FarmersMap.com - WordPress Directory Website

One of my favorite personal projects, FarmersMap.com is a directory and review website for farmers markets, farm stands, community gardens, and more.

Local Search Engine Optimization Knowledge for Small Business

Over the past few years, I have dealt with many business owners who are confused about local seo and the process involved.  It takes time to rank organically in Google for many competitive location based searches.  I have seen first page rankings take anywhere from 2-14 months, depending on the industry, competitiveness, and strategies used.

 

I decided to create this helpful local seo guide to assist fellow marketers and small business owners in improving their local search strategy.  This is also a good guide to forward to your online marketing agency, to ensure that they are using the proper tactics in your organic campaigns.  I split it into two sections for now, On-Page, Local SEO Business Directories.  It is imperative to your campaign that you maintain a consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number.  For the website submissions, be sure to fill out your profiles with good unique descriptions and as much information about your business as you can provide, to give it a respectable and full presence.

 

Google Local Search results for "san diego doctor"

Google Local Search results for “san diego doctor”

 

 

On Page Local SEO Optimizations

 

My Geo Sitemap is
<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness”>
<h2><span itemprop=”name”>KickinKnowledge Web Productions</span></h2>
<span itemprop=”description”>Contact {name} owner Justin Murray at any time directly 415-237-3932 Meetings and Office by Appointment Only.</span>
<div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>
<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>4629 Cass St. #165</span>
<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>San Diego</span>,
<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>CA</span>
</div>
Phone: <span itemprop=”telephone”>415-237-3932</span>
</div>

and this html code contains seo friendly markup data from the specifications at http://Schema.org, specifically the LocalBusiness markup.

 

  • Add your Name, Address and Phone number to every page on your website.  Make sure the address and phone number are click-able on mobile devices.  Nobody likes going to a website on a cell phone and not being able to call them by pressing the phone number (usually it is mistakenly hidden in an image of the phone number, while it should be html/text, preferably with tel: – read more at http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1164004/how-to-mark-up-phone-numbers)

 

  • Mention your business city, state, and surrounding areas once or twice in your content.  DO NOT keyword stuff.  If you mention the same place within two paragraphs more than twice, you’re getting stuffy.  Don’t get stuffy.  Make your content natural and use ALT tags on your images.  Google has an older but still relative post on Alt tags – http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2007/12/using-alt-attributes-smartly.html

 

  • In a prominent area of your website (top right sidebar?), have a contact form or Live Chat module with call-to-action text.

 

  • Ensure that your website is mobile and tablet friendly.  Preferably responsive design.  I make all my clients websites in responsive wordpress themes/frameworks.  These websites respond to the device width of whatever size device is viewing it.

 

  • Your website should be fast.  At least under 3 seconds load time.  Compress your images, get your jquery from Google libraries, use caching and minification if possible.  Check your website speed at Pingdom Tools – http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/

 

  • Track your results.  Use the free data from Google Analytics and Google/Bing Webmaster tools.  Improve your conversion on pages by modifying your titles and meta descriptions for under-performing pages.

 

Local SEO Business Directories

Google Places This is an important one! Make sure to actually Verify your profile with Google. Search Engine Land has some great information on the new Google Places management at http://searchengineland.com/10-things-seos-smbs-should-know-about-new-google-places-dashboard-154686
LinkedIn
Yellow Pages
Yelp
White Pages
Super Pages
Local.com
City Search
Yahoo Local
Mapquest
Dex Knows
Yellow.com
BBB.org
Service Magic
Facebook
Angie’s List
Area Connect
Biz Journals
Topix
Foursquare
American Towns
Local Guides
411.com
Manta
Patch
City-Data
MerchantCircle
Yellowbook.com
Yellowpages.aol.com
Insider Pages
Magic Yellow
Hotfrog.com
Mojopages
Demandforce
Best of the Web Local
Bundle
Chamber of Commerce
Metromix
Yellowbot
Kudzu
ShowMeLocal
LocalPages
HopStop
YellowMoxie
Phonenumber.com
Yellowise
GetFave
Tupalo
Zip Local
EZLocal
City Squares
USCity.net
Local Database
Yellow Pages

Is Woocommerce the ultimate ecommerce solution for WordPress?

