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SEO and Online Reputation Management in 2016: Demystified

I wrote this post to help businesses of all sizes but particularly small to navigate the wooly world of SEO. This doc can be a roadmap or lantern for the back alleys and thick forests of internet marketing.    Originally conceived for a non technical but highly intelligent SEO client of mine.  SEO, unlike programming is one of those things you want to do very sparingly, only when you have the time to dedicate your heart and soul and are willing to give up some your previous link real estate for sites you control (more on that later).    There was some programming work involved and basically taking over the entire IT infrastructure which is the main reason I was interested, I had also just finished a very successful SEO campaign I was running personally (yes for this site hello!). I was confident on my abilities and what I learned so interested in doing it again.  It also helped my campaign that at this point I had a network of blogs and websites that I knew I could slowly and organically point to my website, I was willing to share a few of these with my client and made sure to not cross link them in such a way so that I would maximize their value/link juice.

In the end a programmer and developer have standards, I work with some of the brightest development minds today pioneering truly innovative technologies that benefit the greater good. But I also think it is important for a small business to be able to compete and take control over their online budget.  It helps a client save a lot of money and guarantee quality control, as well as protect themselves from opportunists.

View Results, from my campaign and more recent results some of this was SEO but most was just cleaning up the site to follow Google’s guidelines, taking the instructions and suggestions in Google webmaster tools and applying them. Then hitting the keyboard and producing high quality tutorial content.  There was some link strategy “Grey hat” done and you will see that below, stuff that every company does, even smaller companies that Google owns itself.  but there is so much more you can do by simply just doing exactly what Google tells you to do I.E 100% white hat.

SEO is very personal and demanding it has a human qualitative component to it.   Some of this was “SEO” in the traditional sense, but this term carries a stigma, but most was just cleaning up the site to follow Google’s guidelines, taking the instructions and suggestions in Google Webmaster Tools and applying them. Then hitting the keyboard and producing high quality tutorial content.  There was some link strategy “grey hat” done and you will see that below, stuff that every company does, even smaller subdivision companies that Google owns itself. But there is so much more you can do by simply just doing exactly what Google tells you to do I.E 100% “white hat.”

So without further ado here is the sample strategy doc, no BS, updated for 2015, tested effective and what your SEO or PR company will very likely not tell you (either because they don’t want you to know, don’t know themselves, can’t achieve or measure).  Also more quality original content for my blog! Feel free to link to this article with varied anchor text, using a combination of the terms you see in my <title></title>.

Helpful Tips

  • http://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors
  • basic understanding pagerank http://screencast.com/t/K8NNQiWo https://support.google.com/toolbar/answer/79837?hl=en
  • Every link you give on a site raises your chances of getting your links devalued for cross linking to a site that is in your network, this is advanced linking strategy but think of it this way, you want to keep your links on the various sites you control separate, and not seeming to follow any sort of pattern this will keep their value.
  • Add site to Google Webmaster tools this will require adding a meta tag or uploading a file to validate. We need to do this ASAP http://screencast.com/t/6ZdrxTHxu9 our panel will look like this and give vital information.
  • http://www.reddit.com/r/SEO/comments/2xkry3/10_seo_lies_you_need_to_stop_believing

Tasks completed


Analyze Top Competitor Inbound Links


Directories and Listings


 This was perhaps one of the most important tactics, professional organizations in this niche carry a lot of weight and each one provides a nofollow link (remember a link is a vote for a webpage.

 rel=”nofollow” or in conversation “no follow” means the link is devalued.  Google has implemented a HTML tag that webmasters can put in that takes away from the SEO value or “link juice” of outbound links.  These are often implemented on user generated links such as blog comments automatically by website software such as WordPress.  Remember a link from one website to another is like a vote for that other website to appear higher in the search results. All links are not equal, think of it like the electoral college bigger states get more votes, higher authority sites (such as .edu sites .gov or professional organizations”) carry more value.   An SEOs job is to target these links either through PR techniques, reaching out and networking with other bloggers and webmasters, or offering them something in exchange for these links. Paid links are frowned on by Google but buying links is something everyone does and if you were to offer a blogger $1000 for an article with a link to your site you may be able to buy links from just about any site on the web…  What low paid Huffington post writer wouldn’t want to do that?


