How would an SEO agency be built today? Part 2: Current business model(s)

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There are about 36,000 digital marketing agencies worldwide, based on our research on platforms like UpCity, Clutch, and our trials and users. Out of these, about 60% have SEO services integrated into their main activities. New agencies keep appearing, even in the current challenging context — more than 200 were created so far in 2020. With this in mind, our team at SEOmonitor designed a strategic experiment in three parts, starting from the question — How would you build an SEO agency in 2020? In the first part , we’ve explored trends, based on search data, and Gartner’s Hype Cycle to understand what’s transient and what’s here to stay, whether or not accelerated by the pandemic. In this second part, we’re looking at the status quo of SEO agencies and their current business models, introducing another strategic lens to guide our research: Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas or BMC. A new lens: the business model canvas In Osterwalder’s words, BMC is a strategic tool that helps you paint out an existing business model and make it tangible for all the agency’s stakeholders. The right part is all about capturing your business value with an in-depth look at customer segments and relationships, value proposition, channels and revenue streams. The left part includes means to deliver that value with key activities and partners, cost structures, and resources. We’re challenging this meta-analysis of SEO agency business models with the BMC, as it offers an opportunity to understand specific jobs to be done while asking focused questions. It’s an exercise that can lead to business optimization in novel ways. Plus, there is a particularity here: the agency business model has a universal core in terms of functioning and monthly recurring revenue. However, different aspects vary based on the agency’s focus. Just like a bundle: various properties and functions (teams, services, industries), a universal job to be done (helping clients achieve their digital marketing goals). The current agency business model: Who are the customers? SEO agencies practice different customer segmentation approaches, so they can showcase either range or sharp focus. Therefore, some agencies cater solely to one local or regional vertical, one market or even act as resellers, having other types of agencies as part of their customer segmentation. Others embrace the full market. Let’s see: By geography, we identified the following segments: Local businesses that are in the proximity of the SEO agency Regional …

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How would an SEO agency be built today? Part 1: Consumers and trends

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The pandemic put everything to a halt. Then, it forced people and businesses alike in the beginner’s mind . The Zen concept hints at a seeming paradox: as you know more and more about a subject, you tend to dismiss other possibilities. What follows is a quest of shaping choices for the near future in a three-part piece that highlights a core question — How would you build an SEO agency in 2020? We’ll explore the complexity of the topic, mapping key touchpoints that create the agency landscape, from assessing current trends on consumer behaviour, to how key partners of an SEO agency have changed: Consumer and business trends that are emerging and transforming the way people interact. (part one) The current SEO agency business model and its in-depth analysis. (part two) The possibilities ingrained in thinking about what a reshaped SEO agency of 2020 and beyond looks like. (part …

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How to Choose The Right SEO Agency

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Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of SEO agencies out there. And each one of them is good for something. Thus, your question shouldn’t be, how do I find the right SEO agency, but how do I choose an SEO agency that’s right for me? I’m glad you made it here, as I’ll guide you through how to avoid choosing an SEO agency that’s right for something not relevant to growing your business. Deal? Well, then, keep reading. First things first, why do you need an SEO agency? Know Your Goals and Desired Outcomes Imagine you hurriedly booked a last-minute flight from New York to meet some business partners. Thankfully, the airplane you boarded flew fast with no delays. And you land safely at the airport. On arrival, the announcer congratulates you for a safe journey and welcomes you to Beverly Hills in Texas. Meanwhile, your intended destination was …

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Digital Strategy Consulting

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Businesses have always enjoyed a comfortable position when it comes to planning and preparation. Sadly, this isn’t the case anymore. Due to the competitive digital landscape , business owners need to chalk out entire outlines, strategies, and implementation within weeks – or even days. So if you can’t keep up with this accelerated pace, somebody else will. The best way to stay ahead in the competition? Having a carefully drafted digital strategy . Think of the whole thing as the guiding light. Without it, companies will be stuck with their old-fashioned efforts and won’t be able to take advantage of moving online. Plus, a result-driven approach serves as the basis of digital strategy, which can be very beneficial for your company. If you think that the ongoing pandemic has changed things, you‘re wrong. On the contrary, experts at DMEXCO predict that 70% of executives expect the pace of digital strategy …

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How to Develop a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy in 4 Easy Steps

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According to Smart Insights , 45 percent of companies don’t have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy; 17 percent of companies have a digital marketing strategy in place, but it’s separate from their marketing plan. This means 62 percent of companies are unprepared. They don’t have the strategy, tactics, or tools they need to market their business well. The bad news is that marketers waste 37 to 95 percent of their marketing budget. This is really common, but it doesn’t have to be; if you have the right digital marketing strategy in place, growing your business is easier. If you’re feeling unprepared, don’t worry. Today we’re going to cover the important ins and outs of creating a winning digital marketing strategy. Why You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy Your digital marketing strategy gives your company direction. With a plan in place, you’ll have the details you need to help your …

