The Atlanta SEO Scene

Atlanta SEO

Atlanta. The ATL, The Big Peach, Hotlanta. Home of Coca-Cola, the Braves and… great SEO? That’s right, the “New York of the Southeast” is making waves on the technology front and everyone from small start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations are taking advantage of the city’s localized, cutting-edge SEO talent. If you don’t know much about the Atlanta search engine optimization scene, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

When you search for “Atlanta SEO” you’ll find a plethora of local SEO companies clamoring for business in the growing Atlanta market. Like in any metropolitan area, some are offering shallow, quick-turnaround solutions while others focus on in-depth SEO campaigns that really change the scope of business for their clients. We believe the latter group is the one worth focusing on and also where many innovations and developments come from in the Atlanta market. For our marketing dollars, Atlanta’s got some great full-scale ops.

Tom Shivers, Capture Commerce
Tom Shivers

Capture Commerce is a well-respected SEO company serving Atlantans from the suburbs of Gwinnett County. Founded by Tom Shivers all the way back in 2000, the “Exploit on Demand” company been around longer than many of its local competitors. The experience shows. With clients ranging from Mori Luggage and Gifts to United Consulting, they’ve got the diversity and range of experience many established businesses are looking for. Tom speaks locally on search marketing topics and interviews leading industry pros on the Capture Commerce Podcast. Tom’s writing on the subject of new SEO and content marketing have earned the respect of marketers outside the city.

Stacy Williams, Prominent Placement
Stacy Williams

Another highly-respected player on the Atlanta SEO scene is Big Drum, a “B2B Conversion Agency” (formerly Prominent Placement). Big Drum combines conversion rate optimization, analytics and usability with traditional SEM. They’re one of the most well-known shops in town and they were even named a finalist for the 2010 American Marketing Association Awards so they’re clearly doing something right. President Stacy Williams has developed something of a cult following here in Atlanta and she’s constantly asked to do national industry presentations and speaking engagements due to her vast knowledge of the ever-changing search industry.

Brian Ussery
Brian Ussery
Photo credit Reuben Yau

The Atlanta area has no shortage of one-man shops offering SEO locally and globally. Brian Ussery is a New York or Silicon Valley caliber professional who just happens to live in Atlanta. He served as SEO Director at the Midtown Atlanta’s Search Discovery and provides regular, valuable feedback to webmasters as a top contributor on the Google Webmaster Help forum and he’s even good enough to have some of his work featured in such publications as The New York Times. He’s gotten nods from Gizmodo, Search Engine Land and about a dozen other industry forums, too, so when he talks, people listen. If you’re looking for an SEO consultant in Atlanta with expertise in the field of imagery, Brian’s on your short list.

What about local-focused search leaders around town? One of the most impressive up and coming local search marketing firms around town is Click Ready Marketing. Driven by serial entrepreneur and franchise expert, Craig Lawson, Click Ready delivers a range of services to small to medium-sized clients. Lawson is well-known for taking a hands-on approach that gives the company a high customer retention rate. He’s “OTP” (that’s outside the perimeter for you non-Atlantans out there) and probably stuck in traffic on GA 400 right now.

Georgia 400 State Road Sign for SEO
SEO in Georgia

And don’t forget about all the renowned SEO professionals who don’t own their own shops but are still putting out quality results for their companies. One of the best examples is Topher Kohan, a former “SEO Coordinator” for both CNN and Turner Broadcasting. He’s making waves in the industry and it’s partly because he’s got a background in theater, not just IT, making him one of the most well-rounded professionals in Atlanta SEO.

Don’t think that Atlanta search marketing is all about generating consumer leads – there’s a thriving business to business market here as well. Todd Miechiels is one of the leaders in the B2B space and with over a decade of search marketing experience to prove why. In 2000 he co-founded the Medium Blue agency and soon parlayed that experience into a solo B2B marketing endeavor. Todd serves on the board of the Business Marketing Association Atlanta as well as an active member of the Technology Association of Georgia. If it’s Google AdWords you want, Todd just may be your guy.

Atlanta Search Engine Marketing isn’t just about the companies, it’s about the resources, too. The Atlanta SEO Meetup Group is thriving which is great for consumers since collaboration between the best technology minds in the city mean more ideas and developments for customers. Previously mentioned Technology Association of Georgia is a huge resource for Atlanta search engine marketing as members have access to industry speakers, classes and IT professionals. All that to say there’s no shortage of growth opportunity for the Atlanta SEO field which means good things for Atlanta businesses. And with so much big business here, from The Home Depot to UPS to Delta, there’s always going to be a need for quality SEO which translates to better-than-average options for small businesses, too.

One important local group which should not be overlooked is the very active SEMPO Atlanta group. SEMPO Atlanta is the local chapter of the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization. This is an open group lead by local search marketing firms that holds regular MeetUps featuring industry experts who speak on SEO, PPC, Social Media, Web Analytics and other search-related topics. The group has become one of our preferred Atlanta gathering places for learning and networking. We’ve attended events in Midtown featuring national industry presenters like Eric Enge and Bruce Clay.

One of the fastest growing marketing groups in Atlanta is the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association, often abbreviated AIMA (pronounced ay-ee-ma). In few other cities around the US are online marketers able to participate in monthly meetings that foster best practices and innovation in the industry like those sponsored by AIMA and SEOs and businesses in other states are taking notice. AIMA is a highly-trusted source for Atlanta SEO professionals and it’s where a lot of the city’s new and interesting collaboration begins.

There are many more local search engine optimization people, companies, and groups not named here. The good news is that Leverable is first and foremost an advocate for SEO in Atlanta, Georgia but also a global one, too. Whether you live in Dunwoody or Dubai we can help, thanks in part to the great SEO lessons we’ve learned along the way here in Atlanta. Our founder, Emory Rowland, is a born and bred Georgian and he’s as southern as a glass of sweet tea. For our partners this means a lot of things: style, stability, and integrity; but most of all it means trust. We think that’s an intangible to be proud of.

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One Response

  1. Very interesting article! I had no idea Atlanta had made a name for itself as an SEO city. Thanks for highlighting some of the key players as well. SEO is an area I’m getting into and great to see how individuals have built lifestyle businesses and big companies alike around this ever growing niche.

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