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Celebrating Superb SEO(s): Q&A with Hannah Weinhold}

Celebrating Superb SEO(s): Q&A with Hannah Weinhold

Published 2024-06-12

At Sitebulb, our tool scales with you. Whether you’re doing SEO for freelance clients, a small business, large website brand, or agency, our Desktop and Cloud crawler offerings mean we can support SEOs at all stages of their career. And we want to shine a spotlight on some of the superb SEOs that are out there. Some you may have heard of, and some perhaps not… not yet anyway!

Today, we speak to Hannah Weinhold, Director at GrowTraffic, who spoke at Sheffield DM in April.

To get started, briefly give us an intro to you:

I am one of the Directors of a search marketing agency, GrowTraffic. Part of my role is devising and reviewing the strategy for businesses who want to win more of the right sort of customers.

I manage a team of execs who carry out the strategies, so I review their work, train them, support them and amend the strategies when there is room for improvement.

My specialism is getting a new or niche product or service into a crowded market through a solid keyword strategy, great on-site optimisation and conversion rate optimisation.

SEOs have varied backgrounds, in PR, web development, marketing, content and more. How did you get into SEO?

Accidentally!

My brother-in-law set up GrowTraffic as a side hustle in 2010 and used it to develop his SEO skills. In 2015, my sister, who has a background in English, was medically retired from her job in the NHS with a bad back, so she started doing some copywriting for GrowTraffic and growing the client base, teaching herself SEO.

It got too big for her to handle on her own, so I started helping her out with some blogs and social media on the weekends, just to give her some capacity.

At the time, I was working as an Ops and Process Manager for a lone worker safety company and had no burning ambition to join GrowTraffic full time. Then the company I was working for was sold and they were letting everyone go so I rang my sister up, told her I was coming on full time and went from there.

I knew NOTHING about SEO, other than what my brother-in-law and sister had taught me.

I learnt it pretty quickly though, realised I love it and am good at it. The 3 of us formalised the business and within about 2 months we were flying.

My practice has grown through curiosity, practice, and asking my bro-in-law 3000 questions per day for 7 years.

What do you like most about the work you do?

I love that there could be a million answers to a question or problem and my job is to be a little detective and search for the most likely one.

Each business and website exists in its own unique ecosystem so what works for one site might not work for another. The go-to catchphrase at GrowTraffic is “it depends”. I keep joking that I'm going to buy a Klaxon to sound whenever one of us says it

I also like the psychology of having to predict searcher intent and behaviour.

What do you like least about your work? – Be honest!

The jargon and acronyms. It just confuses people and makes it look like we are performing a dark art. SEO should be accessible to everyone.

Also, the fact that the top of the SERPS are essentially controlled by the businesses with the biggest budget and a few hundred people at Google who make the algorithm. It means that access to quality information appears to be equitable but in reality, it very much is not the case. And because the algorithm rewards good user signals, it self-perpetuates.

What are you working on right now – or what have you just finished – that has been exciting/challenging?

I'm currently working on a site that has good rankings and traffic but no conversions. Their traffic hasn’t been targeted enough. Balancing maintaining their rankings and traffic with reoptimising their site and attracting new traffic has been interesting. We’ve done a lot of CRO on that one and overhauled their internal link structure, as well as reducing their spam profile.

What sort of SEO topics, issues, and techniques are you obsessing over right now?

We are having a lot of conversations with clients about the Helpful Content Update still. Making sure every article adds something new to the topic and is genuinely valuable has required re-educating the client somewhat.

We are also keeping a close eye on AI, as is everyone, particularly in light of some of the effects of the March Core Update.

What do you think we should be talking about more as a community?

Embedding transparency into our practice. A lot of clients come to us because they don’t know what they have been getting for their money. I see a lot of good practice on websites we take over, but the client just wasn’t managed properly. How do we distill a complex and nuanced practice and make it easy to access to the person whose business is being affected?

What are your go-to SEO tools, and what do you use them for?

I love SE Ranking, because I like being able to track just the keywords I want to see. I also like Moz for the domain metrics. Obviously, we live in the Google suite too.

What’s your top tip for superb SEO?

Future-proof your tactics. Don’t do something that you know is a bit dodgy or lazy because chances are, in a couple of years, Google will have cracked down on it and you will have work out there that is actively damaging someone’s business.

Are you an SEO with a passion or project to share? Get in touch with us about writing an article or doing a Q&A.

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Hannah Weinhold

Hannah has been a Director at GrowTraffic, a search marketing agency, for 7 years. She specialises in helping new or niche products or services surface in a crowded market. She lives in Sheffield with her husband and daughters, and plays netball in her spare time.

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