SEO Insights & SEO Auditing Deep Dive – Guest on the SEO Podcast by SEOSLY

Last updated on May 23rd, 2023 at 05:08 pm

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In this episode of the SEO Podcast by SEOSLY, I had the honour of being a guest. I shared my journey into the SEO world, my unique approach to SEO audits, and my predictions for the future of SEO with the host, Olga Zarr. We also delved into my daily routine, how I continue to learn and grow, and my future plans. I was nervous, but Olga is a great host.

In case the video doesen’t load, click here to view the SEO podcast by SEOSLY where I was a guest.

Main Topics Covered:

  • My journey into SEO and my approach to SEO audits.
  • The importance of presentation in SEO audits and the different types of audits.
  • The time spent on audits and the factors that influence this.
  • The use of tools like Excel and Google Docs in audits and the role of Figma in creating templates.
  • The implementation of audit recommendations and the challenges involved.
  • The importance of video audits and the benefits they offer.
  • My daily routine and how he stays up-to-date with SEO trends.
  • The role of AI in SEO and the need to understand it deeply.
  • The importance of having a personal website.
  • The weirdest things I spotted during his audits.
  • The importance of attending SEO conferences and learning from others in the industry.
  • My thoughts on the future of SEO and the areas people should focus on.

Below is the transcript of the podcast with links and references. Enjoy, and let me know in the comments what your thoughts are. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Olga’s channel.

Olga: Hi, everyone! It’s Olga Zarr from SEOSLY. Welcome to SEOPodcast by #SEOSLY. My guest today is Emanuel Petrescu. Emanuel, how are you doing?

Emanuel: I’m doing fine. Hi, Olga, and hi to everyone who’s watching and listening to us.

Olga: That’s awesome. I’m very happy to have you here. I’ve been watching you secretly for a long time. So for people who don’t know you, can you briefly introduce yourself? What do you do? What are you up to in SEO?

Emanuel: Thank you so much. I’m very humbled by your affirmation. I’ve been a big fan of your activity for the past year or so. And thank you for the podcast and everything that’s on top of just the podcast – the websites, the social media posts, and all that piece of information.

I always go there and always discover something new. So thank you for that.

My name is Emanuel Petrescu. I’m an SEO – search engine optimization consultant/specialist, but I like to call myself a student of the craft. It’s not an art; it’s not a skill, it’s a craft. That’s the way I see it. I’ve been involved in digital media for more than ten years, give or take.

I’ve been focusing for the past three to four years exclusively on SEO and mostly on SEO audits. I work with small to-size businesses, but also enterprise websites and many others.

Olga: So if you are into SEO audits, and I am too, we’ll definitely have to have some discussion about that in just a moment. And where are you based?

Emanuel: I currently live in Toronto, Canada. But I’m originally from Bucharest, Romania, East Europe.

Olga: Okay, awesome. So can you tell me about your very beginnings? What made you start in SEO? What was your first job? And, like, take me there from the beginning until now.

Emanuel: I guess I should start with the year 2000 when I first discovered “the search engines”. The first search engine I was introduced to was Yahoo, and then whatever was popular at that moment, but I remember Alta Vista and Yahoo + some local ones.

I was using the internet, but I never seemed to be able to find what I needed. Only 30 years later, I think I’m able to find what I was looking for back then, but that’s a topic for another conversation.

After that, I started experimenting with some websites, GeoCities and FrontPage Express. b Around 2006 or 2007, I had my own business, and I had no budget, so I had to learn how to build my own website. Through that, I also learned the “SEO optimization techniques”: titles, URLs, internal linking, external linking, how to craft a press release, how to craft a blog post heading, subheadings, and so on.

Some basic stuff. Now, I wasn’t probably as successful with that business. But the skills that I acquired, I can’t unlearn them. So I’ve successfully applied those to consulting other companies. And I believe back home in Romania, the first big client was an insurance company, insurance brokerage, and actually teaching and training them on how to step up their digital marketing game.

