TV Host Mike Agerbo of Get Connected Television
Search Engine Optimization Interview
Connected: Well when people are looking for your company they are probably not looking in phone books anymore, they’re looking obviously on the Internet and the web. We’ve got Tony Hutchcroft from 1st on the List Promotion, a search engine optimization company. And you’ve been around forever?
Hutchcroft: Since the beginning; since 1997.
Connected: So why should someone get their website search engine optimized?
Hutchcroft: Well, I think that customers should actually look at their websites as a business. And in a business model, if you have a business you need marketing; you need marketing to attract customers; customers buy your product; there you have your profit.
Connected: It’s the circle of life.
Hutchcroft: Exactly and it’s the same with any website. If you treat it like a business you need to have the marketing and search engine optimization is marketing, essentially.
Connected: Do you think a lot of businesses pay that much attention to it?
Hutchcroft: More and more so in the last 5 years, yes. It used to be where off-line advertising was the dominant factor and online advertising maybe took 5 – 10%. Over the last, especially 4 or 5 years, we’ve seen a shift. I was just looking at some statistics yesterday of 10 different companies and 4 of them were spending over 50% of their budget online, as opposed to off-line; so it’s a huge shift.
Connected: So you’re in a good space?
Hutchcroft: We’re in a good space yes, business has been good.
Connected: So what are some of the components, you know, if someone came up to you and asks “How much is it going to cost to get my website optimized?” Is that a simple thing or do you have to look at a bunch of different things?
Hutchcroft: You have to look at the whole package. Do they have an existing website? Some people don’t even have a website and want one built; in which case we can build them a search engine friendly website…in a sense that it’s built in a way that the search engines can navigate through the website and get to the information that they want to get to. We also do keyword research to find out what potential customers or people are searching for on the Internet to find your business and services. We also research the competition to see what the competition is doing. And if you do have an existing website we do a site analysis; a server and site analysis to see if there are any issues in the back end that need to be corrected before we even get started on the optimization. Then after the keyword research we would develop content, website content that supports the keyword research. We would either work with the existing content on their site or we would develop new pages that would support the keywords that they have chosen. From there we do Google analytics, analysis, reports, etc., so that it’s a package that is extended over…usually a year.
Connected: There’s a number of different ways to advertise and market on the Internet; search engine marketing or search marketing or online advertising; what do you recommend in terms of allocating your dollars between that kind of stuff and search engine optimization?
Hutchcroft: It really depends on your business and if you are trying to attract most of your business through your website. There are people that have brick and mortar stores that have gone online and their online sales have surpassed their brick and mortar sales, but if you are strictly an online business then, as I said, you need to have the marketing to attract the customers to sell your products, to have your profit.
Connected: So as far as the size of business, what are we looking at? Do you have to have a certain size of business before you would recommend doing Search Engine Optimization?
Hutchcroft: No we’ve worked with one man operations and we’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies and in every sector that you can think of; industrial, we’ve worked with lawyers, the cruise and entertainment industry…basically it could be anything, even mole traps, believe or not.
Connected: So far as your customer base, what are you seeing; are you mostly Canadian with some US (clients)?
Hutchcroft: In the beginning we were pretty much 95 – 98% American (clients), and I think it was the logistics of the dollar; the Canadian dollar versus the American dollar, there was more money there, but it seems like, at the time, more American companies were interested in doing (SEO) than Canadian companies…in a sense that they seem to trust our expertise more. But after 911 there was sort of a shift. People weren’t spending the money and our dollar value sort of caught up and became on par so now our customer base is pretty much 50% American and 50% Canadian.
Connected: Are you finding Canadian businesses are maybe more conservative in that area than in the US?
Hutchcroft: They have been for a long time but that’s changing and we’ve noticed a big shift in that respect. It’s funny because Canada is the most Internet savvy when it comes to doing searches; there was a study done a few years ago where most Americans were still using 1 and 2 word keyword phrases and European countries were using 2 and 3 word keyword phrases and Canada was using 3, 4 and 5 word “string” keyword phrases. So, we were more Internet savvy but businesses were more hesitant about putting money into their websites…but’s that’s changing.
Connected: Tony Hutchcroft from 1st on the List Promotion…thank you for coming on the show.
Hutchcroft: Thank you!
Produced by: Anthony Lepki
Written by: Tony Hutchcroft – Search Engine Optimization Consultant
1st on the List Promotion Inc,
© 2009 1st on the List Promotion Inc