We discuss how she went from a background in dance to a digital marketing role focused on link building and then eventually into a career in SEO, her experiences going between agencies and in-house roles, founding her own business and eventually shutting it down, the challenges and psychology of getting stuff implemented, and more.
In addition, we cover and share our perspective on a recent SEO “kerfuffle” around the subject of hiring for SEO and interview questions which stems from a tweet put out by Bill Hartzer which caused a few side-eyes in the industry (here, here, here).
And to round out this episode, we dive deep into what went into founding her podcast, and we share our experiences on what it’s like to run an SEO podcast, as well as some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a podcast come to life.
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Jacob Stoops: Hey everybody this is Jacob stoops and we are here for another episode of the Page 2 Podcast. Hi, Jeff. How’s it going?
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Jeff Louella: It’s going well. How you doing?
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Jacob Stoops: That’s, I feel like our bit, Jeff. You’ve got it. You’ve got to come like…
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Jeff Louella: I gotta come stronger.
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Jacob Stoops: Well no, you come the same way every week and I feel like you got
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Jacob Stoops: To like keep
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Jacob Stoops: me on my toes in terms of I’m not very good at figuring out a great way to introduce it’s you. Maybe I’ll just do the introductions and you introduce me
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Jeff Louella: We’ve got this. Come up with my own recorded drop and it’ll be like a mega like coming soon.
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Jacob Stoops: And we also have as a guest from across the pond Sarah McDowell, SEO specialist at LikeMind Media, and you might better know her as the host of the SEO SAS podcast. How’s it going, Sarah.
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Sarah McDowell: I am thrilled to be on your podcast. So things are going really well for me. How about you guys?
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Jacob Stoops: Pretty good, pretty good. It’s getting as my kids are reminded we’re about two weeks away from from Christmas and Christmas time and holiday time in agency world is. It’s crazy, man. It’s, it’s been crazy
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Jeff Louella: It’s crazy that it just dies. Yeah.
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Jacob Stoops: Yeah. And everybody goes on PTO
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Sarah McDowell: See, for me it squeeze in the same amount of work that needs to be done, but in less time. So obviously, instead of I’ve only really got two and a half weeks to still do all the jobs that I need to do. So it’s a bit of a headache, but yeah.
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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, it’s the life we live, it’s nice to have another podcaster on with us.
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Sarah McDowell: Likewise, it’s nice to talk to a fellow podcaster,
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Sarah McDowell: Is
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Jacob Stoops: Before we jumped on that this was the first podcast where you’ve actually been a guest.
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Sarah McDowell: Yes, so please be kind and please be gentle with me. Haha.
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Jacob Stoops: That’s what the that’s what the last people said, I’m wondering if we’re
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A reputation. That’s funny.
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Sarah McDowell: Cuz I’ve been listening to your podcasts and yeah, I’ve just got em. It’s a good one. So one night me as a guest. I want to do well. So, yes, but
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Sarah McDowell: It’s my first time and but after today we have been invited to be on another one. So I think so and but yeah it’s weird to not have control of the podcast, I’m not gonna lie.
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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, if you’re if you’re a can. And I’m not saying you’re a control freak. But if you are a control freak. This is probably really difficult.
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Sarah McDowell: Patient comfortable now. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.
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Jacob Stoops: So I especially with with your podcast. Obviously, I, I feel like the the way that we booked guests has been very, very organic in terms of like
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Jacob Stoops: There are people that are known. I feel like commodities and have been for some time in the industry and, and when I sat down, about a year ago and tried to figure out, okay, like what do I want to do with the podcast, who do I want on
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Jacob Stoops: In even this year there are definitely names that I feel like they come up and all the conferences like the you, you know, you can bet you could almost like
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Jacob Stoops: Put mug shots or whatever, whatever. And but one of the other things that has happened that I’ve noticed and why I say it’s very organic and not really
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Jacob Stoops: I don’t really think the way that we put guests is stale is if you’re if you’re following SEO on the on the Twitter. I feel like especially recently there been a lot of newer people that have come across my
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Jacob Stoops: Feed that I have found very interesting and when I find that to be the case. I say, I think I want to talk to them.
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Jacob Stoops: And you happen to be to be one of those people that I would say is a little bit and I don’t know how long you’ve been doing this. We’ll get into
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Jacob Stoops: Into that. But as far as it relates to me, noticing your presence on Twitter. Um, I would say that’s been more more recent and especially because you’re a fellow podcaster, I was like, I really think it would be great.
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Jacob Stoops: TO HAVE YOU ON so that’s that’s why you’re here and you were gracious enough to say yes and to to come on and I think we’re really interested to hear your story.
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Sarah McDowell: Okay, so, um, how do I start. That’s the question. And so, I mean, I, I sort of fell into SEO to be to be completely honest, so I sorry
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Jacob Stoops: Yes. Does everybody
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Sarah McDowell: Well, actually, I got a degree and dancing and realized that it was far too competitive and the best. I was better at African
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Sarah McDowell: And then any of the principal and then I couldn’t make a living. So I was like, right, what can I do
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Sarah McDowell: And I basically applied for a reception role as an SEO company that had been filled but they wanted to grow their link building team. So that’s where I started. And that was 2012, I believe. And so how many years ago. Is that, is that my six or seven. I’m not very good with math.
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Sarah McDowell: And so, so yes and i i was working in that agency for a good few years and I learned everything on the job. So I started from the bottom sort of link building
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Sarah McDowell: And and then I did content and content outreach and I just was there for about four years and I grew in the company sort of thing.
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Sarah McDowell: And then after been there for about four years. I then went to work in house because I was like, Okay, so I’ve got agency. I want to know what it’s like to work in house and how different that is obviously with agency, you’ve got the sort of
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Sarah McDowell: Different companies that you’re working for different industries different challenges. So I was like, Okay. Wonder if it’s less of a headache. If it’s just internal. And so, yes. So I did that for a bit.
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Sarah McDowell: And then I did that for a couple of companies and then I finally so I did have my own
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Sarah McDowell: Sort of marketing digital marketing agency for a bit and I got lonely. To be completely honest and and pull my boss.
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Sarah McDowell: I sort of knew like he was a friend and he was like, Oh, why don’t you just join like mind media and which is where I work. Now, and and he bought me in so
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Sarah McDowell: Whenever we hire someone he wants to hire someone that has a specialism in some sort. So obviously I came in with my SEO and and I sort of
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Sarah McDowell: Went with him, like all I’ve got an idea to do a podcast and i mean i don’t know if I’m like jumping ahead a bit ahead of myself better. And can I go in and talk about how the podcast came about is that, does that make sense. Let’s
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Jacob Stoops: Let’s leave that to the
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To the end because I
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Jacob Stoops: Questions for you and I definitely want to deep dive on the on the podcast, towards the end of the episode. So let’s let’s let’s wait on that one will get back to it and let’s talk about you outside of the podcast.
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Sarah McDowell: Okay well me as an individual in the SEO world.
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Sarah McDowell: Okay, well, yes. So I basically am so like I said, I fell into and I just love it because I mean this is the cliche, but we all know that Google is changing.
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Sarah McDowell: Like what worked 510 years ago. Doesn’t work now and i i can get quite bored as a person. I’m a bit flaky and friends reference there.
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Sarah McDowell: And so that so SEO kind of suits me because it’s always changing and you’ve got to sort of be ahead of the game, haven’t you, you’ve always got to
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Sarah McDowell: Be reading what’s what’s what’s going to industry events and stuff and and day to day activities. Wow, it’s like
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Sarah McDowell: Every day. So how I sort of work with my clients. So how clients come on board is like, Oh, I’ve got an issue with something
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Sarah McDowell: And they reach out and then they say, well, what, why is this. Can you help me. So then it’s finding what the reasons why basically behind if I if I’m making sense. And so I like to sort of diagnostic
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Sarah McDowell: And put in my sort of investigators hat on and also just trying stuff and
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Sarah McDowell: Like tried and tried and things on a client’s website and seeing if it works. If it doesn’t work, then we always transparent and say why we’ll try something new.
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Sarah McDowell: But at the same time, it’s great when you try something and it does work and they get an increase in traffic or they get an increase in rankings or the type of traffic is better for conversion sort of thing.
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Jacob Stoops: So I have to ask, you’ve been in what I call agency world three times, but you also dabbled in house which which do you like better, and why
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Sarah McDowell: Oh right, I’m going to say agency, just because and with agency, you get to work with lots of different industries.
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Sarah McDowell: And with different industries comes like different sort of challenges and problems. And so when I was working in house. Yes, you get really good and you can nation and industry.
