Mike Tekula's Posts



Your Approach to Organic Search is Obsolete: How to Evolve in 2014

I started working on organic search visibility in 2006. Back then, you didn’t have to get up too early in the morning to rank (at least not for the long tail). Tactics like directory submissions and article syndication still worked, and on-page optimization was relatively straightforward.

To some, those were the good old days, but they didn’t last. Google hasn’t dominated the search market with the same product they launched from a garage in late 1998. They’ve fostered a culture of innovation and been at the cutting edge of search and big data computing in general for the last 16 years.

Source: NetMarketShare

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Your Brand Must Stand for Something: Vision and Values in Content Marketing

Yes, content. Right.

We talk about it a lot these days. Big content. Starting small. Maturing formats and increased competition.

While our work is still “SEO” in the sense that we’re focused on increasing audience and business through organic search, getting there is more about creating and promoting something compelling every day.

Content marketing is what we do once we’ve ensured a strong technical platform, targeted on-page content and a rich user experience, because authority signals become the winning KPIs - and even though links are still a core signal, “link building” is a terrible term for the work of building authority. (Let’s forget we ever called it that.)

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Balancing Short-term Authority Gains with a Long-term Content Vision

On-site/technical SEO still matters. For brands that already enjoy a healthy amount of inbound links, there is usually a good deal of unrealized value in:

  • Solving crawl problems
  • Optimizing site architecture and internal links
  • Managing redirects/canonical tags to consolidate/reclaim existing link equity
  • Increasing page speed
  • Enhancing mobile functionality
  • Improving on-page keyword targeting
  • etc
But inevitably even the most technical campaigns turn to the off-site factors. Links. Social shares. Authority. Preferably attracted, not “built.”

We are all in the content business.

And in the content business, we talk a lot about the need to clarify the values and vision of the brand, to agree that fostering a community and publishing content to serve that community are worthwhile long-haul engagements, before a single post or visualization is created.

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Building a T-Shaped Web Marketing Skill Set

As Google have refined their algorithms to encompass a broader set of authority and user experience signals beyond just links, crawlability and relevance and have found methods to destroy the effectiveness of scalable manipulation, forward-thinking SEOs have evolved their skill sets ahead of the curve of these innovations.

Everyone else has had at least one “oh sh*t” moment.

Being an outcome-focused industry, we’ve been in a constant state of adaptation to the search ecosystem. “Whatever it takes to build rankings and traffic” has been a moving target.

This Ain’t Your Daddy’s SEO

Heading into 2013, Post-Penguin, most SEOs have embraced the notion of delivering marketing strategies, not just SEO tactics, and as an industry we’re starting to recognize that these strategies deliver multi-pronged benefits across multiple channels.

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SearchLove Boston 2012 - Day One Recap

Didn’t have the chance to join us for SearchLove Boston 2012?

Too enamored with our charming and brilliant speakers to remember to write anything down?

Fret not, I spent day one of SearchLove Boston 2012 feverishly taking notes, wearing my fingers down to the bone and grinning appreciatively all the while. Just for you. This post recaps the first day of brilliant presentations.

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