Growth Hacking Interview Series #109: Jey Pandian
Jey Pandian is a Highly Experienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Professional & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Consultant.
How would you explain specifically what you do as an SEO?
Yep, definitely. I look at their phone and if it's an iPhone; I tell them that I am responsible for making sure that Apple comes up number one in Google.
What is your primary marketing goal when it comes to delivering results?
Revenue. If I can't deliver revenue for a business, then I won't work with them. The name of the game has been always revenue and return on investment. The profits must always outweigh the costs.
Which new skills are most important for SEO's to learn in the next six months?
I strongly recommend that new SEOs learn the fundamentals of SEO. A good place to start is Aaron Wall's SEO Book then move on to Dave Harry's SEO Dojo then to Michael Martinez's SEO Theory.
If both of the above seem like Greek, then I recommend reading every single blog post from Google Webmaster Central, then starting from SEO Book.
Neil Patel's Quick Sprout is also a great resource, but as my mentor Benjamin Spiegel often tells me, it's not about the tactics – those anyone can do; it's about how you rise above the tactics to mastery of your craft.
Always understand the “why” behind SEO tactics. Do you know how a search engine works? What's a reverse index (I will guarantee that 99% of SEOs out there have no idea what this is)? SEO is like simple arithmetic.
If you can't do 1+1=2 then you have no business being an SEO.
What do you find most rewarding about SEO?
I love the fact that it is a constantly evolving industry that builds upon the knowledge that one has previously learned. If your knowledge or mastery of the craft is poor, then the foundation will be weak and your SEO, not that great.
SEO challenges me daily and reinvigorates me.
How do you stay updated with the latest SEO industry news?
I read SEO roundtable daily, I chat and connect with SEOs via actual round tables, meet-ups and I also take the time to connect with people like Jennifer Hoffman who is passionate about the industry.
SEO is a lot like graph theory and/or network science. If you are not connected to anyone, it is rare that you will learn anything.
As an SEO, what is your favorite SEO hack?
Growth hacking for sure. SEO like Marketing, is a numbers game. Once one figures the leading and lagging indicators for each channel like Nick Eubanks, the rest is easy.
It's simply a matter of figuring out how the tactics map to each channel and business objective.
Are there any particular SEO trends on the horizon that really excite you?
Virtual or augmented reality for sure. I would love to see how search functions in such a situation.
What are some of the top tools and apps in your SEO stack?
I use the chrome SEO developer plugin, webpagetest.org via Ian Lurie, the QUART method by Alan Bleiweiss and last but not the least; I prefer to hand check the code and the website whenever I see traffic fluctations; especially the moreso when tools like Google Webmaster Console or my analytic platform spit out errors.
How is your typical work day structured?
I start the day by checking in with my team, how their night went and what their plans for the weekend are; then I run through Google Webmaster Console for every site that we manage, check every single traffic and conversion metrics, then check in with my project manager to see what kind of roadblocks were created/resolved, then I move on to the strategic elements of my role.
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every SEO should read?
Here are the first five articles that gave me a leg up in the SEO game.
True Internet Marketing Icons by Aaron Wall
Marketing Driven SEO Strategy by Peter DaVangelo
The Stunt Train SEO Marketing Manifesto by Todd Malicoat
Warren Buffett’s Advice to SEOs by Andy Hagans
Copywriting 101: Your Guide to Effective Copy by Brian Clark
What advice would you share with other SEO's who want to become more productive?
Be drug-free, alcohol-free and nicotine-free and set daily objectives. Every night before I go to sleep, I set 3 objectives for myself to complete for the next day.
It doesn't matter how big or small those objectives are, just that you complete them. One week of completion does nothing but 2 months or 3 months up to a year, believe me when I say, you will reap huge dividends.
Among the Google algorithm updates what is the most challenging one that you've encountered?
Probably Panda and Hummingbird (infrastructure update), there is so much misinformation about the two out there on the internet that I'm inclined to fire those who simply talk shit for no reason.
If there's one SEO Guru you'd recommend who and why.
Aaron Wall, without a doubt. He was my first mentor and one of the best who knows how the world works. 🙂