We’re excited to have interviewed Phoenix SEO expert Randy Soderman, from Soderman Marketing SEO, for the next installment of our Featured SEO Expert Series!
Randy Soderman is a retired professional soccer player, serial technology entrepreneur and founder of Soderman SEO, a nationally recognized, award-winning digital marketing and SEO company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
What would you say is unique and/or challenging about today’s SEO industry?
“That it produces one of the best forms of marketing in the world: organic rankings in Google. Per capita, no form of marketing produces better results than high organic rankings. TV ads, mailers, billboards, you name it – when an individual finds your business when searching for your service or product online, it’s the holy grail.
“With mailers, TV ads, billboards, etc., you’re working with memory and hoping you have spent enough money so that the individual remembers your brand when the time comes to wanting/needing your product or service. It takes a ton of spend to become memorable by one of those marketing branches. And even then, most people will still sit down and search a little.
“With search (we’ll take a pest control company), when an individual sits down to search for a pest control service, they are not researching for the future; they are wanting/needing to find a company now.
“Most business owners understand this and would rather spend to be number one than spend to be in mailers.”
How does your agency stand out in a crowded market with so many agencies out there?
“Results and results. If you’re good at SEO, you’ll stand out in the crowd in more ways than one.”
Can you share a success story from a local SEO campaign centered around Phoenix?
“Our headquarters are in Phoenix, so we have hundreds, but one that stands out is a recent campaign that started in Phoenix a little less than a year ago and currently ranks number one in Phoenix and in the top five in over 100 additional cities.
“The client initially just wanted Phoenix but, as we all know with rankings, they can become addictive. Especially once you see the ROI and business coming from great organic rankings. Once we saw Phoenix becoming successful, we advised them to expand into other areas – and the rest is history.
“It’s a home service business that is now licensing their brand all over the country. They receive over 70 leads a day for this popular home service.”
What is the best advice you ever received in business?
“’Ask for money, get advice; ask for advice, get money twice.’
“I’ll leave it at that.”
What do you think is the most important quality that makes an agency truly great?
“If I had to pick one, results 100 percent. As an SEO company, you’re hired to positively move keywords in the search results. If you can’t move them, then you’re not doing your job.
“You can have all the fancy reporting, communicate daily, send them flowers or whatever, but if you don’t move them to the top, they’ll leave. Your job is to get results – make their phone ring, make orders come through, etc.”
Any predictions for the future of SEO?
“Authority, or link authority, will still play a big part in the future of SEO. Authority is really the only way Google can differentiate between sites and determine where a site should rank.
“However, once that site starts to rank higher and can be measured by Google’s users, page experience takes over. Page experience and a user’s search experience can be directly measured by Google.
“So, if you get to page one and Google’s users start going to your page after searching, this is the gate test. Google will determine either positive page and search experience by their users, negative or neutral.
“Google will need to see a positive experience from their users for your page to move forward. They won’t let a page be number one if users are bouncing from that page immediately after visiting it.
“Link authority will get you there, but Google’s users will determine how far you go. Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule, but this is the future – for now.”
What is your reaction when you hear that “SEO is dying”?
“Just a panic statement from someone who isn’t haven’t success in their SEO campaigns or is moving out of SEO as a profession. SEO has only grown bigger for my agency, especially after the pandemic. We have been inundated with businesses who saw their competitors flourish from having a strong organic presence, while they stalled for months.
“We showed these businesses all the leads our current customers were getting during the pandemic and their eyes lit up. SEO is definitely not dying – well, not for us.”
What do you think is the most important contributor to keeping clients happy?
“Expectations, results and communication.
“If you don’t set the right expectations from the start, you’ll have clients calling you after 30 days asking why they are not number one.
“Results are how we are measured as an SEO company. This is why companies hire us, to get results. If you don’t get results, which means good keyword movement from Z to A, you’ll be churning through clients every few months.
“We learned this early on; communication is the staple for keep clients happy and with you for life. Early on, we moved a client to number one for all keywords related to their service. To our surprise, this client called after a few months and wanted to cancel. We immediately jumped on a call and learned that client didn’t even know how well they were ranking. We showed them the current rankings, where they ranked before us and then went over Google Analytics to confirm traffic.
“It turned out that this client was receiving a 500 percent increase in new customers but wasn’t correlating this with their massive improvement in organic rankings. After we communicated this to our client, he was ecstatic, did a complete 180 and has been with us ever since. Yes, communication is huge.”
Interested in being considered as an SEOblog “Featured SEO Expert”? Reach out to our team at [email protected]! We’d love to hear from you and give you a high-traffic platform to share your SEO agency’s story and insights.