Before we started our apartment photography business, I worked for a therapeutic boarding school that had been embroiled in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The bulk of the lawsuit was thrown out by the judge and a small portion was settled but the mother who initiated the suit had a vendetta that lasted until the school eventually closed. The school survived the lawsuit but did not survive the onslaught of internet attacks that this mother led. A Google search for the school’s name yielded the school’s website first and second and our virtual tour as the third listing but the fourth through seventh items that are returned were negative attacks.
These vicious and somewhat baseless attacks were led by this woman but appeared to come from several disparate sources. Because they seemed to come from a variety of sources, they appeared to have merit in the eyes of the prospective parents I talked to. Since the third item that came up in the Google search was the virtual tour, I was able to separate the truth about the school from much of misinformation that was out there.
We get about 1,500 virtual tour hits per month to our website but even more importantly than that, we drive those hits from dozens of different sources. My experience at the school made me realize the importance of variety in Search Engine Optimization. We blog regularly and submit our 360 virtual tours and blog to over 40 different websites and we get lots of web exposure as a result. If you search “virtual tour software” on Google, there are two full pages about us before anyone else even shows up.
The Google search for our name returns references from 16 different websites in the first three pages alone! Google juice comes from having lots of different backlinks to your website. The fact that someone searching for our name yields returns from not only our website but from 15 other sources on just the first three pages helps to boost our credibility. Many people who do a search for our company aren’t really looking for more information as much as they are for validation that we are who we say we are.
The very first Google result that refers to anything other than our company is on the third page and is titled “Co-Ed Naked Networking”. While our web content is scintillating, I am pretty sure that Co-Ed Naked Networking would catch the eye of anyone who is searching the web in the same way that the negative posts caught the eye of people who searched for the school. When someone searches for our virtual tour company, I want them to be thinking about virtual tours – not co-ed naked networking!
Do your part and submit a blog to RTV today and claim your name! They might even send you out to do some Hotel Photography!