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SEO Articles

Dead SEO

3 Non-SEO Items That Will Kill Your SEO Program

Written by Shawna Wright

There are a lot of things that can derail your SEO program: a lack of content, low-quality links, being socially inactive and more. And while I cannot stress the importance of those SEO items, there are actually several non-SEO things that can ruin your SEO program before it even gets off the ground...

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Is Your Enterprise SEO Campaign Guilty of These Things?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you think an enterprise organization has it easier than a small business when it comes to executing an SEO campaign, at first glance you’re right. After all, enterprise organizations have bigger budgets, more resources, and typically have strong brand recognition that gives an SEO campaign some...

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Keyword ranking tool

Are You Paying for a Keyword Ranking Tool?

Written by Shawna Wright

The other day my boss was reminiscing about how the world of SEO looked when he started in Internet Marketing over 13 years ago. One of the things he remembers the most is having a dedicated computer that sat in the corner of his office, running keyword ranking reports 24-7. They set up some kind of...

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Just Enough SEO Knowledge to Be Dangerous

Written by Shawna Wright

In my experience, the site owners that "goes it alone" when it comes to SEO fall into three distinct categories. Category A - they take their time and move cautiously, make small changes here and there and just let what happens happen. Category B - they hire an SEO firm and let them handle most of t...

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SEO Clients Can’t Disappear From the Process

Written by Danielle Bachini

If you’re in the market to hire an SEO firm, here’s one important thing that you need to understand: you will need to be an active participant in the SEO process. If you think that you’re outsourcing the work so that you don’t have to deal with it and you can just review monthly reports you ...

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How Your Email Newsletter Can Help SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

An email newsletter is an important component of an online marketing campaign. Sending out a newsletter on a regular basis is a great way to communicate with target audience members and stay top of mind. But did you also know that your email newsletter can indirectly help your SEO? That is, if you s...

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SEO Tricks To Not Fall For!

Written by Shawna Wright

It's unfortunate that a few bad apples have given the SEO industry a bad name. Most SEO consultants and agencies do their best to provide excellent customer service, advice, and white hat SEO recommendations to help their clients achieve real and lasting SEO success. Sadly, there are always going to...

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The Internet Is Immediate. SEO Is Not.

Written by Nick Stamoulis

One of the hardest things for site owners to wrap their heads around, especially those struggling with a penalty, is that SEO is not an immediate form of marketing. The work you do today doesn't help you today...or even next week. Sometimes it takes months to feel the true effects of your SEO work. ...

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Just Enough SEO Knowledge to Be Dangerous

Written by Shawna Wright

In my experience, the site owners that "goes it alone" when it comes to SEO fall into three distinct categories. Category A - they take their time and move cautiously, make small changes here and there and just let what happens happen. Category B - they hire an SEO firm and let them handle most of t...

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No SEO Firm Can Guarantee Organic Results

Written by Shawna Wright

A few weeks ago we were having a call with a new client about getting their SEO up and running and one thing their Director of Sales kept hitting us for was a number; what kind of organic success could their site expect within our 6 month contract? Obviously sales guys live and die by numbers, so it...

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Is Your SEO Firm a Disaster Waiting to Happen?

Written by Shawna Wright

Over the last few years Brick Marketing has talked with many site owners who have burned by their SEO firms. Some were paying a monthly "maintenance" fee but no work other than pulling keyword ranking reports was getting done. Others would go months without hearing from their SEO firm, even if they ...

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Does Your Website Have a Clear Focus?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When we receive an inquiry from a prospective client, the first thing we do is take a look at their website since that’s where we’ll be spending the majority of our time. If it’s not almost immediately clear what the company does or what products they sell, we already have hesitations about wo...

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SEO Is Long Term…So Are You Willing to Wait?

Written by Shawna Wright

Just the other day I was talking with a client whose site was hit by a penalty after they made drastic changes to the content on their homepage. They recently (within the last two weeks) reverted back to the old content in hopes that would undo the penalty. Just the other day they emailed me, asking...

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What You Must Do to See SEO Results

Written by Danielle Bachini

If you want to be successful with SEO, it’s not the sort of thing that you can “half-you know what”. You need to be fully committed from the onset of the campaign and pledge to keep things moving at a regular pace no matter what the results are looking like or no matter how frustrated you beco...

