Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from Google Analytics to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates.
She writes for the nationally recognized SEO Company HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.
How would you explain specifically what you do as an SEO?
What an SEO does and what an SEO writer does is actually pretty different! As a writer, I use Google Analytics to analyze the content I’m publishing and see what people are clicking.
This helps me determine what I should be writing more about as well as where I should be promoting my pieces.
I also work with editors around the web to get my content published for extra visibility as well as a backlink to help improve our SEO (but always, readers come first!).
I can then use tools like Open Site Explorer to see our backlink profile, disavow links that I think are hurting our SEO, and use that tool to see where our competitors are finding opportunities.
In other words, a lot more goes into being a writer than just “writing” when it comes to the SEO industry.
Which new skills are most important for SEO’s to learn in the next six months?
This year is going to be all about mobile.
Any skill related to mobile is worthwhile–responsive designs, writing local content and focusing on local search, image optimization, mobile content, etc.
If you can learn to create a mobile strategy and bring that to your company, opportunities should be wide open for success.
How do you stay updated with the latest SEO industry news?
I stay updated with the latest news, truly, just by reading.
I check Search Engine Land every single day to see if there is any news I need to know about, and then I go and research the news if I think it is applicable to me.
I have Google Alerts set, but it’s really just about creating a habit of reading and checking the blogs that works for me.
As an SEO, what is your favorite SEO hack?
I don’t know if you’d really call this an SEO hack, but as a writer I’ve been really pushing Quora lately.
I am realizing that there is so much untapped potential on that social network to not only ask SEO questions but to get your name out there through answering.
Show your authority and build credibility, and you have the opportunity to earn tons of natural links! It’s a great community, and as a writer I get some great ideas and inspiration from Quora.
How is your typical work day structured?
My typical workday involves waking up and reading some of the SEO blogs to see if I missed any news, and then thinking of story ideas for the day (which is NOT easy).
Sometimes thinking of story ideas can take an hour or longer because I need to think of several, and I need them to be unique and relevant.
Once I have my ideas ready to go, I answer all my emails, check to see if any of my articles went live for me to promote socially, and then I get to writing.
After researching, writing, and uploading or sending an article, I go through and socially promote articles again, check emails again, and then it’s on to writing the next article.
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every SEO should read?
Moz has a Beginners SEO Guide that has been around forever, and I always point people there if they need the basics.
I think it’s such a great guide and I couldn’t have explained it any better myself, so I highly recommend that.
What advice would you share with other SEO’s who want to become more productive?
If you want to become more productive as an SEO (or really any profession), I recommend setting small goals for yourself during the day and then get off social media for personal use.
I always log out of my social accounts so that during the day even if I type in “facebook” on my browser I’m quickly reminded to get off and my news feed isn’t right there in my face. This has actually helped IMMENSELY for me.