Most online marketers have a few blogs that they follow to keep a pulse on whats happening in the industry and to inspire improvement. Over the last few months Jason Acidre’s blog has constantly put out great content that has made me a better SEO. He ails from the Philippines but does SEO work for clients from the US to the UK all the way down under to Australia. Jason is a smart SEO with a lot of hustle, and glad he could share some of his tips.
How did you get into SEO and starting Xight Interactive?
I got into SEO by accident (or maybe by destiny). As I’ve mentioned many times before, I was a professional gamer (playing counterstrike on national-level competitions) for over 6 years, before I decided to find a real job as an SEO. I first tried applying for a copywriting position, but the SEO agency that I sent my application to thought that my profile was better fit to be an SEO, so they chose to hire me for a different position that I initially applied for.
Then after a few months, I was laid off by that agency, but Affilorama/ Traffic Travis immediately hired me to be their in-house SEO. I think that’s the time where I learned all the advanced things that I still use and try to enhance more these days.
I also started blogging during this time to test some strategies. At first, I didn’t really expect for my blog to be a hit or be popular in the SEO industry. But when that time came (where, my blog was getting huge traffic and getting noticed by more people in the industry) that’s when I started to get lots of offers and client inquiries. After a year of blogging, that’s when I decided to start to build a small team based here in the Philippines to accommodate more people/businesses who’re interested with my services, and eventually we had to turn it into a real business – I guess that’s basically how Xight Interactive was born.
Do you work on countries outside of the Philippines? What countries?
Yes, we’ve mostly worked with small to enterprise businesses based in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. It’s actually an honor to regularly talk to CEOs and marketing executives from 3 different continents.
Do you ever target languages other than english?
Not really, since most of our clients’ target markets are from English-speaking countries. Though I have tried working on a few non-English speaking business owners before (Spanish and Mexican websites) back when I was still a freelance consultant, but I didn’t really think that language would be a problem, as I normally disclose the part where I would really need to collaborate with some of their people for the content production and other stuff (outreach, etc…), it’s more of managing and tracking the campaign, than doing the small tasks hands-on.
Do you ever run into sites/companies that are biased against linking out to your clients because your operations are based in Manila?
Haven’t encountered this one before. We mostly present ourselves as part of our clients’ marketing team (with our clients’ consent of course) and perhaps that’s the reason why.
What’s the biggest marketing lesson you learned the hard way
There’s a lot actually, but I think I’ve learned most of them not in the hard way, as I can easily get things straight into my head, once I’ve internalized them. I’ve been learning a lot of stuff these past few months, since we started Xight Interactive. The notable ones are
It’s all about speed. It’s the fast that always wins. I think it’s really important in marketing to try to speed up the processes and be consistent with that. I’m not referring to building links, but more on how people should implement their ideas, they should be fast to outdo their competitors.
The second one, is always be hungry (and aggressive in terms of ideas and implementing them). Success on your first try doesn’t really mean anything, but consistently being successful on hitting your client or your campaign’s goals for every succeeding month means a lot. I think the best way to describe it is to keep yourself on attack and defense mode at all times and don’t over-analyze things too much, try doing those you want to test first to get results.
Working With Filipinos
Do you have any tips for people who want to work with Filipinos? Any websites to best find them?
There are lots of talented Filipinos out here, plus knowing that our country has a high literacy rate and many people here are internet-savvy.
For agencies who’re really interested to try out some of our talents here, I would definitely suggest to first start looking for one that they can trust to manage and screen qualified people remotely. They can try Jobstreet.com.ph or JobsDB.com to find online professionals who are based here in the Philippines.
What other Filiipinos that are in SEO/ Online marketing that people should know about?
Our local SEO community is actually getting bigger, so there’s definitely a lot of talents to watch out for this year. My top 3 for now would be:
- Benj Arriola is definitely on the top of my list, though he’s currently based in the states right now. He’s also the SEO director at Internet Marketing Inc and also blogs at SEO Religion.
- Sean Si, of SEO-Hacker, is also one of the most popular personalities when it comes to internet marketing and SEO here.
- Mark Acsay, our resident technical SEO expert at Xight Interactive, and also blogs at WebbyThoughts.com
I’ve always loved using SEOquake (for prospecting and SERP evaluation). I’m also enjoying Ahrefs.com recently for link analysis. But for everything else I use Traffic Travis (competitor analysis, keyword research, mapping and discovery, and a lot more). Majestic SEO is also awesome.
- Content Marketing/Link Baiting
- Guest blogging
- Building relationships and earning more visibility and getting more connections from those relationships through social media and links.
With the Google Updates, how have you changed your SEO strategy?
Not much actually, I think our strategies are really prepared for drastic Google updates. But we do continuously try to enhance our current strategies and we also try to create more efficient processes and test if it those will improve our current strategies.
But now, we are more focused on integrating other channels to our SEO strategy, like merging content marketing and social media to our full-scale SEO services.
What is the funniest link building strategy you’ve ever heard of?
Definitely the Matt Cutts mash up by Sam Applegate. That’s one of the finest and funniest link baits I’ve seen this year in the industry.
Do you use sites like Reddit, Stumble Upon, Pinterest to try and drive traffic and hopefully links to your content?
Yes, we do, especially Stumbleupon and Pinterest. And we also use these networks in identifying solid content (on our clients’ industries) that work well on social media, then base our concepts from those successful samples. Those networks are also a good place to find linkers and active social users in certain industries.
You’re very popular on the SEO scene, how do you make strong networks & relationships with people?
Not really sure. But I think it’s because of the content I continuously provide on my blog. Consistency.
Whats your secret sauce for getting guest posts on quality sites?
Got this from Ross Hudgens – Value Proposition is the key. When I personally pitch for guest blogs, I make sure that the receiving end will see the value from the copy. I let them know who am I, who I work for, and what I can bring highly valuable to them or their readers.
Including previous work samples and suggesting a unique but very catchy title when pitching for a guest blog seems to work pretty well.
How do you use social networks in networking & SEO?
Before, I only used Twitter to get in touch or to be on the radar of those I want to be connected with in the industry. But now I use Twitter to keep myself updated with what’s new in the industry, which I think is very important to every SEO. Sharing and helping other people when they’re asking questions related to SEO is also one of the best ways to network with them.
What’s your advice?
Do you have tips or advice to add about international SEO, networking, or your favorite SEO tools? Look forward to hearing from you.