Stacy back in the early days
I was heading up the Interactive Marketing division of Kilgannon in the late 1990’s. We started building websites in 1995, and then realized we needed to drive visitors to those sites. To learn how, I took a six hour correspondence course on SEO through a local university in 1998. Everything you needed to know about SEO in six hours! You basically made up keywords (there were no tools to suggest them or tell you search volume), stuck them in the title tags, and the next day your site would rank high on AltaVista, Excite, HotBot, Lycos, Netscape, and all 20 search engines that I tracked. Yay!
I loved doing SEO and it didn’t take long to do it for all of Kilgannon’s clients. I wanted more! After attending one of the first Search Engine Strategies conferences in 2000 and meeting people who owned their own SEO companies, I started thinking that I could do that too. I’ve always been very entrepreneurial – I just had a passion for this!
I started this Internet marketing and SEO company in early January 2001. At the time, I had short, spiky red hair. At first, the company was called “Search Engine Goddess” and I was thinking of using a cartoon of me as the logo. It didn’t take long to decide to get a more professional name, which I made up, sitting in Starbucks.
Stacy was lucky enough to meet Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
My daughters were 3 and 5, so my vision was to work at home, by myself, and be available to my girls. I worked out of the home office in my house, and essentially took it over for the next decade. I started doing Paid Search right when it started and jumped on Google AdWords the month it was launched.
By 2003, my husband Matt saw the fun I was having and the opportunities to do more with the business. In early 2004 (3 years into the business), he quit his job and joined me full-time. Matt’s the one who convinced me to hire Account Managers, many of whom were better at servicing clients than me! He was with the the Internet marketing/SEO company for 3-4 years and it quadrupled in size over that time.
Matt looked around our neighborhood and noticed that we had a lot of friends who were stay-at-home moms. These stay-at-home moms had more expensive educations than we possessed, and successful careers in marketing prior to having children. He saw an untapped resource, and we began to hire moms who could work for our website optimization company part-time out of their houses.
I had not planned to ever get an office, but I found I had hit a plateau, so moved into a space with our business manager and an admin. After landing a large client, we started hiring more people, converted contractors to employees, and filled the part-time, work-from-home moms with full-time, work in the office people. The rest is history.
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