Meet the speaker

Rachel Costello, DeepCrawl at SearchStars 2018

Meet Rachel Costello, Technical SEO Executive at DeepCrawl

This is the first post in our “meet the speakers” section, and we’re really excited for you to get to know our keynote speaker Rachel. Get to know her and her work a bit better and see you all on October 9 in Malmö!

Q: My first question to you is, could you tell me a bit more about what you do at work? What is the highlight of your working day and what kind of projects excites you the most?

At DeepCrawl I spend my time researching the latest trends and the biggest challenges in the SEO industry, and then working to provide solutions to the community by creating relevant content, whether that’s written or spoken. With my experience and perspective as a technical SEO, I am able to help guide our content and the functionality of our crawling tool to make sure they are as useful for the industry as possible, because I’ve been there myself and know the frustrations and gaps where our jobs can be made easier.

Speaking and representing the company at digital marketing conferences and events is always a highlight. Going out and meeting people in the industry across the world is always a fantastic experience! Alongside that, I absolutely love working on the DeepCrawl white papers which I am responsible for. Writing about a topic in so much depth allows you to learn so much more about it, as well as discovering loads of interesting sub-topics and avenues that others have written about when you’re in the research phase.

Q: When and why did you decide to start working in digital marketing?

In 2015 I found my way into an SEO and social media role for an ecommerce company. I studied English at university and have always loved writing, so I saw a relevant step into the content creation side of SEO. However, it wasn’t until I started researching more of the technical elements of search and website structure that my passion was sparked, and that’s when I became a technical SEO first and foremost. The creative side of marketing caught my attention, then the technical side kept me hooked.

Q: What do you think is the most important thing for new businesses to start off with when it comes to digital marketing?

I think one thing that often gets neglected is building a strong foundation to then build your digital marketing efforts upon. When you think about your potential customers and where you want them to end up for either transactional or educational purposes, no matter which channel they’re arriving by, your website will be that end goal and the anchor for your entire digital strategy. I’ve seen businesses often become obsessed with driving traffic and awareness, but that could actually harm your efforts if users have a terrible experience once they land on your website and decide to steer clear of it in future.

Optimise your website’s technical health and the user experience it provides first – making sure that it’s mobile-friendly, that its navigation is clear and highlights the key pages a customer will need in their journey etc – then you can go and shout about it and bring in as many users as you like. I hate to see traffic go to waste because time is spent focusing on driving people into the top of the conversion funnel, instead of making sure that traffic will be nurtured and retained properly throughout the onsite journey.

Q: How do you keep up to speed on everything that is happening in digital?

My job requires me to keep up with the latest in technical SEO in particular, so I’ve been refining this information collection process. First of all, I get loads of great tips on Google best practice because I take notes on the Webmaster Hangouts with John Mueller. These are great forums where SEOs and marketers of any level can submit their questions to John, and you always learn something new every time and further understand things from the search engine’s perspective. If you don’t have time to sit through them all, we publish all the key points on our blog and also send these out in our newsletter – advice from Google straight to your inbox is always handy!

Twitter is probably one of the best ways to keep up with all the latest news in this industry. ‘SEO Twitter’ is really vocal and always full of the latest articles and opinions from the experts, with discussions around digital marketing happening all the time. It’s a great place to follow along, but it’s also great for getting involved as our industry is full of people willing to help others and answer their questions.

We also have a DeepCrawl Slack channel at work dedicated to SEO learning where everyone can share links to articles they’ve been reading. This works really well because we all have different areas of interest so you’re exposed to content and perspectives you may not necessarily come across in your own circle. You’ll get someone with more of a C-suite entrepreneurial mindset sharing things alongside someone who follows search engine announcements very closely, for example.

Q: At October 9 we will see you speaking at SearchStars, what can the audience expect from your speech?

I’m so excited to attend and speak at SearchStars this year, a big thank you to the TopVisible team! I will be speaking about Google’s mobile-first indexing update – a topic that has fascinated me since it was first announced back in 2016. There was still confusion in the industry about exactly what would be happening, even in the midst of Google announcing the official rollout this year. This is why it’s important to address this uncertainty and look at the facts.

In my talk, I’ll be explaining why Google is moving to mobile-first indexing, how mobile-first indexing will actually work, and how this change will impact websites. I’ll also provide advice on the checks and fixes you need to carry out on your site to make sure it won’t be negatively impacted in this new, mobile-first world.

See you all at October 9, get your ticket before they run out!

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