Interview with the Lady of SEO, Jane Copland

I have seen quite a few people in the digital marketing industry who are interviewing celebrities within the search sphere, which I personally think is a good idea. If someone is awesome enough he/she should be interviewed.

Here at SETalks, this whole interview thing is quite different though! To be honest I am not really doing it as a link bait idea , neither it’s just a  section of blog where I interview celebrities but instead here  I interview my favorite search marketers who might  not be as famous as others but their work is top notch and I personally admire them!

My guest for today is a person who is not as famous as some other people in the sphere but she has proved herself as one of the most competitive brain in search industry. Raised in New Zealand, completed her studies from the Washington State University and  started her career from SEOMoz (rebranded as, Moved to UK to work for Ayima as an SEO Consultant for around 5 years before taking up  Independent Consultancy services. She is none other than the Lady of Digital Marketing, Miss Jane Copland.

Thank you for accepting my request for interview and taking time to answer my questions.

I will try my best not to ask the repetitive questions so that you can enjoy answering and people can get something new and valuable out of this interview.

I was looking for a job after graduating from WSU in 2006, mainly using Craigslist. This was in Seattle; there were a few decent entry-level writing /editing jobs listed, but nothing really amazing. I was sending off cover letters and resumes early in the morning – about 2am. Basically applying for anything I could do. I was about to go to bed when I thought, “just one more.” I replied for a job at SEOmoz, which for some reason had been listed in the writing / editing section of Craigslist. They called me back later that week and after two interviews, I had the job. I had no intention of working in marketing (I only vaguely knew what SEO was beforehand) but the journey thus far has been quite smooth after that fortuitous job ad! It’s crazy to think I nearly missed it, as it was the last ad I replied to that night.

The thing that seems most stunning about the industry is how many people can’t or won’t innovate or change how they operate, even though they’re aware that the techniques they relied on three or four years ago are now outdated. It’s going to seem heartbreaking if the methods you perfected in 2011 or even 2012/13 are now obsolete, and it’s tiring. People put a lot of effort into the processes they used in the past and now many of them have to change. I see this as a case of if you can’t or won’t change, your lifespan in search marketing might be quite short.

I was actually at Moz until the beginning of 2009! People often misdiagnose what is wrong with their rankings and find it hard to listen to evidence about what’s actually going on. That’s not limited to Q&A folks though – clients armed with a little bit of SEO knowledge can do the same thing. People are also often swayed by advice / knowledge from years ago that is very outdated, meaning we have to undo beliefs they’ve read on a popular blog in 2007 and still hold. Most recently, a lot of people are complaining about Google changing their title tags and meta descriptions – this is a complaint I see whenever I take a look at the forum.

Again, too many people are operating with a mindset of trickery when it come to on-page. I am not talking about agencies or SEOs or the types of folks who’ll read this – “regular” people still think of Google as a primitive machine that can be fooled with eighty footer links that say “Florists in [Town]”. You have to explain how much more advanced Google should be expected to be.

For the love of god, stop using networks. It’s amazing how many people actually believe that THIS is the one that doesn’t have a footprint. Professionals and amateurs alike believe this. It’s like believing that THIS is the miracle weightloss product that doesn’t require you to diet or exercise and that the results will last forever. Since when has that ever been true?

Sure, but great link building always was. If you were doing PR-style link dev years ago, you’re probably currently not being penalised for your old links, or scrambling to clean up link profiles for the future. A big difference now however is that the people you’re contacting for links, or who choose to link to you, are also more likely to be aware of SEO.

Doing it “right” depends on the business. Trying to be cute with a funny Twitter account like Betfair Poker or Arena Flowers works for some, but can be really cringe-worthy if done by others, badly. On the other side, just regurgitating press releases and “blog posts” all day on Twitter is boring and won’t attract an audience. The level of interaction and what you share is heavily dependent on what your business is about.

From years of agency experience, I have learned that you sometimes can’t convince people to spend money on the right things. Speaking personally, I would now drop a client if they flat-out refused to invest in something integral to their campaign; if that something was content production and marketing, I’d do my best to explain why it was crucial but politely decline the work or not renew the contract if they could not be convinced.

I’ve been saying “I help website to receive more traffic from Google” for as long as I can remember. There’s so much more to what we do, but that is generally understood by most people.

Again, thank you Jane for taking some time out of your schedule and answering my questions. I am sure this interview will be helpful for the audience to get some more knowledge about SEO and digital marketing.

Note for readers: If you got questions, please feel free to add in the comment section and I will try to get to Jane and request her to reply to your questions within the comment section!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *