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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Web Design and Collateral Development for Insurance Company

"Everything is always on time, and their follow-up is first rate."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides web design and marketing collateral development to improve the brand image and professional face of the client.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois Area
Owner, Insurance Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The creative aspect of the web and marketing collateral design is top notch. They offer customized strategies and sound project management.

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 have two insurance agencies, and I'm the president.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We hired Straight North to help us with web design and supporting collateral materials.

SOLUTION

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I don't remember. It’s been several years, and I don't recall how we first came into contact with them.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

We’ve probably spent about $30,000 annually over the last few years.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working with Straight North for at least four years.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I would say Straight North’s project management is excellent. Everything is always on time, and their follow-up is first rate. They’re always on top of everything, and their estimates, at least for us, have been right on.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

I’m satisfied with Straight North, and I think they’ve been successful. We’re particularly pleased with the design, especially the creative aspect of the design. They’ve been able to capture the essence of our companies in how the materials look, which is not easy.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Maybe they could spend a little more time understanding the nuances of our particular business. That’s just something that takes a while for each client because every client is different. I expected that would take a while. 

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

I would recommend that other companies spend a lot of time orientating Straight North to their particular business. Their work is really customized, and they need to spend a lot of time upfront understanding the way a particular company operates.

5.0
Overall Score If we’re averaging the fives, I'd have to give them a five.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    If there were ever delays, it was our fault in not getting them the information they needed on time, not theirs.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We never went over budget, so I guess we have to give them the highest rating.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We wanted everything to look as professional as we think we are, and it does. It looks great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Digital Marketing Projects for CPA Firm

"Our website is amazing and our printed materials were always on par with our high-quality standards."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sep. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North built a new website and provide SEO work to update the firm's outside image and improve recruiting outcomes for new CPAs graduating from college.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
Marketing Director, CPA Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North created an attractive website and met their goal of recruiting more qualified CPAs from colleges. Straight North provides a dedicated project manager to keep progress moving forward.

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 CPA firm based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, with 120 partners and 60 employees. We have around 12 million dollars in annual revenue. We're a full-service firm providing audits—tax and insurance—as well as advisory services.

I am the marketer of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

When I took over the marketing division, the initial goal was to rebuild our site. We wanted to launch an SEO strategy, but the old page was non-responsive and out of date. Another reason for developing a new website was to gain an advantage over other accounting firms when it comes to recruiting. Many of our competitors run multiple microsites detailing how it is to work for those companies. We got left behind in terms of the website; it wasn't very appealing and didn't represent us as a firm. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North completely rebuilt our site. We took a lot of time with this because we wanted the result to be perfect and it had many custom functionalities. After the site was launched, we started working with Straight North on SEO and other smaller projects, like the design for brochures and general marketing materials. We have a social media presence, but not paid; we also don't use pay-per-click marketing. A part of our SEO work involved Straight North writing guest posts on other companies' blogs.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We're a 20-year-old company and we've worked with Straight North for most of those 20 years. There wasn't really a question in our minds about using them on the current project. We wanted to work with someone who knew our company and our business.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of Straight North's services has been around $50,000 in 2016. We have a $2,500 per month fee for SEO, but we also work on additional build-outs for the site.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our current project started in September 2015. Since then, we've gone through a complete rebranding. Our work with Straight North is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I don't think I could've done my job without Straight North. Our website is amazing and our printed materials were always on par with our high-quality standards. We launched our site at the beginning of November 2016, so we haven't even received the first SEO report for it yet. As we approach the end of 2016, we will start seeing more and more traffic, as this is the time when most people switch CPA firms. In addition to gaining new business, rebuilding the site has helped our recruiting efforts a lot. We recruit heavily on college campuses. Several students have mentioned seeing certain bits of information on our site.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

As a marketer, I have many responsibilities. Things can sometimes slip through the cracks. I haven't worked with other companies, but the biggest thing I've appreciated about Straight North is that they have a designated project manager whose entire job is making sure that the team is getting everything it needs. She has helped me make sure that I knew what I had to deliver and when. When I needed it, Straight North made accommodations for my own timeline as well. There was constant follow-up, project tracking, and updating.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Not having worked with other marketing or development firms, I couldn't say. I've appreciated everything that Straight North has done.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

I advise clients to be prepared for the project. I felt the most ups and downs during moments when I didn't realize how much of a time commitment would be necessary from my end. I thought that Straight North would simply take what we had and build a new website, but the project turned into a complete rebranding. We had a 2-month delay just because we had to make all-new corporate photography. If we had known this would be necessary, we could have taken care of it before the project even started.

