What is the name of your company?
1st In SEO
What got you interested in starting your own digital marketing company? Share your story
We stumbled into this unexpectedly. Our friend and fellow firefighter (myself and my business partner work for a large metropolitan fire department in the Southwestern United States) had started a number of successful businesses his latest venture was an SEO company. Fortunately for us he prefers starting businesses to running them so he sold us the company last year. I’m also very fortunate that my business partner Jerrad has a very deep understanding of all the technical intricacies of on-page SEO and front and backend web development.
What types of strategies are you using today to help your clients rank their businesses on Google?
We focus on great content, user friendly websites, building quality backlinks, getting sites optimized for Accelerated Mobile Pages and building our clients presence on social media. Keyword research is also important but not in the conventional sense, we’ve been focusing on voice search and looking at keywords from a customer centered perspective. Basically trying to imagine how a customer would search for your clients products or services as well as ancillary products or services the client offers.
How have you gone about finding new clients? Do most come through word of mouth or do you advertise your services elsewhere?
Most of our new clients come from customer referrals and organic search. We spend almost nothing on marketing other than occasionally boosting posts on Facebook. Lately we’ve been getting quiet a number of customer inquires from Instagram.
What tools do you use to organize client tasks and stay organized within your agency?
Staying organized can be difficult, Jarred has a ton of different apps he uses too many to even mention. I tend to write everything down in a notebook. We use Slack, DropBox, Evernote, FreshBooks, Stack Overflow, HootSuite, just to name a few. We tend to be very organized and efficient just based on our backgrounds.
What is the #1 challenge you face today when it comes to productivity, task management and getting more work done for your clients?
The number one challenge is probably cell phones, responding to emails and social media. Although social media is part of our work its easy to get distracted. I try really hard to do things in batches, so for instance I will set a timer for 30 minutes and just respond to emails or comments and DMs on social, otherwise I will put my phone on airplane mode and get the work done I need to accomplish. I also tend wake up pretty earlier usually around 5 am, just a habit from being in the Army. I find waking up early gives me a few hours to exercise, read or code, work on business stuff, ect. Jerrad on the other hand works best in the evening, everybody is different.
What are your future plans for 2017 and beyond with your company?
Artificial Intelligence is going to effect this industry significantly in the next five years and as cliche as that sounds to say, sub fields of AI like deep learning, neural networks, speech and natural language processing are already do. Right now we’re both trying to learn everything we can about neural networks, we’ve been experimenting with different software with varying results. That being said we will be expanding within the next year and we’re looking to work with more companies in renewable energy and the legal/medicinal cannabis sectors.