Working on Memorial Day

I came into the office to work on my home business. A bit of a misnomer there, I guess. But the office has brighter lighting, two 19 inch monitors (rather than a single 17-incher), and a keyboard that is easier to type on. A LOT easier.

I’ve populated by database with zip codes and city, county, and state names. By the end of today I hope to have created a few million pages on the site, each uniquely optimized for a key search engine phrase.

Heh, that sounds kinda daunting if you ignore the fact that the pages will be created dynamically in PHP. Maybe I won’t get THAT far — and truth be told, I foresee lots of stuff that needs to come first — but that’s definitely the goal for the day. By the end of the week I’d like to have the Create Account page (and all its ramifications, minus e-commerce) set up.

One problem I’m running into is the diversity of search methods used for different services. For example, if you want flowers, you probably search for “florist”. But if you want a massage, do you search for “masseuse”, or “massage”? Or “massage therapist”? (The answer: most folks search for “massage”, then “massage therapist”, THEN “masseuse”.) And say you’re looking for a home loan. Do you, the average user, look for “mortgage broker”? Or do you look up just “mortgage”? Or worse, maybe just “loan”?

The difficulty is that in creating these million+ pages, I’m counting on certain language constructs. “There are 0 _____ registered in the city of ______.” (So I can’t say “massages” there — I have to say “massage therapists”.) I’m going to build these pages using the name of the profession, but some folks might search for the service, rather than the profession. Or a different name for the profession. “CPA” rather than “accountant”, or else “certified public accountant”. And then, maybe not all accountantns ARE CPAs, in which case the pages could be misleading. That’s certainly the case with “real estate agents” and “realtors” — the latter is a trademarked term, but is also more often sought for than the former, and not all of the former are the latter.

Big ol’ can o’ beans being spilt here, eh? Okay, you guys, shhh! No telling anybody my genius idea.