Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Paying for SEO: The Scam Revealed

I met with an executive last week who runs a very established business here in Cincinnati. As we talked about website opportunities and online marketing, he mentioned that he was paying for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). While SEO is important, it is not something you should be paying for. It should be built-in with your website--no extras needed. Companies who charge for SEO are literally running a scam. Our web designer Angela Deniston is an expert on the subject, and her comments are below.

** SEO is a tool that makes you more visible on the internet. For example, when you type in a search term on Google, the better your website's SEO, the higher up on the list your name appears. This way people don't have to dig to find you--you're right on top.

Top things every business should know about SEO
In a world of constantly evolving technology, it’s easy to trust any “expert” who comes along claiming to know the ins and outs of unfamiliar acronyms. Web guru Angela Deniston breaks down the SEO process and defines what every savvy business owner should know when dealing with SEO providers and web designers. Please find below a sampling of SEO basics best practice advice for a CEO looking to avoid con artists.

How important is SEO to doing business today?
Extremely. There is a lot of competition out there -- you could have the best looking website in your industry, but it doesn’t matter if no one knows it exists. The “if you build it they will come” mindset is a huge misconception among the less internet savvy. A good website is supplemented by good PR and high SEO results.

How much should an SEO campaign cost? Any guidelines?
Nothing. It should be inclusive to building the site, and completed as the designer constructs the site. There are a lot of scammers out there charging thousands of dollars to implement something that takes little to no time to do. It should only cost how long it takes you to implement -- especially if you’re on an hourly rate. Whether your site is 2 pages or 200, if it is constructed properly and implemented as you go, it should not cost any more than your time.

How can a CEO avoid getting ripped off if they decide to go outside the company to get this service done?
Ask the right questions and for proof of their results. If you’re paying an SEO service, ask for some type of report – evidence of bumping their client’s sites up. And don’t believe it is anybody’s “intellectual property”. You can find this information for free all over the internet. A few other selling phrases to watch out for:

- “We’ll submit you to thousands of search engines.” There are less than five the general population actually uses. And if built right, you don’t even need to ‘submit.’
- “We’ll optimize your meta-tags.” As search engines evolve, less and less rely on meta-tags.
- “We’ll do fresh content.” Unless they are your advertising or PR agency, they wouldn’t know what to update! Usually they’ll just overuse keywords and place irrelevant articles.
- “It’s only $10,000 a year.” You can build and continuously update an entire website for $8,000. What could they possibly be doing for $10,000 a year--or more?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our New Client: Maile Build, Remodel & Design

Introducing Rich Maile, owner of Maile Build, Remodel & Design.

He's the mastermind behind projects like these:

And we're excited to be working with him! They are truly an extraordinary business. Check out more of Maile's work at http://www.mailebuild.com/

Eisen Continues to Grow with Third-Generation Company
Maile Build, Remodel & Design teams up with Greater Cincinnati PR Firm

Newport, KY – August 18, 2008 – Greater Cincinnati integrated public relations and marketing firm Eisen Management Group has been named agency of record (AOR) for the northern Kentucky-based Maile Build, Remodel & Design. The company is working with EMG to develop and implement a new communications program designed to showcase Maile’s expertise, quality and reputation.

According to EMG president Rodger Roeser, one of the main aspects of the campaign is to tell the story of Maile, a third generation family business.

“The level of talent and expertise on the Maile staff is incredible. Rich Maile (owner of Maile Build, Remodel & Design) told us that nearly 100% of their customers recommend them to friends. That’s an unbelievable reputation,” says Roeser. “After seeing how their company works, I understand why they get such high praise. Yes, their projects are breathtaking in every sense of the word. But it’s their effort to create lasting relationships—and even friendships—with the families they serve that leaves an even deeper impression.”

Owner Rich Maile saw that his company had serious assets to share and asked EMG to help spread the word. “They have the tools to get the Maile name out there,” Maile says. “By letting them handle our PR and marketing work, I have more time to focus on our clients and jobs. It lets me do what I love and boosts business as well. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of our combined efforts.”

Roeser expects the agency to implement general operations and brand alignment, local publicity, and literature development for Maile.

About Maile Build, Remodel & Design
Maile Build, Remodel & Design has been in business since 1960, when Ed Maile started his own business after 30 years of building experience. In 1972 Ed turned the business over to his son Dick, and Rich took over in 1992. Maile was named in Remodeling Magazine’s national “Big 50”—the top 50 remodeling firms in the country. Their promise to create an enjoyable remodeling experience and produce work of the highest quality has made them a leader in the industry.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Julia Child is...a spy?!

I awoke this morning to the best news I've heard in months. CNN told me that Julia Child, the fiesty TV chef who always seemed just a little too eager to use alcohol in her recipes ("one for the pot, one for the cook!"), was a WWII spy. This is what I've been waiting for!

As a child, I remember sitting on my grandma's floor watching Julia Child flail her knives and cleavers all over the kitchen, hooting and hollering throughout. She was the epitome of a "cool" grandma. She would start kitchen fires and extinguish them like it was no big deal. She drank straight from the bottle. And apparently, she was also a spy.

She served in an international spy ring operated by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during WWII. The CIA was reluctant to release this information, but I am oh-so glad they did. It made my week.

Here's to you, Ms. Julia! Bon appetit!

Monday, August 4, 2008

University of Dayton Ranks Among the Nation's "Happiest Students"

The Princeton Review's 2009 edition listed the University of Dayton as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education with some of the happiest students in the nation. UD ranked 7th in the country in "Happiest Students" and retained its ranking as 11th in "Everybody Plays Intramural Sports."

I would agree. From the moment I stepped onto campus for a visit, I was welcomed. Everyone I passed smiled and said hello, a few stopping my parents and I to encourage me to choose UD. I was not expecting that, and when I arrived as an undergrad I was met with all the same excitement and friendliness.

If you've ever been to campus, you know that porches are symbolic of UD. Everyone sits out on their porch in one huge student neighborhood where everyone is welcome to party or hang out. Complete strangers help each other all the time, and everyone greets one another. On any given day, you could walk up to a house in the "ghetto" (the student neighborhood) and have a handshake and a Milwaukee's Best Light in your hand before you reach the front door. If you think I'm exaggerating, I challenge you to try it. You'll see why UD is filled with happy students!