Jacob Stoops

#29: Kelly Stanze

Episode Summary

In this episode, we talk with Kelly Stanze, SEO specialist at Hallmark.

We discuss how she started in marketing, how it led her to SEO, and how she eventually made it to Hallmark.

We also discuss a ton of other topics including:

  • What it’s like to get laid off, how to cope with failure in a way that makes you stronger,
  • Agency versus In-House
  • Deep dive into Holiday SEO & Snowman poop
  • Talk about evergreen content strategy
  • Our thoughts on Google’s BERT
  • Google Search Console’s new page speed reports
  • Work life balance
  • Importance of relationships

And much more.

Episode Transcript

00:00:00.840 –> 00:00:14.009
Hey everybody this is Jacob Stoops and we are back with another episode of the page to podcast and today we have an extra special guest, and given that the

00:00:14.610 –> 00:00:27.120
It has turned into the holiday season. This guest is extremely appropriate to have on right now, but with us is Kelly stanzi search specialist at Hallmark. How you doing, Kelly.

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Good. How are you, I

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Am I am awesome and before we, before we kind of jump in. I’m Jeff. Say hi. Sorry, I forgot to introduce you

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Hey, howdy. Hey,

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We don’t care about Jeff.

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Yes, we do. Jeff.

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I appreciate. Thank you.

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We are. I was just gonna say before we kind of dive in. I don’t know if you guys have been noticing it like two events for me recently.

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Have triggered the fact that, and I can’t believe it, that it is holiday season, yet again, one happened about four weeks ago and it infuriated me when I walked into Home Depot and the Christmas trees were already up

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Like Sons of bitches. It’s October 1 like

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What the heck it and it just seems to be getting

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earlier and earlier and earlier every year and then yesterday I was in the line at Starbucks and I didn’t realize that it was the official release of their new holiday cups and

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Cups. Yeah, to put it in perspective. Like, I went today. I’m kind of a Starbucks fiend, and I went today and I went yesterday.

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Yesterday, I had to wait in line for like 30 minutes and it was insane. Today I went through the drive thru in under like under four minutes or five minutes. So it’s holiday season. So it’s really appropriate that you’re on Kelly.

00:01:49.920 –> 00:02:09.600
You know i i think i actually have one of the best holiday season stories ever as far as seasonality goes, I have an 11 MONTH OLD AND HIS BIRTHDAY IS NOVEMBER 27 and last year. Cyber Monday. Remember e commerce retail day job.

00:02:10.770 –> 00:02:21.000
His birthday was the day after Cyber Monday last year. So I actually checked into the hospital and started my maternity leave on Cyber Monday.

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Wow. Wow.

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Give him to try me.

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No, no, no. And he was worth it and

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You know what a good deal. Yeah.

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We had absolutely amazing coverage like my team is fantastic but it’s just so funny that I

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My day job at least is at such a seasonally relevant

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Company and oh by the way I’m going to miss the busy season and I didn’t come back until the week after Valentine’s Day, which is also a huge holiday for homework. So that’s kind of funny. Um,

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But then, yeah, even, even on the freelance side the side hustle stuff I end up having quite a bit of seasonality, just because

00:03:04.620 –> 00:03:18.720
I do work with small businesses and nonprofits. So if you’re working with a local photographer, you know her busy season is going to be in October, helping people get ready for Christmas cards and

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Nonprofit nonprofits are scrambling to get their, their donation campaigns ready for the holiday season as well. So it’s like

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Q4 is the linchpin of the entire year.

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It’s the busy season.

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In a for any agency Q4 is always the busy season. That’s where you like. You definitely are expected to put in a lot of lot of overtime. So it’s just call it, it’s just it is what it is. It’s the busy season.

00:03:48.630 –> 00:03:58.980
So Kelly take us take us through your career. Like I feel like I’ve said this a million times. I’m going to say it again in case there are first time listeners, the hallmark of this show.

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Is telling the origin stories of great SEOs. And not only that, but talking about just the Trials. Trials and tribulations of what it’s like to be an SEO day to day in things that are

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Important like work life balance. The, the mental side of things.

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And I, and I kind of want to dive into that, but so take us take us through your career. How did you get to SEO. How did you get to homework.

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Well, I took the winding road.

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I actually started accidentally landing social media internships in college.

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And my degree was an interactive design. So it was loosely relevant like, Oh, I can make this meme. And I can edit this video and publish this podcast and build a landing page, but for the most part, I sort of fell into the social media space.

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And I got hired by one of the agencies that I interned for in their KANSAS CITY OFFICE. After graduation, so moved down here from the Chicagoland area and

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Started working for an agriculture agency and I loved it. Like I was in Florida and FFA and high school and now a farm girl living in the suburbs and

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Then, a year and a half after they moved me to Kansas City. They laid me off. So I’m 23 years old really only knew my boyfriend at the time was now my husband.

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And was trying to figure out what came next. And he was like, you know, the SEO team at the agency that I used to work for

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Actually manages social media for clients to so you should consider applying there and I did and I got it, but ended up realizing that I actually loved SEO way more than I had ever like I was okay at social media and it was cool. I got to brag about some fun projects.

00:06:08.760 –> 00:06:11.940
But I would come to work every day excited about.

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All the things when I was doing SEO.

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And just, I feel like I I found my niche there and ended up kind of

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Getting tapped for a really large clients at that agency had and got to enjoy the dedicated specialist life for a year, which

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Anyone that has ever had just one client at an agency knows what a big deal. That is, and really got to spread my wings.

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About two years after I started at that agency there was kind of a shift in the business model and the ownership and I decided it might be time to see if there was a new chapter on the horizon for me and I

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Kind of on a whim applied for hallmark and got it and I’ve been here for years. That’s a lot of Q force to serve.

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But I’m throughout that entire journey I’ve also been doing freelancing on the side with small businesses nonprofits niche groups I helped with a website for a pig show in Texas, one time.

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Because I’m one of the few SEO specialist out there that does have agricultural industry experience so that I keep coming back to that. That’s hilarious.

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Um, yes, I do have a poop question later so

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Okay, I can, I can probably answer that for you.

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As a mother, you should be an expert in that at this point.

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Oh boy.

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Um, so yeah, I didn’t. I cut you off there. I couldn’t resist the end to talk about poop.

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So you you got laid off. What was that like

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It was awful. Um, you know, I had

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My boyfriend now has been probably six months and I just remember like hanging out at his apartment was nothing to do just crying because I had always

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focus so much of my identity and my career. Up until that point. And even after that.

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I really didn’t kind of understand how to shift like my self worth, out of my career as much until I became a mom.

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But when you’re that invested in your career and your this young, hot shot that had this cool agency job and you are going to take the world by storm. And then suddenly you’re unemployed and a city 500 miles from your home, trying to figure out what you’re going to do.

00:08:52.890 –> 00:09:06.360
That’s scary. And I think I was more scared of not knowing who I was, or what my career was going to be than I necessarily was about being far from home and a place I’ve only lived for just over a year.

00:09:08.580 –> 00:09:18.510
Obviously I decided to stay and put my roots down deeper here in Kansas City. And it’s the best decision I’ve ever made, but at the time it was

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Just so much uncertainty and such a blow to who I thought I was because

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I was supposed to be taking the world by storm and and forging a path for myself and now I’m just like standing here like okay

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I can pay the bills for two weeks on my severance okay this is nice.

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And it worked out. It was actually I recently wrote a piece for search engine journal about kind of like the parallels between my

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Mental health journey and my career and like just the the deep intertwining between those two things and

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I made a note of calling out that the best things that have ever happened to me. Usually looked like a disaster at the time. So I really bad breakup in college, losing that first job fresh out of college and falling into a CEO and you know at the time that was

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I’m getting old now.

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I’m not even sure how many years ago that was

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At the time, no SEO or social media really only had like some surface level vanity metrics that you could look at and I got into SEO and looked at this, like depths of knowledge that you could get from Search Console and analytics, even though they had just switched to not provided.

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And that’s not even touching like the SEO specific

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platforms like mas and bright edge or conductor or a dress, you know, we all, we all know the list.

00:11:05.910 –> 00:11:13.500
So I realized that I was actually for the first time really using both sides of my brain. And that was something I needed.

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So yeah, losing that first job and being able to sort of tap into a piece of myself that I didn’t know was there and kind of needed to be fed and nurtured was actually like a happy accident and yeah

00:11:31.080 –> 00:11:37.380
I was gonna ask. So like you. You made an interesting point about like the things

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That at first look like disasters, end up turning out to be really, really good things in your, in your life, and I’m a huge in the same as for me, I’m a huge believer in

00:11:50.730 –> 00:11:59.670
In fate and being in the right place at the right time. And there have been a lot of instances of that in my life. So now,

00:12:00.510 –> 00:12:16.020
With kind of that new outlook when something big like that happens in your life. How has that experience, change the way you attack problems or how is it made you better. How did you pull yourself up by the bootstraps.

00:12:18.240 –> 00:12:18.900

00:12:18.960 –> 00:12:20.100
Get to that good place.

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Yeah. Um, I think it’s really, it’s dependent on the chapter and the situation.

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You know the I’ve mentioned in passing a bad breakup in college. My coping mechanism for that was

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Okay, I’m going to take these out of state internships and like go live my life. So I got to spend a summer living in Sacramento, California. Now for a kid in the Midwest, like that’s a huge experience.

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And that’s the internship that ended up landing to here in Kansas City where I have this amazing, fantastic like said I love

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So yeah i i don’t know i think in that situation. It was like a

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Almost like a kind of juvenile I’ll show you type thing, but then when I got laid off, it was more about, like, okay.

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I think I can take a risk here because I have nothing to lose. I don’t. It’s not like I have a job to worry about. So I did go out on a limb and apply for an SEO team that did some social media, knowing that I would be stretching my my comfort zone. So

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If I had to distill it down to like one coping mechanism. It’s usually

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If I know something’s coming I stew in the dread for forever. And I get super anxious, but once I’m in it. It’s just like, Okay, what now. And yeah, you know, is this, is this a turning point. Do I need to pivot and typically when I have pivoted it’s ended up working out.

00:14:02.880 –> 00:14:03.840
Yeah, I think we’ve all

00:14:05.100 –> 00:14:12.720
Had to pivot at one time. I mean, I’m way older than both you guys so um I pivoted a lot in my career started off you know as web designer.

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It was interesting because everything to me. I think was a

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All luck. I don’t know, it’s weird. It’s interesting. I got it all goes because started off wanting to learn 3D animation.

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Really was bad at that but learned along the way was really bad design, but no one else did it.

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Learned code at the same time and moved into SEO, mostly because I was willing to take those chances and, you know, not many people were

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You know, doing this stuff at the time, and it wasn’t really a, you know, I lived through the.com boom and then bust. Right. I went to bartending school at that night because I was like, well, when the internet goes away.

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I’m gonna be a bartender, because at least I can make some money while I, you know, find something else to do. Luckily, that didn’t happen.

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I mean, I didn’t think it was gonna happen. But I mean, a lot of companies went out of business. At that time, and there was been through.

00:15:13.560 –> 00:15:25.890
A bunch of layoffs. Luckily not on the layoff side, but there were some companies I knew right away, like when it was happening and I was already on the lookout to go somewhere else. Because like you just some people were just sitting there.

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Yeah, what’s

00:15:27.690 –> 00:15:28.080

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So, so yeah, having kind of the insight and just having the bravery to be able to just jump and figure that out.

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Well, and I think there’s there’s something to be said for just when you’re in it. There’s certain level of like survival instincts that he can, like,

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I was, I was very fortunate in that I was only unemployed for two weeks.

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Oh, yeah.

00:15:55.230 –> 00:16:03.450
Yeah, most, most people don’t get that kind of that kind of luck following Ola, and I have not. I’ve

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See, I’ve been in the professional world eight years now and I have not worked at a company that did not experience layoffs while I was there.

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And luckily, I was one of those people only one of those times at one of those companies, but it’s just it’s a fact of the world like organizations re

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Organized they realign their budgets and it’s going to happen if you work in marketing or digital or agency side, whatever your role is client side or on the service side it’s going to happen. And I think a lot of people underestimate.

00:16:44.190 –> 00:16:56.490
Just that drive to just put your head down and solve it when you’re in it because that’s, that’s really where I was. And I remember a whole lot of those two weeks because I was in such like a

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Know the word I’m thinking like tunnel vision.

00:17:03.690 –> 00:17:15.900
For really figuring out what came next. Like I just remember for two weeks. I just, I went to interviews I filled out applications. And I went running. That was a that was only for two weeks.

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But then I did end up getting hired for that first job. And then I had this the first job after the layoff. And I had this like kind of moment where I was like, well, I’m probably not going to be doing what I’ve been doing. So then the survival mode kicked back in because it’s like okay

00:17:38.730 –> 00:17:51.180
Let’s figure this out. Sink or swim and it ended up being fantastic and I had wonderful mentors and that was years ago now and those people are still friends and mentors to me.

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So yeah, I just, I think.

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There’s just something to be said for the tenacity and the stick to witness to just get through it.

00:18:02.730 –> 00:18:12.330
And you underestimate your ability to do it until you’re actually in it. And it’s like, oh, I’m looking back and I survived that. Yeah, sometimes.

00:18:12.390 –> 00:18:15.600
You’re, you’re tougher than you think. Sometimes when you think

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So I’ve actually I’ve only worked on the agency side of things, it’s really been

00:18:23.370 –> 00:18:32.370
Interesting my career path. I’ve always wondered on like going in house, how would it be different than agency life. I feel sometimes

00:18:32.820 –> 00:18:46.440
I have it, like, oh, being in house would be a little slow because I’m only working on one website instead of 50 and then sometimes I’m like hey I would actually want to get something done working on website over 50. What were some of your experiences going from agency to in house.

00:18:46.950 –> 00:18:48.540
Um, it is never slow

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That’s good.

00:18:51.030 –> 00:18:54.600
I’m I’m never bored. That’s great. I think it’s

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Politically, it’s different priorities wise different resources, it’s different.

00:19:04.200 –> 00:19:17.250
But it also depends on the company. There are a lot of agile companies out there that feel a lot more like an agency. And then there’s plenty of agencies that because of the vertical they work in or

00:19:18.630 –> 00:19:31.020
You know regulations within their specialist fields or even just like massive size. They’re not quick and they’re not full of a ton of variety. So

00:19:31.680 –> 00:19:42.540
I and I hate to generalize agency versus in house because really, they’re all they’re all different. You know, my second agency was completely different than my first and

00:19:43.620 –> 00:19:48.600
My internship agencies were completely different than my big kid agencies.

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But at the same time, I think there’s the one big difference is kind of your sense of ownership.

00:19:58.620 –> 00:20:05.100
At the end of the day when your client side. Usually the buck stops at you.

00:20:05.640 –> 00:20:17.820
And you have all this extra risk and accountability that you’re taking on when you’re, you’re the client and you’re the last line of defense against whatever it is that could be going wrong.

00:20:18.420 –> 00:20:25.470
But at the same time, you also like have a way more ownership. I mean, some agencies, you can’t even tell people who your clients are

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So if you do something really cool. You can’t necessarily even brag about it. Whereas on a daily basis. I get to to be openly proud of what we’ve got going on and I can point at that website or the several websites. I’m involved in and be like, guys, I did that. That’s my project.

00:20:47.640 –> 00:20:48.570
That’s great.

00:20:48.840 –> 00:20:52.950
That’s a, you’re right. I think I have a couple of his studies that are just a

00:20:54.090 –> 00:20:56.940
Somebody in this industry to this.

00:20:57.780 –> 00:21:00.180
Yeah well and if I’m

00:21:02.010 –> 00:21:14.160
I mean it’s it’s weird because obviously there’s cons to any job I anytime I talk to a young professional now. Like what’s your, your, you know, major life advice I’m always like, there’s no such thing as a perfect job.

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Every job has its giant pile of poop. And it’s about finding the company whose giant pile of poop smells the least bad to you.

00:21:25.350 –> 00:21:26.730
But they all have good fit.

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And ultimately, like

00:21:33.600 –> 00:21:37.980
I can deal with most piles of poo, but I think

00:21:41.010 –> 00:21:45.120
my train of thought. We started talking about poop. And now I’m thinking about buying diapers later.

00:21:46.920 –> 00:21:58.440
Well, the funny thing is I always say to people like, don’t get me wrong. I like my job, but like if I had a choice. I wouldn’t be working, I’d be off on some island or, you know, who knows who knows where. And I always say like

00:21:58.740 –> 00:22:03.060
Nobody is going to be on their deathbed, saying, I wish, I wish I’d worked more

00:22:03.960 –> 00:22:08.820
Yeah, so that actually is really, really good advice because like I’ve had

00:22:09.090 –> 00:22:22.920
Jobs that I’ve hated and I’ve had jobs that I love. And for me, like, there’s always a reason to find a problem with a job. If you want to find a problem with a job and in something that I’ve had to learn over the course of

00:22:24.270 –> 00:22:39.990
My kind of professional experiences like sometimes you just have to be happy with kind of the imperfections of the job and appreciate all of the good points. And I, being a glass half empty sort of person struggle with that sometimes

00:22:41.640 –> 00:22:48.510
In yes sometimes you just have to like let certain things go and just be happy with the good points of have a job.

00:22:49.230 –> 00:22:53.100
Well, and I think SEO any job has its own

00:22:54.660 –> 00:23:07.680
unique challenges. But I think when you work in an ambiguous field that maybe outsiders don’t understand very well like SEO. I think there’s an added layer of challenge that

00:23:08.970 –> 00:23:14.430
People in other fields just might might not fully grasp, like I have joked in the past about

00:23:15.960 –> 00:23:16.800

00:23:18.150 –> 00:23:20.790
I’ve joked in the past about how

00:23:22.230 –> 00:23:35.460
You know, like a third of my job or something like that was just like, explaining things to people and getting getting buy in both the agency and client side and

00:23:38.580 –> 00:23:45.930
Sorry we so little sidebar about me. My husband and I have 26 pets, most of which are rescues

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And one of them is very opinionated right now.

00:23:48.990 –> 00:23:51.000
Whoa. That is a lot of pets.

00:23:51.870 –> 00:23:55.620
Yeah, do you want to do something with elder. Thank you.

