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Mythical Tactics Behind the $1B Unicorn Company
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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Three lessons learned this week at an Austin SEO seminar on strategies to help to grow a startup into a "unicorn" — a U.S.-based software company valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors.

Sponsored by Ausome (Austin Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs) and hosted by incubator company Capital Factory, guest speaker Jeremy Bencken outlined his strategies for building a unicorn through SEO ranking and link-building.

Bencken knows what he is talking about. He is the genius behind ApartmentRatings, BuzzStream, and Written and is now counsellor to such clients as RetailMeNot, MapMyFitness, AllWebLeads, ShoreTel, and others that are unicorn-bound if not there already.

And although he explained that SEO success is extremely complicated (Google constantly games the system), deeply strategic, and expensive, there are three top strategies for success in terms of the content that is required to support your SEO strategy.

Number One: Make yourself an authority. 
Whether you are Anthropologie, Red Bull, or Apple, customers look to you for information about your sector — not only about your products, but also about the lifestyle topics that surround your brand.

That means content creation that resonates. This can be videos, press releases, blogs, infographics, articles, or anything people would want to read or share with their friends.

Number Two: Be unique.
Where else can someone get this information? If you’re the only one, you have won half the battle.

Number Three: Be helpful.
Give your customers or visitors the information they need when they click on to your site. If they don’t find it there, you lose. Not only will the customer or potential customer be turned off, but you’ll also lose points with Google, which will ding you if the visitor immediately clicks off, called "pogo sticking.”  

How can this success be achieved? With a dedicated group of professionals, ranging from digital pros to PR strategists, solid writers, and graphic designers.

Says Bencken, your ideal team SEO team is composed of:
  1. SEO Strategist
    1. Overall strategy
    2. Innovator
    3. Leader
  2. SEO Product Manager
    1. Technical SEO
    2. Good at 50k ft. and 50 ft.
  3. Analyst
    1. Monitor rankings
    2. Run A/B tests
    3. Find search behavior
  4. Content promoter
    1. Chief link earner
    2. PR approach
    3. Relationship, social, and technical acumen
  5. Editor
    1. Content strategy
    2. Copywriter management
  6. Designer
    1. Infographics
    2. Visual content creator
For more information on link building, you can follow Bencken on Twitter @bencken or check out his blog.


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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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