The FCDC was at BrightonSEO in April and we had a wonderful chat with Gus Pelogia.
Gus Pelogia is a Brazilian journalist turned SEO and conference speaker. He currently lives in Ireland and works as the SEO Product Manager at Indeed.
Name: Gus Pelogia
What he Does: SEO Product Manager at Indeed
Noteworthy: Gus worked both in-house and at digital agencies in Argentina, the Netherlands, and Ireland. He spent 5 years as an Account Manager and Team Lead at agencies such as Spark Foundry and Wolfgang Digital, working with clients from travel, e-commerce, and professional services, winning several industry awards.
Connect with Gus;
Gus Pelogia’s International Career Path
Gus Pelogia’s journey from his hometown in Brazil to working in SEO in Amsterdam is a story of international exploration and career development. He initially left Brazil to learn Spanish in Argentina, and this experience eventually led him to his first job in journalism. Afterward, he moved to Amsterdam to work for an online travel company, which marked his entry into the world of SEO.
Transition from Journalism to SEO
His transition from journalism to SEO was not initially planned. He worked at a decorative magazine, but his journey into SEO began when he started creating promotional content for a blog during an internship at a Spanish school. It was during this time that he got introduced to SEO, which gradually became his new career path.
Transition from Agency to In-House
Gus discussed his transition from working in SEO agencies to an in-house role. He highlighted that while working for an agency exposed him to a variety of clients and challenges, the in-house role was less stressful and focused on a single client, allowing him to dive deeper into specific projects and have more direct influence over the SEO strategy.
Crossover Skills from Journalism to SEO
Gus highlighted how his journalism background provided him with skills that were highly transferable to his work in SEO. These skills included effective communication, attention to detail, and the ability to craft good stories. Additionally, he mentioned that working with press releases gave him experience in digital PR, which proved to be a valuable asset in SEO.
Tips for Newcomers in SEO
Gus shared advice for newcomers in the SEO industry, particularly people of color attending events like BrightonSEO. He emphasized the importance of networking and recommended building connections with industry professionals through platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn before attending events.
By networking and connecting with individuals in the industry beforehand, newcomers can make attending such events less intimidating and establish relationships with peers.
Chima Mmeje 0:00
We are back again at Brighton SEO. And this is our final guest for today Gus correct if I pronounce your last name wrong is it spelled Pegolia
Gus Pelogia 0:15
Chima Mmeje 0:15
Pelogia? Gus Pelogia every single time every single time I make the same mistake I supposed to ask the guest before we get on camera, and every single time I ask them after that on camera Forgive me Gus Pelogia. Right. Alright. You are from Brazil. I know you told me that before we started this conversation. And we’re in Brazil. Did you grow up? I’m just so fascinated by that culture.
Gus Pelogia 0:39
Yeah, I grew up in a small city near San Paolo. It’s called Tabata, but nobody really knows. So I always tell the same story in the city near San Paolo, two hours from there, blah, blah, blah. And then people kind of get an idea. All right. So
Chima Mmeje 0:53
you grew up in, in Brazil, but now you live in Ireland? I’m just curious, because he also told me that you’ve lived all over the place. Where else have you lived?
Gus Pelogia 1:04
Yeah. So do I just tell the countries are doing tell,
Chima Mmeje 1:07
tell, tell the countries and then what’s the jump. Perfect. So
Gus Pelogia 1:11
from Brazil, I left it was mid 20s. And then I went to Argentina. I was there for a year and a half. Then I moved to Holland. And then I moved to Ireland.
Chima Mmeje 1:22
Start again. Start again.
Gus Pelogia 1:24
From Brazil, to Argentina. Okay, then to the Netherlands. Okay. And finally to Ireland.
Chima Mmeje 1:32
I tried to understand this journey from Brazil to Argentina. When did you move argentina?
Gus Pelogia 1:37
So I just wanted to learn Spanish. I wanted to live in a different country, I had a decent job as a journalist that was kind of
Chima Mmeje 1:46
Ohh okay, we’re gonna get into that soon. Keep going, keep going. You’re
Gus Pelogia 1:49
starting to make contacts and feeling that okay, I can actually build a career here. And it wasn’t just like, I got an internship and it’s gone. But at the same time, I wanted to live abroad for a little bit. And I didn’t know how long and I picked her and Tina, because was close.
It was easy on the paperwork side, basically any Brazilian can. Yeah. So you know, it was simple enough for me to have that experience elsewhere. But it still closed from home if something went wrong. Yeah, no, there was still a safety net.
Chima Mmeje 2:21
Yeah. So you speak Spanish now?
Gus Pelogia 2:23
Chima Mmeje 2:24
Gus Pelogia 2:25
Chima Mmeje 2:25
Oh. I love it. Alright, so how long did you live in, I didn’t see that. And when I didn’t see I didn’t live.
