Before getting into who we are what we do, we feel most business owners should have a basic primer into how Search Engine Optimization works.
For people already familiar with this subject, and want to learn more about us, please click this link to skip the SEO tutorial.
What is SEO?
In more technical terms, SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a group of activities that increase a website’s chances of appearing near the top when customers use Google or Bing. The closer your website is to the top, the higher your site “ranks” against your competitors.
SEO is how you get more phone calls, more leads, or more customers to your business instead of your competitor’s.
Why Should I Care About SEO?
- 55% of people research to find a professional service online before asking for a referral.
- 32.5% of people click on the #1 ranked search result.
- 75.7% of people click on the first five search results and 2/3 of that comes from #1 and #2.
- 91% of people don’t look past the first page of Google before selecting a service provider.
- 208% of average clicks come from the first page, meaning users click more than twice on page one.
This all means that not being on the first page of search engines tremendously hurts your business. People who can’t find you online won’t know your business even exists. You’re leaving hundreds of leads on the table and thousands of dollars on the table every year.
Two law firms with identical businesses each have a website. Law Firm A works hard to get more people to see their brand online. They do this through SEO, but also through Social Media, and targeted advertising. They build a basic but consistent digital marketing funnel that includes Facebook, Google Ads, and SEO. While it takes several months to see results, their hard work ensures their website appears near the top when people use Google to search for law firms in the local area.
Over time, Law Firm A generates an extra $240,000 in yearly revenue by getting more people to notice their brand when those people are looking online for a law firm in Cary.
Over 20,000 people search for ‘personal injury law firm in Cary’ on Google on a monthly basis.
Law Firm A manages to appear on the first page, ranking usually within the first ten results. Because of this, 2,000 people click on their website, interested in their services.
Of that 2,000, only 10 people fill out the contact form and 15 people call them for a consultation. But of those 25 people, four of them decide to become clients.
Law Firm B has created their website as an online brochure. They don’t see the website as a means to collect leads. They use it to communicate information. They do not attempt to drive more traffic to their website. They depend purely on referrals.
Law Firm A makes about $5,000 per client (not to mention the extra revenue generated from client referrals).
Law Firm B languishes on the third page of their search results, entirely by accident. While they receive one or two referrals, they don’t experience the level of success as Law Firm A does. 90% of people have already found a law firm and don’t need Law Firm B’s services anymore. They’ve found someone else. Because people have stopped their search for a law firm, they don’t even know that Law Firm B even existed.
Even if B was great at winning cases (better than A even), Law Firm B never takes advantage of A’s unhappy clients. Again, people don’t know that Law Firm B even exists.
As we close this hypothetical, ask yourself some key questions:
- Who is your ideal client and how much are they worth to you?
- What are they searching for to find your services online?
- Who are your competitors?
- Are they larger and more successful than you are?
- Is it because they offer a better service or because they’re letting people know about their service?
- Are any of them ranked higher than you?
- Would switching places with those higher ranked competitors make you more successful?
You don’t need to have all the answers, but it raises the importance of SEO in creating a solid marketing funnel.
How Do I ‘Do’ SEO?
Before We Begin
Before we can discuss how SEO is “done”, there are three important things to address:
1.) SEO is not a single action you take. It is a collection of activities with their own purpose and process. Every activity contributes towards a higher ranking in search engines, a higher placement on Google maps, more website traffic, more online leads, and ultimately, more customers.
2.) SEO is not a one-time activity, but rather an ongoing process. Much like getting fit, it requires a regular routine of doing the right things on a consistent basis to see true results. Like most things, SEO requires research, planning, and consistent execution to remain effective. Think of it like this: search engines are looking to see how often you’re talked about across the internet to determine how relevant you are. If you don’t keep the conversation going, then you’ll be overlooked in time, and at some point, forgotten.
3.) SEO takes time. It is not an overnight process. In most instances, it takes several months to see the effects of SEO. This further emphasizes the importance of maintenance. If you wait until your site starts slipping in search results, then it is too late… it takes months to begin recovery and costs you time and money to repair. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
If you’re looking for a quicker fix, SEO has a related field, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in which people pay search engines to appear on the top of search results as an advertisement. Many times, we’ll use SEM to create a Google Ads campaign for shorter term results while we build a longer term strategy with SEO. Google Ad campaigns can be very competitive. You can spend a lot of money for little results if you don’t know what you’re doing. Please contact us to understand whether Search Engine Marketing and Google Ads is right for you.
With those concepts in mind, how do we “do” SEO? Through a holistic approach that has four basic stages:
1.) Keyword Research
You start by identifying keywords that prospects might use to look for your services. You’ll then narrow that list to a set of key targets. In competitive industries, it may be difficult to rank for all relevant search terms. Instead, you’ll need to use a strategic approach and focus on more specific keywords
Once you’ve established a list of keywords, you’ll need to tweak your website (or even rebuild it) to fit your needs. We call this On-Page Search Engine Optimization (usually shortened to ‘On-Page SEO’). Typical tweaks include:
- Making your website faster and more usable, especially on mobile devices.
