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Organic marketing in SaaS: How Tynker's Lomit Patel uses UGC to drive success

Find out how Tynker creates scalable organic growth with authentic and innovative customer-centric approaches.

Tom Amitay - Organic marketing & SEO expert
By Tom Amitay
Lia du Preez
Edited by Lia du Preez
Romi Hector
Fact-check by Romi Hector

Updated February 28, 2024.

In an oversaturated market, authentically connecting with customers is the way to ensure lasting relationships. In the SaaS industry, one way to do this is through user-generated content (UGC) and organic marketing strategies.

I sat down with Lomit Patel, Chief Marketing & Growth Officer at Tynker, who shared how brands can use organic marketing strategies to not only survive but thrive in spite of the competition. In this inspiring discussion, we cover:

  • How startups can use organic marketing strategies to drive growth
  • How Tynker uses UGC to grow their audience and establish themselves as the world's largest coding app for kids
  • The power of video content for maximizing visibility and reaching your target market

With over 20 years of experience in driving growth and scaling companies to millions of dollars in revenue per year, Lomit provides valuable insights and illustrates why companies need to build authentic communities, as well as build on and optimize organic marketing strategies to keep up in the world of SaaS where things are constantly changing.

Welcome to the Entail podcast. I'm very happy to have today with me, Lomit Patel, chief marketing and growth officer at Tynker. How are you doing, Lomit?

I'm doing great, Tom. How are you doing?

I'm fine, thank you. So you're in San Francisco. It's your morning time now, right?

Yes, it's morning for me.

So, we're going to speak today about SaaS marketing, but before we start, maybe you want to take a minute to introduce yourself.

Yeah. Hi everyone. My name is Lomit. I have worked in startups for over 20 years. My role has primarily been working with early-stage to mid-stage startups, where I usually come in and help build and lead the whole function around growth and marketing. So, everything related to how to scale a business once it has product-market fit, from acquiring customers to retaining, engaging, and monetizing customers.

And I've been fortunate to have worked with a number of companies. Some you may have heard of, like Roku, which went IPO, and others that got acquired, like Texture, which became Apple News. But for the most part, I've been fortunate to have helped scale companies from zero to a couple of hundred million dollars in revenue per year.

That's interesting. Marketing is definitely my favorite topic. So I'm always happy to speak with people with a lot of experience and interesting stories. So the type of companies you worked at are more product companies? Is it more e-commerce or software companies? Maybe you could speak a little more about that.

Yeah. I would say most of the companies that I've worked for have been product companies. Yeah, primarily consumer-focused but also having a B2B component to it as well.

How to build SaaS marketing strategies

And a general question in terms of how you look at marketing, do you think it's very different between how you build marketing for SaaS companies as opposed to e-commerce or other companies?

I would say overall, whichever company that you're looking to build, the similarity is really understanding the value proposition for the customer and really identifying who is the right customer to target.

And a lot of the things, once you identify the right customer segments, it's really kind of what's the right channel fit to really reach those customers, what's the right message fit to talk to those customers.

So I think there's definitely a lot of similarities there between whether it's a SaaS business or consumer-focused. But I think, the big difference really happens in terms of the channels that you kind of leverage to try and acquire and retain and engage those customers.

How Tynker got it right

And in terms of what you're doing today, like your strategy today at Tynker, maybe you can explain a little bit about that as well.

Yeah. So just to let people know, I'm currently the Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Tynker, and Tynker is actually the world's largest coding gaming app that teaches kids to learn to code. The company's been around over 10 years, and we've helped over 100 million kids that have used the platform through 150 different countries worldwide.

And the way we primarily help is Tynker started acquiring customers, and it's been all around a SaaS offering to schools where schools take the curriculum and content and they use that to really teach kids. So that's one really big channel for Tynker, is going through schools and education institutions.

The biggest growing area now for us is really the consumer, where we go direct to consumer as well. So we have two ways in terms of how we go to market. But, ultimately the audiences are slightly different. For schools, it's really targeting teachers and educators. On the consumer side, it's primarily targeting parents and kids.

Okay, so that's interesting. So, you have two sides. One is a bit more B2B, and the other one is B2C, right?

That's right.

