Carefully choose your services

Don’t go all out and win a contract on any prospect. Don’t write one-size-fits-all, massive deliverables.

Keep an eye out for the “Not-Invented-Here” Syndrome.

a sense of equilibrium Performance-based deals are tricky because they need you to work on the business rather than inside it.

Consider The Agency’s Success Before Signing Exclusivity Agreements!

I led the SEO team at a digital marketing firm catering to SMB customers for six years before co-founding my current venture.

digital marketing agency

I had no previous experience managing a department, let alone an entire company.

In this post, I’ll share the seven most important lessons I’ve learnt about leading SEO at work — lessons I wish anyone had taught me sooner.

  1. Carefully choose your services

We marketed ourselves as a full-service digital marketing firm, but in retrospect, we weren’t.

We lacked the necessary expertise and personnel to excel at all.

And, after having seen everything, I (now) feel that all you have to do is carefully choose your niche and excel in it.

As a result, we weren’t a full-service digital marketing firm. We weren’t particularly good at all aspects of SEO, to be honest.

We did a fantastic job with technological SEO, keyword analysis, and strategy, but we fell short on content creation, link building, and digital PR.

As a result, our guidelines didn’t really achieve their full potential when applied, simply because the material wasn’t good enough and the supporting connections weren’t there.

This had a negative effect not only on the general understanding of our SEO jobs, but also on web design and, as a result, the other services we provided.

Surprisingly, the clients who nailed it were also content creators and PR experts.

We built fantastic content while acquiring ties and PR in a symbiotic partnership, all while building a stable technological base.

The takeaway: We shouldn’t be providing content development, link creating, or interactive PR services. This was not one of our best suits. Instead, we should have always worked with real experts in these fields.

  1. Don’t go all out to win a contract for a prospect.

Unless you have a large sales staff and are pursuing a large-scale deal that requires you to travel extensively, don’t spend too much time on each prospect in order to attract their business.

Prospects would also request that you do extensive unpaid testing prior to signing a contract. Unfortunately, they are often just hunting for free ideas.

This is something that has been going on for a long time in the consultancy industry.

It’s shocking that this was even happening in SEO… I’m not sure what I should mean. I used to be young and inexperienced at one point in my life.

We were going all out at first, writing a detailed plan for each possibility. However, the return on investment was insufficient.

We did win contracts, but we have lost a lot of them.

Often we got a clear “No,” but other times we were completely ignored and assumed the possibility had simply walked away from our suggestions.

We’ve perfected our lead-scoring method over time, and we’ve made it a point to help prospects get a sense of ballpark pricing early in the process.

Case studies were used to explain what we did, how we did it, and what results we got with other customers.

We’d have a rough but tailored overview of what the prospect might expect from us after we’d learned constructive signs.

We’d explain it in a formal proposal if we were still successful.

We knew we had an 80–90 percent chance of winning the contract by the time we got to that point.

The prospect would have to sign if they needed more suggestions and analysis from us during the sales period.

There are no exceptions.

If they couldn’t prepare for the whole kit right away, we’d start tiny and give them an idea of what it’s like to work with us and go from there.

The takeaway: If you’re short on salespeople, be careful about how much time you waste winning.

Create a sales process that works for you and gives you a good return on the time you spend earning contracts.

  1. Don’t create massive, one-size-fits-all deliverables.

Massive deliverables always go unread, and their advice go unacted upon. The first thing you can think of is who you’re writing the deliverables about.

Do they need to hear about your 40-page Technical SEO audit if it’s a small business owner? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

Is it necessary for a developer to be aware of your whole content plan while writing recommendations? Very likely not.

Give them any background, then make suggestions that are applicable to them, such as how to strengthen the interior relation structure.

Write the deliverables with an eye on the parents who would be the ones to put them into action.

Write separate deliverables whether they have several positions. Keep them short and sweet; just have the basics, but offer them the option to dive deeper and read more about the “why.”

In reality, and deliverable should include a prioritised list of items they need to attempt to accomplish, as well as the investment needed and hence the anticipated effect.

The takeaway: Write all of the deliverables from the outside in, and remember that less is better. Allow any who wish to dive deeper to do so, but only if they want to.

  1. Avoid the “Not-Invented-Here” Syndrome.

As an SEO specialist, it’s critical that you keep doing new ideas – making your own software, pushing yourself to be stronger, and improving your processes.

However, keep in mind the “not created here” syndrome and don’t shy away from anything you didn’t make.

If a much better option comes along, be gracious in saying goodbye to the things you’ve made. This may be anything as simple as redoing the keyword analysis method when a new team member arrives, or something as complex as abandoning a custom-built CMS.