Is SEO dead?  Is Search Marketing alive and kicking? And so on… These are some of the questions that Team ‘By The Startups’ posed to Mrs. Gayathri Rajesh (GR), Founder and chief Search Marketing Mentor at SearchnScore, a full scale digital marketing service provider, based at Coimbatore in South India. An exuberant Gayathri was quick and poised in her saddle, as she shares some of her success stories and thoughts on how Search Marketing techniques have evolved over the years and the various streams that will continue to dominate in the years to come.

Team BTS: What do you see as emerging trends in the area of Search Marketing?
GR: I can see Mobile platform and gadgets leading the way. This will increase brand engagement on different fronts increasing conversions and conversations. Video engagement has increased to an astounding level. Social Media platforms will be on the rise and there can be no stopping to it. Social media can help business owners reach targeted audiences with their message pitch and marketing campaigns. I can also find a lot of new paid advertising modes available mostly in organic/paid advertising forms. Growth hacking, as far as I could see, is one of the best trends besides video platforms and new payment systems. Growth hacking will continue to be a potential option for growing your business, particularly if you are a Startup or an SME and will continue to evolve like never before.

How do you view the role of Content in any Search Marketing campaign?
There’s no question about it. Any well planned out and focused content marketing campaign will increase your organic search traffic. And when I talk about content, it is not just about ‘social’.  Any performing brand is marked by its visibility and reputation having a ‘Trust’ score. It goes without saying that the heart of any content marketing campaign is an effective PR team with proven out reach efforts.

What are your recommended strategies (in simple terms) for Digital Marketing if you are a Small business owner?
For Startups and Small business owners, I recommend a good mix of social, PR and traditional SEO marketing techniques. I have also helped a few SMEs with Influencer marketing,Moment marketing, Video Marketing and Email marketing with a decent response rate, just to name a few.

What do you think is the ideal mix of any Digital Marketing campaign?
To me any Digital Marketing campaign should involve 3 key functional areas: Traditional SEO marketing techniques, Social Media, and PR.  And the marketing campaign should cover the 7Ps framework for the digital marketing mix namely Product, People, Price, Place, Promotion, Processes and Physical Evidence.

Tell us a bit about SearchnScore. How has it been helping firms, big and small businesses, in Digital Marketing campaign?
SearchnScore, based in the entrepreneurial city of Coimbatore in South India, is one of the leading agencies in the region for Digital marketing Campaign and we have been helping clients, big and small alike, with Organic SEO, SEM, ORM (Online Reputation Management), Paid Marketing (PPC), SMO (Social Media Optimization), Local SEO, App Marketing, Web Ad Marketing, Viral Marketing, Radio/Press & Media Ad Delivery, Product Marketing, PR, Video Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Messaging App Marketing, Event Marketing, Web Analytics, Content Marketing, etc.

What is the USP of your digital marketing agency and how you can relate it in terms of offering value to your clients?
SearchnScore of late has been working with a few Startups and SMEs with minimum budget plan and the results speak for themselves. Our USP lies in not offering a one-pack-fits-all solution for our clients, but rather recommending them with solutions that can go hand in hand with their marketing objective, goals and budget. And remember no two needs are alike. At the same time, we have been involved in targeted marketing campaigns including Whatsap Marketing, Single event only marketing, and product marketing. Therefore, our USP is about clearly charted out tailor-made solutions based on the client’s need, location, budget and audience. And if you are a client, simply leave the process to us!

What is the biggest challenge for you as an SEO in helping and forming a marketing campaign for your clients?
More often than not, it is the mix or I can put it as what works and what wont’. For e.g., startup clients present bigger challenge in terms of marketing efforts and rather than pushing them into traditional SEO techniques, we take a different route in submitting unique startup stories, dynamic social media marketing, blogging and bit of PR using main stream media too. Creating success story for clients is the biggest form of challenge and let me not forget, it is why we work and get paid for at the end of the day, leaving behind technologies involved like Search Semantics and techniques like Push or Pull campaign.

How do you think has the technique of Search Marketing changed over the years?
As I had mentioned earlier at the onset, Mobile optimization is the way to go. Changing form factor and device sizes in itself is the bigger challenge that Marketers are confronted with. Local SEO has become even more important for retailers and e-sellers that it was before a decade.App store optimization is crucial as more than 50% of online time is spent on Mobile apps. This, to me, isn’t a huge surprise. Changes in new on-page SEO that will require a thorough knowledge of code optimization, click-through rates, social signals, engagement and relevant content.Similarly,In-the-moment content, Video/Audio content, availability of new publication options, etc can all impact the way marketers do their job. I may have missed out a few in the process – but these, I feel, has been clear signs of change when it comes to Search Marketing streams.

How do you the see the future of Search Marketing as challenging conventional Marketing modes?
Because I believe both Search as well as traditional Marketing to be two pieces of the same puzzle. It just wouldn’t serve the purpose if I take sides. For any marketing campaign to be successful, I always ensure I fit the various pieces together well. I also feel conventional marketing modes have already started to understand the power of digital technology and therefore, its deployment has also led to enhanced value for the users as well as stakeholders. On the other hand, any Search Marketing campaign should appreciate the importance of traditional means and compliment well in terms of a working structure and pattern.

If you have to give a single piece of advice to small businesses on doing SEO in 2016, what would they be?
“Come to SearchnScore and simply give us a shout,” concludes Gayathri with a wide smile.
Gayathri on Digital Marketing Development

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