Make every click count!

Gold
VERIFIED

Straight North is an Internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and responsive websites. We help firms increase sales leads and e-commerce revenue.

Our core service is SEO. We have helped hundreds of clients improve organic search visibility since 1997. We are the only SEO company that validates and reports all sales leads from phone and forms.

Call us today: 844-219-3699

 
$1,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1997
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 211 W Upper Wacker Dr, Suite 1800
    Chicago, IL 60606
    United States
other locations
  • 615 S College St.
    Charlotte, NC 28202
    United States

Reviews

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SEO for Independent Landlord Support Service

“Their team has managed to get us on page 1, if not the top placement, for some of our keywords.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North used backlink building, content production, and additional enhancements on existing web pages to improve organic keyword performance.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Los Angeles Metro Area
Vice President, Real Estate Services Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The most competitive keyword is now ranked no. 1 in Google results, while previously poorly performing terms are now on the first two pages. Straight North’s team is thorough, efficient, and responsive, providing valuable feedback when needed.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the vice president for an independent landlord support company. We provide tenant screening services and forms, webinars, and other types of assistance to landlords.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were looking to improve our SEO position on a number of different keywords. Previous vendors had proven unsuccessful in improving our keyword rankings.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

In addition to SEO services, Straight North helped with backlink building, content production, and provided feedback on new or existing pages. (The design of our website was already in place.)

What is the team composition?

We mostly just work with one project lead, Jess.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We found them through a Google search and, after speaking to them, decided to give them a shot. We had tried a number of other vendors prior to Straight North for many years.

How much have you invested with them?

We were spending about $5,000 per month, but we believe in them so much that we just increased our spend to about $7,000 per month.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them around October, 2016 and have continued the relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We're very happy with them, especially with the progress of our keyword results. We've had one specific, highly competitive keyword that their team has been able to make #1 in Google search rankings. Other keywords that weren't previously placing well have now moved up to the first couple of pages.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They're very thorough. We have weekly status calls with their team and they also provide monthly reports detailing all projects.

They communicate using their own project management software, GoNorth Reporting, which provides us a detailed report of all our keywords and linkbacks. It also updates us on how many points we're using under their system and what articles are in progress.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're able to do what they say they can do. Their team has managed to get us on page 1, if not the top placement, for some of our keywords.

I also appreciate Jess's communication; she's great at staying on top of things.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, they're great.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be patient. Climbing the rankings takes time—it's not an overnight process.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Redesign & Collateral Design Services

“They created a phenomenal theme that matches our company’s history perfectly.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provided marketing strategies for two sister companies. The work included rebranding to coincide with 100th anniversary celebrations and designing newsletters and catalogs, plus site redesigns.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Marketing Strategist, Commercial & Consumer Insurer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Innovative design ties company history to the present. Straight North understands the appropriate aesthetic, and produces attractive, high-quality material for consumers and partners. Though adept at both print and digital media, they shine online.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a twofold business. We have a retail brokerage that sells directly to consumers, and a wholesale side that markets to other brokerages. I am the marketing strategist for both sides.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We wanted a marketing advisor to develop our websites and boost our retail generation.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They developed a website for each side of the business, and currently assist with our retail campaigns and wholesale interactions. They help considerably with marketing strategies, particularly as we focus on clientele with high net-worth. Some of our campaigns include digital or direct mail, which they help us brainstorm.

They developed an entirely new look for us, including rebranding for our 100th anniversary. Much of their involvement was technical, but they also helped design product guides and big brochures to send to agents. They helped us with our newsletters for years but haven't been tapped for that more recently.

What is the team composition?

I work extensively with Natalie [Project Manager, Straight North] on newsletters and our product guide. Ann [Senior Project Manager, Straight North] oversees the website and any digital aspects.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I joined the company in 2014, when the relationship with them was already established. They previously developed the retail website, and we redeveloped the wholesale website in 2015–16.

How much have you invested with them?

I don’t have direct access to the numbers, but our annual spending is usually north of $10,000. That number may have been lower last year to reallocate funds to our company’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

What is the status of this engagement?

The collaboration began in 2009, and they still assist us in various projects.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve never had an issue, and have no negative response from customers whatsoever. We’re very pleased with the products and materials they produce.

