SEO can be confusing for a business owner. Luckily, we have Dominic Chen from Fox Two Group to answer all our questions regarding optimizing your website's SEO.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and Fox Two Group
I’m from Southern California, by way of the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve been in a marketing role my entire professional career, but have worked in several different industries including Automotive/Motorsports, Advertising, Fashion and Entertainment. The entrepreneurial bug didn’t bite until quite some time after I finished my MBA at USC. My company, Fox Two Group, is in its 2nd year of operation and the rate of growth still surprises me. We’re the type of business that succeeds only when our clients do and, while I of course enjoy our own growth, the most rewarding aspect of the business is that our prosperity signals the success of our clients.
What are the benefits of hiring a company for Search Engine Optimization and digital marketing needs instead of doing it by yourself?
The fields of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Search (PPC) are always changing and evolving. Algorithms, features and best practices can literally change from one day to the next. As such, it’s incredibly time consuming to keep up with the space, let alone doing the work itself. By allowing an agency to handle Search Marketing for you, you’re getting help from talented people who are experts in the field.
Look for agencies that are official Google Partners. They will have gone through the training and exams that certify them as having mastered the intricacies of the discipline. Additionally, Google Partner agencies have direct access to Google representatives that can lend further assistance and expertise to the campaigns that the agency runs for you. Can you tell us about some of the projects you’ve done, and the results from your company helping them with their SEO?
Without having explicit permission from our clients to mention them, I can say one of the more noteworthy success stories is with a company in the retail space. The campaigns we manage have helped them achieve immediate increases in revenue and growth upwards of 40% YOY.
Can you break down the costs of hiring a company for digital marketing?
There are different billing models that agencies use, but we employ a commission-based structure for Paid Search campaign management and a Retainer-based structure for Search Engine Optimization campaigns. Paid Search commission is calculated as a percentage of actual monthly ad spend. SEO retainer fees are calculated based on several factors, the biggest two being the complexity of the website and the competitiveness of the vertical.
What are some misconceptions people have about SEO and digital marketing?
The biggest misconception about SEO is that business owners think they can wait to do it until after their website has been built and they’ve been in business for a while. Unfortunately, this often results in more work as well as potential lost revenue. When businesses look at SEO after their website is complete, their websites tend to have quite a few issues to address. Some of those issues are things you can’t fix after the fact, so the businesses are effectively handicapped unless they’re willing to make extensive changes or, in the worst case scenario, start over completely. The time that businesses spend fixing things after their site has launched is time not spent growing the business.
Something a lot of business owners don’t anticipate is that SEO also requires action from them. Unless a business owner is hiring an agency to become their webmaster in addition to running the SEO campaign, business owners need to be aware that the recommendations their SEO agency provides them with will require their own resources to implement. Even if the SEO agency also acts as the webmaster, business owners will still need to create the content their agencies recommend because the agency is never the subject matter expert.
Lastly, business owners need to understand that SEO takes time – it’s effectively like playing the long game. Optimizations may not be acknowledged by search engines until weeks or even months later. Paid Search can supplement results with more immediate effect, but it should be known that SEO and Paid Search work most effectively when paired together to create a holistic digital presence strategy. The key is consistency because success in the digital space is always a moving target due to it being a rapidly changing environment and one where your competitors aren’t standing still either.
Do you have any advice to a new business working on their digital marketing?
Start early! We offer a lot of free advice to new business owners to make it easy for them to get started. Chat with us (or an agency like us) to make sure you have a plan that will line up your business for success in the future.
Be prepared to do the work. A comprehensive Search Marketing strategy will require effort from both you and your agency. An agency can give you great recommendations, but their efforts can stall or even fail if you neglect to implement those recommendations.
Be patient. Your agency is on your team and they know that you will only be a client as long as your business is doing well, but results take time and there is no secret formula or equation for success. Your agency is in the business of growing your business. Build a partnership with them, dedicate yourself to the work and success will likely follow.