Working in Search – How We Deliver Results at Branded3

This post is aimed at those in the SEO/Online Marketing Industry, if you have no interest in the industry you might find this a little dull if you do read on I have numerous requests now asking for a post along the lines of “a day in the life of an SEO consultant” or “a day in an SEO Agency”, obviously there is an increasing amount of interest in the Search Marketing industry and people want to know more about how it works.

The SEO/Online Marketing

I guess the main issue with writing a post like this is that every agency, every consultant, and every in-house team will differ in their approach to SEO and Online Marketing in general. The type of clients you service has a massive impact on the techniques you use and the resources available. Some clients literally just want to see a report every month, and other clients want to be actively involved in the processes, and neither is wrong, just different.

So in this post, I want to give you an honest insight into the processes and departments at Branded3, of course, some things I can’t disclose in the interest of the company but I will try and give you the best insight possible into roles, processes, and responsibilities.

Link Building

I think the best place to start is link building, the link-building team is the backbone of any good SEO outfit, and these aren’t just spammers who get links here, there, and everywhere. Our link-building team is looking for ‘quality’ links and we have weekly meetings discussing link strategy and creative new ways to get links, if we wanted to just spam everywhere we could outsource it for a few hundred dollars, that’s not our aim and if you’re a serious SEO outfit you need to start producing quality.

When Brainstorming Link Building for a Particular Client we Consider the Following Sort of Questions:-

What does our client have to attract links?

Does anything need to be created in order to attract links?

What types of websites are relevant to our client’s product?

What other products are relevant to our clients?

What leverage is needed to acquire the links?

What is the competition doing?

We try and get the whole SEO department involved in this process in an attempt to be as creative as possible, we have a select time each week to discuss the link-building requirements of every client we service and tend to stumble upon new ideas every week.

I know after reading the above points some of you are going to be asking “hmmm, leverage = Paid links?I am not going to turn this into a paid links debate but I will say this If a link looks like a paid link it is going to be devalued whether money passed hands or not. So if you have a blogroll link that you got from a good friend and they have 20 other blogging friends that pass good anchor text, the chances are these will be classed as paid even though you never spent a dime. So, with regards to leverage and link acquisition in general, all I will say is ‘be smart’.

Typically our Links Builders Will Perform the Following Tasks;

Competition Analysis
Viral Marketing Brainstorming and Implementation
Create and maintain online relationships
Source relevant links agreed upon in client meetings
Report to the Head of Search on rankings, link acquisitions, and quality details
We have a very strict quality process with regard to acquiring links taking into account:

Pagerank

Moz Metrics

Inbound Links

Outbound Links

Indexation

Trust

Relevance

These are obviously very broad but it gives you a good idea of what we look for in a typical link.

We tend to avoid using our link-building team for acquiring directory links, article links, or press releases, not because these types of links are worthless but because we can outsource them relatively easily whilst still having a say over the quality. We differentiate between premium links and ‘content/user-generated links’ they all have a place but we prefer to use our internal resources to develop quality link acquisitions.

On-Page Optimisation, Keyword Research, and Site Auditing

I and Patrick are a firm believer in on-page optimization and the effects it can have on the traffic of any website. We have an ‘on-page team’ who constantly works on enhancing the content and general optimization of our clients. The tasks we complete are varied but the main aim is to better target page keywords and to fill in any gaps with lucrative terms, what Patrick refers to as ‘gap analysis’.

A Typical Site Audit Involves The Following;

Keyword Research
Page optimization – completed on every page of a website
Site Architecture
URL Structuring
Internal Linking
Content Brainstorming

Some of these practices merge and every client has different needs with regard to content and on-page issues, however, when a new client relationship begins we always start with an audit making sure everything is in place and ready for the link-building to begin.

Our content team works extremely close with the Pay Per Click side of Branded3 ensuring the keywords we are targeting are the most profitable and that traffic potential is as accurate as possible, often even if we don’t take care of the PPC for a particular client we ask for access to their Adwords campaign.

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