I often prefer the B2C marketing. I like it a bit more, even though we're a B2B company, but eventually we're helping other companies build their marketing. In general, I like B2C marketing. It's more fun for me, but there are probably challenges for a company that has to do two different types of marketing at the same time.

It's almost like two different DNAs in terms of how you build the marketing strategy, the marketing team, and so on.

Yeah. I would say, the biggest challenge is really, with any startup, it's really leveraging the resources you have right. And which areas to really focus on to drive the biggest impact and growth on both of those areas. The benefit, whether it's B2B or B2C, is that the content is very similar. And just having more kids using the content provides that huge feedback loop to help us to enable to improve the content and to get better at leveraging AI and automation to personalize that content for different learning styles for kids.

And in terms of the marketing on the B2B side, similar to B2C, it's ultimately about driving leads into the funnel. And I think the loop in terms of closing those leads into paying subscribers is a lot faster on the consumer side.

Because, we offer free trials, and we've tested a number of different initiatives—from freemium to trials at different lengths from 7 day, 14 day, 30 days. But we've found ultimately, a 7 day free trial works really well on the consumer side.

On the education and school side, there's two ways to go to market. One is where schools are actually paying for the curriculum. So that takes a little bit longer because the dollar value is a lot bigger on those contracts, and so that's more of a hybrid approach where we leverage a lot of getting the leads and then warming those leads up for CRM marketing, and then having our sales team build those relationships to close those leads.

And the other part of schools is that there's schools who may not have the budgets right now to pay for the curriculum. So we have a grant program where we do offer a limited version of the product to schools so they can get started with Tynker and give the teachers the experience of getting used to the product and the kids getting exposure to it. So what we find is once schools start using the product and, they really start to love the product, it makes it a lot easier for our B2B team to close those leads, and those can be closed, depending on how many seats a school would want, we can either have, salespeople to close those in person or over the phone, or we can try to do it within the product as well.

So I would say the key thing is really getting people to start using the product as quickly as possible. The similarities between both B2B and B2C is all around the user experience.

It's all around the registration and the onboarding experience and really coming up with a really good, comprehensive onboarding experience where for the consumers, it's going to be a little bit different from the school side, but ultimately it's all about showing value pretty quickly and trying to understand what the teachers or the kids are really interested in learning and trying to surface that content as quickly as possible.

Finding a unique, high-volume niche for the user community and growth

But in terms of what marketing channels you're using at Tynker, is it more paid, organic, or social media? Where do you focus? Or is there a difference between which channels you use for the B2C clients compared to the B2B ones?

For Tynker, our biggest channels is really SEO and content marketing, and that works across the board for both B2B and B2C. And one of the things that we try to do with SEO on the consumer side, outside of creating a lot of content ourselves, that kind of works across both for schools and for how teachers and kids and parents are searching for something like "Tynker code" or "how to learn to code" and specific keywords like that.

We also, on the consumer side, one of the things that we've done is we've created tools. So one of the offerings that we do on the consumer side that we know a lot of kids love is Minecraft, and that has over 200 million users worldwide. And Minecraft is actually a great gateway for kids to really get into coding because they have to do some coding to create these different Minecraft modification projects.

We've really leaned into creating these really fun tools for Minecraft, and we make it really easy, where anybody searching for things about how to create different Minecraft projects will find Tynker pretty much in the first one or two or three positions on Google, as well as on YouTube.

And so that's where we get a lot of discoverability. And then when kids come in and start using our free tools to create these projects, what we've done is we've removed all friction so they don't have to create any accounts, they start creating these projects. But once they create projects, and they have to save the project, that's when we ask the kids [to create an account].

Most of our kids that come to Tynker are between 5 and 18, but for most kids that are 13 and under, there's a legal stipulation where the parent has to approve the account. And that ends up becoming a big lead gen for us because once kids create projects, it creates a flywheel that leads to us acquiring thousands of parent accounts, and we then have our CRM marketing that kicks into place. But for the most part, it's really showing the parents all of the fun things that the kids are learning on Tynker. And ultimately what the kids run into is they want to learn more and more. And that's when they start doing free trials on Tynker, and we have a really high conversion rate.

If we can get a child to take the free trial and we're able to initiate it through kids wanting to do it, then the parents are more likely to purchase it because they see the value, how much the kid likes that.

