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The entry period closes August 4, 2017. 

2017 Search Engine Land Awards Categories:



Each awards category has specific entry criteria. Please read carefully before putting together data and beginning the online application process. 

Once you create a user profile and select a category for entry, you will see fields to enter specific data required, depending on the category (SEO, SEM, individual or team awards) you select.

You can complete your entry in phases, editing and updating until you finalize your submission.

Review the Rules & Regulations and FAQ for additional information. All entries are required to submit the following:

  • Entry Application fee:
    • $295 per entry submitted before July 14, 2017 at 11:59PM PST.
    • $395 per entry submitted between July 15-31, 2017. Entries close July 31, 2017 at 11:59PM PST.
  • Executive Summary & Overview, 750 words or less;
  • Campaign / Initiative Budget & Eligibility Timeframe
    • All initiatives and campaigns submitted for consideration must have been executed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
  • Results/KPIs -- by category:
    • ALL SEM Categories: ROAS (required)
    • ALL SEO Categories: ROI, Organic Search Traffic Increase % (required)
    • OPTIONAL: other KPIs including impact on leads, sales, AOV, links, etc.
  • Supporting data and/or charts, maximum three pages -- PDF, PPT, DOC or XLS; and
  • Company logo or head shot for individual categories.

BEST OVERALL SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE -- SEO & SEM

Recognizes exceptional integration efforts between organic search engine optimization and paid search advertising programs executed by internal and/or external resources, including agency or consultant services.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing best practices of SEO and paid search advertising, and demonstrates shared knowledge between SEO and SEM teams

  • Summary of all organic SEO tactics, best practices and initiatives employed

  • Summary of all paid search tactics/best practice PPC initiatives employed

  • Summary of resources required for execution -- budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized to audit, manage and measure efforts

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BEST OVERALL SEM INITIATIVE -- SMALL BUSINESS

Recognizes successful efforts by internal teams, agencies or consultants running paid search campaigns across one or more search-based advertising platforms, demonstrating improvement and a positive return on investment.

Entrants must demonstrate success in paid search advertising efforts to improve visibility within paid results to attract and/or convert new customers on major search platforms.

What qualifies as a “small business initiative?” As a rough guideline, judges will take into consideration a) company size (<100 employees) and/or b) total ad spend is less than $10,000 USD during the specified campaign(s) period. (Judges reserve right to move submissions to alternate category.)

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by running an optimized paid search/SEM campaign
  • Summary of all paid search tactics/best practice PPC initiatives employed
  • Summary of details of campaign creative and A/B testing as relevant
  • List of any ad platform features used and what, if any, third-party/automated scripts, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized
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BEST OVERALL SEO INITIATIVE -- SMALL BUSINESS

Recognizes the best program by internal and/or external resources, including agency or consultant services to improve organic SEO efforts for small to medium-sized organizations/websites through improvement of technical elements, on-page content and off-page factors.

Examples of successful programs and specific SEO initiatives may include case studies of improved results after technical audits completed, recovery from manual or algorithmic penalty, content marketing strategies resulting in improved visibility and qualified traffic from (unpaid) search results.

Entries should demonstrate quantitative and qualitative improvement as a result of organic SEO efforts either in general (Web) search or specialty categories such as news results, video and/or image search, multi-lingual results from top-tier search engines and secondary search-driven platforms.

What qualifies as a “small business initiative?” As a rough guideline, judges will take into consideration a) company size (<100 employees) and/or b) total resources allocated during the specified campaign(s) period. (Judges reserve right to move submissions to alternate category.)

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Guidelines for small businesses -- Fewer than 100 employees and/or budget of less than $5,000 USD per month/$60K annually for organic SEO resource, including cost of external talent, tools and platforms. (Judges reserve right to move submissions to alternate category.)

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing an effective low-budget SEO campaign

  • Summary of  all organic SEO tactics, best practices and initiatives employed

  • Summary of resources required for execution -- budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized  to audit, manage and measure efforts.

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BEST OVERALL SEM INITIATIVE -- ENTERPRISE

Recognizes successful efforts by internal teams, agencies or consultants running paid search campaigns across one or more search-based advertising platforms, demonstrating improvement and a positive return on investment.