They do a great job understanding who we are as a company and presenting that aesthetically on our website. Their work is beautiful, and great quality.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Natalie and Ann are both responsive and understanding. Natalie is fantastic in any editing process, and Ann helps me understand some of the technical details so I can give her what she needs. Most of our interactions are by phone or email, and I’ve had very good experiences with both of them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They deal well with all of our wild organization, and are open and responsive to anything we want to change. They created a phenomenal theme that matches our company’s history perfectly. They wove that imagery through our website, which I’m very proud of.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I use them for both digital and print work. They provide very high quality for both, but their digital output for websites, social media, or online newsletters is where they really shine.

5.0
Overall Score I can’t imagine a better experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve never delivered late.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They are pricey, but they do a great job and are worth the cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’m always satisfied with the quality of their products.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Updates & Graphics Services for Billing Solution

"They’re consummate professionals and a joy to work with."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
2008 - Dec. 2016
Project summary: 

Straight North supplemented internal web design efforts with multiple site revamps. Specific services provided included infographic development and photo retouching.

The Reviewer
 
10,000-50,000 Employees
 
Boston Metro Area
Marketing Manager, Billing Software
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their sleek, professional designs were frequently lauded, furthered brand recognition, and helped foster a long-term relationship. Their grounded, communicative, and consistent approach to customer services serves them well.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the manager for the interactive marketing team at an international communications service provider that specializes in operations services software and business systems software. Our company builds software used by communications companies to track their users cell phone usage and billing. The interactive marketing team focuses on running the corporate website.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We update our website design every year-and-a-half. We don’t have in-house graphic design experts, so we needed help refreshing the look of the site.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They’ve designed our website multiple times throughout the eight years that we’ve worked with them. We kept them on retainer throughout our collaboration to provide us with graphics as well as for retouching photographs we needed. They acted as our main in-house graphics team.

What is the team composition?

For larger projects, such as complete website redesigns, we worked with a team of their employees. Various people sat in on meetings, including the owner. For smaller projects, we worked with one person as our primary contact—usually Natalie [Email Marketing Specialist, Straight North].

How did you come to work with Straight North?

A former employee who managed all of our internal branding and visual branding had worked with Straight North on a previous project. He recommended them to me, and we started working with them immediately thereafter.

How much have you invested with them?

In the years that we used them as our in-house graphics team, we spent between $10,000–$20,000. When they did full site redesigns, we spent around $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We collaborated with them starting in 2008 through December 2016. We only stopped working with them after new team members chose to work with a different firm.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We don’t use our website for lead generation, but instead use it as a brochure and brand communication tool, so it’s difficult to determine the impact they’ve had on our success through their designs. However, the designs have been consistently popular internally, and we’ve never received negative feedback from customers or prospective clients on any aspects of our website they designed.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They managed the project efficiently by involving more of their team members when a project was larger or more complex. Our process included several conversations on what we specifically needed, but these conversations did not slow turnaround time. They delivered high-quality work, quickly understood our brand, and translated it into a sleek, professional, consistent vision for our website.

They were also receptive to feedback and willing to makes changes, while remaining on schedule and moving forward at an efficient pace. Throughout the project, their customer service was excellent. We used state-of-the-art project management tools for communication and collaboration so we could view designs and leave feedback.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I was pleased with Straight North as soon as we started working them. Their design work is impressive because it is both sophisticated and elegant. Their team particularly stood out because they are down-to-earth, friendly, and responsive. I enjoyed working with such polite people.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could more aggressively highlight their other capabilities, such as SEO and services beyond web design. Nevertheless, this is certainly not a complaint.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Engagements with them are straightforward, so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them as a full-service web design company.

5.0
Overall Score They’re consummate professionals and a joy to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They aren’t inexpensive, but we were happy to pay what they charged.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I was completely satisfied.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would absolutely recommend them.