In my personal and professional opinion, yes!  I use WordPress almost everyday.  Throughout my career, I have used WordPress to create over 40 websites. It is the perfect compromise between seo structure, usability, and design capability. The plugins that are available for WordPress allow for easy integration of amazing functionality. Although, I have always been weary of plugins, as they are often developed by people with less than desirable coding practices. These poorly coded plugins can cause speed and/or security issues with your website. Today I will introduce you to one of the best plugins for WordPress, Woocommerce.  It has the speed and security to bring a fully functioning store to your WordPress website.

Woocommerce is an open source e-commerce plugin. You can literally go to woocommerce github and look at the change log and all the coding that makes woocommerce work. This allows for the core functionality to be improved via crowd sourced development, while at the same time encouraging developers to create a plethora of extensions to the plugin, along with some incredible themes.  Another awesome resource for Woocommerce is Woothemes.  Woothemes, which itself is structured on Woocommerce and WordPress, is a website/team of developers who consistently support Woocommerce with documentation, extensions (plugins), themes, and more!

Here's an awesome video introducing Woocommerce to the world -

 

Here is a screenshot of a live Woocommerce website settings page-

wordpress woocommerce settiings page

Looks intimidating, but trust me, it's easy and efficient once it's configured properly.

Are you considering starting an e-commerce website?  Do you have an e-commerce store that needs an upgrade to modern day web technologies?

We can help you assess your project and either build it for you, or coach you through it!  Contact us

The Best Ninja Games of All Time

What are our personal favorites?

A List of all the Ninja Video Games from Wikipedia –

[wiki-embed url=’http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ninja_video_games’ no-edit no-contents ]

Some Go Up, Some Go Down – Crowd Sourced Exploration

 

We’re talking about the future of exploration here.  Completely crowd-funded by people like you and me.  We’re talking about the only venue that could get you involved in a space venture or a journey to the depths of the ocean or both – at Kickstarter.com The first cool space project of this blog post is the SkyCube (I would have named it DeathStar 2)  This project is already over 50% backed with over 30 days to go!  My favorite part of this project is quoted from the bottom of their page..

SkyCube won’t just let you broadcast messages from space. It will also let you look back at the Earth from orbit. You can request images from the satellite using our smartphone or web app. SkyCube’s images will be transmitted to our ground stations when the satellite passes over them – and then forwarded to you across the internet. You might just see your entire state (or country!) in one image from space, or catch a sunrise from orbit.”

The second cool project is the ArduSat - Your Arduino Experiment in Space.

This Kickstarter has already been funded, with a whopping $106,330 pledged of for a $35,000 goal!  This group of awesome individuals are the first to introduce open source technology to space, and the nerd ate it up.  I’m sure they will get some amazing results from kickstarter backers’ experiments.

So what about the ocean?  The OpenROV’s got that on lock-down!  The Open Source Underwater Robot is already funded with $111,622 pledged of a $20,000 goal.  The New York Times said

It could change the future of ocean exploration.

I believe it!  This little robot packs an incredible concept.  They are selling the kit, but creating the community – the spark to light the fire for an underwater volcano of innovation.  The robot itself is nothing fancy, and has quite a few harsh limitations as far as depth and ability to survive the abuse of salt water.  My brother is a marine tech and he’ll be the first to tell you that electronics and salt water do not mix well.  Regardless of the physical technology, the OpenROV team is positioning the bot as a long term adventure, by putting the future of ocean exploring in the hands of the community.

Top 15+ Websites for Gaining Free Knowledge (and getting answers on almost anything)

We love free knowledge at KickinKnowledge.sharing knowledge

Please enjoy the list below and share it with your friends!

Quora.com – This is one of my favorite websites in the world.  It is a game-changer in the world of question and answer websites.  It allows for social voting – as in the answers to questions can be voted up or down in their ranking by the Quora community.

Google Books– I know, you know, but google really knows.  Check out the link to check out their advanced search.

