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HOT TOPIC [AMA] SEO and Digital Marketing in 2016

JDawg

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I learned the art of SEO for the first time over 10 years ago. Since then, I have spent significant time as a freelancer, and currently work for a local Digital Marketing Agency.

While there is an abundance of information on importing/starting a business, I have not come across much about SEO and Digital Marketing. Successful Search Engine Optimization is an excellent way to organically build your business presence & traffic online.

SEO and Digital Marketing strategies are always evolving and changing as search engines (Such as Google) change their algorithms, so I wanted to focus on what is specifically working right now in 2016.

I wanted to start this thread to give you all an opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding SEO and Digital Marketing. I look forward to hearing from you all!

- Jdawg
 

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beatgoezon

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Hey @JDawg, thanks for taking the time to host this AMA, we appreciate you sharing your wisdom on SEO with us.

I wanted to ask the basic, how much do you think SEO has changed from the old methods of "backlinking, on-page/off-page, social media links, link juice, Page Rank" etc terms we used to hear, do any of the old tactics (I'm talking like 2014 and before) have any strength in todays time, and in your view what are the 3 key ingredients to ranking keywords and websites in the modern age?

Long question, but I think this should help clear up a lot of general questions that you may get about SEO.
 

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I'm a college student majoring in business (marketing concentration) and I'd love to get an internship and/or job at a local digital marketing agency (slow lane, I know).

The responsibility I'd prefer would be managing paid advertising campaigns (Google AdWords, Bing / Yahoo Ads, Facebook Ads, etc). So junior media buyer?

There are certifications offered by the previously mentioned companies and a few others that I plan to get this year (which I hope would help me). Plus I'd learn more about each platform which is what counts.

What would your advice be for me and someone like me? A person wanting to get a job at a digital marketing agency, specifically as a junior media buyer.

Thank you!

edit: Re-reading that it's like a 'duh' answer to my question, haha. But I just want an 'insider' perspective on what would help me out with that.
 
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JDawg

JDawg

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Hey @JDawg, thanks for taking the time to host this AMA, we appreciate you sharing your wisdom on SEO with us.

I wanted to ask the basic, how much do you think SEO has changed from the old methods of "backlinking, on-page/off-page, social media links, link juice, Page Rank" etc terms we used to hear, do any of the old tactics (I'm talking like 2014 and before) have any strength in todays time, and in your view what are the 3 key ingredients to ranking keywords and websites in the modern age?

Long question, but I think this should help clear up a lot of general questions that you may get about SEO.
Absolutely, a great question to start things off!

I'll begin by answering your second question:

3 Key Ingredients to Ranking:

1) Quality Content

Content, content, content. I cannot stress this enough. Great content is in my opinion the most important ranking factor for a website. Now by great content, I do not mean "stuffing" as many keywords as possible onto a given page. I'm talking about quality content. Google's algorithms are becoming much more sophisticated, and they can determine whether or not a website's content comes across as spammy. A good example of this is as follows:

Two contracting businesses are trying to compete for the keyword "Siding" specifically targeting the Portland, Oregon area.

Contractor #1 has the following content on their website:

"Lifetime Exteriors is a local Portland siding contractor, and Portland siding company, that also specializes in LP (Louisiana Pacific) siding replacement, synthetic Stucco EIFS siding and DRYVIT siding removal and replacement, siding, roofing, decking, water damage restoration, and construction defect repair with comprehensive training in protecting the exterior envelope here in Portland, Oregon. As a specialty Portland Or, siding contractor and Portland windows company, we include our premium weatherization package that entails a special customized water membrane flashing system from moisture barrier to windows, doors, corners, along with the sealing and caulking of all framework."

*Notice how many times this company repeats the same keyword repetitively! It definitely doesn't read or flow well to a user.

In Contrast here is Contractor #2:

"If you need siding, windows or new doors for your home, you’ve come to the right place. Northwest Siding and Windows is based in Sherwood and services all of Northwest Oregon and the Portland Metropolitan area."

*This contractor incorporated all of the targeted keywords, but did so in a way that reads and flows well. The website obviously had much more content on their webpage, but hopefully this gives you an idea of how to incorporate keywords and still sound natural.

Which contractor ranks higher on Google? ...You guessed it. Contractor #2. In fact, they rank #1 for several keywords. Contractor #2 is found on the second page.

