Known as a Search Engine Marketing specialist with countless testimonials under her belt, Jessica Thomas is a woman who means business. We sat down with Jessica to chat about how she began her career in marketing, the importance of appearing in the top Google searches and why her expertise will be the key to your business success.
Could you kick us off by telling us about your background, how you got into marketing and why you decided to specialise in SEO?
Jessica: So around 4 years ago I started building websites outside of my job. I actually worked for an Auction House in London and then my mum’s business, an Internet Service Provider where they get broadband into any location, needed some help with marketing and so I started working on her website. I learnt all about organic traffic and keyword optimization, and then once the penny dropped and I knew how it all worked, I became obsessed with SEO! I started building my own website and helping out a few people who needed a hand with their websites too. I’m completely self-taught and now I help others drive traffic to their website, sharing my advice on Google Business Optimization to ensure that they show up in local searches.
It’s interesting how you mentioned you’re self-taught, do you feel like people need a degree in marketing to be successful business owners?
Jessica: I think there are a lot of good SEO courses out there but it’s one of those subjects where people can overcomplicate it. If you’re trying to grow a business website for example, you don’t necessarily need to master every technical SEO skill in order to grow your website traffic. I would say that if somebody wanted to learn SEO themselves, the best way of learning is to just start your own blog. Start monitoring your website traffic and get all your Google tools set up. Just dive in!
I love that advice! So how would you explain SEO to a beginner in a couple of sentences?
Jessica: I would say that it’s making sure that your website, brand or business shows up in search results. Making sure you’re gaining maximum visibility for your website when people are searching for you or searching for relevant products and services.
That explains it perfectly! I think because the term Search Engine Optimization seems really technical at first it can often scare people, but as soon as you realise that it’s pretty straightforward it can seem less daunting. It’s just a case of learning how to do it well. Is there a question you always get asked by SEO beginners?
Jessica: That’s a good question! I think the main thing that people struggle with, not necessarily the question I’m most asked, but it’s knowing how to write their own content. So yes you could write a 1000 word blog post but if it doesn’t answer a query that somebody is searching for in Google then it’s not going to help the reader, they’re not going to stay on your page which will lead to a much higher bounce rate. So I think knowing how to write blog posts well is probably the main pain-point that people have.
That’s really interesting! I didn’t know that, 2000 words feels like quite a lot! Is there a reason for that change?
Jessica: It’s because everyone now scrolls on their phone and they don’t actually sit and intently read content, they just scroll down the page. So if you’ve only got 500 words they’ll scroll down too quickly but with 2000 it goes into a lot more depth and keeps them engaged.
There are a few clients I work with actually and when we do our keyword research and put together our content plans, they say ‘oh my gosh I can’t write that much content!’ So I’m like okay, you definitely need to hire somebody to do that for you!
So as a Search Engine Specialist, what does your role entail? How do you help people who aren’t experienced in SEO?
Jessica: It involves a lot of keyword research, so a lot of SEO tools. Also helping people work out the content they should be producing for their website, along with how much content needs to be on their website to rank. Some people still think that you can write a blog post of 500 words and that’s fine when actually, on average, a blog post now should be aiming towards at least 2000 to 2500 words. So the days of just writing 500 words and throwing it out there are gone!
I have a lot of client meetings to help them understand the process and just what to do really because there are a lot of people who offer SEO services that offer technical audits, but if the client doesn’t know what to do with that technical audit it ends up being useless information.
And lastly, I help people to look at their website and their conversion rates. For example, if nobody can take an action on the page it’s pointless; it won’t draw any organic traffic to the page. And yeah a lot of auditing websites as well!
Have you got any examples of how your expertise and skills have helped a specific business to succeed?
Jessica: If we use the Internet Service Provider as an example, gathering leads on a website is something that SEO can be good for. If somebody’s looking for the best Internet Service Provider or the best broadband and your website comes up in the top search results, perfectly optimised for a particular keyword along with a well-designed page, it’s really easy for people to take action on the page. It’s such a great lead driver for your business. So if you take the time to optimise your content and focus on SEO it really does pay off in the long run.
You really know your stuff! I was reading your testimonials and I saw loads of comments about how you’re extremely approachable, innovative and knowledgeable. What other qualities or skills do you offer? What’s 1 key reason that people should come to you?
Jessica: I think with SEO services, like any digital marketing service, if you’ve got quotes from different people they will all do it differently, with their own methods and techniques. What I’m personally trying to do is help people learn the process themselves and not feel overwhelmed. I aim to get my clients to the stage where they’re able to manage their website themselves and they feel like they’ve got the knowledge to do that. So if they want to hire a content writer or find somebody to get their key words for them, they know what they’re looking for when they have to hire that person.
It’s more of a collaborative SEO service. I strive to help people understand the process and gain that knowledge so that they can form the most effective decisions themselves.
It was great to chat with Jessica about all things SEO! We’re even more excited now to check out Jessica’s LIVE webinar on Thursday 25 of February at 7pm (UK time). You’ll get exclusive tips and tricks on how to reach the top Google searches and how to boost recognition through keyword research. You could be reaching a wider audience faster and effectively in no time!
With SEO being the foundations of a successful business, you don’t want to miss out.