Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization, or "SEO", is one of the most
cost-effective and popular ways to leverage the capabilities of the
search engine technologies to a client's advantage. SEO is capable
of providing a long term advantage to client Internet marketing
efforts, if the optimization effort is well performed.
Marathon Consulting has become a premier provider of SEO
consulting services because of one factor: an overwhelming track
record of client success.
Marathon uses a practical and repeatable SEO methodology to
achieve client success. Our SEO methodology is comprised of several
easy-to-understand steps, each of which adds significant value to
the SEO effort.
The first phase of the Marathon Search Engine Optimization
Methodology is the Measurement phase. During this phase,
Marathon's SEO experts perform several measurements in order to
develop a performance baseline and collect information for
Working with the client, Marathon consultants identify the key
search phrases that the client perceives as the most relevant to
his or her enterprise.
Marathon consultants also perform Internet traffic analysis to
determine the Website's current ranking (page position) on the
leading search engines: Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Ask.com. The
traffic analysis is also used to identify additional search phrases
that are used to reach the client's Website. The identification and
analysis of these additional search phrases is essential to the SEO
effort as they become key components in the upgrade of the client
The next phase in the SEO effort is
the Assessment phase. The goal of
the Assessment phase is to determine if design and layout
of the client Website utilizes the Best Practices valued by the
search engine providers. This SEO assessment is performed by
reviewing the code and content of each page on the client Website.
This detailed review allows the consultant to determine the degree
of compliance with the SEO Best Practices used by the search
engines to rank all Websites.
The criteria and Best Practices used to rank any given Website
are quite easy to evaluate because the SEO criteria is very
specific. Evaluations are not subjective. A particular page either
embodies each of the SEO Best Practices or it does not. It is
simply a "pass-fail" test based on approximately eighteen (18)
At the conclusion of
the Measurement and Assessment phases, Marathon
produces an SEO Assessment Report for the client's use. This report
details the findings of both phases and puts forward specific
recommendations for the improvement of SEO performance.
The Marathon SEO Assessment Report has been widely praised by
several clients. The characteristics of the Assessment Report that
have won such praise are:
- The Assessment Report is specific -
it presents both the detailed findings and recommendations for
- The Assessment Report
is actionable - the recommended remedies
are extremely detailed, often including code sample and pseudo
- The Assessment Report
is understandable - senior marketing
executives have praised the Marathon Assessment Reports for their
ability to achieve effective knowledge transfer. This enables
senior executives to consider SEO factors when evaluating Website
designs and functionality.
- The Assessment Report is complete -
the Assessment Report also includes a comprehensive work plan that
illustrates the estimated time and cost associated with the
recommended remedial actions.
Once the SEO Assessment Report is presented and discussed, the
SEO project moves to theRemediation phase. During this phase,
the client Website is upgraded to comply with the recommendations
presented in the Assessment report. Depending upon the degree of
compliance exhibited by the client Website, remedial activities can
range from a few simple code enhancements to a more complex
redesign of the site. While the specific remedies are relatively
simple to implement in the Website code, the number and extent of
the remedies can be quite extensive. This sometimes requires the
SEO consultants to modify almost every page on the site.
Following the Remediation effort, the next step is
the Measure Again phase. In fact, repeated measurements
are taken and multiple traffic analysis sessions are performed in
order to measure the effectiveness of the SEO project. Clients have
experienced very dramatic increases in both Internet traffic and
search engine-driven traffic after an SEO project. Not only is the
number of hits increased, but the number of search phrases used to
reach the site increases significantly.
The fifth and final Search Engine Optimization step is
the Monitor and Update phase. This phase is typically
performed on a quarterly basis in order to monitor search engine
performance and detect any significant changes in the Internet
traffic patterns. To date, Marathon clients have experienced
increased performance over 18-month periods, with no noticeable
degradation in any of the SEO metrics.
Client Success: Liberty Tax Service
Marathon is currently engaged with Liberty Tax Service in both
their IT and Marketing departments. For the IT Department, Marathon
provides consultants on a staff aug basis to help the department
with their application backlog. For the Marketing department,
Marathon supports their current Internet Marketing strategies.
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