5.0
Overall Score Straight North is a 5-star company overall.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Even with our delays, Straight North was able to turn things around immediately.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There were a few surprises in terms of builds, with some parts of the project not being included in the original scope. For what we paid, we received a very good product.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything I've ever gotten from Straight North feels high quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've recommended Straight North to everyone I know who is thinking of redoing a website.

Web Design for Nonprofit Fundraiser

"Straight North got things right the first time, which was really nice."

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

Previously, Straight North provided SEO for another of the client's websites; this time, they designed a new responsive website with a custom form and will continue to do SEO for it.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 employees
 
Washington, DC
Sales & Marketing Director, Nonprofit Fundraiser
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North successfully designed the website better than expected and without much additional guidance or editing, which impressed the client. Straight North was particularly praised for being extremely detailed and communicative.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company is a small non-profit fundraiser based in Washington DC. I am the marketing director of the company. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were starting a new project and needed to create a website for it. We knew what we wanted in terms of content, but we are not designers. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North has developed our website. It's a pretty basic page in terms of structure, but there were some custom features we wanted for it. We utilize lead generation as a business, which is done through phone calls and online forms. We had a rather complicated custom form in mind that we'd wanted to implement for a couple of years. We described what we were looking for and asked Straight North to work out something. They blew it out of the water on the first try, doing a great job on a couple of different custom elements on the site as well.

We had a few concerns with the site's responsive design in general. Tablets and phones are always receiving updates, while screens are also constantly changing sizes. We told Straight North about this and tested the site on literally every device imaginable. Even the most complicated elements have performed beautifully.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

Straight North had worked on SEO for one of our websites for the past 2 years. Because we had such a good relationship, we inquired about their web design services as well. Straight North gave us some past projects to look at and we decided to move forward.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The initial budget was $10,000, but we went over that because of additional features that we requested along the way. Straight North offered us a special deal based on our existing SEO work.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North in February 2016. We've contracted Straight North for SEO work on the site after it’s completed. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I don't have any significant metrics for the site, other than the fact that Straight North was able to complete it on time and on budget. The site looks good, much better than we anticipated. I gave them some direction on what I wanted to see within each page, but Straight North actually wrote all of it. There were hardly any edits needed. I found that impressive, considering that the topic of the website can get detailed and research-intensive.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I cannot give enough praise to our project manager. There was some misunderstanding in the beginning, but she went above and beyond, going through everything with a fine-tooth comb. We became clear on all aspects of the project and maintained almost daily communication. I wish that she was a part of our SEO team, given how great she was to work with.

One of the things I liked about Straight North, particularly in the case of our project manager, was that they were extremely detailed. I always received recaps of our conversations with bullet points detailing what needed to be done and what had been completed. I remained in constant contact with our manager and everything was scheduled well. I immediately knew when a project would be started, how long it would take, and what, if anything, could postpone certain elements. Knowing the timeline from start to finish was awesome. I feel that some website jobs can take forever, but with Straight North, there was a very strict schedule. Straight North communicated daily, telling us what was going on, what we needed to do, and so on.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

I could simply give concepts to Straight North's team, and they would bring to life what I wanted to see. I didn’t have to go into the minutiae of the requirements. Normally, on our other internal projects, I am involved in the nitty-gritty of writing content. It can be exhausting to describe exactly what elements I want to see on what pages. Straight North got things right the first time, which was really nice.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

We've had some SEO-related issues with the website, but this is mainly due to the competition in our industry.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

It's fantastic that Straight North is extremely responsive in communicating what we need to do on weekly. However, there are quite a few things for which clients need to review and provide advice. If clients keep requesting multiple revisions on certain pieces, their timeline will be shifted back. I made that mistake at the very beginning, but after we had a conversation about this with Straight North, everything else went swimmingly. My advice is that clients determine exactly what they want and express that at the very beginning of the project. I deal with many vendors day in and day out. I've found that I must be very detailed when giving them instructions, otherwise, I won't get what I'm looking for.

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

SEO for Venture Capital Advisory

"Our project came in on budget and on time, which are two important statistics."

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

Straight North was tasked with building a new website to explain a new value proposition and also market it via SEO and other marketing techniques.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
Board Member, Venture Capital Advisory
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North provided a quality website on time and on budget. Straight North has a regimented process that could be made more personalized to each client but they are well organized.

