Google Local Sponsored Listing and SEO

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Fifty-four E-Webstyle.com SEO Podcast Apr. 2nd 2010. Second page of Transcription

Google Local Sponsored Listing and SEO

Chris: Bless you. “I want to start off” – he didn’t say bless you. That was me just to be clear. “I want to start off by saying that your podcast is not only extremely informative pertaining to search engine marketing, but also very comical and attention grabbing. I look forward to listening to every podcast for the knowledge and insight that you two give each week for free I might add.” So wow! Andrew thank you very much that is a great testimonial and he goes on to ask for a job (laughing)

Paul: (laughing)

Chris: I’m just kidding (laughing). He says, he talked ‑ he just got his BBA , Bachelor in Business Administration and he didn’t study SEO-SEM in depth, but he was very interested in it. And his question to us is, if we have any advice on how to break into the SEO market. What he’s finding is that employees that he’s applied to seemed to care more about actual experience than a high GPA and genuine passion for the growing industry. You know, we talked about this kind of briefly and Paul what’s our thought on that?

Paul: Who cares what you went to school for?

Chris: (laughing). Wow, you’re like Simon Cowell today.

Paul: (laughing)

Chris: Your degree isn’t anything…

Paul: Isn’t much – I mean pretty much – in this industry, I think you said this yesterday is what can you do…

Chris: For me today.

Paul: Today. Like what can you get done, how quickly can you get it done, you know…

Chris: So Andrew we’re not trying to squelch ‑you know squash your desire. I think a high GPA is a good sign of some things. I think that a genuine passion for this industry is obviously great and if you’ve got that passion, eventually you’re going to break into it and it doesn’t matter. What I would probably recommend that you start doing is, you make a blog of some kind and start actually making sure that – and the more competitive the subject matter of the blog, the better and make sure it’s on the first page. So, if you go to somebody and say, “Look, not only do I have a good GPA so I know how to learn quickly and do stuff. I’ve got a passion for this industry. My passion is so deep that I started this blog.” And maybe the blog is something that ultimately you don’t really want to keep doing. You just want to have this blog out there and then optimize it and get it on the first page. And you can say, “This is what I’m doing,” right?

‘Cause I recognize that SEO isn’t about book learning per se. You know a lot of the things that we talk about – I think a lot of the value that we bring to the SEO community is kind of, how do we think about things. It’s not like, “Okay, now your keyword is this, insert keyword in title three times and insert keyword in the first sentence once.” You know there is nothing specifically systematic about it. It’s a lot of processes and there’s a lot of thought process. In fact one of the things we’re going to talk today about is keywords and keywords has everything to do with logic and very little to do with systemization and we’ll see that here in a second. So, take it up another level and do something on your own, and what that’ll do is give you a leg up. When you’re interviewing, what you can do is you talk about, “You know what this is what I’m doing. I’m so passionate about this.” ‘Cause you can say you’re passionate and you probably are, you’re listening to this podcast. But if you’ve got something tangible, you can say, “Look, this is what I’m doing. This is what I’ve been working on. Just give me a chance because what I’ve done for this, I can certainly do for your company.” And if somebody knocked on our door and said that and that’s real experience that you can create on your own and given the timeline with Google, you can do that in two months. Now, I know you’re probably looking for a job, maybe a little bit before two months…

Paul: (laughing)

Chris: …but if you end up accepting a job that’s not really you’re passion, first off that’s a nightmare. I understand you may need to do that for money. But you know advice, just do it for money and understand that what you’re going to do is create and do some SEO and bring some tangible evidence of your passion for the industry to whomever you’re speaking to. We would love to talk to people who have actually stepped on a limb on their own ‘cause that’s a huge sign I think.

Paul: Here’s a piece of advice, listen to a podcast – I’m not going to say which podcast…

Chris: Some podcast.

Paul: Some podcast and learn as much as you can about Search Engine Optimization and impress people with your knowledge. I do it all that time. Not really but…

Chris: (laughing)

Paul: …I’m going to say that.

Chris: You actually impress people around the world with your knowledge so that’s – whatever you do, don’t start a podcast.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: (laughing)

Paul: Seriously though. At least not about Search Engine Optimization (laughing)

Chris: (laughing) And it better not be more entertaining than ours if you do okay and less informative, both of those I would support 100%.

All right. So let’s talk about the conversation that I had with Google. It’s going to be a little bit of a discussion into frustration. It’s going to be a discussion into the fact that the salesperson – at one point, I did ‑ actually I try not to do this in these situations ‘cause I always – I remember my dad is an Air Force colonel so he’s pretty high ranking in the military. And I remember every now and then in these situations it was so embarrassing. He would pull out, “I’m full bird colonel in the Air Force” at the grocery store trying to get better service. And I’m like, “Really? Like this guy doesn’t care that you – they don’t give a crap.” (laughing)

Paul: That’s pretty awesome.

