apartment seo link building

Link Building For Apartments

Apartment absorption (the rate at which new units are rented out) is now at the highest level in three years according to the U.S. Census. With that, more opportunities are getting into the hands of apartment professionals.

While the demand is extremely high, one must be able to cope it up with solid rental marketing that includes a proper SEO framework and a set of link acquisition tactics.

apartment seo link building

In this post, we'll focus on how you can capitalize on effective link building techniques for apartment websites.

GET RESOURCE LINKS FROM SUMMER/OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING CITY PAGES 

This is my first in the list given that there are bulk opportunities in this link market. Basically, summer housing/off-campus housing pages are resource lists of available housing options for both students and interns in a local area.

Edu websites have these valuable pages for current and potential students with links to trusted apartment sites.

If you are hyper-local at this stage, building inbound links from this type of resource page benefits your site from a relevance signal.

National apartment sites with available cities catering to clients can also take advantage of summer housing links pages.

You can find off-campus housing city pages from Google search using any of these search phrases below:

  • site:.edu "Off-campus” housing [CITY] “resources"
  • site:.edu "Student housing” [CITY] “resources"
  • site:.edu "Internship housing” [CITY] “resources"
  • site:.edu "On-campus” housing" [CITY] “resources"
  • site:.edu "residential" "housing resources" [CITY]
  • site:.edu area rental websites [CITY]
  • "Off-campus” housing [CITY] “resources"
  • "Student housing” [CITY] “resources"
  • "Internship housing” [CITY] “resources"
  • "On-campus” housing" [CITY] “resources"
  • "residential" "housing resources" [CITY]

Make a list of qualified housing city pages in a spreadsheet along with appropriate contact details. You can check out this guide on finding email addresses on websites.

Furthermore, if you want to collect more link opportunities, you may run some of the links pages through LinkMiner to find if there are any broken apartment sites.

A plug to this favorite link checker tool can help find any broken domains or links. It also provides the number of unique referring domains for each external link (see image below)

linkminer finding broken links

Here is an apartment site that hasn't been existent for years, but has attracted a good number of referring domains (75+) including inbound links from .edu websites. It's a low-hanging fruit, if you may, that will give very quickly summer housing pages that can be added to your list of link opportunities.

Finally, craft a solid email copy to be sent to your local outreach prospects - summer housing pages. Then acquire a link if you properly do these initiatives.

summer housing link

LEVERAGE EMPLOYEE DISCOUNTS

University websites have their human resources sections available to their staff employees - which include benefits like discounted apartment services using coupons.

Having this in mind, you may search for any available perks program pages of university sites and try to acquire links through a simple discount code outreach.

Start your search using any of these keyphrases:

  • [CITY] site:.edu "employee perks"
  • [CITY] site:.edu "employee benefits"
  • [CITY] site:.edu "employee discounts"

Collect all local link opportunities with contact information for each website.

employee discount page edu website

For outreach, you can use this email template below to acquire resource links from employee discount pages.

Subject: Employee Discount for [University Name] Employees

Hey [First Name],

I noticed that you have a list of businesses offering employee discounts:

[employee discount page]

I just want to let you know that we are offering a [discount%] on all our [category] products exclusively for [University] employees.

They can also use this promo code [insert promo code] when they purchase on our online store.

Let me know if there’s any other information you would need from us.

Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

MAXIMIZE VALUE-ADDED VISUAL CONTENT 

Visual content pieces like infographics still work in 2019. The difference between an outreach campaign with optimal results and one that flopped in link performance can best be understood in any of these factors:

  • Validity and credibility of data source
  • Targeted audience's needs
  • Contextual relevance of outreach emails (not just personalization)

Many times, link builders would try to produce several infographics at once, publish them on a blog and promote it massively to publishers. It doesn't work that rush.

There are visual content suited for a rental apartment industry like charts, maps and slideshow-type of piece.

A. CHARTSrentcafe charts

B. MAPSrentcafe chart

C. SLIDESHOW

rentcafe slideshow content

RENTCafe beautifully created visual content on a regular basis. This led them to acquire both authority manually-built and organic links for their apartment SEO campaign.

This type of content campaign may need strong buy-in from the management in case of marketing budget - but can surely bring return on investment if done correctly. If you are into doing link building for apartment sites, you're not just concerned with the quantity of deliverables, but of possible conversions brought from doing the linkable content campaign properly.

LINK BUILDING FOR APARTMENTS

Pursuing discount pages, summer housing city pages, and creating visual content pieces are some of the methods to get relevant authority links for apartment websites.

While there are other link building approaches, it can be discovered by looking at what top niche apartment publishers are doing in terms of content creation.


white-hat-seo

How I Increase My Client’s Website Search Traffic by 5,913% and Earn $440 in 14 Days

Increasing search engine traffic for any website is one of the main goals of search marketers given that it can help speed up generating more leads/revenue/conversions to a certain brand from any space.

Similar to any marketing process, achieving search marketing goal would need specific strategy and actions to plan ahead of time and to set base metrics that will determine if the campaign reaches the goal or not.

The strategy and actions that I applied to my client’s website (which will be my case study for today) are all pretty basic what hat SEO optimization techniques. However, it gave me the following success rates after two weeks:

  • 5,913% increase in search traffic

increase search engine traffic

 

increase search traffic stats

 

  • $440 Adsense earnings

ad-sense-ga

The main concept of my approach in search marketing as a whole (including off site – link building) is providing the best experience for my users. This is what search engines are looking for every website and would basically the core deciding factor of ranking a certain domain on search results.

User experience primarily points out to two things – user’s need and the specific action to satisfy it. Learning to quickly identify needs of your users could help you understand your market environment and think of ways on how to attend to those needs.


How to Increase Search Engine Traffic through Basic On Site Optimization

Analyze your industry’s search environment

My client’s website belongs to health niche, particularly in the home remedies industry which is a very competitive space.

To get started with my white hat SEO strategy, I did a competitor analysis on a few authoritative websites to see how they provide the best experience to their users through proper site architecture, content placement and user-based web design.

This gave me an idea that the type of content that people in the home remedies niche would want to read are mostly short list type of blog posts.

prevention home cure

The main reason is obvious. People who’re looking for solutions for their health-related problems won’t spend time reading a long article on quick and effective ways to get rid of pimples. They want immediate solutions for their problems.

This led me to another idea that those who’re searching for quick home remedies would normally use long tail phrases for their searches instead of using main terms as search queries (they want to quick solutions).

The demand for these long tail keywords is extremely high and some of them tend to be low in competition which are good topic ideas to target for content generation.

google-keyword-planner

This simple competitor analysis helped me get a better feel of my client’s website status in its industry’s competition.

Find the searchers’ intent to match with your categories

Categories are foundational pages of a domain that allow visitors to walk through each webpage of the site and help them complete their desired actions (as to the main reason why they visit the website).

Optimizing categories based on how the searchers should flow through each page of your website could give your audience satisfaction.

For my client’s website, I created a spreadsheet to list down categories that best suit the searchers’ behavior.

I only asked myself a question, “how can I help my users find his/her want(s) on my site particularly when he landed on my homepage?”

This led me to a good list of categories that makes each blog post organized in a way that matches to the searchers’ behavior.

  • Gender – Men/Women -
  • Age – Children/Youth/Adult/Seniors
  • Many more…

If you landed on the homepage of the site and you don’t have any specific home remedies in mind, you could easily check and find categories that fit to your persona (e.g. age, gender, etc..).

This kind of categorization helped my users find the exact blog post that he/she wants to read. This could also give him a reason to come back to the website again given that he was satisfied on his first search visit.

You can also do the same on your website by looking at classifications from a taxonomy that is related to your industry. Taxonomy is the practice and science (study) of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification.

