Welcome to Talk Nerdy to Me! A series of fireside Slack-Chats where Pound & Grain’s resident tech geniuses and other smarty pants explain complex development systems and best practices to a creative person.
We’re pumped to be talking to our P&G SEO specialist Jesse about optimization, analytics and all things digital. Let’s begin!
KAT: What do you do as an SEO Specialist?
Jesse: It’s more than just trying to rank number one. I consider my role as an SEO to be one that combines design, UX and marketing to make sure the message is clear, concise and relevant to what the user is after. At the heart of my work is aligning people with the products, services or information that they are looking for in a timely manner.
KAT: What interests you most about analytics?
JESSE: Here’s where things are gonna get a little nerdy… I really like investigating the story the data is trying to tell. What caused this to go up? Why did this go down? Trying to uncover what motivates people to engage fascinates me.
KAT: Which technical skills are crucial to have for your position?
JESSE: You need to be a decent writer with good analytical skills. Some coding skills and an understanding of how a website works are also vital.
KAT: I hear you teach SEO and Analytics at Brainstation. Can you talk us through what that’s like and how you got there?
JESSE: I really enjoy teaching this stuff. I get really pumped up seeing others who are curious about SEO and tracking their website performance. I saw they were looking for instructors on LinkedIn, teaching was something I was thinking about more and more so I applied.
KAT: What has changed about SEO since when you started in 2011?
JESSE: So much. I started getting paid to do SEO about two months before Google’s Penguin update, which completely shifted how we optimize websites. I think the biggest change, though, has been in the form of how we write. It’s gone from writing for search engines to writing for humans.
KAT: That’s quite the change! So, what did you study and how did you decide on SEO Specialization?
JESSE: I studied Marketing Communications in the hopes of getting into Advertising. Like most SEO’s, it wasn’t an intentional career path. The decision to be an SEO specialist came about a year after I’d been optimizing websites as a freelancer.
KAT: Any words of wisdom for someone who’s looking to become an SEO Specialist?
JESSE: Stay curious. The moment you think you know everything there is to know about SEO is the moment you start falling behind.
KAT: Is there anything you’ve learned about SEO during COVID-19?
JESSE: One thing that I’ve learned recently is just how much brand reputation and trustworthiness matter to overall performance. I’m noticing that a lot of brands are offering discounts, free subscriptions, or helpful resources which are also seeing increases in their search engine rankings.
KAT: Which shows have you streaming lately?
JESSE: Thanks to the situation with COVID-19, there are way too many to list. But I have started rewatching 30 Rock.
KAT: Definitely worth a re-watch! What’s your go-to hustle anthem?
JESSE: I don’t know if it’s a hustle anthem, but whenever I need to be in a good mindset, I play Praise You by Fatboy Slim.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Jesse, and thanks for giving us some SEO insight!