Category Archives: SEO Tips

Help Google is treating my business like a local brick and mortar

Organic search versus non local search – A different look at local search.

We are sharing because at RiptideHosting we were showing up on Google for organic searches across the entire United States up until Google determined we were a local brick and mortar type of business.

It took us almost a year to determine why we disappeared from the organic search on Google. Since we server customers all around the world our traffic dropped once we stopped showing up in organic search.

At one point we thought other websites copying our content was causing us to drop in the rankings. Then we thought Google banned our site or some of the pages on the site. We also thought that maybe junk SEO links pointing to our site might have contributed to us disappearing.

One of the key phases we were looking at was “Remote Desktop Hosting”. On both Bing and Google we regularly showed up on in the top three results. We still do show up that high on Bing. Not many of the results for “Remote Desktop Hosting” are relevant so we wondered if Google removed us.

Then we realized if we added a local word “Denver” or “Colorado” in front of our search terms we showed up on the first page of the organic Google search results. For the “remote desktop hosting” phrase with Denver at the beginning our site shows up twice in the first three results. Adding a local city or state name isn’t what we’ve read about as local search. Rather your physical location as seen by Google would affect the search results. We did not have those local words in front of our key terms but they were in some of our page names. So we think Google is linking our website to the company’s physical location. So they are treating us like a local brick and mortar company that serves a local geographical area.

At this point we realize our site isn’t black listed since it does show up. We also checked Google’s webmaster tools to make sure we didn’t have any manual penalties. We also researched to see if our ranking and traffic decline coincided with any major changes in Google’s algorithm which it didn’t.

Once we realized we were showing up for local searches we remembered a month or two before we dropped that an SEO company suggested we make some changes to our website and for our website on other sites. We were ranking well but figured it is good to keep improving. And guess what the company suggested? They suggested we have a “Google Local Page” (so as we would show up on a map) and have our site listed on many sites like Super Pages. Adding your website to pages like Super Pages also requires you add your address to the listing. So in a month or two we started sending signals to Google with the listing of our website and address that we are a local business. And on top of that we now had a “Google Local Page”. Having your company name, address and site is called a “website placement”.

The “Google Local Page” and website placements are recommend for a local brick and mortar business that is focusing on local business. A good example would be a chiropractor who only has local customers. So if you server local customers only the above are great suggestions.

We also noticed another company who ranked and still ranks high like we did has no address on their site. Nor do they have a Google places page and we’ve yet to find their address listed anywhere online. Maybe they had this issue in the past.

All signs pointed to our site being treated as a local only business. We have replaced our Google page with the brand page and started the process of having the website placements removed. It takes a lot more effort to remove a listed than to get it added. Some require physical mail to be sent. After making these changes we are showing up on Google for some terms again but not yet as high as we did in the past. As always you should add good and relevant content to your website which we continue to do.

Google has been making changes to their local vs. non local searches and will continue to do so. Their mobile search supposedly is different from non-mobile searches so test on mobile devices if your customers would be likely to search via their mobile device for your services or products.

Knowing if you want to show up on local searches versus global or non-local is important. If you or a SEO company implements changes on your site or listings on other sites make sure those changes make sense for the customers they are seeking.

Make sure you understand the changes SEO companies or employees are suggesting. We asked the SEO company who suggested these changes after the negative impact if the changes they suggest could have a negative impact and they assured us they would not. I have also posed this scenario to a couple of other SEO companies and they had not encountered this local versus non-local search challenge. We learned the hard way that not all change is good for Google Rankings. Hopefully this will help those companies who are in the same condition as us and save others keep their rankings.

For more business tips, marketing tips and general motivation visit

Google Call Ads Review and Google Analytics Conversion Review and Retargeting Review

This podcast covers real world experience for the following Search Engine Marketing products:

  • Google Call Ads Review
  • Google Analytics Conversion Tracking
  • Google’s Retargeting

Google’s Retargeting

Google has a retargeting paid search option which I highly recommend. Basically you can choose to show ads to people who view certain pages on your websites when they are viewing other websites. You can choose how often and for how long you want to display their ads. This helps visitors remember you. You have probably seen ads for products you have recently looked at on other sites shortly after viewing them. They are using retargeting. When you view a website they place a cookie on your browser and other websites see this cookie and display Google ads for that site or product.

Google Call Ads Review

This is google’s product which shows your phone number with your paid ads so as peole can simply click it to call you. It now costs you just as much as any ad. Realize many people accidentally click on ads when using their mobile phones. This ends up costing you money.

For Riptide Hosting ,a web hosting company, we found Google’s call ad’s to be a bad option for us. For our business we surely didn’t want to show call ads or most any ads for mobile devices. If your customers use their phones to find you then you should advertise to mobile devices. For our web hosting company we think most people will research us on a computer with a bigger screen.