You can use the following Dewey Decimal Classification Systems to identify industry-related categories.

Optimize your content for long tail keywords

Long tail keywords are composed of three or more words that tend to align to specific intents of the user. These phrases are easier to target for rankings particularly on blogs given that they are less competitive than head terms.

Discovering long tail phrases for keyword targeting would basically need some handy tools. You can use any of the following for keyword research:

Google Webmaster Tools

Go to GWT – Search Traffic – Search Queries to find keywords that your visitors are using to find your site’s internal pages.

Take a look at this screenshot below.

keyword-research-google-webmaster-tools-1024x382

Optimizing the page with the exact search query: wasp sting home remedy (or other variations, i.e. – home remedies for wasp sting), helped the page rank for its desired long tail keyword as well as for other industry related phrases.

Google Analytics

Though Google has decided to hide the big portion of its keyword data (non-provided keywords), you can still use Google Analytics to find some long tail keywords.

By checking you’re the Real Time section of your GA account in a regular basis, you can find gold keywords that you can target for your future post/content.

real-time-google-analytics

KeywordTool.io

Another tool that you can utilize for keyword research is KeywordTool.io. I already covered this tool in my post about organic link building but just a recap on how to use it, here is a short list.

  • Grab your head terms and find additional keywords using the tool.

keyword tool home remedies

  • Add when, what, why or how to your head term to find more topic ideas.

keyword tool home remedies how

SEMRush

There are tons of ways to generate topic ideas using SEMRush and you can check out this comprehensive guide by Rishi Lakhani for a complete list of methods on how to use the tool.

If you already have a good list of keywords, you can optimize your pages by including the targeted keywords on the title page, meta keywords, header tags and first 50 words of the body copy.

Other optimization techniques:

  • Link to the most important pages from your site’s other relevant pages. Go to GWT – Search Traffic – Internal Links and see if your most important pages (besides homepage) get a lot of internal links from other pages.
  • Improve your site’s loading speed for positive user experience. Use tools like GTMetrix and Pingdom.
  • Optimize your images by targeting keywords in their alt texts.
  • Track and fix code errors through W3C Markup Validation

More Resources:

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Image Source: 1


directory-link-building

How to Build Links Using Directories

Directory link building is one of the initial link building techniques that you can execute to add a little boost to your site’s link portfolio, to increase your relevancy signals and to get people find your brand/site on the web.

Generally, there are a lot of discussions about directories whether or not they could still add value to a website’s ranking potential and if there are any high quality directories still exist today. Let’s dig deeper into each discussion and hopefully, I could provide insights to all of these questions/boards.

Let’s get started.

Directories are still good to consider in link building for the following reasons:

  • Customers still use them to find services/products within a specific city/area and if you are listed in a directory, you have chances of getting found by your target clients/customers.
  • Getting links from them are easy wins in link building. If you’re working with clients, a list of 15 or 20 directory links could add some details to your weekly SEO reports (earning some trust from your client).
  • Earning citations from local directories sends more signals to Google that your website is tagged or categorized to a specific niche/industry.

Now, you decide whether or not you want to continue building links using directories but the mere fact, it doesn't hurt your website at all (when done in a non-aggressive way) is a good thing to consider for your site’s backlink profile.

Quality Factors to Consider in Directory Link Building

With tons of directories out there, you have to separate the wheat from the chaffs to choose only the best directories that you want to submit your website.

Here are a few factors that I consider when qualifying a specific directory:

  • Domain age – with the use of webarchive, you’ll see the year and date the directory has been bought. Though in most cases old directories had been spammed, there are still a few of them that remain high quality.
  • Editorial review/discretion – you can look at the policy standard/submission pages of the directory site and see how much time they would need to review each website. If they don’t have strict editorial guidelines, they’re more likely to be automated directories.
  • Lists down top brands/companies – you can grab one popular company website and search for it in the directory. See if it pops up and the category, tags and descriptions fits right to the company.
  • Relevancy – Look for closely related directories that don’t have any submission from adult and gambling sites or any bad neighborhoods.
  • Number of listed websites – the faster they list websites, the higher chances that they don’t have strict review guidelines (unless they existed for a long time and are ranking for many directory terms).
  • Anchor texts used to link to submitted websites. If the directory links out to websites using exact match commercial keywords (e.g. personal injury firm in UK, personal injury firm in Florida), then it’s more likely deemed as a low quality one.

Types of Directories

There are three types of directories that you can find on the web. They are:

  • Niche-specific. These are directories that only accept submissions from websites in the same industry/category (e.g. legal services)
  • Blog. These directories would only accept blogs as part of their listings.
  • Local. These directories accept submissions from sites located within the same city/country (usually with the same top-level domain – TLD).

Actionable Tips to Build Links with Directories

Reverse Engineer to Find High Quality Directories

A great way to find closely-related and quality directories is reverse engineering. For each type of directory, you can apply reverse engineering by simply grabbing the URL of a target website and discovering its inbound links using Ahrefs.

Search for one website that is ranking for a targeted keyword. You can use queries like:

  • “your industry” blog (e.g. “personal injury” blog)
  • “your industry” city (e.g. “personal injury” Texas)
  • “your company” (e.g. “personal injury firm”)

List down all the websites in a spreadsheet and filter out low quality ones based on the metrics I mentioned above. Discover links pointing to them using Ahrefs. You can find and replace terms to quickly look for directories (i.e. using terms like directory, personal injury)

ahrefs-directory-link-building

Tip: You can search for more directories by grabbing one website listed in a directory and doing a reverse engineering on that site.

dmoz-reverse-engineering

Pay for Editorial Value

Maybe, you’re asking if this is considered as a paid link?

Matt Cutts answered this question. If you’re paying for editorial value in which the editor reviews the quality and relevance of a submitted website, then it’s okay to pay for the directory. However, if you’re paying for low quality and automated directories or you are given the option to choose the anchor text used to link to your site, then you should worry about submitting your website to those automated directories.

Spend a little amount of your SEO budget to these directories. Focus more on the usability, site architecture and design of your website. Invest in your content and make it useful to your audience. This investment is more beneficial than just spending money for easy directory links.

Earn citations from local directories

Citation building is known these days because of the value that it provides to a specific brand/website. Aside from getting listed in the directory and helping your customers to find you, you’re giving Google and other search engines relevancy signals that will make your website rank for local terms/keywords.

In submitting your business to local citations and directories, you have to remember that when you submit details of your brand, they should be all be the same on all directories. Be consistent with your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) details so that Google will understand better about your website and help you rank on local search results.

You can check out this post by Richard Marriott to find more link opportunities in the local scene.

To help you save time in finding local citations and directories, I created a spreadsheet that lists down submission sites where you can add/submit your business, only for UK, US and Australia brands.

[sociallocker id="2245"] [/sociallocker]

Perform a Manual Citation Auditing

If there are changes with your NAP and other business details, you have to consider editing your past details existed in your directories. This is the most common problem most local search professionals encounter. And thanks to Andrew Shotland. He just created N.A.P. Hunter Life, a local SEO tool that will help us track our existing local citations and directories (it will be available on Google Chrome Store soon).

nap-hunter-lite

This tool will speed up the process of auditing your existing local citations. Manual citation auditing happens when the brand needs to add or edit N.A.P and other important details about the business.

N.A.P. Hunter Lite will automatically export NAP suspects in a spreadsheet file which will save time in gathering all the links.

Note: The tool will not keep your logins so you really have to document the username and passwords that you use for local citations/directories for you to be able to do some changes when you need so.

