A few years ago we built a pay-per-click search engine for a larger publisher – it was a lot of fun. We sold to a few (thousand) advertisers, made a few deals some major search engines (you know the type) and soon butchers, bakers and candlestick makers (OK, they were mostly plumbers and builders) were throwing their tools into the air in celebration of all the new leads they were getting to their websites. Everyone was happy and there was much rejoicing.

We then spent the next few years playing golf and travelling leading the life of O’Reilly’s luckier brothers. From time to time we would build the odd website and help some of our friends and clients with optimising their websites. Next thing you know we’re back in the game! We’ve got umpteen websites to manage and SEO campaigns to run; we’ve got spreadsheets and search engine logs coming up to our ears, it’s sunny outside and we’re on our laptops not gracing the fairways (or woods, bushes and hedgerows) of this green and pleasant land.

We soon find ourselves asking (screaming), "How can we make this (bloody) SEO Process more efficient?" "If only there was a beautifully crafted and inexpensive search engine optimisation project management tool we could buy." We searched high. We searched low. We did not find one. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of good SEO tools out there (we love www.shufflepoint.com by the way); oh and for selfless advice the team at www.seomoz.org are unsurpassed. But we couldn’t find an SEO tool or SEO tools, that allowed you to plan, budget, manage and report on the search engine optimisation process in the same way that one would any other marketing campaign. If only there was a cutting edge, all things to all men (and women), suite of SEO project management tools that guided any level of user (from SEO beginner to a time poor SEO expert) through an optimisation campaign(s) for a website. We could not find one that managed the marketing process for SEO in a way that made sense to us.

So there was nothing for it, we put down our golf clubs and picked up our laptops and started coding. This is phase 1 of our efforts to build the all singing, all dancing SEO Project Management Tool that would make everyone’s lives better by freeing up and time and effort and helping us all make better SEO decisions. Can it make the SEO campaign management process more efficient? Can it make SEO campaigns more profitable for everyone concerned (client and SEO agency)? Only time will tell.

By: Laurie OToole