SEOblog Interview: Boston SEO Expert Christopher Lara from TheeDigital

Boston SEO Expert Christopher Lara from TheeDigital

We’re excited to have interviewed Boston SEO expert Christopher Lara, from TheeDigital, for the next installment of our Featured SEO Expert Series!

TheeDigital is one of SEOblog’s top SEO companies in Boston.

Christopher Lara is the Boston branch manager at TheeDigital and started with the company when he moved to North Carolina in 2015. TheeDigital is one of the highest-rated SEO and web agencies in Raleigh, North Carolina. Though 2020 was a rough year for many businesses, it offered plenty of opportunities for digital marketing. TheeDigital was fortunate in that the team was able to deliver results for their clients, which led to them opening up an office in Boston’s Back Bay for 2021.

What would you say is unique and/or challenging about the Raleigh SEO industry?

“I’ve lived in NYC, Boston, and spent a year in Omaha, Nebraska. I can say from experience that Raleigh is a really unique place. Its cost of living vs. salaries is really favorable when compared to larger cities like New York. It’s full of many large companies and universities that help attract top talent. It’s also home to the largest, most successful SEO Meetup, which regularly attracts speakers like Rand Fishkin to the area.

“Of course, having such great talent leads to some great competition in the local SEO space. It forces a person to stay on their toes, constantly learning and testing, because your friends at the neighboring agency are doing the same.

“But at the end of the day, even though we may work for different agencies, we still get together after work to talk shop and share knowledge.”

How does your agency plan to stand out in a crowded market like Boston, where you will be expanding to in 2021?

“We did a lot of research before picking Boston as a location to open offices in. While there are already a lot of great SEO companies in the area, we feel like there was space for us to bring our 16+ years of experience to the area.

“From day one we’ll be able to leverage our experienced team in Raleigh to deliver those same results to our New England clients. We’re also excited about the concentration of brainpower in the Boston area and plan to hire some great local talent.

“COVID-19 helped our team learn how to adapt and leverage technology to stay in touch and work together, as well over Slack as when in the office.”

Can you share a success story from a local SEO campaign centered around your area?

“A local plastic surgeon that provides compassionate cosmetic surgery to patients in the Raleigh area had no digital footprint when they came to us.

“Since they were a brand new practice, they needed to establish their digital footprint from scratch. This included working closely with their web development team to ensure their site was ready for launch.

“We also worked closely with their team to better understand their patients and practice. This helped form both our SEO and PPC strategy, and this communication continues to be vital to our partnership.

“Our first goal was to get quality content onto the website. Our copywriter got to work creating informative SEO content around each procedure. This required plenty of subject matter research. Extra care was taken to write content in a way that is sensitive to the reasons people pursue surgery.

“We also worked to establish the practice on Google My Business and various social media platforms.

“Once the site was launched, we created a PPC campaign around their most popular procedures. These campaigns helped increase brand awareness and website traffic while our SEO efforts were taking effect.

“The last 12 months have seen a 686 percent increase in organic traffic, a 242 percent increase in leads from organic traffic and a 71 percent increase in conversions.

“Over a year and a half after starting digital marketing with TheeDigital, North Raleigh Plastic Surgery is still a valued client.”

What is the best advice you ever received in business?

“’Don’t forget, it’s the little things that matter.’

People can often get caught up in chasing what they deem as big wins without stopping to make sure they have a solid SEO foundation for their website. By skipping over and ignoring a lot of the little things, they can add up and sabotage your digital marketing efforts.

I often think back to one company who came to us because they were disappearing from search engine results and they had no idea why. The solution was simple: Someone had blocked search engines from crawling the website. All it took was a simple, five-minute fix. But they had spent hours and suffered a drop in ranking for months because someone overlooked that one little thing.”

What do you think is the most important quality that makes an agency truly great? 

“It might sound cliche, but thinking of your client’s business like your own business makes for a great agency. When you have a team that cares about a business’s success as if it was their own, it leads to great results and a collaborative effort.

“There are so many times where after work we’ll talk over specific problems or goals we’re trying to accomplish for a client.”

Any predictions for the future of SEO?

“I’m curious about what Google has planned for Web Stories and I’ve been testing the feature. But I think focusing more and more on gaining featured snippets will be an important part of future SEO efforts.”

What is your reaction when you hear that “SEO is dying”?

“I smirk to myself. If that were true, TheeDigital wouldn’t be expanding into New England. I’ve personally seen how our digital marketing efforts have saved businesses from closing down during COVID-19 when they had to close their storefront to the public.

“I think about the local three-person company that was months away from closing and is now a strong 50-person company and still our client.

“SEO is always changing but I don’t think it’s dying anytime soon.”

What do you think is the most important contributor to keeping clients happy?

“Communication. I find its the most important part of keeping clients happy. Of course, all clients are different and some don’t care to hear from you as long as you’re getting good results. But still, understanding how to communicate is key.

“We think of our clients as our business partners and we always want them to understand what we’re doing, how we’re measuring results and any pain points we may be encountering.

“We want both parties to be happy with the relationship. This means we might not be the best fit for everyone, and that’s okay with us.”

Interested in being considered as an SEOblog “Featured SEO Expert”? Reach out to our team at [email protected]! We’d love to hear from you and give you a high-traffic platform to share your SEO agency’s story and insights.

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