Growth Hacking Interview Series #6: Louie Sison

A prolific Blogger and Internet Marketer, Louie Sison will talk about his journey and experiences in the world of SEO

Hi Louie, great to meet you! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you became to be involved with the SEO industry?

My name is Louie Sison. I am a full time blogger and a part time Reports and Analytics Manager of an international Business Process Outsourcing company based in Clark Pampanga.

I have been into internet marketing for 4 years. It started out with as a curiosity on how other people make passive income using the internet.

So I put up a blog and self studied how to drive traffic to it, and then tested various ways how to monetize it.

Currently, I do not have other clients except my own business. My company administers the PampangaDirectory.Net site. A website that does the following services:

  • Free listing of business information on our directory/database.
  • Free posting of announcements, upcoming events, promotions, contests, etc…
  • Media partner to cover events, inaugurations, business/product launch and press releases.
  • Paid article posting and/or banner advertisements.

My team does all the content creation, search engine optimization and marketing campaigns.

You can also read my personal blog at louiesison.com where I share tips on our industry. I am a dad of a 7-month-old baby girl and married for 2 years.

How do you personally keep up to date with the latest in SEO?  It’s an ever changing industry so SEO consultants by nature need to be on the ball – how do you achieve this?

  • Connect with people who are deeply rooted in the industry. I find this really effective. Do not hibernate or close yourself from networking with other people.
  • Attend meet ups, seminars and summits. These kinds of opportunities are jewel. Every once in a while, invest or spend money in attending paid seminars like the Philippine 2014 SEO Summit. But more often, when you find low-cost fees or even free events, do not hesitate to attend.
  • Make use of RSS/Feed Readers. I use Feedly to read updated post from authority sites. It’s also great tool to instantly share valuable articles to your followers.

There have been a lot of algorithm changes from Google over the last year.  I am sure that you’ve had many potential clients come to you with ranking issues due to past SEO practices they might have undertaken.  Do you have any top-level advice for people who have seen their websites take a dramatic hit recently, or incurred a penalty?

My site pampangadirectory.net is no excuse from the algorithm changes, from a peak of PR3 down to PR0 and an approximate of 40% loss in monthly traffic.

Frankly, no one is to be put to blame to this unfortunate event but me. Because I can honestly say that I did some black magic tricks in the past and now I’m reaping the effect.

However, I am still in high spirit that there are remedies to this dilemma. Here are the steps I have done so far:

  1. Acceptance. I believe that the first step to the solution is accepting that the site incurred penalty or severe algorithm transformation. Then move to the actual steps of the remedy.
  2. Content cleaning. Check for duplicate, spammy, keyword populated and thin pages.
  3. Detecting broken links internally and those that goes out of the site.
  4. Make use of DISAVOW if necessary.

What sets your SEO practice apart from the competition?  Are there any unique aspects to your consultancy that gives you a competitive advantage?

My SEO practice is plain, straightforward and no hypes/tricks.

If you were talking to client in your local area who was unsure about the benefits that local SEO can bring to a business, what would be the key components of your pitch to them in order to convince them?

Educating a client is definitely necessary in order to efficiently run SEO campaigns. If I am to pitch the benefits of SEO, I would have to align it particularly to the business’ objectives.

But some of the major advantages to present are:

  1. Monetary gain/profit in terms of sales or leads to providing service.
  2. Increase in brand awareness through social signals, mentions and links.
  3. Improvement in traffic as well as conversion.

For any beginners to SEO, what advice would you give them?  It could be anything from how to set the business up, to winning business, or just some plain motivational advice.

SEO is not easy but attainable. Just don’t give up learning, testing and application.

During your career as an SEO consultant what has been your favorite or most interesting project that you’ve worked on?

The tasks I loved and still do about SEO are; content creation, link building and outreach.

Are there any other websites or online projects that you want to tell our readers about – or perhaps any social channels or things you are working on currently?

I recently put up a site where I ambitiously aspire to gather bloggers of my province, Pampanga –PampangaBloggers.Com. You may check out our members page or contribute a blog post.

How do you view content in SEO as leverage in providing relevant search results and as a way of doing link-building in the advent of the recent changes in Googles Algorithm and penalization of Ann Smarty’s MyBlogGuest?

In my opinion, Search Engines are still machines and uses artificial intelligence programmed by humans.

Their outputs are mainly 1’s or 0’s depending on the code infused to it. We create contents, while search engines interpret it…

On the other hand, the main stakeholder of the internet is human – oxygen breathing people. Internet was built for humans’ need as well as gratification.

So putting those two ingredients together, SEO task is to satisfy both the machine and the actual user.

What do you think of Google’s approach to SEO? Are they being helpful by launching the disavow tool or do you think that this only gives more credence to negative SEO?

With regards to the disavow tool. I think it’s a great tool, considering that Google provides site owners/administrators the ability to choose which websites should be linking to them.

At the end of the day, Google is still a business in itself. And Google is not entirely insane to expose the path to their treasure chest, right?

What is the fastest way to generate backlinks?

Ask/beg a link from a close friend who administer a site.

What is the best quick fix way in optimizing your website for SEO?

Coincidentally, I’ve just recently published a blog post entitled – My On-Page Optimization Techniques: Completely Revealed.

How do you measure your SEO success for a particular campaign?

Build a KPI scorecard.

For example, one of your main KPI is traffic generation. Based on the current traffic or from the trend of your previous month, forecast a monthly target value.

At the end of the month, measure the actual traffic versus the target. From this you may have a metric you can measure the percentage to goal.

Putting into actual numbers:

  • Target: 10,000 visits
  • Actual visits: 9,254
  • Percent to goal = 1 – ((Target – Actual) / Target)
  • Percent to goal = 1 – ((10,000 – 9254) / 10,000)
  • Percent to goal = 92.54%

A scorecard is best for KPIs that are numerically measureable.

What project that you’ve handled that gave you a hard time in optimizing yet you came out successful afterwards?

Honestly, I can’t identify any as of now.

And lastly can you suggest any book, video, person, website that keeps you inspired in doing SEO?

  • moz.com
  • searchenginejournal.com
  • searchengineland.com
  • kaiserthesage.com
  • seohacker.com

The websites above are just a few of the many websites to source knowledge about SEO. Check out this page if you would like to know the list of blogs that I follow.

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