Today – I chat will Paula Keller French about her top eight lessons learned doing SEO for eight years. Listen now for some stories of mistakes to avoid, and SEO tips backed by almost a decade of experience! I especially liked her tips about client retention towards the end, so be sure to stay tuned in for those! In addition to being Director of Sales and Marketing at Search Influence, Paula has also spoken at many conferences such as MozCon Local and Pubcon.

Hat tip to Dana DiTomaso for recommending Paula for Experts.

Topics Discussed:

  • Things big brands miss about SEO
  • Proving the ROI of SEO
  • SEO client retention
  • “Success touches” vs support touches
  • “Proof terms” in keyword research

Listen Now!


BuzzSumo – One of my favorite tools for coming up with content ideas, finding people who share content in an industry, and tons more (like alerts to keep an eye on your competitor’s links). Also, check out their Chrome Plugin! Listen to the show for a special code to get 30% off BuzzSumo for 3 months.

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Show Agenda & Timestamps

  • Paula’s Introduction and her early interest in Marketing [3:12]
    • How does her ability to plan ahead help her in the marketing world [6:12]
    • Paula’s work at Search Influence [7:41]
  • Top 8 things Paula has learned in 8 years at Search Influence brief introduction [10:40]
    • #1 “Brands are how you sort out the cesspool” – Eric Schmidt, 2008 [11:15]
      • Has it gotten better or worse? [13:12]
      • What are some things companies can do to be more “brand-like” [13:48]
    • #2 Brands need website optimization too [15:44]
      • What are some things Brands tend to not pay attention to [18:02]
    • #3 Figure out how to measure and prove ROI for customers  [19:10]
      • Solutions for Source tracking other than inhouse solutions [21:49]
    • #4 When multiple parties are involved – assign an analytics & tracking owner – ideally yourself.  [22:26]
      • How to solve the problem of not having good analytic data [23:23]
      • Assign a person to track analytics [24:52]
    • #5 Page by page redirects are critical [28:45]
    • #6 CMS and SEO Health [31:55]
    • #7 Be HUNGRY to learn & keeping an eye out for what is next. [35:03]
    • #8 For best client success & retention, understand and know the contacts up, down, and around your primary point of contact. [37:47]
      • How do you make contact, develop a relationship with the owner in a tactful way to ensure things are being implemented [40:03]
      • What are some good ways to develop these relationships on a tactical level? [41:29]
    • Keyword Research and Proof Terms – what are proof terms when it comes to keywords? [44:44]
      • Recommendations for ways to figure out proof terms to incorporate into contect  [46:13]
      • How to add proof terms [47:19]
    • Where will Paula be speaking? [47:56]
    • Where to find Paula online [48:40]

Tools Mentioned

Articles, Resources & Links Mentioned

Find Paula Online

About Dan Shure

Hi! I'm Dan Shure. I write all of the posts and host all of the podcast episodes you'll find on the Evolving SEO blog. Say hello on Twitter @dan_shure!


  • December 19, 2017 Reply


    Great show as always thanks Dan!

    • December 19, 2017 Reply

      Dan Shure


  • January 2, 2018 Reply

    Ross Smith

    It always nice to get tips from industry experts. Thank You very much for bringing Paula. I’ve never heard of Proof Terms but after listening to the whole podcast I learned a new term in SEO. Keep up the good work and I’m pinning this post to share.

    • January 2, 2018 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Awesome so glad the show was helpful!

  • January 5, 2018 Reply

    Nick @

    The point about redirects is so important. Yes, it’s a manual laborious task to determine page by page where it should redirect to, but it’s providing the best user experience. A redirect to the homepage is better than not redirecting at all, but it’s not ideal either.

    • January 5, 2018 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hey Nick! Yes I agree it’s worth it to put in the work! We just spent about 10 hours manually finding and redirecting old URLs for a client. We decided to redirect content to the homepage only if we knew the old was getting traffic still, would be replaced soon with the new content, and it didn’t hurt UX too much in the short term.

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