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#AMA Ask me Anything About SEO, Inbound Marketing & Entrepreneurship

Hello, I am Matthew Capala

Ask me Anything in the comments section below about SEO, inbound marketing, entrepreneurship and personal branding. I will respond to every question.

Ask SearchDecoder AMA
AMA Topics:
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Blogging & community building
  • Internet marketing tools
  • Marketing books & resources
  • Personal branding
  • Passive income & monetization
  • Career advice
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Life hacks
  • Productivity
You can also tweet your question at @SearchDecoder with a hashtag #AskSearchDecoder
A bit about me….



Who is SearchDecoder?

I create ideas people belong to that perform

I use big data for big ideas. I start by finding small things that generate big impact. I believe in strategy driving tactics, not the other way around. In my work user comes first and algorithm second. I do search and inbound marketing at Lowe Profero, the world’s largest independent digital ad agency.

I am passionate about marketing and technology

For 10+ years I have helped many of the world’s best known brands (Apple, Western Union, Avon, Smirnoff, TRESemme, Dell, LG, Prudential, Boehringer Ingeliheim, Tommy Hilfiger, Mohegan Sun, K12, NYT, Sotheby’s, Allergan, and many others) leverage the Internet in unprecedented ways to spur growth through inbound marketing solutions: SEO, paid search, content strategy, social media, blogging & community building, digital PR, and analytics.

Before joining Profero, I had worked at the leading digital ad agencies and global organization, including Mindshare, Mediacom, Zeta Interactive, the Associated Press, and Mattel.

Always entrepreneur at heart I have built numerous online ventures, including this one, and served as an advisor to numerous start-ups.

matthew capala - search decoder

I teach to learn

I am an Adjunct Professor at at NYU, where I teach a graduate course on search marketing.

I am a regular speaker on the topics of inbound marketing, SEO, entrepreneurship, and personal branding. I delivered memorable keynotes at How to Get Funding from a Shark 2 (view deck) and the 40th Anniversary of CEANY. I  spoke at numerous conferences (Great Ideas at C-LevelMarketingWeekNYCManhattan Chamber of CommerceInternational Association of Business Communicators), various universities, trade shows and corporate retreats.

I contribute to couple multichannel magazines, including Sparksheet, Search Marketing Standard, Mobile Marketer, and Multichannel Merchant among others. More.

I write on Medium.

I am a blogger.

I curate SEO for Adults and Personal Brand.


I am a student of life

I lived in Poland until the age of 23. I moved to New York 10 years ago, where I have led multiple lives: construction worker, scaffold operator, waiter, office manager, digital marketer, consultant, trainer, entrepreneur, professor, and executive. In that order.

Screen Shot 2013-11-23 at 4.40.22 PM

I help others get ahead of the pack

Published on Medium, a better place to read and write, Away with Average: How Online Entrepreneurship Creates a Unique Advantage for Job Seekers, is a collaborative free e-book about personal branding. Constantly evolving, its content is live. Every sentence is a tweet or a conversation.

Away with the average

I am very passionate about higher education

I have spent a lot of time in the academia.

I have three advanced degrees, including an MBA in Marketing from Zicklin School of Business in New York, an MA in Mass Media & American Studies, and BA in International Relations from the University of Lodz in Poland.

I believe higher education plays an important role in fostering online entrepreneurship. At the NYU SCPS, graduate students in the MS in Integrated Marketing Program take a proactive approach. In 2012, I founded the Inbound Marketing Clinic to equip them with the tools to learn inbound marketing (and get a job).

I want to get a Phd one day.  Any ideas?


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9 Responses to #AMA Ask me Anything About SEO, Inbound Marketing & Entrepreneurship

  1. Ben February 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    Hey Matthew,

    Web Design Agencies are becoming saturated on the web. How can I use Social Media and Blogging to spur growth and stay ahead of the pack? I guess my question would be, what is one thing that I can do different than anyone else?

    • Matthew Capala February 6, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

      Hello Ben, thanks for your question.

      I wish there was this one silver-bullet advice that I could give you to get ahead of the pack. The truth is that it is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to keep posting, sharing, and building relationships with others. Every day, week, month, over years. If you are not in it long-term, the odds are against you.

      If I had to choose to do one thing differently (assuming that you are a small business with limited resources), jump on an emerging platform and develop a strong niche community that is untapped by your competitors.

      Look beyond Facebook and Twitter – they have scale but (as you said) those platforms get saturated.

