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SEER SEO Consultant Adam Melson Dishes on How to Boost Search

Adam Melson, SEO Consultant for SEER Interactive

SEER Interactive, Old City

In late June, the William Way Community Center was the recipient of $20,000 worth of consulting, applications and programs to help their website run more efficienty and optimized. Winners of the "Did You Google It?" Facebook contest run by Old City tech outfit SEER Interactive -- leaders of the search church (as their HQ is known) -- William Way benefitted from local and national SEO experts, who demonstrated how great content can help drive more search traffic to Philadelphia's leading LGBT community.

The contest was indicative of SEER's constant growth and growing influence in Philadelphia and beyond.

"Doing great things for (our clients) help us keep referrals coming in and allow us to grow more," says Adam Melson, one of SEER's SEO consultants. 

Growth is definitely happening at SEER, which last month launched its analytics division, headed by five-year SEER veteran Rachael Gerson .

"We're looking to be able to compete with the best out there and then offer that service," says Melson. "We know we can play on that field right now & be leaders for SEO, PPC & Analytics. New service lines may come out in the next year or two, but we'll be refining them & running test cases first to know that we can be successful."

Melson talked to Flying Kite about SEER's work and dished some SEO secrets and advice -- good way to keep that growth coming.

Flying Kite (FK): Will you be working with any other nonprofits like this in the coming months?
Adam Melson (AM): There are a number of SEER employees that help out at non-profits as well as on their websites on a monthly basis. We recently held an event geared towards those newer to the industry to give pointers & tips to make sure they're doing SEO, PPC & Analytics correctly. For these types of events, we'll reach out to the non-profits we're each connected to & invite them out.

FK: What Philly companies/organizations are utilizing SEO in impressive ways?
AM: There’s a motorcycle company in south Philadelphia that sells everything but the bike called RevZilla. Aside from a well optimized site, RevZilla has an enthusiasm for customer service. They jump into forums and help people with gear questions. They encourage riders to stop into their store during cross country trips & feed them. They are able to produce a ;ton of content and the owner produces 300 videos a year. People can’t help but talk about them, link to them & buy from them.

FK: Is the SEO space in Philly picking up? Do you see any competitors doing interesting things?
AM: The Philly SEO space is definitely picking up. Just a look at the SEO meetup group jumping from 331 last year at this time to 481 shows that more professionals are entering the area interested in the industry.

In terms of competitors doing interesting things, I think the SEO space is a competitive but friendly space. Because of the transparency the internet provides, you're able to see the tactics someone uses for their website and how successful it proves (mainly in terms of increased rankings & gaining valuable links). You can hear someone talk the talk, but then see how their strategy worked or if there was even a solid one at the start through a few different tools used industry wide.

SEER employees will often attend these types of events to join in the conversation, but also to look for people with bright ideas and keep them in mind when SEER is hiring.

FK: What's one thing everybody with a business or organization should know about SEO?
AM: A large part of SEO is common sense. Find words that people are searching for that are relevant to your product or service & put those words on the website. Find sites in the same industry and develop a relationship so they will link to you. Content that is keyword rich combined with relevant links provides a great way to let the engines know your site is valuable.

FK: What's been the biggest change/shift in SEO since SEER started and how did you adapt?
AM: The biggest change is dealing with curveballs Google throws. At the flick of a switch, they can implement a change to their ranking algorithm and we have to understand it, develop a plan to react to it, then alert our clients & prove that we can be successful.

SEER is able to do this because we have nearly 50 employees that do SEO, PPC or Analytics all day long. We keep up on our industry knowledge, we test to see how the engines react to different on site & off site factors, and we share as much as possible about successes and, more importantly, failures & what we can take away from them.

FK: What's the biggest SEO myth you have to bust in the minds of your clients?
AM: If companies want to hire an SEO agency to help them gain new customers, they have to be open to doing great things. There isn't some phantom SEO agency you can hire that will just magically create great visibility in the search engines without effort from both parties.

Until recently, companies could hire an SEO agency and they would go out and get links in directories. With changes Google has been making, just getting a ton of directory links really doesn't work anymore.

Google is rewarding more real company activities. Some may be a little uncomfortable or envelope pushing, but it's also the job of the SEO agency to show that there is value & place a potential gain by following their strategy.

Other one-off myths could be sites thinking that if they don't link out to anyone, it will benefit their website. Another would be that you can do SEO for a few months & be fine for years. That's not the case as your competition is doing things daily that will eventually oust someone not on top of their SEO.

JOE PETRUCCI is managing editor of Flying Kite. Send feedback here.
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