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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Why you should rank for longtail keyword terms – Case Study

August 21, 2011


I recently blogged about information regarding the death of an executive at the company I once worked for. My blog typically shows up in searches (SERPS) for keywords related to the company I once worked for, including the company name.

My web analytics show me how many searches from Google and with what keywords related to this tragedy ultimately resulted in clicks to my site. I thought that if I shared a post on the site I could help folks find the information they where looking for. This would also be an opportunity to understand how people search for information.

In my opinion this is often not the best of situations  to conduct research, but I guess internet marketers can sometimes learn a few SEO tips from these weird, unusual, or even tragic situations. Case in point, Michael Jackson searches and the QDF algorithm.

Query Deserves Freshness

 What do BP and Michael Jackson have in common? Michael Jackson’s death was one of the big events which brought the “Query Deserves Freshness” concept to the forefront.  If a news event is big enough you will see the search engine Google struggle to figure out what results to display for the widely searched fresh topic.

Great keyword research can quickly be learned from search phrases that are seeing rapid growth in query volume related to fresh topics.

Unfortunately for us the comment section of my blog was attacked by a disgruntled former employee of SuperMedia, someone named “Bob” who felt the need to use my site as a platform, grandstand, or podium soapbox to share his utter disgust towards the company this executive (and I once) worked for. I decided to hide the comments from Bob out of respect.

So first I would like to say that if you would like to pay your respects to John Hillrich, please visit the John Hillrich Memorial Guestbook here.

A recent comment on the post summarizes my thoughts on what happened, and subsequently what took place on my blog, and how the vast majority of us all feel about it.

To all who have expressed such kind words for our dear John Hillrich, please take the time to visit http://www.JohnHillrich.com where you’ll find his online obituary and guestbook which is the appropriate resource to express our condolences.

This current forum is stained with comments that should’ve never been allowed to publish, nor been  they hgiven attentionave. John’s friends / family should not have to read such filth, so let’s move these well wishes to http://www.JohnHillrich.com where his family can read them in peace.

Love you John Hillrich. My heart aches for your family, parents, and children. God’s peace be with you all.

I want to apologize for the rude comments. I have since removed them out of my respect for John’s friends and family.  My deepest condolences.

With that being said, I would like to share what people searched Google for to find my original blog post.

You will see some of the keywords have been removed below. This is not a complete list. I want you to pay attention to the “value” of the long-tail and how “unique” most people search. It is obvious that most people search a few widely used keywords and then the real “SEO value” is in the long-tail terms.

Read the rest of this entry »


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.


Brian Clark, creator of the #1 Marketing Blog, Copyblogger.com is Presenting At DFW Search Marketing Association on Feb 16th

February 10, 2011

Brian Clark of Copyblogger Presenting At DFW Search Marketing Association on February 16 at 6:30PM at the Renaissance Hotel In Richardson. According to AdAge Magazine CopyBlogger.com ranks as the #1 marketing related blog.

If you would like a FREE pass to the upcoming meeting, valued at over $35.oo, just send an email request to { mike (at) smbseo (dot) com }. I really look forward to seeing you.