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 board and strategic advisor for private-equity-backed companies. I am a board director and partner of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were looking to build a new website for strategic value proposition rebranding and digital marketing.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North took part in a full marketing and rebranding strategy process for our company. They also built our website and handled its SEO.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I went through a due diligence process based on the scope of service, their timelines, and pricing. We also looked at the account management team working on the provider's end.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of Straight North's services for the first year will be around $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North around May 2016. Our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The website won't be live until next week, so it's too early to provide any metrics for it.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Our project came in on budget and on time, which are 2 important statistics.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Straight North has a very good process, but it is very regimented.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Filling out forms in order to provide feedback takes out some of the human element needed for collaboration across functional teams. It would be a big help in the future to have more interaction between Straight North's team and the client.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Clients have to have their marketing strategy, branding, and direction for the value proposition fully completed beforehand.

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

SEO and Web Design for Cabinet Maker

"The informal feedback I've received for the site's aesthetics and design has been positive."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North built a new e-commerce website and marketed the website through Google to increase new buyers and provide a professional image.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
Advisor, Cabinet Maker
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North delivered an attractive website that clients have rated highly. They are responsive and good problem solvers.

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 manufacture custom cabinets. The business is entirely brick-and-mortar. I am providing help to the family business, on the website front.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We wanted to increase traffic to the website, thereby increasing our revenue.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North has provided web design and SEO [search engine optimization] services to our company. We're not running pay-per-click advertising.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I have a couple of contacts in Chicago from larger web design companies, whose opinions I value, and who referred me to Straight North.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of Straight North's SEO services will be $24,000 for the first year. The web design had a cost of $5,000, plus miscellaneous photography costs.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the process in May 2016, and worked through the summer designing and developing the website. There were a few delays from our side, but the site went live in August. Our SEO campaign with Straight North is currently underway.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

It's a little early to gauge the SEO campaign, but I've been very satisfied with Straight North's level of service, responsiveness, and with the quality of their team. Straight North has met and exceeded expectations in this regard.

The informal feedback I've received for the site's aesthetics and design has been positive. We've had a kick-off party in connection with the 50th anniversary of the business. Clients, as well as consultants, have all had good things to say about the site.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I've appreciated Straight North's level of responsiveness. They created an action plan and executed on it.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Straight North has a good level of industry expertise, as well as a quality team.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Straight North's main expertise is in SEO. Because of the price point, there were some limitations in our web design. I'd like to see more ability to customize as necessary, although I don't necessarily see this as something negative.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Clients should be as informative as possible in terms of goals and elements they want to be included in the websites. Straight North will likely have a plan for attacking and achieving those goals.

4.0
Overall Score Having the ability to make a few more customizations on the site, even with a slight increase in cost, would have been ideal. Overall, we've been very happy with Straight North's team's level of expertise with the finished product.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Straight North's project manager was outstanding, and she made sure to respond to phone calls and emails as soon as possible. She constantly let us know what was needed from us for the website and SEO campaign.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There were no surprise costs or fees, and Straight North worked with us to ensure that we'd meet the expected costs for the design. SEO has a flat fee, which is fine as well.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I was very happy with the web design and Straight North's responsiveness and expertise. Our platform has some limitations, but this is understandable considering our price point.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO and Web Design for Metal Coating Company

"Straight North has done a very good job, and the team has been responsive to any questions I had, usually answering within a couple of minutes."

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

Straight North was selected to build a new website and transform the client into a national player with greatly increased online sales.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Charleston, South Carolina Area
Marketing Manager, Metal Coating Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has produced many new customers and received positive feedback for the modern website they created. They provide relevant marketing recommendations.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company offers powder and liquid coating for assemblies, including CARC military painting. I am the marketing and web manager. I am also in charge of internal company auditing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

Our website was built 13 to 14 years ago, but we hadn't done anything significant with it. We were coming from having no online presence, and the goal was to increase sales, not only regionally, but nationally, and grow as a company.  

