Among the many cutting-edge innovations in local marketing, search engine optimization is getting to be old hat; in fact, its age and relative familiarity can result in a widespread lack of interest and dedication to using SEO as a primary marketing tool. But ReachLocal is looking to assert SEO’s continuing relevance and lasting power with its new product, ReachSEO.
There will always be value in “getting found,” ReachLocal Chief Product Officer Kris Barton told Street Fight. But Barton says that SEO will need to be repackaged in order for SMBs to consider it as viable a strategy as “big data.”
The company’s new product, which launched earlier this week, integrates with its ReachEdge to provide a “marketing automation platform” offering custom content (infographics, blogs), social media handling and detailed reports on captured leads and conversions, in addition to keyword identification and optimization.
“SEO is one more tool we’re adding to our platform, and everything works better together,” Barton said. “It’s just like with Apple products — I have my iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and everything works in harmony. We’re adding a new tool to our ecosystem.”
By streamlining ReachSEO with their established advertising and marketing products, ReachLocal believes it can spice up a comparatively basic process. Most SMBs consider SEO one-dimensional, simply a way to be at the top of a list of search results, a one-sided approach that damages SEO’s reputation as a legitimate marketing strategy.
“A lot of businesses do [SEO] once or do it occasionally, but it’s something you have to keep up with consistently,” Barton said. “Tech companies focus on the off-site, automation component, which helps a little but doesn’t achieve full results. Then there are local agencies and mom-and-pops who are doing on-site, but don’t have the technology and scale to make it work with their other marketing.”
ReachSEO’s goal is different than Google positioning: they want to turn searchers and browsers into customers. The combination of SEO with informative websites and content production is what ReachLocal considers to be their competitive advantage, a new angle in their network of marketing products.
“SEO is constantly evolving,” Barton said. “We see evidence of that all the time — Google updates have dramatically changed the rules, social media content weighs more and more heavily. And we’ll see more of those elements, and we’ll know what’s happening before it happens. That’s what we leverage to our clients.”
Annie Melton is a reporter at Street Fight.