Marketing Creative for Healthcare Service Evaluator

"The new pay-per-click digital projects have outperformed our previous Google ads by about 20 to 1."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
June 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Currently working on roughly 20 creative projects, three digital campaigns, and one major project converting marketing content to new templates, Straight North has been a versatile creative services vendor.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois
Beth Badon
Marketing Director, The Joint Commission
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their digital work has improved the quality of leads passed through to the sales team. Straight North is highly responsive, considerate of timelines, and proactive with insights and suggestions. They proactively seek out feedback and ways to strengthen the partnership.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Director of Marketing for the Domestic Segment Team at a national healthcare company that writes safety and quality standards and evaluates providers. I work with marketers to build awareness of our products and services, drive sales, and speed physical adoption of our products throughout the industry.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

Initially we were looking for creative design services to help with printed materials and sales enablement pieces that marketing develops for our sales teams. These include everything from flyers and brochures to PowerPoint decks.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

A lot of their work has been sales enablement pieces that help tell our story, such as print collateral and PowerPoint decks that enable our sales teams to do in-person presentations, virtual presentations, and even national conferences. They've done checklists assessments, white papers, and about 20 full product portfolio pieces (which have been versatile enough to add and remove components for specific appointments). We've also begun to work with them on pay-per-click advertising and digital media including three Instagram pages. Finally, they are working on converting current content to new templates, as well as creating new content in those templates. So in total, we have three digital campaigns, about 20 creative projects, and this one major conversion project.

What is the team dynamic?

We basically have two direct points of contact, who are project managers on the creative and digital sides. Each project also gets assigned an account manager who brings in the right analysts and creatives.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I was looking for a local provider because we really value having in-person meetings with new vendors, but we also needed an agency with national depth and an ability to be responsive to our needs. I did some Google searching and asked industry colleagues for referrals, and when their name came up they seemed to fit the bill. We did a discovery phone call and soon began with a few small projects, but have ramped up our relationship significantly since.

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent about $200,000 so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in June 2017, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The new pay-per-click digital projects have outperformed our previous Google ads by about 20 to 1. Their project actually validates respondents, which ensures that the leads we pass to our sales teams are qualified, and thus even if the sheer number has decreased, the value from these leads has definitely been augmented.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

On the creative side, we were originally doing a lot of in-person meetings, but have transitioned to more virtual meetings and phone calls. Usually, there is a discovery call where we set expectations for timing, budget, and communication, and they usually send us a statement of work afterward. They always take the time upfront to ask plenty of questions and understand the objectives and how each piece fits into our larger goals. Their responsiveness is off the charts, and they often send reminders and check-ins which is really helpful given how busy we are. After each project, they always ask for feedback on our level of satisfaction, which has almost universally been very positive.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They put a lot of thought into our accounts and our specific projects, with consideration of what we ultimately want to accomplish. They contribute fresh ideas and alternative approaches that either improve or validate ours, and their responsiveness really makes them feel like a partner. All of that together plus the extra insights they have provided for our business makes them a very valuable partner.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind. We really have been pleased with everything.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They talk about our timelines more than we do sometimes.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We've been pleased with their pricing.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’ve been phenomenal.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Design & SEO for Consumer Goods Company

“[T]hey're able to really see the vision and develop something that the client is going to be happy with.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sep. 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North revamped the website of a CPG company. They provide ongoing SEO strategy, which includes written content about company products.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Carmen Fiordirosa
Marketing Director, CleanTools
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The redesigned website increased online sales to a point thought previously unattainable by the company. SEO metrics continue to increase each month. Straight North’s detail-oriented process works to efficiently realize the project vision.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the marketing director for CleanTools, a manufacturer of consumer packaged goods in the automotive aftermarket, as well as the pet and marine markets.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We needed our company website redesigned and built out. An ongoing SEO strategy was also necessary for advancing our online presence.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The state of our website before honestly was an embarrassment. We occupy a large market share in the automotive aftermarket but our digital presence was not evident of that. Straight North overhauled our website and really brought forth our vision. The responsive website now communicates that we’re a premium brand to every consumer that visits. We’re a small team and rely on Straight North to handle all aspects of site design and development. We’ve recently expanded into the pet and marine markets and used their GoNorth! platform to launch 2 corresponding websites this past summer.

Straight North provides us ongoing SEO services as well. They write content and clean up backlinks for us. We'll approve the content and give feedback as much as we can, but they really spear-head that initiative for us.

What is the team dynamic?

