SEO does not always mean the same thing

April 28, 2012

A wise man once said that “all marketers are liars.”

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This couldn’t be further from the truth. It surprises me that business owners are still not savvy about online marketing. Many don’t see the need for a local search marketing strategy because they think, “only the big companies with huge pocketbooks” advertise aggressively online. They are the companies always at the top dominating search results. Sure this can be done to some extent by sinking yourself deeper into credit card debt with Google Adwords, but why keep going back to the World’s Largest Auction (bigger than Ebay!)

Organic search results get over 1/2 of the click volume.

Most small businesses don’t understand the concepts and strategies of content marketing. Then again, most SEO services and agencies tend to focus on the on-page website changes, business may or may not deploy a blog strategy depending on whether the website is built in a blog style CMS like WordPress. Unfortunately for businesses, they often can only afford a cheap SEO agency who typically fails to use content for building backlinks. I say you can’t afford not to. Stop going back to the auction! Organic and local complements PPC domination and also stretches a budget with recurring revenues from search engine result page share of voice and real estate.

I once SEO’d a “bookie service” website that took up 5 of the first 7 results with multiple websites and different business names

Some SEO firms optimize for Google Places and setup local listings, but do they include accounts with the data centers UBL and Localeze listings? Do they provide manual local listing optimization that focuses on creating as many local citations (mentions of your business name, address, and number?)

I recommend finding a transparent and holistic firm that focuses on a diverse approach to SEO, not just moving things around on a page and changing a few settings (how often you gonna change a Page Title?)

If someone calls and offers you SEO service you have every right to be skeptical. After all, “all marketers are liars” and SEOs are the biggest out there.

I have always said the minute you change a page title you are “gaming” Google.

Just stay away from link builders who use non transparent or blackhat SEO methods. While the potential short term business may be good for your wallet, getting kicked out of the search results or worse de-indexed is not something you can easily overcome.

I do recommend considering separate IPs and crazy aggressive tactics for local search niche domains though.

Hiring an outsourcing company or yellow pages type company for your online marketing is just crazy. Everything is proprietary and you won’t own a thing.

They should stick to what they do best…

20120503-195149.jpgpolluting door steps!


What is the future of local small business advertising?

February 5, 2012

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With search marketing officially taking over traditional media marketing channels it is no surprise sleazy sales tactics still work for some Internet marketing providers.

check out what I got from ReachLocal recently:

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I will be sure to add some of the stats.

I just want you to understand that there is a difference between a backlink building content marketing SEO agency like SMB SEO and the product or platform specific Google Adwords reseller agencies and yellow pages.

In the month of July we created over 550 pages of content for less than 25 clients. This past January I had te responsibility for scheduling over 1,000 pages worth of offsite and onsite content marketing articles, blog posts, and pages for around 35 different businesses. Let’s see the yellow pages or ReachLocal folks provide that kind of Internet marketing strategy and schedules!

Just because my agency saves clients a boatload of money in PPC up charges by not paying anyone other than Google or Bing direct for clicks, doesn’t mean we are less effective or inferior to these larger marketing organizations. What they fail to offer:

Google Analytics
You own all the PPC campaign work
You own the PPC campaign account
CallMeasurement.com Call Tracking
woopra analytics
Custom Video Production
Web Ranking Reports Weekly
Niche Site Domain Development
Mobile Ads
Mobile Sites
PRWeb.com Press Releases
Local listing optimization
UBL Listing (universal business listing)
Localeze Data Center Listing


Why Paying a Monthly Retainer for Local SEO and PPC Makes Good Business Sense

November 16, 2011

In the old days you bought a display ad in the yellow pages to get calls from customers ready to buy.

These days you purchase a yellow pages ad so your established brand doesn’t lose potential phone calls to unknown and lesser quality brands who can afford the financing that the yellow pages offer. The bottom end churn for print YP is constant. Google doesn’t offer financing on pay-per-clicks and writers don’t finance content writing.

In 2002, 80% used the yellow pages to perform a local search. Today that number is less than 15% and phone book fragmentation (a way of looking at print competition) is at an all-time high.

Marketing dollar resource allocation has flipped over the years. The days of me giving Internet marketing advice to sell ads in phone books has been over for sometime.

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Businesses are struggling to dominate search the same way they dominated local search in the 90’s with big full-page and eventually double truck 2-page ads. The same style duopoly exists were you have a telco or main provider and second incumbent choice (AT&T + GTE/Verizon = Google + Bing/Yahoo Search Alliance.)

In the earlier days of search the businesses with names and domains that contained the product or service being offered including the city they served, such as “Dallas Auto Transmission LLC” naturally had an upper hand. It was easy to make a title tag match your business name. Optimization of a website required the efforts of a website coder and FTP access to the sites backend. SEO was all about meta-tags and links that were hard to come-by.

Today you will see:

  • 60,000 new websites will be added to the web
  • 2 million new videos added to YouTube
  • 1.6 million blog posts will be created (out of 150 million blogs)
  • 1.5 billion pieces of content will be added to Facebook
  • 200 million tweets will be tweeted on Twitter

Paid search ads with Google use to only costs pennies per click. Volume was low. Again things have changed. Paid search offers so much more than the past.

Things have gotten a bit more complex:
– mobile extensions
– local extensions
– site links
– retargeting
– promoted videos
– product feeds
– demographic targeting
– new channels of distribution
– new match types like modified broad match

It is easy to mistakenly dump hundreds of suggested keywords in a campaign and see quality scores never rise above a 4. Google makes it easy to spend your money or daily budget and target keyword searches via broad match types with non relevant ads. Buyer beware: You need an agency or consultant!

Great SEO starts with keyword research. Those keywords need to be put in a report and measures with rankings on search engines. You then need to create content, pages for the various keywords, both on your site and pointing to your site with anchor text. Social signals are also important. LoMoSo or local mobile social is the new Internet. NAP, or name address and number, mentions of your business are the key to local. This begins with data-center directory submission (the only real form of directory submission) which is not something you get from Outsourced India SEO providers.

Next, you must begin eating the elephant so-to-speak. Start with the low hanging fruit or keywords that have less competition and in many cases less volume. Quick rankings measured via Google Analytics as clicks. The short-tail competitive keywords take more offsite backlinks, more onsite content strategy, great NAP data, and the help of an experienced Internet marketer to reach success.

