Hello Joanna I am Yoann.
I have been doing great the week started strong very nice very good very happy!
I'm great I'm great nice to talk to you again.
So last week we actually talked about digital nomadism and this week we are meeting again this time to talk about your favorite subject can I say it?
One of my favorite yes.
So this week we will talk about SEO Search Engine Optimization so maybe you can quickly introduce yourself and let us know what makes you do that SEO?
SEO meaning: Search Engine Optimization
Okay so my name is Joanna Vaiou I am from Greece and I'm in search engines myself some specialist this is my profession.
SEO is the acronym of search engine optimization and in few words it's the art and science of ranking web properties like websites in another digital properties.
It can be anything it can be a video it can be a PDF generally web properties when we make web properties we create content through multiple different formats and we rank those properties organically on the first page of Google for specific keywords that they represent either services either products names or meanings or reply to questions that every person has in a specific industry.
Either their intent is to learn more, either or very tightly something else like buy something or get answers.
Because every person before they decide to do something to buy something or to contact the business B2B relationship, they have some questions so they will go to Google the first thing that we do and they will type specific keywords that they want answers for.
So this is SEO in a few words, this is science and my profession the last seven last year as an independent consultant and business owner and my total years of experience in this industry is 11 years plus a few months.
So I'm 11 years in this industry I took me four years until I felt confident enough to get my own clients because I had to build a specific level of expertise and confidence like building case studies.
I must have something to show that the some results that I have brought I know they're to be considered you know good enough or trustworthy enough because if you don't have case studies to show how are other people going to trust you.
You need to have some proof and not only by other people speaking about you because this sometimes can be you know not real exactly so you need to have proof that you know your stuff and you need to document all this.
You need to document your experience from the projects that you work on if you're just starting out and through all your career timeline.
Yes, you need to document your knowledge your results and present your knowledge and your results and your personality online to the rest of the world through the internet through social media for your own website blog whatever else medium you can use to show yourself and your skills and help people worldwide because our today's world is global.
Well so you have a lot of experience actually and how did you start how did you decide to go into search engine optimization?
Well I run into the SEO profession when I was already sure that I wanted to invest in learning something new that could become my future profession so that happened in 2009.
In 2009 I decided to I had some money saved two thousand euros and wanted to invest it in learning something new of course.
I knew that I wanted to work online I knew that I wanted to learn something that I could do from my home and not having to go to an office.
So I knew that I wanted to do something on my own and have the freedom to do it from anywhere with internet so I could be also free to travel on demand if I want to travel.
Yes I want to have that option without reporting to somebody so I wanted to become independent in something new in a new skill that first it would be like fitting me as a character and my lifestyle.
So we decided to learn something that would fit my desired lifestyle because that's right thing to do not adjusting your life to your job but adjustin your work to your desired lifestyle.
So actually how long did it take you to reach the level from when you started to the moment when you actually achieved this?
It took me four years to become an independent professional so the first three years I was building lay studies and working on my own projects reading.
Of course reading never stops as an SEO professional I always read every day I worked on here at the best Greek internet marketing agency I took.
You know I worked with other departments I saw how SEO works between all this many different I saw the coordination skills that a person who is an SEO director my staff must have because SEO is not a standalone skill.
It means collaboration with all the other departments so a search engine strategies through consultant or expert or director or specialist whatever you want you can name it must be a great coordinator because it who has the knowledge to coordinate the copywriting department they were development Department the marketing department sometimes the theory if the PR department is different about the marketing department because sometimes those departments are only in one person.
So it's not something that you know one person can do a complete searh engine optimization strategy requires many skills and many different people who do different things and it's required for them to all work very well together to have a nice result.
So what do you manage to work independently if most of the job is actually coordination?
How I manage to work independently?
I mean how why I started my own business?
Yes because you mentioned what you work independently now but the job is about coordinating all these different departments together so how does that play out?
Because you know whenever I need to meet my partners and my clients and my teammates we can meet if we live in the same city of course otherwise we have emails and all of these technologies that allow us to do whatever is needed to move forward with our projects.
