SEO Testimonial – A Customer’s Story

The following text is an exert from a letter forwarded to us by one of our clients. His letter was written in response to a potential client’s request for information about AWSP’s Search Engine Marketing Campaigns. Yes, they did become our client as well!

Dear Sir or Madam,
Keith Hickman from AWSP provided your e-mail address as a reference. If you can take a little time to answer these questions it would be extremely helpful.

I am looking forward to reading your reply. Thank you for your time and consideration.

“I would be happy to answer your questions, as I am one of AWSP’s biggest fans.”

1. Are you still a customer of AWSP?

“Absolutely. AWSP has helped me to design, develop, and launch 4 company websites and they currently manage all updates and do the Web hosting as well. The AWSP team also manages all aspects of the search engine marketing for all of of our websites.”

2. When did you launch your SEO-campaign?

“For the first company, we launched our SEM (search engine marketing) campaign in June of 2001. For the second company, we launched our SEM campaign in earnest in mid February 2003. The Third was launched in August 2003. We are currently working on a 5th Web site with AWSP.”

3. Did the campaign reach all your expectations?

“For the first company, the SEM campaign took our small, home based business and turned it into a company that generates $750,000 over the first full year of SEO. We expect our business to generate >$1 Million of revenue this year. To give you a feel for how great an impact this has had on our company, our lives and our manufacturer, out of 400 distributors that our manufacturer deals with, we are now the manufacturer’s #1distributor. We are not just barely ahead of the #2 distributor either…we are 6 times larger than their #2 distributor (and this happened over a period of one year). Right now, every time the manufacturer ships 3 products, one of them is to one of our customers. This means we account for 1/3 of their entire business worldwide. That number is growing and growing also.

For the second company, we have already exceeded our expectations in the first 10 days of our business. In that timeframe, we have generated about $7500.00 of revenue in 10 days. Even thought we have just started…this is a pace of $250,000 per year. I fully expect this business to do better than business #1 in the first year.”

4. Which eventual issues happened during the project and how AWSP handled these problems?
“Once, for some unknown reason, our positioning with Yahoo dropped from #1 to completely off the radar screen. We suspect that they must have checked to see the presence of our website and for some reason, they couldn’t find our website (likely the server was down for updating or maintenance, etc). I noticed sales slowing down, so I called AWSP. In two hours, he identified the issue, re-submitted all information, and in a couple of days, our sales were back up where we were before.
Overall, I must say that there have been very few if any problems to speak of. When I have a question or a problem, I call and/or email my campaign manager and get the answer or the resolution right away. There are not really any problems or issues that come to mind at all.”

5. How satisfied were you with the price, quality of services provided by AWSP?

“I hope that was implied in the previous questions. They are very reasonably priced for the service, level of attention and results that you would get. Keith Hickman, Marketing Director and AWSP are one of the primary reasons our company has done so well. They have truly partnered with us in our success.

For the record, I feel it is necessary to give you a little background. When I started our first business, it was only an idea and I wanted to get a website going to sell our products. I knew nothing about SEM/SEO/SEP, price per click charges, positioning, page views, etc. So I had to rely heavily and exclusively on Keith. I basically told Keith this early on, ” I know nothing about this SEO/SEP stuff, but I know you do. So here’s the deal: I want you to do the things that need to be done just as though it was your own business and I want you to spend my company money as though it was your own. If you think we need to do something different, then I want you to run it by me, but I’ll guarantee you this…if you think we should, I will always agree with you. I want you to have the autonomy to do what you think is right because I trust you.”

“So Keith ran by a number of recommendations to me that were somewhat scary at first for a very small home based business. Some ideas that were expensive and daunting for a couple struggling to make ends meet. However, I figured, if we were going to do this, we were going to do this right or not at all. I bit the bullet and with an unwavering faith in Keith and his crew, it has paid off beyond what we could have imagined. Our “little” distributorship now competes against all the very large companies and more often than not, we beat them at their own game.”

“After being in this business for a while, I have come to find out that many people, who don’t have a fraction of the knowledge that Keith and other good SEO/SEP people have in this market, do not seem to listen to their suggestions. They spend literally millions on a website, and then act as misers and don’t want to continually spend money for the right Search Engine Marketing company. You know what…God bless them for not listening! It gives small companies like us the opportunity to really sneak up behind them and steal away their business.”

