September 22, 2009
    Search Engine Optimization is Dead (almost)

    The day of plain old search engine optimization for businesses that sell in one city (or
    metro area) are almost gone. With the local directories on Google, Yahoo, and Bing
    getting the best placement, S.E.O. is now almost insignificant. S.E.O. traditionally impacts
    the organic listings, and these are now half way down the page!

    Look at this Google search for Basement Finishing in Denver. If you spent a lot of money
    on SEO you would have to be pretty disappointed with the results. You can not even see
    the organic listings on the first screen when you search on Google. If you used our service
    to optimize your local listing (like Denver Basement Remodeling, 1st position, or 3 R
    services, 3rd position)) then your pretty happy, as the vast majority of searchers will see
    you, and may never even notice the organic listings far below you.

    Almost 50% of searches start with a search term that includes a local intent, meaning a
    city, or area name. An example would be if I were looking for a Home builder. I could
    search New Home Builder, Or New Home Builder Denver. Using Denver in the keyword I
    would find our client in the first few results of the local directory.
    What has not been measured is how may searches start with out a city name, and then,
    disappointed in the results, search again with the city name.

    And Google now shares the local directory half way down the page even if you do not use
    a city name in your search. Yes, they have a good idea where your searching from. (They
    probably even have a picture of your house on Google Maps if you search your home
    address and click on street view)

    So how do you get a high ranking in directories? Google uses about 38 different
    measurements to determine where your listing ends up. Your address is going to be the
    main determination of the city you show up in. So, if your customers come from Denver,
    but your address is Littleton, you have a big disadvantage. Many of the other areas a local
    directory look at are SEO related, in a third cousin kind of way. Links to your site (hugely
    important for SEO) are not nearly as important as citations for local directories. A citation is
    where another site mentions your company, and including the address, name, and phone.
    The site doesn’t need to even list your web site to be a citation. Good sites for citations are
    the B.B.B. and other associations you may be a member of.

    So for good rankings in the Google Directory here are the Big Points:

    * Address
    * Categories ( listed when you set up your local account)
    * Citations from credible local sites
    * Web pages
    * Reviews
    * Name of company
    * Age of domain

    Now, as always I need to note that no one out side of Google knows the exact formula. All
    of this information is gathered through logic, trail and error and a lot of research. My
    confidence comes from having a 100% success rate in getting all of our web managed
    services clients on the first page of the directory.

    Do remember, that getting your company visible is only the first step. You have to have a
    solid web site as well. We don’t do web design, but we do assess the site you have for the
    purpose your trying to obtain, and can work with web design firms if needed.

    To get started improving your company’s’ local listing go to this free site (it’s great) www. You can check and claim your companies listings on Google, Yahoo, Bing,
    and they recommend Best of the web ( I wouldn’t worry about Best of the web as it costs
    and I don’t see a big value if you have the others)

    We still recommend S.E.O. for organic listings, we just realize that more traffic will come to
    you through the local directories. Our programs are called Web Visibility, because we do
    Local, SEO, and portal optimization.

    Once your in the directories, remember last weeks info on building great reviews!
    Company Reputation will be a huge factor in the sales growth of your company.

    As the popularity of review sites grow a new area of business is growing with it. That is,
    monitoring and enhancing your company’s Internet reputation. Google, Yahoo, Bing (old
    MSN) and hundreds of other search engines and portals are allowing your customers to
    review your service.

    When your company gets good reviews a lot of great things happen.\
    * Your company will move up in the local directories, so more prospects will find you.
    * Your listing will attract more attention because you have more reviews than others.
    * More prospects will call you or visit your site.
    * Your cost of online (and overall advertising) will go down.
    * Your company reputation will be significantly enhanced adding value to your brand.

    Any industry can benefit from monitoring and encouraging customers to do reviews online.
    Places to direct them are Google, Yahoo, Bing, and then the industry specific sites, such
    as Yelp (for hospitality related companies) Angie’s List (for consumer) and Trip Advisor for

    No matter if you are a moving company, a financial services firm, or a consultant, great
    online reviews can only help grow your company.
    You can see some of our review management programs here
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