10,000 hours is a long period of time, and according to science it’s the estimated amount of time it takes to truly master a skill or become an expert. 10 minutes is damn site shorter and it’s the time we say it should take to learn a little something by reading today’s interview with self-described Italian firecracker Gabriella Sannino of Level 343.
Level 343 is a site dedicated to copywriting and organic SEO. How important is it to teach your clients about SEO? What’s it like working for a military contractor? And why does looking at Level 343’s site make you want to eat oranges so much? We quizzed Gabriella to find out all this and more.
Your site’s homepage is rather cleverly an example of SEO and what your company does in action. How did the decision to do that come about? And did the person who thought of it get a raise?
Ha! No, actually this was a team effort. We’ve written our site content so many times (3 – 5 different versions over the years) that we finally decided to take our own advice and write the words that speak of our brand. What we’re trying to invoke is comfort and a sense of familiarity. When you come to our office it’s the same thing; come in, sit down, what can we do for you?
The orange theme (the color and the fruit) is prevalent throughout your website. Is there a deeper meaning or reasoning behind this, or is it more of a case of just really liking orange?
Actually both. I personally love the color but working with our designer we discussed working with a color that expounded on who/what/why & how Level343 is and what our message should be. After some fact finding (R&R), we’ve discovered the color orange is about stimulation, success, creativity, strength, leadership and determination. Basically our brand in an orange.
Some of your testimonials allude to the fact that you, along with providing SEO services, teach people about them so they can help themselves after your business has concluded. How important do you feel it is to have a customer understand exactly what it is you’re doing and how they can emulate it in the future?
Extremely important. Some of our recommendations state we never leave our clients. Ha! Close to stalking without the ill intent. Even if they are no longer our clients.
You see, we take our work and relationships very seriously. We love what we do, and with that in mind we want our clients to be confident. This is one way to create a mutually respectable relationship. Besides, what we create regardless of the campaign is never a one-time fix. Especially when working on an SEO campaign. SEO is not the only aspect that’s changing; anything and everything that involves having your business on the Internet is changing. Online evolution is happening daily, whether it’s tools, applications, or a new social network, therefore it’s important to educate not only ourselves, but our clients and our community.
One of your clients listed is Sabre consulting and training, a company involved with the military. That seems like a unique site to work with. Were there any special considerations that needed to be taken into account or was it just like any other job?
Yes, this was a very special client/contract. As a matter of fact, I personally made sure we crossed our T’s and dotted our I’s on this contract because it needed special considerations that I’m not at liberty to discuss. Keep in mind this dealt with military defense, therefore several topics were off-limits, but we were able to get the right information on the site in order to accomplish their goals.
Like all good sites you have an FAQ section. Are there any questions you’re asked with more frequency than others? You know, the ones that make you sigh before answering them?
How much will it cost and how long will it take to get me in the first page/position on Google?
Do you have any advice to smaller sites who want to increase traffic or visibility, but don’t necessarily have the funds to use a company such as yours?
Sure, rule number one: Start paying attention to your data. Read as much as you can about SEO, traffic generation, leads, email marketing etc. and start testing things on your own site. Basically, spend at least a few hours a week staying informed and DOING the work. Last but not least pay attention (nurture) and build as much geo local into your online business as possible.
On the content creation side of things you talk about “content domination.” For the benefit of those reading, would you care to explain the thought process behind the term?
Number one, write excellent titles (spend at least 75% of your time coming up with the best ones). Number two, understand (own) what the strategy and goals are for your piece(s). And number three, relevance, relevance, relevance. Look, I love a great linkbait, but make sure you are connecting the dots, otherwise you will lose that influx of new traffic.
With that in mind, do you have an example you’re particularly proud of? A piece that dominated the hardest?
I have a few favorites some I’ve written while others our team had a hand in getting us the traffic. Using “AIDA” Method as Part of Your Internet Marketing Strategy; 10 Building Blocks of Great Meta Tags; and The 4 Layers of Online Brand Marketing.
Work for international clients gets its own page on your site. What special considerations have to be made when consulting with a client from overseas?
Yes, I personally speak, read, and write a few languages, therefore my comfort zone, knowledge, and work history has been in collaborating with international clients. It’s a natural fit and a no-brainer. Furthermore, in my humble opinion, there’s a definite need for global agencies that truly understand what it means to do business elsewhere. Last but not least our reach and team consists of seven countries and cover 13 languages fluently. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Finally, if your site hadn’t gone with the orange and fruit theme, what would it have chosen instead?
You can find more from Gabriella at Level 343, and even more from her on Twitter. However, she only posts Instagram pictures at one of those links, so choose wisely.