Stephanie Castillo is the Senior SEO and Content Manager at Perfect Search Media, an SEO and PPC agency based in Chicago. She's been in SEO for 5 years and packs veteran knowledge about SEO agency tactics. 

She recently sat down for an SEO expert interview and shared why a consistent content strategy matters, why sometimes it's best to learn from an experience, and her three skills that every SEO needs in their career.


Creating a Consistent Content Strategy

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Perfect Search Media sought to serve their clients in achieving SEO success by adjusting content strategy to meet unique content challenges. For one higher education client in particular, I worked with my team to increase their organic traffic during a time of uncertainty.

With prospective students looking for more remote opportunities, we conducted keyword research to find opportunities around remote learning and online education. Using the terms we found in our research, we increased the amount of blog content we were delivering from two blog posts per month to six posts per month.

After creating content around these topics, we've seen an almost 200% increase in organic traffic to their blog as well as a 220% increase in ranking keywords for this client from January to September, an incredible increase for anyone in this unpredictable climate.

To me, these numbers are proof that no matter what outside factors impact your brand, a consistent content strategy that adapts to meet market demand is one thing that can garner really exciting results for your business. 

Recommended Reading: How to Create an SEO and Content Strategy to Boost Organic Traffic

Creating a Clean Link Profile

One area that I've worked on learning more about in my career would be link management and link building. If there is one thing I learned was to take it slow, be detail-oriented, and be patient in your approach.

After disavowing links from certain domains too aggressively, I learned this lesson the hard way. To help bring back some of the links, it was a quick switch to undo what we had previous disavowed. In addition, we worked to procure new backlinks for a client. All of this provided me with a better understanding of how backlinks relate to site authority and overall SEO success. 

I believe that part of SEO success is learning through experience, too; and, recently, I had to take a few steps back after that disavow error. Recognizing the mistake right away, I learned how a more conservative approach of measuring after each step is best. It's important for SEOs to take careful, yet swift action in this type of situation, especially working in an agency role with a variety of clients and their unique needs.  

Recommended Reading: How to Track Backlink Performance and Identify Backlink Opportunities

SEO is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

It might be a common cliché, but I try to relay to clients that SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. From an account management standpoint, clients want to see quick results when they are working with you, sometimes with a faster turnaround than SEO can provide. It can be challenging to assuage those doubts.

We know as SEOs that organic results take time, but, if approached correctly and with the right strategy, a company can reap the benefits. A well-written, strategically optimized blog post can provide organic traffic for a long time, so it's important to make that clear to the client up-front. 

Three Skills Every SEO Needs

In my time as an SEO, I've learned that the following three skills are critical to success, especially for anyone working in or with an agency where there are so many different unique needs for each client. 

  1. Data Analysis. Get comfortable with Excel. It goes a long way to make something that can take hours distilled enough to take only minutes. Editor's Note: Check out our post, Reliable Excel Tools Every SEO Needs in Their Back Pocket to get started on learning useful Excel tricks.
  2. Writing Skills. A strong writing background is critical to success for SEOs. While there is a lot to be said for technical capabilities, oftentimes I find that a strong writer can make all the difference. A well-crafted email is a thing of beauty, whether communicating with your own team or with an external client. 
  3. Verbal Communication Skills. This isn't specific to SEO, but being able to get your message across to a client  is critical to a client-agency relationship. A lot of the things we talk about in SEO are highly technical so it's important to consider your audience. Is what you're sharing a "fit" for your audience? Navigating different communication styles helps build trust in a client relationship.

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