Optimizing content to include your keywords, yet flow naturally is huge. Another ranking factor regarding content is posting new and fresh content to your website on a regular basis. Google, among other search engines love new content. This is why you may see that many websites have a blog - so that new content is posted regularly. This fresh content also gives you more opportunities to rank for new keywords (if you optimize your blog post to include them).

One last thing about content - It has been proven that often times longer articles/content rank better than shorter ones. Quality still trumps quantity when it comes to content/articles, but at the same time if you can produce long, quality articles, then that is gold. 300-500 words is a great place to start when it comes to articles, but you'll notice that the articles that rank the best on Google (pick your topic) tend to be fairly in-depth (around 3000 words).

This also applies to website content & not just a blog. A big mistake that I notice with websites is the lack of content on the home page. If you want your homepage to rank on Google, then quality content is a huge factor.

2) Links

Are are two seperate catagorazations of links: Backlinks & Internal Links

#1 - Backlinks

This is still a significant ranking factor in 2016. However, gone are the days that low-quality and crappy backlinks take your website to the first page of Google. In fact, having bad links pointing to your website will often times result in a penalty. So just like content, quality backlinks are extremely important. It is better to have 2 or 3 solid backlinks coming from authoritative & legitimate websites than 1000 backlinks that come from spammy websites that could include forums, low-quality blogs, and potentially dangerous websites.

A solid backlink goes a long way. If a highly respected and authoritative business links to your website, then it tells Google that you are also respected and in turn improves your ranking on Google. In the same regards, you want to make sure that you are only linking out to credible websites.

#2 - Internal Linking

Internal linking is something that is often overlooked in SEO. Creating a solid internal linking structure will go a long way for a website. This means a few things:

- Making sure that you have a site map on your website. This allows search engines to crawl and index the pages of your website (so they show up on Google, etc.)
- Easy navigation flow. Users should be able to access pages on your website easily by adding links to guide them to the next page.
- Linking in-text keywords to their respective page. This is ultimately sharing "link juice" between your pages. Most of the time, your home page will hold the most authority. So if you put a link on your home page that takes a user to your "services" page. Then the services page in turn gains more authority or "link juice" from home page. A good example of this can be found in my original illustration:

"Lifetime Exteriors is a local Portland siding contractor" is found on the homepage of a website - the underlined portion of this text would be a link to the siding page (or services page). This shows search engines that this keyword "portland siding contractor" is pointing to the siding page. This in turn will help the siding page rank for the keyword. You definitely don't want to link every possible keyword on your website, but strategically linking internal content will go a long ways.

3) Authority

Website authority in my opinion would be a third factor in ranking online. Authority is determined in a few ways:

- Quality Backlinks
- Age of website/domain
- Social Media presence
- Amount of traffic

Now, can you rank with a brand new website with no social media follows? Yes you can. But it is much more difficult. Google and other search engines favor established websites that have a strong social media following. This is why it is important to engage on social media platforms, as it is an authority ranking factor on Google and other search engines.

There are several other factors that help with ranking, but these are in my opinion the three most important.
 

HyperFocus

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How do you think one should use social media when building a consumer product brand?

Am anticipating your reply :)!
 

edward222

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*Social Bookmarking
*Press Release
*RSS
*Blog Commenting

Do you think those strategy still works in 2016?

If not, then there must be a new strategy.. What is it?
If yes, why do you think so?
 
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JDawg

JDawg

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@beatgoezon
how much do you think SEO has changed from the old methods of "backlinking, on-page/off-page, social media links, link juice, Page Rank" etc terms we used to hear, do any of the old tactics (I'm talking like 2014 and before) have any strength in todays time
Another great question! To answer this: I’ll go through each of the terms that you mentioned and show how I've seen the tactics change in the past few years:

Backlinking

Backlinking used to be all about quantity. Just a few years back, you could write up one article, spin it (create 1000s of variations of the same article), and have it posted all across the web. This would generate thousands of backlinks and push your website to the top page of Google.

This has since changed, as google cracks down on spam backlinks. If you use these methods, your website will not improve ranking, in fact, it will most likely be penalized by Google and drop in ranking.

Now, backlinks are still a very strong ranking factor for a website. You just need to do it the right way. It’s the simple idea of Quality > Quantity. Backlinks are great if they are coming from a great website.

Backlinking can be tough, but here are a few ways to build solid backlinks that can improve your search ranking:

-If you have an e-commerce website, then send samples to relevant, high-ranking review sites or blogs. There are so many options to pursue here.