Power 150Blogs

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1. Copyblogger US 13 50 27 30 24 144 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
2. [chrisbrogan.com] US 14 49 25 30 23 141 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
3. Ads of the World US 12 50 27 29 23 141 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
4. PSFK US 13 50 27 28 22 140 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
5. Seth’s Blog US 13 45 28 30 23 139 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
6. Search Engine Land US 11 50 24 30 24 139 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
7. SEOmoz Blog US 11 50 21 30 24 136 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
8. Search Engine Watch US 11 49 23 29 24 136 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
9. Brian Solis US 13 49 22 30 21 135 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
10. Online Marketing Blog US 13 49 20 30 22 134 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
+1 +1 Since Yesterday 11. Compete Blog US 13 40 26 30 24 133 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
-1 -1 Since Yesterday 12. Marketing Pilgrim US 12 49 21 30 21 133 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
13. Search Engine Roundtable US 12 49 20 28 23 132 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
14. Search Engine Journal US 10 50 20 29 23 132 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
+1 +1 Since Yesterday 15. John Chow dot Com CA 10 48 20 30 23 131 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
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28. Duct Tape Marketing US 13 47 14 26 22 122 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
29. Crenk ENGLAND 13 47 12 29 21 122 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
30. danny brown – social media pr and marketing for the conversation age CA 12 47 14 29 19 121 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
+2 +2 Since Yesterday 31. Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik US 10 41 20 29 21 121 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
+7 +7 Since Yesterday 32. Digital Buzz AU 14 46 12 28 20 120 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
+1 +1 Since Yesterday 33. ReelSEO Video Marketing US 12 48 9 29 22 120 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
-3 -3 Since Yesterday 34. Twist Image CA 12 44 18 28 18 120 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
-3 -3 Since Yesterday 35. Internet Marketing Strategies US 12 44 14 30 20 120 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
36. Yoast – Tweaking Websites NL 10 46 13 28 23 120 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
+1 +1 Since Yesterday 37. Adverblog IT 14 38 23 29 15 119 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
-3 -3 Since Yesterday 38. Econsultancy’s Internet Marketing Blog GB 12 40 14 29 24 119 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
-2 -2 Since Yesterday 39. SEOBook US 10 43 12 30 24 119 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
+1 +1 Since Yesterday 40. Adrants US 13 45 12 28 19 117 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
-1 -1 Since Yesterday 41. MuMbrella AU 11 47 12 29 18 117 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
42. Vladimir Prelovac US 7 30 27 30 23 117 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
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44. Web Strategy by Jeremiah US 12 47 9 28 20 116 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
45. Simply Zesty IE 12 45 10 30 19 116 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
+1 +1 Since Yesterday 46. The Social Media Marketing Blog US 13 42 18 27 15 115 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
-1 -1 Since Yesterday 47. Famous Bloggers US 10 46 7 30 22 115 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site
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+1 +1 Since Yesterday 50. The Denver Egotist US 14 44 15 29 11 113 Display the Power 150 Badge on your site

 

 

a Press Release from:

Press Release Submission Service by SMBSEO.com


Dallas Internet Marketing Experts Have a Proven Plan for Business Success Through Search Engine Marketing

January 26, 2011

Press Release:

Dallas Internet Marketing Experts Have a Proven Plan for Business Success Through Search Engine Marketing.


Blogs and Blogging: Social Media Today and SEO for Local Search Tomorrow.

November 30, 2010

Google is better than you

Just a prediction folks. It is common sense really.

Content takes all different kinds of forms: Social content, Blog content, Video Content, etc….

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When folks at the Yellow Pages company I worked for found out that I enjoyed forums and blogging, they said I was a geek. Many of the people involved in marketing functions of the company laughed.

A GEEK? Sure, call me that. I don’t mind. In my opinion, they just don’t get it. They can’t. They seem to earn friends by influence and business success. Not so much with social skills and communication.

Some executives and marketing managers earn their stripes. Most get them because of who they know… kinda like a club. As I stated before, when you reach the pinnacle of power in Corporate America you have typically had your ego stroked to the point of no return. You become unapproachable and unwilling to adapt to a changing environment. Heck, most CMOs don’t even comprehend how to manage based on objectives and results vs features/benefits/activity. Folks in many marketing channels are not compensated on a budget or objective, but by numbers.

This reminds me of how the Government measures the direction and success of the economy based on the number of people unemployed vs the productivity of a particular industry, or for instance, the rise in Government jobs that pay people to do busy work vs productivity or ROI.

So, who is it that drives the innovation and success of a businesses marketing channels? It is the product creators and problem solvers that create future business opportunities. In my opinion, it is the SEO and computer geeks that can understand what is coming next or what the next big problem that needs to be solved, thus creating opportunities for innovation and investment.

It is the ideas that originate from solving simple problems, improving communication and making decisions.

Simple concerns like: Imagine how great it would be if a contractor or home service company could really define his/her service area…. like pins on a map. Now consider that Google has recently being rumored to be interested in buying Groupon.com, the strongest player in a fragmented online coupon market and group buying site, for a price tag rumored at $6 Billion, do you think FourSquare or Gowalla are next on the local buyout? Considering the opportunities and growth of local search…… I wouldn’t count it out.

You would never see Google pay that kind of money for a Yellow Pages company, although YP sales professionals will continue to pray. Lol.

Content is King. You here this all the time.

LOCAL SEARCH will become {more} content based.

