Learn from a Search Marketing Expert

newmediamike search marketingMy name is Mike Allan, I am a Search Marketing Expert. But don’t just take my word for it. Google “Search Marketing Expert” and the blog post I wrote about being a self taught search marketing expert is #1.

My interest in search and SEO began in 1998 after reading an article about “meta tags”. This article described this new technique to get found by the search directories and search engines called “search engine optimization” or SEO. I started checking every site I went to and the story was the same, none of these sites were set up with these meta tags so search engines could understand and sort them out.

I came up with 8 basic similarities from studying highly ranked sites:

1. Name the page filename with the main topic of the page
2. Give the page a title using the topic keywords which corresponds with the filename
3. Briefly describe what the page is about and use the topic keywords in the description a couple of times at least,
4. Use the keyword meta tag to tell the search engines what topic keywords they should look for
5. If the topic is really important, putting the topic keywords in headlines is a good idea
6. To emphasize what the topic is, it’s OK to bold the first couple of times used on the page
7. Use the topic keyword liberally throughout the content but don’t saturate the page with it.
8. When linking to this page, use the topic keyword in the anchor text

I decided to test my idea. I purchased a domain name and dedicated it to search engine optimization. I followed these 8 simple rules, and within weeks I was in the top 50 for search engine optimization, a few weeks later I was in the top 10 and for a brief period lasting perhaps a week or so I WAS the top 10 on Yahoo! for the term “search engine optimization” until the person I bumped out of the top spot replaced me.

I knew how to optimize websites to get found by search engines, but no one seemed ready for SEO yet. It was 1998 and websites were still rare and search really hadn’t become a consideration yet.

In 2005, I used my search marketing expertise to successfully rank my consumer facing B2C site promoting consumer video services such as VHS to DVD transfers, home movie to DVD conversions, slide shows for parties, etc. Following the same 8 principles I used in 1997 I successfully ranked videozine.ca # 1 for VHS to DVD transfers in Toronto and kept it there for many years as an html site and later as a WordPress site. I also started offering SEO services again as a sideline for Videozine. It was odd that a video production site also did SEO but I found I had a knack for it.

Search Marketing Expert

After another video production contract ended in 2008 I decided it was time to hang out my “shingle” as a self declared search marketing expert.  Between my online reputation and experience as a side-lancer I was able to land a search marketing expert position with Direct Energy as a contract in-house SEO. My lack of in house experience nearly cost me the position though, until I pointed out in a free audit I conducted of the directenergy.com site some limitations Sharepoint was imposing and a way to work around them. While on contract with DE I expanded my knowledge base beyond basic on page SEO and incorporated paid search and more importantly detailed analytics including sales funnels into my skill set.

When my contract with DE expired I started freelancing and worked with Chapters Indigo in the launch of the new e-reader the kobo.

In March of 2011 I joined an agency as a search marketing expert because our philosophy on search meshed nicely. Matching consumer intent with search, it seems so basic yet not many still grasp it.

I’ve decided to share my knowledge of search marketing with small business operators. My philosophy on SEO is that it isn’t rocket science and once you learn the basics of SEO you can achieve success by following a solid online marketing plan. I’m here as a coach and consultant, which means I don’t do the work. I’m here to teach you how to do your own SEO and save thousands in unnecessary online marketing expenses.