Chris: (laughing) He did it more than once.

Paul: …out there like hey…

Chris: And so I’ve tried – you know I’m on the phone with him and I’m trying to explain some things to him ‘cause he doesn’t understand and I’m trying not to like pull rank or whatever. And at one point I said, “Look, you know the reason that I’m trying to explain this to you, I understand this industry. I am one of the host of the most popular SEO podcast on iTunes. This is what I do for a living.”

And so here goes, last we mentioned, last podcast maybe or four podcasts ago probably ‘cause it was before we interviewed Ken, so four podcasts ago, which will be podcast 50 I think. In podcast 50, we talked about Google sponsored local ads. And Google sponsored local ads is where you can pay $25 and they’ll put like a little yellow Post-it next to your Google local listings. So that we’re all on the same page, if you go to Google, just Google.com not Google Maps, not Google Images, not Google anything else, go to Google and type in lawyer, Houston. You’ll see a section and it’s usually between five and ten business that are in the Houston area in this case, they’re lawyers ‘cause you typed lawyer. In that you will be able to see a couple and apparently this program they’re only doing in San Jose and Houston – interesting collection of cities. And you’ll see this little kind of yellow Post-it and then a faint highlighted sponsored ads. And it’s supposed to make it pop out more and then you click it.

And I told you four podcasts ago, that he said, our click-through rate for one of businesses that is listed at this address is PatrickWanis.com, quit smoking and lose weight. And he said that, “Oh, you’re only getting a 5% click-through rate.” Well we understand that a 5% click-through rate is actually not that bad. Certainly in advertising you look at pay-per-click and they’re desperate to get 1% and so it was actually pretty good. And he wants me to spend money on that. I’m not going to spend it on that one because again if somebody is looking for “weightloss hypnosis Houston,” they’re probably looking for a hypnotist in Houston. Patrick is in Miami and he sells CDs. So the conversion from somebody who’s looking for a hypnotist to help him loose weight in Houston over to a CD, which is a tough sale…

Paul: Uh-hum.

Chris: …or over to a phone consultation ‘cause Patrick can do a phone consultation, is also a tough sale. So I wouldn’t spend any more money if anything lands on our lap, we’ll do that. Then I started talking to him about EWebResults. He goes, “Oh, you have another business.” He got all excited. Yeah.

Paul: (laughing)

Chris: “How many more do you have maybe I can get lots of commission today.” So right then and there I Googled internet marketing. And in your case if you’re not in Houston, you’ll type in internet marketing Houston and there’s no local listings, none at all. So it’s just organic results. No local listings. And you do that for any of the keywords that would be relevant to our Google local listing. No local listings at all. And so I’m trying to explain to him that – and I literally said this, “You could sell me dancing naked women on my ad.”

Paul: Sold.

Chris: But (laughing). Boy, that was easy. (laughing)

Paul: (laughing)

Chris: You don’t get to answer the phone calls when they’re trying to sell us (laughing)

Paul: (laughing)

Chris: You could sell dancing naked women my ad sold and if my add doesn’t show up, you have sold me no value. I’m just…

Paul: Yeah. Who cares?

Chris: ….throwing money as effectively as I’ve experienced a dancing naked woman. I’m just throwing money away for no reason at all. And so I’m trying to explain this– literally this took between 30 and 45 minutes. And one of the things I was hoping he would say is, well the reason there’s no local listing is blah, blah, blah. I don’t exactly know why there isn’t a local listing. Why is there a local listing for lawyers and not for internet marketing or online marketing? People are just as – even though it’s internet based to want to actually you know shake hands and have a face-to-face conversation with their internet marketing guy as with their lawyer, you know? So I don’t know why there isn’t a local listing. In fact we were discussing there used to be.

Paul: At least for SEO Houston. I swear there used to be…

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: …a local listing…

Chris: So for SEO Houston there was and now it’s gone. I don’t know maybe the allergies took it away who knows?

Paul: (laughing)

Chris: And that’s actually scary too. If they’re going to take away your Google local listings for your subject matter every now and then, then you’re paying $25. Again, you have the dancing naked ladies in the corner and no one can see them and it’s pretty bizarre. What I was hoping he would say is, once you buy the sponsored ad, then we’ll guarantee that Google local will show up and then you’ll be in that list and you’ll have your little Post-it looking thing. Well, I found one of our competitors in the city of Houston who is already paying the $25. I found that on Google Maps and so clearly it’s not that case. They’ve already got a sponsored ad. They’re not going to get on the front page. So this was a very long conversation. It was pretty interesting in kind of one interesting note that you can look up ‑ in your local business center, you can look up the number of impressions that your business local ad has had and the actions. And in our case, we had 64 impressions and 32 actions. That’s exactly 50%. I was impressed with five. Imagine what I’m thinking with 50.

Paul: Well, that’s actually pretty dang good.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: Like wow (laughing)

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