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Foursquare and Internet Marketing
Chris: “And then whenever you purchase the selected merchants, they will give you an extra percent back.” One of their examples was if you spend 50 bucks at Sports Authority, you receive 20 bucks back in return.
Chuck: So it’s kind of like if somebody signed up for our SEO package and then come meet with me, check in when we get here, pay us using your AmEx, and although we won’t physically give you some money back, AmEx will, right?
Chris: Yeah. I mean that’s pretty awesome.
Chuck: Yeah. You might want to take advantage of it.
Chris: Yeah. At least come in and be a customer anyway.
All right. So I thought that was pretty exciting. We pulled an article from Search Engine Land. The article is What Not to Do on Local Business Websites. We thought this would be, you know, people may notice the second podcast in a row change of format. Maybe we should address that.
Chuck: Let’s go ahead.
Chris: Let’s go ahead and address that. You may notice that Paul did not start the last podcast and this podcast. We actually found out some news. We’re a little disappointed that Paul has actually moved on so he is no longer with E-Webstyle. There’s a huge punch in the face to Paul.
Chuck: He helped us grow.
Chris: Yeah, exactly. He helped us start the podcast. He has helped the company grow to this point. Man, we’ve got mad love for Paul and everything he’s done for us, and he had good things to say. We’ve kind of had a meeting before he left and he had some really good things to say about us. So man, like I said, like Charles just said.
Chuck: Yeah, it was all love. I mean, you know, it had to come to a position where it’s time to make a change and he made that change, and so he got my support, he got Chris’ support, he got our support. If you need anything, we’re a call away, a click away, a message away. We’re just praying for you. Keep doing what you got to do.
Chris: And stay in contact.
Chuck: Yeah. Keep up with us.
Chris: So cheers to Paul. If we were drinking, we got to do that.
Chris: Well, no, that’s only for fun. You need a tear. Now I’m going to go get a tear.
All right. So keep listening because we’re bringing you the same great infotainment as always. We’re just sans Paul and we’ll miss him.
All right. So let’s get back to our information, what not to do on local business websites.
Chuck: First off, if you are a local business, you should make it known that you’re a local business. I see a lot of businesses who come out and they only service in a certain area, but they’re trying to put out this presence that they’re a huge company.
Chris: A national brand or something like that.
Chuck: Yeah, which is not necessary. If you’re a local business, especially in this day and age, people look for local businesses. So here’s some stuff that you should not do if you are a local business.
Chris: And I think a lot of this probably applies to in general what not to do, but the article is by Chris Silver Smith and let’s get into it.
Again, this first one definitely applies to even non-local businesses which is do not use vanity numbers.
Chuck: Yeah, 1-800-EWebstyle, you know.
Chris: Really? I mean I’d literally, since I started my first business in ‘91 and even then, I was reading a book called Guerilla Marketing, and in Guerilla Marketing, it said that the marketing-savvy business owner or marketer understands that people need to write it down. So this is before the issue you’re about to bring up, but people need to write it down. They’re not going to remember. Well, they might remember 1-800-EWebstyle but there are some out there that are like 1-800-234-Calls, right? And they’re not going to remember the 234 and then now we’ve got 866 and ‑
Chuck: 877. And more importantly, you’re probably mobile, and I know on my phone, when I’ve used the keypad, my numbers don’t have letters on them.
Chris: So you’re like running through the alphabet. I think it’s three each so ABC that’s 1, DEF that’s 2.
Chuck: So don’t do those.
Chris: Not only that. The smart phones are so smart now they could pull phone numbers off of websites, right? They can’t pull vanity numbers off a website. So I can be on a website and click on the whole thing.
Chuck: Just click the number and then call.
Chris: And then call it if it’s not a vanity number. So do not use it, and that absolutely applies for local businesses and all businesses.
Chuck: I want to say this. If you have one that you’ve maybe been branding it for years, like you are some big firm.
Chris: I think that’s a vanity number.
Chuck: Make sure you include the regular number below that.
Chris: Right under it. Yeah.
Chuck: And make the vanity one a graphic maybe and make the real one actually there.
Chris: That’s true. You’ll actually make it better. Although now we have don’t put your local phone number within a graphic image.