00:23:56.850 –> 00:23:58.980
Um, my husband works from home to

00:24:01.350 –> 00:24:01.920

00:24:03.780 –> 00:24:04.740
Hey, where are we, yeah.

00:24:05.910 –> 00:24:13.080
We were talking about. What were we talking about Jeff i’d coming up attention. Sorry, I was marking the time second cut that out.

00:24:15.690 –> 00:24:16.410
A lot about poop.

00:24:18.990 –> 00:24:19.860
$28 whereas

00:24:20.610 –> 00:24:32.280
Let me get started let me get us started back out or started back up. So in reading your, your account I followed your account for a while and I didn’t realize until today.

00:24:32.760 –> 00:24:38.790
That, like, here I am thinking I tweet a lot, and I’ve got like a couple thousand tweets you you have 51,000

00:24:39.180 –> 00:24:47.310
Or 51 point 4000 tweets, which I was like holy shit, that’s a lot of tweets and then the, the one that caught my eye today.

00:24:47.760 –> 00:24:53.490
As I was doing a little, a little pre show research and I just want to read it because I think it’s funny.

00:24:54.090 –> 00:25:09.750
If anyone’s curious what it’s like to work in e commerce for for hallmark I got an email and the only content that showed in the preview outlook provided was snowman poop. And I had to ask about the snowman poop. So tell me about the snowman poop.

00:25:11.910 –> 00:25:22.440
Apparently there’s wind up toys out there that poop jelly beans and we will have a snowman shaped one as a stocking stuffer. I guess.

00:25:23.940 –> 00:25:28.500
Wow. So now I know what I’m getting my kids as a stocking stuffer this year.

00:25:28.920 –> 00:25:33.000
Yeah, last year we had reindeer. So I think this year, we have a snowman.

00:25:33.810 –> 00:25:34.800
Kids have the reindeer.

00:25:35.550 –> 00:25:35.730
You have

00:25:35.970 –> 00:25:36.600
Your poop.

00:25:36.840 –> 00:25:40.350
Or just know it’s Ranger the poops. Okay. Yeah.

00:25:40.710 –> 00:25:46.950
There’s a little brown jelly beans. Yeah, I assume this no man’s will be like my jelly beans.

00:25:48.270 –> 00:25:53.910
Never thought about that. I’m so sorry to the outside of all the poop. What’s it like to work at hallmark

00:25:55.440 –> 00:26:20.880
Really jolly Christmas tree started going up this week. But the biggest thing is Hallmark is a privately owned company and I have a very extensive NDA.

00:26:42.090 –> 00:26:42.900

00:26:43.620 –> 00:26:45.570
You don’t get to share all that goodness

00:26:46.500 –> 00:26:51.660
Yes, it’s a must tell you that my job is absurd. A lot of this.

00:26:53.220 –> 00:27:05.790
Yeah, it sounds like a lot of it is based around I’m immediately thinking with my SEO brain on it’s based around probably optimizing for a lot of these these brands in these

00:27:07.200 –> 00:27:12.450
This kind of different, different series and obviously I’m a huge Harry Potter person.

00:27:13.680 –> 00:27:17.550
Which is weird, because I’m a 37 year old man, and I’m into Harry Potter. So it’s not the most

00:27:17.880 –> 00:27:18.810
What’s your house.

00:27:19.860 –> 00:27:20.100

00:27:20.850 –> 00:27:21.660
What’s your house.

00:27:22.620 –> 00:27:25.590
Oh, of course. I’m Griffin door, of course.

00:27:25.680 –> 00:27:26.250

00:27:26.340 –> 00:27:34.920
The hero. But although I will say, I took a test. A couple of years ago and it placed me in huff and puff. So I don’t know what that says about

00:27:36.390 –> 00:27:38.400
A hopeless. Yeah, we

00:27:38.610 –> 00:27:45.390
Are the house of hard work and loyalty and snacks and that is where I go. Haha.

00:27:45.960 –> 00:27:53.700
There you go, well, yeah, there you go, that I think that actually does describe me pretty well. So I kind of get it but always want to think of myself as a griffin door.

00:27:54.870 –> 00:28:08.790
Yeah, and are so yeah there’s, there’s a lot of work that goes into optimizing for our licenses. But one thing that people maybe don’t realize is, like, I’m starting work on Christmas and like March.

00:28:09.720 –> 00:28:17.790
Because we actually have highly collectible stuff that launches on the site in April, that are most passionate customers will go after

00:28:20.640 –> 00:28:31.560
And it’s hilarious because I’ll be sitting at my desk, listening to Christmas music in the middle of the spring, because what I’m working on, guys. Might as well get in the mood.

00:28:31.710 –> 00:28:37.830
Christmas in July. So let’s let’s save that, because for those people. We don’t often

00:28:38.670 –> 00:28:52.170
Talk about at the beginning of the show. What we’re going to deep dive on but Surprise, surprise, we’re going to deep dive on holiday and seasonal SEO, but before we do that, Jeff. What’s, what’s in the news this week.

00:35:50.430 –> 00:36:01.050
Cool. So first up, I’m not really brand new news, but it’s been something that’s been in the news, since it’s been released, and that is Bert, the new natural language processing.

00:36:02.520 –> 00:36:13.500
Algorithm. I guess we’ll call it that is brought into Google, Google said it was actually the biggest update to their algorithm since rank brain. I think that came out five years ago.

00:36:15.300 –> 00:36:21.060
But it’s been interesting because we haven’t really seen any changes. I look at MA’s cast and Alec have ruined.

00:36:21.870 –> 00:36:29.460
Everything actually looks better than normal because it’s usually like a little bit of a stormy day. It seems like it’s a nice spring weather with all those

00:36:30.000 –> 00:36:37.050
Kind of casters right now, it’s, it’s an interesting approach. I thought it was something Google has been doing forever anyway.

00:36:37.530 –> 00:36:46.650
Maybe not naming it Burt but they have really been always talking about, you know, they’re trying to find the information, trying to find the the context between everything

00:36:47.310 –> 00:36:54.210
Schema has been a great part of that like trying to add meaning to stuff it just seems like now we just have a fancier algorithm to do that.

00:36:55.500 –> 00:37:10.200
Yeah, I’ve been reading a lot of articles on it. And at the end of the day it’s it’s not something we can really optimize towards though I did read an article where New York Times says that they since birth has launched they’ve lost a lot of traffic.

00:37:12.210 –> 00:37:20.610
Not sure if that’s, I haven’t seen any of my clients or anything like that. I don’t know. Kelly. If you’ve seen anything since the launch of Burt positive or negative with it.

00:37:22.230 –> 00:37:25.770
Honestly, I haven’t seen significant change anywhere. Um,

00:37:27.450 –> 00:37:45.870
I i think the irony of New York Times, saying that losing traffic is virtually supposed to negatively impact 10% of all searches and the ones that are supposed to impact our websites that don’t write for human consumption as well.

00:37:47.400 –> 00:38:02.610
So it’s, it’s definitely interesting to see that, you know, in this first wave, you know, one of the most world renown media sources there is is is one of the ones discussing penalties, but

00:38:03.630 –> 00:38:13.020
I think we’ve still got a lot to see as far as Burt’s impacts. I think this this season is one of search volatility.

00:38:14.400 –> 00:38:21.840
In general, just because user habits are changing with holiday shopping and that sort of thing. So I think

00:38:22.920 –> 00:38:33.000
When things sort of settled down in the new year. I think will maybe see a more mature version of of bird arise, whether that’s through updates from Google, or just

00:38:34.380 –> 00:38:45.600
The new normal kind of settling in. Right. But I also am of the opinion that if you’re writing good content that’s people focused, you’re going to be fine. No.

00:38:46.200 –> 00:38:57.030
I agree. I think when we look at it. The reason we have a website right it’s, it’s, we really want to be able to write for our customers. And I always have a little thing where I

00:38:58.020 –> 00:39:06.780
To little nitpicky thing but like I don’t call my customers users and it’s I don’t say very for users. I’m like writing for customers and running for people because it just

00:39:07.290 –> 00:39:13.710
backs that up. I was like, who I’m actually writing for I wouldn’t be like a my, my favorite user, you know, it’s like

00:39:14.640 –> 00:39:28.590
You know, it’s a something dumb that I always kind of pick on that, but I really do feel like if you’re just not trying to write to rank and you’re actually trying to inform it’ll be the most beneficial thing you can do for your side. Yes, and

00:39:28.650 –> 00:39:37.230
And honestly, like that’s that’s the core of SEO to begin with. Like I part of what I evangelize.

00:39:38.250 –> 00:39:42.750
And all of the the arena as I touched from a search standpoint is

00:39:43.650 –> 00:39:58.440
SEO is actually a form of customer service. If you do it right, you are there to fulfill a need or answer a question and SEO is just making sure that you are detail oriented about how you position yourself to fulfill that need

00:39:59.820 –> 00:40:05.820
So as long as you keep that mindset, you are probably going to be fine with Burt that said

00:40:06.990 –> 00:40:19.020
We all know that major algorithm updates can cause some blips and some destabilize stations and like I said, I think we’re probably going to see more stable and mature version of it early next year.

00:40:19.980 –> 00:40:32.460
So the funny thing about Burt and for me about algorithm changes in general is like honestly I’ve only been a part of one website.

00:40:33.150 –> 00:40:42.330
Well, I shouldn’t say that, but one one where I knew for sure that it was an algorithm change and that Google had just throttle.

00:40:42.780 –> 00:40:51.360
The site down and then later on when they made an update it throttled it back up and like for me. I’m a very bottom line person and like

00:40:52.140 –> 00:40:59.580
I think about birth, and I think about in that instance when I know that it happened as a result of an algorithm update like what do I change.

00:41:00.210 –> 00:41:09.720
In my day to day what what changes. And for me, like, really, it’s not a damn thing about what I’ve been doing, like, I’m not like

00:41:10.140 –> 00:41:16.020
I see a lot of people talking about other people who are writing about optimizing for birth and I’m

00:41:16.770 –> 00:41:29.730
And I’m just like, Well, honestly, like what I what I feel like Burt is really intended to do is to really break up and understand queries and understand the intent behind the queries and

00:41:30.060 –> 00:41:37.050
Hopefully divvy up the results by, like, hey, this query is someone looking for looking for information this query is looking for

00:41:37.860 –> 00:41:47.400
Somebody looking for support this query is looking for somebody who is looking to transact or buy something and to serve up the results based on that. Well,

00:41:48.000 –> 00:42:04.560
If you’re doing your job as an SEO, you’re already looking in. Maybe not at the level of a computer or a machine, but you’re already looking at all of these keywords that you want to target and you’re already thinking about the intent behind them in terms of what kinds of

00:42:05.610 –> 00:42:09.030
Web pages are being surfaced up and if you’re not doing that you should

00:42:10.200 –> 00:42:17.820
But for me, because I’m already doing that. It’s like, well, it doesn’t change anything. It’s like rank brain. It didn’t really change anything for me. So like for me.

00:42:18.390 –> 00:42:28.200
It’s kind of like a big buzzword in the industry and it’s something that everybody is talking about. And I just am like, yeah, doesn’t really doesn’t really affect me.

00:42:28.680 –> 00:42:45.960
Yeah, I agree. Absolutely. And I think the writing’s on the wall for this for a while, um, you know, Google has been very vocal about putting end users first whether their customers or just information gatherers or

00:42:47.430 –> 00:43:00.840
People doing research projects. Someone recently asked on Twitter. When was the first time you ever use the internet and I talked about doing a research project on beluga whales and like second or third grade.

00:43:02.790 –> 00:43:14.490
Just a little aside, I like that story, um, the thing is like micro moments were such a like hot buzzword for a while there. And really, I think,

00:43:15.150 –> 00:43:38.130
Burt is essentially placing a logic behind understanding those micro moments more if anyone is shocked that Google introduced a new layer of AI that helps people match their intent with their search results a little bit better, they probably haven’t been in search very long, in my opinion.

00:43:40.620 –> 00:43:47.550
It’s funny because we always see all of these knee jerk reactions. Every time there’s a an algorithm update and very, very rarely

00:43:48.030 –> 00:43:53.070
Is anyone actually one of those brands that tanks are suddenly spikes.

00:43:53.790 –> 00:44:10.830
And usually when it happens, it ends up course correcting at some point in time anyways so it’s still about the long game of write good content. Have a good site give the content, the technical structure. It needs to be able to be crawled and found and indexed and served

00:44:13.440 –> 00:44:23.850
This is, you know, for lack of a better cliche. This is a marathon, not a sprint. And I think the Burt rollouts IS JUST TO TURN ON THE RACE ROUTE.

00:44:26.100 –> 00:44:26.400
I think

00:44:27.810 –> 00:44:34.620
The person who comes out the worst. And this is actually the character bird because they use this image and everything. And it’s going to really

00:44:34.860 –> 00:44:35.670
Use image search

00:44:36.390 –> 00:44:37.380
How many birds.

00:44:40.770 –> 00:44:44.250
birds, birds, never got this kind of publicity. Yeah, exactly.

00:44:45.540 –> 00:44:57.420
someone tweeted that there are waiting to see what the cost of the domain Ernie SEO would be like in a week or so because people are trying to go after it.

00:44:59.700 –> 00:45:00.690
Crazy SEO.

00:45:01.830 –> 00:45:02.100

00:45:02.610 –> 00:45:15.090
Awesome, so do the other thing I haven’t news is kind of a just we talked about it before, but it’s actually officially rolled out now is the Google page, page report inside of Google Search Console.

00:45:16.320 –> 00:45:26.280
We’re really looking forward to this because I’ve really been trying to hone in a lot of my clients on PHP and just convince them like, hey, this is something at Google, like

00:45:26.820 –> 00:45:31.290
Here’s all these articles how Google says it’s important. Like it’s important for your customers. It’s important for search

00:45:31.770 –> 00:45:36.810
And still have a lot of customers who are happy, six, seven second load times

00:45:37.560 –> 00:45:48.330
And it’s like, no, no. We need to get better. And actually, it’s really hard to show when you have a million pages I give them like here’s a five page speed report or here’s 30 pages and

00:45:48.840 –> 00:45:54.930
It’s really hard to show a whole thing. When we look at, like, something like Google Analytics. We don’t have a great page report inside of there so

00:45:55.290 –> 00:46:02.460
I like the Google’s pushing this and kind of them, showing that they’re pushing it. You know, it helps me with my clients like look, now you can give us give

00:46:03.150 –> 00:46:15.810
Sorry, I’m getting tongue tied Google’s really like pushing this to show us that it’s even more important by giving it to webmasters and with anything make it an SEO factor and you have a slew of people that are going to push this just like

00:46:17.310 –> 00:46:25.710
Like everything else they put out like make your site HTTPS and just say it’s a ranking factor. Now SEOs are like making every one of their clients go HTTPS.

00:46:26.490 –> 00:46:32.730
It’s kind of amazing how we can push the whole internet to roll something out but page has been fairly tough.

00:46:33.120 –> 00:46:43.290
Because it’s not as easy as getting your certificate and making yourself, you know, secure, it’s a lot harder to accomplish. But some of the reports mean Jake were talking about earlier.

00:46:44.940 –> 00:46:50.310
I mean, I know this is experimental. I know it’s a first released, but there is a lot to be

00:46:51.510 –> 00:47:00.390
Wanted in the secret for it’s a, it’s great. We have a trend, but there’s not much else after that. So, Jake. I know you have an opinion on that.

00:47:00.840 –> 00:47:03.270
I have an opinion on everything SEO really

00:47:04.620 –> 00:47:11.040
Funny thing is like outside of my day to day job, like I’m so easy going and I don’t have an opinion, it’s like

00:47:11.580 –> 00:47:22.680
It’s like, hey, where do you want to go to dinner. I don’t care. And with SEO. It’s like, I have an opinion on every, every thing. And I’m now everybody’s got to hear it because I have a podcast. So let me tell you.

00:47:23.490 –> 00:47:24.750
The Page Speed reports.

00:47:26.400 –> 00:47:40.800
directionally they’re really awesome between both Google Search Console and what Screaming Frog has come out with the big problem. And the big, the big pain in the ass about page speed is just what Jeff said like when you’re trying to

00:47:42.120 –> 00:47:51.540
When you’re dealing with sites that are large and in some cases really large. There’s no way to give them enough of a representative sample of

00:47:52.500 –> 00:48:03.870
page load times to really kind of really make an impact. Right. If you give them 25 pages when they’ve got a million page website. Well, that’s like, that’s just dropping the hat.

00:48:04.560 –> 00:48:19.200
But in the same in the same breath, like you as a person. Don’t have the time to manually go through that many pages and pull down all of the metrics that tools like web page tests, Google page speed insights GT metrics.

00:48:19.860 –> 00:48:28.590
Lighthouse that they all provide they all provide really great data, but until this Google Search Console report and until things like Screaming Frog.

00:48:29.250 –> 00:48:38.970
It was really hard to go site wide and get a larger sweep of how page speed which trending on all pages of a website. Now here’s the here’s the flip side.

00:48:39.300 –> 00:48:51.720
I actually went in and tried to use the Google Search Console Page Speed reports today and I went so far as to send a screenshot to one of my clients who is struggling with Page Speed to say, hey,

00:48:52.500 –> 00:49:03.600
Here’s what Google is saying about your page speed and on mobile. I’m several thousand. I don’t even want to go into the page numbers but like 75% of your pages are deemed slow

00:49:04.260 –> 00:49:18.000
The other 25% are deemed average and zero percent of your pages are deemed fast and I sent them say go look at this, go look at this report and Search Console, Mr or Mrs client and

00:49:18.690 –> 00:49:27.450
I sent that and then like without absent mindedly like diving any further into the search Council reports. So that’s definitely my fault for not diving further before I sent it.

00:49:28.290 –> 00:49:33.390
I looked at Search Console and i and i clicked in like okay show more details.

00:49:33.870 –> 00:49:45.930
And I realized for the first time that like it is only showing a very small sample of if it’s saying like, you’ve got 5000 pages that are slow it’s giving you a sample of, like, five

00:49:46.410 –> 00:49:53.550
And it’s not even telling you what the issues are on a page on a page by page basis. So I was a little disappointed when I went in.

00:49:54.300 –> 00:50:09.750
It was a little bit of a wah wah moment and I’ll have surely have to explain that to the client when they go and look at it and don’t figure anything out based on the report, but it is directionally a move in the right step in the right direction. So I do

00:50:09.870 –> 00:50:12.480
Well, and I think the biggest thing that

00:50:14.160 –> 00:50:26.220
That report within Search Console and even the the paradigm shifts, we’re seeing in new search console in general is a new chapter in the relationship between Google and search engine strategist.

00:50:26.760 –> 00:50:33.510
Um, you know i i got started in SEO right as Google was taking away keyword data from Google Analytics.

00:50:34.230 –> 00:50:45.780
And even to this day I’ll meet with people and they’re like, well, what does our Google Analytics data say about our keywords. So I’m like, it’s not in there. It’s in Search Console, like I can get you keyword data.

00:50:46.380 –> 00:50:53.760
But it’s not in Google Analytics anymore because Google give us and Google taketh away. Well now it’s starting to give us more back

00:50:54.630 –> 00:51:02.310
And, you know, at one point in time we were all those people dropping and single URLs into the mobile page speed tester.

00:51:02.640 –> 00:51:12.720
And trying to use that to benchmark the page speed of our site and how we could perform and mobile and now you’ve got people like JOHN MUELLER everyone’s SEO dad who I love,

00:51:14.460 –> 00:51:23.640
Out there actually telling us how to answer our questions and solve problems and, you know, Danny Sullivan actually saying yes, there was an algorithm update

00:51:24.330 –> 00:51:41.640
So even if, at times, it feels like some of the reports aren’t as useful as we might like or you know there’s they’re still obviously experimental are in beta. At the same time, this is way better than the days when it’s like I don’t know my

00:51:42.030 –> 00:51:43.740
Query greatness.

00:51:43.950 –> 00:51:52.440
Yeah. And yeah, I feel like I feel like the, the, the little boy who complains on Christmas when he didn’t get enough great Christmas presents, but like

00:51:53.760 –> 00:52:09.330
I mean like if that’s actually that that theme aligns with what we’re talking about in a couple of seconds but directionally, like I said, it’s awesome. It really is. I’m glad I just can’t wait till like they add a little bit more behind the scenes and make me

00:52:10.560 –> 00:52:12.390
Allow me to be more lazy, I should say.

00:52:15.240 –> 00:52:18.270
Yeah, I’m definitely curious to see how it keeps evolving.

00:52:19.500 –> 00:52:26.550
Admittedly, pretty much every site I touch right now has load time issues.

00:52:27.570 –> 00:52:33.030
Or at least plenty of room for improvement, but I literally just sat on a webinar on Monday that was about

00:52:34.230 –> 00:52:36.810
WPS and amp and

00:52:37.890 –> 00:52:38.820

00:52:39.990 –> 00:52:55.620
Essentially, there’s no such thing as a perfect score for site speed. That’s always a work in progress. And even if you have almost instantaneous loading, there’s still going to be things that Google’s going to see and be like, hey, you can do that better.

00:52:57.660 –> 00:53:07.650
So I think it’s interesting, and obviously mobile really keeps the conversation on on Page Speed propelling forward.

00:53:09.540 –> 00:53:16.800
Don’t even get me started on how mobile cues end up impacting voice performance to since that’s on everyone’s mind as well.

00:53:17.520 –> 00:53:35.520
So we’re going to keep hearing about it. But I also think that we are still kind of immature in the space of Page Speed analysis and optimization were leaps and bounds ahead of where we were when I started in this field, but I think that’s like the next big

00:53:36.960 –> 00:53:41.190
Continuation of, like, what’s coming in tech SEO. Yeah.

00:53:43.260 –> 00:53:48.030
So Jeff, is that all the news, because I’m I’m chomping at the bit. I’ve got a story to tell.

00:53:49.050 –> 00:53:49.710
Tell the story.

00:53:50.640 –> 00:54:03.300
Alright, so we’re going to deep dive into holiday SEO and hopefully I can find some nice holiday music to delve over this section, maybe some Jingle Bells. But anyways,

00:54:04.680 –> 00:54:05.850
I have a story to tell.

00:54:07.290 –> 00:54:10.410
And it is, I think, very similar to

00:54:11.460 –> 00:54:19.140
Maybe an experience that Kelly might have been is not allowed to divulge as as much but my story is actually very

00:54:20.670 –> 00:54:21.720
Very much.

00:54:22.860 –> 00:54:27.480
In here, I’m going to edit that out. I just snapped food. I never do that. Um,

00:54:29.040 –> 00:54:42.330
Let me start over. I’ve got a story to tell and it is a bout a client who their name rhymes with bakery barmes. Anybody know who they are. Maybe, maybe not.

00:54:43.050 –> 00:54:59.340
And they are very interesting in that they make 90% of their revenue between November and December and basically their entire year is spent planning for a two month period.

00:54:59.760 –> 00:55:02.760
They’re busy period where they make all of their all of their money.

00:55:03.570 –> 00:55:23.910
And one of the interesting challenges, working with them that we ran into. And we worked with them. And this is a previous agency we work with them for many, many years, and I wasn’t always on the account. I was on it for three years before I ended up leaving leaving that ad agency and

00:55:24.930 –> 00:55:33.060
The problem was that they wanted a an SEO strategy and a paid strategy and it made sense for paid, but not SEO.

00:55:34.050 –> 00:55:42.150
Where they turn the lights on in September and when the season was over, they turn the lights off and they stopped investing

00:55:42.480 –> 00:55:50.490
And they essentially went dark. And when the new season came back around. They turn the lights on, turn the lights off.

00:55:51.120 –> 00:55:57.210
So on the paid side. Like I said, this is a great strategy because like Why waste all your money at the time of year when it doesn’t matter.

00:55:57.600 –> 00:56:03.150
But on the SEO side. This was a horrible strategy and no amount of us telling them that

00:56:03.810 –> 00:56:12.240
made an impact and till I got on the account and keep in mind I was saying the same thing. I didn’t do anything special. They just for whatever reason, were more ready to hear it.

00:56:12.600 –> 00:56:20.670
When I was saying the same thing. And they eventually eventually change their ways. But what would happen is, every single year.

00:56:21.210 –> 00:56:36.870
Our poor SEO teams would would be able to start in September and they’re they’re real kind of drop dead date for getting any they really honestly had about a month to a month and a half to get any recommendations that they wanted

00:56:37.710 –> 00:56:44.730
Into the system in time to make it on the site because implementation takes a long time. Well, the problem is

00:56:45.540 –> 00:56:52.620
Every year, because the this particular client didn’t invest the resources with turnover.

00:56:52.890 –> 00:57:03.330
Because you don’t have consistent work you’re working in an agency. They slot you where the work is so it would be new resources, they would be performing an all new evaluation. Every year the results.

00:57:03.690 –> 00:57:14.760
Would go up and as soon as soon as the season would would end, they would go down and you’d pretty much have to rebuild the damn every single year.

00:57:15.180 –> 00:57:23.610
And if you’re a if you’re a client and or if you’re somebody is working with an agency hell if you’re not working with an agency.

00:57:24.510 –> 00:57:35.700
I highly recommend against this and I highly recommend implementing what we just honestly we just called it an evergreen always on SEO strategy for the sake of them, but like a normal strategy.

00:57:36.420 –> 00:57:46.500
And luckily, we find it like we were we somehow magically ended up helping them, we were successful with them, and especially successful

00:57:47.130 –> 00:57:55.230
During my time on the on the account in terms of driving incremental gains in revenue. But the most success for me was when they decided

00:57:55.710 –> 00:57:57.990
To leave the lights on in January.

00:57:58.470 –> 00:58:10.350
And actually allow us to work ahead and have time to do things like work on technical and get those things in there already full development queue to launch evergreen content or

00:58:10.590 –> 00:58:18.060
Pages like Black Friday Cyber Monday and for oh by the way all of the other holidays that were big for them and to tell them

00:58:18.690 –> 00:58:29.730
Don’t turn those pages off when the season was over, because that happened to they would rebuild in a brand new black friday page every single year instead of just allowing it to

00:58:30.270 –> 00:58:38.040
Exist, they would, they would delete it and build a new one every year. Again, it’s not advisable. It doesn’t allow the page to age over the course of time.

00:58:38.340 –> 00:58:47.490
And it’s like sending a newborn out into the world. Every single year. So anyways, that’s my story. We were eventually successful we got them to keep the lights on.

00:58:47.790 –> 00:58:56.700
And that gave us a lot more runtime, which gave us a lot more opportunity to be successful. But now that that’s the end of my story. I’m going to let you guys jump in.

00:58:57.480 –> 00:58:59.070
Yeah, well. Oh.

00:58:59.130 –> 00:59:00.000
Did you want to go.

00:59:00.540 –> 00:59:11.520
Good um you know I mentioned earlier, it’s a marathon, not a sprint in regards to SEO that has to do with like the life cycle of content as well.

00:59:12.660 –> 00:59:30.630
One of the, the biggest struggles that any SEO has his lead time making sure that your content is online long enough before it’s actually supposed to be seen by customers for it to have built up at least a little bit of juice. And if you’re starting from scratch every single year.

00:59:31.890 –> 00:59:40.650
Google has no idea who you are or why it should care about what your content has whereas if you’re recycling the same landing pages, year after year.

00:59:41.670 –> 00:59:44.880
Google is familiar with you knows what you have

00:59:46.050 –> 00:59:51.870
You know there’s there’s authority assigned to that page within the domain, it costs you.

00:59:53.190 –> 01:00:11.070
Something about each acronym here because that’s another thing that everyone wants to talk about right now. Um, but you really don’t have the ability to build that rapport page by page with with Google, if you’re starting fresh every single year. So I think

01:00:12.270 –> 01:00:21.900
I’m actually really impressed that you’ve asked them to change their way is because a lot of a lot of clients are figure that out. Like, I still know clients at my old shop because

01:00:22.380 –> 01:00:30.990
Everyone’s still talks, um, that really take for granted the ability to keep evergreen content going throughout the year.

01:00:31.800 –> 01:00:44.400
And then, you know, when their, their peak season starts up there like little, why isn’t traffic picking up on me because you haven’t done anything to rank well for the last nine months. Yeah.

01:00:44.490 –> 01:01:04.020
And it’s really important. Like, I looked up some stats and like last Cyber Monday from last year was $7.9 billion dollars in online sales. That was just one day overall last year holiday sales were up 17.4% at like 120 $2 billion sold online.

01:01:05.100 –> 01:01:12.540
You know it’s if there’s so much competition. You have to do everything that you need to be able to you know to to do that. I have a client who

01:01:13.410 –> 01:01:28.110
Takes it down every year takes down their Black Friday takes down their Cyber Monday takes down everything comes back the next year with a different URL. Every time I don’t know until like four days before Cyber Monday, but it’s going to be. I try to get into that.

01:01:29.130 –> 01:01:35.040
Because I’m like I’m like I’m waiting to do a redirect and if I’m lucky if I get the redirect and sometimes

01:01:36.060 –> 01:01:49.350
Compared to another kind of major I think how major you are in retail that like people do see that and you know where they’re Black Friday is up all year. And they just take down the ads and put like come sealskin next year.

01:01:50.490 –> 01:01:57.930
Start making tweaks in that in July and August. Just to kind of make the crawlers know that that page is active and

01:01:58.440 –> 01:02:05.640
And we hit it with the big, you know, the big updates when it comes time for that. But, and then they see like even in the summertime.

01:02:06.390 –> 01:02:16.680
That page does very well. It’s interesting that you know you don’t think people are looking for Black Friday stuff, but they land on that page because it was just looking for deals, you know, so, um,

01:02:16.710 –> 01:02:22.950
It’s really fascinating. I was as much as where we’re focused in on on retail right now. I think

01:02:23.670 –> 01:02:40.320
It’s relevant to literally any vertical. So like in my agriculture days. If you haven’t worked in that space. You would never think of it, but there’s actually like a heightened season for cattle vaccinations.

01:02:42.150 –> 01:02:42.750

01:02:44.490 –> 01:02:53.700
And that’s those seasons align with when do farmers and ranchers have their calves born and when are they going to be needing to vaccinate their

01:02:54.120 –> 01:03:14.820
Little baby calves that need to be kept healthy and take care of. So, I mean, we can we can talk about seasonality in regards to all the crazy people standing in line on Black Friday, but honestly like these lessons about evergreen content, keeping your pages up they’re relevant to everyone.

01:03:15.870 –> 01:03:29.520
The relevant to the mom and pop shops selling candles that they make in their kitchen, they’re relevant to big box department stores, although some of them specifically a brand that has a bull’s eye logo.

01:03:30.690 –> 01:03:37.770
Is too big to fail. They could do everything wrong still outperform everyone else on on Google, but

01:03:39.030 –> 01:03:52.470
It’s really about understanding when your seasons hit and planning the rest of your year essentially around future proofing yourself before that season is even on the horizon.

01:03:54.210 –> 01:04:02.190
So how, how far in advance do you recommend planning for this. If you’re a seasonal business.

01:04:03.870 –> 01:04:09.300
I typically shoot for three months. If I can

01:04:09.840 –> 01:04:10.920
To have content.

01:04:11.340 –> 01:04:12.210
On the site.

01:04:13.590 –> 01:04:20.130
And if it’s a net new page my minimum is a month, unless it’s an absolute urgency.

01:04:20.430 –> 01:04:23.550
And my question is, why can you expand on the why.

01:04:23.820 –> 01:04:25.260
Oh yeah, um,

01:04:27.090 –> 01:04:33.690
So back when I actually started working on that sort of one to three month window.

01:04:34.800 –> 01:04:41.100
There was still the understanding that sometimes it took up to a month for Google to really fully index new content.

01:04:41.670 –> 01:04:59.790
After you’ve uploaded it, but that was before things like crawl requests were readily available now that 123 month window is partially to ensure that on the client side. People have plenty of time to see it in production and react before it’s relevant.

01:05:01.830 –> 01:05:07.980
There’s like even even now for a variety of the sites I touch. There are

01:05:09.150 –> 01:05:13.530
scrambles happening last minute after it’s already in pre production to make sure that

01:05:14.310 –> 01:05:27.450
This little otter, and is taking care of correctly. So that’s part of the reason the other part is it just gives me peace of mind that it’s out there can be seen it’s collecting a little bit of juice from Google.

01:05:28.830 –> 01:05:41.130
I know that it’s well documented and site maps. It’s not being accidentally blocked. It’s really just a safety net. At this point, wondering if maybe it’s a security blanket of sorts. I get that extra

01:05:41.610 –> 01:05:57.510
Month that I probably don’t need in there to feel better about the position we’re in in prep, but at the same time I would rather be ahead of the game and early and feeling comfortable, then you know crunching it in the final weeks before game day

01:05:57.840 –> 01:06:00.870
Right. You’re giving Google time to digest it also right it’s

01:06:01.050 –> 01:06:02.460
Going to be crowded indexed.

01:06:03.000 –> 01:06:07.740
But then the get through all those you know algorithms to help it gain that value.

01:06:08.190 –> 01:06:13.230
Yeah, so it gives birth time to think about it in between dealing with his pigeons.

01:06:14.430 –> 01:06:15.240
My goodness.

01:06:17.580 –> 01:06:28.410
Yeah I it’s not holiday related, but I have had a couple of experiences recently where in here’s, here’s the thing. Like, people still

01:06:29.190 –> 01:06:35.250
Especially non SEOs struggle to grasp this concept with respect to things they want to rank for.

01:06:35.880 –> 01:06:43.890
Sometimes, you actually have not sometimes all the time. You have to have a page targeting that specific thing and that’s that’s a struggle for for

01:06:44.190 –> 01:06:52.560
For some people, so when when we’re talking about holidays. You want to rank for Black Friday. You better have a black friday page want to rank for Cyber Monday, same thing.

01:06:52.950 –> 01:07:03.750
Outside of the holiday, the traditional Christmas holiday New Year’s season, all these other holidays to like you want to rank for them. You better have a page for them.

01:07:04.500 –> 01:07:10.440
But the thing I was going to say is that it does take time, like I’ve been slowly but watching

01:07:11.430 –> 01:07:17.490
A couple of new pages that were really important for some, some of my clients to different clients.

01:07:17.820 –> 01:07:26.790
And I’ve been watching the hrs report because it gives you a nice little trend line where you can watch the the rankings and see over the course of like two years.

01:07:27.390 –> 01:07:36.630
What URLs may have ranked in the, in the past, for any given keyword and these really important phrases for their business really high transaction stuff on

01:07:37.320 –> 01:07:47.670
This page launched launched in late summer and it’s just been slowly but surely meandering its way up towards the top. And it’s taken a couple of months for them to get

01:07:48.270 –> 01:08:05.460
From where they were, which was nowhere. And in, in the case of a lot of businesses. If you’re creating a new page you’re creating it for a reason because you’re nowhere and you want to be somewhere. It’s taken months to just meander their way up to the top so it takes time.

01:08:06.510 –> 01:08:22.110
We tend to refer to that process as the pages maturing um, you know, even if the code and the content doesn’t change one bit in the two months that it’s sitting on our site just doing before it seasonally relevant

01:08:23.130 –> 01:08:39.450
It’s still growing into itself. It’s still growing into Google’s understanding of it and you know it doesn’t hurt if people kind of stumble upon it, and suddenly there’s traffic stats that help Google understand that it’s an authoritative and useful page.

01:08:40.590 –> 01:08:53.700
So yeah I I tend to err on the side of get the content out there early and just make sure that it’s situated in such a way that if you don’t want it to be seen yet, but Google can still find it your bases are covered.

01:08:55.200 –> 01:08:55.590
So, yeah.

01:08:56.250 –> 01:09:04.080
If you’re, if you’re a technical SEO to and you’re working with your developers is especially if you’re in a seasonal business.

01:09:05.490 –> 01:09:17.430
They’ve got a lot of shit going on and they have a probably a roadmap that they probably built eight months ago that you’re trying to get into. So you need to be mindful of that, and

01:09:17.790 –> 01:09:27.570
Not only that, like if you want technical changes done. You got to know they’re not coming during the holiday because they’re going to go into what’s called a code freeze.