Entrants must demonstrate success in paid search advertising efforts to improve visibility within paid results to attract and/or convert new customers on major search platforms. What qualifies as an “enterprise initiative?”

As a rough guideline, judges will take into consideration a) company size (>100 employees) and/or b) total ad spend is more than $10,000 USD  during the specified campaign(s) period. (Judges reserve right to move submissions to alternate category.)

NOTE -- Entries may be submitted to the overall SEM Enterprise category for any industry or target market focus, whether B2C, B2C or both/general audience.

Submissions may also be considered (copied) for a secondary award under these specific sub-categories for B2C or B2B, industry verticals, Retail, Mobile or Local SEM with payment of additional entry fee.

  • BEST B2B SEM INITIATIVE - ENTERPRISE
  • BEST B2C OVERALL SEM INITIATIVE - ENTERPRISE
  • BEST ENTERPRISE SEM INITIATIVE - TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
  • BEST ENTERPRISE SEM INITIATIVE - FINANCIAL SERVICES
  • BEST ENTERPRISE SEM INITIATIVE - AUTOMOTIVE

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by running an optimized paid search/SEM campaign
  • Summary of all paid search tactics/best practice PPC initiatives employed
  • Summary of details of campaign creative and A/B testing as relevant
  • List of any ad platform features used and what, if any, third-party/automated scripts, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized
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BEST OVERALL SEO INITIATIVE -- ENTERPRISE

Recognizes the best program by internal and/or external resources, including agency or consultant services to improve organic SEO efforts for large organizations/websites through improvement of technical elements, on-page content and off-page factors.

Examples of successful programs and specific SEO initiatives may include case studies of improved results after technical audits completed, recovery from manual or algorithmic penalty, content marketing strategies resulting in improved visibility and qualified traffic from (unpaid) search results.

Entries should demonstrate quantitative and qualitative improvement as a result of organic SEO efforts either in general (web) search or specialty categories such as news results, video and/or image search, multilingual results from top-tier search engines and secondary search-driven platforms.

What qualifies as an “enterprise initiative?” As a rough guideline, judges will take into consideration a) company size (>100 employees) and/or b) total resources allocated during the specified campaign(s) period. (Judges reserve right to move submissions to alternate category.)

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Guidelines for larger businesses -- More than 100 employees and/or budget of more than $5,000 USD per month/$60K annually for organic SEO initiatives, including cost of external talent, tools and platforms. (Judges reserve right to move submissions to alternate category.)

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing an effective enterprise SEO campaign

  • Summary of all organic SEO tactics, best practices and initiatives employed

  • Summary of resources required for execution -- budget, time frame/project hours, internal team resources, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized to audit, manage and measure efforts

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BEST RETAIL SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE -- SEM

Recognizes successful and/or innovative campaigns utilizing best practices for paid search advertising in the retail/e-commerce industry.

Entrants must demonstrate success in product search-focused advertising efforts, including but not limited to: use of product listing ads, retargeting and other retail search marketing tactics to improve online/offline sales as a direct result of paid search channels.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing a retail SEM campaign

  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to product ads, ad extensions, targeting, etc.

  • Summary of resources required for execution -- budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized

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BEST RETAIL SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE -- SEO

Recognizes successful search marketing efforts by retailers to increase organic search visibility and traffic, and demonstrated increase in online/offline sales through organic search engine optimization efforts.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by organic SEO efforts implemented
  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to: catalog site architecture improvements, product schema markup, optimizing page speed/product image delivery via CDNs, product copywriting for SEO, content marketing and/or link acquisition efforts
  • Summary of resources required for implementation -- budget, project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized
  • Demonstrated increase in sales (or other sales-related conversion metrics) as direct result of organic search marketing (SEO) effort
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BEST LOCAL SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE -- SEM

Recognizes search marketing efforts utilizing paid search advertising campaigns for increased visibility, online traffic, offline impact on in-store visits/purchases and/or direct sales/leads from local search ads. Open to campaigns for either individual (single location) or multi-location businesses.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing a local SEM Campaign

  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to local ad targeting, call extensions, local inventory ads, etc.

