SEOblog Interview: Dallas SEO Expert Robert Portillo from 12AM Agency

Robert Portillo

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We’re excited to have interviewed Dallas SEO expert Robert Portillo, from 12AM Agency, for the next installment of our Featured SEO Expert Series!

12AM Agency is one of SEOblog’s top SEO companies in Dallas.

12 Adaptive Marketing is located in Dallas, Texas, and is composed of SEO experts who all have at least five years of industry experience.

12 Adaptive Marketing is a multi-lingual company, with staff who speak English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. We create all original content and use real writers to create a custom plan for your niche market.

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

“The biggest challenge in the SEO industry is that most small and medium-sized businesses view digital marketing as a cost or line item, for example, the internet or electricity bill. Digital marketing is an investment and it should be implemented as a strategy and measured against your return on investment (ROI). From my experience, businesses should be investing 10-14 percent of their gross sales towards marketing. The right digital marketing partner will lay out for you a targeted marketing strategy that provides you with an estimate of leads your campaign will generate, shows you how many conversions you will need to achieve your targeted return on investment and gives you an estimated time to reach your goal.”

How does your agency stand out in a crowded market like the DFW area?

“Our team of senior digital marketing experts separates us from the competition. We really are great at what we do, and very open about what we can and cannot achieve. I have been told on several occasions that we are the best-kept secret in Dallas. We have a team that can market in English and Spanish, which helps tremendously in Texas. There are many Spanish-speaking businesses that want to target a market that prefers to speak and search in Spanish. We can help those businesses create sophisticated ad campaigns in Spanish. In addition, these clients capture a pricing advantage in paid search. It’s typically about one-third of the cost for paid advertising in Spanish vs. English.”

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

“A recent success story for us was during the COVID-19 pandemic with a niche service. A small business reached out to us in July 2020 and said their strategy has to change to get leads: Before, they would go to conferences to get leads, and now they needed their website to generate leads. They had done some SEO themselves on their website, but with no strategy or focus. At 12AM Agency, we believe you need to have a goal when you begin an SEO campaign. Fortunately for this client, their competitors were not running effective SEO campaigns, either. Therefore, we knew it would not take long to get our client’s website to start generating traffic. Within five months, we were able to increase their website traffic for targeted keywords found by 160 percent, impressions by 444 percent and website traffic by 86 percent. This has resulted in a 10 percent increase in revenue in the first few months of this SEO campaign.”

What is the best advice you ever received in business?

“Be transparent, care about your work and outwork everyone around you. My dad always said it doesn’t matter what work you do, but make sure you can be proud of your result and everything else will take care of itself.”

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

“The most important quality for making an agency truly great is knowing whether you can help a business when they contact your agency or not. Our client list is small because we don’t take on every client. We make sure we are the right fit for a business when we first meet them. We first work to understand their needs and goals. We educate the business as to what they will need to do to meet their goals and we set expectations around cost, time and key performance indicators (KPIs). Every member of our team cares about the results we produce for our clients and that is what makes us unique. We have over a 90 percent retention rate, and half our clients have been with us for more than five years.”

Any predictions for the future of SEO?

“I expect SEO to be a larger part of marketing for small businesses in highly competitive niches. SEO in many ways can be less expensive than paid advertising, but business owners need to take a longer-term view and realize they are investing in their business. SEO is becoming more complex as Google makes changes to their algorithm, which makes it more difficult for businesses to understand and more important for them to find an SEO expert they can trust.”

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

“SEO is not dying; if anything, it is getting more complex. It is becoming harder for the small business to do SEO on their own and achieve results that meet their expectations. This just means that SMBs will have to outsource more and lean on SEO experts in the field. SEO is like any other service or business. As algorithms change, SEO experts adjust tactics.”

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

“Transparency and setting expectations. It really is that simple. If you help the client understand what is possible, be clear on what you can deliver and when. Then you just need to execute at that point.”

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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