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Ammon Johns
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The series on The Fundamentals of Online Marketing reaches session 7, and we finally start to talk about SEO.

But, of course, if you've been watching the series at all, you'll already know that we tend to go deep and give things proper attention to detail.  So this is not the episode about search engine optimisation, but rather the first of three.

In this session, we'll focus on SEO from the perspective of how search engines work.  This is all about what the search engines are trying to achieve, and how, and thus is the more technical aspects of SEO.

In the next 2 sessions we'll focus on how people use search, and how to optimise for the mindset and way people search, how to differentiate between customers and non-customers, etc. and on how to convert from visitor via SEO to customer.

So that's one session about SEO and search engines, one about how people use search and how SEO needs to work on them, and a final one on the particular issues of conversion from SEO.
 
SEO and the quest to optimize for search engines

Series Recap
In Session 1 ( https://goo.gl/7Sklh2 )+Ammon Johns and I discussed the basics of what marketing actually is, and how you can use a well designed strategy to create the best tactical marketing plan for your business.

In session 2 ( https://goo.gl/JUnPLI ) we talked quite a bit about the importance of knowing who you are selling to, and how they buy what you sell.

Session 3 ( https://goo.gl/XX3vjT ) was an overview of what it means to have an online presence, as well as the fundamental components that make online marketing successful.

In session 4 ( https://goo.gl/7Aj8VZ ) we discussed why you need a website and the things you need to consider in order to make your website a business asset.

In session 5 (https://goo.gl/1pX9Mw) we went into a considerable amount of detail around content marketing, what is it, and how should it work. 

Session 6 ( https://goo.gl/wSufNl )  Ammon and I talked about the fundamentals of social media marketing.

In session 7 +Ammon Johns and I will be discussing the fundamentals of SEO starting with insights into how to optimize for search engines. This next three sessions are going to  be a three part sub series in the overall series on the fundamentals of online marketing.

To kick this section off we are going to work to unravel the complex web of search engine optimization from the perspective of search engine rank and all that comes with it.

Hope to see you there!

#CMWVSEO
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I think that's about 2 months before I finish paying for the last one, +Mick Sharpe! ;) 
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It is certainly my week for talking about Social Media and Social Networks.  +Lany Sullivan asked me some great questions about Social Listening and what is a Listening Strategy in Social Media Marketing for +ReachConnectUpliftWomen and for you.

What is a listening strategy, what is it for, why do we need it, and most important of all, how do you do it?  In 11 minutes you'll have answers to these questions and more.
 
Should you care about social listening? Can it help you business? What should your business be listening for?

This week, +Ammon Johns, dives into social listening and how you can improve, why you want to and more!

Is your business social listening?

#rcuw   #sociallistening  
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Tis very true! +Rotimi Orimoloye can get pretty rant-esque. I love it though because he makes me think about things from all angles. 

#RantAway  ♥♥
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Happy Birthday to +Kristin Drysdale 

Like you aren't the kind to see every day as its own celebration, filled with gifts. :)
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Happy Birthday to your grandson and Magic Johnson as well, +richard clarkson. =)) 
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The Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing 

The sixth session in the series on The Fundamentals of Online Marketing takes us to discussing Social Media and Social Networks.  We'll certainly have a lot of things to cover.

Social Media has always been a difficult nettle to grasp for businesses.  Let's face it, most businesses are not actually very social.  They have secrets.  They have things they don't really want everyone talking about.  They may only value your opinion when it suits them, and not when you are writing a negative review of them.  

In fact, in one study some years ago now, when they applied personality testing to corporate entities, they all rated highly as sociopaths.

Even good businesses can become childishly inept when it comes to social media.  They attempt to buy your likes, or make deals for your support, instead of simply being someone/something you support because you believe in them.

Then there's the whole issue of ROI.  What is the ROI of social media and networking? What is this 'engagement' thing everyone talks about, and how often do they have to get engaged before they are finally married?

What exactly does a Facebook 'Like' really mean?  Does it mean they want people to know they use your brand?  Does it mean they liked some of your content even though they have never bought a thing from you?  Or does it simply mean they wanted to read that ebook your company gave away for free if people 'liked' the page?

Is a comment worth more than a +1 on Google+?  Is a comment of "Great post!" worth more than a long comment that says why they disagreed with your latest article?

Oh yes, we have lots to discuss.  So, make some plans to join us live, or to watch the recording, and get a detailed discussion of where and how Social Media fits into a properly modern Online Marketing strategy.
 
An Engaging Discussion About the Use of Social Media Engagement to Engage Your Target Audience

Series Recap
In Session 1 ( https://goo.gl/7Sklh2 )+Ammon Johns and I discussed the basics of what marketing actually is, and how you can use a well designed strategy to create the best tactical marketing plan for your business.

In session 2 ( https://goo.gl/JUnPLI ) we talked quite a bit about the importance of knowing who you are selling to, and how they buy what you sell.

Session 3 ( https://goo.gl/XX3vjT ) was an overview of what it means to have an online presence, as well as the fundamental components that make online marketing successful.

In session 4 ( https://goo.gl/7Aj8VZ ) we discussed why you need a website and the things you need to consider in order to make your website a business asset.

In session 5 (https://goo.gl/1pX9Mw) we went into a considerable amount of detail around content marketing, what is it, and how should it work. 

To continue our series, in session 6  Ammon and I will talk about the fundamentals of social media marketing.

I know one thing, social media marketing is more about being social than it is about being marketing. 

It is a great channel for most businesses who use the channel wisely. It is critical to understand how your audience uses social networks because it is critical to understand how you will engage them there.

We are going to discuss a lot of things as it pertains to social media marketing, specifically, and hopefully, clarifying a number of the misconceptions about social media and business.

Hope to see you there!

#CMWVContentMarketing
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Wed, August 19, 1:00 PM
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funny, your accent even comes through via text.
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I have a big day this Wednesday.

First I have the fifth session with +Vincent Messina on The Fundamentals of Online Marketing where we will be diving deep into Content Marketing, what it is, what it isn't, and how to base it on strategy and customer knowledge for full effect.   https://goo.gl/3ucBqf   

And then barely time to cook and eat after the wind-down from that before I get into the green room for "The Website - A Cornerstone of Visibility" - a +RightStart Websites event in cooperation with +Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, hosted by +John Moore+Marilyn Moore, and +Gina Fiedel, with guests +David Amerland, +Mark Traphagen and myself.  And we are even expecting +Bill Slawski to be in attendance live and in person on the day again. 
https://goo.gl/CHkpfJ 
   
 
Most business owners struggle daily with getting their business in front of potential customers. This activity is constant and never ending.  There are a lucky few that have history and current trends on their side and wonder what the fuss is about, but for the rest of us.. it’s a mountain to climb, a desert to cross where the mirages are many and the canyons deep.

Micro/small businesses especially find this daunting because there is never the time or resources to do all of the things that marketing gurus have traditionally suggested.  What is even more frustrating is the barrage of “instant success” schemes promoted everywhere one looks.  From TV to the email inbox the promise of getting rich “if you just do this” leaves the business owner confused at best, wasting time and resources at worst.

Was there a  simpler time, was it always this hard?

“...going back to a pre-industrial revolution time, when you've gone to the village square in a village where you didn't need to go to a lot of trouble to introduce yourself and interact with these people. You got a sense of who they were, you could see what they were doing, you established trust in your relationships that way. And everybody - and if you wanted to find out something about somebody, or if you needed a service, even if you couldn't find it there, eventually somebody in that village knew where to direct you.”  (David Amerland)

For a while we lost this simplicity.  Advertising was pushed at the customer via more and more expensive and aggressive print ads, TV commercials, and junk mail.  Marketing became a dirty word for many “customers”. The resistance grew, it got harder and more expensive to push through the din and dross and build a meaningful business based on that simpler time.

Small businesses now have access to an opportunity that levels the playing field a bit -  and that is the tried and true website.  This is a place on the global village square that each business can own that cuts through so many barriers.  *The key is how to leverage it correctly.*  It is NOT the “field of dreams”, or “instant coffee” and you do have to position your site correctly, but each business owner has a chance to stake a claim in that global marketplace for the cost of hosting, a good ear to their customer’s needs reflected in the website design, and a bit of elbow grease.

Much of that din and dross is still lingering in the air but the “times are a changin” (Bob Dylan). And who better to help us see the way into these changes than our dynamic trio and “dream panel” : David Amerland, Ammon Johns, and Mark Traphagen.

Let’s meet at the “village square” of  Google’s Hangouts on Air and get some honest and down to earth guidance on making your business more visible through your website.

About Our Guest Host

+Gina Fiedel is the founder and owner of the web development company, Fat Eyes Web Development with her husband, Doug Anderson. Her company is based in Santa Barbara and combines strategic and sophisticated web solutions to create websites that offer better, more authentic and effective communication, sales and marketing tools for their clients.

About Our Panel

+Ammon Johns is a well respected veteran of online marketing highly regarded in the SEO industry.  Since 1996 he has worked with clients of all sizes, in all markets, and in every way (in-house, agency, and private consultant).

He’s as well known for his frank, no-nonsense, practicality as for the innovations he brings to the field, and the testimonials and recommendations he has indicate the respect, and influence, he has in SEO.

+Mark Traphagen is Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting. He assists the executive team in formulating and implementing all online marketing strategy for the Stone Temple brand, as well as being available as needed to consult with Stone Temple clients in areas of his expertise

Mark has a wide reputation as an expert on Google+, and influencer marketing. His stated mission is to help you get seen and heard, to help get a business’s message out and bring in people who want and need what they have to offer. Mark considers his special know-how is in the intersection of social and search.

Mark shares his ideas as he writes for a number of top online publications, and is a sought-after speaker for major online marketing conferences which include: MozCon, Pubcon, SMX (Advanced, East, West & Social Media), and SearchExchange.

+David Amerland is the author of eight best-selling books including "Google Semantic Search: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques That Gets Your Company More Traffic, Increases Brand Impact and Amplifies Your Online Presence" and "Google+ Hangouts for Business: How to use Google+ Hangouts to Improve Brand Impact, Build Business and Communicate in Real-Time." His very latest one: SEO Help: 20 Semantic Search Steps that will help your Business Grow is a practical guide to semantic search optimization for busy webmasters and marketers.

He helps multi-national clients and start-ups to organize their SEO and Social Media strategies. He is a business journalist, author and international speaker. He blogs about social media and search engine optimization, writes for a number of prominent websites including Forbes, and advises a handful of corporations on their social media crisis management techniques.

His books on SEO and Social Media demystify the complexity of the subjects they cover for readers around the world providing an accessible blueprint to better understand and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the connected economy.

If you are in the San Diego area and want to join the live broadcast you can register for the event at the Oceanside Chamber here:

http://www.meetup.com/WebTechBusiness/events/224238550/

A special thanks to +Oceanside Chamber of Commerce  for hosting the venue for the live audience and broadcast,  and  to +Richard Peat-Hanna  for his technical assistance.

#smallbusinesswebtech   #smallbusiness   #seo   #visibility  
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Wed, August 12, 5:30 PM
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I don't mind being one among the many 
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All models are wrong; some models are useful

A quote that was written by George Box in several variations in various papers is an important one to note.  I recalled it after a recent discussion with +Gina Fiedel where we were indeed talking about statistical models or data models.

In much the same vein, John von Neumann said that "truth … is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations".  

Of course, the entire point of a model is to be a simplification, a smaller more manageable thing than the reality it approximates.

The thing is that statistical modelling now surrounds us in almost every aspect of life.  The economy is run based on statistical models, political decisions and policy are based on statistical models, and almost every system we rely on, from power supply to water supply is designed by statistical modelling.  All of these models are only approximations, and no matter how complex, it is vital to note that they may be useful, but they are still just models.

"Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful." Box wrote in the book "Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces".

Big Data has become an obsession of our age, because you can dramatically improve the accuracy of statistical models if you simply move from thousands of samples into millions, or billions.  However, improved accuracy cannot be absolute.  

