Scott Burson is the managing partner and a founder of Hook SEO. He has a background in data center operations, application design, and payment solutions.
Ashley Wirthlin is the Public Relations Manager of Hook SEO and manages the publishing division of the business.
Cover art by Derek W Frost.
Your support for the book gets you a digital eBook copy of CRUSH SEO upon its release. You'll get the first chapter via email to get you started right away! (And possibly more early-release chapters!)
1 copy + ebook included
$29 Soft Cover Book + eBook
Your support will land you a copy of CRUSH SEO in soft cover and the eBook. This combo will have you crushing online marketing in no time!
1 copy + ebook included
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$49 Two Soft Cover Books
Two soft cover books and a copy of the eBook for you and your business partner, friend, lover, or favorite pet. This also works well if you want to read the book twice!
2 copies + ebook included
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$100 Recognition Box
You will get 2 copies of the book in soft cover, the eBook version, and Hook SEO will follow you on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. I will personally send you a handwritten thank-you note, and we also will write a short article about your business on our blog and publish it to social media. (That's an SEO backlink for your website!)
2 copies + ebook included
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$200 Big Recognition Box
Everything in the Recognition Box, PLUS a 60 minute Google+ Hangout or Skype chat where you can ask the owners of Hook SEO any questions you have about SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing, or whatever you want.
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$500 Website Marketing Review + Recognition Box
You will get everything in the "Big Recognition Box", and before the 60 minute video chat we will review your website, advertising, and marketing and make suggestions tailored to your business.
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$2500 In-Person Presentation
Everything in the "Website Marketing Review + Recognition Box" package, and in addition to the video chat, Matt Rouse will fly to your city and spend the entire day giving presentations about SEO, PPC, Local Search, Review Help, Content Marketing, and anything else you want to ask him about for you and your employees or group.
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$12000 12 Months of Blogs by Hook SEO
The ultimate reward! See our strategies work for you and your business first hand. Our team will research and write 2 blog articles per month for a year! You also get everything in our Big Recognition Box!
2 copies + ebook included
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Learn To Market Your Local Business Online
Proven SEO techniques and content marketing strategies you can use to improve the search rank, exposure, social engagement and visibility of your local business and your brand. Easy to follow steps with future-proof strategies and easy to understand action-items in every chapter!Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/PyFSZ 3576 views
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In this book you will learn how to get your business online effectively. You will learn how SEO really works and how search engines decide who gets the top positions. You will learn how social media, content marketing, and reciprocity can build new relationships with potential customers and build trust in your brand.
ALL BACKERS GET THEIR NAME AND A BIG THANK YOU IN THE BOOK!
You will learn: how to get listed on online map sites; how to ensure they all work together for your local business; how you can improve your search rank with online review sites; and what to do about negative or fake reviews.
Bottom line: if you want your local business to be more successful, I will be your guide. This book is the culmination of decades of combined experience from industry professionals mixed with bleeding edge techniques and future-looking strategies to make the Internet and social media drive customers to your door.
Pre-order any CRUSH SEO book or package now and Hook SEO will send you a free PDF chapter by email!
Image below: Matt (left) and Scott (right) with one of our friends and clients, Shannon Rose at our Content Marketing meeting for her local Hillsboro real estate business.
My name is Matt Rouse, but most of my clients call me "Webmaster", "SEO Guy". or "our web guy." I know that they know my name, but they find it easier to explain who I am to their friends, coworkers, and accounting people if I have a title that somehow relates me to the Internet. I don't mind really. I've been working on computers all my life, and this is my story.
It was an Atari 800 and my parents purchased it as a family gift for us for Christmas in 1979. Since my uncle, nicknamed "Cubby", had shown our family the Radio Shack TRS-80 that summer, it was all my brother and I had talked about. We had played a couple text adventure games and moved monochrome blocks around the screen, which we called baseball. It was the most amazing thing my young mind could imagine. Not only could a computer create games from thin air, but you could program computers to do what you wanted them to do. That's a pretty powerful feeling when you're a child.