We get, on average, probably 3 to 4 million users a month coming to Tynker. And you can imagine we're getting hundreds and thousands of projects being created. So all of this creates a loop of SEO user-generated content for us, and all of this content gets shared on social media. So it amplifies how many people get exposed to Tynker.

And then on the school side, for the most part, I would say, a big way that schools get exposed, or get to learn about Tynker, is outside of SEO, where we get a lot of leads on the B2B side. We also go to conferences. We have a sales team that goes to conferences. We exhibit at a lot of these conferences. So that's where a lot of the educators get to learn about us. But our biggest channel, on both consumer and and the B2B, is word of mouth. So teachers tell other teachers about it, and we just encourage a lot of sharing.

What we've ended up doing within Tynker, is we've created actually the biggest coding community for kids. So we have tens of millions of kids worldwide now that come to Tynker to really learn from other kids on different ways to get better at Minecraft or get to better level of code.

I really love this Minecraft idea. It's very creative. We do a lot of SEO, so I really understand that. Usually, what you see businesses doing when it comes to SEO, they're looking for the obvious things, like if you're selling a product, then you're looking for product searches and so on. But here, it's very clever how you identified a super high volume niche that doesn't look like it has anything to do with what you're selling because you're selling coding, but it connects in such a unique way.

I'm very curious how long did it take you to build this funnel? Did you know in advance that this was exactly your audience? Did you start with an experiment? "Let's try to get people to get kids who love Minecraft and provide some content for them and see if later we can convert them?" How did you invent this?

Yeah, that's a really good idea. And lot of the credit, I would say, would go to the founders and the company that predated me, where they were looking at what are good ways to really grow this business without being dependent on paid. Because, for the most part it's very challenging to grow as a tech business if you need to keep raising a lot of money for paid marketing. And so that's where they had come up with the idea, and Minecraft made a lot of sense.

But what we've done over the last year and a half since I joined, we started looking at the overall funnels across the entire channels from B2B and B2C. Because before, we didn't do a good job on really exposing this to SEO as well as really exposing this to get the viral component going. And I would say that came from just really looking at our funnels and running experiments because before, it was very hard to find this content. It was put behind paywalls, and then we ran experiments and we found exposing this had a huge kicker for SEO. And removing a lot of friction so that, instead of when kids come to the platform and you ask them to create accounts without them seeing any value, removing a lot of that.

And then just continuing to do a lot of research. We found that through our own research to validate that, the biggest reason kids were coming in volume, was Minecraft. And so then it was about how do we make this more front and center. And so if you look at our site now, and if you look at it 12 months ago, it's like night and day. It's very obvious when you come, you'll be able to find content around Minecraft. And we used to do this before, but we do a lot more of these competitions and contests. We call them Code Jams, where kids are able to create these different projects and win prizes.

So in the onboarding, we make it a lot more easier to find all of these high, most popular trending content around Minecraft, make it easier for kids to see what other kids are doing in the community, to help connect them to other kids.

And what we found is that the community becomes the glue for kids because kids love to learn more from other kids than having an adult telling them to do this and that.

And to be honest, the thing that really surprised us was giving them less instruction is better because they're so creative; they figure things out a lot faster on their own than making them read "do this, do that," or whatever.

A lot of that just came from experimentation where we've just removed as much friction as possible. And, I would say, our focus has really been on just trying to make the tools as user friendly as possible and then just give it to the kids and then let them run with it.

» More from the podcast: Ari Yablok reveals how to build a brand that lasts.

How UGC and organic marketing drives growth

Working with companies, pitching to companies, speaking to prospects, or doing this podcast, we don't see many businesses that have managed to pull off what you're describing in terms of organic. I would say that 95% of businesses rely mostly just on paid channels and not organic. And out of the 5% that are left, I think 4% managed to drive organic traffic, and then maybe only 1% really managed to convert it well.

And I'm not talking about branded traffic. Organic branded traffic is a different story. But to see a business like you're describing that's built on organic, that's pretty rare. You don't see a lot of businesses like that. When you think about it, I don't know if you ever thought about that, but that's what we do at Entail. We're talking about organic, and really you don't see many businesses that pull that off.

