The Pricing Algorithm for SEO for Startups

Filed Under (Business Issues, Search Engine Optimization, SEO) by Steve Mertz on 28-11-2006

My pricing algorithm for on site SEO services can make Google’s algorithm look simple. In fact, some clients have accused my SEO pricing of being a little capricious. Some SEO clients don’t want their competitors to know they have engaged a Search Optimization firm and they never talk to their competitors. However, there are some clients who do talk to their competitors and they have the audacity to actually talk price-How much did you pay for your on site SEO services? This is when our firm can get in a little public relations tizzy-so allow me to attempt to clarify the complexity of our pricing algorithm. Following are the states and countries where we have worked and have clients. For pricing purposes let’s assume the on site sessions were effective December 1, 2006:

Hawaii-Including Kona & Maui-$2,500
New Hampshire-$3,500
New Jersey-$3,500
New Mexico-$2,500
New York-$3,500
North Carolina-$2,500
North Dakota-$3,500
Rode Island-$3,500
South Carolina-$2,500
South Dakota-$3,500
Texas-$2,500…Texas in August-$4,000
Washington, DC-$3,500

Just like Google updates its Algorithm, so do we-Around April 1st when the snow is starting to melt (and it quits raining) and the sun comes out again-our algorithm prices adjust accordingly. I hope this serves to clear up any confusion about pricing our SEO services in your area!

Steve Mertz
This Pricing Stuff is Complex 🙂

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Google, Yahoo and MSN Agree on One Thing

Filed Under (Google News, MSN, Search Engine Optimization, Tools, Yahoo) by Steve Mertz on 21-11-2006

The big three have agreed that there will be a standard protocol for submitting web pages to their crawlers via site maps. I’ve been begging Knox to get a site map on this blog so I hope he reads this!

I have no problems putting a Google site map on any of my blogs but there are those who don’t want a Google site map watching there very move. SEO Blackhat once had a post about the effectiveness of a Google site map Vs making your own. I believe they came to the conclusion that building your own was better but I could not find their post-Sorry! Regardless, every SEO person would tell you to have some form of site map-so do something!

The standard protocol was announced at PubCon in Las Vegas and just read the love between these three:

 Official Yahoo Blog: “By offering an open standard for web sites, webmasters can use a single format to create a catalog of their site URLs and to notify changes to the major search engines. This should make is easier for web sites to provide search engines with content and metadata.”

Official MSN Blog:  “So, why are we excited to work on this? Because by agreeing on a standard, we can provide site owners with one simple way to share information with every search engine. You just publish a sitemap, and every engine is instantly able to read and use the data to more effectively index your site. Since this is a free, widely supported protocol, our hope is that this will foster an even broader community of developers building support for it.”

Official Google Blog: “If any website owners, tool writers, or webserver developers haven’t gotten around to implementing Sitemaps yet, thinking this was just a crazy Google experiment, we hope this joint announcement shows that the industry is heading in this direction.”

The only thing sweeter than this is for everyone who bought Google at $220 a share and watched it cross $500 large today!

Thanks: SearchRank

Steve Mertz
Sitemap Love!

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Denver SEO Events

Filed Under (Google Search, Search Engine Optimization) by Steve Mertz on 17-11-2006

Denver SEOSearch Engine Optimization for Startups will be hosting two SEO strategy sessions next week in Denver, Colorado. The first SEO luncheon will be November 21, 2006 at 1PM at The Cool River Restaurant-Located in the Denver Tech Center. The luncheon meeting will be limited to six participants and the cost of the meeting is $100 per person, payable in advance, plus your lunch. The meeting will last for 1 and a half hours.

We will cover the following items:

1. Search Engine Optimization using web site design and blogs.

2. Defining your keywords and keyword density for optimal search results.

3. Local Search Engine Optimization and Link Building Strategies.

The second meeting will be Saturday morning, November 25th, at 9AM at the Ulster street Starbucks. The address is 8000 E. Belleview Avenue, Greenwood Village, Colorado. The meeting will also last for 1 and a half hours and the cost will be $100 per person, paid in advance. This SEO meeting will also be limited to six individuals. We will cover the same topics.