I worked with the project manager, Ann, several times and always request her when reaching out to Straight North. She is great to work with. The VP of sales, Ian [Stevenson], is who I originally spoke with about revamping our website. He’s been amazing to work with and has always been willing to answer questions.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We found them through internet research while looking for firms. We went with Straight North because they offered a complete package. Instead of just listening to our requirements, they were thinking about the overall purpose of the site and how the SEO content would factor into that purpose.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend $3,800 a month for their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in September 2013, and the partnership is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve seen continuous growth thanks to the SEO work they provide. Prior to working with Straight North, our e-commerce platform wasn’t successful. Since the new site launched, we’ve seen a significant increase in online sales, including a new product that has doubled in online sales over the last six months.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management abilities are top-notch. They have methodical processes in place to ensure efficiency. In terms of communication and scope adjustment, they’ve been extremely flexible and easy to work with throughout the course of the engagement.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their expertise and creative approach to website development are where they truly shine. They never have to go back and redesign a landing page because they listen to the client’s wishes. Their process is so fine-tuned that they're able to really see the vision and develop something that the client is going to be happy with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

At first, the SEO content they produced wasn’t always well-researched. I know that the SEO content they're writing serves its purpose through keywords. But as a consumer, I could see that what's written is very shallow in terms of helpful information. It was all basic knowledge material as opposed to an in-depth write-up. That could’ve been a wrong expectation on my part, but I had a different vision for the content we put out.

Additionally, some of the writers they would hire clearly wouldn’t do enough research on our products and we’d have to do a lot of corrections. After some communication, that hasn’t been a problem as of late.

5.0
Overall Score They do a good job of making every client feel appreciated and important.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Redesign & SEO Strategy

"The new site provides a more professional introduction to our company.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North executed a direct mailing to engage a difficult target demographic. After this initial campaign, they refocused efforts on a website overhaul and SEO keyword research.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Cory Sandrock
CFO, The Tooth Factory
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website targets a specific demographic using technical terminology and topical content. Straight North tailored the project to size and need, rather than offering a needlessly expensive and customized solution. Increased traffic should yield sales leads within the calendar year.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CFO of The Tooth Factory, a dental laboratory that produces crowns, bridges, dentures and other related products for dentists as the end consumer. My larger, boutique private equity firm, Pareto & Company, is located in Chicago. We’ve been an investor in The Tooth Factory for almost three years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

Since dentists are frequently occupied by patient appointments, it proved difficult to schedule phone calls or in-person meetings. To reach this demographic, we contracted Straight North to create a direct mailing.

When this project generated only minor traction, we refocused our efforts on revamping our website and creating a stronger online presence. Despite limited expertise, I’d personally compiled our existing site using off-the-shelf products. With just 4-5 pages of basic content, it needed a complete overhaul. Like most comparably sized labs, our site lacked SEO and functioned akin to a business card.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Shortly after investing in The Tooth Factory, we commissioned a direct mail piece. Straight North designed and disseminated a flyer to reintroduce our company. A promotion for five crowns at $50 each offered dentists a significantly lower price point than our competitors. We hoped a physical flyer, lingering on their desks, would have a greater impact than a missed phone call.

Ultimately, this proved ineffective, and we commenced a website overhaul. Equipped with extensive company materials including logos, they started the backend redesign. Two months of prep work and research segued into content generation. Their photographer took new product and personnel photos onsite. The redesign’s first draft necessitated nominal measures: furnishing technical terminology, improving the flow of copy, and experimenting with different images. As medical professionals, our target audience necessitated a different strategy than direct consumers.

The site went live in September. Unveiling our SEO push, the team continuously review keyword efficacy to improve organic rankings. Current work involves building out a calendar for a blogging strategy.

What is the team dynamic?

Our project lead, Natalie Berberet, represented the development and copywriting teams. She scheduled timeframes for photography and conference calls, notably a live walkthrough of the site. Since completing her role in the site launch, she’s offered continued availability as a secondary support. She coordinated the handoff to our current SEO lead, Caitlyn Muchel, who provides a comparable level of service.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

The CEO has known me for 15 years, and my partner at Pareto & Company for 30. Comfortable and familiar with the firm’s work, we reengaged after investing in The Tooth Factory. Our initial website redesign consultation delimited project needs and defined marketplace climate. Keyword and search volume data validated the cost of pursing this specific niche.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve invested $10,000 so far, including our $5,000 upfront fee and two $2,000 monthly payments for ongoing SEO work. We selected their streamlined “Go North” option. It’s neither an off-the-shelf product nor a complete, customized website (a $10-$50,000 proposition). For a lab our size, this is a large, but not insurmountable expense. Solidifying good quality leads, like monthly dentist users, should generate recurring revenue that pays for the cost within a year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've had two engagements. Two years ago, we requested a direct mailing, and our ongoing website redesign started in May 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The new site provides a more professional introduction to our company. Significantly more user friendly, it enables dentists to easily locate topical information. Raw Google Analytics-type data indicates more visitors to the site.

