Interview with Wade Carlson – Advice for new SEOs, Local SEO, & Dos Equis

Wade Carlson is an SEO professions based out of Orange County, CA.
From his time in the Coast Guard to working at Space-X, he’s moved across several verticals and areas within marketing.
He talks about his first passion projects, local SEO, advice for SEO beginners, and we discuss the most interesting man in the world.

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Philip: 0:00
Today we’ve got Wade Carlson on and we’re going to chat about S E O and Marketing.

Phil: 0:11
Wade, how you doing.

Wade: 0:12
I’m doing excellent, man. I’m I’m ready. I’m ready to go. I’ve been looking forward to this. Thanks for having me. How are you,

Phil: 0:17
I’m doing great. I like opening these up with some non SEO non-marketing things. I got a couple of these. They’re called, , interview deck cards and they’re just like random questions. Good little icebreaker. Sometimes the little get to know you , Wade: That’s a great idea. I like that. All right. Here’s my first question. You ready?

Wade: 0:34
yeah, let’s go.

Phil: 0:36
If you could try out a job for a day, just to see if you like it, what job would it be?

Wade: 0:42
Oh, anesthesiologist.

Phil: 0:44
Oh, really? Why is that?

Wade: 0:48
I don’t know. It just sounds like I heard they make a lot of money and it’s just like, not involvement, but it, it’s kind of a precious job, you know what I mean? If you think about it, like, someone’s like, you’re really in a lot of control, which is kind of cool, but we won’t get into that too much.

Phil: 1:00
It’s like the opposite of SEO where you have like no control and you’re just hoping that what you do works. Hopefully an anesthesiologist is not like that. All right. Maybe this might end up being marketing related, but , what’s the oddest job you ever took to earn a buck?

Wade: 1:18
yeah, so I decided to, , go back and start a second career, which maybe will get into another time or whatever. And so I was kind of going to, , a JC junior college and, um, do an Uber on the side. So one day I like pulled out of my driveway and then I got this ding for Uber and it was like, go pick up this box. It was just down the road. So I pick up this box and it’s like, drive it all the way down, you know, south county. And I’m like, that was a good, fair. And I gave it to this lady. He was like, but there was no human being, it was just a box. You know what I mean? So I’m like, what’s in the box. It was nothing exciting. It was just, labels for t-shirts, you

Phil: 1:57
I was gonna say it feels very cast away. Like what’s in the box.

Wade: 2:00
Exactly. So in the boxes, t-shirts or whatever, nothing, you know, incredibly exciting. But I was like asking her, I’m like, Hey, this place is right by my house. You know, how often do you do this trip? She goes like every day, you know, so, I’m like, well, Hey, let’s make a deal. So I kind of struck up a deal to make it a little bit cheaper for her and a little bit more for me. So I kind of did some quick, um, algebra in my head and

Phil: 2:23
there you

Wade: 2:24
to try to figure out. And so I started working for this, , big shot south county t-shirt graphics girl, total superpower influential in south county. So that, that, that was probably the strangest things and, and that turned into driving a lawyer around.

Phil: 2:39
That’s, what’s funny is that it’s all about the network and, um, that’s where you, you get jobs, you know, especially in this industry, it’s not about who, you know, it’s about, who knows you and striking up those conversations and making those connections, I think is huge. And that could be a, a point where you move into a totally different field and it’s because you talk to the person instead of just drop the box off.

Wade: 3:05
yeah, exactly. Exactly. There you go. Hey man, I like that. I like that. Very good.

Phil: 3:10
So this one’s kind of neat. So, so this actually, I think ties into a lot of the stuff I talk about with marketing and, , how you present yourself, but the question’s this what’s the first impression you want to give to people

Wade: 3:24
Like kind, I guess, like, you know, I want people, I wanna come across as kind. I always give, like, I don’t know, I’m a sick person. I kind of give her everyone no matter what, like I give everyone like, you know, a hundred percent points like who you’re cool until. I kind of give people the benefit of the doubt all the time and like treat everyone like a hundred percent and, you know, go from there. so,

Phil: 3:43
And I think this is a big part of what I love about this show is that I can talk to anyone and my original , idea for what I wanted to do with this show was actually to interview what I called the behind the scenes heroes. You never hear about these people, I’ve got a couple friends that work at an agency that basically handles all the SEO for Expedia, but you’re never gonna see them on Twitter or LinkedIn or anything like that. They’re not tweeting out. Look at this case study, look at all this stuff I they’re just working. And these are like the unsung heroes. And I think there’s some merit to talking to the people behind the scenes that aren’t. As visible, but man, they make a huge impact. I know we’ve talked a bit, we used to work together years ago and I thought it would be really interesting to have you on here and talk about some of the things that you had done, what you’re doing now and kind of what you’re seeing with some of the stuff you’re working on. Now. I know you, you were doing man back in the day, right? You were doing E email marketing and today you’re, you’re one of like the lead coordinators with like several agencies where you’re at in an in-house job in telecom. So, , I thought maybe it’d be kind of neat to just hear, , where did you kind of start and how did, how did you even get into marketing?

Wade: 4:59
I started, uh, 2005. I started a, , website, , called band chemistry. And basically it was, I partnered with someone that graduated from a local college that I lived. I found him, he was a techy person. I had an idea to, to match up musicians with each other. And so, um, that was kind of how I got start. I, I figured, you know, started, had to kind of look at it what audiences were and what people want want. Right. I found a, , basically, , a gap in the, the market with that kind of a service because definitely websites are hot. And this is back when Facebook was, you had to have a college email address to, you know, if you can remember that you had

Phil: 5:36
You were still doing my space, especially if you were music related. It was, it was my space, man.