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Sarah McDowell: However, and so when I was working for in house. It was for assistance firm and however I prefer more agency, because it’s more varied and you get to try new things out.
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Sarah McDowell: And and especially when it comes to SEO and things that I can dabble and try as agency. Where is if I’m just stuck in house working on one service, for example, and I don’t get to try new things as much
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Jeff Louella: Yeah, I feel sometimes. So I’ve always worked in agencies and never worked in house and
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Jeff Louella: Sometimes I do, I feel like I hit a limit on the agency side where
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Jeff Louella: You know, I’m giving recommendations to my client who either has a development team or has hired a separate development team.
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Jeff Louella: And sometimes they have different priorities right so now i don’t i’m always the outside person looking in. And a lot of my companies that I’m working for where I feel like if I went in house.
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Jeff Louella: I could be in there badgering them every day to get installed. But then once it’s implemented, you’re right. I think after a while you just like after working on the same site. And I think it’s why I’ve always stayed at agencies because
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Jeff Louella: Like I have a team and I can do a lot of in house people you’re one person.
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Jeff Louella: And you know you have a team we we actually get to definitely work on different things, all the times and and clients really like to mess up their sites, a lot and and we’re there to that we’re always there to be able to help and I feel like I get a lot more
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Jeff Louella: I get exposed to a lot more
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Jeff Louella: Being at the agency level, but sometimes I don’t feel like I get as deep as I want to get where you could probably get in house but
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I think yes.
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Sarah McDowell: Yeah, that’s a really good point, actually. So obviously, if you are in house. Then you’ve got sort of one focus and you can spend more time.
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Sarah McDowell: Because the one thing with agency and is you’ve only got a finite amount of time and we could all do with one more day and also it’s sort of juggling
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Sarah McDowell: What the client sees as a priority and what really is a priority. And so I have conversations with clients quite a lot of time where they deemed something more important.
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Sarah McDowell: Than something else that I want to work on and it’s the challenge of sort of proving okay what you want to work on is important, however, and
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Sarah McDowell: That, for example, when when when the medic update that was quite a while ago now as first day that I could think of the top of my head.
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Sarah McDowell: And there was quite, quite a few of my clients, where they needed to, especially the clients that we’re working in like given many advice medical advice there was work to be done there on sort of
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Sarah McDowell: On their about page and on the team page and getting the expertise across. And that’s what I wanted to work on, whereas they wanted to work on other things like the fluffier stuff that looks good to you. I mean, and
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Sarah McDowell: That’s the challenge really isn’t it is managing clients expectations and getting the point across that this is what needs to be worked on. And this is why
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Jacob Stoops: I always feel like, Well, I’ve said it, like many, many, many times. The hardest part of SEO is implementation, and I believe that that occurs.
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Jacob Stoops: Whether you’re in house or whether you’re at an agency.
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Jacob Stoops: I think the benefit of going in house and like sometimes when I’m at an agency, because I’ve jumped back and forth a couple of times you’re
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Jacob Stoops: You’re sometimes always yearning, a little bit for like the grass is grass is greener and sometimes when I’m when you know when you’re getting bombarded with a bunch of different industries, a bunch of different clients sometimes crazy work hours.
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Jacob Stoops: You’re always like, Man, I wish I could just for once, focus on one site for a finite amount of time and
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Sarah McDowell: See it
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Jacob Stoops: Through but then when I get there, I realized just like Jeff said, I’m the only one of my team. And at a certain point, like, especially if you’re having difficulty getting things implemented it gets quite
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Jacob Stoops: Boring. So I’ve found over the years that I just for in again in house SEOs are awesome. But I found for me.
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Jacob Stoops: The agency side tends to work a little bit more. But what I was getting to
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Jacob Stoops: Is the idea that sometimes implementation is really hard and it becomes an exercise in psychology. And what I mean by that is, how can I convince this third party to do
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Jacob Stoops: What they what I need them to do in order to make myself my agency their site successful and sometimes you really have to think about
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Jacob Stoops: Psychologically, what can you say to them to make them or what can you show them to make them want to change their minds which can be difficult because people don’t like
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Jacob Stoops: Change and there’s often egos involved in different priorities and that’s part of the fun, especially on in quote unquote agency world being kind of on the outside.
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Jacob Stoops: Looking in making the case to get your stuff implemented because you do have a short time window. It’s one of the greatest challenges we all face.
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Sarah McDowell: And it does at a date. Now, if you guys and what strictly Strictly Come Dancing or, you know, the UK strictly and but there was a judge on that she’s not anymore but darcey bussell so the
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Sarah McDowell: ballerina and this will be relevant, I promise. And when she was given feedback to dances. She’d always give the darcey bussell shit sandwich. And were you sort of
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Sarah McDowell: So you start with the positive, then you go with the negative and then you go with the positive again and I sort of. That’s how I sort of approach clients and stuff. So say for example, a client has just
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Sarah McDowell: They’ve got a new website and then they’ve come to you to SEO it. Yeah. And in that, and that’s what they actually say, oh, can you just SEO. This sign is that okay
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Sarah McDowell: Yeah, I’ve got issues with you to say that, but hey, I will will get over that. But yeah, but it’s sort of say, and you realize that the site isn’t
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Sarah McDowell: technically sound for SEO and that’s where the shit sandwich comes in. So I always try and find a positive to say. So if I can find something about user experience or page speed, for example, I’ll start with that.
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Sarah McDowell: And then I’ll say. However, this is not so good because this is the reasons why. And this is the opportunities and and yeah and then now end on a high as well. So there you go. The Darcy associate sandwich.
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Jacob Stoops: So I actually know more about dancing, then you might think
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Jacob Stoops: Said, I’m not a drama terrible dancer. My wife grew up as a as a dancer and why that’s relevant. Now it’s because you mentioned like one of the only dance shows that she probably doesn’t watch
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Jacob Stoops: But she watches literally every dance reality TV show. Well,
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Jacob Stoops: I’m sure that there are more than this, but like we have watched dancing with the stars like every season since we’ve been together, which is going on like over a decade.
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Jacob Stoops: Now, and also. So You Think You Can Dance. I’m pretty well versed in dance reality shows and I’m actually surprised that I did not know that one.
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Sarah McDowell: Straight king. I mean, yes, I mean it’s the UK one. I mean, it’s coming to an end. Now, but that’s been on everyone’s wow that’s what me and my girlfriend watch
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Jacob Stoops: favorite type of dance.
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Sarah McDowell: Oh,
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Sarah McDowell: Well, I’ve not dancing, very long time. But when I was at university studying it. I preferred African peoples dance. So my course was dancing culture. So you got to do five different principles.
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Sarah McDowell: So we did African Khattak which is a Indian style of dancing ballet. I was rubbish at ballet, because it was just too strict can get on that and contemporary and cartography so African peoples dance was the form that I enjoyed the most
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Jacob Stoops: So I would say I think contemporary is the one that always in and I, my wife is a major crier. And I’m like, I would say I’m a minor crier like I get. I get a little bit emotional and I feel like contemporary always kind of brings that brings that out.
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Jacob Stoops: But then I would say in terms of like just really cool to watch. Um, it’s called POP POP locking
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Jacob Stoops: I can’t remember the name
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Sarah McDowell: But it took a night sweet so
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Jacob Stoops: Walking like quick robotic movements. I always find that fascinating.
00:18:16.830 –> 00:18:17.430
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Jacob Stoops: Jeff, can you pop luck.
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Jeff Louella: I could do the robot like it’s like
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Sarah McDowell: Me you
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Jeff Louella: Know, I am not a good dancer whatsoever. I do like to dance to embarrass my kids.
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What’s a good
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Sarah McDowell: One.
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Jacob Stoops: Fact in the, the only other dance thing that I’m that I’m going to talk about if you search YouTube for Jake and Gina wedding dance.
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Jacob Stoops: I’m all over that we actually did a choreographed dance at our wedding with
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Jacob Stoops: Something like 18 total bridesmaids and groomsmen
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Jacob Stoops: flippin oh yeah it was it was crazy.
00:19:00.330 –> 00:19:02.760
Sarah McDowell: I’ll be checking that out straight after this podcast.
00:19:03.780 –> 00:19:04.890
Jeff Louella: Check it out right now while we’re on it.
00:19:07.920 –> 00:19:09.480
Sarah McDowell: Multitasking is fine.
00:19:13.410 –> 00:19:14.580
Jacob Stoops: Fun. Cool.
00:19:20.760 –> 00:19:21.930
Jacob Stoops: Awesome, man.
