I’ve been working in digital marketing since 2006, and during that time, I’ve developed a pretty robust skillset – as well as my own philosophy on what makes for great digital marketing.
My goal with my services is to provide meaningful, actionable recommendations to my clients, while providing clear communication on the why and how of what we’re doing, so we can understand and buy into the solution together.
I’ve worked in most niche areas of SEO from local to enterprise level and startups to non-profits and Fortune 500 companies. I understand how SEO is impacted by content, links, technical factors, and much more, and how to build out International SEO best practices.
I prefer to take an approach that blends SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with SXO (Search Experience Optimization) – the former focusing on bringing in traffic and rankings from search, and the latter (in this application) focusing on delivering a relevant and highly valuable experience to the user that will help them convert and come back to the website again.
My philosophy about building great SEO differs from some others in the industry in that my focus tends to move away from tracking specific keyword rankings, mass producing content, and building links.
Instead, I tend to lean into bringing in converting organic search traffic, focusing on content that is high quality and highly relevant to searchers, maximizing on crawlability and indexation of content, creating a diverse and strong presence in rich search results such as answers and the knowledge panel, and creating enticing and high-quality metadata that will enhance clickthrough rates.
As I kick off with a new client, it’s important to start the relationship off with a digital audit. This audit includes technical and content-based SEO recommendations but also includes recommendations that encompass my entire Digital Marketing knowledge set – including UX, CRO, site speed recommendations, and anything else I can find.
For each audit, I work with a checklist of more than 300 items that I carefully inspect for each website – but this is just my “don’t forget this” list. I’ll dive deep into your website to find issues and opportunities specific to your site as well, and add those to my list.
The output of my audit differs from many others in that rather than deliver a slide deck or PDF, at the completion of my audit, I’ve created a complete, prioritized list of actionable recommendations that we can begin work on immediately. There’s no further analysis immediately needed – the project’s all set up for us and ready to begin.
Analytics, Measurement, & Tracking
Before I work on a website, I always recommend having all your tracking and analytics in order. This helps us track the success of our efforts – and helps you hold me accountable to bring you value for your marketing investments. I have a strong process in place for my setups based on clear communication and a checklist that can be shared with you, so you have the dates of setup and all information about available. Typically, a setup covers the following products:
- Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
- Google Tag Manager (GTM)
- Google Search Console (GSC) and Bing Webmaster Tools (BWMT)
I fully integrate all tools together and update all settings to best practices. I include UX and event tracking on the site for nearly anything you’d like (within the capabilities of GTM), set up goals tracking, and build audiences and custom insights to keep you streamlined and informed.
I also have experience in setting up OneTrust from the GTM side, and will gladly collaborate with my clients on this piece of the setup. OneTrust is fairly complicated to put in place, and having an experienced consultant work with you on this can be very helpful.
I believe in concise reporting that creates accountability for progress, focuses on metrics that align with the business’ best interests and, where possible, creates actionable insights that can be used to effect informed change for the brand.
I emphasize setting goals for your website’s performance that are linked with profits for the business, and ones that do not put the goals highlighted within the reports in conflict with tangible success metrics for the business. So for example, I would emphasize total conversions within Organic Search traffic over Organic Search traffic growth overall.
User Experience (UX)
UX is about making your website as accessible for your users to do what they want to do on your site as possible. This is a very broad discipline and focuses on, among other things, the following:
- Device compatibility
- Browser compatibility
- The emotional state of your visitors
- Cultural and ethical sensitivity
- Accommodations for people with physical or cognitive challenges and/or disabilities
- Intuitive design
- Information Architecture
- Adherence to best practices for website functionalities such as forms, search bars, and database-populated content
I’ve been working in the UX space for approximately ten years, and have been a speaker at IA Summit. include UX-based recommendations into every digital audit and routinely consult on UX best practices as I guide clients through website redesigns.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Conversion Rate Optimization differs from UX in that it prioritizes building a natural pathway for visitors from their landing point to profitable and converting behaviors on a website. I’ve been working with CRO in mind since my first role in 2006.
CRO can be a process that involves long-term A/B testing and data collection to come to conclusions about tangible improvements. However, applying a little common sense along the way by, for example, adding a call to action in a footer or improving a confusing contact form or shopping cart is the fastest way to get tangible improvements on the profitability of a website and its related campaigns.
I have a strong base of knowledge about CRO best practices that I apply to every digital audit I perform, as well as consultation throughout website redesigns.
Additionally, I use tools such as Lucky Orange and testing and analysis supported by GTM and event tracking to gather data that supports recommendations to improve a website’s CRO. Data-informed testing and improvements help make the most of development and design resources, while removing the need for potentially conflicting opinions on subject areas.
I define “Community” as any marketing campaign that interacts with content around/about your brand that you do not directly control. This can include any of the following:
- Influencer Marketing
This can include working with influences on guest blog posts, getting our content on an influencer’s site, or encouraging an influencer to review a product or service we offer. Influencers can have a short-term and profitable impact on a company’s bottom line with a successful campaign, and can also do great things to build brand recognition and backlinks for a site.
- Reputation Management
I have about ten years of experience in discovering, monitoring, and responding to online comments and reviews that express sentiment towards a band or its products. Examples of websites I’ve worked on include Glassdoor, The Better Business Bureau, Google Business Profile, Yelp, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Twitter/X. Each site has its own particular culture and tone, and the key to properly responding to each is to know how to match that tone and culture with the right words and sentiment.
- Community Keyword Research
SEO keyword research is a powerful tool, and it certainly has its place in the construction and growth of a website. However, sometimes it’s best to focus on topics that visitors actively care about and find engaging, even where there is no SEO basis to support it. Researching topics and keywords that are liked, upvoted, and/or heavily commented on in online communities and forums is a powerful tool in informing your content strategy.
- Wikipedia & Wikidata
I’ve been a Wikipedian for almost 15 years, and I’ve worked with medium-sized companies up to Fortune 500 companies during this time to help them maintain and update their Wikipedia and Wikidata pages. I only accept projects on Wikimedia Commons properties when I believe that they are likely to be successful ones, and I’m exceedingly candid about the chances of success, as well as the processes required to achieve the best success.
From an SEO perspective, it’s important to remember that your website is just one of the many properties that appear on the page when your brand is searched for. Being aware of, and involved in, the other pages that have a presence in your branded search is a vital step to managing your brand’s reputation.
My college and professional career started in education, and teaching is still in my blood. I love sharing knowledge with others, and I have a knack for making it simple and palatable for all levels of marketers.
I’m available and experienced with training sessions for entire marketing teams and as a speaker for conferences and events. I’m glad to train individual members of your team in formal training or as an ongoing effort as I work with them. These trainings are available for anything I do, and are one of my favorite things to do with my clients.