Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:10
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the show. Today, my guest is Jeff Hawley, otherwise known as HashtagJeff; and Jeff is an SEO expert.
What’s cool about Jeff is that he works with publishers, bloggers, creators, to help them come up with an SEO strategy. And what you will learn in this episode is that it’s more of an art form than it is like a, I don’t know, a bunch of technology.
He really opened my eyes to SEO, as you’ll hear in this episode. I think if you’re trying to grow your organic traffic from Google, this is the episode for you.
So without further ado, here is my interview with Jeff Hawley. Jeff, welcome to the show.
Jeff Hawley 0:59
Thank you. Thanks for having me on.
Jillian Leslie 1:02
So we met about a year ago at the first AdThrive Conference. And I have to tell you, I told you this in person, which is you blew my mind with what you taught about SEO because it finally clicked and it made sense.
So I want to go through some of those basic things that you taught me, which I think my audience is going to love. Because as we just talked about, it’s not super technical; it’s really very logical.
But before we launch into that, can you tell me about your kind of background in SEO, how you got into this?
Jeff Hawley 1:38
Yeah. So I got into SEO not really actually planning to get into SEO. I got into SEO because I was always interested in owning my own business. I was always very entrepreneurial. And so just, I mean, since I can remember, I was always just wanting to start a business and work for myself.
And so in order to do that, I didn’t really know exactly what I was going to do. So I actually just started studying digital marketing, because I knew that no matter what I did, I’d have to have an online presence because this internet thing was booming.
And I figured, no matter what, investing in the internet would be a valuable asset to me.
Jillian Leslie 2:28
Jeff Hawley 2:29
So yeah, so I studied digital marketing a lot and paid and SEO, which is the organic side, and naturally lean towards organic or SEO, because I was really big into bootstrapping, and really working to get traffic rather than always just having to pay for traffic.
And so little did I know that SEO and digital marketing would actually become my business. But I started with an MLM out of Idaho actually called Melaleuca. And so I didn’t really have like this online presence or so.
it was really cool because we actually got paid to get more of an education, which is really nice because everything that we brought to the table, like I would say 90% of it got turned down. So it was just me getting an education and studying up on different tactics and strategies and whatnot.
And then my mentor, he had a PPC or the paid side of search, he had a company that did that. And so why had this big long list of clients that he had picked up over the years that he was doing SEO for and they weren’t really an SEO company.
And so I ended up purchasing those clients from him and starting my own business. And yeah, so I did that for a while and went and worked for a bigger agency and then went in-house. And then in the last two years, I think it’s about two years ago, I started working with bloggers and influencers.
And yeah, I’ve just kind of been here ever since.
Jillian Leslie 4:10
Well, that is great. Because the thing that I feel like you speak the language of bloggers, you get where we’re coming from and you definitely help us get more traffic.
So if we were to step back and given that you work with a bunch of bloggers like food bloggers, and you know, the whole kind of gamut, what would you say some of the biggest mistakes bloggers make when it comes to SEO? And the main thing could be that they ignore it.
Jeff Hawley 4:43
Honestly, like I actually, whenever I have a client that says that they’re really bad at SEO because they’ve never focused on it, a lot of times, those are my favorite clients to pick up because that means they haven’t screwed up their SEO.
Jillian Leslie 4:55
Oh, that’s interesting. I thought you were going to say because they have low-hanging fruit.
Jeff Hawley 5:00
I mean, they typically do but the nice thing about those types of people is that they have focused purely on audience and content. And they haven’t really fallen into any traps to where they’ve gone into anything like spamming, link building, or tactics or things that maybe were not as authentic or genuine.
Which is very, very commonplace when people start to focus on SEO because a lot of people teach SEO as a way to manipulate or try to encourage Google to rank them. But the people that haven’t focused on SEO actually do it more naturally.
And so if they’ve reached a certain point in their career where they have a lot of traffic, and they haven’t focused on SEO, I really like those clients, because that means they’ve done probably most, if not all of the things right, and now it’s just about tightening things up and increasing the traffic from there.
Jillian Leslie 6:02
I totally get what you’re saying. And I think that the two things that you drove home for me, and maybe then we can unpack them: the first one is that Google is really, really smart and you can’t trick it like you used to be able to trick it. And so, therefore, the more authentic you are, the better.
