Alberto Rodriguez and Alex Smee from TradeGecko recently presented at the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, at their Launch Pad event. They were there to share their knowledge on how startups can leverage SEO & SEM to accelerate their business growth.

NZCC Launchpad TradeGecko

What is Search Marketing?

Search marketing is the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines. Search Marketing encompasses:

  • SEO: Earning traffic through unpaid or free listings
  • SEM: Buying traffic through paid search listings

"The first marketing campaign I launched online more than 10 years ago was a paid search campaign on Google Adwords. Ever since, I’ve done many things in the digital marketing arena. From retargeting campaigns on display or email to Facebook ads, affiliate marketing or content discovery. There is always a new shiny toy to play with. However, to this day search is still my favourite digital marketing channel and one that should not ever be ignored." Alberto Rodriguez

What makes search so special?

The answer is user intent. User intent describes what a user is looking for when they conduct a search query. There are three main types of user intent:

  • Navigational – The user is trying to get to a certain site
  • Informational – The user is looking for information
  • Transactional – The user is prepared to purchase

Search is rich in intent, and is especially great at finding people conducting transactional search queries. In other words, people who are ready to buy.

NZCC Launchpad TradeGecko

What is your Ideal Customer Profile?

Before you start thinking about search marketing and the keywords you want to go after, it is important that you keep your ideal customer profile in mind. Once you get a clear image of who they are, you will be able to guess what they are looking and searching for online.

"At TradeGecko, we’re targeting a diverse group of customers: traditional wholesalers and eCommerce entrepreneurs. Both use Google very differently and that’s something we had to understand first, before setting up our search marketing campaigns." Alberto Rodriguez

NZCC Launchpad TradeGecko

The search funnel

Approach your keyword research with the help of this search funnel image below. You need to identify the keywords your customers are using at each stage of their buyer journey - those are the keywords you are going to target.

The lower you go in this search funnel, the stronger the user intent is. You should expect the bottom of the funnel keywords to be more competitive and, from a paid search perspective, more expensive.

There are heaps of tools you can use for keyword research: SEMRush, Ahrefs, Adwords keyword planner, KeywordSpy, Spyfu and Moz's Keyword Explorer.

NZCC Launchpad TradeGecko

Building a keyword to content matrix

From an SEO perspective, you need to build a keyword to content matrix to find out what your current ranking for each keyword is and to plan your content strategy to climb up to the top of that list.

You also need to prioritize these keywords. Our advice would be to make your “striking distance keywords” your top priority. Those are the keywords you are already ranking for on the second and third page of results on Google.

From a Paid Search perspective, it is much simpler. As soon as you set up and publish your paid marketing campaigns, you are ready to start capturing traffic.

Creative materials

The final part of the presentation covered how to use these insights to prepare your customer facing materials, including: website, landing pages, display advertising and also some of the more unconventional methods of thinking a little outside of the box.

An important thing to know is the basic landing page anatomy to direct users to one of two very specific types of content on your website:

NZCC Launchpad TradeGecko

"Having a powerful CMS is where content and performance marketeers come together with designers and developers to build a strong search marketing base. Here at TradeGecko we use HubSpot." Alex Smee

How startups can leverage SEO & SEM to accelerate business growth by Alberto Rodrigues & Alex Smee, TradeGecko - full presentation slides:


Alberto Rodriguez – Performance Marketing Manager, TradeGecko

alberto.jpgAlberto currently manages the Performance Marketing (traffic acquisition, lead generation and nurturing) for TradeGecko. He is a Digital Marketing specialist with over 10 years of experience gained from working with and managing both well known brands and start up companies globally, across Europe, Asia and North-America.

Alex Smee – Head of Marketing Design, TradeGecko

alex.jpgAlex currently designs the brand identity and all customer facing materials for TradeGecko. Having been at the company for over three years, he previously helped develop the product itself before focusing on marketing. Alex moved to Singapore from London where he ran a design business focussing on advertising in the music industry.


Launch Pad is a start-up focused series of events organised by the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce that covers key issues of relevance for members and entrepreneurs who are already or plan to be engaged in start-up businesses in Singapore. Launch Pad events are intimate and informal workshops where attendees can engage with industry experts in a workshop style of environment. The series is organised in collaboration with AustCham. 

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