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Building a Successful Agency + Selling SEO to C-Suite: Interviews With Two Experts

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Matt Southern
Matt Southern SEJ STAFF
Building a Successful Agency + Selling SEO to C-Suite: Interviews With Two Experts

At Pubcon 2015 in Las Vegas, the SEJ team had the opportunity to speak with Chris Boggs, of Web Traffic Advisors, and Erin Everhart, manager of digital marketing at Home Depot.

Chris shared his unique insight on what it takes to build a successful SEO and SEM agency, while Erin spoke from her experience on what it takes to sell SEO to the C-suite.

Learn more in the videos below:

Here are some key takeaways from the videos:

Chris Boggs on building a successful agency:

  • Chris has experience working with small, medium, and large agencies. One consideration shared by all agencies, no matter the size, is how to structure the team.
  • Teams can be structured as “single stream” teams, where each individual is in charge of one aspect of search marketing. Or they can be structured in a way where responsibilities overlap and are shared between team members.
  • The size of the agency should reflect the size of businesses the agency is most suited to work with. A small agency works better with small business, large agencies are better equipped to meet the needs of large organizations, and so on.
  • There’s nothing wrong with having a small agency and wanting to keep it small. Just because you’re not growing does not mean you’re not succeeding. Having a “lifestyle” business, one that’s just big enough to fulfill the lives of you and your family, is becoming more and more common.

Erin Everhart on SEO for the C-Suite:

  • Getting someone to “buy in” to SEO starts with setting the right expectations from the get-go. Explain it in terms anyone can understand, and relate it back to how it can help achieve business objectives.
  • From Erin’s experience, visits and revenue are the two key metrics that CEOs care about. Keyword rankings are nice, but on their own they’re not as compelling as traffic and revenue data.
  • Start small when pitching SEO tactics, focus on the quick wins rather than trying to sell them on projects that are massive in both scale and budget.
  • Achieving success with a few of these quick win tactics is a step towards proving the value of SEO and getting buy in for some larger projects.
  • By and large SEO is underfunded, but businesses are willing to pay for it if they can be shown how it works.

Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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