Wade: 5:41
So now, now we’re dating ourselves here talking about my space and

Phil: 5:44
I’ve been doing this. I’ve been doing this way too long

Wade: 5:47
I like it. I like it. Yeah.

Phil: 5:49
but, but that actually brings me to a point and I get this question a lot as people asking, you know, where do I start? And I think you hit it on the head. It’s just start create a website, just do it. And you’re gonna learn along the way you’re gonna go, how do I build a website? And now you’re gonna learn all the intricacies of what goes into a website. How do I get people here? And that’s SEO where it’s paid search or it’s marketing online forums, whatever interjecting in social. It sounds like that’s kind of how you got your, your feet in the door, right?

Wade: 6:21
Yeah. Yeah. It just, um, so, well specifically for that, that project, um, that was more of a, just a passion. I was, I was in the military at the time I was in the coast guard and it was just kind of just something I just wanted to do because I wanted to try to get rich and get out to try to buy my, you know, I was, I was, I was at, up in, uh, stationed up in Northern Michigan and, you know, it was very dark all the time and a lot of snow, which I appreciate that in the Midwest, I’m from the Midwest and stuff, but, you know, I wanted to, to try to fig figure out the next best thing and it just kind of, and I, I did what you just said. I just went, I didn’t think too much about it. I I’d got going. And then I thought as I was going you, can’t just one thing that I’ve learned when you’re starting your own thing is, is you kind of have to. Don’t have everything planned out from like, you know, like a, to Z right off the bat. I mean, know what your goal is, right. Number one. And there’s different roads to get there. So just know where you wanna end up. Right. I wanted to end up with this, and of course in the long run, it didn’t happen, but you know, it was a learning experience. And so therefore that’s valuable. So did I get rich? Well, I got rich of knowledge.

Phil: 7:26
If you are trying to start out at that stage, you can’t plan everything. You don’t know

Wade: 7:32

Phil: 7:33
But if you do as much as you can and you learn along the way and you try this, you try that, try to understand from experts, that’s gonna help you out. And then when you get to the point where you’ve done this enough times, you’ve done it, maybe in agencies, you’ve done it in house. You’re gonna be able to say, well, here’s how I could get someone from start to finish because you’ve been there and you’ve done it. And you know, the most efficient way. And you know what works.

Wade: 7:56
Exactly, exactly. A lot of trial and error. I decided I wanna kind of get out of the electronics and do something different because, , I just like to have energy and be around people and stuff. I thought, what about being a recruiter? So I got stationed out here in, in Los Angeles, around, uh, 2006. That was my first kind of introduction to real marketing. Cause I kind of take courses through the coast guard that was put on, , and to learn how to do sales and sales and marketing strategies and creating a marketing plan. So I continued my military career and then, , I made a pivot, , into, , aerospace. I worked at space X a while, again, doing the techy stuff. But, um, from there I, I decided to leave aerospace. I went to school full time.

Phil: 8:35
One of my last interviews, one of our big discussion points was talking about transitioning between verticals. So going from real estate to telecom, what have you seen as something that you absolutely was able to bring over and anything that you said , Hey, this just doesn’t work for telecom, maybe worked in real estate.

Wade: 8:56
Yeah, that’s a super good question, Phil. Because I, I was just actually kind of thinking about that too, I would say that one thing that’s similar that you can kind of carry with marketing in general and, you know, to include a course SEO, is that the, it doesn’t matter what for SEO specifically, it doesn’t matter what the site is to start with. Like Google friendly site is for anything. Right. And so that it doesn’t matter if it’s ma a green tea or some, you know, boutique, fitness, mom and pop, whatever, you know, um, but start with just the overall optimization, right? Where it gets a little bit, a little bit unique, but it’s still the same keyword research is all done the same, whether we’re whatever we’re research you’re in. So those things, keyword research and structuring and stuff, but there’s. You know, other things nuances and so forth with, between different businesses, different as you say the verticals. For instance, , eCommerce, right? That’s a whole different game. So you’re, you’re updating pages regularly, right? In an eCommerce, you’re selling a physical product on a website and you’re dealing with a high website volume, uh, for a major telecom telecommunications company and have a, a pretty wide, uh, Product line in depth takes a lot more communication. I think when, when you have those website updates and someone knowing who your key players are to get the messaging through the brand people and through the, the leadership, whoever the leadership of product is, or whatever that may be, and try to, portray that message out there that, you know, give your, best advice for SEO for this new page that has to be published in three days. So you have to stand your toes a lot more for sure. You know what I mean? Uh, other other ones it’s more heavier on the blogs, so it’s more like researching blogs now. , I’ve had, , some companies where that was a, like the primary source of organic lead generation was strictly just informational,

Phil: 10:46
I think you touched on this and, and maybe we could dive a little more into that, but , what about the measurement side of things, from a real estate standpoint, we’re talking long transaction timeframe, lower volume for a specific, let’s call it product because you’re not getting, you know, 10,000 people looking for the same one item from a telecom perspective, know? so how are you having to look at things a little bit differently? The way you’re measuring things are different.

