On today’s show!

  • The rebirth of SEO
  • Why do clients buy SEO without being bought in?
  • What SEOs can learn from the world of advertising
  • Communicating up the authority chain inside companies
  • Thinking of SEO projects like a product team
  • Estimating the ROI of SEO projects
  • What to do when you’re a company like Coke and you don’t need SEO traffic to sell things

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). Listen to the show for a special code to get 30% off BuzzSumo for 3 months. Also, check out Brian Dean’s Definitive Guide to BuzzSumo.

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Show Agenda and Timestamps

  • Drift’s HyperGrowth Discount Code! [0:00]
  • Show Introduction [1:01]
    • 1st Interview about the Maturity Model [1:25]
  • Heather’s Introduction [2:57]
    • What can SEOs learn from the world of advertising [3:10]
      • How to begin to incorporate story into SEO work [4:10]
      • How do you create tension when telling a story [5:36]
    • What is VML? [7:12]
      • What does Heather do at VML? [8:18]
      • What caused the rebirth of the Organic Search team at VML [9:04]
      • How directly involved with clients is Heather? [11:16]
  • Heather’s Moz Talk [13:02]
    • “Buying your services doesn’t mean buying in” – why do companies do this? [13:20]
    • Does Heather find clients want education in SEO [15:12]
    • Speak to everyone you can in the company [17:08]
      • How to deal with a CEO (or the decision maker) who doesn’t want to talk [19:01]
    • What things should SEOs be thinking about beyond SEO? [21:47]
    • Don’t stay in your lane [24:18]
  • Sponsor break with discount code!! [29:31]
  • Formulas for Forecasting ROI [30:29]
    • Cost of inaction [32:48]
  • Twitter Questions [40:49]
    • How do you prioritize SEO work amongst other dev work? When x, y and z are broken (tech debt etc.) how do you work out where to start? [40:55]
      • And then persuade team to come with you with, at best, educated guesses as to their impact?[43:18]
    • Do individuals on her team take on very specific roles and stick to going deep across all clients? Or, do they vary by project and availability? [45:15]
      • How does she balance testing new ideas/tactics with clients asking for results? [47:09]
    • How does she balance testing new ideas/tactics with clients asking for results? [50:28]
    • Wil Reynolds- It’s easy to identify leaders who are vocal, but for those of you in larger orgs how do you identify the quieter leaders? [53:38]
    • If you were working with a startup client seeking to compete with any of these bigger clients you have like etc., in search, how would you go about it? [56:05]
    • I always struggled developing good task completers and process followers in to free thinking strategists that could lead fortune 500 accounts. How do you turn raw, promising talent into SEO leaders/strategists? [59:24]
    • Where to find Heather online [1:01:50]

Tools Mentioned

Articles, Resources, and Links Mentioned

Watch The Bonus Interview on The SEO Maturity Model!

Find Heather 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!


  • September 9, 2018 Reply


    Great interview Dan. Never really thought about using a story in a sales pitch to an SEO client before… I’m not much of a storyteller, but I think I might have to try it. After all, everyone loves stories.

    • September 10, 2018 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Agreed! I’m not a natural myself, but definitely will be trying it1

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