Jonathan: Tell me a little bit about your agency, and about your company?
Andrew: Sure. We’re an online marketing agency based in Miami. Our singular focus is local service business’ operating in the US.
Jonathan: Okay. What kind of services are you guys offering? What are you doing for your clients?
Andrew: We’re doing a lot of local listings, traditional SEO, pay-per-click obviously, social media. We’re doing a lot of that these days. We’ve also developed our own special multiple website technique, where we develop a large number of high ranking, lead generating mini-sites, which is a really successful strategy. It’s one I’ve been using for years, and we’ve had great success with it.
Jonathan: Your typical client that works with you, whose your ideal client where when you work with them it tends to be highly successful. Because you understand their business and they’re committed? I know that this is, from my personal experience doing what you do, not being in your business, but in our companies employing strategies like you have taught us and things we do. Tell me about who your very best client would be.
Andrew: Sure. We treat all of our new clients like partners. We don’t take on any clients that basically, we get a lot of phone calls from clients “Can you just optimize the first page of my website and get me to rank high?” and thats the end of the relationship. We don’t take on clients like that. We take on long term clients, we take on clients that understand, that have a long term focus, and understand that the online marketing takes time. It’s going to take a serious investment and they have to commit twelve months. If they don’t commit twelve months we don’t take them on as a client.
Jonathan: Why do they commit twelve months?
Andrew: The whole process is a long term process. Ranking in a search engine takes a long time. Especially if they have a new website, they can take a long time. One of the reasons we make them commit to a twelve month, is because that eliminates any clients who aren’t truly thinking long term, and that’s what your online strategy has to be from the beginning. If you’re just thinking about it short term, or you’re thinking that “Okay. I’m going to optimize my website. Season starts in two weeks and it’s going to be ready and I’m going to be getting leads’ don’t call us. That’s not how it works, but if you’re serious about getting leads online and have a long view we can help you and we’ve had great success.
Jonathan: Now don’t you have a strategy though, that if a client signs up the example you just gave and they need immediate results, they don’t necessarily have to sign up and wait three months before anything happens. You have a strategy around getting immediate results today, while you build the long term?
Andrew: That’s correct. I mentioned some of the different things that we do, PPC, social, local. We do a very broad campaign, with a focus and message. We attack specific markets in geographic regions where they’re doing business, in very specific services, and then try and deliver a very focused message to those people. In regards to ranking quickly, or showing up quickly, or getting the leads immediately, yes. I don’t want you to think that it’s going to be six months before you’re getting any leads or anything like that online. That’s not the case. Obviously, we do our local listing service, which gets you listed in Yelp!, Google, Places. A lot of the really important directories online, and those can generate leads really quickly. The ramp up time to show up, rank, and be visible, be found online for something local is relatively short. It can be a couple weeks, it can be a couple months depending on how competitive that key phrase is. In regards to pay-per-click, whether it’s Google, or it’s on Facebook or Linked-in, depending on your market you’re going to show up instantly as soon as we set up the account.
Jonathan: You can advice and help on that?
Andrew: Exactly. We’re big on testing, and optimizing and tweaking the campaign so you get the most value from your pay-per-click campaign.
Jonathan: Right, okay. Is there any other specific things that a client should know that’s thinking about working with you? I know that it’s extremely important that they participate in this process, because that’s what it is and those that do participate I know are your most successful clients. Is there anything else that they might need to be mindful of going into this process, in trying to decide if you’re the right company for them?
Andrew: We do offer plans where we try and take our clients out of the loop as much as possible. By out of the loop I mean we don’t want them to be concerned about their online marketing. We want them to focus on running their business. Delivering kick-ass services to their clients, and focusing on the day-to-day stuff, that’s the core of their business. What they’re best at. So when I say “I don’t want them to think about their online marketing. I want them to know that we’re handling it for them”, but that doesn’t mean that they’re out of the loop. This is a partnership. We do need stuff from them. We’re going to need their input. Especially at the beginning we’re going to need a lot if input. Information about their business, how they do business, and their markets. A lot of stuff like that. We’ll also be requesting videos. We’re very serious about our clients implementing an aggressive testimonial and review process. Following up with clients.
It’s not all just about online marketing. There’s a lot of stuff that we expect our clients to deliver to us. Reviews are very important, testimonials are very important. We’re big on credibility builders. If a client comes to us and we feel that they’ll be unable to deliver those things, they won’t be responsive to our requests, or we just get the sense that they’re not entirely on board or serious about really being aggressive about it and going full force, we won’t take on those clients. We want clients who are truly committed.
Jonathan: On that topic, I know for a client there is some involvement, just as you’ve said. You’re real upfront about this. There’s some involvement now. I personally know of all the different things that they’re going to need to help you with, but I know that you guys do most of the work. Do you have a system? Are you calling them up periodically saying I need this or I need that? Or do you have a system that you roll them through? Is it organized? Are they going to need to be available where they’re constantly interrupted, or do you have this all laid out where you have a punch list and you go through, or you’ve got a system?
Andrew: That’s exactly right. We have a pipeline. We have a time line. Obviously, a lot depends on when you show up and waiting on the search engines to rank you, and move you up, and get you in the position you want, but we have an entire step by step process. This happens, then this happens, then this happens, we need this from our client by this date, that’s how we work.
Jonathan: So does that mean then as long as they comply in a sense, and deliver and you’re going to stay on your timeline. If they help stay on their time line can they expect some certain results? I know things vary, but what I mean by that is as long as they deliver things on time they can expect, there will be certain stages at this month and three months out there’s certain things, that are going to happen. They’ll start seeing certain results. Would that be true?
Andrew: That’s right. Again obviously ranking and positioning varies depending on competitiveness and search engine algorithms ranking, stuff like that. It’s not like we can say “We guarantee you a top ten ranking in three months.” Any company who says that, you should run away really quick. You can’t guarantee a result when it’s a program. Google changes they’re algorithm. We have a process, and we have a time line. There are certain benchmarks, where we expect to be at certain points in that time line.
Jonathan: I know they’re investing some money in this. There will be a huge return. This stuff works. Along the way, because they’re investing how do they measure? How do they know it’s working? Do you give them anything? I think you give them reports.
Andrew: We do monthly reports. In the reports it shows you exactly how many clicks you’re getting, where your traffics coming from, how you’re moving up in the rankings. It’s not just generic reports that are in Chinese for a lot of our common clients. We actually take the time to have a conference call with them every month, and step them through what they’re looking at, what we expect to happen, what we did that month, and where we expect to be at the end of the following month.
Jonathan: So one more thing. If they end up having questions or concern during the process, because again, you’re investing some money and they might not completely understand. Sure you guys know this stuff really well. Who would they deal with? How’s that process work?
Andrew: They can deal with me, they can always call me directly, or they’ll be dealing with a project manager.
Jonathan: So you do use a project manager to make sure this is, again, apart of your system?
Andrew: I always make myself available. We’re selective just as they’re selective about what SEO company they’re going to have handle they’re online marketing. We’re selective about which clients we take on as well.
Jonathan: Good. Anything else?
Andrew: No, I think that’s it.