Local Search Marketing

It’s a horrible feeling wanting to be noticed and going unnoticed. No, I’m not talking about the person at the end of the bar pointedly ignoring the smile you occasionally flash their way...

I’m talking about your website.

However, much like dating, to be noticed you must first be seen. That means you need to stand out in the crowd. You need to put yourself where the traffic is.

Once the website is done many are struck with a feeling of being all dressed up with nowhere to go. Your focus has been on the design but with that task behind you focus is lost and with that your sense of direction. It’s looks as good as it’s going to and does what it needs to – what’s next?

This is not the field of dreams. Kevin Costner isn’t making lemonade in the farmhouse and ghostly visitors are not going to come to your website simply because you built it. It’s time to step out and show the world what you got!

Business growth off-line and web growth online obey the same rules

This is where most people trip and fall - on their face. Don’t worry. We’ve all done it. Dust yourself off and get back up. I’ve been involved with Internet businesses for over 25 years – Internet marketing and SEO for over 20. The trick to successfully marketing your website is the same as building a successful business.

Time management

Time management is key and the key to time management is creating reproducible systems for everything you do. You're in luck, SEO is more system oriented than most businesses.

Without a clear sense forward many fall back into design mode. Don't get caught up in the details. Google isn’t going to evaluate the special attention you devote to your font selection or praise you for the single great article you wrote about Babe Ruth. They build a fingerprint composed of hundreds of data points and then simply compare that fingerprint to billions of other pages on the Internet…

Every… single… day.

Don’t excessively focus on any one data point. Google knows what a good business looks like. The closer your fingerprint matches others that follow good SEO and business practices the better you will do. Good businesses associate with good people, good businesses have a diverse range of contacts, and good businesses shows steady gradual growth - as should your website.

It’s as simple as that.

It all boils down to a single critical concept. Michael Gerber perfectly summarizes it in his book, the E-Myth, “Systems run the business and people run the systems.” Compartmentalize and systemize. Organize common routines into defined processes and distribute them according to capability. Every person has a place and every person in their place.

You need to create a system. For everything.

How do you get to the first page of Google everytime? Create a process.

So, you ask, “How do I do that?”

For the answer, you could spend weeks reading some of the many wonderful SEO blogs out there, buy many of the many wonderful books, or even purchase some well-produced online classes. Or read below and absorb – I mean really absorb – what it conveys.

Creating the initial process will require patience. You're not treading a worn path. Your forging ahead and chopping your way through the jungle as you go along. You're going to make mistakes. You're going to have to backtrack. You're going to have to have patience.

While creating your process you must:

  1. Make notes - You have an idea? Write it down. You will forget it. Made a mistake? Make a quick note. You will repeat it. Did something work out just right? Make a note. Include in the process. Logging failures are probably more important than logging your successes. One of the best ways to save your time is putting steps in place that help you avoid the things that make you lose it.
  2. Think differently – you're not building a website. You're promoting your opinion. The root of every well defined opinion lies in a clearly defined concept. Concepts are not just a single idea, but a group of supporting ideas and the best way to weave ideas together is through a story. The better your story, the more nuanced it is with intertwined principle aspects and supporting aspects, the better it will do. That's how Google looks at what you're constructing. Get your head out of the website box and start thinking about how to weave a story.
  3. Network - The first step in building a business, once established, is building relationships. The process on or offline is no different. A good part of local SEO is building citations through quality business directories and business related services. Read my notes on growing your presence with a quality local SEO Citation list. Included is a comprehensive Step 1–2–3 list of services and citations you can use to grow your site. Begin at, well, the beginning and by the time you're at the end you should be doing pretty well!
  4. Show steady growth – don't be in a rush. The fastest horse out of the gate often won't even place. Slow and steady wins the endurance race. Likewise, steady growth is healthy growth. Remember the tortoise and the hare? That's what Google is looking for. This can be accomplished through outreach campaigns, social networks, secondary blogs feeding to your website, second-tier links feeding to them. There are also a lot of creative ways to find links. If you are interested in some of these topics let me know.
  5. Improve your story - once you made it to the first page of Google you still need to make it into the hearts and minds of your prospective audience. Google is doing a pretty good job of aligning himself with the interests of their users, but no one will ever be better suited to the job than you. This is where the little things matter – using an active voice in your writing, proper grammar, blending text and visual elements, possibly using sales funnels and always A/B testing to get it right.
  6. Implement analytics - "what isn't measured, isn't managed" I was brokenhearted when I discovered this paraphrased quote didn't actually come from one of my favorite business management gurus, Peter Drucker. However, it is true nonetheless. Avoid paralysis by analysis. Don't go too deep. But you need to put analytics in place, and define your important KPIs, so you know what works and what doesn't.

Remember. Make notes. Short. Quick. Notes. The good. The bad. The ugly. Time stamp everything. Then if things go south you can backtrack and try to find exactly where you went wrong. Or, hopefully, when things go right you know what you did.

Most importantly, once you get your first site – your first story – on the first page of Google you have a clear path of how you got there.

You will have your repeatable process.

Refine the process every time you repeat the process so you can trust the process

Once you have your process you need to clearly define it down to the granular level.

Break it down into tasks, define each task into step-by-step standard operating procedures (SOPs), group related tasks together, mapped the flow of their order chronologically and map their relation to one another. If you're lucky enough to have someone working with you delegate accordingly.

In closing, the key to growth is creating a reproducible system:

Define tasks ⇒ Systemize each into step-by-step SOPs ⇒ Compartmentalize ⇒ Map relations ⇒ Delegate.

Every time you repeat the process set some time aside to test different ways of improving it. They should be formal tests – not ad hoc. Otherwise, you just end up wasting your time.

It sounds like a lot of work. It is a lot of work. But after repeating your process a couple times you will find you know how to relatively quickly rank a business on the first page of Google using a compartmentalized task based system that is easily scalable.

In short, you will be able to make some serious money.

Good luck, Grasshopper.

Local Search Marketing

A good part of my local SEO Guide is about building citations from quality business directories and business related services. Check out my notes on building local SEO Citations. I included a rather comprehensive Step 1–2–3 list of services and citations you can use to grow your site. Begin at, well, the beginning and by the time you're at the end you should be doing pretty well!

The next step is usually outreach campaigns which is a total pain in the ass.

I'm performing a detailed case study of some of my earlier clients. Their websites have been doing extremely well but I noticed they are starting to slip. I decided to try a few different things with each. I'll post a log of what in the result as they occur.

Here are the links to the various reports - a West Palm Beach Family Attorney Steve Winig, Pensacola Criminal Attorney Jason Cromey, and West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer Joshua LeRoy.