Posted by Aaron Wheeler
Happy Thanksgiving! In case you haven’t heard, this week Seattle underwent the most brutal snow storm in the history of mankind. To call it a snowpocalypse would be an understatement, as can be witnessed herein (it gets good so keep watching!). Unfortunately, Danny Dover was the one up to bat this week for Whiteboard Friday, but he perished in the harsh winter (he was the one that got off the bus after it careened into his stop. You can still hear the bus driver’s sentimental pronouncement, "12th and John."). Before he was frozen for all eternity, though, Danny must have filmed a Whiteboard Friday, because we found this tape in his icy grasp when we went to his home to hunt him down. We also found ham. A LOT of ham.
7 Non-SEO Tactics That Will Make You a Better SEO
- Get a whiteboard in a non-work related place
- Prioritize SEO tasks before starting your day
- Dedicate time on your calendar for researching SEO
- Create new e-mail accounts for each client (Bonus: Ditch the spreadsheet, use 1Password)
- Take the time to explain your job to others
- Schedule meetups with online marketers in other niches
- Take the time to be thankful
Hello, everybody. My name is Danny Dover. I’m in charge of SEO here at SEOmoz. Today for Whiteboard Friday, it’s a very special one. If you’re in the States, today is Thanksgiving. So, happy Thanksgiving everybody. In honor of that, or at least, at least a little bit to do with it . . . at least, at least, that was the remix. I have something special for you today. I have seven tactics to make you a better SEO. Most of these things are tactics that I just learned by myself. I would mess something up a lot and I was like, "Hey, if I had this little fix or if I had this little part in my life, it would improve my ability to work as a professional." I am passing these things on to you and hopefully you find them helpful as well.
The first one is also the most relevant. I’ll explain that in just a second. Put a whiteboard in a non work-related place. Today actually it’s in Seattle and I’m snowed in. I’m stuck in my apartment. Right now, I’m in my room. You can see behind me that I have a whiteboard in my room. I’ve found this; it just came up by accident. I found a whiteboard, just randomly put it up in my room, and it has actually been a lifesaver many, many times. A lot of times I’ll be thinking about SEO when I come back home from work. I’ll have this whiteboard here and I can just doodle things out. Or if it’s for my personal life, I can do the exact same thing. I can do mind maps or I can do whatever else I need. I have found it to be extremely helpful. Really, it’s benefited me as an SEO. It’s made me better at my job, because when I get away from work and I am solving problems from a new perspective, I can just write it all down here. It’s a great way for me to transport information and preserve it. I highly recommend putting a whiteboard in a non work-related place.
Number two, prioritize SEO tasks early. I know that a lot of people, myself especially here, like to hit the ground running when you get into work on Monday morning. Figure out, go through e-mails, go through your priority list, and see what it is that you need to get done and then just go. That’s what I did for a long time. More recently, I’ve discovered that it’s really important to set aside about 20 minutes and just go through and prioritize what your jobs are. While it’s easy is to go do the quick fixes, implement a 301 here, change a title tag here, I’ve actually found it to be better off if I go through and just figure out what needs to get done that day and in what order. So specifically, prioritize your SEO tasks early in your day before you get started. I highly recommend doing that.
Number three, put research time on a calendar. I don’t need to tell any of you that SEO changes extremely quickly. It changes all the time. I’ve found it very beneficial for my job to actually block off some time on my calendar when I will have no meetings and no one can interrupt. I just sit there and I research SEO. I read what other blogs have to say. I’ll do some of my own tests that I’m running. I’ll just take the time out of my day every week to focus on SEO and research and do this every week so that I am continually learning. The key to SEO is continually learning because this industry moves extremely fast. Again, I highly recommend actually putting a block in your calendar of time to just research new things in SEO.
Number three is exactly what I just did, right. So, number three is redundant.
Number four, new e-mail per client. So, making a new e-mail address per client. This might sound a little bit obvious so I have a little bonus for you. The idea behind a new e-mail address for every client is not to accept e-mails from each client at a different e-mail address, that’d be very confusing. Instead create an e-mail address, so maybe it’s Danny, if you’re using Gmail you can use this trick where you add a plus mark in it, so, Danny, and, let’s say, client X at SEOmoz.org [Danny+X@SEOmoz.org]. What that does is it will submit the client e-mail back to my normal inbox so I’ll get it in the normal place. But then when I sign up for different services, like Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools and they require an e-mail address, I’ll have it segmented by client. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful just for keeping myself sane and for keeping client’s information organized. In fact, if you can do it by creating real e-mail addresses that are all separate with different passwords, that’s the best way to do it, because from a security point of view if one of your e-mail addresses gets compromised, you don’t compromise your entire client base. I know that a lot of SEOs will just use a spreadsheet and do the e-mail address and the password on that, and that’s great except for that if that spreadsheet ever gets compromised, your entire portfolio will have a problem. If you can create different e-mail addresses for each client that’s a great way to go.
Number five, take time to explain your job. This one is something that, I think, a lot of SEOs don’t do. When someone asks you about SEO, we joke about this a lot. I’ve had lots of dinners with other SEOs where we’re like, "Yeah, no one knows what I do." We laugh about it. It’s very funny. Our parents and a lot of our friends have no idea what we do. What I’ve found is that when you actually take the time to explain what SEO is to these people, it is a new opportunity for clients. Not necessarily like your best friend or a sibling or something, but they will then explain what you do to other people. Our job is kind of interesting just because it is so niche. There’s not very many people in the world that do what we do. So by explaining that to people whenever someone has that demand, say it’s my sister Jessica, when she’s talking to some of her friends about what I do, if she ever does that, I don’t know. But if they ever have any questions about Google, they’re going to know that I’m a person in their life that they can come talk to. Through that I can get clients. This is a trick that has actually worked for me, so I highly recommend it.
Number six, schedule meals with other online marketers. This one I’ve done in the past. Just schedule meals with your other friends who happen to be online marketers and you talk about work. That’s great. That works. I highly recommend it. But a little tweak to that that I’ve found is scheduling weekly meetings with online marketers who work in different spaces. So, there are plenty of people in the industry that I respect, but I’ve got in the habit of going out for beers once a week with my friend Sam Nichols who works more in the affiliate space and PPC and areas that I don’t focus on as much. We get to talk about online marketing and just life in general. I’ve found that because he focuses on another area of online marketing, I’ve been able to help my SEO tactics. Thank you, Sam. I appreciate that. I highly recommend that you go out of your way to schedule meals, even if it’s not weekly, maybe if it is monthly, but with people who work in other sectors of online marketing. We’re all, it’s all kind of interrelated so you can learn a lot from doing that.
Last, but not least, if you’re in the States, it’s Thanksgiving yesterday I think when you’re going to be watching this. So, happy Thanksgiving to everyone. In honor of that, I want to say take time to be thankful. SEO is a very stressful job at times. We also have a lot of freedom. The fact that I’m working from home today and I get to film this 5 feet away from my bed. I didn’t even have to get out of my room today. There’s a lot of flexibility in this job, and it’s something I really appreciate. We can do it from anywhere we have the Internet. That’s a really great thing. So, hopefully you take time to be thankful for your job and thankful for other elements in your life. Being able to reflect on that, I think, is important for really establishing yourself as a growing SEO, as someone who is continuing to lean and happy with where they are.
Thank you for watching this. I appreciate your time. I will see you next week on Whiteboard Friday.
Video transcription by SpeechPad.com
If you have any tips or tricks that you’ve learned along the way, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Post your comment and be heard!
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