Steve Phillips founded Purple Trout in 2004, a few years after the dot-com bust waylaid many internet-based companies. But Phillips, from his Fort Thomas home, survived in what had been a declining business environment to eventually thrive as the nature of internet commerce changed, becoming more sophisticated while internet access became more widespread. In 2009, Phillips was ready to move into his Newport offices.
"Up until year three it was just me. And I used freelancers and contractors on some projects. In year three I started hiring people. Then in this past year it really started to explode, and I was doing this out of my house. It was a split level, and in the lower level we had 8-10 people working full-time," Phillips said.
Initially focused on Search Engine Optimization, Purple Trout now offers a wide range of internet-based marketing services, including Paid Search/Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns, Social Media Marketing, Video Search Engine Marketing, Usability Analysis, Conversion Tuning, Web Analytics and Competitive Analysis.
The company currently has a dozen employees, and Phillips plans to hire several more in 2009. Purple Trout has more than 200 clients who range from national and regional businesses to solo entrepreneurs.
"It's definitely a wide variety of clients who want to compete on the internet. We have IT companies, some manufacturing companies and several legal or law firm clients. We're starting to get medical clients," Phillips said.
Search Engine Optimization involves more than keyword web code. To create a web site that ranks high in search engines, Purple Trout employees determine a site's current keywords, write all page and site titles, conduct competitor research, create Google and Yahoo site maps, submit the site to 50 search engines and directories, create web site content and more.
"I think people are starting to take a look at using the internet and using a web site as a main marketing tool. I don't think businesses are increasing their marketing budgets; they are moving away from the traditional old-school means of print, radio and TV," Phillips said.
Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Steve Phillips, Purple Trout founder