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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

***First of all the above picture is me doing the (Steve) AOKI jump. I wanted to prove that I might just be a ninja, so I’m qualified to talk about a bunch of SEO tips. The wrong type of Ninja huh?***

I haven’t written a blog post in a long time, mainly because I haven’t had the time to do it. Let’s face it when one works at an agency and has multiple clients that they are developing and implementing marketing strategies, there really isn’t much time for anything else.

Last week I broke my hand which probably has you asking shouldn’t he have less time then? The answer is YES! But, blogging and doing SEO (Whatever That Means) are still 2 of my favorite things. So, here we are, I am writing a blog post about my favorite tips that I’ve learned from some of my favorite marketers, edge online, PPC Gurus, and everything in between.

By the way that took me about 20 minutes to type due to the broken hand. MAYBE I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS?

The tips nor the marketers are in any specific order and are simply tips that stood out to me when I heard them. There is no real-time period here. Some are old tips and some are from 2018. But, you all get a GOLD STAR in my book!

A Bunch Of SEO Tips From My Favorite Marketers

Danny Sullivan – @dannysullivan

This is really simple now that I think about it, but at the time I never thought about how big of an impact local SEO could/would have.

Danny said, “Show up right in local SEO”. He spoke about the importance of having your information correct in Google My Business, and monitoring Yelp and other review sites, because those sites would become important in local searches.

This is obviously right on point and it reminds me of a few services (hmmm) such as YEXT, Bright Local, White Spark, and Moz Local. Were they listening to you, Danny?

Rand Fishkin – @randfish

I remember when Rand said something about how SEO people or the “SEOs” on the team need to be involved with branding, design, and development. This way you’re taking advantage of your offerings before the end product goes to market.

I took this and applied it to my current position which is a digital strategist at a website development company that does digital consulting. I enthusiastically put myself into the beginning process of website development.

This meant pissing off the design team, the “thinkers” or people working mostly on branding and the developers. It turns out that having a good user experience design, sitemap and overall plan is a good thing and this became the common practice. Thanks, Rand Fishkin.

Barry Schwartz – @rustybrick

What I remember from Barry is when he said to not follow all of the changes and basically stick to what you know works. He said to continue pumping out good content and be the expert.

Barry is the one that drilled down that you need to know what you are writing about and be passionate about it. This way you will at least sound like you know what you’re talking about. Keeping your readers coming back is the goal and being the expert will do that and show Google that you are an authority on your topic.

We know that Google loves authority… Well as long as they’re the authority! Right?

Larry Kim – @larrykim

Larry Kim is why I heard about Medium and why publishing on the site is a good idea for your content. It was actually earlier this year before he went to do his Unicorn thing. Larry posted a blog post that is about 7 Medium Optimization Tips To Get Your Articles To Go Hot.

My only comment is he wasn’t wrong and I now use Medium as part of my repertoire. It’s nice to have another tool in the tool belt. Now if only Larry could make me a Chat Bot using Mobile Monkey. Those things are exhausting.

Neil Patel – @neilpatel

Now don’t get me wrong I have spent countless hours learning from Neil Patel, I’m not sure why I say Neil Patel, but for some reason when I say Neil Patel I have to use his whole name.

Anyways the first thing I can remember that really stands out from Neil Patel was when he was talking about making “how-to posts” and “Infographics”. Neil Patel had a very good point, he said “creating content that is interesting and worthy of sharing is a good thing. If someone can learn something valuable they are more likely to share it and keep coming back.”

OK, that was a paraphrase (Neil Patel is long-winded sometimes – best way possible), but you get it. Thanks for the advice, Neil Patel.

Joost de Valk – @jdevalk

First of all, can I just say Yoast SEO! I mean how many of us SEOs use it the right way and how many marketing people at companies think they can do SEO because they have that plugin? Am I Right? Please stop by the way, SEO is not THAT easy! 