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Signs That You Have Unrealistic SEO Expectations

Written by Nick Stamoulis

It’s common for website owners to have a love/hate relationship with SEO. They love it because if done correctly, it means an increase in traffic from the search engines which means more leads and more sales. They hate it because if done correctly, it takes a long time to see those results which c...

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Don’t Neglect Your SEO Responsibilities

Written by Danielle Bachini

If you want to drive traffic to your website from the search engines, SEO is a must. It should be viewed on the same level as every other necessary function that keeps a business operating. People turn to the Internet, specifically the search engines, when they are looking for products or services. ...

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Do You Know What Your SEO Firm is Doing?

Written by Danielle Bachini

Now that SEO has been a prominent staple of a marketing program for quite some time, it’s a lot less common for us to get leads from companies that have never done any SEO in the past. Most business and website owners have at least dabbled in SEO in some way, either by doing it in house or hiring ...

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The Reality of What SEO Success Looks Like

Written by Danielle Bachini

SEO requires a significant investment. If a company is going to handle SEO in house it means that current employees need to be properly trained and have adequate time to dedicate to SEO efforts or it means that new employees will need to be hired. If a company is going to outsource SEO, it means sen...

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Why SMBs Can Win At SEO

Why SMBs Can Win At SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Small to medium sized business owners tend to think that they might be at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO. They have less resources than their enterprise counterparts and think that it’s the money that matters the most. The more money you have, the more you can “throw at” SEO and quickly s...

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SEO Approval Process

Don’t Let SEO Get Stuck in the Approval Process

Written by Danielle Bachini

It happens all the time. We sign on an SEO client and we’re on the same page. The client understands that their input is important to the process and they are willing to make it a team effort. Things start off smoothly enough but then within a few weeks or months we hear from them less and less. W...

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“Direct” Traffic from SEO? Yes, Says Groupon

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Upon pulling an “All Traffic” report from Google Analytics, many website owners will notice that one of the top sources of traffic, if not the top source of traffic, is listed as “(direct)/(none)”. What exactly “(direct)/(none)” meant was always a little confusing since browsers don’t ...

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SEO Isn’t a Be All And End All Solution

SEO Isn’t a Be All And End All Solution

Written by Danielle Bachini

SEO is important. There’s no denying that. Search engine optimization tactics are what help to improve the search engine presence of a website and let’s face it, the search engines are where people turn to when they are looking for the products or services that you are trying to sell. If you can...

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5 Key Analytics Metrics to Monitor SEO Success

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When getting started with an SEO campaign one of the first things that should be done is getting Google Analytics set up on your site if it’s not already. It’s a fairly simple process and it’s free information straight from the almighty Google. Without Analytics data it can be difficult, if no...

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3 Big SEO Myths According to Bing

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Back in May Bing (yeah, they are still around) put out this great blog post about the top 10 SEO myths. Three of those myths really hit home for me and I felt it was important to explore them even more. I need to rank #1. "Yes, it’s nice to rank on top, but you know that actual rankings fluctuat...

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Halfway Through the Year, How’s SEO?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Here we are at the halfway point of the year. Crazy how time flies right? Now is a good time to check in on all of those personal and professional New Year’s resolutions that you made. We certainly aren’t going to judge you if you are no longer going to the gym every day or if you’ve been chea...

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5 Important SEO Takeaways

Written by Danielle Bachini

If you’re just getting started with SEO you might be realizing that it’s unlike any other form of marketing that you’ve implemented before. There are lots of moving parts and variables that determine SEO success. The nature of SEO can sometimes be frustrating to website owners, but there’s n...

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Is Your SEO Firm Transparent?

Written by Danielle Bachini

If you’re working with an SEO firm, but aren’t quite sure exactly what the SEO firm is doing for you, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship! Even if everything seems to be going well on the surface (traffic and conversions are improving) it’s still important to know what’s going on “b...

