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Heather Agostini, owner of I’ve Gone Mutts Pet Sitting and Dog Walking in Kennewick, WA posed a great question to the PSO group on Facebook:

“I’m wanting to come up on different Google pages under pet care, vacation pet care, and other things.  Where do I plug those in?”

In the early days of site ranking, Google wanted to see keywords all over your site because that’s how they would find you.

Google has grown up.  And frankly, so have we.  Both as business owners and consumers.

Think of key word placing (in the old days) as talking in the 3rd person.  It doesn’t really work.  There is nothing natural about it and it makes people raise their eyebrows and think you’re a little weird.

Key word placing today, is more of a dialogue.  It’s using key phrases, it’s giving out information that our customers want, not just giving them the answers.

Here is Josh’s response:

You ask a good question. Unfortunately, there is no real one place to plug in keywords in the hopes of ranking.

Some years ago, this may have worked but today the way Google values websites and decides where to rank them is more about them seeing you as a complete helpful resource on any given topic or subject (through your page content).

So for example, if you want to rank well for ‘vacation pet care’ you would need to write a bit on that subject. You can create posts like “5 Best Get-Aways in the [your town] Area” or “3 Reasons to Leave Town This Summer and Rejuvenate” or “Skipping Town? Best Places to Take Your Pup This Spring”

I hope you get the point I’m trying to make. Laura Hodgkins Capra is also a pro at this so I will wait for her additional insight. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Here is my direct response:

I definitely agree with Josh.  Key words in and of themselves aren’t helpful.  Consumers want information and blogging is the best, most efficient, most cost effective way to give them that information.

Think of blogging as Google’s equivalent to showing your work in middle school math.

HOW can you help people who are going on vacation?
WHY do they need a professional pet sitter?
WHEN do they need a pet sitter?
WHERE can they go for a long weekend?

In addition to writing blogs on the above topics, it may help to streamline your services page.  What is the difference between your Full Service Pet Sitting and Vacation Visits?  It looks like you may be able to combine them?

The lead in could be something like “When you go on vacation, you can be assured that we will provide: XYZ (fresh water, food, playtime, tons of TLC etc – exactly what you already have listed).

With wording on your site, you want to make sure to think like a visitor.  It’s all in how you phrase things.  They may not understand what a “vacation visit” is, but they understand the PHRASE “when you go on vacation”.

Key words are out.
Key phrases are in.

Because that’s what the consumer understands.
It’s what the consumer wants.

And Google’s job is to give their consumers what they want.

That’s everyone’s job!  Once you find out what your consumer wants and you are able to deliver – that’s the secret to success!


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