As a search engine optimization (SEO) agency, you want to provide your clients with the best possible services.
You want to help them rank for their target keywords.
You want to help them dominate the competition.
And of course, you want to make good money doing it.
But there are some major obstacles in your way. SEO campaigns can take a long time to get up and running.
Economic slowdowns force companies of all shapes and sizes to cut their marketing budget (which, of course, affects their SEO spending).
And on top of that, it’s often difficult to package your SEO services in a way that’s both sensible and cost-effective for your clients.
Today, we have a singular solution to all of these problems: SEO sprints.
One of the biggest problems faced by SEO agencies and SEO clients alike is the overall SEO timeline.
Historically, it’s taken a considerable amount of time and effort to see any meaningful SEO results – and it’s because of threats on multiple fronts.
Forming a marketing strategy required at least a week or two. Google updated its index slowly and (at times) inconsistently.
Developing and publishing content could take weeks. And if you faced significant competition, it could be months before you could emerge as a realistic contender.
All in all, that meant it could take months before you’d even appear in relevant SERPs for your brand – let alone reach the top of them.
This has always been a hard sell for SEO agencies.
How do you convince a skeptical client that they should pay you, consistently, for months at a time, with no immediate proof that your efforts are really working?
This problem is even bigger during times of economic hardship.
Today, businesses are facing threats like inflation, supply chain issues, labor shortages, and lower consumer spending due to market downturns.
Marketing and advertising budgets all over the country are getting the axe – and the slowest, least immediately effective marketing strategies are getting cut first.
SEO sprints offer a solution.
SEO sprints take inspiration from development sprints.
In the agile development world, a “sprint” is a short period of time in which a team commits to finishing a meaningful chunk of work, usually completing an important building block or reaching a noteworthy milestone. It’s a useful way to compartmentalize the entire project – while simultaneously boosting productivity.
Like with ambulatory sprinting, the work is intense and done in a relatively short burst.
In SEO, the “chunk” of work to be completed is usually ranking near the top of the SERP for a valuable, yet attainable keyword/phrase. Instead of gradually churning out new blog posts links over the course of months and across 10-20 keywords, you’ll concentrate all your efforts on a single keyword or phrase for a shorter period of time (usually a couple of weeks).
But just because indexing happens fast, it doesn’t mean that ranking will. Those are two very different phenomena.
This is possible in part because of Google’s faster and more responsive updates. A decade ago, it might have taken months for your hard work to pay off – but these days, you can sometimes see SERP updates (and greater organic traffic) in a matter of hours.
The strategy has also recently become popular because increased competition in the SEO space (along with reduced payoffs for ranking highly, in some instances) is forcing SEO agencies and search optimization professionals to get more creative and strategic. SERPs are no longer a “blue ocean” opportunity, so we must be more precise and focused on the work we’re doing.
Why does this benefit your digital marketing agency?
What makes sprints a more compelling SEO offer than, say, a traditional retainer structure or a la carte service offerings?
There are many benefits to keep in mind:
We’ve gone over the general idea of a sprint.
But how do you actually pursue this work?
The relevance and search volume associated with your chosen keywords do matter, but arguably, the most important variable to consider is competition. In an SERP with entrenched, tough competitors, a sprint SEO strategy may not be worth it. But with minimal competition and the rest of your strategic variables in balance, you’ll have a clear opportunity to rank. Remember, you have a limited timeframe to work with; you need to prioritize keyword targets that could yield meaningful results in a week or two.
Different search terms typically yield different user behavioral patterns. For example, a person searching for “how to increase sales effectiveness” is earlier in the customer journey than a person searching for “sales automation tools.” They’re going to behave differently as a result.
That doesn’t mean you have to exclusively focus on keywords and phrases that are likely to result in a purchase – but you and your client have to understand the behavioral patterns that are likely to emerge in each scenario, and plan for them accordingly.
The difference is the degree of precision required in your strategy. With a traditional SEO campaign, you’re usually doing these activities with several keywords in mind simultaneously, while juggling multiple goals (like generating traffic, increasing brand visibility, etc.). With an SEO sprint, you’re going to focus on keyword research for one keyword, with the clear objective of getting the highest possible ranking for that keyword in the timeframe you allot. Because you’re working under such tight parameters, quality is more important here than anywhere else in SEO.
Keep in mind that you should also optimize the “main” page of your sprint service for click-throughs and user behavior. Capturing attention with a controversial headline, incentivizing clicks with a special offer, and tweaking the layout of your pages to encourage more conversions can all increase the value of your SEO sprint strategy.
This is also an opportunity for analysis and reflection on your end. Did you achieve your goals? Which elements of your SEO sprint were most (and least) effective? What can you learn from this? And how are you going to approach SEO sprints differently in the future? Every positive change moves your sprint capabilities forward.
Are you ready to develop a newer, better, more strategic SEO product for your best clients?
Do you want to see faster, more impressive results with every paid order?
SEO sprints could be the answer. But they’re hard to orchestrate and plan alone. That’s where SEO.co comes into play; with white label services, flexible plans, and expert SEO consultants on standby, we’ve got everything you need to get started and perfect the art of SEO sprints. Contact us for more information today!