To build a successful Internet marketing campaign you need to have your SEO content strategy and PPC campaigns work together. PPC tells us what keywords drive impressions. Content marketing helps you rank for correlating keywords that you can add to your PPC Campaign and both help you test landing pages to perfection.

A SEO & PPC Monthly Retainer will allow you to gradually scale your efforts, rank for more keywords, and create great authoritative onsite content for your visitors. Mix in high volume with low competition keywords and you will monetize your efforts from the start.

Smb SEO’s retainer includes conversion optimization consulting, domain registration, quality hosting (not that slow GoDaddy hosting) and all the transparent reporting you need to make sure that you are not on a road that leads to nowhere. It also does not require a contract and the service is based on real-time and materials vs paying for the concept of SEO. You can only optimize a single page a couple of times before you must add new ones.

If this doesn’t sound like the services your “SEO company” provides, don’t walk…. RUN AWAY.

Call me at 214-267-9553 for a free ranking report and let’s see what is keeping you from making good business sense of your internet marketing.

Also, FYI, Tonight Google and Bing Representatives will Speak on “State of Search” at Dallas / Ft Worth Search Marketing Group…

Register at DFWSEM.org

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How to really screw up a pay-per-click campaign the easy way….

August 31, 2011

Let an AdWords reseller create a broad match campaign for your Air Conditioning company with the keyword “services” and actually pay them for the clicks.

In the old days people bought yellow pages. In the new days they purchased digital ads. Today and in the future they will buy conversions, or atleast expect to manage by conversions instead of just getting “traffic” to a website.

Checkout this search result for said A/C company for the search term “black at SEO services” on Google, notice how I wasn’t looking for air conditioning?

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This is a prime example why you don’t want a national ppc reseller to manage your campaign. Instead, hire an agency that is partnered with Google’s Engage program like smbSEO.


Dallas PPC Advertising Expert Will Speak at the DFWSEM Association on June 15th

June 15, 2011

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Dallas PPC Advertising Expert Will Speak at the DFWSEM Association on June 15th.

Come join our sponsor smbSEO and yours truly at tonight’s meeting. If you need a pass to tonight’s event you can email me for one.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) June 15, 2011

Pay Per Click –Some Super PPC Advertising Tips and Secrets

With all the buzz about social media dominating the discussion over the past year or so, a person might think PPC was a lost art, but nothing could be farther from the truth. PPC remains a viable form of search engine marketing, and for many businesses it’s still the cornerstone of their online marketing strategy.

Join DFWSEM on June 15th as Jim Gilbert presents “Pay Per Click –Some Super PPC Advertising Tips!”

About Jim Gilbert:

Jim is vice president of KeyRelevance and one of the co-founders of the DFWSEM. He has been involved in both organic and paid search engine marketing since the early ‘90s and spent his early years working with a number of iconic organizations, including Sabre and EDS. As a highly sought after speaker, and author of numerous articles and published studies on the industry, Jim is uniquely qualified to share insights learned through years of critical analysis and real-world experience creating and managing PPC campaigns for some of the largest and most high-profile names in business.

The Presentation:
As the title implies, this presentation will focus on what the search engines don’t tell people about PPC, and will include:
■Some Super PPC Tips (for Google & MSN/Yahoo)
■Knowing what your company plans to do with PPC and the experience required to do it
■Measuring success and conversions
■Understanding and using the various keyword match types
■Understanding and using the various “negative” keyword match types
■Understanding and managing Quality Scores
■Managing Ad creative Rotations
■Understanding and utilizing “filters”
■Understanding and using Google Ad Extensions
■Brief introduction to Google’s “Product Listing Ads”

Top 10 Worst PPC Practices –

Jim will also give his list of the top 10 worst PPC practices to avoid.
PPC Account Reviews -Have Your Actual PPC Account Critiqued by an Expert Have specific concerns about an actual PPC campaign, or just want to show off PPC chops before the group? For the last 30 minutes of the meeting, Jim will be conducting live reviews of our members’ PPC accounts. If you would like to be considered for this PPC account review, please send an email to info (at) dfwsem.org with the URL of the site that you are using in your current PPC efforts (we will NOT need your account login information).
As is the case when DFWSEM does site reviews, the PPC account reviews will not be a collective “beat down” of the examples, but a way to find out what the audience is doing right and what someone might want to consider doing differently in order to deliver the best results for clients. Whether a PPC newbie or AdWords certified, folks will leave this meeting with a greater understanding of how to successfully create and manage highly effective PPC campaigns.

This month’s meeting is sponsored by smbSEO, a holistic Dallas area based local internet marketing agency dedicated to helping small businesses advertise on Google.

Where:
Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel
900 E. Lookout Drive Richardson, TX 75082
(972) 367-2000

When: June 15, 2011 –Mixer 6:30 –7:00 p.m., Meeting 7-8:30 p.m., Social 8:30-?

Join DFWSEM or Renew
Membership Membership Types:

Individual -$150 per Year
There is no Charge for Individual members to attend monthly meetings.

Corporate Memberships -$300 per Year

Three people from the company can attend each meeting.

Additional seats can be purchased for $50 per year.

There is no charge to attend monthly meetings.

Nonmembers -Nonmembers can attend monthly meetings for $35.

About the DFW Search Engine Marketing Association (DFWSEM):

The Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Organization (DFWSEM) is dedicated to education and promotion of the Dallas/Fort Worth search engine marketing industry, conversing various topics related to search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click search (PPC), as well as other emerging media. The group meets monthly at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson, Texas, and is open to anyone interested in search engine marketing, including in-house marketers, independent consultants, and agencies.


Google will be charging for some calls from PC ads according to Search Engine Land

April 28, 2011

This is awesome news for search marketers and internet advertisers.

http://searchengineland.com/google-begins-charging-for-some-calls-from-pc-ads-74935?utm_source=sel&utm_medium=scap&utm_campaign=email

Real question is “when do they cease to allow you to advertise your own number?” to make more money. All in the name of better conversion tracking, call quality attribution by keyword etc,right? I am sure a boat-load of other questions will come out over the next few months…. And changes!

Potential game-changer for small business local internet marketing. Google is already dominating local search share over local search directories.

Google already owns over 70% of total search volume and a commanding position in both mobile browser and local geo-location search results.