  • Summary of resources required for execution -- budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized

  • Summary of offline results of efforts, if applicable: increase in call volume, local appointments set, foot traffic to physical locations or related metrics

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BEST LOCAL SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE -- SEO

Recognizes search marketing efforts utilizing best practices of local SEO for increased visibility/position in search results, online/offline traffic and direct sales/leads from organic search results. Open to campaigns for either individual (single location) or multi-location businesses.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by organic SEO efforts implemented
  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to: catalog site architecture improvements, product schema markup, optimizing page speed/product image delivery via CDNs, product copywriting for SEO, content marketing and/or link acquisition efforts
  • Summary of resources required for implementation -- budget, project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized
  • Demonstrated increase in sales (or other sales-related conversion metrics) as direct result of organic search marketing (SEO) effort
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BEST MOBILE SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE -- SEM

Recognizes successful and/or innovative campaigns utilizing best practices for paid search advertising targeting mobile devices and users. Entrants must demonstrate success in mobile search advertising efforts including but not limited to: mobile device targeting via search-based advertising (including use of mobile ad extensions, retargeting, other) to attract new users and/or improve visibility within location-based search results on mobile platforms.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing mobile SEM campaign
  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to: mobile ad extensions, device targeting, mobile ad formats
  • Summary of resources required for execution -- budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized
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BEST MOBILE SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE -- SEO

Recognizes successful efforts to implement mobile-friendly best practices and/or mobile SEO initiatives to meet business objectives.

Entrants must demonstrate success in expanding mobile search visibility and/or growing audience metrics from “organic” mobile optimization efforts including but not limited to: optimizing website structure for mobile usage, delivery speed and content optimization for organic search or mobile app store search; or other efforts to attract new users and/or improve organic visibility within location-based search results on mobile platforms.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by implementing mobile initiatives

  • Summary of all tactics/initiatives employed, including but not limited to: page speed reduction efforts, AMP implementation, RWD, ASO, APP indexing, etc.

  • Summary of resources required for implementation -- budget, project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized

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BEST B2B SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE -- SEM

Recognizes successful efforts by internal teams, agencies or consultants running paid search campaigns across one or more search-based advertising platforms, demonstrating continuous improvement and a positive return on investment.

Entrants must demonstrate success in paid search advertising efforts to improve visibility within paid results to drive sales, generate leads and/or convert new customers on major search platforms.

IMPORTANT: Entries may be submitted to this category must focus primarily on search advertising for a B2B audience. Submissions may also be considered (copied) under Overall Small Business, Enterprise, industry verticals, Retail, Mobile or Local SEM categories with payment of additional entry fee. 

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of industry or marketplace challenges, goals & business objectives, KPIs achieved by implementing an targeted B2B SEM campaign

  • Summary of all paid search tactics/best practice PPC initiatives employed

  • Summary of details of campaign creative and A/B testing as relevant

  • List of any ad platform features used and what, if any, third-party/automated scripts, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized

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BEST B2B SEARCH MARKETING INITIATIVE -- SEO

Recognizes successful search marketing efforts by B2B marketers to increase organic search visibility, while demonstrating an increase in leads generated and/or online/offline sales driven through organic search engine optimization efforts. 

IMPORTANT: Entries may be submitted to this category must focus primarily on SEO efforts for a B2B audience. Submissions may also be considered (copied) under Overall Small Business, Enterprise, Retail, Mobile or Local SEO categories with payment of additional entry fee. 

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of industry or marketplace challenges, goals & business objectives, KPIs achieved by implementing an targeted B2B SEO campaign

  • Summary of all organic SEO tactics, best practices and initiatives employed, including but not limited to: content marketing initiatives which impacted search visibility. 

  • Summary of resources required for execution -- budget, time frame/project hours, external vendors, tools and platforms utilized  to audit, manage and measure efforts.

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BEST INTEGRATION OF SEARCH INTO CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

Recognizes most successful and creative integration of search (organic and/or paid) executed by internal and/or external resources, including agency or consultant services as part of a larger (corporate/brand) marketing campaign, including but not limited to: social media, email marketing, digital video to offline advertising such as print, outdoor and television.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Executive summary of goals, business objectives and conversion metrics achieved by integrating best practices of SEO and paid search advertising into cross-channel marketing campaigns

  • List of all other marketing channels used and description of search’s role in the mix

  • Details of all campaign creative (text and/or display), targeting and optimization efforts used for search marketing activities

  • Summary of resources required for execution -- budget, time frame/project hours, coordination of internal resources and external vendors, tools and platforms utilized to audit, manage and measure efforts

  • Summary of results, including attribution modeling, if appropriate (may include charts and/or graphs to help illustrate achievement)

  • May include impact on specific objectives (e.g., see brand lift of X%, increase ROAS, increase AOV by X%, etc.)