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Don’t Keep Your SEO Firm in the Dark

Written by Danielle Bachini

For many companies that don’t have the necessary time or resources in house, it makes sense to outsource SEO activities to an SEO firm. However, an SEO firm should be viewed as an extension of your own business. The SEO team is responsible for increasing traffic to your website, which is a critica...

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Are You Following Updated SEO Best Practices?

Written by Danielle Bachini

When was the last time you reviewed your SEO campaign and compared what you’re doing to what the search engines want you to be doing? If it’s been awhile, there’s a good chance that you might be using outdated tactics that could potentially land you in hot water. One of the most important thin...

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Why Your Boss Might Hate SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

OK, hate is a harsh word. Maybe your boss doesn’t hate SEO. But there’s a good chance that higher ups might strongly dislike SEO or be frustrated by it. Why? Because SEO is different than other marketing methods that they might be more accustomed to. If you’re a marketing person there’s no d...

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On Site SEO Basics That Still Apply

Written by Danielle Bachini

It’s true that SEO has undergone a few facelifts in recent years. The SEO campaign that you were implementing just a few years back has hopefully been tossed in the trash and replaced with something more current. Some SEO tactics that once worked and improved a site’s placement on the search eng...

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Re-Visit Existing Blog Posts When Starting SEO

Written by Danielle Bachini

In many cases, a company doesn’t set up a blog on their website until it gets started with an SEO campaign. Until the company understands the importance of content and how an active blog can correlate with SEO success, blogging isn’t often part of the equation mostly because there is only so muc...

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Should Website Pages be Added for SEO?

Written by Danielle Bachini

The on site optimization phase of an SEO campaign begins with keyword research. Research should be conducted for every page of the site, minus any pages that will target branded keywords (Contact page, Employee Bio page, Directions page, etc.) Page by page it’s necessary to brainstorm a list of po...

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You Don’t Have to Go Through SEO Alone

Written by Shawna Wright

In the last few years the rules of SEO have changed dramatically. Link building tactics that were incredibly useful 5 years ago are now (at best) a waste of time or (at worst) a danger to your website. Many unknowing site owners have been caught by the Panda and Penguin updates simply because they d...

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This is What Organic Success Looks Like Over Time

Written by Shawna Wright

When it comes to determining organic success it's very easy to pigeon-hole yourself. Too often site owners and marketing managers only look to one or two main keywords to measure organic success. For instance, if Brick Marketing only tracked (via Webmaster Tools) how many visitors came to our site a...

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3 SEO Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Website

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Thanks to all the changes Google has made to the Webmaster Guidelines in the last year or so, playing by the rules is harder than ever. With less and less wiggle room to make mistakes, plenty of site owners are getting flagged by Google updates like Panda and Penguin simply because they didn't reali...

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Keyword Rankings Can’t Be Promised

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you’re in the market to hire an SEO provider and you’re looking for someone that’s going to tell you the keyword rankings that they’ll be able to achieve for you, you’re not looking for the right kind of SEO provider. SEO providers that adhere to the search engine guidelines and practic...

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Where Are Your Visitors Coming From?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

For the most part, the goal of any SEO program is to drive more organic (Google, Bing, Yahoo) traffic to your website. But SEO isn't just about getting more visitors from the search engines, as counterintuitive as that may seem. Think about it--content you create for other sites helps build referral...

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Setting Up Goals in Google Analytics

Written by Shawna Wright

Obviously driving more organic traffic to your website is a huge goal for any SEO program, but driving more traffic only matters if it's the RIGHT traffic. And the right traffic needs to convert! More website managers look primarily at closed sales to determine success, but there are a lot of micro-...

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Why Nofollow Links Should Be a Part of Your SEO Program

Written by Nick Stamoulis

By adding the nofollow attribute to a link (rel=”nofollow”) you are essentially telling the search spiders to not follow that link or consider it when determining how trusted that web page that is being linked to is. Initially, from an SEO standpoint this type of link seems to have no value. “...

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Things that Hinder Enterprise SEO Success

Written by Nick Stamoulis

At first glance you’d think that it’s much easier to execute an enterprise SEO campaign compared to a small business or SMB SEO campaign. Enterprise organizations have bigger budgets and more resources which should translate into a powerful SEO campaign that delivers results. In theory this is t...

