Basic SEO tips learned at the Airport

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I recently flew to Seattle and was observing something peculiar in the baggage claim area. In an area next to the baggage claim, there were what appeared to be information booths. I saw many people talking to the few gentlemen that occupied these booths and as I watched a little longer, people were walking away a bit annoyed. I observed the gentlemen call to another person walking by asking them, “Hello, do you need some help?” The person would stop and ask a question, and then the men would start into a pitch trying to sell them time-shares and other things. How annoying! By now you’re hopefully thinking…okay, what does this have to do with SEO??

Rankings are earned

My nerdy SEO brain locked into this, and I thought – perfect SEO lesson. Too often I talk to people who want to optimize for something they are not. People want to optimize for a location that is far from them, or a keyword that doesn’t accurately reflect what they do. Basic SEO tip #1…be who you are (cue “who are you” by the who running through my brain now).

From a conversion standpoint, trying to trick people is the easiest way to kill your conversion rates. Also, Google’s premise is to return the most accurate results to the searcher. Immense resources are spent refining the SERP’s, improving Google’s (and apparently barnacle Bing’s) credibility and the searchers trust in Google’s ability to answer their questions. How annoying it is to search for a dentist in Seattle and find results 50 miles away, or even 15? As Google refines their algorithms (especially their local search), it will be increasingly better at weeding out the irrelevant. Focus on being relevant to your market. Your conversion rates will be better and marketing dollars more effectively spent.

Comments


AJ

Josh, you’re so correct. Sure, people can optimize for keywords that they aren’t entirely relevant for, but it will always be an uphill battle. Google (and barnacle Bing, lol) on the other hand wants to rank relevant content, and it will be a downhill roll. I’m always up for a roll before a battle – gravity ftw!

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Jeremy

Ha! This is great Josh. From a b2b sales standpoint this makes perfect sense. zaAnd this is one of the main things that i appreciate from OS. Transparency, we are a partner of OS and are building a business based on OS’s services. This is how much faith we have in the organization. By misleading the customer, whether in a face to face sales situation, as soon as the customer gets even the slightest hint that youre mipsepresenting your product/service youve killed the lead and any potential chance of salvaging, anything….even if they desperately need it, and youre the only one who can offer it. thed rather go without than deal with a liar. Great post! Share, comin at ya!
Jeremy C http://www.infinetnorthwest.com

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Joshua Kelson

@ AJ – agreed! There are uphill battles I’m willing to fight…but not at the expense of a fundamental foundation. For example, I had a bankruptcy lawyer that wanted to rank for “attorney LOCATION”, before he wanted to rank for “bankruptcy attorney LOCATION”. Although “attorney LOCATION” had about twice the search volume, his firm didn’t do anything but bankruptcy law. I had to help him see the logic behind CONVERSION, not just traffic. Now, I’m not saying we should never go after “attorney LOCATION”, but there needs to be a foundation built, and going after the keyword the best represents you is always best for conversion purposes…and business!

@Jeremy…uh, agreed…see above :)

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