Career Development

#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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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Yeah.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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,

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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.

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Oh,

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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.

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Yeah, I think we’ve all

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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.

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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

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Next,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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Interesting my career path. I’ve always wondered on like going in house, how would it be different than agency life. I feel sometimes

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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.

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Um, it is never slow

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That’s good.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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At the end of the day when your client side. Usually the buck stops at you.

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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.

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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.

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That’s great.

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That’s a, you’re right. I think I have a couple of his studies that are just a

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Somebody in this industry to this.

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Yeah well and if I’m

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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.

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But they all have good fit.

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And ultimately, like

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I can deal with most piles of poo, but I think

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my train of thought. We started talking about poop. And now I’m thinking about buying diapers later.

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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

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Nobody is going to be on their deathbed, saying, I wish, I wish I’d worked more

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Yeah, so that actually is really, really good advice because like I’ve had

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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

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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

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In yes sometimes you just have to like let certain things go and just be happy with the good points of have a job.

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Well, and I think SEO any job has its own

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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

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People in other fields just might might not fully grasp, like I have joked in the past about

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Have A DOG BARKING

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I’ve joked in the past about how

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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

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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.

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Whoa. That is a lot of pets.

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Yeah, do you want to do something with elder. Thank you.

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Um, my husband works from home to

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Us.

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Hey, where are we, yeah.

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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.

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A lot about poop.

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$28 whereas

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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.

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That, like, here I am thinking I tweet a lot, and I’ve got like a couple thousand tweets you you have 51,000

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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.

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As I was doing a little, a little pre show research and I just want to read it because I think it’s funny.

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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.

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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.

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Wow. So now I know what I’m getting my kids as a stocking stuffer this year.

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Yeah, last year we had reindeer. So I think this year, we have a snowman.

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Kids have the reindeer.

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You have

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Your poop.

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Or just know it’s Ranger the poops. Okay. Yeah.

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There’s a little brown jelly beans. Yeah, I assume this no man’s will be like my jelly beans.

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Never thought about that. I’m so sorry to the outside of all the poop. What’s it like to work at hallmark

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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.

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So,

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You don’t get to share all that goodness

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Yes, it’s a must tell you that my job is absurd. A lot of this.

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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

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This kind of different, different series and obviously I’m a huge Harry Potter person.

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Which is weird, because I’m a 37 year old man, and I’m into Harry Potter. So it’s not the most

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What’s your house.

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Huh.

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What’s your house.

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Oh, of course. I’m Griffin door, of course.

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Oh,

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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

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A hopeless. Yeah, we

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Are the house of hard work and loyalty and snacks and that is where I go. Haha.

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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.

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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.

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Because we actually have highly collectible stuff that launches on the site in April, that are most passionate customers will go after

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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.

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Christmas in July. So let’s let’s save that, because for those people. We don’t often

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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.

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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.

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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.

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But it’s been interesting because we haven’t really seen any changes. I look at MA’s cast and Alec have ruined.

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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

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Kind of casters right now, it’s, it’s an interesting approach. I thought it was something Google has been doing forever anyway.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Honestly, I haven’t seen significant change anywhere. Um,

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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.

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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

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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.

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In general, just because user habits are changing with holiday shopping and that sort of thing. So I think

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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And honestly, like that’s that’s the core of SEO to begin with. Like I part of what I evangelize.

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And all of the the arena as I touched from a search standpoint is

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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

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So as long as you keep that mindset, you are probably going to be fine with Burt that said

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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I see a lot of people talking about other people who are writing about optimizing for birth and I’m

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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

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Hopefully divvy up the results by, like, hey, this query is someone looking for looking for information this query is looking for

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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,

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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

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Web pages are being surfaced up and if you’re not doing that you should

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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,

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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.

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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

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Is anyone actually one of those brands that tanks are suddenly spikes.

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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

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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.

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I think

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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

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Use image search

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How many birds.

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birds, birds, never got this kind of publicity. Yeah, exactly.

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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.

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Crazy SEO.

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And

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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.

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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

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Here’s all these articles how Google says it’s important. Like it’s important for your customers. It’s important for search

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And still have a lot of customers who are happy, six, seven second load times

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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It’s kind of amazing how we can push the whole internet to roll something out but page has been fairly tough.

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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.

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I mean, I know this is experimental. I know it’s a first released, but there is a lot to be

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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.