Wade: 11:17
The bottom line is it’s gotta be changed constantly. Again, they, the management will in leadership, no matter what industry you’re in, really, but they’ll always just change kind of like the goal from like, oh, we’re gonna, you know, oh, scratch that project. You know, we’re not gonna do that anymore. You know what I mean? So you gotta be like so adaptable and, as far as like measuring things, it’s more frequent.

Phil: 11:39
Oh, yeah.

Wade: 11:40
you know what I mean?

Phil: 11:41
daily. Hourly. Yeah.

Wade: 11:42
a daily hourly if you’re, you know, definitely I haven’t, I haven’t been that, you know, not definitely not hourly for me yet. Think God, but, I haven’t, it’s not that intense for me because , I’m working with different agencies are kind of in the SEO mix a little bit too, as I got kind of some people keeping the, keeping the Google watch and the Adobe watch for me too. So

Phil: 11:59
you talked earlier about, a passion project, musicians, connecting them, things like that. What do you got going on now? What’s what’s your latest passion project you’re working on? , Wade: Yeah, a couple I’m helping, uh, somebody write a blog for a, a spiritual rehabilitation sort of. So I’m actually kind of doing, uh, just some interesting work, just researching, um, anything from like the, you know, uh, how, how, how to get better, like mentally and so forth all the way from that to some working with some boutiques, some fitness boutiques, , I’ve done, some, design labels for, , uh, pomade company for a barber. So I helped this, , local barber. He made out a killer Pade it’s called player’s choice. And, He did a great job with it. You know what I mean? So we’re just keeping our price points pretty low. I think it’s just like 12 bucks right now. So I’ve been in like, like the cosmetic beauty industry. If we’re talking about work, well, I do have that sound cheesy, but like the, the work projects are kind of passion products because I found , some projects that could definitely, , definitely help out. And it’s, it’s really helping, , some of our retail stores but definitely there’s a retail stores that sell our product and, some issues with their breaking in the three pack. Actually, it’s kind of a good segue if I can kind of get into like the local SEO, um, because that’s actually kind of, kind of part of, you know, what I’ve been working on the most. I would say most of my clients it’s somewhat on the local side, for sure. So, you know, like 46%, I just found this out 46% searches are for local businesses. That’s a big chunk. Okay. And 88% of those people, guess what? 88% of those people will visit the business or call within 24 hours. All right. I got some good stat. I spent, uh, yeah, I spent probably up until kind of the recent gig. I spent the last 5, 6, 7 years mostly focused on local and usually a business. That’s got a 10 mile radius of customers and it’s an ever changing field. And Google is doing a lot of changes from the way they handle the Google profiles, formerly Google my business to how they handle ads to adding ads where there weren’t ads before to map searches to how they handle reviews. I mean, you name it. They’ve made probably the most changes that I’ve seen within algorithms have been based on local. What are you seeing? That’s the biggest impacts or biggest changes with Google right now? When it comes to local?

Wade: 14:37
Yeah. So definitely. There’s usually like a stack of about four or five things that I kind of look at. Uh, number one thing is on your business page, on your, you know, so-called Google my business page GMB page for short, um, is all the information accurate. So if you’re open from eight to five and it’s on Monday through Friday and it’s on your Google business page, you have to be manned. Means that someone has to be on the phone or able to answer or phone call or someone has to be inside the store, basically providing a good or service or whatever that may

Phil: 15:09
yeah. Google started calling.

Wade: 15:11

Phil: 15:11
call to quote, verify hours and they’ll call during those hours just to make sure that someone picks up. And if someone doesn’t, they may remove that day as a day that you’re open. And then when people are searching, you don’t get shown because why would you show a place that’s not open when you’re gonna be visiting that day or the next day

Wade: 15:30
exactly. Exactly. So big brothers watching. We know that is so

Phil: 15:34
calling and listening.

Wade: 15:36
and calling and listening and all the above, for sure. So I would say, with accuracy too, I think that’s a good kind of segue into, um, the actual listing of your address. Okay. So if you’re at 1 23 main street and you abbreviate street, S T right. And you’re in suite 1 0 1, right. Suite S U I T E. Right. Okay. So it has to be spelled the same on every other place that you have your business listed. Why would you have your business listed? On other websites or for other locations, other directories, well, local citations as these are called , these listings, , will give credibility to your site and help you rise in the three pack. Okay. And the three pack is, you just wanna be in the top three, cuz when you Google for a local business near you like cell phones, , electric bicycles or whatever it may be. Um, you know, the, the, the best ones will show up in the top three, but because yours does not show up in the top three does not mean you’re not the best. You know what it means. It means that you might be further away. So because distance is factored and so Google will attempt to. Do it by distance. So as you’re close, closer, you should rank higher. So if you’re a three star business and you are five minutes away and some other business is an hour away. Right. A competing business is an hour away. The one that’s hour away, even though it has better, let’s say if it had better reviews, it shouldn’t be showing. It’s like most people don’t go to page two on Google, right? So on a regular, uh, Google SERP, but, um, So with the off page citations, um, you know, you having the address, the same is very, um, important and then on top of that, you have Google reviews, right. And these things are all on, you know, like the reviews, the address, everything is on this, your Google business page. The reviews do wave very heavily on the local pack. , and sometimes reviews are outta control, but there are some things that you can’t control.

Phil: 17:40
Google wants you to respond too as a business owner. That’s another thing that’s really important is to take the time to reply. And I think what most people appreciate is seeing replies to negative reviews and getting that other side of the story. Sometimes those are the best reviews I was doing , some research when I was doing a lot more local SEO. And one of the things we were trying to understand was why some of our Google, my business pages were actually coming up with specific keywords. When we had never put that on the site, we had never put it in the description, things like that. And what we found was that if that content was in the review and especially if it’s in several reviews that Google would pick up on it. The example I was using was. Restaurants that were pet friendly. And we had a few of them that were nearby that were pet friendly, but they never once mentioned it on their site. When you Googled for pet friendly restaurants near me, those would show up because people in the review said, and it was great that we were able to bring our pets because it was a pet friendly, something like that. And because they’d used that phrasing in the review there not only did their Google, my business page rank, but their website was also ranking. And so they got the benefit of that. They tied them together because of course you’re linking to it. And so these restaurants were ranking for words, that when you go to their site and you know, there are five pages on some of these sites. They never once said pet, dog friendly, anything like that. And yet they were ranking for it.

Wade: 19:18
That’s incredible. I mean, uh, it doesn’t surprise me, but I think that’s like the next thing is people are listening.

Phil: 19:24
So I think local SEO has changed a lot in the last few years, and I continue to expect Google to focus on that. Especially as more and more people shift to mobile. I mean, what was it four or five years ago? When not everything was mobile friendly and Google basically put their foot down and said, everything’s gotta be mobile friendly. Everything’s gotta be on a secure site. Everything’s got to X, Y, Z. Now we’ve gotten to the point where everyone has location services turned on. Most people are logged into a Google account. What is it? Something like 80% of people at any point are logged into a Google account. So Google knows where you’re at. They know what you’re doing, and these searches, so many of them are just local based. And I think we’re just gonna continue to see that as an area of optimization that Google pushes. Google’s got so many phones connected and logged in with location services on, they know what store you’re in and for how long you’ve been there. They know average wait times how long you sat, how long it took you to eat and those, those graphs that you see when you search for a restaurant they’re surprisingly accurate.

Wade: 20:33
It’s definitely useful, especially like getting a haircut, you know what I mean? Um, you know, there’s certain, definitely avoiding Fridays payday before holidays and stuff. So definitely all that data on Google is extremely having that up to date, , and everything and accurate. and with the reviews and you get those bad ones really important. I really wanna drive this one. Home is, uh, is the way you. Bond to the review actually matters. Okay. Because they’re also looking at people reading the reviews. Right. Okay. Because most of those people that read the reviews are gonna take some sort of action. Okay. , but most people do read the reviews, when you’re addressing a review, that’s negative, you want to address specifically in the text, what the issue is. Okay. So what you’re hoping to do is reconnect with that person that you lost. Right. And try to get them broke back in somehow.

Phil: 21:19
Those replies will make or break a negative review and people, people wanna see that what’s interesting is, , people will seek out the negative reviews too, because they don’t trust all the positive reviews and they wanna see what are these negatives? Are they legitimate negatives or is it just someone who’s got a bad attitude and what was the response?

Wade: 21:41
That’s where it will be revealed. You know what I mean is how, how are the business Handl? There’s sometimes there’s just something like, I like those businesses, those local businesses that actually put, like, it’s gonna be a weight, it’s worth the weight. I love those things,

Phil: 21:52
you know, and that could piss a lot of people off, but if they’re gonna stand by quality, I’m always for that.

Wade: 21:58
Yeah. Yeah. I hear that. I mean, qu definitely that’s, um, you know, value and quality and, you know, there’s certain things I’m willing to, uh, to pay for and deal with and certain things I’m not, and that’s what makes individuals unique. And that’s that business’s job to determine who’s willing to wait or pay for this kind of stuff. You know what I mean? My e-bike, I waited eight weeks for my e-bike.

Phil: 22:19
couple months.

Wade: 22:20
and I didn’t hose them with the review and they said it was gonna be three weeks, but it took a lot longer. But, but then I got, I got up a bike and I rode. And it’s like the best thing ever. I wrote ’em an email and I was so enthusiastic about it. And they’re like, so Stok and they want me, so I’ve been working on speaking of passion projects, like, you know, working on a review video, just me and my, bicycle and stuff. So I’m kind of gathering some footage and different stuff on, on that. Cause I wanna send them something they really Tru, like, I really love the bicycle, you know, when I get passionate about something like I’m like all I’m all, all for it. So

Phil: 22:49
And from a marketing standpoint, I’ve got a little story here about something similar. So I, I was doing some work with real estate photography, and I was working with this company that had this little piece of hardware and some software, and it was just beautiful, just completely well done. Well thought out great price point better than the competitors, you know, small in the market. Didn’t quite have the market share. I connected with the CEO on LinkedIn and basically said, Hey, you have a great product. I love it. Just wanted to let you know, want to be connected and feel free to reach out if you’ve got any questions on how I’m using it. Fast forward, I ended up doing multiple projects for them. Video testimonials ended up actually being basically a brand ambassador for them and it was money. I mean, it was a job. It was paid. Consulting work because they wanted to know how people in the field were using it. And then the network that I have of other people using their product. And it was a real great win-win, but it also was something great for me because it got me some new connections. It also opened my eyes to the other side of the business. And overall, I could have walked into working for that company down the road if I wanted to, it opens doors. And so the same kind of thing that you’re doing, you never know down the road where they go, you know, we actually loved what you did with that testimonial. Is that something we could hire you to do for other people who bought them? Because we wanna create something bigger and that’s just a whole new avenue. So I always say, you know, make sure if you’re gonna do something, like go for it, do it right. If you’re gonna get wet, go swimming. I wanna talk a little bit about what you’re doing now and how you’ve actually transitioned a bit from going client side, working with everyone in house to then client side, but working with agencies as partners I’ve talked to a couple people in, in similar type situations what about on the other side, you’re managing agencies right now. What are your biggest pain points, but what are also the positives.

Wade: 24:56
Yeah, so, well, I think it’s, it’s good to have, like, you know, second sets of eyes. It’s good to have people around that to do the things that you don’t wanna do. especially, you know, I hate to say it, but it is like, you know, so for things like, , I like to have, agencies that I work with, do things like, , analytics and, , recreate dashboards for me make, PowerPoint presentations, , the stuff, because I’m, I’m not really having most of them that I’m working with two different agencies because we have a big migration going on and that’s a very, , very intense process. And of all, there’s a lot of moving parts and with anything else, but this is a big company and stuff. And so we got two different agencies saying different things, so communication challenge, um, and that’s where you gotta rope ’em up and, you know, have a weekly, you know, meeting with mine. And, you know, we sit down and. Talking is funny. It’s like sometimes they’re, you know, they have some good points and sometimes I, like, I know we’re right on our side because we’re, we live in house and we see this stuff and we, we got the latest information. Right. So that’s the benefit of being an in-house SEO is you have a quick, you have more channels than they do, and they’re working on other projects. So yeah, they’re working on telecom company, like Bob’s telecom company. Right. But you know, they’re doing like, Barbara’s gym, you know what I mean? And then, and then, so is their head in the, in the Bob’s, you know what I mean, all the time is there is, is, are they always focused on us now? So I would say those are definitely the, you know, the, the pros and the pros and cons,

Phil: 26:26
what I think’s neat about agencies. And, and I think you kind of touched on it though, is yeah, they’re working on, you know, this site and that site, they can be all over the place, but that also can add something that you miss out when your client site, and you’re so focused on your one vertical that you potentially miss out on this whole other thing, going on with Google, where they’re, you know, focusing on all of this extra stuff that maybe no one else in your industry is doing and they can bring into it. And so it makes you now a leader because you’re doing something totally different than anyone else was simply because it wasn’t being done in the vertical.

Wade: 27:06
Yeah, exactly. again, here’s another positive, you know, what I mean is, with the second set of eyes, you got people that have worked in other industries and things seen things work and not work, and they might have a good eye for competitive. As well. So you have to Harbor that too. So you can’t like go in like, you know what I learned for like, you know, leader, like where things are different, where they is the same. I mean, it goes for everything, right? again, you gotta take, you gotta take the things that, that people know and the people that are good at, and they got those, one girl from one agency. I mean, she’s, she’s been in, um, I think the automobile industry, the, and a few other ones and stuff. And so we’re not the auto industry, but she’s told us a few things, you know, about what attracts people. Right. And about segmenting the audience. Okay. Segmentation is the same practice, no matter where you go, right. But, so segmentation’s gonna be the same, you’re grouping up people and figure out what they’re asking for and what their problems are. Not only just what they need, but what they like about something. And you gotta kind of keep that momentum, that retention going. Right. So.

Phil: 28:11
Yeah. And, and the neat thing with agencies is like you had just said, you know, you find someone that’s been in a different vertical, but they know some specific fundamentals that you can apply, but what’s great is when you find someone and they’ve got a different vertical, but it has a similar like sales cycle or a similar type of audience, you know, maybe it’s that, , someone in the 18 to 35 with, you know, expendable income and, you’re selling not a luxury product, but it’s a high end product. And , you know, this is how we were able to market. This is how we were able to find that person. And it’s probably the same,

Wade: 28:50
exactly, exactly.

Phil: 28:52
So at the beginning, we were talking a little bit about how to get started. You talked about how you got started. I wanna hear what kind of advice do you have for people who wanna get into this industry into marketing, maybe SEO, specifically.

Wade: 29:06
Yeah. Yeah, that’s good. Um, because you know, marketing again, I explained is like, you know, a lot of different things, you know what I mean? So, you know, wanting to go to, into marketing, that’s gonna be the step one. Okay. That’s fine. So I would say, if you’re someone that’s in college or, um, or someone shifting careers or whatever, transitioning from the military or whatever that may be, , you know, when you get an internship or that first entry level job, it’s always good to choose one. I think that kind of gets you exposed to the full marketing suite. And that way you can kinda get a taste of, oh, this is what HTML is. This is what, how to write a blog. This is, um, how we do lead generation. This is what a form is. This is how the form works. This is how we a UTM, you know, all that stuff is important language to learn in marketing. Once you have experience with all the little different things, you can figure out like what you’re good at and what you like, and hopefully do both, right? Because I’ve done things in marketing that I didn’t like so much. And then I’ve done things that I really, really love. And sometimes they’re vastly different. I like SEO because , , it’s on the technical side and it’s facing technology and bridging that gap in between, , brand marketers and messaging and, and working with the engineers to get that implemented, to make a Google friendly site. And so I would say if you find that one thing that you’d love to do triple down on thing, don’t spend too much time trying to be good at something you’re not, but if you’re a person with decent technical ability and, uh, someone for an I for what you, if you can imagine yourself in a customer journey and imagine yourself being that consumer asking question and wanna find the answer, I think you’d be a terrific SEO. That’d be my, my advice.

