Search engine optimization, and even digital marketing as a whole, isn’t an easy topic to grasp. For those who are more accustomed to traditional forms of advertising or who have never put much thought into the methods Google might use to show us relevant search results, the concept might seem far too complicated to understand.
Of course, that’s often why these folks hire someone to help them. They might know that having a digital marketing strategy is important, but they may not know the first thing about what goes into developing one. That’s often where agency owners come in.
Still, you might not have the in-house resources to take on all of the heavy lifting yourself. Alternatively, you might merely prefer to stick to selling and client management rather than get bogged down in the nitty gritty of fulfillment.
We get that a lot -- which is why we love partnering with resellers. While we take care of the content creation, website optimization, and deliverable syndication, you can focus your efforts on client retention and sales. We believe growing together creates the freedom to be more, do more, and have more. By working as a team and focusing on our unique strengths, we can facilitate campaign success.
But that success will be short-lived -- or may never even take off -- if you don’t feel confident in what you’re selling to clients.
Through previous SEO case studies, we’ve shared our insights to make your decision-making process easier. However, once you’ve chosen a digital marketing partner, you’ll still need to determine which service plans or packages will serve your clients best.
Understanding exactly which deliverables are included in our SEO plans, as well as the benefits they offer, may sound like a tall order. We know that looking at a pricing sheet or a long list of packages can be an overwhelming experience. That’s why we’re breaking down exactly what kinds of deliverables we offer (as well as why we believe so strongly in their value!) in this post.
Whether you’ve already made up your mind that you’d like to work with us or you’re still on the fence, this introductory guide will help you to zero in on the service plan that most aligns with your client’s goals and budget. You’ll also learn how these specific deliverables can improve your client’s online presence and how these products work together to create a stronger SEO strategy.
Let’s start with the products you should focus on selling first -- especially if you’re working with local and small businesses.
We have a whole SEO case study devoted to our premium onsite product. But if you’re looking for a brief rundown, we’ve got you covered.
Think of the premium onsite as a necessary first stop on your SEO roadmap. While it can be theoretically be used at any point during an SEO campaign to improve a website, our partners often recommend it to clients before we do any other kind of optimization.
It’s therefore one of our most popular deliverables for the very first month in a campaign. The premium onsite product -- which is intended to either add new web copy or expand what’s already there -- can be extremely helpful when a client’s website lacks both information and optimization.
For example, we’ll recommend this product for clients who offer multiple services but whose websites don’t contain individual pages for each of those services. Say your client is a dentist and they have only one main services page on their website -- which looks like this:
While this list might look rather tidy, it’s not going to do much for their SEO. What they really need is a separate page for each of their main services (or, at the very least, selected services from that list with substantial search volume). That way, each of those landing pages can be optimized and indexed, allowing your client’s website to contain more valuable information and more keywords incorporated in a natural way.
Let’s assume we did our keyword research and found that a number of the client’s services -- veneers, root canals, implant restorations, and teeth whitening -- had impressive search volume. Our analysts would recommend ordering one premium onsite for each new page we build for those services. Each new page costs $90, bringing the order of four pages to $360.
Now it’s time to check out the client’s homepage. We want to make sure that this main landing page has enough copy to provide valuable information and to optimize. The screenshot below shows that the client’s homepage is too thin -- which means our team would recommend one more premium onsite to flesh out and optimize this page. Because the homepage is the most important, spending that additional $90 for copy and metadata will be well worth it.
This, in theory, would bring the total for month one to $450. We want to make sure that our plans are affordable for the client, so we usually recommend that the premium onsite products represent the entire month-one activity set. Keep in mind that we don’t dictate markup, as we leave those decisions to our partners. But if you were to mark up our costs by 100%, the first month cost to the client would be $900.
Using the premium onsite product, the client will be set up for success with subsequent components of the strategy by taking care of these website improvements first. Moreover, this can be an excellent introduction to SEO, as agency owners can showcase how these small details can have a big impact -- even before any link-building or blog content creation is performed.
SEO News Plan
We’ll typically recommend that our clients move onto an SEO news plan in the second month -- or right away if the end client’s website has no real need for improvement.
We offer a few different levels of SEO news plans. The three most popular are Starter News, Basic News, and Intermediate News. All three tackle the same concepts, but the combination of deliverables will differ slightly depending on monthly investment.
These plans involve a few different categories of deliverables. As you can see from the chart above, all three include the use of our ongoing reporting, keyword research tools, and credits for phone tracking. They also include a website audit, which involves detailed checks of the backend of a site (for navigation errors, duplicate copy checks, site speed, canonicalization, mobile-friendliness, and more). Technical SEO cannot be discounted as part of your SEO strategy.
But arguably, the most exciting features included in these SEO news plans are the recurring content deliverables. Depending on the plan level, your clients will receive a certain number of onsite blog posts, off-site articles, and off-site features news stories each month. We also include content placement (both on-site and off-site) and social media sharing to ensure the content is published and promoted properly. Some plans also include the creation of visual assets, which are images created specifically for the client’s website and for the blog post in question.
These recurring deliverables all work together to create a stronger SEO strategy. Individually, they can improve ranking signals in multiple ways -- but when combined, they can make a colossal difference in how a client website is ranked in search engines and brings in organic traffic.
