The reading level for this article is Novice


June 2004
11,512 Subscribers
Issue Thirteen
Editor: Ryan P. M. Allis
Sponsored by: Center for Entrepreneurship, UNC-Chapel Hill
Newsletter sent using: IntelliContact Pro Email List Management Software

“There is a sure way to avoid criticism. Be nothing and do nothing.” – Napoleon Hill

Hi. Welcome to Issue Thirteen of the Entrepreneurs’ Chronicle.

Table of Contents

1. News Update
Welcome to Issue Thirteen, Update on Speaking Schedule
3. Book Excerpt: Having a Bias Toward Action
4. Search Engine Targeting: Achieving Top Positions for Highly Competitive Search Terms
5. Free Content for Your Web Site
6. Featured Organization of the Month: SIFE
7. Closing Notes
8. Products by Ryan Allis

News Update

Broadwick Corp. gained 87 new clients for its permission-based email marketing software IntelliContact Pro in May to reach a total of 374. Broadwick welcomes new Director of Customer Service, Brad Gurley, whose first day is today, June 1. |

Virante continues to grow and today released its updated Services Guide. If you are considering outsourcing your search engine optimization or are in need of web site design or web marketing consulting services, we encourage you to download the updated document at

Welcome to Issue Thirteen

School’s over and summer is in full swing. For those of you in the U.S., I hope you’ve enjoyed your Memorial Day. Our first article ‘Having a Bias Toward Action’ is a brief excerpt from Zero to One Million that explains that principle and advantage of starting toward a goal before you know the full path to getting there. This issue continues with an article on search engine targeting. Within the article, we explain the difference between search engine optimization and search engine targeting and detail each step used to obtain top positions on highly competitive search terms.

Before we transition into the main part of this newsletter, I’d like to make an update to my speaking schedule published last month. Currently confirmed speaking dates and locations this summer are:

  • June 24 – Bentley College, Boston, Massachusetts, LeadAmerica Business & Entrepreneurship Conference
  • June 10 – Washington D.C. LeadAmerica Business & Entrepreneurship Conference
  • July 11 – Washington D.C. LeadAmerica Business & Entrepreneurship Conference
  • July 23 – Washington D.C. National Junior Leadership Conference
  • July 24 – Washington D.C. Congressional Student Leadership Conference
  • August 18 – Lagos, Nigeria, British International School, YDEF
  • August 19 – Lagos, Nigeria, University of Lagos, YDEF
  • August 20-22 – Lagos, Nigeria, La Meridian Eko Hotel, YDEF

I will also be in attendance at the Globalization and Poverty Seminar at Brown University June 12-18 in Providence, Rhode Island.

I am further excited to announce that I have been named a patron of the Youth Development & Entrepreneurship Foundation of Lagos, Nigeria and will be launching my book in Africa on August 20 at the conference kickoff.

If you would like to book me to speak at your organization’s event please contact Malcolm Young at for additional information. Recent topics include entrepreneurship, youth entrepreneurship, improving the economies of developing nations, creating, finding, and taking advantage of opportunities, personal development, and web marketing. Additional information on past topics can be found at

If you have any comments, suggestions, or would like to contribute content to be published in the newsletter or online, I encourage you to contact me at Please do feel free to forward this newsletter on to your colleagues and associates. On behalf of the team I thank you for being a subscriber.

Yours entrepreneurially,

Ryan P. M. Allis, founder
The Top Entrepreneurship Resource Online

Having a Bias Toward Action

Having a Bias Toward Action
by Ryan P. M. Allis

This article is an (updated) authorized excerpt from Zero to One Million by Ryan P. M. Allis. The book may be purchased for $11.17 from

Too many times, someone will have a goal, yet never get going on the path toward reaching it. Many aspiring entrepreneurs have a business idea, yet spend months and months writing the business plan in a state of analysis paralysis—never taking action. If you are going to be a successful entrepreneur however, you must have a bias toward action.

When I am speaking, I like to illustrate this principle with an anecdote. Imagine yourself at your house, wanting to go to your friend’s house four miles away. You do not want to leave until all the traffic lights on the way are green. Of course, it is clear that you will never leave. This paralysis happens to many in everyday life. If you want to get there, however, you must get going now. Yes, there will be stop signs and red lights along the way, but you’ll get through them—and you’ll make it to your friend’s house much sooner than if you waited for all the lights to be green at the same time.

To be successful, you must first define what success means to you. You have to start with a goal in mind, perhaps even a big hairy audacious goal (BHAG). Let’s say your BHAG is to build a business to one million dollars in sales. Once you’ve defined your goal, you can get started on it. Have a bias toward action and get going. You may not know all the steps or the problems and challenges you’ll run into just yet, but that is okay.

As you progress toward your goal, you will continue faster and faster up the learning curve. You’ll build inertia and as you move forward you’ll gain new knowledge and just as important, build new relationships which will be very important in helping you reach your goal. As the inertia turns into exponential snowballing, your new knowledge and new contacts will create new possibilities and opportunities, allowing you, with continued persistence, to reach your goal.

To take advantage of this principle of inertia and snowballing, however, you must have a bias toward action. To initiate the momentum, you must get started. Once those initial small accomplishments begin falling into place, inertia will take effect as these new possibilities snowball you up the learning curve closer and closer to your goal Every important goal you will reach will be preceded by thousands of actions that without which you would not have had the opportunity, contacts, or knowledge to accomplish your final most important achievement.

Ryan Allis, is the CEO of Broadwick Corporation, a provider of permission-based email marketing and list management software IntelliContact Pro and CEO of Virante, Inc. a Chapel Hill, North Carolina based web marketing consulting firm. Ryan, who is 19, is on leave for a year from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is an economics major and Blanchard Scholar. Additional information on the author can be found at

This article may be republished online as long as the byline remains.

Search Engine Targeting: Achieving Top Positions for Highly Competitive Search Terms

Search Engine Targeting: Achieving Top Positions for Highly Competitive Search Terms
By Ryan P. M. Allis

My company Virante specializes in both web site marketing and web site design. Within web marketing, one of our core competencies is search engine positioning. In this article I will describe one aspect of our search engine position services, that of search engine targeting, a service designed to obtain top rankings on very competitive search terms.

As I have said many times, search engines are the market makers of the Internet. They connect consumers with providers at the very moment of consumer interest and enable all of us to find exactly what we want, when we want it. They bring great efficiency to the Internet and our lives and shall exist as long as the network of servers and computers we call the Web is around. Positioning, one of the four Ps of marketing, is an absolutely critical component of the marketing mix. If you are not positioned to be where your customer is when your customer is ready to buy, you lose. Your competitor who is in that place at that time wins.

Search Engine Targeting

In the search engine positioning business, most web marketing firms will charge you $800 per month to change a few page titles, rearrange the text on your pages, and monitor your rankings. While this may get you a top ten position on a noncompetitive keyword such as ‘Coastal Georgia Fly Fishing’ this is next to useless if you want to obtain a top position on a competitive keyword (such as ‘fly fishing’). While this onsite ‘optimization’ may bring you from position #1,534 to position #327 for ‘fly fishing,’ in the search engine game, position three hundred is just as useless as position fifteen hundred, however. Less than three tenths of one percent of searchers ever click on a listing past #30.

So let’s do the math. If you’re a fly fishing resort on the east coast of Georgia, it wouldn’t be too bad to be ranked #1 for ‘Coastal Georgia Fly Fishing.’ Approximately seventy five persons per month search for this term across the major search engines. If you were first in the rankings, you might expect that 12 very qualified visitors would come to your site each month from this listing. Twelve visitors per month, however, is not going to make your business a great success.

But what if you were #1 for the more competitive search term ‘fly fishing?’ This term receives approximately 68,000 searches per month across the major search engines. If your web site ranked first for this term, you could expect about 10,800 visitors to your site. Now we’re talking.

