Interview with Gerald Weber, President of Search Engine Marketing Group, Houston, TX

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Todays guest at MikeShakin.com - Gerald Weber, president of Search Engine Marketing Group in Houston, TX. You can also follow him on Twitter - @the_gman. I appreciate that Gerald took time to answer my questions.

Interview with Gerald Weber, President of Search Engine Marketing Group, Houston, TX

Gerald, please give our readers a bit of your professional background. How did you get into Search Engine Marketing?

I started out working for a local search marketing company doing sales. I was actually doing a pretty good job at selling SEO/SEM services to business owners, but the company I was working for kept changing the commision structure every time I started to hit the goals. In other words, they were trying to make sure I didn’t get too much money so they could keep their own wallets nice and fat. In December of 2005, I had enough of this treatment and decided to hang my own shingle and here we are today.This is the point I decided it was time to learn SEO ;-)

How many hours do you work daily and what are your daily tasks?

Well this varies really, but generally speaking, I try to keep my work day in the normal business hours range i.e. 9am to 5pm CST(about 8 hours). However, it’s certainly not uncommon that I find myself doing work at very odd hours. That’s the life of an entrepreneur, and I like it that way.

The way I keep myself on track is by making daily to do lists. I write out all of my tasks the day before, and then I just go through and check off each task as it’s completed. This keeps me focused and meeting my daily goals. Too many entrepreneurs overlook the importance of getting organized. Being disorganized can kill your business, no matter how good you are at what you do.

My daily tasks generally consist a large percentage of link building, Adwords management and communicating with my staff to ensure that other tasks are completed in a timely manner.

How would you describe what Search Engine Marketing Group is all about if you just had a few moments to talk with someone who didn’t know about your firm?

Our stated purpose is to lead the field in bringing qualified business leads to our clients by improving their web presence.To put it simply, we ensure that your business website is found in Google, Yahoo and MSN when people are searching for your products and services.

There is a lot of competition in Search Engine Marketing. How does your company stand out from the crowd?

We have a Unique Sales Proposition that sets us apart from the competition. The primary difference is that we don’t ask for extremely HUGE or crazy lump sums upfront before our clients see some kind of results. We simply ask for a minimal setup fee and month-to-month charge. We don’t require a contract of any kind. We simply operate on a month-to-month basis with our clients. This way the clients can see results as we go along and ensure that we are earning our keep.

What is a common SEO practice that is largely misunderstood by people?*phew* We could write a book on the topic. I think the most challenging aspect (especially for people who are newer to the SEO world) is link building. Everyone understands that we need links and they are important but few people understand how to actually build links that will make your site rank for your keywords. In other words, understanding the theory and putting them into practice to make websites actually rank for terms that bring qualified traffic that leads to conversions are very different things.

Short answer: putting link building theory into practice.

In Russia paid links are still popular. What about American SEO? What are the most popular methods of getting links in your business?

Well it’s really hard for me to say generally about the popularity of buying links in America. There are link brokers everywhere so I’m certain the demand is still there. I personally don’t buy links in my business practice and it really has nothing to do with ethics or Google’s guidelines. It can simply get too expensive. I find it much more productive to put my resources towards getting links that will generally always be there. As far as methods to gain links, we use many different link building tactics. This includes things like guest blogging, article directory submissions, industry specfic niche directories or blogs, social media aquired links (i.e. other bloggers from your social media circles link to you), and link ninja work…just to name a few. We steer clear of things like mass directory submissions and blog comments spam. Also we steer clear of any black hat tactics.

Do you think is it necessary to spin articles before submitting to article directories or is it ok to use the same article for all directories?

Well if you submit the exact same article to 100s of directories then surely the majority of it will be filtered out by Google. So naturally, it is better to spin content. That being said I would avoid things like 1-click spinning software that will turn your content into incomprehensible dribble that makes no sense. Also it is wrong to copy or plagiarize other people’s content so don’t do that. Just like guest blogging or any other internet marketing technique, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

What are your favorite social networks?

They used to be Digg.com and Sphinn.com before they radically changed their website models. Nowadays they are StumbleUpon and Twitter! ;-)

Where do you see the world of SEO in 2-3 years time?

Now this is the million dollar question. There are some naysayers that predict Facebook will be the future of search. Others think that links won’t matter anymore and Google is coming up with a new currency.And of course you have the “SEO is dead” crowd. The truth is that soooo much can happen in 2 to 3 years time and one thing we can be certain of is change. Search is a contantly evolving landscape so we can be sure it will be an interesting ride.

Thanks a lot, Gerald! What is your final word to Russian bloggers?

Well not sure I have anything that is Russian specific, but I’d just say this to bloggers and entreprenuers everywhere. The best advice I can give you is don’t throw in the towel too soon. If you aren’t getting the results you are desiring, try something new. Do some more keyword research or take a deeper look at your Google Analytics. Talk to some of your SEO friends and get their prespective. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something new. If at first you don’t succeed, keep on sucking until you do succeed.

Mike Shakin



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