SEMRush IPO Puts Digital Marketing in the Spotlight


Michael Peres Hacker Noon profile picture

@mikeyperesMichael Peres

Michael covers topics relating to finance, tech, and entrepreneurship.

As of last month, SEMRush, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that specializes in aiding businesses with online visibility management and content marketing, has gone public. It announced an initial public offering of the company stocks and is now trading at around $14 on the New York Stock Exchange. Since its emergence under the public spotlight, the firm is now valued at about two billion dollars. But what does this really mean?

To decipher this, one must look into the spirit of SEMRush in its essence. When it first started off, SEMRush wasn’t the giant it currently is. It was driven by a small group of IT and SEO specialists with one aim and one aim only: to give everyone the equal opportunity to deal their cards in online marketing.

SEMRush has, since then, provided the kind of software that boosts various companies to optimize their visibility and create engaging content online. In giving advice to law firms aiming to market their sites, Jason Hennessey, SEO expert, as well as a new SEMRush shareholder and ambassador, encourages the use of SEMRush’s software to anyone.

“The SEMRush tool is a very simple tool to use. You can use it to look at your website, to get a sense of how many keywords you’re ranking for, what’s the value of your traffic…This tool will actually show you [the financial value of your website].”

The Problem with Self-Pronounced SEO Specialists

Even with the rapid growth in SEO-based marketing, finding SEO specialists who have a firm grasp on this ever-morphing subject is not an easy feat. Many still struggle to find decent SEO services which actually produce results.

Hennessey recounts a story during which he gave a talk on using SEO for legal marketing. After sharing his secrets with several lawyers, one of them approached him and said, “I’m paying an SEO company $7,000 a month and they’re not doing any of this.”

Indeed, there are plenty of SEO specialists. But one must be wary of the fact that not all of them are experts. Certain companies such as SEMRush have worked towards achieving the kind of quality which has the capacity to take the world of digital marketing by storm.

Hennessey goes on to remark on the reasons behind SEMRush’s success:

“SEMRush has a great leadership team. They’ve managed to put out one of the best products on the market.”

Some of the big-league clients SEMRush has successfully catered to include Nike, Tesla, Walmart, and IBM. By the end of last year, the firm had recorded a total of 67,000 paying customers. This might seem strange, given the fact that the pandemic hit in 2020 and massively impacted the world of business. Perhaps this stands as a testament to SEMRush’s capacity to adapt. And, perhaps, this proves that the market can and should shift more significantly towards the idea of digital marketing. Whichever the reason, this growth is a clear indicator that marketers have begun to resort to search marketing in light of the pandemic.  

What it Means to the Public and Marketing Professionals

So, again: why care? Besides the fact that SEMRush is an integral part of many professionals’ day-to-day work, users get to take a look behind the company’s scenes. For marketers using its free features, this step into the light will show them the significance behind SEMRush’s push to convert them into paid subscribers.

Hennessey’s company, Hennessey Digital, also relies on SEMRush’s services. Their SEO team looks at a client’s organic research in SEMRush to adequately gauge overall traffic and cost estimate, as well as the landscape of currently-ranking keywords.

“SEMRush’s move to open its shares to the public is great for the marketing and SEO industry because it creates a far-reaching effect,” Jason Hennessey, also a faithful brand ambassador of SEMRush, says. “Greater awareness will be raised with regards to digital marketing. More people are moving their budgets away from traditional media – like putting up their ads on billboards, on the TV or blaring them over the radio – and are instead going big on digital marketing.”

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