Archive for Misc. SEM Articles

Updated Case Study: Virginia Divorce Lawyers

This is an SEO case study that provides supports and provides updates to the original Virginia Divorce Lawyer entry from this blog in May of 2009. Now as predicted correctly in the posting the website is no longer in the Google penalty box and is appearing at the top of searches for law related terms. View SEO for Lawyers to discover more information on services tailored to law practices.

As mentioned in 2009, only the homepage started to display a Page Rank at that time, but such is no longer the case. The majority of pages possess a PR 2 or higher, the blog possesses the same Page Rank as the homepage and its entries also appear prominently in Google’s blog search. A general search for Virginia divorce lawyer shows the website on the first page of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, with top five placements in the latter two, along with noticeable and likely future moves up the ladder evidenced by an allinanchor search.

Now what are a few of the techniques that allowed this particular internet property to go from nowhere to the first page? The same steps and general properties as any SEM campaign plus a ‘trick’ that often helps with achieving such is what allowed the VA law site to reach these top search positions. Review this blog for more details but it essentially component one: strong on-page optimization of the source code coupled with part two: relevant external references to the lawyer internet location.

The ‘trick’ that assisted with the second piece of the puzzle is a variant of viral marketing. Type ‘legal blog template’ into Yahoo and notice that the website is in the number one and two positions. I created and then gave away a WordPress theme that lawyers can use to help build a website with a reference to this Virginia lawyers website built into the template. It provides an excellent tool for the community, while simultaneously assisting with the second component of the search engine marketing campaign.


EBay Determines Next SEO Client

Recently Agilis Marketing underwent quite a few changes in order to better serve its customers. At this juncture, the company is now a boutique SEO shop that caters to a maximum of a few additional clients per month with the larger portion of the emphasis focused to help grow existing clients’ businesses. As existing clients know this is not a departure from the current strategy, but it seemed worthwhile to place a blog post highlighting such in part to help prevent companies and individuals whom are looking for a onetime solution that such a large portion of search engine optimization purport to provide. SEM is an ongoing process and Agilis Marketing is focused on investing its time with clients whom understand this. Anecdotal evidence clearly illustrates this is the best for all parties involved.

Keeping that strategy in mind provided the idea of utilizing EBay to determine Agilis Marketing’s next client. Usage of the auction site to select a client is likely a onetime event, but it seemed like a unique way to for an established marketing company to choose its next client and an equally appealing venue for customers to select an SEO provider.

Please bid @ EBay by clicking the following link:

What does my company receive if it wins?

At first glance this might appear to contradict the vision stated at the start of this posting, but as prospective customers will notice this is not the case after looking at what is included:

  • Essentially a complete SEO starter kit for a potential long term client and provider relationship.
  • Up to 40 hours of marketing consulting on a new or existing web property.
  • Extensive keyword research, trends, and analytics, and a suggested focus based upon such.
  • Contextual references from other internet properties that point to the clients’ website.
  • Structuring of the website to include an appropriately optimized hierarchy.
  • Individual coding of web pages to ensure compliance with Agilis Marketing’s SEM standards

As likely already noticed, bidding starts at $500, the company does not mind taking a few thousand dollar hit if the bids do not reach a breakeven point, but it is unfair to existing customers if there is little interest in the auction and a company receives all that included for twelve cents :) .

As mentioned please submit all bids must go through EBay by clicking the following link:

Please note that Agilis Marketing will spend a maximum of 40 hours for all the above; do not expect coding of over 1,000 static pages – if such is desired contact Agilis Marketing first or ask a question in the comment section below. Clients with larger websites are welcome to bid, but there is no such thing as a free lunch, thus please describe the projects objectives and we can arrange an appropriate premium for additional services. Please note that the company’s one new client for this month is determined through this eBay Auction thus it is still necessary to bid for the basic package.

Thanks in advance to all those whom elect to participate and best of luck bidding on the SEO campaign!

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Online Reputation Management Industry

First mentioned on this blog in July of 2009 and revisited in May of 2010, online reputation management as predicted is turning into a key growth niche in the SEM industry. Please take a look at the image included in this post from Google Trends for online reputation search volume. Notice that it barely existed in 2007, 2008 to 2009 saw firms entering the market and in 2010 there is small but nice uptick. Expect to see the chart move exponentially in the future, as reputation management on the internet is still in its infancy.

google trends online reputation

When typing ‘Online Reputation Management’ into Google there are now a host of firms specifically targeting this area; obviously some with more expertise than others. SEO and SEM companies are somewhat behind the eight ball on this trend and rather traditional marketing are dominating the rankings despite the fact that the majority of these firms do not possess nearly the same expertise and experience required as the key players in the internet marketing industry. Agilis Marketing intends to change that.

