How Most SEO Companies UTTERLY FAIL At Local SEO (And Everything Else)
The average Budding SEO Marketing Guru reads a few articles on the internet and thinks that he can become an SEO guru in no time.
Becoming an SEO guru seems like an amazing proposition. You get to charge clients loads of money for stuff whilst relying heavily on automation and wizardry. The revenues are scalable, recurring and doesn’t everyone make it seem easy?
Well, let me tell you a couple of things.
- It’s easy enough to do well at SEO.
- None of the above is actually going to work out for you with that attitude and experience
Not one for contradicting myself for too long, let’s get into the subject at hand and I’ll give you some powerful advice.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What most budding SEO gurus do wrong
- How to approach SEO – specifically local SEO – correctly
I won’t even charge you anything, even though this advice is worth a ton.
Why Most SEO Companies FAIL HARD At Business (Not Just SEO)
Let’s say you’re a budding SEO marketing guru. You’ve heard that you can charge a million dollars a week for running some diagnostic tests and then doing some backlinking. You’re looking to take the next step.
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Chances are, you’re looking into a niche that’s local (them actual business-folks don’t know about technology, after all!) and has a lot of potential.
Inevitably you’re going to pick restaurants, dentists or something similar. That’s because everyone does.
So you think to yourself; “What do I give these businesses?”
You realise that an SEM Rush subscription is $200 a month.
Then some content costs $5 from Fiverr.
And your buddy on the article said he gives people an SEO analysis and eight articles and sets up their Google listing.
So you put together your SEO Package to sell to customers, and you charge $200 a month for it.
Then you go on Reddit and ask, “I’m a marketing company. How do I get customers?”
Then you maybe email some restaurants and say, “Hi. I’m a marketing company. For $200 a month we can get at least 1000 visitors to your website. Please email for more information.”
You sit and wait, and after six weeks you haven’t heard anything from anyone.
You probably hop on Reddit again to talk about how SEO is dead.
Let’s see why you fail.
Businesses Don’t Care About The Gadgets And Gizmos
Let’s say you approach a business with an offer of “targeted visitors to your website.”
A restaurant doesn’t care about targeted visitors to their website, do they?
Nor do they care about SEO optimization or fixing meta-headings or good content for a longtail back linking strategy.
Your first step is to think about what your target market actually wants. This is not in the context of “what you want to give them” or even SEO. SEO is the method you use to give them what they want.
Remember the three rules I bang on about endlessly:
- Find a need that your target market has
- Provide a service that answers their need
- Do it on time to a higher standard than your competition
Your customers for local SEO don’t want traffic.
What do they want? Answer this question first because you can’t read the next section until you’ve got the right answer.
They Want More Customers
How is your SEO company – sorry, let’s get it right – how is your marketing company going to use SEO to deliver more customers to a person’s restaurant or local business?
Don’t give me vague answers like “content marketing and emails” because that’s dumb.
I want you to follow the path of a prospective customer. What do you do that’ll help a person buy from a site, and how do you prove that you’ve done it?
Or, how do you take customers that the business already has and make them spend more money?
I’ll give you a big clue right now:
Stop thinking of your company as an SEO company and start thinking about deliverable outcomes. Deliverable outcomes like:
- More reviews
- Higher visibility when people search (ESPECIALLY IF THEY AREN’T LOCALLY OPTIMISED)
- Retargeting old customers/lapsed customers etc.
Are these things doable with SEO? Yes.
Are they a purely SEO thing? No.
But they don’t need to be and you’d be better off not taking a pure SEO approach because it’s unlikely you’ll sell your service to your target market and it’ll be less effective.
Good marketing is holistic marketing. It occurs across multiple channels.
So, the above is a quick guide to building a local SEO service or a beginner SEO business. Let’s talk about selling it.
Selling Your Local SEO Service
If you’ve put two and two together already, you’ll see where this is going.
You sell what the customer needs and use the tools available to you to deliver that.
You aren’t an SEO service. You’re a marketing service that gives your business customers. Even if you use SEO.
No company wants SEO. They want the benefits of SEO.
The benefits of SEO are essentially higher visibility and more customers. That is what you’re selling, and that’s what you’re selling the service as.
If you cannot do this, then your service isn’t good enough yet. If you can’t guarantee those results, then the rest is inconsequential.
When the thought of a potential client asking you, “Why would I do this?” terrifies you, then you haven’t got a good service yet. Don’t worry… most of your competition don’t have a good service either.
You can’t go to a dentist and say, “We’ll increase your search visibility by using keywords in the meta-description.” They won’t understand, won’t care and won’t hire you. And despite what a million whining freelancers would say, that’s not their problem. It’s yours.
You either haven’t got the service right or you haven’t got the pitch right. Probably both.
Most people fail at online business, and most SEO companies fail at actually providing decent SEO. Strangely, they all jump into local SEO because they think that small companies are idiots who’ll be bamboozled by the technology and just rush to open their wallets.
This is incorrect – and it’s arguably tougher to do local SEO because the companies are smaller, have smaller budgets and getting people to say, order more food via a website is trickier than getting them to download an ebook.
Needless to say, it all comes back to the basics.
Find out who your target market are. Find out what they want. Work out a way to give it to them using the tools you have available. Be better than your competition.
None of those things are tough, but you have to make sure you do the right things and not the wrong ones.