Reminder:

Diversify your link portfolio. Never put all your eggs in one basket. Directory link building should only be part of your initial link building strategy as you take time to plan creating linkable assets, fixing technical issues and performing link audit on your website.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Image Source: 1


seo-philippines

The Current State of SEO in the Philippines

seo-philippinesSEO in the Philippines is now becoming more challenging these days given that the search engines are considering several factors to determine websites that deserve to be on the top spots of search results.

One factor is the authority/influence of a website towards its targeted audience. When the website is always providing value to its users, it becomes easy for the brand to earn natural links/mentions from related blogs and acquire shares from social influencers which can help the brand to become more visible on search results for their target keywords.

To learn more about the current state of SEO in the Philippines and things that should be considered to improve a local website’s performance on SERPs, here are four prominent SEO experts in the Philippines to give us their insights/thoughts about those topics.

Our today’s guests are: Glen Dimaandal, Benj Arriola, Zaldy DalisaySean Patrick Si and Gary Viray (click their names to jump ahead).

Let’s get started..

Glen Dimaandal

What is the current state of SEO in the Philippines?

glen-dimaandalThis is a broad question that can be addressed differently depending on what perspective you’re viewing it from. As a craft, this is probably the best year yet for Philippine SEO. It’s vibrant, anyone can get into it and there are a lot of good people whom you can learn from. Low-level and black hat SEO is less and less viable, which forces everyone in the field to bring their games to a higher level. The job market is still growing and that’s a great thing for people who are looking for a career path with a big upside.

It’s still not perfect, of course. You still see a lot of shady, meat-grinding companies in Makati that have little regard for their employees and even less regard for the reputation of Philippine SEO as a whole. But when you compare it to what we had 3-4 years ago, the playing field is much more level and the people who really know what they’re doing are getting more press compared to people who are in the game solely for profit.

In SEMCon 2010, Benj Arriola said something that really stuck to me. He stated that the future of SEO is a “battle of creatives.” He was right and the future is now.

Why do you think international companies should outsource their SEO work to Filipino internet marketers?

Because we’re good at what we do. Our business leader in Emerson said it best when he told us “I can take anyone in this room and plant him in any of our offices in 100+ countries and I have no doubt you will hold your own.”

Skills aside, a lot of Filipinos are polite, honest and ethical in the way they conduct themselves in business environments. We know the value of hard work and we show it in how we are in the workplace.

What kinds of reports do you provide to your local clients in a regular basis? Is there a difference in the content/output contained between local SEO reports and foreign SEO reports?

I do custom reporting depending on the needs of my clients. More SEO-savvy clients tend to like more detailed, technical reports. For more business-oriented clients, we prioritize metrics that are more focused on how our work impacts their bottom line. We try to give clients the full array of metrics we have, but some of them don’t really appreciate in-depth reporting. This depends on the clients’ needs and how the engagement was negotiated.

When should you upsell and not upsell local SEO to your SEO clients?

Local clients tend to have lower budgets and a lower degree of inclination towards online marketing because TV, radio and print still dominate much of the local media landscape. In my experience, we start with smaller engagements that we scale up as the client sees results. It’s easier to sell someone your services when there’s a positive precedent behind it.

How do you prove to your clients that SEO is a good marketing investment for their businesses? Do you show proofs? What can you advice to those Filipino SEOs who don’t have any case studies/proofs to show to their first clients?

In any presentation geared towards selling a service, I always have visual aids that show hard numbers and charts. Business people are more likely to engage vendors that make them feel smarter about their decisions. If you have metrics on how much demand there is online for their products and how their competitors are taking advantage of search engines, you can help them realize that online marketing is here to stay and it will only get bigger.

My advice is to do your homework on the prospect’s business before you start pitching. Find out how much their average lead value is or how much the average purchase is in their online stores. Find out what the margins are and see if you can find out what the average lifetime value of a customer is to them. When you have those numbers, you can calculate how much extra business SEO can potentially generate for them. You’ll also get a good hint of how much you should charge them for your services. Bottom line, your SEO services should come across as something that will pay for itself in the long run, fatten up their bottom lines and deny their competitors new customers in the process.

If you’re starting out as a small, private practitioner, having a blog to show is a good thing. Your work experience and the sites that you’ve handled will also be good tools for illustrating past success stories. Getting authoritative people like past bosses and prominent people in the SEO scene to endorse you will also help your case.

Granted that search marketing/SEO is a fast-paced industry. How do you make sure that you and your SEO team stay updated with the latest updates in the industry (e.g. Google’s search updates).

The easy answer would be to read credible SEO news sites and blogs, but that’s not a guarantee that you’ll always be in Google’s good graces. If the Panda, Penguin and guest posting actions prove anything, it’s the fact that Google’s view of what’s white hat and what’s black hat is a constantly evolving affair. Today’s best practice could be tomorrow’s taboo technique depending on the industry’s behavior and how Google perceives it.

Having said that, I believe instinct is a part of practicing good SEO. If a technique feels misleading, unnatural or scalable, it could be at risk in the future. When in doubt, go back to the core principles of what makes a website great: clean code, an intuitive interface, appropriate design schemes and great content. As long as you stick to those, you’ll always be in a competitive position.

How do you make your SEO strategy as simple as it can be that even a 5th grader (or a high school student) could easily understand?

It comes back to core principles. Ask yourself why you keep visiting Google, Facebook and Wikipedia. The answer is because they provide you with information or functionality that you can’t find anywhere else. As long as a website is easy to use, technically stable and it has something that people will want to keep coming back to, it will have its place in the search results. These principles should guide overall strategy as far as content, design and usability are concerned.

Online marketing rockstar Sammy Nams put it nicely when he sensed that our SEM team was out of whack back in 2012. He asked each one of us “what did you do today that gave the company the best returns on investment? What are you doing right now that takes up too much time without bringing in the money?” Those are very good questions to ask when you’re trying to prioritize tasks in a campaign that you’re trying to execute.

What is your best tip for newbies who want to learn and work as an SEO consultant in the Philippines? What about for those who want to start their own local SEO firms?

Love what you do. This is an industry where motivation is half the battle. Stay hungry and stay committed to excellence. Keep in mind at all times that you’re representing your company and your country. What you do will reflect not only on yourself as an individual but on the entire community. SEO is an incredibly rewarding field to be in. The only questions are “how big do you want to dream” and “how hard do you want to work for it?”

Glen Dimaandal is the Online Marketing Manager at Emerson Electric.

Benj Arriola

What is the current state of SEO in the Philippines?

benj-arriolaBorrowing this term from the real estate world where you can classify regions as (1) under developed, (2) developing and (3) developed, I would say the Philippines would be developing. It is at a point where there are some good talents out there that are starting to make a name for themselves and more and more upcoming new faces that are starting to gain recognition among industry peers positioning the Philippines more prominently in the international SEO scene.

Why do you think international companies should outsource their SEO work to Filipino internet marketers?

It all boils down to the balance of quality of work and price. Most of which are dictated by the differences in cost of living making offshore outsourcing more economical. There are many English speakers in the Philippines and most people would be at least college level graduates.

But I think no matter what other good reasons I give, there will be an equal amount of people having reasons not to outsource work to the Philippines. If you search online there are several US, UK or Australia based companies that has their fair share of bad outsourcing experiences. And what I want the world to know is that it can really happen to anyone to any country even if you do not outsource offshore. It is cheaper in the Philippines as well as in other Asian and Middle Eastern countries but if it is too cheap, you will get what you pay for. Do not expect it to be top notch quality service.

Now let me answer this question again with actual real list experiences. First is we are not that aggressive in offshore outsourcing, but we do sometimes outsource some of our work in the US when the company suddenly has a surge of new clients and normally we hire people in-house in the US but since it sometimes takes time to find the right person, and work will not wait until this person comes in, we then look at offshore outsourcing opportunities. What we spend is half the minimum wage in California. So that is pretty much 50% savings per person. For sure there are people that are lower than that, but they often cause problems. Most of the people we have dealt with speaks and writes English well and some are flexible with their working hours to meet US working hours. And just like any other offshore project, it should be managed well so choose wisely when selecting your offshore team.

