By Jack M. Germain
Sep 29, 2021 5:00 AM PT
Unless you are deeply rooted in the inner workings of internet search engine rankings, you may not know that organic search exists and differs from other search engine results. Take heart. You belong to a rather large club of unenlightened members on this technology.
With the right inquiries, though, you can remain oblivious to technical SEO and still put performance-driven organic search results to work in drawing more eyes to your company's website. That is what enterprise software company Botify brings to your marketing toolbox.
Botify earlier this month announced that it has closed $55 million in Series C funding led by InfraVia Growth, with participation from Bpifrance through its Large Venture fund, as well as existing investors Eurazeo and Ventech. This investment round will help Botify scale its solution to meet increased market demand.
It also reflects the strategic role of organic search for long-term, profitable business growth. In 2020, businesses spent $47.5 billion on search engine optimization or SEO-related products and services. The SEO market is projected to grow at a 20 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2025.
“The investment comes on the heels of a year during which online activity accelerated. The pandemic forced brands across all industries to quickly reassess their digital marketing investments or speed up their digital transformations,” Adrien Menard, co-founder and CEO of Botify, told the E-Commerce Times.
With the ability to drive sustainable traffic and revenue, along with delivering a high ROI, organic search marketing has become a core strategy helping enterprise brands navigate this new world, he said.
“The additional funding will assure we can fuel our product innovation, notably in organic search automation, grow our global presence, specifically in APAC, and support our partner ecosystem development,” he added.
Funding a Success Story
Since its founding in Europe in 2012, Botify has been at the forefront of enterprise SEO. Some of its biggest clients include Expedia, L'Oral, The New York Times, Groupon, Marriott, Conde Nast, Crate & Barrel, Fnac Darty, Vestiaire Collective, and Farfetch.
Botify entered the U.S. market in 2016 and grew accounts to amass more than 60 percent of the company's revenue. Building upon this success, the company is establishing and growing operations in the Asia Pacific region.
This continuing success is rooted in the most robust set of analytics to better understand and improve the discoverability of its clients' websites by search engines. The result for its customers is driving traffic and conversions from intent-based consumers.
(L-R) Botify co-founders Adrien Menard, Thomas Grange, and Stan Chauvin
Today, Botify delivers insights across the entire search funnel. It uses recommendations powered by artificial intelligence and the ability to automate time- and resource-intensive SEO implementations that drive real business outcomes.
The Botify platform's quality and scalability set it apart as a leader within the search landscape, according to Antoine Izsak, investment director at Bpifrance Large Venture.
“We have been impressed by Botify's rapid growth and the fact that they are enabling some of the largest and most sophisticated websites in the world to drive measurable revenue growth through organic search,” he said.
Search Organically, Not Commercially
Along the way, Botify developed an innovative, proprietary enterprise SEO platform. Unlike other search engine optimization compilations, Botify's platform is not a typical SEO tool. It is a platform to fix a company's indexing issues that helps its customers' businesses rank better, get more traffic, and generate more revenue.
Botify's technology turns organic search into an efficient, measurable, and sustainable channel for both traffic and revenue growth. It uses a unified data model, prescriptive insights, and automated processes to deliver an end-to-end SEO management solution.
That result enables its customers to unlock the growth potential of their websites. For that process to succeed, Botify builds its SEO platform around organic search results instead of search results based on paid or commercialized processes.
“It is a bit technical, but we discovered that on average, 50 percent of the content of your website is not even in the Google search index. We estimate that 75 percent of online traffic actually comes from organic search,” said Menard.
That poses a big problem for businesses. Google and other search engines never know about some of the pages on websites they index, he revealed.
“The consequence is that if the page is not in the Google index, the page has no chance to get ranked, to be visible, to be clicked on,” he explained.
Reasons Are Many
Numerous things cause that, Menard offered. One is the endless nature of the internet. The creation of content online is so crazy that even the most successful companies in the world simply cannot cope with this creation volume.
Another cause is websites are not designed for search engines. They are designed for the users.
“What we are reading as a user is very different than what the search engine is going to do on the website. Some elements prevent access to some pieces of the content available on the website,” explained Menard.
A third reason for the apparently undiscovered content is the website may be too slow, or the internal linking structure may be disorganized. The means that Google cannot access the pages simply because the links are not there to point to some content.
Defining what constitutes organic searching, also known as natural search, can be just as varied as understanding why some content is seemingly invisible to search engines.
Think of organic search as being unpaid search results, in contrast to paid search results such as pay-per-click advertising.
Organic search traffic comes to a website free-of-charge from search engines such as Bing, Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and others. Non-organic search traffic results from visitors clicking on a link in an advertisement or sponsored listing on a search engine for which a business paid to appear at the top of search results.
Another way to define organic search are results which are naturally generated. They are not influenced by commercial relationships between a business and a search provider, ISP, or another party hosting search results.
In terms of marketing, higher-ranked organic traffic is more likely to convert an organic visitor than a someone coming from Facebook or another medium, according to Botify.
How It Works
Organic search is essential to get more accurately optimized search engine recognition. Botify's SEO platform automates the process of analyzing and fixing faulty website designs and content flaws that negatively impact organic search rankings.
It's deep statistical insight provides recommendations that fix harmful ranking elements. Botify then passes along these recommendations to its clients. In many instances Botify can directly make fixes on the client's website to optimize search engine results, according to Menard.
The figures displayed above graphic reflect pre-Covid-19 results. The pandemic caused displaced workers required to work from home to spend much more time on the internet and they engaged in online shopping. The pandemic accelerated the search trends, noted Botify.
“The platform's intelligence lies in machine learning and artificial intelligence, which drives our recommendation engine. We can automatically recommend to our customers what they should do on their website to increase their organic search visibility, traffic, and revenue,” he explained.
Botify's unified data model is based on a three-step process. It includes:
- Analytics of the website's structure
- Intelligence to identify opportunities and risks of the displayed content
- Activation to implement the solution based on web traffic and business data
Botify likens organic search to a funnel. The SEO platform relies on first-party data to understand and optimize it. Any content that fails analysis in an early part of the funnel will not be discovered by search engines — so it must be fixed.
Botify's platform resolves issues with the crawl ratio so search engines can find the otherwise unseen content. Google often ignores — does not see — half of a site's content, according to Botify.
Botify's pricing model is based on the concept of paying for results, not paying for usage.
The company offers three plans to meet customers' needs. All three plans come with full access to the full-funnel methodology built into the SEO platform:
- The Essential Plan is for relatively straightforward websites that still want complete, end-to-end SEO data with prescriptive recommendations.
- The Pro Plan is for organizations that rely heavily on organic search and want to both protect and grow their organic search revenue.
- The Enterprise Plan is for organizations with large, complex, and/or multiple web properties that are looking for accelerated scale, support, and security.