All models are wrong because they are models.

Models are simplifications, abstracts, sometimes even stylised concepts built to be different to reality, or else people would simply look to reality.

So, whenever you next turn to analytics, or search algorithms, or knowledge bases, or KPIs, remember that these are all forms of models.  The question is not whether they are completely accurate, because they never will be.  The question is simply whether they are useful, and whether you can remember that they are not 'true', only illustrative.

However you chose your KPIs, your data analytics, you need to remain aware that you are attempting to model data.  If you view a post as useful based on views, or likes, or comments, all will have their flaws, and no matter how complex you make the model, it will always remain only a model.
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Indeed, the "expected utility" aspect does indeed take us right back to Box's note that "the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful."

Or in my own words, we don't mind if our AI is a lot less intelligent than we'd have liked, so long as it can be put to work without breaking everything.  I think that there are some large companies out there that take the same approach to training their helpline staff.  :)
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+Bitingedge (and +Mick Sharpe) give me far too much credit, I'm sure, but produce a wonderful list of two exceptional video series that I just happen to have a part in.

Mick's skill in encapsulating what is in a discussion that makes it worthwhile hasn't diminished while he has taken a break from the awesome "Mick's Picks" Friday Favourites posts.  Each show he mentions contains a valuable encapsulation of what to expect within.

But credit of course belongs to +RightStart Websites and +Gina Fiedel, and to +Vincent Messina of +The Curious Marketer With Vin, for actually organising and putting these series together.  
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That's right +Ammon Johns. I've seen it happen many times that as businesses grow the owner feels the need to do more to keep up (even done some of that myself). Often the best course is to take a step back and (as mentioned in the series) decide what you're not going to do and what you can do differently. That difficult first step is to take control rather than trying to spin the wheels faster.
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Do you really know what doing it right looks like?

A lot of pretty good (and a few pretty terrible) articles I've seen about marketing via social media and social networks have used a hook title like "Are you doing social media wrong?" to attempt to get people to question their strategies with logic.

It's a smart enough move, because all too often businesses use social media in all the wrong ways, for all the wrong reasons, and thus their entire approach is fundamentally flawed from the start.

But its actually still not quite the right question.  The right question is more like the one I used here:

Do you really know what doing it right looks like?

That is the question you need to be asking yourself, and finding hard data to answer one way or the other.  Asking yourself if you may be wrong is almost always going to give a "Yes" answer.  What is more important isn't whether you could be going wrong, but whether you even know how to truly recognize what 'doing it right' would look like in hard terms.

That's where you start asking yourself about proper metrics, and how those specifically and demonstrably correlate to your actual business objectives.

Being liked, or being popular, are not actually business goals.  Being preferred of course is another matter.

Putting out lots of content that people like, or building up lots of followers, is only of any real value if these make a difference to your profitability.  Not some other guy's profitability.  Yours.

Without any doubt at all, the biggest waste of investment I see in business today is in companies that spend resources, time, and even money, on social media strategies that are entirely flawed, and less efficient than any other investment they make. 

In this discussion for +The Curious Marketer With Vin, +Vincent Messina and I will take a no holds barred look at social media for business, where it works, where it doesn't, and where it works but is not as efficient as other means of getting there. 
 
An Engaging Discussion About the Use of Social Media Engagement to Engage Your Target Audience

Series Recap
In Session 1 ( https://goo.gl/7Sklh2 )+Ammon Johns and I discussed the basics of what marketing actually is, and how you can use a well designed strategy to create the best tactical marketing plan for your business.

In session 2 ( https://goo.gl/JUnPLI ) we talked quite a bit about the importance of knowing who you are selling to, and how they buy what you sell.

Session 3 ( https://goo.gl/XX3vjT ) was an overview of what it means to have an online presence, as well as the fundamental components that make online marketing successful.

In session 4 ( https://goo.gl/7Aj8VZ ) we discussed why you need a website and the things you need to consider in order to make your website a business asset.

In session 5 (https://goo.gl/1pX9Mw) we went into a considerable amount of detail around content marketing, what is it, and how should it work. 

