“I hate the word ‘expert.’ I mean, I don’t hate it when other people call me an expert. But I feel so uncomfortable with ever presenting myself that way just because I don’t think I’ll ever feel that way. But I guess, I’ve been in this industry for a long time and I have a lot of knowledge, but just… I felt like there’s always more to learn. I have a ton of things that are on my list when I have free time that I’m super excited about exploring.”
Educating clients on the basics of SEO, helping small businesses grow, and sharing her knowledge to members of the community through speaking and writing – these are just some of the things Shelly Fagin loves about working in the industry.
She describes herself as equal parts tech geek and creative and enjoys doing coding and technical SEO work, just as much as brainstorming and coming up with original marketing ideas.
Even though she’s been in the industry for about 18 years now, there’s still so much that Shelly is genuinely passionate and excited about.
She constantly pushes her boundaries and learning new stuff – leaving no room for complacency. And this is something more of us in the community should get inspired by.
In today’s edition of The Search Engine Journal Show, I talk to Shelly Fagin – an SEO pro you should get to know better.
About Shelly Fagin
Shelly Fagin has been a digital marketing consultant since 2002 so she’s been making websites doing SEO and marketing for about 18 years now.
For the past year, she’s also been the brand ambassador for SEMrush. She’s also a contributor to Search Engine Journal and this year, she’ll be one of four columnists sharing the Ask an SEO column.
She’s also spoken at numerous Pubcon events over the past five years. You may have also seen her at Digital Summit, American Marketing Association events, SEMrush events, or if you live in the Texas area, local events in Houston, Dallas, or Austin.
For about five years now, Shelly has been part of the Board of SearchHOU, a group for digital marketing professionals based in Houston, Texas.
Listen to this episode as I chat with Shelly about her passion for technology, technical SEO, and web development, as well as her take on the key factors to thrive and succeed in the industry.
- Shelly is mainly a technical SEO, but she still does a lot of web development. [2:55]
- Her favorite part of the job? Walking people through why they have the issues that they have and how to actually fix them in an understandable manner. [4:23]
- What led Shelly to enjoy teaching and educating clients? [6:31]
- On her experiences as a woman in our industry. [8:11]
- What does she do as a brand ambassador for SEMrush? [13:42]
- The organic research tool on SEMrush is still Shelly’s ultimate favorite tool. [17:57]
- Here’s what a typical workday looks like for Shelly as a consultant, brand ambassador, and parent. [19:31]
- Some productivity and time management tools and tactics she has tried over the years to stay on task. [22:03]
- Shelly’s definition of success for her clients and why she doesn’t consider herself successful but blessed. [25:47]
- The story of how Shelly got to the path of doing all the web development and eventually getting into the SEO and marketing side. [30:11]
- Shelly talks about the real challenges of being self-employed that sometimes make her want to “work for someone and get a paycheck that comes through my bank account automatically.” [48:06]
- The SEO project that makes her most proud. [54:28]
- Advice for people who are looking to get into speaking. What makes a good conference presentation? [1:02:52]
- The other must-have tools in Shelly’s arsenal. [1:11:57]
- Shelly’s top technical SEO tip that people should be making sure they’re doing in 2020. [1:15:03]
- Twitter has always been Shelly’s go-to for seeing what other people are publishing and writing about. [1:19:52]
- Is UX important for SEO? If so, how? [1:24:58]
- If Shelly wasn’t in search marketing, she would love to be in real estate instead. [1:28:00]
- If she could go back in time and give her younger self advice, it would be… [1:28:46]
- The best pieces of advice given to her were from family and friends. [1:31:08]
- What’s the worst piece of SEO advice she still hears? [1:32:25]
- Shelly’s tips for people who are just starting out in the industry and want to achieve long-term success. [1:33:47]
- The things that excite Shelly the most in the world of SEO. [1:37:02]
- What’s next for Shelly Fagin? [1:39:52]
Links from the Episode
How to connect with Shelly Fagin:
- Shelly Fagin on Search Engine Journal
- Ask an SEO on Search Engine Journal
- Screaming Frog
- Google Sheets
- Chrome Lighthouse
- Mary Davies
- Melissa Fach
- Greg Gifford
- Damon Gochneaur
- Rae Dolan
- Sean Dolan
- Brett Tabke
- David Vogelpohl
- Loren Baker
- Rebecca Gill
- Phil Drinkwater
- Paul Shapiro
- Casey Markee
To listen to this Search Engine Show: Better Know an SEO Pro Podcast with Shelly Fagin:
- Listen to the full episode at the top of this post
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- Listen on Stitcher, Overcast, or Pocket Casts
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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita