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Resume

Hi there! My name is Gay Aida Dumaguing, you can call me Gay or Gigi (my nickname) - just don't call me Aida because that would be my Mama. I'm a 29 years old experienced SEO specialist and social media manager, born and raise in the Philippines, working online since 2009 as a freelancer based in Cebu Philippines.

Just click on the coloured tabs below to find out more about me, my knowledge, skills and more!


My Blog

Monday, August 15, 2016

Named to be One of the Top Bloggers in Cebu by ESCooped Media

August 13, 2016 – The Cebu Blogging Community (CBC) celebrated the 2nd year anniversary at the Mandani Bay. CBC is one of the fastest growing blogging community in Cebu where bloggers like me were able to share my learnings, tips, and offer a helping hand to Cebuano bloggers.

I’m actually one of the Community leads and founder of CBC on it’s first year (remember the CBC 1st year anniversary) and with that, I gave a lot of effort to the community that I forgot to push my own. So I decided to let others lead and take care of my own business for this year (at least).

I was invited to the event but being inactive to the community makes me question myself if I even deserve to be there, so I didn’t come not because of that but because my mother was not feeling well since Friday – plus I was busy catching Pokemons with my 3 niece.

So yesterday, I was able to meet up with one of the founder of CBC, friend, and Publisher of Escooped Media and told me that I should’ve been there, and handed me 3 certificates and 2 trophies – the (CBC) Founder’s Citation (2014-2015), the Top 10 Cebu Blogger Influencer for 2016, and the Cebu’s Top Travel Blogger of the Year.

Named to be One of the Top Bloggers in Cebu by ESCooped Media - Exotic Philippines Travel Blog Blogger Vlog Vlogger

All I know is that I will receive a certificate, recognizing my year of hard work as a CBC lead, but winning these awards?

To be honest I was shocked too. I did won an award before but me comparing to these bloggers in Cebu who have done more trips, more travel tips, more posts that I do, and even more known that I am, I felt like I’m not even half to what they are.

(Kuya – as what I call him) Ruben explained to me (since it was a shock to me – really, to be honest) that 15% comes from the votes within the community, 50% comes from social media and search, and I guess the remaining 35% comes from the judges. He said I beat majority of the blogs when it comes social media and search, and it made me only 6 points ahead of the runner up. He said that what they’re looking for are influencers, influencers are strong in social media and search, and that I have that.

I like this kind of system, not because I won. But because with this it’s not all about votes, likes, Alexa, maybe a 40% content but it’s more of were you able to give what your readers need and see’s you as someone for that kind of source in the niche? It’s not about who’s the best writer, who’s the best blog design, who’s got the most followers, or outfit, but who’s the best influencer in the niche – and I’m not really saying that I am, still unsure that I am Cebu’s top travel blogger up to now.

But with this, I’d like to thank everyone for the support, the readers, the fans and followers (on each of social media accounts), (81 – as I’m writing this) YouTube Subscribers, friends, fellow bloggers (who believed in me and supported me in the journey), my family, and of course God. I’m so blessed these past few years, and He gave me you.

Also, an endless thanks to ESCooped Media team and CBC!

Read about Cebu's Top 20 Blogger Influencers here!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

5 SEO Tips for Blogs

About 4 months after I was trained as a SEO specialist, I want to have a website where I could experiment my SEO techniques and ideas at. I can’t make my client’s websites as my testing area, not a professional thing to do for me.

With my 6 years of experience as a SEO specialist and working online as a freelance, plus as a blogger for 5 years, some fellow bloggers ask me how to SEO their blogs, how to gain rankings, and so on.

Sadly, I can’t just teach them and feed them my bread and butter, I can’t give you guys what I’ve learned so hard for 6 years in offering SEO services to my clients. But I can share you a couple of tips to help you boost your blog and implement at least a bit of optimization on your blog!

These are pretty simple to follow. If you really love your blog, have the passion to do it, this is no sweat! But maybe this is something to remind you and keep you on track, to keep you motivated to keep you doing what you do. And they are:

What do you want to write about?

We have different styles of writing. Some of us write the body of the article first before the title (that’s what I do sometimes), and some of us write the title first then the content (what I’ve been doing lately) but what’s important is that, keep your content within the topic.

Don’t talk about umbrellas, your outfit, or your life story when you’re talking about “top tourist destinations”. Sure, you may mention those words but don’t make a huge part of your article totally different from what is the intended topic.

Put yourself on your reader’s shoes.

With what’s said above, think about your readers. If they’d want to know about your outfit when they just want to know the top tourist destinations.

Also, don’t make it too long that it will take for them to finish. It’s like an old Filipino telenovela that will runs 2 – 3 years and ends up to one same ending.

Write at least 300 words article.