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SEARCH MARKETER OF THE YEAR -- FEMALE

This award will recognize an individual who demonstrates exceptional measurable results in search marketing via organic (and/or) paid channels. The nominee can be a self-employed individual, freelance or part-time consultant to full-time employee in a marketing role on the client side (in-house) or within a digital agency.

Business owners, executives and managers are encouraged to submit nominations for their key team members and/or account leaders who have produced exceptional results within their organizations. Individuals are encouraged to self-nominate. 

The winner will have demonstrated results and/or made significant contributions toward the execution of meaningful best practices in search marketing industry.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Submission must clearly define nominee's role in client campaigns and/or internal SEO/SEM success.
    • For example, was the nominee solely responsible for results? To what extent did they collaborate with others internally/externally? Are they an account manager/director, team/project leader or executive management?
    • Did the nominee present an innovative approach or apply a creative solution?
  • Submission must include specific KPIs/business objectives achieved as a direct result of the nominee's contribution to client or internal campaign initiatives executed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
    • Submit (up to three) supporting charts/graphs.
  • Summary of demonstrated thought leadership and shared knowledge through research/testing, authoritative articles/blog postings, public speaking, corporate training, teaching engagements or similar industry contributions
    • Submit (up to five) supporting examples/links.
      • NOTE: nominees will not be judged on the quantity or reach of such efforts, but the overall quality of the contributions. Individual followers, page likes or other data will not count positively or negatively in judging.
    • Outline other professional activities including but not limited to: ongoing education/certifications, mentoring, volunteering time or professional marketing services for industry and/or non-profit organization.
  • Nominee must not have won this award previously.
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SEARCH MARKETER OF THE YEAR -- MALE

This award will recognize an individual who demonstrates exceptional measurable results in search marketing via organic (and/or) paid channels. The nominee can be a self-employed individual, freelance or part-time consultant to full-time employee in a marketing role on the client side (in-house) or within a digital agency.

Business owners, executives and managers are encouraged to submit nominations for their key team members and/or account leaders who have produced exceptional results within their organizations. Individuals are encouraged to self-nominate. 

The winner will have demonstrated results and/or made significant contributions towards the execution of meaningful best practices in search marketing industry.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Submission must clearly define nominee's role in client campaigns and/or internal SEO/SEM success.
    • For example, was the nominee solely responsible for results? To what extent did they collaborate with others internally/externally? Are they an account manager/director, team/project leader or executive management?
    • Did the nominee present an innovative approach or apply a creative solution?
  • Submission must include specific KPIs/business objectives achieved as a direct result of the nominee's contribution to client or internal campaign initiatives executed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
    • Submit (up to three) supporting charts/graphs.
  • Summary of demonstrated thought leadership and shared knowledge through research/testing, authoritative articles/blog postings, public speaking, corporate training, teaching engagements or similar industry contributions
    • Submit (up to five) supporting examples/links.
      • NOTE: nominees will not be judged on the quantity or reach of such efforts, but the overall quality of the contributions. Individual followers, page likes or other data will not count positively or negatively in judging.
    • Outline other professional activities including but not limited to: ongoing education/certifications, mentoring, volunteering time or professional marketing services for industry and/or non-profit organization.
  • Nominee must not have won this award previously.
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IN-HOUSE TEAM OF THE YEAR -- SEM

This award recognizes the successful efforts of in-house marketing team initiatives with respect to paid search marketing (SEM). The winners will have demonstrate meaningful results for their organization through implementing best practices of search-focused advertising.

