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From Stagnation to Success: The Remarkable Journey of an SEO Agency

198.33%

Increase in Revenue

153.11%

Increase in Profitability

125%

Increase in CSAT Score

*Results achieved in 24 months

NOTE - To honor the confidentiality agreement, we refer to the featured SEO agency as "abc.com" in this case study. Our partnership with the client is bound by a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) preventing the disclosure of their identity.

Overview

abc.com, a leading SEO agency faced a challenging period of stagnancy in its revenue growth. Launched in 2013, they scaled from Zero to $3 mil in 3 years (2013-2016). But what followed was two consecutive years of being stuck at the same revenue level.  By 2018, their ARR had not budged from $3 million, raising doubts about their ability to achieve their growth goals of 200% year on year.

  • 2016 ARR: $3 million
  • Stagnant Revenue for 2016-2018: $3 million
  • Target: 200% increase in sales YOY

The Challenge: Accelerating Sales & Improving Client Satisfaction Rate

abc.com was determined to achieve an extraordinary 200% increase in sales within just one year (2016-2017). However, they faced difficulties in reaching this goal due to:

Time-Consuming Process

The existing workflow at abc.com  was characterized by a time-consuming and inefficient process that involved many manual steps and relied heavily on the SEO strategist which limited the number of clients each strategist could handle effectively. The process consumed between 30 to 40 hours per client per month of a strategist, and a strategist could not take up more than 3-4 clients a month.

Restricted Scalability

Due to the time and resource-intensive nature of their existing processes, abc.com found it challenging to scale their operations to meet their ambitious growth target. Adding more clients meant hiring more people, which would have further exacerbated the existing bottleneck. This restricted scalability hampered their ability to tap into the full potential of the market and maximize revenue.

Inability to Attend Clients

As a consequence of the time limitations and resource constraints, abc.com struggled to provide the level of attention and service that clients expected. To overcome this challenge they hired a client success team (additional expense) but they lacked the necessary technical expertise to effectively address client needs. So the client success team would still go to the strategists with client queries. As a result, the already burdened SEO Strategist was forced to handle client queries, putting additional strain on their workload. These circumstances caused significant delays in resolving client queries, leading to frustration among clients.

Consequently, abc.com consistently received low client satisfaction scores (CSAT) of just 4/10, highlighting the urgent need for a comprehensive solution.

Let DWS Handle Your Tough SEO And PPC Tasks While You Focus On Boosting Sales

Process Analysis

To gain a comprehensive understanding of abc.com’s operations and processes, we signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

We began by thoroughly analyzing abc.com’s end-to-end process, from client onboarding to final project delivery. We engaged in in-depth discussions with key stakeholders, including strategists, client success manager, and other  department heads. Each team member documented their daily activities to gain a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Change in Hierarchy

People-Heavy Organization to Optimized Hierarchy

Challenges Faced

  • Limited Strategist Capacity
  • Overwhelming Workload
  • Unhappy Clients

Advantages of New Hierarchy

  • Streamlined Processes
  • Increased Client Handling
  • Delighted Clients

People Heavy Organization

The original organizational structure at abc.com was characterized by a people-heavy hierarchy, resulting in various challenges and limitations.

  • The SEO Strategist, a pivotal figure within the agency, became the central point for numerous tasks, turning into a bottleneck for workflow efficiency
  • The Strategist found themselves inundated with an overwhelming workload. This workload wasn’t confined to strategic planning alone; it extended to day-to-day operational activities. This heavy reliance on the Strategist restricted their ability to take on more clients and projects effectively
  • The agency’s struggle to maintain high client satisfaction was evident. With the Strategist occupied with both strategic and operational tasks, they couldn’t dedicate the necessary attention to client handling. Consequently, abc.com was compelled to hire a dedicated client success team. However, this team lacked technical expertise and often turned to the already overloaded Strategist to resolve client queries, leading to delays in query resolution and further burdening the Strategist which ultimately resulted in low CSAT scores

The Optimized Hierarchy

DWS took on the challenge of analyzing and transforming the hierarchical structure of abc.com to overcome obstacles and drive better operational efficiency.