I use to write at least 300 words article for my blogs, but that was back then 2011. It never seems to be enough that’s why these days I write at least 400 words, but this is not a big problem if you know what you want to write, what you want to say, just like how I am writing this article now.

But why write at least 300 words? Because search engines like Google can read it. Google loves content, some SEO even says “content is king” when it comes to SEO. But think about it, Google can’t read photos other than the alt text you place within the image code. So how will Google know what you’re talking about, what’s the photo all about?

Link to your previous content.

This one is simple, it’s just simply referring or linking your latest article to your previous relevant articles. Like this for example, we’re talking about blogging here but do you know you can take advantage of blogging to boost your career? – that’s a link right there!

Why link to your previous, old content? Technically that’s called internal linking, your sending links within your blog, referring articles you have on your blog that talks about that topic, and search engines then finds out that “Oh! That’s what it is really talking about” and not think of it as is if it’s just another content on your blog. Plus, you can refer your readers to your previous interesting articles, and I’ll bet you want to click on that link – I mean, come on! You don’t want to boost your career?

Update regularly.

This is easy, especially if you’re passionate with your niche. What’s hard with travel is that you need to go somewhere, spend at least a day to be able to blog about it, experience it to be able to share and write articles about it. Sure, you can do research about it and write what you search about, but it can just take for you to write an hour or less to write something you’ve experience, comparing to something you have to search for. Just like this article, I am able to finish this within 30 minutes.

But anyway, updating your blog regularly helps your readers have something to look forward to, to read and hear from you. Plus, it helps search engines to understand that you have fresh content, and you’re a great source about this type of niche since you’re updated. This is actually in connection to Google’s “Freshness Update” which I was able to test years ago to my old blog (blog A) that I haven’t update for 3 months, comparing to my travel blog (blog B) that I update every week. Blog A dramatically lost its PR (when it was alive back then), ranking, and even traffic.

How often can you update your blog? As often as you want, but make sure it's something you can do, not something that will only just frustrate you. Usually, daily update is great for those blogs with multiple of writers, as for me I update my main blog at least once a week, and this blog at least once a month (which I haven't done lately by the way). If that's still too much, you can do once a month, but that is too slow, you can do better!

That’s pretty much it. That’s the main SEO tips for your blog from me. There are a lot to implement of course to optimize your blog, but this will totally help you.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

5 Things You Can Learn from my SEO Service Client for 3 Years

I’m referring to the travel agency that I’ve worked with for 3 years, the travel agency that I talked about to my “3 Years Result of SEO Service for a Travel Agency” article – the article before this. If you haven’t read that one yet, the go ahead and read it, and go back here!

5 Things You Can Learn from my SEO Service Client for 3 Years Travel Agency Cebu Philippines SEO Specialist

Patience is a Virtue

Working as a SEO specialist for almost 6 years, you’re able to work with different clients, encounter different expectations, sometimes unrealistic expectations. I don’t work for Google, or even friends with Google (I hope or even wish we are) though I do attend or do volunteer on Google events (because I love the swags).

Don’t expect that SEO is just a week thing, or you just need it for a month. Sure, you might see results on a month, but you could totally have MORE if you just invest and have the patience.

SEO Company is NOT ALWAYS the Best!

I did mention that this travel agency have worked with a SEO company before. That SEO company is still around, but basing on the traffic they client gets from their services, it’s not a great service. I was able to do more with their 3 years working with the client in just 6 months.

SEO company might be better to go for someone like me, a freelancer. But it’s not just a matter of working with a company or a one man team, but it’s a matter of hiring the right person for the job. A person who will surely do the job.

SEO’s Worth it!

They were not that big when I started with this company, and now they’re considered as one of the best travel agency to go to in their area. By just investing and having the patience with SEO, they’re able to grow their business faster and better, and greater.

But don’t get me wrong, SEO is not for every single website. Ideally, for me, SEO is best for websites that have to sell something – e.g. products and/or services. If your website is a blog or a website that has nothing to sell, but just to share, and you’re just earning through ads or paid opportunities, then SEO is totally expensive for you.

SEO’s Winter IS NOT Coming

I’ve been also to webinars by marketing guru’s and I do keep on hearing “SEO is a trick” or “SEO is dead” or “SEO does not work” and that’s because it’s not YOUR OWN PRODUCT/SERVICE. You’re most likely just reselling it. And buyers these days are smart, why go through you when they can get it directly to the producer or maker of the product?

There are a lot to consider before deciding on hiring a SEO, the important part is: are you going to earn more than what you spend for the marketing campaign (e.g. SEO) ?

Stopping Means Giving Up

There are a lot of SEO client’s that I’ve been with decided to stop the SEO campaign because they feel like they’ve already reached the goal. They’re ranking well, getting the ideal traffic they want, and all.

