At our latest Local University event in Austin, Texas I was reminded of how powerful individual attention with a small business website and their search engine optimization needs can be.
At many of our events, we offer 30-minute private consultations following the 4-hour seminar that allows us to analyze an attendee's website and provide specific advice on their online marketing and SEO needs.
A Big NoIndex Issue From A Small Checkmark
One of the site clinic businesses was Hot Love Soup. Katie Visco is an amazing, passionate soup maker that delivers her delicious soups by bicycle in Austin.
For a small business, she's got a great web design, but it wasn't showing up in the search engines. Even searching for her business name gives you every other type of directory, video or webpage mentioning her (there are a lot!), but not her own website.
A quick look under the hood and it all stemmed from her WordPress site having its privacy setting checked to "ask search engines not to index this site". The smallest thing, but it completely held her out of Google and Bing for over a year. Ouch.
LocalU faculty Mike Ramsey and Ed Reese flipped the switch and a few of us shared her URL on Google+ and Twitter and put the site on it's way to being indexed.
More Hands-On SEO Love
Mike went even further though and installed the Yoast SEO plugin for her WordPress site and then started writing unique meta titles. The home page title that was created might be one of my favorites ever.
Learn It, Apply It
One area of feedback we get in surveys and verbally is that Local University events provide a huge amount of actionable takeaways our attendees walk out with. There is no doubt that the site clinic amplifies that an incredible amount by getting the one on one attention to answer specific questions, troubleshoot basic issues and generate future ideas.
If you're planning to attend a future LocalU event, check to see if site clinics are available for that event. It can be a major benefit on top of the already valuable speakers and content.
Postscript: Within 48-72 hours after Katie's site clinic, Google had indexed her site and it was showing up on the first page of search results when potential customers searched for her business name. A nice start and hopefully the beginning of lots more online/search visibility for Hot Love Soup.