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Jeff Louella: No, I don’t know much about dancing, but
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Jeff Louella: No, I mean, I
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Jeff Louella: I’m kind of been going through some of these new things and wanted to think we should jump into one of those or
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Jacob Stoops: Hold on, I wanted to ask, I wanted to ask about link building and what it’s like, because we’ve had. I feel like a lot of the people that we have on tend to lean technical
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Jacob Stoops: More so than more so than anything. And we’ve had a few that have come on from the content and link building
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Jacob Stoops: Side of the house. And as somebody that’s been doing that for a long time. I guess I would ask you, Sarah, what’s, what is that like, and how do you feel like that has shaped your
00:20:05.940 –> 00:20:22.890
Jacob Stoops: Perspective on the available, I would say the available options to you as an SEO because I feel like there are some people that just don’t do link building because they either think it’s bad or risky or just not something they’re comfortable doing so, like, how is
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Jeff Louella: None of them.
00:20:24.870 –> 00:20:36.570
Sarah McDowell: Oh really, well, I mean, so obviously when I, when I first got into SEO and I was doing link building. I am going to put my hands up and say that I did.
00:20:36.930 –> 00:20:41.310
Sarah McDowell: And I mean I don’t do it anymore. But I did tend to do more with the
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Sarah McDowell: The bad, sort of, well, not the bad but like them, you know, the more spammy ways of lie on a forum and you get like a link and somehow or you just go on that directories and and you know like back in the day, sort of,
00:20:56.010 –> 00:21:07.110
Sarah McDowell: link building that worked. Where is now. And Google has sort of Google is prioritizing sort of quality and value of the link and relevancy as well.
00:21:07.560 –> 00:21:19.020
Sarah McDowell: And so I have found so obviously because of that link building nowadays. It takes a lot more time and a lot more effort needs to
00:21:19.530 –> 00:21:30.630
Sarah McDowell: Go into it, but you do get rewarded and link links are always going to be the bread and butter, because that’s you hear that a lot of data that or you don’t need to link build anymore.
00:21:31.170 –> 00:21:37.440
Sarah McDowell: That’s not SEO. You don’t need to. But you still do, it’s still going to be one of those fundamentals, it’s still going to be one of the things that Google looks at
00:21:37.890 –> 00:21:44.610
Sarah McDowell: And and there’s different ways that you can go about link building. And so, for example,
00:21:45.420 –> 00:21:57.630
Sarah McDowell: One way that I will always do is I always do competitive research at first. So using tools to find out where where competitors have got links and seeing where I can
00:21:58.320 –> 00:22:12.210
Sarah McDowell: My right like opportunities for my clients. And I also think of content. So obviously, and creating high value content that shareable and it’s not just like a boring.
00:22:13.740 –> 00:22:30.540
Sarah McDowell: Boring Stuff, but things like content that’s actually going to make someone stop and read and think, Okay, this is going to help me so I don’t know you doing original research or doing something that that’s emotional. So whether it’s funny. If it’s and makes you cry sort of thing.
00:22:31.620 –> 00:22:45.780
Sarah McDowell: And so obviously when you’ve put your time aside to put together this content. It’s then reaching out and to then get people to link to it. Also, there’s another way. So say you’re doing an expert piece and you could invite
00:22:46.650 –> 00:22:57.240
Sarah McDowell: Seven experts in your industry and to contribute to a piece you then outreach to them and let them know because they’ll link back to you sort of thing. And I mean, I do think
00:22:57.750 –> 00:23:07.380
Sarah McDowell: There is a tendency that some companies will think, oh, if I make content that is really valuable and really good links will just come to me.
00:23:07.800 –> 00:23:15.750
Sarah McDowell: Where is is as idealistic as that is, you do need some work. And you do need to put it in front of people and tell people about it.
00:23:16.140 –> 00:23:28.830
Sarah McDowell: And but yeah so but you could also do something that’s a bit PR and so Brighton SEO and there was a talk by Oliver Brett who works at Screaming Frog.
00:23:29.220 –> 00:23:40.050
Sarah McDowell: And and he was like showing how you can sort of use fake news. Now I know fake news sort of gets a bit of a bad rap. But there is times where you can
00:23:40.380 –> 00:23:52.260
Sarah McDowell: Buy fake news as. Okay. So, for example, and like, I don’t know. And there was a football game and championship game or something and
00:23:53.160 –> 00:24:05.850
Sarah McDowell: And it was a it was England vs FRANCE, IT WAS THIS T shirt that would have the England flag. But then when you’re around people from France In France supporters, it would turn into a French flag.
00:24:06.210 –> 00:24:11.550
Sarah McDowell: And they put this product on the website, obviously it wasn’t a real product. It was just something fun.
00:24:11.940 –> 00:24:27.450
Sarah McDowell: And and yeah they got that into the news and people wanted to link build to it and another good example that I’ve seen. And so, Carrie Rose, who heads up an agency link building agency and who has been a
00:24:28.410 –> 00:24:39.750
Sarah McDowell: guest on our show. And so there’s game in the UK and they came up together they came up with a Christmas, Christmas dinner so is Christmas dinner.
00:24:40.080 –> 00:24:50.490
Sarah McDowell: All in a can, for gamers and and then I optimize the site for that and did a vegan and veggie virgin version and then reached out to
00:24:51.450 –> 00:25:04.980
Sarah McDowell: The PR and newspapers and stuff like that and like the genome or large Bible and again they so I don’t know, I feel like I’m blabbing but I don’t know if that’s given some insight that yeah
00:25:05.340 –> 00:25:24.210
Jacob Stoops: I think the key is in today’s world, like the the easy stuff. It just doesn’t work. It’s the stuff that you had that it’s hard and link building shouldn’t be hard in in any links that you’re building should be hard one. And you should have to be creative and I think
00:25:25.470 –> 00:25:42.360
Jacob Stoops: Those tend to be the ones that at least Google says that they value, more so than the ones that are a little bit more artificial in spammy. But one thing I wanted to say is when people talk about link building a lot of folks really think about it from an external
00:25:43.380 –> 00:25:54.660
Jacob Stoops: Standpoint, in terms of third party site linking to your website. And when I I think about link building. I think one of the most underrated aspects of link building is internal links.
00:25:54.870 –> 00:25:55.680
Sarah McDowell: Yes.
00:25:55.770 –> 00:25:56.910
Jacob Stoops: Or no link building right
00:25:57.270 –> 00:25:57.720
Sarah McDowell: A lot of
00:25:58.080 –> 00:26:10.770
Jacob Stoops: I’m dealing with a situation right now where we’ve got on one of my clients. We went from not having a lot of pages that talked about their product to over the course of this year, building those out.
00:26:11.550 –> 00:26:24.600
Jacob Stoops: The problem exist is exists is that they talk about their product on their on their blog quite a lot, but because these product pages are so new, they don’t have a lot of links within the site.
00:26:25.380 –> 00:26:25.650
Jeff Louella: Yes.
00:26:26.310 –> 00:26:28.230
Jeff Louella: Okay, let’s take this these
00:26:28.260 –> 00:26:37.950
Jacob Stoops: thousand or so blog pages because you’re not putting these product links in your navigation yet so they’re not site wide. Well, let’s increase the importance by
00:26:38.280 –> 00:26:48.120
Jacob Stoops: Looking at any time you’re mentioning the product in your blog post, but it’s not linked and you can pretty easily use screening frogs not
00:26:48.450 –> 00:26:50.790
Sarah McDowell: Interaction search feature to go and look
00:26:50.790 –> 00:27:02.820
Jacob Stoops: For any instances of where you’re mentioning a specific word or phrase across your website and boom, those are unlinked dimensions within your own website easy and there’s
00:27:04.530 –> 00:27:07.590
Jeff Louella: A there’s actually WordPress plugins that would actually if these were
00:27:07.590 –> 00:27:14.340
Jeff Louella: Just as your blog that would, you would automatically just say these are the terms link here and it anytime a blog post was written.
00:27:15.450 –> 00:27:19.800
Jeff Louella: It would do that at Zappos actually used to do that internally when foot product reviews.
00:27:20.670 –> 00:27:29.700
Jeff Louella: Anytime. If you would say like these Nike sneakers are awesome and they would just highlight Nike automatically in a review like as a reviewer. I’m not linking to that page.
00:27:30.450 –> 00:27:40.830
Jeff Louella: I think they recently stopped doing that probably little spammy but but it was internal so there was one of those where they weren’t linking out there, creating internal links that way. So,
00:27:41.310 –> 00:27:43.680
Jacob Stoops: Let’s go. Oh, go ahead. Sarah.