In fact, besides affiliate websites, like NerdWallet, Bankrate, if you know them, they're organic and their business is converting organic traffic. But brands, you don't see many brands that manage to build. Look at a brand like Lululemon, for example, they have tons of traffic, but it's branded traffic. It's not what you described where you built a community. And that's my next question. It relies on content, and this new world where everybody is AI this, AI that. I mean, just Google "AI marketing," and you get all those snake oil salesmen saying do this and that with ChatGPT and that's how you're going to solve your marketing, which is very untrue and quite even counterproductive to do things like that, I think. Because what you're describing is unique content and user-generated content and authentic content. And you didn't just build a huge SEO funnel. You also built a community and a lot of social media activity.

So one question for me is, how much of this content do you create yourself? How much of the content does the community create? And also, how much do you encourage the community to create content and help them to promote it or to structure it? So, how involved is the company or your marketing department in the content creation, and how much of it comes from your users?

You bring up a really good point. Most of the startups that I've worked with prior to Tynker, it's been dependent on paid marketing. I know the challenges with paid marketing, and I would say the refreshing thing here, coming to Tynker, was having the opportunity to figure out how to grow organically, because that was a challenge coming here.

Ultimately, I think it really comes down to creating content that other people value. I would say the way we've been able to really scale and grow our content has been user-generated content.

I learned that at my previous company, IMVU, which was a social gaming app. When I joined them, I was able to grow that into one of the highest-grossing apps in the app store. And even though we did a lot of paid marketing there, what we leveraged in paid marketing was amplifying a lot of our user-generated content, which showed a lot of gameplay experiences.

And we were able to do that at scale because we were able to get millions of people really creating. The way we did it in the gaming app was very similar to how we do it at Tynker. We created different contests and competitions where, in IMVU, it was outfit challenges. So people created avatars and created different virtual worlds and hosted different parties and events in the metaverse. And that generated a ton of content for us to leverage.

At Tynker, as I mentioned, we do a lot of these contests called Code Jams, and so that is around different themes. That gives kids the ability to create projects around different themes, and there's a lot of the game mechanics that we were able to apply where we gamify a lot of competition between kids, like leaderboards, and we also introduced the concept of virtual coins and prizes and badges that kids are earning on Tynker. And so, that whole gamification has really encouraged a lot of content being created. And then it's a matter of leveraging, just getting better at creating this templated approach to SEO. So all of these projects end up creating unique pages and then having automation, to the best of our ability, where we're able to apply the meta tags around these different projects that have been created that enable the search engines to get indexed really quickly.

First of all, it's fascinating. Besides organic, which is what we do now, but I always love to hear stories of growth hacking. People say growth hacking and that term isn't used so much anymore, but in terms of growth, most companies do more of the same. It's quite rare to find—maybe it's only when we hear success stories—companies or people that built really unique funnels. And this one sounds like a very creative one. It's always fascinating to hear how you built that.

But in your case, you're talking about thousands and thousands of pages, right? If there's so much content, and you need to make sure you build the templates right so that it's indexed and the search engine likes these pages, right? So you need to make sure it's built right.

And what I also wonder, from all these pages, because it can be hundreds of new pages per month, so I don't know how much you're involved with all the more technical parts of SEO, but when you create so many pages, you have like other pages that get into this status, like crawled-not indexed. When you have tons of pages, Google doesn't necessarily index all of them. And there's also issues of from which pages you drive conversions. I'm just wondering, in a way, how you manage such a huge scale SEO operation.

On one hand, you're saying, it like incentivizing the user-generated content creation with contests and so on. So you're incentivizing that. It's like you are a platform that encourages people to create content, which is a huge win, right? That's what these platforms are doing for themselves, and that's what you've accomplished. But how do you manage that in terms of scale? How do you manage which pages you can convert users from? Because not all pages have the same intent on how to drive them into your funnel and so on at that scale.

In terms of creating pages, a lot of that is automated as much as possible. And then, it's all around experimentation within those pages and the intent of traffic that gets driven. And so, for example, pages around Minecraft, we've created different calls to action on those pages to prompt kids. You know, "if you like this, you might want to try this," as well as exposing them to all the top trending projects around those content types and themes.

So I would say, what we're trying to do is follow those practices of a lot of those news sites where you start reading a certain article, then it starts showing you, "Hey, you might like this." And then there's an infinite loop of other things that you can get into.

