Rand Fishkin’s contrarian advice about trends in agency services

Rand Fishkin's contrarian advice about trends in agency services
Written by: Karl Sakas
Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin

SEO expert and Moz founder Rand Fishkin recently spoke in Raleigh. During Q&A, I asked him about opportunities and challenges for agencies. Here’s the full video of his talk.

Content Marketing by Itself Isn’t Enough

Rand noted that doing content marketing—by itself—isn’t enough to get results when it comes to search engine rankings:

“I see a bunch of things. One thing that I’ve seen that’s hugely popular is agencies either adopting or moving to a model that’s very content marketing centric.

“I don’t necessarily believe that’s a bad thing, but I think it’s a bad thing if you ignore the fact that content itself—or content plus social itself—may not be enough. That it may not actually move the needle in the ways that your clients or your team, your business needs.

“I would warn people against this idea of, ‘Well, you know what? Google can figure everything out these days. They’re really smart.’

“It’s not that [Google’s] not smart—they are. They’re smarter than they’ve ever been. Absolutely.

But getting content out there and getting shares is not enough. So I think that’s a big opportunity [for agencies].”

User Experience Impacts Ranking, Too

He also shared about the importance of user experience as an agency service:

“The other big one I see is anything around user experience. ‘Cause the Google of today cares so much about user experience. They’re using engagement data in a variety of ways.

“We don’t know all of these ways. But I think [you need to be] helping folks with user experience and making sure you’re looking at the analytics and you’re checking [results].

[For example:] ‘Hey, we put up this new page. How’s the click-through rate? How’s the browse rate? How’s the bounce rate? How does it convert? Does it not convert?’

“That is more critical than it’s ever been because it won’t just predict conversion rate and people moving through the funnel—it will also predict how you rank over time.

Applying This to Your Agency’s Services

Great insights—and different from what many agencies are doing now.

  1. If you’re doing content marketing, are you confirming it’s making the right impact for clients?
  2. If you aren’t providing user experience help, what can you do to expand that—whether through your team or through partners?

Question: What do you think about Rand’s advice?

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