Monday, 07 February 2022 13:52

VIDEO Interview: Siteimprove CEO Shane Paladin talks accessibility, content and more as company reaches US $100M ARR

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GUEST INTERVIEW: Promising a data-driven approach to help companies deliver content optimised for digital accessibility, SEO, marketing and more to turn content into revenue, SiteImprove is also now the latest SaaS provider to reach US $100 million in annual recurring revenue, or ARR.

Arrgh, me hearties, the world wild web still has pirates who sail the seven cyber seas, but with the Internet, online services, legal content, digital transformation, the cloud, connected super devices that fit in your pocket and more so infused and intertwined into modern life, with the true metaverses still to come, it is only natural that the experiences on offer continually evolve, too.

Companies that offer content need to ensure that content - and the online experience of content delivery - is as accessibility-friendly as possible, takes full advantage of SEO, and is as performant as possible, which is the precise area SiteImprove specialises in.

Companies create content to inform, educate, entertain and to make money - and it certainly says something very positive when a company that helps other companies to get this all right is now reporting over $100 million in ARR or annual recurring revenue.

That company is SiteImprove, which first began business in 2003, founded by Morten Ebbesen, and nearly 20 years later, SiteImprove says its platform is well-positioned to accelerate growth, especially given its claim the market for inclusive, high performing content is approaching $10 billion.

Shane Paladin, CEO of Siteimprove, (Twitter here) joined me for a video interview to explain what SiteImprove is and does, which I'll get to in a moment, but with the company achieving the $100M ARR milestone, Paladin said: "Siteimprove’s mission is to empower every person to experience, engage and thrive in the digital world.

"As Forrester predicts $10 billion will shift to companies looking to commit to accessibility, we look forward to helping even more companies offer truly accessible digital experiences to customers, while also capturing the opportunity that comes when content is optimised for all consumers. We are proud of what we accomplished in 2021 and enter this year with optimism about our unique and differentiated market solution in an increasingly dynamic space.”

The Forrester predictions are contained in a "Total Economic Impact" study that Siteimprove commissioned, showing SiteImprove "enables companies to provide a more consistent and elevated digital experience for their customers, leading to a boost in profit and widened market reach," among the benefits on offer.

So, to learn more, I spoke with SiteImprove CEO Shane Paladin, with that video interview embedded directly below, after which is key stats from SiteImprove on its $100M ARR achievement, and then a summary of the topics we spoke about, so please watch the video interview, and read on!

So, what are SiteImprove's key results for 2021?

The company achieved the following noteworthy milestones having contributed to its continued growth and momentum:

  • Reached $100M ARR. As businesses find it mission critical to reach ESG goals, SiteImprove says the need for inclusive, digital experiences is driving demand for its platform, resulting in significant growth in customer adoption and industry recognition. Siteimprove reports ending the year with a 42% increase in ASP across manufacturing, education, financial services, retail, government and other verticals.

  • Solutions for Marketing Departments. In the past twelve months, Siteimprove reports engaging in continued innovation and investment in its platform and now offers three core solutions: Inclusivity, Content Experience and Marketing Performance, with seven supporting products. We're told the three solutions support the entire marketing department, web teams and CMOs in delivering tangible ROI by optimising content performance across any marketing channel.

  • Demonstrated ROI: As indicated by a recent Forrester TEI Report, which is linked here https://siteimprove.com/en-us/tei-of-siteimprove/ and above, Siteimprove delivers a 275% ROI over three years among Fortune 500 companies. Customers include Merck, OpenReach, Vodafone, Harvard, Oxford University, Renault, Allianz, Cbus and many more.

What else?

Thanks to continued product innovation. Siteimprove says it continues its leadership position in product innovation:

  • Continued Innovation of The Digital Certainty Index (DCI). As Siteimprove continues to evolve its industry leading platform, it has "recently enhanced its Digital Certainty Index component to use more than 200 checkpoints to test a website’s performance across three major categories: Quality Assurance, SEO, and Accessibility."

  • Established next generation accessibility standards. Siteimprove says it made significant progress with W3C and other prominent industry partners in defining a set of new standards that take digital accessibility testing to the next level and beyond. The company explains it introduced the Accessibility NextGen tool that enables its clients to create more accessible, inclusive web content. There's another stat to back it up - as of January 2022, the company says "more than 90% of its customer base successfully adopted the Accessibility NextGen tool, further validating its commitment to empowering marketers and web teams to deliver inclusive and accessible content."

  • Introduced Google’s Core Web Vitals to enable marketers and web teams to deepen their understanding of user experience and help them to consistently provide a high-quality, fast-loading visitor experience.

  • Powered Local SEO by adding Google My Business integration, which allows marketers to improve their SEO strategy and reach, as well as attract more local customers.

Naturally, the company promises strong educational resources and support: 

  • Providing Access to Everyone Through the Siteimprove Academy: The Siteimprove Academy, which helps brands and marketers deliver a more inclusive digital experience, now includes more than 50 courses. In 2021, SiteImprove says it nearly 50,000 of its users completed courses in the Siteimprove Academy. In addition, SiteImprove's "New Success Plans" provide its customers with unlimited seats and access to the Siteimprove Academy. The Academy supports Siteimprove’s broader mission of helping everyone participate in the digital economy.

  • Recognised for award-winning solutions: Siteimprove explains it is "recognised as a market leader in G2 Grid across all four major categories for the second consecutive year in a row. The company’s innovative machine learning, combined with the latest best practices and regulations cemented its leadership in Digital Analytics, SEO, Digital Accessibility, and Digital Governance markets."

SiteImprove CEO Paladin added: “As we look to 2022, we will continue to focus on accessibility and how Siteimprove can enable companies to build personal connections with people through inclusive content and marketing.

“Content is the gasoline that fuels the marketing engine, and when done in an inclusive way, allows teams to reach people they never thought they would reach.”

SiteImprove also notes "accessibility is a journey," with its Accessibility Statement here.

SiteImprove also opened offices in Australia in 2015 and already counts a quality range of public and private Australian organisations as customers, so the company naturally invites you to lear more - and to become a SiteImprover!

Here are the topics we spoke about, so to see all the answers for yourself, please watch the video interview above!

  • I started by introducing Shane and welding him to the program, after which I asked what the company started offering when it lated in 2003, and what that has grown into today.

  • Shane shared some examples of the ways SiteImprove's products and services have transformed the digital presence, content experiences, accessibility and more for various customers.

  • Next, we discussed Bruce Lindsay Maguire's win for accessibility during the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and the evolution of accessibility services for all types of accessibility challenges.

  • I wondered whether SiteImprove might ever launch an AppImprove division, asked about security, dark modes, smart invert and more.

  • We then discussed SiteImprove's activities in the Australian market since it opened its local offices in 2015, along with some of the Australian companies it counts are customers, along with a bit about Paladin's history and travels throughout the world of tech, leading him to become SiteImprove's CEO.

  • Paladin prognosticated on the future, shared great advice he had received in life, and shared his final message to iTWireTV viewers and iTWire readers, as well as to SiteImprove's current and future customers and partners.

So to learn more, please watch the video interview with SiteImprove CEO Shane Paladin above!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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