Power Presenters: Behind the Scenes of SEO

Find out what these speakers from Conductor’s C3 Conference have to say about the importance of the people behind SEO.

While SEO may be viewed as a more technical field, these three speakers demonstrate the importance of the people behind both sides of search. In SEO your team must constantly adapt to discover solutions for the current problem at hand. In the end it is all about proving ROI, however you can’t get to ROI without well thought out strategies and tactics.

In part 2 of our Power Presenters series on Conductor’s C3 Conference, check out what Matt Wallaert, Jeremiah Andrick and Josh Braaten told our PR Director Allie Freeland about what takes place behind the scenes of SEO.


Matt Wallaert: Behavioral Scientist at Bing

Topic at C3 2013: Inside Bing.com: Competing Pressures: The Struggle for the Future of Attention

1) In one sentence — What did your presentation at C3 cover?

At C3, I argued that as the number of demands on our attention go up without our actual attention expanding, it will be increasingly important to help people accomplish more without increasing the attentional price you ask of them.

2) How does behavioral psychology play into SEO/digital marketing?

Search engines have always been about organizing information for human consumption.  In the beginning, this was a technical program, but it has become increasingly a problem of understanding how humans work with and evaluate information.  Psychologists study those basic perceptual processes and so increasingly, marketers are learning that if they want to try to look forward to what search will be, they need to be talking to us.

3) How can smart marketers capitalize on the “cognitive overload” most people experience in this day in age?

Think of it as a ROI calculation.  You want to a user to take some action and they want that too.  So the question is, how can you get them to that action with the minimal ask on their cognitive resources?  The more they have to think about it, the higher the investment.  So in a world of fixed returns, you have to get back at lowering the investment, making it cognitively cheaper for them to do the things they want to do.


C3 2013 Speakers Jeremiah Andrick

Jeremiah Andrick: Senior Manager Online Customer Acquisition at Logitech

Topic at C3 2013: Looking Forward in Search

1) What is the key to SEO success in a constantly changing environment?
As a practitioner of SEO, I believe that you need to look to ensure you are looking at both developing yourself in both depth and breadth of knowledge. A key danger in the name of being informed or being a part of the SEO community is spending all your time debating tactics and practices rather than testing them. Additionally, SEOs as with all employees need to look outside their field to stretch and learn how to be more well rounded. This could mean learning to code, or educating yourself in some other area of the business you work for.  This will expose you to ideas others may not have.
As a manager of people, success is really about diversity of expertise. Who you hire and the kind of people you hire will be far more valuable than much of what people invest in with regards to SEO programs. You have to have people who can roll with the punches and develop a skill for self-management and personal growth. 
Finally, I think knowing what your real goals are in having an SEO program are the key to long term success. The reality is you may get more traffic, but if that traffic is not from qualified leads and generates real revenue then the benefit may be very little. Having well defined goals and metrics will also help you avoid chasing algorithm changes and focus on the big picture.
2) What brands are leading the charge? 
This is a tough one, because no one is perfect. But I am really inspired by the retail store ASOS’ efforts to improve their site. They have a large number of SKUs and still manage to own lots of SERPS through the solid use of Rich Snippets and what looks like ensuring product page copy is high quality and well written.  They really seem to be on top of the basics. A goal all of us should be focused on before we dive too far into other areas of pursuit. 
3) Cite Logitech’s case on how you’ve been able to adapt and flourish in this evolving and fast-paced industry
I can’t express enough how important team is. We have have faced a lot of change since I joined but we have found ways to adapt and continue to improve by setting clear goals, working across functions and genuinely staying true to why we exist. We still have a lot of improvement to do to, but we are committed to the customer.
That is really the second thing that I think is critical to what we do with SEO; We are trying to to help customers get answers to the questions they are asking. It could be support related or sales related, we want to ensure that the customer experience is constantly improving. Being more findable for the things customers are looking for is one step towards a more satisfied and supported customer.

 C3 2013 Josh BraatenJosh Braaten: Senior Inbound Marketer at Collegis  Education

Topic at C3 2013: Inside Collegis Education: The Little Things in SEO Team Building That Matter Most

1) List three ways an in-house SEO team can work together for optimal success

i. Review and discuss common KPIs early and often to make sure everyone knows what victory looks like to the team.

ii. Take a personal assessment like the Clifton Strengths Finder test to develop a deeper understanding of your team and a better vocabulary to describe the strengths and tendencies of your colleagues.

iii. Review and revise your workflows constantly. Change the process if you’re making the same mistakes from project to project. Where there’s team friction, there’s room for better processes.

2) Why is team cohesion so important?

Content and teams are both only as strong as their weakest links. The things you publish need to be firing on all cylinders to break through today’s cacophony of content. Search, content, social, technology, UX and analytics all have to be working in perfect harmony, and so does your team. If there is team strife, your content will suffer. If you have inefficient workflows, your content will suffer. And if people don’t believe in your mission and values, your content will suffer. Strong individuals build great teams. Great teams build great companies.

3) Are there any tips on how an Inbound leader should organize his/her team for maximum effectiveness?

Organizing your team is one of the most important things you can do. Done right, it’s finding the right balance of meeting business objectives, helping your team members thrive, and scaling your model. Your current business strategy should define the core structure of your team — structure always follows strategy, as my boss likes to say. Hire the right people to perform the work that will help you succeed. As you begin to see success, notice what your team is good at and what they like to do. If you’re lucky, you’ll soon have an opportunity to re-assess your strategy and restructure the team based on the growing assets within your organization.


For more insights from these speakers, follow them on Twitter: @MattWallaert, @Jeremiah, and @JLBraaten.

What happens behind the scenes on your SEO team that helps you work more effectively? Let us know in the comments.

responses to “Power Presenters: Behind the Scenes of SEO”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to interview me. I enjoy reading Matt and Josh’s responses as well. I hope people find it useful.

    • Rachel Mervis says:

      We truly appreciate your contribution, it is essential to get other points of view on what is relevant in the SEO industry.

  2. […] Power Presenters: Behind the Scenes of SEO […]

  3. Guest says:

    We truly appreciate your contribution, it is essential to get other points of view on what is relevant in the SEO industry-Rachel Mervis

  4. Spook SEO says:

    Getting hooked in the SEO industry is something you need to learn from different expert SEO’er that strangely answers and provide very detailed information. I really appreciate all experts out there who kept sharing their mindful ideas on what’s best for SEO. Thanks a lot!