-Offer to guest blog on other high-ranking websites. Most of the time, if you have great content to offer, a website is more than happy to allow you to link back to your website.

-Reach out to customers or places that have used/or currently use your product/service (If they have a website) and ask for a review or ask to exchange links. This really depends on what type of website or business you run. For example: If you sell workout equipment to gyms, ask a gym that uses your equipment if they would be interested in exchanging links. This looks natural and helps out both websites.

On-Page SEO

This is still a very relevant tactic for ranking online. There are dozens of ways to optimize your on-page SEO, and while most hold little weight on their own, the accumulation of optimizing each and every area of your website will go a long way. Here are a few areas of on-page SEO:

- Content
- Keywords
- Meta Titles/Descriptions (Meta keywords and descriptions do not impact your search rankings. Meta titles do impact search rankings, and although it does not impact rankings - writing good meta descriptions will help improve your organic click-through rate)
- Header Tags/Titles
- URL Slug/Structure
- Schema Markup
- Internal Linking Structure
- Blog Posts
- Website Speed
- Text/HTML Ratio
- Social Media Integration
- Image ALT Tags
- Sitemap
- Mobile Responsive Website

From my experience, these are the most significant on-page SEO ranking factors as of 2016.

Social Media Links

Social Media plays a role in ranking. It's used as a measure of website authority to search engines. Ranking factors include: Amount of followers, engagement, reviews, etc.

However, posting your website link or blog post link on a social media account will not help with ranking on Google. That link can help drive traffic to your website, but ultimately it is not considered a backlink.

Link Juice

"Link juice" is still very much a thing. Getting high-authority websites to link to your website is considered "link juice", as is linking content within your website. For those who don't know - "link juice" is essentially the idea of passing authority from one website or webpage to another through the means of a clickable link.

A few years ago, just about every website that linked to you would in turn give you "link juice". Today, only legitimate and authoritative websites give your website "link juice" - and this depends on how authoritative that website is. At the end of the day, the concept still exists.

Page Rank

Google Page rank used to be a way that Google determined the relevance or authority of a website. It was a scale between 0 - 9, with 9 being the most relevant. For instance, Google and Yahoo had a page rank of 9 & Bing had a page rank of 8. While your average website had a rank of around 0-3.

Today, however, Page rank no longer exists. For quite some time now, Google has decided to not update the Page Rank system. So, you can still find pre-existing Page Ranks for older websites, but they are meaningless. It does not effect your ranking, as it is an outdated system.


Hopefully this gives you a basic idea of the differences between a few major SEO tactics. If anyone has questions regarding specific areas of these tactics, ask away!
 
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JDawg

JDawg

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I'm a college student majoring in business (marketing concentration) and I'd love to get an internship and/or job at a local digital marketing agency (slow lane, I know).

The responsibility I'd prefer would be managing paid advertising campaigns (Google AdWords, Bing / Yahoo Ads, Facebook Ads, etc). So junior media buyer?

There are certifications offered by the previously mentioned companies and a few others that I plan to get this year (which I hope would help me). Plus I'd learn more about each platform which is what counts.

What would your advice be for me and someone like me? A person wanting to get a job at a digital marketing agency, specifically as a junior media buyer.

Thank you!

edit: Re-reading that it's like a 'duh' answer to my question, haha. But I just want an 'insider' perspective on what would help me out with that.
That's awesome! I think you'll really enjoy the job as well. It can be tough at times, but I enjoy the challenge. :)

Certifications are great. Personally, I've only gone through the Google Analytics Certification process. They do give you a bit credibility, but they wouldn't necessarily guarantee you a job. They aren't extremely tough to pass, and just about anyone can do it.

That being said, you are at a perfect age for a digital marketing job. All five full-time employees were hired right out of college or very soon after (besides myself - I was hired out of highschool). Digital marketing agencies are looking for young talent who can bring fresh ideas & excitement to the table.

Being aggressive can also help land you the job you want. I would suggest looking up the local digital marketing agencies in your area, and simply walk in the door (or give them a call). Find someone in charge and introduce yourself. Tell them that you are going to graduate in X amount of time and are looking to pursue a job in digital marketing after you graduate. This will give you a great opportunity to get a job or an internship, as you are personally connecting with your potential employers. A guy walked into our office 3 months before he was graduating, and my boss really liked the guy. He was hired immediately after he graduated. (He also got offers from several other agencies that he talk with, so it definitely works)

I cannot give advice specifically for Paid Advertising, as this is not my specialty, but I think the above advice would apply to any facet of digital marketing. Learn as much as you can, get your feet wet with some of your own projects, and be aggressive! You'll get that job for sure.
 