Google rocks!


NEW: Free Phone Support For Google AdWords Advertisers

April 5, 2011

Check this article from Search Engine Land about Google PPC help and support for SMBs.

NEW: Free Phone Support For Google AdWords Advertisers


Tired of Managing Complex IT Solutions? Costs Always Going Up? Want Marketing Collaboration and Social Media?

February 14, 2011

Are you a CIO, IT Professional, or Marketing Manager for a corporation or small business?

Having trouble with IT solutions, bandwidth, or social collaboration?

I am working with a new cloud based application service delivery platform that is perfect for any organization. It is a professional virtual desktop that works with all devices, on any platform, and any enterprise or application.

This new solution will allow you to:

  • Cut Costs and Reduce Downtime
  • Increase Employee Productivity
  • Handle Web and Information Security & Backup Peace of Mind
  • Single point of contact for all your IT needs

and includes:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Web2.0 Applications
  • Administrative Console
  • 3G-10G Storate
  • Web Conferencing
  • SEO Management Dashboard
  • Business Continuance
  • Collaboration Tools

with

  • Access from Anywhere and Any Broadband Enabled Device!!!!!!

 

Email me to share the real scoop!

mike (at) smbseo (dot) com

 

Cheers!


Dallas SEO Consultant Explains SEO Targeting and Scheduling

January 16, 2011

Targeting. All marketers say they do it… few really do.

Targeting saves money. Targeting puts your ad message in front of the right eyeballs. I have said before that if you focus on marketing you don’t have to advertise as much. If your business focused on differentiating your brand from your competitors better, you wouldn’t need to use as many methods of advertising to promote your marketing messages.

Targeting is about putting your business in front of those consumers ready to buy your product of service.

Targeting has been the key advantage of directional marketing efforts over creative ones. Directional marketing, a term that was first coined by TMP in 2001, is when buyers are looking for sellers vs the other way around, like creative marketing.

According to Wiki:

Directional Marketing is a type of marketing, a measurable form of direct response advertising, whose primary role is to point a potential consumer toward the completion of the sales process or service selection. Unlike traditional direct marketing which typically communicates to unsolicited consumers, directional marketing is primarily consumer initiated where consumers seek out advertising to aid in their purchase decision, e.g., to identify potential vendors with which to do business. Examples of known forms of Directional Marketing media are the Yellow Pages, Internet, or Electronic Yellow Pages and Local search (Internet).[1]

For most small businesses, every dollar is precious. Small businesses do not advertise for the sake of advertising, they can’t afford it.  Small businesses, to the most extent,  do not have the financial resources necessary to invest in brand recognition. Branding requires repetition of the brand message.  Which takes a lot of money to become the most effective. There are many forms of creative branding media, such as the radio, television, magazines, and direct mail.

The most effective form of advertising for small businesses has been and always will be the one that has the highest usage and frequency. Selecting the right media to advertise has commonly been an easy choice for SMBs, since this used to be the yellow pages. It is now Local Search.

Local search is Easy.

Oops. I said it.

Local search is not as fragmented as the industry wants you to believe. Everyone in the space is fighting for a piece of the pie. Internet yellow pages sites (like SuperPages.com, YP.com, Local.com etc) are fighting for traffic just like the local vertical directory sites (AttorneysListed.com, Lawyers.com, Elocalplumbers.com, Restaurant.com etc) and they all want a piece of the location-based social networks (FourSquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places etc.) With all these different options to advertise, why did I say that local search is easy? It all begins with Google (and 25% Bing.) All of these sites must get traffic from Google in order to provide value to advertisers. Traffic from Google brings eyeballs which turns into leads and phone calls. If you can master Google, you master local search.

Since Google is where consumers begin researching for local product and service providers, it only makes sense that the first thing a business do is optimize for Google Places. This does not mean paying some odd $150.00 per month fee to some company to “manage listings.” Google Places Optimization is a holistic effort that requires scheduling multiple activities, such as local listing optimization and blog content strategy.  It also requires positive reputation management and a well planned ratings and review aggregation process that incorporates leveraging your positive reputation online. All this sounds like some sort of mumbo jumbo, and likely the reason why so many are experiencing SEO scams.

Local SEO in a nutshell:

  • Schedule listing optimization to create Google Places citations
  • Schedule on-site content for your website pages and posts
  • Schedule off-site content for mass articles, niche directories, press releases, and industry vertical sites.

In “The Death and Rebirth of Editorial Citation on the Web,” Rand Fishkin suggests that as much as 20% of the links on the web exist solely for the purpose of influencing search rankings. Keep in mind that Holistic SEO tells us to consider the value of content, not just spammy article links with synonym swapping techniques that the search engine algorithm has accounted for.

  • Collect ratings and reviews from your clients and create a process to promote them in local search

Don’t be fooled by anyone telling you your local rank is dictated by a specific signal, especially if that signal is the number of reviews your business has. You do not need to go wild with reviews to rank. Reviews are game-able, and thus not a good long-term local search signal.

  • Become involved in your online community. Become an advocate and curator of online discussion…. this builds links too!
  • Learn how to use Advanced Search Operators to improve research on Google
  • Create an account with StepRep for Reputation Management and awareness for just $19 per month
  • Leverage the social signals and PageRank of sites like Facebook and Twitter, but don’t expect to receive the traffic needed to monetize the effort unless these pages rank on Google.  Social sites are great for influencing Google rankings, but they are more about marketing and reputation than new customer opportunities.

Social sites are great tools of creating a positive brand and increasing your authority online. I often recommend including social sites in your link building efforts. Social Media Optimization strategies can be scheduled and automated, such as social media bookmarking and social media posting. The main thing to keep in mind when looking to incorporate social media in your online marketing strategy is to focus on interacting with discussion amongst your online community.

Take a look at the strategies that Metro Tickets in Dallas has implemented. With my help, Metro Tickets offers FREE TICKETS to events around Dallas – Fort Worth with new FREE TICKET TUESDAY promotion. This once a week promotion on Facebook offers the chance for the companies FACEBOOK FANS to win tickets for answering simple trivia questions.