I spent several years playing text adventure games, learning syntax, and learning how the operating systems worked on all the PC of the era, like the Commodore 64 and the Apple 2c. My favorite text adventure was Zork. Look it up; you can actually still play it online today. (http://thcnet.net/zork/) The games had no interface except the keyboard. You had to type in every command, such as "go north" or "pick up shovel". This would return a response in the form of interactive fiction. The real trick was to figure out what the computer was asking for and how to give it the instructions you wanted in a way it would understand.
At a very basic level, this is how Search Engine Algorithms work. The Search Algorithm is a complex formula that decides what content it should tell you about, based on what you typed into it. There are literally hundreds of ranking factors that determine if some content, in this case a website, should be positioned on a search engine in response to a query typed in by a user.
Starting in the early 80's as a pre-teen and into my early 20s, I spent a lot of time using online computer networks called "BBS's" or Bullet Board Systems. These were basically social networks just like Facebook or MySpace, but they were text based, had open chat rooms, and usually a limited login on concurrent users. Most systems were hobby systems that started small, where only 2 or 3 people could be on the system at a time. Larger systems later had hundreds of users logged in at once.
These systems usually have a theme such as The Space Station BBS, The TARDIS BBS, or Calgary Nucleus (http://www.nucleus.com/). They had chat rooms, online multiple games such as Trade Wars or L.O.R.D (Legend of the Red Dragon) and usually a messaging system (similar to private message systems on today's networks) and a file repository. Basically early BBS systems were a combination of a Facebook, Snapchat, Imgur, and Torrent sites, all in one. (And this was 20 years ago.) There were both private systems, which were invite only, and public systems. Most of them you would connect to by dialing a modem over a phone line. The Internet was just a baby back then and Internet access was uncommon, as were home PCs.
At the age of 12 I had become the SYSOP (System Operator) of my own BBS which was dedicated to tabletop Roll Playing Games such as Dungeons & Dragons. I ran it for almost 3 years and at it's "height" it had a user base of more than 50 weekly active users. Being a SYSOP also allowed me to trade access and files with other operators to gain access to their systems and get insider knowledge into the inter-workings of their early social networks.
BBSs were the predecessors to the social networks of today. What most social networks today lack which BBSs had in spades, is a way to make real connections with real people of similar interests. By using chat rooms and messaging and being in smaller localized groups, people made connects quickly. With local meet-ups and social events, some of these bonds were lifetime friendships. I have a friend in Canada who married a girl he met at a BBS meetup in the 80's and I still have friends I met "online" through these early systems.
By splitting large populations into smaller localized groups of people with similar interests, BBSs had a way to form real connections with others. Bonds that could lead to friendships, trust, and in-person meetings. This is where you need to reach in your content marketing and social marketing efforts. The ability to build trust, find brand influencers, and make lasting bonds is the real goal of online marketing in the new social media age.
When I was in my mid twenties, after a stint of selling high-end audio equipment and computers and a couple of failed attempts at college (I didn't like it much), I went into technical support for the new and upcoming cable modem industry with Shaw Communications in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. With my new found bandwidth and server access, I started to study up on web design and pick up as much about networking and hardware as possible from our engineering and NOC (Network Operations Center) staff.
There were several years of overtime and soaking up knowledge where I could find it, and then early on, I jumped into blogging and web design. In 2000, after an odd turn of events and on a whim, I applied for a position at Intel Corp in Hillsboro, OR. I told my boss I was applying because he didn't appreciate my skills. He laughed at me.
I was interviewed by phone twice in one day, hired the following day, and then moved to Hillsboro, Oregon less than two weeks later.
After working contract work with Intel and the burst of the first Internet bubble, things were tough for a while. I ended up doing some intranet UX design work and then took a job with a "hip" Internet Marketing and web design firm in Minneapolis, MN. I was asked some difficult interview questions such as, "Zombies or Ninjas?" (Ninjas, obviously) and "iframes or tables?" (The correct answer was stylesheets.)
After a short run with that firm, the owner moved to London, England. Soon after that, I was hired back to another contract at Intel back in rainy Oregon.
Image below: Matt Rouse from Hook SEO teaches a class on Social Media Marketing to local business owners at the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce in Oregon.
Several years and contracts later, I worked at Nike. Now, bouncing from contract to contract may not seem like a very secure job, but it had it's advantages. Each time I learned everything I could from anyone I could convince to show me their tricks and I tackled as many new and obscure problems as I could find.
