Okay, so it’s been 2009 for almost a week already. I’m probably a little overdue with the obligatory “new year predictions/analysis/resolutions” post. But that’s okay. I’ll leave the industry predictions to the pundits and talking heads. I’m going to recap 2008 and forecast 2009 for our company in short bursts.
2008 in Review
As Frank Sinatra would say, “It was a very good year” for this Ann Arbor-based search engine marketing consultant. I had the good fortune of being flush with opportunities with old clients and new. Here’s a short list, in roughly chronological order:
- CarMax Used Car Superstore – My previous employer in Richmond, VA retained me as an SEO consultant through September. Among other things, we built and successfully transitioned to a more optimized version of carmax.com, started reputation management efforts, and engaged online communities to assist car shoppers online.
- Big George’s Home Appliance Mart– I worked with their in-house specialist to develop and implement PPC and e-commerce strategies for the Ann Arbor based appliances retailer that included conversion optimization, bidding strategies, ad testing, and analysis strategies to make their online ad spend and merchandising more effective and efficient.
- American Aqua – Developed and implemented strategic SEO initiatives for an Ann Arbor water treatment company that include on-site and off-site tactics that has already resulted in a dramatic improvement in site metrics and conversions.
- The Standing Wheelchair Company – Optimized the website and social media presence for this Saginaw, MI based manufacturer of standing wheelchairs. In addition to content creation and deployment, we have installed Google Analytics and other monitoring tools to keep our fingers on the pulse of their business.
- Boone Oakley – I served as the PPC management and SEO strategy arm for this Charlotte, NC based advertising agency and their clients. Most people in the biz already know about their award-winning creative, but keep an eye on their media and digital marketing talent.
- RichmondWiki.org – Launched in the fall, RichmondWiki.org is a fun little side project that has already taken off and is growing by leaps and bounds. I can’t wait to see where this thing goes.
- Campbell-Ewald – The Detroit-based advertising agency hired me for a three month contract to develop high level SEO strategies for some of their blue chip and government clients. When the economy and advertising and marketing industries emerge from this recession, these guys will be leading the recovery with their innovative and often brilliant approach to the integration of social media, content strategy, information architecture, and search. You heard it here first, folks. These guys “get it.”
There are a lot of neat things about being a search engine marketer in today’s digital marketing revolution:
- There is opportunity around every corner.
- Traditional agency and in-house marketing experience is priceless no matter how specialized the SEM field may be.
- If you are willing to work hard and never stop learning, the possibilities for personal and professional growth are endless.
Looking ahead to 2009
I am still working with some of the aforementioned clients and in the final stages of signing up a new roster of SEO and digital marketing clients for 2009. I can’t mention everything that I’m working on at the moment, but based on the success I had in 2008 I am not planning on changing my basic approach: work hard, play hard, never stop learning, and get results! Take care of your clients and the rest will take care of itself.
If I add one ingredient to the mix, it will be more “fun little side projects”. I’m definitely not the world’s greatest web designer or programmer, but I like to hack together a site every now and then. These are great testing grounds to experiment with various things online without jeopardizing a client’s site.
It’s been a busy year but I was blessed to work with some great clients and talent. You know who you are. Thanks for everything, and I’m looking forward to an even better 2009!