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Local SEO for small business: How ComXL digital agency gets more clients with Surfer Local

See how ComXL local SEO agency used Surfer Local maps to get new clients and quickly boost their rankings in local searches.

ComXL is a Colorado locally owned web design company that works on projects and clients of all sizes - from the local businesses to big national companies. Depending on the client's needs, they can design a custom business website and take care of promoting it afterward. They perform local SEO services, from developing a local SEO strategy to executing it with cherry-picked local SEO tools.
Industry
Digital agency
Location
Colorado
Operating Since
2008

What do a digital agency and a small business owner have in common? Surfer Local, running in the background, providing the best guidance for optimizing Google business profiles they manage. 

We spoke with Robert De Leon, founder of ComXL - a Colorado-based web design company that helps businesses create beautiful sites and pick and execute the best marketing strategy based on their budget and goals.

Beginning in 2008, ComXL has a long history of adapting to Google's ever-changing algorithms to provide their customers with the best promotion for the least amount of money with SEO and local SEO. 

As a creative person by nature, Robert continuously searched for new ways to help small businesses kick off and take (and keep!) the top spots in Google and Google Maps. Driven by years of experience, he is sure that maintaining a Google business profile is the top tactic for this.

“We focus greatly on Google Local business because even when I started my business, the only place I was getting leads from constantly or regularly was my Google Local business listing that I ranked for myself. It was 15 years ago, so nothing's changed. It still works. 

And in today's times, everybody was stuck at home with the whole covid and all that. You need to have your presence optimized. You need to be out there, and if you're not one, two, or three, you're not being seen. You don't exist."

The problem

Rob's clients kept encountering the same problem when struggling to acquire new customers. Winning each customer through email marketing or advertising takes time and money. And for some super competitive industries, such as real estate or law firms, the costs of the ads are astronomical.

SEO activities (optimizing a website or a Google business profile for search engines) take more time to bring success - you need to wait some days, weeks, or even months, but "it's an alternative to paying for the ads that cost millions.". 

New customers only appeared when the business owners made an active effort to acquire them. The process is incredibly tedious, time-consuming, and requires constant money investment. And it's a problem that virtually all entrepreneurs have encountered.

That's why ComXL turned to optimize the Google business profile as a core lead generation activity.

"That's why we do Google business listings. Because Google business profile, when it's optimized and ranked in the top three, Google's doing all that for you now. You've got a passive lead generator working for you while working on your business."

Discovering Surfer Local 

After spotting Surfer Local during a session with a Search Engine Optimization specialist, Robert decided they needed to add it to their core toolset.

Surfer Local could (and ultimately did) change the trajectory of the agency's work. Benefiting employees (automated processes for Google businesses save tons of time), and their clients - because the Google Business Audit contains all the tips needed to optimize the profile perfectly and position it at the top of Google.

"When I landed on Surfer Local, it said everything, and I was like, yes, these guys know what they're doing. They're right. This is exactly what I've believed the entire time. And then there were other local SEO efforts that I didn't know. Now getting someone's local business to rank is a no-brainer - we can do that with our eyes closed all day long."

What the ComXL team loves about Surfer Local's audit are the extremely specified directions for optimizing Google Business profile - from adjusting the title or building a description to Business Local Citations, which tell users what business directories they should appear in to get maximum visibility.

business citations in Surfer Local audit

Seeing is believing - Surfer Local improving sales processes

Surfer Local helps ComXL not only in providing perfect marketing service to their clients but also in attracting new ones. 

The founder of the company and the entire sales team found out that Surfer Local is incredibly helpful in the buying process, which is converting the client to use the agency's services.

The major value is the graphical visualizations of the position of the business in different areas across the city. How does it work? Let's hear directly from Robert:

"1. I tell my customers I use a Surfer Local tool, and I'll share my screen with them. And I pull it up. 

2. Then I type in their business listing name, and then their business comes up, and then I ask what keywords are we going to rank for? Is it remodeling?

