Marathon Consulting offers Website Design and Internet Marketing services to clients in Hampton Roads, Virginia and surrounding areas.

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 analysis.

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 Website.

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) specific criteria.

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:

  1. The Assessment Report is specific - it presents both the detailed findings and recommendations for remedial action
  2. The Assessment Report is actionable - the recommended remedies are extremely detailed, often including code sample and pseudo code
  3. 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.
  4. 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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