Chris Kirksey, CEO,


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Chris Kirksey, CEO,

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Chris Kirksey, CEO,

This is an interview with Chris Kirksey, CEO,

Welcome, Chris! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming an expert in SEO, AI, Business, and Programmatic SEO?

At nine years old, I ventured into the world of online business with an eBay store, fueled by a passion for finding hidden treasures at yard sales and reselling them for a profit. This early taste of entrepreneurship ignited a spark within me. By the time I was fifteen, I had embarked on my next venture, selling reflector spray for license plates. This ingenious idea capitalized on the widespread installation of speed cameras in my area. Despite the initial success, the realization that ‘tampering with license plates’ was illegal abruptly ended this enterprise.

My journey took a pivotal turn when I joined the military. While serving, I discovered a new opportunity: buying and selling domain names. This side hustle evolved as clients who purchased domain names also needed websites. I taught myself to build WordPress sites, and soon, businesses were asking me how to get their sites found on Google. Diving into the world of SEO, I realized the immense potential it held. The profitability and safety of this work compared to the perils of military deployment were stark.

During my final deployment in Iraq in 2016, I decided to take a significant leap. I registered my company,, and transitioned from the government sector to full-time entrepreneurship. This decision was driven by a clear vision of creating a successful SEO company, providing not just a service, but building a legacy. My journey from selling eBay items to founding is a journey that continues now with building programmatic SEO systems enhanced with AI.

Your career path sounds fascinating! Can you share a pivotal moment or decision that significantly shaped your expertise in these areas?

When I started in 2016, we offered a broad spectrum of digital marketing services, including ads, social media marketing, and more. However, by 2019, I recognized that our lack of specialization was hindering our ability to scale effectively. This realization led to a critical, yet risky decision: we would focus exclusively on what I loved most and what our clients said was their favorite offering of ours—SEO services. This pivot cut our revenue in half and forced me to let go of half our team and clients. It was a calculated risk, and ultimately, it was the best move I ever made for the company. By narrowing our focus, we honed our expertise, improved our service quality, and set the stage for sustainable growth and success in the SEO industry.

You mentioned ‘Entity Mentions’ being a key takeaway from the Google Algorithm leak. Can you elaborate on how businesses can leverage this insight for brand building and improved search engine rankings?

Here are seven strategies businesses can leverage Entity Mentions to build their brand online and improve rankings:

Create High-Quality, Shareable Content:

Content that offers value, whether through insights, data, or entertainment, is more likely to be mentioned by other websites. Regularly publishing blog posts with data/graphics, whitepapers, and case studies that industry peers and influencers find useful can naturally increase entity mentions.

Engage with Industry Influencers:

Building relationships with industry influencers can lead to organic mentions of your brand. Collaborate on projects, participate in interviews, and contribute guest posts to reputable sites. Influencers with a significant following can amplify your brand mentions, enhancing your credibility and visibility.

Focus on Public Relations:

Traditional PR strategies have a modern twist. Getting featured in industry news, press releases, and authoritative blogs can boost your entity mentions. PR efforts should aim at getting your brand mentioned in relevant, popular websites, which can signal to Google that your brand is reputable and widely recognized.

Encourage User-Generated Content:

Encourage your customers and followers to mention your brand online. This can be through reviews, testimonials, social media posts, or blog comments. User-generated content not only diversifies the sources of mentions but also adds authenticity to your brand’s online presence.

Optimize Social Media Engagement:

Active engagement on social media platforms can lead to increased mentions. Share valuable content, engage with your audience, and participate in relevant conversations. Social media profiles often rank high in search results, and frequent mentions across these platforms can boost your brand’s online presence.

Monitor and Respond to Mentions:

Use Google Alerts to monitor where and how your brand is being mentioned. Responding to mentions, especially on social media and forums, can further engage your audience and encourage more mentions.

Local and Niche Mentions:

Focus on getting mentioned in local or niche-specific platforms. Local SEO can benefit significantly from mentions in local news sites, blogs, and directories. Similarly, niche mentions can position your brand as an authority within a specific field.

Building a strong online community seems crucial in today’s digital landscape. From your experience, what is one actionable strategy businesses often overlook when trying to foster an engaged online community, and how can they implement it?

One of the most overlooked yet highly effective strategies for fostering an engaged online community is providing exclusive content and experiences. In my experience, something like a Slack or Facebook group would be a great tool to leverage. First, determine what type of exclusive content and experiences would be most valuable to your community (for example, exclusive webinars, behind-the-scenes content, special discounts, or unique insights and research).

