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Mar 18, 2008

COMPILATION: Help finding Search Engine Optimization & Web Design Resources.

Stanford GSB Alums,

My firm recently invested in Sacramento's largest plumbing company and we're interested in increasing their internet presence, improving their website's design, and performing an appropriate amount of Search Engine Optimizationon the existing site.

I'm sure there are folks out there with a ton of knowledge about how to do this or whom we should contact for this. We have one quote for a 12-mo contract on just the search engine optimization piece, but we'd like a better idea of (a) the services that are available, (b) the cost/benefit ofthe various solutions, and (c) the price of said options.

If you have any suggestions or can put me in touch with someone you'd recommend, I'd appreciate it. Alternatively, feel free to forward this along as appropriate.

Collin R. Hathaway, Skylight Capital

Compiled Responses

Anonymous Advice:
- Revitalize website with better code, meta-tags, etc.
- Ensure strong links to website and from website
- Enter key words for your site in directories
Anonymous Advice:
- Don’t hire anyone that costs too much—there are a lot of phonies out there promising to help you and then just recommending things you have to do for yourself/on your own
- Add sites to
o Yelp
o CitySearch
o Facebook
o MySpace
o MerchantCircle
- Update Site

Hi Collin,

I head up a business unit we call Version 1.0. This offering provides conceptualization and software development services, along with a dedicated executive advisor and access to GlobalLogic's ecosystem of client partnerships, technology alliances and investors. Version 1.0 will enable these companies to design, build and launch software products without any internal engineering staff in a fraction of the time it might take to build alone.

If this makes sense, I am located in the bay area and would be happy to meet the company.

-- Sachin
Sachin Saxena VP New Venture Services Global Logic Inc.
The Global Product Development Leader
Mobile +1-510-517-0365

InfoWorld Award Winner for Agile Innovation
Disclaimer: http://www.globallogic.com/email_disclaimer.txt
About GlobalLogic Version 1.0sm, please visit this link: http://www.globallogic.com/indus_diff/ver_overview.shtml
Version 1.0 in the media and industry blogs, such as this one: http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2008/02/new-delhi-to-ba.html

Darci Rosenblum

Crafty Marketing 415.279.8999 http://www.craftymarketing.com/


My company, Scout Metrics, provides better visibility for companies into their SEO performance, social media coverage, and web presence.

We provide an SEO dashboard that shows how your company is doing vs. competitors across all the major search engine metrics (keyword performance, coverage, backlinks, etc.) over time.

It doesn't replace SEO consultants, but is a very easy and reasonably priced (@ $50/month) way to get better visibility into a space that lacks transparency.

For a demo, contact jimyu@alumni.stanfordgsb.org

Andrew Shotland SEO, Local Search & Web Strategy Consulting

Read http://www.localseoguide.com/ for local search optimization tips & trends310.902.7370 andrewsho@yahoo.com 4048 Sherry Ct., Pleasanton, CA 94566

The site for a quick evaluation is: http://www.blogger.com/Local%20Settings/Temp/www.websitegrader.com. They provide a free, basic level analysis with a few key recommendations.

Mental Models helped me out on these projects when I was working at XDx. They did a great job for us, were easy to work with and reasonably priced ($50-100/hour depending on the type of work). Contact aaron@mentalmodels.com.

2 Firms with just names—no recommendation:
http://www.bgdi.com/ --- Steven Donaldson, Principal 510-843-0701

http://www.bloofusion.com/ – Andreas Mueller (contact info on website for Santa Cruz office)

I don’t know if you have heard of M Squared but we were cofounded by a classmate of mine at the GSB 20 years ago. We have a network of over 14,000 consultants that we partner with to do projects for our clients and what you are describing fits right in with our capabilities. I have been building teams of people to help early and midsized companies with all of the generic needs that are transferable between industries (graphics, website development, search engine optimization, sales acceleration, HR, compensation, IT support, marketing, project management, etc.)

