Participating on social media websites can be an incredibly powerful way to engage with your local customers, while also ensuring that your website’s pages rank highly in the natural search results for your local and branded keyword phrases.  If you aren’t yet using these platforms as extensively as you could be, check out the following recommendations on how to get started.

General Guidelines

No matter what type of business you run, you’ll want to follow these guidelines for good social media participation: Continue reading 101 Ways Local Businesses Can Leverage Social Media

I’ve made it pretty clear in some of my previous posts on here that part of the reason I got into SEO in the first place is my love of the internet and the background science that drives it.  It’s fascinating to me how much our society relies on this vast network, even though most people haven’t the faintest clue how it operates – and those that are “in the know” are often scrambling to make sense of search engine algorithm changes.

Given how much I love SEO, I spend a lot of time reading industry blogs and participating in SEO events.  Not only does this help to keep me on my game when it comes to helping my clients’ sites perform better in the natural search results, it also gives me some insight as to what’s coming up in the future of the industry.

So with that in mind, the following are a few of my predictions as to what we’ll see in the future of search: Continue reading The Future of Search

Recently, I shared a post with you titled, “50 Skills Every Marketer Should Have,” that got a great response here on my blog.  Today I want to expand this concept a little further and look at a few of the different skills that entrepreneurs in general need to pursue.

If you’ve read my website bio, you know that I dropped out of college to pursue my business goals instead of completing a degree.  While I wouldn’t say that college is a waste of time for everybody, I do think that there are plenty of important entrepreneurial skills that just aren’t covered in obtaining a traditional education.

So, if you’re thinking about pursuing your own startup business, I recommend brushing up on the following skills either instead of or as a complement to your ongoing education: Continue reading 51 Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Have

There’s no arguing with the fact that it’s been a rough couple of months for webmasters and SEOs alike.  In addition to being pummeled by various Panda and Penguin updates and refreshes, Google has been investing significant resources into stepping up its monitoring and penalization of low value link building strategies.

Even if your site hasn’t received one of the unprecedented number of unnatural links warnings issued recently by the search giant, it’s worth taking some time to evaluate your site’s backlink profile and remove low value links at this point.  Given the recent push we’ve seen recently by Google and the other search engines to weed web spam out of their natural search results, there’s no reason to believe that these are the only link-oriented penalties we’ll see. Continue reading How to Identify and Remove Bad Links

Last year, I lost 42 lbs in six months, and it was the single hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  As a result, I learned plenty of invaluable lessons.  Not only did I learn more about myself and how far I’m able to push my body and mind, I also found that many of the lessons I learned helped me to push my business to the limit as well.

Here are a few of the different lessons I learned.  I hope you find them helpful, whether you’re trying to lose weight, get in shape or expand your business: Continue reading What Losing 40lbs Taught Me About Business

Look inside the heads of great marketers like Seth Godin and Steve Jobs and you’ll be surprised by the number of skills that these guys and gals have that might not necessarily be tied to marketing. You’ll see things like interviewing skills, giving good feedback, and even kissing butt. But you’ll also see things you’d expect like storytelling, a drive for result, and a focus on the sales funnel.

And after nearly a decade working in the SEO industry in various capacities, I’ve absolutely found this to be true.  Whether as the founder of Single Grain or in my full-time positions with companies like, I’ve seen first-hand that when I focus on meeting my customers’ needs, I ultimately wind up more successful than when I put my own personal gain first. Continue reading 50 Skills Every Marketer Should Have

Exclusive Bonus: Download my startup growth resources cheat sheet to easily refer to in all stages of your startup.

I’ve always hated reading books.  In fact, I felt so strongly that I could learn more by reading blogs and figuring things out on my own that I dropped out of college and started hustling at work when I was just 20.  But I’ve since come to realize after years of working that there’s really no alternative to knowing the fundamentals.

Because of this, I’ve recently challenged myself to read 100 books by the end of the year, using the following list that I’ve compiled from other entrepreneurs, my mentors and via recommendations in other books.  I’m currently a quarter of the way there and am pacing at two books a week.  To me, the experiences I’ve had so far with SEO and business in general are equivalent to a college degree.  Reading these quintessential business books is going to be my MBA.

So, not only should you read these books – you should take notes and execute as much of what you learn as you can.  But that’s a topic for another blog post… Continue reading 100 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

All work requires some level of creativity.  While it’s obvious how professional artists, writers, musicians and other “right brain” types incorporate creative processes into their work, even fields as technical as programming or SEO include creative components.  Writing code, for example, requires a certain level of creative foresight to envision how individual elements will come together into a final, finished product.

But unfortunately, creativity isn’t something that can be counted on to function properly at any given time.  Plenty of us have experienced the thrill of a “flow state” – in which ideas and thoughts pour forth in an easy, effective way – but for every minute of productive creative work, we’re likely to experience an equal number of minutes spent staring at the computer screen in the throes of a creative block. Continue reading 25 Ways to Get Over a Creativity Block

Think optimization is just for your website?  Well, think again…

It might just be my nerd side showing, but throughout my ten years of experience in the SEO industry, I’ve found that a lot of the techniques I’ve developed in my professional life can be applied to my personal endeavors with a tremendous amount of success.  But I haven’t just used these techniques to optimize how I spend my time, how I maximize my commute and how I approach my work schedule – I’ve got the process so fine-tuned that I’ve even optimized what I carry in my pocket!

The following are just a few of the specific ways I’ve used the skills I’ve learned working in SEO to improve my life – hope you find them helpful! Continue reading How to SEO Your Life