00:27:44.010 –> 00:27:50.760
Sarah McDowell: No, I was just gonna say, I think a lot of businesses, Miss, miss a big opportunity with their homepage with internal linking
00:27:51.150 –> 00:28:03.900
Sarah McDowell: And especially like seasonal and opportunities. So if you’ve got a Christmas promotion or Christmas products that over the Christmas season, for example, or that’s all the way around, or maybe
00:28:04.260 –> 00:28:14.820
Sarah McDowell: You’ve put together this really good bit of content that is adding value. It’s got research. It’s got experts and people just forget to use the homepage to link to it because
00:28:15.210 –> 00:28:28.320
Sarah McDowell: And so, Hannah co host of the SEO SAS podcast came up with a really nice analogy. So when you’re thinking of like internal linking. You got to think of the homepage is the trunk. So that’s the core. And that’s the structure
00:28:28.740 –> 00:28:34.140
Sarah McDowell: And then you’ve got the branches. The first lots of branches and that’s sort of like your first
00:28:34.590 –> 00:28:48.150
Sarah McDowell: Two pages that are coming off that and then you’ve got a leaves as well, which you child pages. And I thought that was a nice way to think of how like how you sigh in the sort of how you can use it sort of thing.
00:28:50.250 –> 00:29:04.170
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, and and it that actually as you were saying that reminded me of some of the newer visualization tools that some of the crawlers have come out with. And I’ve never thought of it as like an actual tree, but
00:29:04.770 –> 00:29:05.880
Jacob Stoops: Start thinking about it.
00:29:06.960 –> 00:29:07.470
Jacob Stoops: That way.
00:29:08.070 –> 00:29:20.910
Sarah McDowell: It just makes sense because like your home. I think people forget and I mean this is a bugbear of mine is when people don’t like we don’t need much text on the homepage. That’s just have like put your pictures and it’s just like now.
00:29:21.210 –> 00:29:25.830
Sarah McDowell: That is just a missed opportunity there. And yeah, so I mean
00:29:26.160 –> 00:29:28.080
Jacob Stoops: Most powerful page people
00:29:30.480 –> 00:29:32.580
Jacob Stoops: What people can’t see is me shaking
00:29:33.990 –> 00:29:37.830
Jacob Stoops: Not actually shaking myself but shaking up a fake client.
00:29:38.670 –> 00:29:47.340
Sarah McDowell: And one more. One more point on this is some people. I did have a conversation with a client. And they were just like they didn’t. They were worried that
00:29:47.910 –> 00:29:56.460
Sarah McDowell: Their homepage was going to be too long, like scrolling wise and it was like that is the that’s the wrong point here that it wasn’t even that long at all. But yeah.
00:29:58.080 –> 00:30:05.490
Jeff Louella: It was funny. A check our website that had like this gigantic like look like an HTML site map at the bottom of their homepage.
00:30:06.270 –> 00:30:14.850
Jeff Louella: With like every link to their whole site. I just went to go pulled up the kind of talk about it, and it seemed like they remove that it might have been just for the holidays. They put that in there so
00:30:16.050 –> 00:30:24.690
Jeff Louella: It was a company off of Amazon own called eating. I like to go in Amazon’s footer and look at all the companies they list every company, they kind of own or work with at the bottom and
00:30:25.080 –> 00:30:36.720
Jeff Louella: It was one. I was like, I never heard of this one. And I clicked on it and it, it literally was a hero image and then like an HTML site map underneath it for every single like category product page they had
00:30:38.070 –> 00:30:41.130
Jeff Louella: Which I kind of liked because it got me through the site as quick as I could.
00:30:42.660 –> 00:30:44.040
Sarah McDowell: Again, no point in being
00:30:44.340 –> 00:30:48.690
Jeff Louella: You and I think that’s probably why they did it. So it was interesting. It’s not there now.
00:30:50.520 –> 00:30:57.720
Jacob Stoops: Jeff, I, I, I’ve got one more question, because I know you’re chomping at the bit to get to the news and I know that I also have a rant. So I want to get to that.
00:30:58.560 –> 00:31:10.260
Jacob Stoops: But Sarah, you mentioned you were, you were at an agency, not at you created an agency and then you decided not to do it anymore. Like what, what went into into that.
00:31:11.670 –> 00:31:26.370
Sarah McDowell: Okay, so basically I’m always up for trying something new, which is why I do a podcast. That’s how I got into roller derby. And so I’m always if someone says. Also, why don’t you try. I’m gonna try basically so
00:31:26.880 –> 00:31:35.640
Sarah McDowell: It was after a conversation. So when I went at my last service in house. For this list, as I mentioned earlier,
00:31:36.150 –> 00:31:49.020
Sarah McDowell: And they were mentioning that they were going to get rid of internal marketing and outsource at all. So obviously I had to go and find myself for the job and I, my boss at the time, not the boss now, but he was really
00:31:50.550 –> 00:31:58.500
Sarah McDowell: It was just quite an inspirational because he he was just like Sarah, you’ve got so I obviously had some connections still
00:31:58.800 –> 00:32:11.190
Sarah McDowell: And with the clients from that business because even though. Yes, I worked internally for DHL we also had like another branch which offered external marketing services.
00:32:12.150 –> 00:32:21.870
Sarah McDowell: And I saw and I had good relationships with the clients and and my boss at the time, just like you should try going on your own.
00:32:22.500 –> 00:32:29.310
Sarah McDowell: When you go on your own. It’s not like you have to start from scratch. You’ve already got it was about three or four clients to start with.
00:32:29.700 –> 00:32:36.990
Sarah McDowell: And when I approached them and said look, and the company is closing but I decided to go on my own. And would you
00:32:37.410 –> 00:32:46.020
Sarah McDowell: If I, if that’s the case, which would be happy if I carried on. And everyone was supportive and they’re like, Yes. And so, yeah, I did that for a bit and
00:32:46.380 –> 00:32:52.230
Sarah McDowell: The company, may I made profit which I’m told in your first year, not many businesses do
00:32:52.980 –> 00:33:01.440
Sarah McDowell: But because it was digital. I didn’t really have that many costs, overhead costs. So it was quite lucrative isn’t it is the word is
00:33:01.920 –> 00:33:17.220
Sarah McDowell: And and yeah and it just got to a point where yes, I was making money and I could pay the bills and I had this flexibility. I just got lonely and I because I’m
00:33:17.820 –> 00:33:27.060
Sarah McDowell: I like being part of a team and I just felt like I missed having conversations with that because obviously I could have conversations
00:33:27.480 –> 00:33:34.230
Sarah McDowell: online or at live events and stuff but I missed the live internal conversations where you also have
00:33:35.040 –> 00:33:47.430
Sarah McDowell: You care about this one thing that you’re working towards, and it was if something bad happened and which is part and parcel of owning a business that failed on me something good happened. It was like a one person party.
00:33:48.630 –> 00:34:04.260
Sarah McDowell: And yeah, it just got to a point where I just decided that being a savvy business, business woman wasn’t for me and and yeah decided to but and I did speak to. So when I was going through that and running my business.
00:34:05.070 –> 00:34:12.120
Sarah McDowell: I did know my boss now at my my media Paul and I was always honest with him. And that’s when he was like, well,
00:34:12.540 –> 00:34:26.040
Sarah McDowell: You can come and work for, for me, and you still have the flexibility but you have the support and you’ll be working with a team and and that, so. So yes, I can say that I’ve tried it, but it wasn’t for me basically
00:34:27.630 –> 00:34:32.310
Jeff Louella: It’s, it’s tough. I mean, even just running a team can be tough, but let alone having to
00:34:32.970 –> 00:34:41.490
Jeff Louella: Deal with people live people’s livelihood and things like that. It’s I it’s funny. I always had the in my head, I’m like, I always want to start a business.
00:34:42.210 –> 00:34:49.170
Jeff Louella: And then I get to positions where I need to like I’m in charge of someone like whether they have a paycheck.
00:34:50.010 –> 00:34:58.680
Jeff Louella: And things like that and it gets a little scary sometimes and I realized like, you know, I, I’m really great at solving problems and solving like
00:34:59.070 –> 00:35:06.870
Jeff Louella: Technical issues on SEOs for SEO and things like that. I’m not great at HR, that is the one thing that you really need to be to
00:35:07.590 –> 00:35:21.960
Jeff Louella: To to run a company right it’s more you have to be a people person and and sometimes I just don’t have that empathy and me when the little I’m just like, Is your work done know and it’s like, well, I don’t care about anything else. And it’s not the right way to do it because
00:35:23.640 –> 00:35:36.150
Jeff Louella: I know like I need to connect a little bit better with my co workers, let alone if I was actually the one in charge of everything in there so it. I totally get wanting to go back and being part of part of the team and
00:35:37.170 –> 00:35:38.850
Jeff Louella: There’s a special breed, to be able to run it all.
