Every time an entrepreneurial success story hits the news, I’m always happy for the people involved who have seen their dreams turn into something bigger than themselves.  It’s incredibly rewarding to bring a product or service to the market and see your ideas rewarded with sales and customers – so whether it’s my success or someone else’s, I get a thrill out of seeing entrepreneurs do well and achieve their goals.

However, it’s always frustrating to see media sources hone in on these entrepreneurial successes – and not the tremendous amount of hard work and effort that’s gone into reaching these heights.

Take the founders of Instagram, who recently cashed out with a $1 billion buyout offer from Facebook.   Plenty of mainstream and industry news sources want to paint these young guys as “tech wiz-kids” who struck it big with a lucky idea.  Very few of these same stories pay more than a cursory lip service to the hours upon hours of brainstorming, planning, testing and promoting that must have gone into their eventual success. Continue reading Why You Shouldn’t Be an Entrepreneur

Let me just start off this post by saying that weight loss isn’t easy.  I struggled for years to lose weight and gain muscle before I figured out how to hack my body’s unique physiology and get to the point where I’m now able to drop 5-7 pounds in a matter of days.  So today, although I’m going to share with you some of the techniques that have helped me along the way, I want you to keep in mind that your own results may vary, based on a number of different factors.

Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get down to business!

If you read my last post on how my success at losing weight has helped me to maximize my business progress, you know that the story of how I gained weight in the first place was a pretty common one.  Although I’d always been active growing up, working cubicle jobs early on in my career trashed my eating habits and made it hard to fit in the necessary time for exercise. Continue reading Weight Loss Hacks

Strip away all the images, graphics, videos and so on from the web and you are left with nothing but text. And lots of it. That text is what drives search. But that text was a mess so some people introduced microformats to help make sense of all that text. Unfortunately it wasn’t structured and there were different standards across the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!

Here’s why that’s a problem. Somebody on your page may clearly understand what your page is about. The search engines, however, won’t. Let’s say you are searching for a cougar. Do you want the animal or the car? If you wanted the Mercury Cougar, then you would need to search for “Mercury cougar.” If you just wanted to know about animal, then “cougar” would do.

Schema changes that by optimizing the content you are creating. Schema allows you to identify exactly what you are creating with simple tags that remove all ambiguity. This will work wonders for getting more visibility since you are telling search engines exactly what your page is about. Continue reading How to Significantly Increase Your Online Visibility with Schema

I love SEO and I also love all of the algorithm changes Google has made over the last decade. It really makes my job challenging, and keeps me on my toes.

For example, when I first got into this business the SEOs number one goal was to get client websites to the top of search rankings. It was a pretty easy sell if you could do it. Your value proposition amounted to this: I’ll help you rank for these keywords by doing A, B and C. And it was really easy to report on, too. All your client had to do was search Google for those keywords and see where their pages were positioned.

Of course back in the day SEOs real struggle was to get clients to relax—it took time to rank high! Now our struggle is to get clients to STOP thinking about rankings. Google has made hundreds of changes, mostly small ones, but also huge ones that have changed the ranking landscape, Search+ being the biggest. Continue reading Search+ Killed Rankings: The SEO Reports That Matter Now

If you are an SEO, then you probably love marketing. You probably love to think about a company and their website and how to position them on the web using all of the tactics in your inbound marketing toolbox.

But have you ever thought about how to market yourself? Have you ever thought about what makes you different from your competition? Have you ever thought about what distinction you can offer to clients that your competitors can’t? This way of market thinking is known as branding—and it applies to you personally. Continue reading SEOs: 13 Ways to Kick-Start Your Personal Brand Online

This is the first installment of a series of blog posts on how SEOs should work with different people inside a company. I’ll cover CEOs, executives, board members, developers, project managers, PPC coordinators, PR, social and editorial.

Will kick off this series starting from the top with CEOs.

The CEO and SEO

He might not be the person who signs and cuts you a check, but the CEO is someone you will have to convince it is worth signing that check, especially if we are talking about a start up or small to medium sized business.

Now, a few years back convincing a CEO of the importance of launching an SEO program was a lot harder. You had to get the data, drill down the rabbit holes and show plenty of examples of how competitors were beating them in rankings. Then you had to translate that data into language they understood. In other words, you had to get to the bottom line. Continue reading How SEOs Should Work with CEOs

Sounds pretty crazy, right?  Really, no one expects to hear about an SEO professional who loves waking up to the news that Google’s latest tweaks have resulted in dramatic changes to the natural search results!

For most SEO insiders and webmasters, the news that Google’s made changes is often accompanied by panic and terror – but I’ve always taken a different approach.  In my years of working in the field, I’ve seen plenty of changes come and go, including all of the following: Continue reading Why I Love Google Algorithm Changes

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