But is it something you automated? Like you built something?

Yeah, so we're a really small team, but we have some super smart people where we've been thinking around how to leverage AI and automation, because we have a lot of data now, right? We know what kids are looking at, and we know correlations and crossations around if they like this, they might like that. And so, on the backend, we try to build the intelligence on customizing and personalizing the call to action and the content that kids see based on what they're coming into. And that keeps refreshing.

Another thing that we do is, as I mentioned, we have 3 to 4 million users coming, so we get a lot of data.

One of the things that Google likes is fresh content. So we keep surfacing new, trending projects on different feeds every week.

The content that we create ourselves, which is like blog articles, a lot of that or content that we optimize on the site, we use tools like AlsoAsked so we know how people are searching for things on Google. So, it's more questions that have been asked. And then, we create a lot of content to try and answer those questions. And so, for the most part, a lot of our non-branded search comes from all of the other sort of placements that Google has on a site like feature snippets and answer boxes. So a lot of the content we create, we convert that into like little mini videos as well. So we create little videos around that.

I was waiting for you to mention videos. There's so many questions that come up because, again, it's very impressive. It's not just an impressive SEO operation. Usually, if you speak with a company that does SEO well, and again, these are very few and far between, but if you speak to one, it's all about how they create content and all this. It's always the same story, right? And here, it's like you built your own Reddit. You built your own social media platform. And it's really an amazing story. I want to talk to you about video in a second, but one more question before that. I got to know what do you use for analytics for this?

At Entail, we look at every content page as a funnel or as a campaign. Just like if you're running a PPC campaign, Google AdWords, and you're targeting the keyword "play Minecraft." So then you get impressions, you get clicks, you send them to a landing page, you measure the conversion, the landing page, et cetera.

So, what we're saying is organic traffic is you're getting users that search for "playing Minecraft", you're getting them to your page, they read your content, and it's a funnel. And then every page that you build is a funnel. So on your website, I don't know how many pages you have, but it sounds to me intuitively that you have hundreds of thousands of pages because of all that user-generated content and the amount of users that you have and so on. So intuitively, I say minimum 50,000 pages, and I don't think I'm wrong about this. It sounds like a lot of pages. So if every page is a funnel, Google Analytics is definitely not built to be able to measure so many pages of content at the same time. So how do you handle this type of operation in terms of knowing where you can convert traffic from?

That's always been a big challenge for us. We try to leverage the limitations of Google analytics as much as we can. But we also capture a lot of this data on the backend and our database, and that's where we've had our engineering team build a studio for us, where we try to bring this data. We look at it more holistically than at an individual level of each landing page, because it's super hard to do it. So it's more, even though it's not perfect, we look at data more for direction than complete perfection.

Okay, I understand that. I often compare it to general relativity and quantum mechanics, where two different approaches don't really meet. One is everything is built from very smart particles, which is more like the regular performance way of thinking of things. Like, I got 10,000 users on this page, and then how many converted. As opposed to general relativity, where it's large objects, planets and so on. And so, you're talking about, okay, we have a lot of users interested in that topic or in that section of the website. So what can we do with them instead of looking at every single page when you manage so many pages? So I understand that. Okay. Very interesting. Many different topics to expand on.

Why video gets it right

So I want to ask you about video. I'll tell you how I look at things now, definitely in terms of search. Google is rolling out their SGE experiment, search generative experience or kind of like Bard within the search results. And it's still rolling out, right? It's not open to everyone. It's not in all countries. It's still an experiment. And my opinion is that it's an experiment because they haven't reached the right formula yet. And when I look at it, I think that Google has three main principles.

First of all, they make money off of search ads, and that's their goal. And in order to achieve that goal, they have to really maintain those three principles. So first of all, they need to have all this traffic of people searching. So, they must provide the best search results across the entire internet. Otherwise, people would just leave them. The second thing is they must monetize these results, so ads should work. And the third thing is, and not many people, I think, take that into account, they must send traffic back to the internet.

If the traffic ends at Google—people search, find the results on Google and leave, and don't continue to the internet—Google is dead. Because Google relies on companies like Tynker creating content for Google, because eventually, you create content for Google. Because otherwise, if Google did not send traffic back to you, you would create that content for TikTok or for Instagram or wherever you get the traffic, you would get the traffic from.

