About Sagashi Labs

We’re a small and focused team that specializes in driving business results through SEO for tech-enabled businesses.

We’ve made a very deliberate decision to focus on SEO. We’re not looking to be a full scale one-stop-shop for all of your growth needs. SEO itself is a large enough field. Achieving great results in this field takes a lot of time, work, and focus.
Specialization wins when it comes to online marketing. Our goal isn’t to make the most money possible as an agency. Our goal is to be the best at what we do while making good money.

The way we typically help clients is by working with them on monthly retainers or fixed price projects depending on their challenges and opportunities. You can read more about this on our services page.

Sometimes it makes more sense for us to own and run a piece of the SEO organization for a client indefinitely, like link building. But our bias is generally towards training and transferring our competence inhouse.

When SEO works, it’s likely to become your largest marketing channel, with compound interest growth effects. At that point, it’s too important to have an outside party owning it.

Origin Story

From 2014 to the start of 2018 I lived in San Francisco. I was a founder and head of growth at different startups. I had ridden the rocket ship at Gigster as we went from 3 employees when I joined as head of growth, to 100 folks by the time I left.

I was proud of the work we had done there as a group, along with what I had done personally. When I joined the first target was to go from $300k per month, to $1.6m within 6 weeks, to hit a target we had for Y-Combinator demo day. We got there in 5 weeks.

We grew like crazy and I got to work on other special initiatives like building an accounts receivable team (far more fun than it sounds, trust me), working on the company’s hiring process, and so on.

I also got to learn from some of the most talented and smartest folks in technology, and I’ll always treasure that.

After 2.5 years of running a marathon at the pace of a sprint, I was in need of a change. I was also ready to leave San Francisco. Much as I love the city, I wanted to spend more time in Asia, and the places I love most.

I wanted my time and freedom back, along with getting back to what I do and know best – SEO.

So I made the decision to leave America and begin working as a location independent SEO consultant. In the beginning, most of the clients came through word of mouth from my San Francisco networks and it was me doing all of the work directly.

In time we’ve grown to have more folks on the team. As I’ve grown I’ve been able to hire smart, talented folks from around the world so that we can have more impact on clients, and more bandwidth to drive business value.

Most of our clients continue to be technology-enabled businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. We love working with clients like these because they move quickly, and are willing to rapidly implement the changes needed to drive strong results.

Our goal is to continue to stay deep and narrow within the field of SEO while working with clients where we can deliver results, and clients we enjoy the experience of working with.

Why "Sagashi Labs"?

Sagashi means “to search” in Japanese and has a few connotations attached to it. The first is to search in the way that a detective would, to get to the heart of an issue. The other meaning is to search for a deeper truth or meaning.

I chose this name for Sagashi Labs because these are the two key ways to approach SEO to begin with. There’s also the obvious, surface meaning of “Search” which is literally what we focus on.

I also have a fondness for Japanese culture particularly it’s language, which has always felt like it massages my ears as I listen to it. There’s also an elegance, thoughtfulness, and layers of depth to the Japanese culture that we want to exist within our business.

The “Labs” element is another part of it. Typically “Labs” companies focus on taking an experimental approach to their work. It’s about having expertise and pursuing the truth without fear of where that may lead.

My university degree is in science, and applying the scientific method to marketing is the only reliable path to growing a business that’s both scalable and durable. Creative, and qualitative considerations are crucial elements, of course, but attempts to paint the scientific method as unable to accommodate these considerations are naive and wrong.

It’s also the argument we commonly hear from creatively focused marketers who usually have an aversion to analytics and measuring performance. We embrace analytics and performance measurement in everything we do. Every great business does, and should.

When put together, “Sagashi Labs” represents a scientific search for truth, improvement and a rigorous approach to driving business results from organic search engine traffic.