Yes a remote worker works very well for me I never regret them never want to go back working lifestyle it fits better to me and of course the people that I work with because we are all my assistants.
We are all work remote and we are loving it what's great for us because we like it we're comfortable image it provides us freedom we save time it is all break I'm a very strong fan of foreign mode work 11 years now.
How many clients do you have at the same time in parallel or on average?
I have 10 collaborations permanent of course every collaboration maybe have brands of websites so projects is larger.
But they have collaborations with partners or clients many more projects are so I also have my own projects by ownership ideas so projects it's great.
How do you find them actually, are they coming to you or?
Well done very good work with my own I see as a person around next you expert so yes I don't have any difficulty in being found and it fits well with my character because I don't like to chase anybody you know.
I am what I am what I do is continually be active online I post new content on my blog it's optimized I promote it and I'm for every a relevant search term a person can use to find an SEO expert and as a specialist in SEO result increase all this different ways that somebody can search for my specialty.
I'm not no page of Google and on the top of that I have also managed somehow I don't know maybe that's magic but when somebody goes to Google and starts typing in the search engine SEO Greece and goes to complete the word Greece so my personal name appears as a top suggestion from the google suggestion box.
So not only I'm on the top page of Google when somebody searches for some relevant keyword and click Center to see and which are the top 10 with those ranking but before they click enter for the keyword SEO Greece which is one of the representative keywords that somebody uses to find someone like me, it's like Google recommending me.
With my personal name next attached to my target keyword and that's great success I mean I didn't even expect that to happen maybe it is because I have a personal brand a strong personal brand in the SEO industry in the last 11 years I have a website with my personal name on it.
So is² has attached my keyword, said the service keyword there are many people use to find someone like me with my personal name which is thing to achieve that's amazing.
So SEO is my great love profession passion and it helps people to find me and asked for a meeting for a call or request make a request for a quote that they send me their information their feedback.
And now I need to make time to analyze their project and send them a suggestion a proposal and see from there and after if of course I have also requests from referrals.
So if I'm doing great work you know I have referrals from the people that I helped and it brought nice results so I also have referrals coming to me because other people that are happy with my services speak business and of course I have social media in a place from which I'm being found.
Because I also have optimized profiles for keywords that we light to my skills and my profession.
That's pretty amazing!
So actually then let's go to the next question.
What does a search engine optimization specialist do? How would you explain in simple terms what you do every day and how did you manage to get on page 1 of Google as you mentioned for your own name and specialty profession?
So let's suppose your project ok we found a specific keyword if it's my project and not a client's one okay do you want me to talk about a project on my own as an enterpreneur?
Already exists like a client comes to me and says Joana I have this site and I want to be found for these keywords for somebody that doesn't know what is search engine optimization but wants to be found on Google.
So let's say what they would do as you don't know, that wants to start build something a business on their own online.
Okay and they start from zero exactly what should they do what would you do for them or recommend?
Yes so first thing to do is to have an intimate discussion with my site about what I love doing what I am good at and what I'm passionate about after I give those answers to myself.
I would need to sit down and learn the basics of how to create a website and a blog on my own a blog is attached to a website so it's put into different things.
All websites should have a blog this day okay so after I give myself all these answers I wouldn't have to make a decision what will my domain be that I will build my website.
You don't need if you don't have what development skills or knowledge you don't need to go to university to learn I learned on my own how to build a WordPress website from free lessons all the time.
So the first thing to do is to decide you realize what you are passionate about what you know and what you know what you want to share with the world how can the world benefit from you and your website what do you know that others other people do not know and you can help them give them answers.
So in the digital nomads face there are plenty of information that the high person can share with it with others like how to book their tickets in a good price a thousand things you can create content about and help people who can benefit from your knowledge.
Because you are doing it many things so I would decide on a domain what the domain will be the domain could be either keyword focused or personal brand what is better in one place or another I don't know.
The good thing with a personal brand is that Google loves person brands so if you do a great work example you're like I have done I am recommended and the suggestion box of Google itself that's a great thing to achieve and I don't know if it can be achieved.