Although this traffic has yet to directly generate leads, this pace reasonably corresponds to the volume of required preparation. As an inherently slow process, the minor traction thus far validates pursuing this under-served avenue. Few competitors are taking similar measures, and bolstering our online presence will produce more sales in the long run.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Our project lead kept in constant communication. Providing ongoing material to review, like sample copy, helped consistently capture our desired tone. Consistently responsive to requests, she contributes metrics to support the SEO team’s keyword research. We've held what we term "campaign calls" biweekly.

As a lab of only five employees, they significantly outpaced us. Our capacity to respond accordingly sometimes prolonged facets of development. In light of these limitations, they offered timeline flexibility. Friendly reminders about deadlines held us accountable, and they communicated repercussions on the launch date.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Tailoring the service offerings and the product itself to individual customers preempts wasted money on overly-customized solutions. Very early on, they calibrated the appropriate service offerings for our current needs. We have a functional website with a fitting level of SEO work, without overpaying.

Are there any areas they could improve?

To clarify the time horizon, we probably could have had a better conversation upfront. We didn't fully comprehend the length of time between site launch to lead generation. A number of calls with Caitlin have clarified that lead traffic will reasonably increase before the end of the calendar year.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Identify your company’s needs as they correspond to your size and budget. As a small lab, we easily could have spent twice the money needlessly on an entirely proprietary site with another firm.

5.0
Overall Score Straight North listens to their clients and provides flexible scheduling, quality feedback, and an appropriate solution.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost of our website was well-calibrated to our size and needs. Despite our frustration about lead generation, the monthly SEO work is a necessary expense that’s inherently time consuming.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Design & SEO Content for Home Inspector

"The content, usability, and design of the website is impressive and I’m happy with it."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North began by doing web design and SEO for a Weebly website. When Google ranking didn’t improve, they migrated the site onto their own platform with a proprietary CMS. They now add content monthly for SEO efforts.

The Reviewer
 
Sole Proprietor
 
Chicago, Illinois
Mike Knapczyk
Founder, Chicago Metro Home Inspection
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

While the site’s Google ranking didn’t advance as quickly as they projected, it has improved after migration to Straight North’s platform. Its user-friendly design and relevant content upped the business’s credibility. Their transparent project management makes progress easy to track.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Chicago Metro Home Inspection provides inspections in the Chicagoland area. When someone purchases a home, if they’re not familiar with the mechanics or the way a home operates, I come in and inspect it for them and make sure they understand exactly what they’re buying. I’m the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

I ultimately wanted to be on page one of Google search results so that my customers can find me instead of my competition.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We initially had a Weebly website that they worked on, but it didn’t perform well. We transferred it over to Straight North’s platform using their proprietary CMS. They largely recreated the website itself on that platform. They build out my website on a monthly basis and add content and links to it.

What is the team dynamic?

I interact with one person and I think they are doing all of the work.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I found them through a friend of mine who is a graphic designer for them.

How much have you invested with them?

I've spent $17,000–$18,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We haven’t reached the ultimate goal of getting on page one, but we’re moving forward. I have seen growth in traffic to our website.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I’m happy with it. They are very open with me. We communicate through email and phone calls. I can log in to their website and see what they’ve accomplished each month.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The content, usability, and design of the website is impressive and I’m happy with it. My business has more credibility now as a result.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We worked on the Weebly website for 5–6 months without seeing the growth that they assured me of. They were confident that they would meet or exceed my expectations by then, but it didn’t happen. They suggested that this was due to the way Weebly’s websites are structured, so Google didn’t recognize our SEO efforts. They recommended I move to a Straight North website, and we transferred over the next month or so. My satisfaction has improved, but my ranking isn’t moving at the rate that we discussed in December of last year.

5.0
Overall Score I would rate them at a 5 if it weren’t for the five to six month delay in meeting goals.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They didn’t meet the goals and expectations we discussed in December by month five or six.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them if it was the right platform for their company.

