SEO On-Air: How SEO Agencies Delight Their Clients During Crisis

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In this episode, we cover:

Today, we speak to Shounak Gupte, the SEO Director of  WME Group, Australia. It is one of the Longest Standing Digital Marketing Agencies in Australia. 

In this episode, he will tell us ways SEO agencies can delight clients during crises.

Stay tuned for the next podcast episode, where our guest, Mellissah Smith, tells us how to align content strategy with business goals.

Show notes

[01:27-03:40] Can you please tell our subscribers a little more about what you do and how’s the current situation in Australia?

[04:14-05:39] What would be your advice to agencies for managing the COVID crisis better?

[05:42-06:12] What tools do you use to communicate with your team members?

[06:37-07:53] What are the things that companies should be aware of before investing in SEO?

[08:21-10:27]  What is your SEO methodology to ensure a maximum profit?

[10:53-13:20] How have things changed in SEO since the time you started?

[13:49-15:29] Could you advise us on how to plan better keyword research?

[15:57-17:20] What’s your preferred form of content strategy- long-form content or glossary-style content format?

[17:41-20:55] What is the best thing small businesses can do?

[21:13-24:36] How to optimize for “near me” searches and rank for Google Maps?

[24:55-29:33] What could be the next thing that businesses need to do?

Show Notes Explanation

Hey guys, welcome to another episode of SEO On-Air. Based on popular requests from our subscribers, there are a few topics that always stand out. The first one is crisis management with regards to SEO, and the second topic is measuring ROI.

To talk on this topic, we reached out to Mr. Shounak Gupte. He is the SEO Director of  WME Group, Australia. Welcome to our show, Shaunak.

Time Stamp: 01:27-03:40

Q. Can you please tell our subscribers a little more about what you do and how’s the current situation in Australia?

  • I’ve been with WME for eight years.
  • We just went into lockdown yesterday. In Melbourne, we saw the second wave of COVID coming in recently.
  • Working from home happened to be the biggest change for me. We haven’t gone to the office for more than 100 days now.
  • Nothing major issues happened in the time span that couldn’t be solved without coming to the office. Our functionality is pretty much smooth, even though we are working remotely.

Time Stamp: 04:14-05:39

Q. What would be your advice to agencies for managing the COVID crisis better?

  • The biggest change you need to do is your mindset. If you want to go through a certain situation, you will find the way.
  • We have a firm belief that the clients pay our bills, so we do whatever it takes for the clients to ensure that they succeed in their digital marketing goals.
  • We make sure that communication is smooth in the company with frequent one on one meetings and follow-ups.
  • Every company is writing its own handbook now to face the current situation, which is a really good thing to see.

Time Stamp: 05:42-06:12

Q. What tools do you use to communicate with your team members?

We have an internal CRM system that generates tickets and track our work. We also have Slack and even use the old school method of calling people to communicate. We are also using MS Teams.

Time Stamp: 06:37-07:53

Q. What are the things that companies should be aware of before investing in SEO?

  • The key to success during a crisis is making sure you are the right business model in the future and have the right marketing strategy as well.
  • You should become an early adapter. The ways of searching have changed. People now prefer to buy online, so if you don’t bring your business online, you cannot succeed.
  • Your marketing strategy should be future-proof, and you need to try your best to rank in the top 3-5 position for your target keyphrases in the SERP.

Time Stamp: 08:21-10:27

Q. What is your SEO methodology to ensure a maximum profit?

  • Before we onboard a client, we discuss the outcomes they are after, and then we formulate the right strategy for them.
  • Being the SEO director, I believe SEO is not for everyone; everything depends on what you want and by when.
  • We begin with a solid strategy, followed by a solid keyword strategy, followed by building a good backlink profile that aligns with our client’s business goals.

Time Stamp: 10:53-13:20

Q. How have things changed in SEO since the time you started?

  • A lot has changed in the last 10 years and that’s the reason Google started introducing algorithm changes.
  • Google wanted to become the best search engine in the world by attracting more users, but there are a lot of shady things that people used to do, so Google started keeping a strict check on that.
  • They got rid of thin content, spammy backlinks, focused on EAT and several other factors that improve the quality of web pages
  • The fun aspect of doing SEO is to be ready for what may come tomorrow.

Time Stamp: 13:49-15:29

Q. Could you advise us on how to plan better keyword research?

  • There are two main types of keywords – transactional and informational.
  • Informational keywords mostly focus on articles and blog posts that educate the audience, whereas transactional keywords are more about buying a product or a service.
  • When you want a perfect strategy for a client, you need to target transactional and informational keywords through your SEO strategy.

Time Stamp: 15:57-17:20

Q. What’s your preferred form of content strategy- long-form content or glossary-style content format?

  • We usually go for long-form content format.
  • If it’s a high spend client, we do pillar content of 1000 words and try to rank for a lot of keywords.
  • Small businesses can go for short-form content of 350-400 words, but there’s no fixed rule on this.
  • Sometimes the length of your content depends on the topic you choose to write about.
  • The ranking of the content again depends on a lot of factors apart from its length.

Time Stamp: 17:41-20:55

Q. What is the best thing small businesses can do?

  • The searches have changed so much in the past few months that people are now searching for businesses around their area. This has boosted local search a lot
  • People are currently searching for “COVID cleaning services” to sanitize their homes and offices. That’s a good outcome for local businesses that are into this type of service.

Time Stamp: 21:13-24:36

Q. How to optimize for “near me” searches and rank for Google Maps?

  • One way to optimize is by ranking on the 3-pack listing. If you rank in 3-pack, you automatically rank for “near me” searches
  • Ranking on Google Maps depends on what category you select in GMB.
  • If you naturally have a keyword in your brand name, there’s a higher chance of ranking.
  • NAP consistency gives you a boost in map rankings as well. Getting more reviews and ratings also help in Google Maps ranking.

Time Stamp: 24:55-29:33

Q. What could be the next thing that businesses need to?

  • Think of SEO as a long-term investment would be the first suggestion.
  • If you think of doing something about your business, this is the right time to do so.
  • To get an edge over your competitors, taking action will be the most important thing to do.

Meet the speakers

Shounak Gupte

SEO Director – WME Group

Senthil Kumar

VP Marketing –
Stan Ventures