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How to Find Specialized Marketing Agencies

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You’re experiencing slight pain in your chest. So you visit a general care physician who performs a series of quick tests. Based on the results, they offer you general advice, but in the end, they refer you to a cardiologist to look into the issue in more detail. This is a fairly common practice in medicine. You start seeing a general practitioner, and when things go beyond their expertise, you go to a specialist who has the knowledge as well as equipment to handle your situation better. Business is no different. More so, marketing. While you’ll find several end-to-end marketing agencies, it’s nearly impossible to get results without specialized knowledge – something that specialized or “niche“ marketing agencies offer. Not only are they able to identify and address your unique pain points , but they can also make your business operations more effective. In this guide, our team at Neil …

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Competitive Advantage in a Commoditized Industry

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Posted by HeatherPhysioc In a world where search companies are a dime a dozen and brands tout bland "unique selling propositions" that aren't unique at all, how can you avoid drowning in the sea of sameness? What are you doing that's any different from every other SEO firm? In this article, you'll learn how to find, activate, and articulate your competitive advantage. You’ll discover how to identify unique strengths and innovative offerings that equate to competitive advantage through real, working examples so you can bring them to life in search. And finally, you'll get actionable tips and homework to help your business stand out. The state of our industry “SEO is dead.” Have you ever heard this eye-roller before? This is a common refrain in the search industry every time Google takes more precious real estate into its clutches and away from website owners, when our tactics become less impactful, …

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Working With a Digital Marketing Agency Vs. Hiring In House

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If you are looking to scale up your marketing, you will need talented people that can take charge of and execute your strategy. But should you build your own in-house marketing team or hire an agency partner? There are compelling reasons for both, and it mostly depends on your situation. Read on to find out which decision is better for you. The Benefits of Working With a Digital Marketing Agency Digital agencies are companies that help other businesses perform a specific function such as marketing, development, or design. They act as a substitute for an in-house team, serving the same labor function but outside of the organization. They typically specialize in certain areas, depending on how big their team is and what expertise they have. Other ways to think about digital agencies are as an outsourced team or in some cases a group of freelancers working together. Here are the …

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How to Choose The Right Digital Strategy Agency

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According to a recent survey from the DMEXCO, 70 percent of executives worldwide expect the pandemic to accelerate the pace of digital strategy. In the past, businesses had more time to plan and prepare. That’s no longer the case. Today, businesses are expected to outline, plan, implement the digital strategy in a matter of days or weeks. The market is moving at an accelerated pace; many businesses find they’re unable to keep up. If you can’t keep up, does that mean you’ll be left behind? Not if you have the right digital strategy agency. With the right agency, you’ll be able to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances and events. Here are some steps you can take to find and vet the right agency. Know your goals and desired outcomes Identifying your digital strategy is the key to long-term growth. Your digital strategy is about setting goals and objectives. It’s a …

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How to Create an Engaging Value Proposition

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Warren Buffet once said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Having a solid value proposition is one way your company can illustrate and introduce its value upfront. In just a few sentences, your company’s value proposition should describe your main selling point and draw in customers. A good value proposition tells your customers what they can expect to gain by doing business with you. What is a Value Proposition? A value proposition answers the question, “What makes your organization special?” For example, Facebook’s value proposition is a simple one: “Connect with your friends and the world around you on Facebook.” Facebook’s answer to “What makes your organization special” is “we can connect you to anyone, anywhere.” Think of it like this: Why should a customer pay attention to your brand in the first place? That’s where you should start when developing your value proposition. A good …

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Five ways data is transforming the brand-agency relationship

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30-second summary: Data-intelligence provider Infogroup published a guide that contains five use cases that agencies can use to better serve the changing needs of brands and clients. The use cases cover a variety of topics from creating new client pitches to developing personas using intelligence, and improving campaign performance. You can download the free guide, How Consumer Data Can Deliver the Ultimate Competitive Advantage for Agencies, from ClickZ. Infogroup is an intelligence company that offers a variety of data-driven products and services for agencies, marketers, and brands. The company—soon to be renamed Data Axle —provides data solutions to enterprise-level companies, SMBs, nonprofits, agencies and more. Headquartered in Texas, Infogroup was founded over 45 years ago. During that time, they’ve built two of the industry’s most robust business and consumer databases. Some of their top-tier clients include Aetna, eBay, Allstate, and March of Dimes. Infogroup recently published a paper aimed at …

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