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I have an opinion on everything SEO really

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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

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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.

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The Page Speed reports.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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,

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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

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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

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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.

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I looked at Search Console and i and i clicked in like okay show more details.

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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

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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.

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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

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Well, and I think the biggest thing that

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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.

364
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.

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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.

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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

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And, you know, at one point in time we were all those people dropping and single URLs into the mobile page speed tester.

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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,

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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

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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

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Query greatness.

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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

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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

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Allow me to be more lazy, I should say.

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Yeah, I’m definitely curious to see how it keeps evolving.

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Admittedly, pretty much every site I touch right now has load time issues.

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Or at least plenty of room for improvement, but I literally just sat on a webinar on Monday that was about

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WPS and amp and

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How

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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.

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So I think it’s interesting, and obviously mobile really keeps the conversation on on Page Speed propelling forward.

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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.

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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

384
00:53:36.960 –> 00:53:41.190
Continuation of, like, what’s coming in tech SEO. Yeah.

385
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.

386
00:53:49.050 –> 00:53:49.710
Tell the story.

387
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,

388
00:54:04.680 –> 00:54:05.850
I have a story to tell.

389
00:54:07.290 –> 00:54:10.410
And it is, I think, very similar to

390
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

391
00:54:20.670 –> 00:54:21.720
Very much.

392
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,

393
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.

394
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.

395
00:54:59.760 –> 00:55:02.760
They’re busy period where they make all of their all of their money.

396
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

397
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.

398
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

399
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.

400
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.

401
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

402
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.

403
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.

404
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

405
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

406
00:56:45.540 –> 00:56:52.620
Every year, because the this particular client didn’t invest the resources with turnover.

407
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.

408
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.

409
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.

410
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.

411
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

412
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

413
00:57:55.710 –> 00:57:57.990
To leave the lights on in January.

414
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

415
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

416
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

417
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.

418
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.

419
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.

420
00:58:57.480 –> 00:58:59.070
Yeah, well. Oh.

421
00:58:59.130 –> 00:59:00.000
Did you want to go.

422
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.

423
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.

424
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.

425
00:59:41.670 –> 00:59:44.880
Google is familiar with you knows what you have

426
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.

427
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

428
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

429
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.

430
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.

431
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.

432
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

433
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.

434
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

435
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.

436
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

437
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.

438
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,

439
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

440
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.

441
01:02:42.150 –> 01:02:42.750
Yeah.

442
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

443
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.

444
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.

445
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

446
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.

447
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.

448
01:04:03.870 –> 01:04:09.300
I typically shoot for three months. If I can

449
01:04:09.840 –> 01:04:10.920
To have content.

450
01:04:11.340 –> 01:04:12.210
On the site.

451
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.

452
01:04:20.430 –> 01:04:23.550
And my question is, why can you expand on the why.

453
01:04:23.820 –> 01:04:25.260
Oh yeah, um,

454
01:04:27.090 –> 01:04:33.690
So back when I actually started working on that sort of one to three month window.

455
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.

456
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.

457
01:05:01.830 –> 01:05:07.980
There’s like even even now for a variety of the sites I touch. There are

458
01:05:09.150 –> 01:05:13.530
scrambles happening last minute after it’s already in pre production to make sure that

459
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.

460
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

461
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

462
01:05:57.840 –> 01:06:00.870
Right. You’re giving Google time to digest it also right it’s

463
01:06:01.050 –> 01:06:02.460
Going to be crowded indexed.

464
01:06:03.000 –> 01:06:07.740
But then the get through all those you know algorithms to help it gain that value.

465
01:06:08.190 –> 01:06:13.230
Yeah, so it gives birth time to think about it in between dealing with his pigeons.

466
01:06:14.430 –> 01:06:15.240
My goodness.

467
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

468
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.

469
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

470
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.

471
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.

472
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

473
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.

474
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.

475
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

476
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

477
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.

478
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

479
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.

480
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.

481
01:08:55.200 –> 01:08:55.590
So, yeah.

482
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.

483
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

484
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.

485
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

486
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.

487
01:09:51.930 –> 01:09:54.180
But luckily they had tracked the dropouts.

488
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.

489
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.

490
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

491
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.

492
01:10:38.190 –> 01:10:42.150
gig is still thing. It’s not the same thing. There is no more dig effect.