” I have never understood why companies spend all of this money on a website, but when someone goes to search for it, no one can find it! (MANY, MANY competitors have this problem). I’m a novice at this and the advice that Keith gave early on sure made sense to me. Keith helped me to develop a “clean,” and very informative and easy to navigate website. Not the most expensive by a long shot, but one that is found almost every time someone is looking for a product like ours.”

“If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to email or call me at anytime. My number is 713-xxx-xxxx.”

Mark and Jackie Kidder
Amazing Truck Accessories
4- Way tonneau Covers
Roll Bak Tonneau Covers

Domain Email Troubleshooting Checklist

Email is one of the most common business tools we use and is often taken for granted. However, if it goes down, you immediately realize how hard it is to function without it.
Luckily, most email issues are easy to fix and actually exist at the mail client on your local computer, not the server.
If you complete the procedures and your email is still not working correctly, it may be time to call support but the more information you can provide, the faster support can help you resolve the issue.

Absolute first things to check.
1) Are you connected to the internet?
2) Is your domain name resolving?  (can you browse to you website)
If the above are true:
Open your Webmail client that is included with your hosting account. If you can login and check mail, it is a indication that the issue lies with your computer’s email program (mail client). This does two things:
1) Gets you immediate access to your mail
2) Helps trouble shoot the issue at hand
Next, know your email settings including:

  • Full email address
  • Password
  • POP3 and SMTP server settings
  • POP3 and SMTP Port numbers
  • Authentication type

All of these setting are in your mail client setup with exception of your password which will be hashed out.
If you cannot login to Webmail, the problem probably lies with your password.

Troubleshooting Checklist:
1) Are you connected to the internet? If not, reconnect and retest. If you are connected, shut down your mail client software and then SHUT DOWN your computer. Do not restart, Shut Down. Restart after a minute or so. Test Again.
Some Anti-Virus programs act as proxy server and can lock up. This also helps clear Outlook caching issues.

Still having issues?

2) Double check all your settings. A single wrong setting can cause email failure. Most support calls are simply wrong settings in the mail client software (your mail program. Outlook, Windows Live, etc).

3) The remainder are typically caused by Microsoft Outlook itself. Seldom do we receive calls from customers that use other mail clients.

Therefore, test your email in another mail client such as Windows Live Mail, Mail,  Thunderbird (free from Firefox), Etc. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. It only takes a few minutes and is essential in the trouble shooting process.
If your email works in another mail client, the mail server is working and it is a local email client issue (Outlook) or a local computer issue. We cannot troubleshoot Outlook issues other than to tell you not to use it. There is some support on the Microsoft site

Still not working?

4) If you can login with webmail and check email, the server is working properly and there are four possibilities of why you cannot connect with your mail client.
a) Problem with your mail client software (Outlook)
b) If the problem is only with sending email (SMTP) you need to check the following settings:

  • Double check your SMTP Server Setting in your mail client program.
  • Make sure that you have “my server requires authentication” checked and “use same settings as my incoming mail server”
  • Make sure SSL is NOT checked.
  • Try changing your SMTP port setting to 587

c) Port 25 is being blocked by your ISP. ISP’s have started doing this as an attempt to prevent spam. Therefore, we have a workaround. Under Advanced Settings you will find the option to change your SMTP server port number. Try changing it to 587. If you are a SiteBuilder customer, login to your Admin/Email and get the alternate port numbers in the help section.

d) Your IP address is blacklisted in the DNSBL or DNS Blacklist. This could be caused from a variety of reasons. You will need to check your local IP address and determine if there is an issue. You can get your IP address by going to
Next, go to and run a scan on it. Also, check it at
If your IP is showing up on one of these lists, please contact us and we will try to help you troubleshoot this issue. Please note that this is not an issue with our server but other conditions that exist.
The possibilities are:

  • Your computer is compromised with malware that is sending out spam
  • Your have been assigned a dynamic IP address that was associated with a spammer
  • Your email account may have been compromised and is being used as a relay.
  • You have been sending out Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE)  This is rarely the case but all it takes is someone to report their newsletter email from your business as spam.

5) Additionally, you may need to check:

  • Routing – do a trace route to from your machine to the SMTP and POP3 server. You will need to open a DOS prompt window or “Command Prompt” typically found in “Accessories”. Once open, type in “tracert” Exactly. No quotes and with your correct domain name of course. It will trace the route from your machine to the server and can help troubleshoot routing issue.

If you follow the steps above, you should be back online or at least have the information ready to relay to support personnel for faster resolution.

What is a Search Engine Friendly Web Site?

What is a Search Engine Friendly Website Design?

