Straight North

7.6

Overall Score

15 User Reviews

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Straight North was founded in 1997 and has offices in Chicago, Illinois, Charlotte, North Carolina, Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC. They are an internet marketing agency who works with businesses in the manufacturing, industrial, construction, business services, health and wellness, computing and technology, logistics, supply chains and the automotive industries. And they are currently ranked #1994 on the Inc. 5000 business list of fastest growing private companies in America due to their three-year growth rate of 198%.

As a society, we should all give back to the community whenever we can and Straight North does just that. They proudly support the San Miguel Schools in Chicago, Wounded Warrior Project and Opportunity International. This is refreshing and quite impressive.

Straight North employs a full-time staff with more than 60 marketing specialists and have earned a variety of awards such as Best in Search Top SEO's of 2015, Clutch Top SEO Consultants 2015 and have been listed on FindTheBest, as well as being a certified Google Partner. And they have a 97% retention rate with their SEO clientele.

Straight North does not disclose their rates publicly. They ask you to contact them for a custom rate quote. This is common in this industry as every business has different goals and needs and there are just too many variables to offer a one-size-fits-all pricing structure.

The Good

  • Variety of services
  • Free SEO audit

Straight North offers a wide variety of internet marketing services.  And they will also perform a free SEO audit to help you determine how effective your current SEO campaigns are and to show you issues that could be limiting your results.  This will also help you make an educated decision about which SEO services you need and which ones you don't.  So let's look at the services Straight North offers and how they can help you reach your business goals.

SEO Services

SEO services, when done properly, will give you the benefit of having what equates to a sales agent working on your business round the clock, free of charge.  And who doesn't want that!  Straight North's strategy consists of keyword research, on-site and off-site optimization and content creation and marketing.  They also provide you with precise lead tracking and validation reports.

PPC Management Services

Throwing together a PPC campaign and launching it without performing the necessary research and due diligence required could end up costing you thousands of dollars or more, if you don't know what you're doing.  Therefore, having a professional manage your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns is highly recommended.  Straight North will do the keyword research and implement only those keywords that will bring you the highest return on your investment.  They will also A/B split-test all your campaigns for optimal performance.

Additionally, Straight North has earned several awards for their top-notch PPC services.  Therefore, you can feel confident about their abilities to raise your ROI, perhaps significantly.  PPC can be a very powerful tool that brings you lots of exposure and oftentimes lots of money.  Therefore, it pays to have it done right!

Email Marketing Services

Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with your audience.  Straight North will provide you with a free email marketing audit.  Then they will setup a high-quality marketing campaign strategy.  From there they will take care of all the design, deployment, list management, tracking and split testing necessary for a successful campaign.

Other Services

Straight North also offers some other services you might be interested in, such as:

  • Display advertising - retargeting, contextual targeting and site targeting
  • Responsive websites (mobile) - web design, web development and Drupal websites

The Bad

  • Transparency
  • Video marketing

We scoured the internet looking for any type of negative feedback about Straight North and their services; however, there wasn't anything.   If they weren't delivering quality services that are working for their customers, there would be plenty of negative feedback out there to be found and there was nothing.

Straight North's website is very thorough; however, they don't give much information about exactly how they will be performing some of their services.  For example, they state that they use an SEO strategy that is in line with social media best practices, but they don't explain exactly what that means.

We would also like to see more information on their website as to whether or not they use video marketing as part of their strategy and if so, how they go about doing that.  Additionally, they briefly mention relationship management, which is a huge benefit for companies who are in need of cleaning up their image.  However, they don't expand on the extent of their relationship management services, or if they offer them at all.

The Bottom Line

Straight North has been in business for quite some time.  Additionally, they don't have any negative feedback on any of the public internet forums, which is even more impressive.  People are very quick to post negative feedback when they don't like something, so the fact that they don't have any negative feedback anywhere tells us that they are performing as expected and their customers are very happy with their services.

