SEO On-Air: Why Agencies Must Focus on Bespoke SEO Strategy

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In this episode, we cover:

Today, we speak to Stuart Pollington, the Managing Director of Smart Traffic. Stuart has been involved in the digital marketing industry for over 15 years, working with businesses worldwide to accelerate their online growth. 

He likes to take a hands-on approach to his client’s marketing strategies, launching campaigns that focus on positive ROI.

In this episode, he will tell us why agencies must focus on bespoke SEO strategies.

Stay tuned for the next podcast episode, where our guest, Garrett Mehrguth tell us how to strategize SEO for different stages of the marketing funnel.

Show notes

[01:41-02:58]I loved this quote on your twitter profile, saying, “Swimming against the tide isn’t meant to be easy; that’s the point.” Can you share the story behind that quote?

[03:24-04:21] Can you share something more about your agency, Smart Traffic Australia?

[04:24-05:40] I’ve heard 2/3rd of your employees have over 6 years of experience in your company. What’s your secret behind retaining them?

[05:56-08:36] Should agencies focus only on one strategy and use it everywhere, or what do you think they should do?

[08:46-14:10] What is the best ROI for SEO campaigns?

[15:58-22:39] How quickly can you get that ROI?

[23:13-26:14] What, according to you, is the perfect SEO strategy that’s future-proof and will give positive ROI?

[26:38-28:52] What are some of the tools you recommend the SEO folks use?

Show Notes Explanation

Hey guys, welcome to another episode of SEO On-Air. As you guys know, SEO is an ever-changing field. There are a series of algorithm updates and new stuff coming every day, but the core elements remain the same, i.e., the technical SEO part covering on-page, useful content, and good link building strategy.

However, what works for one company might not work for others. Therefore, you might have noticed your competitors ranking well even with thin content or fewer backlinks. The point is SEO does have a formula, but it needs to be tweaked for each company.

To talk more about this, we have Stuart Pollington, the Managing Director of Smart Traffic. Welcome to the show, Stuart!

Time Stamp: 01:41-02:58

Q. I loved this quote on your twitter profile, saying, “Swimming against the tide isn’t meant to be easy; that’s the point.” Can you share the story behind that quote?

I remember this quote is related to SEO, which is not following what everybody else is following. SEO is continuously evolving, so sometimes, you shouldn’t listen to everything you hear and trust your instincts instead.

Time Stamp: 03:24-04:21

Q. Can you share something more about your agency, Smart Traffic Australia?

Smart Traffic Australia is a full-time digital marketing agency. We started off many years ago with SEO and got fantastic results. Then we started white labeling agencies around the world. We won campaigns. Over the years, we also started focusing on paid advertising, web design, web development, and all other aspects of digital marketing.

Time Stamp: 04:24-05:40

Q. I’ve heard 2/3rd of your employees have over 6 years of experience in your company. What’s your secret behind retaining them?

We look after the staff, and we make sure they have some sort of progression and are happy. We work very closely as a core team. We also have guys in the company who are working for over ten years. We support our employees in every way possible.

Time Stamp: 05:56-08:36

Q. Should agencies focus only on one strategy and use it everywhere, or what do you think they should do?

Every business is different. Therefore, you cannot use the same strategy for every business. A business needs to have its own content strategy and link building strategy.

It also needs to analyze what kind of keywords are ranking for their niche, what are the search intent behind them, or what type of content is ranking for those keywords. Using only one strategy across different business niches is not the correct approach.

Time Stamp: 08:46-14:10

Q. What is the best ROI for SEO campaigns?

Sometimes in SEO, you’ll have brands or clients with trophy keywords, which they want on top of Google. That might be their goal. They might not focus much on conversions or downloads or traffic growth as ROI.

As an agency, you need to have core things that you should report on. If the goal of your client is to rank for some particular keywords, then, as an agency, you should talk about how to go about getting them ranked because that’s what they want ultimately. It is better to report it well rather than sending your clients a bunch of numbers.

Time Stamp: 15:58-22:39

Q. How quickly can you get that ROI?

No, you cannot expect quick results in terms of ROI. If you are working on a good website or brand with a good online presence but not that great in terms of SEO, a quick change in the on-site content and on-site optimization can give you quick results for some pages.

However, for a new website, the same issue can be solved in a matter of a year or more. So, you have to think of SEO as an ongoing commitment and a long-term strategy. Whenever you are doing something to improve the site’s ranking, your competitors are also doing some optimization to make their website better. That’s why SEO optimization is a consistent process and shouldn’t be stopped or kept in hold for some time.

You can’t really speed up the SEO process. It doesn’t work that way. Google says if you have great content, people will automatically link you, well, that’s not true. You got to have a good website along with good content, and you need to let to know about it.

If you are not ranking anywhere for a well-known brand, you will not automatically get hundreds of links. You have to be visible to pick up more mentions and backlinks. It’s difficult to put a time frame on SEO campaigns. Therefore, it is essential to bring in other types of marketing tactics so that you can get the most of your ROI.

Time Stamp: 23:13-26:14

Q. What, according to you, is the perfect SEO strategy that’s future-proof and will give positive ROI?

I think we come back to the three core strategies again- content optimization, link building, and technical SEO optimization. Think about page speed and mobile-optimization when it comes to technical SEO improvements on your website.

For content optimization, think about the landing page content and structure of your site, and in terms of link building, think about how to build your popularity or create valuable resources that people will find interesting. These are some of the core elements that I don’t see changing anytime soon.

If you have an SEO strategy in place, don’t just rip off your plan due to fluctuations in some of your keyword rankings. It might be a temporary change only. You shouldn’t make changes based on a small set of data.

Time Stamp: 26:38-28:52

Q. What are some of the tools that you recommend the SEO folks to use?

I’m sure most agencies have their own favorite tools, but we would be using Ahrefs, SEMRush, Moz, and maybe Majestic as well for keyword research, Backlinko for competitor analysis. We also use Screaming Frog and Search Console for website audits, Google Tag Manager for marketing tags, and Google analytics for analyzing visitor behavior.

Meet the speakers

Stuart Pollington

MD – Smart Traffic

Senthil Kumar

VP Marketing –
Stan Ventures