The Empire Avenue Blogathon Winners 2014 #EAv-Blogathon

Happy to be a part of this fun event!

SW Florida SEO/Social Media Panel To Discuss Blogging

SEO/Social Media in SW Florida


The Above Board Chamber Of Florida has established itself as the “education Chamber” in the Naples – Ft Myers area in SW Florida!  Jeanne Sweeney, Founder and President of the group, has been involved with local SWFL  Business Chamber’s since the mid 90’s and felt there was more a Chamber could do for local business men and women than provide an opportunity to network and increase their visibility through community service projects.  She wanted to create an organization that featured ongoing opportunities for businesses to learn more about the ever-changing environment in today’s marketplace … an organization that would provide it’s members with the tools to not only increase their market share, but, to better serve their clients as well!  Thus The Above Board Chamber was born.  There mission statement is …


The ‘ABOVE BOARD” Chamber of Florida is dedicated to bringing people of all faiths together within the community, in the workplace and amongst one another. Our mission is to supply our members with the tools that will allow them to take every aspect of their lives ABOVE BOARD.

Naples: It's time to Optimize Your Web Presence through Blogging

Since early 2011 The Chamber has hosted expert panels to speak and answer questions on a wide variety of subjects of interest to any person or business desiring to learn more about various aspects of running a successful business.  Past topics discussed include …

Social Media:  Find Out How You Can Be Discovered!

Why Your Website Is Not Generating Business.

Human Resources/Career Building.

Find Out How To Be Discovered By The Media!

Time For A Business Check-Up!

Ethics in Business.

The Secrets Of Highly Profitable Companies.

Hitting Your Target Market.

and many more!

 This months panel discussion will be on the subject of ” Optimizing Your Web Presence Through Blogging “.  The panelists will include Chris Griffith,  Jennifer Huber, and Rick Thomas … local to SW Florida bloggers who use blogs and social media to promote area business.  The event is to be held at The Hilton in Naples, Florida on Monday April 9th 2012.  Reservations are required!  For more information contact …

The Above Board Chamber Of Florida

SEO Ranking Has A Split Personality

SEO Ranking Has A Split Personality

How Do I Get My Company Website to Rank Higher in Local Google Search Results?

by Rick Thomas SEO Consultant with Ft Myers Marketing and David Bruce Jr

I get asked that question on Facebook more than any other question asked of me.

First off… Google is run entirely by a mathematical database,  an algorithm visits your website and rates it according to a math equation.

NO HUMAN Visits Your Company Website To Determine How High Your Website Should Rank in Google!!

Google sends out a robot, to “score” your website against what ever website is currently #1 in Google to determine if Google should trust your company website.

1. Can Google Trust Your Site as THE Authority in your field? To pull that off you need to earn Google Page Rank. Page rank is determined by a number of factors including, but not limited to, the number of links to your website on other pages, the page rank of the sites that link back to you, and how much traffic your website is getting.


2. Does Google See Your Company Website as a Fresh News Source. Google is also a news organization, in addition to being organized as a web encyclopedia, Google is also a news organization rivaling CNN. For business purposes this translates into who has a new product or service/ who has some new knowledge to share about a product or service. Google views this as fresh content.

Fresh Content Gets Extra Credit

Business Blogs accomplish both Task 1 and Task 2 better than a static conventional website. Now if you already have a company website, you should add a “supporting blog” to your Google Marketing Mix. A blog gives ample opportunity to start building links on a page other than your website, and it is an excellent venue to post fresh content regularly!


Why Your Website Should Be A Blog

Now if you already have a company website, you should add a “supporting blog” to your Google Marketing Mix.

Business Blog Creation:

A website’s sole purpose in life is to perform in Google, Google likes it when you use their tools, Google owns… therefore every website that wants to rank in Google it’s in your best interests to also have a Google blog:

in other words… if you want something FROM Google, Use Google’s Tools.

You wouldn’t want to drive a Ford to a Chevy Convention would you?

Yes We Are For Hire

Contact Rick Thomas at

239 896-7020

SEO Done Right Raises Visibility In All Major Search Engines

Google Page Rank Visually Explained

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that elevates a company’s website from the lower strata of the search engines search results to a higher position, hopefully to the 1st page.  In discussing this process with business owners many SEO consultants speak of the “Google results page” or the “Google search rankings”, and while it is true that Google is probably the most well known and often used of the search engines … enough people use the other search engines that any business looking to optimize their profits and not just their website needs to make sure their search engine optimization strategy doesn’t overlook ranking with Google’s competitors as well!

