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Don't Get SEO Blindsided

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Ray Rahman, the manager of DesignTorontoWeb.ca, a Toronto’s leading website development and digital marketing company. Apart from being a programmer, Ray has also been doing SEO for last 20 years. He has tried as many SEO tricks as one could ever think of and created his own successful SEO strategies.

Tell me about yourself.

I am happily married and a father of three children. I love spending time with my kids including going on crazy roller coaster rides with them. I graduated from University of Alabama with a degree in Software Engineering. I have been working on the Internet since the very early days of Internet. As a student, I used to sign up for affiliate programs and promote many different Internet companies for commissions. After graduating I initially worked for an Alabama company Albamerica Inc. Later, I moved to Canada to join CanAmerica Tech which was later renamed to be ECA Tech Inc. and I still work for the same company and its subsidiaries.

How did you get started in SEO?

When I was a student I used to sign up for affiliate programs and promote many large or small company’s products and services for a commission. Blogging software such as WordPress did not exist back then so I wrote some scripts to create small discussion type of sites. I would review products, optimize them for search engines just by naming the pages with my keywords and I would just rank high on search engines which was far different than today’s SEO. Also, I could just pay Yahoo $200 for inclusion in their directory. Being the most popular directory at that time, it would send me quite a bit of traffic to make good sales with. Eventually, I noticed I was getting some good amount of  traffic from Google.com so I started looking into how I could maximize the amount of traffic I get from there. Analyzed the patterns thoroughly what would work just by tweaking content on my pages. Would say that was the start of my interest in SEO.

Do you only take on clients in Toronto?

I could take clients from anywhere in the world, but since we our company is located in Toronto, a majority of our clients are also from the Greater Toronto Area.

Do you outsource any work?

I get articles written by freelance copywriters often, but I do most of my SEO work myself as I believe my years of experience help me strategize SEO much better than anyone I could outsource the work to. For example, I could just look at a site and almost could guess its age, quality etc. instantly then use some tools to verify if I am right.

Can you give a tip for bloggers to make their blogs more search engine friendly?

If you are using WordPress or Drupal for your website use Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin is a tremendous help. Follow the tips it provides to improve the onsite SEO. In a nutshell, you would want to write smaller sentences, use easy to read words. Do not write long blog posts just because you think it would be beneficial for ranking but also consider real readers, do not bore them with unnecessary long reading materials. Remember, SEO tomorrow will change again so what you think is perfect for SEO today may not be so tomorrow. Instead, just write for real human readers. Link to your relevant internal pages to get a boost in DA score.

Do you have any hobbies offline?

Not really. My real hobby is watching SEO ranks going up or down and strategizing my next move to improve them. However, if you think playing with my kids could qualify as a hobby then yes I have that as my offline hobby.

Thanks for the tips and interview, Ray!