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  Category: Articles » Business » Advertising » Article

The Dark Art of SEO and The Death of The Yellow Pages

By TJ Kirgin

The sound of Star Wars music increases as Darth Vader enters the room. Trained in the Dark Side he changes the political spectrum of the entire galaxy with mind control, supernatural powers and the slice of a Light Saber. I hear the same music in my mind each time my new SEO expert enters the boardroom of one of our advertising agency's clients. No, not because I'm nuts, but because I have an overactive imagination. The advertising clients are mesmerized by this new "Dark" art. One that cannot and is not taught in traditional classrooms. An art that can only be learned in the trenches of the galactic fight against the Yellow Pages. The art of Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

My name is TJ Kirgin, a second generation Ad Guy from St. Louis, Missouri. I am the president of an advertising agency named Anchor Communications, Inc. or AnchorSTL as it has been called. Our agency was founded on the premise of media communications, with a core emphasis on strategic media planning and buying. That was 10 years ago. Recently the agency successfully transversed the rough seas of becoming "full service" and now serves over 75 clients from San Diego, CA... to Houston, Canada to St. Louis and Washington D.C. to Miami. Our emphasis is still on media communications as we feel that only intrusive media can truly build brand while delivering a direct and measurable result.

Just about 18 months ago, I got wind of a new marketing buzz word; "New Media". I was fascinated by this word as I have build a career on "old media" and at only 32 I felt threatened, so my survival instincts took over and I began to study. Our people became certified in the techniques of Search Engine Marketing and Online conversion. We began to show results to our customers like we had never been able to do before.
My sales pitch to a nervous customer was simple, "Search Engine Marketing (SEM) combined with a custom lead generating landing page was equivalent to sending out a direct mail piece while only paying for the Postage, Production, Printing and Design of the pieces that were received by a consumer actively searching for your product or service at the very moment they receive it."

After much success in the area of SEM, I then became fascinated with the Dark art of SEO. My clients want and need to be found through organic or natural search results and I realized, if I don't learn this too. I may loose important strategic value to our clients. So I hired SEO consultants to teach me what they knew. Three of them in fact and I was amazed how each one had a different strategy, however they all produced results. I combined their strategies and began researching and developing my own. I subscribed to RSS feeds and Google Alerts. I read magazines and books and after only a few hundred hours of first person research, I felt confident enough to make a go at the dark side. That was 6 months ago and the case studies are in. My clients are consistently moving up the organic search rankings on all the major search engines.

Msn and Yahoo were easy to master... However, Google or "the mother ship" as I call it is quite more difficult, it is the ultimate test of the Jedi.

This epic marketing strategy battle will inevitably be the end of life as we know it for phone book salesmen all across the country. Our in house research has shown time and time again that the tipping point has occurred and more and more consumers are turning to the internet just to get a companies phone number or directions rather than opening the kitchen cabinet, choosing which yellow book to get down and flipping through pages of endless crap.

This is also indicated by the ridiculous ad spending going on currently to drive number seekers to the online versions of the old books...

If you want to remain a marketing Jedi and spend unholy amounts of money on double trucks, full pages and inside covers, be my guest... I am going to the dark side to rule the world through SEO.

Learn more about SEO, SEM and Traditional Media Marketing at and my blog
About the Author
A blog by 10 year media buying vetran Tj Kirgin, Owner of Anchor Communications, Inc An Advertising Agency... Founder of Anchor Digital Services (A.D.S.) A Web Marketing Company and Co-Founder of KirginMiller Communications a national media buying firm.

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