Digital marketing is a bit of a catch-all phrase to cover all the services we offer. There are likely all sorts of definitions, but in our particular case it covers anything based online. This includes:
Analytics and conversion rate optimization
Content creation and marketing
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and while there are many detailed explanations, the best one we can think of is “making things appear higher in Google (or any other search engine)”. In our case, we also break SEO into on-site and off-site SEO.
On-site SEO works on things on your own site that will help search engines understand what you do and find all the pages on your site. Off-site SEO is concerned with creating links back to your site in order to help demonstrate relevance and popularity to Google.
It is obviously more technical than that, but we reckon these are good summaries.
What sorts of businesses do you work with?
We have experience with and work with businesses of all sizes, from local companies and start-ups to national and multinational brands. We have experience of working with companies in all sorts of sectors, from software companies and insurers to local plumbers and photographers.
How much do you charge?
All our projects are completely bespoke, so it is difficult to give exact figures. At the moment we work with companies who have budgets ranging from a few hundred pounds per month to a few thousand. Rather than having a minimum amount, we adjust our strategies, volume of work and timescales based on the available budget.
We can also adjust the approach we take depending on how much involvement our clients have. If you are happy to implement suggestions yourself (after a proper explanation), it will reduce the overall project cost.
Furthermore, if you have a service we may have use for, we are happy to trade skills if possible.
Can you guarantee results?
Nobody can guarantee results in digital marketing as there are too many variables, especially with SEO, as Google’s algorithm is a secret. What we can do is point to a highly successful track record across all sorts of sectors and put you in contact with some of our clients if you want to see the kind of results we can produce.
Also, trust us when we tell you that we aren’t happy with results unless you are!
How will you report and how do we know what you'll be working on?
At 31, we like to keep our clients up-to-date. We send monthly reports outlining performance, as well as work completed and upcoming work. In addition, we will also show you how to use Analytics and set up appropriate dashboards so you can keep track of performance yourselves.
We also provide action lists detailing all the areas we believe need working on, with appropriate due dates.
If that isn’t enough, we also will be in regular contact and if possible will spend time in your office working alongside you.
How will we be able to contact you?
We don’t do account managers at 31; all our clients have our direct contact details, including phone (landline and mobile), email and social networking accounts. What’s more, we can arrange regular calls and visits to make sure you’re always up-to-date with the project.
Why do you always talk about Google, there are other search engines?
In the majority of countries in the world Google has the highest search engine market share. This is especially true in the UK, where its market share is regularly over 90% of all search traffic to sites. As a result, we tend to spend most of our time working on optimizing sites for Google.
Luckily though, a lot of the tactics we use will have a similar effect in the other search engines.
If we work work in countries in which other search engines are dominant, we will tailor our approach to make sure you get the best possible results.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click, and is a phrase used to describe the paid advertising model available to companies on sites such as Google (the results at the right or top of the normal search results). The name comes from the fact you only pay for the advertising when someone clicks on it.
It is commonly used to refer to Google Ad Words, but could equally describe Bing Advertising, Facebook Advertising or any other kind of online advertising where you pay per click.
Do you only use Google AdWords?
While the majority of our PPC clients will make use of AdWords, it is not the only advertising platform and certainly isn’t always the most effective. At 31, we also have experience using all sorts of PPC services, such as Facebook Advertising, LinkedIn Advertising and Paid Stumbles, to name a few.
We will help you find the correct advertising platform for what you’re trying to achieve.
Appearing at the top of Google is all about money isn't it?
Contrary to popular belief, ranking first in Google has nothing to do with money! Put simply, you can’t pay to be first. While large marketing budgets help when it comes to SEO, as you can do more, it doesn’t guarantee results. More specialist smaller sites or sites creating great content can often outrank bigger companies.
All the search engines do offer paid advertising models, where you can pay to appear higher in the paid results, but these have no impact on the natural search results.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing has been around for decades, but more recently has been used in the digital marketing world to mean creating content for either on-site or off-site use in order to gain links, social shares and traffic.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO focuses on achieving results in location-based searches, for example, “restaurant in Oxford”. These types of searches are becoming a lot more frequent and often result in a map being displayed in the search results. There are some very specific tactics that can be employed to affect performance in the location-based search results.
Do you do social media?
In a word, yes! However, we generally only act as consultants, as it is much more effective if internal teams are used to speak on behalf of a company. This is because internal teams will be much more familiar with the company, products, tone and customers.
At 31, we will happily give training, come up with topics or promotions or find the best social channel for a client to use.
Do you have minimum lengths contracts?