  • Don’t fall for the product pushers. Holistic search marketing methods require us to consider all opportunities, but this also means that you need to be careful where you invest your ad dollars. You will get calls everyday from some local website or person offering to list your business. One would think that the first thing you would do is conduct a search on Google for what it is that you do and where you do it. The results on Google should help you decide which product-centric pushers you should do business with and which ones are not on the radar. Keep in mind that most local web traffic starts with Google (and 25% Bing/Yahoo.)
  • Last but not least: Don’t participate in the SEO vs PPC debate. You need both! Holistic search marketing helps you rank all over Google, not just at the top. Everyone says they can get you to the top, but the clicks and conversions depend upon the message title and description in the SERP (search engine results page.)

I often recommend a 50/50 budget distribution between everything SEO (content, web design, video, listings, and images) and everything PPC (paid search, content network, promoted video, local tags.)

For further advice on local search marketing, visit my website.

 

Here are a few tips from Google on finding a local search engine optimization professional for your business:

While SEOs can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site’s presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index. Here are some things to consider:

  • Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:

    “Dear google.com,
    I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”

    Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.

  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.
  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or “throwaway” domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google’s index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to “help” you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.
  • You should never have to link to an SEO.Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don’t affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines — at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.
  • Choose wisely.While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO:http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002002970_nwbizbriefs12.html. While Google doesn’t comment on specific companies, we’ve encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.
  • Be sure to understand where the money goes.While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they “control” other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn’t work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you’re considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.
  • What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?
  • One common scam is the creation of “shadow” domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client’s behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor’s domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

    Another illicit practice is to place “doorway” pages loaded with keywords on the client’s site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO’s other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.

 


Do people use yellow pages online vs Google?

November 20, 2010

Stats by Dallas SEO Consultant Mike Stewart at SMB SEO

Local Search has changed. Take a look at the following graphs.

A picture is worth a thousand words… in this case it might also be worth $$$ Thousands of Dollars $$$

Are you advertising where the traffic is?

comScore Local Search Marketshare Market Share Graph IYP Searchvs

comScore.com IYP Properties by Share of IYP Searches Q1 2007 vs Q1 2006

As you can see, search engines are taking local search searches from internet yellow pages sites and local directories. Increased competition in the local search landscape or industry fragmentation has also created a challenge for the IYP (internet/interactive yellow pages) and local search directory listing providers.

Local search traffic is now in the hands of social media sites, mobile browsers, and Google/Facebook Places. Check-in sites like Gowalla and FourSquare are also going to help connect with the who, what, where, and when…. something the phone book companies just don’t get! Even companies like Local.com are growing in marketshare, while traffic and marketshare to Yellow Pages sites like SuperPages.com and other IYPs keeps declining. They can’t use the “more people to distribute rule here.” They, like the print companies, are failing to compete with mobile and social media!


Google Pay Per Click Bidding Goes Up Due to Google Places

November 12, 2010

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These past few weeks have been very busy to say the least if you are in search marketing. Google recently shifted in favor of SEOs with not just instant search, but also the new dominating presence of the local Google Places results. The big change has impacted most queries with “local intent”. This shift in the display of the results for Google organic rankings has created alot of fuss amongst the small business community. I consider it a blessing for those with brick and mortar locations, or those that know how to capitalize on the changes.

Recently, Yahoo Search Marketing, also known as Panama, was folded into MSN after getting final approval from regulators. Advertisers that had great rankings from Yahoo organic search results have suffered huge setbacks. I have seen very few circumstances where high ranked Yahoo listings also ranking well on Bing, MSN’s search engine. The combination of losing the organic rankings and having to transfer or convert Yahoo Search Marketing campaigns to MSN AdCenter has impacted call volumes of most advertisers without a dedicated SEO/SEM consultant.

Google Places local listing results has made an algorithmic shift towards traditional SEO. If you previously have hired the services of a holistic search engine optimized who does local listing optimization, local link building, content strategy, and review aggregation you were not impacted as heavily with the recent shifts in local search.

With all the recent changes in the local search marketing landscape these past few weeks, I have seen business categories across the broad spectrum increase Google AdWords bids per targeted keyword. This obviously is a result of a decrease in phone calls, not as likely to be contributed by a change in Google AdWords, but likely the result of a decrease in calls to advertisers struggling to keep up with all the shifts in search. Good news for my clients is that I stay vigilant and on top of whats to come.

If you need help with your small business search marketing or online reputation management (reverse ranking SEO) give me a call:
214-267-9553.


How Dallas internet marketing agencies charge for pay-per-click advertising

June 26, 2010

Most Dallas pay-per-click advertising experts base their paid search, also know as PPC, pricing plans on a percentage of spend. There are a few that base their pricing on cost-per-conversion where the client determines a budget and how much they are willing to pay for a lead and the agency retains any un-spent budget. Then, there are the fixed fee pricing plans, such as the one that SMB SEO offers Dallas area clients.

Here is a summary of a few strengths and weaknesses of the different pricing options:

Percentage of Spend

Advantage: If the client is spending more there will be more work to be done.

Disadvantage: This encourages the agency to raise the client’s budget to gain more revenue for the agency, even if the increase is not warranted for revenue generating.

FEE ranges between 10% and 30% depending on the budget amount and overall number of campaigns/ads being managed.

Cost-per-Conversion

Advantage: The client is paying for conversions on a one-for-one basis. The agency is only at risk if they are not hitting their totals

Disadvantage: The quality of leads may suffer and/or the means to acquire them may be questionable

FEE is based on a cost per call, cost per appointment, cost per sale, or cost per action.

Fixed Pricing

Advantage: The client has a predictable fee and the agency is not motivated to do things against the best interests of the client.

Disadvantage: The agency has not additional motivation to seek better opportunities for the user. Less incentive can lead to poor quality of work.

FEE is based on a set monthly amount to manage campaigns. Most agencies charge clients as much as $500.00 to $1000.00 per month for pay-per-click budgets under $3,500.00 monthly billing.

At smbSEO, we provide PPC campaigns builds for a flat hourly fee, ppc management fee of only $199.00 per month for click budget accounts under $3,000.00 and a small additional fee for website landing page banner creation, Google display advertising, call metrics (advanced call tracking) and on going on-site training and consulting. What smbSEO offers clients can’t be beat by other internet web marketing firms. We offer 100% transparency, great service, and all of our client campaign builds include Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and MSN AdCenter campaigns.

At smbSEO, we are able to offer all of these various different options. Helping you strategize your small business web marketing plan is our specialty.