493
01:10:42.210 –> 01:10:42.570
I used to

494
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

495
01:10:47.730 –> 01:10:51.900
There is still a Reddit affect the read it as well.

496
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.

497
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.

498
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

499
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.

500
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.

501
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.

502
01:11:55.860 –> 01:12:00.720
Do you ever notice clients, not knowing when their site goes down in holiday.

503
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.

504
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.

505
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.

506
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.

507
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

508
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

509
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

510
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.

511
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

512
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

513
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

514
01:13:36.690 –> 01:13:38.310
So it’s awesome, right. So,

515
01:13:38.580 –> 01:13:44.010
Speaking of sites going down in the holidays. Do you guys have any holiday horror stories.

516
01:13:49.980 –> 01:13:51.390
Don’t, don’t, don’t.

517
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

518
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.

519
01:14:16.350 –> 01:14:20.130
And now, even more so because some planning a birthday party now.

520
01:14:21.870 –> 01:14:23.460
But yeah, it’s, it’s

521
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.

522
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.

523
01:14:41.400 –> 01:14:42.450
Wasn’t my client.

524
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

525
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

526
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

527
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.

528
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

529
01:15:38.610 –> 01:15:41.550
I think it was the CMO I can’t exactly remember who it was.

530
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.

531
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

532
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

533
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

534
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.

535
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

536
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

537
01:16:55.230 –> 01:16:56.850
Like that would be a good problem to have.

538
01:16:56.910 –> 01:17:02.070
But for whatever reason. Yeah, no man they did it. That’s a true story just

539
01:17:02.220 –> 01:17:03.660
Stop your server processes.

540
01:17:03.990 –> 01:17:05.190
You

541
01:17:06.600 –> 01:17:10.230
I just had my mouth just hanging

542
01:17:10.290 –> 01:17:12.900
Okay, sorry.

543
01:17:13.050 –> 01:17:15.000
Yeah, that really happened.

544
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.

545
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

546
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.

547
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

548
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

549
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

550
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.

551
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

552
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,

553
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

554
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

555
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.

556
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.

557
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.

558
01:19:40.410 –> 01:19:45.750
Yeah, yeah. And we have multiple overnight pushes

559
01:19:46.770 –> 01:19:47.340
So,

560
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.

561
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

562
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.

563
01:20:29.790 –> 01:20:33.300
But that said, we also kind of fall into certain

564
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

565
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.

566
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.

567
01:21:21.780 –> 01:21:24.630
How important is work life balance for you. And how do you maintain it.

568
01:21:25.620 –> 01:21:32.400
Oh so important when I was talking about my layoff experience. I mentioned that

569
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

570
01:21:49.500 –> 01:21:55.350
Obviously as an as a newlywed I put more emphasis on family time with my husband.

571
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.

572
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

573
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.

574
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

575
01:22:44.190 –> 01:22:49.290
You know, leaving work earlier coming in late because there’s something going on with daycare.

576
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.

577
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

578
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.

579
01:23:25.980 –> 01:23:26.460
Yeah.

580
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

581
01:23:35.910 –> 01:23:36.360
You know,

582
01:23:38.010 –> 01:23:43.380
Some issues going to arise and suddenly you know your weekends gone because

583
01:23:44.400 –> 01:23:46.500
You’re fixing something that broke suddenly

584
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

585
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.

586
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

587
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

588
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

589
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.

590
01:25:03.630 –> 01:25:05.400
And speaking of loving what you do.

591
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.

592
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.

593
01:25:35.550 –> 01:25:36.660
Relationships.

594
01:25:38.790 –> 01:25:42.690
We may be working on robots all day and we

595
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

596
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.

597
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.

598
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.

599
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.

600
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

601
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

602
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

603
01:27:23.370 –> 01:27:25.740
Have said, and it’s very, very true.

604
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.

605
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.

606
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

607
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.

608
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

609
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.

610
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.

611
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

612
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.

613
01:29:10.050 –> 01:29:10.830
Gonna happen.

614
01:29:11.880 –> 01:29:12.300
So much

615
01:29:13.740 –> 01:29:14.730
This is great.

616
01:29:16.110 –> 01:29:16.590
Thank you.

#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.

#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.

#9: Joanna Galysh

We talk with Joanna Galysh about how to optimize for Amazon, ways to diversify your skillset, “reach” assignments and more.

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