Today’s time – starting much, much later than usual – but building upon something that I’ve wanted to do for a little while now.
Give praise to some of the people that have helped me.
Paul Lovell is someone I got to know through the “SEO Circuit”.
I just checked my email history and here’s the first-ever ‘email engagement’ I had with him – back in Dec 2018
Since then we’ve only exchanged emails a total of 22 times, of which 60% of them have come probably in the last 30 days:
Now, Paul’s a good dude.
Unusual to meet someone who wants to help with no expectation of a return – and this was all the way back in Dec 2018.
I’ve actually realised he asked if I wanted a comment on a blog round up he was writing for SEMRush to which I ignored him like a bellend:
Only 2 years in the making but there’s still hope 😛
So anyway – we’d never worked together directly but I knew of him through my work with SEMRush and he’d commented on a couple of Facebook posts.
So time passed and I put out a request on Facebook inviting external SEO’s to take a look at Pearl Lemon’s website and what we could to improve our own search engine rankings.
Naturally, we had maybe 20+ SEOs respond, and were met with all manner of responses.
After whittling away the usual dross, I got it down to 4 SEOs who’d offered to audit or site, some paid some unpaid.
Paul, and three others were amongst them.
It’s interesting running an SEO agency and then taking a look at the manner of reports you get that come in.
Reviewing audits is something that we have a lot of familiarity with – having seen other agency audits, having inherited audits from agencies whose roles we were taking over and much much more.
Anyway, Paul’s audit was a standout.
I mean there was sh*t in there that I definitely didn’t understand, and stuff in there that no other SEO had spotted.
This was the part that fascinated the team and myself.
The site was in the midst of a change and we were slowly working through a hosting change, updating pages and identifying and fixing various other issues.
Paul spotted those in an instant, and about 101 others.
We got on a call w/Paul to walk us through the audit, discovered issues he’d uncovered by looking at performance checks via the local browser, running crawls through screaming frog, and drawing upon his background as a web designer.
This would later follow up with a second audit going over our sites again with yet more insights
At that time, back in 2019 I didn’t really appreciate the power of mentorship and coaching.
I pretty much got most of my knowledge from reading and googling and that seemed to serve me well enough.
Around 4 to 5 weeks ago – that changed when I felt it would be sensible to get some SEO coaching, and to do so with a couple of people I knew and trusted.
As I’ve already mentioned – Craig Campbell was the first person I asked as he was a former agency owner turned affiliate marketer, has been in the industry for 20 years…but mostly..
He was a good mate and I’d bought two affiliate sites from him and proceeded to do a very half arsed job with them (lol I’m smiling at him reading this now and cackling).
The second person that came to mind was Paul.
I remembered the great job he’d done with the audits and asked if he fancied helping me out with some training.
He obliged, and that was 4-weeks ago, and basically it’s been a rollercoaster since.
We’re spent around 5 hours 20 minutes on calls over the last 3-weeks and it’s literally made my head explode in terms of the number of technical issues Paul has discovered with our site.
Alongside the depth of knowledge that he has.
It’s frustrating to me that it’s taken me 4 years to actually get some SEO coaching and makes me realise how little I know about SEO.
Paul’s been in the game since 2002 if his LinkedIn profile is anything to go by:
(I’ve not actually asked him this)
So I guess that goes someway into why I feel like an absolute retard when he walks me through some of the things he knows in regards to SEO.
I presume it’s some small consolation that I really got deep into SEO in August 2017, and I’ve been half arsing it ever since.
Thankfully, I’ve learnt more in the last few weeks than I have in the last couple of years.
One of the things that Paul mentioned in passing was SEOs, or rather ‘branded SEOs’ as perhaps I am in the midst of becoming – don’t always give credit to those who’ve helped them rise.
That’s where this blog comes in.
I wanted to right it whilst I felt motivated to 😛
With showing me issues with contentful paint, brotli compression, our internal linking structure, better ways to host our YouTube videos, how to use schema properly, looking at our structured data properly as well as 490832 other things…
I’m learning a lot so I can deliver more and sell better.
And with the calls being recorded it offers some insight for my internal team to learn and improve.
For the longest time I’ve felt that tutelage/mentorship was a load of BS and one was better off just Googling stuff.
Of course this experience has already demonstrated to me that rather….
It’s just a case of finding the right mentor’s
There’s the people that sell, and then there’s the people that know.
Paul knows, and therefore he is and will become a powerful ally as I seek to become a more competent SEO and even better agency owner.
There are some/many people who don’t want to reveal their influences/their mentor’s. I find it extremely weird.
In digital marketing this seems particularly prevalent that no-one wants to ‘give up the ghost’ or give reference to those who have helped them rise.
Perhaps it’s because I spent a decade as a rapper and came from a place where everyone spoke of their mentors and the people they studied that sharing comes naturally to me.
Admittedly, it also helps that Paul’s a ‘geezer’ and went to school in Hounslow (if memory serves).
I used to live in West Drayton (I’m actually writing this from my mum’s gaffe) and therefore Houslow’s down the road from me :p
Anyway. I’ll be continuing this spotlight series and referencing those who are helping me/Pearl Lemon rise.