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Thursday, Feb 22, 2024

Search Firm Says It Found Right Exec

Bruce Clay made his name by pushing his clients up to the top of Google search rankings. His company, Bruce Clay Inc. in Simi Valley, collects million-dollar fees from websites for search engine optimization, or SEO. But as online marketing evolves, so must Clay. That’s why earlier this month he hired David Szetela, an expert in pay-per-click advertising, also called PPC or paid search. While companies don’t pay Google Inc. to appear among its search results, PPC advertisers pay every time a Web user clicks on an ad. Szetela is looking to attract clients to Clay that can pay $25,000 to $50,000 a month for Google AdWords and similar programs. “SEO and PPC work synergistically – a smart advertiser always needs both,” he said. “The people you can reach with PPC is unlimited.” Szetela started his career in direct-mail promotions and said he got into PPC advertising because it is a more efficient way to reach consumers. He is the co-author of “Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing: An Hour a Day,” a book for do-it-yourself online marketers. Clay said that even though his company is synonymous with SEO, seven years ago he decided that it couldn’t just focus on free search results. However, having navigated the shakeouts when Google and other search engines altered their ranking formulas, he knows ultimately his company’s fate will follow wherever Google leads. “Google is going to emphasize PPC because that is how they make their money,” he explained. “Adding an industry leader to our team like David is a match made in heaven. He is a leader in the industry and a respected author.” Lorrie Thomas Ross, chief executive of Web Marketing Therapy in Atlanta, said she has followed the Bruce Clay firm since its early days and the move into PPC makes a lot of sense. “The key piece (to SEO) is knowledge and time,” she said. “Paid search is a unique thing. What I admire about Bruce Clay is that he has held his line. He knows who he is and stays up on the current trends.” Ross added that the company has hired a big name in the online marketing industry with Szetela. “He is his own person and has a huge (social media) following, which he built himself,” she said. Clay said online marketing will become more critical for companies in the next five years, especially for those looking to reach millennial consumers. “The more traffic a website gets, the more money they make,” he said. “Business is growing, but in the next five years you are either online or you’re dead.” – Nicole Pinto

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