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JDawg

JDawg

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How do you think one should use social media when building a consumer product brand?

Am anticipating your reply :)!
Good to hear from you again HyperFocus!

Social Media is extremely important when building a product brand. While a strong social media presence impacts your website authority and search engine rankings, it is also important for other reasons.

- It gives you the opportunity to connect directly with your customers & potential customers. Use social media to engage with those individuals. Don't only post information about your product/business, but focus on posts that engage your users & demand a response! Post content that encourages them to share photos, comment, like, and share. This could be awesome quotes, photos, etc.

- You want to get your customers to follow you. Give them an incentive to follow your social media such as exclusive content, promotions, giveaways, etc. It's important to have a strong following, because it directly effects your brand credibility and sales.

I read a study that showed that 80% of users visit a website's social media account before making a purchasing decision. You want your social media account to affirm your credibility and encourage a purchasing decision. If you have 6 followers on Facebook, there's a good chance you've lost your potential customer.
 
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JDawg

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*Social Bookmarking
*Press Release
*RSS
*Blog Commenting

Do you think those strategy still works in 2016?

If not, then there must be a new strategy.. What is it?
If yes, why do you think so?
To be completely blunt & honest, none of the mentioned strategies are currently effective for SEO. Some can be beneficial in their own ways, but if we are talking about ranking your website on a search engine, then these are not the strategies you want to use.

Social Bookmarking - Using websites like Redit to direct traffic to your website do not directly effect your ranking. At best, they give you an extra boost of traffic, although that traffic comes with a bounce rate of 90%+. This means that the extra traffic is essentially just raising your bounce rate significant without much of a return.

Press Release - Unless you've found a cure for cancer, press releases tend to be very insignificant. It can be effective to promote awareness and gain traffic if what you have to release is game-changing, but it's something that I completely avoid & I know other marketers do as well.

RSS - This has no impact on ranking whatsoever. The only time I suggest using RSS is if you update your website content on a daily basis. An RSS feed allows Google to index your new content in seconds. This is definitely an advantage to get new content crawled immediately, but doesn't help with ranking.

Blog Commenting - I would avoid this. Blog commenting is regarded as spam if you are trying to link back to your website. There is software out there that posts these comments for you - do not use them. These links are generally no-follow (meaning they don't give you "link juice"), or they hurt your website's credibility.

I hate to be so blunt, but these simply don't work like they used to.

As far as tactics that do work in 2016, check out my earlier posts! And let me know if you have any other questions.
 

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One of the key things I got from this is that SEO is very much still a big deal, the difference is now you can't get away with low quality content/backlinks.

I imagine machine learning applied to natural language processing would be just one mechanism employed to determine content quality and congruency. Social media seems to count as backlinks as well, as another form of connection. Happy to hear that the fundamentals of a good ol' fashioned, honest and quality focused business will flourish -- while spammers get nothing.
 

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edward222

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To be completely blunt & honest, none of the mentioned strategies are currently effective for SEO. Some can be beneficial in their own ways, but if we are talking about ranking your website on a search engine, then these are not the strategies you want to use.

Social Bookmarking - Using websites like Redit to direct traffic to your website do not directly effect your ranking. At best, they give you an extra boost of traffic, although that traffic comes with a bounce rate of 90%+. This means that the extra traffic is essentially just raising your bounce rate significant without much of a return.

Press Release - Unless you've found a cure for cancer, press releases tend to be very insignificant. It can be effective to promote awareness and gain traffic if what you have to release is game-changing, but it's something that I completely avoid & I know other marketers do as well.

RSS - This has no impact on ranking whatsoever. The only time I suggest using RSS is if you update your website content on a daily basis. An RSS feed allows Google to index your new content in seconds. This is definitely an advantage to get new content crawled immediately, but doesn't help with ranking.

Blog Commenting - I would avoid this. Blog commenting is regarded as spam if you are trying to link back to your website. There is software out there that posts these comments for you - do not use them. These links are generally no-follow (meaning they don't give you "link juice"), or they hurt your website's credibility.

