Tom Savoca

Tom has been doing SEO and web development since 2000. He lives in South Florida with his wife Melodie, Son Carlos and the company mascot - Coco the German Shepherd Dog

May 302017
 

Meta Tags & SEO for Dog TrainersMeta tags used to be much more important to SEO but you can still help your site if you make some simple changes to them. The Meta Title Tag is the most important.

Recently I was asked about changing them because of a location change….  Well here are some basic tips you want to understand in regards to Meta Tags. Btw, different website builders might call them different names so be aware.

Before I go on about the meta tags, we need to have a basic understanding of keywords, or keyword phrases for Dog Training. We are talking about what people put into Google to find a business or service. For a Dog Trainer, the most common terms people search for are (in order of searches); Dog Training, Puppy Training, Obedience Training and then using popular breeds or slang terms like pit bull training, German Shepherd Training, and so on….  Btw, Dog Trainer is not nearly as popular as Dog Training….

These phrases are normally together with a location. For example; Dog Training Denver, or German Shepherd Training Fort Lauderdale. You should mention different locations around your area. You are not trying to use Dog Training Denver over and over. You want to mention the suburbs and areas AROUND Denver…..

Here is where you want to have your keyword phrases:

  • File name of new pictures (not sure its worth it to remove existing picture and replace them)
  • ALT tags on pictures
  • Meta DESCRIPTION Tag on each page or post
  • Meta TITLE Tag on each page or post (most important)

It is more important than ever to mention (in a normal way) all the surrounding areas AROUND where you want to rank for on your website, primarily in your content but in the Meta Tags also. So if you are in Denver or Dallas, you need to mention throughout your website all the different suburbs, sections, counties or slang terms of either Denver or Dallas. Do NOT only mention Denver or Dallas.

Here is an example of a Meta Title Tag for the Home page of a Dog Trainer’s website in the Denver area.

Dog & Puppy Training Serving Denver, Lakewood, Aurora & Littleton Colorado.      (commas are optional)  65 characters or less

 

An example of a picture file name and ALT tag would be very similar and certainly no longer AND based on the picture. If it is a puppy pic on the home page, just use;

Puppy Training Denver

If it is a picture of a dog, use;

Dog Training Denver

Don’t use the same kw phrase over and over.  Other pictures on the home page could be;

Dog Training Lakewood CO

An example of the Meta Description for the same home page would be similar but grammatically more correct, since it will most likely be seen in the Google results;

Looking for Dog & Puppy Training near Denver, Lakewood, Aurora or Littleton Colorado? Contact us now, WE CAN HELP! (555) 122-5555

Oct 312016
 

how-do-i-redesign-my-wordpress-siteThere are a few ways to rebuild a wordpress site;

You can go into the existing site and install a new theme and make the adjustments live. Depending on the changes needed to the new theme this can be a good idea. You can use a site under construction plugin or the changes can be made late at night or earlier in the am to avoid your visitors seeing anything odd… If you don’t use a visual editor, you only make a few changes and you can go between themes all day with no problem. You can work on the new design and go back to the previous theme until the new design is ready. If you use a visual editor, it adds code to the actual page text/code which shows up if you go back to your theme without a visual editor. I am not a fan of visual editors because of this.

You can build a wordpress site like you have done in a separate website with the exception of the content and then move the new theme files into your existing domain once it is done.This can be done with an ftp program or plugin. This should be is less down time of the site…

You can install wp into a new directory (folder) and build THAT wordpress install the way you want it. Once done, you have to make a couple changes to the system so the site looks at the NEW wordpress install with the new look, not the original one. Use can use a plugin, or the export / import feature to move the content from the original db to the new db during any part of the process. IF YOU USE A VISUAL EDITOR ON THE OLD SITE AND NOT ON THE NEW, OR A DIFFERENT VE ON THE NEW, YOU HAVE TO GO INTO SOME OR ALL OF THE PAGES TO REMOVE THE ORIGINAL CODE. Again, another reason why i am not a big fan of the visual editors.

Anytime a theme files are modified, a child theme should be used.