00:35:39.240 –> 00:35:51.000
Sarah McDowell: And it’s like when because when you’re in a team. You can you can stay up to date with stuff that’s happening more because you have conversations date. Yeah. And or say you want to try some new
00:35:51.390 –> 00:36:10.800
Sarah McDowell: I’m always like, I always think it’s good to get a second opinion or just wouldn’t do ideas with someone else or get get someone’s the perspective or the point of view. And I just felt like I didn’t really have that when I was on on my own. I mean, get your small violin out for me.
00:36:13.230 –> 00:36:14.340
Sarah McDowell: I’m much better.
00:36:15.900 –> 00:36:23.130
Sarah McDowell: Rather than yeah I’m about to be in part of a team and having security of not being my own boss.
00:36:23.730 –> 00:36:34.110
Jeff Louella: Right. I think my part of my issue is I treat everyone equally. And he can when you’re in equally as in like mean you can do the same amount of work or same everything and
00:36:34.710 –> 00:36:37.110
Jeff Louella: When you’re the CEO, I would expect everyone to be CEO.
00:36:39.120 –> 00:36:39.990
Jeff Louella: So that’s it for part
00:36:42.750 –> 00:36:51.630
Sarah McDowell: One of our one of our clients and that they one of their things that they say is that they don’t have a business hierarchy, which I think is
00:36:52.260 –> 00:37:01.650
Sarah McDowell: Quite interesting so it’s like a flat structure. I think it’s a trend that businesses. Try and know how it’s like over the pond sort of thing.
00:37:01.980 –> 00:37:19.380
Sarah McDowell: And this idea that everyone is the same and, naturally, you do get leaders, don’t you, but the fact is that everyone is sort of treated equally, as it were, and and yeah I thought that was really interesting to have his case, we
00:37:19.770 –> 00:37:34.770
Jeff Louella: Were in a fairly flat organization Jake and I, and it has its pluses and minuses. And you know, I think when it comes down to if everyone is equal, then yeah, you need to have those natural leaders come out to to be able to run things and
00:37:35.940 –> 00:37:43.740
Jeff Louella: Though I think when your natural leader at that point. It’s like, you like to be crammed a leader in a way and edify the organization. You’re not so it’s
00:37:45.450 –> 00:37:49.020
Jeff Louella: I think there are some people who are definitely we have different titles and different levels.
00:37:49.620 –> 00:38:05.970
Jeff Louella: But when it comes to like reporting, we have two major departments with two major department heads and they kind of are in charge of all the direct you know raises and promotions and things like that everyone else is pretty much equal underneath there, even though there are levels of
00:38:06.990 –> 00:38:10.740
Jeff Louella: Positions, it really comes down to, like, what kind of work, you’ll be doing and
00:38:11.340 –> 00:38:14.580
Jeff Louella: But when it comes down to the HR type of stuff. You are all equal. So
00:38:14.640 –> 00:38:17.010
Jacob Stoops: How much scratch you’re making. Yeah.
00:38:18.030 –> 00:38:24.390
Jacob Stoops: And let me tell you in flat companies like don’t let anybody fool you, everybody’s not equal.
00:38:24.840 –> 00:38:34.590
Jacob Stoops: The CEO and the upper level people like they’re making the most scratch. All right, they’re making the most money. So I’ve got my. I’m not going to go on a rant. Here I’ve got my problems with flat organizations like
00:38:35.520 –> 00:38:45.510
Jacob Stoops: I don’t have a problem with search discovery and their, their format. It’s much more hierarchical than the last place I came from, in which I had a real real big problem.
00:38:46.650 –> 00:38:56.670
Jacob Stoops: With the level of flatness in the organization and the lack of advancement and money advancement opportunities. So anyways, yeah. Let’s go to the news.
00:38:56.940 –> 00:39:05.040
Jeff Louella: Yeah, and I’ve kind of flows right into this. You kind of HR owning an agency being in charge of hiring.
00:39:05.610 –> 00:39:10.320
Jeff Louella: I don’t know if everyone’s seen, but Bill hearts are kind of put out a question on Twitter yesterday.
00:39:10.860 –> 00:39:19.230
Jeff Louella: Basically saying if I was hiring someone for an SEO position. What questions what I asked him, and then he goes and says he’ll start and his first question would be,
00:39:19.830 –> 00:39:35.010
Jeff Louella: What is the Google Florida update and why was it so significant part of the SEO history and basically says if they can answer that he’ll hire the wrong spot and followed by a million responses about how he’s old school and a boomer
00:39:36.240 –> 00:39:48.150
Jeff Louella: And different things in there, but I guess question would have, like, you know, if it’s a good question. In general, and I think we all have different ways of of hiring and you know me personally when it comes to
00:39:49.110 –> 00:39:53.610
Jeff Louella: When I am kind of in charge of hiring and when I’ve had positions where I was.
00:39:54.690 –> 00:39:57.720
Jeff Louella: Solely in charge of hiring I’m, I’m a very
00:39:59.100 –> 00:40:03.750
Jeff Louella: Like I say bad, but I am. I’m not gonna say thorough either but I make people do presentations.
00:40:04.170 –> 00:40:10.440
Jeff Louella: I like to give them a site and say whether it’s your first SEO job or you’re coming in as a director. I like to give you
00:40:10.860 –> 00:40:16.140
Jeff Louella: A project and basically say, because I’m going to learn. Way more than your resume shows me
00:40:16.470 –> 00:40:21.810
Jeff Louella: When you sit down and tell me what’s wrong with the site and I’m never saying like, give me a two hour presentation. It’s always like 30 minutes
00:40:22.260 –> 00:40:29.250
Jeff Louella: If you are for the brand new in SEO. Maybe it’s give me you know presentation on five reasons why contents. Good.
00:40:29.610 –> 00:40:37.110
Jeff Louella: Another one, like if you were coming in more advanced, I will give you a site that I know not only ever use my own clients, cuz I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to get free work.
00:40:37.590 –> 00:40:45.660
Jeff Louella: But I’ll pick a site out there and just say, Hey, here’s a website, you know, give me a quick audit and then present me your findings and that way I can see your thinking behind everything
00:40:46.410 –> 00:40:54.690
Jeff Louella: So I actually before even as questions that I like to have a good presentation. Like, I’m like client, because then I know if I could stick someone in front of a client.
00:40:56.250 –> 00:40:59.340
Jeff Louella: But when it comes to questions like, What kind of questions do you all ask
00:41:02.100 –> 00:41:04.290
Sarah McDowell: Oh, is it is it me fast.
00:41:04.440 –> 00:41:05.910
Jeff Louella: There you go. We’ll go you first, sir.
00:41:06.270 –> 00:41:10.740
Sarah McDowell: Hey, I am so, so just confirm the question. So what so
00:41:10.980 –> 00:41:15.000
Jeff Louella: You know, if you were when you were hiring someone what kind of questions would you ask them.
00:41:18.240 –> 00:41:24.450
Sarah McDowell: Okay, so I would ask and first and foremost there. So if life experiences.
00:41:24.810 –> 00:41:35.580
Sarah McDowell: And and what what they’ve done in in SEO sort of thing. And what what what what are the challenges that they’ve found just just talk to them and have a conversation, because I think
00:41:36.150 –> 00:41:44.820
Sarah McDowell: When you have a honest face to face conversation with someone, it’s quite obvious straight away, whether they know what they’re talking about, or not.
00:41:46.200 –> 00:41:55.620
Sarah McDowell: And so a thing. And then I also am so depending when the conversations happened I might bring up like the latest updates that have happened.
00:41:56.250 –> 00:42:10.560
Sarah McDowell: Because obviously, Google is always updating its algorithm. And it’s constantly changing and the times where an update will be given a name is because it’s affected or this is my understanding, though.
00:42:11.070 –> 00:42:15.630
Sarah McDowell: But it’s affected enough sites that there’s been enough chatter chatter in the industry.
00:42:15.960 –> 00:42:30.990
Sarah McDowell: And then all of a sudden, we’ve got a name for it sort of thing. So, so I’ll have that conversation and see. Okay. Because if you are passionate about SEO. And one thing that you’re going to be on the lookout for is how it’s changing you I mean
00:42:32.250 –> 00:42:40.560
Sarah McDowell: And and other things as well. So not just Google’s core algorithm, but other things. So, for example, bet and how
00:42:41.400 –> 00:42:50.370
Sarah McDowell: How Google can now use that to better understand and users intent and keywords and stuff like that. So having conversations like that.