What kinds of reports do you provide to your local clients in a regular basis? Is there a difference in the content/output contained between local SEO reports and foreign SEO reports?

Reports really depend on the project goal. Sometimes you are hired just to do a specific task, and sometimes you are hired to really do SEO. If hired to do SEO, you are really concerned for the success of the website. If you are hired just to do a specific task within specific parameters, then all you have to do is meet those parameters and deadlines. I talk about that more on Part 4 of this video series.

Now if you were not hired to just do a specific task, SEO reports are all dependent on the client goals. Once you determine the goals, you tie it up to specific key performance indicators (KPIs) and find the appropriate tools to measure those KPIs. So every client may have a different report. But typically what would be these KPIs?

Many times we would monitor these metrics:

  1. Main success metrics
  2. Conversions from organic search
  3. Traffic from organic search
  4. Percent contribution of organic search to overall traffic (multi-attribution model)
  5. Percent contribution of organic search to overall conversions (multi-attribution model)
  6. Metrics for further analysis resulting to actionable items
  7. Bounce rates from organic search
  8. Ranking reports
  9. Backlink reports
  10. Social sharing reports
  11. Conversion funnel analysis

For international clients, reporting is pretty much the same except that you may want to look at these same metrics considering the same target area. Most of the time we will be looking at Google but in some counties, Google is not the predominant search engine, so sometimes we may be focusing more on others like Yandex, Naver, Baidu, etc. And from the social sharing and links perspective, it would be ideal to target people to link naturally that come from the targeted local area.

Normally we would look at any observable trends over time but of course many products and services can be seasonal even if the products or services do not appear to be a seasonal. So we look at the numbers more from a year over year point of view.

When should you upsell and not upsell local SEO to your SEO clients?

The answer is actually simple. If a business is specifically targeting a local audience of a certain city, county, state, province, then that is when you should upsell local SEO. Examples of these would be any brick and mortar store, anything with walk-in customers, like a local grocery, professional services like doctors, dentist, lawyers, chiropractors, restaurants, etc. And those that do not need local SEO are the online stores that do not have a walk-in office or storefront. They only sell online and can ship anywhere. Location for them is not important and in fact, it is not even needed nor wanted. So for these you should not sell them local SEO since they would not benefit much from it.

How do you prove to your clients that SEO is a good marketing investment for their businesses? Do you show proofs? What can you advice to those Filipino SEOs who don’t have any case studies/proofs to show to their first clients?

Proving that SEO is a good marketing investment is different from proving that you are good in SEO. If you want to show proof that SEO is a good marketing investment, you can show any proof online. There are so many research organizations, associations, companies that release public data. From Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Experiments, Online Media Marketing Association, B2B Online and more. And there are many stats out there from companies like Comscore, Hubspot, Hitwise, etc. You can use these anytime and it is totally fine to say the actual sources. It even sounds more credible since it is coming from another body that gave out the research and it is not you. So you do not appear like you are just fooling them with sales talk.

Now proof from yourself is only needed if you want to prove that you have what it takes to make the SEO campaign successful. If you do not have proof to show yet it does not mean you cannot sell. Sometimes the ones that are just starting out and do not have proof of their work can start with a lower price and as you build your reputation and success that often times translate as proof that you have what it takes, then you can start increasing your price.

Granted that search marketing/SEO is a fast-paced industry. How do you make sure that you and your SEO team stay updated with the latest updates in the industry (e.g. Google’s search updates).

  1. SEO Conferences – Attending each conference and sending a whole team can be somewhat expensive at times. But after attending some, you start to get a good idea which conferences are really worth it and which ones you can skip. Then we send 1 or 2 members and in return would share to the whole team their learnings from the conference.
  2. Trainings – Enrolling some of team members to whatever online or in-person course available are often offered to the newer members who may be less experienced.
  3. Local Meetups – Networking and attending events with other SEOs always helps since there would be SEO discussions and sharing of experiences that often leads to note exchanging. This also helps you get updated and at par with the latest trends.
  4. Blogs – Reading blogs can be very beneficial too but there are so many blogs out there monitoring SEO breaking news can be overwhelming but referring to online blogs that had held authority and are very comprehensive in our niche like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, Moz, Search Engine Journal, SE Roundtable. These sites would link up to smaller blogs that may have significant breaking news.
  5. Online Forums – Participating in online forum Q&A is a good learning experience where you also get to teach others that are learning. Remember to be successful in forums, if you want to learn well, you got to teach as well.
  6. Social Media – Following SEO people on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ would often be able to find
  7. In-House Weekly Trainings – Discussing and meeting once a week is very imperative task since all of the above can be very overwhelming to accomplish individually. Thus, sharing from every team member who had done any of the above transfers the knowledge faster to the whole team.

How do you make your SEO strategy as simple as it can be that even a 5th grader (or a high school student) could easily understand?

Well my daughter is a 6th grader and I think she understands what I do. From a definition stand point I had always been clear to her that what I do is…..

SEO is improving ranking in search engines so the websites get more traffic. Although I would never use this definition that I had for my daughter in an official sales pitch. As I deem that

SEO is the strategies and tactics involved to increase online conversions from organic search results.
Therefore, my definition of SEO to a 5th grader should not be confused with how I will define it to a client. Because the simplified definition I give to my daughter when given to a client may cause a wrong expectations where a client would concentrate too much on ranking and would personally have his/her “golden keyword” that you should rank #1 for and if you are not #1, then you failed, even if you have increase sales and profits so much from organic search.

Now, that I have defined what SEO is we now have to define what makes website rank high and many SEOs know that there is a technical, marketing and content writing sides to the whole strategy. I will concentrate on to what they could easily comprehend.  And that would be writing great content that they are passionate about. When the kids have passion on a specific topic they are often very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and this would be felt by the reader. When readers find the content to be compelling, informative, useful and interesting it will surely be shared and linked to which then improved ranking and converts to increase in organic search traffic.

What is your best tip for newbies who want to learn and work as an SEO consultant in the Philippines? What about for those who want to start their own local SEO firms?

  1. Choose your learning sources well.
  2. Avoid outdated information.
  3. Be cautious in reading some ebooks. Not all are great, some are really bad.
  4. SEO is not software, it’s not a tool, it’s not a platform. Don’t think of some automated easy-to-use tool that will solve all SEO issues.
  5. Learn by testing, but when you are successful by testing SEO on 1 site, not all sites are built the same and belong to the same industries. Some websites may be more difficult and some may be easier. Needless to say be flexible and smart to know the difference or trend flowing in.
  6. SEO is part technical knowledge, part marketing knowledge, and part content writing knowledge. Try your best to learn them all.

Benj Arriola is the VP of SEO at Internet Marketing Inc.

Sean Patrick Si

What is the current state of SEO in the Philippines?

sean-patrick-siSEO is a rapidly growing market - especially in the Philippines this year. I'm personally very interested in making a mark on the local SEO scene and I'm seeing a rise on client inquiries and request for proposals this year.

I think that the increase of internet users due to accessibility from cheaper devices such as mobile and tablet, has greatly contributed the growth of demand for digital marketing in small, medium and large companies alike.

Note: I published an entry about SEO in the Philippines which I'm still updating along the years. You might wanna check it out.

Why do you think international companies should outsource their SEO work to Filipino internet marketers?

I think that some Philippine SEO companies are doing a swell job with SEO. Basically, I believe we are one of the best SEO outsourcing countries because of two things:

1) Our English is one of the best in the world

2) Our workforce is one of the cheapest.

