Marketing Tips: Grow your business with results driven SEO

How do B2B companies grow rapidly? We interview Agencies that work with B2B companies to help them grow, and ask them what works / doesn’t work for their clients. Here’s our interview with Tom Casano of SureOak, an SEO boutique that helps companies grow organic traffic.

NXT: Tom, thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a little more about what you guys do?

Yeah, we help clients and websites to get more organic traffic from Google to their website to acquire more customers, get more leads. And this is SEO. This is search engine optimization to help them get more traffic and more customers for the business.

NXT: Okay. And there are a lot of SEO companies out there. What makes you special? Why should they work with you?

Yeah. Our business and our agency is really focused on the most important ranking factors. There are three that’ll drive most of the results. Those are link building, content and optimization, technical SEO. And so our business is actually structured with those departments so we can really focus on driving results and driving impact for clients who are actually getting more traffic and growing the revenue.

NXT: Okay. And can you tell me, can you give me a sense of what kind of results you’re getting with some of your clients?

Yeah. Some of our clients organic traffic might grow anywhere between 20% to 500%. It really depends on where the business is currently, where they’re coming from, what the opportunities are. Some businesses that are starting at the bottom, page 10. Some businesses are already far along in terms of having a back link to their site.

NXT: Okay. So let’s say for our business board studios, I’m starting on page 10. What kind of results can I expect and how long would that take?

SEO really takes time. It’s not the kind of thing where within a matter of weeks or a month or two years, you’re seeing impressive results. But long term, there’s a lot of ROI, especially when you’re getting people coming to the site every month for a long period of time on end. So we really do want to look at some of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, content, keyword research, link building and then once you get there, if you’re on page one or if you’re in the top few positions, you’re getting a lot more clicks, a lot more traffic of the people who potentially could be your customers.

NXT: Okay. And what do you see works best for your clients?

Yeah, the things that work best are creating amazing content that’s really in depth, long form guides doing keyword research and really going very far in terms of trying to understand what are people searching on Google that we need to create content for. And then again, getting authoritative and trustworthy back links to the site because those are indicators of Google that you’re a trustworthy website and company and Google should be ranking you higher in the search results.

NXT: So it’s doing your research than creating the content and then getting the back links. Do you guys do all three?

Yep. We do basically everything that needs to be done for SEO, for search engine optimization to get your ranking higher. We do all those things.

NXT: Okay. And you do it primarily for B2B, B2C clients or industries?

Yeah. So we’re specializing a little more in SAS companies, ecommerce, B2B and service based businesses. Certainly with B2B companies, they have a higher ticket price point for their services and their products. So there’s a lot more roi there. If you’re selling little $3 widgets to consumers there’s not as much ROI for the investment you’re going to make into your SEO.

NXT: And what recommendation would you have for SAS companies? How do they, where do they get started? Is it put more guides out there, create more blog content, how long should it be? What would be the first thing you should do?

Yeah, the first thing you really want to do is do your keyword research and do it really hard. And so you want to look at the keywords that your competitors are ranking for. You want to take all the data from if you’re doing any paid search campaigns through Google Ads or anything like that. You want to see what keywords you’re already ranking for. Maybe you’re already on page two for some important keywords. You want to collect all of that data together. You want to then organize it so that you can see what are the opportunities that you want to focus on. What are the kinds of keywords that your potential customers might be looking for you for and then what are the less competitive keywords that you could be ranking for?

Once you really have a handle on that and you have a plan around that, then you can start saying okay, we need to create a 1000 word blog post on this keyword, on this topic so that people can find us and we could rank for this keyword.

NXT: And if somebody is thinking, they’re debating between hiring someone in house or working with you, what are the benefits?

Yeah, the benefit of working with us as an external agency is that we can handle the link building, the content creation, the technical SEO, the keyword research, we can handle all of it. It’s a very diverse mix of activities needed for SEO. But of course, if you have someone in house and they could be more dedicated to the activities that you need them to be working on. Especially content creators, whether it’s writers, people along those lines, we do often find in house for companies. And it depends on the size of the company on the budget and resources.