I hate to be so blunt, but these simply don't work like they used to.

As far as tactics that do work in 2016, check out my earlier posts! And let me know if you have any other questions.
Cool! :)
Thanks for the reply :)
 

edward222

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hhhhmmmmm :innocent: :halo:
If you were to use only 5 link building techniques that you know will work..
What would it be and why?
:innocent: :halo::innocent: :halo:
 
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JDawg

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Happy to hear that the fundamentals of a good ol' fashioned, honest and quality focused business will flourish -- while spammers get nothing.
Exactly! Just as it should be. :)

If you were only to use 5 link building techniques that you know..
What would it be?
It ultimately depends on the type of website. An e-commerce website is going to go about building backlinks differently than a wedding planner. So I change my strategy to fit with the particular business. But in general, here are some techniques that have worked for me:

1) Link Exchange - This is a great way to build links, but you have to do it the right way. So many people are doing the "mass e-mail" approach by sending a link request e-mail to thousands of unrated websites. Even if you end up exchanging links, these tend to be sub-par links that may even hurt your website credibility. This can be incredible if your business is partnered with another business, or you sell products to another store, etc. I mentioned a bit more about this in a previous post:

-Reach out to customers or places that have used/or currently use your product/service (If they have a website) and ask for a review or ask to exchange links. This really depends on what type of website or business you run. For example: If you sell workout equipment to gyms, ask a gym that uses your equipment if they would be interested in exchanging links. This looks natural and helps out both websites.
2) Product Review
-If you have an e-commerce website, then send samples to relevant, high-ranking review sites or blogs. There are so many options to pursue here.
3) Guest Blogging
-Offer to guest blog on other high-ranking websites. Most of the time, if you have great content to offer, a website is more than happy to allow you to link back to your website
4) Directory Listings - If you have a local business, then this is a great technique. By listing your business details (Address, phone number, website, etc.) on 100s of online directories, you create credibility in your local area. As long as the information is consistent among the directory listings, you can help improve ranking on Google Maps and Google Local packs. Here is a great resource that lists the "top 50" directory or citation websites in each country: https://www.whitespark.ca/top-local-citation-sources-by-country

5) Create Amazing Content - This one is a given. If you create awesome content, then you will start to get links organically. This is why so many websites have blogs these days. It actually works.
 

edward222

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Exactly! Just as it should be. :)



It ultimately depends on the type of website. An e-commerce website is going to go about building backlinks differently than a wedding planner. So I change my strategy to fit with the particular business. But in general, here are some techniques that have worked for me:

1) Link Exchange - This is a great way to build links, but you have to do it the right way. So many people are doing the "mass e-mail" approach by sending a link request e-mail to thousands of unrated websites. Even if you end up exchanging links, these tend to be sub-par links that may even hurt your website credibility. This can be incredible if your business is partnered with another business, or you sell products to another store, etc. I mentioned a bit more about this in a previous post:



2) Product Review


3) Guest Blogging


4) Directory Listings - If you have a local business, then this is a great technique. By listing your business details (Address, phone number, website, etc.) on 100s of online directories, you create credibility in your local area. As long as the information is consistent among the directory listings, you can help improve ranking on Google Maps and Google Local packs. Here is a great resource that lists the "top 50" directory or citation websites in each country: https://www.whitespark.ca/top-local-citation-sources-by-country

5) Create Amazing Content - This one is a given. If you create awesome content, then you will start to get links organically. This is why so many websites have blogs these days. It actually works.
Great answer. Thanks! :)
 

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@JDawg , you work in a Digital marketing agency so you know how they work, delegate, structure processes etc. I know this is a big thing to ask but, can you briefly explain how it works ?

I'm most interested in the creative work is created and distributed, and what kind of employees are doing it, who's doing copy, who's doing blog content, who's choosing ad images, is there a guy just for design stuff, if there's one guy doing everything for 1 company or if the work is distributed by task.
Are/is these/this person also in charge of the Ad accounts (FB ads for instance), if not, how are they getting feedback to improve/pivot/change what they are making.

I'm asking this because as a small business owner that wants to scale, to scale fast and effectively I will need people working on this handson full time, and even tho at a lower "scale", I think understanding how it works inside a DM company will be of great benefit (to me, and to everyone else looking to hire out parts of the Marketing process).

Thanks in advance!
 
