What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
When we started with Think Strategy, our search visibility was a little below 4%, but they got us up to about 17 or 18% within six months, which is an incredible pace for moving that needle.
We also keep an eye on our score with HubSpot's website grader so we can see how our performance has changed compared against our competitors. For a long time we were scoring in the 20s (out of 100), but now we're at 57 and our next closest competitor is at least 10 points below us. That score is largely based on traffic, linking domains, and Moz rank, so our improvement there is mostly attributed to the work that we've done with Think Strategy.
In addition to those metrics, we track our Moz score, our linking domains, where we rank by keywords, and then we also keep an eye on standard metrics like visitor traffic and conversion rates. We've seen improvement with all of those, although with those metrics it's sometimes harder to tell what specific action on our end is driving the improvement.
How did Think Strategy perform from a project management standpoint?
They’re incredibly involved and easy to work with. We have bimonthly phone conferences, and then they provide us with business intelligence via email on a biweekly basis. They also send us a weekly roundup of different high-ranked websites that we should submit links to or try to get our content on.
They really emphasize educating their clients, which makes for great collaboration. Our in-house copywriter builds all our SEO content now, and they helped us get to that point by sending weekly emails with notes on specific things we need to do to maximize the effectiveness of our text.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They don't get complacent. Even though we've worked with them for three years and we've already seen significant growth, they're still pushing for new ways to improve our metrics and giving our staff new skills to master. It feels like they're a partner, rather than consultants. That's very different from what I've experienced with previous agencies or freelancers.
Another thing I love about their whole team is they're genuine marketing professionals. We might start a call with a specific focus, but we'll spend extra time discussing event strategy and what works for them or their other clients versus us.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
You can be good at a lot of things, but you can't be great at everything. Think Strategy's CEO explained this to me as "superpowers," essentially, and it's true—every organization has one or two things they really excel at, but they also waste a lot of time and money on things they're bad at. I think organizations that realize this quickly do better in the long run because they outsource their weaknesses to firms that have those strengths. If you're going to hire an outside firm, trust their expertise, basically.
My other suggestion is don't go for the largest agency you can find because you might be assigned to a junior staff member who doesn't understand the vertical relationships, and as a consequence, you won't see the best results. Think Strategy is great in this respect because their other clients are in the same verticals that we are, so their team understands the nuances of what our needs are.