Tim Tight – GSB ‘83
VP Business Development – Silicon ValleyM Squared Consulting, Inc.Work: 650-329-8861
Cell: 650-291-8862 ttight@msquared.com http://www.msquared.com/

- check out ingenio -- pay per call
o http://www.ingenio.com/

you should look into people that are doing a good job on the local services market and use them as a platform to raise awareness. Yelp, Citysearch, MerchantCircle, etc.

I recommend Red Bricks Media, http://www.redbricksmedia.com/. Beth Morgan is a GSB alum there and part of their management team. I don’t know who leads their sales team, but you can contact their CEO, Ed Kim.

You should contact Celeste Bishop of Bishop Market Resources. She is cc'd on this message and can be reached by phone at 866-844-7968.

My wife, Mindy, may be able to help you. She works with a number of local companies on the issues you describes and takes a "real world" practical approach to the issues.

She can be reached at 408.984.4600 (Morgan Multimedia).

I'd recommend that you talk to GTI: http://gotrafficinteractive.com/. It's a relatively small firm (about 10 people), but they know their stuff, they're in Northern California, and they won't overcharge you. I think they charge about $3500 to get a company completely up and running with an SEO review, online marketing plan, PR plan, etc.

I’m forwarding your message to my friend Steve Tsai and his affiliates at OuterJoin. They can give you an overview of all aspects of internet and viral marketing that is so exciting but somewhat still elusive. OuterJoin has developed creative tools for generating and tracking buzz that you might be interested in. Good Luck.

Context Control, Ltd. is a focused pay-per-click agency that provides customized PPC (aka, paid search) management of mid-to-large campaigns.

We provide daily keyword generation, ad design, bid management and account optimization and regular reporting and analytics for organizations that have integrated pay-per-click as a part of their dynamic and sizable sites.

Our cost is normally a percentage of the PPC budget with some minimum to establish a "retainer" relationship. A good example of a well-matched client is The New York Times Online, for whom we have managed PPC for several years. We have also provided similar services to commerce-oriented clients with dynamic catalogs and an ongoing stream of promotions.

Contact me at rian@contextcontrol.com for more information.


this happens to be exactly up the alley of ReachLocal, a portfolio company of ours. They are the leader in planning and executing online spend for local businesses. Great ROI, straightforward to do, etc.

Stephan Cesarini, National Sales Director for ReachLocal

Hi Collin – I provide search marketing services for B2B companies, but it’s something that’s still relatively new to me (about a year and a half) and I’m still working out the mix of services (paid search/SEO/web analytics), so it may not be the right level of experience you are looking for.

As far as firms to recommend, a good place to start is with some of the full-service firms with national reputations. These would include Enquiro (enquiro.com), iProspect (iprospect.com), and Smart Search Marketing (smartsearchmarketing.com). For SEO only, Bruce Clay (bruceclay.com) has a good reputation.

If you don’t mind, I’ll also make a few suggestions:

SEO in an ideal world would be a part of the marketing and web development function. Pages would be optimized for search at the time of development and writing. Marketing analytics staff would include reporting on search in its web analytics. In reality, marketing and web developers often are unskilled in SEO. Therefore, the SEO firm you hire should focus its efforts on initial optimization of the site and then on teaching/coaching the team how to be more self-sufficient in the ways of SEO. All reputable SEO firms will share their methods with you. If they have a secret sauce that they don’t want to discuss, beware.

I would be careful about SEO contracts with ongoing directory-insertion and link-building activities. Better to get natural linking into your site through other online marketing activities like articles, blogs, videos, etc.

A good way to measure the effectiveness and ROI of SEO is to measure the increase in natural search traffic against some baseline. But keep in mind that results from SEO take time.

Paid search (pay-per-click or PPC) can be a way for sites to improve their search traffic right away. It is also a service that makes sense to outsource for many companies because it is a specialized service and because bidding requires constant management after the campaign is established. It only make sense for a company to do paid search on its own if it is very small or very large.

PPC agencies have widely varying fee structures. Try to get a fee structure that aligns both companies interests. One good way is when the agency charges a % of ad spend (in the range of 10-20%, depending on how specialized the keywords are) with a minimum (protects the agency) and a maximum (protects the client).

