Category Archives: SEO

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.


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!!!

Webpage Rank – Boxing Analogy

Page 1 – On The Top Of Google – Boxing Page-Rank Analogy

Originally Posted on January 25, 2011 by Michael Kern

In order to be positioned well on the search engines, to get on the top of Google’s page 1 results. Your webpage has to be the most relevant of all webpages for a given keyword or phrase (relevance as determined by Google). this requires some SEO (search engine optimization) work.

One of the major indicators used by Google to determine the relevance of a webpage are inbound links (a link to your webpage from somewhere else). The ideal link will have the keyword or words you want as anchor-text (the highlighted words in a link are called anchor text), the link will come from a website in your vertical (genre), and that website will have a high page rank (pr).

If you imagine your website as professional boxer, how would you know if he is any good? With a boxer you would look at their record, look at the quality of their opponents. Who have they been fighting? Just like Google looks at who is linking to you.

If you discover your boxer has been fighting no-name losers with poor fight records, what does that tell you about them as a boxer? Nothing! Now, what if your boxer has beaten Mike Tyson, and Evander Holyfield? This says you need to respect him as a boxer. They have earned a high level of respect/rank – even if they have only had two fights.

What if your website only has two links coming to it? Even with only two inbound links, if they came from websites with a really high rank, it would say a lot about your website, like our boxer who has beaten Tyson and Holyfield. Links from proven websites says your proven too.

If you have links to your websites from other websites with no page rank, they have no authority to pass on, like our boxer who wins fighting losers. In order to rank well your goal should be to acquire back-links from websites in your vertical with a pr5 or higher.

Quick Note About Personae Links:

Google, Twitter, and Facebook have been tracking us via our “likes”, our tweets, our webpages, blogs, books we bought, and know us pretty good by now. If my online marketing company got a link from Rand Fishkin, that said “online Marketing company”, it would pass along some authority. I mention this to give you an idea of how important social marketing will become to SEO in the near future (*Cough – NOW!).

Written by Michael Kern