And then I would say the second thing that you have taught me is that if you have a big library of content, to see it, see that content not as stuff that’s kind of dead sitting in your archives but as like books in your library, that you can then go and refresh.
Jeff Hawley 6:45
Jillian Leslie 6:45
So we break those two down. Because honestly, when I think of you, like you gave me these two tools or two awarenesses, and you kind of blew my mind. Like you changed our whole strategy based on this.
Okay, so in terms of Google, and how, like, can you trick Google any more? Like how did people use to trick it, and now what is Google about?
Jeff Hawley 7:11
So my philosophy on SEO, I would say, is quite different than a lot of people in my industry. A lot of people.
So to kind of step back to that original question, I mean, yes, Google is very smart. Can you trick Google? Are their tactics to manipulate and stuff? Absolutely, there are. That is one thing I’ve never focused on though.
There are huge forums dedicated to basically people that are looking to trick Google or manipulate the search results. So that is still something that is a thing and it still works to an extent.
That being said, the reason I’ve never invested in it is that it’s always a hustle because Google always figures it out. The reason I got into SEO was that I wanted to build up this organic traffic and gain momentum.
The nice thing about SEO and organic traffic is that once you start gaining that momentum, it really starts to work for itself. But if you’re gaming the system, you’re basically just working until you get caught, and then it’s about figuring out the next tactic to do the same thing.
So you continuously, like, there are people that gain or have huge gains in that space. But it’s not something that I’ve ever gotten into or have a desire to, mainly because it goes against the reason I even got into SEO in the first place.
Jillian Leslie 8:52
Got it.. And these are people like in these forums who are like doing experiments, and they’re like, If we do this, what happens to our traffic? if we do that… Okay. And that Google is like one step behind them or kind of figuring it out and then are like, Oh, we’re going to squash that.
Jeff Hawley 9:07
Exactly. And I mean, I believe that there will always be ways to manipulate. But like, again, that kind of goes against, I mean, this whole industry of blogging and influencers is — and actually my own, like, I got into SEO because I was an entrepreneur building a business, like I’m a huge brand advocate, like I’m really big on building brands and businesses.
And, like, if you do that, you can be very, very successful in SEO. So yeah, they call it black hat SEO. They have those huge forums dedicated to it and stuff.
And I mean, there’s still a lot of people that are very successful. And I mean, it’s actually something that I study and follow not because I participate, but because a lot of times, it’s kind of a peek behind the curtain to really see how Google operates.
Jillian Leslie 10:04
Right. So in terms of how smart Google is, you really opened my eyes to this in that it used to be if you write a blog post, you want to put the same keywords in all the time and then you are the first one to say “no, you don’t” because Google can understand what that blog post is about.
So yes, you do want keywords but you want to make it a good experience. So can you speak to that? Because I thought that it makes a lot of sense and it’s also really eye-opening.
Jeff Hawley 10:32
Yeah. The last few years, Google has really dedicated themselves to more like rather than just a “one plus one equals two” sort of situation, what they’re trying to do is rather than them input all the rules and have like this end goal or like this reaction that happens, they’ve invested a lot into their own AI (artificial intelligence) and really making Google, like trying to make Google the computer be more human.
So that when we use certain words and phrases like we understand even though it may not be the same word or phrase, we understand the meaning and the context behind them. And, I mean, if you think about it, Google has all this data and so it’s actually a lot easier than we think for Google to be able to do this.
Because they see all these patterns of words and the way people use them and things like for instance, one example that I use a lot is, like I search for spicy bean dip and I see a result that’s optimized or that’s going after jalapeno bean dip, I naturally know that that’s a spicy recipe when I click on it.
And so Google, we’re starting to see a lot more sites ranking because they’ve written really good content, even though they don’t have all of the exact match keywords in them. Which is why like you, I mean, we’ve talked about this at the events and stuff.
But this is why I really like Yoast. But Yoast can also be kind of this crutch or, actually, this ailment even to where it’s hurting people.
Because Yoast is telling them to get in these exact match keywords so many times when in reality, you don’t need to be doing that and you can optimize for the user and actually write your content rather than having to manipulate and always be thinking, Oh, I need to force these words in there.
