My Tech SEO Story with Claudio Eduardo Cabrera

Episode Summary.


Claudio Eduardo Cabrera is the VP, of Newsroom Strategy and Audience at The Athletic. Claudio has about 11 years of experience helping news companies increase audience growth through search and assist desks.

In this video, he talks about;

  • How he went into SEO
  • The importance of communication skills in editorial SEO
  • How he grew his skill level 
  • How to spot good opportunities and take advantage of them
  • Doing personal branding the right way


Guest Profile.


Claudio Eduardo Cabrera



✉️Name:Claudio Eduardo Cabrera

✉️What Claudio does: Vice President of Newsroom Strategy and Audience at the Athletic

✉️Company: The Athletic

✉️ Noteworthy: Claudio E. Cabrera is an award-winning journalist and audience development expert, specializing in SEO. In 2006, he won an award from the Independent Press Association for his work uncovering the law that allowed phone companies in NY state to charge families of inmates exorbitant rates for phone calls. Over a decade later, NY state passed a law to make all prison phone calls free.



Key Insights.


💡Claudio Cabrera’s Journey and Background


Claudio Cabrera shares insights about his background and experience in the SEO industry, emphasizing the importance of personal branding and networking. He mentions being from the Dominican Republic and how he started on the speaking circuit, especially in Latin America and Spain.


Despite initially feeling resistant to personal branding, he eventually embraced it as a means to promote his work and open up new opportunities. He encourages others to build their presence online and leverage their unique perspectives as people of color to diversify industry events and conferences.


💡Importance of Understanding Newsrooms and Editorial Sensibility in Journalism SEO


Claudio emphasizes the significance of understanding the inner workings of newsrooms and developing strong relationships with journalists. Editorial SEO in a news publishing environment requires not only technical skills but also effective communication and collaboration.


He shares that successful editorial SEO professionals need to align their efforts with the editorial mission of the publication and support it with data and keyword research.


💡Tips for Job Searching and Interviewing in SEO.


Claudio provides valuable advice for those seeking jobs in SEO. He suggests applying to roles that genuinely interest and align with personal passions rather than applying to every opportunity. When it comes to interviews, he recommends focusing on how to stand out from other candidates.


Presenting ideas and demonstrating potential value for the company can make a significant impact during the interview process. Claudio also advises being honest with oneself about career goals and growth prospects within a current company, and if there is no room for further advancement, starting the job search for better opportunities.


Episode Highlights.


Emphasizing the Role of SEOs in News Publishing


Claudio highlights the misconception that SEO professionals lack editorial sensibility. He argues that SEOs in the news publishing field must be skilled communicators who can build relationships with journalists and collaborate effectively. He stresses that understanding a newsroom’s mission and aligning SEO efforts with it is vital for success.


Importance of Recognizing Opportunities for Growth


Claudio highlights the significance of recognizing when it’s time to seek new opportunities for growth and advancement. If a current role no longer offers opportunities for professional development, he suggests considering a change and exploring new job prospects. However, he also encourages honesty in assessing one’s readiness for the next step in their career.


Growth and Skill Development in SEO


Claudio discusses his journey in developing his SEO skills from starting as a journalist to becoming a successful SEO manager. He emphasizes the importance of understanding each editor’s perspective and mission within the newsroom, as well as how to align technical SEO with the overall editorial strategy.


Claudio suggests focusing on skill development that is most relevant to the type of publication, such as mastering different story forms and structures, and understanding the news carousel, especially in the context of breaking news.


Managing Bounce Rates for New Sites


In response to a question about bounce rates for new websites, Claudio shares insights from his experience at The New York Times. He stresses the significance of user experience (UX) and site design in controlling bounce rates.


Creating a good user journey and offering valuable, original content can significantly reduce bounce rates. He also discusses the importance of engaging visitors from search results by providing enticing content that encourages them to explore further.


Connect with Claudio;





Episode Transcriptions.


Claudio Cabrera 0:03

But I think when you’re able to understand how reporters think relate to reporters, understanding the whole journalism process, it makes it much easier to be an SEO at a news publisher. I believe at E commerce, SEOs are completely different from news publishing, SEO, it’s like a completely different thing. And each has a different skill. So yeah, I mean, I think you know, SEO isn’t taught in college.


Right? It isn’t taught in high school, right. So I definitely think like anyone that wants to be an SEO can pick it up, learn it, and really work in any type of publication that they want to or ecommerce ecommerce brand at the same time.


Chima Mmeje 0:44

Yeah, I think this is interesting for the class, because you’re the first person in publishing that we’re bringing in, which is why I wanted to bring you in and give that unique perspective, because almost everybody else will be we’ll be hearing from Works Agency works a certain kind of in house. So I think it’s very important to show that there are so many routes, SEO, and then not just SEO bots, growth opportunities that go beyond that.


