Ep.49 SEO with Dani Thompson
Brad Post, Create the Movement, host
Dani Thompson, SEO specialist, guest
Brad Post, Create the Movement, host: Welcome back to Create the Movement podcast. This is Brad Post, and I’m very excited today to be speaking to a friend of mine who is an SEO specialist – Danielle Thompson or Dani Thompson. How are you doing Dani?
Dani Thompson, SEO specialist, guest: I’m doing great. How are you?
BP: Good, good. I just want to get right into it. We discussed a little bit before the call. You’ve been in marketing for close to five years, and you’ve made a shift to where you’re very passionate about SEO, recently? Correct?
DT: That is true. I do love SEO – search engine optimization – is a big passion of mine.
Dani’s Background in Digital Marketing and SEO
BP: Tell us a little bit about your story. Getting into marketing to where you’re at now.
DT: Sure. I was contacted through LinkedIn, of all places, back in, I think it was 2012. A small oil and gas recruiting agency in downtown Tulsa was interested in my research skills. And they wanted for me to come and work with them to help them find qualified candidates to match them with great companies in the Oklahoma and Texas areas. That role transferred into more of an operations management role, and as the oil and gas industry took a downturn here in Tulsa, my CEO came up to me and she said, “We are a small company. We need to be competing with these larger entities. I need to find out how to get our name on the first page of Google. And I need for you to that.”
And so, I had no idea how Google indexed the websites and fell down this rabbit hole, on YouTube and on the internet in general, that I learned about SEO. I’m a very obsessive person when it comes to something that really piques my interest, and SEO piqued my interest. And I have been happily learning more and more SEO over the course of last 18-24 months.
BP: Kind of on a crash course and there’s so much to learn. It’s almost a daily thing. Learn something new everyday.
Current Trends in SEO
BP: If you could mention just one thing that’s really exciting to you about your business right now, what would it be?
DT: I would say the voice search, the Siri and the Alexa. Learning how to optimize websites for people who are using services. They’re not typing things into the search engines as much as they used to. They’re also voice searching. So, figuring out how to naturally segue into optimizing for voice search would be the most exciting thing.
BP: That is exciting. Have you found out a lot about that, then?
DT: Yeah. Like you said, it changes everyday, so trying to stay on top of the trends and learning how to, like I said, naturally work that into content. That’s what we’re working on right now.
BP: I know you and I have talked in the past about your productivity tools – some of the things that you use. I know that you’re very sufficient in Slack. You’re also Google AdWords certified, correct?
DT: I’m Google AdWords and Analytics certified.
BP: And Analytics, good.
DT: I do Analytics, as well.
BP: What would say is the one productivity tool that you enjoy using every day?
DT: I love SEMrush. I monitor 30 websites and so I make sure that they’re running back 404-error codes, that the links aren’t broken, that nothing’s wrong with the server. I also make sure that the keywords are ranking appropriately. It’s a great tool for a daily check-in. I start every morning checking SEMrush to see what I need to fix, or if I need check out competitors and see what the competitors are doing. I check that as well as Google Analytics. Like you mentioned, I am Analytics certified, so I check my client’s Analytics to see where the traffic’s coming from. Making sure that their clients or the customers are staying on the page long enough and how to really get their brand out there.
BP: That’s awesome. We use different tools, but I’ve heard great things about SEMrush. I know I’m always logging in to see where other companies are tracking and where our clients are tracking. It’s kind of fun.
Current Challenges – Google Updates and Algorithms
BP: What would you say is the biggest challenge that you’ve been dealing with in your business right now?
DT: I would say that a challenge would be algorithm updates. That’s something that everybody who works in digital marketing should be aware of. Google updates their algorithms 400-600 times annually and only a few of those are major shifts. But those major shifts – you have to be on top of. Making sure that I am aware of things that you could potentially be damaging to my client’s websites is my biggest challenge.
BP: And that’s where tools like SEMrush help, too. There was a recent ‘Fred’ update – Google Fred. They went from animals to people now. It was Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, and now it’s Fred. But you monitor that through SEMrush, right? When that big Google update happens you can see if it affected any of your clients.
DT: Right. I check that. But Twitter is a great resource for those things. So, before anything has been verified as a shift that’s happened, you can go onto Twitter. I have a list on Twitter of thought leaders that I follow – big names in digital marketing and SEO. You can see the chatter. “Oh, my gosh, this happened to this guy. I wonder if Google has done another update?”
You hear that through the grapevine on Twitter. And then SEMrush or SpyFu or MOZ or whatever might report on it. But you can get an update before the update is official on Twitter.
BP: That’s a good way to look at it. What would you say is best business advice you’ve ever received?
The Best Business Advice Received
DT: Stay curious. I have been very fortunate to work with some of the smartest people, I think, in the Tulsa area. One of which you recently interviewed – Mr. Ryan Daily. I’ve had great mentors who just tell me, “Keep learning. Stay curious.”
Read all that you can read. Listen to all that you can listen too. Get these great mentors and just talk to people. Networking is a wonderful way to learn about the industry, learn about other industries, and stay on top of things.
Dani’s Recommended Books, Blogs, and Podcasts
BP: Absolutely. I think that’s great. What are some books that you would recommend, or even blogs that you read often?
TD: I am a voracious reader. I love reading. I’m reading ‘Girl Boss’ – kind of a niche for females with that entrepreneurial spirit. And I think in this industry you have to really have that. That spirit about you. So, ‘Girl Boss’ is a great one. I’m also reading one called ‘*ssholes: A Theory.’ It’s how to deal with people who might be less than nice. But how to deal with them effectively and compassionately. We all have people in our live that we might be able to learn how to appropriately handle them a little bit better.
As far as blogs go, I am a daily reader of  and ‘MOZ blog.’ The first thing every Friday morning I wake up and watch Rand Fishkin’s ‘Whiteboard Friday.’ Staying on top of the industry blogs and podcasts. There’s a great search engine journal, has a great podcast, and it’s called ‘Marketing Nerds.’ They recently renamed it. And, of course, yours.
BP: Right! Whatever. That’s awesome. So, every Friday you do the ‘Whiteboard Friday’ with Rand? That’s awesome. Part of our training system here is specific ‘Whiteboard Friday’ that we’ve picked out. “Okay, watch these.”
Thank you so much, Danielle. I know you’ve got a lot of things going right now. I’m glad to be connected with you. I look forward having you on again sometime.
DT: Yeah! That sounds great. For sure. Of course.
BP: Awesome. Anything else that I missed that you wanted to share?
DT: I can’t think of anything. How about you?
BP: Yes. I can think of something. You can connect with Danielle on Twitter, and it’s @dani0klah0ma.
DT: It was taken, so I had to use zeros for the Oklahoma. You can find me pretty easily. Also, I’m very active on LinkedIn. And that is DaniOklahoma, or Danielle Thompson Tulsa Oklahoma.
BP: Perfect. Thank you for being on.
DT: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.