HubSpot vs. Search Engine Optimization Services

Stifel Marcin is a full service advertising and marketing agency located in central Connecticut. Online marketing is one of our major focuses areas, with efforts that include web site design and development, e-marketing, email blasts and search engine optimization.

We've heard a lot about HubSpot these days – and even know some companies that are HubSpot re-sellers. We've also pulled clients out of HubSpot and created a custom search engine optimization packages based on their needs.

HubSpot vs. Search Engine Optimization Services

HubSpot has done a great job of marketing themselves – LinkedIn posts, advertising, developing resellers, etc. The basic idea behind their service is okay, but the problem is, for most companies, its transition to their real world needs just doesn't work in the long run.

Problems with HubSpot

1. It can't ask why? HubSpot uses a series of algorithms and search engine traffic analysis to automatically generate its suggested keywords and phrases. The problem is it can't determine if you should use those phrases.

Example: A client that repaired servo motors came to us and said that HubSpot "seemed" to be working, based on traffic to their web site. When we reviewed their site activity, the third largest keyword traffic source was "servo motor types". The time on site and number of pages visited were low for visitors from that phrase, and the bounce rate high. Why? That keyword didn't make sense for the client's goals or the search engine user's goals. The client wanted people who needed repairs, and searchers were looking for replacement motors and researching differences of motor types.

In the process of a new web site design, we pulled the optimization away from HubSpot and created a custom SEO package focused on the client's goals and monthly budget. We worked to eliminate the "servo motor types" phrase from the content, removed it from the target keyword list, and helped to refine the visitors that were going to the site. At the end of the first two months the site visitors count had fallen slightly (less than 1%), but the visiting traffic was more qualified.

2. It can't think like your customers. All HubSpot does is generate keywords and create a system, sort of like a Content Management System (CMS), to help you plug in your phrases into your files. It doesn't think about your content - what you are saying, why you are saying it, and what messages are most important to site visitors. Are there unique benefits that make a customer choose you over a competitor? What information do people need to know quickly in order to make an informed decision? Good search engine optimization is more than just plugging in keywords.

3. It can't fix your problems - but it can make them. Good search engine optimization means having a site that can be easily indexed by a search engine. Engines typically read only so many lines of code – not only what you see on your page – but the "source code". If you've got embedded style sheets, outdated code, excessive code or little code (maybe like in a Flash-heavy site) the engines view your content as less important. HubSpot also doesn't improve your site load time – another (and increasingly) important factor in SEO - or fix errors in your site's coding that are a result of browser updates.

Clean code and good content are the two biggest factors that contribute to good search engine optimization.

4. Content is king. HubSpot, again, just generates keyword phrases and gives you places to plug them in. Based on its suggestions you might add a page or article specifically targeting that keyword, but its still "sprinkling" keywords.

Good SEO is about all the ingredients. We don't want "sprinkled" keywords – we want a rich cake full of keywords. Our search engine optimization services work to develop a list of focus keyword phrases and then integrate those phrases into a web site in a way that is visible to engines, and still provides clear access to the information that your site visitors want. Content needs to consistently deliver for Google, and it takes constant tweaking of the ingredients – to continue the "recipe" metaphor – to achieve good, consistent, search engine optimization results.

5. You have to do all the work. One of the most common comments we hear from clients is that they just don't have time for web site optimization. It literally takes hours every week or month to keep up with search engine standards, review site activity, review rankings and determine what changes need to be made and monitored to keep your site ranking at the top.

HubSpot can't help you here. It spits out the keyword suggestions and gives you the tools to plug them into your existing site, but it leaves it up to you.

The Difference of Dedicated SEO Services

Stifel Marcin works to learn as much as we can about our clients' businesses, and we apply this knowledge to our search engine optimization efforts. In all of our advertising and marketing services we try to work like a seamless extension of our clients' companies, and our SEO services are a great demonstration of how we take the work out of SEO. We see SEO as part of "the big picture".

Our SEO services are custom-tailored to our clients' needs and budgets. We work with our clients to get the right keywords and develop the right content. We handle all the code, make updates and changes, and make recommendations to help you stay at the top. Clients receive quarterly reports showing target phrase rankings and a site activity review, as well as recommendations for new content and an outline of future efforts we plan to complete. We make search engine optimization clear and understandable.

A SEO Company that Delivers

Interested in learning more about our search engine optimization services? We can review your existing site, or quote efforts in addition to a new web site design and development, as well as discuss the ways we can help. At Stifel Marcin – it's our business to help your business grow.


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