What would it take to become #1 in the search engines for ‘fly fishing?’ It would take starting a new web site at a domain that contains the targeted keywords (such as, building approximately two hundred incoming links to this web site, building content on the site, and optimizing your title, keyword frequency, alt-tags, h1 tags, meta tags, and anchor text for each page.

Upon completion of the project, it would take 8-12 weeks for the search engine rankings to appear. If you wanted to fully take advantage of the opportunity of being in the top of the search engines for fly fishing, you’d not only offer the ability for visitors to make online reservations to your fly fishing get-a-way on your web site, but also sell products online that related to the sport such as fly fishing rods and reels, fly fishing gear and equipment, and tutorial videos. You might find yourself, within a matter of a few months, making more sales through your online products than your offline business.

This is an example of what we at Virante call Search Engine Targeting. The large majority of firms out there will promise you top 20 rankings on obscure, non-competitive keywords and simply rearrange the text on your site for a not so small monthly fee. What we do is first work with our clients to determine a plan for which search terms it would be of most benefit to target, and then go after these often highly competitive terms. We both guarantee rankings as well as give specific deadlines as to when you will obtain these rankings.

Many firms out there would never consider guaranteeing a ranking. There is a good reason not to as search engine algorithms and penalty filters do change (although not as much as some people would have you think). As was seen in the November 2003 Google Dance, one can be ranked first one day and not be in the top 10,000 rankings the next. Most firms will guarantee a top 20 or top 10 ranking, and if they don’t obtain the ranking, come back to you requesting additional funds for the next month of service.

A Search Engine Targeting Philosophy

At Virante we operate on a bit of a different philosophy that I’d like to take a moment to share. First, in nearly all cases we do not charge monthly fees for optimization. Rather, we look at each goal as a project (one that has a start date and an end date and is completed for a set price). After discussing with you your business, your plans for the future, your goals, your products and services, and the current state of your web strategy, we provide a quote on the project. This is not an estimate as for these types of projects we do not charge per hour. To a fairly close degree of accuracy we know what is needed and how long it will take to obtain a specified position. We provide a cost for the full project and allow the client to spread payments over the course of the timeline tied to specified goals. The price we provide is one that will never go up. Our guarantee is that for this cost, we will obtain the specified position within this many days from the initial payment (usually about 120 days, depending on the number and competitiveness of the required positions). If we do not hit this guaranteed goal within the allotted time period (which has yet to happen but is always possible due to the slightly fickle nature of search engines) we continue to work at no additional charge until the client’s web site does obtain this position.

Search Engine Targeting is right for any company who wants to sell a product or service (or products and services) online. While we have worked with a number of service companies and companies who do not fit this profile, the ideal candidate is a company who wishes to sell an in-demand product with a price range of $10 to $300 online either nationally or internationally. While we have, for example, completed targeting projects for providers of a local service (a business broker and a home builder most recently) we often recommend that the client consider offering related products on their site in order to build their online sales while at the same time building up their local client base. An ebook or video could serve this need well.

Examples of Highly Competitive Search Terms

In general, we define a highly competitive search term as any term that receives more than 30,000 searches per month across the major search engines. You can see how many searches your targeted terms receive each month using the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool at

Highly Competitive vs. Mid or Non-Competitive Terms
Highly Competitive TermSearches Per MonthMid/Non-Competitive TermSearches Per Month
2.9 million
Miami Health
Cell Phone
1.46 million
Cell Phone Protector
Arthritis Diet&lt ;/td>

Online Degree
Online Degree School
Real Estate
2.59 million
Chapel Hill Real Estate
Tampa Casino

Of course, the number of searches does not truly define competitiveness. What defines competitiveness in reality is the 1) number of incoming links the top three sites for the term have, 2) how well each is optimized and 3) whether any of these sites have the specified keyword or keyphrase in their domain name. While there are a number of gems out there (terms with tens or hundreds of thousands of monthly searches that no one has optimized for) there seems to be a significant correlation between how many searches per month a term has and how well the sites that are ranked well for those terms are optimized. As such, one can create a general rule that the more searches a term has, the more difficult it will be to optimize for, though in practice this does not always hold true.