Jul 132016
 

Blogging and SEOThe term blog can describe what we are talking about in general (adding material to your site) but I want to be a little more specific so I use either “Dog Training Articles”, “News and Articles” or “Success Stories”. They are all blogging, but we break them down to 2 or 3 categories.

  • Success stories can be a testimonial from a client or your experience with a dog OR both together on one page.
  • Dog Training articles can be more specifically training articles….
  • News and articles could be news about your business, new trainers, new location, what tools you like or don’t like… (this seems like the least used)

The bottom line is to

  • Add UNIQUE content to your site so that Google sees you as an authority online
  • Include words that people are searching for (basic dog behavior issues)
  • Mention locations (since you are a local business)
Feb 192016
 

Website Conversion DesignIn regards to the layout and design (Website Conversion Design), the most important thing is a layout that will convert well and look good on all devices. That takes a simple design and good correctly sized quality pictures, not stock photos​. To convert well the top of the site should convey;

  • I know your problem (ash tree concern)
  • I can fix your problem (I treat ash trees in your area)
  • Call me! (people need to be told what to do)

When someone who needs help looks at a site, they ​make an immediate decision whether or not they can be helped. That means they don’t read, they only scan. You as a business owner have only seconds to catch their attention. The most important thing they should see first is that they can be helped. So only pictures and bullet points should be at the top of the site, they are easy to scan. The bullet points can be on the pictures.. The top has to immediately offer what the company does as a service and where. Much of this is subliminal. They have to feel that you can HELP them. This is often better done with a minimalist layout. Large text and bullet points. We are still at the point where we are trying to CATCH the visitor within the first 10 seconds of them on the site.

I picture is worth a thousand words..The correct picture can convey so much.

Bullet points should be fashioned to promote positive answers, subconsciously we want the visitor to feel and think POSITIVE, so their experience on your site is positive.

The visitor should immediate recognize a person will help them, not an entity or corporation. People expect people to help them, so a person has to be clearly positioned on the top. This makes it personal. That is why we have Walmart Greeters.

After you got their attention and they feel you can help them, they might look around to learn more about you. We don’t want that. We don’t want them to go to your social media page to see what you look like or what others say about you. WE WANT THEM TO CONTACT You…

Since you can’t be sure of what page google might serve in its results, all the main service pages should adhere to this design.

After these basics are covered, the details are less important. For example colors (blue is a trustworthy color) can be more personal. The bottoms of the pages should be lots of text. Each page ideally should have 300 or more words. Keep in mind, most of the text is for google. You should write it for people, but most of your clients don’t want to read all about what you do. The ones who do read it all have no intention of paying you, they want to learn from you and do it themselves. The people who want to pay you, DO NOT want to read you content. They want to contact YOU and have you fix the problem. Don’t ever feel like you are loosing money from placing too much info online. If they read it, they weren’t going to give you money anyway…

I hope this helps… and if you have examples of what you like I can copy it…​I just want to encourage you to follow these concepts.

Nov 242015
 

should i have a blogShould I have a Blog on My Site?

I get this question once in a while so I thought I’d explain it better here than a short answer on facebook. Then again, the answer is almost always, you want a blog ON your site as opposed to a separate blog like blogger(dot)com or wordpress.com. Ok, that could be the end of this post. Read on if you need to know WHY.

Here is WHY you should have a blog on your site.  You always want MORE unique, quality content on your site whenever you can get it. You are trying to convince Google that you are an authority in your field. You can’t do that well with a five page website if you competition has lots of pages. You need to add good unique content to your site. This process will help your site rank better in google. There are many other important ways of getting better ranking (like back linking) but having a blog or adding content to your site regardless of what you call it is always one of the most important things you can do.

If you are challenged by the concept of writing articles or blogging here are some helping tips.

The easiest is to have someone else write for you, (testimonials) from your clients.

The second easiest is to write success stories. This is like a testimonial but YOU write it. For most people it is much easier to document what you have done, rather than write an article from scratch.

