Growth in 2004 Pushed Revenues to $6 Million

Search Engine Optimization Inc saw revenues more than triple to nearly $6 million in 2004, becoming one of largest U.S. agencies dedicated to helping companies raise their Internet visibility. The Carlsbad, CA-based Internet marketing agency signed 37 new clients representing nearly $1.8 million in business in December alone, including two of the giants of the consumer packaged goods and entertainment industries.

Company officials expect gross sales to jump to $10 million this year based on 2004 revenue patterns, business currently in the pipeline, and the planned introduction of new products and services including a variety of commercial tools to aid marketing professionals in their efforts to maximize corporate Web rankings.

The firm now has 65 employees, up from 22 a year ago, and expects substantial expansion this year to accommodate the ongoing growth. Services currently include organic search engine optimization, site analysis, technical analysis, competitive analysis, keyword and linguistics research, link optimization, pay-per-click management, deep indexing, advanced Web analytic s, search engine optimized website development, hosting, and domain registration.

"Search engine placement and keyword-based advertising drive the vast majority of Internet traffic, and both are highly specialized disciplines that require expert assistance," said Garry Grant , president and CEO of SEO, Inc. "We are growing because we produce results for our clients, including 400 to 6,000 percent increases in site traffic even for blue-chip companies with household names. Those results reflect our years of experience in the SEO sector."

The agency's growth is being fueled in part by in-house engineering innovations that are significantly improving clients' search engine placement. One sports equipment company achieved first-place rankings for over 5,700 of the 10,000 products contained in their dynamic online catalog, for example, despite the fact that database-driven Web pages traditionally have been invisible to search engines. Another site for gaming and entertainment enthusiasts saw monthly traffic skyrocket from 2 million to 15 million visitors because of higher Web positioning produced by SEO, Inc's work.

Other factors in the agency's 2004 growth included the opening of a second office in Los Angeles, launch of a new website design division called SEODEV through the acquisition of digital design firm Atelophobia, and introduction of the market's first toolbar for researching backward links to any website for all the major search engines.

Industry consolidation may also be playing a part in building the agency's business.

"A lot of companies that offer search engine optimization services are being acquired or are disappearing altogether, and that is driving potential clients to larger players who can be expected to be around for the long haul," Grant said. "Search engine optimization requires continuous effort and oversight, so no one wants to hire an SEO firm that will be gone in the next month or the next year. Our size, longevity, and successful track record therefore will continue to work to our advantage."