Tipalti team, their organization is thriving. “A year ago, I think we ranked on page one for around 20 terms,” said Greenbaum. “Today, that number is 58.” And with those rankings comes results: Tipalti’s organic traffic rose 61% in their first year with Conductor.

Not bad for a company that wasn’t sure SEO was right for them.

Want to read more about Tipalti’s success? See how Tipalti leveraged Conductor Searchlight to drive a 280% lift in page one rankings.

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