00:42:50.940 –> 00:42:59.970
Sarah McDowell: And I’d also ask them sort of their, their goals and their aspirations sort of thing and where they want to be and what they want to do.
00:43:00.510 –> 00:43:13.290
Sarah McDowell: And I’d like some proof like some. I don’t know if they could come to the interview and sort of say, this is what I’m really proud of this is, this is what I did for a client.
00:43:13.710 –> 00:43:24.060
Sarah McDowell: And this was the results. And this is why it’s so good sort of thing. Because I think if you’ve got proof of what they’ve done. And because there’s a lot of people who can talk the talk isn’t there.
00:43:25.140 –> 00:43:40.110
Sarah McDowell: But when it actually comes to doing it. So it’d be good to actually see some proof of that. And, and I don’t know. I mean, maybe check them out a bit before so I see if they’ve got like a Twitter profile or a LinkedIn profile or and just see what sort of
00:43:41.880 –> 00:43:46.410
Sarah McDowell: If they’re getting involved in SEO to to chatter or and things like that.
00:43:48.270 –> 00:43:49.860
Sarah McDowell: And I don’t know, and
00:43:52.560 –> 00:43:53.910
Jeff Louella: No, that’s great. I think
00:43:55.200 –> 00:44:04.260
Jeff Louella: It’s funny, I take an approach like that to an extent where I get to try to just know the person because I know if I am working with them. I need to at least like them so they might have all the answers.
00:44:04.860 –> 00:44:10.170
Jeff Louella: And might be an amazing at that. But if we just don’t click. It’s not going to be fun for everybody. Right, so
00:44:10.230 –> 00:44:13.050
Sarah McDowell: No date you straight off, whether you’re going to click with someone
00:44:13.200 –> 00:44:13.620
Sarah McDowell: Or not.
00:44:14.190 –> 00:44:14.820
Jeff Louella: And within
00:44:15.120 –> 00:44:16.830
Sarah McDowell: A few jokes now.
00:44:18.690 –> 00:44:20.910
Jeff Louella: Time for bed dad jokes to so
00:44:22.650 –> 00:44:30.030
Jacob Stoops: The thing about interviews is like, I find it really difficult to assess somebody’s quality.
00:44:30.510 –> 00:44:39.360
Jacob Stoops: In a 30 minute interview or even an hour interview right you often don’t know somebody real true quality in terms of how they’re going to perform at work.
00:44:39.810 –> 00:45:00.960
Jacob Stoops: So you’ve worked with them for quite a while. So the for me. The, the basis of a, of an interview is do they seem to know what they’re talking about. Do they click in terms of their, their fit within both the role as well as where they’re going to be working
00:45:03.150 –> 00:45:10.950
Jacob Stoops: Are they, and I think this one’s really important are they naturally curious, do they want to learn more.
00:45:11.550 –> 00:45:20.550
Jacob Stoops: Do they have ambition. Are they competitive. Do they have Dr. Sarah. I also think, is it, it’s really important that they show
00:45:20.970 –> 00:45:32.610
Jacob Stoops: In this is what I find missing from most resumes that I look at actual tangible examples that prove out the results that you’ve actually driven results because you’re right.
00:45:34.290 –> 00:45:42.480
Jacob Stoops: Some people do talk a big game and then you get them in and you find that they’ve just got no clue. And they’re just faking it until they
00:45:43.290 –> 00:45:43.710
Sarah McDowell: Take it.
00:45:43.770 –> 00:45:44.190
00:45:45.390 –> 00:45:50.580
Jacob Stoops: I will say that this um so this tweet from Bill. I don’t know if he meant to like set off.
00:45:51.810 –> 00:45:55.860
Jacob Stoops: Set off the the Twitter swarm that can sometimes
00:45:57.210 –> 00:46:03.990
Jacob Stoops: Eat its own eat its own younger. Sometimes you have to watch out for SEO Twitter, man. If you say the wrong thing. They will
00:46:04.500 –> 00:46:08.580
Jacob Stoops: They will come after you. And so I want to be very clear. I don’t want to be
00:46:09.960 –> 00:46:14.370
Jacob Stoops: Perceived as like coming after Bill BC. So I’ve never met him, but he seems like a nice guy.
00:46:14.970 –> 00:46:24.270
Jacob Stoops: The question. So what is the Google Florida update and why was it such a significant part of SEO history to me in 2019 it’s like asking
00:46:24.810 –> 00:46:44.160
Jacob Stoops: A high schooler about a rotary phone like and why it’s so important to cell phones today and it’s just like, Okay, like I love history. I’m a huge history buff and and I’m a believer that if you don’t, if you aren’t aware of history, you’re not going to recognize it when it is
00:46:45.450 –> 00:46:57.180
Jacob Stoops: Coming back around in today’s age. However, this is not the same thing. This is apples to oranges in the Google Florida update. Not only has never played a role.
00:46:57.960 –> 00:47:10.920
Jacob Stoops: In in terms of my SEO work. I will say that it’s kind of like what is it back to the future with the timeline. So like if Google Florida update doesn’t happen then Google Panda in Google Penguin and all of these other
00:47:11.070 –> 00:47:26.610
Jacob Stoops: Needs never happen. Right. So it had to happen. And I’m glad it happened. But this thing happened in like the early 2000s before like 95% of the people that work in SEO are were even even thinking about SEO.
00:47:27.720 –> 00:47:30.570
Jacob Stoops: It was barely a thing. So like to ask somebody
00:47:31.770 –> 00:47:40.710
Jacob Stoops: If they remember that it’s like, Well, no, because I was in college or high school like no no not relevant, how they do their job today.
00:47:41.040 –> 00:47:58.170
Sarah McDowell: Show me. It’s better if someone can demonstrate like things that are happening now, or kitty chatter about what’s going to happen in the future and being hung up, and I think it’s a bit like traditionalist, isn’t it, I suppose, if that’s the right word to use.
00:48:00.000 –> 00:48:08.850
Sarah McDowell: But I do think some SEO is do you get a bit caught up on. I don’t know, like knowing your stuff and
00:48:09.300 –> 00:48:15.570
Sarah McDowell: I mean, I couldn’t sit and tell you, like all the updates that have happened you know i mean like
00:48:16.260 –> 00:48:33.150
Sarah McDowell: I do understand that and I’ve looked into me search how Google has an search engines and the internet has evolved because I find that interesting and but getting hung up on putting someone on the spot and being like, Tommy, what this is right now. Do you know what I mean, it’s just
00:48:33.570 –> 00:48:35.400
Sarah McDowell: It doesn’t feel. Yeah.
00:48:36.270 –> 00:48:36.570
Jacob Stoops: Yeah.
00:48:37.440 –> 00:48:43.590
Jacob Stoops: The last thing I’ll say, and I do want to move into the, into talking about the podcast is like
00:48:44.130 –> 00:48:53.370
Jacob Stoops: It’s not a freakin pop quiz. Right, we’re doing SEO, and for the most part, like, very few of my clients have ever been significantly impacted by
00:48:53.910 –> 00:49:03.510
Jacob Stoops: An algorithm update. And not only that, like my clients their problems tend to be way, way, way, way, way more basic and way more fundamental than
00:49:03.960 –> 00:49:18.300
Jacob Stoops: All of this stuff, especially Google Florida in which one no client has ever asked me about that and to I’ve only ever heard one other SEO outside of maybe SEO Twitter a few times actually mentioned it to me in an office setting.
00:49:18.720 –> 00:49:22.110
Jacob Stoops: And he mentioned it to me because he was reminiscing about the old days.
00:49:23.280 –> 00:49:23.610
Sarah McDowell: It just
00:49:24.060 –> 00:49:25.020
Sarah McDowell: It just fine today.
00:49:25.530 –> 00:49:26.190
Jacob Stoops: And that was it.
00:49:27.240 –> 00:49:30.360
Jeff Louella: So neither of you are getting hired just telling you because
00:49:30.390 –> 00:49:36.330
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, suggested that they would walk out at the interview and I don’t think that I would do that but
00:49:36.840 –> 00:49:55.860
Jeff Louella: I mean, I honestly I think the answer is, hey, there’s been a million of them. I’d have to look that one back up but i mean i i was in the business that time but I I’m lucky I haven’t gotten hit by a couple algorithm updates, but only a couple over the last, you know, 1015 years so
00:49:57.000 –> 00:49:58.170
Jeff Louella: Nothing there was
00:49:58.530 –> 00:50:05.100
Jeff Louella: Nothing was irreversible and you know it’s like a lot of times it’s like hey your site’s not the quality like i mean i
00:50:05.490 –> 00:50:14.340
Jeff Louella: Don’t I didn’t even look up, Florida, but I can tell you, like that. It’s probably something to do with your site was not great quality or the links pointing seems like that’s what it is about
00:50:15.690 –> 00:50:16.140
Jeff Louella: So,
00:50:16.680 –> 00:50:28.740
Sarah McDowell: I do, I do have to believe them. And that same figure. So every time that Google was out a new update or changes the algorithm or do something different is all about make it better in the experience for the user.