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JDawg

JDawg

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@JDawg , you work in a Digital marketing agency so you know how they work, delegate, structure processes etc. I know this is a big thing to ask but, can you briefly explain how it works ?

I'm most interested in the creative work is created and distributed, and what kind of employees are doing it, who's doing copy, who's doing blog content, who's choosing ad images, is there a guy just for design stuff, if there's one guy doing everything for 1 company or if the work is distributed by task.
Are/is these/this person also in charge of the Ad accounts (FB ads for instance), if not, how are they getting feedback to improve/pivot/change what they are making.

I'm asking this because as a small business owner that wants to scale, to scale fast and effectively I will need people working on this handson full time, and even tho at a lower "scale", I think understanding how it works inside a DM company will be of great benefit (to me, and to everyone else looking to hire out parts of the Marketing process).

Thanks in advance!
Sure! This should give you a basic understand of how roles are delegated:

SEO Manager (Myself) - Manages the overall campaign, sets SEO goals and expectations, and creates a gameplan for achieving those goals for a client. In charge of researching potential clients, creating keyword lists, etc. Generally the main contact for each client as well. Although I wear a lot of other hats as well.

SEO Specialist - Does the majority of the work to achieve those SEO goals for each client. As an SEO manager, I share a lot of this workload as well.

Paid Advertising Specialist - Runs PPC campaigns for clients. Also reports and adjusts a given campaign.

Social Media - Manages all social media accounts/ paid advertising on those social media accounts.

Content Writers - Do copywriting, blog posts, or anything content related

Salesman - Gets us the leads & clients!

Web Designer/Coder - Builds custom websites for clients

Although we have specific positions, there is quite a bit of overlap on the jobs/roles that we have. For instance - a content writer writes a blog post, then I will optimize that for specific keywords, etc. So there is quite a bit of collaboration in a successful SEO & digital marketing campaign.
 
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Can you give us some credentials?

How many sales you have driven using SEO?

What do you do, exactly for your company in terms of digital marketing and SEO?

Can you back your claims up of being an expert in this field?
 
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Fair question. I'll try to answer these as best as possible:

Can you give us some credentials?
- As I mentioned in the original post, I have been studying SEO for over 10 years now.

- I have worked for 2 different digital marketing agencies over the past 4 years. The years in-between I worked free lance jobs from time to time while also juggling school.

* I have a lot of experience and knowledge in the field of SEO, but I do not have a college degree.


How many sales you have driven using SEO?

In SEO, sales (or profit) it not just determined by selling a physical product on an e-commerce store. It depends on the particular business. For instance, a general contractor wants to generate more leads from their website, a dentist is looking to draw in more patients, and a event planner is looking to do more event planning. My agency deals with almost all local companies, so we are looking to drive more customers and/or "sales" to their business.

That being said, I can give several examples of clients that have seen exponential growth through my SEO efforts.

While I cannot share specific client details on this forum for obvious reasons, I can still give the results. The most recent client that comes to mind is a general contractor. He came to us soon after he started his business. He was getting all his leads through referrals, and was losing profit in each and every job. We built him a brand new custom website and started an SEO campaign from scratch in a competitive local market.

- Within 3 months several high-competition keywords were ranking on the first page of Google.

- Organic traffic is growing month after month, which is directly impacting the amount of leads.

- Now 6 months into his campaign, he has been able to completely rely on website leads, and his business is growing each and every month.

I can give more specific case studies or results if need be. And if you are looking for more concrete evidence, feel free to PM me.

What do you do, exactly for your company in terms of digital marketing and SEO?
As I mentioned in a previous post, my "job title" is an SEO Manager. I evaluate a client's current website (if they have one), and create a plan & goals to achieve their desired results. Track progress, evaluate, and adjust those plans as need be. I manage the overall project and help create expectations for our clients. My expertise is in on-page and off-page SEO, although I am very knowledgeable with all other areas of Digital Marketing.

What I do specifically in SEO:
- Manage Campaigns/Other Employees
- On-page SEO - Optimize content for keywords, optimize meta data, page titles, url slugs, create internal linking structures, optimize code, and so on.
- Off-page SEO - Build backlinks, build directories & citations.

My job does not require me to do the following:
- Paid Advertising
- Content Writing
- Social Media

Although I have proficient knowledge in each, these are not a part of my day job.

