SEO or Search Engine Optimization can be daunting for even the most tech savvy individuals (present company included). We don’t know what we don’t know so we brought in an expert in Kelly Shelton of Boostability. Take a listen and let us know what you think.
Demystifying SEO with Kelly Shelton of Boostability
Michael: Tell me a little bit about yourself and a little bit about Boostability.
Kelly: My name is Kelly Shelton and I’m vice president of marketing here at Boostability. I have been in marketing for over 20 years and I love anything and everything that teaches, informs, educates, persuades, encourages people to take action – to do things. So I love marketing. I love online marketing and digital marketing. I think it’s a lot of fun. It’s evolving. It’s a great way to reach consumers today.
I’m a husband and a father of five. I enjoy all sports, activities, reading, movies, and just hanging out with my family. I’ve got the best wife and children a man could ever hope for.
Michael: That’s fantastic. And give us a little snippet about what you do at Boostability and what Boostability does for their customers.
Kelly: Well, Boostability, we’re an online marketing company. First and foremost we offer search engine optimization services or SEO. We’ve been doing that for almost six years now and we primarily partner with organizations that are interested in offering SEO or online marketing services themselves. And so they come to us, and we provide them with account managers, fulfillment services, basically anything and everything they would need to be able to offer their clients SEO or social media.
And so we partner with them, we provide all the backend support. And we also provide services directly to consumers on a small level and what we do is we analyze a customer’s website, their web presence, determine where exactly they are ranking-wise. If they’re ranking on Google or the other search engines or not. And then we kind of determine exactly where they’d like to be, and we create a plan for them and then we implement that plan on a monthly basis.
I’m helping them with all kinds of things with on-site optimization, which is basically making their webpage crawl-able and readable and useful to consumers that visit the site. And then we also do off-site optimization which is primarily promoting their content, their services throughout the web and making sure their business is listed in all the relevant directories and profiles. Helping them get blogs out there and articles out there that consumers find useful.
And then in turn this work helps them increase their search engine rankings and be more visible and be found by customers.
Michael: Well, that is a mouthful. And I know for me and my clients and my audience, there is a lot of misunderstandings about SEO, so if there was one thing, one myth about SEO or thing that you can de-mystify about SEO, I know this is a tough question. If there is one or two things you could give to us about how we should frame the way we think about SEO, what would that be for a small business?
Kelly: Well, I think that Google likes SEO companies; they like SEOs. Because they help make the web a more useful, searchable place. SEO done right simply tells Google what services are out there, what’s relevant to what the consumers are searching for, and then helps them identify the most useful result. Google does not like companies that cut corner, that cheat, that try to beat their algorithms. But they do like SEO companies that help them identify the best results for their searchers because that’s the Google model. So I think Google likes SEO companies. In fact, in a recent conference I attended, one of the Google representatives said that very thing. “We like SEO companies because they make the web a more useful place.” And that’s Google’s objective.
Michael: Great. Fantastic. One of these big pushes that we’re seeing is this DIY mindset, especially when it comes to our digital marketing. Are you a fan of that, do you encourage that? And at what point do we need to be thinking of bringing in Boostability for a small business?
Kelly: I think there’s a lot that a consumer can do themselves and this really goes to the core question. I know how to change my oil on my car. I can do that. But it takes me a lot longer to do it myself. It takes away from other things I could be doing with my family. And so I choose to actually pay somebody to do that. Also, they’re better at it. They can do it quicker and they’re just better at it and I know that it’s done right if I pay somebody to do it.
And so that’s kind of the question that every business owner needs to ask themselves:
- Can I do a lot of this myself? Yeah, it’s not rocket science. It can be done.
- But do I want to take the time to learn it, the time to do it, is it too confusing to me?
- Would I be better served to go out and find somebody to do it for me?
- Often times a good SEO company will be affordable and effective. If they do it right, business owners will see that it’s actually cheaper for them to pay somebody than to try to do it themselves because it might be taking away from their core services, it might be taking away from what they do best, focusing on their business and sales.
So that’s really the question: can I do it? Yes. But do I want to or how much is it costing me for me to try to do it myself?
Michael: So one of the things, a question that I get all the time, and I got it today, meeting with a client or a potential client is “Content marketing versus SEO”. Is that the wrong way to look at that? Is it a versus mentality or is it something that these two things sort of fit lock step with each other?
Kelly: A lot of people could argue that content marketing with a little bit of PR is SEO. Really, an SEO company is an extension of a business and our job as an SEO company is to simply create and promote good, valuable content that consumers will find useful, that they’ll share, that businesses will link to. And so content marketing, you could argue, is SEO. It’s not one or the other because good content will naturally earn links, will naturally prove rankings because consumers like it.
Michael: Awesome. Awesome, awesome. All right, so enough of the business stuff. I want to get to know you a little bit more. If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?
Kelly: You know, I may be a teacher. I may run a nonprofit or something like that, something that you know, I really think what we do gives back, but if I were to not do this, I would try to find something that gives back. Through a nonprofit or through teaching.
Michael: Cool, cool. What book or books are you reading right now?
Kelly: The book I’m reading right now is called Fascinate. It’s by Sally Hogshead. It’s really good. I think one of the quotes from that book that I think, me as a marketer, I find it very helpful that I can share that I can kind of give an idea of what this book is about is,
“a competitive environment demands a more captivating message”
And right now as marketers, we’re out there competing. There’s a lot of noise. And so this book is kind of helping me as a marketer, make sure that my message is more captivating and it’s reaching an audience in a more powerful and effective way.
Michael: And last question. What is the one thing that a small business owner should be doing with regards to their digital marketing strategy? If you could just zero in on one thing. If you had to start a business today, what would that one thing be?
Kelly: I think it starts with their website, making sure that the website is coded correctly, it’s crawl-able, its render speed is good, its relevant content. It really starts and ends with your website. Make sure that Google can easily identify what you do and that consumers can easily see what you do and that they like what you do.
Michael: Thank you for your time. Kelly, where can someone find you if they need to connect with you? What’s the best way to do that?
Kelly: You can follow me on Twitter @KellyShelton32. You can also find me at Boostability and go to Boostability.com, find our phone number there. I’m the vice president of marketing and I’d be happy to receive any emails for any additional questions anyone might have.
Michael: Great. Like I said, thanks for your time. This has been Kelly Shelton with Boostability. Thanks!
Kelly: Thank you.