If you have achieved focus domain which is relevant to your specialty or what you want to talk about want you want to educate others about so yes it's not either best or worse it depends.
Personal brand also is good because if you buy a domain that it's keyword focused in the future you might want to do something else so right about something else you might change your mind or you might find a new passion you won't be able who you know attach it to your domain.
Because your domain would be one initiative focused it won't be your personal brand which can change you can change linger as you can change your mind any time and the right you know rebrand yourself as because you found the new passion or because what you thought you wanted to do it was it wasn't for you you have to try things if they are good for you.
You may have a hunch at first when you start but only if you walk on that road you understand if that's good for you or it's bad for you or you don't like it maybe you do maybe you want it's good to try things to see don't always know life is unpredictable.
We people are unpredictable and we are allowed to change your minds it's not a bad thing so I would decide either personal or keyboard focused travel focus for example and I would start reading the basics about SEO from three courses and I will provide you with a link.
Because I have posted an article of suggestions for free online courses that I recommend because I have tried them and because I am 11 years in the industry and now I know who's good and who is not so I can recommend to others the path that I walked on in order to become come here where I am today and speak to you as an expert in SEO after 11 years so I give you this resource.
I guess after the basics about SEO I wouldn't it wouldn't take you know too much pressure like I need to be perfect just to read and start practicing if you don't practice no matter how books you read or online courses just start with the basics start your blog do the right things on your pages know what and start expressing and documenting your experiences.
Because you choose a niche because it represents you because you are active in this niche and you have things to say so make sure that you know what you want to talk about think about specific questions that your your audience can have and how can you get ideas about what to write about?
Or it's simple you go to Google of your country or your target audience wherever your target audience whips and you type let's say a main key what a city keyword like vacations in ballet for an example.
Let's say believe it is so many questions people who can have cheap tickets or where to find a nice hospitality so many things so you take this general let's say seat general keyboard you go to Google you type it in and before you hit enter you see what Google shows at the suggestion box because these are searches that the google recommends because people search these questions or phrases that will make directly to your city.
And you get ideas what you can't write about and provide specific answers to people who search in Google the other thing is when you type the enter for your bass keyboard the seed of the general keyboard the most competitive keywords let's say you go down I've lit up there at the bottom of the page and you see what are the relevant searches Google also suggests so there you see more suggestions. Y
ou see more ways different ways that Google tells you people search for that as well we're late and that and this searches related directly to what you typed so this along are ideas that you can start creating content new blog posts on your blog and of course this doesn't stop there.
You need to create the blog posts and also have the basic knowledge of how to create other types of content as well so a blog post would be more rich if it had also images with your brand with your logo on you can do that with canva it's a free tool.
I'm not a graphic designer but I create some images without being an expert in design or graphic design in canva it's a free tool we can use it this images that you create also you need to optimize them for the same keywords that you would be optimizing the blog post that we just uploaded this content.
The text that you share with your audience in your blog posts you can record yourself on a selfie video you see the quality of maybe there now it's not perfect because I'm not an expert in lighting and okay that doesn't keep me behind from appearing now today and speaking with you because my purpose is to educate your audience and let them know that you can do this these are the options that you can now access by me because I have already walked on this path.
So my goal is to be a teacher in something and offer that knowledge to somebody who hasn't worked on my path I don't care if the video is not perfect in quality it's okay I care to offer and this is what matters.
So don't be afraid of anyone that wants to start and nothing has to be perfect before you start just start just through them start practicing practice practice it never stops it's okay if perfection is you forget about it you never gonna reach perfection otherwise another way.
So don't let it be you know an obstacle towards you just share your passion and make sure you're doing it with an optimized way for users and Google so yeah also being comfortable on camera is also very good because I reach blog post should have optimized relevant images that are optimized with the same keywords over the text of a blog post.
And also creating video selfie videos which are also optimized with the same keywords and the video should be uploaded then on the person's YouTube channel and then embed it in the blog post itself so you can create content in the form of text.