Phil: 30:41
That’s awesome. Yeah. I think one of the things that you can do is look really carefully at where you’re interning or where your first job. And remember it’s about getting your foot in the door. If you can get into an agency and I, I advocate the hell out of this, get into an agency that’s across a bunch of different verticals that does everything, and you are gonna be exposed to some of the best people in the industry. They’re gonna let you work on stuff, help create reports, help do analytics, help do research, use some of the most cutting edge tools and have access to data. What I think I got most out of, one of the first agencies I worked at was that I had access to so much information that I was able to learn more. I was looking in Google analytics accounts that were already built out that had all the events, all the funnels, everything already built out where I could jump in there and do analysis and really actually look at something it’s one thing to have a site that gets a couple hundred visits a month, and, you know, a couple people can completely throw off your stats to one where you’re getting a million visits a month and you can really start looking at how things affect each other. What kinds of SEO impacts happen? Your paid impacts all of that and really understanding what happens when you change things and how, uh, users interact with the site.

Wade: 32:05
Yeah, exactly. So, um, you know, so having your SEO, um, you know, experience your first couple years, hopefully you have like a well rounded idea of like both like the technical side and, , you know, on the, like the, you know, keyword research side pretty much have like the whole puzzle piece figured out because some companies will, um, want to hire SEOs that know how to code a landing page or something like that. You see what I’m saying? So learning as much as you can about SEO will get you where you wanna be financially. I’m sure of it. You know what I mean? Um, I think the most dangerous SEO out there is the SEO with literally HTML powers. And not only that someone that can fight the good fight in the company. And, um, and then that takes someone that’s diplomatic. So if you are all those things and, and knowledgeable and have maybe some certifications and stuff, and if you have those things and you can do code. Which I wouldn’t say I’m a coder. Definitely not. But, um, but if you can code, oh man, you’d be unstoppable because then you get people in the tech world, in the product team and stuff and the, and so forth. And they’re looking for an SEO just to look at your technical stuff, to actually do the redirects, or actually put the canonical tags on there. So I think there’s a good opportunity for visibility being an SEO, because you’re talking to those, the people within your company that are very important and, and that, and you get recognized, for that sort of thing.

Phil: 33:34
I think a lot of people are, are maybe, maybe newer, maybe been in a few years, we’ve got some seasoned people that listen to this. And so I always like to give that kind of advice because I think it’s pertinent for anybody when they’re looking in their career and saying, you know, what is it that I can do to level up my career? And I think you touched on some great points. You really, you end up talking to some really influential and important people and don’t be afraid to talk to other people and other teams and not just. The developers, you could talk to the team leads and talk about high level ideas and ask them, you know, what kinds of things would that take? Let’s set some meetings, let’s have some discussions and don’t forget that a lot of these guys that do development work don’t know SEO at all. And so if you know, SEO take that time to do some trainings. And now all of a sudden you’re a subject matter expert. And when they’re looking for someone that they wanna bring into maybe a higher level role in that, or in other companies, you’ve got recommendations. Cuz they’re like that guy knows what he’s talking about.

Wade: 34:33
Oh, absolutely. Uh, yeah, some other advice too, is like, as you’re applying for SEO jobs, I mean, before your interview, you best believe you better have done an audit, you know, or something, you know what I mean? So figure out what you can do to try to, you know, I don’t necessarily have to go and audit, you know, a hundred pages or anything that, what I’m saying is, is like, you know, have a good idea of where their opportunities are and by opportunities, I mean is where they’re effing it up or whatever. So, um, you. Yeah. So look beyond the lookout, um, you know, check ’em out, find, and then make recommendations. Right. So have specific recommendations and, but don’t shoot yourself in a foot because I’ve known people that have, um, that have, you know, given too much advice in an interview and not getting the job because they felt they had enough to sail away with, you know what I mean? Uh, without, so they were probably actually interviewing SEOs just to try to get information. They were getting free consulting

Phil: 35:24
If you’re going through to like a fortune 500 company, there may be a reason why that’s not working the way you would expect it to you go, why don’t you have your X, Y, Z canonicals or ATF Langs, or the way your robots text is set up. You might go, you guys are doing it wrong. It may not be because they’re doing it wrong. There may be a business decision for that. and those automated audits as great as they are. And you pull that information, you go look, your site maps, aren’t in your robots text. It’s like, yeah. That’s because we don’t want our competitors to know a list of every single one of our pages. And that’s how they’re gonna scrape all the content from our site. And so you might say, well, you guys are doing it wrong. They go, actually, we’re doing that on purpose. So you wanna be really careful about how you position and say, well, best practices would say to do this. And I noticed that you guys aren’t doing that. That’s a better way to approach it than you guys are doing your SEO wrong. And I would come in and fix it and you know what? They may go, no, you can’t. Our system can’t accommodate that and it’ll never get done.