Please note, that SEO is a competition, we’re competing out there in behalf of you. Once you tell us to stop doing what we do, is the same when you want us to stop running in a marathon. You stop competing, and surely someone else will overtake you.

Before ending the service, I always warn the clients with this because I don’t want to pick up the pieces later – and yes, someone did ask me back to do again the SEO service on their website, and I rejected it.

There are actually a lot more you can learn from this client, I have other clients I can talk to you more about and I’m really proud of them and how I was able to help their business grow.

Do you have a business you want to grow? Then do contact me, I do offer free consultation, I’m online almost 24/7, and do reply within 24 hours. My SEO service might be cheaper than SEO companies in your area, but it’s in great quality – well, the 3 years result of the client we’ve talked about here speaks for it.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

3 Years Result of SEO Service for a Travel Agency

3 Years Result of SEO Service for a Travel Agency SEO results Cebu Philippines
March 2013 – I was working as a SEO specialist for almost 3 years, no stable job, no long term (as in more than a year clients), and need more clients not only for income but also for my SEO portfolio. Just few more months and I’ll be in my three years in service, which is usually totally a plus for the clients since I’ve survived that long, and now, I’ve survive for this (6 years) long.

I also own a travel blog, so there are these companies that do contact me for an invite to try out their latest food, tours, etc. and I’m also able to ask travel agencies if they could sponsor a tour in exchange of getting exposure on my blog. And this travel agency that I’ll talk about with you is a travel agency that I’ve got through blogging, asking for an exposure on my blog and then they’ve realized that they’ve been looking for someone like me – a SEO specialist.

So I did come to their city, meet, and discuss what they should expect from me, my services, what’s the future of their business if they do have a SEO campaign started through me, and other common questions and concerns of a SEO client.

I was very confident that I could help them in making their business into a success, they’re very kind people and they do seem to need the help, and I love helping, and I love it more because I’m also going to make money from it.

They did hire me, worked on their SEO campaigns up to today. I’ve been working with this travel agency for almost 3 years now, and they’re seem to be happy of the output of SEO service I’m providing.

Let me share with you, the data that I was able to gather for the past 3 years, data that will show how their business was able to grow with the help of SEO. And if you’re a business owner, or even a travel agency owner, this will show you why you should invest in marketing your business online, getting a website, a well-designed website, and start a SEO campaign for your business.

3 Years Result of SEO Service for a Travel Agency SEO results Cebu Philippines
The important thing to notice there are the Unique Visitors, Page Views, Bounce Rate and Percent of New Visitors, why?

Because Unique visitors, are visitors that are using different device, therefore, there’s a higher chance that they’re a total different person. Page views on the other hand, since the company is a travel agency, and a travel agency have tour packages, if there are a lot of viewed pages, that means these visitors have viewed a number of packages on their website and are actually interested in booking the tour with them. Bounce Rate is important that it should be low, because it means there are few visitors that leaves immediately to the website without checking out other pages on the website. Meanwhile, the percent of new visits is also important because we want more new customers, more new tourists to book a tour with us.

March 2013

Is actually the first month I started working with them. Please note that they did have a previous SEO COMPANY (notice, COMPANY. I’m just a freelancer) that worked on their website. Sadly, I’m not sure why or how that they’re unable to share the data on the months that they’ve worked on the client’s website. So, I have nothing to compare it with, and just crossing my fingers that the client will have the patience and give me few months to prove to them that they’ve hired the right person.

August 2013

September is the best month in travel, not sure why but they seem to have more visitors, more conversions in this month, and that’s why August has a better stats than March, because August is starting to rise until September.

The data provided in August 2013 is the 6 months progress, and I was so happy with this result and of course the client too.

March 2014

Notice, that we’ve more than doubled the Unique visitors after 1 year, maybe even tripled it.  By this time, I’m already almost 4 years working as a freelance SEO specialist and loving it. The clients I’m getting are also very happy with my service even behind the updates, and the worries they have about the updates, Google and all, I was able to bring them up to the ranking, send more traffic, and create more sales.

March 2015

Remember that we doubled or maybe even tripled the traffic a year after? Well, I almost doubled the traffic of the previous year, and multiply the first month into more than 5. This is a huge improvement, achievement, and actually as of now it just keep on growing.

I’ll try to update this post and include a March 2016 data, surely it will be a lot better, hopefully doubling the 2015 traffic.

Now, you might argue that the traffic does not matter, or ask if how about the conversion, do these visitors even convert to sales? I do respect my client’s privacy, so I won’t be sharing their conversions here or even privately talking, I don’t even talk about it with my friends.

But studies show, that 2.5% to 5% (or maybe a bit higher) of your traffic converts to sales - which is actually true. So, you do the math, since I don’t want to name numbers.

Note: There are some clients that you will NOT find in my portfolio due to confidentiality reasons.