Next, publicize the benefits of your exclusive content to both current and potential community members. Highlight what they’ll gain by joining and engaging with your community. Use social media (shorts, videos) and email campaigns to promote these exclusives.

Lastly, utilize user-generated content, member spotlights, feedback and suggestion sections, and member-guest appearances on your content to recognize and reward contributions to keep the community engaged and active.

You successfully launched an AI-powered initiative, ‘Mosaic.’ Could you share a specific challenge you encountered while developing and implementing this project and how you overcame it?

One of the most significant challenges we faced was building a custom WordPress plugin that could efficiently handle the publishing of the hundreds of AI-generated pages onto our websites. The Mosaic initiative’s core strength was its ability to generate vast amounts of unique, SEO-optimized content quickly. However, translating this raw capability into a functional and scalable solution required a seamless integration with WordPress, the platform powering our client sites.

In terms of automation and efficiency, we needed the plugin to automate the publication process, reducing the time and manual effort required to upload and format each page individually.

The next issue was scalability. The plugin had to manage the high volume of pages generated, ensuring that the system could handle simultaneous uploads without crashing or slowing down.

Also, in terms of SEO, each published page needed to retain its SEO attributes, including meta tags, keywords, and internal linking structures, to ensure maximum visibility and ranking potential.

We overcame it by finding and assembling a team of developers, SEO experts, and content strategists to outline the essential features and functionalities required for the plugin. This collaborative approach ensured that the plugin would be robust, user-friendly, and SEO-compliant. The successful development and implementation of the Mosaic WordPress plugin marked a significant milestone in the project. By automating the publication process, we drastically reduced the time and effort required to get our AI-generated pages live. The plugin’s scalability features ensured that we could handle large volumes of content without compromising performance, while its SEO capabilities maintained the integrity and optimization of each page.

This custom solution streamlined our operations, setting a new benchmark for efficiency and effectiveness in Programmatic SEO in WordPress.

Many businesses struggle to balance innovation with their core operations. How do you recommend businesses approach adopting new technologies like AI while maintaining their existing workflows and customer relationships?

Balancing innovation with core operations requires a strategic and phased approach. Start by clearly defining the goals for adopting new technologies like AI, ensuring they align with your overall business objectives. Implement small-scale pilot programs to test AI applications, allowing your team to understand the technology’s impact and make necessary adjustments without disrupting existing workflows.

It’s crucial to assign roles to the right people who can take ownership and champion these projects. This ensures accountability and effective management of the new technology. Maintain open communication with customers to manage their expectations and address any concerns. By gradually integrating AI, strategically planning, and assigning dedicated champions, businesses can enhance operations while preserving strong customer relationships.

In your opinion, what role does data analysis play in optimizing programmatic SEO strategies, and can you offer an example from your experience where data insights led to a significant improvement in a campaign?

Data analysis is integral to optimizing programmatic SEO strategies, as it provides actionable insights that drive decision-making and performance improvements. We use tools like AHREFS and SEMRush for comprehensive keyword research, and competitive insights help in identifying high-value keywords. Optimizing the prompts and creating content to ensure the right topics and keywords are included in the outputs is crucial. By ensuring we have everything covered that matches search intent for pages at scale, our campaigns began to rank at the top of organic search within days of launching.

Looking ahead, what are some emerging trends in the SEO, AI, and Business landscape that you believe will significantly impact how businesses operate and connect with their target audience online?

One of the most impactful emerging trends in the SEO and AI landscape is the increasing sophistication of AI-driven personalization. AI is becoming adept at analyzing user behavior and preferences to deliver highly personalized content and search results. This means businesses can offer more relevant and engaging experiences, thereby increasing user satisfaction and conversion rates. Leveraging AI for hyper-targeted marketing strategies will become a critical competitive advantage, enabling businesses to connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways.

Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring professionals or business leaders looking to thrive in the ever-evolving world of SEO, AI, and digital marketing?

My advice would be to commit to continuous learning and be willing to adapt quickly. Embrace the latest technologies and trends. Build a strong network with industry experts and actively participate in professional communities to exchange knowledge and insights. By staying curious, innovative, and responsive to changes, you’ll be able to better navigate and excel in this dynamic world of SEO, AI, and digital marketing.

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