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“What I’m really excited about with SEO is not just for those businesses that can take advantage of SEO right now, for those businesses who are going to need to be able to build a sustainable future beyond what they might have had leading into this from their business presence online. We as an industry can be even better and do more to help more businesses to be more sustainable longer-term after this as well. And that’s really exciting to me. That’s really a big deal.”
Alan Bleiweiss is definitely one person in SEO you better know about.
He’s been described as selfless, friendly, insightful, caring, positive, helpful, and a true advocate for the industry, among others.
And you’ll understand why the community looks up to him so much in today’s episode of The Search Engine Journal Show.
About Alain Bleiweiss
Alan Bleiweiss is a sustainable SEO consultant at Alan Bleiweiss Consulting.
In the past, he was the Director of Search Services at Click2Rank, Senior Project Manager of Development and SEO at WebSight Design Inc., and Director of Web Development for ANT Internet Computer / Associates.
Alan has been doing SEO and web development for 25 years. He is currently a contributor on Search Engine Journal, writing about advanced SEO.
Alan has spoken at numerous industry conferences such as Pubcon Vegas, Florida, and New Orlean, State of Search Dallas, and SMX Advanced, among others.
Alan will also be speaking about technical SEO at Search Engine Journal’s upcoming virtual conference, SEJ eSummit, on June 2.
Listen to this episode and get inspired by Alan’s insights on sustainable SEO and forensic audits, his motivation for helping both clients and peers, and showing up as a human at a time when society needs it.
- How Alan is holding up right now, both professionally and personally. [2:40]
- On cutting his rates by half: “I need to be focused on showing up as a human in society at a time when humanity is that much more important to be right there out in front.” [4:01]
- What keeps Alan motivated in helping out people? [6:25]
- Alan’s core offerings as a “sustainable SEO consultant” and his area of focus. [7:25]
- How did Alan get into specializing in SEO audits? He shares the story of his first-ever site audit in the fall of 2006. [12:05]
- Is it a good thing or a bad thing when agencies offer “free SEO audits?” [14:33]
- The biggest written audit Alan did was 120 pages. It took the client over a year to implement. [19:20]
- Year after year, Alan does 40-60 audits. But a lot of clients end up not fully executing on his recommendations for a variety of reasons. One of which – quite often – is due to resource limitations and financials. [22:10]
- The length of a forensic SEO audit depends on a variety of factors that come into play. There is no absolute “length.” [26:52]
- Answering all the important questions has been a primary emphasis more than it used to be, says Alan. Clients need to wake up to the fact that they are spending too much time in guest posting off-site while they are lacking in producing their own evergreen content. [29:12]
- Alan says friction is a common issue he finds in site audits: friction in usability, friction in readability, friction in discoverability, friction in helpfulness, friction in answering all the important questions, etc. [33:53]
- He shares some of his favorite tools when doing site audits. [37:01]
- His journey into the industry began in 1995 when he got involved with building and managing websites. He eventually got into SEO around 2000. But as far back as the early ’80s, he learned the concepts of the investigative nature of SEO while working in the army. [41:03]
- On learning SEO in his earlier years: “It’s been a range of sources over the years as our industry has evolved and unfolded.” [45:50]
- How to decide which clients to work with: Alan shares his criteria and client intake process. [51:29]
- Every single Epic Dinner he’s ever put on for the industry turned out to be some of the most enjoyable memories and moments that Alan has had in his career. [54:16]
- Alan talks about his story of recovery, relapse, and a second chance at recovery, 15 years and 6 months of sobriety, and how he’s processing the pandemic overall and the impact it’s had on his business and people around him. [57:39]
- Though it may be one of the most tedious processes, one of the simplest things that people can do to improve a site’s SEO is the concept of answering all the important questions. [1:04:50]
- What’s a non-SEO thing that Alan has become interested in lately? [1:08:19]
- On speaking at the SEJ eSummit on June 2: what is Alan looking forward to? [1:09:51]
- The Friday Focus article stood out for Alan. “I’m most grateful to have been able to have been given the platform to share that through.” [1:12:24]
- If he wasn’t in search or marketing, Alan would probably be doing business coaching, but more of the spiritual mentorship. [1:15:24]
- “The reality we were born into is not necessarily the reality we need to live with for our entire lives. With effort, application, and process to varying degrees depending on circumstances, we can change our future reality.” [1:17:35]
- Alan’s tips for people who are newer to the industry and want to have long-term success. [1:19:25]
- What excites Alan the most in SEO right now? [1:20:19]
Links from the Episode
How to connect with Alan Bleiweiss:
- Alan Bleiweiss on Search Engine Journal
- Answer All the Important Questions: Actionable Tasking (Search Engine Journal)
- “Friction” by Roger Dooley
- Screaming Frog
- Google Lighthouse
- The W3C Markup Validation Service
- WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool
- Mental Illness: No Shame, Lots of Hope (Search Engine Journal)
- Micah Fisher-Kirshner
- Jared McKiernan
- Jonti Bolles
- Brian Harnish
- Matt Siltala
- Britney Muller
- Jamie Alberico
This podcast is brought to you by Ahrefs and Opteo.
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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita