GE 200: How Chase Granberry Grew Authority Labs to $3M ARR by Being the Best in the SEO Software Space (podcast) With Chase Granberry

Chase Granberry

Hey everyone, in today’s episode I share the mic with Chase Granberry, co-founder of Authority Labs, which allows you to track rankings on Google and Bing.

Listen as Chase discusses how he built the company by hustling and being the best in the SEO software space, the value of zeroing in on one thing when it comes to growing a company, why it’s so important to track rankings, how he struggled to scale the technical side of the business when he knew nothing, and how positive thinking and reading voraciously are two key factors that have contributed to his own success.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Chase Granberry Grew Authority Labs to $3M ARR by Being the Best in the SEO Software Space TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:02 – Eric welcomes Chase Granberry
  • 01:25 – Authority Labs helps track your ranking and SEO in Google and Bing
  • 02:15 – It is important to track your ranking for your brand name
  • 02:56 – For the long term, your Google ranking will help draw organic traffic to your business
  • 03:16 – Chase worked for a commercial printing company and he built an e-commerce site for them
    • 04:20 – Chase worked for another company doing ad sales
    • 04:40 – Chase did “anything internet” and got into consulting, building websites, email campaigns and SEO, and started to look for tools that he could use
  • 05:30 – Authority Labs earns 3 million a year and they only have 4 full time employees
  • 05:51 – The company grew by hustling, word of mouth, and being the best in the SEO software space
  • 06:10 – There are more than 2,000 customers for Authority Labs
  • 06:20 – Authority Labs has two different products: the interface product which starts at $99 and the other product which does data feed, it starts at 99 cents per thousand
  • 07:48 – Chase wanted to add more products, but their focus is on scaling their service’s ranking for now
  • 08:15 – The company is now coming to a point of trying out different products
  • 09:15 – Eric likes Authority Labs’ focus on tracking and SEO
  • 09:42How did you acquire your first 500 paying customers? – For the first six months or year, they were not charging the credit cards automatically
    • 10:23 – All deals were straight sales deals and was going through direct messaging on LinkedIn
    • 11:23 – Within the first six months, they got large data deals and grew their revenue from that
  • 12:03 – Chase didn’t have any money at the time and had to work with what he knew and what could make the biggest impact
  • 12:50 – They are now working on building more products and doing more sales
  • 13:22 – They are also working on adding more blog posts such as technical articles and guest posts from influencers such as Todd Malicoat
  • 14:35 – What’s one big struggle you had in growing the business? – This is the first company Chase has owned and ran
    • 15:07 – A lot of the struggle is on scaling and growing the company as well as keeping up with the technical side of things
    • 16:15 – Chase learned the technical side through a lot of reading and asking questions
  • 16:30What was the one thing that was a game changer for you? – Reading about different cases of how people scaled and general concepts of doing work
  • 18:33 – What’s one big change you made in the last year that’s impacted you or the business in a big way? – We intently started focusing on building new stuff
  • 19:31 – What’s one new tool that you added in the last year that added a lot of value for you? Datadog
  • 20:20 – What’s one must-read book do you recommend? – The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
  • 21:07 – When Chase focuses on finding a good parking spot, he finds one 80-90% of the time
  • 21:25 – In starting anything, nothing happens immediately, but remaining positive will make a difference
  • 21:49 – Connect with Chase on Twitter
  • 22:01 – End of today’s episode

3 Key Points:

  1. Find your niche and do it well.
  2. If you want to learn something, read profusely about it and apply the concepts that you’ve absorbed.
  3. Success rarely happens overnight—be positive in your thinking and this will carry you through the tough times of your business.

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Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Show transcript
Chase Granberry: When you're starting anything from a business to a new project that's like a larger project, nothing happens immediately and typically you see the fruits of labor after working for quite a while. And just remaining positive throughout that whole process I think makes a huge difference.

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All right everyone, today's is Chase Granberry who is the co founder of Authority Labs, which allows you to track rankings on Google and Bing and I'll let him explain what that means in a second. So, Chase, how's it going?

Chase Granberry: Great, thanks for having me.

Eric Siu: Thanks for being here. So why don't you first tell us a little bit about who you are and what Authority Labs is.

Chase Granberry: Well, I'm Chase Granberry. Authority Labs is kind of in the broader category of like SEO software. So, if you're doing any sort of SEO or concerned about how you're positioned on Googled, specifically, we can help you track that and analyze that data overtime, generate reports, easily share those reports with clients, co-workers, or bosses and that's pretty much it. We're kind of a niche within the SEO software space, there's a lot of people who do kind of a lot of different things within that, but we just focus on kind of where you rank and helping you analyze that.

Eric Siu: Awesome and why is it important for companies nowadays, especially when I think about my startup days, people are just like let's put money into paid advertising, SEO takes too long, why is it even important to track rankings?

Chase Granberry: Well, there's lots of different reasons, I mean, initially when you're starting out, you want to make sure you're at least ranking for your brand terms. So if someone's searching for your business name and something associated with your business name, then you want to make sure that Google can actually call your site and index your site and rank your site at least for your brand name. So, that's something you can do quickly and Google's obviously a big resource that people use to kind of search for anything related to a business. So, at least making sure you're controlled for those is important. In the long term, I mean, you got to be on Google for the majority of the sites, Google sites the most amount of traffic from an organic standpoint. So, coming up with some sort of strategy to at least take advantage of Eric Siu: Got it, cool. And how does pricing work for something like this?

Chase Granberry: So we have, kind of, two different products. We have our interface product, which you can sign up for at Authoritylabs.compricing and that's like typically, you know, $49.99 or whatever it is, I think it starts at $99 now, $99 up to whatever. And that just depends on how many keywords you're tracking and domains. And then we have another product that's essentially like a data feed, just straight API usage based product essentially $.99 per thousand like, it's a crawling infrastructure and so people just pay for the amount of data that they crawl and download to their server. So that's kind of priced in a usage based model so on Amazon and kind of tailored towards people who just want a lot of data scale essentially.

Eric Siu: Awesome, okay, great. So, you know, there's so many SEO tools in this space and you guys are doing three million in revenue, which is incredible and then, these other competitors out there, it's like a suit of tools. They have backlink tracking, they have rank tracking, they have all this other stuff out there. Was there at any point where you're like, should we add on additionally features, so perhaps that way it becomes more enticing for other people, was there any other thoughts around that?

Chase Granberry: Yeah, I mean, honestly, I kind of always wanted to build more product, but we were just busy growing with ranking data and honestly this is kind of the hardest thing to do and so we were just busy trying to scale this aspect of it, we just didn't really have time to build anything else out, is what it kind of comes down to. I mean, things are kind of settling down a little bit and stabilizing and so, we're kind of now just getting to that point, being able to kind of invest in some new product and so, I'm excited about that.

But, yeah, it's interesting because I mean, we're like you said, all these other SEO software suits are kind of a bunch of different things into one. We found that people will pay for us and somebody like Moz or us and any enterprise based, somebody like Conductor, just because they like the way that we do ranking data and account organization and reports and stuff like that. So people are willing to pay for that. I don't think that the site of the product is necessarily prioritized enough in those suits because people really like this data and you know, we've kind of shown that I guess.

Eric Siu: Yeah, so personally for me, there's a bunch of SEO tools that I use, but I love Authority Labs because it just focuses on rankings and I can discover other kinds of pages or keywords that I probably should be tracking, but I'm not tracking, and these other tools don't really allow me to do it in such an easy way. So it's just easy to separate it out. So it's great in that respect and it's amazing that you guys are doing so well and so consistent and I think you guys are just a testament to how good the tool is, right? So, how did you guys go about acquiring your first, let's just say, 500 paying customers?

you are intently positive about it and think that things are going to, you know, I mean, obviously, you're going to have to back that up with action, but just remaining positive about situations has had a big effect on my life, essentially.

Eric Siu: Great, do you have an example of that?

Chase Granberry: Well, kind of an anecdotal example, it's a little bit silly, but typically when I drive into a parking lot, if I focus on finding a good parking spot, probably 89% of the time, I find one that's up front. I've done it with people in the car before and it's kind of interesting. But a more practical example is just when you're starting anything from a business to a new project that's like a larger project, nothing happens immediately and typically, you see the fruits of labor after working quite a while and just remaining positive throughout that whole process, I think makes a huge difference.

Eric Siu: Great, love it, we'll add it to the show notes. So, Chase, this has been great. What's the best way for people to find you online?

Chase Granberry: I'm on twitter @Chasers and that's probably the best way. I'm on Facebook too and I'm happy to take friends there, but Twitter's probably the best way to kind of catch me online.

Eric Siu: Awesome, Chase, thanks so much for doing this.

Chase Granberry: Yeah, thanks Eric.

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