Growth Hacking Interview Series #111: Eric McGehearty
As CEO of Globe Runner, Eric goes above and beyond in order to achieve quantifiable results for clients. Founded in 2009 during a devastating economic slump, Globe Runner is one of the fastest-growing online marketing companies in Texas, and now employs a team of twenty elite individuals.
Beyond direct results, Eric pushes the boundaries when it comes to what a business can achieve in the public sphere. He’s a firm believer in conscious capitalism, and works to ensure that anyone in association with Globe Runner gains from that relationship – whether it’s a client, an employee or a vendor.
Eric is dyslexic and feels called to encourage others. A former spokesperson for Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, he continues to advocate for people with dyslexia and speaks at schools, educational groups, and conferences.
Eric earned his Master in Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of North Texas, and brings his artistic drive and creative vision to the culture at Globe Runner. His work has been exhibited across the country.
McGehearty is an active member in the local entrepreneurial space as a board member of DFW’s Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and a mentor at Health Wildcatters, a healthcare startup incubator.
Eric and Globe Runner have been featured in publications like Forbes, The Dallas Morning News, Addison Magazine and the Denton Record Chronicle among others. Of the myriad roles he plays – artist, entrepreneur and advocate – Eric most cherishes his role as husband to his wife Heather and father of their four children: Keegan, Trevor, Elliot, and Claire.
How would you explain specifically what you do as an SEO?
My role as SEO has changed substantially over the last 5 years. Particularly after the Penguin 2.0 update in May of 2013, my role has become much broader in scope.
Now to be a good SEO one has to take into account content strategy, user experience, PR and other factors instead of solely relying on onpage and link building.
What is your primary marketing goal when it comes to delivering results?
Generating more leads or sales is always our number one priority. With that in mind, we don't limit ourselves to increasing traffic we also leverage testing to improve conversions.
What do you find most rewarding about SEO?
I love it when a client calls and tells me how great the Globe Runner team has been to work with and how impactful our work has been on their business.
How do you stay updated with the latest SEO industry news?
We have a fabulous team that reads all of the major publications each day and they always feed me with the must read articles. Most of all would be palling around with our lead strategist Bill Hartzer.
I can always count on Bill to have the best insights.
Are there any particular SEO trends on the horizon that really excite you?
I think what people used to call SEO is slowly turning into a much more holistic endeavour. A truly effective SEO has to have its hands in all aspects of a client's digital presence.
No longer will SEO be a black box where mysterious ninja tech guys manipulate the algorithm. Instead, we “ninja's” will step out of the shadows of the internet and become marketing samurai's to carve out a new vision for our clients digital marketing.
What are some of the top tools and apps in your SEO stack?
I use all of the classics, MOZ, Semrush, etc… We also use virtual website Optimizer VWO.com. for conversion rate optimization, Buzz Sumo is a great tool for content strategy recommendations.
How is your typical work day structured?
I spend all day meeting with clients and perspective clients. I've learned that my biggest value of the team is in brainstorming and communicating our strategy for each client.
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every SEO should read?
Every new employee is required to read The Beginners Guide to SEO. It's a great overview. If I ever recommended a book it would be out of date by the time it got to press.
After they read The Beginners Guide I sent them over to Search Engine Land to digest the latest on a daily basis. The other resource that I particularly like is Point Blank SEO by Jon Cooper.
What advice would you share with other SEO's who want to become more productive?
It's time, we as an industry, stop trying to outwit Google algorithm and instead focus on our clients to develop an authentic and strong digital presence.
Among the Google algorithm updates what is the most challenging one that you've encountered?
For me Penguin 2.0 changed the game.
If there's one SEO Guru you'd recommend who and why?
It would have to be Bill Hartzer.
Bill originally helped me get into this business and eventually I had the good fortune to be able to bring him on to our team as our company grew. He's, by far, one of the most knowledgeable SEO Practitioners I have ever encountered.