00:50:29.340 –> 00:50:38.610
Sarah McDowell: As long as you’re doing that with your website. And that’s your goal, you should be all right with like penalties and stuff like, don’t get me wrong, you
00:50:39.210 –> 00:50:48.780
Sarah McDowell: People do get hit, and it’s completely unintentional because yeah like just happens, isn’t it, and the SEO world. But if you’re there, providing value.
00:50:49.080 –> 00:51:00.600
Sarah McDowell: Your website is accessible. You’re not deceiving Googled you know i mean like the key things if you’re always doing those those sort of things, then you should you should be okay.
00:51:02.010 –> 00:51:04.980
Sarah McDowell: You should. I mean, it’s a big should lie, but yeah.
00:51:06.240 –> 00:51:06.450
Sarah McDowell: So,
00:51:08.310 –> 00:51:20.340
Jacob Stoops: Tell us about your podcast, because I want to make sure we’ve got about 17 minutes left. And I’m going to apologize to the audience. I have a hard stop and that was bad planning on my part, but I want to make sure we talked about the SEO, SEM podcast.
00:51:20.790 –> 00:51:37.530
Sarah McDowell: I’m okay. Okay, well, yes. And so the SEO SAS podcast. And so it came on, it was born. And because me and my friend Hannah and I actually worked with her. So I know her.
00:51:37.890 –> 00:51:52.980
Sarah McDowell: And but we, it was a couple of years ago, and we were at Brighton SEO and like the big conference in the UK. And we saw that the SEO so of so attendees and speakers at the time.
00:51:53.430 –> 00:52:03.780
Sarah McDowell: Tend to be like male orientated. And that seemed to be like if you look to the ratio between male speakers and FEMALE SPEAKERS mayo.
00:52:04.140 –> 00:52:15.120
Sarah McDowell: Attendees and female attendees. It was more. So the males, it was, it seemed to be a male dominated industry at the time, obviously it’s getting better and better as time time is going on.
00:52:15.540 –> 00:52:26.610
Sarah McDowell: And but at the same time, you also saw a niche for a female lead SEO podcast and because we because after
00:52:27.390 –> 00:52:35.340
Sarah McDowell: After we went to Brighton SEO and we had this conversation. And then when I looked into podcasts. I had a conversation with Hannah was just like we’ve got an opportunity here.
00:52:35.730 –> 00:52:49.320
Sarah McDowell: And there’s there’s not that much female lead SEO really like just SEO podcast. And I think this is an opportunity and and I was quite passionate about it because
00:52:49.830 –> 00:53:07.170
Sarah McDowell: I wanted to like showcase other amazing females in the SEO community. And I also wanted to I think SEO gets a bad rap for being boring. And that’s the joke in our office anyway.
00:53:08.400 –> 00:53:18.450
Sarah McDowell: But yeah, and I wanted to sort of be like, no, it can actually be some sort of furnace in inspiring and yeah and it doesn’t, it’s not boring at all.
00:53:19.470 –> 00:53:38.640
Sarah McDowell: And and yes and what and why why outs, I think, Well, yes, we just thought we needed. We just needed to do it and we love to talk about SEO as well. So we thought why don’t we put together a podcast. And yeah, as I explained it enough that
00:53:39.630 –> 00:53:53.070
Jacob Stoops: It’s kind of like what I think is interesting about SEO podcasts if if clients or if if you’re somebody that needs SEO. If you want to know like how the SEOs talk if you were
00:53:53.880 –> 00:54:06.090
Jacob Stoops: If you wanted to be like a fly on the wall and you want to know how does an SEO talk about SEO to another SEO. That’s one reason I would think to listen to Sarah’s podcast, as well as to ours, because of
00:54:06.480 –> 00:54:22.230
Jacob Stoops: What we really think when and when that sometimes comes comes through to you as a as a client or in house to whoever we’re delivering the recommendations to it’s kind of a filtered version of that. And this is a little bit more on filtered, I would say.
00:54:23.310 –> 00:54:24.540
Sarah McDowell: Transparent we
00:54:25.980 –> 00:54:42.390
Sarah McDowell: Transparency and yeah and I mean it’s just about having a bit of fun and educating people because as well and as a lot of businesses, small businesses that don’t have the budget to have a marketing team or high marketing. So
00:54:43.050 –> 00:54:47.760
Sarah McDowell: There are some things that you can do like nine times out of 10 leave SEO.
00:54:48.060 –> 00:54:56.430
Sarah McDowell: And SEM professional likes you don’t want to break stuff, but there are, if we can at least be educating businesses and they can start thinking about it because
00:54:56.790 –> 00:55:08.760
Sarah McDowell: There’s a lot of businesses that have thought about all or they’ve heard of the term SEO or they know that they need to do it, but they don’t really quite understand it. They don’t quite get it. So we like to sort of present it in a way
00:55:09.810 –> 00:55:17.790
Sarah McDowell: That is accessible and it’s all I could do that or that makes sense to me or no that is a priority, I need to prioritize this for my website.
00:55:18.240 –> 00:55:33.570
Sarah McDowell: And and we’ve had some really awesome conversations. And don’t get me wrong. We do I know I said about like getting it was a female lead wanted to showcase females, but we do invite and males on as well. Don’t worry.
00:55:34.830 –> 00:55:48.720
Sarah McDowell: Just had amazing people on who are just the people that we get on just want to share knowledge or share their experiences and that is so priceless in this industry and we’ve had
00:55:49.200 –> 00:56:01.740
Sarah McDowell: So today I actually recorded a podcast with a lady Claire Carlisle who helps her thing is helping small businesses grow by making the most out of local SEO.
00:56:02.190 –> 00:56:14.970
Sarah McDowell: And and it was just so just having a conversation about the possibilities of local SEO and Google my business pages and stuff. We spoke to carry Rose who
00:56:15.690 –> 00:56:33.090
Sarah McDowell: Is awesome at she’s a creative SEO agency and their thing is about getting links by doing awesome creative content and some of the things that night talking to her was just amazing as well. We’ve had Sophie Cali on who
00:56:34.500 –> 00:56:46.530
Sarah McDowell: Talk to us about search listening. So the idea behind not getting caught up on keywords and search volumes, but more. What is it, what is it that people are
00:56:46.980 –> 00:57:00.660
Sarah McDowell: Wanting to know about what are the topics sort of thing and and biting content that sort of answers those questions. We’ve also had a lady on who talked about gamification and how
00:57:01.740 –> 00:57:17.130
Sarah McDowell: How that can help with links to your site. And another way of creating really good content. And then we had the lady merely king who came on, who gave talks obviously site speed Page Speed is a big factor with SEO.
00:57:17.580 –> 00:57:25.320
Sarah McDowell: And she came on with life. So she wrote for search engine watch a piece with practical tips and tools to how to do it. So,
00:57:26.370 –> 00:57:36.660
Sarah McDowell: We’re all about like inviting people on to talk about stuff. And we don’t. Sometimes it’s just me and Hannah, who will debate stuff. So, for example, or debate, the
00:57:37.380 –> 00:57:54.840
Sarah McDowell: ongoing debate of what’s better long short long or short content sort of thing. And we’ll talk about internal linking we’ll talk about competitive research. So it’s a bit of a generalist podcast where we just discussed. And yeah, basically.
00:57:55.260 –> 00:58:09.540
Jeff Louella: That’s awesome. So I’m kind of lucky that I came in on season two. Because Jacob really did a lot of the getting things off the ground and and just starting from zero, right. So I got I got the come in and
00:58:10.620 –> 00:58:15.660
Jeff Louella: All that stuff was already set so that that was, you know, easy for me. Of course, because it was easy to say yes.
00:58:16.200 –> 00:58:25.830
Jeff Louella: Because I’d have to do all that groundwork. So what are some of the things that like learning and challenges that you had from just like starting the podcast from zero and getting it to where it is now.
00:58:26.310 –> 00:58:27.240
Sarah McDowell: Yes, and listeners.
00:58:27.900 –> 00:58:41.940
Sarah McDowell: Yeah, and I say to you put. So obviously, we had this brain wave and maybe we may have had a few wines, remember that. Oh my god, this is amazing idea we’re going to get loads of listens on our first episode.
