Archive for the ‘Local Search’ Category

Salt Lake City SEO – Guerilla Marketing

September 18, 2009 4 comments

guerilla gorillasI wanted to provide an update of the strategy I tried last Friday to try and get some search engine rankings for this blog for the term “salt lake city seo.”

I based my strategy from tip number three in this article.  Please understand I wasn’t “testing” this strategy, I was implementing it.  I have carried this out before with great success in gaining new readers and obtaining links from more authoritative sources.  Yes, some of the companies mentioned in my article took notice.  Yes, they are considering using my services.

However, that wasn’t my main goal.  My main goal was to get ranked on page one of Google for my key phrase, “salt lake city seo.”  First of all I knew to be realistic.  There is no way this blog will get ranked on the first page of Google for my key term because it doesn’t have enough inbound links and it hasn’t been around as long as the others.  Looking at the search results this morning confirms my thinking.

salt lake city seo website results

Eventually it will get up there, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never claim the top spot, unless MWI does a site redesign and makes a mistake in the migration.  I don’t think they will.

I know I can’t compete on that playing field, but I can compete on another…the blog search results.  Yeah, yeah, people don’t search there very often.  But if they do, I think they’re probably a pretty qualified customer.  Perhaps they’re a competitor doing research?  Anyway, I know this blog can dominate the Google blog results for my key term…and it does.

salt lake city seo blog results

Between the several posts I made about this topic and my RSS copiers, these articles take up many of the search results.  Even better?  I’ve earned a top position on the page that won’t disappear.  You see someone else could write an article about Salt Lake City SEO and push my position down because the blog posts typically rank based on freshness.  By owning that top position, it doesn’t matter if my articles move, because this site has gained enough authority to keep that top spot as a relevant site.

From my perspective, these have been great results.  I hope I’ve been able to turn a boring topic into something interesting and hopefully you’ve learned something.


Salt Lake City SEO – Blog Review

September 11, 2009 15 comments

seoblogreviewMy friend Pat tweeted an interesting article the other day about new media.  The article suggests that instead of waiting for media to write about you, you can become the media and attract visitors that way.

So it got me to thinking, if I’m a small business and I’m looking for SEO help, where am I going to find it?  On the search engines of course.  So the very best SEO company, must be the one that turns up first on the listings, right?  Not necessarily.

Since social media – blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – is the new hot thing, perhaps a better way to evaluate an SEO company would be to look at their blog.  That’s what I’m going to do here.  I’m going to pull the top ten search engine results for the keyphrase “salt lake city SEO” and evaluate the blogs of those companies based on three important criteria –

  • How interesting is the material?
  • How often and recently the blog was updated?
  • Is there a discussion going on or a sense of community?

The blogs will be evaluated in the order they appear in the search results.

1.  MWI – This is pretty typical of a blog that doesn’t really understand its purpose.  The writing is boring, it’s fairly new (April, 2009) and it hasn’t been updated for nearly a month.  There’s no sense of consistency with infrequent updates.  It looks like somebody over there said we need a blog and Joshua Steimle thought he could do it.  Sorry Joshua, you need some help.  When a blog has no purpose or direction, it can’t build community.  This site has none.

2.  SEO Expert Pro – Sounds interesting.  They’re experts.  They’re pros.  They do SEO.  Let’s check out their blog!  Oooh, they haven’t updated since April.  It looks like somebody put a little thought into the article, but it’s nothing to really write about.  Ironically, the last article is about social media.  Clearly a case of understanding it’s important, but not understanding how to do it.  There are some comments, but a community can’t be built when a blog is so sporadically updated.

3.  All About Training – This is not an SEO company, it’s an SEO training company hosting an event in Salt Lake City next month.  Do they have a blog?  No.  Does the parent company have a blog?  Not that I could find.  But there are all these interesting social media buttons on the top of their page.  Cool, they’ve got a Facebook business page?  No.  They Twitter?  No on this front too.  Do they understand social media?  I don’t think so.

4.  All About Training LinkedIn – This is the LinkedIn page for the previous event.  Maybe they do understand social media?  No.  Only one attendee and that’s the guy that’s putting on the event.  This is a good example of how social media can help with SEO.

5.  Seminar Insiders All About Training – Wow, three straight search engine results for the same SEO seminar.  Pretty good.  Too bad they’re really not capitalizing on these rankings.  What’s this?  It’s been cancelled?  Thanks for letting us know.

