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My Junker of a Car Teaches a Lesson in Search Engine Optimization

Chris Whiteley - Dec 7th, 2012

Like most relationships, the one that I have with my car has it’s high points and of course it’s low points. The high points tend to come in the summer. The sunshine is on my arm as it rests on the open window, Jack Johnson is on the radio, the entire family is in the car and we are driving to the beach or perhaps to a mini golf course. The low points are those dreaded moments when I turn the key, and nothing happens.

Taking out car frustrations with Street Fighter 2My car took a sick day and gave me lesson in SEO

Whenever something unfortunate happens, I try to find a silver lining. In this case I thought the silver lining was that I would finally be able to go all “Street Fighter” on my car. Sadly this was not the case. I had no silver lining. All I had was a car that was about to put a large hole in my Visa.

While searching for a tow truck I though of something that could help most websites.

I needed a tow truck, so I turned to a friend that knows a few towing companies: Google. I did a search for “Tow Truck Victoria” and took the first result on the page. All I wanted was a phone number to call, and was not able to find it on the home page, so I had to dig deeper to find it on the contact page.

It’s good to have your phone number near the top of your website, but I have an even better place for it.

Most good websites make it quite easy to find the phone number. It’s generally near the top of the page, or just a click away on the contact page. The challenging part is that someone has to actually be on your website in order to see your phone number. Someone has to do a Google search, then out of all the results choose your website and finally hunt down your phone number.

Aside from the ads, there are generally 10 companies to choose from when viewing the search results. Most people will click on the first result and go to that site. Already you are competing for an opportunity to have someone visit your website just to find a phone number.

Why not just eliminate the need to click on the website, and give the user a phone number right away? By having the phone number show as the main title you eliminate the need for another click. In my case I was in a hurry and just needed a phone number. Had the search results look like the one on below then I likely would have just called them instead of clicking on the first search result.

How do I tell Google to show my phone number?

The snippets that Google shows in it’s search results are generated from the content on your website. In the case of the snippet title, it is generated from your website’s <title> tag. All you need to do is edit that title tag to have your phone number and a call to action. If your site is built with WordPress then just install the Yoast SEO plugin and you can easily edit that tag.

Just like my junker car, this might not always work

Not all industries will be able to benefit from having the phone number prominently displayed. The lesson that can be learned is that the search result snippet title does not have to be stuffed with keywords. It should be something that stands out from the rest of the competition. Edit your title so that the user has a reason to visit your website instead of all the other websites shown.

If you need your company to stand out from your competition then let us know.  Either contact us, browse through our work, or leave a comment below.

Chris Whiteley is a web developer with a passion for blogging. He covers the creative & web development for bWEST as well he works with clients on traffic generation, conversions and blogging. Chris is powered by WordPress, Fastfood, and pop culture.

3 Responses to “My Junker of a Car Teaches a Lesson in Search Engine Optimization”

Chris Burdge

Sorry to hear about the sick car Chris. Is it aware of the 2 sick days a year policy?

Agree with the phone number thing. Businesses would be shocked if they knew just how often customers are looking for specifically that info. If they were to check their web stats they’d find that the contact page is probably in the top 5 if not top 3 most visited pages.

Reply

    Chris Whiteley

    If I had that policy for my car it would have been fired years ago.

    The contact pages stats are really interesting. In some industries its the second most visited page after the home page. These stats generally lead me to two conclusions:

    1. People often use Google as an electronic “Yellow Pages” where all they are looking for is contact information.

    2. If a business does not have even a very simple one page website that has their name and contact information then they are potentially losing business.

    Reply

Tabby

First off, what a way to put some twist on an SEO lesson and I love the E. Honda photo I gotta say 🙂 There are many ways to learn SEO, serious and fun just like this one.

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