You are known in certain circles as MilwaukeeSEO, but we know you as Anthony Verre,
tell us a bit about yourself:
I started my professional career as a teacher in the Milwaukee Public School system, teaching 9 – 12th grade Grammar, Literature, and Sociology. I also served in the military, United States Army National Guard, for nine years, completing one tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 – 2005.
I have worked at both interactive agencies and traditional agencies within the Milwaukee area. I served as a project manager and account manager for web for national real estate websites, to handling web project, strategy, and search optimization for national brands like Firestone.
I have been married nearly 5 years now to an amazing woman and have two little girls (3 and 1 and half). I have my bachelor’s degree in English and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. In addition, I am a Masters candidate in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. I like to think that I’m thoughtful, creative, and a sound pragmatist, but I have a wonderful/awful tendency to be bluntly honest. About everything. (You’ve been warned. )
I’ve been working in the search engine marketing industry for the last 5 years, specializing in SEO (search engine optimization). I write a blog, which I try to update as frequently as possible, called The Milwaukee SEO. I have completed Market Motive’s SEO Master Course, a Google AdWords Qualified Individual, and have recently received my Google Analytics Individual Qualification.
Describe your approach to internet marketing:
My approach to internet marketing is a holistic view. That no one single part is independent of another; they all work in conjunction with one another to form a high functioning and performing machine.
I find that specializing in search engine optimization (SEO) is more than simply keyword choice and semantics on-site, SEO involves foundation preparation of the website. That is, building the strongest, more efficient core possible for any given website. And, from that foundation, I then begin to map a web marketing strategy: from keyword choice to link opportunities to what other types of search marketing efforts would compliment and further the objectives your company has set forth.
For me, measurement and analysis is key. The most important breakthrough in marketing in years was the advent of Web Analytics. No longer do company’s have to throw darts in the dark and make “guesstimates” as to how a given strategy performed, now we can measure the effectiveness of strategies and adjust to capitalize on missed opportunities. The bottom line for me, is to create the highest ROI possible with the strategy implemented.
Tell why it is important to you to be a part of IM Think Tank.
It’s important for me to be apart of IM Think Tank for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s nice to come together with a group of proven professionals in the search marketing world. In a professional field where community is, more often than not, an after-effect, it’s a pleasure to talk and interact with a group of professionals on a regular basis.
Secondly, I think IM Think Tank is important for the Midwest as a whole. To date, there hasn’t been much of a presence of professional seminars that’s main objective is to help, guide, and inform small-businesses and corporations, save SES Chicago, on how to build elite and successful search marketing strategies. I’m honored to be apart of that mission.
What is your favorite internet tool or application?
I can’t say that I have a single favorite tool or application. I use so many in a day it would be nearly impossible for me to choose a single one! But I do have a couple of essential tools that I use on a daily basis, that would make my job all that more difficult without:
1) Web Developer Toolbar (Mozilla Firefox)
2) Linkscape from SEOMoz
3) WordTracker and Google AdWords Keyword Tool
4) SEO 4 Firefox from Aaron Wall
What is your pet peeve about the industry?
My single biggest pet peeve about the interactive marketing industry are those that proclaim themselves “gurus” or “experts”. It’s a status that has to be bestowed upon you by your colleagues from respect and experience, not something you can give yourself.
What are you excited to see come about in the future of integrated marketing?
I’m excited to see the clear distinctions between all search marketing disciplines blend together and become inseparable and indistinguishable. As the majority of us have already begun to see within the industry, highly specialized disciplines are fading away. Everyone is going to have to know and be capable in every area of search marketing to be truly successful in the next decade.
Recommend a product or website related to business on the internet:
I’ve got a few that I would definitely recommend, as they are some of the best and brightest minds out there:
1) Search Engine Land: must read search marketing news site to keep up with the trends.
2) SEO Book: Aaron Wall has been in and doing search marketing as long as anyone around. Excellent articles and posts on all facets of marketing.
3) SEOMoz: Rand Fishkin and company do some very fine research and put out some amazing tools in the PRO membership that I always find come in handy for deep research.
4) Market Motive: great master courses on SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Web Analytics. If you want a in-depth course that goes through all the nooks and crannies, this would be it. They test vigorously to ensure that you have mastered the knowledge of the course, and not everyone who signs up will pass the course.
Any tips for people just getting started?
Keep your ear to the ground, find someone you trust in the field to help mentor you, and spend time listening and absorbing all the information you can. That means even the pure nonsense. Once you start understanding the idiosyncrasies within each discipline, you’ll be able to distinguish what’s credible and what’s pure nonsense, and create your own methodology.
Do you have a SEO, PPC, Social Media or Internet Marketing hero?
I wouldn’t say that I have a “hero” but there are a lot great people in the search marketing field that I respect tremendously and value their opinions.
What inspires you creatively?
When I need some creativity, I go back to my roots and read some really good poetry or read some great fiction. I use it to pick up the rhythms of language and it helps to breakdown writer’s block.