We recently had the opportunity to interview JL Faverio, SEO consultant and lead web developer at Boylan Point Agency. We were excited to cover a range of topics including the future of small business website features, data mining, and disc golf. You won’t want to miss his answers.
Brandon Schwartz: How did you get into SEO and how long have you been doing this?
JL Faverio: I got into SEO just a couple weeks after joining Boylan Point Agency in March 2017. While the company was already well known with 100s of clients over 20 years, they hadn’t created any formal SEO packages, so I created the first campaign which earned a handful of new contracts for the agency. I learned quickly how valuable (and needed) these campaigns were for both our company as well as the client’s.
Brandon Schwartz: What’s it like working for Boylan Point, and what made you settle there?
JL Faverio: Working for Boylan Point really is a dream come true for me. I mean, I get paid to build custom websites and discover digital marketing solutions that help local businesses and nonprofits grow to their full potential – how cool is that?! For me, this is the last ‘job’ I’ll ever have since I have the potential to turn this into a career with endless possibilities.
Brandon Schwartz: What are the challenges and opportunities for someone wanting to rank for local terms? What’s easy, what’s hard?
JL Faverio: The challenges with ranking your local business depends on many factors including your industry, location, advertising budget and marketing team (or lack thereof). But with every challenge comes opportunity, and with online marketing, you need to find opportunities within focused data. For example, recently we helped brand and scale a local pest control company who was in need of more business in Solano County. Using data we collected through tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMrush and more, we learned there was a specific city within the county that had a lot of relevant search queries that the client could capitalize on. Only a few weeks after creating a hub of keyword-rich content throughout the website, their call center became overwhelmed with calls so they asked us to stop promoting that location and move onto the next. Proud moment for me to be honest. And just last year, the client’s small business was purchased by a large international corporation. Proud moment for our agency as a whole. As for the easy and hard elements of ranking local, I would have to say sifting through the data is the easy part, and the hard part is building out high-quality, unique and share-worthy content that drives qualified traffic to earn consistent conversions. But it’s possible!
Brandon Schwartz: Where do you see the future of small business websites going?
JL Faverio: Interactivity. Websites are no longer considered your digital business card. Instead, they are (or at least should be) considered a resource or destination for your preferred demographic. For example, instead of adding corporate content or legalese to make the board of directors happy, you need to make your customers happy, and quickly. This is the reason you’re seeing more Live Chat bots and news articles surrounding Artificial Intelligence and Semantic Search.
Brandon Schwartz: What kinds of SEO work do you prefer?
JL Faverio: Data mining; where I use analytics and hyper-focused research to learn new ways to promote a business that surprises and impresses the client. But I also love teaching others the many pieces of the SEO puzzle. So, I often create SEO templates for staff members or the public so they can learn more about search engine optimization and help implement best practices onto their own small business website.
Brandon Schwartz: Outside of work, what do you like to do?
JL Faverio: Work! LOL Unfortunately, I’m a workaholic which my wife doesn’t like I’m sure – but she’s a workaholic too! Other than work, I enjoy spending time with my wife Stephanie and our 4 kids, playing Disc Golf with my brother all over California, and brainstorming new ideas in my new personal office.
Brandon Schwartz: Everyone I talk to seems to have different opinions on tools that are available for this kind of work. What are your favorites, and what’s missing?
JL Faverio: One of my favorite SEO Tools is actually a comprehensive suite of tools developed by SEMrush. But there’s also many free options out there to take advantage of such as Answer The Public and Keywords Everywhere. It’s easy to find SEO tools, but you have to take the time and test them out to see if they fit your agenda. What’s missing? How about simple, short, focused video tutorials on every aspect of the SEO puzzle?
Brandon Schwartz: What made you get involved with BayAreaSearch?
JL Faverio: I love what I do so I’m always looking to help others. After engaging with Micah and Andrew and many other SEO veterans, I learned about Bay Area Search and offered to make it better. In fact, I just attended my first-ever SEO Meetup this month in San Francisco at the new Atlassian location! My goal was to meet Micah and to simply experience a new atmosphere – and within the first minute I got to meet the POBAS himself! 🙂
Brandon Schwartz: If there was a piece of advice you could provide yourself when you started, what would it be?
JL Faverio: Stop re-doing tasks unless the data requires it! For years I would redesign my website or blindly create content based on opinion, not data. Meaning, I would tell myself today to learn what people actually want, search for and NEED through focused data – then proceed accordingly.