Gus Pelogia 2:33
Yeah, I lived in Buenos Aires for a year and a half.
Chima Mmeje 2:36
Oh, that’s a proper city.
Gus Pelogia 2:38
It’s, it’s like Sao Paulo, but a little less chaotic. So it kind of felt at home as well. And it was the first place that’s I started hanging out with a lot of foreign girls. So you start getting to learn a little bit about different cultures and how people are in different places. So it was it was very rich experience for me.
Chima Mmeje 2:58
Okay, now I want to go back all the way. So because if I asked about Netherlands, then I’ll just be jumping in so many things. Let’s go back to the very first job you ever did. Yeah. What was the very first job I ever did in life? Like it will be something you did when you were six or eight or 10 years old? What was it?
Gus Pelogia 3:12
Yeah. So the very first job I got my stepdad had some context and got it for me, I think it was 14 or 15, it was a place that it would print stickers and turn them into banners. So I don’t even know the name in English, but it was a machine that you would put like a big sticker on it like a roll like this.
And it would make the cuts with the phrases and stuff that you asked for. So you transfer that to a banner and you know, you’d put on I don’t know in front of a shop or streets or they will use the same stickers, maybe you can put on the shopping window, that kind of stuff. And I was the computer guy.
Chima Mmeje 3:48
What did you design this place?
Gus Pelogia 3:51
It wasn’t nothing like too special. It’s like the machine could only handle big stuff. So usually we’ll be letters or the client would come already with the design ready and say just brings me this. But if you had tiny things, the machine wouldn’t be able to cut it. So it has to be simple.
Chima Mmeje 4:07
All right, so that was a very first job. How long did you do that for? Well, how old were you when you started? And yes, tell us how long you did that for?
Gus Pelogia 4:15
I think it was there. I don’t remember how long but it was just, it was just a matter of months.
Chima Mmeje 4:20
A matter of months. How old were you?
Gus Pelogia 4:21
I was 14 to 15
Chima Mmeje 4:23
Oh, you’re very young.
Gus Pelogia 4:25
I was I was in high school and part time in high school. You also do you can do like a technical school. Okay. I was doing a bit of computing, okay, which turned out to be really helpful for my life later. I had no idea. But you’re
Chima Mmeje 4:39
watching those things with computers. Yeah.
Gus Pelogia 4:43
But it was quite useful to to have the job I was the first time I had to learn to be on time.
Chima Mmeje 4:50
Did you get paid for this job?
Gus Pelogia 4:51
I did get paid for the job. It was something in in euros today will be maybe 15 bucks a month.
Chima Mmeje 5:00
Nice, it is was a lot of money for you back then I guess.
Gus Pelogia 5:05
I remember the first month I was like, I don’t even know how to spend all this money. All my all my wishes can be fulfilled in the month of my salary. But I did like the idea that I could, I wanted to go and buy my own things without giving any any explanation, right? They didn’t have to pay rent, food was at home and school was sorted.
So it just, it was just money for me, but having to go to my mom and say, Can I get some money to do this and this and, you know, of course, she’s gonna manage the finance. So I could just go and buy my own things. You had a little bit of independence. That was the that was the point for me.
Chima Mmeje 5:41
That’s nice. That’s nice. All right. What was the next job you did after this?
Gus Pelogia 5:45
After that I my stepdad also got me a job.
Chima Mmeje 5:49
I love that. He’s a nipple baby, enjoying the benefits of having his stepdad giving him all this nice job that he can do. I mean, he
Gus Pelogia 5:56
was using the context you had in the city. Love it.
Chima Mmeje 5:59
Gus Pelogia 6:00
you know, you need people, right? Yes, yes, you’re right. Yes. And it was the place also the computer guy. But it was the place that it was Xerox. Okay. So sometimes people would come in and say they want to print a specific poster for an event or someone would come and they want to write a CV. And you’ll get all kinds of people in it was interesting, like from someone who wants to print the banner for technical festival to someone very simple that wants me to type their CV and they come with the CV written on paper and pen.
And, you know, you get a very different background of people to say, okay, I can see this person is a bit lost. So I need to do a good work here to help them to have something in their hands. Try to get a job or you know, things like that.
Chima Mmeje 6:49
How old were you?
Gus Pelogia 6:50
I think it was shortly after the first one. So maybe 15, 16
Chima Mmeje 6:55
You are helping people figure out CVs and careers at age 1516 You basically child helping people figure it
Gus Pelogia 7:05
out this way, but yeah, maybe little
Chima Mmeje 7:07
Gandy. I love it. I love it. I’m just I’m just curious, like, where did that confidence come from to be giving people advice? When you are so young, and like you need a certain level of maturity? Do you think you had maturity at that age to be doing that?