We would like to see them update their website to more appropriately portray how they perform their services.  Additionally, we would like to see a little more transparency about whether or not they offer video marketing and to what extent they offer relationship management.  However, in their defense, that is what you hire them to do and therefore it doesn't necessarily have to be explained in detail on their website.  But by educating people prior to them having to make a decision about which services they do or don't need, can be extremely beneficial.  Especially when it comes time to decide which services they actually need.

We can most definitely recommend Straight North for your internet marketing needs due to an extensive suite of services.  However, if you are in need of video marketing or relationship management services, we recommend you contact them for more details, before making your final decision as to whether or not they are the right digital marketing agency for you.

User Reviews

4.4

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  • 10

    Carolyn Pelkowski

    December 6th, 2017 Naperville, IL DETAILS

    Value for your money
    Quality of product or service
    Customer Service
    Company trustworthiness

    Straight North has been our digital agency for more than eight years. During this time, we have received excellent SEO and PPC strategies, implemented a new website on time and under budget, and their industry-leading digital practices have helped us increase our organic web traffic by 17% year over year. We work with the entire Straight North team like they are employees of our own!

    Helpful?
  • 10

    David

    October 20th, 2017

    Over the years we have spent a lot of money on other SEO companies promising quick results that never happened. We have been with Straight North for many years now with website design and SEO. They have proven that they deliver tangible results. Our business has never been better as a result of their work. Straight North has excellent staff and responsive customer service. They took a lot of time to really get to know our business. Hope my competitors do not become clients!

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  • 10

    Eric Schaaf

    October 9th, 2017 Sugar Grove, IL

    I have worked closely with all facets of Straight North for nearly a decade. Their professionalism and creativity are top-notch and they've earned the trust to work on numerous high-exposure projects throughout my organization ($4B global software and services firm publicly traded on NASDAQ). They consistently deliver excellent results and have been a valuable vendor/partner that I can confidently recommend.

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  • 10

    Lou Crosoli

    October 8th, 2017 Hampshire, IL

    As a custom analog to digital archive company, Midwest Productions needed a website that could reach its diverse client base. Straight North helped to develop and launch a site that exceeded expectations and receives compliments from clients every day.

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  • 10

    Ed Konar

    October 5th, 2017

    Straight North did a great job building my new web site. They exceeded my greatest expectations. Great group of professionals.

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  • 10

    Troy Lund

    September 28th, 2017 Schaumburg, IL

    I started doing PEO - Pay Per click marketing 15 years ago and the Straight North team has been a part of that successful marketing tool since the beginning. It is single handedly responsible for more than 50% of our current sales. The PEO campaign has brought in several jobs valued over 100k..... all without the hassle of a sales person. They also built my website to optimize the success of the campaign. Well done to the Straight North team!

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  • 10

    Theresa Wojtalewicz

    September 22nd, 2017 Chicago, IL

    Our association’s flagship publication went 100% digital in 2014. Straight North has helped us tremendously increase the impact and readability of our magazine through their design of our responsive website, which we redesigned with them this year. They have been our design partner for more than a decade, and they’ve taken the time to understand our changing needs. We work with an incredible team there and look forward to our continued relationship with them in the coming years.

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  • 10

    Steven A LeBeau

    September 19th, 2017 West McLean, VA

    StraightNorth has been helping us with our web presence by producing the interface all businesses need! They've been in charge of our website production concentrating on its ease of use, SEO and functionality! I highly recommend this company to all the dentists like me who have been in business for more than 32 years! Enjoy, Steve

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  • 10

    Adressa Collard Executive Assistant Dogs Helping Heroes

    September 11th, 2017 Henryville, IN

    We at Dogshelpingheroes.org love working with Straight North and Ann Hambry. As a non-profit they have been very hepful with our needs and they are always responsive and timely in their replies and help when we have needed to know how to do something

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  • 10

    Masin

    July 20th, 2017

    Straight North has straight taken my SEO game to the top. I'm number one is search results in my town. I can't thank them enough!!!

