How Quoleady Helped Expandi Get From 0 to $8M ARR

Olga Mykhoparkina photo

Olga Mykhoparkina

Apr 01, 2024

If you were to ask me who has played a crucial role in our business, I’d definitely point to Expandi and its founder, Stefan Smulders. I still recall our initial discovery call and crunching numbers for traffic and conversion estimates.

They were quite modest.

But even with that promise Stefan believed in the value behind our service and gave it a try. It put the start to our success as an agency and helped attract great SaaS clients going forward. 

Little did we know (or even hoped) that a bootstrapped startup starting from scratch would grow into an 8M ARR giant a few years later with no external funding. But let’s start from the beginning.

Stefan Expandi Growth

Maximum ROI with minimum effort

Whenever we begin working with startups, we understand that the funds are limited. It’s easy to work with a SaaS that can easily push out dozens of articles per month and dominate the space. With startups (especially bootstrapped ones) we need to think outside the box and find what will provide the maximum return on investment. After some marketing research for Expandi, we’ve decided on the following:

1. Getting into the lists of “LinkedIn automation tools”

It’s the strategy that brings so much value to the early stage startups. The goal here is to become a household name in the industry and appear in every possible search result for a relevant term.

When nobody knows your name, nobody mentions you organically in their articles so you have to force it. What we’ve done was reaching out to the top 10 results for LinkedIn automation tools’ offering them collaboration. They mention us, we return the favor by sprinkling some links to their articles.

This is how we were able to get Expandi to every listicle ranking Google top 5 for “LinkedIn automation tools”. I don’t have the exact numbers now but we started generating dozens of sign ups through those listicles on a regular basis. 

2. Getting our own lead-gen keywords rank

It’s no secret that the best converting keywords are high-intent keywords like listicles, alternatives, vs, etc. We’ve capitalized on the high-intent content marketing strategy for so many of our clients. The key to success is the purchase intent behind the keywords.

Linkedin Automation Tools

Think about what the person interested in your product might type on Google and cover those keywords with articles. That’s exactly what we’ve done for Expandí – brainstormed the keywords that would bring potential customers ready to buy and covered them first in the series of product-led blog articles that showed the readers how to solve their problems with Expandí.

It gave Expandí a good start on the content that generates sign ups and gave us room to work on the other blog articles to build website topical authority and improve brand recognition.

If you are in the world of SEO, you know that backlinks are still a thing and a ranking factor. It used to be easy back in the day – get a bunch of no-name websites to link to you and voila – enjoy your top position in SERP.

These days SaaS link building is an art with its own strategy and techniques. What worked a year ago doesn’t necessarily work today, so we have to stay ahead of the trends and Google updates to stay relevant and provide quality service to our clients.

Stefan Testimonial

One thing is certain, however, that I’ll never stop repeating to those who think links will solve their ranking issues: no amount of the best quality links will save poor content. So first things first, make sure the content is great, and then work on the link building. 

We’ve built hundreds of links to Expandí blog pages, prioritizing the articles with a high level of conversion yet not so good rankings (somewhere between Google #5-15).

4. Implementing the pillar-cluster structure

Internal linking could be a game changer for the website SEO. Getting internal links right is far more affordable than building links on third-party websites. Yet, a lot of SaaS companies ignore this spending tons of money trying to compensate with external link building.

Pillar cluster blog structure includes a Pillar content piece that’s usually a quite long and comprehensive blog post on the topic. Then there are subtopics (clusters) that cover a much narrower topic in much more detail. All of the subtopics are basically part of the major article explained in-depth.

(If you’d like to learn more about Pillar-Cluster strategy, check our event with Hanna Stechenko, SEO expert at PandaDoc. Hanna shared how they’ve used TOFU, MOFU, BOFU content as well as Pillar-Cluster structure for their content to get 50M sessions for their website in 1 year.)

Pillar and cluster content

Linking them up is an important part. The links have to go both ways from a Pillar to Cluster and back. This way your content gets organized, well-structured and makes Google bot happy.

Some of the Cluster-Pillar examples on Expandi website:

Pillar exampleCluster example sales process
b2b sales funnels
b2b lead generation
b2b sales prospecting warmup
how to start an email
email sequence
how to find someone’s email
follow up email template
email call to action
cold email vs cold call
email marketing kpis
how to calculate open rate
email subject line generator URL
LinkedIn background photo
LinkedIn profile photo
LinkedIn profile headline (tagline)
How to write a LinkedIn summary
LinkedIn portfolio
LinkedIn work experience
Volunteer experience
Skills & endorsements
Expandi pillar-cluster structure example

The pillar-cluster structure contributed to the overall blog performance, helped cover more relevant topics in-depth, and provided value to the readers who’d stumble upon Expandi on Google looking for some answers. Providing readers with helpful, educational content builds trust and readers who trust you often turn into buyers.

The Expandi results

Expandi has grown from 0 to $8M ARR in less than 4 years. Content marketing has made a significant contribution to this growth as the company has received thousands of sign ups through blog posts. Hundreds of articles have been published since the very first day of our work together with 22K keywords ranking in Google search, 2500 of them on the Google first page. Hundreds of links have been built switching the DR from 0 to 72.

Expandi Growth

Apart from content marketing, Expandí has done a lot on the side of social media, community marketing, and content distribution. The team that Stefan was able to put together is truly outstanding and we are happy to have contributed to this great success.

I’m happy to recommend Expandi to all our clients. We are using it internally and we can’t imagine how we’d do our recruitment otherwise. It saves so much time and effort and with the right strategies in place you can streamline your outreach effort if your audience is on LinkedIn.

If you are looking to grow your SaaS with a proven partner, feel free to reach out and we’ll brainstorm your content strategy together!

Olga Mykhoparkina photo

Olga Mykhoparkina

Founder, CEO

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