At the start of my web marketing presentation, I ask my audience, “How many of you come up on the first page of Yahoo! or Google? Then, in a room filled with about 100 people, about ten or so raise their hands.
Little do these ten know, I’m hoping to give the room a chuckle at one of these brave souls’ expense. I’ll ask one of them, “For what search phrase are you showing up on page one?” The answer I really want to hear is, “I’m number x when I search for my name.” And about 7 out of ten times, that’s the answer I hear. And it’s perfect, almost as if I had a set-up man planted in the audience, because my response is this:
“Unless you’re a superstar in your business, no one, except maybe your mom, searches for you by your name. You came to the right session, the information you’re about to hear can help you to improve your search engine ranking for your business… when someone searches for your business!“
And the rest of the room laughs because they now understand the absurdity of being satisfied with page one results when searching for “Victor Shankapopolis” or what ever your name is. Instead, they likely search for these three items in varying order:
[your profession] [your specialty, if you have one] [your geographical region]
So, if you are a wedding photographer in Denver, your potential customers may search for Denver Wedding Photographer. If you’re a photographer in Detroit, your potential clients may search for simply Detroit Photographer. This is why, each and every time, when a new client calls me, I ask how they found me. It helps me to know what search phrase my clients are using and what phrase I should be optimizing my site for.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all is well if you are on the first page of the search engines when you search for just your name. Well, unless your name is Annie Leibovitz.