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North designed and developed our website. We're now in the middle of a pay-per-click campaign and are getting ready to start SEO [search engine optimization] work. Given that we didn't have a presence on the internet initially, we ran a pay-per-click campaign first to boost our presence. This has significantly increased traffic to our website, and it has been very productive.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I interviewed many different companies, obtained referrals, and found that everyone was happy about Straight North's services. We felt that their services encompassed everything we needed, and we really liked Straight North's team, especially our account manager.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of Straight North's services has been around $40,000 for marketing, website design and pay-per-click advertising, for our first year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started our project with Straight North in February 2016, and have been working together since.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We didn't have a presence on any pages, while our competition for powder and military coating was ranking high. We've come to have a position between the 1st and 5th pages for the keywords we're targeting. The website works fantastically. Customers are happy, and we've signed up many new ones. Because Straight North setup our site for SEO from the start, it still works in our favor, even though we're not running an SEO campaign, technically.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Straight North has done a very good job, and the team has been responsive to any questions I had, usually answering within a couple of minutes. Straight North's account manager kept in touch with me constantly when we were setting up the site's design.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Straight North has comprehensively looked at our whole company and made relevant recommendations. Many of the other candidates simply gave us pricing lists and focused our conversations around this area. Straight North told me what they felt would work for our company.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

I would much rather have conference calls with Straight North's team, than simply receiving monthly reports. It would allow me to have a conversation, instead of simply reading data from a sheet.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with RNF Technologies?

I advise clients to trust Straight North. I feel that the company has our best interests at heart, and they haven't tried to sell us on services we didn't really need, just to boost their bottom line.

5.0
Overall Score I'm very happy with Straight North. The value of our product and their customer service have been fantastic. Everything, from design to our pay-per-click campaign, as well as answering day-to-day questions I had, were done in good time.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Straight North our account manager was always on time and accessible. She called me whenever there were any questions.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Straight North was on time and on budget. We've talked about different figures for our pay-per-click campaign, and always came up with solutions within our budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Our website is easy-to-use, allowing me to edit and update anything I want. Also, Straight North's willingness to work with me and do what I want was great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend Straight North to anyone looking for a web designer or a marketing firm.

Digital Marketing for Equipment Manufacturer

"It will take a while for the SEO to take effect, but Straight North's work during the last 2 years have essentially doubled our incoming web leads."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North developed a new website and marketed it online with the goal of lead generation and sales growth.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
VP, Manufacturing Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has provided a double in leads in the past 2 years of online marketing work. They have made some minor mistakes but generally produce positive results.

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 manufacturer of high-shear fluid processors primarily used in the pharmaceutical industry. We work within a niche market, producing high-end equipment for a small number of customers that rely on our expertise. I am the vice president.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

The primary purpose of our website is an information tool for current customers, allowing them to use our tools more efficiently. Our old site was out of date, and we needed a version that would synchronize with our SEO [search engine optimization] efforts.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North designed and launched our website, also providing SEO work for it. We're not using pay-per-click advertising at the moment.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We received a few quotes and selected Straight North mainly because they'd been in charge of our SEO prior to developing our site as part of their work with our parent company. We were able to get a better deal in this way, and Straight North came highly recommended.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The development cost of our website was $30,000. We spend another $20,000 per year on SEO.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working with Straight North for 2 years [since 2014] and have an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

It's still a bit early to gauge the full impact of our website. It will take a while for the SEO to take effect, but Straight North's work during the last 2 years have essentially doubled our incoming web leads.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We are currently looking at improving our own project management skills and plan to use Straight North's approach as a model for our own processes. This speaks highly of how they were able to guide us through the collaboration.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

The communication wasn't flawless. Many of Straight North's processes hinge on personal tasks, rather than the bigger scope. A few things were missed, but this didn't impact our deliverables or experience very much.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Not particularly.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There was one scheduling mishap during which our expectations were not managed appropriately. It wasn't a big deal, but Straight North also wasn't perfect.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Straight North was much less expensive than some of the other quotes we received. The value we received was good.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The work was good, but it did take a few iterations to get right. Our site had a few issues both before and after the launch, which held us back a bit, but the work was good overall.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We did refer Straight North to another business unit. If I was to put my reputation on the line, I'd want my friend to make their own evaluation and look for competitive bids.

Web Development for Industrial Company

"Straight North has been overall helpful and usually found the most economical way to solve an issue."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Jan. 2016 - Apr. 2016
Project summary: 

Straight North revamped an obsolete website and also provided some digital strategy advice to make the website a marketing assett.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
Director of Marketing and Sales, Industrial Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North provides wonderful client service and produced a website that employees and customers love. Straight North has a strong project management process.

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 sales and marketing for a foundry located in Northwest Indiana. Our company pours gray, ductile, and white iron through a shell-mold casting process.  

