4 Key Things I Do For Companies – SEO Consulting

To me, one of the most interesting things about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is that it covers many fields – there are technical aspects, relational aspects and psychological factors to consider. When a company brings me on, I look at how SEO can impact what they’re doing from each of these angles. In this post, I want to share how I approach building an organic acquisition strategy, and the four key things I do for every one of my clients. 

1) Perform a Technical SEO Audit

HTML JavaScript Code when doing Technical SEO Audit
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Building a strategy for SEO is like building a house – you need to have a solid foundation. The foundation of your SEO strategy is Technical SEO, where we consider how to optimize a website for the most efficient communication with search engines. 

With every new client, I start by performing an audit of their Technical SEO. There over 100+ common factors that contribute to what I call the "Technical SEO Health," but the most common issue I find with clients is page speed. Page speed is simply how we measure the speed at which a page loads.

My goal is to make sure that assets like images, JavaScript, CSS and HTML delivery systems are as efficient and as compact as possible to improve your page speed score. Think about it, what is your tolerance to a slow website? Based on various studies, most users get frustrated after waiting three seconds for a page to load. That’s why I recommend that every page on your site loads in less than three seconds, even on an average or slow connection, or you run the risk of losing a potential customer.  

Just like building a house, if you start with a strong foundation of Technical SEO you will be better equipped to build more, later. If you start with a good foundation you can then later scale bigger without having to worry about having to go back to the foundation and upgrade it, or do it over. 

The go-to tool that I use for a Technical SEO Audit is with the Ahrefs Site Audit Tool, and I recommend every one of my clients has their own subscription so they own and can easily access their SEO data.

2) Automate & Streamline Reporting Dashboard

Reporting Dashboard for SEO

Reporting is very important to SEO, because it can show a business what the real results are of their strategy. But it’s also one of the most time-consuming tasks for organizations, since it typically needs to happen on a weekly or monthly basis. 

I see a lot of companies using a mix of spreadsheets and dashboards to track the data, but that doesn’t mean the information is being effectively tracked or stored. When I come in, the first thing I do is move all reporting to a Google Data Studio dashboard. This program is great because it can connect to literally any data source – Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SQL, BigQuery, etc. Having everything in a single view for the entire organization makes it much easier for executives to actually use the data. When reporting is succinct and easy to read, the organization can view results and make decisions as need, instead of having to wait for monthly reporting. 

I selected this dashboard because it is very flexible, users can select different date rages and see updates in real time.

I’m always happy to work with my clients if they have a specific program that they prefer. For example, I typically pull data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console, but I can also work with companies that have other types of data sources. 

3) Market Research & Content Marketing Strategy

Post It Notes organizing content & market research
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Now comes one of the most important pieces to driving long-term SEO strategy: taking a close look at what’s currently going on in the market. Is the existing product or content satisfying the market? How can I help my clients position themselves to meet a need that isn’t being met? 

I start this process by looking at the competition and what they're doing. I’ll look for gaps in the market, and then work out a content strategy to fill the gap and "one up" every competitor out there. But having the best content is not enough; companies also need a good distribution strategy. (After all, what's the use of good content if nobody can find it?)

When creating content to boost SEO, it’s important to remember that different channels and platforms will reach different aspects of search intent. I will create a distribution strategy for each company to make sure that the content gets the right attention. When working with clients, I help them fine-tune content marketing strategy to streamline article creation, and automate publishing on social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. This lets my clients focus on what really matters – their business and customers.

4) Focus on Partnerships

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.

I’ve always like this quote from the writer and activist Helen Keller, and it is surprisingly applicable to SEO!  

Partnerships come in many different forms, so it’s important to remember that a good or bad partnership can make or break a company (or a specific project or campaign). In terms of boosting organic traffic, the best partnership is one that provides link acquisition. Some people focus on link building, but I’m not interested in building links. Acquiring relevant and well-deserved links is the goal. Link acquisition – the process of fostering genuine, organic links to your domain from other sources – is actually far better for your organic search results. 

I help my clients identify and arrange high-quality partnerships that will deliver effective link acquisition and boost their standings. One of the most effective ways of identifying potential partnerships is by looking at what the competitor is doing. Identify their existing partnership and see if there is a gap.

If we genuinely can deliver a better value, we can then propose that they should partner with us instead! Other methods include looking at the competitor's history of backlinks. If they've lost a backlink from a previous partner, we could approach that partner and see if there's anything better that we can provide for a win-win relationship.

What are you waiting for?

Now you have an overview of how I work with my clients, and the approach I take when building an SEO strategy. Each company I work with is different, and I really enjoy getting to know different people, different organizations and helping them to solve problems and build a better strategy. 

If you’d like to level up your SEO strategy, or learn more about how I work, drop me a line at https://asadzulfahri.com/contact/

Napping as Business Strategy

Welcome to my exciting life as a world traveler! 

I just spent the summer in Mexico with Hacker Paradise – this is me taking a quick nap in between calls at my Airbnb in Mexico. Since I was with a group, there are more than a few pictures of me sleeping in various places: on a beanbag at the co-working space, in the car, on a beach, etc. After two years of traveling and working remotely, there are pictures of me sleeping all over the world.