      Here are couple social / blogging platforms that you may want to look into for big hits:

      Quora – answer questions related to your business, keep answering

      Reddit – not easy for businesses, you need to be very authentic, but has a HUGE upside

      Medium – can you write?

      SlideShare – even introverts can kill it!

      Here are couple posts with case studies that may help you find that killer ‘thing':





      Hope it helps?

      Keep me posted what worked for you!

  2. Ben February 6, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Does this help? Definitely! I love it. Yes, I believe that I can write and I’m about to jump on the Medium wave. That said, we will see if the belief in my own writing translates to an actual audience who believes the same, which leads me to my next question.

    I’ve been hearing a strong opinion that guest blogging is now less important for Google/SEO. Now, a couple years ago having guest bloggers was the next best thing to chocolate pudding. What is your stance on Guest Blogging and it’s recent, if any, effect on SEO?

  3. Matthew Capala February 6, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

    Sure thing Ben, I think you are referring to the ‘decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO’ piece that Matt Cutts recently wrote on his blog:

    My opinion: ‘guest blogging for SEO’ is dead, long live guest blogging!

    I think everyone on the Web is sick and tired of spam and low-quality content that gets rewritten and recycled by black-hat SEOs across article directories and other shady places.

    If you get to guest blog for Mashable or other reputable blogs, why would this be bad SEO?

    Legit guest blogging works, spam doesn’t.

    I think it is crazy how much time people spend analyzing what Matt Cutts said, didn’t say, might have said, will say and on and on. If those folks spent same amount of time doing good marketing and writing great content people love, they would not need to worry about what Matt Cutts is saying.

    If you are paying a company oversees $100 a month for SEO, yes, you should start to worry bc they are spinning articles and guest posts for ‘link building; that will def get you in trouble with Google.

    Let’s make the Web a better place, shall we? :-)

  4. Darren February 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    Hey Matt,
    Im an affiliate, working mostly by myself all day so sometimes I struggle to find new/innovative ideas for projects I’m running to differentiate my site from other affiliate sites.
    Question 1 – Do you have any methods to combat this?

    My latest tactic is based around trying to drum up interest/coverage via PR with niches that are seasonal.
    Here is an actionable question/request from me…Ive just started a dating comparison site – hit me with a unique idea for my ‘boring comparison’ site. Its nearly Valentines Day, so I’m expecting big things :)

    • Matthew Capala February 7, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      Hello Darren,

      Here is an affiliate marketing idea for you for the V day.

      Nothing connects people like chocolate. 1.6 million people search for the word chocolate a year in the US on Google. There is tons of opportunity to talk about chocolate in an engaging way… because people love chocolate.

      Create interesting memes around chocolate and use affiliate partnerships with leading chocolate gifting brands like Godiva.

      Let me know how it goes.

  5. Clayburn February 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    Hey, Matt.

    What were your biggest challenges getting started in SEO and how did you decide that was something you wanted to pursue?

  6. Matthew Capala February 7, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    Hello Clayburn, thanks for your question

    I think the biggest challenge to start in SEO is that you need to get out of your comfort zone (and out of the couch).


    You need to constantly experiment and try new approaches, constantly read blog posts and forums, you need to be on social media and you should blog, and – most importantly – you have to build relationships with other SEOs so that you can learn from them.

    SEO is ultimately learned by experience, while reading books and blog posts provide a great foundation. A lot of people don’t have it. They choose 9-6. So I think the challenge is that it requires a lot of time and discipline to become an SEO, and you need to be very entrepreneurial to succeed.

    Second, you need to be both technical and creative in SEO, which means you need the type of people who can understand both content marketing and how to do mark-up. That scares marketers who consider themselves one way or the other.

    I am very entrepreneurial so I was looking for an area of marketing that is constantly growing and evolving because I love to learn and I am passionate about it. I transitioned from PPC into SEO because it offers me more opportunity to learn.

    There is also huge demand for SEO professionals so I thought I would have better chances of breaking through the clutter when I was trying to get a job during the recession – I chose SEO to brand myself and stand out using blogging and social media to get jobs at the Associate Press and Matte early in my career. I talked about more here:

  7. Mina Doroudi February 28, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Hey Matthew,

    I’m an entrepreneur and software engineer, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to improve my public speaking, and I loved your article about it. I’m from Iran and came to the US 12 years ago, so I’m in the same boat as you were :).
    I’m definitely going to by Carnegie’s book that you mentioned, and follow your advice. I was wondering if you would recommend some other free/online resources?


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