What kind of content? Blog content, price content, news content. What about image and video content? You need to understand what makes sites like Yelp.com (who apparently just recently fell out of the love and admiration of Google) and MerchantCircle.com so favorable for local citations. In my opinion the challenge for MerchantCircle is just horrible usability and an outdated Aol-esque look and feel.

If your small business directory and online yellow pages site ( or smb website for that matter) does not have a platform for blogging, a forum,community online, or social media interaction model for advocates, you will lose any opportunity for SEO tomorrow.

SEO is no longer meta-titles and descriptions folks.

Social media is 50% SEO, and 50% marketing and customer service. All of this requires strategic processes too complex for the yellow pages industries new rep every year bi-annual sales cycle.

Get a clue corporate America. Sometimes sharing how you really feel, think, and what you love can be a beautiful thing. Businesses will be forced to participate or take a back seat. Previously local search was about who could afford the fattest phonebook ad, had the most resources and the biggest phone bill.

It is amazing how folks with the most resources at their disposal have no clue how to use them. Your old way of doing business is dead. The old way of local advertising without sharing details beyond the page or broshure wont work. Businesses need to share authority to rank online.

SEO = Blogging

Tell your clients. Tell your SMBs. Tell your investors. Then go tell your real advocates and lobbyists.

Read the rest of this entry »


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.


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


If your search engine optimizer is not local, he isn’t YOUR SEO…

December 13, 2009

If your search engine optimizer is not local, he isn’t YOUR SEO…

Thanks to the tremendous growth of the web, maintaining high rankings on search engines results pages (known as Search Engine Optimization) has become increasingly challenging for folks. Smaller local area businesses do have a few distinct advantages to fitting on the first page results of search engines (also known as high Google rankings.)  

National SEO and Local SEO are very similiar, but they have two distinctive differences: local geography keywords and smaller marketing budgets. It has been said that 70% of all clicks to search engines are to the organic or natural results (non sponsored or paid search listings.) Only 10% off all clicks result beyond the first page of results.  Another advantage of a local seo is the relationship between the client and the search engine marketer. A local seo can get to know your business in a way the national companies could never dream of. Going to lunch with a client will help you uncover new ideas to market his/her business.  On Friday, I went with Jeff Swope from Webformance to meet with a new client of his who happens to have a very popular website. I quickly noticed that the site was in dire need of a content management system and a social media presence to compliment the companies hyper-aggressive and successful offline presence.

After the early morning meeting, I went out on a trip to downtown Dallas and Lewisville to take a few pictures for a few folks. I have come to realize that there is a huge advantage in having an SEO and marketing consultant that is local to your area. If you can be in the area to create content, whether it be from paying attention to local events or going on-site to record a video and taking pictures, this is a serious advantage to national SEOs considering the biggest issue with website development is content collection and creation. A SEO without content is not (as) much of an SEO.  MSN stated at SMX East (Search Marketing Expo East) that image search is now vital to search engine rankings. YouTube is now the #2 search engine on the internet. A local search engine optimizer can help you leverage local images and content. The sort of content and strategies you uncover by getting to know your client and his/her business both professionally and personally.

For additional local search engine marketing tips please follow my blog. I also strongly recommend you follow a few of the folks who I follow. One of the fellas I follow, one of the Nation’s top local search engine optimization experts, is David Mihm. Click here for David Mihm’s list of the Ten Commandments of Online Marketing for Small Local Businesses.


Dallas Pay Per Click Search Engine Optimization Training Courses at DFWSEM.org

December 3, 2009

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Dallas  Area Search Engine Marketing Training Courses and Meetings

Have you heard of DFWSEM.org? Local search engine marketing training and networking organization is open to local Dallas area internet marketers and business owners who want help with website marketing. Stay tuned for more information.

Go to http://www.dfwsem.org and sign-up on the right hand side of the page with your cell phone number to get text alerts of upcoming meetings and events.

See you there!
Mike Stewart


Just got off a long conversation with a potential “new” SEO client…

November 25, 2009

First question is always the same, “What do you charge for SEO on my http://www.InsertHere.com Dallas local website?” The answer is always going to be the same too!

