Meeting the Press, Talking SEO

Filed in Interviews, SEO by Matt McGee on October 27, 2009 4 Comments

That How to Get Started with SEO post that I published last week has a little backstory: It was inspired by a series of interviews I’ve done lately about SEO with members of the press. Each interview was about SEO and small businesses, and in each case I ended up talking about how a small business can begin to tackle SEO.

The fruits of each interview are now online, and if I had to pick a favorite, it would be this article from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. It’s a profile of All About Spelling, a small business that I’d never heard of until the article was published online.

Possessing neither deep computer skills nor deep pockets, the Eagle River couple have built a thriving little enterprise on do-it-yourself Internet marketing.

After not quite three years in business, their home-based publishing house is bringing in $75,000 a month, supporting them and allowing them to live in northern Wisconsin as they always dreamed.

Small business owners — please read this article, and pay attention to the two-step process that this small business used when starting out online:

  1. “… Marie put up a Web site and spent several months posting articles about spelling, reading and home-schooling.”
  2. “Another tactic she employed was to contact bloggers on home-schooling and let them know about the articles on her site. The bloggers started mentioning Marie’s posts and providing links to the Rippels’ site.”

That second point is important, because writing great content isn’t enough; you have to promote it, too.

After you read the article, have a look at the All About Spelling web site. When I look at it, I immediately see a couple things on the home page that can be improved — the page title and the anchor text of the internal links, for starters. But there’s some good stuff going on here, too. Consider:

  1. Keyword usage: The word “spelling” appears more than 25 times on the home page, but the text is still readable to humans. I think this is a great example of how to write and optimize content that’s good both for search engine spiders and humans.
  2. Call to action: I love the “Free Report!” section on the left. It’s an immediate and compelling call to action, and helps this small business build out a mailing list.

If you’re a service-oriented small business, and expertise is your primary selling point, you should be able to learn some things from their web site.

Other Articles/Interviews

As I mentioned, there are a couple other articles online in which I talk about SEO and small businesses.

Digital Journal recently posted a Q&A with me. It’s an abbreviated version of the conversation, and I fear some important stuff got left on the editing room floor and/or lost in transcription.

I was one of several people quoted in a pair of articles about SEO that were recently posted by Here’s number one, and here’s the second one.

Comments (4)

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  1. Michael D says:

    Great story Matt, I love seeing stuff like this, that 2-step process can bring some amazing results.

  2. Jed says:

    Very good steps to follow when starting SEO. Easy to understand and detailed. Good points about content and keyword usage. Thanks for the post.

  3. Good 2 step advice about writing for search engines and readers. I really like the posts on Small Business Computing, great writeups

  4. Simon says:

    Marie’s small but consistent effort, regularly posting articles, is an example of what it takes for a successful online strategy.

    I keep advising clients that they need to spend just a few minutes each day doing something online and it will grow to benefit their business.

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