01:09:28.410 –> 01:09:37.260
For those probably starting before Black Friday the site will be locked down and the only things that will matter are making sure that the shopping cart stays up

01:09:37.890 –> 01:09:50.760
By the way, you should track that to to make sure that there’s no abandonment issues that was a big problem for the client, whose story I told at the beginning of this where people were dropping out of the cart and they didn’t know why.

01:09:51.930 –> 01:09:54.180
But luckily they had tracked the dropouts.

01:09:55.980 –> 01:10:06.780
But yeah, if you want technical things done those things need to be done many, many months before they need to be. You need to be working with the developer to get those in queue, because I can promise you.

01:10:07.260 –> 01:10:13.650
If you want technical things done. It ain’t getting done in the holiday season. No way. No way. Nope. No.

01:10:14.100 –> 01:10:23.850
And it’s also a good time and we were talking about Page Speed before but page speed will see each capacity is a big thing, right, because we want to have fast pages, but

01:10:24.540 –> 01:10:36.990
Black Friday sales. If you have a good sale, it can bring it used to be the go to Digg effect when you use to get your story on the front page of Digg and everyone come to your site and crash your site. That’s the last thing you want to happen to have your website during a holiday.

01:10:38.190 –> 01:10:42.150
gig is still thing. It’s not the same thing. There is no more dig effect.

01:10:42.210 –> 01:10:42.570
I used to

01:10:43.470 –> 01:10:47.400
Yeah, no I we used to have battles that we can get on the front page of it, which

01:10:47.730 –> 01:10:51.900
There is still a Reddit affect the read it as well.

01:10:52.380 –> 01:10:58.200
Oh, great. I run a forum on there. So it’s our subreddit tech SEO subreddit, get it out there.

01:10:58.440 –> 01:11:18.720
Oh, yeah. So it’s, uh, but yeah. Now there’s a big push that way. So wouldn’t be able to make sure you can handle the load, because I do have one client in general who caps it at like 10,000 users and then they have this nice little message that says we’re sorry we’re our systems are full.

01:11:19.950 –> 01:11:27.060
We didn’t this queue and you just sit there and wait until goes through. It’s not a good experience. I don’t think especially like since

01:11:27.510 –> 01:11:36.690
You mean you can throw money at the situation and get more server space and things like that. We don’t want anyone to not get to the products.

01:11:37.140 –> 01:11:42.000
Sometimes that might help with one of those like if you’re running a crazy sale and you know your number.

01:11:42.810 –> 01:11:55.710
800 line. You know, it might be like, something like that. But that’s not their goal. Their goal is they don’t want their servers to crash. So they put that in place, but I’m constantly telling them. Now we need to get that fixed for the holidays or we’re gonna have a bad holiday.

01:11:55.860 –> 01:12:00.720
Do you ever notice clients, not knowing when their site goes down in holiday.

01:12:03.360 –> 01:12:15.030
I notice I have a uptime robot on all my clients and many of my clients are some of them were thankful. They are very like I find out it goes down and let them know right away.

01:12:15.570 –> 01:12:22.830
It goes to my Slack channel and I just read it over to them. I did have one client who was not happy their development teams are happy.

01:12:23.280 –> 01:12:34.620
Because there’s so it was always going down, and I kept telling my client, which was not the tech team and the tech team kept on going like, why is the site down just keeps finding this so they asked me to stop monitoring it.

01:12:35.640 –> 01:12:40.260
Then they like we know we have problems. I’m just like, yeah, I stopped in quotes.

01:12:41.610 –> 01:12:47.940
But they’ve they have fixed all their problems in that way, but it was one of those where they just didn’t want me being the tattletale all the time, but

01:12:48.210 –> 01:12:56.820
For the most part, everyone is happy that a monitoring it. I even tell them, because it’s free. Go to uptime robot monitor your own site. That way you know it’s down because

01:12:57.240 –> 01:13:05.580
That’s the worst thing we can have. I mean, SEO side it’s for your clients, getting to a site that’s broken and it takes 30 minutes to get back up during the peak sale so

01:13:06.600 –> 01:13:11.340
So that’s actually a tool. I was not familiar with prior so I’m gonna go check that out. Thank you.

01:13:11.490 –> 01:13:16.260
Yeah, no. It’s awesome, it’s a it’s like I said it’s a free tool, you get. I think it’s free for 50

01:13:17.730 –> 01:13:31.050
Domains or URLs at a time, and I can connect to slack through it. If you use Slack do a hook and I get it right. I’ve like a for all my clients. I have also a Slack channel says, are they down

01:13:31.740 –> 01:13:35.820
So it gives me an alert. And anyone who’s on the team can join that and just say, like, if it’s down or up

01:13:36.690 –> 01:13:38.310
So it’s awesome, right. So,

01:13:38.580 –> 01:13:44.010
Speaking of sites going down in the holidays. Do you guys have any holiday horror stories.

01:13:49.980 –> 01:13:51.390
Don’t, don’t, don’t.

01:13:54.390 –> 01:14:02.880
Say, none that come to mind. But I think part of that may be because I’ve been up since 3am

01:14:06.210 –> 01:14:14.640
Yeah, don’t do that. Yeah, I feel like the holidays just end up being just this blur to me.

01:14:16.350 –> 01:14:20.130
And now, even more so because some planning a birthday party now.

01:14:21.870 –> 01:14:23.460
But yeah, it’s, it’s

01:14:26.100 –> 01:14:34.230
Maybe all that survival mode training from life’s disappointments. It’s what gets me up for I’m in it, just get through it.

01:14:34.560 –> 01:14:39.960
It’s the busy season. So I asked that question because I do have a story yet again. I have a story.

01:14:41.400 –> 01:14:42.450
Wasn’t my client.

01:14:43.620 –> 01:14:53.580
This happened probably six years ago that business, surprise, surprise, like they went bankrupt in we were doing at a previous agency some work for

01:14:54.900 –> 01:15:03.570
A retail a retail client competitor. I would say a Best Buy not Best Buy, but a competitor. Best Buy and

01:15:05.340 –> 01:15:13.410
We were doing quite well organic traffic was up things were going really, really well. Problem was business was still going downhill. Like there’s

01:15:13.830 –> 01:15:22.140
Only so much you can you can do with your marketing the that sometimes you just can’t make the business things work.

01:15:22.830 –> 01:15:37.260
No matter how well your how well you’re doing. But in this particular case, and I really feel for the team that was on this account because it really ruined their entire their entire holiday result. The

01:15:38.610 –> 01:15:41.550
I think it was the CMO I can’t exactly remember who it was.

01:15:42.570 –> 01:15:49.650
They had a they had a concern that the site was going to go down because it was getting too much organic traffic.

01:15:50.220 –> 01:16:05.730
So what did they do they disallowed it on purpose in the robots file on purpose. And luckily our team caught it. But our team didn’t catch it right away our team caught it maybe like a day or two days after it happened and got it rectified but like

01:16:07.110 –> 01:16:11.820
That type of stuff, especially if you really depend on the holidays. I mean, if you’re

01:16:12.480 –> 01:16:22.200
A business that depends on online for any any amount of revenue like that type of stuff costs in this case probably did cost people their jobs so

01:16:22.710 –> 01:16:28.890
It was crazy man. It was crazy. I felt so bad for for them because like they were doing great. And they were a great team.

01:16:29.490 –> 01:16:43.170
And then somebody steps in and does this without without their without their consent or approval or knowledge and completely tanked. The results for that entire season so like they were pretty bummed out about it, but that definitely happened and it just

01:16:44.070 –> 01:16:55.230
For me, illustrated the importance of continuing to educate people and continuing to educate the clients. And I just think I still don’t even understand the logic. Like, I feel

01:16:55.230 –> 01:16:56.850
Like that would be a good problem to have.

01:16:56.910 –> 01:17:02.070
But for whatever reason. Yeah, no man they did it. That’s a true story just

01:17:02.220 –> 01:17:03.660
Stop your server processes.

01:17:03.990 –> 01:17:05.190

01:17:06.600 –> 01:17:10.230
I just had my mouth just hanging

01:17:10.290 –> 01:17:12.900
Okay, sorry.

01:17:13.050 –> 01:17:15.000
Yeah, that really happened.

01:17:16.320 –> 01:17:26.850
No, I haven’t had any major ones, the one that would have almost been just like yours, where I had a client like tweak their application firewall.

01:17:27.510 –> 01:17:38.820
And we didn’t know that. And all of a sudden, like in Search Console, all these 500 Irby just started popping up literally a week before Black Friday and we’re just

01:17:39.690 –> 01:17:47.940
digging and digging and digging and I’m just like, what did you guys change nothing would something changed on the website because we’re having all these and after kind of digging it.

01:17:49.650 –> 01:17:58.500
One of my favorite things I like to do is run Screaming Frog get ridiculous amount of speeds, so that I get kicked off the website and I noticed that happens and

01:17:59.640 –> 01:18:07.410
It kicked me off and give me the same error. I was seeing and Search Console. And I was like, oh, did you change your protection or your firewall like

01:18:07.800 –> 01:18:17.220
Oh yeah, we were tweaking some of the settings in it was like, well, you’re blocking Google because they they allow Google through but they blocked the amount of

01:18:18.690 –> 01:18:29.370
The speed at which somebody can come through on the site. So they’re basically went from saying you can have 500 clicks a minute to 100 clicks a minute because they wanted to prevent BOTS FROM scraping their pricing.

01:18:30.480 –> 01:18:38.550
But at the same time, Google came through. I think the magic number was like 300 you know times a minute or something like that. So we tweaked it to like to 400

01:18:38.970 –> 01:18:51.780
And actually, everything cleared up. So it’s kind of like saving the day before the issue happened, but that was almost like one of my again a nightmare of a decision there. But besides that, like,

01:18:53.070 –> 01:19:02.940
I see paid side get crushed during holidays. I’m or because we get into code freeze and I’m like all right i’m planning for 2020 and then I see people

01:19:02.970 –> 01:19:08.760
Like crying and the quality time like that night and day. Like, I feel bad. This is one reason I’m not

01:19:10.200 –> 01:19:20.580
I’m never mad to be on the SEO side, especially because like they literally have to schedule themselves to where like on Thanksgiving. They have people that are on call and on duty.

01:19:21.180 –> 01:19:31.500
At all points in the day. Black Friday, whether you’re off you, and you’re not able to enjoy that time with your family because they have to have people on call all day every day.

01:19:32.310 –> 01:19:39.000
In Kelly. I like, I wonder, you know, especially with your work with hallmark if if that’s the type of schedule, you have to maintain. That’s crazy.

01:19:40.410 –> 01:19:45.750
Yeah, yeah. And we have multiple overnight pushes

01:19:46.770 –> 01:19:47.340

01:19:48.360 –> 01:19:57.840
This is the first job I’ve ever had. Where I have overnight phone what conference calls, and it’s fine. It is what it is like a roll said it’s part of the territory.

01:19:58.860 –> 01:20:09.900
But there’s definitely this this idea that you do need to be readily available, maybe don’t be where you can’t get to a computer for several hours so like

01:20:10.530 –> 01:20:28.470
When we’re driving back to Illinois for my family Christmas and December, I’m probably going to want to make sure that I have like a Wi Fi hotspot with me so that while my husband is driving. I can make changes to robots TXT files or something if there’s an emergency.

01:20:29.790 –> 01:20:33.300
But that said, we also kind of fall into certain

01:20:36.840 –> 01:20:51.840
Pattern of auto time of year I’m you know I’m not completely hands off for SEO, but it’s more break fix triage and troubleshooting then really active strategy so

01:20:53.280 –> 01:21:01.830
Let me ask you this. I’ve got two more questions and then because you’ve been up since 3am want to send you on your way for the for the weekend.

01:21:03.480 –> 01:21:19.620
This kind of discussion brings to light a very important point. And you being the mom of a soon to be one year old and myself being a parent of three kids under six one is going to be six months old ones having a birthday this weekend. Yay.

01:21:21.780 –> 01:21:24.630
How important is work life balance for you. And how do you maintain it.

01:21:25.620 –> 01:21:32.400
Oh so important when I was talking about my layoff experience. I mentioned that

01:21:33.210 –> 01:21:48.270
I wasn’t always good about separating who I was. I my identity from my career. And honestly, becoming a mom has kind of it really gave me the final push I needed to to be able to kind of segment my life a little bit more

01:21:49.500 –> 01:21:55.350
Obviously as an as a newlywed I put more emphasis on family time with my husband.

01:21:57.480 –> 01:22:07.020
But there’s something about the only having two hours a day between the end of the workday, and the baby’s bed time to get to be a family together.

01:22:07.440 –> 01:22:21.420
That really makes you set more solid boundaries and work life balance isn’t. I don’t even really necessarily like that term because the two never fully separate it’s about

01:22:23.460 –> 01:22:35.070
It’s about finding a way to mesh them together. That’s constructive for you and allows you to care for the people you care about, but still fulfill your responsibilities to your work.

01:22:35.640 –> 01:22:43.440
And sometimes that means I get the baby down and then I open my laptop and I’m working again or it means

01:22:44.190 –> 01:22:49.290
You know, leaving work earlier coming in late because there’s something going on with daycare.

01:22:50.070 –> 01:22:57.900
Like he had his little Halloween party at school. A few weeks ago and I got to go and see him and a little Halloween parade.

01:22:58.200 –> 01:23:10.440
dresses and he was like, of course, I’m going to leave work early to go do that. But sometimes that means that you know the the late night time gets redirected it’s really just about

01:23:11.700 –> 01:23:23.790
Setting your boundaries, making sure that you’re in the trenches with good people because balance of any sort, is not a possibility. If you don’t have good peers and colleagues that have your back.

01:23:25.980 –> 01:23:26.460

01:23:27.570 –> 01:23:34.350
But I mean, working in the field. We work in anytime you work in digital there’s a chance that you’re going to have to be on call or

01:23:35.910 –> 01:23:36.360
You know,

01:23:38.010 –> 01:23:43.380
Some issues going to arise and suddenly you know your weekends gone because

01:23:44.400 –> 01:23:46.500
You’re fixing something that broke suddenly

01:23:49.170 –> 01:23:59.250
So you just you make it work. And do you take care of yourself and you prioritize your own well being and the well being of your family. My biggest

01:24:01.350 –> 01:24:11.040
My biggest like pet peeve with this is people who don’t think that they need to take care of themselves. In addition to taking care of everyone they care about.

01:24:13.290 –> 01:24:26.130
I’m a big advocate of you can’t pour out of an empty cup. So in addition to like this two hours and evening. Those are family time. There’s also a certain element of like

01:24:26.580 –> 01:24:33.630
Okay. Hey, since my husband’s already up and what’s the baby. I can sleep in a little bit because I need some self care or

01:24:34.080 –> 01:24:42.690
You know, here’s a half an hour to take a shower and like just sit for a little while. Just because we’re, we are in this crunch and

01:24:43.470 –> 01:25:01.740
If you’re, if you’re not striking that balance of like yourself, your work, your family, and any other obligations, you get burnt out, and then you stop enjoying what you do. Right. And I love what I do. I don’t want it to feel like a chore.

01:25:03.630 –> 01:25:05.400
And speaking of loving what you do.

01:25:06.720 –> 01:25:14.670
I’m sure that you do this with with people that you work with, especially new people. But one way that I want to start ending this podcast and we did it.

01:25:15.540 –> 01:25:27.930
A lot last season. We haven’t done it so much this season is asking the question, if you were to give advice to somebody getting into the industry literally today. This second, what would you say to them.

01:25:35.550 –> 01:25:36.660

01:25:38.790 –> 01:25:42.690
We may be working on robots all day and we

01:25:44.040 –> 01:25:53.190
May interface. Most of the time through computers, but everyone you work with as a person just trying to do their best and

01:25:55.350 –> 01:26:05.520
The partners that I’ve worked with at any job freelancing day job agency in house as a client as a vendor.

01:26:07.980 –> 01:26:18.690
The end of the day, the most successful campaigns. The most successful sites companies, whatever are the ones with the people that really have each other’s backs.

01:26:19.440 –> 01:26:30.090
And understand the value that each other, bring to the table. So I may be the only SEO strategist in my company, but I’m not alone.

01:26:31.860 –> 01:26:45.270
I’m I make a point to surround myself with people way smarter than me and I learned from them and I have all of these friends on Twitter because, of course, you make friends on Twitter. When you have 51,000 tweets.

01:26:48.750 –> 01:27:02.220
But like really really having strong relationships and being open to relationships with curiosity and empathy. That to me is the secret to

01:27:04.080 –> 01:27:12.330
Thriving in your career. And that looks different for everyone, but it comes down to being a decent human

01:27:14.430 –> 01:27:22.140
It’s, it’s funny that is different. It’s actually really amazing advice, but it is so different than what other people have

01:27:23.370 –> 01:27:25.740
Have said, and it’s very, very true.

01:27:26.460 –> 01:27:39.450
I mean I, if you think about literally everything that FCO ends up impacting across the the stream of a company’s evolution.

01:27:40.620 –> 01:27:52.650
Like if you’re working in retail. The way that product is name named ends up impacting your website. So then should you be building relationships with the people that name the product.

01:27:54.210 –> 01:28:04.860
You know, depending on how your structured, you may be doing the keyword integration yourself or you may be having to train copywriters to do their own keyword research, in which case

01:28:05.190 –> 01:28:14.070
They need to trust you and have a good relationship with you or if you’re an agency side or freelancer working with clients.

01:28:16.080 –> 01:28:23.970
If they don’t trust you. You’re never going to get anything done, especially if they’re handing over the keys to the whole kingdom to you so

01:28:24.510 –> 01:28:35.520
It’s, it’s really about relationships and for all of the digital we do at the end of the day it’s another person sitting up that other computer. Absolutely.

01:28:35.610 –> 01:28:50.850
everybody’s always everybody’s always dealing with something and empathy. Empathy is so hard in it, but such a valuable skill and relationships, it’s just good life advice. That’s what we’re. That’s what we’re given here on the page to podcasts life advice.

01:28:51.930 –> 01:28:58.800
Anyways, Kelly Thank you for coming on. I we totally appreciate it. We know you you’ve

01:28:59.940 –> 01:29:09.420
Extra appreciate it, in light of the fact that you’ve been up since 3am but really appreciate it was great conversation. Thank you so much and go. Have a good weekend.

