Before I get started, I want to reiterate a point I’ve made quite a few times over the past few years:

SEO Matters

In fact, SEO will matter until this little thing called “Google” doesn’t exist and people like you and me don’t use the phrase “Just Google It” any longer.

But until then, it matters. And when I say it matters, I mean it can be the difference in a business keeping its doors open or closing them, which is exactly why I feel the need to tell you the following story…

Uhmmm, Why Isn’t the Traffic Going Up?

Not too long ago our company here at The Sales Lion was engaged by a national business to assist them with their content marketing efforts. The goals of the project were simple: Increase traffic, leads, and sales from their website—metrics that had been extremely stagnant for well over a year without any growth whatsoever– despite the fact they’d been producing content regularly.

Feeling incredibly confident we could make a massive difference if they’d follow our proven methods “Search Content Marketing” — I couldn’t wait to watch the website get rewarded by search engines and readers alike.

After 4 weeks of steady work and a very high level of great content added to the site, there was one problem: Almost no traffic growth…nor leads…nor sales.

Same thing after 6 weeks.

And then the same thing after 8 weeks.

Paying the Price of Previous SEO Companies

By this point, I was banging my head against a wall. I knew we were doing everything right. I knew this company’s content was way better than what was currently ranking ahead of them in search engine results pages.

I also knew we were following every “best practice” you could possibly read with respect to SEO combined with content marketing.

Notwithstanding, the Google Gods paid us no mind.

Amid my frustration and perplexity, I had the good fortune one evening of speaking in Arizona. While there, I was able to catch up to a friend and SEO expert, Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures.

After explaining to Arnie my dilemma, he kindly volunteered to have his team take a look at the site and see what might be the problem.

Well, to make a long story short, his team found the site had been penalized by Google.


The answer is simple, and sadly all too common: 2 year previous an SEO company had added a bunch of “bad” inbound links pointing back to the site. Once Penguin hit last year and Google started to punish sites with junk links, my client became a victim…and they had no idea until now.

Disavowing Bad Links

Upon hearing this news I experienced an odd mix of relief and frustration. I was relieved because I could finally understand why we hadn’t been building the momentum we were used to seeing with clients. At the same time, I was frustrated because this great organization with an outstanding product had their growth stunted by another foolish SEO company dancing with the digital devil.

Now that the old links have been disavowed (thanks to Arnie’s team identifying the problem), my client’s website metrics have more than doubled over the past few months, but the lesson here is one that all companies need to be aware of:

If you’ve ever worked with an SEO company in the past and they did any type of bad link-building (or other shady practice), you should do whatever is necessary to “make it right” as quickly as possible. The worst thing that can happen to many businesses is to be punished by search engines, especially when they have no idea they’re at fault in the first place.



Brain Based Conversions – Using Psychology & Neurology to Increase Conversion Rates {Interview}

September 27, 2014

In this weeks episode we get so nerdy that we have to put our skull caps on just to keep it together. Okay so maybe we were just looking for an excuse to wear our cool hats on a Google hangout. Either way you look at it Luke Summerfield from Savvy Panda and I talk [...]

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The Hubcast #9: Keywords, Beatbox Brilliance, Drag & Drop, Podcasting & Relationships

September 24, 2014

The Hubcast Podcast Episode 009 Welcome back to The Hubcast folks! As mentioned last week, this will be a weekly podcast all about HubSpot news, tips, and tricks. Please also note the extensive show notes below including some new HubSpot video tutorials created by George Thomas. Show Notes: HubSpot Strategy Keywords and the keywords tool [...]

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The Hubcast #8: Live From Inbound, Free CRM, Editorial Calendar, Buy-In,
& Community

September 18, 2014

The Hubcast Podcast Episode 008 Welcome back to The Hubcast folks! As mentioned last week, this will be a weekly podcast all about HubSpot news, tips, and tricks. Please also note the extensive show notes below including some new HubSpot video tutorials created by George Thomas. Show Notes:   Inbound 2014 BIG News Folks Sales [...]

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A Massive Review of HubSpot CRM: Pricing, Videos and Training Tutorials

September 16, 2014

**Note from Marcus: HubSpot’s new CRM is a big deal, something I’ve been anticipating for quite some time. Over the past week, our team here at The Sales Lion has been busy learning everything you need to know about the CRM, as Rich McElaney and George Thomas have combined to produce what I feel is [...]

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Content Marketing’s Biggest Problem and What Can Be Done About It

September 15, 2014

As I write this article, I find myself just 2 days removed from Content Marketing World. As has been the case for the last 4 years, Joe Pulizzi and his crew managed to put together an amazing event full of great education, entertainment, and lasting memories for the 2500 attendees from around the world. That [...]

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Why your “Why” Matters in Inbound Marketing – Interview with Tiffany Sauder

September 13, 2014

Quick question for you: do you just do marketing tactically or do you follow a marketing strategy? This is not a trick question but rather an honest query I often think of as I watch companies move into this new world of Inbound Marketing. In today’s interview I talk to Tiffany Sauder, the President of [...]

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