And then allow you to like, just touch the ceiling and just keep like, breaking down and what is possible. So I’m going to let the class introduce themselves starting from Katherine. And then I’ll come back to you again, Claude. I just wanted to like meet everyone in the class here because it’s kind of a special category, introduce yourself.


Katherine Nwanorue 1:30

I’m Katherine, I’m a content writer


Chima Mmeje 1:43


Deborah Oyewole 1:44
hi. Claudio I’m deborah, I’m a content writer just like Katherine. And also tech SEO, which was very overwhelming and interesting. It’s so like, it’s you like you’re very unique today. Like, I was surprised when I got to hear that. You were in journalists. So that got me that so there could be SEO for journalism.

Claudio Cabrera 2:09
Nice to meet you as well.

Chima Mmeje 2:10

Matilda Anebi 2:12
Hi, Claudia it is so nice to meet you, Matilda from Nigeria, and obviously new in, in tech SEO transition into tech SEO and it’s so nice to meet you. And it’s so nice to hear fresh perspective from you entirely. So

Claudio Cabrera 2:29
likewise, likewise.

Chima Mmeje 2:31

prachi keshavani 2:33
Hi, Claudio. I’m really excited to hear about your journey. Because I worked briefly in publishing, I used to work for Red Bull Media House. So I did mostly content and on page optimization for SEO and our transitioning into technical SEO. I’m really excited to hear more about your journey

Chima Mmeje 2:52

Hi Claudio. My name is Munene I’m based in Kenya. Very excited to hear about your your story today. I have been in the digital marketing scene. Just a little bit of content SEO touched a bit on that now looking to transition into tech SEO. And like, it’s very exciting to hear that stuff that you’re doing with newsrooms, because the most of the SEO stuff that we’ve heard before has a lot to do with E commerce SEO. So this is very interesting. And reminds me of something that Simon from BlueArray mentioned, how when you’re dealing with such huge sites like that a lot of technical SEO is involved. You have a lot of technical SEO knowledge to share with us looking forward to hear all that.

Claudio Cabrera 3:39
Yeah, of course.

Chima Mmeje 3:41

goodness 3:45
Hi, nice to meet you. I’m really excited today to hear your story, ya know, the content right that I’ve been working in admin for quite some time. And I’m transitioning to TechSEO thank you for joining us today

Chima Mmeje 4:04

Sodiq Ajala 4:07
Hi Claudio. My name is Sadiq, based in Nigeria, thank you very much for joining us. I am a content marketer. And I’ve also worked as a journalist before, you know, I did about two years working in house for a journalistic company. And right now, because of my love for content creation and all of those, I run a data and tech journalist platform called Tech with Africa. You know, we talk we do tech news and all of those and I think, you know, you coming in today is very special for me, you know, I’m in a background or some kind of hnow-how in journalism, and then seeing how I can put that into the tech SEO perspective. So thank you very much for being here.

Claudio Cabrera 4:57
Of course,

Chima Mmeje 4:58

allison Kingsley 5:00
Hello, claudio. And hello, everyone. I’m Alison Kingsley. I’m born and bred in Nigeria, currently based in Nigeria. It’s exciting to have you with us to come on, tell us your story. Please tell us your story. I have been in the Tech SEO space, although I was doing it as kind of a naive kind of person who actually knew nothing. So the problem that’s going on now is enlightening me and giving me fresh perspectives concerning tech as you I mean, I, I saw your your pinned tweet on how you broke the barrier and into the journalism space as an SEO in the New York Times. So I was really impressed. And, and it’s an opportunity to, to hear from the horse’s mouth today through I’m really impressed to have you with us. Thank you for joining us.

Claudio Cabrera 5:59

Appreciate your man. Thank you.


Chima Mmeje 6:01



Abiola Onasanya 6:01

Okay, that leaves only me now. So my name is Abiola Onasanya, based in Lagos, Nigeria. So I want to thank you very much for being here with those actually. Let me say, Well, I did part of content marketing, both I was in I was in financing a loss, you know, I think take issue a day, please.


I believe it wants to cause better. And from your perspective, you are the first person we’ve had us. In the journalism aspect, I think we transform to see how tech SEO can be used in that aspect. I think we look forward to hear more from you. And appreciate you for you being here itself. Thank you very much,


Claudio Cabrera 6:47

of course.


Chima Mmeje 6:48

So you can see that we kind of have like a diverse background of students from like different places, and


Claudio Cabrera 6:54

much, much needed much needed


Chima Mmeje 6:58

Exactly, So I’m just going to turn the mic over to you. Just tell us your story for why you’ve been before you became before you found your way into like, SEO, like, what you want, how did you even find your way there?


Because we hear so many different perspectives, so many interesting perspective of how people get SEO? And then what has your career growth been like? What has propelled that career growth? And how you got to where you are now?