Gus Pelogia 7:25
Definitely did not have a lot of maturity. But I don’t know. My mom was a teacher her whole life. And sometimes you’d have students that would actually knock at the door and ask her something or is for even for food sometimes. And I don’t know, seeing people that live in on a place that was very different than mine, sometimes would make me think that like, I actually have a lot of comfort here. And you see someone that is like, do not even have a computer to type this in.
Okay, I can’t, you know, I can’t be straight to your accounts just not give you proper attention. Because I have people that helped me. You know, my stepdad was getting me a job. And, you know, you had all of those advantages. Yeah. If you like, if when the opportunity was there, I should do the thing.
Chima Mmeje 8:15
Alright, so what was the next job you did after that? After I
Gus Pelogia 8:19
dropped that job to actually get my first internship in journalism school? Yes. And it was still back in my hometown. And the salary was half of the university fee.
Chima Mmeje 8:33
All right. That’s a really good salary.
Gus Pelogia 8:35
It was good. Yeah, yeah, I was still you know, I can pay for my beers. And yeah,
Chima Mmeje 8:41
yeah. So why journalism? What What was the attraction to journalism?
Gus Pelogia 8:45
So I started going to punk rock concerts around that age as well. 1516. Okay. And I didn’t know how to play an instrument. And maybe I felt was a bit too intimidating to be on stage, even though now I come on stage to and to learn an instrument, but I wanted to be part of the scene without just being just a fan.
And I thought, okay, maybe if I, if I’m journalists, again, hang out with all the people again, you know, ask the questions that I didn’t want the answers for, and but I’m doing something more than being offence or I can get access to a lot of these things.
Chima Mmeje 9:23
Okay. You went into journalism, for backpass access to music. Let’s just make all of that big English speaking very clear. Yeah. Yeah, he did it. For us as
Gus Pelogia 9:35
there was there was, there was the initial point.
Chima Mmeje 9:39
And your parents did not fight you on this because everybody knows that journalism doesn’t pay, like true journalism doesn’t pay
Gus Pelogia 9:46
that well. I mean, they wanted me to do something that I would enjoy. Wow, anything so
Chima Mmeje 9:52
supportive parents. That’s awesome.
Gus Pelogia 9:54
I think that was the case. That’s awesome. So
Chima Mmeje 9:55 you go to journalism school. What was your first journalism job? Like what did you do? hometown,
Gus Pelogia 10:01
actually, a little bit before the journalism school, I started getting involved with bands and whatnot. And I saw that people had, I think their home in English as well, fanzines, or fanzines, that is kinda like a magazine that he you can make yourself into. And, again, my stepdad who was a designer, and I told him, I want to do this, this magazine, and he knows nothing about the punk rock, or, you know, he doesn’t live in this universe.
But he started helping me to actually design those. I wanted to get at least the money to print it. So I started going into shops in my seat and say, Hey, I’m doing this newspaper type of thing, talking about bands, and blah, blah, blah. And sometimes it’d be something like, they’ll give me 10 Euro. And it was like, I needed enough money to pay for the graphic to print it. And meanwhile, my stepdad was sure I’ll design for you, if you wake up at seven and walk with the dog, do something else, and we’re going to start at nine. And I was pissed off very often because I wouldn’t wake up on time, or I didn’t want to do all this work before doing the fun stuff. I had to say that he was actually very good that he forced me to go through this process to, you know, do what I have to do before I get a reward.
Chima Mmeje 11:18
All right, so which brings me back to the real question, what was the first job you did as a journalist?
Gus Pelogia 11:25
Yes. So after having the fencing, I, I got really good friends with someone else in college, and we started just knocking doors at the local newspapers. And at first, we were working for free for some of these. And you can see quickly they are abusing you, because surely we have a, you know, front cover story that the owner just didn’t do anything for it. But we were just very excited to see it printed. And after some time, you’re like,
Okay, I need to get some more money, you know, they are abusing me, I’ve, I got the kick from being published a couple of times, and I’m like, Okay, this needs to go a step further. The first real job that I had in journalism that I feel that was this is journalism, was I had moved from my city to San Paolo, and I finished a graduation in there. And I worked for a decoration magazine. Interesting. I know nothing about decoration. And
Chima Mmeje 12:24
even regionalism, I’m sorry, well, I’m not trying to offend anybody to tell
Gus Pelogia 12:27
you that with this place. It was because it wasn’t just about the, you know, the decoration itself. But we are going to event we want to show if a certain type is better than another tap and know why something costs more than, than something else and okay, and stuff. And that was the first place that I couldn’t just go and write whatever I had in my mind. Okay, so my boss would come back to me and look at the source and say, Okay, we are missing some information here. You can’t just get two quotes from two people, you need to find, you know, five specialists on this, you actually give a an honest view about this topic, or, or whatever it was. So there was the first time that was like, Okay, there’s a quality control here, I need to get a lot better.
And someone was just like, No, no, good. Go and do it again. Not good. Go and do it again. And over time, you’re like, I’m tired of not being good enough. So I want to make sure that I mark all the points. So there, there’ll be no space for any questions. And I guess you just take that for life.
Chima Mmeje 13:31
All right. So let’s move to your first paid journalism job. This is for the decorative Yes. Magazine. Right. You’re covering? What What kind of stuff are you covering? You’re covering? What Tell us again?
Gus Pelogia 13:47
It could be anything like one time I was doing a list of the best air conditioners in the market.
Chima Mmeje 13:52
Yes. I had taps. I was like I had you said that was like I’m trying to process that he’s talking about tabs and different types of tabs. So like price and about tabs that are like, how can you make tap sound interesting. Some people love it. Okay, that’s true. That’s true. I once wrote a 6000 word article about triple glazed windows and people read it. So create is when I guess. Alright, um, I just want to find out like, how many years were you a journalist?
Gus Pelogia 14:24
Yeah, I think maybe from the time that I got my first internship until I dropped out of journalism without realising that it was dropping out. Maybe there were some five years
Chima Mmeje 14:37
Yeah, generally. So five years. All right. Did you learn anything from journalism that crossed over into your role now as an SEO
Gus Pelogia 14:44
tonnes of stuff? Tell us tell us I think communication skills, okay. It’s very crucial, like I from my, from my, from another journalist saying that my story wasn’t good and coming back and trying to to do it better. or pitching an idea that I had to her. You need to come up with like a very good story and something that is complete.
So sometimes you might just spend quite some time writing things down and then looking at the screen and you know realising if this is good or not good. I learned a lot about dystopia. Even before digital PR became a thing that it is now
Chima Mmeje 15:25
right I’m gonna be uhm a dummy now. what is dystopia? What is dystopia?
Gus Pelogia 15:25 No digital PR
Chima Mmeje 15:30 dekstop? Yeah.
Gus Pelogia 15:32 digital PR.
Chima Mmeje 15:34 Digital PR. Oh shit. I saw he said dystopia. I was like, What is dystopia? This is what happens when two immigrants speak English to each other. Everything gets lost in translation. Apologies for that. You learned about digital PR.
Gus Pelogia 15:51
Yeah, because I started getting tonnes of press releases, okay. And you will realise, okay, this is not relevant. This is not good. There’ll be press releases about anything, like all random things that you can think of someone is trying to put a spin on. And this was before, you know, links were a thing. And this was actually about the product itself, like when you want to sell more will to promote a brand or whatever, this.
And once I moved to SEO, I got my first job in SEO, someone gave me the the moss SEO guy to read. And I was like, Okay, so there’s some of this technical stuff I knew a bit of HTML from, from high school, and ahead High School and technical school, and then journalists that it’s a way to get links. So it’s like, Okay, those are the two things that I studied, that I can put together and in SEO, and yeah, that’s,
Chima Mmeje 16:43
that’s how you get to wow, okay, look at that the crossover between journalism and working in SEO. All right, now you get into SEO, I want to understand the two things that points as a journalist where you realise that you are leaving journalism, and you make that conscious efforts to switch to a completely new career. Because when you really depends, there’s there’s not really much relationship between journalism and SEO, and then finding your first SEO job and convincing somebody that your skills as a journalist can actually crossover.
Gus Pelogia 17:15
Yeah, so I did not know that I was leaving journalism, moved to Argentina. And I said, I’m gonna stay a few months and see what happens, okay. But then things started working out, I got an internship at the Spanish school. And this internship was in marketing. And so they wanted me to write a couple of blog posts. And they want me to get in touch with other bloggers to do giveaways of courses and things like that. And I kind of started writing, but not for journalists just for the, you know, blog posts, and that kind of more promotional content.
And yeah, I was there for for a couple of months on the school. And then the, the owner of the school introduced me to someone else, we want to play some football. And he’s like, you know, you have to meet this guy, he’s a director on on this online travel company, and he might have something for you. I went, I was very vocal to him and said, Hey, do you know anyone, I’m looking for a new job once we finish this internship. And that’s, I think that was the trigger because before he never mentioned anything, oh, I’m gonna hire you or whatever.
But I knew my time was was finishing. So once I got to meet this guy, a few months later, I got an interview and then got a job. And then reading that, that first week of the job, reading, SEO guides and realising that those were the two things that I had studied that I could turn into something new. I just started enjoying SEO and gradually realising that, okay, this is my new jam. No, I don’t want to go back to Brazil. I don’t want to want to flood your head is this this is where I’m going now.
Chima Mmeje 18:56
And how did that translate into a job? The you’re learning SEO now? Yeah. How do you translate that into a job into your first page? SEO job.
