This photo was taken about 10 years ago on the summit of Mt. Timpanogos in Utah, and I’m using it here because this was my favorite hike. There’s a campground at the base of the mountain, a mile or two up the road from Robert Redford’s Sundance resort and ski area. The trail switchbacks up for about 5,000′ feet of elevation gain, crossing snow fields and occasionally going behind small waterfalls, and eventually arrives at a glacier-fed lake. From there you climb up an increasingly steep glacier, eventually going on all fours, until you reach a ridge, which you can see behind me in the photo. You hike along that to the summit. There you look down a 2,000′ cliff to the lake you had stopped at earlier. Here’s a panoramic view from the summit.
I got into computers in about 1980. After struggling with typewriters all my life, I was thrilled to discover that I could edit a page without having to retype it. About five years later, I paid about $1800 for one of the earliest Macs with no hard drive and 1 Mb of RAM, and discovered Desktop Publishing. A few years later, I was teaching it at a university. That eventually morphed into web development, which I still do for a few sites just to stay up-to-date, but I’m no designer. So when I discovered SEO about 10 years ago, I had finally found my niche. Pondering what domain name I might choose, my love of mountains (skiing and hiking) inspired the name SearchSummit
And then what happened?
I began serving clients whose sites I had been developing. Eventually I got my own site together, more as a teaching tool for existing clients than as a means to attract new ones, since I was getting plenty through referrals. That trend continues today. I don’t advertise or make serious efforts to improve my own site’s ranking in the search engines, but satisfied clients continue to refer new ones, and people do find me in the search engines.
Over the years my techniques have evolved along with the general SEO world, but my fundamental approach has remained the same. I develop a personal relationship with each client and customize my work to fulfill their unique goals and needs. This wouldn’t work with major corporations, most of which have an in-house SEO staff or hire larger firms, but it’s ideal for the small to medium-sized businesses that make up my client base.
I work in a home office in a small town in Southeast Iowa, often with a cat on my lap, looking out at bird feeders and nests. Unfortunately it’s 1,000 miles to the nearest mountains, but my wife and I walk the dogs each day, I work out on my BowFlex, do yoga and meditate every day, and always ride my bike rather than drive, weather and load permitting.
I enjoy what I do, and look forward to each day’s activities. Not that I’d keep doing it if I won the lottery (which I never enter, lotteries being taxes on the arithmetically challenged), but my slogans are “do the next obvious thing” and “loving what is,” and I do.