That was my first consulting gig as an SEO professional. And that was sometime around 2010, 2011.

Olga: So that’s a long time ago. Okay. And what happened next?

Emanuel: Then I’ve opened up, I’ve created projects for myself. They were somehow successful. They’re not around anymore, but I was the first because the business I had was in the music industry.

I had my own recording studio and record label. I was developing the first home recording community back home. I did the whole thing affiliate-wise; although we didn’t have affiliate possibilities back then in 2010 and 2011, it was really hard.

Olga: It was only just mainly Amazon, I would say.

Emanuel: Not Amazon, no, not even Amazon, especially in Romania. I don’t know if they’re shipping right now, but back then, it was only a shop from Germany, Thomann, I believe it is. And it was very difficult to get the affiliate links. It was just starting out.

But I’ve created the entire website and a couple of blog posts. I’ve written an ebook about the home recording subject that you could get. So the lead generation ebook that people sign up to my email list and all the good stuff that any affiliate SEO would have done back in 2011, 2012.

Olga: Yeah. This was also that time when I was creating websites, hoping to earn from Adsense and Amazon. And I think in my case, it was mostly Amazon affiliate links, but I was creating the sites in English, so it was possible back then. And, do you have an interest in affiliate sites? Do you have affiliate sites right now?

Emanuel: I am running some affiliate sites. Unfortunately, I do not have the capacity to focus as much as a website like that requires because although we have automation, although we have people that help us, nothing actually happens without doing the work.

Olga: Yeah, yeah. And do those sites have a lot of traffic?

Emanuel: Some of them do. Some of them are still back home, and they get a decent amount of traffic. The ones that I have here in North America, for Canada specifically, do get some traffic. I was lucky enough that I purchased some domains that had some authority and some backlinks, so it was easier. I didn’t check before I purchased them. It was just the natural domain that I would purchase for such a business.

And AFTER that, like any SEO, I checked, and it did have many backlinks, so it brings up a lot of traffic, but it’s basically peanuts in terms of revenue, but I always come back to them, and I always check and see if there’s something else, and I put them aside for whenever I’ll have time to deal with those.

Olga: Okay. Okay. Awesome. So that was around 2010, 2011, about ten years ago. So what happened in the last ten years? I understand you worked in the marketing field.

Emanuel: Yes, I worked in media mostly. Then I moved to Canada. I decided to get a job in the digital marketing space, and I was one of the lucky ones that found a job sooner rather than later for a local agency here in Toronto that was exclusively dedicated to serving the law industry in the United States.

So that’s when I had my first interaction with the North American market, and it was an intense interaction for almost four years. I learned a lot because I had the opportunity to see it as a learning experience.

We were not just serving clients but also owned and published a couple of big websites that were bringing a few million unique visitors a year. So, I had the opportunity to see a transition, to see a big migration, how a website migration can go wrong, and also how migration can go well if you actually know what you are doing. And the price was similar.

Olga: And for the past four years or so, you were mostly focused on SEO and SEO audits, right?

Emanuel: Yes. For the past four years or so, I’ve decided that I’ll focus only on SEO because I always saw any website that I’m working on as my own business. I always felt the need to correct the title, I would question why the URL was wrong or why there wasn’t internal linking. You have two, three great blog posts. You have the keywords, you have the anchors there, but you are not linking and all those things.

So it came naturally to me. I was always in love with this craft.

Olga: Okay. So now, you are a freelancer, right? Like an independent consultant at the moment?

Emanuel: No, as of this interview, I work for an agency. And I’m focusing more on education, teaching, and always learning.

Olga: Okay. Always learning. So now let’s talk a bit about SEO audits because this is something we both like to do. Tell me about your process for SEO audits.

Emanuel: I have a presentation, and the first slide says, “I like to be audited.” Said no one ever in any field, especially SEO.