Gus Pelogia 19:06
So it was the internship at the school, they hired you full time. They know I was just an internship. And from there, I went to meet. I went to play football with
Chima Mmeje 19:16
this. Yeah. And he offered me Oh, he offered me a full time paid job. I thought was that internship? Like an internship?
Gus Pelogia 19:22
No, he offered me an interview. Okay, so I went to did an interview. Luckily, it was, it was an Argentinian company, but they had a big operation in Brazil. So
Chima Mmeje 19:31
talking about internship that I was like, okay, where does it start? Where does money start coming in? i
Gus Pelogia 19:35
Sorry, I wasn’t an internship at the Spanish school. Yes, for three, four months, okay. And the owner of the school introduced me to someone else at a bigger company. Hmm. And that at that company, this guy offered me an interview for a full time job. And as I started there, reading the guides and whatnot, I kind of realised that that was my earlier and full time job. and working with other SEOs and realising what people know what people don’t know. And it was How long were you at the company for I was there for around a year.
And then, okay, bear with me, because this might be confusing. On the internship, someone that was my boss, directly, owner of the company, had a good friend, he was a Dutch guy. And it has a really good friend that was looking for SEO in Amsterdam. It just happened that his friend was in Argentina at some point, and we got to hang out a little bit. And then one day, I was actually going to presume the holidays and I see a message from him. As I’m looking to my luggage. He says, me he was looking for for Brazilian SEO, do you want to answer them?
Chima Mmeje 20:48
The unique offer? Have you been Brazilian, and you’ve been an SEO and that opportunity? Opening up in Amsterdam? I feel like sometimes it’s just being in the right place at the right time. And the opportunity just hits you. And what what was that really like? Was that where were you scared that you’re gonna move in so far away from home? Because now you know, there’s going to be Argentina where you can easily fly home, you’re moving to a whole new continent. How was that?
Gus Pelogia 21:14
So I don’t know. I think if I look back now, they’re all making all these changes. Yes. And I realised that they were really big changes. But when you’re young, you’re 25. You’re like, Oh, sure. I’ll go there. If doesn’t work, you know, three months to come back. That’s fine. But he worked out. So it’s been it’s been 12 years that I’m abroad.
Chima Mmeje 21:37
Wow. Wow. How long were you in the Netherlands for?
Gus Pelogia 21:41
I was there for three and a half? Yes. doing
Chima Mmeje 21:45
SEO, what we did, you specialise in this in any specific part, or just like, take a few
Gus Pelogia 21:51
in there, I continue doing a bit of digital PR. I was actually most of the work was was okay. And but I got really close with the owners was a small company. And so you could understand the whole operation. So things that maybe before I wouldn’t think of too much, the owner would actually look back at me and say, hey, you know, if we do this, look at the business outcome that we’re gonna get. So it was a gaming website. So like browser games for kids, not a gambling website.
And you would make money through ads. So let’s say look, if we rank for, for this keyword, this is the CTR, we get to see average, we get per video play. And this is the kind of money we can make. So it gives you a different perspective from like, Oh, I just want to move rankings, but looking at the business outcome. Okay, this is how much money we can make just from this. Like, okay, that’s, that’s a different motivation for you know, the impact that
Chima Mmeje 22:51
the company, yeah, tiny to business outcomes. That’s amazing. All right. So you are this company, you most of your role is digital PR. What else do you learn outside of that? What other skills do you learn at this company working for? Because I feel like when you work for small companies, there is so much opportunity to learn so much at the same time. Yeah.
Gus Pelogia 23:12
I think working with Dutch people, one of the things that I learned the most is that they’re very direct. And when they tell you, you know, they’ll tell you no, and the reason why, and there’s not really, always a lot of room to change their mind negotiate that. But when they say yes, they actually mean it. So there were times that my boss would give me an old come up with three ideas, and we’ll get three nodes in a row.
And the ones he finally said, Yes, was, I would think, is he saying yes, just because it was got tired of saying no, like, No, I just saw him saying no to other people. Today, like he actually believe in this, and he would actually give me the time and resources to actually do the things that I had in mind. So you know, I think negotiating with people that are very meticulous and tough to deal with, that. That’s something that I learned a lot. They’re
Chima Mmeje 24:04
just good negotiating with people that are difficult and tough to deal with.
Gus Pelogia 24:08
Yeah, yeah. That, you know, they won’t just agree with you and let it roll to realise,
Chima Mmeje 24:13
how do you negotiate? With people like that, you have to tell us how you do it.
Gus Pelogia 24:18
I think you need to find the right arguments that they actually care about. So one of them would be something like, this is the potential that this page has. We haven’t done any work in this country. But look how our did our rankings are really poor there, but there’s potential to make money. So should we invest a little bit more in this? Or maybe another country is already doing really well? Let’s change the focus to this and that. So yeah.
