Online Advertising Super Highways

When you hear the term online advertising super highways you probably think about search engines like Yahoo, Bing and of course Google. Search engines are the primary route people use when looking for information, locations and stuff to buy. But, there are thousands of small roads that can provide lots of leads and customers. For small companies with small budgets, it is tough to get your website listed well on search engines like Google, So build along the roads that already exist.

To get ranked well and listed on Google, your website needs to be relevant and popular. The roads (yes plural) that lead to Google are made of great content that is shared and cited by websites that are on the same topic as yours. Does this mean you should cite websites with great relevant content for your readers? Absolutely, anyway you can provide value for your readers.

Some of these smaller roads that lead to Google are already under construction or have been built by other webmasters. They consist of:

  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Magazine Articles
  • New Stations
  • Groups On Social Sites
  • Websites
  • Directories, Libraries, And List Creaters
  • Schools
  • Government Agencies
  • Clubs

Your job is to join the conversation in a meaningful way. This means you have to offer something of value. Because you have complete control over the content on your own website, you can make sure to create content that is of value and runs deep. Not every piece has to be a 2500 word guide, comprehensive and insightful how-to article with pictures, topical insightful info-graphic, or an in-depth review, but if you don’t pepper them in on occasion, your online marketing efforts will yield little results.

You need to build a website that does nor rely on Google for traffic. The thing is, once you have that, you will have Google too. Your website is like a topical Disneyland, and Google is a travel agent. Google can see if people who visits your site (Your Topical Disneyland), visited it more than once, or liked their visit!  Google knows if your visitor stayed for a while, told a friend, engaged with your content, linked to it as a resource, visited another page on your site etc… If you have a fun or helpful destination, the travel agent will refer visitors.

Google may trickle a little traffic to your site to tests its metrics and compare those to other similar sites. But unless your metrics improve, your traffic and rankings won’t. Google will show websites with better metrics than yours, most likely your competitions. Google just wants to give it’s customers the best most relevant experience possible.

So, start to build roads that will lead to Google or sponsor roads that already lead there, and join in the conversation with other well indexed and ranked resources. You need to be popular which will lends itself to trust. Trust is another ranking factor I will cover down the road. Thanks for reading! Please share this with friends who need some online advertising tips.

Online Advertising Costs

Online Advertising CostsI often get emails and calls from people asking about online advertising costs. They want to know what I can do for them, and what services I provide. I am posting the response I sent to the last person to email me questions about services and costs.
Hey Troy,
It looks like you’ve been in business long enough to remember when the yellow pages were worth the money. When a full page ad cost like 3k a year and we were happy to make the monthly payments.

Online advertising is a little different than the Yellow Pages. You have to spread some money around, grease the palms of many webmasters and pay the important directories like the BBB their quart of blood. You need authoritative websites to mention your website and link to it. One great way to get a local authoritative link is by joining your local chambers of commerce(s), for $250 – $500.00 a year depending on how many chambers you join.

Before I build you a website, promote it through social sites, press releases, contests, giveaways, SEO, and pay influential bloggers to review the website, and possibly allow me to guest post on their blog on your behalf, which all cost money, I have to spend 1200.00 every year just to the directories.

I like to get my clients up and running with a 10 page website that gets pretty in depth about their services. (If the words you want to rank well for are not on your website, you will never rank for them on Google, *basically). I also Include a blog and write 10 to 50 blog posts during the first year. All this writing cost money to have done. Of course I optimize all the writing to target keywords most people type into Google when looking for your services, and keywords that trigger Google maps.

I also get you listed in all the top free directories, and help with managing and verifying the listings. Even though these directories are free to get listed in, I still have to account for the time it takes me to do the work properly (I don’t use automated listing software).

Another cost that begins to add up are the cost of buying pictures. I try to post an image in every blog post and on every webpage. The average cost per photo is $15.00, that runs into $200.00 – $600.00 a year for images.

I am being very candid about the costs, you will never get anyone to go into such details nevermind outline a solid online advertising plan. Mainly because most corporate companies like Yodle,, and 1& use templates, stock sites, stock photos, and don’t spread money around promoting you like they should, so they can’t say they do these things. I am going into such detail because I get lots of inquires like yours about online advertising costs, and am going to post this response on my blog for others to read.

