An optimal position: She grew her staff by 250% last year. Now Lisa Wehr is settling into larger quarters.
SUTTONS BAY – Entrepreneurial activity is a compelling strength in our economy. As long as a company has a viable idea, high-quality personnel and a force behind the idea, it can do anything and go anywhere.
Just ask Lisa Wehr, who is the force behind Oneupweb, a search engine optimization and web site marketing firm.
In simple terms, search engine optimization gets a company's web site to be among the first listings on Google, Yahoo!, or other search engines when customers enter key words for certain products or services. Search engine marketing is a lively, complex practice. Search engines change their algorithms and indexing methods constantly, merge with each other, share content or develop new products, making it challenging to stay ahead in the industry.
Companies need a marketing firm that is experienced in the changing trends of search engine optimization and moving their client high up in a search engine position. That's where Oneupweb comes in.
"I have entrepreneur genes," Wehr explained with a smile "And a good intuitive sense on what clients need and how we can grow as a company."
Wehr has proven that by doubling Oneupweb's gross revenue every year since 2000. In addition, Oneupweb had a 250 percent growth in its staff in 2004 by expanding the marketing department, adding more pay-per-click staff and tripling the number of programmers maintaining and developing its technology.
Oneupweb is now bursting at the seams a little more than a year after buying, renovating and occupying its present office building in Suttons Bay. Oneupweb's rapid growth has forced the company to find new quarters to accommodate their current and future staff. Wehr acquired a building at 7322 E. Duck Lake Rd., just east of the village of Lake Leelanau, before the holidays.
"Our growth was being limited by our space," Wehr pointed out. "With the new building, we'll be able to add more talent, technicians, sales and programmers."
Oneupweb is an example of how the Internet allows people and companies to work from any location. Oneupweb client meetings happen via conference calls from their offices in Suttons Bay. Reports and communications travel instantly by email and Fed Ex. Analysts at Piper Jaffray estimated that the search marketing industry would reach the $7 billion mark by the end of 2004, a figure that Oneupweb felt was on the conservative side.
Before Wehr founded Oneupweb, she led a very different life. While on a vacation in Alaska, she watched the beginning of the Iditarod, got hooked, and moved to Alaska to become a professional dog musher. For 10 years Wehr competed in races with her dog team.
Her most trying moment came in 1994 during the Nushagak Classic, a 400-mile race starting and ending in Dillingham, Alaska. Near the end of the race, she mistakenly steered her sled onto a floating sheet of ice, plunging herself, her dogs and the 100 pound sled into the icy waters. Alone, she struggled for nearly three hours to free her dogs and the sled. Although her team was exhausted and numb from the icy waters, she motivated them to press on and ended up finishing second out of 30 contestants later that day.
By 1995 Wehr had decided making life or death decisions as a professional sled-dog racer was no longer a career for a woman who wanted to become a mother. It was also a time when the Internet was taking leaps and bounds as a worldwide recognized entity.
So, Wehr went to Wal-Mart, bought herself a computer and taught herself how to use it. Before she left Alaska she had founded a web development firm, called Alaska Web Art. When she left, she sold the web development firm, but kept her subsidiary company, Oneupweb.
The same tenacity that got her back into the Nashagak Classic is what makes her so successful in Oneupweb today.
"The mental challenges of managing and leading a search engine optimization and marketing firm are oddly a lot like mushing," laughs Wehr. "Our team has had to immediately adapt to a changing business landscape, and not just the peaks and valleys of the economy."
"Oneupweb's ability to keep in front of the industry stems directly from Lisa's unwavering drive," says Marketing Director, Rachel North. Not only was Wehr the 2003 recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, but she was also named to BtoB magazine's Who's Who in Search in 2004, along with Google founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
Furthermore, Oneupweb was given the Clickz's award for Best Search Engine Marketing Firm in the world for 2003 and was runner-up for the same award in 2004. And finally, Inc. magazine recently profiled Wehr in their January 2005 issue.
In 2004, Wehr's vision and intuitive sense motivated Oneupweb to create and develop ROI trax, a proprietary conversion analytics technology, the first designed specifically for search engine optimization and marketing, along with BridgeWorx, a technology and service package that solves search marketing challenges for dynamic web sites.
"I drive the ideas, what I want and how I want it to work, and ask for input, brainstorming with my staff on how to make it happen," Wehr stated.
Oneupweb also created the industry's first proactive advertising and PR agency partnership program this past year.
"The search engine industry is so hot right now that advertising agency clients are demanding the service of search engine optimization," Wehr explained.
Other services Oneupweb offers include conversion tracking and reporting, pay-per-click advertising and paid inclusion.
Oneupweb's clients are medium-sized Fortune 500 companies, some of which are Unisys, Equifax, Motorola, Broyhill, and Kimberly-Clark.
Oneupweb plans to move the entire company to its new location some time this month.
For more information you can contact Oneupweb at 231-271-8700, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit them online: oneupweb.com.