In a blog post attach a relevant optimized images with the same keywords and embedding a relevant their relevant video that you created because you pushed yourself into the uncomfortable zone of getting yourself out there and not be afraid about the criticism that you will see or you know confidence is a matter of practice.
Once you start practicing and once you start creating selfie videos you'll be more confident you will get used to it and it's nice for other people to see your face besides your text and how you post your text post in in the social media or Facebook it's nice for people to see faces.
Are you doing it are you registering recording videos and uploading them to your YouTube channel?
Yes I do when I have the chance and when I already feel like it yes I do and it's always great I haven't received any negative criticism or what if I do.
I mean seriously I just don't stick to the negative of whatever I mean whatever I do or whatever I say I'm never gonna be liked by everyone and that's not the reason I'm here I'm here to be to connect with people that can connect with me and they can understand if they can connect with me because I put myself out there and it's a third choice if they're come to me or not because I show myself I show Who I am.
I speak about what other things I'm interested in I am NOT a robot like Google robots you know our industry is crazy with robots and web spiders and meaty and weird animals panda you know it's crazy industry but that's not it's not defining of my full character full of who I am I mean I'm a multi-faceted person and I make sure that I show them to the world because I want people to know who I am and what I'm interested in and what my values are before they they come to me.
It's good it saves time seriously it's it's good energy because you are trapped only the people that are have common things with you and you spark something in them and they come to you when when you don't appear you never know when you you close a deal by email you know you don't you don't have knowledge the certainty of someone's energy and what happens after nothing you know the energy doesn't energy for me it's very very important and I need that this is a prerequisite for me to work with someone I'm not an easy person.
I have really high standards and I'll make sure that I'm absolutely clear with my standards so I have the best and the happiest and the most successful collaborations with every person in my life absolutely.
Well that was very interesting so to summarize what you said actually so anybody can do its own search e optimization mostly for free with free resources and it's all about doing your?
If you go that way to do your own personal branding and sharing your question right exactly yes there are lots of things to learn even without paying a dime of course each person has to pay for their own website and domain.
WordPress management system their platform on which websites are bills you can get the great knowledge about from free SEO courses and I can give you my URL how to learn SEO how I learnt SEO and you take whenever you feel that is useful to you.
How to learn SEO free at home for beginners: SEO tutorials online 2020
Exactly, don't forget to share with us the links.
So that was very interesting I'm very hope you liked it so short you know I feel like only 10 minutes have passed amazing when you think about these exactly whether I'm sure we could talk about SEO for days.
Absolutely if you ever want to talk about something more know so for beginners but more you know let me know of course I'm always happy to speak about anything has to do description of line but anyway it was very interesting to to talk with you about SEO.
So before we finish this episode would you like to tell us a little bit more about what you do and what you want to promote your on website?
Well of course so you can find any more information about me on my personal brand websites.
If I had to categorize them it would be commerce, commerce businesses so local businesses with the national audience and an issue of that is selling nationally I have practitioners a doctors medical companies and professional services brands these are the main issues that I work with and I also have case studies in all these niches and examples.
Of course if somebody is interested more seriously and our collaboration moves forward I can always show them in real life terms like real data what type of results I bring.
I also have my website there a mentions and my online interviews from Greece and from you know media where I have spoken and generally about not only about SEO but everything that lights my soul out and of course I can be found on LinkedIn.
You can find me with my name's Joanna Vaiou I'm open to make new connections I'm open to questions anything any way that I can offer my knowledge my expertise I am at your disposal Joanna Vaiou search me.
Okay that was very interesting well so thank you thank you very much!
Joanna Vaiou is a Search Engine Optimization Specialist at her own Personal SEO Brand JoannaVaiou.com and Founder of InternationalRealEstateGreece.com. In this video interview, she explains what is SEO and how it works and offers her own personal recommendations free SEO online lessons guide on how to learn SEO.
You may contact her on Linkedin
Access more information relevant to SEO on her website joannavaiou.com
Search Engine Optimization Specialist