Using this general rule we can say that in most cases, obtaining a #1 position on a highly competitive term (that is, one with more than 30,000 searches per month) will require a separate web site with that term in its domain and thus necessitate a search engine targeting strategy instead of a search engine optimization strategy.

A Search Engine Targeting Case Study

Let’s take an example of an ideal case for search engine targeting. Virante began working with a health products company in Texas in September 2003. Our client contracted us to build a web site and obtain a number one position for ‘colon cleansing’ and a top two position for ‘constipation.’ The client had developed a high-quality colon cleanser by the name of Oxy-Powder that they wanted to sell online. After visiting the client on-site, we developed an initial web marketing plan. The full initial contract included building an ‘informational site’ that would obtain top rankings in the search engines, redesigning the ‘product site,’ redesigning the ‘company site’ on which the client sold many other products, and developing and promoting an affiliate program.

The first step was to register the domain of the informational site. After completing the necessary keyword research, we registered and obtained hosting for the site. Within two weeks, we completed the design for the web site and began the content campaign. We needed lots of content on the site for two reasons. First, we wanted to not just obtain top rankings for the two highly competitive keywords mentioned above, but also for some of the secondary and tertiary related keywords (such as ‘preparation for colonoscopy’ and ‘colon cleansing treatments’). The more in-site pages we had the more secondary key phrases we could target (each in-site page would be optimized for one secondary key phrase). Secondly, we wanted to show that our web site was a valuable and extensive resource on the subject in order to make our linking campaign easier. In general, webmasters will have a higher tendency to link to a web site if they feel the site has true value. To build content on the site we found other web sites with related content and contacted the site owners and/or the authors to request permission to syndicate these articles on the web site. We also contracted a ghost writer to compose fifteen articles in the name of the client. In all, we added approximately 80 articles to the web site.

After adding this content, it was time to begin the links campaign. We calculated that based on the then-current sites in the positions we wanted to achieve that we would need to build 250 incoming links to the web site. To execute this linking campaign, we first built a list of 5,000 related web sites along with their contact information. Following this, we sent an email to each potential link partner requesting that we exchange links. We would add their link to our ‘links directory’ in exchange for them doing the same on their web site. As one can imagine, this is the step that takes the most time. In this case, we were able to obtain the needed number of links within four weeks.

It was early-November when this was finished. Essentially, all we had to do was wait. It usually takes between eight and twelve weeks for the search engines to fully index your site, reindex all the web pages with your link on them, and update their rankings. Knowing this, we expected that sometime in January or February the change would take place.

While this took place, we began the redesign of the product site. The product site was created at On this site, we would offer Oxy-Powder for sale. We would recommend the product on the informational web site and direct the visitor to the product site to learn more and purchase. We choose to pursue this two-site strategy for two reasons. First, one needs to have the keywords they are going after in their domain name (separated by hyphens) in order to obtain a top ranking on a highly competitive keyword. While this is good for the search engines, having hyphens in a domain name makes it difficult for a visitor to remember it and makes proper branding difficult. Secondly, we wanted to create an informational resource that was separate from the product site. The recommendation (in the form of graphic and text links) from the well positioned informational site increased the chance that someone would choose to buy Oxy-Powder and not a competing product.

We finished the redesign of the web site near the end of December. Through the redesign we were able to make the site look much more professional, provide a more intuitive user experience, and rewrite the sales copy. Upon completing the redesign, sales did increase noticeably.

The big day came on January 20, 2004, exactly ten weeks after finishing the links campaign. The informational site obtained a #1 ranking for colon cleansing and a #2 ranking for constipation and went from nearly nothing to an average of 722 visitors per day. As expected sales of Oxy-Powder quadrupled the next day and have continued to be extremely strong since.

