Andrew Shotland-Local SeoI caught up with Andrew Shotland of Local Seo Guide yesterday between “a painful SEO audit” and Trick-or-Treating. The interview was done over the phone, and I found Andrew to be fast-paced and friendly; a let’s-get-it-done kinda guy. I emailed him to introduce myself and request an interview at 5:06 (EST) and had a reply at 5:31, suggesting we do it now.

Tim: Before we get started, I saw that your blog is one month old today, congrats… Could you tell me how you got your blog to a PR 4 with Yahoo reporting 2,700 backlinks in such a short time?

Andrew: It’s PR 4? Wow, I didn’t know that…woo-hoo! I wasted a lot of time on it… Ha…Ha. It’s a combo of the content and social networking. I started the blog because I was asked to speak at SMX… and they needed something to link to.

So, I was doing a lot of work in local and many of the blogs in the local space were essentially saying the same old thing…fill out the business profile and such. So, I thought I could contribute there.

I spent a lot of time socializing on Sphinn… way too much time on Sphinn (laugh). But I wanted to network with other marketers and bloggers. Although the stuff I’m writing is for small business I felt like I would have a hard time getting a plumber to read my blog. So, I am writing for 3 audiences: small businesses, people in the local search industry and search marketer/bloggers who can help me get the word out about what I’m doing.

Tim: You’re also one of the few A-listers in the space who post every day…

Andrew: A-lister? Ya, it get’s to be a pain in the ass…(chuckle) but I knew what I wanted to write about. I set-up an editorial calendar for the first 30 days, I approached it like I would a project for a client… So, I knew what I wanted to say. Now that we’re at 31 days, let’s see what happens.

[Editor's Note: It was preparation and hard-work?...hrmmph! I was hoping for a quick tip or trick. :) ]

Tim: Do you recommend that small businesses set up a blog as well?

Andrew: Only if they have the time… most small businesses don’t have the time. The other thing they can do is set it up and just put up 9 or 10 posts and then leave it alone. That might help or it might not.

Tim: Ok, tell us a little about your background.

Andrew: I got into the Internet when I was at Showtime Networks. I launched their first website in 1994. I was doing some wacky stuff for them like live IRC chats from Mike Tyson fights… and then moved to NBC.com.

I did anything and everything over there: starting web services, investing in pre-IPO Web companies, and I ran NBC.com for a while. It was different getting traffic then, so we started with the go online now and do this thing or that thing, back when it was still a novelty to watch TV and see a website promoted. I also started a network of local TV station websites, NBC-IN, so even back then I knew local was big!

I was at Insider Pages for 3 years. And the only way we were going to get traffic at the beginning was SEO. So, we would hire some consultants… and don’t get me wrong, they were smart and they knew their stuff but they were busy… and there was something about the level of service they could provide that wasn’t enough… so I would learn a thing or two here and there and pretty soon we were getting 3 milllion visitors a month. Entirely through SEO… it was exciting and very addictive. But I would make rookie mistakes too… like create some weird duplicate content issue and then boom… we’d lose all the traffic.

Then Insider Pages got sold and I left. Around that time a guy I knew had a huge site and he was adding a new feature. So, I happened to ask him… What’s your SEO strategy?… and he looked at me like I had 3 heads. So, I told him to send me the wireframes and I would have a look at them. He liked what I had to say and ended up being my first client. So now, almost by accident, I’m an SEO consultant.

Tim: I saw that you were recruiting on Sphinn. When I first read your blog, you hadn’t opened the door yet… and now they’re banging it down?

Andrew: Well it comes down to… how much business can I take on and still provide the level of service I want to. Every business has a reason for being in business or what they sell… for me that’s service. I can grow my business and still provide an excellent level of service to my clients.

Tim: How was Sphinn as a recruiting tool?

Andrew: It is a very high quality audience that hangs out at Sphinn. And I found 2 very qualified candidates.

Tim: I can’t let you go without asking this. At a high level, what are the first 5 things you would recommend for a Plumber or a Lawyer just starting a website?

Andrew: The first is to figure out what they want the the website to do… is it lead generation? Lead generation is easy to say… but for some businesses it could be about retention or something else.

Next, is to decide how much effort? If they don’t have the time the best thing maybe just local launch or webvisible, PPC and such.

Next, they need to understand their potential customer… what words will the potential customer type in… a couple of tools we use: compete.com and google’s keyword tool is good too. And ask where they are searching?

Then of course, it couldn’t hurt to hire a skilled SEO or make sure the web developer understands a little about SEO. They don’t have to be an expert, but you don’t want one who is going to tell the client, hey make the title tag this… and then there goes all the traffic. The general level of knowledge is improving though because there are a lot of smart people out there blogging and telling everyone how to do it.

They should also talk to someone they know who is already doing it… if you’re a plumber talk to an electrician who’s had some success and so on…

Good Advice… Thanks Andrew.

And don’t forget to link to my blog with the words “local search engine optimization” in the anchor text! :)

 

43 Responses to From 0 To PageRank 4 In 1 Month: Interview With Local Seo Andrew Shotland

  1. [...] If you’d rather be caught dead than be at a conference then I recommend you get to know what’s behind my blue eyes by reading Tim Coleman’s penetrating interview of your’s truly at Convert Offline. [...]

