SEO is becoming mainstream to the business owner. 6 to 7 years ago I would be shocked to find a business owner that new what SEO was. Today I am shocked to find one that doesn’t. The majority of business owners now know they need and want SEO. The problem now becomes understanding what SEO really is, and does a business owner ultimate get his website ranked in Google. Hence the BBB is trying to fill a need for its loyal members by providing a quick and easy guide to getting websites ranked.

Here is the BBB’s article: 5 Steps To Get Your Business On Google’s First Page

Reckless. Very reckless. If only SEO was as quick and easy as a 5 step.

Black Hat Magic

What  irritated me the in this article was the following statement:

“Accredited Businesses who use BBB’s dynamic seal on their website will greatly benefit from bbb.org’s high domain status, thus increasing their own domain authority and search engine ranking.”

What BBB did here is shrewdly ask for a link. Asking for a reciprocal link to be more clear. Further, implicating that by adding a link to the BBB the businesses owner will get better ranks. They even linked to Moz.com within this misguided statement. Was this contrived or is the writer just naive? While this tactic of reciprocal linking isn’t entirely black hat, the fact that the article doesn’t give full disclosure that they are asking for a link makes me cringe.

 

Most Effective SEO Strategies

spring-spider-pest-controlDespite the BBB’s attempt to gain links from their naive and trusting followers, the BBB did publish a survey with some good percentages for effective SEO strategies. The survey put “Link Building” as the 3rd from the bottom. The respondents felt that “Quality Content Creation” is your best bet for SEO success. Bravo. Take the survey’s advice and work on your content strategy and keyword research. Give users the information they are searching for and your business should reap some SEM benefits. But please understand, SEO is not a quick 5 step project. It’s a competitive world out there, and everyone wants the first page of google.

 

K – I –  S S – I – N – G

google-wikipedia-serps

 

So Google is now displaying a little drop down screen shot of the Wikipedia page associated with a website. The information is Universal and site wide, so this tab is included on deeper pages.

Why is this Interesting to me?

I find this very telling of how heavily google is now leaning towards entities in the search results.

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It seems rather frequent these days that Bulwark Exterminating gets calls from individuals “with the news station” wanting to “feature a pest control company”.

And now, more often then not, I am disappointed when a call gets through to my line with an intro of “They said they were with the news station.” Very few of these individuals are actually reporters covering news. Instead they are solicitors who have coat tailed in on the name of CBS News. Granted they don’t usually say they are covering a news story, or that they are reporters from the news station. They simply drop the familiar “News Station” name into their introduction and those answering the phones make great haste to get them to the proper PR person. But really, all they want to do is pitch a spot on their news website.

Now I know that a lot of traditional media stations are suffering with how to adapt to the internet. The online world is sucking viewers away by the millions. Reporters are getting scooped left and right by bloggers and youtube videos shot from smart phones. It is a tough new world for traditional media. But these phone calls make them seem even more desperate to me. And strangely, the “News Stations” just don’t get it. And sadly, most of them cave to running Google Adsense, feeding their biggest competitor.

And what they don’t see is the power they still wield. I am more than happy to bend over backwards for reporters, when they do actually call. I am happy to rearrange schedules, clean up a truck, find an ant mound, let them video our live scorpions, and even spend 2 hours to be dropped for breaking news. Because the news is still watched. Not by all demographics, but by the good majority of the demographic that will actually buy pest control. And your stations are still being watched. Yes, you may have to adjust for the loss of viewers. Yes, your prices will probably need to drop. But you still have an audience and you can make it profitable.

And for those solicitors that keep calling, you are making making your stations look bad. You are not reporters. Don’t pretend to be such. Don’t pretend to be offering a “news” feature. Further, online views are not the same as TV views. They shouldn’t cost the same, it’s not a bargain. The prices I’ve been offered for impressions on a news website are ridiculous. Especially when the ads are below the fold. So “No Thank You CBS Broadcasting in Charlotte NC. We don’t want to be solicited for a feature PAID spot on your website. If you do however want to feature our fabulous Charlotte Pest Control company in the news my lines are open.”

 

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———— Starting #ExitSeats Training ——————————–

“… 300 series plane, so no flight attendant will help you
with emergency exit doors.” Points to Emergency folder…

“Your resposibilities are found in here. Any questions?”

————— End of Emergency Exit Door training. ——————–

Unbroken seal on the emergency exit door of a ...

Unbroken seal on the emergency exit door of a passenger airplane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what did I just agree to do?

Well for those of you that have agreed to this position of power, note that there are certain written responsibilities that come with the extra leg room. And if you do have any relatives flying on the plane with you then you should not be sitting in the exit row. These are serious federal laws.

Or you can use my line, “I don’t like those relatives, so I will be showing them anything but favoritism.”

Written on the Airplane’s Exit Door Emergency Folder:

If you are seared in a row of seats having direct access to an
overwing exit, you are in an emergency seat and may be called upon to
open the exit window and help other passengers leave the aircraft if a
crew member is not available to assist.

