Small Business SEO

Welcome to SEO your Website. My name is John Shearer. I created this website to share what I have learned about search engine optimization, I have been blessed with great mentors and friends who have helped me with SEO and business in general, this is my way of giving back,. I am not a professional SEO and I am not for hire. I am a small business owner and I share the same concerns any business owner has how do I find new customers how should I spend my marketing dollars.  I own a local painting company in Seattle, I have been in business for 20 years, my entire adult life, I love my work and I plan to be growing my business for the next 20 years.  My company (Shearer Painting) is ranked first or second for the seven most important keywords in my market. In 2011 we received 650 requests for painting estimates  from our web presence, accounting for 70% of our total bid requests..the other leads coming from referrals and repeat customers. A nearly 400% increase in bid requests from the previous year, in this down economy. It is an understatement when I say a high organic ranking in internet search has changed my business.



Here is my brief history with SEO:

As I told you, I own a painting company in Seattle Washington and I  watched a steady decline in calls from tradition print advertising, most prominently the yellow pages, starting in 2005. This is of course is because people looking for services, including painting contractors,  began using internet search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo in lieu of traditional search techniques. The yellow pages are not dead, but internet search has so effected the reach and utility  of the old printed yellow pages that the City of Seattle became the first city in the United States to create a Phone Book Opt out program in May of 2011.

I realized in 2009 that being visible on the web would become increasingly  important to small business. I first advertised with Google adwords; This was my internet strategy. But I learned in short order that

first, it is expensive..I spent nearly $20,000 in 2009 ($7.50 per click in the summer)

second, as soon as you stop paying for adwords,  no one searching for your service can find you (unless you have a highly ranked site)

third, people really don’t trust the paid ads vs. the organic results.



I accepted the fact that I would need to do search engine optimization to my website. Fortunately for me two of my very good friends, a personal injury attorney and a plastic surgeon had already started the SEO process by hiring companies specializing in such work. I hired two of these companies but after 8 months of writing checks, seeing mixed results, and alot of frustration;   I decided to  learn SEO so I could hire the right company to get my website ranked. The more I learned about SEO, the more I realized that most SEO companies for hire do the very minimum while charging you a premium. To the uninitiated websites, html, JavaScript, video codecs, JQuery all that stuff is not only technical but  intimidating. Throw in the fact that there is so much watered down advice and misinformation about SEO, alot of which is propagated by SEO companies, how could you ever learn the truth about SEO, much less know if you have hired the right company.

In my opinion, SEO is 70% creating content that teaches or entertains and 30% technical stuff and promotion. Anything worthwhile is difficult. Its like loosing weight, learning a foreign language, or hitting a golf ball 300 takes persistent, determination, and time.

I hope this website serves to teach and inspire you to do your own SEO or better prepare you to hire a professional. Where possible I will share the  resources I learned from and the techniques I used.



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