5 Lessons For Surviving Crises From The Ukrainian Team Of SE Ranking
This post was sponsored by SE Ranking. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor.
with more than Half of our employees are from UkraineThe SE rating confirms, that with teamwork, you can weather even the greatest storms.
Despite the crisis, loss of customers, withdrawal from the Russian market, massive employee turnover, and war zone business environment (for those who stayed in Ukraine), we not only managed to survive, but evolved beyond the pre-war phase as a company. . .
Through this article, the SE Ranking team would like to share how we not only survived, but thrived, despite the untold circumstances.
1. Put people first. They are your lifeline.
Every member of our team ran an extra mile in the midst of this crisis.
Their hard work and dedication is what has kept this company afloat.
No business tips and tricks can make a difference without them, which is why SE Ranking has focused on providing as much security as possible to the team.
The SE rating moved the office from Kyiv to Wroclaw, which helped the team move to safer locations.
In the first days of the war, the entire Ukrainian team received a transfer allowance.
Then, the part of our team that arrived in Poland first helped others with transportation, accommodation, legal aspects, etc.
No one is put. No salary cuts were made.
Keeping the team financially sound has become the company’s top priority.
Just several weeks after the war, all bonus programs and personal development coverage were restored.
We started group therapy sessions to help us process what was going on.
Although our SE Ranking family was territorially divided and morally broken, just like thousands of other Ukrainian families, we supported each other.
We organized private online meetings so the team could sync up emotionally. We also invited a professional psychiatrist who helped us overcome the trauma of the war.
We started featuring our team members on social media and sharing their stories.
After learning how to adapt to the current new reality, we felt our team’s voices should be heard everywhere. We launched a series of posts where our teammates talked about themselves and their experiences.
This motivated our employees and revealed the human side of SE Ranking.
Respecting and appreciating your employees is the key to their loyalty and therefore the key to the success of any business.
This approach to people has always kept SE’s rating strong, regardless of external conditions.
People have been and continue to be our greatest value because they are the ones behind our product – a product loved by hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Lesson learned: Appreciate the people behind the product, and they will respond to you in kind.
2. Stick to your plans to the best of your ability.
The war turned our lives upside down.
Many of our plans are ruined, and complete uncertainty becomes our “best” friend. Every member of our team felt this.
We all needed some stability, and our work became an “island” of certainty for us. We decided Not to switch to energy conservation mode, but to follow our roadmap as closely as possible.
And it worked!
Our hard work has resulted in four completely new tools based on AI and NLP:
- On-page SEO checker It analyzes any webpage by checking it for 94 parameters that affect search rankings.
- Content Marketing Unit It helps you create briefs and generate SEO-friendly content faster and with less effort.
- SERP analyzer Shows top SERP players and benchmarks their pages by checking them for more than 110 on-page and off-page parameters.
- Backlink Gap Analyzer shows domains and URLs that link to your competitors but not to you.
We got as close to our original plan as possible and were even able to join our first BrightonSEO conference back in October.
We don’t just do that feelings As if we are moving forward. we We are Move forward.
Lesson learned: Even when you feel broken and lost, do your job. It can become your source of credibility in a changing and scary world.
3. Stay true to your values - no matter the short-term business risks.
Integrity is one of SE Ranking’s most important values.
No matter how much we want to say what people want to hear, we stick to the truth.
The fact is that The Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, and we couldn’t continue to support customers from Russia because that meant supporting businesses that were paying taxes and sponsoring their army.
Although Russia accounted for 15% of the total number of SE rating clients, we stopped providing services to them at the end of February.
Since then, new Russian users cannot and cannot register for the SE rating, and we do not accept payments from existing Russian customers.
To overcome the difficulties caused by withdrawing from such a large market, we had to:
- Redirect our resources to attract new clients from other countries.
- Review the planned activities and add new promotional channels for the platform.
- Change the pricing policy a bit.
We conveyed our attitude to customers in an honest way, as we always do, and it resonated with them.
We may have lost 15% of our customers, but the SE rating has attracted 20% more since then; Our company remains profitable, and our revenue continues to grow.
This year, we hit 1,000 reviews on G2! We also have the best SEO software solution on the market. We couldn’t be more grateful to our users for their support and encouragement along the way.
Lesson learned: When you stay true to your beliefs, it will pay off despite the initial losses.
4. Don’t skimp on security. Issues can cost you dear.
Crises are frankly unpredictable.
Even worse, not being able to guess what will happen next is one of the biggest reasons why crises are so devastating.
There are a million and one potential problems that can surprise and knock you out if you don’t take it Preventive measures early on.
Your biggest insurance policy is to sort through all the potential risks and then find ways to overcome them.
The SE rating did just that. We diversified all potential risks from the start so that our services remain valid, even during a crisis.
How to increase business security
SE Ranking has implemented many tactics to ensure that operations and information remain secure, under any circumstances.
- our The servers originated in several secure locations: Germany, Finland and the USA.
- we’ve got build a reliable product infrastructure, And the system continues to function even when some failures occur.
- Teams, not just one person, coordinate operations. Each team member can address issues as they arise. That’s why when some of us couldn’t work (because he had to move to a safer place or hide in a bomb shelter), other players on the team could cover for them.
- All communications happen in one place. In our case, it’s Slack. We have separate channels for each project, department and even for promotions. This way, everyone is on the same page and has access to changes and updates in seconds.
- We keep our communications as transparent as possible, From C level management to individual team members. All urgent decisions are implemented without delay and with limited bureaucracy. Continued transparency has helped us through the difficult times ahead. Our services continued to operate, even during the beginning of the war when a lot of changes had to be applied immediately.
- We have operational manuals for all departments in confluence. We describe the processes in detail so that each team member knows what to do when getting ready for some task or activity.
Lesson learned: be diligent and prepare for the worst case scenario because you never know when a crisis will strike.
5. Don’t be afraid to say what needs to be said.
From an operational point of view, we needed to ensure that our customers did not feel the impact of the crisis on the business and the product.
But on a moral level, we had to talk about the elephant in the room — war.
Despite the ocean of content out there about the invasion, we found our voice among the digital marketing community and chased along with it. We are still more grateful for the support that continues to come from this community to this day.
We also released a file Series of posts and articles Discuss the different ways you can support: Ukraine, Ukrainian women during the war, Ukrainian SEO specialists who became volunteers, and our amazing team.
Later this year, SE was shortlisted for the Global Content Awards as Best Crisis Response Content Campaign for this series of publications.
We are especially grateful to Miranda Miller who was among the first to support us as we expressed what needed and still had to be said.
SE also organized a charity webinar for SEO with Aleyda Solis, Barry Schwartz, Barry Adams and Kristina Azarenko, which was attended by over 1,100 people.
The event raised $4,000 for Save the Children, which provides protection for every child affected by the war in Ukraine.
With all this support, we are once again convinced that the SEO community is a true family that is always there by your side and with you in the most difficult times.
Lesson learned: Make your voice heard and your community will support you.
Be safe. be sincere. be honest. Be supportive. be strong.
These tips only work when combined with transparency and honesty.
We believe that these virtues are essential to the success of every business. You must be completely clear about what your technologies and processes offer, and be completely open to the needs, opinions and well-being of your employees and customers.
- Secure data must always be secure.
- Transparent communications should always be – transparent.
- If you offer full support, be fully supportive.
This approach has proven and continues to work for us and is unlikely to ever change.
And remember: Crises raise unique challenges that require unique approaches. There is no place here for one-size-fits-all strategies. So, use our tips as benchmarks and adapt them to your business strategy as you find your way to success.