[0:00] Intro

[2:10] How long did it take for SEO to be sought out as leaders within company?

  • SEO team should 
    • Have a strategy that works for their organization
    • Be easy to work with

[3:30]  How to do deal with someone that thinks they know everything, but actually know little?

  • Be willing to admit when you don’t know
  • Run tests and experiments

[5:40] How do you establish a testing culture?

  • Test against everything on you can (and it may make sense)

[8:00] What are the challenges of doing SEO for an eComm site with a strong lite/free version?

  • Challenging because we’re moved away from lower funnel conversions
    • An infrastructural advantage that makes SEO more challenging
  • Need to have a strong multi-touch, blended attribution system
  • What about infrastructure? 
    • Should companies offer free versions?
    • Who should SEO report to?

[13:50] What drew Eli to organic search? (specifically because he used to be the “marketing guy”)

[18:00] Any differences you’ve seen in working with different international markets?

  • Huge cultural component
  • Translations can be hard (since context can be lost)
  • What is that people are searching for? How to understand their intent?
  • Don’t discount value of calls to action? (even as an SEO) 

[21:00] SEO extending beyond getting visits?

  • Importance of driving ROI
    • Importance of getting organic team visibility within organization

[23:30] How to get internal visibility (as much as paid)?

  • Use data
    • Much traffic we drove, how much converted
    • How much we’re not spending on brand?

[24:30] SEO as the most efficient channel

[27:00] Does understanding/knowing how to program help SEO work?

  • Helps with being able to ask more clear requests (especially with engineers)
    • Understanding the logical processes
  • Being able to read code and debug issues
  • Being able to use Codecademy, Udemy, or Khan Academy to learn basics would help (not necessary, only if you want to)

[29:00] How to prepare a go-to-market strategy?

  • Understanding competition / players in the ecosystem
    • What do competitors rank for
    • What do their backlinks look like
  • What does the keyword landscape
  • Most challenging:
    • When the product and category don’t exist yet?
      • Super hard to forecast
    • Creating a brand name?
      • Google appear with a “did you mean”
  • Research
    • Keyword research
    • Quora
    • Reddit
    • Google Trends

[31:00] How do we promote SEO within our organizations?

  • Teach SEO at a high enough level that audience understands what you do, how much impact organic search has had, and when they should come to you
  • Talk about success journey / relevant studies

[32:30] What is the relationship between eCommerce and SEO?

  • Amazon team <- prioritized SEO and testing
    • Everyone now playing catch up 
    • It conditions us to go to Amazon

[34:30] Changes in SEO over the next five years?

  • Across every vertical SEO is going to change
  • Paid will grow, get more expensive
  • SEO growing, because everyone is going to want to figure it out

[36:00] Closing question
1. Be super diplomatic – come with plan A, B, and C. 
2. Go back to basics
3. Organic is the most important channel – keep working at it, it takes time to see results, it’s worth the effort

Favorite quotes:

  • “Everyone thinks they can drive a boat, but nobody thinks that they can fly a plane.” (Analogy to how reading one article doesn’t make you an expert in SEO.)
  • “I think of organic as a puzzle. There is no rule book… You really have to figure out the unique fingerprint of each site.”
  • “So you should make sure you team (if you’re on an organic team) has as much visibility and importance (as the paid search team), because you’re  you’re not spending money and doing the exact same thing as the paid (search) team and you’re driving that traffic for free.”
  • “When you’re working with larger companies, nothing is straight-forward.”