SEO is no easy thing to master. That is, unless you’re Michael Black, owner and namesake of SEOMike Consulting. In his 20 years of working in SEO, Mike (you can call him SEOMike), has helped over 500 clients successfully market, as he says, “everything from diamonds to doorknobs.” As his name would suggest, Mike knows his SEO—and he now wants to share his insights with you at UnravelCon 2017.
Mike is our speaker for “Local SEO & You” at UnravelCon 2017, and he’ll show you advanced techniques for improving your local online presence. But first, let’s get to know SEOMike a little bit better. We took the liberty of asking him a few questions, and he graciously answered. Check it out!
#1. What do you love most about Kansas City?
MB: I love the revitalization of Kansas City and the flourishing tech and arts scenes. I really enjoy First Fridays and the City Market and I love it that we attract things like Maker Faire every year. I also really enjoy Shakespeare in the Park. I live in old Leawood and love the people and homes in the area. The KC metro is a really a wonderful place to live.
#2. How did you get started in SEO?
MB: I began my career in SEO in 1997 by stumbling into it. I started my first business in late ’95 right out of high school. I pulled network wire for small businesses in the area so they could share resources like printers and fileservers I built.
Well, one of those clients asked me “What’s this internet thing and how do I get my business on it?” I said “I dunno… I’ll figure it out.” And I figured out how to make a glorious 90’s website with lots of different colored text and plenty animated gifs. The client was really impressed and said “Ok, I spent all this money to have you build this site, how will it make my company money?” I said “Huh… I dunno… I’ll figure it out.” I’ve been figuring it out ever since!
The term “SEO” was coined in ’96 and in the early days it was very rare that I encountered anyone who had heard of what I did. The industry has gone from the shadows to be a major consideration of every marketing budget. It’s been wonderful to have been a part of this from the very beginning.
#3. When is a time you have failed? And how did you recover?
MB: The ability to recover from failure is a key attribute for any entrepreneur. I’ve been fired so many times over the years by so many different clients and if I stayed down every time, I’d have closed up shop long ago. Sometimes it is my own failure to play nicely in the politics of that company, but more often than not, I’m fired by a new marketing director who comes in and says “out with the old and in with the new!” and fires all the consultants, even if you’re doing a good job. Those firings are the most crushing because it’s not my fault and we are always doing really well when we get canned.
My best tip is when you fail and feel beaten down, collect your thoughts and then stay down for a second to look around at the circumstances that led you there. Then, get up, dust off your jeans, and drive on.
We enjoyed our chat with Mike so much, we asked him a couple of bonus questions!
Bonus Question #1: What are you reading?
MB: I’m currently reading the Odyssey One series by Evan Currie. I’m just starting Homeworld right now which is book 3/5 in the series.
Bonus Question #2: What do you do when you’re not consulting?
MB: When I’m not working I really enjoy working on cars. I’ve got a small lift in my garage and love doing everything from changing the oil to deep engine work. I’m currently working to restore my 1967 Camaro. It’s on the rotisserie being media blasted as I write this. My Camaro was my first car and I loved driving it in high school. I bought it from my dad in 94. He bought it from his uncle in 71, and his uncle bought it new. I drove it for several years but eventually needed a daily driver that didn’t empty the tank every three days. The family history of the car is the main reason I’ve lugged it around all these years waiting for the financial ability to fully restore it.
In addition to his consulting business and stint as an UnravelCon speaker, SEOMike is a frequent speaker at other conferences including Pubcon, which has been named a Forbes “Must Attend” conference. You can connect with SEOMike on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
About SEOMike Consulting: Kansas City-based SEOMike Consulting offers technical SEO services, PPC campaign optimization and management, reputation management, and conversion optimization services.