The thing is, SEO is a knowledge-based, professional practice. And so, even if it's a common notion for Filipinos to be 'cheap labor', it isn't always the case.

I've always believed the phrase "If you pay peanuts, you're gonna get monkeys." I discovered it can work both ways - Monkeys are more than willing to be paid peanuts. And so there are stories out there that tell how Filipino SEO specialists have burned their website's rankings.

Who's fault is it?

Both.

There are monkey SEO companies here and there are clients who want to pay peanuts here and abroad. So they get their deal - but they're not happy with the outcome.

Go figure.

What kinds of reports do you provide to your local clients in a regular basis (or international clients if you don’t have local clients)? Is there a difference in the content/output contained between local SEO reports and foreign SEO reports?

Generally, there's no difference between our reports. The reason behind that is that we have crafted the best possible report we could come up with in terms of data, analysis, design, layout, user-friendliness, etc.

I believe it's one of our strongest points to provide a really, really nice report - and that's one of the big reasons why we've had our clients renew their contracts with us over and over again.

So my short answer to your question is: No difference.

When should you upsell and not upsell local SEO to your SEO clients?

I think that now is the right time!

I've had local clients ever since I started SEO Hacker. And man, you wouldn't believe the data we've gotten from our client's websites. I won't go into any specifics but the idea is, we have enough solid data to upsell ALL our local contracts.

Which we have done - and pretty well I think.

Of course, that is not without basis. Me and my team have learned tons since we've started doing SEO - and we still are learning a lot.

We've improved our services and added more and more to our packages to justify any upselling we do.

While I do believe that we are one of the first Philippine SEO services company to make our prices public, our minimum used to be just 40,000php/mo for our SEO package. We've shifted gear to make it 60,000php/mo. That's a huge 20,000php difference - but our clients find themselves a happy bunch because of all the additional services we've put on the table for them.

It's a win-win.

How do you prove to your clients that SEO is a good marketing investment for their businesses? Do you show proofs? What can you advice to those Filipino SEOs who don’t have any case studies/proofs to show to their first clients?

Simple: Show them the traffic and give them hypothetical data.

You don't go ahead and tell them you've made this much money with your clients - that's supposed to be confidential.

Relate it to them. What I usually do is start with: "Suppose I make you X number of traffic per month and we convert around just 1% of that into a sale..."

I assure you, they will listen all through out to what you have to say after.

Granted that search marketing/SEO is a fast-paced industry. How do you make sure that you and your SEO team stay updated with the latest updates in the industry (e.g. Google’s search updates).

We have an internal Trello board that we use. Every one of my teammates just goes ahead and posts what they've read each week in that board. Me and my team have a certain quota that we imply on ourselves for learning.

I personally read around 25 relevant blog entries a week for my personal growth - which I share over Trello, my Google+ profile and page, Facebook, etc.

My teammates have to read around 3 relevant blogs a week - which is a lot already if you calculate how much information we're getting on that board.

We share the best of what we're learning in that Trello board through our Growth Hacks newsletter. You can sign up - it's free.

How do you make your SEO strategy as simple as it can be that even a 5th grader (or a high school student) could easily understand?

Note: I'm assuming this is a question that implies how I make the SEO strategy simple and easy for my team.

We have different teams in SEO Hacker that perform tasks in boxes. There's a team that's supposed to take care of all things content (and even that has a sub-team inside), there's a team that's supposed to take care of all things outreach, web development, graphics, etc.

In each of those boxes, they have a clear strategy, goal and mission. At the start, it is explained to every new hire what their roles are going to be and how it's going to affect the big picture.

The entire SEO strategy is explained from a point of relevance - which is their box - to the big picture perspective - which is how it affects the rankings of our clients.

I think that's what makes our SEO strategy really simple for my team.

What is your best tip for newbies who want to learn and work as an SEO consultant in the Philippines? What about for those who want to start their own local SEO firms?

Keep reading, keep learning. And make sure that you're learning the right things from the right people. There's a lot of cutter and noise on the internet about what works and what doesn't - most of them are not true.

You have to test it out yourself or go and take on a sure-fire SEO course from a mentor. The easiest route I can think of is to go through SEO Hacker School.

Hey, it's free!

We've got over 70 SEO lessons there in easy-to-digest Powerpoint format, tailor-made for your starting point in SEO.

For those who want to start their own SEO firms, I'll be publishing a series at the SEO Hacker Blog on "How to Start your Own SEO Company"

It's going to be really interesting, painfully transparent and brutally honest. I'll be telling my story starting up and what I believe should be done right, done perfectly, and done differently.

Sean Patrick Si is the Founder and Editor in Chief at SEO Hacker.

Zaldy Dalisay

What is the current state of SEO in the Philippines?

zaldy-dalisaySEO in the country has grown significantly over the past decade. From a small number of seo practitioners when I started and local businesses are looking down on this type of marketing back then, there’s really a huge change compared nowadays.

If you will notice, small, medium and large local enterprises are now implementing this into their marketing plans - allocating budgets, acquiring talented guys, hiring seo firms or simply learning the art by themselves to grab a huge piece of the pie. Oh, and you guys should know that politicians are also using seo strategies to keep their online reputation better, you can ask Almer Viloria (our clients will have a face-off by 2016.. LOL)! This simple explain how businesses (is politics a business?) treats the importance of SEO nowadays.

A big thanks to the local seo community, they have been of huge help in establishing and increasing awareness that search engine optimization is a tool crafted to help businesses.

Why do you think international companies should outsource their SEO work to Filipino internet marketers?

We have a huge pool of great talents here. There are the guys making their names in the international arena such as the legendary (my crush) Benj Arriola, Jon Edward Santillan, Jason Acidre and Sean Patrick Si which is a testament of how good Filipinos are in this business. There are the veterans like Ed Pudol, Gary Viray who own firms that can cater whatever size of projects these international companies are looking to outsource. Not to mention those guys who’s been silent all these years but has been raking in a lot of projects, people who are in outsourcing websites such as Freelancer, ODesk, Elance and the likes.

Since not only the top fortune companies can outsource nowadays, the Philippines is a good place for small-sized businesses if they’re looking for workers with specialized seo skills but still fairly inexpensive than hiring in their own countries.

What kinds of reports do you provide to your local clients in a regular basis? Is there a difference in the content/output contained between local SEO reports and foreign SEO reports?

Our reporting varies per project, whether it’s for local or foreign as it is dependent on the goal of the client but basically, it usually answers the 2 most basic questions from my clients:

  • Are the SEO efforts helping reach the organic search targets?
  • What were the tasks completed within a specific period?

When should you upsell and not upsell local SEO to your SEO clients?

There’s already a huge competition among us all, and the only time that you can do up selling is when your service is really worth it. Building your brand is an easy task while delivering result is the hard part, if you can prove it, there’s no contest that you can start up selling.

How do you prove to your clients that SEO is a good marketing investment for their businesses? Do you show proofs? What can you advice to those Filipino SEOs who don’t have any case studies/proofs to show to their first clients?

Start showing them real life examples. I always provide proof of work and some references from previous and current clients. If you don’t have a case study to show, now is the time to create one. How can you prove that you’re worth something if your portfolio is blank?

When I was starting, my portfolio was filled with my personal projects. Me and some of the guys from the org also went on providing seminars, tutorials on different schools to encourage graduating students to enter into this field – I have included this in my professional background list. I started attending SEO seminars too such as SEMCON. Simple things like this can beef up your image as someone who knows what is needed in this field.

Granted that search marketing/SEO is a fast-paced industry. How do you make sure that you and your SEO team stay updated with the latest updates in the industry (e.g. Google’s search updates)?