Jillian Leslie 12:40
Right. And just for the audience, Yoast is a plugin that will tell you whether you’ve optimized your post and I will tell you, I came up to you and I said, Do I need Yoast to get to a green light in order to feel good about this post? Because my assistant will go crazy if it’s not green. She’ll be the texting me at all hours going, “I can’t get the post to green.”
And I said to you, do I need to get it to green? And you said no, take Yoast as a suggestion, like as a direction, but it’s not set in stone. And it’s much better to have content that makes sense and that is a good experience for the visitor, for the reader.
Jeff Hawley 13:17
Exactly. Like you can get green lights in the Yoast SEO plugin and still have really crappy content.
Jillian Leslie 13:24
Yeah. So would you talk to me then, what is good content in the eyes of Google?
Jeff Hawley 13:32
Good content is content that’s thorough and it offers a good user experience. There ‘s a lot of very good writers out there that if they’re writing for like the Wall Street Journal or some other publication to where people are there to read word-for-word, they’re more than qualified for that.
But in this space of blogging and a lot of the industries that I focus on — food, DIY lifestyle, all that stuff, you have to make your content very, very easy to consume.
Because we don’t read websites or getting these types of websites, we don’t read them like we do a book where we read word-for-word. We’re in a very scanning, skimming era to where we read headings and bullets, and we skim through it. And then we may go back and read it more thoroughly.
So yeah, so I mean, thorough content. So, like, the thing with Google is that when we use Google, we have a question, we have a problem, we have something that we’re trying to get resolved. And so they want to serve results that solve that problem for their users, which is also our users.
And so we need to make sure that if we’re writing a recipe or DIY or whatever it is, we need to not only just answer the question, but we need to be thorough and understand the situation that user is in to make sure that we can kind of take them down those paths and be the full resource for that.
If I’m writing a post on how to change a toilet, I’m not going to just tell them the two steps on how to change the toilet. I know that they’re going to eventually get to this step where they need to know what like a wax ring is or whatever it may be. And so then I have to kind of walk them through that step as well.
And so I just need to understand my audience and be very thorough when I write rather than just address by giving here’s 10 steps on how to do this, like I need to address what that is more thoroughly.
Jillian Leslie 15:43
Right. And then would you say you should have a post that says this is what a wax ring is so that you can supplement the answer to how to change your toilet.
Jeff Hawley 15:52
It really depends on the context. And in that case, if I’m a DIY blog, I’m probably not going to have a really thorough resource on what a wax ring is. But on some other topics, if there are other things around that wax ring that I need to know, then I might have a post that’s a little bit more thorough.
Like for instance, let’s change gears and let’s go to like a recipe, if I have like a slow cooker recipe, it might be worthwhile for me to have a guide on how to use my slow cooker because there’s a lot of other elements to it.
Even though in this one post I may be addressing one thing and be more thorough in that one thing, I can then link to my other resource about this slow cooker. And now I am a thorough resource because I’m understanding my audience and the different pain points that they might be going through.
Jillian Leslie 16:44
Google then is looking at the fact that you have a variety, you have a lot of content. So for example, we do really well with baby shower posts. So because of you and looking at my analytics, what I see is, Ooh, we rank well for girl baby showers.
So then what we’ve done is we’ve created posts around girl baby shower, girl baby shower decorations, girl baby shower invitations, girl baby shower food choices, you know, desserts, whatever it is, because we want to then own girl baby showers in the eyes of Google, like the reputable, trust them because they seem to know a fair amount about baby showers.
So was like only because you had said that to me that I went back, looked at my analytics and thought, Oh, let me build off of what’s already working.
Jeff Hawley 17:34
Exactly. And, I mean, this is where SEO is creative. A lot of people approach SEO like it’s this mathematical equation. And it’s not always a mathematical equation because there may be topics like that where we do branch out, but there may be other topics where we don’t, and this is where it becomes creative.
And we have to kind of figure out and really understand our audience to figure out if we do create those external pages, or if we include it there, or if we just avoid the topic altogether and link to a Wikipedia article because we don’t want to be a dictionary.
I think this is where SEO just kind of becomes kind of tricky for some people, but at the same time, it’s why I love it so much, is because it requires thinking and testing and applying and really thinking about the user.
