SEO Referrals and Setting the Record Straight

Due to the continued increase in work requests coming my way, I wanted to take the opportunity to clear up some confusion and share who I pass my overload to.

Firstly, I am and always have been a solo artist. This means I get booked up in advance. The work comes from me only. Yes, I get requests from people who wish to join me and grow a real company, but I’ve never able to fit that in. Why? I started out as a single mom in the mid-90’s. Every drop of income was needed for myself and kids because I refused to take the traditional divorce route. I chose no support of any kind and as close to 50% shared custody as possible. Though remarried almost 6 years ago, my husband’s job is the kind where I’m lucky if I’ll have time with him on a weekend. Therefore, I handle my own business, the kids, college expenses, the house and every possible domestic duty there is.

Some of you will say, “So what, I have the same mess on my hands”. I know. But for those who still don’t understand… I’m a tutor for the Search Engine College, so I have students. I’m on the Board of several community organizations and volunteer webmaster for 2 community sites, as well a web site for a local artist and another for a local speaker in the natural healing arts. I also own and administer Cre8asiteforums, write for Search Engine Land and Search Engine People. And, most days its difficult to walk and that issue is not improving. There’s that “secret” project I bought the domain for, came up with a plan, everyone I speak to loves the idea, but I can’t seem to squish it in. That, and a vacation.

What does Cre8pc Do?

Confusion has existed for years over what I do because I started out as an SEO in the 1990’s and was associated with many of the early pioneers in the industry. As the story goes, my career took two sharp turns while working for some big name companies. Firstly, I got into user interface web design. Then, it was Internet software QA testing in the area of usability, user experience and functionality. When I switched to the latter, there were faint few resources for me, so I developed my own UX test plans and procedures that I rely on to this day in one form or another. I may still be only SEO/UX person skilled in the discipline of Requirements Gathering and Defect Tracking. I’m sub-contracted long term to a company for their Information Architecture needs for each client.

I continue to get calls and email requests for SEO work. To set the record straight, I’m booked up indefinitely with SEO. That could change at any time but for now, that’s the case. The only form of SEO I fit in is for site audits that combine usability and SEO from a holistic, organic perspective. I don’t do PPC, link building, link purchasing, ad campaigns and have no stomach for management that dangles pressure tactics over an SEO’s head with the threat of firing if they don’t perform miracles for them.

What’s With UsabilityEffect?

A few years ago…okay, I think it was 2004, some marketing friends convinced me to re-invent Cre8pc and put everything usability under UsabilityEffect.com. So I made this CSS, table-less, boring web site. It still exists but I’ve had zero time to maintain it. And, as I learned, the Cre8pc brand had already stuck. I use this blog for my voice. The plan, when I get a chance, is to move UE here, put some of that under a sub-domain here and expand this site more.

For the record, I do continue to take web site usability projects. Although I have regular clients who keep me hopping, I do my best to squeeze in new work and especially help smaller businesses with some affordable options, customized for them and their budget.

My site audits are proprietary and change all the time because data changes, new case studies are released, lots of research is out there regarding emotions, our brains and how this relates to the Internet and interacting with web sites. I have to stay on top of it to provide accurate audits. (Equals more time in my day.)

I Need SEO Referrals

I do lots of referrals and try to make good connections that work for both the prospective client and the company or person I refer them to. I never ever refer anyone to any person or company I’ve never worked with before. I also will not refer a prospect to anyone who hasn’t proven to me that they understand why SEO and usability, when combined together, offer the best opportunities for conversions (sales, sign ups, subscriptions, applications, calls, sales leads, membership, etc.)

When you get nowhere with me (I’m notoriously bad with phones) or I take too long to respond to an email (meaning I’m in over my head, which happens a lot), go directly to these folks with my full support:

Kim Krause Berg’s Search Engine Marketing Referrals

eVision, All things SEO/M and open attitude towards UX design Contact: George Aspland

Solas Web Design, Local Search Marketing. Contact: Miriam Ellis. My top choice for any work regarding local search engine marketing.

DazzlinDonna, Search Marketer, Developer and more. Contact: Donna Fontenot. Donna is incredible.

Medthink, Healthcare Software app’s. Contact: Jon Hudson. This company is amazing. They combine SEO/UX into their Drupal development.

Dream Systems Media, All things SEO/M and open attitude towards UX design. Contact: Matt Siltala

Jordan Consulting Group, All things SEO/M and open attitude towards UX design. Contact: Kalena Jordan

RankSmart, All things SEO/M and open attitude towards UX design. Contact: Ben Pfieffer

PageOneRankings, SEO for Small/Med Business with open attitude towards UX design. Contact: Lauren Sorensen. Lauren is a powerhouse, professional, dedicated to budget-strapped businesses and very easy to work with.

Optimized, Full Service SEO. Contact: Mary Bowling

HighRankings, All things SEO/M and open attitude towards UX design. Contact: Jill Whalen. Jill is one of the first to recognize the value of UX for online marketing purposes.

Alliance Link, Link Building. Contact: Debra Mastaler

KeyRelevance. Full Service Search Engine Marketing and Usability. Contact: Christine Churchill

ThinkProspect, Organic SEO out of Australia. Contact: Sophie Wegat

SeerInteractive, All things SEO/M and open attitude towards UX design. Contact: Will Reynolds

That should hold you for a bit. These are companies and people I’ve worked with many times. This is the only way I know for sure where they are with regard to SEO, but also they take it up a notch or so by bringing in usability and true understanding of what that means to marketing.

I admire or respect the work of the folks whom I link to in my blog roll. I’m fussy about who I put there (I don’t take requests for links). The companies linked to do a variety of services including search engine marketing, social media, usability and web site design.

That’s all…hope it helps.

Gotta run.