Keli Krap

Rant of the Day….

I’m having a F I T with Google+. I had 15, 5-star reviews on Google Places … but it seems like I’m not alone. I’ve been looking through forums on how to transfer this information, not just for myself… but my gosh… for like 100+ clients??? It’s like Google Places was really good and messed up and the “+” in G+ just means it’s MORE messed up. Groan!!!!!!

Good news however. I found this:

——————-
That review is clearly fake, written by an ex-employee, etc. — how can I get it removed from my listing?
There’s no guarantee we will remove it, but you can report it directly to Google Places support and we will investigate:

Link to form: http://support.google.com/places/bin/static.py?hl=en&ts=1386120&page=ts.cs
Select: I have verified > Yes > Reviews > My page features false or inappropriate reviews > Fill out the form, hit Submit, and await an e-mail response from a member of our support team.
——————-

I’ve had a lot of clients ask about, what appears to be, fake reviews on their Places Page (I’m not even sure what to call it now) – G+ Local? So there’s that. It seems like the G+ team has a LOT on their hands:

http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/business/technical-issue/mPz5bqu7ViM

This is all just a big ol D R A G.

Anyone have a clue out there? A vowel?

Keep your Pet Phrase on a Leash!

Pet PhrasesPet Phrases, the thorn in my industry. Clients sometimes have the unrealistic goal of ranking on ONE phrase and ONE phrase only – their “Pet Phrase”. If that phrase isn’t on the first page of Google, then in the client’s mind, their site = epic #fail! Ugh! As you can read here, having your eye on one phrase and judging the worth/efforts of your SEO campaign is not only an unrealistic goal, but isn’t what SEO is all about. A Pet Phrase can be a subset of a realistic more SEO savvy goal, but one phrase when I have thousands to play with??? Come on! That’s just not what we do.

As Jill Whalen put’s it (a industry rock star who’s been in the biz since day one):

No SEO company in the world will be able to help you unless you are ready to forget about what you think you want, and learn more about what you really need.

Remember… you hired US to be YOUR experts… your pros! When we do keyword research to see what humans actually type in a search engine, it’s for a reason and why you pay us very well.

Case and Point

Client had a pet phrase and considered their whole SEO campaign a TOTAL #fail. When you look at the referring keyword phrases for the first month after on-page SEO, there was a whooping 32 unique referring keyword phrases. Jump ahead 6 months and we now have ~5000 unique referring keyword phrases. These are phrases that your site didn’t have traction on before you came to us. Not #fail. The unique visitors increased and the contact form was filled out a good amount of times. Just because you’re not #1 for “my fuzzy purple widget” does not mean the project has failed. You simply need to be educated on what to expect and how to interpret your metrics. Learn what a true goal is and how to lead your potentials TO your goal. Your pet phrase should never be the focus of your organic search engine optimization efforts because in all actuality, people are using many more, many different phrases to find your site. SEO beauty.

The Goal

This end goal of optimization is to create an awareness in the search engines for your site – yes, this is what we do, bring more potential clients/customers to you. In fact, we bring more people to your site on phrases that you’d never even consider. This happens due to what I call the *black box of phrases*. YOU are the expert at what YOU do and most of the time you use an industry specific jargon (whether you realize it or not… it’s not a bad thing as long as you keep in mind that there are other phrases that people think of when looking for your products/services). Regular Joe (or Joette) doesn’t know your industry well nor the jargon you use… but they KNOW WHAT THEY NEED. Be prepared for a wake up call when you look at the phrases that were searched upon that led to your site… it’s a real eye opener (and fascinating to geeks like me)!

When you become a client of ours, you’re sent a focus list and a business analysis form. You fill out what you deem are important phrases to your industry; phrases YOU want to rank on. Don’t get me wrong, those phrases are IMPORTANT but sometimes they don’t have a high search volume. Enters SEO copywriter. Your gold, your secret weapon. After thorough keyword research (based upon the focus list you filled out) we determine the BEST phrases for your site in order to accomplish your goals (more traffic, more clients, more purchases). If we were to optimize a site for Pet Phrases alone, all projects would probably be an epic #fail.

The “Mix” Tactic

One way to make EVERYONE happy is to do a mix of tactics:

1) get client ranking on their pet phrases (even if the search volume is nil)
2) get client ranking on phrases that people actually search on

Keep in mind that if the pet phrase happens to be extremely competitive (highly competitive != highly searched upon!) it will take some time to achieve traction in Google. We can work with the researched phrases and utilize our tried/true methods to get you that traffic while working on the efforts of the pet phrase. People have the NEED to see their pet phrase (no matter how bad of a choice it is) on top of Google. Hopefully, we’ve educated our clients to understand the difference between wanting that pet phrase and obtaining ranking on great phrases that’ll bring them new clients.