00:58:42.630 –> 00:58:57.720
Sarah McDowell: And it doesn’t I and it took some time. I mean, wear a year on now and we’ve reached I think we’ve just been 7000 total downloads and we get, I don’t know, this would be being very transparent and I don’t know about your guys numbers, but
00:58:58.080 –> 00:59:00.360
Jeff Louella: And millions, millions
00:59:01.020 –> 00:59:02.100
Sarah McDowell: Millions admit that same as
00:59:03.120 –> 00:59:07.260
Sarah McDowell: We get around 150 to about 300 people
00:59:08.430 –> 00:59:16.500
Sarah McDowell: per episode sort of thing and and it has been hard to grow it. And at first it is just your mom listening and
00:59:16.860 –> 00:59:26.760
Sarah McDowell: Every episode. My mom would like what’s that mean okay podcast. I don’t know what you’re quite talking about but you sounded. Wonderful. Um, but yeah and so
00:59:27.660 –> 00:59:39.450
Sarah McDowell: It was it was hard, but we just put the time and effort into it and you do lie. You do have to think outside the box of how to get your podcast underneath people so
00:59:39.810 –> 00:59:54.120
Sarah McDowell: I spent plenty and evening, just on LinkedIn messaging people about the podcast or another way was like inviting people with whoever who already have a following to come on, because then you’re like okay there.
00:59:54.750 –> 01:00:02.940
Sarah McDowell: And that has helped I think peaks and valleys numbers and we mentioned recently did some research. So we did
01:00:03.960 –> 01:00:17.880
Sarah McDowell: Research based around local SEO where we were talking to those who market local businesses and we wanted to understand, like, day to day activities and challenges. And so we did a survey I have paid as well, like I did some paid advertising.
01:00:19.200 –> 01:00:25.290
Sarah McDowell: So yes, getting listeners is hard, especially at the beginning and
01:00:26.340 –> 01:00:37.470
Sarah McDowell: If I believe that if your podcast is entertaining educational people are going to just not shit, basically, people are going to want to listen.
01:00:38.160 –> 01:00:50.970
Sarah McDowell: And stuff and other challenges is so obviously it is a side hustle. So you have to factor in okay when recording editing and there’s the research that goes in as the
01:00:51.720 –> 01:01:07.590
Sarah McDowell: Sort of talking to your guests when they’re going to come on. So there is a lot. At first, I was a bit naive and I was like, be easy. No, it wouldn’t take much time at all. Just sit in front of a microphone do bit talking and jobs are good and I was wrong.
01:01:08.910 –> 01:01:15.810
Sarah McDowell: It’s a lot more than just that. And I’m say I’m guessing you guys can relate to that. Like the wackier
01:01:16.740 –> 01:01:24.540
Jeff Louella: I mean, I go, I go to iTunes all the time or the podcast app now and just type in SEO and then waiting for us to the show up there.
01:01:25.440 –> 01:01:40.770
Jeff Louella: In the top you know 50 at least. And I think it’s new to me in the SEO side of things, right, because it’s working on Google working on, you know, just search engines in general for a while that now trying to like get a podcast to rank in a podcast app.
01:01:42.120 –> 01:01:57.360
Jeff Louella: It’s not you know is I, I’m still learning right and we still haven’t cracked that nut to there’s some think there’s one podcasts that has like three episodes but ranks like number three in the podcast app for some reason on iTunes and it’s like, why are you there like you have
01:01:58.050 –> 01:02:11.670
Jeff Louella: Four years and you only put three episodes, only one of them had to do with SEO, but yet you rank up there so I’m hoping like the new podcasts how apples breaking it out, out of iTunes now gets a better algorithm that update those
01:02:11.880 –> 01:02:28.050
Jeff Louella: Those, I think, some are trash and there’s no way to really, I’m not going to negative attack and other and other podcasts, but the same time i like i you know we’re really trying to focus on getting our like hey, leave a review, you know, follow us certainly subscribe and things like that.
01:02:28.770 –> 01:02:36.180
Sarah McDowell: How awesome is it when I say when we got our first ever review. Oh my gosh, it was like champagne at the ready because
01:02:36.840 –> 01:02:43.140
Sarah McDowell: And that was, that’s a little bit. So when you first doing the podcast and you, you have no idea how
01:02:43.440 –> 01:02:59.310
Sarah McDowell: Like how it’s going really, like, yes, you can look at numbers. And how many people are listening, but it’s not until you get reviews or even like people reaching out saying I this is an awesome podcast I remember the first time we’ve got an email.
01:03:00.510 –> 01:03:13.650
Sarah McDowell: And I yeah i i lost. I lost it because I was like, Oh my God, but it’s like when people are saying good stuff about your podcast and that gives you more reason doesn’t it to carry on.
01:03:16.110 –> 01:03:16.830
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, definitely.
01:03:17.160 –> 01:03:26.010
Jeff Louella: So we’re gonna wrap this up and be respectful of everybody’s time but we used to. We usually ask a question at the end of every podcast and
01:03:27.360 –> 01:03:41.010
Jeff Louella: Would this is going to be the question this time. So it’s usually about what kind of advice would you give we usually make a general about SEO, but I want to make it more about podcasting. So what would be one piece of advice you would give someone who wanted to start a podcast.
01:03:42.660 –> 01:03:46.350
Jeff Louella: Tomorrow, you know, what was the first thing or the best piece of advice you can give them
01:03:46.830 –> 01:04:01.740
Sarah McDowell: Make sure is the topic that you’re passionate about and you really can get your teeth stuck into it and you just going to live and believe it because if you’re not passionate about something, you’re just not going to make it work and
01:04:03.210 –> 01:04:09.990
Sarah McDowell: That is the top. And yeah, just make it, make it educational make it fun. Don’t be shared and yeah
01:04:11.640 –> 01:04:12.420
Sarah McDowell: A bit swearing.
01:04:12.750 –> 01:04:14.220
Jeff Louella: I already filled that I don’t
01:04:14.340 –> 01:04:16.350
Jacob Stoops: Care about. Don’t be no good life.
01:04:17.760 –> 01:04:18.300
Jeff Louella: Is good life.
01:04:22.200 –> 01:04:32.460
Sarah McDowell: And but yeah and I mean yeah and I mean I’m I would definitely recommend if you want to do a podcast, definitely do it because you just get like for this conversation right now.
01:04:33.180 –> 01:04:42.270
Sarah McDowell: It’s been amazing. And your gut guys podcast in is so good in I was a bit nervous when you invited me onto yours because I thought, Oh my gosh, I’m gonna have to really work.
01:04:43.080 –> 01:04:44.220
Jeff Louella: We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re just
01:04:44.520 –> 01:04:45.450
Jeff Louella: winging it all the time.
01:04:46.950 –> 01:05:01.890
Sarah McDowell: But yeah, definitely, if you want to start podcast tomorrow. Just make sure you’ve got a topic that you’re passionate about and you’ve got a lie and spend a bit of time on your graphic as well. I’d say that because you need that to like popped in here in the
01:05:03.930 –> 01:05:21.360
Sarah McDowell: Search and format as well. I think of a format. So we, for example, our format is we will have a feature it at the end to make it like fun, and it’s normally Hannah testimony on like my general knowledge which I have no no so
01:05:23.100 –> 01:05:26.880
Sarah McDowell: But yeah, I mean, I think I gave more than one bit of advice there. Sorry.
01:05:27.300 –> 01:05:39.870
Jeff Louella: That’s good bonus. Bonus material. Yeah. Awesome. Love. Love. The. I want to thank you for coming on the show. It’s been great. We’ve really enjoyed the conversation. I was typing the Jake eggs like I could talk to people from the UK all day.
01:05:42.930 –> 01:05:47.100
Jeff Louella: I just love it. But, uh, yeah, thanks for coming on the show and
01:05:48.240 –> 01:05:51.690
Jeff Louella: Everyone else like I’m not sure where this is coming out, but I’m happy holidays. Yeah.
01:05:51.870 –> 01:06:01.860
Jacob Stoops: It’s gonna be coming out in a few weeks. We’re trying. We’ve had some scheduling snafu we’re trying to space out the the episodes. So we’re recording three episodes in one
01:06:02.460 –> 01:06:12.120
Jacob Stoops: Week. But nonetheless, go and connect with Sarah go find her podcast. Listen, listen, listen, Sarah. Thank you so much for coming on.
01:06:12.660 –> 01:06:13.800
Sarah McDowell: Thank you very much for having me.
01:06:14.520 –> 01:06:16.290
Jacob Stoops: All right, bye everybody. Thank you.