01:29:10.050 –> 01:29:10.830
Gonna happen.

01:29:11.880 –> 01:29:12.300
So much

01:29:13.740 –> 01:29:14.730
This is great.

01:29:16.110 –> 01:29:16.590
Thank you.

#28: Martin Splitt

We chat with Martin Splitt, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google about his background, how he got to Google, talk challenges, deep-dive into Javascript and more.

#27: Simon Cox

Listen to audio only

Episode Summary

We chat with UK technical SEO Simon Cox. Simon is the founder of Cox & Co Creative along with his wife.

He is a web standards evangelist, content management specialist, amateur bread baker, member of the LondonEErs ExpressionEngine Group and a founding member of the Croydon Creatives social group.

We cover:

  • His early days as a graphic designer
  • How he turned into a technical SEO during his 20 years within the banking industry
  • His recent transition to owning his own company.

Other topics:

  • We react to the new page speed reports in Google Search Console and other SEO news
  • Deep dive on replatforms, redesigns, and website migrations.

Visit Simon’s personal website.


00:00:01.410 –> 00:00:11.910
Hey everybody this is Jacob Stoops and we are here with episode 27 I’m here with my brand new co host. Mr. Jeff, Louella how’s it going

00:00:12.960 –> 00:00:13.860
Doing pretty well.

00:00:15.480 –> 00:00:29.640
And for the first first time it’s me co host and also we have a special guest. AND, TODAY’S SPECIAL GUEST IS GOING TO BE Mr. Simon Cox from across the pond. How you doing, Simon.

00:00:30.090 –> 00:00:33.360
Are doing very well thank you chaps and lovely to see you and he

00:00:34.170 –> 00:00:45.270
So I know nothing about locations in the UK, other than I believe you’re in London. So I’m just a stupid American. So where exactly are you located

00:00:45.720 –> 00:00:46.470
Not in London.

00:00:46.890 –> 00:00:47.280
Now I didn’t

00:00:48.600 –> 00:01:06.630
Know, I used to live in the south of London. I moved about 30 miles south of that the UK is about the size of Manhattan. So distances here while they’re a big to us a tiny to you guys. You’ll travel for a day or two, just to visit SOMEBODY, YEAH. An hour or more on the train for us is forever.

00:01:07.980 –> 00:01:08.250

00:01:08.280 –> 00:01:12.630
Yeah, he was quite big. But yes, I’m so let’s do you south of

00:01:13.710 –> 00:01:14.610
London town.

00:01:15.630 –> 00:01:21.060
In a small village about 4000 people called Linfield has a very famous horse racing course.

00:01:22.200 –> 00:01:25.860
Which my office, he overlooks. Very nice. That’s

00:01:25.890 –> 00:01:31.500
Yeah, that’s, that’s pretty cool. I feel like everything is a it’s just generally smaller over in

00:01:32.850 –> 00:01:36.660
I don’t do I say Europe, European Union, not so much with Brexit.

00:01:36.930 –> 00:01:38.160
Yeah, you can say

00:01:38.550 –> 00:01:43.620
Because even if we had Brexit happens was still part of Europe on the geographical

00:01:43.890 –> 00:01:44.940
Right, right, right. You know,

00:01:45.030 –> 00:01:48.180
Unless somebody digs a great big trench and shifts as anything anything

00:01:50.400 –> 00:01:51.180
Dubai Europe.

00:01:52.200 –> 00:01:58.650
So let’s jump right into it. So like the point of this podcast is going to continue to be

00:01:59.160 –> 00:02:13.890
The origin stories of great SEOs as well as like the day to day like this is what it’s actually like. So Simon take us through your career, who you are, how you got into SEO, like, Tell us, tell us about yourself.

00:02:14.430 –> 00:02:17.100
SEO. I saw, I thought this was a church podcast.

00:02:17.700 –> 00:02:17.970

00:02:19.470 –> 00:02:20.040
They see

00:02:21.900 –> 00:02:22.380

00:02:22.470 –> 00:02:23.100

00:02:24.810 –> 00:02:25.500
Right, so

00:02:27.330 –> 00:02:28.200
I thought that was very funny.

00:02:30.180 –> 00:02:31.680
And I started off.

00:02:32.730 –> 00:02:41.940
From school career wise you know college and I did technical illustration, our college and some graphic design, except for the four years of that. So there’s a green level, but not actual degree.

00:02:43.170 –> 00:02:51.330
From there I was working in studios creating our footprint, etc. This is years before the internet happened to the public as associate with the army, etc.

00:02:52.110 –> 00:03:00.480
Before that, um, and I was one of the first people in the country to use quality express the Page Layout program. And that got me up to London.

00:03:01.110 –> 00:03:09.690
I’m working there and had hunted all over the place. And eventually, after about two months. I got headhunted by middle and bank because they wanted somebody to

00:03:10.530 –> 00:03:21.300
Do their artwork for them things like checkbooks and credit cards and stuff like that. So I started working for those for them and within four years or so.

00:03:22.350 –> 00:03:30.300
I became aware of the internet becoming something I was already on bulletin boards. I was a big cyberpunk novel reader at the time.

00:03:31.140 –> 00:03:46.470
So it’s very much into that was looking at future stuff and and i thought this web seems really interesting. It looks a lot more interesting in the bulletin boards I was getting involved with sorry what managed to get myself into a pipex I don’t even remember pipex they were

00:03:48.420 –> 00:04:01.770
an ISP, the time that they disappeared. Many, many years ago they were doing call some HTML. So I managed to persuade my boss at the time to send me off on this. God knows how I did that. It was very nice guy. I think I took him out for a beer.

00:04:03.660 –> 00:04:12.870
And built my first website in about 96 beginning to end of 95 or maybe something like five he got six Batman.

00:04:14.580 –> 00:04:15.510
And the rest is history.

00:04:16.770 –> 00:04:34.380
And as far as SEO goes, I really started optimizing for Alta Vista, which was the big thing at the time. Yeah, good old days. So there’s like keywords bang last it healthy and there was about 400 websites at the time. So we all need each other, which is good.

00:04:36.840 –> 00:04:37.770

00:04:40.290 –> 00:04:40.950
We got from that.

00:04:42.420 –> 00:04:50.550
Really oh actually wasn’t doing that full time. Let’s also doing graphic designer our work and stuff and running a built up a team doing that for me to about

00:04:52.290 –> 00:04:52.980
Eight people

00:04:54.390 –> 00:04:58.170
And I had a bit of a falling out with a new boss, they brought in.

00:04:59.190 –> 00:05:06.390
And she wasn’t she was completely out of my depth and she and I didn’t go well. So after about two weeks of that I

00:05:07.410 –> 00:05:10.140
Was a good friend of mine in the in the business and suddenly

00:05:11.220 –> 00:05:28.380
There’s this job going in group HBC group because middle band can age group at that point and they wanted somebody to design and build HBC group.com which in 99 became hbc.com

00:05:30.300 –> 00:05:38.550
Once the group one have been bought out by God knows how much they spent on that it wasn’t that much in those days, compared with now, but I’m sure it was a lot. They

00:05:39.210 –> 00:05:53.940
They couldn’t get your HBC net was owned by hand to Street Baptist Church in the States. So we were, we were told a lot to try and get that it was politically a bit sensitive, so leave that that’d be fine.

00:05:55.230 –> 00:05:56.130
So yeah, so I

00:05:57.390 –> 00:06:07.230
Picked up hbc.com Oh, I’d be gripping abc.com and I was literally building a website walking around the color to the HR team like the PR team.

00:06:07.950 –> 00:06:16.950
To get the what’s going on marketing and stuff, etc. And never give me your stories and what’s going on HBC group at the time and I would literally hand coded into

00:06:18.330 –> 00:06:24.060
Some notepads he got three Weaver was very happy with that because I could do things better and quicker.

00:06:24.480 –> 00:06:30.630
And I would literally pass the pages off to somebody in it. Who would then FTP up to the server somewhere. I was led to touch that bit.

00:06:31.620 –> 00:06:49.410
But everything else is just me by myself. Ah, yeah, good old days when you could you could do everything touched off. So that’s how I got into it and years and years of that running hbc.com for about 10 years and then we

00:06:50.460 –> 00:07:03.870
Built a bigger team pass off so that people are they kind of sent me back. I said, right, would you want to do. And I said, Well, I want to build an SEO team in LA. You sure yeah so built the socio team around the world. I had people in China, the Philippines.

00:07:05.880 –> 00:07:15.660
Sri Lanka and Egypt and it did have some of the states, we have a while as well. And we did huge amounts of SEO for the loss of the HBC group.

00:07:16.890 –> 00:07:20.730
Which is very interesting stuff very corporate very interesting

00:07:23.460 –> 00:07:26.070
And that’s it. Two years ago, left HSBC

00:07:27.720 –> 00:07:41.550
amicably to pay me off to go away, which is nice. I’ve been wanting to to go freelance for years and I’ve been doing stuff. And as you do in your bedroom at night. I’m a bit always doing that since back in the 90s.

00:07:42.630 –> 00:07:50.280
Doing bits on the side because it helped me with my job like it’s the only way to really learn to understand, especially with technical SEO. If you can’t build websites.

00:07:51.030 –> 00:07:59.520
What are you doing, doing, take place. Yeah, you need to really understand how the whole thing works above JavaScript, which is complete devils language and shouldn’t be an

00:08:01.950 –> 00:08:09.870
Identity JavaScript. So the proper programming. I don’t know how to do that. I could just do markup. So that was it a

00:08:11.130 –> 00:08:17.310
Left HSBC and to work with my wife. Now we just set ourselves up a little bitty company. And we’ve got all sorts of interesting

00:08:19.650 –> 00:08:32.670
Clients from literally from the flower shop up in the village, which does rather well on the local search to web or some agencies doing International Hotel SEO and other things that come along.

00:08:34.920 –> 00:08:35.400
Which is great.

00:08:36.780 –> 00:08:43.950
So to kind of deviate. I have it on good authority that you are a train enthusiast.

00:08:44.190 –> 00:08:46.200
And above. Yeah, be careful here.

00:08:49.410 –> 00:08:54.000
That will for a lot of people put me in a subset of weirdos and

00:08:55.260 –> 00:09:02.100
I’m a nerd and geek, but I’m not one I build yeah I build narrow gauge model railway trains.

00:09:06.000 –> 00:09:17.490
Which are to scale. And there’s a there’s a great deal of precision in the men, it’s, it’s not playing trains and stuff is it’s modeling and I actually prefer the scenery more than I do, that the logos and the coaches.

00:09:18.390 –> 00:09:33.720
Open up my fellow society members him his, his podcast is one or two tonight. But yeah, it’s it’s creating miniature versions of interesting see and I i am i model narrow gauge. For me, it’s a lot more interesting. The standard gauge

00:09:35.010 –> 00:09:48.360
Because of the, the actual, real life situations with a world with so varied that know to navigate lines or like even in the States, whether there was plenty of navigating lines as well. So there was quite a few over here and UK

00:09:49.710 –> 00:09:54.210
Yeah. So I do that and that’s for me that’s really good because that’s what I work on digital all day.

00:09:55.620 –> 00:10:01.290
Doing the Madre stuff is it’s I do stuff like sobering which allows me to burn my hands quite badly.

00:10:02.310 –> 00:10:07.650
And in hell Knox’s and dangerous poisonous few years sorts of things which are can’t do

00:10:08.700 –> 00:10:10.650
Digital level. So yeah, lots of

00:10:11.910 –> 00:10:18.960
Hands on stuff on it. So it’s more atoms and pixels as a friend of mine, often said, Yeah.

00:10:19.290 –> 00:10:29.940
I build mini drones fly around and where the SPV goggles and like a freestyle and I have a whole workshop behind me. Also, and

00:10:30.360 –> 00:10:41.070
You know, soldering and things like that. Like it’s it’s fun, like I kind of go through there. Like I work on a computer all day and it’s kind of good to get away and work with your hands and

00:10:41.790 –> 00:10:50.670
Build, you know, whether it’s, you know, trains or again my mind like flying trains, in a way, I’m not building the scenery and things around that but I’m also

00:10:52.290 –> 00:11:07.890
I get to kind of create art that way. And my art. What I do that as making videos, trying to sync my you know freestyle flying a drone up with music and not your photography type of drone where you just hover and take a picture. I’m going

00:11:08.370 –> 00:11:08.760
On our

00:11:09.690 –> 00:11:16.680
Side, like I learned to be a pilot a little bit though. I hate to call myself a pilot because that really makes real pilots like

00:11:18.360 –> 00:11:18.990
A real pilot

00:11:20.880 –> 00:11:24.060
Yeah, so, and you don’t have any any problems flying over

00:11:25.650 –> 00:11:27.330
Can we go kindergartener schools and stuff like that.

00:11:27.600 –> 00:11:37.320
Yeah, like I’m usually going to office parks on the weekend and and flying through there, that the negative that is everything’s concrete around it. So if I

00:11:38.280 –> 00:11:45.600
Mess up I’m usually breaking something. But that’s part of re fixing everything and they’re made of carbon fiber. They’re pretty pretty strong but

00:11:46.800 –> 00:11:56.760
That’s awesome. I kind of come from a similar background to you where I was like kind of a webmaster built building websites from the ground up. I’ve

00:11:58.170 –> 00:12:03.600
Spent tons of time like because I was a designer started with the school for Ashley 3D animation.

00:12:04.980 –> 00:12:07.140
Realize it stunk at that I had Photoshop.

00:12:08.370 –> 00:12:24.090
And having Photoshop back then when you’re a designer and the designers that that were real designers at the time didn’t really see the web as an outlet because you know you have different sized screens different pixel with like, you know, if I wasn’t giving them the exact

00:12:25.290 –> 00:12:28.770
You know dimensions, how many points is this font. Like, I don’t know, it’s

00:12:30.090 –> 00:12:30.840
18 pixels.

00:12:32.220 –> 00:12:32.400

00:12:32.820 –> 00:12:36.570
Fascinating thing you’re talking about it because I went through the whole of that process where

00:12:38.100 –> 00:12:43.890
Graphic designers would saying well web isn’t a real thing. It’s, it’s all over the place.

00:12:44.610 –> 00:12:53.370
But the disciplines that we put into the web over the years actually now match what we were doing in graphic design before the web came along.

00:12:53.700 –> 00:13:00.570
So, you know, we’re doing exactly the same thing. Yes. We’ve given it a different set of names for layouts, etc. But basically we’re doing the same thing.

00:13:01.650 –> 00:13:05.430
So I think is a really good time to go. Now go back and visit

00:13:06.810 –> 00:13:09.060
Great graphic design from the 60s and 70s.

00:13:10.320 –> 00:13:21.390
And see how we can implement that into websites because nobody is everybody’s using WordPress themes which some bloke in his Hungarian bedrooms designing and for $10 or whatever it

00:13:22.080 –> 00:13:33.990
Is you use the writer work with a list apart. And I know that agenda that ground. I used to work with Jason Santa Maria and Dan mall in the past at a different company and

00:13:35.160 –> 00:13:40.050
They really one thing they would teach me just the design aspect of things right. I was doing development.

00:13:40.740 –> 00:13:49.860
They were real designers and also did front end development. So it really taught me like I understood designed to an extent, but never went to school for design and just working with them and

00:13:50.490 –> 00:14:01.320
How they meticulously go through fonts and how headers look and just the usability and readability of stuff really helped me out with a lot of my just creativity in general and make

00:14:01.470 –> 00:14:03.960
Things working with brilliant people like that you’ll pick up stuff.

00:14:05.430 –> 00:14:14.820
Without without a shadow of doubt. So all that stuff will come through and you’ll, you’ll be able to take that I that for for many years I was working in marketing departments in an HSBC and I have a

00:14:15.450 –> 00:14:21.240
Huge knowledge in marketing, but I’ve never done marketing my life. But I know what I need to do to make it work for marketing.

00:14:22.290 –> 00:14:24.360
If no, never done. I’ve never been paid to do

00:14:25.950 –> 00:14:26.460
How do

00:14:26.520 –> 00:14:27.480
You pick that stuff up.

00:14:28.740 –> 00:14:29.970
I guess I feel like

00:14:31.020 –> 00:14:43.110
A bit of a psycho in that. My hobby is running a podcast. Like, that’s what I do is I have my day job when I could be building, building drones or planes are being a master breadmaker whatever

00:14:43.800 –> 00:14:45.570
Guy and get some people

00:14:46.770 –> 00:14:47.820
I like mowing the yard.

00:14:49.980 –> 00:14:59.040
Oh man, so like I guess you you were add it as SPC, right. I feel like I’m like mismatching the

00:14:59.040 –> 00:15:00.150
Abbreviations PC.

00:15:00.300 –> 00:15:03.150
HST now you’re now. You’re confusing me.

00:15:03.270 –> 00:15:10.110
Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation was the original one. But when they bought middle and bank and shifted from Hong Kong to UK

00:15:10.800 –> 00:15:14.580
For reasons that China was going to take back Hong Kong and they want to shift all their

00:15:14.940 –> 00:15:31.410
assets such as the UK UK government. So you need to change your name and not be the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation. So they just bent HSBC, the amount of people that I know they still call it ages be is untrue, even people that have been working as

00:15:33.150 –> 00:15:39.930
Agencies work of ages beats for years 22 meetings with him. It’s like he has been so you don’t really know is that, well, the

00:15:41.310 –> 00:15:52.680
But that’s not the problem. They’re not that interested in, then they’re not that well known in the in the States, as I would like to think is massive in the UK and the rest of the world but states that are there, but

00:15:53.820 –> 00:15:58.980
You like there’s a lot of lot of competition, a lot of competition, what I was gonna say

00:15:59.910 –> 00:16:16.800
With two things. How did you get there many different disciplines of getting into SEO. How did you find that you fell into more of the technical side. And then, what made you you know you were there for a long, long time.

00:16:17.250 –> 00:16:17.670

00:16:17.730 –> 00:16:19.560
He wanted want to jump out on your own.

00:16:21.090 –> 00:16:23.700
Well, frankly, I did only choice jumping on where

00:16:25.440 –> 00:16:31.530
There were some changes. But I wanted to do that for years and just didn’t have the guts today.

