Hey Google! It’s Me, Victoria

Google made it official. They have changed their local search algorithm so that consumers looking for local search engine optimizers won’t be able to find them easily.  Rather than simply putting SEO Toledo in the search box and finding everyone in town who does this (or at least claims to but that’s a different blog) searches will need to look for SEO in Toledo.

I have to tell you that’s annoying.

I have run across my share of prospective clients who’ve a) been burned by an SEO scam b) think my fee is outrageous although it’s a fraction of the very ineffective Yellow Pages c) figured out the “secret” which is usually some combination of black hat and old theories d) were told they didn’t need it because Google would find them anyway.  Sigh.

Unconscionable is the word I use for the ones who came before me and ruined a good thing for the customer and me. But there’s not much I can do to stop the bad ones.  My goal is to make sure clients understand what’s really important and how everything they do online points to the one thing they want whether it’s a website, blog or social media profile.

Before any guide can help make a difference in search you must understand one very important concept.  People are searching online because they don’t know where to get what they want.  Please re-read that sentence.  If you or your company were top of mind they wouldn’t need to search.  That’s why optimizing your site/blog/etc is crucial.

  1. If you don’t know what words your potential customers are using for search then start asking.  Hint: Your name is NOT one of them.  Otherwise they would just use the phone book.
  2. The description of what you are trying to accomplish online should include those search words.  Believe me no one is searching for uncaring, unqualified, antiquated, slow to respond anything!  So don’t waste your 150 characters on adjectives that are unrelated to your business.
  3. No Flipping Flash! It’s distracting, expensive to optimize and most importantly affects your download time which can now affect your Google ranking.
  4. Content.  You have roughly six seconds to grab a prospect’s attention. If you want to have that person come back there has to be something new…on a regular basis. You couldn’t expect more than one return visit if you never changed the stock in your bricks and mortar location for example.  Yes, it can be time consuming but the return on investment? Can’t beat it.

Oh, there’s plenty more and a good SEO will help you make the most of your time and money.

Listen up Google!  I am one of your biggest supporters and suppliers of data for Maps,  making sure Analytics are part of every website and pushing for good, relevant content.  Seems like you’d want prospective customers to find me.

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