Here’s how the optimized hierarchy made a difference

  • The optimized hierarchy and streamlined task delegation allowed for clear ownership of responsibilities, reducing delays and improving productivity.
  • DWS took on daunting and time-consuming tasks, allowing strategists to focus on crafting winning strategies and strengthening client relationships
  • The need for a client success team was eliminated as the strategist was able to handle all client inquiries. As a result, response time to client queries improved and overall client satisfaction increased

Process Before DWS Jumped In

Time-Consuming Onboarding Calls

The onboarding process for each client involved a comprehensive 1.5-hour call with both the SEO strategist and client success representative.

Strategist’s Multifaceted Role

SEO strategists played a pivotal role in the process, handling various tasks. In addition to the initial onboarding call, which lasted around 1.5 hours, strategists were responsible for tasks such as keyword research, on-page optimization, creating detailed reports, developing content outlines, and coordinating with both link builders and content writers. Due to a lack of technical expertise of the client success team, they often turn to the strategist to resolve client queries, leading to delays in resolution and putting additional strain on the strategist. This ultimately resulted in customers feeling neglected and led to low CSAT scores.

Limited Client Handling

Due to the multifarious responsibilities, SEO strategists could effectively manage no more than 3-4 clients each month. This limitation severely impacted scalability as hiring additional strategists to cater to the minimum client requirements resulted in decreased profitability.

The DWS Difference

At DWS, we recognized the flaws in abc.com’s process and took proactive steps to transform it.

We developed a set of SOPs that streamlined every aspect of the SEO process, ensuring efficiency and consistency.

Streamlined Automation and Integration

Integration with abc.com’s Project Management Platform, Monday.com

We seamlessly integrated our team with abc.com’s project management platform, enhancing collaboration and efficiency.

Pre-Onboarding Questionnaire

Upon a client’s enrollment, our system automatically dispatches a questionnaire 24 to 48 hours before the onboarding call to the client, so that the client can fill most of the information before the call, allowing for more focused discussions during the actual onboarding call.

Revamp Your SOPs With DWS To Unlock A Smarter Way To Handle Processes And Attain Operational Excellence

Efficient Onboarding

Shorter Onboarding Calls

With improved documentation and information collection, onboarding calls were streamlined, now lasting 30-45 minutes.

In-Depth Insights

Strategist was now able to gather more information during onboarding, beyond what was in the questionnaire, enriching the understanding of the client’s needs.

Scope of Work Creation

The SEO strategist formulates a detailed scope of work right after the onboarding call for DWS. All tasks get automatically added to Monday.com, with pre-set timelines, eliminating manual task allocation.

Revolutionizing Operations with DWS Integration

Enhanced Strategist Efficiency and Client Satisfaction

With streamlined processes, the SEO strategist efficiently manages at least 10 clients concurrently (if not more), leading to higher profitability and significantly improved client satisfaction levels.

Ready to Optimize Your Operations? Partner with DWS to Drive Efficiency and Client Satisfaction

Results

Revenue Growth Over Time

abc.com’s revenue remained at $3 million from 2016 to 2018. After integrating DWS in 2018, revenue surged to 4.65 It continued to rise reaching 8.95 million USD in 2019-2020.

Profitability Improvement

abc.com’s profit was 15% in 2018, hindered by inefficiencies. After implementing DWS’s streamlined approach in 2019, profit surged to 25.6% within a year, reaching 37.8% in 2020. This growth resulted from adopting SOPs, automation, and optimal resource allocation

Client Satisfaction Growth

In 2018, CSAT was 4/10, reflecting poor client attention. With process optimization and personalized interactions, CSAT rose to 8/10 in 2019 and an impressive 9/10 in 2019-2020, showcasing significant improvement.

DWS’s streamlined processes and automation led to remarkable improvements in efficiency, scalability, and client satisfaction for abc.com. As a result, abc.com successfully achieved its goal of 200% revenue growth, increased profitability, seamless scalability  and is now positioned for continued success in the SEO industry.

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