Managing client expectations is critical during the initial stages of an SEO campaign. We’re not miracle workers, but we’re pretty darn close 🙂

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve handed off a list of referring phrases to a client only to hear them say “people actually search on that??”. Yes! Yes they do! In fact Google claims that 20-25% of the phrases people search on have NEVER been searched on before. That’s HUGE! Do you want to miss out on all these phrases? Of course you don’t! With good copywriting you’ll find yourself ranking on phrases you’d never imagine and then some. Yes, these might be long tail phrases, but they’re phrases someone searched on and found YOUR site; they were looking for YOU. Collectively, these phrases bring you a lot of very valuable targeted traffic (and typically these phrases have a higher conversion rates because they’re so specific) as people are searching on exactly what YOU offer. That’s what it’s all about!

When you put an ad in the newspaper (are those still around?) there are thousands upon thousands of eyeballs that glaze over your ad EVERY DAY. They aren’t looking for your services and may never need your products. Heck, they might not even understand what you do (like my mother!) However when someone searches on:

Chicago Accident Lawyer

they’re looking SPECIFICALLY for JUST THAT. That type of phrase will drive targeted traffic to your site and there’s no other advertising medium in the world that can do the same thing (much less track it!)

So please, next time you get in a ruffle about that Pet Phrase, step back and look at the big picture. That’s the one that matters. If your sites gets 5000 unique visitors a month yet doesn’t rank #1 for that Pet Phrase, we’d call that (in Charlie Sheen terms) WINNING.

Other articles about *Pet Phrases*

Is Your SEO Campaign Out of Focus?

Search Engine Optimization – Are You Optimizing For the Wrong Keywords

Fun with Google Places & Your Default Photo

Just got back from my favorite spa and wanted to upload a new picture to their Places Page I [**side note about this later].

There seems to be NO WAY to do this easily, if at all. And I certainly don’t want to jeopardize what I have posted there now. Other people are deleting ALL their photos and starting over. The first one you upload seems to be (and I say “seems” because GP is a) in beta b) screwed up or c) screwed up) the one that is used as the default picture, which can be critical for your business. You’d like to have control over that photo right? So would I.

So I searched on Google to look for information on changing the default picture. Guess what? I’m not alone. Here are some threads about the exact same issue, with no solutions:

Thread 1: Change Default Picture on GP

Thread 2: Change Main Picture on Google Places Listing

Thread 3: Change Main Picture on GP Listing.

Really frustrating…

Also, when you upload a new photo [which I just did] it doesn’t show up immediately.

cracked nails**So here’s my side note regarding my spa visit today. A lady there had used her smart phone to find a local spa in her zip code [she’s telling us the story] and found the spa I was at “on Google” [this spa has no Web site… yep I’m working on it]. She said “it had more reviews than the others, listen to this one…” and she starts reading MY review! It was like it was all staged… I couldn’t have paid someone to do a better job. It was PERFECT. The business owner ended up giving me $20 off my services which I turned over to the girls that worked on Miss Sage and myself.

How cool is that?

< --- Miss Sage's "Cracked Nails". I guess it's the new thing out there.

QR Codes: Scan, Bamm, Thank you Ma’am!

In case you don’t know what a QR (quick response) code is… let me be the first to tell you that they’re VERY cool, geeky and we’ve only just begun (not a Carpenters song). They’re like a bar code, but 3 dimensional and you can pretty much put them anywhere (shirts, scarves, stickers, napkins, skin, Realtor “for sale” signs, business cards and much more!) When you scan a QR code (via your smart phone) they’ll resolve to any Web page you like. You create your QR code online (at many places) for free! Everyone likes free! They takes a mere few seconds to create at most… you enter the URL you wish to associate with your QR code, click “create” and that’s about it! Most QR code apps can also store the URL for later in case you get *scan happy* and want to check out all your “scans” later at your convenience (say you’re at a huge convention where everyone has a QR code, you scan em via your phone, save it, go on to the next booth and repeat!) You can have them E-mailed to you as well, this is where the functionality of the different scanning apps come into play.

Official Definition of a QR Code

Here is the wiki definition of a QR code in case you want to do your homework. The Japanese have been using them a looong time (the initial use was for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing) and have some pretty far-out uses for them actually and as usual, they’re just starting to get popular here in the US.

