To SEO or not to SEO: That is truly the question!

Guest Blog Contributed by Chamber Member Ron Le Vine, Efficient Portal

Over the years, we have had many people ask us about SEO. So, I thought I would write about it for a bit. First, I will start with some history and then get into how to think about SEO in the current times.

Back in the early days of the Internet people would build a site and then tell their friends and colleges about it. Sometimes the sites were useful. Sometimes not.

Later on, the search engines were developed with the idea of providing users of the Internet a way to search the thousands of websites for information they needed. Sites like,, and so on, came into being and successful by providing this service. Even so, when you searched for the information you needed, it was a crap-shoot on whether or not the results you received would be the ones you wanted.

Pretty soon, the search engine companies realized that people who were looking for their local Catholic church, they probably weren’t interested in porn sites that featured Nuns… So, they began screening the websites for keywords to help alleviate some of this problem. Of course, once web developers realized what was going on, they started to exploit the system. They would write sentences such as, “My car dealership is the best car dealership in the history of car dealerships. So, if you are looking for a great car dealership to go to, come down to our car dealership for the best car dealership experience!” This is, of course, borderline non-sensical as no one actually talks like this. But, the over-saturation of the words “Car Dealership” in a text would get them to the top of the search engines.

Of course, the search engines caught on to this and started penalizing sites for doing this. But, sites still needed to get to the top. So, they started what is now called, “Keyword Farming”. About 15 years ago, we would see a lot of websites where there would be some useful information at the top of a page with some imagery. But it would seem to end about half-way down the page and then everything would appear to just be a background color. A lot of folks just figured this was room for expansion of the page later. However, if you did a click and drag over the area, you would find a ton of keywords that had been placed there and had their font colors changed to match that of the background. Thankfully, this has been dealt with by the search engines as well. So, doing this will actually result in a page being ranked far below where it would have been if the practice had not been done.

Enough with history. What about SEO in the current times?

While there are a bunch of search engines out there such as Yahoo!, MSN, Google, and so on, the only really relevant search engine we need to worry about is Google. Google is the elephant in the room and if you handle your website in such a way as to make Google happy to rank you high, the other will as well as they all basically follow the same rules albeit in slightly different ways.

The search engines of today have a very high degree of artificial intelligence working in the background called Spiders. These spiders are smart enough that when they come across your website, they can tell if you have expertly written content that is actually about the subject matter with no keyword-farming or other SEO tricks. In short – they are looking for websites that display a degree of expertise in the professed subject matter. The better of an expert you can present yourself to be, the higher you will rank. Oddly enough, this is the same as when a person comes to your site.

So, to answer the question posed above:

Don’t sweat the SEO. Write your articles and pages for human consumption. Worry about things like spelling and grammar as well as presenting as the best “Expert” in your field. This will get you the ranking you need without any special tricks which may get penalized in the future.

If you found this blog useful and would like more information, contact Ron Le Vine, Efficient Portal – (503) 899-0411



Guest Blog Contributed by Chamber Member Edge One Media

If you are passionate about a certain cause, consider connecting your business to it! Edge One Media is passionate about making an impact against cancer and has been heavily involved with organizing its local Relay for Life for 5 years! While doing our best to benefit the fight against cancer, inversely, being involved with Relay for Life has benefitted Edge One. We’re sure that we can all agree that supporting a good cause while growing your business is a pretty good deal!

Our main goal as businesses is to reach those who need our services while distinguishing ourselves from our competitors. In this ever-evolving business environment, consumers already expect great service, now they are weighing how you are making the world a better place as well. What’s a better way to do so than becoming involved with like-minded members of your community?

Connecting your business to a cause will increase your network. Whether it is communicating with those in charge of organizing, other businesses involved, or businesses communicating with you because you are organizing. Working with other socially-conscious businesses can lead to referrals or an opportunity to build strong mutually beneficial partnerships.

Being involved and working with the community will show that you are more than just a business looking out for its own. This will generate exposure for your business in good light. Getting to know the community personally will make people more comfortable in reaching out to you or easier for them to refer you to a friend.

Presenting the opportunity and encouraging your employees to volunteer can help boost employee morale and teamwork. Employees feeling fulfilled leads to higher performance and productivity. Consumers and employees alike are becoming more socially conscious, wanting to make a difference as much as they want to enjoy what they are doing. Creating a way your employees can help can give them an opportunity that they otherwise may not have known about, potentially creating or growing a passion for the cause in the process.

It is important that you share what your business is doing with pictures/video on your website and social media. Rather than coming off as a simple brag – explain the cause and who else involved while showing others how they can become involved as well.

If you aren’t quite sure how you can connect your business to a cause, there are plenty of ways! Be aware of any issues your community/city/state may be experiencing, serve on a community or event board, donate, or participate/plan/host community events.

