Small Budget, Big Impact: How Folks HR Outshines International Competitors in the B2B HR SaaS Space


CASE STUDY: Standing Out in a Crowded B2B SaaS Market: How Folks HR Became the Go-To Choice for Canadian SMBs

In the B2B HR SaaS market, competition is fierce.

With countless providers, each with their own HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems), vying for attention and a slice of the lucrative business landscape, standing out is a herculean task. Yet, despite the odds, one company, Folks HR, has managed to defy the norm and make a mark, leveraging their expertise as a SaaS SEO expert.

This Canadian-based company has distinguished itself from the crowd with a tailored offering for SMBs, featuring services such as employee onboarding and applicant tracking systems.

Their journey is not just about the destination but also the lessons learned, challenges overcome, and innovative strategies implemented along the way. As a SaaS SEO agency, we delve into the story of Folks HR, focusing on their journey from being a relatively unknown player in the English-speaking market to becoming a top choice for Canadian SMBs in the HR SaaS space. We will explore their unique challenges, the SaaS SEO strategy they used to overcome them, and the impressive results they achieved.

Their story is a testament to the power of strategic SEO and PPC efforts, deep market understanding, and a clear differentiation strategy. It's a story of how, even with a smaller budget, a company can outshine international competitors and make a significant impact in a saturated market.


folks hr logo
Folks HR logo

Client overview

Folks HR is a cloud-based HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) software company that provides businesses with a comprehensive solution for HR management, including performance reviews and employee onboarding. The company approached our SEO agency to improve its SEO and PPC performance. Their objective was to gain more visibility, increase paid and organic traffic to generate more qualified leads. The company is very well-known in the industry in French Canada. Their brand is fun and tongue-in-cheek.

Business Model

Folks HR operates on a Vertical Software as a Service (SaaS) model. The company provides a highly specialized software service that is tailored to fit the unique needs of Canadian SMBs. Features of the HRIS include employee management, performance tracking, onboarding processes, and much more. Their affordable and intuitive solutions are perfect for industries like manufacturing, engineering, construction, nonprofit and so much more.


Problem statement

The main challenge that Folks HR faced was standing out in a crowded market of HR software solutions. They were struggling to attract the right audience to their website, and as a result, they were not generating enough leads and sales.

The main challenges

  • Multilingual SEO issues leading to no visibility in the English-speaking parts of Canada
  • A brand new website that was incredibly complex to update and very slow to load
  • An overreliance on brand power in the French Canadian market
  • An overreliance on inadequate PPC campaigns that were not bringing in leads nor helping establish notoriety in the rest of Canada
  • US competitors backed by marketing campaigns with bigger marketing teams and budgets outpacing the company by a wide margin
  • Smaller budget and smaller internal teams
  • No content strategy beyond webinars.

Unique SEO Challenges

The primary challenges with Folks HR’s Vertical SaaS model are:

  1. Narrow Target Market: The company services cater to a specific vertical market, human resources, which limits the pool of potential clients. This can make market penetration and growth more challenging.
  2. High Competition: The HR tech industry is quite competitive with numerous established players. Standing out and distinguishing Folks HR’s product from the competitors can be difficult.
  3. Difficulty in Keyword Optimization: With a relatively small pool of relevant keywords related to the company’s niche, it can be challenging to effectively leverage search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising strategies.


Overcoming challenges

We mapped out the challenges the company was facing:

  1. Deep Market Understanding: We have focused on a deep understanding of the target market, which allows the company to tailor their services to meet their specific needs. To do so, they have conducted extensive research and regularly gather feedback to continuously improve their offerings.
  2. Differentiation Strategy: Folks HR managed to differentiate themselves by focusing on customer-centric elements that matter: Personalized customer service, a dedicated customer success team, becoming the HR software that integrates the best with Canadian companies’ existing tech stack and ensuring the solution remains as simple, integrated and flexible as possible. The company adapts to our customers’ realities.
  3. Long-Tail SEO Strategy: To overcome the SEO challenge, we adopted a long-tail keyword strategy, focusing on less competitive but highly relevant keywords. This strategy also extends to the company content marketing, where it publishes industry insights, guides, and case studies that target these long-tail keywords.
  4. Partnership and Integrations: Folks HR has also formed strategic partnerships with complementary businesses and integrated our software with other platforms that our target market uses, thereby increasing our visibility and reach.
  5. Customer Success Focus: The company emphasized on customer success, providing extensive onboarding support and continuous training to help clients get the most value from their software, thereby increasing customer retention and word-of-mouth referrals.