Couple of words of caution:  We do not recommend hiring pay-per-click marketing firms who hide account information or those that use proprietary bid management systems. We do not recommend hiring an agency to build a campaign that you do not retain ownership of in the event you decide to find a new paid search marketing agency. Another big advantage to smbSEO’s pay-per-click advertising management is that it is provided on a month to month basis.

For too long search marketing companies have attempted to turn internet marketing, a service, into a product.  Google dominates search volume with over 65% of all internet searches. Local search is extremely fragmented with countless online yellow pages sites and directories. Determining where to allocate your marketing dollars is a tough decision. smbSEO makes it easy to measure the effectiveness of your online advertising by providing web rank tracking reports and Google analytics to all of our clients.

So, take my advice:  Own your PPC Campaign. Keep your information out of the hands of your competitors. Use Google’s AdWords user interface and request access to the account. If you do sign a contract for pay-per-click advertising management fees, don’t do it longer than 3 months! Also, don’t allow agencies to mark up your fees or costs per each click. If you can’t see exactly what Google charged your credit card per click, you are likely getting scammed. It is still possible to add a percentage mark-up, just make sure you know exactly how much is was marked-up and you agreed to the fee beforehand.

Couple other things to consider:  Don’t send all your traffic to your websites Home Page. If your PPC provider does not provide click conversion optimization, it is time to find a new agency. Be careful for scam artists who sell you PPC advertising than outsource your pay-per-click management to India.

A properly built PPC campaign will improve your Quality Score within Google’s PPC Advertising Algorithm and lower your cost per click. Just because your competitor bids more per click, does not necessarily mean that they will be in a higher ranked position in pay-per-click.

If you need more PPC advice, shoot me an email at dallasSEOguru@gmail.com, and be sure to cc: dallasPPCguru@gmail.com as well!

Here is a Google Analytics screenshot:

Google Analytics Experts in Dallas


Help me pick a logo for my new company www.smbSEO.com!

April 29, 2010

http://logotournament.com/contests/smbseo

Just comment in this thread. This is why I will never be a great artistic website designer….. I can never make up my mind!

Each logo has a #…. like #6 or #34 that is currently ranked 1st….

Our future site will be:

www.smbSEO.com

small business HIGH RANKINGS

All prices are on the site.

My favorite post from Twitter was by http://twitter.com/robgarner, who RT’d recently:

RT @meprieb: Search is verb, not channel. If we talk about it that way, others will too but it can’t happen until we do – Gord at #mpsis 7:54 AM Apr 17th via web


SuperPages.com ad distribution blogs, I wonder who is responsible?

April 10, 2010


Take a look at the links and blog posts below, who do you think is responsible for distributing this content?

A & S Whitestone Nursery, Whitestone, NY : bird baths
A & S Whitestone Nursery, www.superpages.com Whitestone, NY, supermedia, African Violets, Animal Traps, Aquatic Plants, Baskets & Planters, Bedding Plants, Bird Baths, Bird Food & Supplies, Blooming Plants, Bonsai, Bonsai Trees, Books, 
bird baths – http://bird-bath.net/
Kleen Kars Inc, Springfield, MA | Cars and Trucks Blog
By admin
Kleen Kars Inc www.superpages.com Springfield, MA Supermedia, Auto Financing & Loans, Truck Dealers, Auto Dealers, Used Cars,
Cars and Trucks Blog – http://carsandtrucksblog.com/
mcgowan’s Construction , Memphis, TN | Clothes Hangers
By admin
mcgowan’s Construction www.superpages.com Memphis, TN Supermedia * Additions , Architectural Services , Attics , Basements ,
Clothes Hangers – http://hangerscenter.com/
Lara Van Derschelden DDS Bothell, WA | Endodontics
By nunum
Van Derschelden Lara – Gentle Touch Dental Grp www.superpages.com Super Media, bond Treatments Braces Bridge Work Bridges cancer screening check-up Caps Clear.
Endodontics – http://endodontics.myblogtrade.com/
Zarria’s Cleaning Service, Atlanta, GA | carpet cleaning atlanta
By ronaldkonruff
Zarria’s Cleaning Service, www.superpages.com Atlanta, GA, supermedia, Accident Cleanup, Apartment Cleaning, Apartments & Condominiums, Area Rug Cleaning, Attics, Baseboards, Basements, Bathrooms, Bathrooms & Kitchens, Bedrooms, Blinds, 
carpet cleaning atlanta – http://cleaningatlantacarpet.blogspot.com/
Capital Insurance Agency Trenton, NJ « Motor Insurance
Capital Insurance Agency www.superpages.com Supermedia, Personal & Commercial Automobile Insurance, Accident Insurance Annuities Auto Insurance Claims Processing Collision Insurance Combination Policies Commercial Vehicle Insurance 
Motor Insurance – http://motorinsurance.tk/

I wonder whether the folks at “SkunkWorks” (or whatever they call the creative department at the poor company these days) know what is going on here? The massive amount of keyword rich domains taking advantage of this SuperPages.com created content is insane. Just setup a Google Alert for “SuperMedia” and you can see for yourself.

I know that they are getting a good amount of links from this activity, so maybe it is a trade-off they have no control over…. Kinda reminds me of Google using Yellow Pages for citations, but telling Yellow Pages to buy AdWords for traffic. Pretty funny post from a Local SEO about it.

I guess a link is a good link. Unless it has a malicious “links” intent. (BlackHat SEO Discussion in Dallas October 15th)

Dallas Search Engine Marketing

Although, I have always been known to say, “BlackHat, WhiteHat, Grey Head SEO.” Don’t believe all the ramblings about black and white folks. If you practice a holistic approach you consider all the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Black Hat simply refers to not being a strict follower of “Google’s Guidelines, Terms, and Conditions” related to websites, content, etc.

Now, back to the blog posts with SuperPages.com content:

I am sure this was not outsourced to India as well? Considering they still think SEO is all about PageRank like it is some sort of SEO measurement worth discussing. They are not much worse than Yellow Pages organizations who fail to offer it because it takes time and isn’t something you can send to India or have 1 person “attempt” to manage 100+ accounts. When do they have time for ad testing,  content writing, link building, conversion and strategy? How many clients spend more than 500 per month and just getting over priced PPC management using outdated S.A.A.S like BidCenter, a tool originally built by this company they purchased named Inceptor years ago, …. which btw was not custom built for the level of true software as a service scale-ability needed to properly manage campaigns. Google’s MyClientCenter along with Editor are the best tools for massive scale-ability of paid search campaigns.  Longtail keyword build-outs are not something AdWords Resellers know how to “service,” just like actually doing customized bidding for broad, phrase, and exact match bids. Hey, atleast for clients that want to pay even more they still have the Inceptor.com website up!

