Hi folks. Glad you are here. Another “Meet your SEO” interview is going to begin, and I want to take 156 seconds to thank you very much for the positive feedback you’re giving to me and to this project. The project is to go on and on, in order to interview many SEOs as possible. You can think: “Hey, it’s too much simple: you ask questions, SEOs answer you back, they bring you traffic, and you don’t have to worry to write new things every day!”. I want to clarify. First of all, I’m doing this because I need to know what cool SEOs are thinking about stuff, and to compare their answers in order to test and try what they are doing. Second, I prefer to have these interviews up and running, then writing stuff just for the sake of it, when there are other 154 blogs that are writing about the same in a better way. Third, I like to be criticized, so keep going: I’m making these interviews especially for you. And remember: if it was SO simple, why didn’t you do it?
Ok, done with the rant.
Today I have the big pleasure to chat with Nick Eubanks, CEO at the social media company Factor Media in Philadelphia. You can read more about his thoughts in his blog. I have to say Nick was and is really supportive with me, and he is one of my mentor, since he’s always been kind enough to talk to me in an humble way, without bullshit around (yeah, it happens). I know all of you are thinking: “Nick, have you got red eyes?”. Well, it seems so, but I never met this guy for real, so I cannot confirm or deny 🙂
So ready to enter in the mind of Nick? Yeah? All right then, let’s go! have fun and see you next week.
When did you enter the SEO world, and why ?
In my first job right out of college I went to work as the MarCom Manager for a start-up software company that specialized in Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance. For those of you who don’t know, Sarbanes-Oxley or ‘Sox’ as it is often called, is financial reporting compliance that was put in place after the Enron and Tyco accounting scandals came to light, essentially making it much more difficult for companies to ‘cook the books’ so to speak.
This was my first experience working in a start-up environment and also being in charge of a website. I was fortunate enough to have buy-in from the CEO and the board and was put in charge of creating a website for the purpose of generating leads and legitimacy for the new business. I was introduced to cmScribe (.NET content management system) and the wonderful team over at NetReach who helped me build what would be the first of several version of their website. Right away I seemed to have a knack for understanding how to best organize a website’s architecture and information to create a sitemap that made sense to both users and search engines, and for a long-time Align-Alytics (back then Aline) held the #1 spot for ‘GRC Software.’ Unfortunately we were way ahead of our time, and the search volume for the term was nowhere near what it is today.
In any case I found myself fascinated with leveraging existing search behavior to capture eyeballs and qualify leads. I created my first consulting company, Nick Eubanks Solutions, and never looked back.
A great tip about onpage optimization?
Use header tags and link to related internal site pages. Not only does this make readers happy by breaking up the content into small, easily digestible content but it helps to send link-juice and contextual relevancy through the site.
The most stupid thing people believe about onpage optimization?
That creating a long list of links to other authoritative websites, i.e. Wikipedia, Google properties, NY times, etc. is the best way to signal their content is relevant and trusted. Don’t get me wrong, I understand reference and proper citation and attribution is very important but there are so many other elements that you need to consider before just focusing on linking to some big players.
A great tip on how you build links?
I’ll be the first to admit, I would never call myself a ‘link builder,’ especially when there are people out there that genuinely kill it for their clients and their own projects. The best use of my time is designing the campaigns, managing tactical implementation, tracking, analyzing, and improving results… not the in the trenches link-building that is done by the big names like Ross Hudgens, Wil Reynolds, Tom Critchlow, Eppie Vojt, Ian Howells, and of course, Jon Cooper.
The most stupid thing you heard about linkbuilding?
That blog comments are a sustainable source for links, or on the flip-side, that link volume doesnt matter anymore.
If you have to explain what you do at a 10 year-old kid , what are you gonna say?
Funny because I actually just did this a few weeks ago except it wasn’t a 10 year-old, it was my nephew, he’s 6. What I said was “know when mommy is looking for something on the computer, I help her find what she is looking for as fast as possible.” An onvious over-simplification but he got it!
What do you drink when seoing?
Haha, that is a strange question. I guess my usual mix of drinks would include coffee (a lot of it), espresso, Pellegrino, and probably protein shakes.
What do you think about SEO community?
Honestly I have been blown away by how amazing the community is in just the Philly area. My first taste of the ‘community’ aspect of SEO was definitely through SEO Grail (big shout out to Bill Rowland for creating and continuously delivering a stellar conversation at these monthly meet-ups). In general people’s willingness to share their successes and failures as well as their time is a constant source of inspiration for me. I am honestly only upset that my schedule doesn’t permit me to attend more events or write as often as I’d like to.
Make yourself a question and give an answer: What is the most important characteristic you look for when hiring an SEO?
For me this is a 2 part answer; 1) creativity 2) hunger (unflinching determination to succeed or die trying).
Who is your biggest SEO influence?
This one is easy for me, from the very start of things, and mostly because in 2006 SEO wasn’t at all a buzzword yet and certainly not an industry or even a position, I would have to say Todd Malicoat, I found his stuff almost immediately which then lead to Aaron Wall and Danny Sullivan, but Todd was my first experience reading about the trials, tribulations, and strategies to market on the internet.
If you weren’t an SEO, what would you like to do?
Multi-Family Real Estate, no doubt. I worked in commercial real estate and as an acquisition manager for a private Philadelphia portfolio for a few years while I was getting my consulting business off the ground prior to starting atomni, and without a doubt, this is where my heart is. I’ll get back to it in the next few years, there is no doubt in my mind.
You like reading these interviews? Don’t worry, I don’t ask for a like, or a tweet, or +1, or to inbound it. But maybe you want to make a paypal donation to buy some new shoes and some beers. JUST KIDDING! 😀
See you next week!