My Personalized Health SaaS Gets 500K Page Views/Month With SEO [Update]

Published: February 8th, 2024
Joe Cohen
Founder, SelfDecode
from Miami, FL, USA
started May 2017
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Hi, my name is Joe Cohen and I’m the founder and CEO of SelfDecode. The company was born out of the journey I went through to literally decode myself.

SelfDecode is a precision health software that combines the most advanced genetic analysis in the world with lab and lifestyle risk analysis to provide people with completely personalized diet, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations.

We cater directly to consumers and also partner with health practitioners & clinics. We also provide precision health technology infrastructure to other businesses.

This past year we focused on making SelfDecode a truly all-in-one precision health tool. With 600+ health reports, lab analysis for 2,500+ lab markers, and a database of 20,000+ recommendations based on clinical trials, SelfDecode is helping people take control of their health through personalized insights like never before.

After all of our updates towards the end of 2023, we increased our direct-to-consumer prices launched a new homepage, and “build a plan” checkout flow, which increased our average order value from $215 to $390.


Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

In 2023, we started focusing more strongly on our practitioner audience and successfully increased the number of health practitioners on our platform by 320% from about 500 to over 2,000.

We hired 3 new marketing team members, with one of them focused solely on the growth of our practitioner customers, and have been seeing steady growth.

Even though practitioners only comprise about 9% of our active member base, they account for nearly 20% of the revenue coming from our SelfDecode members, and growing. Direct to consumer continues to be our largest source of revenue, but our practitioner model and B2B services are currently seeing faster growth rates.

Some of the most successful marketing channels for converting health practitioners into members on our platform have been SEO and health conferences.

When it comes to SEO, SelfDecode has hundreds of health related articles on several different subdomains that bring about half a million users to our website each month.


Traditionally, we have used pop ups and in-article banners/forms to generate leads for our direct-to-consumer product. However, we started testing some pop ups that segmented professionals from individual consumers and found that about 20% of users who engaged with our popups identified as practitioners.

Of course, we would follow up with a targeted free offer in exchange for their email. This resulted in a significant increase in the number of practitioner leads and subsequently conversions to members of the platform.

I am also extremely proud of the continued innovations and discoveries made by our science team. Over the summer, our team presented our revolutionary new ancestry inference method and our cutting-edge genotype imputation method at the prestigious European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) meeting held in Glasgow, Scotland.

Our team has also worked on publishing multiple peer-reviewed research papers showcasing this work.

In addition to growing our practitioner platform, we have also continued to secure B2B partnerships with companies who want to license our science and technology to build personalized health products. This year we’ve secured 40+ contracts and we are very excited to see these partnerships grow.

Everything on SelfDecode is supported by research articles and I enjoy understanding the research behind our personalized recommendations and finding new studies that I pass along to our science team.

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

My biggest challenge this year has been growing my personal brand. In today’s world, it’s a requirement that a CEO have an online presence. And I’ve realized with a product like mine, it’s even more important for people to understand my story and see my using SelfDecode in my day to day life, because I do use it every day!

I built my business with an email list and I’m no stranger to “content creation”, but the content that people are consuming has changed drastically within the last few years.

Personally, I don’t care much for creating short form videos with catchy hooks and carefully scripted lines, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a necessary part of growing a personal brand today.

So, in 2024, you’ll find me, like everyone else, trying to “feed the algorithm”.

One of my most viewed short form videos last year, with over 2.8M views, was a video where I shared the fact that I take A LOT of supplements every day.

Interestingly, the response to this video was fairly negative, with people in disbelief and questioning my sanity, but that engagement with the post is what made it so popular. Controversy works, but there is a balance between being controversial and educating your audience on your message and the why behind your controversial beliefs.


What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

We have learned a lot about the sales cycle of B2B customers. While we knew that the process from outreach to closing a sale to then onboarding and seeing the revenue generated would be significantly longer than D2C, this year we found it to be somewhat longer than expected.

Our B2B sales cycle begins with prospecting clients, health tech

conferences, and inbound contacts generated through SEO. B2B prospects move through a sales funnel from qualification, product demos, sales meetings, contract negotiations, and project kickoff. This process can be lengthy as a partnership of this kind is a major strategic decision for most of the companies we work with.

Once a deal is signed, most customers opt to connect through our API. This means that they need to integrate our bioinformatics and reporting with their existing applications and web/mobile apps. What we do at Omics Edge (our R&D division) is complex and Graphical User Interface development and bioinformatic integration can also be lengthy processes and, unfortunately, it is largely out of our control.

We’re working hard to streamline this process but the lengthy sales cycle and time-to-market delays remain one of our most significant challenges on the B2B side of our business.

Adjusting expectations and planning for revenue accordingly has been a challenge, but one that we are adjusting to. And of course, the bigger the deal, the longer the process usually takes.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

We are at a place now where our core product, which is our precision health software, is fully built out. Now, we are planning to continue working on improving user experience and optimizing the platform based on our user data and feedback.

This year we integrated with Amplitude to gain better user analytics and have a better understanding of our customers’ journeys and feature usage. It has already helped us improve numerous onboarding flows and improve conversion rates for upsells.

Over the next 5 years, we will continue to expand our B2B partnerships and increase the number of health practitioners using the platform, which will help us achieve our mission of accelerating the widespread adoption of precision health.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

The best thing I’ve read in the last year is my SelfDecode health reports! In all seriousness, I don’t read many business or entrepreneur books, because when I read, I’m usually reading a pubmed article about some kind of health study to learn more about how to optimize my health.

Everything on SelfDecode is supported by research articles and I enjoy understanding the research behind our personalized recommendations and finding new studies that I pass along to our science team.

If you’re into genetics, check out our white paper on our polygenic risk scoring algorithm, our preprint on our new novel local ancestry inference method, or our published research on GWAS summary statistics and phasing and imputation software.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

I know I’ve said this before, but it’s the best advice I can give: hire the right people. I’ve spent thousands of hours perfecting my hiring process. When you apply for a job at SelfDecode, you’ll take a series of cognitive and personality tests on PerfectlyHired (also a company I started) before you ever complete a formal interview.

I’ve found that those tests are a really good indicator of success within our company. Experience is important, but logic, good judgment, and reasoning are extremely important as well.

Additionally, I look for people all over the world. By operating with a fully remote team, I’ve been able to find extremely talented people all over the world who have the right skills for the job.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We aren’t currently hiring for any specific positions, but you can always check our Careers page for updates or positions that we are accepting applications for.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!