Taylor Richardson Interview Part 1 - The Value of Search Marketing Across Different Industries


In June 2017 our CEO Mike Krass had the pleasure of interviewing Taylor Richardson, marketing manager at TurboSquid.com in beautiful New Orleans, Louisiana.

Our discussion covered the following topics

  • How the value of search marketing is perceived across different types of businesses (eCommerce and Financial Services, as two examples)
  • The future of search marketing, specifically looking at voice search and connect IoT devices
  • The interviewee becomes the interviewer! Taylor will ask me any question she wants

In this first post we discussed the value of search marketing. Enjoy!

Mike: Today we have Taylor Richardson, marketing manager at Turbo Squid in beautiful New Orleans, Louisiana with us on this episode of Hard Questions. Taylor, why don’t you introduce yourself to the listeners, viewers, and readers?

Taylor R: Thank you so much for having me, first of all. Like Mike said, I’m Taylor Richardson. I just moved back to New Orleans about six months ago. I’ve been doing digital marketing for about five years now. I originally started in the banking and financial space and then just recently moved over to the digital art and graphic design 3-D modeling side of things.

Mike: Were you doing digital marketing and SEO in the banking industry as well?

Taylor R: Yes. That industry I think is kind of at the cusp of a lot of innovations when it comes to how they market themselves online. It gave me a really great opportunity to sink my teeth in and wrap my head around it. Now I’m excited to be doing it in a different environment.

Mike: Today we have Taylor Richardson, marketing manager at Turbo Squid in beautiful New Orleans, Louisiana with us on this episode of Hard Questions. Taylor, why don’t you introduce yourself to the listeners, viewers, and readers?

Taylor R: Thank you so much for having me, first of all. Like Mike said, I’m Taylor Richardson. I just moved back to New Orleans about six months ago. I’ve been doing digital marketing for about five years now. I originally started in the banking and financial space and then just recently moved over to the digital art and graphic design 3-D modeling side of things.

Mike: Were you doing digital marketing and SEO in the banking industry as well?

Taylor R: Yes. That industry I think is kind of at the cusp of a lot of innovations when it comes to how they market themselves online. It gave me a really great opportunity to sink my teeth in and wrap my head around it. Now I’m excited to be doing it in a different environment.

Mike: Let’s dive into education around search marketing. Give me an estimate here. How much time do you estimate, let’s say, in hours per week, that you are educating your colleagues at Turbo Squid about search marketing?

Taylor R: That’s a good question. It’s really an ongoing thing. I think because digital marketing is still relatively new and it changes all the time, especially SEO. It changes almost on a day to day basis. I probably spend an hour or two hours educating myself and also educating other people who are working on different aspects of the digital marketing and SEO efforts that we have going on right now.

I think personally in my free time I probably spend an hour to two hours a week maybe just going way down the rabbit hole, going way out there to the future and thought leadership aspects of SEO and digital marketing.

Mike: Got it. When you’re educating your colleagues how do you merchandise why search is valuable? In other words; When you’re talking to your colleagues how do you show the value of SEO or search in general?

Taylor R: At Turbo Squid we’re really fortunate to have a team that is already convinced of the value of SEO. I don’t have to necessarily sell them on the value of it. We’re 100% e-commerce and we’re international. I think it is very clear to everyone in the company and everyone on the marketing team just how important that is and how important it is that we’re always seen as favorable in Google’s eyes.

In the past it’s been a challenge to bring the rest of the team on board with the value of search. Back in my banking life we had several brick and mortar locations and the difficulty was proving to our executives and the powers that be that Google was actually responsible for the majority of our leads. I think the perception was that a lot of that was naturally coming in the front door.

We as marketers know that Google probably brought them to the door because they had to look for directions, they had to get a phone number, they did some research ahead of time. It was a lot more challenging to merchandise it for them I believe. We started to make some headway by really trying to make the most out of our Google Analytics integration with our website.

I think data doesn’t lie unless it’s set up incorrectly. When you have good clean data it’s really hard to deny when you see how many times somebody visits your website before they actually click to the directions to come to the front door. Using as much of the resources, like the digital tracking tools that you have available to paint that picture and tell the story and use the data to tell that story, I think is probably the most effective way to overcome that perception that Google search isn’t really bringing that much business.

Mike: Obviously you live in this utopian world now with Turbo Squid, everyone loves search, it’s a great place to be for your role specifically. Let’s stay in the banking days, even when you brought analytics reports from Google Analytics or Google My Business or Maps or something like that, did you still receive any push back from some of those stakeholders? Like in a specific branch where they just looked at you like, “You could show me anything. It’s not really going to change my opinion that I think everyone just walked in here on their own volition”?

Taylor R: Yeah, we did. Honestly, I don’t know if I have the answer because I think at that point it is a personality issue. I don’t know that there’s really one way of tackling it. I think it comes down to if somebody is going to blatantly ignore the data that’s right in front of them, either it’s an issue of trust, they don’t trust the data, maybe they don’t trust the person or the department that it’s coming from or their level of expertise.

In that situation, I would kind of take it on a case by case scenario and really sit down with that person and try to get a sense of what do they think is happening and then maybe show them with the data, “Well, okay, let’s try to either prove or disprove your hypothesis.” If they are correct, then as a data person we would want to know that truth too.

That’s how I would tackle that situation. For good reason, I think a lot of people don’t necessarily want to trust all the information that Google is giving because there is a course of bias. They’re in it to make money or they wouldn’t make all of this stuff available to us so that we’ll spend more in AdWords, so that we’ll invest in SEO.

I think that’s a short-sighted way of looking at it because really what Google is doing for society is that they’re trying to bring organization and value to the internet and give us an easier, more accessible way of getting the information that we need. I think ultimately keeping that in mind is a way of continuing to trust Google, even though they are making a lot of money off of this, but not everybody, especially in the marketing world, I think has that broader picture and keeps that in mind.

Mike: Yeah. I love that you brought up trust because obviously it’s one of the more vague elements of Google’s search algorithm. They always talk about trust, which you can establish through quality authoritative links instead of spammy, low-quality links (as one example).

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