Online Advertising Costs

I would recommend committing to a three year plan at $300.00 to $1000 a month. If you can commit to a higher monthly budget, and can scale your business to meet increasing workload/leads, by the time you get to the end of the third year, you will find that 7- 8k a year is ridiculously easy to come by.

I have less aggressive plans for two to three hundred dollars a month, but when you cut advertising spend, you limit your website traffic and lead generation capabilities. My less aggressive plans get you listed in Google Maps to say the least, and generate enough of a return on your investment to justify my cost.

I mentioned you could spend less, but you can definitely spend more too. Once you have a bunch of great content on your site, It helps to spend money promoting it and getting links. Plus we could also set up a budget to spend on Google AdWords / PPC (Pay Per Click).

Online Advertising Consulting Services and Costs

I charge $250.00 an hour to consult. I cover local online advertising, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, link building, content marketing, directory advertising strategies, and more. I share my screen on the call as I point out issues, strategies, and opportunities. I record the whole session for you to review later.

Online Advertising Services

I handle the whole shabang for some clients (every aspect of online advertising), and consult for others. I consult more than anything else now. By speaking at advertising conferences and providing free content, my consulting services have become highly sought after.

I enjoy teaching individuals and groups about online marketing, reviewing websites with small business owners, and pointing out how to make improvements.


Even if you have never heard of me, the fact that I compete against the best marketing minds, SEO’s, and million dollar a year online advertising campaigns, yet I have managed to engage you as a prospect for my services, should help to convince you I know what I’m talking about.

If you let me know what your marketing budget is, I will design a plan for you. I know this much, I will do more for each of your advertising dollars than anyone else.

I hope this answers your question and gives you some insights about online advertising costs. I stand ready to answer any questions you might have.

Inform Local
Michael Kern
978-973-6048 (Personal Cell)

Search Engine Marketing – (SEM)

SEM - Search Engine MarketingSEM Overview

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)? It’s about getting a business listed, and ranked well on the search engines, and the message that compels a searcher to click-through to your website. Businesses today need to get their company listed where most people are looking for products and services, search engines.

In an effort to provide a great experience for searchers, Google and Bing both put a mix of different media types and information on each SERP (Search Engine Results Page). This gives you multiple ways to get your message in front of the people typing keywords into search engines.

6 Opportunities To Get Listed On Google

Most people focus on the big three search engine listing opportunities.

  • Paid Search
  • Organic
  • Local Directory

But Google also lists: #4 Video, #5 Pictures, and #6 News. These last three really help support the big three.

Paid Search

Paid search is also called Pay Per Click or PPC, Sponsored, and some also referred to it as SEM. There is no written rule or set of standards, so people can call it what they want. But just so you are not confused, as far as I am concerned SEM is not paid search alone.

Google’s brand of PPC is called AdWords. They currently offer three methods of paid search, but only two methods that target search engine visitors. Google Adwords is there most popular Pay Per Click model, where you bid against other advertisers for selected keywords. The highest bidder is usually in the top position and so on down the ranking. You are not charged for being listed unless a searcher actually clicks on your ad.

The second is called Adwords Express, this is a stripped down version of the original product. This program is managed by Google them selves for you. They promote your local Maps listing and again you are only charged for clicks.

Google’s paid search listings usually comprise the top 3 listings and all the ads on the right hand side of the SERP. The ads at the top are usually colored with a pink or yellow background.

AdWords accounts are free to set up. Google gives coupons as an incentive for trying their product. Anyone with a registered payment method can run ads. Only new accounts can take advantage of the coupons.


Organic listings are placed right below paid search, and usually below local maps listings too. Also occasionally they’ll put one or two organic results above the local maps. The order is usually Paid ads, then Maps and then organic.

Every listing can be view and clicked on for free that is indexed in Google’s organic section. Getting indexed is pretty simple, ranking well is another matter. Ranking highly in the organic section is based on a secret mathematical algorithm. The algorithm is said to be based on over two hundred different criterion.

The specialists that work to rank sites in highly in the organic section of SERP’s are called  SEO’s which has to do with the art and science of search engine optimization. We don’t claim to completely understand Google’s Algorithm, but by reverse engineering thousands of top ranked websites we have it narrowed down to a 75% match (or so). We pretty much know what it takes, and we A/B test different ideas and monitor results to improve rank.

Google Maps / Local Business Directory

Google understands that many searchers are looking for local services and businesses. So they will often show 3 to 7 local businesses in the local maps section of their SERP’s. Getting listed is free, but getting listed above the competition can be quite difficult.

If there are only a few similar businesses in your town, you will probably rank well for your immediate area. Getting listed for searches done in neighboring towns can be a bit more challenging.

What Google Wants

Now that we have discussed the majority of ways to get your business listed on Google. We need to understand what Google wants. Google wants to offer it’s customers ( It’s Searchers) great relevant results and a good user experience (UX).

Google needs people to find the information they’re searching for, they need people to keep using their search engine so they can keep making 34 billion a year in ad revenue. Yes they made an estimated 34 billion in 2012, and are growing by 15 to 20% a year.

They offer a wide variety of results to make as many searchers happy as possible. They know when people are shopping, trying to navigate to a certain website, or looking for how to articles or information.

It’s your job to make Google’s customers happy, and glad they used Google to find your company. Think of some of the things you don’t like about websites and eliminate them from yours.

  • Pages that take to long to load
  • Pop up’s
  • White print on black backgrounds
  • Small dense print
  • Having to scroll past ads to get to information
  • Missing pages – 404 and 500 errors
  • Confusing navigation
  • Lack of “alt” tags for images
  • Keyword stuffed content | Spam
  • Non-friendly Url’s
  • Thin or irrelevant content
  • Hard to find contact information

Put your self in the shoes of the search engines. Would you refer your customers to websites with issues like the ones above if there were better alternatives? It’s not enough that you have relevant content and a lot of links, If you don’t provide a good UX, you will not be ranked nearly as well as you could be.

How Google Measures User Experience (UX)

Google crawls all the pages that are indexed, so they know how long it takes for a page on your website to load, or whether or not the page even exists any longer (404 errors). They also know how long people spend on your website (time on site) or whether or not they visit a second page (bounce rate).

Social Signals & Linking

Google also knows if people value and share the content they find on your website by monitoring social signals (Facebook shares, Pinterest pins, Twitter tweets & retweets etc…). They also know if others are linking to it. Having no links to your website is a bad sign.

If you have great relevant original content, but you don’t have links, you may need to find websites that list resources like yours and let them know you exist.


Reviews alone are a great way to do search engine marketing. Running promotions and giving coupons for reviews will quickly build up a lot of reviews. I personally always look for reviews before making a purchase.

What kind of reviews are being left around the web for your business? Are any being left? It is better to have bad reviews than non at all. Reviews help to validate that your business is still active, current, and at least real, even if it’s not well liked.

How To Measure UX On Your Own Website

  • Page Speed: This is a very important metric and can be checked with Pingdom. This tool lets you check page load speed from two different locations in the US.
  • Bounce Rate: This data lets you know if a second page was visited on your website, and can be seen using Google Analytics (Free Google Tool).
  • Average Time Spent On Site: Also available with Google Analytics.
  • 404 Errors & Incoming Links: This data and a lot more about the health of your website can be found using Google’s Webmaster Tools

The above metrics will help you to monitor UX which is important, but when it comes to organic search, you also want to focus on three more things. Two are more important than the last: engaging content that offers value, and attracting links. The final is social: People socially interacting with your brand is getting more important everyday.

Social signals are admittedly already a big part of the Bing algorithm, and while Google is using social in theirs, they admit that they’ll be weighting it much heavier in the future.

All these issues are important for Google Maps too, but you don’t even need a website to outrank your competitors in Maps. The two most important metrics for Maps are reviews and citations. With reviews and citations you can be the #1 of local for many keywords.

Now I would like to know what you do for: Search Engine Marketing, what your strategies are, how you go about ranking better. Please share in the comments and if you like this article share it on your favorite social media.



SEO Consultant – Michael Kern

SEO Consultant - Michael KernFor over ten years I have been working to get websites ranked high in search engines. Years of practice, love of business and marketing, and an intense competitive nature have transformed me into a professional SEO Consultant.

All search engine optimization strategies and tactics I employ or teach are ethical best practices. I have a holistic approach to SEO. Whatever element can be improved to help a page rank better is a factor for consideration.

SEO Consulting Fees

I usually bill hourly for consulting services. For most customers I will package hours and then exceed expectations. I have packages for SEO site audits, link building, competitive analysis and keyword research.

Rates range from $20.00 to $60.00 per hour depending on the service. I typically work way more then the budget allows and consequently don’t get paid for the extra work. At times I probably make less the an employee at McDonald’s if you average hours worked against compensation. But I love what I do, make my own hours, and never want for work.

There are professional SEO consultants that make $800.00 to 4000.00 dollars an hour. These are the super stars that are highly sought after for speaking engagements and training seminars. They have done a good job of branding themselves and are known for some really good jobs.

Getting off on the right foot is important, but I couldn’t possibly think of one thing these guys know that I don’t today. You see I have reverse engineered all the best campaigns and studied the best SEO strategies. There is nothing secrete on the web, its all out there for the viewing with the proper tools.

Maybe someday I’ll get that rock star persona and get a write up in wired magazine, till then I will just keep doing the best I can, one customer at a time.

Consultant Audits & ROI

My SEO audits are extremely valuable for web designers and business owners with an in-house development team. Maybe you are your development team? My reports list and include: technical errors most web designers are oblivious to, keyword and content ideas, link opportunities for new and existing content assets, as well as the usual on-page optimization suggestions for each and every page.

Needed SEO audits and reports will improve traffic by an average of 40% if suggestions are carried out. The new traffic will be better able to meet specific on-page goals. If you can improve your bounce rate and conversion rate while increasing traffic, you will see a huge lift to revenue.

If you have been monitoring analytic data and tracking conversions you already know the value of site traffic. What would a 33% to 50% increase in targeted traffic do for your business?

SEO Consultant Local Services

90% of all my customers sell services and products locally. If Google shows businesses on their local maps, my customers are listed in it. This is a specialty of mine. I have a customer in the top three local maps for 100’s of keywords when you combine all the towns and services he is optimized for. Read this case study for more information.

Your SEO consultant should be able to get you in the top three of Google Maps. There are a few things unique to local optimization, but all the principles are basically the same. It can take some time to do this, but it is basically the easiest way to rank high on Google.

SEO Consultant Plus | Value Added

Seo consultants consult, web designers design, and developers develop. Many people hire a web designer to build them a website, then to get traffic to their site they hire an SEO, then to fix and repair technical issues discovered by the SEO they hire a Developer, this can get pretty expensive.

I manage all aspects for many of my clients. I am not a developer or graphic designer so I import my clients to a CMS that I am completely familiar with. Once they are in my system they do not need any extra professional support.


I’m am grateful that SEO is becoming mainstream, I rarely have to explain what I do any more. SEO consultants were getting a bad reputation for a while. But with people now understanding the benefits and realizing they need to check references and look at case studies, fewer customers are being taken advantage of.

I hope you found this article informative and share it with anyone who may be in need of an SEO consultant. I offer free evaluations to see if you could benefit from my services. If I don’t think I can make a significant impact, or offer a high ROI, I will pass on the job.


Roofing Contractor Advertising

Advertising and Marketing Lessons Learned From A Roofing Contractorroofing contractor advertisng plan b

My late boxing coach and friend Richie Collins (“Crazy” to his friends) worked as a roofer his whole life. He installed roofing shingles since he was a kid. He was really fast with a hammer. He could keep up pretty good with people who used nail guns.

He ran an ad in the Lowell Sun Newspaper for almost 20 years. The headline read: ” No Roof Over $1200.00″. Of course most every roof cost over $1200.00, but he would only work on ranches and walkable roofs. His price only included labor, so he could usually get the job done for less than $1200.00 if you only counted the labor rate.

If you recently re-roofed your home and the shingles cost 3600.00. Don’t worry, you weren’t ripped off, the cost of roofing materials have more than tripled in the last 6 years.

I worked for him lugging bundles of shingles up onto the roof when I was training to fight. I asked him if he really got calls from that ad? He told me his phone rang almost everyday. He said he learned from Don King (fight promoter), to always keep them hoping. Even though most people knew their roof would cost more, a small part of them hoped it would not, and called him.

He paid the Lowell Sun paper $450.00 a month for over twenty years and was glad to pay it. He actually gave the bigger tougher roofing leads to other roofing contractors for a kickback. When they got the job Crazy made money. His roofing ad in the local newspaper made him money two ways, by providing easy roofs for him to do, and by selling roofing leads for jobs he didn’t want. win win

This was one of my first marketing lessons, and I learned it well. This tactic is used all the time. Consider the ads on TV for a no money down car lease. If you have ever looked into one of these deals you find that you don’t have to make a down payment, BUT, most want the first payment plus taxes and other fees to the tune of $1500.00. No money down my you know what.

Roofing Contractor Advertising In 2013

If there are any roofing contractors out there reading this. The spring and fall are still good times to run ads in newspapers, and when you see the weather conditions likely to cause ice dam problems.

The same ad in the newspaper today will cost half what it used to, but delivers less than 10% of the results it used to. Nowadays you need to invest in local online advertising to get leads.

You want to be on top of Google for terms like “Roofing Contractors”. Roofing Contractors (plural) gets searched 4000 times more a month than the singular version “Roofing Contractor”. It is also searched mores than Roofing Company or Roofing Companies.

I suggest you have a different webpage optimized for every one of those terms, and make sure you rank well in a few towns.

You might like to read more about Contractor Advertising in this related post.



Online Marketing – Simplified SEO

online marketingGetting and ranking number one is not hard, but it is work! It can however be boring and time consuming work. Think of me (local SEO expert) as a contractor. If you hired a contractor to build you a house, he would hire all the sub-contractors and organize the project, he might do some of the work too, but most work would be done by teams of hired help. The only difference in this analogy is that I also am the architect.

I design a plan and orchestrate the team, my team is hired to do one of two things. Write or create great content. I then go about building links to that great content and optimize the page. That’s how easy the formula is for online marketing success. You put great content on your website, optimize the page, and get people to link to it.

Online Marketing – Designing The Plan

The plan is of extreme importance! Each webpage has to stand on its own, meaning it has to be original, offer the user value. It has to convert traffic into a leads or customers, it has to attract links, look professional, and sometimes has to be designed while keeping Paid Search Campaigns in mind.

My keyword research takes local search, traffic volume, and search intent into consideration. People search to learn, find and buy. Informational, Navigational and Transactional. We also know that 80 to 90% of transactional searches are done with the intent of buying or hiring locally.

While planning your keyword list, consider adding a lot of local modifiers. A blog will give you the ability to keep pumping out new content. You can target new keywords every week or everyday as your budget allows for content writers. How else will you get these local Geographical keywords into your overall design? Stuff the page with every town you service? Not anymore.

In any design I will add reviews into my keyword list, not testimonials. Why reviews? because people who are ready to hire are looking for reviews, not testimonials. The reviews are really testimonials, but the intent and search volume of a person searching for reviews is much greater.

This is one reason I feel I earn my money. Of course you want to optimize pages for high traffic keywords, but a lot of high traffic keywords (how-to) don’t convert into leads or customers. I research the phrases that pay. I spend quite a few bucks a month for tools that put me in the know. This research allows me to offer clients a greater return on investment. Related Post- Google Online Marketing Plan

Online Marketing – Creating Great Content

This is really the toughest part of the job for me, it is also why they call SEO an “art and a science”. Content is 95% art and 5% science. Writing and photography are arts (say that like a pirate). Including a subtle marketing message is art. Including SEO best practices onto a page is both art and science.

What ever the topic is you need a writer that really gets the subject matter. Nobody is going to link to an article that was mailed in, or has stock photography or clip-art. Content is your trade, and great writers and graphic designers are your stock.

Great content comes in many forms and is the most likely way you will get much needed links. One way to design content that will attract links is to research your industry and see what types of content are already attracting links. Related Post- Content Marketing Plan

Online Marketing – Get People To Link To it

Link prospecting will be easier if you plan for it in the design phase. When planning a campaign and quoting a client, I include a good chunk of content creation in the budget. I will research their market and see what content or tools are missing.

These tools, info-graphics, apps, content and resources all become link assets. Now you need to contact bloggers and though leaders and experts in the vertical to let them know about your assets.

Guest blogging on popular and high traffic sites will get you a link and some traffic. This is a good way to promote all your link bait and grow your own readership. But guest bogging is getting over done. People don’t want thin or poorly written copy. If your going to get a guest post on a great site your going to have a great article.


Great images, articles, and other content will make every other aspect of online marketing and SEO much easier. Get with an SEO agency that has a great content creation department or contract out the work your-self.

I would love to here what you do to attract and build a great content. I would also like to hear what types of content you develop while keeping link prospecting in mind.

Local Search Engine Marketing Tips

local search engine marketing tipsWhen it comes to local search engine marketing, you need to show up on the top of Google any way you can, as often as you can. Keep in mind when someone is looking for a local service or business type, they will often add the name of their town in the query. Often times Google will display local results even without a Geo-graphical modifier.

I have been doing some traveling lately, and find my self in Cocoa Beach Florida this morning. I am actually on vacation, but with some down time this morning I am doing what I enjoy doing most, blogging and SEO research. I have been doing some searches for local handyman services.

If I where just doing some research to see how Google displays results differently in Florida vs where I live in Massachusetts. If I wanted to get an idea of what they show for results on the West Coast or the South of France, I don’t need to visit these locations, I could just tell Google that’s where I want to search in my settings.

Research Keeps You Ahead Of Your Competition

Do random searches for businesses similar to yours, or in my case businesses I market on the web. As Google changes the way it displays search results, we need to change with them. I recommend you do some searches once or twice a month.

If you don’t have access to online marketing tools like mine, you won’t see your competition sneaking up in Google’s ranking. You wont notice when they have passed you if you don’t keep an eye on them in the search engines.

How To Show Up In Search Engines For Local Searches

You want to discover every combination of keywords that result in Google showing their local maps / Google Places. Then you want to create a page for every keyword. Don’t try to optimize one page for many keywords. It’s tough enough optimizing for one keyword phrase.

Many times Google will favor certain directories for different types of businesses. For food services Google will usually show some Yelp or Urbanspoon listings in their results. For construction services and companies they often show Angie’s List or the BBB.

You need to be in these directories. You need to be well represented in these as well. Make sure you are filling in the descriptions and adding photos. Try to encourage customers to leave a review. If your a local shop, try to get customers to check in on Facebook and Foursquare from your location.

When customers go to the search engines to look for local businesses, shops or services, your business needs to be their in as many ways as possible.

Growing Trend In Search Engines With Regard To Contractors

While doing searches for local handyman services in Cocoa Beach I noticed the same growing trend as back home. Google is loving Angie’s List and The BBB. They are often the top two results when local contractors have not optimized their website enough to surpass them.

Google wants to show the most relevant results and results that are best for their clients (the searchers). By giving the best results to their searchers, they will remain the dominate search engine, and keep making money. Is your business the best choice for Google to display?

Search Engines Get You Traffic But Trust Gets You Customers

I advertise for many contractors across the US. I try to convince everyone of them to spend the $550.00 for a BBB accredited listing. I don’t have to convince them to join Angie’s List because it’s free, and I just sign them up.

I display badges on their websites for these two directories. I have noticed a correlation between how many people click on their badge and how many people contact my clients. There is no sense investing in a website if it does not lead to more customers.

People trust the ratings and reviews of these sites, these help people to decide which businesses to contact. One good review on the BBB is equal to 10 testimonials on your own website.

A listing is actually free on both sites. The BBB will rate your business, and you can point to this rating with a link. But the rating will inform customers you have not been accredited. Accreditation cost the $550.00 mentioned earlier. Even without accreditation or reviews, just being listed is a good sign.

That’s the end of my local search engine marketing tips except for one. Search engines are ranking sites based in part by social activity. If you post frequently on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to mention a few, your business is likely to rank higher. So if you found this article informative, do us both a favor by sharing this post with your fans or by liking us on Facebook

Local SEO Case Study

Local SEO Case Study

Seo agencies are always calling businesses talking about local SEO and Google Maps. They say we will do this and that, just mail us your wallet and we will get you all kinds of traffic. The unfortunate truth is that many get you ranked for your business name and little else.

You of course want to be ranked for searches done by people in your area who don’t know your business name. If your a plumber you want to rank for “plumber”, durrrr! You will not realize a return on investment if your SEO agency can’t get you ranked for local non-branded searches.