Cool QR Code Uses for Realtors

So say you’re a Realtor. You can add a QR code on those *for sale* signs that you plunk in someones front yard. Me, “Miss Looking to Buy A Home” could then drive around aimlessly looking at houses, scan the QR codes and be taken to a Web page that has ALL the information about THAT particular property! Joy! Rapture! That’s just ONE use of them. Since most QR apps let you save your stash of URLs you can spend quality time later reviewing all your saved “homes” you were interested in that day. Send them to a friend! Your husband/wife for review! The possibilities are endless here.

Keli’s QR Code

Yep, I had to get my own QR code of course, it was the geek thing to do. It resolves to a page within my Web design Web site that is only accessible via the QR code. I need to add some unique information there and track it just to see if people use it. I suspect there’s not a lot of activity as it’s only on my Twitter page for now. My idea is to have links that go to to key areas of my Web site or other information I deem important The wheels are spinning!
Albuquerque QR Code

Download a QR Reader App for your Phone

All you do is search your app store for “QR code scanner” or “QR code app” – that should take you to a nice collection of free apps – easy peasy!

Generate a QR Code Online for FREE

Here are a few “no hassle” places to create them:
Create a QR Code at StickerScan
QR Code Generator
QR Generator
and there’s many more… just Google *QR Code Generator*.

QR Tag Articles

-This is a great article by the Danny Sullivan team over at Search Engine Watch titled “Top 14 Things Marketers Need to Know About QR Codes” and as usual, there’s some great info there.

What Is A QR Code And Why Do You Need One?

QR Codes Are a Smart Marketing Choice – A SPN Exclusive Article

What Business Card? Just Scan My QR Code

101 Uses For Quick Response (QR) Codes

7 tips to using QR codes at Trade Shows

1. Place them on your trade show graphics where they can be seen and easily scanned – if you’re going to use them, really use them
2. Give show visitors a reason to scan the QR code, such as “Get more info” or “Sign up for our newsletter” or “See the movie” or “Scan to enter contest,” and then link to a show-specific landing page or a Web page that has the great content you promised
3. Explain how they work to your staff…and ensure each staffer has a smart phone in case the attendee doesn’t
4. Make sure your staff knows to approach anyone who is scanning your QR code and use it as an opportunity to engage them in a conversation
5. Test if the QR codes launch the internet inside the show hall every show … before the show starts
6. Set up the links so that “click” counts can be tracked during the show days, such as with bit.ly
7. Track them especially close the first few shows to see if they work for your audience
[Resource]

Cool QR Products & Unique Uses

-This site sells QR stickers, and you don’t have to buy bulk either (if you’re a Realtor, you won’t need a billion of them right? Hopefully that home sells fast!) Check out ALL the uses they have! It’s a brilliant site.

NapScan! A site that makes QR imprinted napkins for your bar or restaurant. As the site boasts: “The ScanNap “web-enabled” Napkin from Napkins-Only. Finally! Printed Napkins That Actually Make Me Money, Rather Than Adding An Expense”

YouScan.me allows you to add all your info like Facebook profile or fan page, Twitter, YouTube, etc. and connect with others. With YouScan.me you can track and follow all your code activities like scan count and countries from where the code has been scanned. The build in code analytics will provide you with important insights which will help your measure your success.

30 Interesting ways QR Tags are being use actually shows someone with a QR TAG TATTOO!! GO Tattoo Dude!!!! Talk about never getting lost on your way home from the bar 🙂 But seriously, check out their list… there’s some pretty cool QR Tag ideas there.

Scan2 Action Codes are a unique sales tool that combine QR codes with a specific call to action (Scan2pay, win, save, buy, learn, play…) and a mobile enabled landing page for lead generation or E-commerce.

5 Creative Uses of QR Codes

Other Places QR Codes are Popping Up

I’ve also seen QR tags in catalogs (Sephora has them) so in case you want more information about a specific product or want to order it? Bamm Scan ThankYouMa’am! Instant info! Instant order! Hook em while they’re hot.

As shown above, people are getting QR code tattoos, getting shirts made, scarves, bags, hats… the possibilities are endless. If you have a cool/clever use for them, hit me up with a comment below please, I’d love to know!

Yes, I’m serious about my SEO trip…

Not like a trip where I’d actually leave the house or the “golden triangle” as I’m teased about (Keli-the-hermit-joke)… but my gig, my obsession… my life.

So here’s my SEO license plate!

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