Time to insert a random plug:

If you want expert Google AdWords PPC training, I recommend you attend the Google AdWords Seminars for Success2-Day AdWords PPC Training Course in Dallas

When: October 26th & 27th, 2010
Time: 9am – 5pm (registration starts at 8:30)

Where:
Embassy Suites Dallas – Market Center
2727 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, Texas, 75207

*for future Dallas Search Marketing Training and Networking events near Dallas, just visit www.DFWSEM.org regularly.

OK, now sorry for that brief ADD/ADHD induced promotional plug…. where was I?

Oh yeah… I forgot.

We should not be forced to accept crappy PPC advertising service for a outragious price!

Here are the options on how to price pay per click ppc advertising management services from most providers.

 

FYI, this was originally a blog post that I never posted but decided today to modify and include a plug for Brad… why? When you attend training courses by experts like him, you really learn things that corporate trainers and wet behind the ears college grads making $12.00 per hour just don’t get!  Big PPC resellers tend to start shrinking the number of people, outsourcing to India, or forcing hundreds of accounts per “expert” to manage. How do you build an account properly dedicating it to someone? Corporate Crooks and big CEO pay doesn’t improve the situation. END RANT.

I myself, and folks in my organization, have attended Brad Geddes Google AdWords Seminars for Success and strongly recommend it for any of you folks working at SuperMedia expecting to continue a career in Search Engine Marketing.

Give me a call for details on a discount or promo code for the training!

v7ndotcom elursrebmem Just a few more days fellas. Glad I could lend a hand just too bad I was late to the party. Someone needs to build a directory of “internet challenge archives or something!?

I really am a nice guy…

aren’t I?


What exactly does a local Dallas SEO Firm offer its clients?

April 9, 2010

Someone asked me recently: As a local SEO consultant or local Dallas SEO firm or company, what is it exactly that you offer your search engine marketing clients around Dallas – Fort Worth?

Pretty difficult question to answer. The answer, although somewhat simple, is also heavy in  small details. A simple summary or description does not really describe the level of complex strategizing needed to achieve results.

For years I have been promoting a holistic search engine marketing strategy. One that encompasses all the different aspects of both search engine optimization and local search. This is what the industry calls “Local Search Engine Optimization.” National agencies consider local search marketing Google Maps or online directory listings. Many forget the growing amount of competitive efforts in the local space. Although not as challenging as high query national branded terms, local search is beginning to become much more fragmented, thus also increasing the need for “local search marketing intelligence.”

As a local search engine marketing firm here a few of the areas of practice related to holistic search engine optimization and internet marketing:

  1. Website Design
  2. Market Research Including Competitive Rankings etc.
  3. Your Business Product/Service Research
  4. Keyword Focus and Use of Local Geography Words
  5. On-page Website Content Optimization, Design, Link Structure
  6. Creating New or Claiming Existing Local Business Listings
  7. Directory Submission
  8. Optimizing Local Business Directory Listings
  9. Building Citations and Links to Enhance Listing Rankings
  10. Creating User Generated Content
  11. External Link Building
  12. Encouraging Customer Testimonials and Reviews
  13. Image Search Optimization such as Google Images etc.
  14. Video Search (YouTube) Optimization
  15. Website Landing Page Conversion Optimization
  16. Pay Per Click Campaign Management for Google, Yahoo, & Bing
  17. FREE Google Analytics Setup, Reporting, and Management <—— I offer this FOR FREE!
  18. Reputation/Review Management
  19. Social Media Set-up Such as Twitter, Facebook etc.
  20. Ghost Writing
  21. Social Media Commentary
  22. Content Network Campaign Management
  23. IT Support
  24. Email Marketing
  25. Call Metrics / Call Tracking
  26. Media Buying including Radio, Internet, and Print
  27. Yellow Pages Ad Design and Layout Strategies
  28. Content Writing Strategies
  29. Content Writing
  30. Blogging
  31. Jingles and Voice Mail Greetings
  32. PPC Campaign Builds
  33. Small Business Video Production
  34. Staying Up to Date with Changes in Local Search

Just off the top of my head and a few minutes after 1:30 a.m….. that is all I can give you for now!

If you would like to know more about why Local Search Engine Marketing for Dallas area businesses, which is a service and not so much a focus on “products” (other than Google and Yahoo search engines), just make a call to 214-267-9553 for additional details and the retainer cost for the service.

You can also join me at the next DFWSEM.org Search Engine Marketing meeting on May 19th at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson. The topic will be “Local Search.”


Dallas SEO Guru via Google Search Suggest

March 19, 2010

No longer are SEO’s called NINJAS….. we are now GURUS!

Get your GURU status by attending the panels, discussions, training seminars and networking meetings at www.DFWSEM.org. Come see us at PubCon Dallas 2010


SMB SEO does great small business video production….. affordable!

March 17, 2010

Company Overview Videos.

Time to start a company that makes right what the corporate big guys do wrong!

Join me tonight for the next www.DFWSEM.org meeting!


My Rant……..The Next Bubble.

February 16, 2010

After reading a new article regarding the internet SEM investments and recent venture capital funding to WebVisible (another $20M), Reach Local (original $55M back in Oct 2007), and Yodle (recently funded with another $38M) I wanted to comment about The Next Bubble. Let’s discuss the what where and why investors are hot for SEM, Search, and what I see is still  groundbreaking opportunity in local search marketing consulting, as Greg Sterling’s blog pointed out here in his blog titled Screenwerk.

The thing about this topic is that it is both political, thoughtful, and very personal to me.