“If I had 10-15 clients paying me $1000.00 per month for SEO, Content, Web Design, PPC, Social Media (gotta love HootSuite for Twitter!) and Link Building, I think that is all I would have to make to sustain my “standard of living.”  That is just about all it would take in order for me to replace the career and “6-figure” income I EARNED as a successful Media Consultant and SEO Strategist at Idearc Media (the antiquated bankrupt publisher of the Verizon Yellow Pages and Superpages.com.)”

Sounds like a plan to me………..  Let’s do the math:

I worked 50-60 hours per week while at Verizon/Idearc Yellow Pages for 9 years and 3 months.

Making my clients a good return on investment in the process (up until the Internet started killing the yellow pages) with my suggestions and implementation of ideas related to online marketing strategies, concepts, innovations, and ad messages. For years I have been promoting my holistic  approach and understanding of Search Engine Marketing (another plug for multi-verticle web marketing folks!)

10 affordable steps to effective local internet advertising

So if you do the math…….  that comes to around $35.00 per hour. Not a bad living, huh? Add in a little bit for the (at one time) great Health Benefits, 401K,  and you have a really great income. Now if you subtract the huge amount of stress due to the companies inability to actually become “America’s Small Business Local Advertising Agency” that they so claim to be, as well as subtracting the profit margins and end with accountability, you have a very rewarding career!

10-15 clients a month for 50-60 hours per week at around $40.00 per hour for work performed on the clients online brand.

That is just about 250-300 hours per year for each client.

Add that up and I just replaced my “corporate job” with one that does more to help local Dallas business owners get good advice on Google and Local Search Marketing.

That is the plan at least. Let me know what YOU think!

I hope all the other thousands of educated “Yellow Pages Media” Consultants can adapt to changing consumer behaviors due to the “INVENTION of the INTERNET”. We all can agree that America doesn’t need more unemployed workers!

Feel free to give me a call folks!

Cheers,

Mike Stewart

http://www.DallasSEOguru.com

P.S. No Contracts…. No Big Collection Agencies….. and Excellent Client Focused Service and you have a win-win for everyone!


In Google WE Trust…..

November 23, 2009

CitySearch & Yelp have a higher percentage of traffic from Search Engines

What Percent of Traffic to IYP Sites Come From Search Engines?

In Google WE Trust……In Google We Trust

and in Internet Yellow Pages sites you don’t.

A question many business marketers ask me is:   Should I advertise in the online yellow pages sites? And what budget should I allocate?

Local Search traffic details year over year

Online Yellow Page directory sites such as Superpages.com, Yellowpages.com, CitySearch.com, Yelp.com, and YellowBook.com accounted for approximately 1/3 of all local search traffic in 2008. Since then Google, who has approx. 77% of all internet searches, has made big changes to the way it displays local search results. This change to the “10-Pack” of listings, Google Local Business Listings or LBL results, has made a huge dent into the overall traffic to IYP sites.  So considering that IYP sites account for less than 30% of overall local search traffic, why would you give an IYP company more than 30% of your online advertising budget?

My answer to the question of How much money should I allocate to sites like Superpages.com and Yellow Pages.com for my internet advertising budget would be no more than 30% divided up according to ComScore data.

Now the next question: Which online yellow pages sites should get the larger share of my local search budget? In my professional opinion it is best to see which sites have a higher ranking under your targeted keywords. For instance, Let’s say you have a local Dallas Divorce Attorney website, if you conduct a search on Google for “Dallas Divorce Attorney” you will see FindLaw as the only directory in the first page results on Google. I would advise this client to list with FindLaw to be listed on this:  http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/Divorce/Dallas/Texas page result.  You always want to be listed where the traffic is going to from the major search engines like Google and Yahoo, and the other even more significant reason to be listed is that it will help your SEO efforts. Your ranking on Google is dependent upon being linked to from other popular results. You want to create an authority with Google and you cannot become an authority without links that build this authority. Who is the authority on Google for “Dallas Divorce Attorney”? Google ranks your website based on authority.

