In the beginning of March we visited one of Austria’s leading SEO agencies, .Kloos.
Read below about our experience and how two very different roads can both lead to success for digital marketing agencies!
Why did we go to Vienna, Austria?
At Pizza SEO we have a system of international partner agency visits, drawing on our partners in international projects and BlueAlliance members. The goal behind developing short agency visits is to share knowledge and processes with agencies active in digital marketing and related fields in other European markets.
These exchanges have proven to be of great value to all sides involved. On the last agency exchange three members of Pizza SEO’s senior staff visited Romania. This time around our project management and UX specialist Zuzana Konečníková and I, Florian Tomko – Manager of International Projects, took a short trip across the border.
As Vienna is the capital of our neighboring country Austria, the location of .Kloos was ideal in multiple ways. For one, Vienna is located close to Bratislava and only about an hour drive away. Second, being located and established in the country’s capital, the specialists from .Kloos were able to share various market insights with us about the Austrian business landscape.
The goal of this exchange was to see whether we could share new knowledge with .Kloos and whether .Kloos could share new knowledge with Pizza SEO.
Why did we choose .Kloos?
The opportunity for the agency exchange in Vienna arose from an already established successful collaboration between Pizza SEO & .Kloos. The positive relationship between our two agencies started thanks to a shared client. At the time we were assisting one of our active clients with the expansion into the Austrian market. We were looking for a qualified partner with German native speakers and Austrian market know-how to deliver top-class results for our client. From our ongoing collaboration, we can definitely confirm that with .Kloos we made the right choice for our client.
What did we learn this time?
The in-depth discussions that we held with various members of .Kloos’ agency covered topics such as SEO, PPC, agency processes, talent acquisition, talent retention & sales processes. See below some of the main takeaways from this visit.
In the discussions about SEO processes, techniques and philosophy Zuzana talked to Daniel & Thomas to see how their approach differs from the one at Pizza SEO.
At .Kloos Thomas Kloos – the agency’s founder, Daniel – SEO specialist & Emanuel – SEO Project Manager were actively working on SEO projects. As Thomas also pursues marketing and sales duties of the agency only Daniel and Emanuel function as full-time SEO specialists. Their philosophy is that senior specialists with years of experience deliver far better results to clients than younger inexperienced SEO practitioners. One of the main focuses of .Kloos in SEO projects is the backlink profile of websites. The philosophy they follow in link-building is quality over quantity. Their results have shown that it is far better to generate a small number of backlinks from highly reputable sources than generate masses of backlinks without concrete results. The long-term experience of the SEO specialists at .Kloos was easily noticed when they discussed creative ways on how to contact influencers and how they were able to generate on- & offline PR for their clients in the past.
The size of staff at .Kloos is in a stark contrast to Pizza SEO, where we have five SEO specialists: Daniel Duris – lead consultant and SEO expert, Imrich Petro – Senior SEO specialist & Team leader, Silvia Balejčíková – SEO specialist, Hana Feriancová – SEO specialist and Peter Ondko – SEO specialist. In addition to these five SEO experts, we also have more junior staff who are assisting in executing and implementing several SEO tasks. At Pizza SEO, from our long term experience we can say that this approach has various benefits as it teaches junior staff members about aspects of SEO and more importantly frees up the more senior SEO specialists’ time for strategic aspects of SEO projects.
Besides functioning as our agency’s international project manager, I spend the majority of my time as a PPC specialist managing AdWords campaigns for various domestic and international clients. Therefore, I was quite interested to discuss the processes that Andrea, PPC specialist at .Kloos, was following.
Together with Andrea we compared the types of reports that we deliver to clients, as well as what tools we use to generate these reports.
Additionally, I used this opportunity to share with Andrea which tools we use at Pizza SEO to improve PPC campaign results. Here the main topic of discussion was the type of scripts that we use on a daily basis and what our experiences were with them.
Throughout the discussions we came to the conclusion that our day-to-day activities and general approach in terms of PPC campaigns are very similar. At both .Kloos & Pizza SEO the campaign strategies for clients are set with the input of senior consultants with the most experience. This ensures that the specialists keep the big picture in mind and always put an emphasis on delivering real & measurable results to clients.
Size matters for sure when it comes to company processes. It was easy to see that when comparing Pizza SEO to .Kloos we are dealing with a comparison of Apples and Oranges.
.Kloos has an active team of 5-7 individuals, while over 30 people work at Pizza SEO.
As .Kloos has a small team of experts in place, they typically resolve problems in short stand up meetings, and are flexible to jump from project to project at any given time to resolve the most urgent tasks.
While they are aware of the need to start creating and implementing predefined processes in the daily workflow in the future if they grow in manpower, at this point they are functioning well in their flexible way of tackling the tasks at hand. Everybody is an expert and knows exactly what to do once the tasks are divided onto the people.
At Pizza SEO on the other hand, after a period of strong growth in size in terms of employees we knew that we need processes in place to maintain the quality of our work and team productivity. With the client-centric team structures in place since 2018 and defined processes we are now able to function with a larger employee base.
At .Kloos, Thomas is functioning as the agency’s sales person.
During the talks about Sales & Marketing of an agency with Thomas, we were able to learn how to stand out from competitors during the proposal phase, as well as how to deliver value and a highly professional image of our services to a potential client. It was clear to see that Thomas could rely on many years of experience in the industry, which enabled him to deliver custom offers.
At Pizza SEO, we currently have four people who are involved in the sales process: Andrej Salner – Director of Sales & Marketing, Patrik Bartak – Strategy Director, Filip Med – Sales Manager and I, Florian Tomko – Manager of International Projects. By having multiple people involved in the sales process, at Pizza SEO we focus on using the strengths of the individuals as best as we can. While Patrik & Filip focus mostly on the domestic market and sales offers to clients in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Andrej & I focus more on the development of international clients for English, German, Russian or French speaking clients.
Relaxation with a few brewskis
Our visit at .Kloos wasn’t all shop talk! In the evening, we arrived at our airbnb flat after a long day, took a shower to freshen and warm up. We then headed out to a local Arabic restaurant to grab a bite to eat, before joining up with Thomas and Daniel for the planned drinks. After a tasty dinner, we headed out to the bar where Daniel and Thomas were already waiting for us. Over drinks the conversations were much more informal, giving us a chance to discuss various topics from how to best market an agency, where to find the best talent, how to acquire the best clients and various other topics.
All in all we can say that our short trip to Vienna was a success and that we are already looking forward to the chance to go visit another digital agency in the future.
Do you like the exchange format described here? If you run a digital marketing agency that is not Pizza SEO’s direct competitor, we would be delighted to discuss this and other forms of cooperation!
Until next time!