First and foremost, we focus on creating high-quality onsite content that’s relevant to the client’s business and to their keyword selections. We’ve assembled a team of talented writers, all based in the U.S., who conduct thorough research and produce content that’s informative and valuable to web visitors.
Our writers also create off-site articles and featured news stories. These two types of content are used to strengthen a client’s backlink profile. While articles are relevant to the client’s industry and provide more control over anchor text, news stories are posted within our publisher network of websites that have high domain ratings; these stories cover both current events and evergreen content. Used together, these backlinks can allow your client’s website to be seen as more authoritative and diverse.
We’ll dive deeper into the effectiveness of these aforementioned deliverables in a minute. But before we do, let’s take a look at one more product you’ll want to know about if your clients want to focus on local results.
Local SEO (Yext Powerlistings)
If your client runs a small business that depends on local customers -- like a medical facility, a restaurant, or a private school -- it’s essential to focus on local SEO. Of course, optimizing web content with geotargeted keywords can help. But including local listings in your SEO strategy will also play an important role.
We utilize Yext’s Powerlistings program, which will include your client’s business information in over 75 of the top online directories. This makes it easy to amend operational hours for seasonality, override outdated data, and optimize for inclusion in certain Google search features (like the map pack). Yext’s program also has an API for each directory, meaning that it’s easy to add images, coupons, special offers, and even video to promote your client’s business in new ways.
Why We Recommend These Products For Local Clients
We strongly believe in the value of our deliverables -- but you don’t need to take our word for it. When you understand how Google’s ranking signals are determined, it’s easy to see why. Take a look at the pie chart below, for example.
As you can see, the two biggest pieces of the chart are devoted to link signals and to on-page signals. In this case, link signals come from off-site articles and news stories -- like we mentioned earlier.
On-page signals, which refers to ongoing content and onsite SEO, come from both technical SEO, onsite content, and even intra-site linking. We address technical SEO (e.g., changing title tags, headers, description tags, and website copy) in both premium onsites and in the site audit we perform during the first and second month of a campaign. Not only do we deliver onsite content (in the form of blog posts) every month, but we also seize the opportunity to link to other internal pages on your website; this keeps “link juice” and visitors on your site, meaning that bounce rate is reduced while time on site is increased. It also helps Google better understand the context and relevance of your site, all of which help with ranking signals.
But there are smaller pieces to think about, too. The behavioral section of the pie chart isn’t something we can control (that’s determined strictly by user behavior, meaning that Google will show results that specific users want to see based on prior browsing activity). But the blue and pink portions of the pie are related to local SEO, which is why we recommend the inclusion of Yext. The yellow social signals section is something we also address with the promotion of new posts on our network of third-party Twitter accounts.
In other words, these three deliverables cover a huge portion of Google ranking signals. It’s no wonder that so many of our clients have had a part in creating major success stories for small businesses.
But what about agencies that work with larger clients?
If your clients are locally-owned but have a larger presence -- or you regularly work with national clients with more of an online presence -- you might think that our deliverables won’t address your clients’ needs. But actually, you may just need to slightly tweak the aforementioned strategy to align with your goals. Here’s what we’d recommend:
- SEO News Plans: You don’t have to include local listings with these deliverables. In these situations, it’s better not to. You can still reap all the benefits of onsite content, off-site articles, and news features (along with technical SEO and website optimization) to create a stronger backlink profile and fresh, optimized website copy without having an emphasis on local search results.
- Cornerstone Content Creation: Many of our partners who have clients with more substantial budgets recognize the important of long-form content. Also known as “skyscraper posts,” these longer blogs provide in-depth and highly relevant content that’s interesting to both Google and web visitors. Search engines love content that’s longer than 2,000 words because it provides greater value while keeping visitors on the page for a lengthier period. Resellers can order individual blogs of 400 words, 700 words, and 1,200 words -- which can be mixed and matched to essentially create customized cornerstone content. This content can be more easily shared and visual assets can be added, making them a natural choice for link outreach.
- Link Outreach: And speaking of link outreach, this is another service we’d recommend for larger clients. This is yet another way to acquire high-quality and relevant backlinks for clients using an array of strategies. Unlike with featured news stories, these pieces are written specifically to complement a post or asset on the client’s website. They’re also posted on reputable websites that are outside of our publishing partner network, meaning that access is limited to those with this type of plan. Link outreach can be used to support hyper-local link building and scholarship outreach, as well as address broken backlink building, promote original surveys, and secure future guest post opportunities.
These three deliverables address many of the same ranking signals as outlined in the pie chart above on a scale that makes sense for larger clients. Of course, you can always add deliverables like the premium onsite product when needed. Above all else, we want you to sell the products that make the most sense for your clients needs -- and not the products that will be the most profitable for us.
That’s because we value the opportunity to grow together. We’re invested in both your success and the success of your clients. By clearing up any confusion surrounding the deliverables in our plans, we’re ensuring that you feel totally confident and well-informed when making decisions pertaining to your clients’ marketing budgets.
Don’t feel like you’re there yet? We’ve created an in-depth sales training deck that outlines even more information and tells you what you can expect in terms of results. And, of course, we’re here to answer any questions you may have along the way. We’re your partners in digital marketing and we’re here to support you. Just get in touch with our team and we can provide you with the specific guidance you need to sell the products that can help your clients grow.