- Displaying your name, address, and phone number on every page
- Creating descriptive page titles
- Writing textual descriptions of your business and services that use keywords from your list.
This is not an exhaustive list. Once finished, you’ll create a listing for your optimized website in several industry directories. You’ll also submit the website’s sitemap to search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This lets them know that your site exists and is ready to be crawled, indexed, and displayed in a list of search results.
3.) Credibility Building
Search engines like Google need to understand why your site should rank well for your list of keywords. You need to establish a sense of credibility. We do this through link-building and reputation management.
Link building is the process of boosting your website’s credibility by having other credible websites link to it. This link directs traffic (and search engine crawling bots) to your website. With enough credible references, search engines will infer that your site is also credible and will boost your ranking.
Google depends on providing a good user experience by directing them to credible businesses. Reputation Building is the process of obtaining online reviews from satisfied customers. These reviews send positive signals to Google to establish your credibility. Google will see your business more credible than businesses with poorer or fewer reviews and rank you accordingly.
You repeat the process of optimization and credibility building until your site ranks well for your target keywords.
This is technically the final stage but is really a continuation of the first three stages. To stay on the first page of Google, we need to keep the right conversations going.
- Established links are lost as older pages are deleted and as a result, more links must be obtained.
- Certain keywords will rise and fall in traffic. To remain relevant to your customers we must adjust our list of target keywords to suit their needs.
- Even you will decide to adjust your services or markets. We’ll want to update your online presence so we’re attracting the right customers.
SEO is a game of “who does more” and whoever does the most will usually rank the highest. Your competitors will have SEO strategies of their own and look to replace you on the first page. You can prevent this by having an SEO strategy that maintains and expands your online presence over time.
Why Hire a Local SEO Company?
If you are going out for dinner and looking for a new place to try, do you call up a friend in California for a recommendation? Or do you ask one of your local friends? The fact is that no one knows a local area like a local, and this will come across in your SEO.
By hiring an SEO agency that’s local to your area you can more easily collaborate on your local SEO campaigns. Local SEO companies tend to have better connections with local credible websites. You’re better able to vet their previous work and speak to past clients. Finally, you can develop a positive, advisory relationship with your SEO company in person, as opposed to being 100% virtual.
The average cost of a (good) Marketing Manager is about $50,000 per year (or $4,100 per month). This does not include things that an SEO agency doesn’t need like employment taxes, benefits, vacation or overtime. Quality SEO agencies charge $2,000 to $6,000 per month depending on the amount of service needed. Some agencies charge more but handle many locations or are responsible for additional work. (Branding, sales enablement, market strategy, etc).
For businesses that aren’t among the Forbes 500, it can be more cost-effective to work with a Local SEO company. They can provide a higher quality service, at a more effective rate than hiring a dedicated marketer manager.
Choosing the Right SEO Company for Your Needs
When choosing an SEO company, it is important to select one with demonstrable experience and consistent measurable results. SEO is a detail-oriented process that has to be managed and measured over time. If a company doesn’t have data and results that they can share, then they likely haven’t been doing it long enough, or don’t have an organized process.
What to avoid in an SEO Company?
SEO companies are not all created equal. While most SEO companies may be well-intentioned, they may lack the skills or experience necessary, or they may use unorthodox SEO methods or business practices. Here are a few warning signs to look out for when choosing an SEO Company:
- Black Hat tactics – Absolutely avoid any company that either openly acknowledge (or you even suspect is) using Black Hat tactics. If you are caught, you will never be able to get your site to rank again, and all this can be avoided by just using industry-standard practices instead. In some instances, Black Hat methods can even be illegal and expose your company to legal consequences.
- Lack of Reports or Analysis – An established SEO company will have a system in place that captures and analyzes data on a consistent basis ensure optimal performance. These reports should be made available to you as well.
- Excessively Long Term Contracts – SEO takes time, so it is common for SEO companies to use contracts of specified lengths, but you should never sign a contract of more than 12 months. Many companies will insist on 18, 24 or even 36-month contracts, but this is unnecessary. A company should be able to stand behind their work and know that they will deliver to such a high standard that they don’t need excessively long term contracts to keep you as a customer.
- False Guarantees – Some SEO companies will try to promise specific ranking results, but the bottom line is they can’t control this. Proper SEO implementation will drastically improve the odds of your site ranking well, but depending on the competition for your targeted keywords it may be difficult (or very expensive) to rank in specific high ranking positions.
Who We Are
Symply Done is a team of creative professionals that improve our clients result on search engines like Google. We’ve been actively involved in our local industry association (Triangle Advertising Fed) and the local community (Apex Launch, Heart of Cary Association, Triangle BNI, and both Chambers of Commerce for Cary and Apex.)
What We Do and How Does it Help with your SEO?
We’re like your campaign manager. We research your positions (keyword research), establish your platform (on-page seo), and secure votes (off-page seo) so your business is displayed as much as possible when people are looking for your services online. By doing these things on a consistent basis, we build a better brand online that generates more website traffic, online leads, and ultimately bottom-line revenue.
If your customers search for your products and services online, we can help you generate more bottomline revenue.
Why Work With Us?