PPC results should be tied to sales, or at least in the case of B2B marketing, to some website conversion like newsletter signups or requests for a whitepaper.

SEO and PPC are related, so it’s good if these two functions aren’t too siloed. What you learn about keywords in PPC ads can inform how you optimize the site and subjects you write on. What you learn about optimizing pages can be used to improve your Google Quality score in PPC.

In general, investing time on Web and PPC analytics has a high ROI. Study the data, look for trends, improve bidding logic, refine your keyword lists.

I’m hope I’m not creating more confusion than clarity. As I said, I’m still learning this skill myself, but I’d be happy to discuss further or point you to articles on selecting Search Marketing vendors if that would help.Good luck,

David Crankshaw
Menlo Park, CA

My company, Simple Dynamics, focuses primarily on website design and development. We often build complex, transactional websites that require a lot of UI engineering. I imagine your current needs with the plumbing website are more visual and require less transactional functionality, but I would be glad to speak with you about what you are looking for. If we don't make a good fit for this one it could turn out in the future with a different project. We often get work helping new companies or new departments get on their feet with their IT development processes and frameworks.

If you want to discuss, let me know a good time to call you.
Otherewise, have a good day and good luck.
c 510.333.9219
h 510.482.2307

Collin, I want to add to your list. Don Shin is a close personal friend of mine and the Founder / CEO of CrossComm (http://www.crosscomm.net/), a web agency that is highly competent in the areas that you're talking about. You can check out his firm's website, which has links to their portfolio.

this site has a pretty good list of other search gurus, strategists and SEO firm folks, a lot of Google people - http://www.webguild.org/meetings/2007/searchnomics/speakers.php


A couple of interesting sites that Nathan covered:• Yahoo Site Explorer -- To see an analysis of the links to and front your site• Live Search Webmaster Center—Nathan’s site

He also mentioned the upcoming free AdCenter Analytics tool that we are working on.It's now in beta; stay tuned for more info.

Have him check out Covario which has SAS products for search optimization.

Collin, A different point of view on SEO:
HOW-TO: SEM or 'Flypaper Effect' for Attracting Readers

What draws more readers: search engine optimization or the 'flypaper effect'?...

What Is Marketers' Biggest Challenge When It Comes to Social Networks? by Advertising Age

-Dash MBA 76

New Economics of Advertising http://adecon101.blogspot.com/

You might not be looking to hire out for this, but Rosemary Brisco, ToTheWeb, http://www.totheweb.com/search-engine-marketing.html, is the place togo for search engine marketing.

These WIC members are experts in what you want to accomplish and canprovide you with outstanding advice and assistance.

Rosemary Brisco, http://www.totheweb.com/

Erin Ferree, http://www.elf-design.com/

Their websites have excellent articles answering some of the questionsyou are asking, and some of Rosemary's articles are also self-help,giving resources (website and instructions) on search engineoptimization and key word searches, etc.

Best regards,KathieKathryn A. SmithKAS MARKETINGIdeas to Market408-836-6938 Voice650-649-2312 Faxkathie@kasmarketing.com

I have a great recommendation for Leone Advertising. Menlo Park. They do a fantastic job. Laurel Leone - 650-854-5895 x535 Laurel@leonead.com

Kaye Sharbrough Senior Seasons 650-851-5284 http://www.seniorseasons.com/ Housing Referrals and Resources

We manage Google and Yahoo search engine and pay per click campaigns for small and mid sized companies. I would be happy to discuss your ideas andquestions.

Best regards, Kevin

Kevin A. Dean WSI Internet Consulting and Education"We Simplify the Internet" http://www.wsinetadvantage.com/ (510) 687-9737

Rosemary Brisco, a member of WIC is absolutely fabulous at search engine consulting. Her company is called Web2010 (I am doing this from memory!) Look her up in the WIC Directory.
ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.

Jenny: For google, keywords are "irrelevant". If you need any help in obtaining a high position with your client's website, let me know.


