Friday, March 1, 2013

Harry Potter Webmaster

by David Brown
webmaster, SEO consultant
Logion Web Design

Harry Potter Webmaster services ?

The title of this blog was a tongue-in-cheek response to a sales call from India, where a company representative had a name that was not Indian at all, but very American (or English) such as Harry Potter. With the accent being clearly noticed, I asked him why he has such a name and it boiled down to marketing and easier pronunciation for clients and prospects. I thought that if I was calling/prospecting for new business in India and knew Hindi, maybe I could give myself a name like Jamal Gandhi.

I'm not saying that using a different foreign name is good or bad, or that outsourcing services to India makes sense economically. There are plenty of Internet related services that can be found here in the U.S. at a similar cost, without having to deal with understanding the communications based on accents and distance. I have had many calls from India-based web services companies but most of the time I had difficulty with the accent. Harry Potter (that is not the actual name used) was the only one that I could understand clearly, so I have discussed various things and have added them to my resource folder.

That being said, the world is a much smaller place, and outsourcing is both frowned upon and used widely in this country (U.S.) . I once outsourced a flash editing job to Poland through a Craigslist search, but my outsourcing out of the United States has been very rare and not needed.

The other part of this title "Harry Potter Webmaster"  refers to the magic that webmasters who also do Internet marketing must perform to be competitive in the market. A good part of this magic are the tools and resources that we use as well as the results and experience that we can demonstrate to potential clients.

Waving the Wand

As an SEO consultant there are two important areas that I use to service my clients properly. The first is to stay current with research and changes in the SEO world, and I have some excellent sources for this that are also used by the top consultants in the field. One example is www.AllTop.com, providing an array of current news and topics all relating to SEO.  The second important area are the tools used to provide the metrics, analytics, and solutions to maximize the best SEO-compliant results for web sites and competitor analysis, all with a goal of better page ranking for certain keywords. I use a top rated, award-winning program known as SEOMOZ.

The wand is successfully waved when the goals are realized, or progress towards them is seen on actual Google search results.

Beware : of Magic Wands   

Unfortunately, there is so much SEO spam out there both in solicitations and in methods that a business owner trying to do this on their own needs to be aware of the risks such as Google penalties. I have clients asking me about certain strategies that seem to make sense such as multiple domains, or companies offering this or that. A quick Google search on a company name with the word "scam" added both for web searches and for blog searches sometimes yields interesting results. The web is full of traps and black holes but is also transparent and useful if you know where to look.

Whether your webmaster's name is Harry Potter or Jamal Gandhi, it's always a good idea to research things before taking the plunge and regretting it.

David Brown
Logion Web Design


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