REALITY SEO: Jude Love: How I went from SEO-curious to SEO-confident

REALITY SEO: Jude Love: How I went from SEO-curious to SEO-confident
Reading Time: 17 minutes

 

Niching, knowing your audience & personal branding

 

In my Reality SEO episodes, I like to focus on real humans grappling with the Google beast, and Digital Marketing.

I get all sorts passing through my slippery funnel of courses and resources: marketing professionals, copywriters, e-commerce owners, web developers, and real business humans.

Today we’re talking to Jude Love, a former student of The Recipe for SEO Success Show, a member of The Digital Masterchefs, and an absolute personal branding beast.

 

 

About Jude Love

 

A WordPress web developer, Jude builds technically speedy, beautiful sites for eCommerce and business clients who look for the best site framework, UX, copy, and expert content guidance.

Over the past year, she’s concentrated on how this is applied to people wanting greater visibility and searchability for their own brand – their Personal Brand.

How values are expressed online to attract aligned customers, partnerships, and opportunities.

An interesting fact about Jude: She built toilets on Santorini, & while pregnant unknowingly ate a tiger – She was a vegetarian environmentalist at the time.

 

 

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If you like what you’re hearing on The Recipe for SEO Success Show, support the show by taking a few seconds to leave a rating and/or comment on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, or Stitcher. Thanks!

And big thanks to Kelly Chase for their lovely review:

There are some really great tips on this podcast and Kate always has really interesting and valuable guests.

 

Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about SEO.”

 

Connect with Jude Love

 

Useful Resources

 

 

Transcript

 

Kate Toon:

In my Reality SEO episodes, I like to focus on real humans grappling the Google beast and handling their digital marketing. I get all sorts passing through my slippery funnel of courses and resources, marketing professionals, copywriters, e-commerce store owners, web developers, and real business humans. And today we’re talking to one of those humans, Jude Love, a former student of The Recipe for SEO Success course, a member of Digital Masterchefs, and an absolute personal branding beast. Hello, my name is Kate Toon and I’m the head chef at The Recipe for SEO Success, an online teaching hub for all things related to search engine optimization and digital marketing and today I’m talking with Jude Love. Hello Jude.

Jude Love:

Hello, Kate. Thanks for having me.

Kate Toon:

It’s good to have you here. Now, if you go to the show notes for this episode, you will see that Jude and I are wearing the exact same colour glasses which was just serendipitous and fabulous, but I feel is a good omen for this episode, but let me explain who the heck Jude is. So Jude is a WordPress web developer and builds technically speedy, beautiful sites for e-commerce and business clients who look for the best site framework, UX, copy, and expert content guidance.

Over the past few years, she’s concentrated more on how this apply to people wanting greater visibility and searchability for their own brand, their personal brand, how values are expressed online to attract aligned customers, partnerships, and opportunities. So personal branding is Jude’s jam. It’s also my jam. So while this is an Reality SEO episode, we’re also going to talk a bit about personal branding. Hey, interesting fact about Jude. She built toilets on Santorini while pregnant, unknowingly ate a tiger. She was a vegetarian environmentalist at the time. You ate a whole tiger or just a piece of a tiger?

Jude Love:

Just a bit of a tiger. It was in Vietnam and they had some meat that they offered to put on our breakfast noodles and I said yes. And then someone came along and said, “Oh, you’re eating a tiger. Fantastic.”

Kate Toon:

Ew!

Jude Love:

I know. I know. I know.

Kate Toon:

Gosh. That’s not a good feeling, isn’t it?

Jude Love:

It wasn’t a good feeling. It did challenge my values, my brand values at the time.

Kate Toon:

I love that segue. See what you did there? See what you did? You just tied it back to personal branding, but you know what? I also did Jude. That showed some vulnerability, which is an important part of having a personal. You have to share some of your stories, even if you’ve eaten a tiger, sometimes you have to let people know. So we’ll talk about eating your own personal tiger during the show today, but let’s go way back. Let’s wind the clock back to 1927 when you first did my SEO course. No, I think you were one of the earliest people to do the course.

