From Services to SaaS: Demandwell’s Rebirth as a Disruptive SEO Software Platform

by Drew Beechler - Director of Marketing
demandwell

After 25+ High Alpha company launches and 15 Sprint Weeks, starting a new company still never gets old — and today is no exception. Today, we’re announcing the launch of our newest portfolio company, Demandwell.

I wanted to take some time this morning to personally congratulate Mitch and the entire Demandwell team, but also share a little more from my perspective about the genesis of this partnership and why I’m so bullish on Demandwell. 

Mitch and I first met years ago when I was an Orr Fellow with ExactTarget/Salesforce and he had just finished his Orr Fellowship stint at Slingshot SEO. Mitch was (and still is) one of the smartest marketers I had ever met, but our professional paths never really crossed. Mitch ended up joining Lessonly as their first marketing leader and third employee. After joining High Alpha in 2015, I finally got a chance to work with Mitch for the first time and saw first-hand the exponential growth Lessonly experienced with Mitch’s help. His expertise and strategy were pivotal in turning organic traffic into their most profitable and repeatable marketing channel.

When he decided to go out on his own and start Demandwell in 2019, I was one of the first people to raise my hand to be a customer. No matter what service Demandwell was going to offer, I wanted High Alpha and our companies to work with Mitch and Demandwell.

Mitch started working with us in 2019 to overhaul the High Alpha inbound strategy while simultaneously creating an “SEO jumpstart” playbook we could use with all our new studio companies. Not only was Demandwell’s expertise an incredible value-add for our portfolio companies, but we also saw our organic traffic to highalpha.com grow by 150% YoY thanks to Demandwell. After working with Mitch and his team, it was clear that their unique take on SEO strategy was something special.

At the same time, I believe SEO has also been undergoing a renaissance period and is presenting marketers with a major arbitrage opportunity. The current approach to SEO and tools at a marketer’s disposal were created over a decade ago. We’ve needed a new approach to SEO for quite some time, but marketers, for the most part, have put SEO on a shelf and written it off as either a black box that can’t be controlled or an outdated, lowbrow tactic only for the unsophisticated marketer.

I wholeheartedly disagree. The truth is, SEO is undervalued and overlooked. SEO is one of the few compounding channels at your disposal and should be one of the greatest growth drivers in your arsenal. Unlike paid media and other marketing channels, SEO compounds on itself. The earlier you create a strategy, the more and more it pays off in the long term. The best time to start working on SEO was yesterday.

By 2020, it became clear that there was an opportunity to turn Demandwell into a SaaS platform that could redefine the SEO industry. Their processes and playbooks were really just software living in spreadsheets and Mitch’s head. If you combined that with a 21st-century software infrastructure and the latest advancements in AI and machine learning processing, you have an opportunity to revolutionize an industry. 

Nearly a year ago to the day, Mitch took a pretty agendaless meeting with Kristian Andersen and myself, and by the end of the meeting we were figuring out a way to have Demandwell join our May 2020 Sprint Week. We had one goal: defining how you would turn Demandwell, a high-flying SEO services agency, into a venture-scalable software company. I was fortunate to be on the Demandwell Sprint Week team, and we spent the week talking to customers, interviewing marketers, and trying to understand where SEO had broken down over time and the opportunity ahead. We were floored by the response and the potential there was for a software like Demandwell. 

We wasted no time and began working the next week on making that vision a reality. Mitch grew the Demandwell team from 1 to 11 employees over 9 months and launched their first software product by the end of the year. And today, we are officially announcing the launch of the Demandwell software platform and their partnership with High Alpha. 

With Demandwell, SEO is no longer a black box. It becomes demystified and process-driven. The Demandwell software makes SEO accessible to everyone and actually drives strategy. It’s not just a retroactive data tool to track your keyword rankings. That playbook and strategy is now available to more and more marketers to help coach them on building and scaling their inbound marketing engine.

If you’re a marketer, checking out Demandwell is a no-brainer. You can learn more about Demandwell and get in touch with their team at demandwell.com

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