Website and SEO Services for Foundation Service

“It’s a great site, and everyone tells us how professional it looks. We had no idea how valuable it could be.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
July 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using a proprietary CMS, Straight North created a professional online image, improved marketing schemes, and solidified SEO features. They continue to maintain the website, including some copy writing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Charlotte, North Carolina
Brandon Powell
Co-founder, Foundation Doctor
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site receives good response in its desktop layout, and keeps its integrity on mobile devices. Organic leads and site visits are up since completion, and tracking systems will increase the efficacy of future marketing.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Foundation Doctor is a foundation repair company based in Charlotte, NC. My brother and I started the company about a year ago, and work together as joint business partners.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

About six months ago we decided we needed better marketing. We had a website that a friend had designed, but we wanted a more professional site and help improving our SEO [Search Engine Optimization].

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They rebuilt our website and set up better SEO. We met to discuss our ideas, asked some follow-up questions, and then took things from there. Our original site was on Wordpress, but Straight North was using their own proprietary CMS [Content Management System].

They’re helping us with content for some of the services we’re focusing on. They’re pitching us to different websites to add us to their backlinks, and are actively working to add us to listing sites and directories to improve our web presence.

What is the team dynamic?

Nathalie [Project Manager, Straight North] was the contact for the website build, and Courtney [Account Manager, Straight North] oversaw the SEO for us.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We spoke to 8–10 companies about the project. I was educating myself on SEO practices, and did a Google search for SEO companies. Straight North appeared as the number one option organically, so I reached out to them. They were the most knowledgeable company we spoke with.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent about $4,000 so far, which includes $2,000 for the site build, and $1,000 a month for tracking and maintenance. They’re a little pricier than some of the companies we looked at, but we felt they were our best choice.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in July 2017. They’ve finished our site, and we have a monthly maintenance contract with them now.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

It’s a great site, and everyone tells us how professional it looks. We’re really pleased with the feedback.

They installed a tracker, which we started using in September. It may be a few months before we have a clearer picture of the impact. For just the month of September, we had 8 organic leads and 30–40 clicks on the site. We also have a dynamic phone number listed, so when a user calls from our site, it goes to a separate line.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Nathalie and Courtney were both great. They were quick to respond and keep us updated, and always got back to us with no issues.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We’re most excited by the design of the website. When we built our first site, we had no idea how valuable it could be. The website they designed is mobile-friendly and looks good on a desktop. The tracking they put in place helps us decide how to spend money on advertisements and SEO in the future.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There were no issues or delays.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’ve contributed great value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The site looks great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would absolutely recommend them.

SEO & Digital Marketing for Custom Sign Design Company

"They're an SEO company that truly cares about their clients."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provided extensive website improvement, utilizing their in-house CMS. They optimized content with industry keywords and supply ongoing SEO services.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Wausau, Wisconsin
Denis Tan
Director of Marketing, Graphic House, Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North’s strategies led to a significant decrease in bounce rates and increase in new visitors. They offer competitive rates and take special care to understand industry requirements. While their CMS lacks flexibility, its simplicity makes it easy to use.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of marketing for Graphic House, Inc., a premier sign manufacturer based in Wausau, Wisconsin with offices throughout the Midwest.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We wanted to improve our website design and increase traffic, with a specific focus on lowering our bounce rate.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They used their in-house proprietary CMS to redesign our website, incorporating infographics, and the intuitive layout allows us to maintain the site and make changes as needed. They found keywords accurate to our industry and used them to optimize our web content. They also write blog posts, with any copy sent to us for final approval.

Our package includes monthly SEO services in order to improve and maintain our search rank.

What is the team dynamic?

My initial point of contact was their vice president of sales. Now that the deal is finalized, I work with our project manager and design team.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I considered several SEO companies, but I'd worked with Straight North in the past through my work with previous company. They were willing to work with us on pricing and I knew they were reliable based on my past experience.

They also have offices in the Midwest, making it easy to conduct occasional face-to-face meetings.

How much have you invested with them?

Our contract is $48,000 per year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in February 2017 and our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our previous site’s bounce rate was roughly 60%. After working with Straight North these last nine months, that rate has gone down to 35%–40%, which is the industry standard.

Three-quarters of our site visits are from new users and they’re consistently staying on the page for 2–4 minutes.