One of the best ways to get involved with your community is to create a promotion, giveaway, or contest. From creating a promotion where all or a percentage of the profits will be donated or a contest where students can win a prize for their school, Edge One Media can work with you to develop a campaign aimed towards helping a cause that will generate business for you as well.  If you are interested, give us a call at 503-567-7343.



Find The Talented New Employees You Need

Grow & Retain Your Existing Talent

This is a FREE EVENT

Thursday, April 5th  11:30-1:00 pm



Clackamas County small, medium and large-sized businesses seeking solutions about workforce-related challenges


Meet County, State and Non-Profit organization that offer free and/or low-cost services to help you with your workforce challenges. Find new employees and grow existing talent.

Find education and training resources to support your organization’s workforce development initiatives such as apprenticeship training, professional development, employee career progression, and leadership training


Clackamas Community College in Gregory Forum, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City, OR 97045



5 Ways to Evaluate the Success of Your Team

Guest Blog Contributed by Chamber Member Brad Kleiner of Sandler Training in Wilsonville.

5 Ways to Evaluate the Success of Your Team

Improving your efficiency or effectiveness is only as good as your method of determining and evaluating success. It’s easy to earn a win here or there, but repeated success over a long period of time can only be done through hard work, analysis, and reinforcement. Below, we have outlined five ways to gauge the success of your team, how you got there, and what to do to keep it up.

  1. Establish a clear baseline.

First, you must establish a bottom line. This should be the level that you expect your team to operate at, if nothing changes. This is very much like a control group in a scientific experiment – an unadulterated sample for you to track along with actual performance. Giving yourself a subset to compare against will allow you to ballpark the level of achievement. However, we want to do a lot more than just estimate success. That leads us to step two.

  1. Quantify what success means for your team.

Now that we’ve established what a normal performance would look like, we can set our sights on determining what level of accomplishment we would consider successful. Without predetermining what it means to be successful, you will be hard-pressed to track progress, never knowing if your team is on track with internal expectations. Setting a quantifiable and measurable goal allows your analysis to be more precise. It also allows you to hold your team accountable since they have something specific to work toward.

Another way to quantify success for your team and make it challenging is to set a level of extreme success to actively reach for. This isn’t just the “shoot for the moon and land amongst the stars” cliché. This method gives your team the freedom to always be striving for more. If an initial level of success is achieved, it may be instinctual to ease up on the throttle and coast, so setting this extra level gives you and your team motivation to continue to work towards improvement.

  1. Don’t ignore the competition.

While it’s always important to measure success relative to previous performance, it would be a mistake not to track the movements and achievements of others as well. This concept applies to professional and athletic arenas alike. When champion swimmers are racing, they alternate the sides that they breathe on for several reasons – one of them being, to keep an eye on what’s happening in the lanes around them. Seeing the progress of their competitors allows them to gauge their own speed, gain motivation, and consider strategies to stay ahead.

Allowing your team the opportunity to focus their competitive spirit externally will not only give them a good guide for success, but it will also provide added motivation as they strive to achieve their goals.

  1. Take note of any positive or negative outliers.

We’ve all heard the saying “a team is only as strong as its weakest link.” This is a universal truth and it applies to the sales world as well. An entire team can be brought down by the actions of an individual. Conversely, a team can be brought up by a particularly strong contributor.

Taking the time to determine if a certain person is bringing down or raising up the team is a good habit to get into. Once you’ve identified an individual, you can determine if their level of achievement is having a major effect on the overall productivity and success of the team. If they bring the team down, determine if their detractions can be reversed. If they’re a positive addition, see if you can coach the remaining members of your team to adopt some of the same habits and attitude.

  1. Assess your level of involvement.

Through the four previous steps, many different criteria have been identified to be tracked and evaluated. But you must not forget to evaluate yourself as a manager.

A leader’s priority should be to ensure that things are running smoothly for his or her team and that the team is equipped with the necessary tools and abilities to be successful. If you find yourself too involved in the day-to-day of your team, take a step back to ensure that you’re fulfilling your role as a manager entirely. If you fully accomplish your leadership tasks and still have time to contribute on the sales front, that’s one thing. But, if you’re limiting yourself at all as a leader and manager by getting too involved in more granular tasks, you’re stunting your team dynamic and your growth as a manager.

Most of the time, it’s easy to determine if a team is successful, but how do you repeat those successes? By establishing a baseline, clarifying your definition of success, keeping an eye on your competition, analyzing your team’s players, and assessing your management performance, you can better judge and evaluate how successful your team is and how great it will be moving forward.

For more information on this topic contact Brad Kleiner, President Sandler Training-Grounded by Cedar Root at 503-341-8740 or by email at


Travel to China with the Wilsonville Area Chamber!

Travel to China with the Wilsonville Area Chamber!