Jillian Leslie 18:20
Right. And I would say that that is another takeaway that I got from you which is there isn’t a right answer. People would be raising their hands going, “What about that? I want you to tell me, Jeff, this is the right answer.”
And you’re like, no, it could be, but it might not be and you kind of have to go with your gut and you have to kind of explore and experiment and see what works for you. And I think that that was kind of eye-opening for everybody because it’s like wait, isn’t this a technical field where there should be a right answer?
Jeff Hawley 18:50
I think sometimes I’m surprised that people don’t get more frustrated with my answers because I give a lot of non-answers to where people ask me a question and instead of giving them like the answer, a lot of times I’ll give them like context and say, “Well, I mean, it really depends. And this is why.”
But I also think that that’s why I’ve done so well in the space is because I’m a big fan of the old saying, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach them to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.” I’m a big fan of teaching people to fish because they’re going to be able to fish for their own family much better than me just providing them fish.
Jillian Leslie 19:33
Right. But it’s so frustrating because everybody wants the Jeff “seal of approval”. Like, “Yes, I’m doing it right!” So in terms of posts, are long posts better than short posts?
Jeff Hawley 19:44
Again, this is one of those non-answers. Again, it really depends — it depends on the topic. And the reason I say that is because that, like an example that we always use in the SEO industry is, you Google search ‘is it Christmas’, there’s a website that just has one word on it and it either says yes or no, depending on if it’s Christmas.
That is more than enough information for that search query or for whatever, the inquiry is there. And so it really depends. I would say that, in most cases, like longer content, and I would say not longer content, more thorough content is proving to be more successful with SEO than shorter content.
But that being said, like that’s not a universal rule. Again, it really depends on the topic. It really depends on what the purpose is. It also depends on how you structure it. There’s a lot of really good, really long content that sucks for the user because it’s just words on a page.
And that’s why it’s up to us to if we are going to have long-form content, we need to use headings and bullets and possibly even have a table of contents and other things that really make that content easy to digest.
Jillian Leslie 21:05
Right. And the one thing also that you said is, since most people are consuming content on their phones, especially if you are a food blogger, you take those beautiful photos and you want to shove all those beautiful photos into your post.
And I was impressed with your answer, which is you said no.
Jeff Hawley 21:26
On which one?
Jillian Leslie 21:27
On like a food post, you know, where you want to put every single angle of that cake into the pos. And you were like, “No, don’t do that.”
Jeff Hawley 21:38
It’s taken me a while to step up to the plate on that topic just because like out of fear of offending people, like because nobody wants to be told like, Hey, I’m doing something wrong. I feel like now, I’ve kind of become a little bit more part of the industry to where people see me as on their side rather than against them.
And I always pose the question like, yes, it’s very pretty, but who are those images for? Are they for you or for the user?
And most of the time when we think about it, there’s a lot of content where we have images that the images are there for us because it’s pretty, and in reality, like are there for? Are they there to solve their problem?
And yes, it’s good to have pretty pictures to give that good first impression. But we also have to make sure that those images are helpful and that they’re not just something that we skim over.
It was interesting, I was at one of these events, AdThrive, the ad network, one of the big ad networks, they actually contributed to the conversation and said that when they see just long images, and when they see all images that are just the same, that they are noticing that users just skim really quickly past those images.
And so if you have ads on your site, you can actually monetize better by diversifying those images using horizontal images rather than like 100% vertical images. You can actually monetize better when you’re applying these things because people linger longer on the content.
Jillian Leslie 23:18
Right, yes. And you had said this and you said, you know, think about it on a phone that you just don’t want to be seeing image after image of the same thing from a slightly different angle.
And I thought, Wow! What we’ve been doing is pulling out a lot of images in our blog posts going like, Is this necessary?
Whereas before, you’re right, it was kind of like, oh, just add more pretty and it will somehow be better.
Jeff Hawley 23:43
That’s what social media is for — for all your pretty pictures. I think you can do as many pretty pictures on social media as you want. And I’m not saying you can’t put pretty pictures on your site. Just be a little bit more intentional about it is all.
