shares insight on SEO

Mike Fruchter · June 15, 2009 · Short URL: an SEO success story

While the web industry is in a frenzy over social media – some .com businesses are quietly thriving as products of SEO successes.  One such business with an A-list domain,, the premier company of opt-in catalogs on niche subjects has been operating for more than a decade, flourishing by providing a useful service to consumers nationally.

I sat down for a Q&A session with Leslie Linevsky, who is the founding partner of, along with Matt Craine, who is the Information Services Director and in charge of their SEO. I wanted to find how they got started, and any insights, tips, or tricks they could share on search engine marketing and optimization
1)  What prompted you to start
Leslie: Recognizing the untapped potential of aggregating and indexing a wide array of catalogs that shoppers might not know about or have access to, we developed an ingenious way for internet shoppers to select and receive catalogs of their choice all in one place.  Allowing catalogs to be conveniently delivered to consumer homes at no additional cost while giving consumers the opportunity to shop online from “well known” as well as “niche” catalog companies is how makes its mark.

2) Have you always owned the domain, or did you acquire it?

Leslie: We acquired the domain name only.

3) With the ever growing "green" conscious consumer, how if any is this affecting the Catalog industry?

Leslie: It’s a GREAT TIME for because we provide only qualified leads from consumers who have specifically requested the Merchants As our mission statement says:  Part of's mission is all about helping people find the goods and services they need.

- By request ONLY.

- The overwhelming majority of catalogs consumers receive were never requested.

- Unlike receiving random catalogs just because you are on some mailing list...

- Get only the catalogs you request

- Catalog shopping (and internet catalog shopping) can and should be one of the most environmentally green ways to shop. After all, it eliminates trips to the store - and that saves time, trees, money and reduces the amount of gasoline we burn.

- It's funny but this has been our goal from day one.

4) Where do you see in 5 years?

Leslie: It’s difficult to say, because our growth percentage has been double digit, in terms of traffic and revenue. I can only hope that we continue doing everything right to sustain our growth.

5) How much organic search engine traffic does receive monthly?

Matt: Between 600,000 and 700,000 unique per month.

6)  What are some of your best practices for optimizing search?

Matt: Well written unique copy on every page of the site. Researched and unique key-phrases in the Title Tag, and the Meta Description of every page. Proper use of the H1 tag and proper internal linking of pages. Thematically related pages and groups of pages interlinked. Incoming link building is very important as well.

7) What advice would you give people who are just starting to learn SEO?

Matt: Don’t over think it.  There is tons of information out there on the web about the basic, and best practices in SEO that every site should be doing.  Start there.  Proper tagging, keyword copy, and good interlinking – will get a badly optimized site a huge reward.  After getting your foundation in place, you can then start to worry about higher end fine tuning – and of course, nothing beats links in.

8 ) What SEO tools do you regularly use? What if any tools should people avoid, and why?

Matt: Google tools (analytics, webmaster tools, adwords keyword tool) have become probably my most important.  Studying your sites performance in analytics and webmaster tools and then making adjustments is key.  We use the adwords keyword tool for research these days as opposed to Wordtracker ,or Trellian. I found them to be inconsistent and unreliable – plus they don’t report on a very large sample of user data as opposed to Google. I also use many of the tools found at including Rank Checker and their Competitive Research tools.

9) What areas of SEO do you most enjoy? What is the most difficult aspect of SEO?

Matt: Crafting a perfect TITLE tag that optimizes the key phrase for that page perfectly, and also satisfied the client with their business objective is always fun. The most difficult is steering clients and internal resources towards the long term goal, when they know just enough SEO to be dangerous.

10)  What are the most important on-page elements for search engine performance and how would they rank it in order of importance? E.G. Is it Title tag first? Description tag? Headers? Text?


1) Title tag

2) H1 tag

3) Copy and keyword density

4) Meta Description (disputed, but I have evidence it has helped us)

(Disclaimer: is a client of Pierson Grant PR, the firm that I work for.)

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