Q: Why Did We Update The Site?
A: Because The Old Site Sucked, Right?

1st LSG Post

Well, that’s not completely the case, although I had received my fair share of requests (mostly from Pakistan for some reason) to redesign the old site over the years.

Here’s the ready-for-Medium explanation for the ten of you who care:

I launched LSG.com in 2007 after working as an SEO consultant for a year without a site. I used to love to say to prospects “Real SEOs don’t need a website…”. I had my cousin’s wife, who did package design for razors, design it. The design looked like it had been put together in about ten minutes which seemed right for a personal blog about something as geeky as SEO. Over the years I had come to look at that anti-design as an asset. Instead of the typical clip-art, marketing-speak seen on most agency sites (you know who you are), LocalSEOGuide.com made it pretty clear that I was just some guy with a blog who seemed to know a bit about SEO and was so busy cranking up the traffic for clients I didn’t have time to design a damn website. I think this worked in my favor most of the time. Not hard when you are competing against stock photos & buzzwords.

But things have changed since those halcyon days when someone would fly across the country to meet me and cut me a huge check over lunch simply because I ranked #1 for “local SEO” and “must know what I am doing”. Over the past few years Local SEO Guide has grown from just me cranking out audits and advising businesses on strategy to a team of people who crank out audits and advise businesses on strategy. And it was time that this site reflect that as well as make it clearer to potential clients what exactly it is that we do.

Now that the site is live, I thought it would be fun to share part of the creative brief we put together to kick off the project. I’d be curious to hear in the comments if you think we got it right.

LocalSEOGuide.com 2.0 Creative Brief

  1. Project Goals
    – Transition LocalSEOGuide.com (LSG.com) from a personal SEO blog to a SEO company website.
    – LSG.com is a 8-yr-old blog on SEO and local search written by Andrew Shotland, a SEO consultant and B-list SEO celebrity.  Currently the blog is under-optimized to convert readers/visitors into client leads and the UI does not easily accommodate new features and services.  It also could use an updated look.
  2. Brand Confusion
    Because our brand is “Local” we are probably missing out on some non-Local business (e.g. ecommerce sites, media sites, etc.).  About 50% of our clients are non-local, including some of the bigger sites on the Web such as oDesk.com/Elance.com, Coupons.com, RottenTomatoes.com, SwimOutlet.com, Slacker.com, etc.  While we don’t want to dilute the “Local” part, we’d like to make it clearer that we do “Enterprise” SEO.
  3. Authenticity
    When we ask potential clients why they contacted us via the blog, we often hear something like “you seem authentic”, “you don’t seem like you’re trying to bullshit me”, etc.  We interpret this partially as our website doesn’t look like a service marketing website such as (Crap SEO Company Website Redacted) or (Crap SEO Company Website Redacted)It’s important that the new design/UI maintain that sense of authenticity.  It needs to feel like we are doing this out of garage (a very excellent garage of course), while at the same time making visitors more aware of our different services and improving conversion.We think a lot of this can be accomplished via language and simplicity of design.
  4. Target Audience
    – Other SEOs: They share our posts and link to us. They may be our primary target.
    – Multi-Location & Single Location businesses looking for “Local SEO” help
    – Agencies looking for SEO experts to help with Local SEO
    – CEOs, CMOs and PMs looking for “Enterprise” SEO help
  5. Key Messages
    The following are effective messages we communicate during initial sales calls. We’d like them to come through via the design either explicitly or implicitly:

      – We understand your pain. We used to run a business that required SEO (InsiderPages.com) and we found it difficult. We started LSG to help people avoid the stress and anxiety I went through having to figure it out on the job.
      – Education & Trust. We give a lot of info away for free. We know you need to trust us before you hire us.
      – Experience. We have been doing this for a long time and we have seen a lot of bizarre shit in the SERPs. This will help us help you.


Here’s The First Wireframe I Created. It Ripped Off Slack’s Home Page UI Which All The Hipsters Were (& Still Are) Doing:

LSG 2.0 First Draft
I still love it…


Share This Story!

About Author

5 Response Comments

  • Dan Leibson  June 22, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Google Bad will forever be an unrequited love

    • Julie Kosbab  June 23, 2016 at 8:08 am

      I remember Andrew showing this to me before I joined the company.

      I also remember having to reassure my family that this was totally a real company and it was going to be okay and this wasn’t just a front for me becoming funemployed.

  • Derek  June 22, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Your old design sucked by still I visited everyday for a long long time. lol

    Now I have to get used to a new look. Damn this sucks now. Put the old one back.

    Don’t worry about Google, Google is just a over-grown child anyways. I’ll be back again though. Nice look though.

  • Andrew Shotland  June 22, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Congrats “snakeair”! You are the first commenter on the new site. Come back early and often…

  • Nathan Payne  August 7, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Great new site! I have been a rather passive visitor and reader of your blog so it was a great surprise to see the new design this morning!

    Great work.