Can you back your claims up of being an expert in this field?
I am younger than everyone else in the office, yet I manage and oversee all other employees (besides our CEO) and our campaigns. I have a key to our office and train new employees. I didn't just have this handed to me. I earned my way to that position by demonstrating that I could deliver results and keep clients happy. In the year that I have worked for my current agency, only 1 client (out of roughly 20 new clients that I managed) that started their SEO campaign while I was an employee have canceled. This wasn't the case with the previous SEO Manager. Clients were canceling left and right.


I hope this gives you a better understand of what I do, and the success the experience that I have in the field of SEO.
 
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Daniel A

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Hey JDawg!

I have another question.

What are the tools you use for SEO / your favorites (keyword research and discovery, backlinks, competitors, etc)?

Also, if you know, what about the tools the "Paid Advertising Specialist" and "Content Writers" use? If you could find out their favorites I'd appreciate it so much!

Cheers bro. :tiphat:
 

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thef0x

New Contributor
Jan 28, 2016
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So, to be clear, you think that the emphasis on Social should be:

1) Your account should have a lot of followers
2) Your account should be active
3) Your account should post both your content and other content

Questions about these:

1) Can the followers be fake?
2a) Once a week work? (e.g. something we can batch schedule)
2b) Do we have to reply to tweets etc?
2c) Our niche is so so so B2B and private that this really doesn't make a lot of sense, so wondering if it applies to all niches
3) Does the content need to be directly about our niche?
4) Assuming we should have a facebook, twitter, and instagram -- could we cut one of these? What's most important?

Thanks so much!
-f0x

////

Edit w/ another Q:

For the business directory backlinks, love the idea, thanks for the link, the excel spreadsheet you can download from that page makes it really easy.

My question:

Will I mess up our "national search viability" by associating our business with a physical location? I know it'll help us tremendously for local search but I don't want to do so at the penalty of being excluded from searches for our major term outside of our state. We provide our services nationally.

Thanks so much man!
 
Last edited:
OP
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JDawg

JDawg

Bronze Contributor
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Dec 31, 2015
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Hey JDawg!

I have another question.

What are the tools you use for SEO / your favorites (keyword research and discovery, backlinks, competitors, etc)?

Also, if you know, what about the tools the "Paid Advertising Specialist" and "Content Writers" use? If you could find out their favorites I'd appreciate it so much!

Cheers bro. :tiphat:
A few of my favorite SEO tools:

  • SEO Power Suite - This is what I primarily use for SEO. There are 4 different programs within SEO Power Suite, and they are all great. The Rank Tracker software is my favorite, as it allows you to check keyword rankings on every search engine and in any geographical location. The Website Auditor software gives you a detailed look at on-page optimization and areas that can be improved. SEO Spyglass lets you look at your own website's backlinks and the backlinks of competitors, and Link Assistant helps generate potential link partners. This is the best all around tool I have ever used with SEO.
  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner - This is used to research keyword lists and keyword search volume.
  • WooRank - Another great way to analyze on-page SEO.
  • Google Analytics
  • Yoast SEO - My go to Wordpress plugin for SEO.

As far as PPC & Content Writing goes - I honestly can't recommend any specific tools/resources, as I haven't used them personally.
 
OP
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JDawg

JDawg

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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So, to be clear, you think that the emphasis on Social should be:

1) Your account should have a lot of followers
2) Your account should be active
3) Your account should post both your content and other content
Engagement > Number of Followers

Ultimately, it comes down to engagement. Although, more followers generally results in higher engagement. This is why it's important to be active on all social media accounts, and post content that generates engagement.

If all posts are focused on selling your product or service, then people may be less likely to follow or engage with you. That's why I think it's important to post additional content that encourages engagement - give your followers a reason to "like" or "share" your post. You could offer promotions or giveaways, or post content that provides information or humor.

Higher social media engagement can definitely help with ranking on Google.

1) Can the followers be fake?
Fake followers = No engagement

It may look great to have 10,000 followers, but as soon as someone scrolls down and sees that your posts get 1 like, your credibility gets crushed. Plus, it won't give you an advantage in SEO if there is no engagement.

2a) Once a week work? (e.g. something we can batch schedule)
2b) Do we have to reply to tweets etc?
2c) Our niche is so so so B2B and private that this really doesn't make a lot of sense, so wondering if it applies to all niches
3) Does the content need to be directly about our niche?
Be as active as possible & engage as much as possible.

Many businesses post hourly or daily on social media, as it maximizes the amount of engagement.

