April 23, 2014

Cardinal Web Solutions First Director of SEO: Expect The Unexpected

Cardinal Web Solutions | Director of SEO | Jason Corrigan
It seems like ten years have passed since my last update in December. 

In the six years I have worked within the ever evolving world of search marketing, I never saw myself moving down this particular career path, nor did I ever imagine I would achieve such success so soon.

But that's life, right?

All you can do is expect the unexpected and take every possible opportunity to prepare yourself for when the time comes, when your time arrives.

For me, the offer to join the eighth fastest growing digital marketing agency in the country came at the same time as other lucrative options. The end of 2013 saw me managing various teams dedicated to Wpromote's top tier clients, when offers to become the Director of Optimization at Maker Studios in Los Angeles, CA and the Director of Global Optimization for a Group M company in New York City arrived. 

Being from New York and having lived in Boston, MA for two years before heading out to sunny Los Angeles, I honestly never thought about the possibility of living in the South. For a New Englander like me, the idea didn't initially seem too attractive. 

While I had never visited Georgia before, I like anyone else am susceptible to irrational cliches and had the idea that the South was largely a rural place existing a few years behind the times.

Just as how most people naturally conjurer up an image of a fast talking, rude "fahgetaboutit" type of character when they hear "New Yorker," I too had my reservations about entertaining an offer to move to a brand new city that I knew nothing about.

Jason Corrigan Director of SEO
But again, you have to expect the unexpected. 

Upon close review, Cardinal Web Solutions stands as an agile, intelligent search agency that carries one fundamental value: never stop looking ahead.

My experience working with multiple agencies throughout the country shows that too often, companies reach a certain point of success and become apathetic when it comes to continually assessing their current status and taking all necessary steps to become the very best version of themselves. 

This is not the case with Cardinal.

From the type of experienced, polished professionals they bring in to fulfill particular gaps in systems and processes to their ability to instantly modify services based on modern search engine algorithm demands; Cardinal actively takes steps that allows them to be prepared when the unexpected comes up. 

As the company turns five-years-old this month, Cardinal is attracting national brands, while still serving as the leader of search marketing solutions for small to medium sized businesses in the Southeast. 

This growth combined with their agile functionality is exactly why Cardinal is primed to become the next big thing in the digital marketing world. 

As I stated in a blog post on February 24, Cardinal Web Solutions is a smart agency that justifies its services through intelligent testing, which allows them to successfully connect qualified consumers with any vertical’s target audience(s).

The combination of intelligent custom solutions and universal search tactics is exactly why their base of success will only continue to grow at exponential rates. 

So for anyone waiting and watching, all I can say is that you should just expect the unexpected.

December 23, 2013

Google Is Aware Of SEOs Bribing Bloggers...Listen Before Reacting

SEOs Bribing Bloggers | Jason Corrigan SEO
Google's head of search spam Matt Cutts sent out a Tweet last Friday, saying that he and his team are aware of a practice that sees SEOs building links through gift exchanges.

Like any other situation where the walking, talking search marketing Messiah sends out a Tweet; thousands of SEOs immediately jumped across the blogosphere to let the world know....nothing.

Just as many inexperienced SEOs went running rampant over the idea that Infographics were no longer valuable back in 2010 or that Google+ does not have a direct impact on search listings, we find ourselves in one more situation where too many people are reacting and not listening.

The concept in question sees search marketers reaching out to bloggers and/or webmasters, usually through an e-mail exchange, asking if they will create content around specific concepts in exchange for some form of goods. 

As Search Engine Land reports: 

"The technique is not about going to the site owner and selling links through the owner of the site. Instead, it is going directly to the reporter or blogger and getting them to “editorially” add links to sites without the site owner’s knowledge."

Now that you have read this statement that describes how this practice could be malicious, read it another three times.

Did you get the missing link (no pun intended)?

The idea here is NOT that SEOs need to worry about Google deindexing sites that practice this tactic, but just those that execute this strategy without being transparent or by being manipulative.

Link Earning Strategies | Product-Focused Linking | Jason Corrigan SEO
I have personally used this tactic on many occasions and guess what?! It works like a charm for advancing my client's traffic, visibility and rankings.

To show you how this tactic is executed correctly, check out these simple steps that I have personally used in my past explorations with P&G brands:

Product-Focused Linking Instructions:

  1. Research various blogs and websites that identify and align with your target audience. Make sure that as you go through building your list of potential hosts, you only select sites that have a great domain score, plenty of credible links and a huge social audience. This ensures that you are working with a great website that is actually endorsed by thousands of consumers.

