Local SEO Tips Part 1: How Establishing A Niche Helped Our Client Make $100K

Case Study | Marketing Strategy | User Experience (UX) | Website Design

We love helping local businesses succeed, so when a medical clinic in our own backyard came to us with a problem, we leapt at the chance to help.

Their dilemma: no web presence. No website, ads, or landing pages. Zilch.

They knew that they needed to cut down on their cost per lead (CPL), because while traditional advertising was working, it wasn’t very cost effective. Our challenge was to take a modest budget and establish a digital footprint for our client—something that would win new leads and cut costs.

In this three part blog series, we’ll explore the THREE BIG LESSONS that helped our client turn an $8,500 budget into $104,000 profit… in only one month!

  1. Lesson 1 is how to create a great website and choose your demographic.
  2. Lesson 2 is how to train your staff to close more leads.
  3. Lesson 3 is how to choose your marketing channels and why you should never rely on just one.

Newsflash: Your Website Matters

It’s 2016, so it might shock you to learn that anywhere from 26 – 46% of small businesses don’t have a website. What’s even more shocking is that 41% of small business don’t think they need a website. But your website is so much more than a glorified brochure.

In the right hands, your website:

  • Draws in qualified leads and wins new business.
  • Moves visitors through the buying cycle.
  • Offers content that makes visitors want to return.
  • Communicates your niche.


Establishing a niche is important, because it’s the only thing separating you from every other business with similar offerings. We call this “positioning.”

There’s no cookie-cutter formula for discovering your positioning, but you want to play to your strengths when displaying your unique value. For example, you could emphasize a cutting edge treatment that your competitors haven’t adopted yet, or you could position yourself based on the depth of your knowledge on a particular topic (e.g. if you’re the go-to solution for migraines).

The benefit of a positioning strategy is that you focus on your strengths, narrow your audience, and face less competition within your specialization.

How We Identified the Highest ROI Opportunities

Every digital agency under the sun can sit down and talk sexy web design. Most even deliver. But a great looking homepage is a far cry from what a real website is about.

The first thing we did, long before we talked about what the page should look like, was learn what our client wanted from their website. We sat down with them (in person!) and found out that both television and print ads were costing them well over $100 per lead, and they wanted a better solution.

Next, we figured out what set them apart from other medical clinics—especially other local practices. We talked about their treatments, the conditions that saw a highest close rate, and which patients were paying the bills.

In other words, we were establishing our client’s area of expertise and their target demographic in order to achieve a clear goal.

We learned that our clients excelled at solving knee pain. They offered cutting edge, FDA-approved treatments that stood head and shoulders above anything their competition could offer. Not only that, but we discovered our client preferred treating knee pain issues. They had huge success in solving these problems, which meant a high close rate.

We also learned that our client’s advertising to that point hadn’t been very focused. Like all unpositioned clinics, their marketing targeted “everybody who is sick,” which meant that they were easily outmatched by closer and cheaper clinics. Consequently, they were only marketing to people within 10 miles of their clinic.

We knew they could do better.

Overcoming Our Client’s Pain Points

Early on, one of our biggest challenges was that our client wasn’t convinced their target demographic lived online. They were primarily targeting people over 50—an age range that most people don’t associate with internet consumerism, despite stats that tell us 65% of 50+ users engage in social media and that this demographic outspends younger adults online 2:1 on a per capita basis.

To convince them, we dug into our research, and pulled some numbers. We found 120,000 50-64-year-old men and women on Facebook alone, located within 25 miles of Salt Lake City.

We expanded our reach beyond 10 miles because we knew that people were willing to travel for best-in-class service. Studies show us that 60-75% of people over 50-years-old suffer from at least one chronic health condition, and we wagered that people suffering from knee pain would leap at a solution, even if it meant a short drive.

The beauty of positioning our client as the go-to name in knee pain relief was that we could expand or narrow our target demographic as the situation demanded. Both are equally important, in different contexts:

You narrow your demographic when you need better leverage against the competition. Labeling an entire city as your demographic doesn’t work—you should focus your marketing on the people that most often seek you out and that you help better than anyone else.

You expand your demographic when you’re competing for bottom dollar within a very small radius of your business. You can’t expand without a solid positioning strategy, because otherwise you have no unique value that elevates you above your competitors.

Another big pain point on our client’s part was that they didn’t know if they could go toe-to-toe with other clinics, when they were taking their first steps on the internet.

To help smooth out this issue, we researched their competition. We measured:

  1. Who we were up against.
  2. The messaging/imagery of their ad campaigns.
  3. The emphasis of their landing pages.

We wanted to see who was standing out among their competitors, and how they were leveraging digital marketing to their advantage. We compiled all of our competitor research in a swipe file (Evernote), so that when we sat back down with our client we could show them which landing pages were working… and which missed the mark.

We all realized that there was a noticeable lack in solid knee pain experts in the local area. Suddenly, we had the positioning strategy we were looking for.

Remember: you don’t have to pursue the same strategy as your competitors. Learning which channels you shouldn’t pursue matters just as much as learning which strategies work.

The Actionable Insights We Gained

Once we’d pinned down our messaging and target demographic, it was time to (finally) put what we’d learned into action:

  • We built a website for our client that specifically catered to their niche offering. We took special care to inform people that they solved knee pain like no other, without excluding other patients.
  • We invested in Adwords marketing. We knew that we were aiming for highly targeted traffic, so specific advertising that generated quality leads would go a long way.
  • We invested in Facebook advertising, because we knew that a huge portion of our demographic lived on Facebook and that the CPC on that platform was super low.
  • We advertised through Pandora. We knew that we were targeting a specific age-range and geographical area and we that audio advertising might appeal to this demographic (and possibly outperform static text/visual ads).
  • We sowed the seeds for long-term local SEO results, using both main keywords (e.g. “knee pain relief”) and long-tail keywords (e.g. “non-surgical knee pain treatment”).

Thankfully, we’d done our homework upfront and were able to anchor all of our marketing around our client’s niche. Not only was their offering unique enough to bypass a lot of their competition, but it also satisfied a need that we knew would draw an audience.

And that was just the beginning. At Be Top Local, we firmly believe that the best marketing strategies fall apart without proper follow-through. We took a very hands-on approach in training our client to get the most from their new advertising mediums… but that’s a story for the next post.