I specialize in technical organic search engine optimization services, from Panda optimization to penalty recovery, site audits to site architecture consulting. I bring to the table skills not only in SEO, but also significant business management and startup experience as well as extensive programming experience.

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Michael Cottam is a freelance SEO consultant based in Bend, Oregon, USA

SEO Consultant Michael Cottam


"Michael's depth of experience and success in even highly competitive fields makes him a terrific choice as a consultant or partner. There is perhaps, no greater praise I can offer than this: I've tried to hire Michael personally at SEOmoz. He's that good."

- Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, founder of Sparktoro

"I've known and worked with Michael Cottam for years. He attacks problems with an intense focus and will not rest until he's cracked them. Michael focus on continuous improvement, both personally and professionally, speak to the well-rounded technologist he is. I'd work with Michael again in a heartbeat; I'd definitely want Michael on my team."

- Scott Hanselman, Vice President of Developer Community, Microsoft

"I am so grateful to be able to benefit from Michael Cottam's SEO expertise. We're a growing content business in the aging care industry and with his help, have doubled our organic search traffic over 18 months - and continue to see steady improvement. I learn so much and get so many actionable ideas for improvement in every conversation. His strategies and tactics are far more effective than the vast majority of SEO consultants. Given the impressive results, he's more than worth his fee! I also appreciate that he doesn't require a monthly retainer like so many others, especially those who spend most of their billable hours on useless metrics reports and keyword monitoring. On a personal level, he's a kind and interesting person that I always enjoy speaking with. And, he shared (pro bono!) his personal experience and clever solution in an article on our site that has helped countless families stay connected with their loved ones living in nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic, bringing much needed comfort to a vulnerable population."

- Connie Chow, Founder at DailyCaring.com

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I offer SEO consulting services to clients ranging from small, family-owned businesses to international brands that are household names.

My clients are from all over the world, including, most European countries, most southeast Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand, and even obscure places like Dubai, Peru, Trinidad, Iceland, and the Galapagos Islands. Click here to see a list of my past clients.

I’ve spoken at a number of conferences including MozCon, SearchFest, and Innotech. I’ve been a guest on many podcasts, webinars, and panels. I served on the board of SEMpdx for several years, and helped put on their Engage conferences. See the full list of my past speaking engagements.

I’ve done Whiteboard Friday videos for Moz, and written about a dozen articles for the Moz main blog, plus articles for Raven Tools, 3Q Digital, Act-On, Outspoken Media, and AboutUs.org. See the full list of my articles here.

Improving your search engine rankings today involves many skills and techniques, from link-building to on-page optimization to click-through and conversion testing…and Google, Yahoo! and Bing are changing the rules all the time.  It’s more than just making your site search engine friendly. What worked great a year ago might not work so well today–in fact, it might even get you penalized by the search engines. Google algorithm updates have been coming fast and furious over the past few years, with major changes like the Helpful Content Updates, Hummingbird, the Florida update, Medic, Product Reviews update, and the recent focus on E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, and trust).

Current knowledge of the search engines, technical SEO issues, local SEO, SEO tools, and SEO best practices, plus a strong understanding of internet marketing, business, customers, and conversion to sales are key to growing your business and making your SEO investment pay.

We help our clients with the following:

  • SEO strategy
  • site architecture
  • internal linking strategy
  • keyword research and competitive analysis
  • topical analysis
  • SEO best practices & site audits
  • on-page tuning for maximum benefits from Panda
  • Google penalty recovery, including backlink analysis for both algorithmic and manual penalties
  • local search optimization
  • backlink profile analysis
  • content marketing
  • ecommerce SEO
  • white-hat link-building strategies
  • optimization of your social media strategy and processes for SEO
  • pagination and duplicate content issues
  • rel=canonical configuration
  • rich content strategies, including search-optimized photo galleries, Google Maps API, embedded video, etc.
  • XML sitemaps
  • page speed analysis and recommendations
  • Yoast WordPress SEO plugin configuration
  • semantic markup via schema.org

I don’t do paid search advertising (PPC) for Google Ads nor for Facebook or other social media channels–while I am somewhat familiar with each of these, they are not areas I consider myself to be an expert in.

I'm on the Moz Recommended List of technical SEO consultantsI’m an Associate at Moz, and you’ll find me on the Moz list of recommended companies.

Michael currently lives in Bend, in beautiful Central Oregon, with his wife and their three children.

You can find Michael on Facebook, Mastodon, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and SlideShare.

Michael Cottam - Freelance technical SEO consultant - 20915 Royal Oak Circle, Bend, OR 97701

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