00:16:33.180 –> 00:16:40.890
So how I fell into it because being a webmaster in the early days, you did everything literally everything. So part of that discipline was

00:16:41.550 –> 00:16:56.670
SEO, but we didn’t know what it’s called SEO in the search engine. Let’s get some spell today and that sort of came later on. And there were a lot of other things with more important in those days like validation of code, which nobody cares anymore, but it was a big thing.

00:16:59.190 –> 00:17:00.960
As you said, the second bit is

00:17:02.160 –> 00:17:08.940
Well, the, the, the first bit was jumping in becoming a technical SEO. Like, how did you

00:17:09.150 –> 00:17:10.500
Yeah, you know, I did that.

00:17:11.610 –> 00:17:14.520
So the technical side is because I was building websites and

00:17:15.600 –> 00:17:18.630
More home than that HSBC

00:17:19.680 –> 00:17:30.330
I was building my website and other sort of small clients, etc. I got to know content management systems really well. And I was actually to the point while specifying them internally and HSBC and then

00:17:31.260 –> 00:17:42.810
Looking at what we get out of content management system. We went through a lot HSBC, most of which we never up to what we really need it, but I’m saying that and

00:17:44.490 –> 00:17:47.820
Understanding how websites work and what you need to get them to really

00:17:49.230 –> 00:17:56.370
Give the information to people when it got to the point where they said, What did you want to do. I, I sat back and thought, well, actually.

00:17:56.820 –> 00:18:06.720
What we don’t have an HSBC is an SEO team and we didn’t I was the only one at the time and I said that we should do more of this because it’s important, and that was that was back in

00:18:08.100 –> 00:18:13.500
2010, I think, and I’ve been doing SEO for years, but not as a prime discipline.

00:18:14.520 –> 00:18:17.970
Because part of wising as they let me build this team up and

00:18:19.590 –> 00:18:22.620
Yeah, HSBC is a massive brand worldwide.

00:18:24.480 –> 00:18:37.620
And we lived off that and they really didn’t take any notice of SEO at all. And I think that’s changed certainly was changing the last two years I was there and people realize that the disruptors are coming in.

00:18:38.850 –> 00:18:46.110
PayPal etc and getting banking licenses and there was potential and stuff like bitcoin and other stuff coming along, which would

00:18:46.860 –> 00:18:59.400
disrupt it and and the big players like HBC really had to change the game. So there were people behind us. And yet, we need to get some SEO into our sites, then, to make sure we keep our dominant position.

00:19:01.230 –> 00:19:09.120
And it was it was tricky. He was, it wasn’t tricky keeping the site’s ranking well that was no problem at all, because the brand was so strong.

00:19:10.350 –> 00:19:17.640
It was tricky getting stuff done. The big old corporate you can’t get anything done troubles you know

00:19:19.140 –> 00:19:19.710
Lots of that.

00:19:22.500 –> 00:19:35.100
Were some of your biggest challenges like working in the banking industry. Right. It’s a there’s I know in the States. And I’m sure everywhere in the world. It’s you’re messing with people’s money, right. So, and I know you weren’t in charge of their money, but

00:19:35.430 –> 00:19:36.690
Being in charge of the sites.

00:19:36.900 –> 00:19:41.250
I know there’s lots of loopholes and things like that that you can’t really say stuff or do stuff.

00:19:41.760 –> 00:19:44.250
Yeah, I, I understood and

00:19:45.360 –> 00:19:49.530
Black Hat stuff and what people are trying to do to get this stuff to rank.

00:19:50.880 –> 00:19:52.800
We could never do anything like that simply

00:19:54.300 –> 00:20:04.380
Well, for many reasons, the PR out of it would be terrible and either been kicked out immediately. But then we have things like the BMW.

00:20:05.640 –> 00:20:07.590
Europe been to Europe in

00:20:08.790 –> 00:20:19.590
2006 maybe a bit late in that build a set of gateway pages to always gateways to their site and got direct from Google for about six months.

00:20:20.610 –> 00:20:38.310
Go big slap. And that was a big wake up call for a lot of people in the biggest reason why a lot of companies, big companies were using agencies still and hadn’t brought things in house so we obviously we had that. And so when that happens, we were like, yeah, we’re not doing that.

00:20:39.540 –> 00:20:56.490
Because that’s a bad thing to do. And there are lots of things about banking that that people say all the bad bankers, except, sort of, there’s a lot of very, very good, honest people in banking. The fastpass drugs people I work with, not everybody, but the vast majority away with very good

00:20:57.690 –> 00:21:03.210
And morally very good right moral compass. So in that situation where, like, we’re not just want to do that sort of thing.

00:21:03.960 –> 00:21:14.700
But then people out there and we’re like, well, we can’t do this. So we had to we have to be creative and work within was terrible in the law and banking regulation.

00:21:15.420 –> 00:21:30.270
Throughout the world is it’s really tough. I would spend days with with our lawyers on calls and, you know, three, four hour meetings every day for weeks, going through stuff to launch site. It was horrible.

00:21:31.500 –> 00:21:43.110
Because the lowest really those night back in those days just didn’t know anything about the internet, I would like to do now. But back in here at all. And yet, explain everything. Now, there was this. Okay, that’s fine.

00:21:46.230 –> 00:21:49.110
I used to work a lot in the pharmaceutical industry and

00:21:50.460 –> 00:21:58.020
I remember having to print out websites and fax them to lawyers, so that they could

00:21:59.160 –> 00:22:07.740
critique it and I’m just like, here’s a web address. Hey, just go to the website, but they needed it in print, so that they can circle and right things and

00:22:08.580 –> 00:22:17.610
The couple banks that I have worked with, weren’t they weren’t so bad. I guess I didn’t do a ton. I was just really more of them wording right. I couldn’t say

00:22:18.600 –> 00:22:27.690
You know, free checking if it wasn’t totally free. And you know, I used a lot of their terminologies and yeah lawyers were involved every step of the way. When we anytime we want to update content.

00:22:29.370 –> 00:22:34.530
Was also lucky in my life that I’ve got to work with some big brands, where I didn’t have to do any of that.

00:22:35.850 –> 00:22:44.580
You know link building tactics that would get companies in trouble. It’s I see every time there’s a big update I of course everyone gets a little, you know,

00:22:45.120 –> 00:22:56.790
Anxious when it happens, but at the same time, I like I know that I’m out there spending, you know, $20,000 a month building links done it before I actually had some clients that wanted to do big things like that.

00:22:57.990 –> 00:23:05.010
In the banking industry, but it was because there was a big merger coming and they wanted to own like the term your free savings account.

00:23:05.790 –> 00:23:16.260
Great before the merger so that they could say that. So they spent gave us tons of money which was fun to go and try to do that. But we just knew it was going to be a bad day for them at the end and

00:23:16.950 –> 00:23:21.270
We didn’t know the merger was coming, they did. And that’s kind of was the deal that was going on. So,

00:23:23.130 –> 00:23:34.920
But they were also one of those companies that were part of the collapse here in the States and merged and got bailed out. So that was one of the, you know, some of the fun times that we’ve had here in the banking industry in the States.

00:23:35.160 –> 00:23:35.820

00:23:36.000 –> 00:23:40.110
You know the lawyers STILL SORRY, YOUR LAWYER still use faxes today.

00:23:42.150 –> 00:23:57.690
I don’t know. What’s the matter, but they really I think the fact that it’s really, really difficult to intercept will change your facts because it is a facsimile they still like faxes and they still live in well do it secret. Oh, sorry, don’t you say

00:23:57.750 –> 00:24:03.360
No, it’s okay. I was just gonna say it’s funny that you guys bring up kind of the legal aspect. It’s not something

00:24:03.900 –> 00:24:13.380
That people think about, Okay, think about SEO and I have been with one of my clients in legal update health for about the last month where we have

00:24:13.860 –> 00:24:25.230
A lot of content that is mission critical to doing what I need to do on the SEO side and what we need to do on the SEO side, but we’ve been in three or four weeks of

00:24:25.680 –> 00:24:42.300
Legal updates and with the client has kind of a small digital team. So, because that lawyers take priority priority that has definitely been prioritized ahead of my little meager seo, seo changes such as funny that that come comes up.

00:24:42.660 –> 00:24:51.330
And I’ve been lawyers like where we submitted a site and we have a deadline that like when I was in the pharmaceutical world that a drug was launching

00:24:51.780 –> 00:25:00.270
We need certain things done. So that like 1130 at night, the lawyer might have finally got to it and spit it out, and I would be at back at the office.

00:25:00.930 –> 00:25:04.140
Working on things that that was before kind of remote work was actually easier.

00:25:05.040 –> 00:25:16.170
But being back at the office just waiting for that facts and once it was done, we had like 35 minutes to get it done. We had like a certain window. It’s kind of like we were launching a rocket. There was a. So you have this window to get something done.

00:25:17.640 –> 00:25:27.480
So Simon before we kind of move on to the to the news house a house kind of the new business going, what are, what are some of the things you’re kind of running into there.

00:25:28.920 –> 00:25:36.630
That’s, yeah. Because we are very small. This has been a wife and she does a lot of marketing type stuff and business.

00:25:38.850 –> 00:25:48.270
Molding business center and we kind of picking up all sorts of work. So there’s me off doing International Hotel SEO and she’s talking to the florist on the radar.

00:25:49.980 –> 00:25:59.760
Organizations any other other way eccentric. It’s fascinating. And I love it because it is so so varied and I’ve got to say, working for ourselves is is great.

00:26:01.560 –> 00:26:11.070
Really we should be working 24 hours a day. So it’s like clients, but we don’t we stick our feet up. And we have a good time and we just don’t take our work because it’s there, we just

00:26:11.610 –> 00:26:26.250
If we like somebody will work with them if we don’t like that we just tell them to say thank you very much. Hey, try this person. So we don’t have a big roster clients we we do, we do pick and choose. And I’ve got to say we have in a very lucky position to be able to do that.

00:26:27.840 –> 00:26:36.810
Most people can’t but but I’m old life amounts of money over the years and it’s it’s it’s payback time and it’s

00:26:38.070 –> 00:26:40.380
It’s going well and we’re enjoying it.

00:26:41.970 –> 00:26:42.510
That’s great.

00:26:42.540 –> 00:26:59.460
Yeah, that’s a you know a lot of a lot of times that I’ve thought about, about the same thing, kind of going out of my own and I like you. Hip, hip, not to this point, then willing to to take the take the risk and it sounds like you may have been kind of forced into taking the risk

00:26:59.790 –> 00:27:08.670
Was but to be honest, I’ve been waiting for it for years. And because I knew that that leaving a bank. I’m going to get substantially good payoff.

00:27:09.780 –> 00:27:21.990
Which is gave me the, the, the, the fighting fun to actually set myself up and or ourselves up and go freelance and I don’t you can’t do without that you can’t just hope because you got movies and stuff to pay, which we will have

00:27:23.730 –> 00:27:25.530
It’s difficult. You’ve got to have a

00:27:28.560 –> 00:27:36.240
Treasure chest of money you save that to make sure that you’re okay. If it doesn’t come in or people don’t pay, etc. It’s it can get very difficult

00:27:37.470 –> 00:27:38.700
To the car breaks down or

00:27:39.780 –> 00:27:45.900
Playing drop something on your roof. I’m I’m under the get week flight path here. So I was worried about

00:27:47.100 –> 00:27:47.640

00:27:47.700 –> 00:27:48.570
dropping off planes.

00:27:49.950 –> 00:27:50.910
For the houses cheap.

00:27:52.890 –> 00:27:54.390
Jeff, it wasn’t any

00:27:58.740 –> 00:28:05.370
Awesome. Well, there was, it wasn’t like a huge week this week in in SEO news, but there were some cool things that were out there, one

00:28:06.600 –> 00:28:16.650
That I’m personally digging through and enjoying is the new version of Screaming Frog was released version 12 had some really good things updated into it and

00:28:18.270 –> 00:28:19.170
One of the things I

00:28:20.250 –> 00:28:25.290
Love that I struggle with, but always was trying to find like the best way to report on speed.

00:28:26.160 –> 00:28:32.790
Like, how can I get a speed report throughout the whole site. And there’s many different ways, you know, with different tools, but now Screaming Frog. Another way to add that so

00:28:33.270 –> 00:28:43.860
It looks into Lighthouse metrics and uses the the crux data to be able to get some of that UX data pulled in from Google insights. So on that one awesome thing that with it.

00:28:45.000 –> 00:28:46.500
If you had a chance to look through it at all. Simon

00:28:46.800 –> 00:28:48.570
Yeah, I think that’s absolutely fantastic.

00:28:49.710 –> 00:28:58.110
I have a little web watcher that just watches. If there’s any changes to the release page. So, and you said it was coming up before we Tweeted it

00:28:58.740 –> 00:29:07.590
And I think it pings off every two hours. So as soon as they age radio. But yeah, great and I download immediately. So yeah, Australia. Now what’s going on and

00:29:08.250 –> 00:29:16.710
A month ago, the ad is structured data testing into the tool, which was a great step. And I think they’ve taken what they’ve learned from that and said, Well,

00:29:17.250 –> 00:29:26.850
Let’s go for speed testing with with lighthouse and whilst I’ve, I’ve, I’ve run quite a few calls this week with with that and got the lighthouse.

00:29:27.360 –> 00:29:30.840
So I have no idea what it means, yet it just throws a wrench.

00:29:31.740 –> 00:29:41.700
We’re gonna go. This one’s really bad. And this one’s really good. Why, I don’t know, and it’s a case of going through and looking and seeing how it really helps. But being able to look at a whole site.

00:29:42.300 –> 00:29:56.730
That quickly and it really is fast and bring that data back from my house is fantastic, which means I don’t have to pay into Chrome Developer anymore and per page by page and bang, it’s there and you can really just dive into what’s

00:29:57.870 –> 00:29:59.850
What’s looking not how it should do.

00:30:00.900 –> 00:30:04.260
Is a really good thing. So yeah, literally before

00:30:05.970 –> 00:30:15.540
We came on air. I was doing something I was, I had a problem getting because I switched over to the database way of saving the files in there as well.

00:30:16.680 –> 00:30:25.140
Which is super because you can structure it and organize it by folder as well so you can drag and drop the stuff in there. And I thought that was like, I need to open up some old

00:30:27.240 –> 00:30:31.020
Screaming Frog databases. I’ve got me. Sorry files that I’ve got.

00:30:31.620 –> 00:30:41.160
For for sites. How do I do that because there’s no open anymore. It’s just the call button. But there’s an import feature further down in the file thing because I paying off a support, support emails.

00:30:41.580 –> 00:30:49.530
And Dan came back fairly quickly. So there’s an important thing and it works, works perfectly. And you can bring that when you when you then import your old

00:30:50.490 –> 00:30:59.250
Files. They actually, it adds it to the database and is there. That’s great. It is really, really good and I haven’t tested here, but this is an export one as well. So imagine

00:30:59.640 –> 00:31:15.480
Where stuff gets old in your database starts get rather beacon and gets two gigabyte speak and laptops screaming with desire to have a bit more space. You can probably export stuff out to an archive somewhere. He says good

00:31:15.720 –> 00:31:22.170
No, no liquor, you know, one of their competitors. Now sampled and sleep. One thing I like about light bulb.

00:31:23.340 –> 00:31:33.300
And not even like what the tool scrawls and things like that. Is that is kind of a work off that database mentality. Also, and then you can do comparisons. Oh, yeah. Last crawl versus crawl.

00:31:34.320 –> 00:31:38.730
I don’t think this version. Screaming Frog does that. But the database storage is awesome. Like, I know it’s

00:31:39.870 –> 00:31:56.640
Having the same Screaming Frog files. It’s a pain in the butt. The only good thing with that is you can share them, but the negative with that is like I’m sharing like a 20 gigabyte file we have in our office machine is dedicated for crawling 64 gigabytes of RAM and

00:31:57.690 –> 00:32:11.340
Things like that. But now it’s you know now that seems like overkill because the database storage bottle, you know, I mean, you still need RAM, they’ll run it, but it’s, you know, you don’t need 64 gigabytes of memory to just run 100,000 URL site anymore so

00:32:11.970 –> 00:32:18.240
That’s a good, good point. Because I don’t share it in my files because my wife just went know what to do with them. Yeah, this will

00:32:19.590 –> 00:32:20.010
Read this.

00:32:21.930 –> 00:32:26.580
Yet she wants me to run through that and stuff and analyze it and then tell her what to tell the client.

00:32:27.210 –> 00:32:32.340
She has no idea to and I haven’t got real to share them with so I’m quite lucky that but yes and

00:32:32.970 –> 00:32:46.440
That’s an interesting point, actually, if you if you are keeping that stuff in inside your database yourself. How do you share with with colleagues, but that’s the same cycle and bust cycles brilliant and I love Sai Baba, especially the guys

00:32:48.000 –> 00:33:04.830
That run it, who invited me to the UK surge was last year, we had a very, very jolly time, so beverages, and it was. And it’s a great tool. Really, really good tool that it kind of breaks boundaries and the way the offense will come out with the

00:33:06.000 –> 00:33:09.510
Year. The graph mapping things which really useful. Everybody say

00:33:11.730 –> 00:33:13.170
Yeah, now

00:33:13.740 –> 00:33:20.910
It’s a great tool. And I love it. Just, you know, just because of that reflect the graphing of it. They now kind of give the ratings of the different sections.

00:33:21.240 –> 00:33:27.960
Which is kind of what I usually take the report and make a reading off of that, like, of what I think about it so that they add that in there, which is great.

00:33:29.070 –> 00:33:29.370

00:33:29.520 –> 00:33:34.080
I am personally excited about the time savings.

00:33:35.310 –> 00:33:53.220
I spent in I have my own like special spreadsheet, which pulls in web page tests paid Google page speed insights GT metrics, basically all my favorite speed tools and not having to go one by one by one. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of the extra

00:33:54.450 –> 00:33:59.130
Extra time that I’m going to have on my hands. Something else useful but um

00:33:59.250 –> 00:34:00.090
Well, analyze it.