We now have the capabilities for search engine friendly web design in addition to proven search engine optimization strategies. Currently, my blog Sales Presentations Training ranks #1 in Google search. We also have several other clients who rank in the top 5 Google searches for their categories. You will find both sessions to be informative, informal and loaded with SEO strategies that you can incorporate immediately to have your web site or blog rank in the top Google searches. For reservations please call Steve Mertz at 303-619-8972
I have a seperate page of Denver SEO Luncheon Schedules.

Steve Mertz
Denver Search Engine Optimization Meetings

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Search Engines Hate Frames-Quit Testing Me!

Filed Under (Making Money On The Internet, Search Engine Optimization, SEO) by Steve Mertz on 15-11-2006

Another speaker with a very unfriendly search engine site…This time a web site design with frames! And you thought those had gone out of style! Your True Nature has a page rank of 5 on the first page-pretty darn good! Problem is his other pages have not been spider-ed because of the frames. With a little make over this site will probably go to a page rank of six and garner more traffic and most importantly-More Cash Flow!!

You may have been able to slip the frames by me but Knox is on the case and will work magic on this site. So quit testing me with these ugly sites that are hated by search engines 😉 Come on Denver, test me with your ugly web sites that search engines hate and Google will never be able to find-We can fix it!

Steve Mertz
Blogs are Much Friendlier!
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Flash Pages Still Suck!

Filed Under (Search Engine Optimization, SEO) by Steve Mertz on 14-11-2006

Back in October I commented on an article posted over at SEOmoz Blog. The post was about splash pages and Oatmeal made a few specific comments : Search engines will spider the splash page instead of the real content. Search engines won’t be able to spider beyond the splash page. How about that-Fast forward to late October and a new search engine optimization client of mine here in Denver, Colorado.

Yes, he is a professional speaker with a pretty good sized web site. On the first page is that splash page! His first page has somehow managed to get a Google page rank of 4 but none of his other pages have any page rank at all-the spiders aren’t getting past that first page! His other pages have valuable content and are loaded with great keywords-all for naught! If you have a web site that has some similar characteristics-You may have the same issue as my client! Now you know who to call in Denver to correct the problem!

Steve Mertz
Splash Pages Kill Spiders!

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Intel and Search Engine Optimization

Filed Under (SEO, Tools) by Steve Mertz on 02-11-2006

intel.jpgDo you remember when Intel was the #1 chip maker in the world? Most major manufactures wanted to have “Intel Inside” displayed on their computers and electronic devices.

Intel was the King Kong of chip manufacturers. As Intel was strutting down the red carpet of corporate success…another chip maker was lurking in the background. Advance Micro Devices had been plugging away, making chips that were in fact faster and more powerful than the mighty Intel. Most end users of electronic products don’t really care or appreciate the goings on in the background until the envelope really gets pushed and they need every little advantage they can get. A great coder is kind of like the AMD chip…for the most part they get no love, no real appreciation until a web site or blog owner sees the light! This recently happened to me and I’m proud to say that we have added the resources of a great coder to our team.

I see a lot of startups and small business owners spend way too much money on a web site or blog. Some even go so far as to put flash on their site. The search engines can’t get past the first page to see the other 99 pages of great keywords and captivating copy 🙂 I am not a coder, and never will be but I’m smart enough to know what I don’t know. So, before you go spending any more of your limited budget-consider all your options. What I do understand is search engine optimization and practice what I preach. My site, Sales Presentations Training is currently #! In a Google search for the term “sales presentations training”.

We are unique in the search engine optimization industry in the fact that not only can we help you in your SEO efforts but we can also provide you with the finest sales presentation skills-A very handy tool for startups who are seeking venture capital or angel funding! I had this epiphany when I attended the Colorado Capital conference sponsored by the Rockies Venture Club. I observed eight startups giving presentations to venture capitalists and angel investors…For the most part it was not pretty! I saw a lot of great ideas hidden behind PowerPoint overkill and poor presentation skills. Being a curious sort, I then went to their web sites and blogs. For the most part, nary a keyword or search engine optimization effort could be found!

In my former life I’ve had to present to Venture Capitalists and I’ve had web sites that Google would never find in my lifetime! To that end, I’ve added the additional resources and expertise to help your company not only give a fabulous presentation but also be found by the search engines!

