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Using SEO to Strike Fear into Competition

July 28th, 2009 | | Local SEO

The past two weeks have been run-of-the-mill marketing.  Getting an ad ready, talking with designers, mapping latest website visits, blah blah blah.  Yanking levers and pushing buttons is something you get use to as you do a constant marketing push.  Sometimes you wonder if what you are doing is making a difference.  Well, my friend, I’m hear to tell you it does!  It even goes beyond measurable results.

One of my clients produces … let’s just call them Home Widgets to protect the innocent.  For years the owner has been on a solid bottom rung on the competition ladder.  The largest Home Widget Dealers in the area have had a marketing approach and sales tactic that has worked for over 30 years and they stand like Goliath in the Valley of Main Street.

My client knew their size, but didn’t care.  We knew that every customer that bought our Home Widget would refer someone else and in the mean time we’ll go market wherever they don’t market – so we took our game to the web.  Local SEO is a bear in trying to find the right keywords.  One rule of thumb is to find the best keywords nationally and then ad your city and state.  Granted, it’s a shot from the hip, but it’s better than nothing.

So after doing a few print ads, one TV commercial which was preplanned shot for shot and done in 1 hour and edited within 30 minutes, we covered some traditional ground.  Online efforts consisted of the usual call-to-action landing pages and time sensitive offers.

Business was growing, but it wasn’t much to brag about.  The leads we had showed that we could hire another sales person.  Lo and Behold, it was a salesman from the Goliath company.  “They call you their #1 competitor!” he said.  We looked at each other and then looked around.  “Us? Bottom rung Widget sellers?”  We didn’t have that much of a market share, but the impact of a declining market share to the others was noticeable and sent them scrambling.  “There are people wondering what to do, but others – mostly management – are saying that what they’ve done for 30 years will carry them into the next 30.  I don’t agree, that’s why I’m here talking to you.”

Again, if crickets were around during the day, this would have been a good time for them to sing.  Our Local SEO campaign wasn’t even cranked to 11 and already the tremors were starting in places we can’t measure – the competitor’s fear.  It’s a place no one gets to get a glimpse of often if ever.  We’ve only crossed the 7th month of the campaign and that little tidbit sprung fire into other angles of how we could make Goliath fall.  Meanwhile, I noticed that Goliath started a PPC campaign shelling out money to Google and 7 months behind if they started Organic SEO today.

So to all of you who think SEO only generates leads, remember than it can also generate fear within your competition.

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