Join SEO communities both local and abroad. Follow people who eat and breath seo. If you have them in your network, there’s no minute that you’ll miss an update. And when we learn about an update, there’s only 4 things that we always do:

  • Strategize
  • Experiment
  • Compare
  • Implement

How do you make your SEO strategy as simple as it can be that even a 5th grader (or a high school student) could easily understand?

I always give my team two important things to do – improve the website to improve sales and build relationship with other websites to help you sell your items. Put it in their mind first, and then narrow down the specific things after such as the following basic steps:

Keyword Research

Create Page Titles Based on Keyword Research

Create Content Based on Page Titles

Map your Content within the Site Structure

Go Out and Market the Site

Always use your common sense. Google is a search engine, with visitors looking for information so obviously, what you need to do is to provide informative content to your website.

What is your best tip for newbies who want to learn and work as an SEO consultant in the Philippines? What about for those who want to start their own local SEO firms?

The best thing to do here is to read, test, and implement. Network with other seo players in the country, freelancers or employed, you’ll learn a lot from these guys.

Zaldy Dalisay is the owner of SEOWall.

Gary Viray

What is the current state of SEO in the Philippines?

gary-virayIn general, SEO in the Philippines is just a bud about to bloom. More local companies are now becoming aware of its relevance to impact their brand’s presence online. As such, it presents a challenge and an opportunity for us all practitioners in educating companies on what SEO is really about as opposed to the common misconceptions about the craft/industry.

The barrier to entry in the SEO industry is low back then for practitioners. This time around, it is NOT. I think there’s already a natural fall-off for those who were not able to level up their games. While we still see mediocre SEO activities, offers, and packages, it won’t be for long that businesses will get that these types of SEOs won’t hold for their investments. At Search Opt Media, we have been saving a lot of businesses from their previous SEO works taking them out from Google Penalty and algorithmic dampening issues that’s why; I said that such low-level SEO activities must be stopped and should not be practiced. Such activities are waste of resources. On the brighter side though, the world will see more and able SEOs to emerge among us and lesser of those drone-type SEOs sooner than we expected.

Why do you think international companies should outsource their SEO work to Filipino internet marketers?

Cost and better command of the English language are just a few of our advantages, not to mention our natural knack on creativity and strategy. However; the challenge is always about finding the right company to deal with that walks the talk. It would be best to look at their company’s portfolio, organization, skill set, professionalism, and manpower.

On the other hand, one of the things to look out for is that of ridiculously low cost offer because it is a red flag. I am more than certain that the company you are dealing with is into spam automations or into low-cost labor/slavery (no pun intended).

What kinds of reports do you provide to your local clients in a regular basis (or international clients if you don’t have local clients)? Is there a difference in thecontent/outputcontained betweenlocal SEO reports and foreign SEO reports?

Our report for every client is bespoke. It does vary based on goals and objectives of the campaign but the fundamental/core metrics are the same. We would admit that Search Opt Media follows a lot of metrics from Avinash Kaushik.

When should you upsell and not upsell local SEO to your SEO clients?

At Search Opt Media, we don’t use the word, “upsell”. Rather, we simply present more opportunities to clients that they might want to explore in conjunction with the service/s that we are presently giving them. The best time to add more value to the client is when you are able to consistently deliver the goals and objectives of the campaign (MoM) that you currently handle. After such, you can further present to the client other channels or opportunities that can further boost their revenue/goal target.

How do you prove to your clients that SEO is a good marketinginvestment for their businesses? Do you show proofs? What can you advice to those Filipino SEOs who don’t have any case studies/proofs to show to their firstclients? 

Cases and data are our company’s best friend whenever we present to our prospective clients to prove that SEO is a viable marketing investment and to showcase that we are a legit SEO company in the Philippines.

For starters, it is always best to work from ground up improving your skill set first and to gain more experience as your main objectives. Offer (almost) free help to small companies or start-ups, and newbie entrepreneurs in order to build your portfolio. Learn to network with the more experienced SEOs. Read! This will take awhile but it will be worth it in the long run.

Granted that search marketing/SEO is a fast-paced industry. How do you make sure that you and your SEO team stay updated with the latest updates in the industry (e.g. Google’s search updates).

It is not only SEO that is fast-paced; it is technology in general that keeps on evolving. Constant training, updating of skill set and testing new ideas should be innate to any techpreneur.

As an online marketing agency in the Philippines, we are rooted on the fundamentals of marketing principles first and the rest are secondary such as SEO. What do I mean by that? Search Opt Media is a digital marketing company that considers SEO as one of the many marketing channels to push brands online. While we do admit that we have been around for quite some time and have experienced first-hand the evolution of SEO industry and its practices, we are deeply grounded on our marketing fundamentals. It is an open secret. Fundamentals first and the rest will follow.  Know your marketing 101.

How do you make your SEO strategy as simple as it can be that even a 5th grader (or a high school student) could easily understand? 

Checklists, cards, boards, and improved processes at Search Opt Media are our way of breaking down complex SEO strategies. I wrote about this one on my blog at garyviray.com entitled, Process-Focused SEO: An Elephant in the Room on Scalability and Strategy. Everything is properly documented being an agile (scrum) marketing practitioner.

What is your best tip for newbies who want to learn and work as an SEO consultant in the Philippines? What about for those who want to start their own local SEO firms?

While the hype/lure of having your own free time or working from home is all over the place, I have to be upfront that not everybody is fit to be such. It is not a one size fits all kind of job. It requires a lot of BIG WORDS such as commitment, discipline, and responsibility. Examine your true mindset and be it. Others are meant to be part of the corporate setup while others are fit to be on their own. Know yourself first before even jumping into the jungle.

I would like to take this opportunity too, that SEO is not a walk in the park or a shady, magical stuff or a tool-driven work. It involves a lot of thought-processes, strategies, and creative collaborations with clients in order to succeed in SEO. Do not sell your souls to clients and guarantee them impossible goals just to get their accounts else you get burned. We should detest mediocre works and outputs in order to push forward Philippines as one of main hubs of great (real-deal) SEO practitioners around the world.

For those who wanted to start their own SEO firms, you have to equip yourselves not only with the know-how of the craft but also about accounting, corporate legal stuff, taxes, human psychology, and a whole lot more of being an entrepreneur. It is different ball-game when you start your own company.

Gary Viray is the owner of Search Opt Media

- end of the interview -

If you're looking for a link building company to outsource your link building services, then you can get in touch with us today.


why-you-should-attend-seo-conferences-featuring-morcon2013

Why You Should Attend SEO Conferences? (Featuring #Morcon2013)

morcon-2013

Conferences are made to build a community of like-minded people who share valuable experiences/insights with one another. There are a variety of topics that can be discussed in an SEO conference which includes analytics, social, and search marketing.

This type of conference would somehow help virtual marketers (SEOs) to get out of the virtual box and connect and build relationships with SEO peers offline. There are a lot more reasons why you should attend an SEO conference. Some of them are stated below:

  • Gaining knowledge from speakers and attendees who make their hands dirty during their daily SEO work (this would help you think more of another strategy/tactic that you can implement with your team members). SEO conference do well in giving actionable insights to marketers which is more valuable than theories per se (why and what of a thing).
  • Networking with people offline can lead to getting hired by a larger SEO company or obtaining more clients for your team given that in-house marketers of brands who join in the conference get help from SEOs who can give value to their work (and know their stuff really well).
  • Be inspired by the true-to-life stories of speakers and peers who have been successful in the industry (this can motivate you to give your best shot every time you build links or create a content piece).
  • Getting ideas/inspiration for your next content asset (this would depend on how you understand the topic discussed in the event).

You’re hitting two, three or even four birds with one stone (networking, client acquisition, content ideas, and inspiration in just a one or two-day event). Though you might not be able to get all of these things during the conference, the experience building connections with the speakers and established authorities in the industry is a must to consider.

