1. Please Briefly Tell Us About Yourself and How You Got Started with Online Marketing
I’m Sean Si, the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker, Qeryz, Sigil, and Workplays. A start-up, data analysis and urgency junkie. I spend most of my time inspiring young entrepreneurs through talks and seminars.
I started my online marketing journey when I started a knowledge-based blog – SEO Hacker. This is where I posted everything that I learned about SEO. Through a series of events, I started doing SEO professionally, and it enabled me to reach heights that were unimaginable when I just started my blog.
2. Can You Please Talk About the Journey of SEO Hacker?
As I’ve mentioned, SEO Hacker started out as a blog and during its early stage, I was fortunate enough to meet someone that had a relative that had a business website that was in need of SEO. The person I met was kind enough to refer me to her relative. I mustered up all of my guts to meet her relative and pitched the contract I made. Before I met with him, I had to research about the standard pricing of SEO services, so I put almost $1,000 in the contract and they agreed. That was my very first contract as an SEO Specialist, and I decided to leave my corporate job to make SEO Hacker the business it is today. As with most businesses, obstacles, problems, and downright crises are normal and we’ve had our fair share of these issues, but it helped us grow to where we are today.
3. How Do You Help Your Clients Get Ranked?
We only do white-hat strategies to get our clients’ website to the first page of the search engine results pages and keep it there. High-quality content, a fast and functional website, and links from high authority websites are the foundation of our SEO. However, this does not include all the unique and specially catered strategies we do for each client.
Black hat SEO ensures fast results but penalties and problems arise in the long run. That’s something that we don’t want to happen to our clients’ website so we make sure that everything we do is in-line with Google’s guidelines.
4. How Do You Measure SEO Success?
Our primary KPI for SEO success is to have the client’s website rank for a number of specific, niche-related keywords that will help them show up to people that have a genuine interest in what our clients offer.
5. Can You Give Us Three Recommended SEO Tools You Use and Why?
Ahrefs – This tool is famous for being a backlink profile checker, but Ahrefs has a variety of features that enable us to use it for different reasons for our SEO campaigns. An almost all-in-one SEO tool, most of the features that SEOs look for in a tool can be found in Ahrefs and it’s massive data index allows this tool to give out accurate and more comprehensive results.
Google Analytics – This is a tool that all SEOs should use. Most SEO beginners already use this tool, but not to its full potential. Most of the beginners I know only use Google analytics to check their website’s traffic, but that’s not all this free SEO tool has to offer. A little tinkering and experimenting will let SEOs know that Google Analytics has all the data that they need to better understand their website’s traffic and all its components – if they properly apply the analytics code.
Google Search Console – Another vital SEO tool, search console is one of the few tools SEOs can’t live without. Why? Because much like Google Analytics, Google Search Console has data that you can’t find in any other tool and that’s how Google sees your website. From crawling to structure data implementation, all of these can be found in search console and it already mentions errors that can be found in your pages – albeit a bit broad – you’ll have a starting point when doing necessary fixes for your site. I recommend tapping everything that this tool has to offer since this is one of the tools that lets you establish a much better relationship with Google.
6. What Are Three Blogs That You Visit Almost Daily?
Moz Blog – One of the most prominent and famous hub for all things SEO, Moz has solidified itself as one of the leading sources of SEO strategies, knowledge, and innovative ideas. Almost everything that can be found in Moz’s blog is written by industry experts and it never fails to give me new ideas and approaches to SEO which I can experiment on and apply in our strategies.
Search Engine Roundtable – The number one source for (probable) algorithm updates, Google tool updates, and any other SEO related news, I’ve been following Search Engine Roundtable ever since I started SEO and it’s still an important blog that all SEOs should visit regularly.
Google Webmaster Central Blog – For everything that Google wants its users wants to know, they have a dedicated blog where they publish updates, new features, and news. All SEOs should be alert whenever Google has new stuff to offer, and I for one, read this blog regularly to check if there’s anything I can use for my strategies, ideas, and experiments. Although they don’t publish each and every day and some of their posts are not really “important” for SEOs, being updated is much better than not knowing anything.
7. What Is the Revenue Model for the Blog?
We don’t really have direct finances going into the blog since we aim to build partnerships with tools. We offer them reviews and ad space in our sidebar with an exchange for access to their tools. Additionally, the SEO Hacker blog also helps us gain clients through its authority as one of the Philippines’ foremost SEO blogs. So, we don’t really have a solid revenue model for our blog.
8. What Are Some Strategies You Have Used for Building up the Traffic?
I know it’s old news, but I ensure that we put out informative, useful, and high-quality content each and every time. It helps us rank better and consequently, gain a lot more traffic. We always think about what the users want to know or see in the content we publish and it has never failed us. Of course, there are other ways to increase traffic such as social media sharing of new and evergreen blog posts, building relationships with highly authoritative and well-known websites which allows us to have links from them, and for the SEO Hacker blog, we conduct send out emails every time I publish new blog posts just to keep my subscribers updated.
9. Is Email Still the Most Effective Marketing Platform Today
Based on my experience, email marketing is still an effective platform for your marketing efforts. We regularly recommend email marketing for our clients that need it, and the data that we collect points to the efficacy of email marketing
10. with so Many Different Email Platforms to Choose From, What Should Marketers Specifically Be Looking For?
Find the one that works best for you. The email marketing platform we use now was chosen after trying out different email marketing tools. So, I recommend trying out different platforms and find the one that works the best for you. This is because I can recommend the one we’re using now, but it might not be suited to your tastes/standards.
Experiment and tinker with different tools and you’ll be able to find the best one for you.
11. What Is Your Preferred Method of Collecting Emails and Building Your List?
We incorporate sign up buttons and pop ups for our blog’s visitors. That’s the only thing we did to increase our email subscriber count and it’s still effective up to today. This is what we also do for our clients that avail our email marketing service, but knowing where to put the sign up button and when to show the pop-up is a different story since we have a dedicated team of CRO and UI/UX specialists that investigate and apply the best possible place and time for the button and pop-up.
12. What Are You Best Tips for Writing Effective Email Titles/Content That Get Opens and Clicks?
Be personable, make the recipient know that the email was written by a human being and not by a robot that just states facts and is boring. Keep the point of the email short and sweet but don’t overload it with information and lengthy content.
Always remember that people want to feel special so don’t write like a bot and keep the point straight to the point because your subscribers only have a limited amount of attention to give to your emails.
13. Based off Your Own Experience, Is It Better to Send Long Form or Short Form Written Content in Emails to Your Mailing List?
We always ensure that there’s a balance of long form and short form content in our emails. If it’s too short, our subscribers won’t read it since they’ll think it’s a waste of their time. If it’s too long, they won’t read it as well since their attention can only last for so long. So, as I’ve mentioned, keep the content straightforward and direct to the point, but ensure that the necessary information that you want your subscribers to know is still included in the content.
14. What Is the Best Way to Setup an Effective Autoresponder Series?
Always know what the goal of your autoresponder series is. Is to welcome the new subscriber and offer them some products? Is it to promote a new product? Is it to keep them nurtured with a promise of promos and discounts?
An effective autoresponder series is where you achieve your intended goal. Curating your autoresponder series is actually easy as long as you know the goal. If it’s just to welcome the subscriber and introduce them to different products/services of your website, then write about that. Vision is important for creating an effective autoresponder series so always think about what you want to achieve, then the rest comes easy.
Thats Sean Si for you guys! We’re sure that this interview must be quite an inspiring experience for you all.
Finally thank you Sean for giving a ratio of your valuable time towards me.
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Thanks again Sean Si for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Rahul Digital community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.