We are often asked, what does “search engine friendly design” mean?
It is essentially a website that is designed with no barriers that would block or reduce the effectiveness of the search engine bots (automated programs) from spidering or collecting important information from a Website and writing the information back to it’s database.
Many customer Websites we encounter have substantial barriers that must be eliminated before optimization can occur.
Furthermore, a search engine friendly site must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the search engines.
Google’s Webmaster guidelines can be found at
Some common barriers to avoid are:

  • Frames – This prevents effective crawling/indexing of the site
  • Splash or intro pages – Your home page is the most relevant to the search engines, don’t reduce your chances of being found by adding an intro (barrier) page.  Better idea: Integrate the element into into front page.
  • Lots of images and little written copy – There is nothing for the search engine to index or”grab” onto. Written copy is king for SEO!
  • Database driven sites using long, obfuscated query strings or Session ID’s. Search engines have hard time following these types of links. Some simple query strings are acceptable.
  • JavaScript navigation – While most search engine can follow JavaScript now, we recommend using CSS when applicable.
  • Avoid using Image maps
  • Trashy or incorrect Markup code – Make sure you code is clean!

Some elements that make up a search engine friendly site are:

  • All search engine relevant code is in place. Title tags, meta tags, H1, H2, tags, Alt tags, Bold tags Etc.
  • Effective, logical navigation elements
  • Use of heading and subheading tags
  • Copy that is creatively written for the end user but is also optimized for the keywords selected
  • Use styles instead of images where possible
  • Correct file naming conventions
  • Sitemap and/or Footer nav with regular hyperlinked text


Advanced Web Site Publishing designs all of our website to search engine friendly guidelines unless we are specifically required not to do so by the customer.

The most effective marketing campaign is one where we have the opportunity to build the site from the ground up using our search engine friendly process and then implement a search engine optimization campaign. This ensures everything is correct right out of the gate.
That being said, we have been able to bring the majority of site we work on into compliance by revising the architecture of the site.
For more information contact us.

Video and Video Optimization Should be Part of Your SEO Strategy

Video and video optimization are an excellent way to increase the visibility of a brand to customers and potential customers so that they become aware of the products, services, or content that a site has to offer.

WAtching videos online has become one of the most popular web activities and draws.  A 2013 study showed that, the number of video viewers in the U.S alone was 195 million.   This presents a fantastic opportunity for all markets. People are not only searching for video, it now appears organically (naturally) in Google search results for many queries.

In addition to the organic search results, it is now possible for users to search specifically for video content. Of course, Google is not the only one who is doing this. Bing has also implemented video search well.

Currently, YouTube is the most popular way for people to discover video on the web. Estimates suggest that there are between three and four billion searches of YouTube every month. This means more people search YouTube than Bing. Proper video marketing can put you ahead of your competition so the time to act is now.

Another way to take advantage of video marketing is through the use of social media. Twitter and Facebook give you the opportunity to push content to all of your subscribers or “Friends”. They in turn can share content with their friends. Since the video is being recommended by a friend, users are often more willing to pay attention to it.
More on the how this all ties in with Social Media later.

Onsite and Offsite Optimization
In order for users to find the video easily, you will need to implement proper video optimization which includes onsite and offsite techniques. Onsite being the video section of your website and offsite being YouTube, a Social Media sites or wherever else your video resides.

When optimizing both onsite and offsite elements, some important factors include:
1) Keyword rich file name and sub-directories ( if applicable)
2) Video name and title should be keyword phrase targeted
3) Page content that describes what the video is about. Again, keyword phrase rich copy.
4) Keyword phrases and descriptions in meta tags
5) Be sure to include your video in your sitemap and XML sitemap

Google is working on an algorithm that will actually interpret your videos. Until then, Google can’t analyze the content of a video without the proper optimization.

Google Support States: “Googlebot cannot crawl the content of video files, so it’s important that you provide information about videos you include. Consider creating a transcript of the video you want to include, or provide a detailed description of the video inside your HTML. If you have video content, you can host it on Google Video, YouTube, or a number of other video hosting providers. Searchers can view Google Video or YouTube videos directly from the Google search results page.”

Establishing a YouTube Channel

The first step is establishing a YouTube channel for your business vs. a personal account.  After all YouTube is another important social media channel so establishing your own business YouTube site is essential. Like any other social media site, you will need to create an account and enter your business description, URL and keyword phrases that will help Google Search, YouTube search, subscribers and customers find you.

Submitting Your Videos

Upload and Optimize your Videos