“Success is just a reward for being excellent”
This isn’t something off the mind of a philosopher. It’s how Jason Acidre sums up what he’s learnt in the field of SEO – and life in general. Born and raised in Phillipines, Acidre started off as a content writer, got fired after two months, got a new job two days later at Doubledot and is now considered an SEO fountain of knowledge by his pen name Kaiser – the sage. I have the opportunity of interviewing Acidre and ask him about his extraordinary journey from playing Counterstrike to becoming CEO of Xight Interactive. Here’s how it unfolded:
• Jason we all know that when you started your blog it was nothing and now “kaiser the sage” is the name. I would appreciate if you can share some of your secrets that you successfully implemented on your blog and go BIG?
I actually wrote a post 2 years ago that details the things I did to make grow my blog’s readership and popularity. Basically, I only focused on two things:
• First was I only focused on writing content that I’m sure will be useful/actionable to my readers (and that will also appeal to other publishers in the industry). If you’ll notice, most of my works are evergreen how-to’s and lists – because these are the things that I also enjoy reading and these are also the types of content that I mostly searched for when I was still starting in SEO.
• I tried to connect with the people in the industry that I also learn a lot from (like Kristi Hines, Tad Chef, John Doherty, and a lot more). I guess I just got a bit lucky that most of them liked what I was doing on my blog, and they started sharing my stuff. That allowed me to grow my network as well as the reach of my content.
I’ve been consistent in implementing those two initiatives since then, seeing that they’re giving me the results I’ve never expected.
• What On-page factors that you think are highly essential when optimizing a page for better rankings against the desired key phrase?
There are two things that I mostly look out for when optimizing pages for better search visibility:
• Relevance and accuracy of the entire web page (depth of information, intent and content’s goals) to the search queries it is targeting. Because if you want to satisfy search users, you’ll really need to provide the things they are specifically searching for.
• Usability (design, readability, learnability and speed) – since Google will only want to rank useful stuff on the web. Making search-driven traffic stay longer on the site is a very important metric these days. So I really spend time to really understand the site’s key landing pages’ strengths and weaknesses and optimizing from there.
• Jason it won’t be wrong to say that you are Guru at link building and obviously this journey was not easy for you! I would love if you can recall and share the one best and one worst tactic you have implemented to cater links for your website (or client’s website)?
Getting natural links from other authority publications through solid content marketing efforts – that’s certainly the best tactic that I’ve done ever since I started.
With the worst one, I’ve done a case study before on link exchanges, specifically to find out if exact match anchor texts on reciprocal links would still work. Well, that didn’t work well for me eventually, as my blog received an unnatural link warning 2 months ago (but the manual penalty has been already revoked early last month).
• When you say Social Media is the part of SEO, from this you mean the social share we receive on our blog or the page’s activity and engagement on the social platform?
I’d say both. Since search engines are capable of extracting social data/signals occurring within and out of the site (by simply understanding social pages tied up with the site/brand).
It has been an integral part of how search algorithms rank websites at the moment, seeing that it’s one of the best ways to distinguish topic areas, content and brands that are genuinely popular.
• Jason your blogs are simply remarkable, I would love if you share the tactic you use to craft such awesome posts?
The truth is I don’t really have a formula when coming up with posts to write about. I just write about the stuff that I really want to know more about, or the things that I personally search for.
In terms of content creation, I do draft my content ideas first before actually writing them, so I can visualize the possible outcome of the content and have a better feel if I’ll be really satisfied in publishing it (and of course, to assess if my readers would really get any value from it).
That’s pretty much my content ideation/development process. Nothing complex, since I really enjoy simplifying things.
• Inbound Marketer is almost incomplete without tools, what are the 5 tools you cannot live without?
I believe I’ve mentioned this many times before, that I’m not that big on tools – I just love to improvise and discover or work on other possible features from the simplest tools available. Anyway, here’s my list:
• SEOQuake + Mozbar
• Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools
• Google search
Thank you Jason, for your time and answering all questions. I am sure this will help our readers to understand Online Marketing better!