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Ten Tips to the Top
    -By Jill Whalen

Having a web site that gets found in Google, Yahoo, and MSN, etc. isn't hard to do, but it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Jill Whalen is the "sage" that most search engine optimizers study. Many consider her to be the best SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) available.


What SEOs Expect From Their Clients
   -By Kalena Jordan

Once you've located a top performing SEO, don't expect to call the shots. Search engine optimizers have certain expectations of their clients.


Someone wrote a note to Jill Whalen: "I want to start an SEO biz, but first I want to know about SEO. Can you help me?"

These folks are out there servicing clients and giving all SEO outfits a bad name.

Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Service

We can help you to optimize your web site for better search engine ranking.  If you want a pay per click marketing campaign in addition to or in place of organic optimization, we can do that for you as well.

And yes, we offer a guarantee.

Organic search engine optimization

Here's how we go about marketing your site for better "organic" placement with Google, Yahoo, and such:

  1. First we have to get to know your business.  This will require some time on our part as we discuss what you do, what you wish to accomplish (sell something, increase donations, dispense knowledge, etc.).  Is this going to be part of a larger marketing campaign or is the web site your entire campaign?
  2. The next step is to research the way people search for you and your competitors.  What search words and phrases do they use?  Which words should we avoid because the searcher is actually looking for something similar?  Which search words and phrases will produce the best results?  We use the best tools in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry for this step.   The result of this effort is a list of "key" words and phrases that we can concentrate on for improved rankings.
  3. Now, we have to examine your site to see where best to use the key phrases. This may involve a redesign of your web site to create "landing pages" (a keyword optimized page that becomes your site's entry point for a web searcher using those key words or phrases).
  4. We may suggest that you get rid of some of your "gee whiz" flashy stuff. Not that we don't like flashy things (our receptionist is very fond of diamonds), but some of these things actually get in the way of search engine "spiders" because they can't figure out how they link to the rest of the site.  Also, some gee-whiz stuff bloats your web page so much that customers limited to dial-up access won't have the patience to wait minutes instead of seconds for your web page to load. This page you are reading is designed to load in 9 seconds at dial-up speeds.
  5. At this point, we leave the realm of search engine science and get into art.  Creating copy for a web site that both optimizes the site for the search engines and still accomplishes its prime purpose of selling, informing, or whatever is an art.  Our job is to create copy that will attract search engines without harming the efforts of your marketing experts to move the searcher from the landing page to the "sale".  To do this, we would like to have access to your marking staff so we can coordinate our work to give you the best solution.  If you don't have a marketing expert, we'll do our best or engage one of our excellent marketing partners to help optimize your site.
  6. If necessary, we will submit your site to the search engines to let them know you exist.  Here's a dirty little secret: this isn't always necessary.  If a site already known to the search engines has a link to your site, they will find you anyway.
  7. Now you will have to wait.  Many search engines, including Google, have an "aging" component in their calculations.  You may move up a little in a month (most engines will scan your web site at least once a month), but have to wait as much as 6 months before you get promoted as far as you can go given the competition.  If you're in a hurry and have the budget, you can shortcut the process with a pay per click campaign

    In some fields, it's easy to get onto page one.  However, in very competitive lines it can be either very expensive or impossible.  For instance, this is our landing page for the phrase "search engine optimization marketing" and a couple of others.  It will never make it to page one because of the huge number of SEO firms who have spent years of effort optimizing and marketing their site for the same phrase.  That particular phrase had 18 million hits on a Google search in June of 2007.  The folks who make it to page one have long diatribes on their landing pages that optimize the phrase.  Not always designed to "make the sale", but just to get you there.  A waste of effort since they probably make fewer sales than they could if they paid more attention to ease of comprehension and less to "key word stuffing."   Viking Waters is on page one of several search engines (including Google), but for phrases related to our other business lines.
  8. Depending upon your budget, we will conduct a linking campaign to encourage complementary sites to link to your site.  Here's another dirty little secret: thousands of links are not necessary; a decent number of high-quality links are worth more than hundreds of "unrelated" links.  So called "PR" (Google's Page Ranking) which is related to inbound links and a few other things, is becoming less important than actual content.   However, if you want a lot of links and have the budget, we'll get them for you.
  9. For those who are in this for the long haul, we'll help you create more "content" for your site.  Search engines love content and their "spiders" happily devour it like our boss here at Viking Waters chows down on chocolate.  We'll also keep abreast of the key phrases people use to look for your products or services and "tune" your site as circumstances change.

Pay per click Campaigns

Our Guarantee

We will improve your position in major search engines such as Google and Yahoo. We will use "white hat" techniques and do nothing that will get you banned by those search engines.  We will do our best to keep your "message" intact and not harm the usability of your web site.

We do not guarantee you a spot on page one of organic search engine results, although we'll do our best, within your budget, to get you there. A lot depends upon your competition and whether or not a "niche" market is available that few others are exploiting. If you're unique or don't have much competition, getting to page one is a lot easier.

If someone guarantees you a "natural" page one on Google, run away just as fast as you can. The only way that can happen legitimately is using pay per click. Anything else will be "black hat" techniques (that could eventually get you banned by the search engines) or a phrase that no one uses.

Here's part of the ad of an outfit that uses pay per click themselves to get noticed:

Page 1 Ranking Guaranteed
(name deleted) guarantees you Page 1 rankings in natural or organic search results for your keywords.  No other SEO firm has (name deleted)’s track record.

This outfit can't get there with their own listing (granted the competition in SEO is HUGE) and they're making an outrageous claim. They may be good, but you can bet, and win most of the time, that any outfit that makes a claim like this isn't THAT good.

Pay per click (ppc) campaigns run by us will be conducted with the highest level of conduct and honesty that we can manage. If your budget is adequate, we'll get your PPC ad on page one of whatever search engine you wish. We'll also help you decide which phrases to bid on to maximize the value of your campaign.

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