How a Small SEO Team Grew to One of the Largest Digital Marketing Agencies in Canada
Can you remember the precise year when SEO started? It was somewhere between 1995 and 2000, near when search engines appeared.
The TechWyse Internet Marketing agency established their company in 2001. They were standing at the gates of high-quality white-hat SEO because keyword stuffing, link exchange, spamdexing and other black-hat SEO techniques were quite common then. So, TechWyse had a lot of issues to deal with!
We decided to ask DJ Kennedy, CEO of TechWyse, about his experience growing from a small team to one of the largest Internet marketing agencies in Canada!
Sophia Campbell: First of all, I am happy to know that WebCEO helps your business. How long have you been working as an SEO agency?
DJ Kennedy: We established the company in 2001. Since then, we have evolved to be one of the largest Internet marketing agencies in Canada!
Sophia: Wow! Almost 18 years in the market. What is your global mission?
DJ: Our mission is to maintain our legacy as an industry leader and deliver exceptional digital marketing solutions that exceed client expectations. We do this by hiring and developing the most inspired, passionate marketing individuals as part of a creative and collaborative environment.
Sophia: Do you remember your first steps. Did you start with a few tools for different purposes or with an all-in-one SEO platform?
DJ: We tried a lot of different approaches; now it’s hard to say if it was really worth that. We spent a lot of time on switching between numerous Google Analytics accounts (can you imagine how much time it takes when you have 50 clients’ accounts and more?) and reporting to our clients. Now these tasks are automated so we are focused on creative work, communication with clients, and enlarging our community.
Sophia: What SEO tools are a must for you?
We also love WebCEO and have been using it for many years to gain greater intelligence on our client base.
Sophia: Which SEO tasks eat up most of your team’s time?
DJ: SEO reporting can be a very tedious task. For every client, you are supposed to run a specific set of reports. For example, a keyword research report, a technical audit and an SEO analysis for a new client. Also, a report on rankings, a backlink analysis, technical and SEO audits, web analytics and social engagement.
So you begin with scanning and generating numerous reports. Then you check every report for blank spaces with no data. When all the reports for every client are scanned and checked, you can prepare a consolidated report for each client. And the final touch: select the language of the report. This is important for us because some of our clients speak English and some speak French.
Sophia: So you must enjoy WebCEO’s interface which is translated into 24 languages.
DJ: Yes, this feature is truly important! But the report generation still has many steps. When all reports are put together and designed for each client, you have to send them according to individual schedules.
Some of our clients receive reports once a month. Other clients may need reporting every week. Some might say that once a quarter is enough. So having flexibility is important.
Sophia: Having such a lot of work, did you ever miss deadlines?
DJ: If you miss deadlines in this business then you are telling your client that you are not prepared. This is not acceptable. This is why choosing dependable software to help with the repetitive tasks is so important.
Sophia: What advice can you give to SEO Agencies to avoid the pain of missed deadlines?
DJ: Preparation and organization! This is not as hard as it seems. Split every process into tiny tasks. Assign tasks to every team member. Set deadlines. Track their performance regularly and fine-tune the process on the fly, instead of checking it all on the last day. A task manager is a must for an SEO team! If a task manager can be integrated into an SEO platform, it’s even better. We enjoy WebCEO’s Task Manager feature – so we never have to search for third-party solutions.
Sophia: What was the most remarkable challenge that your SEO Agency faced?
DJ: This question would need another full interview! This happened a year ago. One of our clients suddenly lost his rankings for a number of keywords and his website’s traffic dropped. This happened because of a link bomb. We detected a lot of inbound poor-quality links pointing to the domain. WebCEO’s Backlink Checker tool made this easy to detect and, what is more important, neutralize this kind of black-hat SEO attack.
I can tell you for sure that this was the first time when using the Google Disavow saved our skin! It took some waiting afterwards but, eventually, the client’s website got its rankings & traffic back. Now his backlink profile is clean and powerful.
Sophia: Are there some SEO hacks for gaining high rankings and driving traffic to a website that you can share?
DJ: We do our best in optimizing client sites structure for better rankings, prioritizing the most important pages and bringing more link flow to them with the help of thoughtful on-site interlinking. WebCEO’s Internal Link Optimization is a must for this task. Using Schema is good form as well!
Sophia: What WebCEO tool really helped your agency grow?
DJ: That’s definitely the Lead Generation button! The button looks simple and prospective customers visiting our website enjoy receiving their free SEO reports. After that, they understand that, with our help, their SEO routine will become much easier. Just in this way, the number of our customers increased 300% in 2015, the year of the Lead Generation button’s introduction, thanks to WebCEO. The lead generation button helped our agency grow financially too.
Sophia: What tool is a must-have for any SEO specialist?
DJ: Say no more – it’s definitely rank tracker. This is the best way to see the progress of a website. The Rank Tracker report is one of the most important for the client as he can see in what way visitors reach his or her website. When it comes to WebCEO’s Rank Tracking tool, both we and our clients are happy to know how many times their website was featured in snippets, shown in vertical results (Google Places, Images, Videos, Shopping, News) as well as in organic and paid search results.
Sophia: With so many clients, how do you keep an eye on their profiles?
DJ: As I said before, our SEO team members have assigned tasks and these form their workflow. However, sometimes there are urgent tasks – we receive alerts from the Technical Audit tool, alerts on ranking fluctuations, and we act immediately. Critical SEO errors can result in decreased rankings. We receive consolidated reports regularly, but these alerts are really good when something urgent happens. You only have to check your mailbox regularly.
Sophia: Thank you very much for such a comprehensive interview! We will do our best to make our customers happier still.
DJ: Thank you for such a great service. WebCEO is a nice fit for us. Without the reports rendered by WebCEO, getting to the root of problems would have taken much longer. We have been delighted to watch the growth of this tool moving at the same pace as the growth of our own agency!