Jillian Leslie 23:57
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So the other thing that you blew my mind with, was this idea of your content. Thinking about your past posts, not as stuff that’s kind of like in the basement somewhere, but then that content is really valuable to you, if you are willing to go back and update those posts.
So could you talk about this? Because this changed our entire strategy.
Jeff Hawley 27:37
Yeah. I’m a big fan of updating old content, especially when it’s still applicable. I mean, the nice thing about most people in the industry at like the lifestyle and food and DIY is that our content is very evergreen, right?
And so like, if I wrote this awesome Christmas cookies post 10 years ago, like, I mean, my audience is still interested in it 10 years later. And so there may be some things depending on your industry.
Like for instance, if we go back to how to change the toilet, if you’re in the DIY space, like there may be some updates over the years, something to make like either new products or whatever to make life easier.
But at the end of the day, a lot of this content is very evergreen. And so it’s in our best interest to keep those things updated.
Also, I think most people on Pinterest and Facebook, most of us are already repinning and resharing things as they become seasonal or relevant. Like, why don’t we republish it and breathe life into it because one, that tells users, Hey, like, even if we didn’t change a ton on it, it shows that we still invested in our content and it’s still up-to-date.
Whereas if we see that 2015 date, whether it be on the post itself or in search results, a lot of times in our mind, it feels old or outdated. And so we want something that we know has at least been looked at and addressed.
But yeah, I think that old content as if we’re updating and reposting and adding value, one, that resurfaces that, that improves that. But also, it makes your site, if we look at our sites as a whole, it makes it so that we’re not just leaving things back there.
We’re moving our site forward as a whole rather than just creating new content and moving forward that way.
Jillian Leslie 29:31
Right. So after I saw you, what we did, so we post three times a week. And we do like a roundup post of new stuff. And we do like where we show off our favorite parties of the week that people add to our site.
But then now, what we do, we used to do two new posts. We go back into our archives every week. And one of the things that we do is we update an existing post.
And it has one, saved us time, by the way, because it’s a lot easier to update, make a new collage, or just add some more information, make it more current. But it’s also given us, I don’t know, like a new fresh perspective.
Jeff Hawley 30:18
Yeah, I have clients, it’s awesome to see kind of like when they start to shift their perspective and realize that, okay, this isn’t about old content or new content. It’s about both.
It’s about the health of our site than our users. Well, I get the question all the time. Like, is it better to update old content or create new content? Again, there’s a non-answer for that.
It depends on your audience and where your site is. Some people, it’s more beneficial for them to just focus on new content. And other sites. it’s beneficial for them to focus mostly on old content.
But I’ve had clients where they’ve been posting three to five times a week new content. Then what they’ll do is they’ll pull back a little bit on that, and update two or three posts for every one new that they were creating.
And so now, they’ve still got new content going out but they’re improving old content the same time, and they start to gain a lot of momentum that way because they’ve been blogging 5, 6, 10+ years, and they have a lot of content that needs to be updated. And so that’s how a lot of times sites will gain that momentum.
Jillian Leslie 31:28
Totally. And by the way, if you go back and do this, know that you will cringe. You will totally cringe at your old content. So don’t be surprised, you might need to even go take new photos of that recipe.
So just think of it as how far you’ve come rather than beating yourself up for like, “Oh my god! How could I have taken those awful photos?”
Jeff Hawley 31:51
Also, don’t be a perfectionist. I think it’s natural in this space for us all to be perfectionists because we are experts in our own fields and so we are our own worst… Like we judge ourselves more than anybody else.
And so one of the things that I try to get across to people is that when they do find that, if they have a bunch of old photos, base that judgment on the user rather than just you because a lot of times you don’t need to reshoot all of those photos.
A lot of those photos are still very good, and so you can always reshoot one to put at the top to make that good first impression. But the other photos are still good enough.
I can’t remember, I’ve actually heard people quote this recently quite a bit. They said something about perfect versus just published or something like that.
And it’s better to publish rather than just to be perfect. If you’re looking for perfect, you’re never going to get there.
Jillian Leslie 33:01
I think that’s so wise, especially in this world. I will go back to a post and see like a typo and I want to kill myself. And then I have to go “No, you know what, it’s a typo. It’s alright. It’s really okay.”