If you online budget for pay per click is $2,000.00 per month, I would allocate around $400-$600 per month to the online Yellow Pages sites.  A suggested budget allocation would be as follows:

$250 to Superpages.com

$250 to Yellowpages.com

$100 to other high Google ranking IYP’s for your keyword search phrases

To achieve high organic web page rankings on Google you must first understand that SEO or Search Engine Optimization is 40% your website keywords, articles, and content and 60% depends on links, social media, and overall off-page authority of your website. Local IYP sites are great tools to build authority. Most local directory sites offer a “FREE Listing” or profile page that you can “optimize”. This profile or listing is very important to your organic rankings. A large percentage of the traffic to local search sites is from people looking for “white pages” type information. It is very important to take this into account and avoid paying a premium for leads and traffic from existing clients who are looking for your business contact information. This is easily accomplished with Google AdWords with bid management strategies. I have seen IYP sites charge clients for business name searches the same fees it charges for new client leads (around $2.50 per click or more).

You Don’t Want Traffic, You Don’t Even Really Want Clicks……. YOU WANT CONVERSIONS!

CONVERSIONS = CONVERSATIONS

If your Google Adwords Reseller is only giving you Clicks and Call Reports without discussing your website converting visitors into conversations, it is time for you to stop giving them money for HORRIBLE advice, or lack thereof.

As far a concerns about click fraud, I would not participate in ANY online marketing without detailed analytics. One of my former managers at Idearc Media once told me years ago that “treatment without diagnosis is malpractice” and I have been telling my clients for years that you can’t manage what you can’t measure (“management without measurement” is an Internet Marketing malpractice“.)

Be cautious of a company that offers a bid system on top of Google’s perfected bid system. It is not as challenging to manage PPC ads as many Google resellers and PPC lead companies may lead you to think. Paying for phone calls has always been the most effective means of tracking ROI to advertising. Phone calls is only a measurement of ROI, not a very good measurement of what is going on with your potential clients thoughts and whether they saw your ad, read your message, and felt about your website. The combination of Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Landing Page creation, Ad Testing, and Google Voice is an extremely strong offer to local small and medium-sized businesses.

You Know Your PPC Company is Doing It All Wrong When They Charge You The Same Fee Per Click for Traffic Regardless of Conversions & Quality!

My agency offers affordable PPC management for a flat fee with no contract.

Why buy the cow when the milk is free? If you want to buy the cow…….. I can “sell” Daisy to you as well!

No agency should own the PPC work that you pay for… that includes the ReachLocal and Yellow Pages companies.

Give me a call! 214-267-9553.

I look forward to serving your Dallas Search Engine Marketing needs soon!

Cheers,

Mike Stewart


Google webinar on the recession, economy, marketing in 2010…. out with the old, in with the new!

November 14, 2009

With 2010 just around the corner, getting ahead of the recovery is top of mind. But where should a marketer focus? In our ever-changing marketplace, marketers need to thoughtfully plan the moves that will differentiate their offerings, increase competitive advantage, and seize opportunities as the economy recovers. On November 10, 2009, Google’s Bonita Stewart, Managing Director of U.S. Sales, hosted a webinar covering these topics.

* Social Networking @ 16%

* Twitter impact

* Subscription marketing

* Ratings & Review Sites grow

* Consumers are SEARCHING more than ever, not just text, but images and video as well.

“Short and sweet…… the manner in which you market your brand must keep up with consumer demand”.   – Mike Stewart

Marketing in 2010 will change consumer buying habits. Consumers want to connect with businesses. Imagine having a discussion with a potential client on Facebook, Twitter, or a online chat prior to providing the service for that consumer. Marketing in 2010 can be measured unlike marketing in 2008. Times are changing.

Deliver your brand message while offering consumers the ability to engage at the same time. Create a YouTube channel to allow clients the ability to subscribe.

You cannot manage what you cannot measure!

How to Link Google Analytics to AdWords accounts:

and last but not least… how to track and determine your Return on Investment (ROI)

 


10 Steps to help your Dallas area business survive and thrive during the Economic Recession from Dallas Google Guru…

October 28, 2009

10 Steps to help your Dallas area business survive and thrive during the Economic Recession…

10 Steps to Help Your Dallas Area Business Survive & Thrive During the Economic Recession

Mike Stewart the Dallas Google Guru is here to help!


Google share of search almost 77 percent of searches on the web.

October 27, 2009

Mike Stewart is the local Google Guru of Dallas

 

In my opinion this sort of  information deserves a post of its own. New statistics on Google’s share of search. Good SEO’s pay close attention to what is going on with the Search Engines as much as they focus on driving clicks and conversions to clients.