NXT: Let’s talk a little bit about your company. How do you get your first client and then how do you win clients right now? What is working for you?

Yeah, so our first client actually came from a platform called Upwork. Which I’ve used to outsource work overseas for relatively cheap. And so on that platform, as a consultant, as a freelancer I’ve actually won work from there and a lot of our client base has actually come from that platform because people are looking there. They’re pretty far along in the buying cycle. They’re ready to hire someone, looking to hire someone. And nowadays we’re diversifying where our perspective clients are finding us, whether it’s LinkedIn, whether it’s content marketing we’re doing or our partnerships and joint venture deals and those kinds of things. And a lot of, in the B2B sales process is really based on trust, it’s based on getting to know someone, it’s based on building a relationship. It takes time. And that’s, it has pros and cons. You have to take more time but the potential outcome of that deal and that relationship can really be very fruitful.

So setting up calls, understanding them, asking the right questions, what’s important to you, what are your concerns? All these things are super important in our sales process.

NXT: Okay, and what is the biggest mistake that clients make when they come to you? What do you see that, you say that that’s the most common thing, I see it every day, that’s wrong?

Yeah, so common mistake I see, one of them is if you are creating a blog post every week, but there’s not even any keyword research on it. Or if there is maybe it’s just targeting one keyword and it’s thinner content. That’s not really going to perform so well. The other mistake I see is for startups that they really don’t have any authoritative back links to their site and so they’re creating amazing content but it just has no authority and trust in Google’s eyes because they don’t have those back links. So you really have to have both. You have to have authoritative back links to your site and you also have to have great content that’s been optimized for keywords people are actually searching for.

NXT: And where do you see the biggest opportunity in SEO for companies that you are working with?

The biggest opportunity I see right now is as I mentioned, to really do that keyword research, really optimize for those keywords. There’s a lot of long tail keywords. There’s a lot of synonyms and phrase variations. People are searching in all different kinds of ways with all different kinds of phrases and layman’s terms of what they’re looking for. And then the other opportunity is voice search going forward. At the time that we’re recording this it’s still pretty early. And so I think there’s some uncertainty of how voice search will work for, because people won’t even be coming to your website. They’ll be getting a spoken response back to them so it might be more of a branding play.

NXT: Okay, that’s interesting. And let’s move a little bit to get to know you some more. So what is your daily routine like? You’re running a company. What do you guys do? How do you do your day?

Yeah, in an ideal world, I could spend my morning doing more of stepping back from the business, having a higher level perspective on what are some of the areas we need to work on or what are the high level issues we need to focus on, what’s the vision, what’s the mission, where are those areas for improvement? But running a small business day to day, as you know, there’s a lot of chaos and things coming up all the time. So at the moment that we’re recording this, I’m actually focused heavily on sales. But a month ago I wasn’t. So it’s more chaotic. My daily routine has gotten a little more, has been more upheaval but I think that’s great because having more sales conversations is a great way to grow your business.

NXT: Yep. And tell me your favorite book.

My favorite book, I have two favorite books. One is called The Emyth by Michael Gerber. And one is called Traction by Geno Wegman. Both those books have taught me a lot about creating business systems, about organizing, bringing discipline to the organization, so when you have over a dozen people within your company, things can run more smoothly, more effectively and you can get the outcomes you’re looking for.

NXT: So for people watching this who want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way?

Yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn, just search for my name, Tom Casano. And if you want to learn more about my agency and the SEO work that we do for clients, the name of our company is Sure Oak, sureoak.com. And you can Google us and find us all over the web. Nowadays, there’s social media, everybody is everywhere.

NXT: Awesome. And you probably do content marketing and SEO so they can find you.

We’re all over the place.

NXT: All right, cool. Thank you very much for joining us.

Yeah, it’s been a pleasure Casa. Thanks so much for having me.

SureOak

Kosta BoardStudios.com

Founder of Board Studios Inc, an animation production agency that helps B2B companies simplify and communicate more effectively. Specializing in B2B makes a big difference because we know what information your clients need, what works and what doesn’t. B2B communications can be very different than B2C, so if you get your video explainer from a B2C agency you may not get the results you deserve.

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