    Great tools to use for all of this are GroupHigh and Open Site Explorer.

  2. Once you have your list of potential hosts and their contact information, go ahead and draft a well-written e-mail that is specific to the site you are reaching out to.


    A great way to avoid appearing as spam is to give specific details of the site that you are interested in networking with.

    Something like,

    "...I am in the midst of building a linking campaign for BrandAwesome and thought that you might be a great partner to work with. The fact that your site caters to affluent families and that you are heavily invested in publishing content through your blog, makes me feel that we have a great opportunity to provide value to both of our audiences..."

  3. Once you have established contact with your desired hosts, figure out what makes sense to offer in exchange for having them host content that links to your client's website.

    My recommendation for making this as transparent and honest as possible is to have your client offer free products or services to the intended host's online users who perform a particular action, such offering an honest testimonial about the quality and use of the product.

    By doing this, you are demonstrating that you are considerate of the consumer's needs before anything else.

    Avoid giving away cash and do not offer a specific script for someone to read as they give their review, as this could be seen as too aggressive and manipulative by search engines like Google.
In my experience, this tactic has worked very well when acting as a liaison between my clients and specifically, non-profit agencies.

Whenever a disaster strikes, the best thing anyone can do is lend their support. So in the world of search marketing and SEO, getting your clients to donate goods to agencies like The American Red Cross in exchange for content allows you to:
  • Work directly with entities that need support: Makes it much easier to get an immediate response and returned action.
  • Gain tremendous positive PR for your client: Have the receiving agency take pictures of those in need holding up your client's products. Then ask them to post those images on their site with a caption that describes what is taking place in the image.
  • Increase your client's online authority, visibility and traffic: Make sure you show them how to include a contextual link that directs users back to your client's site so that they can grow their backlink portfolio and increase their site's authority and visibility.

It's that easy and man-oh-man, it can be that pure and honest!

So next time you hear some SEO talking about how the oh-so powerful Google God Matt Cutts is taking names and kicking some search marketing butt, go ahead and read or listen to everything that is being offered. 

Inexperienced SEO
The consequences of not doing so are dangerous to your reputation and career!

December 1, 2013

Think Global and Grow Your Business Through Video Content

Grow Globally Through Video Content | Jason Corrigan SEO
For businesses that are interested in expanding their reach globally and embedding their brand in emerging markets like Asia and India; consider investing in online video campaigns.

Developing rich video content that is hosted on relevant platforms like YouTube and Tudou creates new opportunities to connect with and influence consumers in environments that foster engagement and action.

Unlike other face-to-face forms of advertising, video allows you to successfully move consumers further down the conversion funnel by stimulating their senses in ways that provoke a particular emotional response.

Figure out how you can connect with 70% of YouTube's 1 billion monthly visitors that live outside of the United States by reading my complete article:

"Grow Your Business Globally & Connect With New Consumers With Video Content"

November 18, 2013

Advanced Web Ranking: With So Many "Experts" In SEO, How Do You Know Who Is Who?

SEO Experts | Jason Corrigan SEO
One common issue that continues to run rampant throughout the search marketing world is the loose application of "expert," as it applies to individuals who work within SEO and digital marketing. 

Search marketing is a multi-faceted, complex concept that involves a plethora of processes that range from organic onsite optimization and content development to paid advertising and e-mail marketing. 

Regardless of how in-depth and involved search marketing is, there tends to be this idea that recent college graduates who have one or two years worth of professional experience are able to be viewed and treated as "experts." 

Considering that medical doctors dedicate eight to twelve years to studying medicine before they make the claim of "practicing" it, it seems extremely bold to make such high-end claims that speak directly to one's experience, their level of understanding and their ability to execute. 

I recently published an article for Advanced Web Ranking that dives into this idea and discusses various ways that business and brands can correctly identify and work with true digital marketing experts. 

Please check it out and let me know what your thoughts are on the subject!

November 10, 2013

Search Engine People: Understanding Hummingbird and How Brands Continue To Connect With Online Consumers

Google Hummingbird | Search Marketing News | Jason Corrigan SEO
I recently had the opportunity to contribute to Search Engine People's SEM journal, where I discussed how brands can continue to connect with online consumers in a post-Hummingbird world.

