Standing Out, a podcast about sales, marketing, and leadership hosted by Trey Griggs of Beta Consulting Group, recently hosted Nathan Misirian, Founder and President of Autumn Consulting. Beta Consulting is a sales and marketing strategy consulting firm focused on building brands and boosting sales.
The Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA) is a mutual ground for Nathan and Trey. Nathan has been a member of TMSA for over 4 years and has developed countless SEO strategies within TMSA’s tight-knit community to help improve their search engine rankings and as a consequence, propel their business’ reach. Together, they discussed Nathan’s tenure in the SEO space, the value of Google search marketing for transportation and logistics leaders, and get real about what implementing an SEO strategy looks like. Trey asked a series of questions to which Nathan was eager to respond, providing essential SEO knowledge for transportation and logistics companies.
At a high level, what is SEO? How long have you specialized in it?
SEO is an abbreviation standing for Search Engine Optimization, also known as Google marketing or organic search marketing. It is how a brand appears on a Google search when a prospect is searching for your business’s products or services but does not know your company. Does your business show up when searching for keywords related to your business? What about when you search in a specific location or outside of your location?
I’ve been studying Google’s algorithms to help companies rank in search results for over 20 years. The algorithms are the formulas that Google uses to index, organize, and rank websites worldwide.
What is the value of organic search marketing? Why should executives in transportation and logistics and other industries invest in SEO?
Our research with Google has shown that from a business perspective, 75% of prospects trust an organic link over a paid link. Paid search is, of course, a valid marketing strategy, if done correctly.
Ultimately, strong organic search marketing will help your brand stand out in a sea of options. Especially in the transportation and logistics space, where there is significant competition. Appearing on page 1 of organic search results speaks volumes about a brand, its capabilities, and authority.
What should clients expect when implementing an SEO strategy?
One of the most common questions we hear when partnering with new clients beginning their SEO journeys is “How long will it take to start seeing results from our investment in SEO?” Realistically, it depends on the scope of your industry: do you have many competitors, either in general or in your geographic region if you’re a physical service? Is your business green or are you an established player?
Similar to a credit score, longevity and activity matter in search engine page results. The more long-standing your site is, the better that serves your Google rankings. Regular activity — posting quality, fresh content to your blog, for example — is considered healthy and signals to Google that you are a regular contributor within your industry. Over time, this helps build site authority.
Now, don’t let this discourage you. The investment is well worthwhile. Our team at Autumn Consulting partners closely with executives to develop SEO strategies, including Denny Grim, Education Chairman for the TMSA, with specific and attainable goals based on their capabilities, bandwidth, and experience with SEO. We provide regular reporting to track progress against the goals set to ensure client success.
Can you share a couple of actionable tactics here on Standing Out?
In a more competitive landscape, we recommend 2 specific strategies that are part of Autumn’s “secret sauce”. First, we work with clients to find the 3 to 5-word phrases, known as long-tail keywords, that they can successfully rank for on page 1 in a shorter timeline, like an SEO foundation. We see our clients can get on page 1 for at least two of those phrases as soon as 3 months and more typically within 6 months.
Second, for companies with a wider array of services, avoid a “spray and pray” method. Focus new SEO efforts on your lower cost, higher net profit service. This will allow for a faster return on investment.
Tactically, interview your sales team. As those closest to prospects and clients, the insight they share provides a foundation for valuable blog content. Then, once blog posts are SEO-optimized, establish a distribution strategy through owned channels like social media and newsletters. Every link to your website clicked counts toward your SEO ranking.
What is a challenge people typically have in doing SEO? Marketing comes with many nuances as both an art and a science.
Brands need to be willing to partake in creating 1 to 2 pieces of content per month, whether through establishing the audience and goals of the content or providing subject matter expert (SME) interviews. Content creation can be a significant commitment. It’s for this reason that Autumn Consulting not only partners with clients on strategy but on tactical execution as well: we help clients actually write SEO-optimized content to help achieve their goals of ranking on page 1.
The early days of outsourcing are paramount to strong content production: this is your time to establish your brand guidelines and their nuances, and make sure your agency speaks your language.
Finally, contrary to popular belief, SEO is not singularly an IT effort. While successful SEO is dependent on analytics and data science, the necessary work has to happen on the creative side, through a brand’s content marketing. At Autumn, we tend to live on the science part of the equation, which is why we partner with firms like Beta Consulting Group, which might lead with the creative. Autumn is able to carry that ball forward to tie branding with actual search queries to close the gap. We work together to develop powerful marketing strategies for businesses.
Are you ready to further grow your transportation and logistics business’ reach through search engine marketing? Reach out to Autumn Consulting, a Google search marketing firm in Chicago, Naples, and Charlotte, today for a consultation on how your business can harness the power of Google to your advantage.