Clearpath: SEO at its best
Date: Thursday , October 06, 2011
‘It is all about marketing; that is where the real craft comes in. The best actors do not necessarily become the biggest stars, and vice versa,” U.S. movie and television actor Dirk Benedict once said referring to the television and movie marketing. This statement fits like the last piece of a puzzle in the present business world as well. Having great products is just the beginning of the journey and it never guaranties success to a company. The key lies in marketing; how you let the world know that you have a great product and convince them; and that is where many companies fail.
In today’s Internet era, it is difficult to imagine a company without a website of its own. Companies take painstaking efforts in building these websites so that it is able to pick a viewer’s interest and engage them. But is a good looking website enough? What is the point if people are not able to stumble upon them easily on a search engine? Spending money on a webpage that is hard to find is like drawing a line in water — utterly pointless. The World Wide Web is a vast ocean with more than 13.8 billion websites, and this number is rapidly increasing. So how does a company make sure that its website ranks high on the search engine? This makes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which helps to increase the visibility to the company webpage, all the more valid, and this is where Clearpath Technology kicks in.
Clearpath Technology is the brain child of Deepak Bansal, and a 22 year old college student, told his customers that he can make their websites come up first if people search certain key words, he was unaware that he is venturing into the depths of SEO. He knew what has to be done to make that happen but he never came across the term SEO. Even though the guidelines that for a proper SEO are available and all that has to be done is follow it, it cannot be done easily by a company itself. It is a labor intensive work. There are so many different aspects that have to be monitored in order to make sure that the website pops up first in a search engine search. The website has to be optimized, it needs to be made search engine friendly, need to make sure that the site content are exclusive and more, and these steps have to be repeated again and again. It is a time consuming and wearing process and so most companies cannot manage this themselves. And outsourcing will be an expensive option. He realized this; he saw the huge opportunity and Clearpath was born.
The company pioneer in SEO and does this for much more economic than that of other SEO companies in the market. Ever since its inception the company grew at exceptional pace. It started with 9 employees, serving a handful of clients and six years later, stands with 650 employees who serve 4500 active clients. Even though the company is growing exceptionally well, Bansal say there is a very long way to go.
Presently Clearpath is only concentrating on the small and medium scale businesses (SMB) and about 90 percent of their business comes from the U.S. It is unique in its approach as it puts much effort in building the trust factor among its customers. “We started with small scale companies, worked together, communicated on a daily basis and in a sense grew together,” says Bansal. This sort of personal relation with its customers has helped the company in its journey so far. Since the relation is more like a personal relation rather than a contract based business relationship, its clients have never shied away from referring Clearpath to other companies. “One of our first clients is the Canadian company, Technoweight. We had such a close relationship with them that they even attended my marriage,” added Bansal.
It does not relay much on advertising; this word of mouth publicity has helped them to reach the position they are in now. According to Bansal, the advantage of this is that the trust gets transferred from existing customers to prospective customers. Also 40 percent of the businesses come from channel partners around the world. Since the space is very vast, with several billion websites, and the numbers of SEO companies are rather few, it is not facing much competition. Yet the company has never changed its price, the price has remained the same from the day one.
Partly due to the services provided by company and the relationship it establishes, and partly due to the fact that SEO is a continuous and constant process that has to be done without fail in order to attain maximum result, most of the initial clients still remain with the company. Since the company seldom makes any contract and most of the business dealings are trust based, it is obvious that the reason the clients stick to Clearpath is the former than the latter.
SEO guidelines tend to change on a regular basis and failing to know a sing one of these changes can have severe negative implication on the effectiveness of the company. This is why the management of Clearpath gives much importance to being updated on the developments in the industry.
Back in 2005 when Bansal started the company, he found out that the Indian business ecosystem is not mature enough to accept something like SEO. Mostly the companies were unaware of SEO and what good it can do to their business. The client had to be educated first and even after that they will be skeptical about it. Being a new company Clearpath was not able to educate the client first and then have them. Then the company made a conscious decision not to concentrate on Indian companies for the time being and focus on the foreign clients. “The situation has changed now. The Indian business system has evolved a lot and the companies have started coming forward for SEO. I would say now the domestic market is equal or better than the U.S. market,” says Bansal.
Another major challenge the company has faced in its voyage is shortage of skilled workforce. In India, as of now, there are no colleges that teach or train students in SEO. So when the company starts hunting of necessary talent they seldom manages to find the right one, forced by this scenario the company, changed, evolved and adapted accordingly. It now hires computer science graduates fresh out of the college and trains them and equips them with the right set of skills. Then the company is working round the clock to make sure that these employees stay happy and satisfied. It is proving to be one of the best places to work in every passing day. Right amount of care is given to the employees to make sure that they will also be growing along with the company. The company has to make sure that their initial employees stay with the company. The company has given utmost care to its employees and as a result the first 52 employees still remain with the company. Bansal believes that this loyalty from the employees is one of the major strengths of the company.
