Bill Huynh started online furniture store Interior Secrets to service a market he felt was lacking in the digital space. With so few competitors and a quality offering, the company has grown to turnover more than $1.7 million after starting in 2009.
But there’s a good reason for its success – Huynh ties the bonuses of the company’s SEO manager to online performance. It’s a unique way of incentivising good rankings online, and something Huynh says more businesses should be considering.
So how’s the business going?
We’re in a comfortable situation. We’re growing and we’re positive, and trying to bring more people on board right now. It’s getting much more competitive and we’re just sticking to our normal plan. We’re expanding the range.
Retail’s tough right now. Are you feeling that impact?
Sure, but it’s still going well. Board rooms and cafes and so on aren’t having as many B2B transactions. But we’re still doing very well.
So tell me about your SEO guy – does he set his own salary?
Well, we’re predominantly based online, and the only way we can get consumers is if they search online. We don’t do any print media whatsoever, so all of our marketing is focused online. We think that’s the most important thing. And when people search, they need to be able to find us. We’ve had a web guru here since we started, and he’s done a lot of the work in that regard.
We actually do have a company that also does SEO for us as well. We just diversify it a little bit. Everybody has their own techniques, but we don’t like to rely on the one company controlling everything. Hiring a person in-house allows us to have suggestions on what they might do wrong, and just gives us the attention we signed up for.
Is it true that he sets his own remuneration?
So he actually has a base salary, and we sit down together and with the tools on his computer we go through all the keywords that we want to use. We look at how competitive each keyword is, how many searches they’re getting, how much Google is charging per click, and so on.
So we sit down together and we work out a strategy and the main keywords we want to use. But in addition, there’s an additional set of keywords where we look through them individually and we categorise some goals on how long we think we’ll be available to achieve success with that keyword. And that obviously depends on how difficult each keyword is.
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