Friday, January 23, 2015

SEO for Dummies (me)

Being the Marketing Director for RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty is a great job. I do it because I enjoy it, and I do it because it's very challenging keeping up with things like SEO. SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and if you stacked that acronym up against all of the other acronyms in the history of mankind, SEO would be an infant still crying for it's mother. Come to think of it, in a weird sort of way, SEO is an infant that throws a fit everytime you don't do what it wants. And as with all infants, when you're an adult, you have no idea what that crying bundle of joy wants most of the time. For instance, as you can tell by the name of our company, we are a real estate agency, with real estate agents, selling real estate in Nisswa, Alexandria, Longville, and Crosslake, Minnesota, MN, or Min. I put different ways of abbreviating Minnesota in here to illustrate a point. If you were to search for a real estate agency in any of the aforementioned towns, and you spelled out Minnesota, or used MN, or used Min (yes some people still do), or didn't use any state or abbreviation at all, you are going to get different results than the person sitting next to you, if they did it one way or the other. Should they? I don't think so, but they will. You will also find you get different search results using Chrome, or Internet Explorer, or whatever your favorite search engine is. Should you? I don't think so, but you will. You may also find that a blog post will show up, or a company's web page, or Google + page, or Facebook post, or a Tweet, or a pin on Pinterest, a video on YouTube, or...I think you get the picture. You never know what you're going to get, but hopefully you'll find something you're looking for that will lead you to, in this case, RE/MAX Lake Area Realty. You may also find in your searches one day, that what you're looking for is riding high on the first page, and the next day it's buried beneath the fold on page two somewhere. Should it be like that? I don't think so, but it happens.

The main player, the big dog in this game is Google...hands down. I recently read an article ( that said Google is making 500 to 600 algorithm changes a year! To back up just a bit, blog stands for web log...or as one person put it, Better Listings on Google. Now, most of those 500 to 600 algorithm changes don't affect you and I very much, but some of them are major whoppers, and those are the ones you (I) need to keep abreast of. How? Good question. The nice (and they really are nice) people at Google tell me to keep trying new things, and change it up every now and then, by throwing stuff up on SEO's wall and see if it sticks. You do that by throwing in different keywords, placing different pages and links on your website, Google + pages and everything else you can think of, and then searching in every way you can possibly think someone may search seeing if the stuff you threw on the wall made a difference in where you rank. Sometimes you hit a homerun, and sometimes you strike out. But...and this is the most important thing I've learned so have to keep coming to the plate and take your swings. If you don't, you'll fade away just like any player that refuses to adapt to the curve balls that are thrown your way every day in this business.

Posted by Brad Wallace, Marketing Director for RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty. If you've experienced some odd curve ball examples in this game called SEO, post a comment here on this blog page and let me know how you deal with it. I'll in turn share it for the world to see.