So I think it's fair to say that you're creating this traffic for Google, even though you're creating it really for your users, but Google is the channel. So I'm saying these are the three principles: providing the best results, monetizing them, and then sending traffic back to the publishers. And I think these are the main three principles that they're testing now. And maybe they're not monetizing as well through SGE. Maybe the results aren't accurate enough. Maybe they're not sending enough traffic to the internet. So, they need to really finalize all those aspects before they can roll this out to more people, more countries, et cetera.

And so, when talking about providing the best results, when looking at what people now like and prefer, it's mostly video. Most of the world's attention, as Gary Vee says, is on social media, and it's mostly video. It's more and more video rather than text.

I know for gamers and coders and geeks, a lot of it is also through text. But most of the attention now is on video. So how do you address that? My personal belief or opinion is that Google will shift more and more towards video to satisfy what people want to find when they search, because otherwise, more and more people will leave and go to TikTok, and Google is not going to open another TikTok. They had their experience with Google Plus, so they're going to start to index more and more social media and incorporate that into the results. That's my opinion, so we will see more and more videos, not just YouTube, but from all platforms.

I'm guessing that still most of the content that you're talking about is text, right? But you encourage also video, so what's your opinion about that? What's your take about the role of video now in SEO?

Yeah, I definitely agree with you. I think it really comes down to attention span is getting smaller, right? And in terms of how people want to consume data and information, and I can just talk to Tynker's audience, which is generally younger. Younger people don't want to be reading a lot of articles. And in terms of the content, a lot of our blog articles, which are optimized around things like coding for kids and keywords like that, is really tailored more towards educators and parents who want to get more information and digest it that way.

But what we've started doing is that we've been taking content we create and using a tool to convert it into video. And we try to keep those to about 30 to 60 seconds. And so it gives you a highlight of the key takeaways. Kind of like the TLDR, "too long, didn't read" version.

We have a lot of content that we've created over the years. So we know which are our most popular articles, and so we're starting to convert a lot of those into video components as well.

You're doing that part yourself?


The one that we haven't really figured out how to turn into video is a lot of the UGC stuff, right? Because that's where the scale is, and I haven't really cracked that one yet.

And are you seeing any difference in terms of SEO when it comes to video content? Are you saying that video content supports or helps content rank better?

Yeah, we are. Because with Google, for the most part, 60% of their real estate is anything except people searching and having articles show up. We're starting to get more visibility for videos as well. And then, we end up putting a lot of those videos into our social channels and we amplify it there as well.

And in terms of your social channels, a lot of the content is also published there, not all just on the website for SEO?

So we take snippets of the content and publish it. In terms of social, the main channels right now that we're focused on is Facebook and Instagram and YouTube. Those are the three. I know TikTok is huge for reaching our users. We just don't have the bandwidth right now to take that on. And the ones that we have really good presence and visibility, that's where we focused on at the moment.

The importance of authentic content and building authority

Again, I must say that it's really an inspiring story. How you're doing content, SEO, I really love this story. Because again, I'm speaking to many companies and you hear a lot of marketing executives or marketing managers that are getting a lot of pressure from their executives to reduce content costs, use AI here, and AI there. And what you're getting basically is poor content. It's a reduction in content quality.

And the thing is that even though there's AI and ChatGPT and all that, and it's cheaper to create content. It's also cheaper to create video content and so on. The truth of the matter is you need to create better content, and you need to create more authentic content because that's what people want to consume. They don't want the machine content. If they want machine content, they can go to ChatGPT. They don't need you to copy from ChatGPT and publish it on your website. So you see most companies are moving in that direction. And I think that's really like another bubble that's going to burst.

And I see very few companies that really go against the grain and find a way to still generate authentic, real human content, which is what people like. Some of these companies are Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, right? Most of the content there is human-generated. Almost all of it, you do see some avatars and all that, but it's not significant in the entire noise there. But very few companies outside the main social media networks managed to do what you're describing. So really, it's really amazing that you've accomplished that.

