The Startup Review focuses upon providing case studies about successful online businesses. It makes for some interesting reading, especially if you run an online business, or are considering starting one.
Companies profiled in case studies so far include Craig’s List, Advertising.com, Newegg, Rent.com, Flickr, Linkshare, Myspace, Zappos.com, Rotten Tomatoes, and Homegain. The case studies look at things like why the businesses are being profiled, what their key success factors are, launch strategies, exit analysis, a “food for thought” section, and references articles about the businesses.
These are pretty nice, thoughtful looks at online businesses, and the factors that have brought them success.
One of the titles to a business review caught my eye – Rotten Tomatoes Case Study: SEO drives traffic growth. Most of the information in the post about Rotten Tomatoes actual SEO strategies are included in a comment to the post from the in-house team that worked on SEO for Rotten Tomatoes. Here is a brief summary:
1. Movie and review sites were happy to link to them because their focus was upon linking out to other sites. A partnership, and hosting of, the Online Film Critics Society (and other offline critics groups) brought them visibility and positive relationships with related sites.
2. They’ve been active from the start in sending out links to directories like DMOZ and others, especially for new or upcoming movies and actors.
3. Page titles, alt tags, and good URL structures were thought about carefully, and set up so that that would get indexed well in search engines.
4. They shared information freely and built relationships with other sites like Netflix, and provided information about their ratings to others to publish via RSS feeds. Fans of their site, like Google engineers, integrated their site into prominent places, like Google’s Desktop Search v1, Gmail RSS Feeds v1.
The comment is an interesting self assessment of how SEO helped their efforts, driving at least 70% of the traffic they receive to their site.
Looking over the Rotten Tomatoes site, there are possibly a number of other things that they could do from a technical SEO stance. But, the most important steps that they’ve taken appear to be building positive relationships with other businesses and their viewers, engaging and giving their audience what they want, and creating a decent site structure and framework for SEO.
I’m looking forward to more case studies from the Startup Review.