Search Engine Journal Welcomes Editor-In-Chief Amanda Zantal-Wiener

Search Engine Journal welcomes Amanda Zantal-Wiener, former Deputy Editor and Content Manager at HubSpot, as Editor-in-Chief.

Paying for SEO: A Method for Increasing Lead Volume by 300%

Our job as search marketers is to make the brands we service – whether in-house or at an agency – discoverable. And then, ideally, turn that discoverability into leads.

But how exactly can this be done on today’s competitive search landscape?

On June 26, I moderated a sponsored SEJ ThinkTank webinar presented by Garrett Mehrguth, CEO and co-founder at Directive.

In the webinar, Mehrguth shared actionable tips on how to improve your search discoverability in order to drive qualified leads and deliver results.

Prioritizing Technical SEO Issues with Cody Gault

Are you considering a site migration?

Migrations are a challenging – and sometimes dreaded – step in SEO.

With site migrations, chances are you’re going to run into technical issues and nine times out of ten there’s not enough time to fix everything before launch. The key is to build a good relationship with your developers, working together to solve critical issues.

Cody Gault, Website Migration Lead at Conductor joins Loren Baker for this migration episode. We have some great questions left from an SEJ Webinar we had with Cody a while back, along with some new topics to help you with your next big update.

This episode is perfect for anyone who is migrating platforms, changing URLs, updating branding, or trying something new for their website.

At the end of the day, the more crawls you do, the closer you can get to what the site will actually look like in a live environment. –Cody Gault

Do the 301 redirects. It’s the gospel. With canonical, Google may or may not honor it. –Cody Gault

About half of site migrations are about finding the technical side of issues, and the other half is about having a team that can solve them and works well together. –Cody Gault

[00:00] – About Cody and how he got started performing website migrations
[02:41] – Cody’s first big migration: An International website migration
[05:04] – How can broken link 404 reports help you identify and fix website issues?
[05:29] – How to preplan a website migration and reduce the risk of making mistakes
[07:05] – How to prioritize redirects and take some of the work out of site migrations
[07:49] – Common website migration mistakes
[10:06] – Should you immediately redirect old URLs to the new ones? Or use canonicals before redirecting?
[13:32] – Do 301 redirects slow down your site?
[17:05] – Is it better to change the title tags and meta descriptions or leave them as is?
[18:57] – Timing your website changes and how that affects rankings
[20:36] – How to test a site’s usability and performance prior to migration
[23:40] – The biggest things hurting your CWV & website performance
[26:11] – How much traffic should you expect to lose when you migrate a website? And how long until your traffic recovers?
[27:40] – What happens if you lose most of your traffic after a migration?
[30:16] – Why is the old domain still indexed in Google?
[32:31] – What are some commonly overlooked parts of a migration or mistakes?
[37:41] – How to work with dev teams during migrations and how to handle technical SEO issues
[43:36] – The amount of time Cody focuses on site migrations

“You can learn so much from those broken link reports. I think it’s amazing that you can connect those dots, fix them, and benefit from them post-migration.” –Loren Baker

“Every issue I have is prioritized high, medium, low, and I go in with the understanding that not all of them are going to be fixed.” –Cody Gault

“Talk to your developers to see what they can open up for you and then run with it.” –Cody Gault

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Connect with Cody Gault:

Cody Gault is the Website Migration Lead at Conductor. As a result of his involvement in many migration projects, he has carved a niche in the industry. He shares insights on common site migration issues so you can be prepared to handle them.

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Identity & Custom User Experiences – How ID Helps Convert

Savvy digital marketers leverage user identification to create genuinely custom experiences for their customers because identity is a crucial part of today’s online landscape.

Nancy Marzouk of MediaWallah joins me on the SEJ show to discuss the concept of identity data and how it becomes an integral part of digital advertising. In addition, we discuss the critical elements to have in place to create a successful approach.

We also get into clean rooms and clean tech vs. a “black box” approach and how AWS, Google & Snowflake’s impacts on the ID data market will look like.

There’s a lot that needs to go into how I design my identity strategy to fit not only the privacy talk about data governance and all that fun stuff but also works within the industry that I’m in and deals with the marketing stack that I’ve invested in. So that’s really where identity by design comes in. It helps you understand. We help people understand the pieces of what a sustainable building-up of your identity graph might look like. –Nancy Marzouk, 06:19

The fact that the cookies were anonymous and that the workflow that was present for cookies was acceptable, but it’s no longer viable when you’re starting to deal with the first-party data. Because it’s very sensitive information, creating a more secure workflow will be very important in the future. With that being said, it doesn’t mean that retargeting goes away.
It just looks a little different. –Nancy Marzouk, 10:41

With cookies and mobile going away, what it does is it brings the advertiser and the publisher closer together. –Nancy Marzouk, 16:15

00:00 – About Nancy.
05:00 – What is identity, and why is it important?
08:46 – Can you still retarget in the future?
11:47 – Is it going to be better or worse for advertising?
22:51 – Does a publisher have to work with every identity solution?
35:29 – A scenario ID platforms can identify.
38:47 – How to transition to ID.

Resources mentioned:
MediaWallah –

There are different parts of identity. First, there’s being able to identify an event or a session or something happening in a browser or something happening in the app so that you can do that targeting right then and there based on what the platform is that you’re using. And then there’s how do I take all that information and connect it to an individual or a user so that I can perhaps do some sophisticated audience modeling or attribution? –Nancy Marzouk, 26:12

It seems like the past three years. Google’s been serving more and more publisher sites that are reviews or product-oriented reviews, recipe sites, whatever on the publisher side, as opposed to going directly to the source. So I think it will make that real estate more important from an advertising perspective. –Loren Baker, 19:01

People are looking to use their first-party data to bridge the gap and create a crosswalk between the information they need to understand about their marketing and the effectiveness of their marketing. –Nancy Marzouk, 05:17

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Connect with Nancy Marzouk

Nancy is a true maverick on the marketing technology scene – always one step ahead of the pack and more than capable of solving even its most stubborn problems.

Through her company MediaWallah, she’s revolutionized how data can be connected for maximum value at every level. The industry has taken note – Nancy’s been making waves as a frequent guest speaker at conferences and through op-ed pieces in publications everywhere!

Her genuine commitment to progress saw her appointed to IAB’s Cookie Management Task Force – proving that when it comes to tech, no problem lies beyond reach with Nancy around.

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The Key To SEO Success: Effortless Expectation Setting

Can’t you just call Google and tell them we want to be on the first page?

We just changed keyword strategies last week. Where is our uptick in traffic?

I’ve just read an article that says we should do x, y, z, and now I’m the expert. Sound familiar?

Whether you’re at an SEO agency or in-house, it can feel challenging to set and keep SEO expectations in check with reality.

Helping non-SEO pros understand your long plays is easier said than done – or is it?

Grant Simmons, Director of SEO at ClickFluent Consulting, joined me to discuss how to position yourself as the thought leader for your department, clients, and shareholders and stay positive.

There’s that disconnect between what agencies think about in-house people. –Grant Simmons, 10:49

Make sure expectations are met. That’s essentially the job, and you sell it. You make sure people understand what was sold, and you make sure they know what they’re going to get, and then you have to deliver it. And if you can’t deliver it, as I said before, communication is key, just letting them know when. –Grant Simmons, 7:15

There are a lot of folks I know that are independent SEOs or consultants that get a contract. They do the audit, and they’re done. There’s no value there. I mean, there’s some value that may be in the audit itself. Still, the ability to continuously keep communication going is gone. –Loren Baker, 8:14

[00:00] – Grant’s background in search marketing.
[05:00] – What Grant has learned on the agency side helped him in-house and vice versa.
[18:29] – Tips for anyone looking to transition from consultant or agency to in-house.
[21:41] – Why Grant hired multiple agencies & tips for handling them.
[26:02] – Opportunities in media & non-digital partnerships.
[28:32] – The example of
[41:25] – How to assess the ROI from an agency.
[44:36] – Recommendations for agencies before signing on to projects.
[47:46] – How important is it to focus on local SEO?
[50:00] – Does Grant believe in pilot programs or Requests For Proposals (RFP)?
[59:29] – Grant’s favorite acronym.
[1:04:48] – Words of wisdom to anyone in the job market.

I’d be really rich if I were paid a million dollars for my million-dollar ideas. So your idea is only worth the time coming up with that. –Grant Simmons, 55:32

If you are in-house, listen to your agency. If you’re an agency, do what’s best for your client, and if that means that you can’t implement it as you said, you just tell them to know you’re not going to. –Grant Simmons, 37:53

Empowering your clients to understand what should be prioritized and how that project has come about is from understanding their expectations. It means tailoring what you pitch to them to ensure that it aligns and letting them choose from ideas prioritized toward the outcomes they want. The outcomes they can justify internally to give you more work. It’s the great thing about being an SEO, and you don’t have to understand your client’s business 100%; you just have to understand what your client needs from SEO for that business. –Grant Simmons, 38:32

For more content like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Are you looking to keep up with current and effective digital marketing today? Check out for everything you need to know within the digital marketing space and improve your skills as an internet marketer.

Connect with Grant Simmons:

Grant’s expertise in SEO is unparalleled. He has an extensive background that includes roles with major companies like Clickfluent and Homes.

Throughout his 35-year career in marketing, Grant has focused on digital channels and collaborative SEO. His performance-based successes allow him to work with local companies and global ones for both small businesses looking at optimization needs and large corporations that need assistance managing their search engine rankings.

He also describes himself as an ex-pat with a funny accent.

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Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:

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