How to Own an SEO Firm

Andy has covered how to make your SEO company more profitable, but understanding the inner workings and personnel management of an SEO firm is also an important facet of owning an SEO firm. In light of the recent acquisitions of SEO companies, here are some tips on what to do after acquiring an independent SEO company.

  • SEO requires a certain amount of creativity, flexibility and uncertainty—pretty much anathema to the corporate world. But without these things, your company’s services will become outdated and stagnant.

  • SEO requires research and experimentation. Don’t expect to be able to devote 125% of your resources to slaving away solely for clients, unless your clients are willing to be guinea pigs as your SEOs try out new things—things that may or may not work.

The “Long Copy” format: can it work for you?

The new SEO Book sales letter has been live for a little while now. (I’d love to know how it’s doing so far!) Although I think pretty much all Internet marketing sales letters are eerily remniscent of Kevin Trudeau infomercials, this is a definite improvement.

Brian Clark at Copyblogger, who rewrote the page for Aaron, unveiled the letter with an explanation on why the copy is so long (emphasis added):

  • This is not a John Grisham paperback. It is specialized and continually-updated SEO knowledge with a $79 price tag. Most people desire and require a lot of information before they will make this type of purchase.

The Internet is the first choice for purchasing decisions

Last week, Vertis Communications released their Consumer Focus® Tech Savvy study. The headline they ran with was “Future Plans Reveal Women to be More Tech Savvy.” That conclusion was based on their finding that 74% of Generation Y women (born 1977-1994) are planning on buying at least one electronic device in the next year, versus 58% of all 3000 adults surveyed. (Electronic devices included televisions, cell phones, digital cameras, satellite dishes and more.)

The study’s most interesting stat for an Internet marketer? Gen Y men’s answer to the question “When you are ready to make a purchase, which media do you turn to first to help you with your decision?” 38% said the Internet was their first choice to help them make a purchasing decision. That was up from 21% in 2004. In fact, the Internet was the only medium to see an increase in that time period (unless you count “None”).

Cyber Monday: publicity stunt come true?

Last year when reports about Cyber Monday came out, I was skeptical. However, it looks as though Cyber Monday is a real phenomenon—but not exactly as Shop.org claimed when they fabricated the term last year.

comScore reports that the best single day for online commerce this year was indeed a Monday—Monday, December 11. With $661 million in sales, this past Monday beat the record-setting Monday the week before (December 4, $647 million). Last year’s peak day? December 12, 2005—also a Monday ($556 million).

It looks like the theory behind Cyber Monday proved correct—people do a lot of online shopping when they get back to work after a break. However, instead of the Monday after Thanksgiving being the peak, people just buy more and more on successive Mondays.

SEO is Pointless (But You Don’t Have to Tell Your Clients)

By Jordan McCollum

Sad, but true: our industry is pointless. But don’t go and trash your beautiful keyword research (or worse, kill this browser window!). Of course SEO has a purpose. Simply stated, the purpose of “pure” SEO is to generate more qualified traffic to a website. And that’s good—more is better. Right?

Not always. Sometimes, more is just more.

How can you tell if your SEO is pointless? Here’s an example: Jim Bob’s Weddings-and-Webdings contracted with an SEO company. Six months into the contract, Jim Bob is forwarded a disturbing article that claims “SEO is Pointless.” He calls his SEO for the conversion rate, as suggested in the article. After some prying, Jim Bob finally gets a breakdown:

Pre optimization: 335 unique visitors/month 5 conversions/month
Post optimization: 9500 unique visitors/month 50 conversions/month