I focused on contracts with marketing groups, because they had the money. In the Information Technology world IT is an expense, but marketing makes companies money. Also, each new contract you could negotiate for more money. No cost of living raise needed when you can give yourself a raise twice a year!
Working on the Nike World Campus with the Sports Marketing Teams is kind of like IT Contractor heaven. You get a desk with a window that goes out to a running track that has fit, happy, and attractive people jogging around it all day long. In the middle of the buildings there is a lake with ducks swimming around and a cafe with an outdoor lakeside patio that serves healthy meals at a reasonable price. Everyone is wearing Nike clothing and business casual is basically out-of-place formal wear.
Nike is not a clothing company or a shoe company. Nike is a marketing company. More than that, they are a well oiled content marketing machine. Nike basically invented content marketing. Working on their public and internal facing websites, it was my job to read and study their marketing guidelines. I had to learn their company "voice" and work with their content producers, all the while soaking up their tribal marketing knowledge and the decades of marketing expertise. One of the systems I worked on was even used in both the Athens and Beijing Olympics for the Athlete Service Facility.
After the financial crash of 2008, contracts were impossible to find. Companies stopped hiring and hunkered down with their billion dollar bank accounts to weather the storm.
I was married to my lovely wife, Kari Rouse, in 2008. Once we were married, we decided it was time I stopped working with work visas (since I was originally from Canada), and I immigrated to the USA permanently. There was one minor problem, however. My existing work visa was expiring and until my Green Card was approved, I was not allowed to work or leave the country to get another visa.
The positive side here was no one was hiring anyway and my wife had a stable job, so I snuggled in with my computers and learned everything there was to know about search engines and social media. I already had more than a decade of web design, UX (user experience), and technical training behind me. Now just to put all the pieces together.
Once my immigration was complete, I opened a web development and search company called Oregon Voodoo Inc. After 5 years of building that company and our SEO system through trial and error, split testing, endless research, and hundreds of long nights, we designed a process we call "The Circle of SEO".
In January of 2014, Scott Burson's company, Crucial Solutions LLC, merged with my company, Oregon Voodoo Inc., to create Hook SEO. This gave us a larger client base and access to more resources to build on our content marketing SEO model. Scott is my business partner and we have worked together on projects for more than a decade. His knowledge of project management, CRM, payment processing, software development, and network operations has proven to be the perfect mix with my search, pay per click, and content marketing skills.
With all the tools of the trade, I now have the knowledge, experience and online marketing savvy to teach you what took over a decade to design and implement.
Image below: Matt, Scott, and Ashley of Hook SEO believe that reciprocity isn't just for marketing. Giving back to your community is a great way to show that you care about the community that support your business and your family!
Virtually everyone on the planet has heard the song, "The Circle of Life" by Elton John from the movie The Lion King. This description of the life of content on the Internet is loosely related to content marketing, social media signals, advertising, and SEO. We are trying to "complete the circle" every chance we get.
For example, you have a landing page about selling old VHS copies of The Lion King. (Talk about a growth industry!) On that page you have a video clip of yourself holding this artifact in your hands and pushing the tape into an old VCR while you describe the movie. You host that video on YouTube and in the description on YouTube, you link back to the landing page. This is a connection.
On the landing page you add the video transcript to the content and you have the video embedded on the page. This is another connection.
You post the link to the landing page and a link to the video from within a Google+ post with a good description and title and make a connection to both the landing page and the video, thus completing The Circle of SEO.
Google's mathematical search algorithm now knows that the content of this video, the G+ post, and the page are all about The Lion King and VHS tapes. Each connection is a re-enforcement of those keywords. So when someone types those terms in together or a similar variation, Google knows that your page is an Authority on the subject matter, and rewards you with traffic.
At a basic level, this is how search works.
Your customers learn about your product from social media where you have shared the video, and then they share it with their friends! The ones who purchase it now review you online and create more connections.
"...and they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on." Anyone remember those old Calgon shampoo "word-of-mouth" commercials?
Social Media sharing and online reviews are the new word of mouth. Learn how to leverage online review sites to work for your business!
(Available in a number of electronic formats and paperback.)
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