Katharina Steiner-LeutholdOwner, Steiner Marketing
800.442.0657 - 831.588.8473

From: <jennych@sbcglobal.net>
: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 12:15:19 -0700
To: "WIC Community" <wic-community@womeninconsulting.org>
: [WIC Community] Search engine/keyword refresh advice needed

Hello WIC Colleagues,

I don't have much experience in search engine marketing but want to help out a client who has a website that needs to be promoted effectively. They do not want to do paid advertisements but they are interested in following the meta-tag/keyword refresh protocols. Can anyone advise me in the following:

To keep your website on Google's (or any other top key websites) high-ranked search results (not through paid advertisements):

a) Has any of you tried using search engine experts to refresh your sitekeywords once a month for maximum search results?

b) Is is necessary to refresh your site keywords once a month? what is theminimum needed?

c) What other alternatives are available for a small business to keep theirsite up to date for maximum search results?

Always, I appreciate your feedback and will compile if there are significant interests.

Jenny C. Huang Principal Jenny C. Huang Consulting

Your Source for Brand Marketing Solutions Tel. 650-947-9605Email: jenny@huangconsulting.com Web: http://www.huangconsulting.com/

We do "guerilla search engine optimization" meaning we cater to the small enterprise with small budget to implement SEO. You can check out our white paper on SEO at http://www.visionandexecution.com/docs/SEO-Basics.pdf. We wrote it to counter-balance the amount of misinformation that gets published including on the WIC list. It was subsequently published in the WIC Consultant's newsletter. We'd be happy to be of service if there's a fit.

Hi -- try Ace Rankings in SF. They are very good and handle both natural search and PPC.

Kevin Dean, of WSI Internet Consulting: kdean@wsinetadvantage.com or 510-687-9737. Tell him Kathy from powerfully funny sent you...

Rosemary Brisco, http://www.totheweb.com/services.html , and Patrina Mack, http://www.visionandexecution.com/services.html , both WIC members, do this very well.

Creative Lead @ Mastermynde Mediaworks604.889.6883 (mobile) 604.677.5469 (fax)1102-1833 Frances St. Vancouver, BC V5L 1Z8http://www.mastermynde.com/

Erin L. Ferree, Owner and Lead Designer, elf design Building logos and brand identities that stand out.951-2 Old County Road Suite 171, Belmont, CA 94002 phone 650-358-9973 / fax 240-597-1083 http://www.elf-design.com/

Beverly Capwell Customer Mining (.com) bev@customermining.com
Rosemary Brisco, http://www.totheweb.com/services.html , and Patrina Mack, http://www.visionandexecution.com/services.html , both WIC members, do this very well.

Mitch Brandow of Local Marketers 425-256-2136 he used to be with Sony Digital and head of interactive for Segdwick Road (a McCann agency) he now owns his own business. D

Contact Ms. Sulakshana Gopal ("Sulu") at e-Storm (http://www.e-storm.com/), a strategic marketing firm specializing in online advertising, search-engine optimization, and other tools. Very effective, and you couldn't ask for a nicer group of people to work with. In San Francisco at 415 352-1214.

1-866-844-SWOT (7968) Palo Alto/San Rafael CA 1027 Alma Street Palo Alto, CA 94301
Celeste Bishop no contact info sent

Kevin Dean
WSI Internet Consulting and Education
(510) 667-9737

If you're talking about how to maximize your web site (keywords, tags) to get the best organic search listings, then Rosemary Brisco at To The Web is awesome - mailto:rbrisco@totheweb.com.

If you are talking about paid search (Google AdWords and overture), then Barbara Coll at WebMama is the expert. info@webmama.com.

Yes! I can highly recommend Ted Prodromou at Valiss...his web site is http://www.valiss.com/, email ted@valiss.com. Phone 415-485-1796.

Note from the compiler: I am already signed on with him and very pleased

A friend of mine works with Andrew Zack at ZTMC, Inc. He speaks highly of Andrew's work. ZTMC's primary focus is Internet Marketing and search engine optimization but they also offer web development and design work.

Andrew E. Zack
ZTMC, Inc.


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