Award-winning search engine optimisation firm Pure SEO this month launched its first office outside Auckland in Tauranga because of the opportunity presented by the city and region's population and economic growth.
"We've been working throughout the New Zealand market for some time, and Tauranga was the obvious choice for our first ex-Auckland office," said managing director Richard Conway, who has grown the firm from a one-man business to a staff of 28 since 2009.
"Within the next five decades the population is projected to more than double to 250,000, and there is commensurate growth in the skilled-worker base and tertiary education, with the new university campus. These and other factors make Tauranga a great place to do business."
The office will be headed and part-owned by Paul Easton, whose has a background in local and international marketing and expertise in search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing and online sales.
Mr Easton was previously involved in the development and management of a large e-commerce site. He has a background as a military training adviser and manager with the New Zealand Army and spent 18 months with Pure SEO in Auckland.
"I came down here with my family and thought this was a good place to live," he said.
"And after talking to some of the businesses here and seeing the expansion and what's going on, it just seemed like the right move at the right time."
Pure SEO already had two major corporate clients in the Bay of Plenty, said Mr Easton.
The firm focuses on SEO and building quality links to web sites, and does not get involved in web design.
"There are some great designers and we partner with them," he said.
"But one of the major factors in making a web site rank highly are the links to the website, not so much the design."
Mr Conway worked in the SEO sector for six years in the UK before moving to New Zealand and starting the business in 2009.
"SEO is more advanced in the UK than here and it's far more competitive," he said.
"I saw a gap in the market here."
Mr Conway sold a minority stake in Pure SEO 18 months ago to entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Falkenstein, founder and director of Just Water, who he said had been very helpful in growing the business.