Brian Thomas Clark – House of Search has passed Credo's 28-point vetting system, including a personal phone call with our team. They are part of our elite network of digital marketing pros.
Brian is the founder and head auditor for House of Search, a search marketing audit company based in Orange County, CA. He has been a part of the search marketing industry for over 15 years.
He cut his teeth managing search campaigns for Yahoo! back in 2005 for clients like the NHL and Equifax. He dove head-first into SEO in 2008 doing SEO work for UCLA and Disney Shopping.
In 2008 he performed his first SEO Audit using an audit template he created on his own. He discovered not only an extreme enjoyment of audits, but that they actually drove new real revenue for businesses. He now performs several types of in-depth audits, including analytics, backlink, and local audits.
Before forming his own search marketing company, Brian built his expertise with the following roles:
Brian lives with his awesome wife, Angela, their two achingly good-looking children, and a Boston Spaniel that eats flies. When not doing SEO work, you can find him playing the drums, visiting family overseas, and BBQing almost non-stop.
I knew Brian Warner, owner of the very popular CelebrityNetWorth.com, from my time doing SEO work for Break Media. After being live for over a year, CNW organic search traffic had plateaued after an initial period of growth.
With over 1 million pages and thousands being added every month, organic growth should have been on a steady upward trend. However, technical issues and the onset of the Panda algorithm updates were having a negative impact on the site’s performance.
We pushed a three-pronged strategy:
1. Website Audits & Technical Improvements
2. Content Strategy
3. Internal Links
Audits helped us to identify issues (both technical and front-end) with the site that may be preventing it from performing in organic search, along with recommendations to help alleviate those issues. Here’s what we did during our four-year SEO effort:
- Two large-scale 1 million+ page website audits for CelebrityNetWorth.com between 2011 and 2015.
- SEO consulting on categorization, page template layouts, and keyword target formats.
- Content audit to identify improvements to category and profile pages, including crosslink structures.
- Panda penalty recovery involving dupe content cleanup and internal link mapping improvements.
See more at https://www.houseofsearch.com/our-work/cnw-case-study/.
THE CHALLENGE: GREAT CONTENT, ORGANIC DECLINE
Alan Carniol, creator of the successful InterviewSuccessFormula.com, contacted me after seeing his organic traffic decline over a period of fifteen months from 2014 through 2015. ISF provides amazing interview training courses, materials, and information to help those recently out of a job after a being employed for a long time. He knew there was a problem with his organic performance, but he needed some help to figure out why, and how to fix it. The ISF site held a substantial amount of content (20,000+ pages and articles), not to mention the content behind a paywall and the hundreds of landing pages from PPC and social media campaigns.
While performing an SEO Audit, it quickly became clear to me that content issues were not the problem. The site had high-quality information and was not impacted by Panda. Links also looked stellar as Alan was frequently interviewed by top publications and media outlets, and he was even a contributor to Forbes.
The problem was of a technical SEO nature. To put it even more simply, a lot of great content was being published year after year, with no attention paid to how it was structured, linked to, and tended to. Through my audit work I’ve found this is a common issue, especially when the focus is on such high quality content. You can’t expect to handle everything, which is why there are SEO Auditors!
THE SOLUTION: A FULL SEO CAMPAIGN
I started by performing a standard SEO Audit, which is essentially 50% highly technical and 50% more general auditing of user-facing SEO elements. However I quickly realized that basic things like page titles, descriptions, error pages, and missing redirects were not the problem. Instead, the site needed a thorough analysis of structure, sitemaps, internal linking practices, canonicals, redirect chains, and page speed. Here are some of the fixes I recommended and solutions I created:
- Built a new structure for the site to give it more logic and depth. The site was generally flat.
- Created a full redirect map to eliminate chains and error page redirects.
- Built out a new mapping of canonical URL tags for them to apply so we weren’t going to redirect-crazy.
- Exhaustive review of internal links, including anchors, mapping, and links to dead pages.
- Cleaned up paid campaign landing pages get them out of the index.
- XML Sitemaps rewrite to break them up, remove pages blocked by robots/meta-robots, remove error pages, and remove redirected pages.
- Created ongoing editorial guide document for writers to establish internal links and categorization best-practices.
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