Google Analytics Conversion Tracking

Even if you don’t actually sell a product on your website, meaning you don’t have a click here to buy, you can still use conversion tracking to track which of your website visitors make it to certain pages on your site. You might want to know which visitors especially those who clicked on an ad to get to your site make it to your pricing page. This will help you know which search terms are the ones you should focus on.

Setup up Conversion tracking on your website with Google Adwords

This is a short video showing you how to setup conversion tracking for your website using Google. Basically you name the conversion, select a few options and Google give you code for your page that lets them track the conversion. This is handy so as you know which clicks (free or paid etc) are turning into conversions. A conversion may be selling something or filling out a form or even making it to a certain page.

Business Motivation – Adding content to your site for SEO

Listen to this podcast to hear about what happens when you neglect your businesses website.

If you don’t have a business, you should still listen because you can and you should create your own website for free. Check out

Instead of spending time on other website’s, hear why you should spend time adding content to your website.

A hobby today, could turn in to a business tomorrow.  Hear how.

In the end, after listening to this podcast you will be motivated to take action today.  (Tomorrow, and the next day!)



SEO and Marketing tips for small business

This small business podcast covers SEO and Marketing tips for your business.

SEO basics

Adding more content to your site is always a good thing and more important than most people realize. So add some good content to your site now!

Do you have a sitemap file which is a simple page with links to all of your pages?

Have you started using and REVIEWING anayltics of visitors of your website? You should so as you see which keywords are getting visitors to your website. You might find some long tail keywords that end up being a niche market for you small business.

Have you looked at google’s suggestions for keywords/key phrases which are different but similar to they key words you are using?

Are you using key phrases with your youtube videos? Are you using posts to google plus to highlight your business?

Have you added your company and website to linkedin?

Where else can the search engines see your business so as it knows your company is more than just a website.

Hopefully you can take some action today to help your website’s SEO.

Outsourcing your PPC pay per click advertising review of Trada

In this podcast I review outsourcing our PPC pay per click advertising program with

  • What does Trada do to run your PPC ads? Out
  • Minimum budget
  • Results of the trada campaign
  • Who knows your business best? If it is you then you should run your campaigns.
  • Who is reach local? Guess what you setup local advertising with google’s adwords yourself.
  • Retargeting/Remarketing campaigns you can set it up your self instead of paying someone else.
  • Google Plus (I called it Google Pages in the podcast)- looks like google is ranking the posts you place there quite highly.

Learning these skills will make you valuable to other companies as well as help you get your business more business via search engines.

Don’t have a business, maybe you have a hobby you could start blogging about! Try something new and stick with it!

Questions? Thoughts please share them!

On Page SEO tips

Search Engine Optimization – On Page Items

What are on page SEO items?   The content on your webpages which you or your web designer controls which includes the text that shows up as well as the text that makes the page that you only see when you view source.  Text you see includes the title of the page as well as the ‘alt’ tags you see (in some browsers) when you place your mouse over an image.  How do you think google knows how to show you images of barns or apples?  Probably from the meta tags on those images.

Not discussed here are links to your site.  Quality links are helpful beware of buying ‘junk’ links to your site.  As of early in 2012 the search engines no longer count those links and may punish you for them.

See more below


Search engines read text, so focusing your text on each page to the keywords or phrases you care about is key. Search engines do not read text on pictures/images so make as much of your text on your site actual text.
How to view the competition and your own site

How to View the Source Code of a web page

  • Firefox: Right Click on text on the webpage and select “View Page Source”
  •  Internet Explorer: Right Click on text on the webpage and select “View Source”

Now that you are looking at the source code look for search for the following items.

  • How to view the metatags – Look for <meta….
  • View Meta Keywords – Look for <meta name=”keywords” ….  Your site should have this
  • View Meta Description – Look for <meta name=”description” …   Your site should have this
  • View indexed pages – for enter

Another handy plugin for Firefox is: Quirk SearchStatus Thanks for the tip to install the Quirk SearchStatus. Visit Jack’s site for great podcasts on business.
The items I mention below should be on all of your pages.
Each of your pages should be focused on a group of keywords/key phrases.

  1.  Keywords
  2.  Description

Page Content

Page Title (The text that shows at the top of your site)
<H1>, <H2> or <H3> Tags for your main sections
Image “alt” tags example <img src=”/img/one.jpg” alt=”Description of image”
You want to add relevant content on your site that visitors will like or find helpful. Search engines like content so the more content you can add the better. Adding content on a regular basis will keep the search engines coming back to look for the new content. The better the content the more likely other sites will link to your site.