Each person seated in an exit seat must be willing and able to perform 
the following functions:

- Locate The emergency exit.
– Recognize the emergency exit opening mechanism.
– Comprehend the instructions for operating the emergency exit.
– Operate the emergency exit. Assess whether opening the emergency exit will
increase the hazards to which passengers may be exposed.
– Follow oral directions and hand signals given by a Crew Member.
– Stow or secure the emergency exit window so that it will not impede use of exit.
– Pass expeditiously through the emergency exit
– Asses, select, and follow a safe path away from the emergency exit.

A passenger seated in exit seat must have sufficient mobility strength & 
dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to:

- Reach upward, sideways, and downward to the location of the emergency exit.
– Grasp and push, pull, turn, or otherwise manipulate mechanisms.
– Push, Shove, Pull, or otherwise open the exit.
– Lift out, hold, deposit on nearby seats, maneuver over the seatbacks
to next row or out the opening objects/obstructions the size and
weight of overwing window exits.
– Maintain balance while removing obstructions
– Reach the emergency exit and exit the aircraft expeditiously.

A passenger seated in an exit seat must:

- Be 15 years of age
– Have the capacity to perform the applicable functions without the
assistance of an adult companion, parent, or other relative
– Have the ability to read and understand instructions related to
emergency evacuation provided by Southwest Airlines in printed or
graphic form.
– Have the ability to understand  oral Crew commands.
– Have sufficient visual capacity to perform applicable functions
without the assistance of visual aids beyond contact lenses or
eyeglasses.
– Have sufficient aural capacity to hear and understand instructions
shouted by Crew Members without assistance beyond a hearing aid.
– Have the ability to adequately impart information orally in English
to other passengers.

A passenger seated in an exit seat must not:
-use potable O2 concentrator.
– Have preboarded the aircraft. Required a seatbelt extension to
fasten his seat belt.
– Have a condition or responsibility such as caring for small children
or pets, that might prevent him  from performing the applicable functions.
– Have a condition that might cause the person harm if he performs one
or more of applicable functions.

Federal Regulations  Require that you identify yourself for reseating 
if you:
– Cannot meet the selection criteria
– Have a condition that will prevent you from performing the
applicable functions
– may suffer bodily harm as a result of performing any of the
applicable functions.
– do not wish to perform

Window door approx 50 pounds

_______end of folder training________

 

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happy-valentine-day-ballantyne

So it’s Valentine’s Day! Yeah!! ..or Nay? For those that suffer through Valentine’s day, I understand. I feel the sentiment behind a friend’s words in saying, “it should be renamed ‘Singles Awareness Day’.”

But hey, being so closely named to this day, I have decided to embrace it and all the cheesiness that comes with it.

And as a pest control guy, this mean double “Love Bug” trouble.

bug-treat-recipeYes… that’s my crafty work.  I spent some time making these cute little love bugs. You can get your Love Bug Recipe here: http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/bug-treats

And beyond that, I played the romance killer in this short feature:

So there you have it…

Hope you have a Wonderful Happy Valentine’s Day!

oh.. and if you want to win a free year of pest control service in this year’s Valentine Video Contest, then might want to check out this link:

http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/contest-rules

 

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A recent study by Ryan C. McDevitt of Duke University lays claim that plumbers who bid on Google’s PPC ads have a high likelihood of being poor quality plumbers.

The article makes a comparison of PPC ads to the former yellow pages. The argument begins with the home based services whose names begin with the letter ‘A’ or a number. They found plumbers with ‘A’ or numeric names charge a 8.4% price premium. They used a study from 2005 based on the Chicago yellow pages which documents ‘A’ names and number names by percentage of total listings in each category to point out plumber’s beat the average 9.3% of business with ‘A’ names. This study they used is pretty eye opening.

Rank Yellow Page Headings by Percentage of “A” or # Names

1
 Locks & Locksmiths 65.90%
2
 Towing-Automotive 28.90%
3
 Taxi & Limousine Service 21.20%
4
 Convenience Stores 21.20%
5
 Plumbing Contractors 21.00%
6
 Associations 20.80%
7
 Insurance 19.90%
8
 Roofing Contractors 15.20%
9
 Cellular Telephone Services 14.90%
10
 Art Galleries & Dealers 14.90%
11
 Employment Agencies 14.80%
12
 Automobile Repairing & Service 14.50%
13
 Electric Contractors 14.10%
14
 Travel Agencies & Bureaus 13.50%
15
 Painters 13.30%

Source: American Business Disc,2005

Does it correlate that yesterday’s Yellow Page spammers are today’s internet spammers?

The fact that Locksmith’s tops the list reminds me of the notorious Locksmith spammers in today’s SEO world. Albeit it may not be entirely fair to suppose an ‘Automobile’ category is gaming the system by using ‘A’ names as the category itself begins with ‘A’.  It is also insightful that roughly 6.2% of competitive categories use ‘A’ or numeric names. If name selection for a business were unbiased we would likely see an average closer to 3.9% ‘A’ names, which is where Lawyers and Attorneys fall due to regulations requiring firms use names that match the lead attorney. Pizza companies actually fall below that mark with a 3.4% ‘A’ name ratio.