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

As with most foundries, we employ an old process and technology. Our website was around 10 years old and hadn't been updated for a while. We didn't have a strategic process for our online presence at the time, but we knew that we needed to improve our site. We wanted to get more information on it, as well as make it faster and mobile-friendly. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North has redeveloped our website. They also made a presentation detailing where we stood with our current website and what opportunities there were for it. They showed us the need for SEO but we didn't find it necessary at this point. We're within the beginning stages of understanding the organic search field. A part of this decision had to do with the traffic volume our business has, compared to someone selling t-shirts, for example. It may not make 100% sense to have SEO services in our market, but we will consider it in the future.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We had considered a couple of other options, but Straight North took an interest in what we did as a company and had good follow-up. We wanted to choose a partner that had worked with many company types, not just online ones. It made sense for us to go forward with a company that has worked out very well professionally.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of our project with Straight North has been between $3,000 and $5,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We first discussed the project with Straight North in early December of 2015. We made a proposal relatively quickly and started the work in January 2016. The site was launched in April. The project is complete, but, as with anything online, the site is always changing. Whenever have the need, we contact Straight North and they're usually quick to respond and get us up-to-date.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The nice thing about Straight North's approach was that they understood that we didn't want the full gamut of a website. We will eventually get there, but we just want to be up-to-date with the 2016 timeframe, instead of having a turn-of-the-century type of website.

We were very satisfied with how everything went about. Quite a few internal members have mentioned how much they enjoy the website. A number of customers have also commented on how well the site is organized. They're now able to find information quickly. By looking at Google Analytics, we've seen that there is a nice flow from the homepage to the directions and locations page, or to general information about out products' tolerances.

A handful of leads have come up through our website, mainly due to the mobile-friendly version we currently have. People are educating themselves on our site before making a purchase, so it was imperative for our company to get to this point.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Straight North has been appreciative of the information we've provided from our end. It's been a good relationship, from the initial process to the final launch.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Straight North is a very professional company to work with. They've done a good job of requesting feedback and improving the process. We could tell that this was an important issue to Straight North. I made a point of notifying their management team on what a good job our developer did.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Anything I could mention would be nitpicky. Everything has worked out well with Straight North.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Clients shouldn't hesitate to ask for help. Straight North has been overall helpful and usually found the most economical way to solve an issue. 

5.0
Overall Score I'd recommend Straight North to anyone looking for a website developer. We didn't use them for SEO, but I'm sure that that would be a good experience as well.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We never had any issues meeting schedules or deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There were no additional add-ons to what we initially agreed on. The cost was reasonable, given that the site was started from scratch.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There were a couple of minor errors or typos after the website was completed, but the overall quality was good.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I highly recommend Straight North.

Digital Marketing for Food Production Company

"Straight North optimized our website and we've seen organic traffic and leads grow."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. 2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North works to enhance lead generation and brand recognition for a client in a niche field.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
VP of Marketing, Food Production Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North is commended for growing lead generation and giving clients great access to senior managers that know all of the accounts.

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 contract manufacturer in the food industry, specializing in ingredients for companies which either sell them or further use them in the processing of their products and brands.

I am the Vice President of Marketing for the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

Obtaining sales leads is crucial to us, as well as building visibility, credibility, and messaging. We wanted to ensure that we would be getting inbound sales leads by becoming increasingly visible to our customers in the marketplace. There is a lot of unique messaging which we send out through our website and email using Straight North.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North has provided SEO-focused [Search Engine Optimization] digital marketing. Our website was created by another company, but Straight North optimized meta tags, title tags, and keywords within it, only as it relates to SEO. They also work hard to generate relevant back links and blogs for other sites which is key to driving our success in SEO. Straight North also works with us on the development and execution of customer emails, which we send out about 18 times per year. We take care of social media in-house and don't engage in pay-per-click work using Straight North, although they could do this. We do employ a paid Google Ad Words remarketing tactic with the help of Straight North, but this isn't really pay-per-click.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We were working with an agency which didn't do a great job reporting, although they had a good strategy and messaging. I vetted the best Chicago-based agencies, wanting to work with a local one. We came up with 3 options for digital marketing since this is the only field I wanted to work on. We have around 25 million dollars in sales and 350 employees, so I was looking for a more middle-market firm, one which understood and valued mid-sized companies. The vendor also needed to understand the business-to-business sector, since this is what we do. I vetted the best options online and Straight North popped up, I have also worked with them in the past and they provided excellent execution.. They're client-focused and do a very good job of reporting and laying out plans, allocating resources in order to make sure that plans are executed. I feel confident that Straight North will do the work that they set out to achieve.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of Straight North's services is around $100,000 per year. It's not a huge sum, but this is a comfortable level for us.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North almost 5 years ago and have an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Straight North optimized our website and we've seen organic traffic and leads grow. It all has to do with SEO efforts. Straight North instituted a new reporting system called GoNorth, which categorizes all our calls and qualifies them as online forms. I am able to go in and look up leads in real time, qualifying them myself on top of what Straight North has already done.

