Hands up if you've ever had to scroll to page 17 of a Google search to find your website.
Okay so we've all been there. With trillions of websites competing to gain eyeballs on the top pages of a search engine, it takes a little more than a few key words strategically placed in your website to gain digital traffic.
It's no wonder then that Pure SEO are whizzing ahead, growing by 433% last year to come 13th in our 2014 Fast 50 awards. They're now regarded as New Zealand's largest specialist search agency.
We grabbed CEO, Richard Conway to see if he could offer a few wise words to past, current and future Fast 50 entrants.
What is Pure SEO and what is your role in the business?
Pure SEO is New Zealand’s largest specialist search agency – we help businesses get their websites to appear higher in search results. I am the founder and CEO, I moved here in 2009 with Emily, my wife, and started Pure soon after.
What kind of journey have you been on with Pure SEO so far?
The Pure journey has been amazing and the people I have met on the way have been inspirational.
When I started the company I did not know anyone in New Zealand so building up my network and credibility took time. I started the business with only a couple of hundred dollars and it's been profitable almost since day one.
Whilst business on the whole has gone really well, we've had personal problems which took their toll, especially without any family here. We had three miscarriages in the first year of setting up Pure and a couple of years ago Emily was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer.
You came 13th in the Fast 50 last year – how did that feel?
To benchmark ourselves against some incredible New Zealand businesses was amazing and humbling.
What impact did it have on your business and staff?
Our business is built around our staff and culture. Whilst it is often me that is singled out, I am nothing without the exceptional people who choose to work at Pure. Things like this raise morale and give the Pure family some ratification that what they are doing is having an impact. I couldn’t be prouder of the team that we have assembled and anything that highlights their efforts has to be good.
How did you find the entry process?
I am fortunate to have a board that contains some exceptionally experienced business people, therefore much of the information needed for the application is looked at on a monthly basis. Due to that, the entry process in terms of data gathering was quite easy.
How did you find the Fast 50 event overall?
I really enjoyed it - the best part were the people I met that I had heard about from other business leaders.
What would you say to others keen on entering this year?
We have entered again. Like most things, the difference between success and failure can be as simple as taking action. Just do it!
What small piece of advice would you give other businesses who intend to grow fast?
Treat your team as equals – you never know what hidden talents people have unless you nurture them. For example, a lady that joined us a year ago as a secretary has now become our head of operations and she is awesome.
What's your stand out feature from SEO companies?
We specialise in SEO - we do not create websites or do graphic design - and we invest heavily in training our staff.
We also opt for the long-term approach unlike a lot of SEO agencies who have a short-term approach offering guarantees and quick results. Good quality SEO takes time and hard work so if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!
What impact has partnering with BNZ had on your business?
We use BNZ partners and have found the relationship good. It’s important for us to have a single person we can contact who understands our business.
Where do you see Pure SEO in 5 years’ time?
We're about to open an office in Melbourne and have just opened one in Tauranga. The sky is the limit really – if we had 15,000 raving fans in five years I would be happy!