Today I have the huge pleasure to chat with Anthony Pensabene, an SEO and writer at WebiMax and at his own blog, Content Muse. Anthony is a great guy, and moreover I like the fact is commenting a lot to posts I read, giving great insights, adding value.
Since I was criticized for my “too long” introduction, I stop here 🙂
Let’s talk with Anthony ThinkGood (translation of Pensabene in english).
When did you enter the SEO world, and why ?
I was in-between English teaching assignments. I was spotted de-constructing SEO algorithms on a blackboard, watching Good Will Hunting, while doing janitorial work for a marketing company in 2006. I was soon hired. That could of happened… A friend of mine was working for an SEO startup. I did some writing for them the prior summer. It started as a ‘stop’ until my next teaching gig.. I loved being a student and saw the industry as a place to teach as well. I’m still here with no plans on leaving…buy my rookie card now…
A great tip about onpage optimization?
People, please take the ‘look how great we are’ sentiment out of your copy. That’s for us (the consumers) to say about you (if we so choose). I want to see more resourceful, outgoing links, ones that add to the content. Hey, there are scores of great minds and insights for your readers out there. Not all the minds and insights are native to your brand or content. The content is for helping the reader. It’s about being a better ‘match maker’ for them. Lace on-page content with out-of-brand resources.. I don’t care if the ‘competition’ wrote it. You’re helping your reader..
The most stupid thing people believe about onpage optimization?
I think not enough people consider the amount of time browsers spend on a page… Dr. Pete wrote a great piece on Moz months ago that I regularly reference. It has to do with sites that rank well but have horrible bounce rates.. Stop marketing for engines; they’re not buying anything from you; they’re not telling other engines to buy from you; they’re not actively discussing you online… Market your pages toward people…
A great tip on how you build links?
I’m a big believer in people relations. PR was one of the first elements of marketing I got into. I think because relating to people makes sense to me. There is a lot of great info out there related to how to ‘find’ link-building opportunities. However, I think the best links involve forming and maintaining relations with peers, professionals, clients, etc. PR involves a lot of genuineness and honesty. People respect and respond to good character. If yours is a good fit with another brand, be a person about it. It’s not a game. It shouldn’t be. It’s about creating a better resource for the customers. Forming relations with germane and professionally credible entities makes sense. Be a person with potential peers. They’re your peers, not a means to an end; ensure you treat them accordingly.
The most stupid thing you heard about linkbuilding?
I think the most unsettling thing I hear about is services that promise a particular number of links per month, campaign, etc… That’s really creepy and general… Are these services explaining the process and importance of links to their clients? I believe a large number of clients don’t really even understand the process… They leave it up to providers.. As with content generation, I want to see a strategy and client-provider synergy involved. Clients, do you know where your links are coming from? You really should take interest…what your provider does is a reflection on you!
If you have to explain what you do at a 10 year-old kid , what are you gonna say?
I think kids are pretty savvy these days. I would not try to water it down, just make it highly simple. I would say its the process of aligning people with products and service that address a need… that could be a need to buy concert tickets, find a t-shirt, or get information on an educational subject. If the younger person is a Jon Cooper, they’ll be telling me about SEO…
What do you drink when seoing?
I’m a Johnnie Walker Black (on the rocks) fan when discussing SEO with young women at bars..No, don’t do that. It’s about them…just like in marketing..but I digress.. I am a big advocate of coffee and tea; the sipping process helps me think.
What do you think about SEO community?
I really can’t say enough good things about the community. The more minds and personalities I meet, the more pleased and appreciative I become. I’ve been lucky to start making more solid connections of late. It helps me with my learning since I presently work remotely among the rocky mounts of Colorado. I’ve never been a huge fan of communicating through the computer; but, for me it’s a necessity; and, a habit I wouldn’t want to break these days. I honestly look forward to meeting a lot of people I admire in person in the near future.
Make yourself a question and give an answer: Why do you think peer relations are so important?
Peer relations are a testament to your passion and efficiency. Some people are turned off, thinking peer relations is a nonsensical popularity contest or not professionally beneficial… They are so, so misguided. I learn so much from others in my industry. Additionally, there are methods and initiatives, which some people are more stoked about and concentrate upon as compared to others. For instance, I’m a creative soul and writer. I think I can help my peers in those manners best at present. It’s important to be recognized and utilized. It makes the community the special entity it is. Additionally, from an intrinsic perspective, my sense of encouragement is fueled by peer feedback. I truly care about the thoughts and actions of my peers. We all should to move forward positively.
Who is your biggest SEO influence?
Wow, I draw inspiration from a lot of you dudes and dudettes; most peers probably don’t realize how much I admire their thoughts and motions. There is one gentleman in particular who sure has been ineffably helpful, a great source of inspiration and encouragement. I’ll never forget his selflessness and willingness to guide. It inspires me to always look for opportunities to pay it forward.
If you weren’t an SEO, what would you like to do?
When I was younger, I had aspirations to be a surf bum/counselor, hanging on the beach, surfing all day while ‘talking with and inspiring thoughts’ in others. Psychology, “the why of people,” has always been a fascination of mine and was one of my college majors. In my shallowest moments, I thought about being the pool boy at the Playboy Mansion; but, those girls would probably just gawk at me…not appreciating my beautiful insides… As I’m getting older (33! Man, wasn’t I just reading Shakespeare during high school Math class a little while ago?), I’m learning it all starts inside you. I just want to be someone better than the dude yesterday in the mirror each morning…I think the ‘what’ is not as important as the ‘who.’