SEO on the Cheap

We get lots of questions from folks interested in ​improving their position in Google searches but who aren’t quite ready to jump into a paid solution like we offer.

​If you’re looking for “cheap SEO” (we didn’t coin this term), you’re in luck and have quite a few options. Here are a few free resources that you should definitely consider:

​1. Create an account for your site or blog with Google Analytics. If you have a Google Account (GMail), you’re halfway there. Google Analytics isn’t perfect, but it’s more than most folks new to SEO or site optimization will ever need.

2. Sign up for Google Webmasters Central. It has a little bit of a learning curve but the payoff is certainly worth the thirty minutes you’ll spend. From learning about sitemaps to addressing problems that the GoogleBot might have indexing certain pages or parts of your sites, Webmasters Central is a goldmine of a reference site.

3. If you happen to have your site or blog on WordPress as a self-install (you pay a host like MediaTemple or BlueHost and install WordPress on a server yourself… not, then check out the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. Yoast does a great job of walking you through easy steps to make your WordPress site more “Google Friendly” and will help you optimize options like your sitemaps and XML. Again… nothing free is perfect, but it’s a good start.

4. SEOMoz has a great page on what to expect when expecting Do-It-Yourself keyword management. Keyword research is insanely important. We stress this so much with our clients and we’re always amazed when people overlook this critical component of website and brand success. This is part of a larger book and not completely up-to-date, but will help you get a start when you’re ready to start dabbling with AdSense.

As always, get in touch with us when you’re ready to take your site or business to the next level. As strange as it sounds, we love helping people discover the power of search and what it can mean to their business, especially when combined with a healthy social media plan. But start playing with these tools and see what you can do for yourself.​

First Fall 5K

For some reason last year, I didn’t run in many fall 5Ks and as I was running and training this summer, I realized I missed the scene and the energy that encompass a Saturday morning run for a good cause. 

Asheville is the perfect place to get re-engaged in the running scene (although I would suggest hiding in the middle of the pack and not pushing your way to the front of the start line) because you have people who are passionate about running and people who are passionate about helping! 

It’s intoxicating to be a part of this kind of community and to understand the world is bigger than you and your own issues. 

So as I sit here drinking my post race coffee, I am happy that I was able to support Autism Society of NC and Harrelson Agency

Oh, but I am definitely checking out the course map next time so as not to be surprised by quarter mile hills that lurk around mile 2!


We encourage our clients to embed a contact form into their websites because :

  1. it transfers communication about bookings and/or business to their website rather than their inbox with their dentist appointments and child’s soccer schedule. 
  2. the form collects valuable data that can be used for other purposes ​

Plus, when you realize how many people really want to contact you, it makes you feel good inside! 

My Music Since 2005

It’s funny, odd and a little comforting to scroll back through back in my profile and see what music I’ve been listening to since I signed up for the service in August of 2005 (when I was 26 and a lot more wiser):

samharrelson’s Music Profile – Users at

In 2005, the social web was still completely new and the idea of sharing what you were listening to with others was just revolutionary.

Still is.

In 2005, I was living in Columbia and teaching at Hammond School and had no idea what lie ahead.

What a long, strange trip it’s been.

By the way, I went a few years without having the audio scribbler hooked up, so there is so much data missing. I’ve listened to way more than 12,000 songs over the last seven years (about 4-5 a day if that’s to be believed). I’ve probably covered closer to three times that amount at least. But still… fun data.

Yay interwebs.

Solving Multiple Email, GMail and iOS Problem

I’m noting this here for my own needs as I’ll certainly have to follow this breadcrumb trail again.

If you are looking or have consolidate a bunch of email addresses into one Google Apps account, there’s nothing more sweeter than having that account work just as well on iOS as it does in your browser app (or Apple Mail if you will):

Handling Multiple Email Addresses with Gmail and iOS: “When I started adopting Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero, I decided to consolidate my numerous email accounts. For a few, this meant wrapping them up or forwarding them along, never to think of the account again. For others, like my personal and work email, as well as various customer service and sales email accounts that I monitor, it meant that I needed to find a way to receive everything in one inbox, while sending my replies back from the proper account.”

See also:

Solved: Gmail, iPad, iPhone, and multiple from addresses – Modern Nerd: “After much Googling, dribbling, and head bangering, I’ve managed to get around this in a way that works great on the iPad and iPhone. I thought I’d combine the various hints and tips I’ve discovered to put them in one place, then add some screenshots to make it more useful to others who’ve been driven nuts by the same issue.”


James’ Ubiquitous Blog – Journal – Making multiple ‘From’ email addresses on iOS my bitch without adding extra accounts: “This all came about because of work. I got a call from a client that we regularly work with asking if it’s possible to consolidate his some 20 email accounts into one of his Google Apps accounts (this also works with regular Gmail accounts too) while still being able to reply and send from the individual addresses. As it turns out this can be quite tricky but I managed to find an article that outlined the steps perfectly, or so I thought to begin with.”

Sounds geeky, but it’s a great 5 min solution to an otherwise incredibly annoying workflow issue for those of us with too many email accounts.

The Next Step

You can’t argue with this type of closure…

Closure « Steve Blank: “Fast forward 15 years. Retired for a year, I ran across an article that said, ‘$35 Million Dollar Supercomputer For Sale for Scrap.’  It was the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Cray Y-MP that had beaten me at Ardent.  It was for sale on Ebay.

I bought the Cray.

It took two semi-trailers to deliver it.”

Great story (read the links as well).