Jude Love:

Awesome. Great. It felt as though you were fully in the flow and-

Kate Toon:

I was fairly flowy. I was pretty flowy. You were in the first round, those poor people. Gosh. Those poor people are still in all the membership, so it’s great. They’re my first 20, I will love them till the day I die. But look, let’s go back before you really started your SEO journey and before you really knew what SEO was. I mean, how did you feel about Google and search engine optimization before you kind of got stuck in? 

Jude Love:

So I thought that SEO was a bit of a con to be honest. A whole load of my clients were saying, look, I’m getting these calls from people and they’re saying I can get more clients if I just put a phone number on every page of my site. And now I’m in some sort of terrible direct debit scheme and they’ve charged me $8,000 for the past year and all I’ve got is a phone number on my site. So I was a little suspicious about SEO, but then-

Kate Toon:

And you became SEO curious, right? That’s the term.

Jude Love:

I did become SEO curious because I kept getting customers. As I was starting my web development business, I found that I was attracting customers who just wanted to put a website up and then forget about it and not even understand fully what they were doing online or why they were there. They just seemed to be ticking boxes. So I became more interested in how I could give them a better understanding of how they were appearing online so that they had better return on investment really. And then I remember seeing you talk at a WordCamp a million years ago and I just completely fell in love. And I thought, this is-

Kate Toon:

With me or SEO?

Jude Love:

With you, and I just thought to myself, this is the piece that I can share with clients that support what I was saying, which is you need to speak to your clients and you need to know who you are in order to be able to do that.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. And I think the thing that I love about you and the WordPress developers that do the course and they’re in the membership is they don’t want to provide a shoddy product to a client. They don’t want to make a website and then the client says, “Oh, I’m not worried about SEO.” And they go, “Okay then.” They want to challenge the client and say, “Hey, hang on here. You can’t build a website and not worry about SEO.” SEO is entering to the architecture of the site, to your brand voice, to the keywords you’re going to use, to everything you’re doing, the plugins you chose. So you can’t make it an add and I really felt like its something that was important, you wanted to provide that value and you didn’t want to hoodwink clients. And so look, you started your SEO journey, not just with me. I mean, as you said, we were both big fans of WordCamp and there’s lots of other resources online, but when you first started that SEO journey, what surprised you about SEO?

Jude Love:

That SEO wasn’t a dark art. That there was absolute common sense behind SEO and actually all of those common sense things that drew me to SEO, which was creating good content, knowing who you are and what your business does and knowing who your client is and being able to marry up the solution that you provide with the problem that your client is seeking to solve, is sort of SEO perfect marriage. And as long as I could help clients understand that what they were buying from me was really good technically, and you certainly made me understand this completely, a site needs to be really good technically, it needs to solve those user experience problems. So user experience means that someone coming to your website knows how to navigate, knows how to find what they’re after, knows how to find the solution and contact you.

And all of those things come together under SEO. And it’s not just, I remember when we were first talking about keyword stuffing and people were sort of putting invisible keywords in a layer on their website behind everything else. That was sort of rubbish dark arts, but there were some other dark arts going on and I wanted to be able to help people understand that it’s not dark arts, it’s just common sense. It’s just knowing what your business does and putting yourself in the mind of your client and understanding what they would be searching for. And so you are reflecting that back on a website that works really well for you and for your client.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. I like that. And something we were talking about, we make little notes for these shows beforehand, and I like the way you express it. It’s not a dark art, but it can be magical, when you bring those things together they’re magical. You have a little analogy here about the bloke that needs a present for his Holden tragic dad. What was that all about? You were saying that like… Explain what you meant there? Google loves you, was the vibe, right? 

Jude Love:

It doesn’t matter how niche you are on the internet. So long as you explain what you’re doing, you are going to be able to reach your perfect client. So whether or not you are a cleaner in Brisbane who does brilliant end-of-lease cleaning or you are a homeware store or whether or not you are selling the last Brock steering wheel cover for a Holden loving dad, you are going to be able to find your ideal client because you’ve explained what that tiny little perfect you shaped piece of the puzzle is on your site.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. I love that. And I think we’re going to talk a little bit at the end of this episode about personal branding and how that ties back to SEO, but I think that’s it. People try to be vanilla and they try to be general and that really doesn’t work for an SEO point of view because then you’re competing with everybody. Yes, there’s lots of volume for what you are putting yourself out there for, but there’s also lots of competition. And the riches are in the niches when it comes to SEO, getting really clear on the unique thing that you sell or the unique way that you do it, as you said, the cleaner in Brisbane, pretty generic term.

But if you are a really great oven cleaner in Brisbane and that’s the thing that you specialise in or you’re great at sort of those things where you cut to the driveway, high water pressure cleaning. Finding something that differentiates you, or maybe it’s a personal value that makes you a great cleaner, you are reliable cleaner, you’re a trustworthy cleaner. Something to do with your personality and who you are, the honest cleaner, the honest plumber, you can find those elements as well. And they are search terms, they are modifiers that make you easier to be found. So look, you initially took on SEO to help your clients, but how has it helped your business since as well? So what big changes have you made since you learned about SEO?

Jude Love:

One of the biggest changes that I’ve made is to be able to ensure that I’m delivering a really good structure as a framework for the websites that I build. And that means that it works well, it’s always safe and secure, it’s got notifications to tell you when you are up and when you’re down, when your contact form is working, when your contact form isn’t working, and it’s giving people a really good speedy delivery, and now I optimise. One of my products that I deliver clients is to optimise for Google Core Web Vitals, but also more importantly and more interestingly for me, because although I love knowing that I can give my clients a really good quality product, which is a beautifully working WordPress website, I can also help them craft how they’re going to message what they do so that they can find their clients and their customers. 

My previous work life, when I was working outside of Love Communications, was with publishing firms, with major newspapers and major magazine mastheads and so words have always really interested me. And I felt as though when clients were coming to me, there was a disconnect. It was almost they felt as though they needed to apply some sort of website speak around their services or their products that wasn’t them. And I think this goes back to what you were saying about being vanilla.

I found myself being very curious about what made them different and helping them articulate that. And helping them create a really good homepage which orients people, which speaks less about each feature of what they provide and more about the solutions that they are providing their clients. And so it’s the future that you are going to be giving that client and not the features that you help them with. So it’s speaking about how your solution is going to provide that transformation for clients. 

Kate Toon:

So you’ve talked there about how SEO helps your clients moving them from features to solutions, showing the transformation, but what about your transformation? You’ve learned SEO, you can now talk about it with confidence, give it to your clients. How has that changed your business from being just your worker day WordPress web developer, to who you are now? How has SEO helped with that? Or how has just digital marketing helped with that? [00:14:19]

Jude Love:

You spoke earlier about how it’s important that we’re not vanilla, that we represent ourselves online. And having the confidence now through learning about SEO and what underpins search, what underpins clients looking for your products and your services has helped me understand that if you can articulate really well the difference that you are, you are going to be able to attract those clients who are absolutely seeking that difference. And in so doing, they are further on the discovery journey.

So they’re a little bit closer to purchasing from you if you’re a retailer, they’re a little bit closer to trusting that you are going to be their solution provider if you’re a service provider. And how I’ve been able to understand my own search for that is actually through another thing that you had started talking about last year in our Digital Masterchefs group, which is personal branding.

Kate Toon:

Yeah.

Jude Love:

And so the story of you, the story of your products, the story of your business helps engage that customer or that client, because you are taking them on a narrative journey and that helps bridge this sort of cognitive gap between engaging you or not engaging you, buying from you or not buying from you.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. I love that because I think you are a WordPress developer, I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you are an older WordPress developer. There’s a lot of young snappers coming up. You’re also a female in a semi predominantly male world.

Jude Love:

Yes. Absolutely.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. So trying to find your point of difference as a WordPress developer can be harder. And I think you’ve done that very well through this personal branding piece. And as you said, some people just want a basic WordPress site, but some people want a WordPress site that’s going to develop them as a brand, that’s going to show their values, their personality, their story and that’s what you offered. That’s the niche that you’ve found. So as you said, someone typing in, website for personal brand, you are going to be perfect for them. It’s a bravery in that. The more niched you get, the more clear you get on your offering. Obviously you’re turning away a lot of people who don’t want that and that can be a bit scary for some business owners, don’t you think?

Jude Love:

Oh, absolutely. And that’s an important part of it. Filtering out the tyre-kickers, that’s an efficiency for me as well. I do get a lot of tyre-kickers and you referred to gender bias in our industry. I have wondered whether in the past I wasn’t getting the higher tech jobs because it was a woman who was talking to them about the technology and keeping their sites safe? But to be honest, that’s not where my love for what I do was landing anyway. I love to be able to do all of that, to be able to have the knowledge and the resources. I work with a developer and we’re really good at building really good technical websites, but my real passion is helping people absolutely articulate and find their client.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. I think that’s it. And the two things aren’t mutually exclusive. You don’t have to choose between a well-articulated website and a technical website. And I think you in particular, you can do the tech stuff that doesn’t set your heart on fire. Other female developers love the tech side. So I think it’s fine to be that creature and have different attributes, but I just love that you’ve really realised that your superpower is helping people draw out their brand even if they don’t think they have one, understand what their values are, understand how to express their personality, find those adjectives to describe themselves that then become modifiers for their keyword searches. And as you said, get customers who are further down the conversion path, it all ties in rather beautifully.

So I love that, that’s been your journey and now that’s a journey you’re helping other people on as well. So look, we’re going to wrap up. We’re going to give some tips for our listeners. Now, you’ve got four tips I can see. Four tips for our listeners, which I love. So let’s wrap up with those. What are your tips, Jude, for anybody listening to this episode to take to improve their SEO, their personal brand and their overall website presence?

Jude Love:

The first is to understand your business and your clients because the only way to reach those clients is to know them and that sounds simplistic-

Kate Toon:

But you’d be surprised.

Jude Love:

-but there is a journey I know myself. I mean, as you know, I’ve got a number of businesses on the go. Finding the time to really interrogate why you’re in business, interrogate who your ideal client is, is a very powerful tool to building a sustainable and a really good, strong financially viable business because you are able to reach your clients.

Kate Toon:

I love that. And number two is one I definitely agree with. Tell the audience what number two is?

Jude Love:

That a website is a really valuable tool. If you look at what your clients are seeking and how they find you, because if you are looking at those analytics about how clients are coming to you, what your traffic is like, you can make better business decisions faster because you’ve got this extra layer of information on board. And it helps you be a stronger business.

Kate Toon:

Yeah, totally. I mean, I am a huge believer in that your website is possibly your most important business asset, I think is very underestimated usually by people who don’t understand how their website can help them. Now, we were talking about brand values. What are a couple of your brand values and how do you think you could pass those on to the users? What are your two core brand values do you think?

Jude Love:

For me within my Love Communications business, it’s listening and curiosity. Now, I know and I’ve been at the pointy end of people who come in and give you their opinions about what you should do in your business and sort of walk over the top of you to implement their solution for you, but that’s not the way I work. I know that there’s an efficiency in that if you’ve got a one size fits all product, that can absolutely be a really good solution for a lot of people, but it’s not the way I work. And so listening to my clients and being curious about what’s driving them and what’s driving their customers are pretty much my top values for Love Communications and for my personal brand aspect of that and also for dealing with my business clients.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. And I think listening and curiosity for sure is an important part of SEO as well. Being super curious about everything and digging and digging and digging, finding the answer. So, one final tip for the listeners before we finish up?

Jude Love:

SEO is not just keywords, it’s not just traffic, it’s not just followers on social, it’s everything and more. It’s telling the full story of your business and of your brand so that you can reach the clients who are looking for you and the world is large. And really the universe is infinite and it’s okay to filter out the tyre kickers because people will be attracted to that lovely you shaped piece of their puzzle.

Kate Toon:

I love that. The you shaped piece of their puzzle, I’m going to steal that. I think that’s fantastic. I think that’s it. So getting to the core of who you are, what you stand for, what your values are, what your story is and expressing that on your site so that you make genuine connections. You’re not just trying to appeal to everybody. Jude, I love that. Before we finish up, tell everybody where they can find out more about you.

Jude Love:

My web development site is lovecommunications.com.au and I’m on Instagram with Love Communications. Also, within Love Communications I’m building out personal brand sites for people and I’m loving doing that. And so I’ve been doing a lot of content writing on my own personal brand site, which is judelove.com.au and on Instagram I’m Love Jude Love.

Kate Toon:

Fantastic. All right. Well, we’ll include links to all those websites in the show notes, but Jude, thank you so much for your time today.

Jude Love:

Thanks so much, Kate. It’s just been a pleasure. I love listening to the podcast and it’s such-

Kate Toon:

And Now you’re on it.

Jude Love:

Oh, hello. Just a thrill. Thanks so much. I love Digital Masterchefs. One of the other things that really keeps my business going and feeds my curiosity is being part of Digital Masterchefs, which is another of your groups. We talk to each other about business. We help each other with new trends and new software and new things that are going to help us. And it’s just a very fertile area to exercise your business muscles in. It’s a very-

Kate Toon:

I love that.

Jude Love:

… supportive area.

Kate Toon:

I’m going to steal that line. I didn’t tell her to say that, but for those of you who don’t know, Digital Masterchefs is my membership and we’ve got lots of different types of businesses in there, including WordPress developers and store owners. And I think for me, that group is as much for me as it is for anybody else. Because I just need a safe space to run ideas by people and to find out if my thinking is correct and I can’t keep up with everything. I’m very into SEO and copywriting and personal branding, but I’m not so great on Instagram, I’m not so great on TikTok or LinkedIn or automation or email marketing. So having that group where everyone’s into their thing and they share it so willingly is as much for me as it is for the members. So there we go, but thank you Jude. Thank you for the little plug at the end and we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks very much.

Jude Love:

Thanks so much, Kate.

Kate Toon:

So that’s the end of this week’s show. If you have questions about personal branding, SEO, digital marketing, then always feel free to head to my I Love SEO group on Facebook or my other group, the Misfit Entrepreneurs. And if you are really keen on personal branding, head to katetoon.com. There is a free personal branding workbook there. It’s an 18 page, cool, sexy, free document that’s going to help you work out everything Jude was talking about. What makes you special? What’s your story? What are your values? What is your personality? Do you even have a personality? I hope you do.

Anyway, I like to end the show with a shout out to one of my love listeners and this week it’s Kelly Chase. Thanks Kelly. She says, there are some great tips on this podcast and Kate always has really interesting and valuable guests. I highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about SEO. So thanks Kelly and thanks Jude and thank you for listening. If you like the show, don’t forget to leave a review and don’t forget to check out the show notes where you’ll find out more about Jude, check out useful links and you can leave a comment about the show.

Now, let’s do a little advertisement. If you are ready to take SEO into your own hands, check out my big Recipe for SEO Success course. In it, you’ll learn my tried and tested SEO tactics that can deliver rankings, more traffic, and more conversions. It’s a practical, easy to understand SEO course that gives you the confidence to manage your own SEO without the need for expensive experts. You’ll find out more at The Recipe for SEO Success site. I have a free course, a short course, and the big, fat course too. So, until next time, happy SEOing.