What the heck is SEO and what is better than an SEO Guru?

I recently read a comment by Danny Sullivan (a well respected expert in the search marketing industry) via Marty’s blog post, titled What the Hell is SEO Now Anyway? . Danny’s comment was as follows:

So SEO is for search engines — it’s just that people often limit the definition of search engines to mean something with a search box and/or Google. Instead, it’s anything that allows people to find something. SEOs understand how to show up in the free listings provided in such places. Search marketers understand how to show up in either the free or paid listings.

Simple as that.

Danny is totally right. I find that so many SEOs tend to try to make SEO (which like Mark Jackson from Vizion Interactive in Dallas once said: Search is a verb.) a product centric or search engine focus. SEO is now SEM. SEM is Search Engine Marketing. SEM consists of Paid Search (or Pay-Per-Click) and Organic search optimization (or natural search engine optimization. SEM is an acronym that includes both paid and organic, and it now also encompasses other aspects of search including social media.

SEO has changed. Facebook is not really a “search engine.” Yet at the same token the benefits of having a Search Engine Marketer to consult and plan a marketing strategy for Facebook, now the World’s 2nd most popular site behind Google, is imperative. If your business is ignoring the marketing power of Facebook, you need to get on board. Social media is here to stay. So are the benefits of an SEO Guru and even more so the benefits of a Holistic Search Engine Marketer.

For many years I have been “preaching” the benefits of a holistic search engine marketing strategy. Just as search engines were once considered fragmented from many sites with no clear defined industry leader, now it seems that Google is managed to create a dominance in search volume by providing the highest quality search results for queries. Local search is extremely fragmented, and I believe that as Google continues dominance in search, it will also become the dominant player in “Local Search.”

Until Google has THE MONOPOLY on Search by being #1 in every vertical, such as Auto Search (Autotrader), News Search (Fox News), Finance Search (MarketWatch), Video Search (YouTube) , Image Search (Google Images), Local Search (CitySearch/YP.com), Shopping Search (Ebay), Review Search (Yelp.com), Real Estate Search (Zillow) and all the other hundreds of different kinds  of search sites, you will continue to need a Search Engine Marketer more-so than a Search Engine Optimizer or SEO Guru.

I love reading discussions between experts like Danny Sullivan (the Editor of Search Engine Land) and Marty Weintraub (the President of aimClear). Real search engine marketers don’t have there head stuck up there butt and look at search marketing as “What PageRank is my website or the site I am linking from” and tend to have a more holistic view point, as myself, about the whole thing.

That’s my 2 cents!


Mike Stewart

What to expect from our Dallas SEO SEM firm?

Who does your small business SEO at SMB SEO?

Currently at SMB SEO, we have 2 SEO experts, Mike Stewart and Casey Watkins. This means means you will have a dedicated resource assigned to your work that you can communicate your internet advertising concerns to without having to contact a sales consultant.  Contrary to what you may have been told by telemarketers and sales reps from ReachLocal.com, SuperMedia.com, AT&T Interactive/Yellow Pages, and other larger internet advertising most internet advertising agencies, you do not have a dedicated account rep like you do with SMB SEO.  An account rep’s job is to maintain the client. A sales rep’s job is to make commission and then move onto the next “big sell.”

As Duane Forrester said on his Search Engine Land post regarding “What to Expect from an SEO/SEM agency” here:

To keep the workflow moving for them and ensure the client is happy. Sometimes the rep will also be part of the initial sales cycle, in which case their workload includes making the sale happen. If telling you there is a dedicated resource for your needs gets the sale, most sales people will state just that.

On average SMB SEO dedicates 12-15 hours per month per client on SEO and Web Marketing services for our Dallas area clients.  SMB SEO offers our handful of clients dedicated search marketing services with no contracts.

What about other SEO providers in Dallas Fort Worth?

Often times you may be called on by an independent “SEO Consultant” who says he can provide SEO Services that typically consist of changing your websites page titles, page descriptions, adding a few articles and building a pay-per-click campaign. This might sound like a great deal at the time, but something to consider is the not just level of experience but also having a dedicated point of contact that understands YOUR BUSINESS and how unique your company, products, and services are to others in the Dallas Fort Worth area. You don’t have to worry about “booking” more time from your consultants at SMB SEO. We are never too busy for our existing clients. We are loyal to our clients.


What kind of experience in Search Marketing should I look for?

Dallas area small business owners and those who are responsible for the company’s online marketing efforts need to consider the level of experience in a search engine marketing agency. Just because an agencies sales rep says they have a Pay Per Click team or specialist on hand to service your company, this does not mean they offer the best value in search engine marketing, a holistic approach.

Mike Stewart began studying search engine marketing as a media consultant for Verizon SuperPages.com. Originally he offered his holistic local search marketing suggestions to existing and potential clients of Verizon as a value added benefit of advertising with Verizon Yellow Pages. Although he was a skeptic about the value of yellow pages (often related to factors out of his control such as price, placement, distribution, and yellow pages sales fraud) he believed that the best return on investment for a local small business was a blended or mixed advertising program that consists of both print and online advertising. He actually coined the phrase used by Idearc Media in the Dallas Texas sales office of “Some people use print, some use online, but most use both.” Not so much anymore. Rural America uses print. Urban America uses the internet. Suburban America uses both.

Does the SEO Guru do Pay-Per-Click and the Pay-Per-Click Guru do SEO??

Does your Dallas SEO Firm think they are a jack of all SEO trade?

Is your search engine marketing agency a jack of all trades master of none, or do they offer the experience in all 3 different aspects of local search marketing? Do they have a dedicated manager for your pay-per-click or paid search advertising, and another one for your organic search engine optimization, and someone else who studies local interactive media budgeting and website design? What small business owners really need (and can afford) is a small team of experts.

As Duane Forrester said on Search Engine Watch:

For years, many agencies pursued paid search marketing exclusively, so their depth of knowledge surrounding SEO is lacking.  Essentially, it’s based on the knowledge of their staff. Today’s better agencies have not just a person with the title aligned to SEO work, but those individuals do in fact possess hands-on knowledge. This is where’s it’s back to finding out who will work on your job and for how much time. Having a Director of SEO with 10 years of experience on hand is great. But, is that person working on your project?

Never assume a large brand agency knows it all. Often, they don’t. Be particularly careful when engaging with offline agencies trying to reposition themselves as online agencies, as well. These folks are usually still on a learning curve and are banking on their offline brand equity to help them gain clients to learn through.

If you search engine marketing guy claims to have worked for Google, has some special secret, or makes a guarantee of results before spending 3 months on your campaign, it is time for you to walk away. Also, if they refuse to spend at least 30 minutes on the phone with you about your business before signing a CONTRACT and/or can’t offer a few simple suggestions for improving your rankings on Google and other search engines, again you need to walk or RUN AWAY!

If you are looking for an in-house search engine marketing agency for your small business, but can’t afford to hire someone in-house full-time for your company, give SMB SEO a call. We the Dallas area’s small business HIGH RANKINGS internet marketing firm.