Expect to start seeing Agilis Marketing in the top search listings for these associated terms in the near future. It is somewhat disheartening to see all these newly formed companies or subsidiaries touting services in which they possess little expertise. That is one reason I am now committing, focusing, and positioning my firm to become the leader in this arena. Customers deserve a higher level of knowledge by service providers and Agilis Marketing is going to deliver. Please help us in making advances in this industry by referencing this posting or contacting my company to discuss how we can assist you or your company in achieving an excellent online reputation in the SERPS and other places throughout the internet.

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Relevant Content Experiment

The purpose of this posting is to experiment how the search engines interpret relevant content on the page, entire domain, and possibly votes from other sites with anchor text pointing to this domain when valuing the weight and trust placed on references to outside websites on such a page. Also, notice the avoidance of during this page of a few of the more common terms generally associated with this industry in order to potentially see if this is a determining factor. Obviously there are multiple variables in this experiment; thus further research is needed afterwards to draw any meaningful conclusions.

There are two virtual properties that this experiment will utilize. The first is a hobby property that focuses on quilt patterns, fabrics, and other associated items. The second has a wide selection of celtic jewelry and more specifically that of the silver variety. Neither one of the two properties share much in terms of comparatively relevant content to this property or each other.

Thus here and the following paragraph will include references to each of the properties with relevant content around them. Taking a look at the quilting supplies space, there are niche areas including patterns, fabrics and other items one might expect from such a place.  One focus includes quilt patterns and as seasoned visitors can now tell this is the relevant reference anchor. The primary appeal is to at home enthusiasts who like to quilt utilizing patterns, but of course other people visit.

The next property is in a different industry; the jewelry industry. A better description is celtic jewelry as this is clearly of primary relevance and focus. There are such items as pendants, necklaces, and bracelets. An area of interest for guests here are those who desire a celtic style of jewelry primarily comprised of sterling silver. The appeal for this is relatively large of late, but only time will tell if the trend continues.

The above along with this paragraph should conclude this portion of the relevant content experiment. Obviously, time is required to even have an idea of the impact this has on the related quilt pattern and celtic jewelry properties. After a generally accepted length of time passes than either this company or another can do follow up research to further address the issues outlined throughout the relevant content in this investigation of external references and their impacts.


Decoding Page Rank

Much has changed from the original usage of Page Rank and its relative importance within the search engine results pages. However, even though Google is fairly transparent regarding its value, many people misinterpret the information or do not maintain a complete understanding of its value as it relates to links, which in reality is one of the most crucial concerns to any company involved in an SEM campaign. Hence why decoding Page Rank is crucial for a site’s webmaster to understand.

First it is important to debunk a myth that is a former truth. Using the rel=”nofollow” tag does not help a site retain the value of its internal links. An example seems appropriate to explain this in further detail. During times of the internet past, webmasters could use this tag to funnel link credit to pages only within their own site; this is no longer the case. If there are two links on a webpage one with the no follow tag and one without then half the Page Rank will pass to the linking page without the tag and half will simply vanish. Not that long ago use of this tag would allow a page following the same structure to pass 100 percent of the link’s value to whichever page it desired.

Why did this change take place? Simply put, the engineers at Google became smarter and modified the appropriate algorithms. SEM companies took advantage of the rel=”nofollow” tag to horde Page Rank and not pass it to legitimate sites. This practice undermines Google’s entire goal of using links as a way of voting since it allowed webmasters to place links to other sites but not count them as votes. SEM companies could exploit this process to keep page rank within their sites and not distribute it to others as Google intended; a primary reason for the change.

Now if a webmaster uses that tag no credit is passed to linked site. That tag simply tells the search engines that that website is not vouching for the credibility of the other. It provides no direct benefit, and can hurt a webmaster if the tag is used inappropriately. The only time one should now use this link is when they are uncertain of the website’s creditability. Typically this should occur in comments or forum postings since if webmasters create the link themselves then generally it is to a credible site who deserves the recognition Google intended the link to provide.


Online Reputation Management Revisited

It appears that online reputation management is now an official marketing niche. Agilis marketing originally mentioned the emergence of this market nearly one year ago on this blog. We continue to fine tune the strategies utilized when helping new and existing clients. Included below are a few common suggestions that almost any business owner can implement on their own to improve their online reputation throughout the internet.

Review websites are easy places for individuals to register and places information on any company. It is important to act proactively on the most common sites, post basic information, and respond to comments whether negative or positive. There are many places where consumers read reviews about a company’s products or services, but a handful is more commonly visited. Please keep in mind that specific industries often contain niche sites for businesses. As an example, any owner of a travel or tourist related business will certainly want to register at Trip Advisor. Regardless of the industry, these are a few key sites to place business information:

Google Reviews:

The simplest way to add a review is to type in your company’s name and location. Unless it is a brand new business, it is likely there are already reviews from others about your company. Take the time here to add a review and ask a few others to do the same. Make certain not to overdo it and that the reviews are realistic. If the business is newer a webmaster might first need to register their business with Google’s local listings. Still, even if it is an older site, it is smart to register it through this system since it will allow addition of information visitors may not find otherwise

Insider Pages:

This is a widely popular site where reviews are often siphoned from and displayed in the search results or on other websites. It is important with online reputation management to ensure that there are reviews and positive ones. The addition of a few at this hub is recommended.


Yelp is well known for its local listings. Therefore, it is especially important to place commentary here if your company serves a local market. Travelers as well as locals commonly visit this site directly to learn more about a restaurant before eating there. Thus it is smart to include a detailed review at Yelp that appeals to a business’ target audience.

While these are certainly a few key places to register, please remember this simply a primer in online reputation management, managing reviews and placement of those reviews within the search results is crucial. This primarily focuses on ensuring positive reviews are at the top of Google whereas negative search reviews, such as those often found at Rip Off Report, are hidden deep with the search results.

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New Google Tools

This post is a slight departure from the typical topics. Since Google is the primary search engine the individuals practice SEO and SEM techniques it is possibly of value to know what else the company offers. A few of their new Google tools are more related to traditional online search than others. However, the common thread among all of them is that they offer a unique way to find information that either did not exist or formerly cost money to access.

It surprised me to see that such little advertising went into GOOG-411. As one might imagine it provides the same information that paid 411 services do, only it is free. Simply dial 1-800-GOOG-411 and their automated 411 information system does not cost one penny. What makes the service unique, aside from the cost, is that it provides more information than traditional 411 services. Lately, it is the norm to also receive text messages with a business’ phone number if one desires. Now a person can also receive detailed business information about the company as well as a map with its location. If your phone is already GPS enabled than not only do you have the telephone number for a business, but you also can end up receiving turn by turn directions to reach its brick and mortar location.

Google health is an incredible tool that I did not even realize existed till working on this piece. It allows for central storage of all your medical information in one place. Google addresses privacy concerns from the onset because it hardly requires mentioning how sensitive health data is for patients. Presently this tool allows individuals to put all their medical information in one place. The company also partnered with CVS and other pharmacies so that prescription and drug information is automatically downloadable and linked to an account if one desires. Thus not only does this tool store information, but it allows for easier updating of the details. While I cannot predict Google’s future plans for this tool, it has the potential to drastically evolve doctors and patients access to medical information. Rather than filling in a medical questionnaire at each new doctor’s visit, and possibly forgetting some details, one could simply allow a doctor access to their medical profile. The possibilities for this feature are countless and potentially beneficial to all parties.

Another tool that is more directly relevant for our audience is the search based keyword tool. This Google feature is a variation of the traditional keyword tool that allows business owners to discover new keywords phrases that the other tool possibly overlooked. During the development of a keyword list, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should not take advantage of both this supplementary offering and the traditional AdWords feature, to further develop a SEM campaign. Of course there are numerous other new Google tools available, but it seemed worthwhile to highlight a few of them. It is truly amazing the technology and access to information that the company is developing. I find it exciting to see such developments taking place that help everyone better organize information.


Travel Sector SEO

After taking a family trip from the east coast to the west I started to understand the travel value behind SEO and all other forms of search engine marketing to any company whose target audience primarily consists of tourists. There are many people who rely solely on the internet as a means of determining where to spend their time and a company with no internet presence has little chance of over seeing these tourists’ business.

It is important to make it clear that despite the headline of this post marketing on the internet encompasses much more than simply showing up at the top of the search results for a particular phrase or as indicated: travel SEO. In fact, dependent upon the target audience of the marketing campaign, other promoting elsewhere on the internet is more profitable.

Before the trip, my father created a list of top tourist sites based primarily on recommendations from and the majority of places we visited were on that list (restaurants included). After jokingly giving him a hard time for creating such a list in the first place, I thanked him in the end since my family ended up enjoying an excellent vacation. The marketing takeaway gleamed is the value the internet has upon influencing tourists’ decisions while traveling to an unfamiliar destination. Thus it is important not only for a company’s site to appear at the top of the search engines, but also for it to appear at the top of major well known travel sites such as the one my father utilized.

All that said, one of the most common venues tourists utilize is a search engine, such as Google, when selecting a skydiving location or a restaurant to eat at after a day of activities. Hence the value of ensuring your company has a site that is optimized to appear at the top of the search engines. The same strategies are utilized with a travel SEO campaign as with any other. However, as part of the entire search marketing campaign it is crucial to hire a marketer that understands the value of other online sites that tourists frequent and help ensure that your company is listed near the top.


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