  2. Moolge says:

    Same here I had a page up for no less then a month (actually more like 2-3 weeks) and I’m at PR 6 ..w00T!

  3. Care to share some of the secrets Moolge?

  4. Eric says:

    Interesting article. Indeed it is tough to keep the momentum going with a blog. I try to get a few posts a month to keep things fresh.

  5. [...] From 0 To PageRank 4 In 1 Month: Interview With Local Seo Andrew Shotland [...]

  6. Shishir says:

    The article sounds interesting. Is there anyone who would like to share secrets of getting good pagerank?

    Thanks in advance

  7. Shishir says:

    I am waiting for anyone to reply.

  8. Manik says:

    This is a very good article

  9. Rasika says:

    I agree, the article is good.

    Rasika

  10. [...] exceleaza in SEO, de fapt este un tip cu greutate uriasa in internet si merita citit articolul asta, in care Andrew da un interviu despre cum a reusit sa aibe in page ranking 4 pe yahoo in 31 de zile [...]

  11. Great post. Blogs are a very natural way to attract links. I’d love to see a post on how to get your company to blog. Particularly if you are dealing with a large, conservative company.

  12. very useful articles…..I think seo off site more important and power full for geeting free traffic than seo on site, I already implemented for my web……so I am focus on off site optimisation…thanks

  13. allsyria says:

    wow amazing really

  14. interview says:

    Oh…No, I have read many articles offering PR4 in 1 month but none of them is really works.

  15. Mask619 says:

    Hmm interesting blog.

  16. Lesus says:

    great article for me

  17. nas says:

    excellent article thanks ever so much

  18. hey thank you from info

  19. Eric says:

    A great article. I will apply what I learned.

  20. nia hidayati says:

    maybe he plays a beautiful SEO, so search engines like him.

  21. Now pr is worthless, from pr0 to pr 4 is not difficult, the most hardest thing is traffic.

  22. Shubham says:

    pagre rank drives traffic ..! Yeah its easy to get page rank 4 but the real stuff is getting them. ..Well most people don’t know abut PR…!

  23. SZA says:

    Still trying to figure this PR thing out. Have had my drupal blogs up and running for a few months now (that was hurdle in and of itself), and still at PageRank 0. Learning as I go.

  24. Jay Was Here says:

    I have seen a few other people do it and its quite amazing the question remains how…only time and work can tell.

  25. Withss says:

    well i am new in seo and trying to get page rank . although i am getting good links on search of my site posts .
    so how much it takes to get a page rank for any site.

  26. Jan says:

    Hi,

    2400 backlinks I am impressed. I just build a site and it’s in the air since januari, it’s about the weather and climate of every country in the world. It has pagerank 4 as well so I can be happy I guess!? however not 2400 backlinks :)

  27. Paul says:

    It seems like my site for fused glass artists has been stuck at PR3 for a year. I’m at the top of Google results for searches on “fused glass” but there are other sites with higher PR nipping at my heels. I wish the article above had some actionable advice (other than hire an SEO consultant).

  28. ES says:

    I concur! I’ve been stuck on pr 3 for 3 years now. Struggling to getting hire. I have blog, & yahoo directory submitted. Any suggestions?

  29. JAYRWEBLOG says:

    Very informative article you have. Thanks for this.

  30. awesome!! from 0 to a 4 pagerank! i´m gonna follow this!

  31. It would be great to have another article on tips to get from a PR3 to PR4. But this information has been great! Thanks!

  32. Good article…I keep trying to get my sites up from PG 1 and I know I am not doing enough quality backlinks and blogging…time to roll my sleeves up

  33. sudha says:

    There was a time when we all knew link building is only the key factor in seo to get high ranking.Now time has been change and now SEs specially Google care about website content too.
    So this is very necessary as we should have quality content with quality backlinks to get great resukts.
    Thanks for posting a very valuable blog post with us.

  34. HGD says:

    Thank you. I will take these tips into consideration. My site randomly went to PR 2 but I had no clue how, now i can try and shoot for higher PR

  35. boy says:

    WOW…. GREAT….

  36. rdlhk says:

    Thank you for sharing! You have given some valuable information.

  37. Good article, I will apply all that you said and see the results, Thank you

  38. Nick says:

    It just takes a lot of original content to get people interested in linking to your site, as far as I can see. So it’s a case of appealing to your audience and hard work.

  39. Kara says:

    I just started my blog in February and somehow have jumped up to a 4/10 rating in just a few short months!! I am ecstatic but I literally post all day long. I run a couponing/frugal/freebies blog and there is ALWAYS content and links to be put on there. It’s a 24/7 job but I love it and have so much to learn. Thanks for this article.

  40. Nice article, i will bookmark this.
    Thanks

  41. Suraj Bhatti says:

    I started my blog in January but i managed to get a PR 3 in a very short time!
    Nice post!

  42. jsunit.net says:

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post.
    Thank you for providing this info.

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