If you look at the success of Google (information from Wiki:) over the “somewhat” recent years-

Google Inc. (NASDAQGOOG, FWB: GGQ1) is a multinational public cloud computing and Internet search technologies corporation that hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, generating profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program. Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while the two were attending Stanford University as Ph.D. candidates. It was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, with its initial public offering to follow on August 19, 2004. Its headquarters, located in Mountain View, California, is often referred to as the Googleplex, which is derived from the number googolplex. The company’s stated mission from the outset was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”, and the company’s unofficial slogan, coined by Google engineer Paul Buchheit, was Don’t be evil. It runs over one million servers in data centers around the world, processing over one billion search requests every day and about one petabyte of user-generated data each hour. Even the company’s name, Google, was a play on the large number googol to represent the large amount of information the company set out to organize.

From this house:

Google Started Here

to multi-million dollar complex in Mountain View California:

https://i2.wp.com/www.propertyinvesting.net/cgi-script/csNews/image_upload/default_2edb.googleplex.jpg

GooglePlex

Google is set to become the largest company in America.

Google Stock History

Google stock compared to GE and Exxon

Read the rest of this entry »


What is REALLY wrong with Yellow Pages company products and services?

February 4, 2010

Recently a few bankrupt Yellow Pages publishers sent letters to clients disclosing information regarding previous contracts and commitments.  Does this permit them to no longer follow SIZE & Seniority commitments to yellow pages clients?

Did you know that to curb massive revenue losses, as consumers have shifted away from print yellow pages phone books, the yellow pages industry is now offering ad seniority placement buyouts?

When Bell South began publishing mini-books other publishers quickly followed suit. When one does something… so does the other? Let’s not hope so!

Rumor is post-bankruptcy yellow pages directory publishers are considering offering “select clients” the option of jumping phone book directory placement (old contract agreements that outline size and seniority guidelines) with new “display ad placement buyout options”.

Seems like they will do anything to earn a buck, huh?

How can you trust a organization who fails to keep promises clients regarding these advertising investments. They made a commitment to the client that the ad they purchased would be placed by size and seniority from the date when the contract is signed. The print yellow pages industry has held the “decrease your ad and lose your discounts” AXE over clients heads to persuade clients into keeping ads for many years.  Is the Yellow Page industry selling products or services? Is the pricing fair? In my opinion the yellow pages industry needs to stick to products… not services.  Search Marketing service requires fulfillment and constant attention, something the print industry has very little experience in vs local advertising agencies.

Yellow Pages sites are attempting to become the local resellers of Google advertising. As a local search marketer, I don’t think the long contracts that leave little recourse and zero cancellation options in the event the Phone Book Companies PPC Management campaigns are not performing to expectations. In my opinion this is another means of continuing to grind the axe on cancellations. Without flexibility and a diverse offering (product portfolio) they are going to have continued issues with client churn.

Did you know that when you place advertising on Google’s AdWords interface, not only do you own the work produced when hiring a local search marketer, (I do not recommend  signing a 12 month contract , considering Google does not require such a contract to advertise) you also are able to see what changes your account manager and “PPC coach” made to your campaigns

PPC management Account Activity Reports prevent PPC Fraud by Google Guru

Next topic for Today:

Google Maps vs Yellow Pages searches:

Here is the graph continued and combined with Searches for Yellow Pages companies:

"Yellow Pages" is now obsolete

Who has experienced the greatest and/or most rapid decline in the Top IYP (Interactive Yellow Pages) & local search brand sites?


Notice how much Yelp.com gained compared to the decline of Superpages.com? This goes to show the consumer preference for review based sites  (and why Google was tendering an offer for Yelp.com)

FACT:  Did you know that Yellow Pages print directory usage has declined over 50%?

Has your “Yellow Page Rep” told you about the trends away from print and towards digital that is taking place?

Have print ad rates gone down to accomodate for the decline of print yellow pages and the industry fragmentation?

According to Greg Stewart from TMPDM, “Print Yellow Pages accounts for approx. 28% of Local Search.”

Primary Source of Local Business Information

I will go ahead and state my prediction: Yellow Pages Print usage will be less than 24% of Local Search by 2012! That means the phone books of 2005 (that were over 70+% of local search product or service queries) are now less than half as popular as they once were as a medium. (yet more phone books exist today than ever!

Do you think it is time the phone book publishing industry adapt to OPT IN vs a very misleading OPT OUT method? What are your thoughts? Take my poll!

Cheers,

Mike Stewart

“Your Dallas Local Google Guru”

BTW, Webformance Inc. will be offering call tracking to all clients. If you want to track your phone book, direct mail, email, Google, Video, Business Card, or other advertising investments and see which ones are really bringing the calls….. all you need to do is call: 214-267-9553!

“You can’t manage to get the best advertising if you can’t measure what advertising efforts work!” – Mike Stewart the Local Dallas Google Guru


My Small Business internet marketing plan …errr I mean RANT…

January 31, 2010

So, I am sitting here at a local automobile inspection facility waiting for my turn ….

My C5 Corvette Pictures | Google Guru RacingWith my Droid phone…. and some free time on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.

I’m wondering, have you ever noticed that you don’t see these guys advertising much in traditional print yellow pages phone books.  I bet I know and can tell you why…. and do it without all that fancy technical jargon that creates so much darn confusion!

Location,

location,

location,

and necessity…..

You see, we must get our vehicles inspected in order to drive on Texas roads, just like the necessities of eating at restaurants and going to movie theatres to see the latest blockbuster.  When you use the phone book to find something near you, it by most parts, is far from easy and convenient to see the reviews, wait times, pricing, comments, news, and latest discounts from these local vendors.  A mobile application not only identifies what is nearest you via geo-location, it also answers all the questions you may have related to the current state of your environment and surroundings.  I recently read that just over 120 online mobile coupon apps exist on the iPhone Apple Store.  Mobile is growing. Mobile search and digital marketing will continue to impact traditional print yellow pages.  I believe that print media is just now being disrupted by online media.  2010 is the year that local catches up with national trends.

Penetration of Online Media Surpasses Traditional Media for First Time Among Small-Business Advertisers

Over the past few years, I have noticed that what you see in the marketplace does not often speak for what you see in trends. Trends are just that… TRENDS.  They are patterns and show movement.  Folks have asked me about “Social Media” marketing for local businesses. Social media should not be an effort. Social Media is more about protecting, promoting, and connecting with your brand than it is advertising. Great social media marketing efforts and communication complement your “advertising” efforts.