And it's also, I think, a very important lesson for companies to see that if you manage to really generate so much high-quality content, that's really like how you build a brand. And that's how you build a community. And that's really how you can survive in that world without having to go into paid channels, which are very competitive and very difficult for many companies these days.

Yeah, and I would say, paid channels have the same level of challenges now with data privacy, right? In terms of trying to do attribution to really understand if you're really spending a dollar, you're getting a dollar back from that specific channel.

I would say, for us, I've been really fortunate that we went all in on the SEO and organic route and product-led growth because that's really helping us not just to survive but to thrive right now.

A lot of other companies are running into challenges around things like what's our CAC, what's our payback period, what's our ROAS on this. And with SEO, I agree with you, for us, we simply focus on three things, ultimately ones around technical to try and make the site as seamless and as fast as possible. So the experience is good for Google and mobile optimized as well as possible.

The second part is backlinks. So we're fortunate that we're able to generate a lot of backlinks over the years, especially with schools and teachers and parents that just share a lot of our content or post it.

But again, I must interrupt you first for a second because you're talking about backlinks, and I just want to make something clear because companies are buying backlinks. And what you're describing, just for the audience, is organic. Links in general, if somebody doesn't know, is one of the main ranking factors from the early days of Google. It's still one of the main ranking factors. Even though Google says it's like more and more the content and less the links, but it's still very relevant. It's still one of the most important ranking factors. And companies are just buying links to help them rank and outrank the competition.

But what you're describing again is not buying links. It's getting genuine people really linking back to you. And what you're describing in a way is how Tynker has all the positive signals that Google needs to rank content because it's organic, because people like it, because it's user-generated. It's fresh, it's like new content all the time. So yeah, of course people link to it. And of course, it builds a brand, and that's really everything that Google needs to know that this is high-quality content. This is a good website, right? So it's very different than companies talking about building links and all that, right?

Yeah. And I think what you said, reflects back into our domain authority being super super high and moving in just to increase, and at the end of the day, we try to focus more on quality over quantity.

And I think we have over a hundred, last time I checked, over a hundred thousand backlinks, and then the last piece is content. And to what you said that's one of the biggest challenges, but we feel the user-generated part and getting that engine going has really helped us, and now it's really about, the way we think about things is very similar to what you said before.

It's just like growth hacking, but the idea is not growth hacking to try and trick the users or Google, but it's growth hacking on how to get more efficient with just focusing on a few things but doing it well.

Yeah. Very interesting, and I must say inspiring as well. We went over time because it was very interesting. There's still many questions I'd like to ask you. Maybe we can continue and maybe have another session or keep chatting later. But really, Lomit, it's been a pleasure speaking to you and hearing the story of Tynker and your role in making this company grow. Yeah, thank you very much for joining, and hopefully, we can have you again.

For sure. And thank you, Tom, for having me. I've really enjoyed this and would love to be back. And the other thing I was going to just, put out there is that I was fortunate, having worked at a number of different startups. And one of the things that you could probably relate to is, when you work at startups that are really early, it's all about trying to be scrappy and trying to be in survival mode, and so you got to try and figure out ways of trying to be more efficient—and not necessarily growth hacks—but the hacks that actually can make an impact quickly, right?

So how do you take companies to the next level? It's how do you get to your first thousand customers, then how do you get to your first hundred thousand, how do you get your first million and then 10 million, and I've been fortunate to do that. And a lot of that has also been outside of just being honed in on data and experimentation. But also being early at a lot of these other companies too, as well as Tynker, to really leverage things like what's going on with AI, what's going on with machine learning and automation, and how to apply a lot of those principles into the business early so that it helps to fuel that growth versus being added on later.

Yeah, I think what you're describing and the way you look at it and the way you've been doing marketing, I think it's a very good example that many marketers can learn from about how not to just look at, "let's run ads on Google or Facebook" or "let's just write blogs." Really thinking outside the box, and also it's not just about understanding where your customers are at and what topics they're interested in, but really what unique angle can you have as a business and what can really set you apart.

And sometimes, what sets you apart can be the brand or your story, or in your case, how you can leverage your community or build the community to create all that content that attracts people. So I think it's a very inspiring story of how you built this marketing for Tynker. So yeah, really well done. Really nice to hear.

Thank you, Tom.

Thank you very much, Lomit. It's been a pleasure.