We adopted a pragmatic approach to create a solid foundation

To create a solid foundation, we collaborated closely with Folks HR to transform their marketing capabilities. First, we established there was an urgent need for internal paid ads knowledge. We trained a sales representative with a marketing background to become Folks HR's PPC expert. His knack for good copy, fun visuals and a keen eye for data made him the ideal candidate. 

Next, we introduced SEO tools (first SERPstat and then SEMrush) into their existing marketing workflows. This, tied to comprehensive, practical training sessions on the use of Google Analytics 4, Google Search Console and Google Ads was a game-changer for the team. Their content team in charge of newsletters, articles and landing pages was able to fully integrate with PPC and SEO efforts. We worked with the Folks HR copywriting team to implement innovative processes for content ideation, creation, and maintenance, resulting in a grand transformation of their overall marketing strategy.

Years later, the continued success of this approach keeps paying off.


PRAGM was the spark plug for our dedicated Search Engine Marketing (SEM) team. The symbiosis of their expertise (and engaging personality) with our small, multidisciplinary marketing team was the foundation of a hugely successful SEM strategy for Folks, which continues to this day. In concrete terms, our team has generated thousands of qualified leads that have brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in MRR. Folks management is very pleased with the SEM results, and offers its full support to continue our collaboration with PRAGM.

Jean-François Pelletier, Digital Strategy Manager and Paid Expert at Folks and Go RH


Results and Impact

After our SaaS SEO agency began implementing new strategies, our client, Folks HR, started to observe impressive results.

This graphic illustrates the results and impact of the SEO strategy deployed for Folks HR had multiple implications: Increase in Traffic, boost in lead generation, improved conversion rates, market penetration, enhanced brand recognition and cost efficiency.
  • Significant Increase in Traffic: Our SaaS SEO strategy contributed to a 70% increase in organic traffic within the first six months. We also observed a 60% improvement in click-through-rate (CTR) from the revamped PPC campaigns, resulting in an overall surge in website visitors.
  • Boost in Lead Generation: Our refined approach towards meeting the specific needs of the target market and promoting the unique value proposition led to a 50% rise in lead generation in the first quarter. This was a combination of more traffic and higher conversion rates, facilitated by a user-friendly applicant tracking system and an effective employee onboarding process.
  • Improved Conversion Rates: By enhancing user experience and focusing on customer success, we were able to enhance our client’s website’s conversion rate by 35%. More website visitors began signing up for trials, requesting demos, and ultimately, converting into customers of the comprehensive HRIS solution.
  • Market Penetration: The strategic emphasis on partnerships and integrations enabled the product to resonate with new segments of the target market, thereby broadening its reach. This led to a 25% increase in new customers from previously underperforming markets, specifically in the English-speaking parts of Canada. The HR software, with unique features like performance tracking and employee onboarding, began resonating with a wider audience.
  • Enhanced Brand Recognition: Our custom-made content strategy and improved SEO performance, backed by our SEO consulting for SaaS companies expertise, enhanced the brand's visibility not only on search engines, but also across the digital landscape. Folks HR's brand became more recognizable and was increasingly seen as a thought leader in the HR tech space.
  • Cost Efficiency: Despite the limited budget, we managed to optimize ROI by focusing on strategies that yielded the highest return. This included a focus on SEO for SaaS startups and content marketing, which, though time-intensive, had a more significant and long-lasting impact than a sole focus on PPC.


Our B2B SaaS SEO agency demonstrated that, even with a focused and strategic approach, a company can make a significant impact in a highly competitive market despite having a smaller budget than many of its competitors. Folks HR's success, backed by our SEO for SaaS companies expertise, is a testament to the fact that understanding your target market, differentiating your product, and investing in the right strategies can lead to significant growth and success.

While challenges still exist, Folks HR, guided by our expertise in SEO consulting for SaaS companies, is now better equipped to handle them and continue their growth trajectory.  Contact us today to discover how our tailored SEO and PPC strategies can help your business achieve remarkable growth.


PRAGM helped my articles get the SEO boost they needed and was instrumental in supporting my discovery journey in the world of SEO Content Management. They can provide your writers, editors and content managers with in-depth knowledge of SEO.

Morgane Lança, Writer and Content Manager from Folks HR

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