SEO (search engine optimization) is a tricky thing just by nature. Typically speaking, we have to explain it a few times just in layman’s terms before our average client really gets it. As an SEO firm here in Hampton Roads, explaining SEO to our clients is important to us. The last thing we want is someone writing us a check each month and not really knowing what they’re paying for. While we don’t need you to fully understand the depths of which we go to refine PPC campaigns and improve organic signals, we do want you to have a cursory understanding of what we’re doing to achieve your goals and ultimately bring you more business. There are over 200+ ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. Multiply that times each keyword and then try multiplying those by each of your competitors. Simply put, SEO is a complicated thing. And it’s constantly evolving too.
So, once you consider the complicated nature of SEO, the fact that Hampton Roads is such a unique market geographically, makes SEO in Hampton Roads really tricky. No one understands this market better than us when it comes to PPC, Local Search and organic SEO. We can say that with confidence. It’s not a cockiness. It’s just a fact. Here’s the thing… Hampton Roads, Tidewater, Coastal Virginia, The 757… whatever you want to call it, it has had an identity crisis for decades. Here in Southeastern Virginia, we don’t all call it the same thing. In fact, search terms like “Hampton Roads” are far lower in volume than specific city searches like “plumbers Virginia Beach” or “Indian restaurants in Chesapeake“, etc. etc. Folks who live in Virginia Beach tend to search with Virginia Beach, or VB, Va Beach in their searches. People living in Hampton and Newport News sometimes search with the term “peninsula” in their query. An out of state SEO won’t know this. Hampton Roads is not a normal SEO market. In most markets, the vast majority of people are searching for things like “air conditioning repair Milwaukee“, where everyone within a 25 mile radius is thinking in terms of “Milwaukee”. Nope, not here. Here, you can drive 5-10 minutes in just about any direction and be in a different city with a whole different set of search terms. Only a local SEO firm will truly understand this.
Another huge advantage to working with a local SEO firm in here in the Virginia Beach – Hampton Roads area is targeted demographics by neighborhood. We know exactly where to find certain income levels, interests and match-types depending on what you’re marketing. If we’re using targeted ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, geo-fencing and more, this knowledge gives your campaigns a big advantage with less wasted impressions, and a higher click thru rate (CTR) and conversion rate.
In fact, this actually isn’t unique to SEO/PPC. It can also apply to any targeted form of advertising from direct mail campaigns to O.T.T., doorhanger distribution, streaming ads and more. Sure, an out-of-state marketing firm can buy a list of people with certain interests and income levels within a radius, but do they know that the highest percentages of affluent soccer-moms with decision-making power for large household purchases live in Great Neck and Hickory? I bet not. Do they know that traffic back-ups are more frustrating for people living or working in Norfolk than any other surrounding city? We could go on and on with the intangibles, but there are just certain things you don’t know unless you’re intimately familiar with the area.
There is usually no “one-size-fits-all”
You’ve probably dealt with a national company before. They operate on specific business models designed for internal efficiency. Their goal is simple.. it’s to serve as many clients as possible with the easiest package to duplicate in hopes that it will succeed enough that they can retain each client. This is a great business model if you’re selling insurance or installing solar power. But it isn’t practical when it comes to Marketing/Advertising. This is why there aren’t really any big-name nationwide, cookie-cutter marketing companies known by name. Well, we can think of one or two that we won’t name, but you’ve probably heard very little good things about them. The fact of the matter is that each business faces unique challenges and markets differ. A good local firm will sit down and listen to your needs, learn about your business, and put together a plan based on what you need and what makes sense and they’ll price it in a way that makes sense financially. And if it’s something that just isn’t financially viable they’ll tell you. There are certain products/services that just don’t work online because the cost to advertise outweighs the profit that can be made. This is something that may differ from one geographical market to another, where bidding can be way more competitive than another. Sometimes you need a company that will research this for you and tell it to your face. Not some company with a cookie-cutter approach that says “oh sure, we have a package that can help market that!”. Blindly trusting someone like that can cost you a lot of wasted time and money. Two things most of us never want to waste.
Overall, you gain a significant advantage by working with a local SEO/Marketing firm here in Hampton Roads. The biggest reasons are:
- Unique understanding of Hampton Roads’ searches and city names
- Working with someone that has time and devoted interest in what and where you’re providing your services
- A much higher knowledge of market demographics and trends
- A tailormade approach to marketing vs. a one-size-fits-all approach
- Far less wasted time and money, equating to quicker results and ROI