I believe everything starts with a solid SEO audit, especially if it’s a new campaign and especially if it’s been around for a while and it’s new to you as the manager or the person who’s handling it.

I like to see it as a, you know if you have a smartwatch, I don’t, but you know, some of the smartwatches say that you have high blood pressure, right?

You go to your doctor, and you say, “Hey, my watch says that I have high blood pressure.” What’s the first thing the doctor will do? He’s gonna take your blood pressure. He’s not gonna rely on what the watch says.

So that’s kind of the way I see it. Myself, I won’t go as far as calling myself an SEO doctor.

Olga: By all means, we are SEO doctors, I would say, and SEO tools are the watches that we have to interpret.

Emanuel: I don’t have just one watch, unfortunately. I have other watches that I look for, the first approach is I like to look, and it’s the most difficult thing is to look at any website from a regular user perspective. Try to resist as much as you can when you browse, not to explore the code, not to inspect the element. Not to see, okay, what’s going on? Is this a link, or is it not? Where is it going to? Is it opening in a new tab – just some basic stuff? Try to resist as much.

And this exercise by itself can bring up a lot of issues or a lot of questions that you can further explore. You can easily spend even a day or two on a 50 to hundred-page website.

Obviously, each audit is different, but I like to start with the website first and then go to Google to see what “the search engine tells about the website” because sometimes, I simply do a site colon search.

And I discovered that the website, especially with WordPress, the website was hacked. And it’s still very common. One, it still has hacked pages indexed. Even if it was fixed, it still has some reminiscence in there. So many times, depending on the purpose of the audit, you don’t even need to go further because the sale happens right there: “Hey, your website is hacked.”

Olga: Yeah, exactly. So I would say your process is quite similar at this point. Also, when I land a new client, I always start with an in-depth SEO audit which basically lays the ground for the entire SEO strategy for the next 12 months usually. And so this is something that has to happen. And what you call becoming a user, I like to refer to this as a manual review, which is basically the same.

I browse the site on my mobile phone. I browse it on my desktop and see if something kind of draws my attention. And very often, at this point, I can already list a bunch of things that should be fixed. Is it the same with you? Like you instantly just open the site? Sometimes it’s just five seconds. I open the site, and I already see, okay, this, this, this, that. You already start to get a sense of an issue.

Emanuel: I’m not a fan of a slider, for example. I understand that they look nice. They look pretty, and it has a vanity impact overall. Some websites need to have it, but the way we implement the slider: do you really need that 12-megabyte image or 4,000-pixel wide image on there? And you try to get a sense before putting it in any website testing, speed testing tool or those things; you kind of get a sense of what’s the problem.

You also sense if it is a problem, on what platform, when it is and where to look for and so on.

Olga: Yeah. Okay. So the next step is Google. So for me, it’s Google Search Console, like diving deep into what Google is telling me. And what tools do you use to crawl? Do you crawl the site with just one tool, or do you fire up five different crawlers and then compare? What is it with you?

Emanuel: How many days do I spend on the Google Search Console? I jump from one item to another. It’s interesting, and again, if you’re passionate, I don’t see it necessarily as work.

Olga: Yeah, exactly. Usually, it’s good to look at it from different perspectives. They all more or less tell the same thing, but they tell it in a different way.

Emanuel: Exactly. By default, Screaming Frog is the go-to tool. If I were to choose probably one tool that I can use for the rest of my life, it will probably be Screaming Frog.

Olga: For me, that will be Google Search Console.

Emanuel: I don’t consider Google Search Console as a tool per se.

Olga: Okay. Okay. In that case, yeah. Okay, so Screaming Frog.

Emanuel: Yeah. Then, I’m using the other ones in the industry: Semrush and Ahrefs; I like how Ahrefs has this webmaster tool that you can use for free and by default, I add all the websites there as well because you can schedule weekly crawls and all the good stuff.