Wikipedia.org – Not the most dependable as it is edited by sometimes heavily opinionated people.

Ted: Ideas worth spreading – Watch all the videos – no seriously – they will change your life

DuckDuckGo – A web search engine without the filter bubbles and privacy concerns.

Wolfram|Alpha – A Computational Knowledge Engine – Apple’s Siri uses it for many computations.

Twitter – The amount of content links and ability to search instantaneous results makes this a great knowledge source.

Best of the Web Blogs – The people themselves serve the knowledge here.  A great source for getting searching around some interesting blogs.

Google+ – Exploring around google+ can put you deep into the world of tech and content curated by the employees of google and their friends.

Youtube – Not just for funny dog and cat clips (although they are great) – a great resource for video tutorials and tips.

Joongle – Search through ten of the top websites with a unique interface.

Boardreader – Search through forums quickly – Forums are great for community backed solutions to problems.

Bing – Now including social results – Bing is really stepping its game up.

DocJax.com – Search through free documents and pdfs from all around the internets.

Google Scholar – Google’s database of scholarly work – including theses (plural of thesis – had to look that one up)

Reddit.com “Today I Learned” – Daily doses of random awesome knowledge.

Codecademy.org – Learn how to develop websites & more.  A great place to sharpen your skills or learn the basics.

Khan Academy – With a library of over 4,300 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, history, and more.

 

Looking for some knowledge to get you the skills to start your own online business like KickinKnowledge, FarmersMap, or MyRoundRobin?  Check out my friends at Treehouse.  I personally consider it much better than technical schools (Devry, ITT tech, etc)  –

Speed to the Top of the Ranks

This website www.kickinknowledge.com, which I have done quite a bit of optimizations for, averages a score of 90 out of 100 on Google Page Speed Rank. CNN.com only scores a 81 out of 100. Google and Facebook are two of the fastest at 99 out of 100. Google and other search engines use your website speed in calculating your rank in the search engine. With over 200 different ranking factors, it is a small piece of the pie but a piece of a very profitable pie. Website speed optimization is a very broad topic with some very nerdy internals. Compression and deferring of javascript, minifying of javascript and css, image compression, and many other proper configurations can boost a websites speed. It is also important to get the right hosting from a proper hosting service. I can help you choose the right server and configurations for your specific website needs. I can also fully optimize your website and help you out-rank your competitors by leaving them in the dust!

The Top 5 Free Resources to Help Speed up Your Website

SEOMoz wrote a great article that covers much more – 15 Tips to Speed Up Your Website

How to Pretend to Work at Google and Be a Google Fanboy

Google is THE place to work nowadays.  With lower acceptance rates than many Ivy league schools, sometimes it’s just better to fake it until you make it!

If you’re a software engineer, you admire them for their amazing suite of apps and constant innovation in programming.

If you’re a database fiend, Google has the some of the largest databases in the world for you to query your little heart out.

If you’re a web developer or graphic designer, then you admire their simplicity and cleanliness.

 

1) Make your own Google desktop computer based off Goobuntu!

Goobuntu is Google’s very own version of the free Ubuntu Linux operating system.  Today, August 29th , Thomas Bushnell, the tech lead of the group that manages and distributes Linux to Google’s corporate desktops introduced the world to some of the basic Goobuntu configurations and justifications for their choice during a great interview by ZDnet on LinuxCon.  You can download the latest version of Ubuntu off the Ubuntu website.  It is a great operating system with amazing functionality and performance.

2) Decide on the Location of your Google Office (You can click on the Markers and Find Open Positions!)

3) Don’t Be Evil

This shouldn’t be a hard one.

4) Dress Casual (nerdy, maybe hipster)

Casual wear is a must.  Jeans, button ups, geeky t-shirts.

5) Learn the Tech Talk and Net Lingo 

You don’t need to understand all the acronyms, just use them frequently enough to confuse people.

First off, I do not wish for anyone to impersonate an employee at Google or create one out of thin air.  This is purely a speculative post about the style, culture, and tools involved with working at Google.  (*disclaimer: I have never worked at Google)