Growth Hacking Interview Series #66: Bernadette Coleman

Local Internet Marketing Queen

Bernadette Coleman is the CEO of Advice Interactive Group, an award winning digital agency focused on improving visibility for local clients across the digital universe.

Bernadette is an industry expert and skilled in local search optimization and local search engine marketing.

Her digital technology company and local search agency are one of the fastest growing Companies in the U.S. by Inc. 500 for 2012, 2013 and again in 2014.

Her team at Advice Interactive has built strong relationships through successful partnerships with top brands.

Bernadette Coleman excels with proprietary local search technologies and strategies for local businesses big and small. She leads a handpicked group of experienced digital professionals and programmers in the local space.

Her strategies and solutions have pioneered the way for successful online brands to execute successful digital marketing nationally and locally.

Bernadette is the recipient of 2 silver Stevie awards for “Woman Executive of the Year 2013” and “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2013”.

She is also an active advocate for brain Injury awareness and serves on several nonprofit organization boards helping to promote the cause. http://www.trymunity.com She is available for speaking engagements.

How would you explain specifically what you do as an SEO?

I always try to remember when I am when I am trying to bridge the gap of understanding between myself and a client that explaining SEO to non-SEO people shouldn’t be hard as long as you know your audience.

In order to educate my audience, I want to explain in simple terms that what it is but even more importantly, why it’s beneficial to have a quality SEO plan.

In my case, I specialize in local SEO, our goal is to drive traffic, leads, and sales to clients in local markets. To help them rank higher in search engines and to be there when someone id looking for their services at the moment they need them.

I always try to use the “Ice Cream” example. When a family is driving down a road and the kids in the back of the seat start singing “I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream” I always picture the parent picking up their mobile phone and doing a search for the nearest Ice Cream Store.

I’m the person that puts you at the top at the top of the local or mobile search results so that when someone has that immediate need to learn something, find something or buy something, my client is there front and center.

What is your primary marketing goal when it comes to delivering results?

I want to deliver what the client wants, whether it’s leads, traffic, sales, and my goal is to give the client a great ROI on their local search budget.

Today, with 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase. So it’s important that our clients are poised perfectly to take advantage of these statistics and deliver.

Which new skills are most important for SEO’s to learn in the next six months?

For major payoffs in the next 6 months and into 2016, you need to put extra effort into a number of areas to be successful. The first and foremost is think mobile and take control of your data.

As we move into a more mobile age, it is even more important than ever that businesses effectively manage their online data to make sure that their information is complete, correct and up-to-date across the internet.

This is especially important as search engines use this data to display to those searching for a business’s products or services.

The more accurate the data the more trust is communicated to the search engines which makes a businesses’ presence easily discoverable online and through their mobile device.

While the majority of local-business searches are conducted online, 80 percent of consumers using mobile devices actually follow up with a phone call or walk in to a location with a specific action in mind. So it’s important to optimize for the mobile user.

Most of these searchers are already out and about, looking for nearby businesses to fulfill their immediate needs. In other words, mobile users are serious about buying something.

What do you find most rewarding about SEO?

That’s a good question, I’d say, delivering what we promised and helping our clients become successful is the most important to me.

How do you stay updated with the latest SEO industry news?

Well, this last few months I have been traveling from conference to conference, I also have a particular set of industry news sites I keep up with. Not to mention, there are a few industry people that I correspond with to share Ideas and discuss issues on a regular basis.

Are there any particular SEO trends on the horizon that really excite you?

Yes, it all excites me but particularly the Localized – Socialized movement. I love the thought of being able to deliver the right offer to the right person at the right time. Things are changing rapidly.

The way social and mobile is changing the way we behave is powerful and creates new opportunities for marketers today that we never had before. Let’s face it, we are in a connected world and that needs to be embraced. To me, that’s exciting.

What are some of the top tools and apps in your SEO stack?

Well, Advice Local of course. The ability to manage my client’s digital presence from one platform is important and it makes my life much easier.

How is your typical work day structured?

I’m not sure there is a structure once I get to the office. That’s what makes my job so exciting. Every day is different.

Which one book/blog post would you recommend every SEO should read?

Not sure a particular book or blog post is important, but certain industry blogs are must reads. The ones I follow are: Rocks Digital, Search Engine Journal, Street Fight and you can always follow my blog at BernadetteColeman.com

What advice would you share with other SEO’s who want to become more productive?

Tools are engines! Timing for this question is perfect as we enter into what I call the “Platform Revolution”. I recently read that by the year 2020, customers will manage 85% of their business relationships without talking to a human.

The platform revolution reflects how the right tools for building next-generation digital products and services will help you bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds. Huge efficiencies can and will be gained as businesses continue to master digital technologies internally.

Please Connect With Me

Finally, I invite SEO’s everywhere to connect with me. I love hearing what other people in this space have to say.

My Twitter is @BernieColeman and you can find me on LinkedIn. Hope to connect with you all soon!

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