Advertising Agency SEO Woes

Sometimes I feel bad for advertising agencies. I met with a client of our yesterday that falls under that category, and I could see and feel the frustration as they began to realize that none of developers that they outsource to have ever even told them about search engine optimization factors. Sure, they had probably heard "we'll submit the site," and even had an occasional META tag added, but as anyone who has ever tried to rank for a competitive phrases knows, this isn't enough. This being our second 3 hour meeting, I could tell they were really starting to get it. Many of the sites they have worked with are not even close to "search friendly."

The client we were discussing is moving into a new territory, and beginning a branding effort in order to "familiarize the locals." They have a very aesthetically pleasing site but it is mostly text within images. It is so bad that the home page is indexed at Google with only the bottom navigation text. I am sure some reading this have seen this before. When looking through these image-laden pages, the links were even hidden in "attractive" boxes, leading us to wonder if any human has even seen most of the best content, which was thoroughly hidden from search engines.

Yup, I feel bad for these otherwise very talented agencies because many seem to be getting on the search engine bandwagon a little late. It is going to cost their clients lots of redevelopment time or lots of link-building time, which will in turn possibly shed a bad light on the agency themselves. f you are an SEM reading this I would highly recommend pitching as many agencies as you can find. This will help get the word out.



What is "Relevant" anyway?

I am working on an article regarding "relevance" as discussed in terms of search engine optimization, specifically link building. Our President Anita and I are working on some research for the new version of our SEODoctor at Instant Position. Turns out so far that relevance is really a difficult idea to properly identify, when it comes to getting strong links from "related" sites.

In a nutshell, without going too far into the content of the forthcoming article, it seems that we as SEO's may sometimes cause people to focus too much on their specific niche in a far greater "relevancy pool." Early results indicate that high-performing sites for particularly competitive search terms (set at 5M+ exact returns) have a larger variety of inbound links than simply those specific to their particular sub industry. However, these powerful links can still be tied to the sub industry at least within a proverbial "six degrees of separation."

A good example would be for results of a search on a specific type of marketing. Instead of mostly links from other sites and directory categories related to that from of marketing, you should expect to find that the top results have strong links from more general marketing sites, as well as even other business operation-focused sites. I am not saying that it is no longer important to get as many specifically-related links as possible, but that this may be a good direction to start looking when well into the SEO/link building initiative process if you start “running out” of targeted links. As usual, high ranking competitors are the best place to start, and the use of tools available at Instant Position as well as webuildpages.com will help greatly in defining important links to seek.

I will post an update once the full article/case study is written.



OK I have been a little slack...

...with posting to this blog. Anyway, let's see if I can get this going this year a little better. For starters, since my last post I have been very busy. I want to thank everyone that has been helping me over the past year, too many to remember to mention, but here's a list of those particluarly helpful:

Danny Sullivan and Elisabeth Osmeloski, of Searchenginewatch.com forums. Having been a Moderator on that forum has helped me tremedously for networking, as well as keeping up with the latest issues in the SEM world.

Barry Schwartz and Ben Pfeiffer of seroundtable.com, a blog that covers major highlights of many forums and blogs related to SEM. Thanks so much for the oportunity to help publish coverage of the SES conferences, and your kind advice and answers to my many questions.

Rand Fishkin of seomoz.org, who has included me in a few of his lists this year that name who he feels to be at the top of the SEM pile. I am very honored that someone of Rand's knowledge andpopularity would include me in such a list.

Jim Boykin of webuildpages.com for all his help and advice.

Todd Malicoat of stuntdubl.com (and Jim's WBP) has been especially helpful in link-related matters, as well as turning into one of my best firends in the industry.

Dana Todd, the President of SEMPO, who has encouraged me to volunteer forSEMPO committees, as well as being a great source of information.

And of course, Anita Schott, President of the company where I work, G3 Group, for all her guidance especially related to SEO-firendly site structure. Our work together has consistently gained results in the form of rankings for our clients.

There are many more to thank, but this list shows how lucky I am to have been able to network during 2005.

2006 is going to be a great year for Search Engine Marketing!

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