Growth Hacking Interview Series #29: Charlotte Waller

Charlotte (the one wearing blue in the photo above) started Visebility (then SEO Gemini) when she..er…couldn’t get a job after leaving University.

Computers and the Internet was something she couldn’t get bored with, which made learning about digital marketing bloody easy (from About).

I encourage you to connect with Charlotte through Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

What is your main source of income? (ex: Client Servicing, Affiliate Marketing, Adsense)

SEO, social media, PPC and other paid media, A/B testing, content marketing and one-off website audits and strategy work.

How do you close a potential SEO client deal?

I don’t have a particular closing strategy.

I just present my proposal with suggestions, deliverables and price – I think it’s preferable to be transparent.

If someone wants to work with the company, they will.

What SEO Tools do you have experience with and which ones do you prefer and why?

I use Rankwatch for tracking rank. It’s versatile and well priced (£19 per month for 250 keywords).

They are constantly updating their service and the customer service is excellent – if you experience a problem they respond within the hour any day or time.

For all other analysis I use Raven priced at $99 per month for their smallest package.

It contains Majestic and Moz metrics and has huge versatility – you can hook up social media platforms, Google Webmaster Tools, Adwords and perform in-depth research easily and under one roof.

It’s outstanding value in my opinion. You can also have multiple users under one account.

Have you ever been in charge or part of a campaign that was successful? If so, what was the result in the SERPs and how long did it last for and what was the term?

I like to think so – one client has maintained their position one ranking for a number of local terms for over two years now.

Other clients have tripled their traffic and others have received big leads. Of course, there are those that haven’t been successful too – it’s a constant learning curve.

Have you ever been part of a campaign that ended badly, with the site being banned or losing its ranking, if so what happened?

Yes – some sites have lost rank but have re-gained it again in time. One had a penalty from a result of link building before the Penguin algorithm came in.

Have you ever done any blackhat SEO and if so were you penalized?

I was a user of My Blog Guest, as such I had taken blogs from there to put on my own website to save me time blogging.

My site then got penalised for outgoing links. I removed the links and submitted a reconsideration request. The penalty got removed within about 5 days.

What are your best practices for on-site SEO?

Run an audit so you know exactly what’s what and where any technical errors lie.

Align your landing pages and their content with your goals and optimise with all the usual methods. In my opinion onsite is very important.

Below are two SEO scenarios, please explain in detail how you would go about both:

Scenario 1: A client has a new site that is not indexed and not ranking, he wants to rank quickly, his terms are mid-level about 25,000 searches a month , how would you go about this.

I don’t think you can obtain rank quickly – it doesn’t work like that.

I’d set up a long-term organic strategy and bid on the terms with Adwords for immediate visibility.

Scenario 2: A client has an old authority site, with 1000s of backlinks all relevant but is not ranking and is not banned, what would you do to get this client ranking?

I’d take a look at the onsite optimisation of the site. I’d also look at producing content in the form of a blog and social media strategy to give it something fresh and interesting.

I’d take a look at ranking competitors to see what they’re doing that I wasn’t. Links may still be important too – relevant backlinks may not equal organic weight.

What niches you’d consider to be untouchable (hard to really rank on) and why?

More and more niches are getting too competitive to touch with small budgets as the Internet becomes more crowded.

Personally, I wouldn’t touch short tail for fashion; food, sex toys, beauty, kids, real estate and probably a whole lot more – though one benefit of these industries (excluding real estate and sex toys) is the amount of bloggers looking to feature products which makes building relationships and links easier.

Big players have dominated these industries in my opinion and bigger players still dominate most industries – eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia and such.

If there’s one thing that you’d want me to buy from you using your website what is it and how would you go about it?

I don’t really sell on my site; if anything I’d want you to look through my content and what I deliver, then submit an enquiry form should you have an interest.

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