3. We type in remodeling, and then it shows them where they rank for that phrase. Clients are watching this, and then the light bulb clicks, and they go: yes, I want that! It's because I show them their business, and their business is not ranking. 

4. Then, I show them another business like the one on the screenshot. So when I present that one, that is the 30-mile distance, and it's all green. And then, I show how their business currently looks, and they immediately ask me to do the optimization for them. 

So that's why I bought Surfer Local. So it verified what I was thinking. It proved the methods I was using because it has all that in."

Robert thinks that it works like magic because people are visual creatures - seeing is believing - and when they see the comparison between their Google business profile and a well-optimized profile, they immediately want that service. No one wants to see a map of their business's visibility full of red circles and 20+ positions. 

-> You can check the position of your business in our tool on the Surfer Local website or directly in the Surfer Local app.

business local visibility after using Surfer Local

Before discovering Surfer Local, the ComXLs sales team also included visualization in their sales pitches, but it was unquestionably harder. They used to draw their ranking preview maps in the presentation tools to convert their potential clients with the before/after optimization point. 

"And then I, when I saw the Surfer Local, when he pointed it out, I thought: these guys are doing it for me, awesome! What was most appealing to me was the visual that it provides showing you where you are in all these areas, depending on the color."

"More than 80 positions higher in Google within days"

The effects

Asked about the tangible effects since they started using Surfer Local, Rob says he's extremely happy with it. Only after 40 days since subscribing, ComXL has picked up three new valuable clients with the visuals the tool provides. So, quoting Robert, it already paid for itself.  

More than 80 positions higher in Google within days

Today, Surfer Local became a baseline tool for ComXL, which makes it a must-have for every client that needs to increase local presence. After signing the deal, adding their businesses to the Surfer Local roster became part of their enrollment process. 

One of the successful examples they are pleased about was the case when they went from position 89 to 6 in the local search results for a client.

This change appeared after just days after optimizing their profile with Surfer Local. The ComXL is not stopping, so now they probably are chasing the top 3. 

business's position in the area before using Surfer Local
business position after local search engine optimization with Surfer Local

The business from the screenshots is a cleaning company, so they're going up against some tough competitors, including big chain cleaning companies. We need to remember that positioning may take a bit longer in cases like that. 

"I see that new features keep coming out, and they're spot on. Monitoring, I noticed before I could only put three words on my monitoring. Now I can do more. The same thing is about Citations - I used to prepare that kind of list manually, now I get it all done perfectly in seconds." 

Planning for the future

Surfer Local immediately became the agency's primary tool to monitor and lookup keywords, but it is also a part of the presentation they give to potential customers. Again, as they say, seeing is believing. And Surfer Local gives you one of the most proven affordable local SEO services.

As per Robert, when he shows customers-to-be a map where somebody ranks in the top 3 within a 30-mile distance, that's a showstopper.

Their reaction is always: Whoa! I want that! Surfer Local gives him proof to show people what the agency can do for them - many happy customers whose profiles were optimized with the tool. 

Lesson learned: Keep working on your profile to stay on top

"You need not only optimize your profile once but still improve it. It's because the competitors also work on their profiles continuously. Suppose somebody in your industry is within your proximity, 10 miles, 15 miles. And suddenly, they get knocked off of 1, 2, 3. They're not happy. So they're going to start working on getting back up there.

And the three that worked the hardest are who will exist there. Otherwise, everybody else's that are left in the dust. And we all know, if you're not in that three - you don't exist. 

If you do it right, you have an unfair advantage over everybody else in your industry. So, you know, it's not cheating. It's working smarter."

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Lesson learned #2: be open to new ways

"Was there any lesson learned? Well, I thought I had it all figured out (and I have a lot of it), but the lesson is: be open.

Be open to new ideas - there are many things you can learn, for example, new local search optimization strategies. When you think you have it figured out, you're in trouble because somebody else is doing work that you are not. The world is still moving because of the internet, and you need to move with it to stay up-to-date."

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