Arsen will be speaking on SEO at Engage 2020 which will be taking place March 12th and 13th at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
Before starting TopHatRank, I was heavily involved in the affiliate marketing space generating insurance leads through SEO, media buys, email, and social marketing. Everything was good until the economy collapsed in 2008 and I had to close down shop. At that point, I started offering my digital marketing expertise as a service and formed TopHatRank in 2019.

We hired our first employee that same year and moved into our first office in 2010. Since then, the company has grown in popularity and recognition. We are now an internationally recognized, three-time award-winning agency.

2) I’ve heard many people ask advice on what the best eCommerce platform to launch a store upon. As an eCommerce SEO, what advice would you give them?
I typically advise choosing a platform that will fit your brand’s operational needs and budgets. As an SEO, I can find ways to optimize pretty much anything, throwing shade an eCommerce platform because it doesn’t provide access to, let’s say, server log files is not something I’m comfortable doing as it may excel at other things that make it very useful and important.

As an example, a lot of SEO’s complain about how Shopify forces you into organizing your store into “collections” and “products” silos. I, personally, do not see a problem with that. In fact, I actually prefer this as it allows me to organize the website into relevant informational silos and create logical navigational paths via breadcrumb optimization. Doing it this way also allows you to be able to continue to organize and re-organize where your products live (categories) without having to create redirects.

So my answer would be to really consider your needs as a brand first and not chose a platform solely on it being “SEO friendly”.

3) How have SEO clients that you’ve worked with evolved over the past 10 years?

Well, TopHatRank will only be turning 10 years old this coming September, so can’t tell you how they evolved over the past 10 years. But we do have really good client retention at TopHatRank, some clients have been with us for over 7 years. As a matter of fact, one of our clients, who was the second biggest merchant processor in the US, was acquired by the 1st biggest merchant processor in the US. Our client’s site was consistently outranking theirs for all of the important keywords, they saw this and decided to keep us on as SEOs and became our client. We are now working with on their SEO along with optimizing all of their other properties.

Now, I can’t say that our SEO efforts had anything to do with their success, but the fact that the acquiring company decided to retain us to take over SEO for them and all of their brands says a lot about the quality of work of we provide… I think.

Two more of our clients were acquired by PayPal a few years back. We’ve also helped brands grow to the point where we had to graduate them and assist with hiring internal SEO teams because their needs have grown above what we could deliver at the time.

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