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Elena Terenteva

SEMrush Pro Talk with Heather Lutze

Elena Terenteva
SEMrush Pro Talk with Heather Lutze

Once I watched one video with Heather Lutze, speaker, CEO and expert SEO trainer, I couldn’t stop. She is inspiring, funny and smart.

Also, it’s not very often you hear the words “pain” and “love” when somebody is talking about the Google SERPs. But for business, these words mean a lot since everyone knows the disappointment from mistakes and the joys of success.

Today, Heather Lutze shares this “pain” and “love” with us, and her vision of a super hero.

Your training videos are so energetic! How do you get inspired?

I get inspired when I speak with companies and they tell me the issues and problems they have had in their online presence. I have a huge need to serve them and help them "no geek" the speak of SEO, and make changes that can help them with their websites and online content marketing.

I used to be all about tech conferences, and I worked for Yahoo! as a trainer for PPC across the U.S. But as I have matured in my career, it has become more about helping the small to medium-sized business owner who has had multiple failed relationships with SEO developers and web designers. I want them to get the results from online marketing they deserve. They should see a bottom line improvement from their investments in SEO. Or else, why bother?

Who is your role model?

My role model is probably my mother, Nancy Flanagan. I know it’s a bit predictable, but she is an amazing woman. Single mother, no child support, caring for two children with a full time job. She worked her buns off to provide for us. She showed me that no matter what life throws your way, there is a resourceful way to overcome any challenge.

We had challenges with money as a kid and I will never forget mom's creative strategy of "lights off picnics" when we lit candles, had Chinese food and ate on a blanket on the floor. It was the coolest thing ever and we never knew it was because she did not have enough money to pay the electrical bill. So smart and so resourceful. She is my role model, for sure.

How did you begin your career in SEO and SEM?

I have always had a big mouth. I was a bit of a lost employee searching for a company that could give me the freedom to make a difference in an organization. After being fired six times before I was 30, I decided that I probably needed to carve my own path and start my own business.

I was too bossy to have a boss. I have been self-employed and built two businesses (a web dev company and an SEM company), and sold both companies, all with an English degree with a minor in religious studies. I did write two books: “Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing” (Wiley) and “Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap to Social Media & Mobile Marketing.” My English professors would be so proud!

I had the great opportunity in my early 30's to be recruited to train advertisers for Yahoo! Search Marketing. I caught the speaking bug and have been hooked on speaking in the tech space ever since. I have been professionally speaking for over six years now, and have traveled around the world speaking in London, Fiji and Vegas multiple times with Tony Robbins Business Mastery.

I will be receiving, fingers crossed, my CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation this summer from the National Speakers Association. It’s like a doctorate in speaking professionally. I speak to hundreds of CEOs every year on Findability Formula strategies for the non-technical business executive. This is what I primarily focus on today.

Can you briefly describe your book, “The Findability Formula”?

“Findability Formula” is a non-technical approach to SEO that is written for the business owner. After speaking for Yahoo! and working with so many clients over the years, you hear the same problems and issues that business owners complain about over and over again. I wrote “Findability Formula” to address their concerns, misunderstandings and give them clear, tactical advice they could implement.

“Findability” is composed of three ingredients: Customers’ online “Path to Purchase,” keywords customers use when they are ready to buy, and website SEO tactics that help them implement themselves or hold the SEO person in their life accountable.

SEO changes really fast. What are some things to always be on top of, no matter what?

I agree with you that SEO changes fast, but my experience is that the customer’s wants, issues and problems within a given business niche do not change that much over time. Also, the essentials of SEO — keywords, content, images and links — have stood the test of time with updates along the way.

I now sprinkle in Authorship and Hummingbird updates that matter to the business owner, but don't spend a lot of time on understanding every line of the Google algorithm. We will leave that work to the nerds in our lives. :)

Finally, if you could be a super hero, who would you be?

I think Wonder Woman is my ideal super hero. She had a truth lasso, an invisible plane and wore a super cute outfit with boots. You can call me Wonder Woman anytime. Any woman who endeavors to be a business owner, a mother, a speaker and a wife is already a super hero in my book!

Thank you, Heather!

Heather Lutze is a widely acclaimed SEO speaker, trainer and consultant. She runs her agency Findability Consulting and Speaking in Denver, CO. She works with clients to help them connect with warm prospects online and converts them to massive increase in sales and bottom line results. Heather just launched Findability University, an SEO educational web based and live workshop platform for business owners and their marketing team. Heather has two books: The Findability Formula. Visit Heather at Findability.com.

Elena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush.

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