00:34:00.810 –> 00:34:07.350
Well yeah, I don’t know if you guys find this, but I’ve been like battling for I feel like now years

00:34:08.010 –> 00:34:13.770
With respect to site speed and the battle is that everybody knows it’s important

00:34:14.100 –> 00:34:22.710
Nobody wants to do anything about it. And it literally makes me pull my hair out especially when I’ve gone to, like, huge organizations and say, Hey, guys.

00:34:23.130 –> 00:34:34.740
Improve your speed by like a second and you can make like a couple million extra dollars. No, they just laughed me out of the room. But no, no, I don’t know how you guys feel about that I

00:34:35.010 –> 00:34:45.930
Constantly had that problem and in HSBC we have everything was organized in such a way that our development teams basically were part of it and had a book and

00:34:46.710 –> 00:34:57.960
Every time I went to them and says we need this. That book was shot for the next year. So it’s so difficult to get resource to actually go and build anything we wanted a really good example of that.

00:34:58.530 –> 00:35:03.480
One of the last projects I worked on before I left, and then what’s in it for about two years was

00:35:04.200 –> 00:35:18.180
The HBC asset management set of websites. It was one website with lots of countries have sub folders within that. And then once the spit them out into sub domain so into local domains which made a lot of sense at the time.

00:35:19.830 –> 00:35:34.380
Whether it does now. And I don’t know how to take care, they’re not paying me. So we had about 32 websites and in a multitude of languages and I can’t remember what they all work together. So I remember there was probably 20 different kind of us probably slightly less than that.

00:35:35.400 –> 00:35:48.330
But we shifted over from the content management system we have a job. It was an IBM. One more comment, but it was web sphere, I think, with a vision on the back end of it or something over to cycle.

00:35:49.980 –> 00:35:59.640
And as part of that. So the key let’s let’s go a source of hreflang tool. So as we go and deploy each site, we can add all the hreflang then for each

00:36:00.780 –> 00:36:07.440
Each site because basically the content was the same one every, every site, but just in different languages for the different countries, etc. And a slight variations

00:36:08.310 –> 00:36:20.250
In content here and there and stuff and they went to six months when they come back to come do it for another year. So what we did, we went and built our own Excel macros spreadsheets and would manually.

00:36:21.330 –> 00:36:28.920
Push this stuff out and then we would actually push it up in the content management system as a text file or XML file.

00:36:29.850 –> 00:36:35.970
Via the CMS until Google where I hate ref Lang files were because they were under the law place.

00:36:36.720 –> 00:36:43.200
And you could do that. And that’s really IF YOU LOOK AT THE SIZE YOU GO WE HAVEN’T GOTTEN A traveling. Yes, we have. You just can’t see it.

00:36:43.710 –> 00:36:52.140
It’s done it. I literally and it’s still there now. So there’s been at least three and a half years and that resource still hasn’t been made available.

00:36:53.070 –> 00:36:58.020
Yeah, because I wanted all there banging the drum. Right. But that’s a really good example of of

00:36:58.860 –> 00:37:05.310
Trying to get results in any big corporation or any small corporations, to be honest, I’ve worked in other places. Since then, that’s

00:37:06.030 –> 00:37:13.290
Where getting resources just very, very difficult for SEO. It’s not seen as being the bottom line.

00:37:13.860 –> 00:37:18.840
Bringing money in. I think that’s changing. I think people are realizing a lot more SEOs are coming in the house.

00:37:19.440 –> 00:37:25.230
Of last year’s. And that’s I think that’s because companies are realizing they need to spend money on SEO.

00:37:25.860 –> 00:37:36.360
And it. I’ve seen situations where they’ve actually had dedicated Deb’s sitting with an SEO team and where that works. It works really, really well. But even in those situations.

00:37:37.230 –> 00:37:50.340
Getting resource time is is difficult because there’s there’s minds are. I know a lot of there’s no work with them. There is there elsewhere. They don’t care about SEO. It’s like a little tape. It’s like accessibility. Same thing. It’s like to do that.

00:37:51.630 –> 00:38:00.540
Yeah, implementation, it’s the biggest challenge we face. And the funny thing is like we are struggling all the time with implementation.

00:38:01.200 –> 00:38:17.220
But one thing I constantly, constantly get is, why are the results like x or what’s going on with this. Why isn’t this moving or whatever. And it’s, it’s not a valid answer to point back to, well, you didn’t implement my recommendations.

00:38:17.490 –> 00:38:18.540
Or it took six months.

00:38:18.960 –> 00:38:21.060
Or whatever. So, but

00:38:21.630 –> 00:38:29.070
Also the competition is doing the same thing at the same time. Last Google’s changing everything every single day. Several multiple times a day as well.

00:38:30.360 –> 00:38:39.300
It gets very, very difficult. And there are there are many marketing departments are still hang on rankings and listen. Everything I will rank is going up today.

00:38:39.810 –> 00:38:58.800
There was a there’s a UK company called strategic who brought out a tool last year that did hourly tracking our rankings and I was lucky to get on the beat on there and it was absolutely mad. Yeah, we do small tests about either 20 keywords something and

00:39:00.150 –> 00:39:01.740
You could see the top three

00:39:03.330 –> 00:39:12.690
Terms with were bantering a little bit, but the further you go away from the top three it was all over the place. And Google is just testing constantly

00:39:13.380 –> 00:39:25.650
Which means any ranking tool that comes back and says, Oh, you’re at this position, say it depends. When they go and test it, because it’ll averaging it they’re not testing every minute. And every day and saying this is this is roughly where you know not all

00:39:26.520 –> 00:39:27.930
When and where. Yeah.

00:39:29.160 –> 00:39:32.550
So I don’t believe rankings at all anymore, it is good that what we clients.

00:39:33.570 –> 00:39:34.380
See, number one.

00:39:35.700 –> 00:39:43.830
It is tough. I and I’m lucky that I have some clients where rankings aren’t. I mean, we like to. I like to look at them as a whole and see if things are moving but

00:39:45.030 –> 00:39:57.960
I tried to get away from like those single terms that we want to do well on. I do have one that has a very specific term and he checks it every day. And if he’s, he doesn’t need to be number one. He just needs to be in the top five. And he’s happy.

00:39:58.890 –> 00:39:59.340
It’s good.

00:39:59.700 –> 00:40:10.860
Yeah, and it’s because it’s a it’s a term that’s near and dear. It’s like there it’s kind of a product that they made. But other people sell it. So if he’s getting beat up by Amazon. He doesn’t care. But he’s wants to be up there.

00:40:11.490 –> 00:40:16.260
Because either way, he makes the money, but it’s just one of those ego terms like on that that they’d like to do

00:40:17.280 –> 00:40:24.270
But yeah, I try to, I try to stay away from. We run ranking reports, of course, but I think definitely like to look at them as a whole.

00:40:24.690 –> 00:40:34.440
And like, here’s a group of terms, maybe for a category. And is that category doing better or worse, but there’s so many variables like with personalization and stuff that it’s really hard to

00:40:35.070 –> 00:40:40.770
To really take take that information and say this is exactly what is happening right now. Right, so

00:40:41.430 –> 00:40:43.440
I’ve been doing a lot of local over the last year and

00:40:45.300 –> 00:40:52.740
Savor the florist shop up the radio and it’s fascinating. If you can get up into the map pack or three sometimes four

00:40:53.670 –> 00:41:10.470
You can really increase your business a lot especially local because people just don’t look be on that map pack and getting in line and working well it’s it’s a skill. It’s just little bits and pieces that help, but I have I’m frustrated one particular small company.

00:41:11.520 –> 00:41:20.760
Who I’m as frustrated me and I’m doing loads of work for free on this because I literally just want to make him. Number one, he just constantly two and three in the map pack.

00:41:21.840 –> 00:41:36.900
against somebody who is constant number one whose website is the worst websites in my life. This is in for until very recently. He’s each one said title there wasn’t even a product or anything. I was just, just like ranking.

00:41:37.920 –> 00:41:39.780
Or something like that. Yeah, it’s just so annoying.

00:41:40.830 –> 00:41:41.100

00:41:42.330 –> 00:41:49.170
It just, you know, just when you think you know everything, and there’s like a site like that cycles is working. Yeah.

00:41:49.980 –> 00:41:53.730
That’s the same with all of us as well. It’s everything’s changing so much

00:41:54.780 –> 00:42:09.450
Just trying to consume all the what’s what’s changing and looking at the SEO uses every day and trying to understand how things are changes really difficult. This day me yes yeah 10 years ago it was like SEO. Yeah, I read that once a month.

00:42:10.710 –> 00:42:16.050
And you understand where things got these days. And the only way I can keep up with it. It’s keep on Twitter.

00:42:17.250 –> 00:42:27.930
With the masses of people are see what the clever people are looking at and say, oh, read this and if it’s not for them. Right. It’s not in Twitter and somebody saying this is good. I don’t, I don’t get real.

00:42:29.070 –> 00:42:29.430

00:42:29.910 –> 00:42:40.020
I use a program or a site called nuzzle and nuzzle takes all the like takes all my tweets and all the people I follow and groups them in like oh 50 people retweeted this

00:42:40.560 –> 00:42:43.080
Must be more important than than other things and so

00:42:44.130 –> 00:42:46.740
It’s usually Barry Schwartz articles, all of them. So I can just go to his site.

00:42:48.300 –> 00:42:51.630
Freedom, because it seems like everyone retweets is right away, but I’m

00:42:52.650 –> 00:42:53.040

00:42:53.310 –> 00:42:55.350
I’m a barrier that he has no idea what he’s doing.

00:42:57.240 –> 00:43:03.210
Is pushing the right buttons right he fell on his feet. He’s very lucky man. That’s awesome. I’m

00:43:03.570 –> 00:43:10.860
Also in the tool world there is a new tool that was kind of announced called sunlight metrics and if you’ve heard about there. They’re um

00:43:12.360 –> 00:43:17.970
They’re claiming, and it’s not even out yet i i think me and Jacob puzzle both signed up for a

00:43:18.300 –> 00:43:18.900
List that

00:43:19.200 –> 00:43:27.780
Yeah, the waitlist but it’s supposedly a log file analyzer. That doesn’t need log files, where I don’t know how they’re doing it. If it’s a piece of j is that

00:43:27.810 –> 00:43:28.470
Everybody out

00:43:28.830 –> 00:43:40.830
It’s a piece of JS and they’re analyzing the the bot traffic as it’s crawling your site as opposed to like having the physical log file so interesting concept.

00:43:41.100 –> 00:43:42.210
Well SoC rubbish.

00:43:43.410 –> 00:43:45.060
It very well. Very good.

00:43:45.720 –> 00:43:46.680
Sounds like it might be

00:43:46.950 –> 00:43:47.580
One of the drops

00:43:47.730 –> 00:43:48.750
While doesn’t find

00:43:49.440 –> 00:44:04.080
Somebody to come up with something no logs are incredibly important and I was going to bang on about this. It’s really difficult hold a logs, but they’re so important to understand what traffic is coming to your site that I’ve recently switched my personal site from craft Kirby.

00:44:05.910 –> 00:44:12.300
For various reasons, but one tool. I’ve used in both his retort craft plugin burrito was brilliant.

00:44:14.760 –> 00:44:24.090
And fortunately for me. There’s a retort plugin for Kirby as well. And what that does is allows it basically maps everything that’s been asked for on the site and

00:44:24.780 –> 00:44:35.790
Gives you a failure list and then you can then go map it to some way you want to see redirects in but you’re going to see without looking at the logs all the URLs have been asset failing.

00:44:36.360 –> 00:44:46.500
And the problem with if you’re not looking at the logs and stuff. He really, you’re not going to get all that information and the amount of

00:44:47.010 –> 00:45:02.130
WordPress URLs that have been hit on my site, which has never had WordPress on it isn’t credible. So there’s obviously people in the various places in the world, though just pounding everything in the world and see where the vulnerabilities are so they can check their paid links and

00:45:03.300 –> 00:45:11.460
I’m assuming that paid links because I didn’t do any of that. So yeah, it was. It’s always interesting where you know insights that I have this

00:45:11.970 –> 00:45:19.050
How are people trying to get to these pages. And where’s that coming from like this page never existed. Ever. And there’s just going to be a ton of

00:45:19.680 –> 00:45:26.010
Bot machines out there that are just hitting that type of stuff trying to find vulnerabilities. I guess the interesting world that

00:45:26.940 –> 00:45:37.230
I want to meet somebody who does it just to to talk to them and just understand why. And if it is just to put, you know, Viagra ads on my page then because I’ve had like a WordPress site taken over and

00:45:37.830 –> 00:45:43.560
I found out that in my old hometown I ranked number one for like Viagra and you’re the name of the town.

00:45:44.790 –> 00:45:55.980
Was like, oh, cuz somebody who was doing some research, let me know. And I’m like, oh, that was one of those someone you know took my system over and only gave it to Google bought. I never even noticed it.

00:45:56.910 –> 00:46:09.150
So it was a very interesting time and then you know it was weird, trying to get it out of the site because they somehow really got into the core and I couldn’t like how to delete everything and start again that’s

00:46:09.180 –> 00:46:21.600
One of the reasons I don’t use WordPress. It’s a fantastic tool. And yes, I do SEO for a list apart and let’s just shift on WordPress. Earlier this year, but it’s the VIP WordPress is pretty good stuff.

00:46:22.920 –> 00:46:32.370
But most WordPress setups aren’t looking at all, every day, making sure that everything’s okay you see things can happen like that people can have vulnerabilities and

00:46:32.880 –> 00:46:45.900
With those plugins. It’s fantastic. You like oh I could do this, I can, I can have a table of contents, bang. There you go. Just press a button. I’ll take a box, you get table contents and but you don’t know underneath there is somebody going to backdoor in which is why

00:46:46.950 –> 00:46:52.890
I have been using content management systems over the years, which I tend to focus on ones, which

00:46:53.460 –> 00:47:09.360
Really do separate the data away from the presentation layer. So I’m talking here expression engine. I use expression engine for years and years. I do use it for some clients. Still, and then adopt perch for small sites. Again, same thing and craft because craft came out of expression engine.

00:47:10.170 –> 00:47:19.230
That the guys who developed that were expression Engine developers and plug in developers and they didn’t like the way, especially if you’re going to hit the

00:47:19.230 –> 00:47:29.130
Wrong one but craft is very, very devery so very composer lead, etc. Yeah, my cup of tea, which is why I switched my slavish to Kirby.

00:47:31.350 –> 00:47:41.760
I mean that split between your data and your, your presentation layer really does separate to and you don’t get that in WordPress and now because WordPress has got Guttenberg as well, which still blocks and everything.

00:47:42.210 –> 00:47:51.240
All the systems we had that for years. And in fact, you can make up your own templates in the background in the back end. Rather, and I do that all the time for our clients or small clients.

00:47:51.990 –> 00:48:00.930
Yeah, we’re building templates them to change the page, then get in. Do it most of the time they they pay us today. So I just make it easier for my wife to

00:48:02.970 –> 00:48:21.060
But that sort of stuff is important to to put together and for me is if you know what you put together. You know what shouldn’t be there. And that’s why people get in with WordPress and change that because people are checking up a WordPress site. Don’t know what’s actually in there. Yeah.

00:48:21.660 –> 00:48:27.540
That’s it’s just so easy. Yeah, I can push a button with my host of a new setup and minutes. Yeah.

00:48:28.110 –> 00:48:35.760
That’s basically what we did with with the HQ podcast website which is WordPress, which will probably get hacked, at some point, but

00:48:37.980 –> 00:48:38.190

00:48:39.810 –> 00:48:46.500
So you y’all mentioned a lot of platforms. So I feel like that is a good segue.

00:48:47.700 –> 00:48:48.600
Re platforming

00:48:50.400 –> 00:48:53.250
What do you guys think of when I say re platforming

00:48:54.660 –> 00:48:57.630
You tell you WordPress contents ticket or something else is that

00:48:59.220 –> 00:49:13.560
I usually think ominous ominous use it usually comes to mind like especially if you’re trying to do re platforming and or redesign or migration, it basically any any moving or changing of have a website.

00:49:14.670 –> 00:49:25.740
Pretty, pretty ominous ominous and pretty, pretty daunting is what typically comes to mind when I hear brands mentioned that they’re they’re thinking about it. I don’t know how you guys feel

00:49:27.390 –> 00:49:28.110
Well for me.

00:49:29.550 –> 00:49:33.090
It’s fantastic. Doing a migration where someone is saying on the same platform.

00:49:35.580 –> 00:49:40.320
And they just switching a few bits and pieces over but what often happens is

00:49:41.640 –> 00:49:53.490
You will get somebody going well, we need to go. Stick it on this new platform because that’s now the group standard or the company standard and we need to ship them to that. Let’s use this as an opportunity to redesign it way.

00:49:54.030 –> 00:50:02.430
And then second thing is, while we’re redesigning it will change the content as well and as an SEO you sitting there going oh my god, everything’s changing

00:50:03.150 –> 00:50:19.440
It can be managed. But if you’re not in there at the beginning of the process, telling them what they need to really think about etc. If you’re brought in two weeks before they launch or worse. Two weeks after they launched, you’ve got one hell of a task on your hands, you really

00:50:20.280 –> 00:50:27.030
Have to be a lot of time. So this it all. It was launched and our traffic center plummeted. It’s like, well, I wonder why.

00:50:27.960 –> 00:50:36.030
And a very good example of that. And, and I’m not going to drop anybody’s names into this. But after I stopped running hp.com

00:50:36.600 –> 00:50:46.320
And it was passed out to other teams to burn within the year I was entered to run it, they did do exactly that. They did a platform change and its design change. And I said,

00:50:46.680 –> 00:51:01.620
You need to redirect all the URLs and as well as 12 1400 URLs inside the inside to redirect the top 200 only and for the next two years, the traffic and all those pieces.com plummeted to a third of what it was when I was running it.

00:51:03.060 –> 00:51:05.640
And never regained anything like it was before.

00:51:07.170 –> 00:51:11.550
But they’re going to get that sail off me and I was like, Yeah, I read it much better.

00:51:12.300 –> 00:51:26.130
Well, the thing about that is like when that happens, especially for companies that depend on that traffic or for business that that has a real world implication like probably cost. Some people their, their jobs in

00:51:27.180 –> 00:51:32.520
And I, and I always say, like, at the outset of any project like this. Like, look.