Since most of the clients are foreign, the company had to provide round the clock service. This was a problem for the company in the initial stage. The clients demand world class customer relationship management systems and to meet this need the company now has 24/7 customer care. Then another important aspect of customer relationship is to understand how the customers want to work the communication out. It is as important as having regular communication. For example, the U.S. based clients require report every 15 -20 days, clients from UK need it twice every month, while Indian clients require the feedback every third day. While U.S. and UK based clients are happy with detailed email reports Indian clients are less email friendly and prefers by phone reports. “To understand these client differences and to have apt support to each of them is a key ingredient of running a company,” says Bansal.
Another visible difference between the Indian and the western clients comes with return of investment. Normally, after doing SEO the change starts getting visible in 4 – 6 months and the European and the U.S. clients are ok with this time line. But, the Indian companies are a little bit impatient and will expect to have ROI in the first month after SEO. The management team of the company knows this difference in the attitude of the clients and shapes the customer relation accordingly so that the different needs of the different clients and met without failure.
The company plans to become the biggest player in the SEO segment. The management wants the company to stay true to its specialty and not diversify its products. “The aim is to concentrate only on SEO, at least for the next 5 – 6 years and to be the number one SEO Company in the world,” says Bansal. Even though a big dream, the company and its management seems to have enough fire power to make this happen.
Deepak Bansal,CEO & Founder
Deepak Bansal single handedly accepted the challenge of creating an Internet marketing business and, in 2004, founded Clearpath Technology. Deepak, a graduate of one of the most prestigious computer engineering colleges in India, has nearly 8 years experience in Internet marketing, web development and e-commerce. His personal success and reputation as an excellent SEO professional is responsible for attracting some of the best and brightest talent to Clearpath. Today, Clearpath Technology has assembled a team of nearly 550 people, including SEO professionals, Internet marketing analysts, technical managers, link builders, programmers and designers.
Because of their success in the USA, Europe, South Asia and Australia, the Clearpath team is proving to be one of the most effective Internet marketing companies in the world. Deepak believes that maintaining excellent results for his customers is the key to Clearpath's growth. Now, Mr. Bansal aims to make Clearpath the number 1 Internet marketing company in the world. By providing the best services possible and continuing to deliver the best results, he believes that Clearpath Technology will create its own opportunities for success.
Lokesh Tuteja, Chief Operating Officer
Lokesh Tuteja is responsible for planning, execution, strategic and operational management at Clearpath Technology. Over 5 years of core experience in directing, coordinating and seamlessly integrating the backend systems with front end systems for maximization of data consistency, completeness and accuracy has made him a finest management team player. His key responsibility includes research, development and implementing new strategies, service techniques and processes by leveraging technology to improve quality and reduce cost at Clearpath Technology.
He holds Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from one of the finest colleges in India and has tones of experience in handling web development, database applications, ongoing projects with shopping carts and content management systems. His experience in human resource helps him to hire right people for right positions. Being from technical background, Lokesh also interacts with clients to get proper understanding of the requirement and then explains the team with what all to be delivered and on time. His interactions with sales people helps the sales team and their prospects to get proper understanding of work flow on their projects at Clearpath Technology.
Yogesh Sethi, Chief Technology Officer
Yogesh Sethi handles the entire Search Engine Optimization division. With more than five years of in-depth and core experience in Internet Marketing, Yogesh is responsible for formulating strategies that steers the work flow for all SEO activities. He utilizes his matured acumen and sharp vision in evaluating the work done by SEO team members, content division, linking section, PPC, social media and report building unit. His evaluation derived from search engine algorithms and expertise help Clearpath Technology to strategize and train the resources time to time.
A graduate with computer science from one of the finest colleges in India, Yogesh knows how to make a client smile with the amazing deliverables and how to pass client's message to his team to achieve the same with more precision and productive output. He is a driving force for all Clearpath Technology SEO ventures. During the span of 5 years in the industry, his analytical skills have improved to a great extent to make him the undisputed leader. With over 1200 SEO projects, Yogesh finds his name among the best SEO experts in the world.
“We have seen our leads doubling month after month since we started using Clearpath Technology” Justin Doyle,Managing Director, Easy Finance Loans.
“The results have exceeded my expectations. Whereas before I was dependent on being found through a web portal featuring my competition as well, my clients can now get in touch with me direct¬ly. I am very pleased.” Rebekah Fensome, Owner, RebekahFensomeLifeCoach.com