Surfer SEO, a search engine optimization software business (SEO), has reached a significant milestone: $250,000 in monthly revenue. Initially established in 2017 as a side project, the business made its first sale in 2018. The bootstrapped technology company is based in Wrocław, Poland. As of March 2021, Surfer SEO has twenty-five employees.
How the Surfer SEO Got Its First Customers
When Surfer SEO launched several established SEO software apps in the market like Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush, the company used a special promotion to stand out and gain attention. “Our first sale of the early access plan occurred in October 2018. The subscription was a yearly commitment for $399 with a price guarantee for the next three years. Now, this package costs $99 a month,” Michał Suski, Surfer SEO co-founder, said to Startup Savant in an interview.
“We worked for a bare minimum income for 12 months making the company profitable since the first sale in late 2018,” Suski explained. Unlike some B2B business models that charge $100,000 or more per business customer, Surfer SEO has a more small business pricing approach. The company’s current pricing includes three plans: Basic ($59 per month), Pro ($99 per month), and Business ($199 per month). The company also offers a seven-day trial for $1.
Growing Recognition in the SEO Industry
As of 2021, the business has more than 10,000 customers. Today, Surfer has business customers such as Matt Diggity, founder of Diggity Marketing, and Gaël Breton, who runs Authority Hacker. Some business users commented that using Surfer SEO has significantly increased traffic. "Within the first month of using Surfer, we recorded 15% organic traffic growth," Oksana Kosachenko from GetResponse states on the Surfer SEO website. GetResponse is an email marketing software company with $60 million in revenue as of 2018.
From Agency Business Model to Software Company
Like Moz, Surfer SEO traces its origins back to a marketing services business. “In KS, the agency I founded in 2008, we were determined to base our work on data. We built an internal tool, KSEO, which later was revamped and introduced to the outside world as Surfer,” explains Surfer CEO Slawek Czajkowski on the Surfer website.
Several other companies have taken a similar strategy to grow revenue and skills through services before entering the software market. Kyle Rack, CEO and founder of Proposify, started by running a digital agency. From 2008 to 2014, Racki was the principal and design director of Headspace Design, a marketing firm based in Nova Scotia. In 2014, Racki shifted to running Proposify, which helps business users to create business proposals.
The SEO Software Market Is Growing
The SEO software market is already valued at $184 million in the US as of 2020, according to ReportLinker. The global market is projected to grow past the $1 billion mark by 2027. Demand for SEO software is also expected to grow fast in China over the coming decade. The Chinese SEO software market is expected to reach $283 million by 2027.
According to Capterra, a business software review website with more than one million reviews, there are more than three hundred search engine optimization software products on the market.
Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.