00:51:33.030 –> 00:51:41.100
Business owner brand you think of me as somebody that’s going to grow your web your, your, your traffic right that’s what people think of SEOs well

00:51:41.700 –> 00:51:52.350
You need to erase that for right now when we go through this project. My goal is to protect your traffic and help you not drop off a cliff flat, the

00:51:52.620 –> 00:51:59.730
Client once said this to me, and it’s beautiful. Because I because I’ve used it over and over again. Flat is the new up

00:52:00.210 –> 00:52:11.310
Right. So when you’re when you’re going through a major change like this like just maintaining stability is a really, really good thing. Now hopefully you’re doing this re platform and redesign.

00:52:11.910 –> 00:52:23.460
To ultimately allow yourself to grow long term and that certainly would be the goal for the SEO people too, but simply getting through and making sure that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot or feet.

00:52:24.990 –> 00:52:26.760
Is is pretty much the goal.

00:52:28.290 –> 00:52:30.120
Yeah, I mean, there was a time where

00:52:31.440 –> 00:52:39.480
You know, we would tell clients. Hey, we’re going to see a 30 to 50% decrease for three months and and things like that and

00:52:40.830 –> 00:52:47.520
You know Google’s gotten a lot better at that. If you hand them the right you know things right. So we’re not changing every bit of content and

00:52:48.030 –> 00:52:58.980
We’re just updating our content, you know, management system, you know, there. Yeah, we can actually launch and B flat, you know, and that’s great because we’re not losing that we’re having to wait three months for anything.

00:53:00.090 –> 00:53:00.390

00:53:01.530 –> 00:53:08.760
It all depends on on what’s going on. Even if we do change content. It’s all depends on the content we had before we can always change it for the better.

00:53:09.210 –> 00:53:18.600
But changing everything at once, can be, you know, a shock to the system. And that’s one of the things that you know as a technical SEO trying to

00:53:19.920 –> 00:53:29.670
You know, not have that bigger shock. I mean, I think most of my re platforms end up like we’re just going to upgrade our platform. And then what’s the developers go in there. They’re like,

00:53:30.120 –> 00:53:39.120
You know, our templates don’t work with this. And next thing they’re doing is a redesign. And then, of course, while they’re redesigning like let’s just change the wording of the site and it’s like

00:53:40.260 –> 00:53:56.550
So luckily I’ll if I get in there. You know when it’s all happening, you’re six months ahead of time or whenever that’s, that’s great, but far too many times I get called in six months after when traffic is down 50% and they were like, what happened so

00:53:57.030 –> 00:54:04.650
Aside from the, the obvious need for, like, hey, bring the SEOs in early on, so that we can be side by side.

00:54:05.490 –> 00:54:18.720
If, if you’re a brand listening to this podcast right now. Or if you’re somebody that works for a brand or whatever. What advice would you give to that person. And what are like the biggest things that you’ve seen go wrong. Like, top of the list.

00:54:19.950 –> 00:54:20.460

00:54:21.660 –> 00:54:21.930

00:54:23.040 –> 00:54:35.910
Besides, but I’m going to go back to and say, getting yourself into those initial meetings is incredibly important and actually quite hard because normally you won’t know that happening. Somebody just gone off and said, I have this idea in this

00:54:38.070 –> 00:54:53.250
But soon as you find out, get in there and start banging the table and say we need to include me on my team. Some of my team on this, you need to think about these things. And I think that’s a really a case of you can preempt that by saying well notes to people saying

00:54:54.570 –> 00:55:10.170
Well, you’ve done the migration that’s worked really well. And this is, this is why it’s worth to what we need to think about. We do that migration and one of my top tips on that is I always map all the URLs in a site so absolutely everything

00:55:12.060 –> 00:55:28.590
And also just the pages but images, the JavaScript, CSS, the whole lot anything PDFs, especially PDFs, especially if you then drop the links, but leave the PDFs on the server and people find those PDFs and then see you, because the information in those PDFs.

00:55:30.960 –> 00:55:42.510
cause somebody to make the role investment and they take it to court, which is happens. And that was very funny. And I wasn’t involved with that. But I was picked up pieces but yeah

00:55:44.880 –> 00:55:52.440
It’s difficult, but you really, really do need to map the whole lot out and if you’ve got those maps, you’re doing on a regular basis, anyway.

00:55:53.610 –> 00:56:10.020
Because sometimes we don’t get the chance to understand what your contents been putting aside on a regular basis. Usually it’s okay because it’s just the blogging cetera but I would, if you’re in house I would be certainly suggesting mapping your site on a monthly basis.

00:56:11.910 –> 00:56:16.950
Or even a weekly one Screaming Frog it or site, ball, ball D crawl or whatever.

00:56:18.090 –> 00:56:27.510
Just so you’ve got an indication of what you’re actually dealing with. So when those things happen when people start doing that and, you know, at least you’ve got a starting point.

00:56:30.030 –> 00:56:31.380
Jeff, what about what about you, man.

00:56:32.460 –> 00:56:35.970
Yeah, no, I mean it’s with any of it. I think it’s

00:56:37.650 –> 00:56:40.320
Can will keep saying get in there early as much as you can, but

00:56:41.520 –> 00:56:47.700
Really want to, you know, the mapping aspect is definitely something I want to do. I also like I like to get in.

00:56:48.300 –> 00:56:52.530
When we’re in early looking at wire frames. Right. And because number one thing that I’m always

00:56:53.100 –> 00:56:59.550
I’m not all about SEO or content for content sake on pages, but working a lot of the e commerce world.

00:57:00.000 –> 00:57:06.330
I’ll just get in these wire frames and I’m like, where’s the content. Go and it’s like, whether it’s the title or the header.

00:57:06.720 –> 00:57:11.040
Like, what were some content go like we’re, how are we engaging with our customers and where are we putting that

00:57:11.460 –> 00:57:20.220
You know, Google needs something to read. Again, I don’t need a Wikipedia article, but we need a spot to least have content and as a designer I know designers love

00:57:21.180 –> 00:57:28.980
Imagery and imagery is great. It makes you know, get your feelings, but if there’s no words that go on that the the battle. We always have is that people don’t read

00:57:29.460 –> 00:57:36.120
The web pages anymore. So we don’t want to have small bits of content, which is all great like we just need to have those small bits of content and

00:57:36.510 –> 00:57:43.680
We can have multiple small bits of content to be able to get a message across. There are people who do like to read. And Google is one of them, right. They’re the

00:57:44.340 –> 00:57:50.700
Largest blind user on the internet so they can’t really see the pictures. So we need to at least explain what’s going on in the page.

00:57:52.230 –> 00:57:58.860
And if we are doing a migration and we have great content already and we’re ranking like knowing this is where rankings do coming into play.

00:57:59.190 –> 00:58:06.330
If we know we’re ranking well for certain pages and certain keywords like we want to make sure that like I prioritize those lists of pages so

00:58:06.840 –> 00:58:12.600
I want to map everything out. But I also want to make sure that, hey, these five categories are 80% of our traffic.

00:58:13.200 –> 00:58:20.280
Let’s not rock the boat as much on those, if we can, and maybe pull that same content and make I’m somebody who likes to have like

00:58:20.700 –> 00:58:30.900
Let’s keep the same title tag for now. That’s something we can change in the future. We’re gonna change content on the page. Let’s keep the same title tag or something like that. So that way, it’s easier for Google. The mapping thing there.

00:58:32.100 –> 00:58:34.500
But from that I, you know, it’s

00:58:35.550 –> 00:58:39.390
I feel like even if we have everything down the way wanted to go. It’s like

00:58:39.900 –> 00:58:47.970
There could always be that one thing i mean i run Screaming Frog through it a new site a million times run deep crawl through QA servers and like that, but

00:58:48.720 –> 00:59:02.850
Soon as we launch, it’s one of those where it’s just being. This is where our really rankings, maybe not, but I do look at things like on a daily basis because I want to make sure if I see anything start going down that we can address it right away so

00:59:03.300 –> 00:59:16.350
So I’ll see what you guys are saying, and I’ll raise you one. So obviously the content is very important in still, you have to have a content. If you want to rank for a specific thing.

00:59:16.860 –> 00:59:27.000
Redirects probably the most important. But one thing I just went through with a major, major retailer is they have had a bunch of content.

00:59:27.660 –> 00:59:38.190
And they, we had a redirect strategy in place. They wanted to rely less on one to ones because the system just didn’t support more than a certain amount and more on like rejects, which was fine.

00:59:38.760 –> 00:59:48.030
We can work around that. But they they did use it as a bit of an excuse to make the decision not to carry all the content over

00:59:48.420 –> 00:59:55.050
Content that for us was critical, and was within kind of that upper crust of pages driving

00:59:55.380 –> 01:00:05.790
Traffic in the decision making, was a little bit arbitrary because sometimes decision making comes from much higher above and sometimes comes without data informing

01:00:06.450 –> 01:00:17.250
Those decisions and then another function, which I did not expect with such a large organization was that the the team of people moving the content from old platform to new platform.

01:00:17.670 –> 01:00:28.710
Didn’t have the capacity to move at all. So, like, no matter how like if they were working every hour of every day, just on moving content they didn’t have the capacity to do it because they just didn’t have enough people

01:00:29.190 –> 01:00:42.810
So we had to go get into an exercise where we really had to help them prioritize which content got moved over and was present at launch, which meant that a certain portion

01:00:43.260 –> 01:00:53.190
Of content there was critical to performance, no matter what we did. We did every other thing right was not going to get moved over and that was a huge problem. Now luckily we

01:00:53.700 –> 01:01:04.980
solved it quickly after lunch, but we were like honestly we were we were really worried that like, hey, like you’re not moving over 30 or 40% of your content, like that’s going to be a problem.

01:01:05.700 –> 01:01:21.960
So we were definitely sounding sounding the alarm bells on on that one. And that’s just not something people talk about a lot is the actual transition and migration of the actual content they talked mostly about redirection but sometimes not all the content makes it over, which is crazy.

01:01:23.070 –> 01:01:24.210
It is crazy and

01:01:26.490 –> 01:01:34.380
Have you either have you read my article on migration tracking in Google Data studio. So my sites island called.com

01:01:35.550 –> 01:01:42.000
It’s on page article linked and that’s a way of tracking the tracking before and afters and making sure you don’t get the

01:01:42.750 –> 01:01:53.220
Web because track that trope or not or not and see what’s going on. But what I’m going to come into here is that sometimes it doesn’t matter if it does drop because if you

01:01:53.580 –> 01:02:13.020
redesign your site, you might be targeting it at a better audience and you have before. And I have an example with HSBC we have done this with hp.com is a global website and the majority of the traffic was from the US. And there was a separate us site where they could go into the banking.

01:02:14.460 –> 01:02:23.430
We got charged cross charged internally for searches, because the search was done on service CPUs run I regret, et cetera.

01:02:23.790 –> 01:02:31.380
So up and it was costing us quite a lot. So we said, Okay, how can we reduce the amount of searches that people doing and we looked at and said, Well,

01:02:31.710 –> 01:02:40.530
Majority searches are from people from the US looking for Internet banking. So I designed the stack a great big red button on the top right hand corner said login

01:02:41.880 –> 01:02:47.430
And it killed the amount of money we had a panel searches, because everybody coming. Yes, well that’s it bought off they went

01:02:49.950 –> 01:02:53.250
And if you understand what your audiences and then he just do something like that.

01:02:54.360 –> 01:03:01.440
It doesn’t matter that we had fundamentally a lot less page views because we were actually putting the audience, whether it needs to go.

01:03:02.250 –> 01:03:12.600
And reducing our costs. So for us it’s having those KPIs is far more important and that’s what marketing deal with anyway. A lot of SEOs need to get out of the

01:03:13.410 –> 01:03:20.340
The migration thing where you’re seeing and making sure it come back when it most the time that we do want that, and it should be like that. But there are occasions where

01:03:21.060 –> 01:03:29.520
As long as what you’re seeing from the bottom line and profits etc is continuing to rise or it needs to be. It’s okay.

01:03:30.930 –> 01:03:33.000
And maybe with the HBC site that we only

01:03:34.680 –> 01:03:36.990
Only redirected to hundreds URLs. So, so

01:03:38.550 –> 01:03:45.090
Actually what happened there was that a lot of the two hundreds didn’t cope and it was we had the right traffic.

01:03:46.380 –> 01:03:59.730
Yeah okay the traffic drops a lot, but actually was the right traffic that was still coming in. It was a journalist and investors and and people want to know the information. It wasn’t people trying to log on to their bank systems, etc. So

01:04:00.600 –> 01:04:02.190
You brought up a good, a good point.

01:04:03.240 –> 01:04:14.400
In terms of looking at some of those top line metrics and I, I know I’ve run into situations where like when you’re dealing with leadership or C, C suite, folks.

01:04:15.210 –> 01:04:33.570
They judge a sometimes it’s ill advised, but they judge the entire programs performance on those top line metrics visits, not necessarily the convergence in the actual bottom line, how do you, how do you handle that when that happens.

01:04:34.200 –> 01:04:37.710
When you have a situation like you had where you you did it on purpose.

01:04:38.370 –> 01:04:41.100
Yeah, well, we’re telling them. They’re idiots and they should be looking at this

01:04:41.730 –> 01:04:44.190
And that’s why I’m now freelance right

01:04:45.870 –> 01:04:51.870
The really when it comes to see Twitter, etc. You need to start building up dashboards that really just delivered to them.

01:04:52.620 –> 01:05:00.060
What they need to know now get into detail. It’s when you get the teams that are working for the C suite that you need to get more in more detail and the people

01:05:00.600 –> 01:05:10.200
Working for them even more details. So it’s really making sure that your analytics and your data is aimed at the right audience what you want to see.

01:05:10.560 –> 01:05:19.080
And with something like a C suite. If you, if they come in and look at the graphing down we’re going looks terrible. The grass cutting down so well, actually, this is the bounce rate.

01:05:20.640 –> 01:05:26.730
As a really bad example. This is a good thing. So it’s the way you present that information and you make sure when you go into

01:05:27.120 –> 01:05:34.290
A meeting with the C suite that you know exactly what is going to happen, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to tell them exactly what they’re expecting to see

01:05:35.460 –> 01:05:41.580
And you do that by making sure you have meetings beforehand with the people that work for them, etc. And and

01:05:42.960 –> 01:05:45.030
And make sure everything’s smooth as a really

01:05:47.010 –> 01:05:52.740
Great advice sage advice, though. So Simon, where can people find you at

01:05:53.610 –> 01:05:57.660
Simon cox.com, of course, we all own our own domain names. Don’t worry.

01:05:58.530 –> 01:06:00.450
I, I certainly do. Jeff.

01:06:00.600 –> 01:06:02.010
I do mine. Yeah, yeah.

01:06:03.330 –> 01:06:10.260
We all, we were not idiots in somebody else get the domain name. Wait, actually, I did that.

01:06:10.800 –> 01:06:12.870
I do on my own, my own domain name.

01:06:14.100 –> 01:06:17.040
Jacob says, But I, I’m the one that got it.

01:06:17.340 –> 01:06:22.530
There was a time I let mine laps and that’s right after the value of people

01:06:23.520 –> 01:06:27.480
took everything and I was just like, I took the site down and then by accident. I let it lapse and

01:06:27.840 –> 01:06:30.480
had sold by my domain name and try to sell it back to me.

01:06:31.980 –> 01:06:35.550
But that lasted about a year and then they just let it go. And then I just picked it up again. But

01:06:36.420 –> 01:06:36.990
It was interesting.

01:06:37.380 –> 01:06:38.730
You can also find me on Twitter.

01:06:38.940 –> 01:06:39.510

01:06:39.600 –> 01:06:48.150
That’s Simon Cox for those first in there. Thank you very much and you will find me a lot during the week doing Twitter chats for SEM rush

01:06:48.570 –> 01:07:03.600
SEO chat on Thursdays and a few others as well econ chat on Mondays UK time midday, which is before your app, but it’s very good. Very common stuff as well. So yeah, I’m mainly on Twitter I dumped Facebook and Instagram. Last year he before he even

01:07:04.740 –> 01:07:17.670
got fed up with it. I might have to dive back in for for work purposes, but from a personal point of view, I don’t do those anymore. But yeah, anything else as it is, I think, for my sis heroes. Yeah, yeah, it’s

01:07:17.700 –> 01:07:31.260
It’s a, it’s huge. What is it, tick, tick tock, and Instagram. Maybe, maybe good with with those young guns but Twitter’s still, still the main place for for SEO chats, at least as far as I’m concerned. Yeah.

01:07:32.160 –> 01:07:38.670
Well, well, thank you so much for for taking taking time and joining us and being candid. We really appreciate it.

01:07:39.240 –> 01:07:41.700
It’s wonderful. I’m really glad I won’t be back next week.

01:07:44.640 –> 01:07:46.110
Yes, yes, we

01:07:46.740 –> 01:07:47.730
Were moving on.

01:07:48.210 –> 01:07:50.790
That 20 minutes written seemed to go a long, long way.

01:07:50.880 –> 01:07:51.630

01:07:52.620 –> 01:07:54.030
It’s been really enjoyable. Thanks, guys.

01:07:55.620 –> 01:07:56.670
Thank you. Thank you.

#26: Season 2 Intro

We introduce the new co-host Jeff Louella, Jake talks about what he learned in Season 1 and what to expect in Season 2, and we even react to some SEO current events.

#25: Ross Hudgens

We talk with Ross Hudgens about the founding of Siege Media, entrepreneurial challenges, video SEO strategy and more.

#24: JP Sherman

We talk with JP Sherman about his incredibly diverse background before becoming an SEO, optimizing internal site search and more.

#23: Jenny Halasz

We talk with Jenny Halasz about her 20 years of SEO experience, the ebbs and flows of her career, founding her company and more.

#22: Niki Mosier

We talk with Niki Mosier about going from designing Wordpress sites to technical SEO, working with developers and more.

#21: Brian Gorman

We talk with Brian Gorman about going from a music career to SEO, link penalties, importance of developing an SEO specialty and more.

#20: Jennifer Wright

We talk with Jennifer Wright about going from social media to SEO, why SEO is like golf, content gap analysis and more.

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