SEO agencies are incredibly valuable tools when it comes to marketing. We are talking about something we hear about a lot. The way it’s been framed to us is, “what’s the importance of vetting an SEO provider?”
We have seen a lot of scenarios where people come to us and they have really great expectations. They want to do SEO strategy themselves but it didn’t work out, and they come back really jaded. They don’t think SEO works at all, and a lot of that pain could have been prevented if they knew the right questions to ask.
While an investment, SEO agencies bring necessary skills and knowledge to the intricate processes of managing content and SEO performance.
Value of SEO Agencies
The biggest overarching value is the fact that at Farotech, we talk about systems, not solutions. We put together a system that’s going to deliver you critical keywords on Google and Bing.
Like this analogy, what’s one of your New Year’s goals going to be? A lot of people have the same one every year – to lose weight.
So what people do is they go out and buy gym memberships, total gyms, and buy all these contraptions because they think that they’re going to help them lose weight. But what happens is, they’re really just buying solutions, not a system.
It is the same thing in marketing. You might have a marketing goal of ranking so much better in 2023.. It’s one thing to have the intention, but it’s another thing to have a system behind it to do that.
What is interesting about that system is that it’s not only a system, but also having the pieces and the players in the background.
The pieces would be the software piece. One of the things that we pride ourselves at Farotech is that we spend a lot of money on software. Whether it’s for HubSpot, or if it’s search engine software, we spent a lot of money on software.
We also spend a lot of money becoming experts in that software program. So that’s the differentiator in making sure that you have a system in place and making sure that you have the right tools in place, and then making sure that you have the right people in place to execute the tools.
Can you DIY your SEO?
You absolutely can. The biggest reason why it’s difficult for your team to complete it is because of content overload. There is so much content out there.
At last count, there’s somewhere around 2 billion blogs on the internet and somewhere around 7 billion people in the world. So that’s one blog for every three and a half people, which is just insane. It’s just so much content!
So you have this content overload, and you have to ask, “where do I start? How do I create content that’s different? How do I create content that’s valuable?”
Another piece of this puzzle is that all of our content needs to be written from the aspect of the reader. As your writing content, it has to be quality content with good keyword analysis, while also displaying why the reader is reading this.
In other words, what is the value coming to it? A customer could do that themselves, but it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of research and takes a lot of time. That is where an SEO company would help the client.
Unfortunately, what we’re seeing in this business climate is that people don’t have the time to put in the work, just because it’s not a priority to them. Not that writing good content is not a priority, but oftentimes it doesn’t go all the way to the top.
There’s so many other things that are just so much more important. This could be sales, marketing, or deliverables. As a result, the SEO content gets pushed to the back, and then it becomes like a back-burner issue.
If you go with a company like ours, we’re going to actually make it part of our package. It’s going to be pushed to the front, and going to be a priority to us. We have the software in place, the people in place, and we are able to execute in the scenario that you might not be able to.
SEO firms are able to put the work to the forefront of their process while being experts in that area.
One of the conversations I had with one of our potential clients was saying almost every entrepreneur read the Jim Collins book about the great flywheel. And you know what, if you’re not consistently pumping out content, if you don’t have an editorial calendar that says, what content is going out that’s the flywheel that we are talking about.
The problem is that I’m finding that if your team internally could have done it, they would have done it.
If I ask to see your editorial calendar and you don’t have one, then I don’t think you have content marketing. I certainly don’t think that you’re scoring well in SEO unless you’re such a rock star that you’re getting such amazing backlinks from outside sources, but chances are that you’re not.
It’s one of those things where you must build a system and SEO is part of that system. Social media is gonna lean into SEO content then lead into SEO analytics, which leads into SEO.
When I hear “can they do it themselves?”, I think about how big their team is and if they have subject matter experts and other critical spots. If they don’t, maybe you’re not one blog away from knowing how to do SEO.
How to measure success with SEO
People look at it differently than SEO companies will look at success. Some might look strictly at rankings and the ability to move you up the page, while some might look at how keywords rank in the top three.
Those are all valuable metrics, but those aren’t the ones that we use primarily at Farotech.
We typically measure success in search engine optimization based on versions and qualified traffic.
I’ve been in sales pretty much my whole career, and you’ve heard about this paradigm of the marketing sales disconnect. Marketing is pumping out all these like good leads, and then sales says these leads are not qualified. This is what’s called an annual paradigm.
But one of the things is that, from our perspective, we value the investment that our customers make with us, and then we want to show a return on value. In order to show a return on value, you have to connect those marketing dollars to sales.
Then you do it backwards, by figuring out how much traffic you get, how many leads you get in the pipeline, how many leads you convert from those, and then you figure out how many customers turn into opportunities.