October 13, 2018 – October 22, 2018


Join us at the Wilsonville Holiday Inn to learn more about this AMAZING Opportunity
Information Session  Register Here   
April 23, 2018     5:30-7:00 pm


This all-inclusive, 10-day China adventure you will visit historic locations including Tiananmen Square, the Ming Tombs, and the Forbidden City. Learn about China’s extensive dynastic history while exploring the ultra-modern cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou. Spend time at the stunning Great Wall of China, walk along the Bund and bask in the natural beauty of Yu Garden.

Thanks to our partners, we are able to offer this top-quality travel opportunity at an unbeatable price! When traveling with the Chamber, you will receive a first class experience starting right here at home. We handle all the arrangements, host a variety of informational meetings, introduce you to the other members of our travel group, and provide you with ample insight into your destination.

Trip Includes:
  • Round-trip chartered bus transportation from Wilsonville to Seattle Airport
  • Round-Trip international airfare, taxes, and fees
  • Domestic airfare, taxes, and fees
  • Deluxe private bus transfers and tours while abroad
  • Entrance fees for all tourist attractions on the itinerary
  • Private English-Speaking professional tour guides
  • Three Meals each day
  • All 4 and 5 Star Hotel Accommodations

All of this for $2199

A $400 non-returnable deposit is required to hold your reservation until departure. Deposit due June 1, 2018. Remaining balance and all paperwork due July 1, 2018.

For more information contact Laurie Tarter at or by phone at 503.682.0411 Ext. 102


Day 1 Seattle/Beijing

The chartered bus ride from Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce to Seattle.  Check in at Seattle International Airport for an afternoon flight to Beijing. Your adventure begins as you fly trans-Pacific aboard a wide cabin jetliner. Cross the International Dateline.

Day 2 Beijing

Arrive in Beijing, the Capital of China at 4:55 pm. You will be met by your local tour guide at the airport. Transfer to the hotel after dinner. Hotel:  Wanda Realm Beijing/5 star hotel or similar accommodations.

Day 3 Beijing

Sightseeing includes the Tian An Men Square, the largest square in the world; the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, home of 24 emperors with a total space of 9,999 rooms. Visit the Pearl Market. The Summer Palace, known for many significances such as the Long Corridor with the painted gallery, Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, Seventeen-Arch Bridge and Marble Boat. Peking Roast Duck dinner is arranged.

Day 4 Beijing

Visit the 2008 Beijing Olympic venues for outside views of National Stadium the Bird’s Nest and the National Aquatic Center.  Continue the tour to the Great Wall. En route visits the Jade Factory. The Great Wall, the 4,000- mile long and 2,000 years old construction is said to be the only man-made structure visible by naked eye from the moon. Visit one of the Ming Tombs, one of 13 Ming Emperors’ Tombs is fully excavated and open for exploration.

Day 5 Beijing

Morning sightseeing at the Temple of Heaven, built in 1420 A.D., where the emperors prayed to the heaven for a good harvest. In the afternoon visit the Lama Temple of the religion of Lamaism.

Day 6 Beijing/Shanghai/Suzhou

Flight to Shanghai 8:45am/10: 55 am, then take a bus riding to Suzhou. Afternoon sightseeing to the Tiger Hill. Hotel:  Grand Metropark Hotel Suzhou/4star hotel, or similar accommodations.

Day 7 Suzhou/Hangzhou

Morning visit Suzhou Silk factory. Continue the tour with the centuries-old Lingering Garden. Afternoon visit to the National Embroidery Institute to see silk embroidery, an important local craft with 1,000 years’ history. Take a bus to Hangzhou. Hotel:  Crowne Plaza Hotel Hangzhou Xanadu Resort/5star hotel, or similar accommodations.

Day 8 Hangzhou/Shanghai

In the morning have a boat ride on West Lake with relaxing stopover at jewel-like pagodas. Visit the Longjing Green Tea Plantation. The centuries-old Lingyin Temple, with the main feature of the 64.3 ft-high camphor-wood carved Buddha. Continue the bus journey to Shanghai.  Hotel:  Renaissance Shanghai Caohejing Hotel/5 star, or similar accommodations.

Day 9 Shanghai

The Bund, a famous waterfront park. Visit the Shanghai Silk Rug Factory. In the afternoon enjoy the Yu Garden, a maze of marvelous pavilions, ponds, rocky works and overarching trees. Free time exploration of the old town bazaar. Visit the Pudong District.

Day 10 Shanghai/Beijing/Seattle

Take the morning flight 08:25am/10: 50 am to Beijing continuing at 4:20 pm for Seattle where you will arrive at 12:05 pm on the same day.

*On Day 4, 5, and 8/ or 9 there is free time to explore the area built into the itinerary.  There are optional tours available on these days for those interested in a Hutong tour of traditional residential neighborhoods of Beijing, riding in a rickshaw along narrow and zigzagging streets, or attending a multimedia Acrobatics performance.  You may choose to see a production of “The Legend of Kung Fu or even take a Canal Boat-Cruise in Suzhou along the Ancient Grand Canal, the longest man-made canal.