About the Big Oak Team

We are Internet Marketing Experts.


Look at the awards Big Oak has earned.

Top Local SEO Agency
Top PPC Agency
Top Local PPC Agency
Big Oak - Signage on our building in Richmond.

Big Oak – Signage on our building in Richmond.

Located in Richmond, Virginia (VA), Big Oak is a stone’s throw from Washington D.C., Norfolk and Charlottesville. We offer our services to a wide range of clients including:

  • Service-based and product-based businesses
  • Companies servicing B2C and B2B clients
  • Those needing national results and others looking for local results

Since our start in January 2004, Big Oak has enjoyed steady growth by producing superior Internet Marketing for companies ranging from national e-commerce businesses to local business owners seeking to improve website performance and traffic. With a firm belief in the power of focus, Big Oak is totally dedicated to the discipline of natural site optimization. The company prides itself on its innovation and ability to tailor solutions to match client needs.

It seems there is an endless list of people who say they can increase rankings, but in the end what really matters is results. Better rankings are just a small part of your sites success. What keywords are ranking? Are you ranking for keywords that increase your ROI? And more importantly are you ignoring all the other things you should be doing. Better search engine rankings are the result of a strategic plan.

Our team understands this and we have been successfully helping online businesses increase traffic, build a stronger brand and make more money through client acquisition. Meet the Big Oak Internet Marketing team.

Chris Alexander

Chris Alexander

Founder, Big Oak Studios, Inc.

Chris previously worked at various technology consulting firms. In late 2003 he decided to strike out with Shell and formed Big Oak. Their partnership has allowed them to work in collaboration while having the freedom to concentrate on their core interests in the field of online marketing.

Shell Harris

Shell Harris

Founder, Big Oak Studios, Inc.

I am the thought-leader, SEO expert and company mouth-piece. I work with one of the best Internet Marketing teams in Virginia. I am honest and straight-forward, therefore my company follows that example. That’s a big reason for Big Oak’s success and our long standing partnerships and wonderful client relationships.

Alyssa Duvall

Alyssa Duvall

Search Strategist & PPC Analyst

Alyssa joined our team in 2005 having previously worked with Chris and Shell. Her project management, marketing strategy, and copywriting skills helped the company transition toward online marketing engagements. Alyssa champions the marketing, user experience and website conversion aspects of SEO & PPC.

Eric Gehler

Eric Gehler

Search Strategist & PPC Analyst, Google Ambassador

Eric has been a part Big Oak since August 2008. Eric brings online marketing experience from owning his own company before joining the Big Oak team. Eric is an accomplished SEO consultant and is the PPC advertising guru as well. Eric was made a Google Partners Community Ambassador by Google and is one of only fifteen ambassadors in the United States.

Phil Walton

Phil Walton

Search Strategist

Phil joined the team in 2012 coming from Longwood University with his degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Phil provides client support through PPC management, link building, blogging and research.

Caryn Ruff

Caryn Ruff

Social Media Marketer

Caryn has a degree in Fashion Marketing from the University of central Oklahoma. Caryn provides client support through writing, social media marketing, and blogger relations among other tasks. She is a transplant from the Midwest and doesn’t miss tornado warnings one bit.

Available When You Need US

Everyone at Big Oak has a direct phone number and email address that makes us easy to contact. We are located in the United States, Richmond VA and New York, NY to be exact. We answer the phone and respond in a timely fashion.

Innovative Marketing Ideas

There is no strict formula for Internet Marketing or SEO. Each client brings their own challenges and we custom fit solutions to your needs. We think you’ll be surprised at our creative marketing solutions.

Technical Knowlege

Marketing on the Internet requires a knowledge of working with websites, databases, e-commerce and coding…sometimes. Good news is we know our stuff if you need these skills.

We Know Our Stuff

We know what we are doing and being around and successful since 2004 supports our expertise. Teammates at Big Oak share knowledge, ideas and strategies with each other and with our clients. Let’s talk about your business. Call us 804-741-6776.

Recent Blog Posts

Learn from the top thought leaders in the industry.

Black Magic SEO: SEO Wizards

This was an SEO comic we did a few years ago. We thought we would repost it for the new generations of SEO consultants trying to understand just what the heck Google is doing. Black Magic SEO If you want to use this image on your site, please feel free. All we ask is that  you link back to http://www.bigoakinc.com for credit. Thanks and enjoy. You can find more comics and other images we are sharing at our Flickr...

Google Names Eric Gehler as a Top Contributor

Since the inception of Google in 1998, the majority of their customer service was delegated to their Product Help Forums. The concept of Google Founder Larry Page was to allow users to help other users. Part of that process was also to identify some of the “best of the best” users in terms of Google product knowledge, expertise and helpfulness. Once identified these users were promoted to the Top Contributor Program. There are approximately 900 Top Contributors in the world covering all the Google Product Help forums Our very own Eric Gehler was promoted to Google Top Contributor for the Web Search Help Forum this past month for his expertise on Google Search. This honor is among the highest Google bestows upon non-employees. But, this is not the only Google title that Eric Gehler has received for his exemplary work with Google. Eric has also been awarded: Google Partners Community Ambassador Google Small Business Community Advisor Google Adwords Forum Rising Star “Becoming a Top Contributor was one of my personal and professional goals. Helping people solve problems has always been a passion and keeping up with all things Google is a must in our industry.  Being a Top Contributor, as well as the other accolades, opens many doors which allow me access and continual communication with Googlers and Google products.  While under a NDA (non disclosure agreement) I cannot discuss individual items, but have access to beta test new initiatives, provide feedback and collaborate with Googlers.” – Eric...

Let’s Put Richmond On The Map

Let’s Put Your Richmond Business On The Map The Official Let’s Put Our Cities On The Map with Google has launched and Big Oak, Inc. is an official partner for Richmond, Virginia. The GYBO program (Get Your Business Online) along with the National Small Business Week May 4th to May 8th is making a large push to help small businesses get online. Why should you care? These stats speak volumes about the potential that a local online presence can provide.   The “Lets Put Our Cities On the Map” campaign sponsored by Google is out in full-force offering tools and assistance for small businesses. Here is a quick look at what someone searching for your local business might see. Businesses with complete listings are 2x as likely to be considered reputable When people search for businesses on Google they see listings like the one below. Make sure your business listing is complete with your hours, phone number, and other info so people are able to reach you. It’s free and easy to do. Source: Google/Oxera, The Benefits of Complete Business Listings, December 2014. As one of the Google Small Business Community Advisers as well as an Official GYBO partner and Google Partner Ambassador, I had the pleasure to attend the Google Event in Chicago on Monday April 27th, 2015 for the Chicago “Let’s Put Our Cities On The Map” Workshop to assist and help out a sister city. At the workshop there were approximately 100 chrome-book stations for the attendees to process their Google My Business listings. Attendees listened to the lectures and followed the step by step handbook guide provided at this event. The...

Don't Be Shy. Get In Touch.

If you are interested in working together, get in touch with us by phone at 804-741-6776 or email us at contact@bigoakinc.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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