MozCon Virtual 2021 Interview Series: Joy Hawkins

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We’re thrilled to welcome Joy Hawkins again to the MozCon Virtual stage! Local SEOs know Joy as a GMB professional, and for her work main Local Search Forum, Local U, and the wonderful group at Sterling Sky. 

Ahead of the present, we talked with Joy about her analysis into Google Posts, what she loves most about her work in native web optimization, and what she’s trying ahead to at MozCon Virtual 2021. Check out the interview under!

And don’t overlook to seize your ticket to see Joy and our different unbelievable audio system at this yr’s MozCon!

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Question: 2020 was fairly a yr, how did the Sterling Sky group alter? What had been a few of your favourite tasks?

Joy: We had been actually lucky. Because now we have shoppers in so many industries, we did not have an enormous variety of cancellations when COVID first hit final yr. We had a few tough months, however most of our shoppers that did pause their providers ended up unpausing after a number of months.

We truly noticed quite a lot of development within the second half of final yr and had been capable of truly rent six extra employees in 2020, two of which had misplaced their earlier jobs due to COVID. So total, I really feel actually blessed and noticed quite a lot of good come out of a foul state of affairs.

Question: What do you assume was the most important problem for native SEOs this previous yr? What adjustments or developments stood out to you?

Joy: There have been quite a lot of technical points and bugs to cope with in terms of Google My Business. They launched a ton of recent options to attempt to adapt to the ever-changing atmosphere, and I discover at any time when that occurs, stuff breaks.

Question: Local web optimization is continually altering. How do you and the group keep on high of algorithm updates and adjustments?

Joy: We observe every thing. I make a behavior of making an attempt to know every thing that is occurring within the trade, and a part of how I do that’s by moderating the Google My Business discussion board and our personal discussion board, the Local Search Forum. I additionally discover the native web optimization group is actually energetic on Twitter, so usually new issues get shared there.

Question: You based Sterling Sky in 2017. Could you describe what it was like founding and constructing an company? Was there something that stunned you?

Joy: When I began, I assumed it was simply going to be me, and possibly a number of others. I by no means envisioned having this many employees (19 presently) or shoppers, in order that has undoubtedly been an thrilling piece that I by no means deliberate.

I keep in mind after I employed my first full-time employees in 2017, I wasn’t even positive I had sufficient to pay him and had a plan to chop my very own wage if wanted. Literally, the identical month he began, we had an inflow of recent shoppers that was sudden, so all of it labored out completely.

Question: You are extraordinarily well-respected within the Local web optimization trade — what steps did you’re taking to get to the place you’re as we speak? What suggestions do you’ve for others seeking to elevate their private model within the web optimization area?

Joy: Never be afraid to assist folks or share issues that you’ve got discovered. I began on this area by writing articles. It began as my very own weblog (which morphed into the Sterling Sky weblog), however then I began writing for different publications and turning into much more energetic on social media. Forums performed an enormous position in how I discovered and shared data. I additionally made a behavior of attending conferences and assembly the folks I appeared as much as. I am going to always remember the primary time I met Mike Blumenthal and the way intimidated I used to be. Networking on this area is actually essential and MozCon is certainly among the best locations to do this.

Question: What is your favourite half about native web optimization work? What is the toughest half?

Joy: I really like the problem. It’s like fixing a very troublesome puzzle. I’ve at all times liked technique board video games and doing web optimization usually seems like that.

The superior factor about working with SMBs is that adjustments can get carried out shortly and you do not have tons of hoops to leap by means of to get stuff accredited. Seeing the influence from our work shortly and watching shoppers’ leads enhance is insanely rewarding.

I would say the toughest half is coping with algorithm adjustments. An enormous majority of the time, algorithm updates are a great factor for our shoppers, but it surely’s undoubtedly irritating the instances once you really feel Google will get it unsuitable.

Question: At MozCon, you’ll talk about a examine you and your group performed the place you analyzed greater than 1,000 Google Posts. Why Google Posts? What sparked your curiosity on this subject?

Joy: Google posts are one thing I get requested about on virtually each webinar I am on. People at all times appear to be questioning what they’re purported to put up about. I believe I get requested if posts influence rating a number of instances a month.

Question: What insights are you most excited to share with our MozCon viewers?

Joy: I believe folks can be stunned to see what sorts of posts carried out greatest. It undoubtedly wasn’t the result I used to be anticipating. Based on posts that I see often on Google My Business listings, I am unsure everyone seems to be conscious of what sorts of content material performs greatest.

Question: Why ought to Local SEOs put money into a Google Post technique?

Joy: It’s a very easy win. You can drive extra site visitors and conversions with posts with minimal effort. It’s a type of low-hanging-fruit methods that each enterprise ought to make the most of.

Question: Who within the MozCon lineup are you most excited to observe this yr? Anything else you’re looking ahead to?

Joy: There are so many to select from. Wil Reynolds has a manner of at all times blowing my thoughts each time he talks, so I am undoubtedly excited to listen to his. Dana DiTomaso is one other of my favourite audio system. She’s one of many smartest folks I do know on this trade. I am additionally very excited to see Noah Learner’s title on the record. I truly met him at a previous MozCon and could not recover from how a lot power he had. I am unsure the place his power comes from, however I want to search out out. I heard him communicate lately at one in all our LocalU occasions and was actually impressed at his data and talent to research knowledge.


An enormous thanks to Joy for her time! To study extra about Joy’s upcoming presentation, see particulars on our different audio system, and to buy your ticket, be sure to click on the hyperlink under!



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