But, seriously I think that a long time ago if my memory serves me right that Joost is who made it very apparent that having a keyword strategy is extremely important.  This includes coming up with a topic, getting search volume around your keyword(s), finding long tail versions to use and most recently the importance of using LSI keywords throughout your writing.

Write about your topic or an idea instead of just focusing on one keyword. I guess you can say I have evolved with Joost.

Aaron Wall – @aaronwall (Private?)

The biggest takeaway that I have received from Aaron is that SEO is not just people searching on Google. I changed my outlook to believe that “SEO” is holistic and we should look at everything online as a whole to be found everywhere.

He made a statement about being found on Amazon as an eCommerce store and it made me realize that SEO should be seen as a more broad term, maybe digital marketing or holistic SEO.

Brian Dean – @backlinko

While Brian Dean is a ball of SEO knowledge, the one thing I remember hearing and sticking with me is when he talked about the “Hilltop Algorithm”. This was something I had never heard of.

I knew that outbound links were important, but I would link to a Wikipedia site, not realizing that linking to high-quality pages was much better. Doing this tells Google that your page is a hub, such as a hub of information because it links out to high authority and relevant sources.

The study that he linked to on the topic sold me on this idea.

Aleyda Solis – @aleyda

I think my biggest takeaway from Aleyda is that she is way smarter than me. Every single time I read one of her blogs or watch a video I learn a ton! But, she does love charts and workflows and slides and she has so many steps that come along with her tips and tools – which is amazing and thorough!

I know that what I am saying makes her sound like one of my college professors, but I’m trying to say I learn a lot and it’s always very thorough. Which means I can’t think of just one SEO tip that stands out to me as there are just too many.

Freddy J. Nager – @atomictango

The only thing I remember about Freddy Nager is that one time I returned from my “Spring Break” vacation and he had put my fake Facebook Group on blast.

As you will see, as he put me on blast again, I made up a fake school project, I made up a fake persona (The reason I knew I would never do anything like this again), I made up everything and decided I would litter links to T-Shirts I was selling online throughout the group. Turns out the group took off. Like 800,000 people in a few days. Hell, my T-Shirt sales took off too.

Meanwhile, I was at the beach and had no idea what was going on. It turns out Freddy Nager and a few hundred other people were playing detective while I was playing drinking games. I came back home and read the blog posts he had written and the comments others had left.

Honestly, I thought it was hilarious and I was making some nice money at the same time. But, what did I learn from Freddy J, Nager? I learned how to be a marketer, how to be transparent, and that doing things the wrong way (at least normally) will get you nowhere or left behind. The reason I say normally is that the T-Shirts just would not stop selling.

He wrote something about how if I was doing this right I would have been nurturing the relationships I was building in order to sell to them again, I now realize that to be the case. But, at the same time, I think I saw the beginning of burn and churn marketing in the days of Social Media.

I also think this was the first time I saw how a profile behind a social media platform can be very convincing and convince people to do just about anything they ask them. For me, it was buying shirts (to others it might be to vote a particular way). Thankfully there are people like Freddy Nager out there to question things because that’s exactly what we need today!

In The End

As you can see I learned something different from each of these marketers. Some of these things were lessons in life, while other things were strictly actionable items. But, when put together these 10 tiny things helped me to be a better marketer.

To be 100% transparent I have learned 100s of things from all of these marketers and will continue to learn. Actually 100s of things from many other people as well. Hmmm, I think I just decided to make this a part 1 of who knows how many.

Thanks for the help guys and I’ll see you all next time.

**Oh yea if there are spelling or grammar issues – blame my broken hand**

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About the Author

James McMinn

Senior Digital Strategist

James is a savvy digital marketing specialist with a Masters of Science in Internet Marketing. For the past fourteen years, he has been specializing in SEO, PPC & Marketing Strategy. He has a super sharp analytical mind and a finely tuned creative eye for marketing initiatives that optimize brands.

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