The hardest is to write articles; these can be about your business, or service. You can write about your opinion of different teaching tools or aides. How you do things, or how you don’t.

If typing is the issue, you can purchase an inexpensive microphone and use a online dictation or transcription service or program. Talking for a few minutes can put a lot of text on a page. You still have to go over it but that is easier than typing it all out.

Regardless of how you come up with the material, your goal should be for each page to contain:

  • at least 300 words
  • at least one image
  • words your readers or potential clients and customers are looking for. This is important. You are not trying to impress your piers, you are trying to related to the layperson who is looking for your services. Use words and phrases that the layperson would use to put in a search engine to find you.

If you are looking for more SEO information, call or text 754 227 9876

Sep 092015
 
This is a picture of Dog Training

This is a picture of Dog Training

I’ve been asked what is the difference between a web developer and a web designer. A designer usually designs good looking websites but might struggle to get all the technical features and functions to work. A developer can build a website will all the functions and features you can imagine but the over all look and layout might not be that spectacular.

I build websites that focus on generating leads by ranking well in Search Engines and Converting Visitors to Clients.

Here is an over view of what i think is important in regards to Dog Training Marketing. I offer FREE SEO CONSULTATION. Contact me now!

The new way to design is for mobile devices first, then for a desktop. To that end, sites are becoming more simple… Large images, large text and often one column. This is done so the website will look ok in ALL devices… Although it might be boring on the larger desktops.

Here are a few of design points that I think are important;

Sites must be mobile friendly. Google is very serious about that now. There is two parts to this, one is a code in the site that tells google it is supposed to be mobile friendly, and other more practical issues like the text can’t be too small. Buttons can’t be too small or too close together…

Above the fold should have Dog Trainer or Training and the location. Second to that should be the contact info or button. Another personal preference is a Dog Training picture. A picture is worth a thousand words! A good picture of a dog is nice, but it does not convey “DOG TRAINING”. The picture needs to be a person training a dog. Not a picture of a dog and a person (that is good for a testimonial). And not just a picture of a dog down, catching a ball or sitting.. It has to be a picture of a person training a dog. I think the best is a side shot of the person and dog, with the dog in a down or sit position. Two dogs is even better. Imagine the emotional connection you can make with a person who can’t get their dog to sit, or stop jumping and YOU CAN MAKE TWO DOGS SIT OR DOWN. The potential client would think you are like magic AND you can help them! This is also very important because people are drawn to people… Btw, your focus should be on improving the humans life and that will only be done by another person who can train dogs. You are not selling cute puppies or beautiful dogs. People want to see people, not corporate entities.

TAKEAWAY: Try to get a picture of a person training a dog

This is NOT a good Dog Training Picture!

This is NOT a good Dog Training Picture!

Above the fold should be about how you can help your potential client, not about you. No one cares about you, what you have done or certificates you have, they only care about what you can do for them.

TAKEAWAY: List credentials, certificates, etc., below they fold or on about us page.
Once you get them hooked emotionally, what you want next is to have them contact you. You don’t necessarily want them spending lots of time on your site. From a business standpoint you want them to call so you can lock them into a plan or consultation. To that end, the content above the fold needs to say “I understand your problem, I can help, call me! ” of course you would word this in a way you are comfortable…. Keep in mind, people need to be told what to do.

TAKEAWAY: Use bullet points and short sentences with a CALL TO ACTION.

That brings me to another pet peeve in regards to marketing. I wouldn’t have the social media buttons at the top of the site, I’d have them at the bottom. The last thing you want is to have someone leave your site and go to your social media pages and not contact you. Your website will convert better than social media page so once they leave your site, there is less chance they will contact you. I know if I get on youtube I could be missing for days…

TAKEAWAY: move social media buttons to bottom

Jun 232015
 

May 182015
 
Girls using a smart phone sending a text message

Girls using a smart phone sending a text message

Just a reminder for those who follow this page for SEO help or tips. It is more important than ever to have a good mobile site. That is because Google rankings take into consideration the fact that your site is mobile friendly or not. Not mobile friendly, not going to rank well in Google.

