Where Can I Find Good SEO Online Advertising?

Online Advertising Insights

I was in the middle of several projects and stopped to look at some of my web stats and noticed a keyword phrase that appears to on the rise; “search engine pro scam”

I received this email the other day relating to the same issue:

As a search engine marketing professional since 1998 I’ve seen the good and the ugly in online marketing. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a full-time student of online marketing. Fact of the matter is that online marketing for those of us who do it for a living can be mind numbing at times. We need to sort out the fads, trends, and principles that stand the test of time.

Regarding search engine marketing scams, I’m amazed at how many emails I get from folks asking me to stop charging their cards or to stop service and they have no idea they are communicating with the wrong website / company.

Here is a thread I found related to the search engine pro scam real estate agents are talking about online:

search engine marketing scams online advertising

“Philip Roy” – says:

“I have had the same problem. I wish I knew a way to find a good SEO and advertising company but it seams like they are all full of it. Please let me know if you find a good one.”

“Dan Kennedy Homes” – says:

“Sadly, I’m experiencing the same thing.  Major rip off!”

I think folks get ripped off in their online advertising for several reasons:

  • Lacking knowledge – My best clients have a basic understanding of what SEO or paid advertising is.
  • Instant gratification – Folks want instant results and end up making poor decisions on how they spend their online marketing dollars.
  • Chasing the next big thing – There is a new next big thing on the Internet every 60 seconds. Start with the basics.
  • Cheap Mindset – We’ve gotten ourselves into a cultural mindset that everything can be outsourced for peanuts (I won’t bother to mention any of the sites here) – You get what you pay for.

Vince Curtis summed it up best – “NO Company can guarantee placement on Google except Google.”

I’ve been saying this for years. Additionally, Google and the other top search sites change algorithms on a regular basis. Any company that promises or guarantees a #1 spot on Google…. run!! Sure, someone can get you to the top temporarily, but it’s the basics that will help keep you there.

 Where to find good online advertising and SEO

If I knew nothing about SEO or online marketing I would start with some referrals. I’ve try to work with people I have some sort of connection with friend, business associate, etc. vs. some random person I found on Craigslist or a foreign country I can’t pronounce the name of. Another place I would look is a local SEO / SEM marketing group. Many major cities have local SEO / SEM marketing groups that meet regularly.

Don’t put too much stock into certifications… ask to see proof or results. Certificates are great to show some level of competency or understanding, but the ability to generate traffic and results that turn into profit are two different animals. I’ve personally managed over 2 million dollars in ad spend on Google Adwords and Bing while generating thousands of leads for auto dealers nation-wide, but I have yet to get Google Adwords or Microsoft Adcenter certifications.

What type of experience have you had with an SEO or online advertising company?

Share your story below.

Search Engine Pros Scam – Original article

Be #1 On Google

To start 2011 off different this year, I’m doing something I’ve never done. 2011 I’m going to be doing some book reviews, sharing insights, ideas, and open up some discussion on various search engine and online marketing books.

The first book I’m going to cover is “Be #1 On Google, by Jon Smith. He is also the author of  Grow Your Business With Google Adwords”.

You can purchase both of his books on Amazon using the links below:

In his book “Be #1 on Google” Jon Smith shares 52 ideas / tools to drive customers to your website. Each day, for the next 52 days, I’ll be sharing one of his tips / tools. I won’t dive into the content of each chapter…that’s why you’ll want to purchase of copy of your own, but I will share each tip he outlines. At the end, we’ll see if all the information he shares truly helps to move you closer to a #1 position on Google.

Tip #1:

Where do you rank right now?

This might seem pretty silly, but you’d be amazed at how many folks don’t even know if their domain name or website is actually showing up in Google. Why is Google so important? At the time of the writing of “Be #1 on Google”, 60% of all Internet searches are initiated on the big G.

Type in your domain name without the www. on the front end of it, and without the .com. Example: www.searchenginepro.net would be entered as “searchenginepro”. In this case, I happen to have the #1 spot for both “searchenginepro” and “search engine pro”. I guess I must have done something right 🙂

Jon then asks readers to type in the name of their best selling product, service, or industry. Are you on page 1, 2, or 3? or not at all? This is a basic starting point for many folks to determine if they are even anywhere near the top 30 rankings. For more information and tips, grab one or both of Jon’s books and read along.

Look for Tip #2 tomorrow

Get To The Top of Google Fast

Get to the top of Google fast! That’s a fairly common headline these days. How about getting to the top of Google in minutes for your targeted keyword? I thought I would share an example from a post on October 7, 2010.

