Kyle is the CEO of Complete SEO, a full-service digital marketing refinery and SEO agency with offices in Denver, CO and Austin, TX. Additionally, he’s also the co-founder of ClinicVitamins.com, a national, online vitamin dispensary dealing exclusively in professional-grade health supplements. A writer by interest and academic training, Kyle has been published on hundreds of industry-leading small business, marketing, and search engine optimization blogs.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? In what ways does that relate to what you do now?
Something related to animals or agriculture. My grandparents used to raise cattle on a 1,200 acre ranch, sustainably harvest the timer, and ran multiple Subway franchises all while traveling the world before it was cool. I’ve always admired their self-reliance, ambition, and that translated into wanting to run my own business.
What steps do you take to ensure that your organization’s activities are in alignment with the company mission, core values, and vision?
My company provides SEO services and we approach each client project like that. We try to be as responsive as possible to clients and over-deliver tight, clean work that moves the needle. I’m not sure if you’d call that company culture, but that is instilled into local and offshore employees.
Name two organizations or well-known business people you admire and explain why.
First, Gabe Newell, because he’s a brilliant, a great businessman, and treats his employees incredibly well. If I hadn’t ended up going down the SEO rabbit hole, I’d almost certainly be involved in the gaming industry. I also admire Home Depot quite a bit. They’re one of the few brick and mortar retailers that haven’t been crushed by Amazon. They’ve made their business model work well on the web and have one of the best digital teams in ecommerce.
What are YOUR main performance indicators? How are they measured and echoed throughout the business?
Client attrition rate and ROI. We rarely lose clients and try to keep our attrition rate as close to zero as possible. We ask clients for quite a bit of money and beyond that, they’re trusting us with most or all of their ad spend, which, in many cases will make or break their business. ROI is a priority and we instill the mindset of “How can we make our clients more money” in all local employees.
What are your top three priorities for the business?
Grow our existing client base, expand into other verticals (affiliate, software, etc), providing our employees with a great place to work and a flexible schedule. Everyone wants to work and live in Austin and as a result, salaries at agencies tend to be lower than other markets. There’s also this idea that butts in seats equals work getting done. We’ve found the giving people autonomy and a flexible schedule results in better work and happier employees.
How do you fight complacency and mediocrity?
Running a services business–especially SEO–can really burn you out. Services are hard to scale and there’s a lot of volatility in SEO. It’s also very easy to get comfortable and complacent once you grow your business to a certain point. I’ve read all kinds of self-improvement books, daily routines of various entrepreneurs, but works best for me is regularly hitting the gym, talking walks when I need to clear my head, and motivational YouTube videos running in the background while I’m working.
What has been the most impactful lesson you’ve learned as a business leader?
The most impactful thing I learned I actually picked up in college. I majored in creative fiction writing. 300 and 400 level classes are 15 people or so sitting in a circle, breaking down and critiquing something you spent a lot of time crafting. You learn not to take criticism and feedback personally, which is something many people struggle with.
What’s the most critical piece of business management and leadership advice you would give your younger self?
Hire employees sooner. I spent years managing droves of marketing campaigns myself and while they worked out, it left me with no time to work on the business and improve process.
How do you create leadership opportunities within the organization?
We have high expectations but give employees a lot of autonomy. As a result, they take a lot of ownership over their responsibilities and lead in those areas.
About Complete SEO
Complete SEO is an Austin-based SEO company that helps small and medium size companies increase top-line revenue through organic and paid search marketing. We focus on providing fully-managed technical search marketing services that are affordable and move the needle. We focus heavily on client ROI and going above and beyond for clients, as well as being as responsive as possible.
As an organization, we take a very process and data driven approach to the services we provide. While every SEO situation is unique, having a very detailed discovery, analysis, and execution process allows us to provide high-quality work that moves the needle for clients in competitive markets at reasonable rates.
Our agency was founded by internet marketing veterans who’ve ranked in some of the most competitive verticals on the web, including supplements, addiction treatment, and software comparison. We have a local team based in Austin and a large offshore team ranging from world-class developers in Eastern Europe to WordPress specialists based in South Africa. Our team is efficient, competent, and most importantly, gets things done.
As a marketing channel, SEO is fairly volatile. That said, we’ve found that as long as you adhere to best practices, continually push, and be agile enough to adjust to search changes, it’s still a very reliable source of traffic and leads. As an agency, we take the stress out of website management and promotion for our clients and as a result, our client attrition rate is incredibly low.
We start by sitting down with a client to learn what they want to accomplish and what they’ve tried in the past. Our team creates a custom package that includes the most effective hand picked strategies carefully designed for the client’s specific situation.
A lot of alleged SEO experts and many site owners are stuck in outdated practices that may have worked in a previous decade, but won’t get results today. While links are still a primary ranking factor in search, Google is continually relying on quality signals like engagement metrics (Android and Chrome both report back to the mothership) to decrease their reliance on link signals, which are much easier to manipulate.
Complete SEO stays abreast of search engine development by obsessively testing algorithm changes. In fact, that is one of their prime goals along with keeping client costs impressively low, and moving sites into competitive markets at stunning speed.
Clients often start after having experienced a sales decline or marketing failures that cost plenty but didn’t produce results. Other clients simply want to improve their market share, increase sales, and nudge up profits.
In any case, our team can get a site on track, moving up, and seeing success with surprising affordability and speed. That’s good news for site owners who rightly recognize their site’s visibility as a key component of doing business.
In addition to Search Engine Optimization, we also provide custom website design, SEM/PPC management, and specialize in WordPress SEO that can quickly improve performance. Visit Complete SEO to learn more or request a free consultation.