Growth Hacking Interview Series #48: Marvin Russell

Marvin Russell is an entrepreneur, digital marketer, and a self-proclaimed “obsessive, compulsive, perfectionist”.

He is the former CEO of The Ocean Agency (acquired in 2014), a digital marketing agency in Chicago that worked with some of the biggest brands in the world including: Walgreens, Sprite, Toyota, CareerBuilder and BlackBerry.

He has been interviewed on NBC, CBS, ABC, Inc Magazine, Website Magazine, and Crain’s Business Chicago.

Currently, Marvin is working on SaaS startup, MySiteAuditor, a white-label, website audit and analysis tool that helps digital marketing agencies generate leads in 20 languages around the world.

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

I developed MySiteAuditor to help SEO agencies, in 20 languages around the world, generate more SEO leads from their website, through a white-label SEO audit tool that can be easily embedded on any agency’s website.

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

To generate as many leads as possible for our SEO agencies as possible by making sure our auditing tool is solid and up to date with all SEO industry trends and updates.

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

Three things. Content marketing, content marketing….and content marketing.

What do you find most rewarding about SEO?

Once you’re ranked #1 for your target keyword(s) you get endless free traffic, leads, and sales. I freaking love that!

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

I make time to read the best SEO blogs.

As an SEO, what is your favorite SEO hack?

Spend time upfront writing lot’s of content (2,000 words or more) on each of your landing pages.

Optimized, quality content is still king. It takes some of the weight and time off hours of future link earning.

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

I love the concept of link “earning” instead of link “building”. Link building just sounds spammy to me.

Make your SEO team always use the phrase link “earning”. It’s a constant reminder that optimized quality, content is king.

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

WordPress allows you to scale your content very easily. So, I use Yoast for WordPress. Other than that, I use Moz.com,  SEMRUSH, as well as our SEO tools, MySiteAuditor and OptimizeMySite.com

How is your typical work day structured?

I make checklists on Checkli.com every morning before I do anything. It’s a cure for my ADHD. Checklists are the most important productivity tool known to man.

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

Read there blogs: Moz, Quicksprout and ConversionXL.

Read How to Win Friends and Influence People, because psychology is an important aspect of digital marketing.

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

Make checklists for everything. Trust me. It cured me from being unproductive.

Among the Google algorithm updates what is the most challenging one that you’ve encountered?

Everything I do is super ethical. If I think Google would disapprove I don’t do it. So, I’ve never been hit that hard by Google algorithm updates. Just use common sense and don’t try to outthink Google.

If there’s one SEO Guru you’d recommend who and why. 

Neil Patel is the man! Smart guy with great ideas. He used to run an SEO company, now he’s worth millions.

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