Chima Mmeje 24:45
All right. You work for this company the entire time you’re in in the Netherlands, right? Yeah. And then after this place, you moved to Ireland. Yep. Walk us through that process. What happens that makes you move to Ireland?
Gus Pelogia 24:57
Yeah, I love them. Very So much had, had built like a good network of friends and things to do and everything, but it kind of was just bored of the job.
Chima Mmeje 25:09
Okay, pause here, I just want to note that everybody from theory to Sarah, to Lydia, and now Gus has talked about boredom at work, being the motivating factor that has led them to switch roles. I think this is a very common theme with SEOs, I just want to note this here, go on.
Gus Pelogia 25:31
So yeah, I got bored of my job. And at that time, I could not even get interviews with other companies. So there were no SEO rolls around the world, maybe the odd digital marketing one, but not in SEO, they Yeah. And sometimes they would look for a native speaker in Dutch. And I thought there are only two possibilities here, or, I was just lucky to get my job, or it’s, it’s a problem of the language and not having enough opportunities in there.
So I went to Ireland for a conference, and I got to meet as many people as I could, and started asking around, like, what is the the SEO market here, there are agencies and, and blah, blah, blah. And someone told me that, you know, what, if you, if you actually move here, I can, you know, get introductions with a few agencies, you’re gonna get an interview. So you have to prove yourself? No, you have to get you in the door leaved that the problem was access, just access. And not not even having rolls around. And on the first three months, I get, I got a few job offers to choose from. So I, my hypothesis was,
Chima Mmeje 26:42
yes. And so what was the main reason why you pick the company that you work for? When you move to Ireland? Like, what was the thing that made you say, this is a no brainer, this is where I want to go to?
Gus Pelogia 26:54
Yeah, so there are two two steps here. Firstly, I got offered three jobs. One was two of them were two, one was too far, one, the salary was too low. And the third one was a gambling company, that it was very central. And I thought I had just moved here. You know, if I, I need to build that social network as well. So if I’m leaving an hour away from the city, it’s Friday night, I’m gonna, by the time I get home, the friends that I want to make are already sleeping, where else or sleeping or, or whatever, so that wouldn’t work.
So I pick, I picked up the gambling company, I did not like representing gambling, the industry, and felt weird about emailing journalists about gambling links, stuff. So shortly after that, after I accepted this job, an agency got in touch with me and I really wanted to work for an agency, I wanted to see different scenarios, I wanted to see how things are integrated with different channels and whatnot. And then I got the job. So I quit this job after two weeks and went,
Chima Mmeje 28:02
wow, wow, I kind of felt that I can’t feel like when you have like strong moral principles, things like gambling, things like walking for like pornography websites, even people that sell cigarettes, there’s always going to be like, you’re literally going to be fighting yourself more. So something to think about before you make those decisions. Money is great. But it’s not everything. Less than four guys here. All right. So you go agency side, it is a whirlwind. I know from my own experience with an agency side. Do you love it? Did you love working for an agency?
Gus Pelogia 28:34
I did love working for agencies?
Chima Mmeje 28:36
Are you telling the church?
Gus Pelogia 28:38
Yes. Okay. So the first agency, I was the only SEO so it was a bit hard. It was interesting, because everyone would come to me and then s things, and they would have a lot of clients that needed SEO. But when you’re the only person and even when you go to talk with clients, you’re going to discuss 10 Other things and then SEO, it gets very hard to actually implement things. So I did I spend a lot more time doing audits than actually doing that. Yeah, that would give a lot of results. Yeah. Then I moved to another agency that was more specialised in digital marketing. We were I think, on 15 year sales. So that was a dream job. Like I have a group of people that think like me do the same thing as me.
I cannot get a you know, get away with telling any SEO shit because other people you know, it’s I think this works. Some other people might say, I actually tried this, it doesn’t work or, you know, this is playing wrong, or there’s a better way to do this. So there was there was very interesting. I was there for three and a half years, something like that. I love the agency. Most of my friends came from the from there. You know, a big chunk of people at my wedding were worked with as well. They went there and the wedding and the speeches and and everything. So it was it was my social circle. So yes,
Chima Mmeje 30:05
that was a very, that was a wonderful environment,
Gus Pelogia 30:07
then it was it was Yeah.
Chima Mmeje 30:09
So what do you do after agency?
Gus Pelogia 30:10
After the agency, I went in house for Assess company for for short time
Chima Mmeje 30:16
I rush. Let’s go back to the agency life now. Yeah. What were the things that you learned from working with other ACOs? Did you feel challenged? Did you feel like you had to bring your A game? What are the hard lessons, the soft lessons with like working with people and like, getting the best out of everyone?
Gus Pelogia 30:33
Yeah, I think, firstly, you like you, you’re gonna find people that really like specific things. So you know that you can trust different people for different things. And you’re trying to use all the resources that you have. So maybe there was someone that was really into local, and even though they were not on the same client as me, my client, they needed some local, so consult with that person. I worked a lot from PPC. And there was someone on the PPC team that was kind of an Excel genius. So every time that it was confused with I cannot put this formula right or something’s not working, he would come and just sit and fix it and explain to me and what he does how to do it.
So I also learned this from from Peter Yeah, and started doing for other people as well. Okay, no, I’m gonna show you how to do it. It’s very simple. And kind of break down the process one on one language, how to do it. What else? I think reporting, I learned with different teams as well that not everything in SEO actually deserves a space in the recording all the we fixed the 10 trio ones like okay, what’s, what’s the business outcome from this? Are you getting more traffic now? Or like, how can you prove the impact of this? So I learned to be more concise and talk about things that the client is mostly interested.
Chima Mmeje 31:53
And what’s the status? What are you prioritising, we’re creating those reports.
Gus Pelogia 31:56
I think, first, always your, you know, your traffic and your KPI. But every time so every month, I will do a report in a couple of slides. And I wanted to have a call with my clients as well to go through the report, see if they have questions and plan what we’re going to do the next month as well. So they are on board from the start of the month, they know what’s going to happen. And I learned that a lot of clients sometimes will be really, really interested in one thing.
So if I did not have the answer for that thing, I would rush across the company and different people to say, how are we going to answer this thing? Because if we give them reassurance about this problem that we have, that we are working on that here are three potential solutions. If something else is not the best yet, or if the results were not there, you’re still building that confidence with the client.
Chima Mmeje 32:53
That’s interesting. All right. Now you’ve left agency you were looking for in house for a SaaS company. I want to understand how different is that form a challenging aspect? Do you feel that you are less challenged or more challenged or equally challenged working for an in house company?
Gus Pelogia 33:11
I think I’ve been challenged the same? I have less stress?
Chima Mmeje 33:16
Yes. Less stress of working in house? Yeah,
Gus Pelogia 33:20
definitely less stress is just essentially one client. Yes. All the conversations you have are about that same thing. Yeah. And it was the first time that actually worked with an agency that it was already there. And I have to say, at first, it was another Irish agency that I didn’t know of. And from the, you know, top of my castle, thinking that I know all the best seals in the country, I thought, you know, this guy’s not going to be good. I’m going to come here and I’m going to crush him. And turns out he was really good. And I a lot of the ones that I was sharing with people were at work that he started before me.
And it just that the results were coming when you came when I was down 123 months. Or I could I have access to some other information within the company that he didn’t have. And I could like prove the impact on the other side. So I could say, you know, we’re getting more MQL or SQL is from this pages that were because of the work. I would give him the credit. I would say, you know, he did this. This is happening now because of the work that he called it. So you know, I believe in giving credit for everyone. Yeah, and I also expect to yeah, my credit when announcing things that I that I did, but I I like being fair with
Chima Mmeje 34:40
everyone. That’s amazing. That’s amazing. So do you still work for the same company now?
Gus Pelogia 34:44
i It was It wasn’t best match. Okay, so I was there for around the year and I feel that, at some point, became very hard to get buy in for things we wanted to do.
Chima Mmeje 34:57
I feel like it’s something we need to talk about now. Just goodwill. So the bad side, it wasn’t best match because it was difficult for you to get buying to execute on your ideas, right? Yeah. Why was it was it bottlenecks because we had the same thing. We talked about it with Lydia, having bottlenecks when you’re working with large companies. And it just takes like a very long process for you to get by? Did you? Did you say, Okay, I’m going to try and overcome this. You said, This is not for me, I’m gonna try and go somewhere else, what was your thought process,
Gus Pelogia 35:27
I think was the buying, maybe was more of understanding of SEO, across the company, to you to say, Okay, this is how it works. Because, like, we had a situation that leads were decreasing, but I could see like, and I could prove with numbers that they were decreasing, because of branded searches, the actual non branded were going up. So I couldn’t claim if we’re getting more results, because more people are searching for the brand, because it’s not necessarily much of the SEO job.
So after having all of this fights and trying to prove different things, and putting presentations and telling other departments, hey, for division to happen, we need, you know, the PR team to give a hand we need the developers to have some time to do these things, and blah, blah, blah, and things are still not moving, I kind of realised, you know, I’m not going to be happy here. This is not my place. I want to move again. But it will take some time. So I just kept doing my job on on the, you know, on the areas that I could act, I kept doing the things that I could move the needle on, and until indeed, found me. And that’s where I am now.
Chima Mmeje 36:40
Yeah, indeed, it’s such a huge company that I didn’t even realise. I didn’t realise how, how many employees work there until God started working as indeed I was good with them. And that was my reaction, indeed, as an enterprise website. And I’ve always been fascinated by enterprise SEO, because there are so many moving pieces at once. How do you stay on top of all this many moving pieces? I want to know what tools you’re using to stay on top of all these moving pieces?
Gus Pelogia 37:08
Yeah, the funny thing is that it’s much easier to pitch a bigger project. And indeed, that was another company that was much smaller. So even though you will think that might be more difficult, yeah, more layers of Yeah, whoa. And yeah, no more eyes on everything, it turned out to be much easier. So I think in terms of tools, we have a lot of internal tools that were there before me, and it just get to use them. So we have our own analytics tool, we have our own way to look at both sessions, and things like that. So that common, it lives on a common database that everyone in the company has, has access or can use, which makes things much easier because you’re not sharing a report from Search Console to one person and someone else is looking at the product performance at Pendo. Or, or in a CRM
Chima Mmeje 38:02
has the same assets. I said, that’s very important. It’s
Gus Pelogia 38:05
gonna prove the impact. It can be a director or it can be a colleague, they all looking at the data that is similar. And we all know how to confirm if the steps that we put in this data, it’s actually correct.
Chima Mmeje 38:19
Okay, what is the best part of doing enterprise SEO for you?
Gus Pelogia 38:23
I think for me, first, working as an SEO product manager, it has been very game changing for me a lot of things that first I didn’t know it was a thing. And once I got into the role and realise that I get paid to build new things, and not just to fix bugs, it became a lot more exciting job. I have to go and research ideas go through validation and pitch those things to different people. But I do have the resources with engineers. I have some people in New accept can help we have content teams and so on. So you know, you kind of start a vision and a lot of people will be around you to help executing. Sometimes the other way around, someone else has a vision. And you know, you can help them so you just join idea that already exists.
Chima Mmeje 39:13 That’s brilliant. I want you to as a closing let’s give advice to newbies in the industry, people of colour who are going to events like Brighton, SEO for the first time. How do you network? What kind of questions should you be asking if you’re trying to get into those because this is something we do at the FCC. We bring members here to interact with people who are like, more senior but many of them don’t have the networking skill. So if someone is watching this and is planning to attend an expert in SEO, give them an advice how do you network what do you X? What should you be doing at events like bison SEO?
Gus Pelogia 39:48
Yeah, I think you have to go and talk to people. You know, you might first time or in many times they came here just came alone. And more recently also came alone. Not as a speaker, and I didn’t know who would be here. So maybe if you’re, if you’re on Twitter or LinkedIn, start networking with people that you know are going to be there. So if you spot them, they’re not completely strangers anymore. This, even the team that I knew from online world, and we met when he was here back in April. And yes, he did a series last April, we went to the bar, and I just looked at him, like, we looked at each other, he’s like,
Hey, you, I know you, I know you’ve only been and, and then you know, you already have that, that bond, you’re not a stranger anymore. And that person knows someone else. And, you know, he starts getting too into group. The first time is always harder, and you know, approaching strangers, but I would always start with online, and trying to build a little bit of that connection before you get to meet people. I think career wise, something that was really good for me in it isn’t advice, that’s tonnes of vessels will will give, but start building your own website for something that you’re passionate about. Good advice.
It’s so useful to look at this from a different perspective, we are always looking at, okay, have we made sales? Have we, you know, fixed the problem. But when you’re making your own website, and you start looking at search console, and you see oh, I’m bringing for all this keywords. I know those keywords because they wrote discount in a way I know, we didn’t talk about this, but the way they moved to Argentina, I started a blog. Well, Brazilians in Argentina, and I realised that I didn’t know SEO, I didn’t have any background on that. I was just writing about the problems that I was having. When he moved there. How do you get your public transport card?
How to get your local ID? How do you look for a house and later realise there are tonnes of searches for those things. And friends of mine did, were going to Argentina to travel, they started finding my blog posts. But that was all written because I knew about the topic and and then entering SEO later, it could correlate that the things that I was writing about say, Oh, this is how it works. Okay, I can see this. Something is you know, it’s something I’m not ranking for, but it kind of answered this. So I can’t give a proper answer. But because you’re on projects, you have a lot more passion behind it, you see the opportunities much easier.
And you can just go and do the changes yourself. Like you don’t need to get approval from someone else. And if you do it wrong, and if it doesn’t work, and if you break something, that’s fine as well, my website got hacked. And it was like, Okay, I had to deal with a hacking situation. Okay, I need to go to Search Console and no clean all of this weird links that they put in and submit a reconsideration request. So I just took as an experience, if it was a client, I will be freaked out. And yeah, well, you didn’t have to deal with it. But I just took for me as an opportunity to
Chima Mmeje 42:53
learn. Yeah, yeah, I’ve experienced that. So with my own website multiple times getting hacked, so he’s never pretty. Alright, thank you so much for doing this because this has been amazing. Thank you. To everyone who’s watching. I hope you’ve learned something today. Bye bye. Thank you
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