We’re excited to have interviewed Denver SEO expert Alex Juel, from Inflow, for the next installment of our Featured SEO Expert Series!
Inflow is a digital marketing company offering cross-channel eCommerce marketing services. Its team provides technical and strategic marketing that online retailers need to compete by combining strong technical SEO, pay-per-click (PPC), paid social advertising and conversion optimization strategies (CRO) with a highly creative team, motivated to be a client’s advocate in every single way.
What would you say is unique and/or challenging about the eCommerce SEO industry?
“Scale and the level of technical SEO required are probably the biggest things that set eCommerce SEO apart from SEO in other industries. eCommerce sites can be enormous, and they require a different type of thinking. If an eCommerce site has 50,000 pages, you can’t expect to optimize each individual page. Instead, you need to prioritize the most important pages and then come up with solutions to address SEO problems across a large swath of pages. And, with technical SEO, eCommerce platforms are likely to have a lot of problems with things like indexability, canonicals, crawlability, faceted navigation and internal linking.”
How does your agency stand out in a crowded market with so many agencies focusing on eCommerce digital marketing?
“One of the things that I think helps us stand out is that we do really high-quality work. We get lots of referrals from people we’ve worked with before and even contacts from other companies we’ve worked with who come back to us.
“There are some things we do that put us in the best place to do this high-quality work. We have a very thorough hiring process that looks at technical ability, account management and project management skills and culture fit, which allows us to work really well as a team. Inflow also gives its staff a lot of time to grow our skills through bi-weekly team discussions and a conference budget for each employee.”
Can you share a success story from an eCommerce SEO/PPC campaign either locally or nationally?
“A few come to mind. We recently migrated one of our client’s (MightySkins) eCommerce sites. We discussed the migration at length beforehand to create a detailed strategy. The client took all of our advice, implemented it and the site launch went super smoothly. There were no major site issues, and – most importantly – they saw almost no change in traffic after migration.
“We also have a client within the medical marijuana space that we’ve been working with on an E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness) strategy. We implemented a medical review process for all the content across their site, including an “About the Experts” page where people can read more about those medical reviewers. Over six months, this client saw a 163 percent increase in organic sessions, a 235 percent increase in organic goal completions and a 300 percent increase in organic traffic revenue.”
What is the best advice you ever received in business?
“Provide useful communication to your clients. Personally, I like brevity, and I like my communications with clients to be as clear and actionable as possible.”
What do you think is the most important quality that makes an agency truly great?
“I think it’s caring about the work you do. We take a lot of pride in delivering value and not just trying to meet a quota of deliverables by the end of the month.
“We also don’t just take on any client; we purposely only work with clients that meet our vision for a great partnership. This way, Inflow’s employees don’t have to work with problem clients, which makes our jobs much less stressful and makes us actually want to go above and beyond for our clients.”
Any predictions for the future of SEO?
“Quality will likely include more focus on site quality, content quality and E-A-T.
“Link building is still a huge ranking factor (and probably will be for a long time), but we can see that Google is looking at this more closely, too. Link building from higher authority and more trustworthy sites will be key. Social metrics might also play a bigger role in that, too.
“I see a lot of growth in podcasts and YouTube, as well, so I imagine that might become a part of digital marketers’ jobs.
“On-SERP SEO is another area that Google has forced us to think more about, so getting into Google Discover, image results, People Also Ask (PAA) and video results is becoming more important.”
What is your reaction when you hear that “SEO is dying”?
“I don’t think SEO is dying. I think it’s evolving.
“It’s definitely not as easy as it used to be and not as straightforward, either. SEO has become so complicated that the same thing doesn’t work for every website.
“It’s challenging, but it’s also one of the things I find most enjoyable about it. We can start with the basics, but then test those changes – find what works and what doesn’t, and move forward from there. There are still lots of things we can do to improve rankings and grow organic traffic, especially with technical SEO and content marketing.”
What do you think is the most important contributor to keeping clients happy?
“Clear communication. We have a saying at Inflow – “Communication solves all problems” – and we live by it. We respond to client communications within 24 hours, even if it’s just to say that we don’t have an answer yet. We want our clients to know that we got their message and will respond as soon as we can. We also make sure to clarify any questions we have for them.
“We make it a point to understand our clients’ goals and do work to meet those goals. But it’s not just doing what our clients say. If we don’t agree with those goals, we’ll explain why and work with them until we all agree on what’s best. Our clients trust our experience and believe in us to make the best decisions for their business.”
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