Lookadoo. Does a groovier last name exist? Studies* show that four out of five marketers don’t believe it’s a real surname at first- convinced instead it’s some cutting-edge, clever brand alias thought up by a Mad-Men-tastic team on the top floor of a swank skyscraper. She once explained to me at a networking event in Vegas “Lookadoo’s” pretty righteous cultural origins (thereby convincing me of its authenticity), but I’m ashamed to say I sort of forgot the details. Had I chosen to imbibe in her trademark SEO Insights Seltzer rather than red wine, perhaps I would have retained such valuable information.
If you’ve ever met Dana Lookadoo, heard her speak at a conference, or even just followed along with the stream of rockstar industry resources she tweets daily, you probably don’t need any convincing of her dedication to and understanding of the online marketing community. She’s equal parts sweet, smart, and sass- a trifecta that’s served her well as founder of Yo! Yo! SEO, a boutique agency focused on Word-of-Mouth SEO. With sixteen years of professional experience in the Internet industry and nearly half of that centered on e-Commerce site dev and full-on SEO, Dana’s a force to be reckoned with in the world. Wide…. Web…
Just a few weeks outside of #SMX West, aimClear had a fun, albeit figurative, sit-down with Dana to discuss, among other things, her upcoming Day-3 presentation on SEO Essentials For Migrating Websites. We also happened to chat about social media faux pas, tweet tips, and exotic animals, if you must know. Interest piqued? Read on for the full effect.
| aimClear: Who are you, and where do you come from, Lady Lookadoo? Also, how did you end up in this professional field?
Dana Lookadoo: Well, well, well… let me dig deep down into it and draw out some water from the past. I’m a heartbreaker, dream maker, love taker. Don’t mess around with me. Uh, oh wait, that was before SEO. No, I don’t have Marty’s music roots, but I did play clarinet – 1st chair in the State Honor Band when growing up in Marin County. I didn’t pursue music but fell in love with sales and marketing when I started my own Amway business at 17. (Yes, I was prospecting my friends’ parents as a senior in high school.) I dig back quite far when thinking how I got into this field, because at one point I wanted to be a CPA or an English teacher. I later got into the PC industry and began training people twice my age, those who only knew how to use mainframes.
Years later, I heard about the “Web” and realized the Internet was where I could to unleash my left-right brain and love for writing, marketing, people and education. After teaching Web Design at Cal State University, Monterey Bay, I savored doorway pages and white-on-white text. It was like a good song. I couldn’t get it out of my brain or blood.
| aC: Truly rad. Tell us the top five women you look up to in the online marketing industry– and why?
DL: OK…now to the tough questions. I’m not going to take the most-popular-girls-from-high-school approach. The following women have made an impact on my life without their knowing it.
Laura Lippay – When Laura Lippay speaks, I want to be there to listen! I love, love, love her ability to “speak” SEO to the C-Suite, the marketing departments, the programmers, and more. I still hold dear written notes I’ve taken from talking with her about dashboards she developed while at Yahoo!. Her ability to apply a strategic approach to just about any industry and to share that with a broad audience is absolutely phenomenal. She really is an acrobat in how she can perform and make it all come together and look so easy.
Annie Cushing – OK, Annie’s one of my closest friends, so I’m biased here. As an SEO and online marketer, I cherish, desire, and salivate over her business acumen and especially her analytics and Excel skills. I keep telling her I want a “Vulcan Annielytics Mind Meld.” I just hope my brain would not explode! What do I admire most? Her ability to take complex topics, e.g. reg ex, and explain them in layman’s terms. She’s just about the best when it comes to “teaching” as she writes, speaks, creates video, and even when she tweets.
Jessica Bowman – Jessica Bowman makes me, almost, want to be an in-house SEO. (Again, emphasis is on “almost”!) Listening to her speak and reading her posts about the processes of working with teams, pulling everyone together to “own” SEO, is inspiring. I’ve learned to take a similar approach and call upon many of her insights as a consultant working with corporations, even though I’m “out-house.” Learning about her approach to SEO audits years ago helped me take my audits to a higher level of strategy. I remember being nervous to meet her, and now I’m going to have the greatest honor imaginable by being on the same panel with her at SMX West!
Cindy Turrietta – Cindy Turrietta was one of the first women I “followed” after meeting her at SES San Jose in 2005. I listened to her eMarketing Talk Show podcast almost every week. I savored her incessant need for information and lover her lack of timidity in asking questions of her hosts. Cindy’s not “active” in the spaces many of us are socially, but she’s become a good friend “behind the scenes.” Because of her many, many years in business, she’s someone I can call on for insight and get solid advice.
Lynda Weinman – She’s not categorized as an online marketer, and we’ve never met. But I use her information almost daily without realizing it. She’s a graphics designer and trainer and the woman behind Lynda.com. I studied her in the late 1990s and learned how to deliver messages via graphics and the use of color, etc. Her books, Photoshop, and Flash tutorials taught me about the psychology of design and how all that is related to marketing…and now to content-driven SEO.
| aC: Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing What should social media marketers never do if they don’t want to get blasted by the entire world wide web?
DL: Write a post saying “SEO is dead.”
| aC: Hah! Well played. If you would be so kind as to share your 3 favorite tactics for encouraging retweets, or crafting content for optimal… rebroadcastability?
DL: 1. Don’t use terms like “rebroadcastability” in your tweets or content. Big words confuse people. Don’t try to sound smart or like you went to school at Harvard, even if you did. Use words that people use. Plus, shorter words make it easier to keep tweets retweetable in <=140.
2. Tweet formatting:
- Open with the title of the post, possibly a comment or insight about the article
- Follow that by the short URL to the page
- List “by” or “via” @twitterhandle
- Add a #hashtag if applicable
3. KISS. Keep It Simply, Studly – Think about the stereotype of studs. They grunt and don’t use a lot of verbose language. They know what they want, like hunters. They want to get in, go for the kill, drag it back to the cave. If you can write tweets that the ADD studs and studettes can grasp quickly, you’re likely to get your content retweeted.
| aC: Noted . The morning of Day 3 at SMX West, attendees will find you on the SEO Essentials For Migrating Websites panel. Let’s get a glimpse at what you’ll be dishing up!
DL: Ahhh… a perfect opportunity to share some insights into the SMX panel. Check out my notes on SEO and website migration for a glimpse. Having just completed a huge CMS migration, I’m fresh with some “what to dos” and a few “what not to dos.” I’ll be opening the panel with a big-picture overview, addressing website migration from discovery, planning and implementation to launch and cleanup – keeping SEO at the core of each phase. I’ll also share a spreadsheets or two others can use. Everyone loves process and spreadsheets, right?
| aC: Right-o! Speaking of loves — favorite adult beverage, vacation spot, and exotic animal – GO!
DL: Hmmm… now I have to tell my secrets? For conferences, my preferred bubbly is the “SEO Insights Seltzer” – Pellegrino or club soda with a shot of cranberry juice and a lime. When hanging out with the crowds, by the 3rd or 4th drink, it’s guaranteed to help one remember all the juicy SEO elixirs that get “spilled.”
Vacation spot – anywhere warm I can ride my bicycle and return to a resort with full WiFi signal and a Jacuzzi tub.
Exotic animal – a jaguar. They’re strong, sleek, calculating, and incredibly fast. Every time I see a hood emblem of an XK or R series, I’m weak in the knees and tempted to rev up the engines.
| aC: Wow! So now we know your sneak-seltzer tactic AND your black-spotted Achilles’ heel Lucky we’re friends! Thanks for your time today, Dana. Have a safe trip out to San Jose, and good luck at the show!
*No such studies exist. But still, come on!