Updating My Local SEO Offerings

March 23rd, 2009

For the past week, freshly inspired after attending SEMpdx in Portland, OR, I’ve been revamping one of the websites I use for marketing my local SEO services. That poor old site has not been updated in about 3 years. It had originally been desinged using old-school table based layouts. Now it’s sporting clean HTML/CSS coding.

The service offerings were a tad bit out of date with too much mention of directories for link building. Wow, I haven’t submitted a link to “free directories” in almost 2 years, I think. Yet the site was still talking about that outdated SEO crap.

No longer focused on just organic SEO I mention Google Maps optimization and geo-targeted pay per click too.

So, finally done, old-page redirects in place and all that jazz. Was contemplating adding a blog, but….don’t want to just yet.

Still gotta hunt down typo’s and that stuff. Some pages seem a bit weak, but good for now. :)

Oh, and I am actively seeking air conditioning and heating contractors in need of HVAC marketing.

M-words: Monopoly and Mob Mentality

February 22nd, 2009

This post is a reply to Greg Sterling’s post, Perception & Reality : Naming Names. It started out as a comment on his blog but became rather long winded and moved more in the direction of broad market commentary than just about Google and the “M-word”, monopoly. So I posted it here instead.

It is at times like this, deep recession, that the public becomes more protectionist, and politicians become more populist. Rightly or wrongly (mostly wrongly). Google best tread lightly in its M&A activities so as not to provoke the wrath of a nervous public, labeling them with the dirty “M-word”, and opportunistic politicians out to give the people what they think they want (the real reason, of course, is they want a moment in the lime-light and perhaps forward their careers with some higher political office appointment later on). Nor must they give reason for a competitor to play dirty by trying to sway things into that direction.

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The State of Local Search in Canada

February 12th, 2009

Local search is generally the same here in Canada as it is in the US. SEO tactics are the same to get ranked at the top of organic results or map results, though there are a few geo-targeting techniques needed to ensure Google knows your site belongs in Canada, but this piece is not about that. I want to look at the state of the market in the local space online.

From my experience local is very healthy in Canada as far is internet users go. Internet usage on a per capita basis is higher than in the US at 80% vs. about 73% as Canada was an early adopter of the web. For a similar type local business in a similar sized city I’ve seen some of my Canadian clients receive a slightly higher level of search traffic volumes and online leads. Slight, but noticeable in the few instances I’ve had the opportunity to compare. So like I said local is healthy on the user side.

Where the big difference lies, in my opinion, is in the local space outside of traditional search, except Google Maps. Yahoo Local is still just pushing YellowPages.ca data and you can’t add or edit businesses like you can in the US version.

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Zillow.com Directory Overrun by Realtors

January 8th, 2009

A couple months back zillow.com launched a local directory of professionals that extended to things like painters, landscapers, and various other contractors in the home improvement market. An obvious move for Zillow and expanding its reach in localized internet traffic. So I wanted to check back on the site after a bit and see how it was working and if it might be a worthwhile site to recommend to some of my local search clients, since I do a fair bit of website design and search marketing for contractors.

It’s a Spam Fest for Real Estate Agents

If you go to any large US city, take LA, Las Vegas, Chicogo or Houston for example, then search the professional directory for maybe a painter or a plumber and you see a pile of realtors dominating the listings. It appears its easy for a realtor to add tags to their profile to include other categories and many are taking advantage of it.

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A CSS Sticky Footer that Works in 2009 (Chrome too)

January 6th, 2009

UPDATE: This sticky footer solution has been updated since the launch of Internet Exploder 8. More recent blog post about it is here. Most the typical problems some people encounter are the same and many have been discussed in the comments below on this post. If you are having problems there is a good chance you’ll find your solution below from someone else who ran into similar issues.

For those that don’t know a sticky footer is a footer that sticks to the bottom of the browser window when the content area is too short to push it down on its own. Having a footer float part way up the page can look like poor design on some sites.

A working solution that actually makes the footer stick to the bottom of the page can be found here.

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