Chuck: Yeah. Yeah. Don’t do that especially for people who may be searching for you. If they’re looking for a local company, those area codes come into play; 832, 713, 281 if you are here in Houston. And so if your local number is an image, then it can’t be clicked on if somebody is using a smart phone, and so you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot if you do that.
Chris: Well, and now there’s even more and more and more options out of desk. There are a lot of IP telephone systems that are tied to the computer so they actually click on the number. They cannot do that if your phone number is an image. It’s just not possible. Well, it’s possible but nobody is spending the time to put that technology together because you should do it right and not have it in an image.
And then it also says include the number in the image’s Alt Text as well.
Chuck: If you do that. Yeah. I’m just going to say don’t do it.
Chris: Don’t forget to update your copyright date. Gee, why should they update their copyright date?
Chuck: Well, before that I’m just going to say a disclaimer now. I’m going to check ours. I’ll tell you this because ours may not be updated. We should be but it may not be. But you update your copyright date because Google sees that, it gets indexed, and it’s June 2011 now. The copyright date should not say 2010 or 2009 or worse, something older than that.
And I’m going to throw this in. While you’re updating your copyright date, update your About Us page because usually, if your copyright date was two or three years old, then something on your About Us page is probably two or three years back. For example, I was updating ‑ I’m redoing my church’s website.
Chris: By the way, don’t check our website.
Chuck: I’m redoing my church’s website and so I was reading the pastor’s bio and he’s been with our church 18 years now. The bio says 13 years. I was like, “Wow, that’s five years old.”
Chuck: So you run into those types of issues so definitely refresh your content including your footer information.
Chris: And sometimes, especially with dates like how long have you been in business, it’s sometimes good to say, “We’ve been in business since 1999.”
Chuck: That way you can ‑ yeah.
Chris: That way you do the math. We’re not going to do the math every year. So that’s a better option than saying two years and then 10 years later and that being totally wrong.
Avoid making a Flash-only website. Again, well, I’ve got to say both of these are true of local ‑ just of your website in general. We’ve talked ad nauseam about Flash-only websites. We did on our Unknown Secrets of Website Analysis podcast. We did an analysis for a Flash-only website not too long ago, the valid parts and stuff. And we know for a fact that Google is indexing content inside of Flash. We have yet to see a Flash-only website on the first page of Google.
Chuck: You know what I think, my Flash isn’t great but I do know that there’s a couple of different ways you can do Flash. I’ve seen Flash where it’s actually pulling the content from like a note file.
Chris: A text file.
Chuck: A text file that’s stored somewhere and then I’ve seen Flash where it’s just embedded graphically. And so I think how you use the Flash has a huge impact on if Google can index it.
Chris: Well, that’s absolutely true because you can include images with text, and if it’s an image with text at the background of Flash, that text is not going to be indexable.
Chris: If it’s text though and it doesn’t have to be necessarily a text file, but that’s a great way to understand. Look, if it’s in the text file and it shows up, it is absolutely text in the code, right? Flash is not converting it to an image and then showing it. It’s showing the text in the code and Google can index it. But if it’s in an image and then shown, then ‑
Chuck: It’s just ‑
Chris: Even that won’t be indexable.
Chuck: Yeah, LSS, W, SWF.
Chris: Yeah, WDP, whatever, JPG. It’s nothing. I don’t even know if you do can do Alt Text on there.
So Flash only. We are even getting away, and we still do a little bit of design work with some Flash in it. We do like to have motion. We do believe that our web is in motion. What we like to say is it gives our website the ability to ‑ it allows it to breathe, right?
Chris: You don’t want it to be distracting. You don’t want flashing and ‑
Chris: Heli ‑ you definitely don’t want little tiny helicopters flying across this landscape, the cityscape of Houston. It can be distracting. That’s funny. And you don’t want it so flashy that it causes up epileptic seizures. I think that should be on the list here. I don’t know how you squeeze that one in.
Chuck: Don’t use “click here” for your link text.
Chuck: Yeah, don’t do that for a couple of reasons. One is it’s just old. Two, it’s a link, and so you should really use that opportunity to embed a keyword in that link. Keyword-rich anchor text is what you should be using and not “click here.” So basically, put it in a sentence, whatever that sentence is. We do search engine optimization and search engine optimization is the link to the search engine optimization page.