And I saw it and now I can correct it. Because otherwise, yes, it’s like death by like a thousand cuts otherwise by going back.
Now, do I need to be thinking about if I’m doing all this SEO stuff for Google, do I need to be thinking about Bing and other search engines or Pinterest? I mean, I know Pinterest is, in many ways, similar. So so if I do all this, will it kind of work in other areas?
Jeff Hawley 33:40
So this is one of those things to where following best practices, then yes, we need to be focusing on Bing and all that stuff. I’m really, really bad at it, though.
And the main reason is, is because when I’m thinking about maximizing my efforts, like, I can’t do everything. And I’ve found more success by simply focusing on Google.
Because one, I mean, they are the majority, but then two, the other search engines typically follow. So yeah, so I’m really bad at that.
But if I’m answering the proper way, then yes, I would say Bing would be like the next one to focus on. Pinterest, though, I really look at that as a separate entity altogether because when we’re talking about focusing on optimizing this content, the content on the site will affect how we rank in Google and Bing.
But on Pinterest, it’s a lot different. And I’m not a Pinterest expert so I can’t really speak to all that. I mean, Pinterest has its own set of strategies to be successful there.
And so I would focus on Pinterest over Bing. But I also look at that as more of a social platform than a search platform even though it’s kind of an in-betweener.
But yeah, the reason I say Pinterest is because I see a lot of correlation between content that does well on Pinterest tends to more easily do well on it with Google.
Jillian Leslie 35:21
And sometimes our Pinterest boards show up in Google searches. We get kind of that double hit.
Jeff Hawley 35:29
Pinterest is focusing on SEO.
Jillian Leslie 35:30
Totally. One thing that I learned at the AdThrive conference, which I thought was really interesting, you might be able to speak to this. traffic from Google is worth more than traffic from social networks.
Jeff Hawley 35:42
Yes, I love that.
Jillian Leslie 35:45
That’s the first time I’ve heard that.
Jeff Hawley 35:47
Yeah. Well, I mean, if we think about it, it really makes sense. Because we think about the user experience. And we think about when we see something on Facebook or Pinterest, a lot of times we’re not really engaged.
Like it might be a good idea, but really, we’re there to maybe save it for later or do like go over some photo or think that it’s a great idea and comment.
But when we search for something on Google, we have a need, we’re engaged. And so we’re very qualified to a user.
And so engagement goes way, way up when we come from Google rather than when we come from search.
So yeah, I don’t know what the numbers are. I know that I’ve seen various numbers. But yeah, it’s pretty significant when it comes to monetization and the quality of traffic that you get from Google versus others.
Jillian Leslie 36:38
Right. So your ads are worth more to you if somebody comes to your page via Google versus Facebook. So I thought that was super interesting.
Okay, just as a final thing, what would be some quick tips to find relevant keywords? You were the one who introduced me to SEMrush, which is a very expensive platform.
But are there any other down and dirty tools that you would recommend somebody use easily to find relevant keywords to use to guide your posts?
Jeff Hawley 37:15
Yeah. The reason I use SEMrush is mostly that it gives me a good volume, the keyword volume, so I know the popularity. So I can really do some more qualified research.
That being said, just using Google is a great resource for that because if you search for like if you just get into the mind of your user and just start typing in searches to see what shows up and all that, you’re going to get a lot of inspiration from either the results you see.
But also, Google has some features, like people also ask box that shows like questions that people are asking. It also shows related searches.
And so you can really start to dig just in that way. There an extension that you can add to your browser extension. It’s called Keywords Everywhere. That’s the only other free one that I know of that gives search volume.
But the problem that I have with it is that it’s good if you have the keywords in mind. It’s not good for keyword ideation to where you’re trying to dig up keywords.
Jillian Leslie 38:22
Right. It’s right here in my toolbar as we’re talking.
Jeff Hawley 38:25
Yeah. So that one’s really good. And then another free one that I really like is AnswerThePublic. That one’s more specific defined questions. But we think about how Google’s used, I mean, it’s used for questions and things like that. And so it helps us get into the mind of our users and really dig up what they’re looking for.
Jillian Leslie 38:46
And one thing that I think I learned from you was to put those questions in your post with the answer to actually word for word. Like, want more recipes on whatever or like, you know, whatever the question is that somebody is searching for, write that question in your post with an answer.