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  • 10

    kelly merydith

    June 27th, 2017 Los Angeles, CA

    I highly recommend Straight North. I started working with them when my business first opened. They were easy to work with and I felt like they really understood my business. They were professional, yet friendly and honest. Within a couple of months I was #1 in SEO in my town, which made a huge impact on my business. I have even gone back to them after opening more locations because I don't trust anyone else to help me the way they have helped.

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  • 10

    Shawn O'Connell

    June 15th, 2017 Downers Grove, IL

    Straight North was very professional and easy to communicate and work with. Any time we had questions or concerns our contact at Straight North addressed each situation with patience and understanding (especially for those of us who do not fully understand web operations). Everyone we dealt with at Straight North was very accommodating and they created for us an absolutely beautiful website. We had a wonderful experience with Straight North. Everything was very pleasant from the get go. Straight North developed different strategies to make sure we get the most out our SEO and PPC campaigns. The web design team did an amazing job to create what we believe to be the very best Hockey website available.

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  • 10

    Matt Wollersheim

    February 7th, 2017

    I have been a client of Straight North for just 8 months and they have already been able to drastically increase my online lead generation. I have used 2 other marketing companies over the years and neither compare to the type of service and expertise of I have gotten from Straight North. Their team has so much depth that they not only have improved the traffic to my site but also the site itself. We now have a much more professional looking website, that flows better and has been more well received by clients and partners. I highly recommend Straight North to all companies who are in need of increasing revenue.

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  • 1

    DD

    September 16th, 2016 Schiller Park, IL

    Terrible company, don't fulfill their promises!

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  • 0

    Jeff Lane

    August 12th, 2016 Chicago, IL

    I hired Straight North six weeks ago to create the web site for my company. The sales associate Brian was very professional and reassured me that they would do an awesome job. The words were followed up with cool examples and a straight forward on boarding process. I was confident after hiring them that they would do an awesome job based on my experience with their sales staff. Then the work began... I received call after call and email after email from their project manager Ann who just couldn't get the project moving forward. The final straw with her was when she called and notified me that they had used eight hours (at $150) to create the site plan for my web site. So $1,200 to create a word document with the site plan I had already emailed them. When I questioned how it was even possible to take so long and charge so much she responded "we bill what we bill" and the struggle continued. I requested a new project manager. I spoke with Joe one of their managers or partners and he reassured me it would be done correctly and told me he would set me up with a new PM. He never apologized for Ann being rude or for the delays. The entire time I was left to feel like this was all MY fault. Natalie was brought on to finish the job. Natalie was professional, prompt and I thought we had just hit a speed bump with Ann and was hopeful we would get the result I had been promised by their sales staff. Natalie checked in with me prior to starting the web development process and asked if I was OK for them to proceed - YES it had been nearly 5 weeks since we had started and I had been promised a web site within 2 weeks and under the $3,000 they had billed me. I was told we would probably have money left over from the $3,000 I paid initially from the development stage and we could use this money for marketing. If I recall it was 48 hours later I was advised that they were out of money (they had used the full $3,000) and I was OK with that - fine you spent the entire budget but at least we have some results right? NOPE! The website she sent me was a Wordpress template that was literally a copy of my current web site design but somehow worse than my current design. I showed the page to dozens of people who all agreed it was terrible and basically insulting. No one could believe they were trying to charge me $3,000 a single page - especially one that looked this bad. I advised the PM about my disappointment and asked them if they were happy with how it had turned out. They wouldn't even respond completely mum. Then I asked Joe if they would put this site on their homepage as an example same thing no response. The interactions I had with Joe and Ann were terrible. They will make you feel like you are the problem and they will act entitled to your money. The most mind boggling part is that when I told them I wanted my money back they would not return calls or emails. I had to file a chargeback with my credit card company to receive a refund for services not rendered. This company is a complete waste of time in my opinion. There are plenty of other options out there. Now I have to wait to receive my refund from the credit card company and I'm out six weeks of my time waiting for them to deliver. I was referred to this company by a friend of mine and I even referred them to a friend of mine that needed a web site while I was waiting for them to begin on mine. I'm shocked and confused as to how you can run a company like this.

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