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One of the best SEO secrets I’ve ever found…

And you can get it on-line for only 29 bucks.

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

I was excited to receive my copy of the 2009 “Top 50 Builders ” report from Pool and Spa News ( in the mail last week. (August 28, 2009 issue.) As a marketing specialist, I consider it a fascinating read. What better place to find out what’s working for others in pool sales & marketing?

Online Honors TITLE (Pool & Spa News, AUG 2009).jpg

So you can imagine that I was especially proud when I spotted one of MYM Austin’s recent website projects as a winner for “Online Honors .” As the magazine says, “A Handful of Top Builders Have Taken Their Websites to the Next Level ….” (If you know anything about my company, you know that cutting-edge website design is one of our most popular products. And with all due humility, I think we’re pretty darn good at it.)

Online Honors - ESSIG (Pool & Spa News, AUG 2009).jpg

These words were music to my ears. But heartbreak was not far away….

The website for Essig Pools is one of the most comprehensive sites in the business…. ” And then quoting the owner, Dan Essig, it says “I wanted this site to convey the fact that we do quality work. It’s important that the site makes us look classy and high-end, and that it helps separate us from the competition… .

Bingo. I should be on cloud nine right about now, right? I just got a great plug in a national magazine with about 10,000 readers. But then I noticed something suspicious. Each of the four other winners specifically named the company that built the website. “Site designed by: ForSight Marketing”; “Site designed by: Internet Direct”; etc.

What happened to “Site designed by: MYM Austin “?

Dan was so proud of our new website that he didn’t want any of his local competitors calling us to make another one just like it for them.

OK; I guess I should be flattered.

Now let me tell you what that story has to do with “One of the Best SEO Secrets I’ve Ever Found .” There are two schools of thought when it comes to sharing the latest, greatest secrets and tips for business success. One school says “if you find a secret weapon, keep it secret.” I’m OK with that. In fact, I have no problem with Essig Pools keeping the name of my company out of Pool & Spa News. I’m a big fan of Dan’s, and I greatly admire his success.

But then there’s that other school of thought, which says “by helping others, we help ourselves.” If you’ve ever attended one of our Pool Genius Workshops , then you already know I’m a big fan of “sharing all the secrets.” Right or wrong, I’m of this second school of thought.

So that’s why I’m going to give you this great little SEO secret tidbit today.

Faithful followers of this weekly newsletter and anyone desiring better search engine optimization should go to and buy the $29 license for Highslide JS . Highslide Sample (ESS 007).jpgThis is an extremely handy little bit of JavaScript software that allows you to click and enlarge any photograph on your website. (We use this feature with all our clients. including Essig Pools.)

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But here’s the really cool secret – with Highslide, you can actually add text to any of the photographs in your gallery. That’s a handy little trick if you want to number all your photographs, but it gets even better. We discovered last week that any text you add to these photographs will actually be read by Google and other search engines .

That means every single photo in your gallery can offer a boost to your SEO rankings. This is fantastic news!

So you can bet we’re on a rampage now to start describing each of our clients’ photos in detail. (I’ll jump on anything that will give us better website results.) Now I’ll admit this is a rather tedious process. For example, if you have 150 photos in your gallery, then you need to write the captions for 150 photos. And then you need to find a tech savvy website person who can load these captions into the JavaScript.

In fact, I’ll confess right now that I can’t tell you exactly how to do it, because I don’t actually do it myself. (I let my website people handle it; they’re a lot smarter than me.) But if you’re something of a “do-it-yourself” website person, then you should have no trouble using this software.

So if you want to be a Top 50 Pool Builder, or at least want to get some better SEO rankings for dirt cheap, then I suggest you check out that Highslide software. And when you win next year, if you happen to mention my name, it won’t hurt my feelings a bit.

Till next time,

2009 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin Inc. May not be used without permission.

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