SEL on ‘Local Organic Domination’

Brands, verticals and SMB aggregators can play in the SEM space but it’s often difficult for individual small businesses to be competitive in local search ads. The place where most SMBs will play is in the organic results.

Palore’s Hanan Lifshitz has written up a kind of case study for a New Orleans Chiropractor — who just happens to be a client of Will Scott and Search Influence — in a piece for Search Engine Land. It’s a good example of how optimization can be dramatically effective for a local business. It’s also great promotion for Will.

There’s no advertising here per se (although there is a different local advertiser at the top), but the doctor mentioned in the article pays Will a fee for his services. This is what I’m talking about when I argue that in many cases some of the traditional advertising dollars that may have been spent in yellow pages or local magazines (in the case of a Chiropractor) may simply “disappear” — going into new sites, SEO/marketing fees or internal headcount to manage programs on Facebook and Twitter, etc. For Will’s client there’s no ad buy here but there are certainly marketing fees being spent.

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4 Responses to “SEL on ‘Local Organic Domination’”

  1. Will Scott Says:

    Hey Greg,

    Thanks for the mention. To round out your point regarding advertising dollars, most of our clients pay considerably less than they would in Yellow Pages.

    And with results like the above we don’t have anything like a 60% churn either 😉

    But seriously, among the great things about online advertising, for our clients, is that we track everything in a very transparent way. Our tools are their tools. They get to know what we know – hopefully as early as we do.

    And, with a focus on tracking offline conversions, we’re able to know that this client gets 15 – 30 new patients each month. Without publishing our rate-card I’ll tell you that’s a significant return on investment.


  2. David Mihm Says:

    Greg, thanks for highlighting this story–what an incredible validation of the value of Local SEO services.

    I know YOU don’t believe this, but I think your “disappearing” ad spend comment is insightful into the way a lot of analyst groups/reports/publications think. It implies either that a) SEO services have little to no value or b) are not worth tracking because they can’t be scaled well.

    Boutique SEO firms like Will’s obviously provide a MUCH bigger bang for the buck with clients like this than national aggregation-type-businesses will ever be able to demonstrate. Just because they are harder to track does not mean they should be ignored.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree David. People should start tracking as part of the media spend. Think Borrell says they do.

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