Wade: 36:31
I always say, I always start off by what they’re doing. Right. You know what I mean? I say, oh, I see you do this and do that. You know, be you gotta beetic you gotta, in a way you gotta kind of be like, well, you know, you did this good and stuff and I get it, but you know, think about this way. This is what you gotta, you gotta look at is they’re hiring something for a reason, be flattered. So if they do select you, if you get hired, if you went through and you did your homework on, ’em do your homework and they hire you, even though there might be like, oh, they didn’t do this. And don’t that take it as a compliment to you. Don’t look at it like, oh my God, these people are, are messing everything up, just look at it. Like they did a business case. They need help because they recognize they had a problem, good on them. Another thing too, is like, you’re gonna get larger companies. You’re gonna get some vice president of let’s just say product and then a vice president of brand. And they’re disagreeing with SEO, vice president of marketing. Doesn’t think that we need SEO. Vice president of brand thinks they need SEO. Right. And then, so there’s conflict and then you gotta be able to be like, well, you, everyone does need SEO. The website does, besides that. Right. The website needs to be optimized for Google. We need a Google friendly site. And then do we wanna start thinking about what the intention is? Like, what kind of organic traffic do we in our drive? Do we wanna retain, do we wanna, have reoccurring customers, and that people that can work in an account and, and pay their bill or whatever it may be, or do we wanna get new organic traffic? And what page should we optimize for first? It shouldn’t be the page. That necessarily has the most traffic, but it should be the page that you want people to land on. You know what I mean? And, it’s so much more, you get these people that say like, oh, I know SEO is, you know, like, and you can’t watch a YouTube video and no, you gotta do things like listen to your podcast, Phil. , , that’s, I think that’s step number one, listen to a good podcast, watch some YouTube videos, take some co course work, be a good diplomat, be nice to your clients. And you definitely know more than them so remember that, remember that, but be humble about it because you wanna get more customers, right? You don’t want them to feel stupid, and then if you’re in the corporate setting or whatever, you don’t want your marketing director to feel stupid either

Phil: 38:34
I was thinking of an example that, that you get yourself into, and if you’re doing keyword research and you see one of the most search terms is company X versus company, Y in your company X and maybe it’s or it’s product. , if you’re thinking phones, it’s Android first iPhone, or, or, you know, X, Y, and Z. You’re gonna have a fight because you wanna create that page and you wanna say, here’s our pros and cons. Here’s why we’re better. you’re gonna have a battle between your VPs, your product, your marketing, , your brand, because they’re all gonna have different opinions on even having a competitor’s name on your site. And so those are the kinds of things that you start learning to navigate as you just progress in the industry and in your career more. And also when you start being able to pull that data and saying, this is why we need it, because every single one of those, , VPs is going to say, if the data supports it, then I can get behind it, but the data’s gotta support it. And you’ve gotta be able to show a return on it.

Wade: 39:40
So data doesn’t always, okay, so that’s a source of truth, right.

Phil: 39:47

Wade: 39:48
looking at, data’s not really a person. So when you are a consumer and you’re, I wanna give an example, you know, who did marketing well? Is that Dr. Squa? You know, talking about that soap, it’s like this bar soap and it’s fancy soap and it’s expensive and it’s a subscription because we know we need more subscriptions. Yeah. So they’re so basically they’re, um, creating a problem, right. Is people smell. And , and basically they just did such a good job overall, like all together, you know, with, with everything, you know, in their marketing, from like how they executed, like the video and they’re, they’re looking like, well, why, what attracts me about this product? And what can we do to get people and stuff? You know what I mean? So you can’t just look at like the number. I mean, you can look at like how well a video is doing or something like that, but you know, when you’re a consumer or something, and you’re looking at a product and especially watching, like, you know, I’ve ever seen a focus group before, but watching people’s reactions and stuff, that stuff. But, but, so, okay. So, so it is, is a, is a focus group giving data. I mean, they are right. Um, you know, they write what they write is

Phil: 40:56
Yeah. I mean, it depends on how many you’ve got, you got an end of five and it’s like two or three of ’em can completely change a direction of a company to me. That’s crazy.

, Wade: 41:05
I guess what I’m trying to, what I’m trying to unpack this into is basically there’s qualitative data and quantitative data.

Phil: 41:14

Wade: 41:15
So the managers want quantitative data, right? Think about quantity or count. Right. And then you’ll remember this in statistics clause. and then you got qualitative data. It’s like, is it pink? Is it red? Is it blue? Right. Okay. Well, I wanna know if these people are happy, said, or angry. Okay. Now this is something that you need your boots on the ground for people. So your manager wants the numbers, but you know, your boots on the ground, your SEO, people listening for the social noise, your social media people, your Google ads, people, your

Phil: 41:42
You’re sales

Wade: 41:43
gen, your sales people. That’s okay. That that’s the best one, right? There is. They’re the ones that are listening. Right. So that’s a good, and that leads me to another thing too, is, is that’s a great stakeholder to go in and to meet as your, when you’re an SEO your first day, you know, but when you’re done with all your HR stuff or whatever you gotta do is like, I wanna talk to the sales director, the marketing director, the, you know, I like all the, like the it director, product director, like, you know, you get, get to know these people and because I’ll think about you next time, you know what I mean? They’re having SEO, they’re gonna think about you.

Phil: 42:16
When we’re talking about, let’s say a focus group or who you think you are, you know how to market to someone, you know, you go back to something like Dos Equis and you’ve got the most interesting man in the world, right?

Wade: 42:30
this example.

Phil: 42:31
Okay. So is he even close to the demographic? No. Does he push the beer? He says, what, what is his catch phrase? Do you remember? I

Wade: 42:42
Uh, so I don’t always fear, but when I

Phil: 42:44
when I do

Wade: 42:45
it’s but when I do so yeah.