My Thoughts

The idea that plumbing spammers are more likely to bid on google PPC ads is intriguing. However I found that the study by McDevitt of Duke makes a lot of assumptions. Further, it used Yelp as a primary source for counting reviews and comparing complaint averages. I highly doubt that the data included Yelp’s obnoxious filtered reviews. Plus, as Larry Kim added, 25% of Yelp’s reviews are suspected as fake.

And if the conclusion has some merit among the plumbing industry, I find it hard to believe it is applicable to all home service industries. Granted I am a bit biased to the pest control industry, but even still, I find it hard to imagine a business model that could afford the current cost per ‘pest control’ click and not retain customers.

The study does have some tenable findings in the yellow pages with regards to A and numeric names associated with quality. I believe the choice to take the AAA name for phone book ranking is an indication of choosing short term gains over long term strategy. A well developed quality service takes more careful aim with long term strategies in the crosshairs.

But… “Hey, I am just the pest control guy.

for further discussion on this study visit HBR : http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/11/beware-the-plumbing-firm-that-advertises-a-lot/

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Good-Bye 2013 It’s been great

Posted: December 31, 2013 by Thos003 in Just for Fun
Tags: , , , , , , ,

While the idea of getting old lacks some luster, I must say each year accumulates more memories, more love, and more life. I love that despite life not being perfect that each year is a little better than the last. I look back and say, “Wow” and then look forward excited for more.

And despite one of my favorite Princess Bride movie lines, “LIFE IS PAIN, your highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something” I must say, Life is awesome.

But then again I am a Marketer.

Enjoy…

Happy New Year!

This past week yelp changed a few things, they no longer filer reviews!

But before you get too excited, they now “Recommend” and “Highlight” reviews, while they  have other “reviews currently not recommended.” But.. You can NOW click through to this reviews that are not currently recommended,  without having to enter a captcha!

“Yahoooooo!… No Captcha!

Wait there’s more, the “NOT RECOMMENDED” reviews are now sorted from low to high stars… AND they have a new video!!!

yelp-not-recommended-review-filter

Highlight reel from Yelp’s New Video

Yelp-recommendation-software

(hmmm…. EVERY review? But what about the businesses that trip a review filter that causes their reviews to pass a different standard…???)

Yelp-Fake-Reviewer-filter

Wow… Not sure where to go with this one since Nick B. in Austin is so obviously fake, yet he’s reviews only got filtered for a “Bridal Company”. Check out this thread to see how many Yelper’s agree that Nick’s review should be filtered >>> Austin Pest Control Reviews on Yelp

Yelp Testing Carousel Layout

Apparently I was one of the lucky 1% to see Yelp’s new layout. But I did find a way for you to see it yourself… CLICK HERE! 

Yelp-New-layout-carousel

The page is wider. The font is larger. The “Competitor Companies” on the right are pushed further down. The reviewer images are bigger. They encourage users to add photos, for better or worse. What I surely don’t like is that they have distorted the video image by taking a landscape layout and squished it into a square. It would be ideal if I could select the image to show in the video box… even worse is this:

Video-Yelp-Broken

They have also eliminated a few options, like bookmarking and linking to a review. They moved the compliments, messages, and follows to the left and only visible upon scrolling over them.

Yelp-new-design2

I give the new design a 3 star rating… nothing to be too excited about, but not too bad either. Still don’t like the review filter even if Yelp has changed the name to “Not Recommended”. And I am still not happy about the number of fake reviewers that Yelp knowing permits to remain on their system. Yes… KNOWINGLY permit. I’ve reached out to the uppers at yelp and they have assured me that this user and others like him are being looked into. But they have been aware of him since I first reported it over 2 months ago. Here is Luther with Yelp responding…

If anyone wants the details on the fake review network that yelp isn’t doing anything about, ping me. I’ve got a pretty little spreadsheet I can share with you.

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Google is constantly testing and refining their search. This also applies to their ad section. Google cares about conversion optimization. Click here to see previous changes to sponsored section. Despite their “Do no Evil” slogan, they are still in the game to make money. Here is the latest testing of their ad section.

Google-Ads-Section-testing

Compared to current “Ad section”:

Google-Search-PPC-Section

my first reaction…

google-ads

What is that Big Yellow Tag doing there?

I am actually a bit skeptical on if this is going to help click through rates. It does grab one’s attention which could help CTR. The main advantage I see is that the shading has disappeared. I think most people have grown cold toward the shaded “sponsored” area and simply skip over it out of habit. I assume that Google isn’t going to do anything that will hurt revenues.  Only time will tell if this test goes live in all the searches and how much it helps Google’s bottom line. But you can take this away, “Always be testing. Always.”

EpicDinner

Yes you’ve got SEO Skillz… Don’t let it go to your head.

Hey it’s Friday!… Just keeping it real.

First Day at Ranked Hard, SEO Comic

First Day at Ranked Hard, SEO Comic (Photo credit: ByronShell)

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