We receive a full report from our account manager once a month, allowing us to know exactly what's going on and what Straight North is allocating against. At the end of the day, I've seen our organic traffic and leads grow. Our page visibility is heading in the right direction as well. These are the 3 key areas which we've addressed with Straight North, and every one of them is improving and doing better. Straight North's team has their eyes on the ball.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We have an account manager as a key contact. She has access to all our resources and directs items to where they need to go when we want it. Another account manager from Straight North is focused more on any changes which we need to make on the website, as well as customer emails. Straight North is dialed into our business, and there isn't much that they don't understand. Straight North is always looking for new learnings about what we do which would allow them to do their job better.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Senior management access is unique to Straight North. I know one of their owners, and almost the entire management team, which matters to me. Straight North's team is familiar with the accounts and stays close to the business.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

The only area that comes to mind that would be to establish key goals specific to our business during up front planning.  This was completed after we began execution of the tactics.  Everything done by Straight North has aligned with our goals, but I like to know that, in the case of any hurdles, everyone will have their eyes on the target. Other than this, I can't think of anything that Straight North could do better on a day-to-day basis. Social media isn't one of their services, and we've taken it in-house, but social media is not a part of Straight North's offering and that has worked out fine for us.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

My advice for companies choosing a digital advertising agency is to be sure they are a fit for the agencies core competency.  Straight North will vet this as well because they want to work on what they do best and ensure that they have satisfied customers.  Straight North is SEO and digital-marketing-driven, without delving into social media.  They are middle market and B2B focused.  If a company is looking for an agency with these areas of expertise and emphasis, Straight North will very likely be a great fit.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Strong here.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Straight North stuck to costs.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There are certain pieces which we know best ourselves, so we've had to make changes and revisions to the work. It isn't really Straight North's fault.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO for Real Estate Agent

"I've told several people about Straight North and their new platform already. The site is straight, simple, and very well-organized."

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

Straight North works with a solo real estate agent to create an online brand that makes clients feel like they are working for a large, professional agency.

The Reviewer
 
Sole Proprietorship
 
Greater Chicago Area
Real Estate Agent
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North is commended for producing a wonderful website that improves the client's brand and image. Straight North is recommended for simple but attractive web design work.

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 sell commercial real estate, including office buildings, shopping centers, industrial buildings and car dealerships. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

I wanted to create a new, state-of-the-art website which would reflect a bigger company than my company actually is. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North provided web design for me. I don't rely a lot on search engine optimization, so I didn't request this.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

Straight North's owner is a good friend of mine and he told me about a new platform for small business websites he was developing. I'd been bugging him to help me for some time, but he told me to wait until a new platform that Straight North was working on would be rolled out.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The total cost of my project with Straight North was between $3,500 and $5,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I started working with Straight North in early-July 2016. The site was launched in August, but I plan on making some tweaks to it.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I've told several people about Straight North and their new platform already. The site is straight, simple, and very well-organized.

I have gotten extremely positive feedback. The site is still new, so it hasn't made an impact on my business yet, and it's difficult to gauge its impact in general. The purpose of having a website was to have my name online. More importantly, I can include a web address on for lease or for sale signs, which allows clients on my website to obtain information on the property they are interseted in.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Straight North had good response time and I only had to answer their questionnaires and follow-up on the designs. The process developed by Straight North is efficient and simple to operate.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Straight North's team was dynamite. They went beyond what I thought would be done. The design process was simple, which was important to me. Every time that Straight North came up with something, it was very good.

I was shown samples of the new platform, but Straight North hadn't worked in commercial real estate until that point. I was a little skeptical, but Straight North managed to pull it off. Looking at my site, someone would think it was made for a big company.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

I don't think so. I'm sure that I'd be giving the exact same feedback if I didn't know Straight North's owner.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

I would confirm to any client that they made a good choice in working with Straight North.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Straight North met every deadline. I was the one to delay the process.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There was never an issue of additional work costing more.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They were great.
Verification

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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