4) Assuming we should have a facebook, twitter, and instagram -- could we cut one of these? What's most important?
I wouldn't say that one is most important, as it really depends on the specific business. You wan to go where your potential customer/client is. That could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn, etc.

If you don't have the time/ability to manage a half dozen social media accounts, then try to focus on what you can manage, and build up the engagement there as best as possible.

Will I mess up our "national search viability" by associating our business with a physical location?
I have never had an issue with local business addresses effecting ranking on a national level. I've worked with countless clients on "national campaigns", and they have all been associated with a business address.
 

Genester

Contributor
Jun 23, 2013
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I have a question. With your expertise and SEO knowledge, why the hell are you working for an agency and not picking up your own clients? No disrespect man, but there's no limit to how much you can earn with your own clients and doing your own thing, that's not the case working for some agency...

Also, any tips on finding some good commission based SEO sales guys? lol.
 

thef0x

New Contributor
Jan 28, 2016
11
16
17
Colombia + PNW
Final question: when you say "engagement" do you mean --> you post a URL to your website and ppl are clicking through to it, also liking it, sharing it?

Or do you mean that people are simply retweeting your post, liking it, etc, and it might not be a URL that you own.

I can see how the former scenario makes sense for a lot of platforms but if it's instagram or pintrest, wouldn't it make sense that engagement simply means liking the photo?

For our business, LinkedIn might be the best strategy for sharing our blog post URLs and twitter for sharing URLs of other professionals in our field (the people we serve, not competitors), whereas I bet we could get a whole bunch of "likes" on instagram by posting up motivational text images.

Thanks a bunch for your advice man. Repped
 
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JDawg

JDawg

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 31, 2015
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I have a question. With your expertise and SEO knowledge, why the hell are you working for an agency and not picking up your own clients? No disrespect man, but there's no limit to how much you can earn with your own clients and doing your own thing, that's not the case working for some agency...
While I may not be making as much money working for an agency, I'm doing it for the experience.

I worked as a freelancer for quite some time, but struggled to obtain new clients and grow as a business.

I've never pursued doing SEO full-time on my own because 1) I honestly didn't know how to grow as a business, and 2) I don't particularly like working in SEO.

However, I took the job at an agency to learn and grow from the owner. He hired me knowing that I would only be there for 2 years, and has taken every opportunity to mentor me personally.

What I've learned has been invaluable. Whether I do end up starting my own agency after college, or pursuing other business ventures, I've learned first hand from another businessman what it takes to be successful.

Also, any tips on finding some good commission based SEO sales guys? lol.
We currently only have one salesman right now, and he makes an hourly wage (close to minimum wage) + commission on every sale he makes.

I know this was the case for previous salesmen as well. My boss hires almost all of his employees right out of a nearby college who graduate with a digital technology or marketing degree, and they all have been fantastic.
 
OP
OP
JDawg

JDawg

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 31, 2015
84
205
156
United States
Final question: when you say "engagement" do you mean --> you post a URL to your website and ppl are clicking through to it, also liking it, sharing it?

Or do you mean that people are simply retweeting your post, liking it, etc, and it might not be a URL that you own.

I can see how the former scenario makes sense for a lot of platforms but if it's instagram or pintrest, wouldn't it make sense that engagement simply means liking the photo?
You do want to post links or URLs to your webiste/product/service to get people over to your website. It gives you traffic, and Google likes seeing traffic coming from those social media platforms, as it means that people are talking about your business on social media. This can be even more valuable to your website when those likes or tweets turn into shares, blog posts, and backlinks.

The reason why I suggest posting additional content, is to keep users engaged on social media. If someone follows your account because they enjoy your posts, they may be a lot more likely to check out a link to you website at another time or share your business with their friends, etc. You want to keep people coming back and reading & sharing your content on social media.

So yes, posting inspirational quotes or relevant resources would be an awesome way to keep up the engagement.

For our business, LinkedIn might be the best strategy for sharing our blog post URLs and twitter for sharing URLs of other professionals in our field (the people we serve, not competitors), whereas I bet we could get a whole bunch of "likes" on instagram by posting up motivational text images.
LinkedIn can be an awesome platform for B2B services. I just read a fantastic article about LinkedIn on Moz.com the other day. Definitely check out this article:

https://moz.com/blog/3-unusual-hacks-dramatically-up-your-linkedin-game
 
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