I’m Gregory Lee, and Blend SEO is my blog, consulting company and an integrated or unified approach to marketing.
Today, anything that happens (whether in the real world or online) has an impact online. Because people are writing, posting, tweeting, sharing and reviewing about it. That includes consumers, journalists, entertainers, bloggers, social media influencers, micro-influencers and even your competitors, vendors, suppliers and customers. The job of SEO is to look at those online footprints, figure out how to point them to your brand and make more of them. The Blend SEO approach is to look at any communications and optimize them to boost your visibility throughout a customer’s online journey.
This approach considers your audiences and all their touch points with media and internet as they progress through research, consideration, decision and advocacy. This means SEO must influence the broader PR and media strategy, orchestrate outreach, steer content creation & optimization, and master the minutiae of technical SEO.
My client experience includes Secureworks (part of Dell Technologies), Delta TechOps, Delta Community Credit Union, Children International, Valpak, Wounded Warrior Project, GE Lighting, Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, Strategy & Business Magazine, Booz & Co. and plenty of others.
People ask how I got into SEO. It started by studying industrial design in 1994-1999. So, what does industrial design have to do with SEO? This is the question industrial design answers. How do you design something for a particular market, fit it into a system or line of products, ensure it can be produced economically with current technology and make it future friendly to new iterations & technology? That’s the thought process involved with industrial design — not too different from web design and SEO. Plus there’s the whole artistic side, which led me into graphic design (and the creation of branding, identity design & marketing material). In the early 2000’s, I began dabbling with web design. And in 2004, I was heavily immersed in SEO and direct response lead acquisition. My focus became designing, building and optimizing websites — building content, writing & optimizing pages, using direct response marketing techniques …and making sure the site was built right, the servers were sending the right signals, and social media add-ons were working.
I still dabble in web development & design, and am known to occasionally put together a finely tuned WordPress website. But most of my professional time is spent 9-5 directing the SEO department at Drum Agency. I do some consulting on the side as time permits.
Now, I’m all over new SEO things when they come out. I use testing websites to see how things are indexed and appear in search. When local SEO started, I took full advantage of it. When rich snippets showed up, I was all about rDFA, microformats, microdata and Yahoo search monkey (and now Schema with JSON-LD). When social media crept into SEO, I brought it into my fold. As conversion, user experience and semantic search lay the ground for mobile SEO, I cross trained with our creative department. I love being at a full service marketing agency that covers all the disciplines. I’m constantly in other directors’ business getting insight for channel integration with SEO.
Professional History (going WAY back…)
Feb 2013 – Present
Drum Agency (previously BKV) – Atlanta, Chicago, New York: Director of SEO
Direct SEO efforts for agency clients.
JAN 2012 – Jan 2013
BKV – Atlanta, GA: SEO Manager
Establish, grow and refine the SEO department within the Media department of a full service advertising agency of 180 employees.
- Brought technical SEO capabilities to the agencies services
- Evangelized SEO practices throughout the agency
- Developed SEO department practices and procedures
- Led the SEO department through 200% client growth
- Trained entry level staff to create some of the top traffic and conversion driving content for a client
- Developed and led client SEO campaigns – onsite and offsite
2004 – 2010
JAN 2010 – JAN 2012
Medium Blue – Atlanta, GA: SEO Research and Development Technician
Research and Develop Solutions for SEO Strategies in New Spaces and for Under-performing Clients
- Developed on-site and off-site SEO strategy for international website covering 5 countries
- Created Google, Bing and Yahoo Local SEO process for team to perform for clients
- Initiated structured data optimization for videos, reviews, and products
- Successfully submitted client into Google News results based on first click free condition of Google News terms
- Identified and solved technical website and server issues for client websites identified as yielding poor SEO performance
- Found new strategies to grow client SEO initiatives
2004 – 2010
GLiD – Charleston, SC: In-House Freelance Contractor for Internet Marketing Client
My roles: SEO, Direct Response Copy Writing, Graphic Design, Web Development, Account Manager working with clients and offshore work force
- Learned and practiced direct response marketing techniques
- Learned SEO from Bruce Clay training material and practicing on websites
- Created lead generation websites with WordPress, Joomla, HTML and CSS
2003 – 2004
Anchor Sign – Graphic Designer, Illustration Artist
- Created marketing plan and branding standards for $11 million company. Created new print advertising, website, proposals, RFPs, brochures, letterhead, etc.
- (2/03-5/03) Designer & illustrator in fast paced environment to create environmental signage and presentations for national clients such as Blockbuster, Kinko’s, Starbucks, Quiznos, Skechers, EB Games, Extended Stay America, Thomasville Furnature and others
2001 – 2003
GLiD – Cincinnati, OH and Charleston, SC: Freelance Graphic and Industrial Design
Created logos/branding/identity systems, ads, packaging, website layouts as solo freelancer or with groups for these and other clients:
- Fisher Design Firm – Worked with graphic and industrial designers in Cincinnati on packaging for Dial, Kroger, B&W, Palmolive
- Slicker Web Army – Web site layout for various Charleston clients
- Pratt-Thomas, Epting & Walker Attorneys At Law – Logo, print advertising and identity system
- Radekopf & Associates – Logo, ID system, print and web ads for commercial real estate broker
- Concise Concepts – Brainstorming, graphic design and corp identities for various Cincinnati clients
- University Psychiatric Services: Center for Threat Assessment & Center for Brain Injury Assessment – Created logos and brochure.
- Brocar Products – Developed products for the landscape industry, analyzed product patents, created catalog layout and magazine ads
- Global Mortgage – Created print and online marketing materials for Charleston lending broker
1999 – 2001
Brocar Products – Cincinnati, OH: Graphic Designer, Industrial Designer
Industrial design, branding and oversaw initial manufacturing for product line: high chair, booster seat, diaper changing table and child restroom seat for commercial & hospitality markets.
- Created product line name and identity through graphic and industrial design
- Designed and managed branding on product, packaging, instructions, labels and print ads
- Ensured quality and design intent with manufacturer engineers and vendor
1997 – 1999
Chiron Diagnostics – Oberlin, OH: Industrial Design Co-op
- Created concept sketches and models for medical products
- Designed corrugated packaging
Index (now Fisher) Design – Cincinnati, OH: Industrial Design Co-op
- Fabricated models for consumer electronics industry
- Helped developed packaging graphics for Proctor and Gamble