These analytics prove to us that their work is producing results.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Our project manager calls every two weeks to provide a breakdown of our site analytics. We’re consistently updated, and I can contact them via email or phone if I have any questions, receiving a response within 48 hours.

They make an effort to keep in touch with their clients, as their VP of sales checks in occasionally to ask if we have any concerns.

Overall, working with them has been great.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have a strong worth ethic and are very straightforward. We’ve had issues with previous companies relying on bots to artificially boost our web traffic, but Straight North understands that the ultimate goal is to convert traffic into actual sales.

They also took the time to understand our industry, taking a tour of our manufacturing facilities to get a firm grasp on who we are and what we do. They're an SEO company that truly cares about their clients.

They consistently meet the quarterly and annual goals that we set.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Their CMS could use minor improvements. It’s great for people who want a basic, easy-to-use system, but lacks flexibility for more advanced users. Of course, this simplicity gives their CMS a wider appeal.

Advice for potential customers?

Having worked with them through two different companies, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences. Straight North will hit their goals for a good price, so they're worth a try.

5.0
Overall Score I'm a realistic person and they've met all of my expectations.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re highly responsive, replying within 48 hours of any request.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They offer competitive rates relative to the Midwest.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their team took the time to understand our industry.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Digital Marketing Work for Yoga Business

"I feel like they're very honest and they do what they say they're going to do."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides local digital marketing services including SEO, web redesign, and sales call tracking with a focus on the Chicago area. The main goal is to improve incoming sales and brand awareness.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Co-owner, Yoga Business
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has improved traffic and sales conversions coming through the website. They have made a huge step forward with the website design and user flow. Straight North is approachable and honest.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am one of the owners of a yoga studio in the suburbs of Chicago. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

I wanted to optimize our website for organic search because we are opening a few more locations in the area. It was important to also improve the flow of our website. We get sales conversions through our website so it was important to improve the experience for potential customers.

New students come to the website to book their first set of classes. Existing students come to the website to check class schedules, buy a membership, or book more classes.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They helped design the website. I already had a website but they improved my Squarespace website. They helped with SEO and gave me recommendations and also help add company reviews and get us higher on various third party sites.

They also helped with us tracking clicks so we can figure out where our customers are coming from how often they're calling and all of the phone calls are also recorded. We record the calls so that we can improve customer service outcomes. We don't do PPC with Straight North, we just focus on organic SEO.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

A family member recommended them to me.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The first year should be around $12,000 because we spend $1,000 month so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the work at the beginning of 2017 in January.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

I don't have anything available right now but I can check my reports. Straight North supplies that information to me on a regular basis. What I can say is that the SEO work is positive. Our second office location is making drastic improvements and the highest performing webpage.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

I am satisfied with Straight North. I think that they're really good at SEO and they're experts in the field so they could tell me exactly what I needed to change. And they also helped me change things so I didn't have to do it on my own. I love the website where you can see how exactly it's helping where people are coming from and how often people are visiting me. 

I can go there and sign in anytime I want. And also they're really easy to talk to so I can just email them and they respond quickly.

I just feel like as a company they're very easy to talk to. I feel like they're very honest and they do what they say they're going to do. So I feel like the money I'm paying them is worth it. I just trust them. 

So that makes a big difference for me. I've worked with other companies where you're not getting what they say you're going to get. They just really follow through. And I believe that they are experts in the field. 

So I just like working with them.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We don't work face to face at all. It was originally a phone call and now it's just through email which just great for me. 

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

There is nothing that I can think of at the moment.

Any suggestions for future clients of Straight North?

I would suggest that they have clear objectives and make sure they discuss the objectives with Straight North so it's clear. Clients should do what Straight North recommends since they are experts. The conversation should always continue.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed a deadline and get back to me within an appropriate period of time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It's a fair price for the work they are doing.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I'm very satisfied with the quality and they give very detailed reports. I've seen improvement since the beginning.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them already.
Verification

Clutch verification provides an additional layer of data to help you make the right purchasing decsion of business services. Learn more

Verification Level
Gold
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Illinois
ID
1556606
Date of Formation
Jun 30, 2005
Source
Office of the Illinois Secretary of State
Last Updated
Dec 24, 2018
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last Updated
Jul 22, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
72
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.8
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
August 15, 2019