I was on top of things when the industry recognized the lift from image and video hosting sites and the effect on content distribution. I’m also paying close attention to mobile search, social media, and content distribution. This is much more complicated to follow than simple Interactive Directory marketing or PPC campaign advertising and marketing.

This is one of the reason’s why High Performing and passionate SEO’s enjoy working with clients that are open-minded and willing to work with creative thinkers vs your average web developer or publisher. If Google represents 77% of search, doesn’t it make sense to spend the majority of your internet advertising dollars (internet marketing budget) on Google? Many publishing companies force you to put money on networks they own vs going to the source of the traffic. I have not personally met a client that only focused on quality. Even quality leads do not result in sales. Clients need as many lead opportunities as possible in addition to quality leads (phone calls, orders, appointment requests).

According to iCrossing: Google’s Share Of Search Almost 77 Percent

at SearchEngineLand

We received some interesting data from search agency iCrossing yesterday. The data show US search market share percentages and distribution quite different than the major traffic metrics firms. The company says its numbers are “based on a large representative sample of Fortune 1000 companies, across all major verticals,” which use its search tracking tools.

Accordingly the iCrossing data show US September natural search market share to be the following:

  • Google 76.7 percent
  • Bing (increasingly slightly from Aug to) 8.2 percent
  • Yahoo (decreasing to) 11.1 percent
  • AOL and Ask show “precipitous declines”

This is how iCrossing characterized the data in an email to me: “it represents actual traffic received from engines, as picked up by our own analytics tracking across enterprise level sites, as opposed to all traffic on the Web.”

Compare comScore data for September:

Picture 11

Compare Hitwise:

Picture 12

The Bing numbers are relatively close in the data above but iCrossing shows Yahoo with a significantly smaller share than either comScore or Hitwise. And while those services both seem to show a stable core of usage for Ask and AOL search, iCrossing reflects losses for those engines.

Here are some visual representations of the iCrossing numbers:

Picture 13

Picture 14




Have an issue with duplicate listings on Google Maps Local Business Center

October 27, 2009

-Google Maps: How to Remove Duplicate Records in the Local Business Center

( http://ping.fm/8gwXQ )

If you are looking for advice on your map listings give me a ring at 972-998-0050 or go to this website for the Local Search Ranking Factors.

DavidMihmLocalSearchRankingFactors


Kaitlyn… which one of these cars is the fastest streetcar in Dallas? Who is the fastest SEO?

October 24, 2009

I love fast cars.

I love the GM LS1 Engine Series and Platform

I even started the Group on LinkedIn.com

Kaitlyn...which one is the fastest streetcar? C5Vette.Srt-8.o... on Twitpic

My wife was stoked the day she found out her 4 DOOR 425hp Charger SRT-8 was faster than my (Mother’s former) Magnetic Red Metallic 2004 Corvette C5. Still doesn’t come close to my 2000 Pontiac Trans Am WS6. It has run a best of 6.19 @ 110 in the 8th mile at Texas Raceway in Kennedale Tx on 680rwhp. It made a best of 730rwhp on 200 shot nitrous pills at Real Performance Motorsports in Lewisville Tx. ” DFW’s Fastest Late Model Speed Shop” on nitrous and 460rwhp with an all-motor tune.  I have had the car for about 3 years now. It is a blast to drive. I have been “optimizing” it as a true enthusiast.

dfw fastest streetcar,webformance,high performance,trans am,drag racing,408 trans am
Engine Modifications:

408ci LQ9 (Escalade) LS1 Iron Block

4.00 Eagle Crankshaft

LS3 / L92 Heads

RPM Custom 236/248 Camshaft

GMPP Carb Intake modified by Aaron @ IntakeElbows.com

60lb per hr Fuel Injectors

NX Gemini Nitrous Plate (200-400hp)

Driveline:

TH400 A3 GM transmission

Vigilante 3600 stall Nitrous Converter

9 inch Moser (Ford) rearend w/ 3.89 gear (full spool)

Ratchet Shifter

I will be at Texas Raceway tomorrow for the Fall Cruise. See you there!

Updated videos from the cruise….

