What are the Best Portland SEO Strategies for 2018?

Some things are still the same when it comes to the best Portland SEO strategies for 2018, such as building backlinks and producing good content, but there are a few things that will probably be changing when it comes to local Portland area small business placement.  Normally, a business can rank in the top Google My Buiness pack using Google My Business, but lately we’ve seen a trend in some of the larger markets with Google actively increasing ad exposure. Not just as adwords at the top of the page, but in certain locations such as San Francisco, Boston, New York, Detroit, Dallas, Seattle and a few other major metropolitan cities, Google has rolled out Local Services Ads. What are Local Services Ads? Instead of being called the “Google My Business Pack”, “Google Places Pack”, or any of the other hundred other names SEO consultants have come up with, this category will now be offically called the “Local Services Unit”.  This area is still for local but I believe that it’s just a matter of time before this comes to Portland, Oregon. As a matter of fact, we had one of our clients, Diminished Value of Oregon show up in this Local Services Unit as an ad for several of their keywords in December. This only confirms that Local Services Ads are coming to the Portland area very soon. Most people would normally say, “well, if that’s happening, then I don’t have to worry about SEO, I’ll just pay for ads. The problem with that strategy is that ad placement and cost will probably follow Google Adwords strategy with higher quality pages, ads and keywords costing less and ranking higher. So SEO is still a thing, even if Local Services Ads become prevailant. What should I do to stay competitive and thrive against the large corporations and franchises who will use their clout to dominate those areas and can afford to pay higher ad costs than a small local business can. Sometimes you have to look outside of the internet when it comes to digital marketing. Is your competitor spending tens of thousands of dollars on the radio? Maybe on TV? They may even still be running print ads or mailers. Designix Web Solutions has come up with some guerilla marketing strategies that has enabled our clients to acquire hundreds of new, targeted traffic for a fraction of the cost of running normal adwords ads. Most SEO companies think only about digital marketing and ranking a client’s site. Let’s say  you were receiving 200 unique users to your site each month with 20 conversions. You hire a Portland SEO company to increase your traffic to 2000 unique users. Most companies would be estatic with a 1000% increase in traffic. But, many clients never question where that traffic came from or what type of conversion you’re really receiving from the traffic. If you’re still seeing 20 conversions, and the traffic is coming from outside the area, you may be a victim of SEO fraud. That’s fake traffic increases that some SEO companies use to steal you away from your normal SEO provider. Designix had this happen this last year with a flooring company we had provided SEO to for a little over 2 years. We had increased the local area traffic by 4000% and had so many conversions, that the sales manager told us that he was nearly overwhelmed with the new business. Along comes another company that shows the CEO a huge increase in traffic over our normal average, a near 200% increase in traffic nearly overnight. As soon as they showed the CEO that they could double our traffic, we heard the CEO signed a 2 year commitment for SEO. Notice how that traffic immediately disappeared, and as soon as they stopped working toward our SEO plan, the traffic started to decline. So, how did they do it? It was actually easy. They used an Amazon Data Center stationed in Boardman, Oregon. Chinese and Russian hackers use these data centers all the time to run bots to try to hack sites while looking like they’re here in Oregon. Your webmaster may be watching for hackers and many may even place blocks for certain countries such as Russia or China. The hackers know this and slip right in the back door. Certain SEO companies are now using this tactic to fool business owners into thinking they’re receiving hundreds of hits of legitimate traffic, when in reality, it’s fake traffic.