6.  DataFlurry – This one could be good.  The search description says they’re “the best.”  Let’s check out the blog!  Last updated August 31.  That’s almost two weeks ago.  The content is clearly for SEO only and not designed to start a conversation with the audience.  These sorts of SEO articles are better served being published on article sites instead of your blog.  Look, more social media buttons.  Joel Mclaughlin is LinkedIn and Twittering!  LinkedIn looks good, but his last Twitter was a month ago.  And it looks like he’s a Glenn Beck fan.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but in the business world I don’t think it’s a good idea to wear your politics on your sleeve.  Who knows who your next client could be?

7.  All About Training Again – It’s already been established there is no blog associated with this seminar and the event has been cancelled.  Let’s move on.

8.  Search and Social – I’m excited to see this one.  They’ve got “social” in their name.  Their blog should be awesome, right?  Well, it looks like it was good…last year.  No updates since February.  Some of the old articles are interesting and they did get comments, so there was some community going on.  It looks to be over now.  The question is why?  Are these guys so busy they can’t blog anymore?  Or did they go out of business and forget to take down their website?  I’m amazed by people like Mark Cuban, Matt Cutts and Ashton Kutcher who regularly update their blogs and Twitter even though we know they have to be incredibly busy.  I think it’s because they recognize the power they hold in keeping their audiences engaged.  You can’t do that once a week or once a month.  You’ve got to be consistent and frequent.

9.  Epic Marketing – This looks like a real live ad agency.  They should have a good blog, right?  Wrong again.  Two posts – a case study and a blurb from Nick White the President do not a blog make.  There is no community.  I would think it could be real fun to blog from an ad agency.  There’s so many components to talk about.  Oh well.

10.  All About Training Techvibes – Another ad for the cancelled seminar.  Techvibes looks to have a good blog, but they’re not a Salt Lake City SEO company, so I won’t be reviewing it.

To wrap up, it looks like none of the companies that rank well for Salt Lake City SEO have decent blogs and those SERPs are dominated by a cancelled SEO seminar.

I think there are a lot of lessons in this review and I’ll go over them in my next article.

Salt Lake City SEO – Local Search Engine Optimization

September 9, 2009 10 comments

Downtown SLC

Downtown SLC

A couple weeks ago a long time reader Zack asked,

Any advice on doing SEO for local businesses? I am fairly familiar with SEO but would like to concentrate on helping my local market.

Zack, you have come to the right place!  For two years I ran a hyperlocal real estate blog for Salt Lake City.  Within a few months I had top Google rankings for search terms like “Salt Lake Real Estate” and “SLC real estate.”  It was easy to do because that was my subject matter.

It gets harder is when your subject matter is broad, but you want a specific audience.  This site right here is a good example.  I have a super broad subject.  I can do the work anywhere.  My clients don’t need to be in Salt Lake or even Utah.  But how would it look if I tell people I’m an SEO expert and my site doesn’t even show up for local listings?  Not very good.

Two things you can do right off the bat is include your address on your site.  When Zach made his comment I realized that nowhere on this blog did I have my Utah location.  I had a phone number, name and email, but no address.  Since I currently have a home office, I don’t think it’s necessary to plaster my residence all over the web, so I just included the city and state.  If I get a little bigger, I’ll rent a P.O. box and use that.  People will often search using a zip code, so I think that could be of benefit.  When the Swaby Online Media empire grows to its climactic peak, maybe I’ll have a commercial office, but until then a P.O. box will suffice.

The second thing you can quickly do to get local search engine rankings is have a page or a domain with the local area you want to get ranked for.  In this instance, the URL for this post will be which will be just fine for the spiders.  The spiders don’t read hyphens so I’m going to have a killer optimized URL for Salt Lake City SEO.

Zach, who wrote the original question, has a great site optimized for his location…Tampa SEO Company.  His URL has his keywords, his site is loaded with relevant copy and it’s also got his address at the bottom.  Zach is even doing well on the search engines for his key terms.

I think what Zach’s question pertains to is when he lands a client like “Bill’s Widgets” that has an exclusive Tampa customer base.  Zach can’t very well sit down with Bill and say, “I need you to change the name of your company to Tampa Widgets.  Oh, and you’ll need to change your domain name too.”  The key will lie in making some adjustments to the copywriting on Bill’s “about us” or “FAQ” pages and including a company address on the site.

Recently I was doing some research for a client and found they ranked very well for certain Utah county terms simply because of their address showing up in the page description in the search engine results.  The page is annoying because it has a video that automatically starts on load, but you can’t argue with the search result.  Sometimes the simplest fixes are the best solutions.

There are many other ways to take advantage of local search including Google maps and pay per click.  However, these two basic steps will get you going in the right direction.

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