And especially if somebody else is having access or, you know, that they’re doing stuff on that website – these weekly automation reports will bring up, and I’ve found and discovered, and I was able to act on those items.

Olga: Yeah. I would say Screaming Frog and Semrush, myself. And it depends on how big the website is. I’ve used in the past, Sitebulb. I know you are a fan of Sitebulb. And for big sites, Jet Octopus, right?

Emanuel: That one, I haven’t experimented with myself yet, I can tell you that. So it’s next on my list. Again, bandwidth.

Olga: Yeah, with Jet Octopus, it’s great because it can crawl like 100 pages per second or something like that. Maybe I’m wrong, but it is way faster. Especially if you have a desktop computer that isn’t the fastest in the world. Sometimes this is a cloud-based crawler, so sometimes it’s way faster if you want to do it this way.

Emanuel: I’ve created a cloud, actually did a video on how to set up Screaming Frog on Google Cloud, because it’s a little bit accessible, and you can basically save resources and do big crawls for nothing without investing in a solid computer because Google is quite generous on giving you like a hundred or $200 of cloud credit you can use to set up a solid computer in the cloud.

Olga: Yeah, I think I also was doing audits like that when I was working at the agency, but now, I have a pretty fast Mac, so I’m doing it all here. But regarding Screaming Frog, can you tell me some tips, some things you like to do with Screaming Frog that is not that obvious that everyone is talking about? So probably, you’re executing JavaScript; you are running it in the cloud. What else is there?

Emanuel: I don’t believe there’s any tip I can share with you on Screaming Frog. It seems like whenever I watch one of your quick audits on YouTube; there’s always something else that I can implement in my audits. Recently, I’ve been using more of the error report from Screaming Frog as opposed to going somewhere else. It was always there. I’ve seen it, but only after I saw you doing it, I thought okay, maybe I don’t need to go into so many details and just do it again somewhere else. This might be sufficient. So I wouldn’t say there’s any tip that I would do for small to medium-sized businesses.

You can basically see everything at a glance with Screaming Frog. It helps if there are some obvious errors, missing pages still linked to them, or linking to HTTP, these things that can create a better user experience overall.

Olga: Yeah. I used to ignore all the issues that tools were reporting, like Screaming Frog or other tools. Just stuck with what I had, like my own checklist, but I started reviewing those issues recently, and actually, this is not that bad. Of course, some of them do not make sense. Some of them are not that high priority. But in many cases, I was actually able to find something else. But of course, I had to translate it into a more human SEO version for the client. But I find it pretty useful.

And with Sitebulb, there is a ton of documentation around every error. You have an error, and then you can click, and you go to the article, and you can read the entire history of that issue. And you can actually learn a lot if you just read the annotations that Sitebulb has for every issue.

Emanuel: Two comments there. One, as a fellow SEO consultant and friend of mine say, these tools, their main business is to tell you all the errors, to make them more prominent than they actually are.

So they’re in the business of telling you errors even when there’s not what I would call an error.

And second, with Sitebulb, I remember that this is how I discovered a totally new part of a website I was working on. I only discovered it with Sitebulb. It was taking way too long.

And I said, Hmm, what’s going on here? 

And they do a pretty good job on the education part as well because I believe once you sign up, you get a series of emails.

I’ve definitely learned a lot from those emails from the founder, and he actually replies because I’m testing it out. I replied, ‘Hey, so and so, I don’t remember what I asked,’ and he replied, ‘Yes, that’s true.’ I think it’s Patrick; I think maybe, I don’t remember.

Olga: Yeah. But anyway, that’s nice. Yes. And the same with Jet Octopus. I think Julia is personally responding to a lot of emails, from what I remember.

Emanuel: I know what I’m going to do after this episode – test Jetoctopus 🙂

Olga: Okay, so crawlers and anything specific about crawlers? Like do you execute JavaScript for the entire site? Do you, like, what’s your process for JavaScript auditing?”