We can also help you with financial arrangements. We have clients that we work with on a reduced fee in exchange for a percentage of future profits or if you are the next Google, stock options could be considered 🙂 Please feel free to contact us with your ideas. My email address is smertz at or call me on my cell at 303-619-8972.

Steve Mertz
Are You The Next AMD

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Will Great Keywords Get My Site Number One on Google?

Filed Under (Search Engine Optimization) by Steve Mertz on 25-10-2006

Depends on who you are talking with-The web developer will tell you the key is a well designed site. The copy writer swears by great copy and Lisa Stewart at Search Engine Guide would tell you…It’s the Keywords Stupid!

How can you argue with her-she is absolutely right. I’ve seen many professional speaker web sites that have somehow managed to have an entire page of their web site without a single keyword on it-But they had great copy and a heck of a web design!

Where to start? Lisa suggests you write down all the keywords you THINK people are using-include family and friends in this process just to get additional views-then do the research to find if anyone else shares your thought process! Great article on keywords and here is the link to : It’s the Keywords, stupid!

I’m always fond of reminding startups and young businesses that they have more time than money and time spent on keyword research will pay off in spades!

Steve Mertz
Great Keywords Student!

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Blogs and RSS Feeds Favored by B2B Users

Filed Under (Blogging, Tools) by Steve Mertz on 20-09-2006

Whenever I talk to a small business owners I preach two things: get a blog and use RSS feeds to make it easy for clients and prospects to do business with you. According to SearchRank Blog a new study by KnowledgeStorm, supports these findings. Their survey was completed by more than 4,500 business and IT professionals around the world. Some key points:


80% claimed to be blog readers, with 51% of those reading blogs at least once a week. 

53% say they read blogs weekly for business information while 57% read them for technology topics.

As for referrals, 70% of respondents recommend or pass along content at least once a month.

More than 53% said that the content they read in blogs affected their work-related purchasing decisions.

32% are seriously considering starting their own blogs.

As for RSS feeds, 59% were ‘somewhat” to “very” familiar with RSS while 31% subscribed to RSS feeds or readers.

79% are accessing RSS feeds on specialized topics while only 36% are accessing blogs via RSS Feeds.


For all of you who are already using blogs and RSS feeds-You are ahead of the curve! 

Steve Mertz

Search Engines Love Blogs!

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Keywords in Your URL

Filed Under (Search Engine Optimization) by Steve Mertz on 18-09-2006

I work with a lot of Professional speakers and they always want to name their blog after themselves. I believe that you should purchase your name as a domain name but look at having your blog name include keywords. Matt Cutts , works at Google and writes his own blog. This is what he had to say about keywords in URL’s:“Most bloggy sites tend to have words from the title of a post in the URL; having keywords from the post title in the URL also can help search engines judge the quality of a page.”

It may not be of major importance but if you are in the business of making money with your blog-every little advantage helps.
Thanks to Search Engine Watch.

Steve Mertz

Keywords are Your Friends!



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SEO-Will Work For Lunch!

Filed Under (Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization) by Steve Mertz on 31-08-2006

SEO LuncheonAn SEO consulting client of mine was sharing his experiences with having a conventional web site for promoting his small business. He told me: ” that the website design before this one cost me $25,000 and the most recent updated site cost me $5,000.” He felt he got a heck of a deal…reminds me of President Bush: “Brownie-You’re doing a heck of a job.”  

Which brings me to our current conversation. He is putting up a blog. He has followed my progress for months and when he saw that my blog Sales Presentations Training was coming up #5 in a Google search-He was much more receptive to exploring internet marketing with a blog. He still wants to have his traditional web site but understands that blogs provide a perfect medium for search engine optimization and a high search engine placement.

Do you live in the Denver, Colorado area? If so, and you would like consulting on your search engine marketing efforts, give me a call at 303-619-8972. I offer Lunch with Steve for $100 a person with a maximum of six individuals. The two hour luncheon will give you a chance to ask your questions and discuss strategies..before you spend $25,000 for that “kickin” web site. 🙂

Steve Mertz

Let’s Do Lunch

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