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Why You Should Stop Focusing on SEO

Raleigh business owners today know that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a critical part of people finding their business online. Online, of course, is where most of us search for products and services.

But things are changing, and The DofM has changed its SEO program to go with that. Here are several reasons why we’re not focusing so much on what you might think of as SEO.

Ranking No. 1 is more difficult. We work hard to improve your rankings for a variety of keywords, and we’ve successfully put businesses on the first page of search results. However, this is more and more difficult due to the competition. Let’s be honest: the companies spending thousands of dollars (or more) per month on SEO are going to rank higher. They have full teams dedicated to creating content, improving on and off-site optimization, writing guest posts, and more. While we do all those things, we do them on a smaller scale.

Search is more local than ever. While it’s more difficult to rank No. 1 on highly competitive terms, you want to focus your audience more anyway. Brick-and-mortar and service-based industries are becoming hyper-local; people want to stay closer to home. The result is that a search for “Raleigh Plumbers” is not going to have nearly the same ROI as a search for “Plumbers near Cameron Village.” Also, users are becoming savvier; they know that the latter is going to give them a better result.

You want to rank No. 0, not No. 1. Furthermore, take a look at the search engine results page (SERP), and you’ll notice something: the website listed as the first organic result is more than halfway down the page. Above it: advertisements, maps, and general information google provides. This is known in the industry as “position zero.” That’s where you really need to rank to be at the top. You’ll hear us talk about getting on maps a lot, and that’s why!

Improving rankings overall increases leads. Business owners in Raleigh need more leads. We’ve noticed that even moving your website from its dreadful ranking on page 20 to page 10 makes a difference and results in more calls and website visits. Marketing’s job is to increase the number of leads, whether that’s phone calls to your business, visits on your website, or some other measurement. While we still use the term SEO a lot, we’re now referring to a lot of this work as “local online marketing,” because really, that’s what it’s all about.

Local Marketing, Not SEO

Our local marketing program is always evolving. Lately, we’ve made a few changes to it so that we make sure we’re helping you grow. For example, we’ve added the following:

Photo credit: SEOPlanter via VisualHunt / CC BY

  • Local Competition Analysis – A local competition analysis can make or break a local marketing campaign. By analyzing your competition, we find the most important things they are doing to achieve results.
  • Google My Business – Forget Google+, the social network no one used. Google My Business is not the same as Google Places, either. This is Google’s new way to make sure your business is listed properly, with the right terms, office hours, and contact information. Our efforts include page setup and optimization. Because Google allows customers to submit potential edits, we also monitor your page for unauthorized changes.

These additions don’t mean we’ve stopped using many other SEO tools, whether it’s legitimate link building, keyword research and tracking, citations, review monitoring, and more. If you need to increase leads for your business, contact us to learn more.