Emanuel: For most websites that I’ve been auditing lately, being small to medium-sized businesses, that was not exactly the case. But sometimes, if I could, it depends on the size, from the user’s perspective, as you call it, the manual review.

You note if they have, for example, chatbots, they tend to sometimes interfere with the overall user experience or if they have a popup or something like that, run any kind of scripts.

Some lawyers or accountants have a tax form calculator or something like that, that can potentially create issues. So that’s when I explore further, but I wouldn’t do more than is required, and that comes during the initial assessment.

Olga: Okay. Okay. So we did manual review, we crawled the site, we interpreted the results. And how do you put your findings? Is it like an Excel spreadsheet? Is it like a Google document or presentation like? Tell me.

Emanuel: It depends on who’s looking at the report. If it’s a client or a prospect, he simply loves big Excel spreadsheets that he has no idea what all those abbreviations mean 🙂

I usually put them in an Excel spreadsheet with as many notes as possible. For me, first. The audit is one thing. What you could discover is another thing, but actually getting your recommendations implemented or whatever the purpose of the audit is making it happen, requires a completely different set of skills, it requires some client services work.

And again, it depends, right? If you do an internal audit on the website, a big website that we’re working on, it’s a different approach. Always less is more. So there’s always all the SEO templates, including yours, SEO audit templates have some form of a priority. And start with the most prominent ones, as said in the beginning. Sometimes if the website is hacked, you don’t even need to go through all, you know, what’s a high priority.

I like to think that for small to medium-sized websites, you can actually fit everything into a single page that might have a chance for somebody to look at it and especially action on it specifically.

Or a presentation is also the case, and it depends if the audit includes other aspects and not just the technicals. Keywords, for example, local positions and so on.

Olga: Yeah, because I have basically two types of audits. One is, similar to you, I put an Excel spreadsheet with checks and numbers, like that SEO audit template that’s quite famous. And the other one – this checklist is more or less similar, but I put it in a Google document where there is a table of contents with jump links. And I actually put a lot of explanation to each point, which is manually written. There are screenshot examples and detailed ones, and this is usually for more aware clients, clients that need a lot of explanation and clients that are going to implement the changes themselves.

It really depends on the type of audit, whether it’s an in-depth one or a quick one. And talking about types of audits, like how much time do you spend, how much time have you spent on the biggest audit you have ever done, or how much is it on average? You said like a day or two. Like, tell me the ranges.

Emanuel: That’s a tricky question. It depends, right? I would say if it’s a three or four-page website, that’s a quick one, maybe even an hour; as you said, if you put everything in documents, screenshots, and so on, that actually will take longer than doing the audit yourself.

On that note, recently, I’ve been using Figma a lot. It’s a little bit more in-depth than Canva.

Graphic designers like it more than Canva. I’ve probably spent at least five dedicated days exclusively on an audit. But it was a bigger website. It was a publishing website, which has its own special criteria, Google News, content, etc.

That’s how I learned about SEO for publishers, which is still SEO, but it’s a different view. It’s a different approach. You don’t approach a publishing website as you approach a small to medium-sized website or an enterprise website. So I would say five days exclusively on an audit.

Olga: Yeah, that’s, I think, more or less how, how I do it. I think the longest it took me, I think it was one time, it was more than 100 hours, but it was like a huge website, and I was basically analyzing everything there was to analyze. Okay. So, do you also offer the implementation of the audits in the case of smaller sites? It’s usually not such a difficult thing to do. How is it with you?

Emanuel: Yes, yes. It depends because I work at an agency, and many of the things are implemented by the agency. And again, it depends more on the website. Sometimes even the client can go in and do it himself if it’s about titles and meta descriptions. Sometimes you just show them or send them some documentation on how to add internal links, for example.

For a WordPress website, there are probably a billion videos out there. And some people are very proficient, and you just show them once, and then they know and then move on to the next thing. And that’s also good for them. They don’t waste time. They don’t waste a budget, and I get to move on. So again, it depends.