While nobody knows all of the exact criteria search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing or AOL use, over the years seasoned veterans of SEO working separately, but comparing notes, have made several conclusions and educated guesses about a number of factors that can help to contribute to rising in the SERP’s (search engine results pages).  Not surprisingly a tactic that works well for Google may not have as much (or any) in Yahoo or vice versa, and without specific intent, a well ranking website in Google and Yahoo may get scant attention from Bing and/or AOL.   When you hire an SEO company make sure they have a strategy that will be effective in these major search engines and that they “keep an ear to the ground” looking for new techniques.  SEO is a discipline that is in a constant state of refinement and evolution … much the same as the algorithms used by the search engines.  What was effective in SEO 3 years ago is sub-par today, and what we are doing today will no doubt be outdated 3 years from now.

1st page of Google search results for SEO Consultant Ft Myers

Yahoo Search Results For Social Media/SEO Consultant Ft Myers

AOL Search Results For Social Media/SEO Consultant Ft Myers

Bing Search Results For Social Media/SEO Consultant Ft Myers


Contact Rick Thomas
Social Media Marketing|SEO Consultant
239 896-7020

Unsolicited Comments Show The Value of SEO To Local SW Florida Business

Search engine optimization (SEO) is more important to local businesses than ever before! I’ve seen the statistics, I’ve seen the results, I talk about it all the time … but, today the message was driven home to me on a personal level like never before. I was out running some errands earlier today and had the good fortune to run into a group of about a dozen former coworkers, we were all thrilled to see each other as it has been nearly a year since all of us were together and had an opportunity to talk. I was asked what I’m doing for a living now and I told them I was doing search engine optimization … they all looked at me like I had 2 heads! I don’t think any of them knew what that was, which surprised me a bit, they are all well educated, computer literate professionals who earn a more than average salary and spend a considerable amount of time on their computers at work and at home! I jumped right in and started explaining that if a business has a web site that shows up in a Google search on the 3rd, 10th, or 30th page of the Google search results, I can move their website up in the rankings … usually right to page 1. I went on to explain that this was critical for businesses now because over the past 10 years when a customer is looking to make a purchase, of most any kind, the likelihood has steadily been on the rise that they will search the internet for that information as opposed to turning to the yellow pages …

Up to this point I had been noticing their eyes glazing over in response to my canned “Value of SEO” speech, but, when I mentioned the yellow pages they sat up straight in their chairs, life came back into their eyes, as all of a sudden they got it! They became quite animated and comments were coming from all around the table …

  • “I haven’t used my phone book in 2 years”
  • “I haven’t used mine in 4 years”
  • “I don’t think I even have a phone book”
  • “I threw mine out 4 months ago because I never used it”
  • “I use mine … but only to find Government listings”

Out of a dozen young professionals not a single one had used a phone book to find a place to spend their money in years!  It was an eye opening experience for me … as I say, I’ve read the reports, seen the statistics, but, this brought it home to me on a personal level, these were people I know well … and have known for years, when they say it I know it’s true!  Of course a dozen people make an awfully small random sample but even at that the message seems clear enough to me, the yellow pages are fading fast and SEO is poised to be a major determining factor in which local businesses are going to be most successful.

Contact Rick Thomas
Social Media Marketing|SEO Consultant
239 896-7020

Company Facebook Page Creation and Management

SEO Mistakes Can Cause Your Website To Drop In Google Rankings

People are awakening to the fact the search engine optimization (SEO) can rather quickly raise their websites from obscurity to being prominently displayed at the top of Google’s search engine results pages. Done correctly SEO can have a significant impact on who dominates certain industries in a particular geographical area. It is equally important to keep in mind that SEO done incorrectly can have a negative impact on where a company falls in the local search results as well. Many think that Google or other major search engines will devalue or lower a site only for unethical (black hat) practices, however, often times websites can experience a drop in their rankings simply due to minor errors, omissions, needless redundancy, or failure to “cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s”.

Common Mistakes

  • External links to low quality/spam sites
  • Similar or duplicate content to existing content already in the index (plagiarism)
  • Server is often inaccessible to bots
  • Duplicate title/meta tags on multiple pages
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Spamming
  • content quality and relevance

Any of the above mistakes can have a negative impact on your websites visibility ranging from a drop in page rank, a drop in search engine rankings, a Google sandbox penalty, or in the worst case scenario a temporary or permanent de-indexing by Google.  The implementation of an effective SEO strategy requires a thorough working knowledge of where the lines are drawn, and the skill and foresight to aggressively promote your website without crossing them.

Graphic Description Of How Page Rank Looks

Social Media Enthusiasts Mingle And Network At SW Florida Facebook Happy Hour

A diverse array of business men and women, social media and SEO consultants, real estate professionals, political candidates, retail store owners, service industry pros and social media fans from all walks of life gathered at Shula’s Steakhouse at The Hilton in Naples (SWFL) for an evening of networking and establishing personal connections with others interested in Facebook and similar online social sites. Organized by Jody Pugh, this was the 2nd overwhelmingly successful meeting of the SW FL Facebook Friends Social Happy Hour. Shula’s Steakhouse provided appetizers and 2 for 1 drink specials to the crowd of well over 100 attendees. Shula’s, along with a number of other Ft Myers and Naples Businesses, donated a total of over 50 door prizes which were given away over the course of the evening.

