Pleased to introduce to you an entrepreneur in the online marketing world. One who understands the benefits of search marketing, social media and collaborating with a strong supportive network. As you get to know Mark you will find his dedication is second to none, fearlessly diving into the world of his own business while running one of my favorite search marketing blogs StayOnSearch with incredible success. Mark is also a frequent writer for the well known search marketing blog Search Engine Journal.
The journey of online marketing has taken many marketing professionals through quite the storm, while Mark has been able to ride the wave and share and apply his experience to inspire and create true measurable success for businesses.
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I am originally from Buffalo, went to college in Syracuse then followed some friends down to Raleigh after I graduated college. I absolutely love living in Raleigh (not to mention the weather) and it is a great place for young business professionals. Once I moved down to Raleigh, I found a job with a SaaS company in their marketing department. Little did I know that would be the job that got me hooked onto Internet Marketing. They gave me control of a $60k/month PPC account (which I probably had no business working with at the time) and they let me learn the ropes of Google Adwords. Once I started to learn how Adwords worked, I became addicted to learning how to drive traffic to websites.
My next two jobs were both with Internet Marketing agencies where I really improved my skills as an SEO and overall marketer. I was able to take the things I have learned through reading various industry blogs/books and put them to use.
Just recently I just started my own internet marketing company called Search Creatively about 4 months ago and am in the whole entrepreneurial mode. I will say that running your own business is a lot different than just the normal 9-5 job, but is has been a fun adventure!
I started StayOnSearch in 2008, as a way to not only help other internet marketers with things I have learned throughout my experiences, but to actually practice what I preached. As I started working with clients, I would always say you need to be adding new, fresh content to your site. When a client asked me…”Well where is your blog?” I said it was about time to start doing what I was recommending to clients.
Over the last 3-6 months, the blog has grown so much in terms of content creation, daily traffic and subscribers. I have also launched the Link Builders Toolkit, which is a an awesome reference for anyone who is involved in building links for their website or clients websites. Personally, I am really excited about the direction it has gone and have a number of great things in the mix that will be getting rolled out soon.
We are also looking for part-time bloggers to help contribute to StayOnSearch. Please contact me via the blog if you are interested in becoming a part-time blogger.
Small businesses should be paying attention to SEO and Internet Marketing in general more than ever before. Here is the reason…Google, Yahoo, Bing Local Business Centers, Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Groupon, LivingSocial, Twitter, Meetup, and the list keeps going. We are seeing that internet marketing is becoming more localized and targeted than ever before.
I think one of the hardest tasks for an agency to do, is pull small-business owners away from what they are comfortable doing. Shifting their mass-market mentalities into extremely relevant and trackable marketing. Someone who has been doing Yellow Page ads for years, is starting to see that it is not doing what it once was for them. So as Internet Marketers, we need to be educated them on the new tactics small business owners can take to reach out to their target market.
Easy SEO Wins
This probably has been said only a thousand times, but having keyword-rich title tags. Especially for a small, localized business you may be able to add a local keyword-rich title tag to your homepage and your site may show up on the 1st page of Google (of course it is not always that easy).
The other would be content, content, content….it really needs to be something that every business owner should work into their daily schedule. Have a place on your website where you can share industry ideas, events going on, company news, specials/promotions, basically anything that would help build your overall credibility and keep the site fresh and dynamic.
Social Media SEO Tips
Recently I wrote a post titled How SEO and Social Media are Joining Forces which speaks directly to the question you are asking. But to answer your question in short, it goes back to again…CONTENT. Yes social media is a way to build relationships with other people in your industry, but it is also a great way to spread your content and keep people coming back to your site. If you have new blog posts, tools, whitepapers, videos, inforgraphics, etc…you can leverage the social media presence you have been building to drive people to your site/blog.
The other thing would be to try and optimize what you are saying in your Tweets and social profile updates. Mention other peoples Twitter profiles (@twitterhandle), share other peoples content, use keyword-rich titles along with headlines that are compelling. Don’t forget many social profile pages and upates are being indexed by the search engines, and I only see that playing a larget role in organic search in the future.
I got married last year and have two awesome dogs (lab/retriver mix and aussie/boarder collie mix).
I am a huge sports fanatic (unfortunately it is the Buffalo Bills, but at least I am loyal) so I tend to be watching some sporting event going on.
I love to travel when I have the opportunity and visiting new places I have never been before.
Two People to Follow on Twitter
Two people who are extremely genuine and love to help others in the industry. Personally I try to surround myself with positive people who are passionate about what they do. Kristi and Ann are definitely two that fit the bill and I have enjoyed getting to know them both.
Connect with Mark!
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