To maximize your stay in the event, here are a handful of tips you should do before attending an SEO conference:

  • Identify your goals (personal or business wise) to get the most benefit out of the event. Goals like setting a business meeting or bonding with a prospect marketer would give you a marginal benefit even after the conference (especially if the target person can be your future partner for the company and/or sponsor for your next branded event).
  • Determine your return on investment (ROI) for attending the conference. Listing down the benefits you can gain and the cost of participating (travel expense, conference fee, etc..) would give you an idea if the conference is worth attending for you. But remember to look at the quality side rather than the quantitative benefits you can receive from the event. The result of your calculations whether the conference would give you a positive ROI or not would boil down to your personal judgment given that knowledge and experience are difficult to quantify.
  • Take note of the topic(s) that you are most excited to learn about. Not all topics can catch your interest. There is always a preference for one topic over another which can centralize your focus on a few topics. But don’t ignore other topics because they can also add value (knowledge) to your marketing efforts.

To give you an example, we will be having an SEO conference here in the Philippines – Mastering Online Ranking Conference or simply MORCON.

And I am excited to attend in this event, seeing that I will learn new actionable insights from internet marketing experts who are not just working for a client but already leading an SEO or IM team. This gave me a motivation to join in the conference given that it will not only give me a higher level of knowledge about the trends/updates in the search industry but it will also help me become more interested in handling an SEO team in the future.

Ok. Let’s know more about the speakers..

Speakers:

Topic: Advanced Link Building (Content Marketing & Outreach)

by Benj Arriola – InternetMarketingInc.com – 2007 SEO World Champion

Topic: SEO PH Tool Box: 30 Superb Tools To Boost Your Guest Blogging

by Jayson Bagio – SEOTeky.com

Topic: Integrated SEO: Combining Different SEO Strategies,Techniques and Tactics for your Business

by Victorino Abruga – BusinessTips.ph and BusinessForum.ph

Topic: Exploiting the Flaws of Big Brand Competitors

by Glen Dimaandal - Online Marketing Manager of Emerson Electric Co.

Topic: How to Make Your Testing Results Matter

by Nina Mission Estenzo

Topic: Driving Solid Traffic, Sales & Conversions – Inbound X Facebook

by Roel Manarang – North Social Media

Topic: Twitter and Google+ Hacks for Social Domination

by Kim Tyrone Agapito - Unhyde

Topic: Post Enhance PPC Team

Juanito Cell Jacela

Topic: TBA

by Sean Si – SEO Hacker and God and You

Topic: TBA

by Zafar Ahmed - Digital Marketing Manager at 360factors Inc.

Topic: TBA

by Jonha Ducayag Revesencio - RebelMouse

Topic: TBA

by Eduardo Joven – PinoyRecipe.net

Topic: TBA

by Edward Santillan – SearchFuse.com

seoorg-ph-morcon-2013

Now, let us hear from our speakers.

How did you get started in SEO or Internet Marketing work?

Sheila: While working for a specialized PR company in Ortigas, my boss gave me a website project, which became my initial motivation to study HTML, CSS and SEO. To further my learnings, I attended several seminars and conferences, read several books and experimented on my own website.

Sean: I started SEO work when I wanted to get more traffic for my blog, God and You. I looked around the web on how to do this and i stumbled upon SEO. I also went to OJT and they hired me to do SEO for their clients. It's a shame to say that I didn't really do white hat SEO. But back then, I had no idea what SEO is really supposed to be like. I also met Glen Dimaandal there. Unfortunately, that company where I spent my OJT in is now closed.

Glen: I finished college with a degree in Journalism, so I tried to find a writing job that would pay better than what newspapers were offering me (P8,000/month) at the time. Fortunately, there was an upstart company called QJ.net in Makati that was hiring. It’s owneda gaming blog and it gave me an opportunity to earn call center-level wages while writing about something I was passionate about. It was in this job that I was introduced to the basics of SEO and web analytics.

After 2 years, I was offered a home-based SEO job. Admittedly, I didn’t have the knowledge and experience to handle this job effectively so I found myself asking questions to other SEOs and reading a lot of tutorials online. Eventually, I developed a working knowledge and some SEO processes with it. From then on, I moved to a couple of other employers for better opportunities.

Victorino: I’ve been blogging since 2007, maintaining several blogs in the business and finance niche. As an online publisher, I have to compete with the big brands globally. And in order to be competitive, I have to implement different SEO strategies and tactics, including content marketing and social media marketing. As a business consultant, I also need to hone my SEO skills and grow my SEO knowledge since online marketing is one of the most important keys to business success today.

Roel: I’ve been an offline marketing manager before on a small company in the Philippines and I started as a blogger around 2008 and an individual online marketing freelancer since 2011 mainly utilizing my skills through Social media.

I started my internet marketing journey through a freelancing site called ‘Elance’, where I was named as the Top 1 individual sales and marketing expert in the Philippines (just 3 months since I joined) from 2011 – 2012, maintaining that rank in almost more than 15 months while handling projects about inbound marketing. I have served more than 100 businesses around the world including Toyota, Kingston, Elance, App Camelot, MOTU and more.

Currently, I’m working with a freelance team: North Social Media and most of our current projects that we handle are full-scale inbound marketing: SMM, SMO, Email, CRO, Contents, Videos, Mobile etc.

75% of our current clients came from Social media, directly.

What do you expect to happen in Morcon 2013?

Sheila: I'll meet new people in the industry, share my insights, from which I hope a lot of the attendees can learn from and also learn from peers.

Sean: Honestly, I want to be surprised and keep it at that. I think each Morcon is different from the other. Last year we had tons of speakers and very little time to network in the daytime. This year's will probably be different.

Glen: It’s my first MORCon, so I expect to meet a lot of new friends and I’m hoping to grow my professional network. Being a corporate SEO, I am only closely tied to the people I work with every day. I want to expand my circles by getting to know other SEOs that I don’t necessarily work with.

I’m excited to see the presentations of other, more established personalities like Sean Si, Sheila Dela Pena and Jayson Bagio.

Victorino: Although, I have not yet attended Morcon in the past, I know that the guys in the organization are awesome people. I know them online since most of them are my friends and they are always in my radar. In the search marketing industry, I know that they are the best in the country and even in the global arena. Hence, I expect that Morcon 2013 would be a great and fulfilling experience.

Roel: Although this will be my third time to attend Morcon, it will be my first time to speak on a conference and I feel really excited. I’m expecting to learn more from the other speakers and develop the knowledge that I could gain to our current campaigns. For me, this should be my first step to share the knowledge I have (which I dreamt of) since I believe that I have lots of different and crazy strategies that ‘works’ very well which not everyone knows yet. Have you heard about marketing using psychology? Hint, hint, hint.

Is Morcon 2013 worth attending? Why do you think so?

Sheila: Yes, MORCon is worth attending because the speakers are those that really learned doing Online Marketing hands-on. Most of the times, the discussion is not just on the concepts but on the actual, tried and tested implementations.

Sean: I think it is with the lineup of speakers. At the very least, you will get a thing or two at the networking sessions there. Perhaps even a client! Events like these build trust and rapport in the Philippine SEO community. Whatever you invest in joining the conversations and activities there is what you'll get out of Morcon as well.

Glen: I dunno, but I have to because I was tapped to speak.

Okay, that was a bad joke. It is: I cancelled my trip to another conference in Makati for this. I think MORCon may be one of the most hardcore SEO conferences in the country and I’m expecting to get some actionable advice from the speakers. More than that, I think the atmosphere will be very relaxed and that will make socialization and networking easier for attendees.

