Nope, we’re not talking about actually painting. Neither does this reflect on the argument whether SEO is art or science. So what do we mean by ‘we don’t paint by numbers’?
It means that every client is different. They have different goals, aspirations, resources and a whole multitude of other factors.
If we approached each project or campaigns the same, the results would be pretty darn average. Would it still work? Yes it would but as we explained in our brandname blog post, we’re not set up to achieve average.

Caveat: We Still Need Structure

Is everything we do completely customised? No.
If you go to Saville Row to get a bespoke suit, it will still likely have arms, lapels, a liner and buttons. If you get a custom motorbike built, it’s still going to have and engine, wheels, handlebars.
Our campaigns and projects have a fundamental core structure. It’s critical for success. It allows both intra and inter team transparency. It acts as a blueprint of sorts meaning that the campaign or project flows accordingly. The structures of both our website projects and the SEO are comprehensive. They ensure that we miss nothing, that we deliver on ours and our client’s expectations.

It’s our approach to each task that is not formulaic.

Straightening the line

Our job is to create an environment within which our clients can engage with searches. We described this in our brandname article, where we look to spread a digital web of sorts.
We also want to clients to utilise us as specialists. Through doing so, they should be able to achieve the fastest possible route to success. It is our belief that formulaic projects and campaigns lack the flexibility needed. They create roadblocks through adherence to a structure. Remember, structure is not bad. We look at how we can make it more flexible for the good of the project or campaign.
A few examples may help to provide context:

A lot of SEO campaigns will follow a set course. Certain tasks will become active when another is complete. That works in theory until we find bottlenecks in the workflow. Technical work might be taking longer to implement, hindering future work. Sign off on brand tone might be struggling for sign off.
There are two scenarios that occur as a result. The client continues to be billed for work that is not completed. Or a backlog of work mounts up because both parties are working to a set sequence of tasks.
In this case, we need to adapt. We must be more flexible. It might need a more creative approach to gain sign off on brand tone. In another situation it could mean that we switch focus. Remove technical SEO from the workload for the next few weeks and devote it to link building. In others it might mean working with the marketing manager to evangelise why the technical SEO is so important. This could help to gain internal buy in and speed up the process.
Our prioritisation is under constant review for each client. How do we find the most direct route, given the circumstances? What can we sacrifice and what should we fight for?

Making content work harder
We’re going to be tackling this very large subject at a later date, but for this article it provides a great example. Read anything on content creation for SEO and you’ll hear that you should create regular content. It’s true, it has benefits, but it can be misleading. Some SEOs will prioritise regular content over what Google actually advise.
At Catchworks we don’t approach content the same way. We don’t focus on quantity or regularity. Instead we prioritise what content will work to capture searchers. What content is going to earn links. What content will benefit the conversion funnel. The quantity and regularity is a by product of working with us, but it isn’t the most important aspect. Every piece of content should serve a purpose, both for SEO and conversions.

Why is it important to us?

We’ve only provided two examples above. In addition, there are agencies out there already approaching prioritisation and content this way. We’re not denying that. Where we look to differentiate is our ability to have a ‘we don’t paint by numbers’ ethos at our core. If we approach all we can (within reason) with this philosophy, our clients receive better work. Higher quality work delivers better results.


It seems pretty simple. The reason we’ve decided to hold it at our core is because of growth. We’re not ashamed that we want to grow as a business. Otherwise we would get a more secure job at a bigger agency.
This is the big question. Is the business scaleable when so much is tailored to the client? Well, yes.
‘Scaleability’ is a very popular term when talking about business growth. We’ve already addressed the fact that there is still structure in our processes. This is part and parcel of having a business. We want to find the middle ground. We don’t want to lose our ethos of being specialists as it will benefit the types of clients we work with. It will also influence the fees that we can charge. If we keep our ethos we may not grow as quickly, but it will be sustainable. We avoid a dip in the quality of our work, hire better people and get better results. It might put a cap on our headcount, but it will develop longer term relationships. We’ll also have more fun doing it. Factory work sucks, we’re not a factory.
As a final point, it means that critical thinking is required at all stages of the campaign. It means that reports are not simply churned out, they are used as an opportunity to audit our own work. Reports don’t become a necessary chore. They become a reminder to adjust the strategy, be flexible and spot new opportunities. It means that we don’t have rely on analytics platforms to pump out numbers. Of course we use them, they’re great, but they miss things. As specialists delivering high performance, we shouldn’t be missing things.
We’ll leave it at that. We hope it makes sense and conforms to our brand ethos.
We don’t paint by numbers.

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