That all sounds simple enough but like most SEO and Google issues there can be more than meets the eye. Remember the basics, no duplicate content, it all has to be unique to the web.

That means because Google wants good quality valuable content you can’t carelessly build a mobile site unless it uses the same content with the exact URL’s as the main site, or you build a totally separate website with completely new content.

Jan 012015
 

Email Symbol

Recently I have seen some businesses use their gmail address as their business email. In most cases it is more professional to have an email with your website address like info@mywebsites.com. That tends to be look more professional. I know it may seem like more work to check a second or a third email address but that doesn’t have to be so. It is possible to setup a Gmail account to take care of most all of your email needs.

I am not a big Google lover, but they do have some good tools and most are free. In the case of the gmail, it is possible to “POP” your regular emails (just like we used to do with Microsoft Outlook). You can also set up your email so that when you reply, it will be sent FROM the same address that it was sent TO. This way the sender will receive the email from who they sent it to. You can set up Gmail to allow someone to answer and reply to your emails.

Contact us now to help take full advantage of the many FREE Google features

So if you have a gmail already and you are considering using that as your business email you should look into creating a real business email. As long as you own and control your domain or the hosting of your website it can be done. Normally the email is setup in the hosting of the website. It can be setup with just the domain (incase you don’t have a live website) you can still set it up.

Another benefit of having a gmail account if you have a business website is for the FREE analytics and webmaster tools. Analytics will give you loads of information about your visitors, where they came from, what keywords they used, what websites they came from to get to your site, where they are, what device they are using and much more.

Google Webmaster Tools will let you know if you have any errors on your site, what websites link to you, what keywords are used to display your site in google results and it is where you give Google a link to your xml sitemap and much more…

Having a Gmail account has many more FREE benefits that Google offers, Google Plus, Youtube, Voice and more.

Dec 292014
 

The most important point we try to hammer home to potential clients is that you can’t fool the nerds at Google. Everything you do, both on and off your site, should be working toward the end goal of making your user experience awesome… not trying to fool Google into placing you higher on search results pages.  

– http://www.brickmarketing.com/blog/fool-google

During the Summer of 2014 I had a restaurant equipment supply company contact me about doing their SEO and helping them with their website.  I knew when I met with the client it might be a little bit of a challenge but he seemed like a good guy, the website was built using wordpress and I figured I could help. I should have known when he didn’t want to have anything to do with a contract that it might not be that good of a deal for me. After talking to him for a while I realized he seemed to have a sense of what it took to rank well in Google (5 years ago). Here is when I should have made a stand and tried to correct him about his failing strategies. Prior to my being involved he had some other people from out the country help him with optimization and he seemed very disappointed with them. He understood that his website had some articles on it that were written for SEO purposes. The articles were nothing special but they were keyword oriented, after going through the site I found that the spammy SEO articles were the primary articles on the site. The site was mostly image oriented and even the descriptions for the for sale items didn’t add much to the overall text of the website or user experience. The owner of the company was convinced all I had to do was add pictures of new items to the website and rewrite the articles with different locations and he would be back to ranking well in google.

When I started to spend more time on original articles, building his Social Media exposure and other SEO strategies like back-linking rather than adding the new images to his site, he became unhappy. I know he wanted the Google rankings to improve but he thought that would be done by nothing more than copying one of the existing articles, replacing the location keywords and adding it back as a new article to the site. He didn’t seem to understand the importance of good valuable content.

He didn’t want to continue with my services because he was convinced he knew what needed to be done and wanted me to spend more time adding pictures and videos to the website.  I tried explaining to him in order to rank well it wasn’t as simple as rewriting an poorly written article  and changing the locations (which worked for him years ago).

It has been a few months and I recently checked the site in Google and it is ranking better now. It seems my methods worked, back-linking and increasing Social Media signals helped like I thought it would.

Like the article from brickmarketing implies, you can’t fool the Google guys. Good content and a good user experience is what google wants to show. You can’t get around it. Content was king when I started doing SEO work in 2000 and it is still just as important now.