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Posted on 10.09.2012

All I Need to Know About SEO I Learned From an Urban Adventure Race

Last weekend I participated in a 30 mile urban adventure race in downtown Nashville.

The concept is simple: teams of three to six people are sent on a mystery course around the city to find clues, solve puzzles, and complete challenges. Each teammate is designated as a runner or a biker, and three teammates are required to be on the course at any given time. I'm a fairly new runner and not a biker by any means, but the team said I wouldn't run more than eight miles, and would definitely not have to bike. Sign me up!

After one of our runners and two bikers returned from a particularly grueling challenge, we solved our last puzzle and discovered that our final task called for three riders to race from downtown Nashville to a studio we were not familiar with to complete a "boot camp" class. We searched for the address online (smart phones were legal in this particular race) and found that the independent studio was located just five miles away, according to listings on Google, Yelp, Bing and Yahoo.

Our riders were cold, wet, and exhausted, so we runners offered to take their place.

You can imagine our surprise when we rode out to the location only to discover that the studio was not there. We ran into a couple other riders, hunched over their smart phones, who informed us that the studio was actually six miles south of where we currently were – resulting in more than a 20 mile ride roundtrip.

Where was this address change listed? Not on any of the major search engines. In fact, the location was updated only in tiny print on the studio's website. As we began the trek to our new destination, I found myself thinking about how all this could have been avoided with proper search engine optimization.

At the end of the day, we found the studio and completed our challenge. But what can be learned from this experience? If I can't find your business' location from a quick Google search, you have lost me as a customer. On a non-race day, don't expect me to spend fifteen minutes digging through search engines to find you. Make sure you have taken the steps to optimize your business correctly to avoid losing potential customers. To learn more about SEO, visit lovell.com.  

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