How To Get Proof Before You Throw Your Wallet At Them

Before you hire an SEO agency you need to see if they can do what they say. A lot of big companies are hiring SEO’s for 80 – 120k a year to handle SEO in house. Before they hire these guys, they ask to see some case studies of work they have done. You should ask the same!

You can run your own case studies if you have access to Google, you can test the local SEO company like this, find out a couple of there customers and see how they rank. Simple right?

What Are You Looking For From A Case Study???

Rankings, rankings, and more rankings. You want to look over what the business does and see if they rank for important keywords. Just ask your self: what would I type in Google if I were looking for this type of business? Do some searches and see where their client ranks. Any business will rank for its own name, you need to see some rankings for geographical + industry keywords.

If you do find the business ranking well on Google, are they doing anything to make their clients ad stand out? Good Local SEO’s will not only get you ranked but they will make your ad stand out like I did for my client in the case study below.

Case Study Example: MGK Pool Service (My Client)

I have been promoting MGK Pool Service for 2 1/2 years. Lets see if we can find them in Google. Some of the most often searched services for this business include: Pool Maintenance, Pool Service, Pool Replastering, Pool Resurfacing, Pool Company, and Pool Liner Replacement. Lets see where they rank for some local searches.

This is a Massachusetts company so we can add MA + Massachusetts to the other keywords to see how they rank, we can add some towns in their service area too.

Keyword List With Corresponding Organic & Maps Ranking

  • Pool Service MA | Rank #1 Organic – Not listed in Maps
  • Pool Company MA | Rank #2 Organic – Not listed in Maps
  • Pool Liner Replacement MA | Rank #1 Organic – Google doesn’t show Map
  • Pool Replastering MA | Rank #1 Organic – Google doesn’t show Map
  • Pool Resurfacing MA | Rank #2 Organic – Google doesn’t show Map
  • Pool Maintenance MA | Rank #1 Organic – #1 Maps
  • Pool Service Massachusetts | Rank #1 Organic – Not Listed in Maps
  • Pool Service In Reading MA | Rank #1 Organic – Not Listed in Maps
  • Pool Service In Reading | Rank #1 Rank Organic – Not Listed in Maps
  • Pool Service In Andover | Rank #1 Organic – #2 in Maps
  • Pool Service In Chelmsford | Rank #5 Organic – Not Listed in Maps
  • Pool Service In Tewksbury | Rank poor Organic – #1 Maps

Don’t take my word for it, go to Google and see how they’re doing! This company spends $3600.00 a year with me and clears 40 to 60k a year in new work, this is after labor and material costs. 36oo to make 40 to 60 thousand sound good to anyone else???

See if you can notice how we make them stand out from all others. Do a couple searches and see what makes their ads stand out over the competition. It’s important to be ranked well, but it is important to make your ad stand out too. An ad that stands out will get more clicks.

Did you do some searches? if you did, the difference you were looking for was the attractive title and description, and the picture of the cute little kid in the red swim cap.

I hope this info helps you to hire a quality local SEO agency if you decide to go with someone other than me. Now you will have a plan that’s better than just throwing your wallet at them and praying. Hopefully you can also draw some comparisons between your rankings and what you should expect with a similar budget.

I will post more case studies of my clients, and I will let slip some of the Local SEO tactics I use to get these great rankings for clients. This way you can apply some new ideas to your website. A good way to follow my posts is to “like” me on Facebook (button on the top right of page).

If you liked this post please share it, “like” it or tweet it out! Thank you!!!

Local Online Advertising With Pay Per Click

SEM Local Online AdvertisingI have a few Google Alerts running so that I get emailed when there are new blog posts or news about select keywords. “Local online advertising” is one phrase I target with an alert. I set these alerts up to find blog commenting opportunities, and to get ideas for articles.

This morning I found two new articles in my traps about “local online advertising”, one about using Google’s Display Network, and another about using Adwords Express. So I will discuss both of these options and add one more, Google AdWords.

Using Google’s Display Net work To Target Local Customers

I had given up on Google’s Display Network (GDN). I wrote it off as a tool for big companies with huge budgets that wanted to build their brand. While at a local SEMNE event I was reintroduced to it and decided to try again.