Personally (and this is just me), I’ve gotten a little jaded about attending SEO and Internet marketing conferences that charge premium registration fees only for me to find out that the presentations are not worth it. I believe I speak for a lot of people when I say I’m tired of hearing speakers deliver “speeches” that are more self-promotional that informative. Since MORCon is a community-driven event, I would expect a richer and more personal experience.

Victorino: Morcon 2013 should be worth a million. I mean the knowledge, ideas and insights that you could acquire in attending the event could help you, your clients or your employer become more profitable. I believe that Morcon is not all about getting high online rankings, but it is also about leveraging those online rankings for the success of your business or career.

Roel: Definitely, since I started attending Morcon 2011 it has been a drug to my brains. I’ve gained lots of strategies which I continuously develop and apply using my own style.

Bottom point: Knowledge is the greatest investment in this industry.

Can you give us a glimpse of your upcoming presentation?

Sheila: My discussion is aimed at providing some insights on the (not provided) keywords in Google Analytics, and how to possibly unlock it.

Sean: My presentation will look a lot like my latest entry: http://seo-hacker.com/15-important-lessons-learned-seo-start-up/

The difference is it will be live, there will be more stories and there's probably a short Q&A afterwards.

Glen: Sure. It will be titled Exploiting the Flaws of Big Brand Competitors. In the past five years, I’ve worked for a wide array of employers and clients, both big and small in terms of the company sizes. During that timespan, branding became a very important factor in a website’s ability to rank for its keywords. On the surface, big corporations with marquee brand names and deep pockets seem unbeatable. If you’re a smaller player, going against them seems like SEO suicide. However, closer looks would often reveal that big players in an industry also have big flaws in their marketing strategies that the smaller guys can capitalize on.

My presentation will reveal what kind of flaws to look for and how you can use that knowledge to win important battles for organic and paid search rankings.

Victorino: My proposed topic is titled “Integrated SEO – Combining SEO strategies, techniques and tactics for your business”. Integrated marketing is one of the hottest trends in the marketing industry today. We cannot win the competition by implementing SEO alone. We have to learn how to make a powerful fusion of different online marketing forms (content marketing, social media, relationship marketing, etc.) to win the competition. I also want to emphasize the difference between strategies, techniques, and tactics. SEO people should not only be a tactician or a technician. I mean a SEO mastermind or a SEO entrepreneur should be a strategist and should also know how to lead and manage SEO technicians and tacticians. If you are a SEO employee, and you want to be promoted to a SEO manager, SEO director or even start your own SEO firm, you should not only do the routine of SEO but you have to see the whole SEO picture and even the whole business – you have to learn how to innovate and be a catalyst of success in your entire business or company.

Roel: I’ll make it straight, I want people know how to effectively drive sales, traffic and conversions through Facebook. Although the topic that I will discuss might have few mixed of inbound marketing strategies and psychological tactics which we needed to do in order for us to reach success.

I’ve actually chosen Facebook as the star of my presentation and I’m aiming to do exciting story telling about the case studies we’ve done since that was the topic instructions which the organizers have given me with different scenario, goals and targeting.

This will be a version of stories about real people with real business results, the mistakes we’ve done and the techniques we used to reach their goals. Bear with me if I talk crazily fast (my team are used to this) but definitely my presentation will hit your ears and brains once you understand it, solid.

And we’re done. Now, let’s hear from our fellow SEOs from other countries.

Profiles:

brian-dean

Brian Dean is the Founder of Backlinko.com and the author of Quicksprout’s Advanced Guide to Link Building. Check out my interview with Brian.

 

 

 

james-norquay

James Norquay has worked on some of the largest clients in Australia and the USA. Over 8 years experience in the field. Now he run his own SEO and Inbound Marketing focused Agency based in Sydney, Australia. He is also the founder of ProfessionalSEO.com.au.

 

 

matthew-barby

Matthew Barby oversees online marketing at Wow Internet, a UK digital marketing agency. Check out my interview with Matt.

 

 

 

What’s your perception/view about the quality of SEO service in the Philippines?

Brian: My perception is that the quality is a notch above what you'd find in most countries where English is a second language. That perception comes from what I've heard from agencies that tend to outsource their work there and from following SEO experts like Jason Acidre and Sean Si.

James: Have only worked with a very limited number of Philippine SEO’s in the past 8 years. Some do average quality work and some do good quality work. It is really a case of finding the SEO’s who can do higher quality work and working with them or working with employees locally. Some Philippine SEO’s are pushing out great content and blog posts such as Jason Acidre, SEO Teky and Venchito Jun.

Matt: I think that there’s a bit of a stigma attached to SEO in Asia in general. It’s usually associated with low quality, spam-related link building work that’s outsourced to companies located there.

With regard to the Philippines in specific, I’ve always found myself resilient to outsource work there for a few primary reasons:

  1. The workers in the Philippines are prepared to work for an incredibly low cost which doesn’t sit too well with me – I don’t like underpaying people, but when even some of the top SEOs over there will charge next to nothing it makes it hard to decide who is going to deliver.
  2. I’ve had a few bad experiences with outsourcing work in the past and has made me ultra-careful with who I work with – due to this, I usually work with people that I can easily pick up the phone to. Unfortunately, due to the UK/Philippines time zone difference, this isn’t always the case.

Having said that, I’m sure there are some awesome companies/individuals working out there – Jason Acidre is a prime example of that!

There is an upcoming SEO conference in the Philippines – Mastering Online Ranking Conference. Do you have any idea about this? (even if you’re not based here in our country)

Brian: Sounds cool! I'd like to hear more.

James: Have not heard about it before yet I searched for it on Google and the lineup looks like a good local line up of different speakers from different backgrounds which is good to see. Also I like the location of the conference it looks like a great place.

Matt: If I’m honest, I had no idea – I wouldn’t mind a quick trip to the Philippines though ;) I’ve done quite a lot of travelling across South East Asia so would be amazing to go out again – unfortunately, I can’t see a high chance in me doing so!

If you will be attending this type of conference, what topic would you like to hear about?

Brian: I'd like to hear practical strategies for generating links and traffic. I picked that topic because most business conferences focus on theory and approach...and leave out tactical tips that people can actually use to grow their business.

James: Popular topics which would appeal to people in the search world would be things like (1) Recovery from a Penguin penalty (2) Link building in 2013-2014how things have changed (3) Management of a large SEO team (4) Social medias influence on SEO in 2013-2014

I have picked all these topics because they are important issues and they are current issues that everyday webmasters face so I am sure they will hold value for those attending the conference.

Matt: I’m planning on hitting up a fair few conferences over the coming 12 months, with my main focus being around content marketing. I’m in the process of organizing a huge digital marketing event in the UK with Wow Internet (will release details over the next couple of months), so I’m going to be visiting as many others as possible.

To be honest, I haven’t been to enough conferences – I always check out a few and never get round to getting tickets (lazy, I know), but I’m making it my objective over the next year to go to as many as possible.

Going back to why I want to hear more about content marketing… A lot of the work that I’m doing for clients has a huge focus around content marketing at the moment, and I see it as the backbone to a good branding strategy.

What I like to hear is great case studies that people have worked on with loads of actionable tips. This always filters down and gives me ideas for link building, social media strategy, etc on top of this.

Any shout outs to your Filipino fans?

Brian: Hoy! Salamat sa iyo para sa pagbabasa Backlinko!

James: I really like the work done by Jason Acidre so shout out to him.

Matt: I’m not sure how many Filipino fans I have – to be honest, if there are any of you out there, my advice is to pretty much ignore my advice – I talk a load of rubbish most of the time!

Haha, only joking – but seriously, if you like my content, get in touch with me on Find My Blog Way!

That’s all for now readers! If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you can comment below this post.

 If you liked this post, kindly share it to your circles/networks and follow me on twitter @venchito14.