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Buying Links on Top News Sites? Stop the Real Spammers

Written by Nick Stamoulis

A few weeks ago I was elected to the SEMPO Board of Directors. I have been working in the Internet Marketing and SEO world since 1999 and started my own SEO firm back 2005. And while I love what I do and I love helping clients build their online brand presence I have always been rather low-key. I pr...

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Organic Recovery Takes Time

Written by Shawna Wright

When we first started working with this new client back in July 2013, one of the first things we uncovered was that the site had been hit with a partial manual penalty for unnatural links. Turns out, their old SEO provider was building links like it was the Wild West (and not telling them what kind ...

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Will Big Brands Automatically Win the SEO Race?

Written by Shawna Wright

More than one small business owner has lamented over the fact that it takes them months of back and forth with Google to recover from a manual action penalty, yet bigger websites/brands seem to recover in just a matter of weeks. Will larger sites automatically win the SEO race simply because they ar...

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How Clients Slow the SEO Process Down

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The first thing that SEO clients need to understand about the process is that SEO is a long term strategy. You aren’t going to see results right out of the gate. It takes time to execute a search engine approved strategy. Slow and steady wins the race every time. However, just because the nature o...

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Is Your SEO Firm Being Transparent?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Right now, we are working with multiple SEO clients that are trying to undo a partial manual action penalty or cleanup their link profile enough so that the next time there is a Penguin refresh they will be in a good place to recover. It's very much a hurry up and wait process. One client went back ...

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The Type of SEO that Still Works

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Conduct a search for “SEO is dead” and you’ll get plenty of results. It’s no wonder why website owners have become skeptical of the practice. If the “experts” are saying that SEO is dead, it must be right? After all, the search engines are always changing the rules meaning that what was ...

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Why Google Authorship Is Worth Signing Up For

Written by Danielle Bachini

Have you signed up for Google Authorship yet? Do you even know what Google Authorship is? This post will outline the basics and explain how to sign up in order to take advantage of what it has to offer. Google Authorship is a way to claim ownership of the content that you publish on the web. It...

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What Are Your SEO Numbers YoY?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Since SEO is such a long term process, it's important that you take in the big picture when trying to measure the impact of your work and evaluate your SEO success. Month over month you might not see much growth in terms of organic traffic or link earning, but comparing three months to three months,...

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Turn Offline Activities into SEO Success

Written by Shawna Wright

The other day I was talking with one of our SEO clients and they wanted to know if there was any way they could turn this trip their CEO was taking to NYC to attend an invite-only roundtable into some SEO success. Since the roundtable was closed to the media the usual event promotion activities, the...

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Page Load Time Effect on SEO

Written by Shawna Wright

According to Google, site speed is used as a factor for rank in the Google Search Algorithm. Not only does page load time influence rank, but it affects the overall user experience. If your website takes more than a few seconds to load, searchers may not stick around to wait for the page to show ...

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Questions to Ask an SEO Firm before Signing a Contract

Written by Danielle Bachini

Before signing on the dotted line and committing to pay an SEO firm for a specified period of time it’s necessary to have an understanding of the type of work that the firm does and what exactly is included in the proposed rate. An SEO program involves many moving parts and you don’t want to fin...

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Changes to the SEO Game

Written by Nick Stamoulis

2013 was a year of dramatic changes for the world of SEO. Google made significant changes to the Webmaster Guidelines, another few rounds of Penguin were dropped on our heads, keyword data was locked up 100% (a far cry from the original 10% we were promised), and more. All of these changes have chan...

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How Often Are You Checking Webmaster Tools?

Written by Danielle Bachini

Google Analytics is the industry go-to when it comes to monitoring your website activity and measuring online marketing efforts. Website owners can find a wealth of information, for free, including the number of visitors to the site, traffic sources, entrance keywords, and more within a specified ti...

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What Are the Goals of Your SEO Program?

Written by Shawna Wright

Website owners and marketing managers decide to invest in SEO for a multitude of reasons. Maybe their traditional sales pipelines aren't as fruitful as they used to be. Maybe new competitors have entered the scene and are eating away at their profit margin. Or maybe they just finally realized how mu...

