Oh boy. Julie Joyce, ladies and gentlemen. I mean, I don’t even know where to start introducing her for two reasons: a) she doesn’t need any introduction. b) she is one of the greatest SEO and person I met unfortunately only via twitter, so I have a special place for her in my heart and blog.
Moreover, Julie has a great taste in music and I know she likes to drink even Italian cocktails (by the way, did you tried to make the “spritz”? ).
Ready to listen to what she has to say to all of you ? All right, Julie… give us some of your magic.
When did you enter the SEO world, and why ?
About 10 years ago I was working as a programmer and a spot opened up on the SEO team where I was employed. I had an English degree and could actually communicate with people so it seemed like a natural fit. I liked programming but didn’t think it was my “thing” really, as I could do it but it didn’t come as naturally to me as it did to some of the others, so I was happy to make a change and learn something new. Turns out SEO is totally my thing. I love it.
A great tip about onpage optimization?
I think that the best way to do onpage optimization is to just write the content naturally and let it flow without trying to write for the search engines. It is immediately apparent when you come across content that seems to be about doing well in Google, not actually drawing me in. If you let it be more art than science and you don’t get caught up in keywords, I think you’ll do a much better job for your users.
The most stupid thing people believe about onpage optimization?
I really don’t like overly keywordized content as I said, but I really get annoyed when someone says that you have to have an H1 tag. There are plenty of pages that rank well and convert but don’t have a freaking H1 tag.
A great tip on how you build links?
The best links I’ve ever gotten have come from simply being nice and engaging someone. However, if I read that from someone else I’d be doing an eye roll like someone in a silent film. It’s true though. Just showing an interest, a genuine interest, is a fantastic way to get links.
The most stupid thing you heard about linkbuilding?
That those of us who don’t automate it are idiots.
If you have to explain what you do at a 10 year-old kid , what are you gonna say?
I help people find what they need on the internet. I also say that to my mother and she still looks blank.
What do you drink when seoing?
When working I don’t drink anything but coffee or sparkling water.
When I’m brainstorming ideas, I’ll have some white wine. After one glass I’m a thinking machine but if I have two, I start emailing people to tell them I love them, ordering crap from Amazon, commenting on Facebook photos, and watching stupid sitcoms. I have had the occasional Cosmo-fueled Evernote idea writeup marathon though.
What do you think about SEO community?
That is a loaded question…I really, really dislike some of what’s going on.
I hate outing.
I hate the personal attacks on SEOs.
I hate the way people will pick apart someone personally and rant online about people they’ve never met or worked with.
I hate the hypocrisy of people who say they hate paid links but buy them.
I hate how people seem to dislike it when someone else is successful.
However, that’s a small percentage of the industry but I have gotten caught up in that recently, and I just find it very disheartening.
I do also think that there are some truly amazing people in our industry, people who continue to speak at conferences, write for industry publications or their own blogs, and bring something helpful to the table. I’ve met some of my best friends through this industry. When you see the sheer amount of information that SEOs put out there, whether it’s through speaking, writing, or social media, it’s hard not to see the fact that SEOs are a good bunch in general. There are some amazing brains in our field.
Make yourself a question and give an answer: Do you see link building continuing to be a large factor in an SEO campaign?
Absolutely…but I think link builders need to adapt to be able to find opportunities in different ways. I think the days of obvious crap links are over and that we’ll have to work much harder for those great links.
Who is your biggest SEO influence?
Paul Madden. He’s the person I trust the most in the industry, he’s insanely smart and has no arrogance, and we can actually discuss things other than SEO. I can disagree with him or think he’s wrong and I can say that. He can do the same with me, except I pout about it. I’m never afraid to talk to him about anything. He is also extremely fun to drink with and he brings me Bombay Mix when he comes to the States.
If you weren’t an SEO, what would you like to do?
I wanted to do forensic anthropology actually. I spent a summer in Crete and the politics of archaeology there really bothered me.
Ideally though, I’d love to be a writer. I’d kind of like to be on Mythbusters and get to blow stuff up too.