Phil: 42:48
how interesting is that? So it’s a commercial for beer and the guy’s like, I don’t always drink beer and he’s not even near the demographic. He’s probably 30, 40 years older than who they’re going after. And yet that was like one of the most successful beer campaigns and it lasted for years and it’s still like one of the most quoted one. Think about that, that was out of the box. And there’s no way that anyone could have come in with data and said, Hey, if we get a guy that’s in his sixties and says, I don’t really drink beer a lot, but I do like Dos Equis that that would be successful. You wouldn’t have been able to find data on that, but they went for it because they were being very creative. And then the data showed that that worked

Wade: 43:34
That works. When you’re done, it’s just like, you gotta repeat, you can’t like optimize something to do your research or whatever, and then call it good and move on to the next thing you have to reevaluate. Right. So you have to like, look back and then look at that quantitative data. Right. So we got the qualitative stuff and yeah, I like that a lot, um, in, and I’m glad you brought him up too,

Phil: 43:53
His name’s Jonathan Goldsmith started in 2006 and went through 2016. He retired.

Wade: 44:03
Hmm. Wow. So this is fairly recently,

Phil: 44:07
This is the sales strategy. Okay. So I’m pulling this from Wikipedia and this is what they’re saying, the sales strategy and the results. The agency’s rationale for the brand strategy was defined as he is a man rich in stories and experiences much the way the audience hopes to be in the future rather than embodiment of the brand. The most interesting man is a voluntary brand spokesperson. He and Dos Equis share a point of view on life that it should be lived. Interestingly, according to the company, us sales increased each year between 2006 and 2010 tripled in Canada in 2008. Sales of Dos Equis are said to have increased by 22% at a time when other imported beers fell by 4% Goldsmith said in an interview that he realized how successful the campaign had been. When a man came up to an, a restaurant telling Goldsmith that the man had asked his young son what he wanted to be when he grew up and the son replied, I wanna be the most interesting man in the world. Okay. How is that? How’s that?

Wade: 45:09
Yeah, you got a reaction. You got a reaction

Phil: 45:12
so think about that. So this is, this is an advertisement and like they said, this is not the guy that that’s drinking this, , but they really went for that aspirational aspect and they always end with stay thirsty of my friends He doesn’t drink beer all the time. He doesn’t drink beer all the time. So he is not even like a beer drinker. He’s not your buddy’s drinking beer and that’s what he’s always going for. But he’ll drink Dos Equis.

Wade: 45:35
That’s I, I know I love it. And I was starting to think about what this really means and like, okay. So it’s kind of a slice of life, right? And he’s not really the buyer persona

Phil: 45:46
all right. So Goldsmith landed the Dos Equis gig by auditioning for the role. Okay. Auditioners were given the ending line and that’s how I arm wrestled Fidel Castro and then asked to improvise. Goldsmith began as auditioned by removing one sock and then improvised for 30 minutes before reaching the concluding line. The character was inspired by his deceased sailing partner and friend Fernando Lamas. , and from what I heard, this guy’s lived such a crazy life. That part of his improv was actually just telling stories and they just bought into it and said, this is the guy. And they decided we’re gonna put this guy in all these crazy situations. And at the end. It’s basically he’s drinking a beer, stay thirsty, my friends, totally out of the box, but let’s be honest. It, it makes sense because it’s aspirational, but it’s not the demo. And when we’re talking about SEO and things like that and marketing, like you said, we have to really think about what the data is we’re getting. And are we just doing the same damn thing over and over? Cuz we’re just looking at the same data or is there something else? Can we look at things in just a totally different way and try something completely different and see how the results are? Because 22% increase in sales when everyone else had a 4% decline and that was over something like four or five years.

Wade: 47:10
Yeah, that was a very adventurous and bold move, yeah. Again, there was listening involved there, right? I mean, there was a lesson to be learned there and it was about, about listening and, and seeing and looking, you know what I mean? And using your senses rather

Phil: 47:26
standing out from the crowd

Wade: 47:29
there you go,

Phil: 47:30
everyone else was doing the sex sells.

Wade: 47:33
thing. Oh

Phil: 47:33
it was, and this was different and this was, this was storytelling. That was the thing I liked most is it was storytelling. You got engaged in that 30 second ad. And you wanted to know, like, what was this guy doing? And at the end, he’s just drinking a beer. That

Wade: 47:50
yeah, yeah. It’s it. The, I just love the simplicity of that. You know, or whatever, but yeah, this is a lot of interesting things to talk about, but again, you know what I mean, go out there and listen, I like to look at, um, you know, other than everyone looks at, you know, social media and TikTok, if that applies, if you’re in the TikTok kind of audience, crowd or whatever, but I like to look at, uh, Google trends, um, you know, definitely, and to get some kind of regional data and find out what people kind of wear and stuff with my current company, I was checking it out and, you know, I was finding like, uh, potential for new markets in like Chicago and, uh, new markets in Louisiana I’m seeing more people asking the question that we’re trying to answer,

Phil: 48:27
So we talked a lot about how you got started, how you moved around all of that. And I think there’s some great advice for someone who’s really interested in SEO, especially some of the things that are going on with local and just what you can do with your career and how things are changing. What kinds of things can give you that technical edge. So really appreciate you coming on any parting words that you’ve got for the audience out there.

Wade: 48:51
Always be looking for the next best thing. Definitely. Um, and, and don’t forget to read a book , you know what I mean? There’s still power to that, so,

Phil: 49:00
Always, always, and stay thirsty. My

Wade: 49:03
yeah. Thanks for having me, Phil. Appreciate it.

Phil: 49:05
you got it.