In this week’s episode, I had the privilege of sitting down with Mark Traphagen. He and I have “talked online” for a considerably long time, including hanging out back on Blab.im when it used to be the new coolest kid on the block.
Mark is the Senior Director of Marketing at Stone Temple Consulting – he got started in SEO “by inventing it!” (Just kidding, his next ingenious remark is that he isn’t the Al Gore of SEO.)
In today’s awesome podcast, I talk to Traphagen about his story and beginnings in SEO, and how he turned something he stumbled into to become one of the foremost content creators, marketers and digital experts in the industry today! It’s a story you won’t want to miss. Then, we dial it up to chat all things storytelling, SEO, and even selling online (“never push your product. Work to be at the forefront of your buyer’s minds”).
Ideal for anyone who wants to overhaul their SEO, publicize their brand, and rank better online, this far-reaching conversation is packed full of gems. Enjoy!
The Write Podcast, Episode 17: Mark Traphagen- His SEO Story, Tips on Video Storytelling, & Creating Content That Builds Your Brand & SEO
While Mark has held many jobs throughout his life, ranging from a salesman to a school administrator, he eventually found his way through grad school and went to work at a bookstore.
It wasn’t long before he realized the physical bookstore was dying due to digital competitors like Amazon, and his boss at the time asked him to take it online in an attempt to save it.
He dove in and learned his way through the process of digital marketing and e-commerce. Eventually, he found his way into Stone Temple Consulting, where he is currently creating some of the most unique video and text content on the web.
In today’s fun, enlightening conversation, we cover the following:
- How Mark worked in sales, went into teaching, then went back to grad school and ended up working for a bookstore, where he learned how to setup an e-commerce store and actually conducted early influencer marketing with bloggers.
- How he took inspiration from Rand Fishkin’s “Whiteboard Friday” videos. And how these led him to developing his own unique video content, “Here’s Why.”
- How he learned to navigate his way around Facebook’s soundless auto-play feature. While these videos don’t typically offer much of an incentive to click, Traphagen discovered how to grab a user’s interest with visual material and captions first.
- Why good SEO takes time. And how he and his team at Stone Temple Have learned to communicate this to their clients.
- How to master the science of SEO. While things like ranking algorithms are difficult to get a handle on, Traphagen does a great job of explaining how ranking in SEO is a little bit like a scientist testing and developing a theory.
- How you can build a successful platform by focusing on long-term SEO efforts. SEO isn’t an overnight game, and Traphagen helps listeners understand how to focus on cumulative efforts rather than one-off results.
- How to create authority content that gets inbound links. When you write relevant, well-marketed content, people link to it and talk about it, which builds publicity and helps expand your business!
- How you can become one of the few brands consumers look forward to hearing from. While many social media users say they don’t want branded content in their feeds, virtually everyone has a few brands they love. Traphagen talks about how you can learn to become one of those top-tier brands through trust, authenticity, and value.
- Using guest blogging to build your brand. Through OPA (other people’s audience), you can build your brand massively. Traphagen talks about how to do this, and why (after creating content on your own site) it should be one of your main priorities.
Favorite Quotes to Tweet
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘I am not the Al Gore of SEO.’ – @marktraphagen” quote=”‘I am not the Al Gore of SEO.’ – @marktraphagen”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘I went back to grad school & worked for a bookstore, where I learned how to do SEO.’ @marktraphagen” quote=”‘I went back to grad school and worked for a bookstore, where I learned how to use SEO.’ – @marktraphagen”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”“SEO is both a science and an art.” – @marktraphagen” quote=”“SEO is both a science and an art.” – @marktraphagen”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘The most important thing we can do is to be trustworthy and useful to our audience.’ @marktraphagen” quote=”‘The most important thing we can do is to be trustworthy and useful to our audience.’ – @marktraphagen”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘We don’t need to do a hard sell. Be at the top of their mind = be the most helpful.’ @marktraphagen” quote=”‘We don’t need to do a hard sell on people. Or push products. Be at the top of their mind by being the most helpful.’ – @marktraphagen”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”“Good, effective SEO is a cumulative effort.” – @marktraphagen” quote=”“Good, effective SEO is a cumulative effort.” – @marktraphagen”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”“There is a vital link between SEO as we typically think of it & brand value.” @marktraphagen” quote=”“There is a vital link between SEO as we typically think of it, and the value of a brand.” – @marktraphagen”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”“Never think of SEO as some sort of isolated practice.” – @marktraphagen” quote=”“Never think of SEO as some sort of isolated practice.” – @marktraphagen”]
- Stone Temple Consulting
- Check out Mark & Eric’s “Here’s Why” Videos (warning: fun stuff ahead!)
- Follow Mark Traphaghen on Twitter
- See Rand Fishkin’s “Whiteboard Friday” Videos
This Episode Is Sponsored By Search Engine Journal!
Get 15% off the November 2 SEJ Summit with coupon code EXWSEJ, at bit.ly/sejsavings!
Today’s episode is sponsored by Search Engine Journal! This is a one-day conference tailored for search marketers, featuring experts from Google and other industry experts in a full day of 11 sessions and 6 Q&As. Guess what? Mark himself will be speaking in one of the sessions! And, I’ll be there giving away 25 free copies of my bestseller So You Think You Can Write? Get your free copy, find me there, and I’ll sign it!
Grab 15% your tickets now using exclusive Write Podcast coupon code EXWSEJ at bit.ly/sejsavings.