There are around 4 million people in Louisiana. One million of us have downloaded the same app onto our phones. That app is LA Wallet. You probably have LA Wallet on your phone. If you don’t, it holds a digital version of your driver’s license, your hunting and fishing licenses, and if you’re vaccinated against Covid 19, LA Wallet also holds your proof of vaccination.

To get the app to work, all you have to do is download it from wherever you get apps. You don’t have to upload your licenses or proof of vaccination – that information goes directly to the app from the appropriate departments of the State of Louisiana.

LA Wallet is the biggest digital credential app in the United Sates. And Louisiana – the state that’s usually at the bottom of every list there is – is at the top of this one. We’re the first state in the nation to have a state-approved digital vaccine card, which, by the way, is recognized and valid in every other state.

Calvin Fabre and his creation, LA Wallet

Calvin Fabre and his creation, LA Wallet

Calvin Fabre is founder and President of the software company Envoc, and creator of LA Wallet.

Back in the earlier days of what came to be known as “The Digital Revolution,” e-commerce and social media were two totally separate things. You went to one place online to buy stuff. And you went to another place online to post pictures of what you bought. Those days are long gone. Today e-commerce, social media, and everything else you do online are inextricably linked.

If you have a business, you have an online presence. Even if your business is a brick-and-mortar building that requires people to walk in the door, you can’t rely on a neon sign to achieve that any more. And that’s why an industry of digital marketing agencies has been created. These agencies put the equivalent of your neon sign online – in a place where your potential customers will see it. However, unlike screwing a neon sign to your building, online marketing is not quite so simple.

Since 2012, a digital marketing agency called Online Optimism has been designing and installing online neon signs for local companies like Hibernia Bank, the Downtown Development District, and Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Like so many other types of optimism, Online Optimism started out in New Orleans. The agency also has offices in Washington DC and Atlanta.

The Managing Director of Online Optimism here in New Orleans is Sam Olmsted.

Online Optimism's Sam Olmsted

Online Optimism’s Sam Olmsted

One of the main goals you hear people in online marketing talk about, is SEO. Search Engine Optimization. If I have a business, when someone searches online for something I’m selling, if I have good SEO my company comes up first in search. So there’s a greater likelihood a person will click on my business ahead of everyone else. Back in the day when people used the yellow pages to find a business, businesses tried a similar sort of manipulation by listing themselves as something like “AAAAA carpet cleaning” or “AAAAA jelly beans.” All of the “A’s” in front of their name meant that in the alphabetical listings, they’d be first.

Like the A’s in front of a name, only one company can come up first in a Google search. So, I’m wondering how cost-effective SEO is.Say I’m selling jellybeans online — if I‘m a small business in New Orleans, for what I can afford to pay an agency like Online Optimism, can I expect you to put enough digital “A’s” in front of my name to get me to the top of Google search ahead of everyone else selling jellybeans online? On this edition of Out to Lunch, we get SEO explained.

Sam Olmsted, Calvin Fabre, Peter Ricchiuti, Out to Lunch at NOLA Pizza

Sam Olmsted, Calvin Fabre, Peter Ricchiuti, Out to Lunch at NOLA Pizza

Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at NOLA Pizza in the NOLA Brewing Taproom. Photos by Jill Lafleur. And check out Calvin Fabre’s earlier visit to Out to Lunch.

Realtor Tracey Moore