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Why Are You Still Waiting on SEO?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When you are looking for information, where do you typically go? If you didn’t answer “Google”, you are in the minority today! People turn to the search engines when they are looking for just about anything, including the products or services that you offer! A prominent search presence means i...

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Why Your Website Pages Must be Focused

Written by Danielle Bachini

One of the first steps in our SEO process is to conduct page by page keyword research for the website. This involves visiting each page and brainstorming potential keywords that could be targeted so that they can be plugged into a keyword tool to find additional suggestions and search volume data. S...

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Even Big Sites Aren’t Safe From Google Penalties

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Just the other day I heard a story on NPR about Expedia getting whacked by Google for unnatural link building. According to USAToday, "Expedia's website lost 25% of its visibility in Google search between Jan. 12 and 19, according to data from third-party search analytics firm Searchmetrics." That d...

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The SEO Recipe for Success

Written by Nick Stamoulis

There are many components of a successful SEO program today. Each piece of the puzzle serves an important purpose and must be in place in order to improve your visibility in the search engines and across the web as a whole. Keyword research and on site optimization SEO best practice indicates that...

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SEO Con Men Are Alive and Well

Written by Shawna Wright

Just the other day our office phone rang. When I picked it up an automated voice cheerily tried to sell me SEO services. This is exactly what I heard; Hi, this is Sharon, your local Google representative. We have an opening on the first page of Google for a business just like yours and we can gua...

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Is That Drop in Organic Traffic Normal?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Every site owner loves to see their organic traffic climb upwards month over month. But very few websites see that growth month after month after month without fail. Sooner or later you are bound to have a slow month where organic traffic takes a slight drop, maybe 5-10% or so. Other months might ev...

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Beyond the Visitor Report: Ways to Measure SEO Success

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In order to determine how your website and SEO campaign is performing, it’s necessary to add analytics code to the site. There are plenty of website analytics tools to choose from, both free and paid. What we recommend is Google Analytics. It’s a free tool that really provides a wealth of inform...

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2013 – A Year of Big SEO Changes

Written by Nick Stamoulis

2013 was the year of big changes in the world of SEO. Google pushed out several major updates that sent thousands of site owners scrambling to recover from past bad actions. A lot of link building methods and tactics that used to work either lost value or were entirely debunked thanks to Penguin and...

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Required Elements of a Modern SEO Campaign

Written by Nick Stamoulis

SEO has undergone multiple transformations through the years. During the early days, the focus was on building links to your website. At one point, nearly any link would help. However, that’s no longer the case. The only way a link is going to help your SEO efforts today is if it generates traffic...

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3 Things a Trustworthy SEO Firm Would Never Say

Written by Nick Stamoulis

For the most part the SEO industry is full of passionate, dedicated, honest, and hardworking professionals who just want the best for our clients. But unfortunately a few rotten eggs have spoiled the industry’s reputation, making it harder for legitimate SEO firms to gain the trust of website owne...

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4 SEO Resolutions for 2014

Written by Nick Stamoulis

It’s that time of year when everyone is planning their New Year’s resolutions. And while your personal resolution might be to get to the gym more frequently, finally take that dream vacation, or save more money, don’t forget to add a few SEO resolutions to list so you can help your website per...

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What a Partial Manual Action Penalty Looks Like

Written by Nick Stamoulis

A few months ago one of our newer clients called us in a panic. Their website’s homepage had vanished from the SERPs for their branded keywords; you could only find the page if you actually searched for “companyname.com.” While no site likes to take a hit organically for any keyword, missing o...

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SEO Statements That Are No Longer True

Written by Danielle Bachini

The SEO industry is constantly evolving due to the fact that the way that the search engines view websites is constantly evolving. If your SEO approach is outdated, your site won’t be viewed favorably by the search engines. In fact, an outdated approach could even get you into trouble and result i...

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Are You Expecting the Impossible from Your SEO Program?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

One of our full-service SEO clients has experienced tremendous SEO success this year, with a 210.27% growth in organic traffic. I wish we could deliver such incredible reports to all of our clients because I know as a site owner if I saw that kind of YoY organic growth I’d be jumping for joy. But ...

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