Other Results

In recent work for our clients we have targeted the following highly competitive keywords and obtained the following results:

Examples of Recent Sites We’ve Built With This Strategy
DomainLinks BuiltResults
http://www.colon-cleanse-constipation.com250#1 colon cleansing, #1 colon cleanse, #2 constipation email marketing software, #3 email marketing
http://www.opt-in-email-marketing.org90#2 opt-in email marketing search engine guide, #3 search engines guide
http://www.medical-billing-company.com250Currently in development
http://www.littlecreek-custom-embroidery.com100Currently in development 300Currently in development in development

For Additional Information

For additional details on search engine targeting, the cost, as well as Virante’s other search engine positioning, link building, and web marketing services please download our Services Guide. You may also contact Virante Director of Client Services Malcolm Young at (919) 386-0133 or via

Content for Your Web Site

If you have a web site that has to do with business, entrepreneurship, marketing, web marketing, ebusiness, personal development, or economics and would like high quality free content for your web site, you may syndicate the following articles from our web site. These articles are stored in zip format and can be downloaded by clicking on the appropriate link. We simply ask that you keep the author byline at the bottom of each article per the instructions included with each zip file. If you choose to use any of the articles we ask that you notify us at

48 Articles – Authorized Excerpts from Zero to One Million
45 Articles – Articles by Ryan Allis, June 2002 – July 2003

Highlighted Organization of the Month

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) was founded in 1975 to promote the values of economic empowerment and free enterprise. SIFE Teams are located at 1,600 college campuses across the U.S. and thirty-nine other countries. SIFE offers students at these schools the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise, thereby improving the standard of living for millions in the process. The Entrepreneurs’ Chronicle would like to congratuate the SIFE Team of Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida for winning the 2004 RadioShack SIFE USA National Championship as well as the UNC-Chapel Hill SIFE team for winning the Rookie of the Year award at the National Exposition in Kansas City May 23-26! Flagler College will be heading to Barcelona, Spain September 22-24 to participate in the SIFE World Cup. Visit to learn more.

Closing Notes

This concludes this issue of The Entrepreneurs’ Chronicle. We’ll see you July 1, 2004. If you are not subscribed and would like to subscribe, please visit If you would like to contribute content, become involved with the team, make suggestions, or provide feedback please feel free to contact us at We encourage you to participate in our discussion forum at

This newsletter is published by with support from the Entrepreneurs’ Coalition and the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The newsletter is sent using the IntelliContact Pro web-based email marketing and list management software.

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Books & Products By Ryan P. M. Allis

Zero to One Million

Guide for aspiring entrepreneurs on how to build a company to one million dollars in sales.

Price: $11.17 | More Info

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Obtaining a #1 Ranking in the Search Engines

The book the professionals use to consistently obtain top search engine rankings

Price: $37.00 | More Info

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IntelliContact Pro by Broadwick Corporation is web based software that enables you to send out permission-based email newsletters to your prospects, customers, and subscribers and track campaign metrics such as opens and clickthroughs. Manage and contact all of your prospects, customers, affiliates, employees, and suppliers. With plans starting at $9.95/month and a free fully functional fifteen day demo, IntelliContact Pro is a top choice for list management software. We encourage you to sign up for a free 15 day trial or learn how IntelliContact can benefit your organization. If you have any questions about the software feel free to contact Director of Customer Service Brad Gurley at (919) 968-3996 or via

Virante provides web site design, web marketing consulting, and search engine optimization services. Learn more and request a quote at

All Contents Copyright © 2004 by, the top entrepreneurship resource online

“The seeds of great discoveries are constantly floating around us, but they only take root in minds well prepared to receive them.” – Joseph Henry



This Entrepreneurs Chronicle article was written by Ryan P Allis on 3/1/2005

Ryan P. Allis, 20, is the author of Zero to One Million, a guide to building a company to $1 million in sales, and the founder of Ryan is also the CEO of Broadwick Corp., a provider of the permission-based email marketing software and CEO of Virante, Inc., a web marketing and search engine optimization firm. Ryan is an economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is a Blanchard Scholar. [learn more.