I love SEO!
It was my first passion when I started my career in digital marketing in 2000. After working as the lead SEO strategist at a web development firm that is no longer with us, I founded Komarketing Associates, an SEO & PPC agency focusing on B2B clients (and with some very fun B2C e-Commerce clients as well). I started as a solo practitioner and quickly went on to bring in a talented team that included Derek Edmond, Casie Gilette, and Joe Vivolo, who all stayed at the agency when I sold my majority share to Derek.
After the sale of Komarketing, I ventured into other forms of entrepreneurship and joined fast-paced startups in roles focused on strategic partnership development.
Even while taking on these new challenges, I always kept my hand in the world of search engine strategy, both as a practitioner via my own ventures and as a consultant.
I’m back to practicing search engine optimization full time and taking the opportunity to immerse myself in the world of AI-powered search (AI-powered everything!).
AI will change how people search profoundly.
Fortunately, my approach to search optimization has a timeless base that can be combined with the latest tactics and technologies.
The following steps are initiated at the same time that a technical audit is performed and a plan is developed for quick technical fixes and longer-term website development projects.
- Identify business goals, growth plans, key performance metrics (KPIs), brand guidelines, and available resources.
- Understand internal stakeholder roles and concerns.
- Research and outline website user personas and their information needs.
- Create a keyword portfolio that includes tie-ins to natural language search (questions that people ask).
- Establish benchmark metrics.
- Build thorough content briefs that provide the basis for creating incredibly helpful content that is worthy of being cited.
- Publish content with a strategic schedule.
- Simultaneously with content rollout, publicize new content to attract citations and build awareness velocity (not everything has to be viral; just relevant and gain traction with the right audience).
- Seek Citations; aka Link building—occurs early in the process by focusing on existing relationships and competitive analysis seeking “easy” wins. Backlink acquisition accelerates with content rollout. Link building focuses on relevance and ability to drive results beyond SEO.
- Content Refresh—leverage content planning work to improve and update existing content.
SEO TOOLS & TECHNICAL PROFICIENCIES
AHREFS | Bing Webmaster Tools | Core Web Vitals Analysis | Demandjump | Google Analytics (Universal [soon to be a useless skill] and GA 4) | Google Keyword Planner & Google Trends| Google Search Console | HTML | Moz | Screaming Frog | SEMrush | SpyFu | WordPress
Strategic Advisor, January 2010 – Present
Counsel C-suite and Board of Directors of 21-year-old global nonprofit that recruits volunteer talent in over 40 countries. Based on fee-for-service model, volunteers pay a fee, the organization relies on effective strategies that boost search engine optimization to generate visits and conversions.
- Strategic Advisor role follows two-year search engine optimization (SEO) marketing engagement with United Planet.
- Improved keyword rankings across broad portfolio of purchase-intent phrases, resulting in 100% engagement ROI.
Head of Marketing (Interim), April 2022 – December 2022
Stepped-in during senior management transition to temporarily lead marketing initiatives. Conducted SEO Audit and Implementation, Landing Page Optimization, and Website Analytics, as well as Social Media and Content Strategy and Delivery. Created Lead Tracking Reporting Process in Salesforce. Managed Strategic Digital Marketing Channel Partnerships. Managed team of marketing interns.
- Improved YoY organic search-generated leads 74% through on-average increase of five Google ranking positions as result of onsite and offsite SEO tactics that targeted competitive keyword set.
- Website conversion rate doubled.
- Devised digital fundraising campaign that netted 20X improvement in results Y0Y.
Boston, MA, June 2017 – February 2022
Co-founded independent book publisher with focus on true crime, professional boxing, and hip-hop music. Secured rights to 22 books, built distribution channels for eBooks and print, devised comprehensive digital campaigns to launch the start-up publishing company, and marketed 18 titles.
- Used WordPress to develop the Hamilcar Publications website and a supporting content website focused on high-quality boxing journalism and history. Each site attracted significant organic search results.
- Sold more than 35K print and electronic units in the three publishing categories during tenure.
- Raised over $28K with Kickstarter to fund book production in a new publishing category for Hamilcar. Managed a fundraising campaign that included a digital marketing campaign that included paid social media advertising.
>> I wrote this article about the experience – Why Would a Publishing Company Use Kickstarter?
- Sold interest in company (2021).
Boston, MA, March 2016 – June 2017
Director of Business Development
Stepped into specially design role at hyper growth, online corporate catering B2B marketplace. Sought out and secured strategic partnerships with high-profile organizations that quickly expanded base of profitable customers.
- Oversaw new partners’ integration into ezCater’s existing digital ecosystem.
- Developed ROI model to monitor variability of customer acquisition costs.
- Signed office supply retailer Staples as digital partner along with Drizly, WeWork, Boxed, and Bevi, among others.
Boston, MA, April 2014 – March 2016
Director of Business Development
Established strategic business relationships for leader in fantasy sports and gaming industry. Evaluated proposed arrangements to determine growth potential, flexibility, reputation, as well as strategic and cultural fit.
- Structured and negotiated 31 individual partnerships worth over $45M in total.
- Designed entry-level deals with new partners, testing revenue and member growth potential prior to greater commitment.
- Declined potential partnerships where poor-quality assets indicated higher investment risk for DraftKings.
- Obtained Belmont Stakes collaboration that earned industry recognition that DraftKings had “arrived,” in addition to earned media Sports Illustrated cover.
Boston, MA, January 2004 – December 2010
Established Search Engine Marketing (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) and Social Media Marketing agency. Hired team of five digital professionals to manage client accounts and contribute to business development momentum. Cultivated contractor, distribution partner, and service provider relationships to ensure consistent work quality, pricing, and on-time delivery. Pursued targeted prospective clients that ranged from B2B/B2C “Blue Chip” companies to venture-backed start-ups.
- Portfolio of clients included Hallmark, Hewlett Packard, John Deere, and many SMBs in retail, enterprise technology, and SaaS.
- Earned reputation for search engine and social media marketing expertise.
- Tangible results for clients resulted in 90% retention rate.
- Negotiated profitable sale of company (2010).
Boston University (BU)
Boston, MA, 2010 – 2011
Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Communications
- Conceived and taught first Master-level search engine marketing course at BU.
2009 – 2011
- Authored monthly content on topics of Search Engine Marketing (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) strategies, trends, and innovations.
Master of Business Administration
Babson College F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, Wellesley, MA
While there were not official majors at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business when I graduated, my major was considered “entrepreneurial finance.” I built this major by focusing on taking classes in entrepreneurship, traditional finance, and startup financing.
Bachelor of Arts in Economics
Connecticut College, New London, CT
I majored in Economics and minored in Russian Studies.
(I used to be fluent in Russian, having lived there for two years, but I am very much out of practice.)
At Connecticut College I was in the first class to be matriculated to the selective Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) program.