Find out how you can adapt your content development efforts and align your mobile campaign with Google's new algorithm by reading the entire article here.

-Jason Corrigan

October 17, 2013

Easy Ways To Maximize Your Search Campaign Without Spending More Money

Maximize Search Campaign Without Spending More Money | Search Marketing News | Jason Corrigan SEO
With five and a half years of experience working within digital and offline marketing, the number one obstacle that small to medium sized businesses face in growing their online presence is working with a limited amount of resources. 

The fact is, developing content on a regular basis can cost thousands of dollars per month if working with a third-party content development firm. Even hiring freelance writers can become expensive over time as the average content writer charges between $50 to $150 per article. 

However, just because your company works with a finite set of resources, does not mean you do not have the necessary tools to grow your digital campaign and maximize your traffic and conversion opportunities. 

Here are three easy, cost-effective ways that small to medium sized businesses can develop content and expand their brand's search visibility.

1. You Pay People To Work For You, So Make Them Work

The idea that your employees are overwhelmed with work or have too much on their plates to contribute to the overall effort is absolutely ridiculous.

As the owner of your company, you pay your employees to work in a variety of ways that benefit its direction, not just to perform their expected day-to-day duties. 

So whenever you publish new forms of content, make it a requirement that each employee has to share it over any and all social media profiles they own. Tell them to make sure they include call-to-actions that ask their social audience for engagement as well. 

It takes all of 30 seconds and will go a long way in maximizing:

  • Immediate visibility on search engine results pages (SERPS)
  • Immediate leads/conversions
  • Word-Of-Mouth advertising

2. Test Your Employees' Knowledge

Are your employees showing up for a pay check or are they true authorities on your brand and its offerings?

The best way to find out is by having them develop content around your brand, products and services.

Create a system that sees one employee write a 400-500 word article each week that highlights your company and speaks to the audience you are trying to capture. 

Topics can range from promoting specific product details to evergreen subjects that offer tips and advice for resolving a common dilemma. 

Having your own employees write brief articles around your brand saves thousands of dollars from working with a content development firm or freelance writers. 

In addition, it also motivates your employees to learn more about your company, which in the long run supports the effort for becoming as well-rounded and agile as possible. 

3. Rehash, Reuse, Recycle

If your brand invests in any form of offline marketing, convert them into digital assets. 

If you are unable to afford new forms of content and your employees went on strike after making them write a few articles, then simply convert all of your:

  • TV commercials to your branded YouTube Channel
  • Radio spots to SoundCloud and embed them on your branded website
  • Print ads (newspaper, magazine, pamphlets) to articles that are attached with images

October 10, 2013

Is Google In Bed With The United States Government?

Google Suppressing User Privacy | Search Marketing News | Jason Corrigan SEO
The United States filed 6,321 requests to eliminate online content and/or reveal online user information in the final six months of 2011, far more than any other country in the world.

Adhering to the United States, Google followed up on 93 percent of requests for user data, encompassing more than 12,200 accounts.

The search engine giant has become a leader in the world’s digital transformation and is the most comprehensive communications platform in the world. Owning the most watched video site Youtube, supplying and hosting thousands of widely used blogging and email services, while also expanding their reach with 170 million new users on Google Plus in less than one year are just a few of the reasons why the U.S. is targeting Google.

While most requests for content destruction and user information correspond with legitimate legal issues ranging from hate speech to cases of fraud, Google says requests from government agencies leading to the suppression of political opinions and other related materials is steadily increasing.

"It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect — Western democracies not typically associated with censorship," Dorothy Chou, Google's senior policy analyst, wrote in a Sunday blog post.

Chou’s comments are the result of the U.S. submitting 187 requests to remove content from July through December of 2012, more than twice the number of requests from January through June. In addition, a number of the requests include 117 court orders, resulting in Google removing 218 search results linking to websites carrying allegedly defamatory content.

From Facebook status updates and location display features to the increasingly popular check-in platform of Foursquare where users publicly claim a history of their personal movement; the ability to monitor human patterns is increasingly becoming easier.

Even more so, these social media platforms entice individuals to discuss and display their daily routines, thoughts, feelings and habits, allowing the U.S. government and other authoritative agencies to sit back and watch everything unfold before them.

Without public support rallying behind free expression within the World Wide Web, these actions are likely to continue and increase with world-wide pressure on Google and other search engines to deliver personal information and restrict expression.