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The functional approach to SEO

What is the flip side of paying to hold your ‘trophy’ spot at the top of Google?

One of the questions I get asked all the time is:

How do I rank at the top of Google listings in my area?

And, I have an incredible SEO package for my clients that does drive traffic and bookings. But there is a bigger picture to the SEO story. Getting people to click on your google listing is one thing, but when they land on your site, you need to convert them.

This is where your brand comes in.

There is a common myth in the SEO world – that the majority of customers buy from the first listing on Google. This is in part true, being in the top 2-3 results is important, but in my opinion, they hold equal value. In fact, there is actually some strong data to suggest that holding spot number 2 on Google attracts more clicks than spot 1.

So, holding position 1 or 2 in your local area is certainly important.

But, there are two key factors that drive a customer to choose between those options:

  • The location (are you convenient to visit?)
  • The brand (does your service connect with their wants and needs?)

Customers browse before buying. And these two factors are the driving force that converts them from a browser into a customer.

There are many things you can do to influence your SEO, I will save that for another article. Mostly paid. And mostly ongoing. If you stop paying, you will fall from the top.

This puts practices in a bidding war with other practices in the area. And, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the guy (or gal) who pays the most money will claim that sweet ‘trophy’ top SEO spot.


Let’s relate this to a fictional character, and let’s call him Gary. Gary is a chiropractor who runs a practice called ‘Garry’s Health’ in Kent.

Gary proudly boasts that everyone searching for “Chiropractor in Kent” lands on his website first. And he pours all of his marketing budget and resources into holding his spot.

But, the reality is that Gary wastes a lot of time and money in holding this spot. He essentially pays to attract the masses to his site. 

Focusing on Quantity over Quality.

But fails to then convert them with his brand.


As medical professionals.

Let’s look at this from a functional standpoint.

The SEO that Gary is paying for is really a band-aid for a bigger problem. And that is:

Poor customer loyalty. 

Gary’s customers don’t return for his service. And as such, he needs to invest in monthly SEO to ensure new, fresh clients visit his clinic.

Every month. 


Suppose another clinic joins his SEO bidding war and pays more money. His marketing system will collapse.


So, what causes poor customer loyalty for Gary?

A weak brand.

What if, instead of focusing on mopping up clients that search for:

‘Chiropractor in Kent’

Gary focussed on creating such a remarkable, memorable brand that the people in his community searched for:

‘Gary’s Health’ …..

Key take away:

Do something so remarkable that your tribe remembers & searches for your name.

Justin Faulkner

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