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The Search Engine Journal Show

Oct 5, 2021

Do you know which SEO strategies will successfully drive traffic, leads, and sales for your company?


Do you need insights on how to approach online visibility?


When it comes to SEO, success often depends not on what you do but on how you do it.


Eli Schwartz, the author of the book "Product-Led SEO,” joins Loren Baker on this episode to discuss long-term SEO strategies and how to implement an SEO mindset throughout your company.


Instead of offering step-by-step guidelines and techniques, this discussion digs into the logic and theory of SEO as a whole.


“What I call product-led SEO is taking many, many steps back and asking these questions:



  • Why is a search user going to find us? 
  • How is the search user going to experience our website? 
  • Is there a reason that Google should send search users to us? 
  • When our audience finds us, will they fall into some sort of funnel?” –Eli Schwartz


“Many times engineers aren't at all sold on SEO, so therefore, you have to get them to care to do something for you that doesn't actually benefit their bonus or benefit the way they're going to be measured.


That's more important than a win, because if you get someone to care about your goals and you can scratch their back, and they'll scratch your back, that helps you further down the road.” –Eli Schwartz



[0:00] -  How Eli started and how SEJ led him down the path to his book

[02:41] - Where Eli spent most of his career

[04:12] - What he learned working for a company like Survey Monkey

[04:53] - What VPs and Chief Product Officers generally think about SEO

[06:06] - How Survey Monkey was in 2012 with no SEO but a lot of brand value

[06:33] - What caused Eli to change his entire approach to SEO?

[08:00] - The reason why he says “no” to some clients 

[09:23] - When does it make sense to hire an SEO consultant?

[11:01] - Things to look out for besides communicating with CTOs and engineers

[11:34] - What Eli does in initial conversations with clients

[14:47] - Steps to becoming an insider of a company you consult for

[16:04] - Why in-house SEO is broken?

[17:41] - How Eli approaches each new client

[19:06] - The way most companies think of SEO

[20:31] - Why it’s so much better to hire a consultant than staff-out?

[23:46] - Where do consultants fill the gap?

[25:24] - What led Eli to the Bay area?

[27:39] - Eli’s mentor positions

[29:42] - Highlight chapters in Eli’s book “Product Led SEO”

[30:57] - What is product-led SEO?

[33:28] - What does SEO need to move away from?

[35:12] - The big picture you need to see

[36:51] - Getting buy-in in with the rest of the marketing team

[37:23] - What Eli learned about goals

[40:02] - Advantages of being in-house at Survey Monkey

[44:48] - When Eli did SEO on his own name and discovering the world-famous epidemiologist

[50:56] - The story behind the Twitter handle @5le    


“The reason I wrote the book was that I wanted to change the conversation on what SEO is. Product-led SEO is not at all something I invented or coined; it’s just a way of approaching SEO.” –Eli Schwartz


“Can you get the job done? Is there a buy-in? Even if you cannot do that 100 percent before you sign the contract, see what you can do. What’s going to be able to move the needle to get buy-in and to get champions within the company to communicate that accordingly.” –Loren Baker


“I think SEO needs to move away from this conversation of where am I ranking, what are my keywords and focus on who are my users and why should I build for them.” –Eli Schwartz