- We only accept clients located in central North Carolina. That way we can give each of them a personalized face-to-face experience. We’re not a vendor but an advisor on how to win your search campaigns
- We’re careful about selecting our clientele to ensure we don’t represent multiple clients per industry. That way we can be 100% in your corner at all times.
- Every client gets a personal project coordinator Every campaign is run by an experienced marketing manager and project coordinator to ensure you’re involved with your marketing campaigns without being trapped by them.
- Unlike most SEO agencies that place you on a ‘set-it-and-forget-it platform’ our campaigns are tailored to target your audience with strategies tailored to audiences in the Raleigh Durham metropolitan market.
Symply Done has the knowledge and experience to get you the results you deserve. Our team truly understands the complexities of SEO, and we don’t shy away from the tough questions. We use only White Hat industry-standard practices, so you can rest assured that your site won’t be penalized or blacklisted by the search engines.
Below is an outline of what the first few months of an engagement look like and what you can expect.
We’ll clearly outline our objectives for the new few months. We’ll set expectations for communication, reporting, and project management. We’ll also start to identify processes needed to get your search campaigns running on a consistent basis.
We’ll work with you to understand your ideal client and their buying patterns. Then we’ll conduct research and analysis of your top competitors and identify the best keywords to target. We’ll work together to assess your marketing funnel (website, social, ads, etc.).
We’ll work together to create a calendar for publishing content on a consistent basis. We’ll also work to fix the broken aspects of your current online marketing funnel. This could mean developing a new website or better social media profiles that reflect your business’ core services. If you don’t have a funnel, we’ll create one from top-to-bottom based on our analysis.
We’ll launch your search campaign by generating according to our content calendar. We’ll obtain backlinks by publishing this content online and submitting your website to a curated list of reputable online directories. We’ll begin to measure and track which keywords are producing traffic/leads and use this to identify more opportunities to improve your website.
We focus on executing and improving our search campaigns on a consistent basis. We measure which keywords are most effective at generating leads/traffic based on data we collect each month. We adjust the website and other aspects of your online presence to reflect our analysis. We continue improving your brand’s online credibility by building backlinks and obtaining reviews.
What Can You Expect Working With Us?
We provide the following services to our clients on an ongoing basis:
- Researching and identifying keywords that your target audience is using to find your services
- Generating quality content and articles to use for social and blog posts on a consistent basis
- Using content to generate quality backlinks for your website and increase its credibility.
- Managing your Google My Business profile to help Google better understand your services
- Improving your website’s credibility by collecting reviews on a consistent basis.
- Optimizing your website to improve your search results and convert website traffic into online leads.
- Expanding your website with more pages that speak to specific services or verticals.
- Providing an executive report that outlines several key areas of your SEO campaign’s performance. This includes a series of recommendations for improvement in the upcoming month.
We hold bi-weekly status meetings to follow up on previous tasks and establish new action items on both sides. Well also as answer any questions you may have about how things are progressing.
Each client works with a local personal marketing manager and project manager to keep campaigns on track. Our staff is entirely located within central North Carolina.
How Much Do Our Services Cost?
SEO is an extension of your marketing efforts and thus is designed to pay for itself by generating more sales in the future than you are currently generating with your existing setup.
We base our fees on the value that we’re able to create for our clients. We only take on clients that we create significant value for. If we can’t, we’ll be sure to tell you upfront so we’re not wasting your time or money.
Our engagements range from $2,000 to $7,000 per month depending on your situation. We ask for an initial commitment of 12 months to allow us enough time to plan, create, execute, measure, refine, and show results from our search campaigns and prove said ROI.
Although we’re focused on SEO, we have experience in a wide range of digital marketing services. Chances are we’ve done ‘X’ it before. If aren’t comfortable doing it, we’ll make a referral to a better provider.
When it comes to SEO, there are three basic categories of activities that an SEO company can use:
- White Hat – This includes activities that are well established industry standards that are approved by search engines.
- Grey Hat – This includes activities that are a bit more creative and haven’t necessarily been forbidden by search engines, but also have been specifically approved.
- Black Hat – This includes activities that are specifically prohibited by search engines and will result in your site being blacklisted or penalized if discovered. Absolutely avoid any company that either openly acknowledge (or you even suspect is) using Black Hat tactics.
While we work with a wide range of industries, we like working with contractors, law firms, automotive shops, and cosmetic surgeons. We also do well with E-Commerce SEO for big-ticket ($500+) or luxury items ($5,000+) items being sold online.
Insurance companies, real estate agencies, and most financial advisory firms. Although we even have demonstrated success in some of these fields, it’s hard for most firms to support this kind of engagement unless they’re well established financially. It’s not impossible, but there has to be a special circumstance.
Because we like to provide a trusted-advisor relationship with our clients, we currently only work with businesses local to the North Carolina area. The only notable exception is an online storefront.
We also believe in being 100% in our client’s corner and strive to avoid conflicts of interest. We do not take on multiple clients that provide the same primary service in the same geographic location. If you’d like to know if we’re already working with a client in your industry and in your area, please contact us. If we are, we’ll provide you with a referral and introduction with another trusted digital marketing agency.