Social Media: Over the past few years, I have recommended to clients to create a company Facebook presence.  I also recommend that they consider “Facebook Ads” as a means of promoting company Facebook Fan Pages (what I call great corporate “news” rooms.)  Often the next question local business owners ask me is, “Do I need to be on Twitter?”  My response is often dependent on the companies unique needs, frequency of communications, style of communication, and number of messages the client wants/needs to inform prospects, customers, and friends (fans.) It costs around $500.00-$700.00 to create/setup a social media presence or improve an existing one. This is a one-time fee and you should own the work produced.

Next question, “What should I do about my website?” If your website was created prior to the middle of 2007, odds are you need a website update.  The reason most sites are outdated is because of the changes in web browsers, scripted language, social media content, and other trends in (what I like to call) Web 3.0 technologies.  I strongly recommend clients utilize a content management system.  A content management system (CMS) makes publishing content, updates, and sharing information on your site much easier and less costly.  A content management system also offers the flexibility of “website changes after you fired your web developer.”  A few of  the growing open-source web development platforms include Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, ModX, Zen Cart (ecommerce,) phpBB (forum) and many others.  The most popular website CMS’s are Joomla, WordPress (btw, I love http://www.CopyBlogger.com) and Drupal.  Not only does a CMS make it easy for any web novice to add text content, it also makes it easy to add videos and image content. Would you like to plug your YouTube channel into your site? How about your Twitter “Tweets?”  With a CMS it is very simple. Here are a  few other reasons why you need a new CMS:

  1. Own your website. Never allow someone other than yourself to control your online brand.
  2. Edit your website from anywhere, anytime and remove the hassle for content distribution.
  3. Access restrictions to your site can be set with assigned roles and permissions.
  4. Website design consistency.
  5. Stored content within the database.
  6. Updated for the latest browsers (IE6 Must Die!)
  7. Dynamic Content – cool plug-in stuff and widgets that do more cool stuff!
  8. Non-Technical author friendly…. anyone who can use Microsoft Word is capable of content publishing.
  9. Customizable banners and landing pages without the big expense! (this is a big one for PPC advertisers!)
  10. In the event you fire your web guy…… finding a new one in the “open-source” community is easy.

and the biggest reason: Forever Upgradeable……… never be left behind again!

Websites cost around $1200.00-$5000.00…. which is a one-time fee.  This fee depends on the level of detail and amount of content you need to get started.

Video:….. YouTube is the #2 Search Engine on the Planet. In 2010 you want to show up in Image Search, Mobile Search, Google Search, Yahoo Search, Video Search, Yellow Pages Search, Map Search, Coupon Search, Bing Search, Reviews Search, and all the other tons of different types of search platforms in existence…. (such as Auto Search, News Search, Blog Search, Ebay Search, Wiki Search, Amazon Search, AOL Search, etc.)

Professional YouTube videos typically start about $1,000.00 each professionally edited, produced, and filmed on location. The videos are optimized for YouTube on the clients YouTube channel. The client owns the channel. The video shows up on YouTube searches.

Logo:…… $300-500 for the coolest options! Fresh logos! Too many folks skimp out on the appearance. Look bold. Look fresh. Get “fresher” clients (no recommended for Reverse Mortgage folks, lol.)

Local business listing packages….. create accounts on all the directory sites. Claim listings. Google Page Places/Maps etc. Bing Local, Yahoo Local etc. Fun stuff… tedious and time consuming, but necessary. Should cost about $300-500.00 one time fee for hours invested. You should own the accounts that are setup.

Google AdWords PPC: I do not recommend hiring the services of a “national” company or yellow pages publisher to manage your online paid search marketing programs. After personally working for a Yellow Pages Company who was horrible at servicing the sales and working with Yellow Pages sales consultants who are not accountable for making sure the ads are working (not blaming them, but the business model) since they are not educated or permitted the time to ensure proper fulfillment and management. Too many issues exist when you give complete control of your advertising budget to firms that use proprietary systems to place a large amount of ads into Google’s platform.

  • Management fees can not be discontinued during a contract with the Yellow Pages
  • Costs per Click and Keyword Reporting does not include distribution (content network vs search network etc)
  • Management fees are $500-1000 more than what they “SHOULD” charge for them. (over $300.00/hr!)
  • Landing Page Optimization is not offered or focused on.
  • Google Analytics is not offered.

Here is an example of an analytics account detail: (You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure)

Take a look at the traffic for this analytics account!

Notice what percent is organic.... this client spends big bucks on SUPERPAGES.com! But no traffic!

RSS (real simple syndication) Feeds……. yeah… those things! Great tools to utilize to create ideas for content!

Content Writing….. I would budget around $40.00 per article and do a minimum of 2 per month! Each one needs to focus on a different keyword phrase! Overtime the content you pay for will compliment the content you provide and you will become an authority on Google!

How many websites do you need? This is a tough question to answer… it really depends on your businesses products, services, and service area! The general rule of thumb is that the only folks that need one website are location based or referral only. If you value online search traffic, you really need more than one. This has been proven over and over!

Last but not least, SEO!.…… this is when the fun begins. SEO is voodoo magic. It is a big secret. It is scary. It ….. alright.. I am kidding. SEO is 80% common sense, and 20% effort! Once you learn the basics, from that point it is strategy, trial, testing, and experience. It becomes an effort to create great content, optimize and distribute that content, and then do a similar thing all over again. Content exists not just as words and text, but also as videos and images. Video Search Engine Optimization is just as important as Search Engine Optimization. SEO is about links. SEO is about keywords. SEO is about research. SEO is about ranking factors. SEO…… well, SEO is something that few internet marketing agencies with big huge profit margins can offer local small to medium-sized businesses. SEO is something that I can offer you! SEO is what I LOVE!

  • You be investing in organic search results the same as you do paid… just save on PPC and spend the $$ on SEO!
  • If folks can’t offer a holistic solution to search engine marketing…… they are just www.YellowCrooks.com!

Mobile Coupons………. Big Opportunity for 2010.

How should you plan for the future? You should educate yourself. This is technically FREE… but finding the right instructor to guide you is what you should invest in!

I am going to continue editing this post as new ideas and thoughts, as they enter my head…..

Let me know what else you would like to learn!

Cheers,

Mike Stewart

The Dallas SEO Guru

Creator of the Dallas Local Search Engine Marketing Agency dedicated to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, SMB SEO.