To continue our series, in session 6 ( https://goo.gl/wSufNl )  Ammon and I will talk about the fundamentals of social media marketing.

I know one thing, social media marketing is more about being social than it is about being marketing. 

It is a great channel for most businesses who use the channel wisely. It is critical to understand how your audience uses social networks because it is critical to understand how you will engage them there.

We are going to discuss a lot of things as it pertains to social media marketing, specifically, and hopefully, clarifying a number of the misconceptions about social media and business.

Hope to see you there!

#CMWVSocialMediaMarketing
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That or copy-paste, yes.
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The story so far 

If you've been following me for any length of time, you have probably heard me talking about narrative, and how we all use narrative to make sense of our memories and experiences. 

You may have heard me talk about how the power of narrative plays into marketing, where you frame yourself in relation to their story, and thus fit straight in to the way their own brains work.  Your hook in their story.

Well, the part I talk about a lot less, because it can be misused, is how story-telling doesn't just make sense of our memories, and our perceptions, but can also change it.  Each time you tell your story, your narrative, to yourself or to others, you focus on the parts that fit the narrative, and omit the smaller parts that don't.  And in doing so, you strengthen your memories and connections with the parts recounted.

Over time, you edit out, cut from memory, the parts that didn't fit the narrative.  And your narrative varies by audience and context.

For more, try this absolutely fascinating (but lengthy) read: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/08/life-stories-narrative-psychology-redemption-mental-health/400796/ 

I warn you it is lengthy so you can set aside the time it deserves, and not have to skip or skim, or just read the headlines.  This stuff is important.  Make time for it.
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I do not like the concept of personal narratives, because it sounds like story-telling and that is pretty close to lying. But the fact is we do have defining moments, and narratives, and they do often omit much. But that is not ideal. Or is it? As the article you cite makes clear, these narratives are often traumatic. Especially ones that, as the article mentions, leave the narrator without agency. 

Anyhow, worthwhile and thought-provoking read.
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At about this time of year, back in 2002, the cre8pc Yahoo Group was planning a big move.  It was a bold move to open their own forum for webmasters at a time when webmaster forums were in vogue and there were a great many of them.

The Cre8asite Forums opened in September 2002 and were immediately just a little different to other forums.  The core group were very diverse, with some specializing in usability and UX, others in design, some in programming, and a couple in marketing.  The moderators and administrators greatly enjoyed talking to each other, exploring the cross-overs of their disciplines, and therein lay the difference.

In a time where developers and IT guys considered SEO and marketing to be largely unnecessary (or snake oil), or where SEOs figured that visibility in search was all that mattered, and when usability folks complained about the terrible practices of both, a place where they all not only came together, but enjoyed and respected each other was more than a little unusual.

The forums encouraged people to step beyond their camps, and divides, and come together.  To combine and synthesize the knowledge of all fields to create a holistic approach to web development (and success).

It was there and then that +Bill Slawski and I first came together, appointed as co-admins in the forums with +Kim Krause Berg as the owner/proprietor.  Although back then, Kim constantly asked not to be treated as the boss or owner of the place, but simply as a facilitator of getting together.

The book "The Art of SEO" ( https://goo.gl/mtu9hC )by +Eric Enge, +Rand Fishkin and +Stephan Spencer described Cre8asite very well:

"Cre8asite is an open community of dedicated SEOs, usability professionals, web developers, and others who come together to provide some of the best advice related to online marketing and development on the Net."
 
And it was all done with an incredible cast of moderators and members who appreciated being there and learning from each other: 
http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/forums/topic/46896-welcome-new-moderator-pierre-ekstreme/ 
 
Bill and Ammon (+Bill Slawski  and +Ammon Johns   ) reprise their role as the "Wyld Stallyns" of SEO, with bodacious babe +Kristin Drysdale helping wrangle comments, and stop them chasing squirrels.  (okay, a more realistic goal: prevent them chasing too many squirrels).  +Terry Van Horne joins us again to release more squirrels when Kristin isn't looking.