Asad Zulfahri sleeping on a couch
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

You might be thinking I really love to sleep, but actually, naps are part of my business strategy. I’m an international SEO consultant, which means I work with companies all over the world. When my clients want to connect, I always say, “You pick a time that's good for you, and I'll make it work.” That way, no matter where I am in the world, I’m not going to get in the way of getting a project done on time. 

Asad Zulfahri sleeping sideways on a couch
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

When I started my consulting business, I knew that I wanted to make myself available to my clients at whatever time is best for them. So, depending on what time zone I’m in that may mean I take a meeting at 9 p.m. or 1 a.m. – really, any time of the day or night. I structure my schedule this way because I don’t want to be a blocker. That is to say, I don’t want to block my clients’ path to success in any way. So, I’m awake when I need to be, and I sleep when there’s a break. It's no big deal, it's part of what I do. It’s part of being a remote worker and a global entrepreneur.  

It also means my travel buddies get to take lots of funny pictures of me sleeping. 

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Want to learn more about what it’s like to be a remote worker? Check out a talk I did with Hacker Paradise; Benefits of Remote Work on YouTube.

Or you can just continue enjoying more photos of me sleeping:

Asad Zulfahri sleeping on a beanbag next to a guitar
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Asad Zulfahri sleeping on a big sofa bed
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Asad Zulfahri seating on a sofa and sleeping
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Asad Zulfahri sleeping on a couch while waiting for a meeting
Mexico City, Mexico
Asad Zulfahri sleeping on a beach
Sihanouk, Cambodia

What the fuck is SEO, anyway?

If you own an Internet-based company, you probably have at least a general understanding of what SEO is and how optimizing search engines can help drive traffic to your site. But, as a remote worker who is always on the move around the world, I meet all kinds of people – freelancers, workers for fully remote companies, entrepreneurs and people who are trying to figure out what to do with their lives.

I’ve had some really interesting conversations with these people over the years, and one thing that comes up a lot is that people know that SEO is Search Engine Optimization, but they don’t really know the details or how it works. I wanted to write this blog post to give a basic overview of SEO. I think it’s a good thing to understand, no matter what industry you work in.

So, how about you grab a cup of coffee or a beer, and you can pretend this post is just a conversation we’re having in a cafe in Split, or at a beachside bar on the Caribbean.

The Power of Organic Search (SEO)

At the most basic level, I’d describe SEO as a way to strategically place your content so that the right people can find it easily. Most people don’t think too much when they use Google to search for something online. But there’s a lot happening in the background with search engines that help to connect users with the information they want. For example, if you search “baseball” hoping to get information about the baseball game, but end up with results for a random ball in a military base, then that Internet search is basically useless to you.

Search engines have been carefully built and modified to make it so that you get the information you actually want. SEO plays a role in that, too. Companies use SEO to position their content in front of people who want to see it, and they also use SEO to increase the amount of traffic going to their site.

Internet searches account for a huge volume of online traffic. (Curious how many searches have been performed on Google today? Click here. So if you’re selling something online – anything at all – be aware that there are lots of people out there searching for that very thing. SEO basically helps you close the gap between your product and those potential customers.

When people search for things on the Internet, roughly 82% of the subsequent clicks go to organic search results – not to sponsored results or ads. That means that using SEO to increase your standing in organic search results can be even more effective than spending money on ads.

SEO: Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for the keyword

Search is Technological and Psychological

SEO used to be technical and monotonous, everything was about bots and search engines. Google, and other search engines, still use bots to crawl the Internet looking for new information. Once the bot finds new and updated content, it reads it and makes recommendations to the search engine. A bot is like a small child – it wants to take everything in, and it can learn pretty fast. To appease the bots, companies used to focus on using certain keywords in hopes of getting their content show with the right keywords in search engine result pages (SERP).

But SEO has now evolved to include more of a focus on the humans who are actually using the Internet. We now use different aspects of psychology to help analyze whether a site is offering a good or bad user experience. For SEO to be effective, the page design itself needs to appeal to how humans think, and be easy to understandable. Using SEO to drive traffic to a website means nothing if people want to leave as soon as they get there. Once they have arrived at your site, they need to stick around long enough to buy something, or at least learn enough to enter the marketing funnel.

SEO looks at a website from a human perspective – what information do people need or want when they come to your site, how can they find it quickly and easily? Does the information provided on your site "satisfies" what the people's intent? If you have a good product, SEO is the easiest and most affordable way to scale publicity and enhance distribution.

What I Do

When companies bring me in, I take a look at how SEO can impact what they’re doing from all angles. I have a background in computer science, so I can look at the technical aspects of the site and make recommendations. I also look at how the site appeals to users. Is it easy to use? Is the information easy to find? Once I’ve done my initial audit and make my recommendations, I work with a client’s in-house engineers and content creators to make sure they have a strong and effective SEO strategy. The whole process usually takes about three months.

I really enjoy working with companies, and helping them to improve their strategy. I can also help my clients save a lot of money on marketing and advertising. (In fact, when I worked at Monster, I reduced the marketing spending so much, I suggested that they used some of the money they saved to fly me to the US for MozCon in Seattle and meet the with the team in Boston. They said yes, and that’s how I got my start as a world traveler.)  

There you have it – that’s what my business is all about. Helping companies to grow without spending a lot of money, and making websites more human and easier to use. If you’d like to chat with me about SEO, or remote work in general, drop me a line at https://asadzulfahri.com/contact/