Jeff Hawley 39:07
And more importantly, I mean, a lot of these things are growing and these are becoming more popular strategies, I’ve realized that I need to clarify that because a lot of people will just go through and they’ll list out questions.
And then what happens is that we get into this, like, this area where our content feels very robotic. And so we just need to make sure that we don’t go too far down that path.
But you’re absolutely right, like, if we call it those questions and make it so that those questions are included in our content, it’s very good because I think as a user, like, as I see the different problems that I’m coming across, it’s a very good user experience because it’s easy for me to find the answer to those.
Jillian Leslie 39:49
Right, right. Like, what is the next question? Oh, there it is, with the answer.
Jeff Hawley 39:53
Jillian Leslie 39:54
I think that is so terrific. So the thing that my biggest takeaway from you, is that SEO is not this incredibly technical thing where you have to use all these different tools, and you have to kind of have that analytical mind.
That the key is really to get into the mindset of the person searching to solve a problem. And if you can solve that problem and you can be the best source, you’re going to win.
Jeff Hawley 40:23
Jillian Leslie 40:25
And so that blew my mind.
Jeff Hawley 40:28
Yeah, I know, I’m a big fan. I mean, with SEO as with many other things, there are two aspects. There’s usually a non-technical and then a technical aspect. And if we focus on that non-technical, I mean, SEO can become really fun.
But I also like to encourage people to not be afraid of the technical side of SEO. It’s helpful to be analytical and all those things, because that tends to help us answer questions and really dig in a little bit more.
But yeah, I mean, SEO doesn’t have to be technical. It kind of goes back to what we were just talking about, being perfect or not doing it at all. Like I would say in tune to the non-technical stuff because it’ll make the technical stuff easier down the line.
Jillian Leslie 41:15
I love that. Okay, Jeff, how can people learn about you, join your group? Because that’s how I first heard about you, by the way. So how can people reach out to you?
Jeff Hawley 41:26
Yeah, so I’m really terrible at sales.
Jillian Leslie 41:30
Do it, go for it.
Jeff Hawley 41:32
But on my website, you can read up all about me. I just have a couple of services. We do the course.
Jillian Leslie 41:40
Wait, what’s your website?
Jeff Hawley 41:42
Jillian Leslie 41:44
Okay. So it’s spelled out?
Jeff Hawley 41:46
Yes. Don’t put the symbol because that won’t work in browsers.
Jillian Leslie 41:49
Okay. So spell that HashtagJeff.com.
Jeff Hawley 41:52
Yep. And then on there, you’ll be able to see the course. And so there, you can sign up for the course. And right now until July, we have a partnership with AdThrive. And so all AdThrive members get in for free.
I mean, that’s all due to AdThrive. AdThrive is doing that, they’re paying for all the members to be part of the course right now.
Jillian Leslie 42:16
Thank you, AdThrive.
Jeff Hawley 42:18
And I think that’s until July, at least right now. But if you’re not part of AdThrive, I mean, you still join the course and things like that.
We also have audits that we do. And that’s where we can help with the technical side of SEO. That way, you don’t have to, and then you can just continue focusing on the creative side. But that also helps give you a path to know the right direction to go with SEO and make sure that you’re on the right path.
Jillian Leslie 42:45
And isn’t it true that in your course you have a Facebook group? And you’ll answer everybody’s questions?
Jeff Hawley 42:50
Yeah. So every Tuesday we post the Q&A thread. And starting on Thursday and Friday, we’ll answer all the questions that were added to those. They were added before like Thursday, basically. But every week we have those and then lately we’ve had a couple hundred comments every week. It’s been crazy.
Jillian Leslie 43:08
Wow. Wow. Well, Jeff, I have to say I’m so glad that I met you. I’m going to see you again in October, I think, at the next AdThrive conference. And you have just, again, opened my eyes in a whole new way. I’m so happy to have you on the show.
Jeff Hawley 43:25
Well, thank you for having me. It’s been fun.
Jillian Leslie 43:28
I hope you guys liked that episode and that it gave you a lot to think about, a lot to implement. Remember, traffic matters. So SEO matters, social media matters. Your email list matters, all of that.
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