Working With Us

Who You’re Really Working With

Michael and Derek do the core technical SEO work and research. While we do have staff to do some of the more cut-and-dried things, the audit and on-page recommendations are going to come from Derek and Michael. At any time when we feel you’re better served by having someone else do a task, you’ll know exactly who it is who’s working for you. Typically, Michael will do technical site audits, backlinks reviews, local search audits, and site architecture recommendations; Derek generally will do keyword research and on-page SEO tuning recommendations. We review and collaborate on all projects. I have a handful of subcontractors (e.g. Adelle Dittman of Dittman Design, and Rich Bergland of Bergland Design) whom we work with who do things like implement our recommendations on web pages, web design of new pages, invoicing, keyword research, directory listing inconsistency cleanup, building out social media profiles, etc. As well, we frequently refer clients to colleagues whose work we know well and trust thoroughly–for things like paid search, Google shopping feed work, PR, link-building, content creation, etc. If we can’t take on a client because we already have a client who’s a competitor, I’ll generally refer them to other SEOs I know well and trust: Aaron Rains, Scott Hendison, or John Doherty’s GetCredo site. At all times you’ll know the names and contact info of the people doing the work for you.

Communicating With Us

We don’t answer unscheduled phone calls. We recognize that we bill at a fairly high hourly rate, and don’t think it’s fair to take a call when we’re in the middle of doing work for another client. Even if we stop and restart the task timer, there’s often a substantial amount of time involved in getting my head back around what we were looking at for that client, and they shouldn’t have to pay for that extra time. We typically fill my calendar solid about two weeks out with tasks and appointments for calls with clients. We try to leave a little bit of unscheduled time to handle “stuff that just comes up”. Some weeks that works better than others!

Working With Us Long-Term

You shouldn’t be. After the initial keyword research, site audit, on-page recommendations, and some coaching calls, you’re not really going to need us going forwards on a monthly basis. You should stop spending money on people like Michael and Derek! You WILL need to do ongoing marketing work, of course–involving people with better marketing skills than us, PR experts, content writers, etc. Do outreach, get yourself written up in the paper or an industry blog, or do a guest article for another site. We’ll coach you on getting started with that, and help you figure out how to find the right experts for that kind of work, but it’s not us, and it’s not SEO: it’s regular PR and marketing. You will also need to do some ongoing work on your social media channels, promoting content and interacting with customers and communities. We’ll coach you on getting started with that too, and we can help you set up your social media profiles and process if you’re not already there. But on an ongoing basis, that’s going to be YOU doing the social media work. Many (maybe most) of my clients come back to us on an occasional basis with little questions, or looking for a review after a major website update…things like that. No problem–our invoicing and time tracking system bills by the minute, so you can get an answer to a 5-minute question without breaking the bank. And if it’s really quick, we won’t bother charging at all.
Independent search engine optimization (SEO) consultant Michael Cottam. Independent SEO Consultant Michael Cottam http://www.michaelcottam.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/independent-seo-consultant-michael-cottam.jpg
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