Social Media Gathering In Naples Florida

The group meets every 4th Friday, and rotates the location to different locations around SW Florida to give anyone interested is social media an opportunity to attend a get together in their own neighborhood. The next event is scheduled for “Anthony’s On The Boulevard” in Cape Coral on August 27, 2010. If the 1st two meetings are any indication this promises to be yet another fun night with great people! Hope to see you there!

South Ft Myers Social Media Seminar At Miromar Design Center

Approximately 30 business men and women attended an informative discussion on subjects ranging from social media, SEO, online networking, professional image, marketing, and choosing from different social and business networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and others, based on which ones provide the most utility to each specific user. The speaker, Cyndee Woolley, an Accredited Public Relations (APR) professional with 9 years of local public relations and marketing experience, provided a plethora of useful information and insights of value to both beginners and seasoned veterans.

Professionals from a variety of industries attended, including interior design, medical billing, marketing and others, some coming from as far away as Tampa. Along with her slide show and oral presentation Ms. Woolley also fielded a host of questions from her fully engaged and well prepared audience. After the seminar was over she stayed and answered any remaining questions from all participants wishing to ask them. The Miromar Design Center provided a perfectly professional setting for this enjoyable afternoon of learning and sharing!

Miromar Design Center

Questions Social Media And SEO Consultants Must Ask New Clients

In social media as well as SEO, or any type of marketing or advertising for that matter, the more information one has about his clients the better one will be able to assess his clients needs and the most effective way to satisfy them. Without knowing precisely where you are starting from, and how far you have to go, it is even more difficult to estimate the cost, man hours, and overall time frame that will be required to achieve the objectives you and your client are pursuing. In any effective, long term social media or SEO campaign you and your client will, to some extent, be “joined at the hip”, you will regularly be exchanging ideas, taking and promoting photos, tracking progress, and exchanging specific information relative to each others individual industry. If your business relationship is going to thrive both parties need to be honest and forthcoming right from the start.

During the course of your first meeting with a potential client, he will, of course, have many questions about you and your business. It is equally important, however, that you find time to ask probing questions of the client as well. One of the questions he is certain to ask is “How much is all this going to cost me?”, and that is a reasonable question. Until you know what you’re working with and where you’re headed … it can be rather difficult to give an honest and informed answer. Explain to your client that in order to give him the answer he deserves you need a few answers yourself …


Are you on any social media sites already?

If yes …Which social media sites are you on, and how active are you?

What made you aware you need (or need to improve) your social media presence?

How or where did you hear about me, and what induced you to call? (if applicable)

Are you closely allied with any other businesses?

Who are your biggest competitors?

How have you marketed your business in the past?

Have you used a social media or SEO consultant before?

If so … who, how long ago, and what did you like or dislike about them and their service?

Where do your current clients come from?

What part of your business comes from return/repeat clients?

Do you currently have a strategy for getting referrals from your existing clients?

Would you be willing to make changes to your website to optimize search ranking and increase customer utility?

Do you have a company blog?

Do you have a company Facebook page?

To what extent will you expect me to manage/write ad copy for your blog/Facebook page?

What kind of budget will be allocated to developing/maintaining your social media/SEO marketing campaign?

Throughout the process of asking these questions make notes … once you get back to your office you will want to check out his website and his competitions websites as well. Look at his Facebook page or any other social media sites he may be on, and again make notes. By the time you’ve looked over what he has happening you will most likely start coming up with what it will take to improve his presence on the web, help him to connect better with his current and future clients, and enhance his performance in the Google (and other search engines) search results. Once this has been done you will be in a much better position to give you client an honest and fair(to both of you) assessment of what kind of results he can expect … and at what cost.

Google Page Rank Visually Explained

Yes I am For Hire!
Contact Rick Thomas
Social Media Marketing|SEO Consultant
239 896-7020

Ft Myers Marketing … Why Advertise When You’re Already A Success

William Wrigley, founder and owner of Wrigleys chewing gum, through the success of his product had amassed an incredible fortune, which he attributed to his successful advertising campaign. While travelling on a fast train, just months before his death, he was approached by a conductor on the train. The conductor asked Wrigley why he continued to spend millions on advertising.
“Your gum is known the world over” suggested the conductor. “Why don’t you save the money you spend each year on advertising?”
“Wrigley considered the question momentarily, and then asked the conductor “Tell me sir … approximately how fast is this train travelling?”
“About sixty miles an hour” replied the conductor.
“Then why doesn’t the train company remove the engine and let the train travel on it’s own momentum?” asked Wrigley.

Yes I am For Hire!

Contact Rick Thomas
Social Media Marketing|SEO Consultant
239 896-7020