The big thing for us at Farotech is being able to quantify the value of a customer, whether it’s a transactional customer or a recurring customer. By figuring out what the value of that customer is, we can tie it back and say, this strategy that we put in place is now paying off because we were able to generate XYZ client for you at a quarter of a million dollars.
There’s a lot of SEO companies that say what keywords you want to rank for, and the judge of their success is if you got those keywords to rank. But you can be ranked on the first page of Google for the best words in the world, but that doesn’t mean that it’s actually converting.
One of the things that we strive to do is figure out what keywords are going to bring qualified traffic. Then once they get on your website, we measure everything to make sure that it’s growing and that we’re seeing consistent results.
We are also going to put cookies or tracking code on your thank you page of your critical forms, so that when you have forms that are completed, the only way to get to that page is because it’s on the thank you page. Now I’m able to say this traffic turned into these form submissions.
I think that is where we kind of leave other SEO firms in the dust because they’re just saying that they bring traffic. And here we say we bring qualified traffic, and it’s on us to make sure that it converts.
How long does SEO take to work?
I can answer that in two words, it depends.
It’s actually one of those things. That’s very difficult, very difficult to answer. But basically, this is our guy, Neil Patel. I kind of call him like the Elvis of digital marketing.
I recently read a blog where he answered this question. And he answered it with it depends. And then he wrote this massive blog and threw in a whole bunch of variables, but we just sort of summarized it for you here.
So obviously, key factors are keyword difficulty, competition, and then it goes on from there. He would basically say that you probably have four months for low competition, almost a year for medium and maybe even longer for high.
It is interesting, because it’s one of those things that’s really difficult. When we talk to our customers about an SEO marketing strategy, just because of the type of people that we are, we want that instant gratification.
In SEO and content writing, it is a slow burn. It’s just one of those things that has to be developed and tweaked. It has to be consistent, like you talked about with the editorial calendar, but it also has to be systematic.
You also have to be patient. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that you can’t get into the SEO game, find out that you’ve got these three or four keywords and you want to rank tomorrow because that’s not going to happen.
One of the things that we do on the sales end is set the expectation for the client. It’s one of those things that we really have to keep sort of beating that drum and checking back with the client.
You have to do all the research right now, you have to write all the content right now, and then you have to schedule it out, but give me a year to get back to you on that. It’s a challenging thing to balance.
One of the things that I think that SEO sort of has to do is it has to fit in with other parts of your marketing.
While I’m waiting for keywords to get on the first page of Google, I’m going to clean up your website, make sure your website is airtight from an online perspective and directories, to improve your domain authority, then develop an editorial calendar, then write content, then see the rank, but if it doesn’t rank, I have to reoptimize. Because not everything sticks.
Even if I get on page one, that doesn’t mean I’m number one on page one, which is our goal. So you have a lot of stuff there.
If the client is just tapping his foot, the reason why we have such a high retention rate is because you can’t just worry about SEO alone.
We have done tactics of whether it’s outbound marketing, LinkedIn automation, or paid ads. We then are going to weather the storm. As your domain authority and your SEO comes up, maybe your paid ads go down.
If you just go with SEO alone, you have to have a very patient client base. SEO is not the magic bullet. It is a solution that is part of a larger system.
That is why we say systems, not solutions, because your one algorithm changes way from losing everything.
As a new client to Farotech, what are the first steps? What does that look like?
The first step for us with any new client is we talk about a gap assessment. The next step really is any type of SEO analysis. We tie that analysis into our gap assessment.
From our perspective, you have to baseline where you are so you have to take this analysis, figure out all your different benchmarks, criteria, levels, and then work from there. So it’s one of those things that it’s built into our gap assessment.
The SEO functionality touches all other pieces of content within the solution, so that initial SEO analysis is huge for us. If you’re not familiar with it, It is our three to five year roadmap, that’s going to help you, you know, 5x 10x leads.
The reason why we do a gap assessment is because it’s a two month deep dive, and a large portion of that is SEO research.
We use the analogy with current clients all the time. They say, Hey, I’m getting a quote from you and another vendor. And we’re saying, you know, I don’t know that I can even give you a quote because at Farotech, we do a gap assessment where we measure everything.
I mean, it’s like going to a cardiologist and saying, hey, you know what, we need to go into heart surgery right away. They will say what tests have you done? It is the same thing in marketing.
If you are hearing this for the first time, that’s the difference between thinking long term and trying to understand how to grow your content.
What we learned
SEO agencies play a vital role in helping companies achieve higher rankings on search engines. They also provide other services such as link building, social media marketing, and paid advertising.
If you are interested in working with a successful SEO team like Farotech, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!