Claudio Cabrera 7:23

I mean, I think for me, I was. So when I went to college, I used to play high school basketball, and I played one year of college basketball. So I was a basketball player, right? So I really had no dreams of playing, you know, of doing journalism or SEO, I didn’t even know what SEO was when I was 18. Right? So for me, when I got to college, I honestly didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I was just kind of there when my parents wanted me to graduate.


So that was like my job to graduate, right. And when I got to like my second year of school, that’s when I started. That’s when I like started taking school seriously, I would say, and I began to take journalism courses. And that was the one thing that I felt like I was doing really well at that point. And then from there, I just made journalism, my major ended up being my degree, etc. And then I graduated from school with it.


I was working at newspapers, small newspapers, big newspapers. And then I graduated in 2008. And then around 2011, I was like three years into just working as a newspaper reporter, but I really wasn’t like loving it that way anymore. Like I liked it. But I didn’t like it in the sense of doing it forever. But I still wanted it to be sort of a part of my life, right. And at that point, I was working at a digital company called Interactive one. And they had an SEO manager, this was 2011.


And he was telling me all these things that I should do, you know, in terms of on page optimization, headlines, URLs, internal linking all these things. And I was like, you know, get out of my face, man, I don’t want to listen to you like, this is journalism, like, don’t mess with this, right? So I was like, ignoring him, ignoring him, all that other stuff. And then after a while, like a lot of what he was telling me to do was like sort of working. And he started teaching it to me. So I was like, really the only person that he was teaching SEO to at the company, literal that I know that after like a month of him teaching me he left the company. So I was the only person at the company that knew SEO, and I wouldn’t say I knew SEO, like I understood the basics of it, right? And at that point, they, the company was like, well, we’re not going to hire a replacement.


You kind of know it, so maybe you could add it to your job. All right. They didn’t give me no more money. They didn’t give me another title. They’re gonna give me none of that. Right. And at that point, I was like, All right, I was young. So I was like, I’ll do it, whatever. And I just really kind of like started learning Did you know I really started like studying other people in the space, I started learning a lot about SEO, more editorial SEO than tech SEO to be honest, right? Because just because I was working in the newspaper.


So along the lines of I would say content strategy and things of that nature. And I worked at that company for like about a year and a half more, really kind of learned SEO, really helped grow their traffic, then I moved to another company and another company. And for me, I was I’m like the type of person that I tend to stay at places like two years. And if I don’t really kind of see the growth or progress that I want to see, personally, I kind of move on, for multiple reasons, just for growth reasons, but also at the same time, at least in the US, right, I think it’s probably the easiest way to make more money, right is to jump from company to company versus kind of staying at one company.


Staying at one company here in the US, you’re kind of at the mercy of them, you know, giving you a raise or wanting to promote you or all that other stuff, right. So I worked in SEO, at another company. And then I worked at SEO and another company. And so about, like five years into SEO, I was able to grow from like an analyst to a manager or director. And then on LinkedIn, The New York Times reached out to me, because I was doing a lot of local SEO at the time, right. So I was doing a lot of SEO, I was doing a lot of journalism, related to local SEO. So like different markets across the US when I was at CBS, and they really wanted to grow their audience across the country.


And they reached out to me, they were like, Hey, we would love to, you know, kind of talk to you. I had no clue that they wanted to, like hire me. So I just wanted it and I was like, hey, like you know what’s going on? Right? So I thought it was like a natural conversation. And, you know, it went well. And then two weeks later, they were like, hey, we want to interview you like for real to kind of get a job here. And I went through like eight interviews over like eight months, like three months.


I had an interview once at seven o’clock in the morning. And then I got that job. And when I got to the times I was asked to do analyst in 2016. And I was working on there somebody who now runs SEO for the cooking side of the New York Times, which is a little more evergreen, I would say. And yeah, I mean, I’ve been there five years I’ve been there through Trump, I’ve been there through elections, I’ve been through pretty much every major news event you can imagine. And I think you know, for a lot of SEOs in the publishing space.


You know, while I knew a lot about SEO, and I was really confident in my skills at that point, I mean, I think working in a news environment, like that one really just kind of upped my game, I would say, really kind of took me in my opinion to another level, professionally, and just from a skill perspective. And, you know, I went from, you know, being managed by one person, to helping the times grow their audience by like 4 billion users. And, you know, biggest publisher in the world. Now I went from it was a team of two.


So now I manage a team of eight, or I used to manage because I’m at the athletic now. So, yeah, I was able to really kind of convince the organisation that SEO was important that SEO was a vital part of journalism, that SEO people can be journalists to which I think is extremely important. When you think about publisher, SEO and publisher SEO, a lot of times when people think about people who do SEO is that they like just know, some sort of magic, and put keywords here, but they don’t really know anything, or don’t have any editorial, like sensibility, or have any editorial qualities. And I, you know, I completely disagree with that kind of kind of thinking, because I think we’re journalists as well.


And I would say a lot of the job of editorial SEO, or news publisher is really your communication skills, right? I don’t really look at it any different than working at a store, working at a shop, whatever it may be like your job is to serve the journalists that are writing the content and make sure that they get more visibility. But the only way that you can really kind of convince them to do what you want them to do is to have a positive relationship with them. Right, a lot of the SEOs that are a little more technical, no offence to anyone here, obviously. But I’ve seen a lot of SEOs that have worked in publishing SEO, and have failed a lot because they, they think they know best versus trying to create a relationship.


Right? So it’s really about creating a relationship with the vendor with the client with the newspaper brand, versus kind of like saying, This is what you need to do. This is what you need to do, because I know this is what you need to do. And this is what’s going to get you more traffic, right? Because that’s the wrong approach. Like at least in the newspaper, it’s completely wrong approach, right? That could be true. Two things can be true, right? You can be absolutely right in what you’re saying.


But you can be absolutely wrong in your approach. Right. And your approach in a newsroom is to just make sure that you could create relationships, the more relationships you can create, the more work that you can, the more results you’ll get, the more visibility you’ll get, the more respect you’ll get. And more things that you want done will get done. I’ve 100% seen SEOs 100%. Like in my face, seeing them completely fail because they thought like they knew best. And their way of communicating was the right way of communicating.


Like you’re in a service oriented job and US publishing, SEO. It’s a little different from E commerce where you’re kind of Afar, right? Like, you’re from your ad agency, and you’re like, Hey, do this, do this, do this, right. There’s really no relationship building, right? In reality, if you’re at an agency, you’re not inside the company, you’re not going to lunch, you’re not going to breakfast, you’re not drinking water, you’re not drinking coffee.


You don’t know anyone, they’re outside of a computer screen. Right? So like, when you’re at a news publisher, you’re there every single day, you’re there with people who yesterday had a great attitude. And two, they have a bad attitude. Yesterday, they liked you today, they dislike you yesterday, they wanted to talk to you today, they want to talk to you. So you really kind of like the first part of really like news SEO, or editorial SEO inside of publisher is really how you kind of like manage relationships, the skill is the skill, right? But managing relationships is kind of the key thing I would say.


Chima Mmeje 16:21

That’s just that’s incredible. That’s an incredible story. Okay, so I have some questions. I want to touch back on. How did you grow your skill level? Because I think that’s something very important seen as you did, like nobody ever received any formal training. So what’s specific? Or should I say, intentional actions did you take to become a better editorial? Seo?


Claudio Cabrera 16:45

Yeah, I mean, I think number one is, you know, obviously studying, you know, obviously, you can, you can go the tech route and kind of study site architecture, kind of study markup code, all that other stuff, right. And try to get as best as you can to that from a technical perspective. But I really think what’s the most important number one, wherever you’re working, whether it’s from, whether it’s as external, whether it is whether it’s as an external provider, or you’re actually in the office, is really just kind of understanding that newsroom understanding that news organisation understanding every editor, like the number one key for me to success, I really, really believe, has been really kind of sitting down with every main editor in every newspaper that I worked with, and really kind of understand why he or she thinks this piece of content is important. And this piece of content is like not important, or this piece of content is in quality. And that piece of content is quality. What’s that what that has allowed me to do?


Number one is really kind of understand the editorial sensibility of each person in that newsroom, understand what what I’m what I can push with what I cannot push with, right. And then from there, really kind of be able to lean into those likes, but also kind of show them opportunities, whether you’re using tools like you know, similar web SEMrush, I don’t know a ref Screaming Frog, whatever it may be, right? Any tools that you’re using that that will be able to kind of show keyword volume, keyword ranking, organic ranking, whatever it may be, be able to say to them, like, hey, like, you know, we’re gonna do everything that you want to do. Right? Like you want to be better at coverage in Brazil, or you want to be better at coverage in Nairobi. Right? So we could do all that, right. But you also have like these pockets, where you have a lot of coverage where you don’t have that much visibility, right.


Like you ranked number one on Nairobi coverage, but you rank 18 on Kenyan coverage. Why is that? Is Nairobi more important to you than Kenya, right? Or are they both the same in your book? Right. All right. So now, while Nairobi, let’s say maybe a little more important to you, from a coverage perspective, what can we really do with Kenyan coverage as you’re still investing in that right? And here are the things that not only you know, we can do from an editorial perspective.


But I also want to show you what other people have done from an editorial perspective, that have gotten them more visibility on this specific topic. So a lot of it has also been not only looking at the volume and the research, in terms of like, what they’re doing well at or what they’re not doing well, that, but also tying it with their mission, right? Because you could rank number seven on something naturally, but you don’t really care about ranking on it, right? You don’t really want to write about it much you just naturally rank on it. But you could rank 30, if on something that you really want to rank fifth on, right, or for fun or third on right. So how do we get you to that place?


Right? So that’s really kind of the most important thing for me really kind of understanding their mission and really tying it into data versus leading with data. Right. So I think a lot of times, you know, data becomes the, for me data is the icing on the cake is not the cake, right? Like my job is to make sure that you Whatever you want to do, and is your mission, I could find ways to lean into that mission more and then say, and yeah, like, you know, there’s 800,000 people searching for this every month.


So I think there’s more, that’s more reason for us to actually do this work. Outside of that, I think, obviously understanding different story forms, structures, right. Like there’s, you know, for example, like we do a lot of explainers, right, that has subheadings, h1, h2, h3, all that stuff, right? Kind of learning the different story types, formats, things of that nature, understanding breaking news.


One of the most important keys in US publishing, SEO is really understanding the carousel, right? Understanding the news carousel on a daily basis, understanding how Google treats it, understand how Google treats it, when there’s breaking news, if there’s like a fire or war or anything, and be able to kind of report back to your newsroom in a manner that allows them to kind of understand what they need to change or what they need to do, to kind of get better. And I think outside of that, you know, just really kind of, you know, just really just really kind of like leaning at core, it’s really kind of leaning into the product.


Right? Seo, journalism is the product SEO is the service, SEO is not the product, journalism was the product, right? So I’m providing a service, right? So what I’m trying to accomplish doesn’t really come first. It’s what they’re trying to accomplish. So for me, it’s really just kind of understanding the editorial direction, leaning into that, and then using data to support it, versus kind of saying, this is the data, this is what you need to do. Even if it doesn’t match up with what they want to do as a brand. It’s really kind of using that as supporting as the supporting cast, which is kind of like the main feature, I would say.


Chima Mmeje 21:52

That’s, that’s incredible. That’s incredible. I love how detailed that was. So I was I want to ask you another question that I think is pertinent for the classes and you’re starting out. You seem to be very good at moving, knowing when to move, finding those opportunities that obviously pay better, and then give you the space to grow in your career. So these are new crop of tech SEOs going into the field.


How what advice would you tell them about one into finding the right job interviewing, showing value getting hired, and then knowing when to move and finding what the next opportunity should be? So I think I just asked like, multiple questions. What did you get there?


Claudio Cabrera 22:40

Yeah, absolutely. So what I would say I think, number one, you know, one of the things that’s been important for me, is that, you know, I think number one, when you’re looking for a job, like, I’ll take you through what my process was, when I was looking for a job, my process was I would go on a job website, I would look at all the links that said, SEO on if the title seemed interesting, I didn’t read anything within it, right?


I didn’t know anything about like, what it read what it said, whatever, right? I would open up all the tabs, right? So there were some days where I would open up 30 tabs, there were some days where I would open to all right. And at the end of each day, I would run through all those tabs, right? And I would say to myself a right like, do I really want to do this? Right? Like, is this a job that I could really see myself doing? Is this a job that I feel qualified for? I think what happens with a lot of people is that, and I was guilty of this myself, is that, you know, we’ll see like tech SEO or editorial SEO, and we apply for everything.


And I think what when you apply for everything really what you set yourself up for is more failure than actually joy. Because if you apply for 50 jobs, you’re probably not going to get 25 callbacks, probably not gonna get 30 callbacks, there were a lot of times where I applied for 30 jobs in one day. And I literally got zero back. And I can tell you that like crushed my attitude that crushed my morale. And what I really kind of started realising was like, I need to start applying for things that I feel really, like really passionate about, or feel like a really up my alley versus just kind of applying to get a job. Now I say that saying that everyone’s situation is different. Right.



So that’s not to say that maybe you should apply for 30 jobs, right, depending on what situation you’re kind of in. But that’s one of the first things I think number two, what was key for me, is being able to like present myself in an interview in a way that I was trying to. I wasn’t necessarily thinking about the interview. So like if I’m interviewing right now, right? I know that all 12 of you are my competition, right? So instead of like, interview, my interviewer is Chima, right. That’s how I pronounce the name correct? Yeah. I’m not really focused on team. All right. I’m here. I’m in the door. That’s it. Like I’m worthy of being here. Right? My job is to be every one of you. Right? So what can I do in this job interview? That can make me better than all of you, right? Because if I’m Good than you’re good. So I have to worry about that. Right. And I think what ends up happening a lot of times is, you know, we go into interviews, and we’re like, Alright, here’s my resume.


Yeah, you know, I did this here I did this year, this year I did this year. But no one cares about that. Right? Like, you’re, you’re there because you did that there. Right? Like, what are you going to do in this interview? That’s going to make me think you should get a second interview? And what and what can I do to eliminate all the competition that I have in all these interviews? So what I tend to tell people, just to give you a perfect example, when I got to the times, one of like, my initiation phases, was interviewing, I was reviewing 500 resumes, I had to review 500 resumes for a fellowship we had, and the resumes that move forward were the resumes that provided ideas. And what I mean by that is being able to go into an interview and say, like, Hey, I’m applying for tech with, right?


Here’s what I can do for tech with Africa, here are five ideas, right? You can hire me, and I can implement them, you can not hire me, and you could take them, I don’t care. Why, because a lot of times, what we end up doing in job interviews, is at work, we stay so close to our ideas that we don’t want to give them up. But my my thinking is, if I go to tech with, and I give them five ideas, they don’t hire me. And six months later, I see that they use all five of my ideas.


The number one reaction that people have is they get upset, they didn’t hire me, they took my ideas. But like, if you apply for another job, you’re gonna have more ideas, if you apply for another job, you’re gonna have more ideas. So the last thing that is your problem is ideas, ideas, you have plenty, people are going to steal them, people are going to take them people are going to implement them, right? Your your framing should less be a steal my ideas, your framing should be like, they stole my ideas, because my ideas are good, right? So instead of being like, they stole my ideas, I can’t believe them. It’s like they stole my ideas, because they’re good. So you really want to kind of go into interviews trying to stand out.


You know, I think that’s the main main key overall. And then when I say, then when I think you’re at a company, you know, I think really just, you know, working as hard as you possibly can, you know, is the most important thing, I think, also finding ways to provide value in ways that they haven’t before, right. So if there’s something that you feel is a hole within the company, finding a way to provide value within that, whether it’s through reporting, whether it’s through data, whether it’s through something that they may not be happening, make something something of your own in that company, where they’re like, Wow, Allison are proud, she just did this, we’ve never had this type of analysis. But it’s so invaluable to us, right. So really kind of making a mark making your own individual stamp at a company versus just kind of following what your manager wants you to do. Naturally, you’re going to follow what your manager wants you to do.


But you also want to kind of find ways to introduce things that you could potentially independently own right. And then I think when it comes to like finding a job, when I think when it comes to transitioning from a job, it really depends kind of what market you’re in every market is different, right? I really think number one, when you start feeling like you’re tapped out from like, a, like I’ve done all I could, like I’ve accomplished everything I can here, I’m ready for a next step. Right. Now, if you’re ready for a next step, right, you will obviously want to be honest with yourself if you are right, because a lot of people say they are and they really not like I go through that everyday because I manage people.


So it’s really kind of thinking like, you know, what, you know, how do I want to grow? And how do I communicate what I want to grow in? You know, that’s kind of the most important thing, right? And if that company isn’t giving you the opportunity to grow, I’m not telling you to leave that company.


But what I am telling you is to kind of move in a direction, where you start applying at other companies and start like sending out applications and interviewing, right. You know, salary and all those things obviously, depend, obviously, you want to ask for much more than what you currently make at the next job that you that you get. But I really do think you’ll know when you’re like over a place because maybe the quality of your work dips a little bit because you’re not as enthused as you once were. And yeah, that’s what I would say to those questions.


Chima Mmeje 29:31

Yeah, that’s just brilliant. So I think I hope you okay, this is being recorded. So, at some point, we’re going to add everything to the platform because I really want you guys to have all of this information beyond the internship, because beyond the internship, that’s when real work really starts trying to get jobs, grow your career. Make your name. Claudio, I want to ask you another question. Have you been on the speaking circuit boards?


Claudio Cabrera 30:00


I haven’t been on the speak. I mean, I’ve been more on the speaking circuit. So like, my first language is Spanish. My family’s from Dominican Republic. So I’ve been I’ve been in a lot of the speaking circuit, I would say, in Latin America and Spain. I’ve been on the speaking circuit here, too. What I would say about that pretty quickly is, I was never really a big fan of like, personal branding. Like, I just didn’t do it, it wasn’t my thing, like, I’m super low key and chill.


But the times really kind of pushed me to do it. They were like, Hey, you should be more out there, you should brand yourself et cetera. And I think what I had to make the separation of was, I used to think personal branding was like, arrogant. That’s like, that was like my perception, right? My perception was like, Oh, if I brand myself, if I put things on LinkedIn, or on Twitter, and I’m arrogant, and all that other stuff, right? But I had to make a separation, right? Because you could brand yourself in a way, similar to Chima, like what she’s doing and the important work that she’s doing in terms of diversifying the industry in a way that’s really kind of beneficial, you know, in a way, that’s really kind of valuable, right.


And that doesn’t mean and that doesn’t mean that all of us don’t have egos or anything of the sorts because we all do everyone on this call has an ego, right? But it’s really kind of realising that, yeah, you could put your work forward, you could promote yourself, and it could feel in a way that’s totally positive for you, and totally feels comfortable for you. And I think that’s one of the things that was definitely beneficial for me, just really kind of taking that step forward.


And it really just kind of opened up a lot of opportunities, and a lot of doors. You know, when I’m, when I’m on the speaking circuit, I’m definitely the only person that looks like me, which is obviously a major problem in this industry. But, you know, I think, you know, I’ve definitely tried to change that. I think people like Jean was obviously trying to change change that with a lot of the work that she’s doing. But that’s just the reality, you know, unfortunately, I would say,


Chima Mmeje 31:55

yeah, so that’s, that’s the thing. Which brings me to my next question, because I think I think I keep saying this, that we need to diversify the speaking Sapiens, there are too many old white people you see, basically be saying the same people for the past 10 years, some will say that they’ve seen the same people as the last 15 Brighton SEO, which is just ridiculous.


So this group of people who are coming in now, obviously, they can start defending, I was telling them that they can even start speaking from next year, you don’t need to have like five years. Yeah. So what advice would you give them if they want to start pitching to speak at virtual conferences, when they don’t need to travel? What kind of advice? Would you give them on how to pitch to speak at those kinds of events? And like start building their brand?


Claudio Cabrera 32:40

Yeah, I think I think number one, what’s important, right, I think number one is obviously building some sort of presence on your own right, building your own personal presence, and really kind of like, really kind of like showcasing that value of the work you’re doing online, that doesn’t mean you give away all your secrets, or trays or whatever, right. But there’s ways to kind of show like the value of what you’re doing online, to the point where you can kind of grow your own following, you could kind of grow your own audience.


But it also comes together with just kind of putting, like, putting together a good pitch, like, you know, looking at a brain SEO last year, or looking at any of these other conferences, search love, or whatever it may be, and saying, you know, what, like one thing that was missing from this conference was this angle, right? And how can I potentially fill this angle? By creating like, you know, a pitch that talks about the work I’ve done, but also what I want to talk about in this specific? In this specific, what’s it called, in this specific event? Right? So I really feel like similar to what you just said, I don’t think you have to have tonnes of experience to kind of be on the speaker circuit.


And I also think at the same time, well, I would also say at the same time, like I could I could speak for America, I can’t really speak for like anywhere else, right? Like, whenever I talk to people of colour here in the States, I tell them look, there is no better time to take advantage of being a person of colour than now. Right? Like, like, like white people are bending over backwards in more cases than that, to try to get more diverse faces and people on panels and all these other things, right. And once you get into door, you get in the door, right?


Just kind of build on your own right. And again, that may not necessarily apply everywhere, whether it’s the UK or Europe or anywhere else, right. But I really do believe there’s no better opportunity than Now, considering the landscape over the last few years when it comes to these kinds of topics. So I would definitely just kind of put together a really good pitch, but really just kind of put yourself out there in a way that feels comfortable for you to really kind of grow your own visibility.


Chima Mmeje 34:43

Yeah, that’s that’s that’s that’s a good point. Because I think it’s very important when you pitch to pitch something that nobody else has talked about before. Or to piggyback off of what someone has said, what as a way of going deeper or offering like a more comprehensive insights into rates. So I wanted you guys to like, just take note of that. Next year you I want you to start pitching at virtual conferences do also you don’t have to travel for that you can do from home.


And when you pitch, look at what past speakers have talked about. And then look for stuff that will be because every conference has their audience, some of them have audience, like stuff like button SEO has against for beginner level, mid level, and then high level, you can pitch where you are just you just need to find gaps that currently exists that nobody has talked about. And then you can take that perspective, kind of like what I do it’s topic clusters, like nobody else is talking about it.


So wherever they might pitch anything around clusters, I’m usually the only one who is pitching it, which just gives me like an immediate aid. So you need to always be finding that gap, that unique perspective. And trust me, like Claudio said, there’s never been a better time to be black or coloured than right now. I shit you know, this is the best time because people are people, nobody’s putting out any events or a panel where they have only white people anymore. It’s good to read you fulfilled if you try that shit.


So this is it. This is this is this is the time now I want to take this question from patchy. I think it’s a very good question. So practice said how do you control bounce rate for new sites? Since people rarely go deeper? If your question is Assad, or would you not regard it as an important metric?


Claudio Cabrera 36:34

So yeah, so one of the best parts of working at the Times was the direct relationship we had with Google as a big publisher, right. And bounce rate is something that Google takes really seriously, at least when it comes to editorial organisations. There’s two ways to kind of answer that question, right? I think number one, it it starts with like UX and site experience. Right? If you have a site experience, that’s not necessarily the best, or site experience, it’s not necessarily guiding you to additional pieces of content in a way that feels like you know, it looks good. And it’s a it’s a good user journey, that I think that’s going to be a problem. I think, at core, it’s all about content, right? Y


ou know, sites that have sites that have better ways of kind of navigating a user journey, or just have content that’s more valuable, tend to have much lower bounce rates than websites that are just kind of like, I would say, chasing clicks or just kind of like writing articles that are aggregation. So I feel like if you don’t necessarily have like an original content arm, like it really kind of makes it hard on some level, for sure. So I do think it’s an important metric, because the more people that just come to your website, and exit is kind of like a bad look from like a just retention perspective, and just kind of like Google kind of notices that stuff.


So I really, I really think just kind of steeping yourself in design, steeping yourself in the content, but also like, you know, if you have a lot of visitors that are coming in through search, for example, like what is the experience that you’re providing for them on search? Right? So like, if they come in for this specific article, never been in your website before? What can you do on that specific page that can make them want to consume more of your content versus kind of kind of just like exiting out once that answer is reached?


Chima Mmeje 38:25

Okay, that’s that’s really good. Patti. Did that answer your question?


prachi keshavani 38:30

Yes. Thank you so much, Claudia.

Claudio Cabrera 38:32

Yeah, no worries. No worries at all. No worries at all. And yeah, I mean, feel free to like, you know, Twitter. Yeah, me if you have a question. Yes.


Chima Mmeje 38:43

I’m gonna push this question. Because my email. I’m going to put this question on mute. Sorry. Thank you, Kelly. I’m gonna put these questions to you after the call. And then you can like answer them via email. And I will just push it to the group when you’ve asked them so they have everything like, in one comprehensive place.


Claudio Cabrera 39:04

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Just within a few days,


Chima Mmeje 39:08

awesome. Awesome. All right, Claudio, thank you so much for joining us. and before you leave. Just give us your best smile. And we’ll take a picture and we’ll put this on our social media. Yeah. Yeah, I was about to tell you stand on a camera. Okay. 123. Katherine, what do you always look like? Like someone is about to beat you with a stick in every picture. Like every single picture we have taken in this tech SEO story. You always look like someone is about to hit your pictures.


Alright, Claudio, thank you so much for joining us. The rest of you please stay behind. I want to talk to you guys. Claudio. You can depart now. Thank you guys. Okay, awesome. Bye bye. Okay, um, what did I want to say? Yes. Okay, I just wanted to talk to you guys briefly because we haven’t really had, like, time to chat properly. So how are you doing? I want to get some feedback from you. How are you doing? What do you need was going on? Talk to me?

Yeah, good. Thank you very much. You do? Yeah, I’m good. No, she she has a she has a, an 11 member of has kids so she’s always got stuff going on. So she’s speaking for, for many people name her house where she started. So that’s understandable. Prachi what’s up?

prachi keshavani 41:01

Hi Chima, this particularly was really interesting for me with getting like insights on the news and publishing side of things. I was wondering if we could also get some insights on like, somebody who has some experience with artificial intelligence and applies it to SEO?


Chima Mmeje 41:19

You know, what, if you have someone in mind that you want us to bring tell me the person’s name, and I’ll make it happen? It’s really that simple. Just give me a name.


prachi keshavani 41:28

Yes, I shared the LinkedIn profiles with you on liquid.


Chima Mmeje 41:33


Put it on the chats here. Pretty simple. So everybody, if they still want you want us to feature maybe someone who has like a different perspective. So like I like the I was very intentional about building bring a Claudio because he’s doing editorial SEO. And that’s like a field that doesn’t really get talked about, but it’s also part of SEO, it’s a career. Like it’s a full career routes, like you started at plse. Um, you probably know me, because you can keep growing, you can keep growing, and you can see what God is doing right now.


He’s walking in audience that’s like for this engagement. That’s like stuff that many people don’t even know what Klaviyo does, until you explain it to them even inside SEO. So it’s like, I don’t want you guys to pigeonhole yourself. I want to give you like, like a 360 degree perspective of all the career options that are available to you. Within tech, SEO is not just agency or in house, like, there are so many routes that you can explore.


So keep an open mind. I like the idea of bringing someone who does artificial intelligence. Because again, that’s that’s really interesting stuff. I’m a big fan of AI. So Prachi shoot be some names. I’m done with that. Okay, anybody else? Anything else? You guys are all good, right? Okay, sorry, what’s up?


allison Kingsley 42:49



Chima Mmeje 42:51

My friend. Oh, this should be easy. This should be easy. Lazarina She’s my friend. So I’m gonna hit that up after this call. That’s easy. That’s easy. She’s doing interesting stuff with machine learning so we can we can definitely arrange that. Oh my god. I didn’t stop recording.

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