I posted an article on former President George W. Bush riding Northshore bike trail in Grapevine, TX. Within four (4) minutes of posting the article, it showed up #1 in Google SERPs. I’ve accomplished this successfully with other articles and posts as well. (See the image below)

The point for sharing this is to demonstrate that with a WordPress blog set up correctly and unique content, it is possible to get an article, post, or page indexed by Google in minutes, not weeks or months.

Additionally, it is possible to get your post to show up for your targeted keywords.

I’ll share some more and continue to add to this thread over time, but wanted to get some dialog started. What is the fastest time you’ve seen Google index one of your WordPress posts? Or any page for that matter?

So if you want to get to the top of Google fast, you might want to consider setting up a WordPress blog and start testing some articles for your specific  area of focus.

Here’s another working example; Just as I post this article, look how fast it showed up in Google top ten for “Get To The Top of Google Fast”.

Microsoft-Bing Hate Mac Users

Microsoft-Bing must hate Mac users because they forced me to purchase a Windows 7 laptop just to run Adcenter Desktop which will not run on a Mac under BootCamp, Parallels, or VMWare.

After lots of web searches and calls to my Bing-Adcenter rep. I was informed that even if someone got Adcenter Desktop running successfully, it would be unstable or not work for very long. (not sure what she meant by that)

So, to help Microsoft support additional programmers and create a Mac version of Adcenter Desktop I gave in and purchased a Toshiba laptop running Win 7. Here are some photos below:

On a more serious note 🙂 Advertisers are Bing customers. Just as Google created a Windows and Mac version of Adwords Desktop, Microsoft needs to step up and do the same. If Bing really wants to increase market share, it should be thinking about ways to make working with Adcenter as easy as possible, not limiting the way that advertisers can interact with their platform. Most of my SEO colleagues and Internet marketing professionals I communicate with all use a Mac.

Related Articles:

Social Media Freak: PubCon Dallas Live Test

Sat in on a live advanced seo tactics session yesterday at PubCon Dallas 2010.

The live test was done for “Social Media Freak” and the hope was that the test site for Giovanni.net would show up #1 in Google for the search term within a few minutes.

The test failed, but that does not mean the technique demonstrated does not work. The tester was able to demonstrate that the tactic works extremely well on other keywords he has tested. I need to go to lunch or play golf with the mystery dude wearing the sunglasses and Dallas Stars jersey. (seriously! let’s do lunch or golf)

You can follow conversation and follow up on the social media freak conversation here: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=social+media+freak

This was my first PubCon event and it was evident that there are differences of opinion among panelists, but that’s why we go. We all have the opportunity to experiment with different ideas and tactics to help our sites rank well.


Continue reading “Social Media Freak: PubCon Dallas Live Test”

Text, Images and Cell Phones

This is odd article for me, but I want to make a point regarding the use of text and images on your website. Many folks embed their phone number or contact information in a header graphic or image on their website, but don’t post contact information anywhere in text for the search engines or folks using cell phones. More and more Internet users are using their cell phones with data to search for business listings. All the stats show cell phone use for browsing the Internet is increasing.

It only makes sense that you should put your phone number or contact information as text somewhere on your site. The other nice thing about this is that most cell phones detect a phone number displayed as text so the user only has to click on the phone number to dial the number they are trying to reach.

Here are two sites I like to visit, but notice how the phone number is embedded in an image leaving no way to simply click a number to reach the business.


I’ll give them both some link love here, but I think the point is clear. Don’t embed important information in a graphic unless you are intentionally trying to hide it.


As more and more cell phone users utilize their data connections to find businesses and listings online, it is imperative that website owner ensure  that their websites are cell phone friendly.

Is your website cell phone friendly? One last item that folks overlook are JavaScript based navigation. While most cell phones with web browsers support java, I’ve yet to find one that can support Java based drop down menus. If your website has JavaScript drop down menus, make sure you’ve got the text equivalent on your site-map or a cell phone friendly page.

Search Engine Marketing Can Be Overwhelming

35The other day I had a conversation with a Realtor. He is an agent in the RE/MAX system, has a website and a slew of tools available for him to market his real estate business online. Here is what he said that struck a chord with me.

“I’ve got so many tools available for search engine marketing and promotion I’m overwhelmed”

As we continued our conversation, he was looking to me for help with some basics so he could see some incremental progress in his online marketing and lead generation.

60I think this is where many folks are today with their online marketing. There are so many tools and variations that it’s easy even for those of us who call this our profession to get bogged down in SEO/SEM tool testing rather than taking predictable steps each day to improve our search engine marketing presence or to reach a targeted and measurable goal. I’m going to document our progress from the initial set up of a new domain name and will share with visitors at least once per month some tips and ideas for keeping it simple to prevent search engine marketing overload.

Are you a small business owner overwhelmed with all the tools available to market and promote your business online? If so, share your story or thoughts with our visitors.