In addition, judges will evaluate the overall team approach to collaboration, executive communication, accountability, ongoing education/training, testing and learning initiatives.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • In-house team must include least two full-time employees, working either within the same group or cross-departmentally.
  • Executive summary should include the following details:
    • Team size, structure and roles/areas of SEM expertise for each individual. Provide length of employment for each team member.
  • Regular communication and collaboration techniques
  • Allotted non-project time spent learning via research, online training/webinars, attending  conferences and events, obtaining certifications and/or related continuing education activities
  • Provide examples of regular (weekly/monthly/quarterly) reports as appropriate, and outline accountability for goals set by upper management.
  • Summarize resources used by team to execute ongoing initiatives, including but not limited to: project or annual budget, time frame/project hours, internal resources, external vendors/agencies, tools and/or platforms utilized. 
  • Should include specific results (KPIs/business objectives) achieved as a direct result of the team’s SEM initiatives executed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
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IN-HOUSE TEAM OF THE YEAR -- SEO

This award recognizes the successful efforts of in-house marketing team initiatives with respect to organic SEO. The winners will have demonstrated meaningful results for their organization through implementing best practices of search engine optimization.

In addition, judges will evaluate the overall team approach to collaboration, executive communication, accountability, ongoing education/training, testing and learning initiatives. 

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • In-house team must include at least two full-time employees, working either within the same group or cross-departmentally.
  • Executive summary should include the following details:
    • Team size, structure and roles/areas of SEO expertise for each individual. Provide length of employment for each team member.
  • Regular communication and collaboration techniques
  • Allotted non-project time spent learning via research, online training/webinars, attending  conferences and events, obtaining certifications and/or related continuing education activities
  • Provide examples of regular (weekly/monthly/quarterly) reports as appropriate and outline accountability for goals set by upper management.
  • Summarize resources used by team to execute ongoing initiatives, including but not limited to: project or annual budget, time frame/project hours, internal resources, external vendors/agencies, tools and/or platforms utilized.
  • Should include specific results (KPIs/business objectives) achieved as a direct result of the team’s SEO initiatives executed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
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AGENCY OF THE YEAR -- SEM

This award recognizes best-in-class efforts of agency initiatives with respect to paid search marketing (SEM) on behalf of client(s). The winners will have demonstrated meaningful results for a client organization through implementing best practices of search-focused advertising.

In addition, judges will evaluate the overall agency approach to client collaboration, internal/external communication, campaign accountability, ongoing education/training, testing and learning initiatives.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Agency team must include at least two full-time employees, working either within the same group or cross-departmentally.
  • Executive summary should include the following details:
    • Team size, structure and roles/areas of SEM expertise for each individual
  • Regular client communication and collaboration techniques
  • Allotted non-project time spent learning via research, online training/webinars, attending  conferences and events, obtaining certifications and/or related continuing education activities
  • Provide examples of regular (weekly/monthly/quarterly) reports as appropriate and outline accountability for goals set by client.
  • Summarize resources used by agency to execute ongoing client initiatives, including but not limited to: project or annual budget, time frame/project hours, internal resources, external vendors/partners, tools and/or platforms utilized.
  • Must include specific results (KPIs/business objectives) achieved as a direct result of the agency's SEM initiatives executed on behalf of (at least one) client between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
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AGENCY OF THE YEAR -- SEO

This award recognizes best-in-class efforts of agency initiatives with respect to search engine optimization (SEO) on behalf of client(s). The winners will have demonstrated meaningful results for a client organization through implementing best practices of organic SEO.

In addition, judges will evaluate the overall agency approach to client collaboration, internal/external communication, campaign accountability, ongoing education/training, testing and learning initiatives.

ENTRY CRITERIA:

  • Agency team must include at least two full-time employees, working either within the same group or cross-departmentally.
  • Executive summary should include the following details:
    • Team size, structure and roles/areas of SEO expertise for each individual
  • Regular client communication and collaboration techniques
  • Allotted non-project time spent learning via research, online training/webinars, attending  conferences and events, obtaining certifications and/or related continuing education activities
  • Provide examples of regular (weekly/monthly/quarterly) reports as appropriate and outline accountability for goals set by client.
  • Summarize resources used by agency to execute ongoing client initiatives, including but not limited to: project or annual budget, time frame/project hours, internal resources, external vendors/partners, tools and/or platforms utilized.
  • Must include specific results (KPIs/business objectives) achieved as a direct result of the agency's SEO initiatives executed on behalf of (at least one) client between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
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