As a regular user of Google’s AdWords pay per click, I though to my self, I can make this work for me. The speaker at SEMNE said GDN has made great improvements in the last three years. So I set up a new account with all the new ideas I picked up at the meet-up and got to work.

I was told that a good way to find webpages to place ads on was to run auto placement for a week. I was told to eliminate mobile in the settings and to use some negative keywords. I did all this and more.

But when I looked at the pages my ads were showing on I was disgusted. What a horrible waste of money. Undaunted I excluded those sites, changed up my keywords, and set up a few more exclusions. A few days later I looked again to see where my ads had been showing, and it was the same usual crap.

I don’t know about anyone else but if your new to the GDN, find your own placements. That’s what I’m doing now, although I don’t have enough webpages picked yet. I have not yet got a click since I set my campaign up to only target my managed placements.

The piece I read this morning was called “How to Make the World Wide Web More Local” written by Leslie Van Zee. She blogs about using GDN quite a bit. She recommended running banner ads in your local community, and talked about general SEO in this piece.

Using Adwords Express For Local Paid Search

The next article I read this morning was by Michael Evans Titled: “Local Online Advertising: Adwords Express for Beginners”. In this piece Michael talks about the benefits of Google AdWords Express (GAE).

I personally don’t care for any Google pay per click program where they are selecting keywords and managing my ad spend. I find them targeting to broad an audience for my taste. It is good, but the good is often the enemy of the best.

GAE is alright for beginners, but I would rather see them using Google’s regular AdWords program. Google will set up a regular AdWords campaign just as quickly as they set you up in their GAE program, both set-ups are free.

Using Google’s AdWords For Local Search | For Beginners

Go ahead and let Google set up a few campaigns for you on AdWords. Then Make these changes.

  1. Set your geographical location or have Google target a certain area. 15-25 miles around your office is a good range, if you want you can choose just your state. This will exclude any one outside your selected local area.
  2. Set all keywords to exact match, you may not get as many clicks but you won’t waste money. If your a local contractor you will want to add keywords like [general contractor], [general contractor yourtown], [general contractor yourtown yourstate], [general contractor yourstate], [residential contractor] Etc…Or whatever is relevant to your business. Beginners should stick to keyword phrases with two or more words.
  3. I recommend setting your ads to run only during hours you will answer the phone. If you can’t figure out how to do this, Google will help you.
  4. I also recommend eliminating cell phones for most businesses. When I compare my paid search bounce rates. Mobile seems a ridiculous waste of money

I would like to hear how you do local online advertising with pay per click. Please tell me in the comments, or write a post and let me know. Thanks

Affordable SEO Company

one man affordable seo companySix Of One – Half Dozen Of Another

I work from home, been at it since 1997, and do all SEO work personally, so with all things being equal, why not go with the less expensive and affordable SEO Company?

The difference between the expensive SEO agencies and mine is not a matter of expertise, it’s a matter of greed and overhead. Both companies do the same professional job! We do site audits, research keywords, competitive analysis, track results, while building links with quality content and content promotion. I just happen to charge less for these services.

Search Engine Optimization Services You Can Afford

Get the most out of your advertising budget with several plans that start at just $100.00 a month. Sometimes I have to work hard to get targeted traffic to your website, and for established sites it only takes a few tweaks to get 30-40% more traffic.

I do my best to quickly get you a return on your investment. I am a business person too, I will not invest any money in my company with out a reasonable expectation of improving the the health and wealth of it.

Not Enough SEO Eggs In The Basket

I could work for one company with a 10-20 thousand dollar a month budget. If I did that, I could not take on any other clients. This would place me in a sticky position if I lost a gig like that, all of a sudden I would have no income.

I prefer working with 10-20 different businesses at a time. Preferably businesses from  different industries. If I lose a client it doesn’t hurt me at all. I open enrollment and pick a business I feel I can help.

Accountability With A Guarantee

If I don’t do what I said I would, I’ll give you all your money back, no questions asked. If I say I will get you on the first page for a certain keyword and I don’t, I don’t expect to profit from you. Fair enough?

Tell me your budget, and give me a chance to look over your business, and your local competition. I will tell you if I think I can help.

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