While we do use contracts and we like to have long-term projects in place, we are happy to work on short-term or even rolling monthly contracts. We generally prefer to have longer agreements in place, as it helps us with long-term planning for both our projects (we can use tactics that may take a couple of months to implement, but will give much better results), as well as making sure we always have enough staff to cover all our clients effectively.
Do you stop work as soon as all the budget is used each month?
At 31 we are passionate about what we do, the results we want and the service we give our clients. On occasion, and as long as we have the time free, this means that we may get carried away and overwork for our clients. The great news is that we never charge for this, as we are doing it because we want to!
There are some times where if we are at a critical point of a project we may also transfer time from future months (if required) or contact a client to see if they want to add additional budget. At no time will we be watching the clock and downing tools as soon as the time is up. If we mistakenly underestimate the time required, that is our fault not yours and we will complete the work anyway!
What are your payment terms?
In most cases, we invoice on a monthly basis with 30-day payment terms. For certain projects we may require a proportion of the payment upfront or for it to be fully covered by the clients; for example, building new sites and payment for PPC spend.
We always agree payment in advance of a project being started, and any changes in budget will be fully communicated and agreed in writing in advance.
Can we come and see your offices?
You are more than welcome to come and see our offices, or come and spend some time working with us on your project if you need to. We chose our offices for function rather than the fact that they are pretty, so please don’t expect Google-esq surroundings (although they are quirky)!
As we don’t have an official meeting space in our office, we tend to hold meetings away from the office or we visit our clients. But don’t worry, we don’t charge for room hire or travel.
What locations do you cover?
While we love to work with local companies, especially in the Oxford area, and be involved in our local community, we will take on clients anywhere in the world. We are especially keen on client visits to hot and sunny places!
In all seriousness, distance may affect our ability to spend as much face-to-face time with a client who is further away than a local client, but this doesn’t mean that we won’t visit, and it won’t affect the performance of your campaigns. We will also schedule regular Google+ hangouts or other video conferences so you still get to see and speak to us regularly.
How long will it take to see results?
This is another tough question, as all projects are different and timescales may often be out of our control (for example, a client’s developer may have no time to work on our recommendations). Our stock answer is that within the first 60 days from the start of the projects, most, if not all, clients will have seen a noticeable improvement.
At 31, we always like to sort at least some quick win items first so that the project starts to pay for itself almost immediately, so most clients start to results quicker than that.
Will you remove links if we stop working together?
One of the common horror stories we hear from prospective clients is that their current/old agency is threatening to remove links if they leave. We would never think of doing this, if for no other reason than it would be staggeringly unprofessional and immensely time-consuming. All work conducted during the project would have been paid for and would remain in place*, including all links built.
Furthermore, we never use link networks or place links on sites we own or control. This means that link removal would only ever be done by the owner of the site, or if for any reason a client asked us to remove a link (although this could only be done at the discretion of the site owner).
* From time to time, links created by 31 may be removed for various reasons by the site owners, for example a site removing old content during a redesign or being permanently deleted (these things happen even to the biggest sites). While we take care in choosing where to place a link, we cannot be held responsible and will not guarantee they will not be removed by a third party.
What qualifications do you hold?
Due to its nature, there are relatively few qualifications available within the digital marketing industry. However, at 31 we are Google Analytics and AdWords qualified, as well as being Marin Certified.
As far as possible, we will always try and use relevantly qualified third parties in the event we engage them for work; for example, copywriters who hold relevant copywriting diplomas or topic specific qualifications.
Can you provide references?
Yes, we have a number of clients who have agreed to be contacted by potential clients in order to give feedback on our work and service. We will happily arrange an introduction.
We have a Google penalty, can you help?
We certainly can. Google penalties are becoming increasingly common and increasingly visible within Google Webmaster Tools. While we have never had any clients penalized for work we have carried out, at 31 we have experience in helping a number of sites recover from penalties.
What software do you use?
At 31, we have a number of software licences for industry-leading tools. We tend not to use a single tool or a standard set of tools, as it is much better for us to use the best tool for a job, rather than just the one we happen to have access to.
If you need a full list of tools we have access to, please drop us an email and we will be happy to provide it.
Do you work with agencies?
Yes, we will happily take on certain tasks for other agencies. We are actively looking to engage with web development agencies who may be interested in offering our specialist services to their clients and vice versa.
Do you outsource work?
We do, but this doesn’t mean that we are delegating responsibility for tasks or using cheap labour. At 31, we believe that to create something exceptional you have to use the best resources available. While we would love to be experts in absolutely everything, it isn’t always possible. We have developed a trusted set of expert suppliers whom we are confident can produce work to the standard we require for our clients.
The type of work we commonly outsource would be content writing to specialists in a particular field, photography and videography or specific web development tasks.
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