(No squirrels are harmed in the making of this program)


About Bill and Ammon's Bogus Hangout
This is not a polished, planned and scripted event.  This is a casual hangout with old friends and new, shared with all.  Somewhere around the halfway point, we'll post the link for anyone who wishes to come and join us (space permitting) allowing us to meet even more old and new friends.

The idea of pre-planning, a set topic, or even simply knowing who will be on the show this week?  All totally bogus.

Free Air-Guitars to all attendees (exact model and colour may vary with imagination)

Our general style is to issue uninvited invitations, naming folks we think might like a chat, without asking first if they are available (or willing). 

This week our uninvited invitations are going out to friends who were members of the Cre8asite Forums back when Bill and Ammon were Administrators there.  

To name a few names we'd love to catch up with +Paul Flanagan +Rand Fishkin (or +Rand Fishkin ), +Michael Motherwell (or is that +Michael Motherwell), +Sophie Wegat (or +Sophie Wegat), +Peter Da Vanzo+Ruud Hein, +Yura Filimonov+Pierre Far and +John Mueller but there are so many, many more names.  
If you were a member of Cre8asite back in the day, we'd love to hear from you

Of course, these are typically uninvited and unexpected invitations to those named, so any or all of them may be unavailable.  That's just another part of the chaos.

As ever, we'll open up the invitations to all for any empty seats once the hangout has begun.  Feel free to jump in and not only join the conversation, but help steer it.

We have no idea yet who will actually turn up, and that's how we like it.  
Excellent!

#BeExcellent   #bogushangout   
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+Ammon Johns would be happy to "get bogus" sometime. I do agree that there is still a ton of carpetbagging going on, but for the major terms Google had made a lot of progress, and for big brands, that kind of behavior is increasingly risky.

So I think it has moved around a bit, but certainly not stopped.
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For those who love British humour, or military-men's humour for that matter, do watch this 12 minute video:

https://www.facebook.com/stephen.scottfawcett/videos/10202818791585281/
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Especially fond of "Nothing"... I can play dumb and pretend to get away with it... Har, Har...
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Work
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Internet Marketing Consultant
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Marketer, SEO, and Pioneer
Introduction
The common view I get from what others say about me is that I'm a long-timer of Internet marketing, well respected, and described as a mentor, expert, and guru, especially in relation to SEO and search marketing.
(See for what others say at http://www.ammonjohns.com/testimonials.html and http://uk.linkedin.com/in/ammonj )

Sometimes I feel I could describe all that to myself in one word: Old :o)

I've been commercially involved with the web since 1995 when I started building websites, first for myself and later for pay.  Through 1996 and '97 I was spending more and more time on working out how to get traffic and custom to sites. 

Following demand (what people were actually hiring me to do rather than what I advertised I did) I shut down my web design business in 1997 and became a full-time specialist in web promotion.

By 1998 I'd started to attract something of a following for my advice, help and general observations in one of the big forums of the day - MarketPositionTalk - which was run by Web Position Gold.

Later, I moved over to a new forum my old friend +Kim Krause Berg was starting at www.cre8asiteforums.com and there met a lot of new friends and seemed to gain even more of a following.

Across the years since then, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of clients, and to exchange views and ideas with hundreds of other SEOs, webmasters, and others.  I've had the honour of helping small businesses to be successful, and of helping successful businesses to become giants.

My approach is inherently practical yet with a high degree of creativity.  I love when a client can show me a problem and I can get to work on coming up with solutions that can blow your mind with the creative thinking, yet at the same time are so completely practical they seem obvious in hindsight.

Of course, I'm not just about my work.  I'm fascinated by psychology, passionate about many arts, and can rarely resist the opportunity to share a good pun ... or a bad one. 

In addition to this personal profile, you can also find me interacting through my business profile https://plus.google.com/+Ammonjohns/

I am also involved with Bill and Ammon's Bogus Hangout (an extremely casual but fun weekly Hangout on Air with no specific topic) and with The Codebreakers (examining memetic triggers and memetic effects in relation to marketing, media, and events)
Bragging rights
Internet Marketing Consultant since I was the only match for those words together
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Gender
Male