Analyzing Competitors Backlinks

Write blogs pitching guest blog posts see below for some examples of what competitors have done (Found by analyzing backlink profile with above tool).  Use existing articles we already have


##List of blogs Removed##

  • sample blog pitch email to client


Local Citation Building (local search is important to any business)



Yext PowerListings a service to consider


Major Local Search Engines/Yellow Pages Submission Sites

http://www.citysearch.com/profile/604205642/new_york_ny/eastside_dental_medicine_new_york_cosmetic_implant_dentists.html we should claim our business listing

Not sure if you can get a free listing here

Local.com Free Business Listing

Mapquest Local Business Center – Mapquest no longer provides a business claiming/updating function. They have outsourced it to Yext. To add or update a business on Mapquest you need a Yext Powerlisting. YEXT Powerlisting service will take care of all of the listings below, we will be able to control any and all updates from one location, and in real-time.

MerchantCircle – How to add a business listing to or update/edit a listing on MerchantCircle. may want to consider a paid option.

Patch – Claim your business on AOL’s Patch.com local business directory.

Superpages.com Free Listing This is where you can add, edit or delete a listing on SuperPages.com

Yahoo Local Free Business Listing

Yellowbook 360 It doesn’t look like you can add a business to Yellowbook.com without becoming an advertiser.

Yellowpages.com Create A Listing

Yelp You need to become a member and then add a listing

Major Data Suppliers to Local Search Engines

InfoUSA Add Business Listing

Localeze®Neustar® Manage Your Business Listing

Popular and/or Well-SEO’d Local Search Engines With Customer Reviews


Insider Pages – How to claim your business on InsiderPages.com

Kudzu.com Basic Profile

Local Pages

MagicYellow.com Add Your Business

Topix.com Free Listing


  • BrightLocal – They do local rank tracking along with several other local tools. GWT also allows you to filter your top searches by locale – something we plan to support on our GWT-based rank tracker in the future.
  • Whitespark Local Citation Finder – A nice tool for local citation/link building.
  • Yext – Expensive but centralized tool for managing and updating all of your major business listings.
  • Review Trackers – A tool that tracks all of your reviews from all major review sites.

Reputation management

Yelp, The client had some reviews they were not happy with  a popular review site not to be named. so I suggested this method, really the only available in a situation like this.

They took care of the first step which is responding to those reviews on the site.

One solution that could help is attempt to reach out to past patients who’ve given good reviews, and ask them to put a review up it will help to balance out the only 2 bad reviews that are on there.

something more of a stretch would be to reach out to past patients and see if they would be willing to take down their negative reviews for a small fee.

Keyword Rich Vanity URLs

Use hosted WordPress blog or Tumblr on wordpress.com like I did here


On Page Tweaks

  • Convert site to https
  • more text on homepage
  • Resolve 404 not found errors visible in google webmaster tools

Google Keyword Search and Analysis/Webmaster Tools Research

When doing research with Google webmaster tool take the data into consideration in this order when choosing what keywords to target. There could be multiple strategies here but this is what I found works.


  1. The number of clicks each one gets.
  2. The impressions.
  3. The position they rank.

Find the” low hanging fruit” keywords that can be bumped into top 5 or top 1o (first page).Studies show that most people never go past the front page, and out of a subset of that group a smaller percent never goes past top 5 or “above the fold”

Also consider keywords that after talking to the client you think would convert very well if a user clicked on them, (for example if the client is a pediatrician “eating greens important” keyphrase would less likely convert into a sale than say “Best pediatrician in LA”





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