PhotobucketPhotobucket

a few other pics I shared via twitpic-logo

Kaitlyn's favorite set of monkeybars. she is so cool. #COOLCH... on Twitpic

My Co-Pilots.....not the beer though. Go Texas Tech. Racing i... on Twitpic

Expert detail work by Cody in the Dallas Tx area... call 817-... on Twitpic

Anyone want to go for a quick little race? Outside watching k... on Twitpic

A friend of mine Jeff Swope and I came up with the branding for Webformance Inc.

A friend of mine Jeff Swope and I came up with the branding for Webformance Inc.


Common SEO Questions Answered by AllExperts.com SEO Expert Mike Stewart

October 23, 2009

Mike Stewart is the local Google Guru of Dallas

Expertise

I am well versed in SEO strategies for local businesses. I have optimized hundreds of sites with both suggestions and implementation. I am Google Adwords sales certified and understand the important relevency factors and degree of importance of each component in the PageRank algorithm. I can answer specific questions regarding on-page search engine optimizaton, .meta properties, link popularity, and directory submission. I am able to discuss feeds and social media as well. More info @ http://www.DallasSEOGuru.com or http://www.smbseo.com

Experience in the area

10 years at Idearc Media as a New Business Strategist focusing on Search Engine Marketing…… Now I am working for myself as a local search engine marketing strategist, web developer, and advertising geek!

Organizations

Dallas Interactive Marketing and Dallas SEO Specialists DFWSEM

Publications

http://www.dallasgoogleguru.wordpress.com

Education/Credentials
  • Cisco Networking
  • DFWSEM Corporae Member
  • Google Adwords Seminar for Success
  • Google Reseller Certification Course
Awards and Honors

3 President’s Awards at Idearc Media

Past/Present Clients

http://www.teakelllaw.com http://www.jpimportz.org http://www.bailbondsdallastx.com http://www.atwbailbonds.com http://www.hammerle.com http://www.personalinjuryattorneydallastx.com http://www.handsonapproach.com  www.thetransmissionshop.com

What do you like about this subject?

Passion! I am passionate about helping businesses with getting ranked on search engines. I am passionate about “localized” product or service internet marketing. I do not believe SEO experts need to be fluent with Social Media expertise.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

Everything that Danny Sullivan, David Mihm, Chris Smith, Rand Fishkin, Stephan Spencer, David Wallace, etc etc…..

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

SEO has more factors than a roll of tissue paper has tissues!

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Some folks think SEO it is dead…… they are dead wrong!

Average Ratings

  • Knowledge 9.86
  • Clarity of Response 10.0
  • Timeliness 10.0
  • Politeness 10.0
  • Number of Questions (in Past 24 Hours) 1
  • Max Questions to be Asked (in 24 Hour Period) 5
  • Total Questions (since joining AllExperts) 18
  • Volunteer Since 2009-02-02
  • Prestige Points 270

Recent Reviews from Users

Read More Comments

K = Knowledge    C = Clarity    T = Timeliness    P = Politeness

User Date K C T P Comments
Joseph 09/10/09 10 10 10 10
David 08/15/09 10 10 10 10 Thanks, Mike. Your answer covers all the …..
Salah 08/05/09 9 10 10 10
henok 06/30/09 10 10 10 10 thanks for your honesty
Rebecca 05/01/09 10 10 10 10 I thank you for your comments, there …..

Recent Answers from Mike Stewart

2009-09-09 High Google Rank / No Hits:

I answered the first question just a moment ago. As far as the second one goes, I recommend you also consider Adwords with conversion tracking to make sure the visitors that are keyword targeted are

2009-09-07 SEO:

First step is to make sure you are using the proper tracking tools such as Google Analytics. The second this is you need to make sure your title and description have relevant and compelling information

2009-08-14 Risk of revising page titles and descriptions:

Good morning! I wouldn’t worry much at all about Google interpreting your changes as underhanded. If your title has you ranked on your target keyword phrases than you have little to be concerned with

2009-08-05 User Friendly URL:

Salah, I assume you are asking either about Dynamic and Static URL’s. Or what I and other call Search Engine Friendly URLs… or SEF URLs. Instead of giving you my interpretation, here is an answer

2009-06-29 seo tools and softwares:

I use: http://www.seocentro.com (choose the meta tag analyzer) http://www.seobook.com (take a look at the keyword selector tool and the FireFox extention) SeoMoz also has some good tools. and a list of more: