Who is Kristina Azarenko?

Kristina Azarenko is a talented SEO who mainly focuses on eCommerce and technical SEO. She founded MarketingSyrup Digital Inc. and helped small and medium-sized businesses gain more traffic. Kristina is an active part of the SEO community, offering online SEO courses to SEOs and non-SEOs. She has produced hours of video training, created a VIP slack community, offered homework checklists for her SEO Challenge course, built templates and helpful SEO documents, in addition to her full SEO online course. 

Kristina’s journey to being named one of the top 13 women shaping the SEO industry by Search Engine Land has been long and exciting. Kristina knows how hard it can be to start in the industry and be confident in what you’re doing. Having been in SEO for 10+ years, she has been through her fair share of ups and downs. What she had thought being in the industry would be like is different from how she sees it now.

Kristina Azarenko 45-day SEO Challenge

  • [00:07:54] Starting SEO with the right mindset.
  • [00:00:00] Is there a particular attitude that we should have while performing SEO?
  • [00:16:06] Obsession can be a good thing at times, but “out-of-context” panic on technical SEO issues are harmful
  • [00:16:37] Reactive SEO – Is it worse that FOMO?
  • [00:22:31] Agency SEO starts with communication and a deeper understanding.
  • [00:24:01] Setting SEO priorities.

The SEO Mindset

There is a mindset of needing everything to be tied down to accomplish correct SEO. Kristina’s course starts with having those taking the course try to set up a website. Doing something hands-on like this gives a fuller understanding of how things work. It’s also always good to have your site to play with. It’s a place that allows you to test technical SEO before rolling anything out to clients. 

Starting at the beginning helps give a knowledge gap filler, offering a balance of knowledge at your disposal. It’s about the research of intent, understanding intent, and reducing friction to getting content to be as valuable as possible for the user. Sometimes technical SEOs don’t know how to recognize the user experience.  

Breaking Down Perfectionism

When Kristina first started in SEO, she thought that she needed to fix everything. However, she knows you don’t need to obsess over one thing, always attempting to get it right because you may be missing the whole picture. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole as SEOs always want to go deep, but there needs to be an endpoint to see the bigger picture. When looking at an SEO audit, there are so many checklists and factors, but if the content isn’t valuable to the user or the business, you’re not fulfilling that bigger picture.   

The Right Attitude and the Scientific Mindset

The right mindset for SEO also constitutes the attitude going into a project. For example, core web vitals are essential, but they are part of the UX, and the quality of content is part of the UX, as well. The content itself will influence the user decision, and when a company is obsessing over the core web vitals, it can create some panic if the foundation is not there. This refers to reactive SEO, which occurs when something new comes out, and SEOs obsess and jump into it without thinking about the bigger picture.    

This prioritization is like a scientific mindset. You have to have contextual knowledge of the importance of something being put into the ecosystem and know how to measure the effect you’re trying to create and what you’re paying attention to. If you only look at the metrics without the behavior, you’re just working down a sheet. The scientific mindset is about setting a hypothesis, knowing what to measure, watching the changes, and then learning from the behavior.  

Meeting Business Goals

There’s a fine line between doing a good job and bringing real results with value. Sometimes an increase in traffic is traffic that does not convert. You must ask: does it help meet the business goals? Technical SEOs need to understand the marketing aspect of things. They need to know what the target audience is and whether the content is answering those questions. Google wants you to know what you’re talking about. For this, you must understand your audience and know the mechanic’s side of things.   

Keys to Success

Sometimes people are afraid to talk to the clients. This could create a distance between the content being produced and the client’s content to concentrate on. Communication and a deeper understanding help you to be more successful. 

The right mentality goes beyond skills. You don’t need to attend to everything, and you need to understand the prioritization of issues. Some of the bigger factors necessary to pay attention to are indexability, crawlability, and the content. Indexability is about making sure Google can index what you want it to. Crawlability is about making sure Google can crawl the website and pages you want it to. 

It’s not just about having the right content or words on the page; it’s about having all the pages you want Google to see created. This factor is about finding ways to make sure the content exists to be indexed. Ecommerce stores find an issue with this because sometimes they have filters that are not indexable but are still something people are searching for. You should make sure that the filters are indexable to find your way to fulfill the user’s needs. 

The threshold for the industry is low, but success requires so many more skills than just the technical aspects. It’s a combination of intent research, technical SEO knowledge, and the creation of the destination page through development. Success is the nexus of technical SEO, marketing SEO, and development. If you only focus on the technical or get overwhelmed by the technical SEO report, you’re not going to see the larger picture. SEO is not just SEO; you need to be a marketer as well. The skills required to go beyond SEO to marketing and communication and much more.