Olga: Yeah. It depends. And some clients need a year to implement one tech change, so one year. So how do you make sure? How do you increase the chances of your recommendations getting implemented? What are your top tips?

Emanuel: Good thing that you brought up video audits because sometimes that’s the fastest way of actually sending and incorporating everything into a video. And funny enough, I never thought about it when you asked me before, but I’ve been doing some of these quick tips, quick video audits.

Sometimes, and it depends, right? If I’ve been doing some consulting for somebody that I know, also a family member, so I didn’t charge him, but I didn’t want to spend that much money as well, so I just recorded a 30-minute, 40 minutes quick SEO audit scan similar to the ones that you do on your YouTube channel as well, and I wouldn’t be much of a marketer if I wouldn’t recommend anybody who’s listening and watching right now not to subscribe to your channel.

Olga: Thank you. Thank you. I’m trying to publish more of those SEO audits because I think this is the one thing people love the most on the channel, like all the other things they like as well, but audits always get the most views.

Emanuel: especially business owners who have small to medium-sized websites, they don’t have a budget to hire an SEO consultant, but even if they get one thing, one tip from a one-hour video or 30-minute video that they can implement today, and that will give them, just put them on top of the next competitor, then that can mean, I don’t know. Significantly increase in your revenue from organic?

Olga: Yeah, yeah, sure. One thing I keep talking about, and I keep finding, are low-quality internal links, like read more, and just changing that globally can really have such a huge impact on the entire site. I’ve seen such cases when just getting rid of read more links and making the site go like this.

Emanuel: So I, I know that I know that you emphasize a lot on that. Whenever I see a ‘read more’ link on a website right now, I feel like you should have an app or something like that; whenever you find a ‘read more’ link, your icon or something, a picture of you says, ‘No, not read more. Not good. Don’t do it.’ Something like that.”

And I’ve become more aware since I’ve been watching you.

Olga: That’s awesome. Okay. And how do you learn first? How do you learn about SEO audits, and how to do them more efficiently? What’s your process? How do you stay up to date? Do you take courses? Have you taken any courses?

Emanuel: I learned the hard way, usually. I think I went into audits because something was not working, and I didn’t know what, so I had to learn. I was looking, okay, the technicals are, is everything okay from the user standpoint? Is everything working? Is it nice? Is it presentable? Does it have enough EEAT and so on?

And then I discovered that I like to go deep and dissect, I guess. And pinpoint stuff. I have a quote that’s also on my site and I lived my life by – the quote is from Cardinal Richelieu, and it goes something like, “if you give me two lines written by the most honest of man, I’ll find something in there to get him hanged.”

So basically, you’ll find something on any website. So, and some major ones, we’re not talking about an extra space or a comma not linked—something very big and very obvious from other SEO gurus or leaders in the field.

That’s the reality. But of course, not all things are the same. I like to tell people that Google will always try to show their users the best possible answer for that query. So that’s it. Here we go, one of the most valuable companies on the planet. Billions of dollars a year from search, and we cracked the code.

Olga: And I think like you were saying, and I think that I should also shoot a video and audit my own website because I know that there will be things to point out as well. So that may be an interesting one as well.

Emanuel: Yeah, because you asked me how I learn – the hard way by doing it. Also, reading, staying up to date, courses, and videos. There have been many great shows and videos and sessions with SEO audits facilitated by our mutual friends that enable people like me to learn and always discover something like that.

And I remember those, roast my site or something like that. It had a name, a series of workshops, of webinars, I believe, by Semrush. And yeah, they had three or four experts doing quick audits. And I’ve learned so much just from that because you don’t get to see just one’s perspective. And if they were doing so many in such a short time, there were actually pointing out what’s important and what to look for. And from two or three videos, you can learn so many things from something like that.

But as always, usually, when it hurts, that’s when you start to learn. So I started by internally auditing the properties that my company was managing and operating. And then from there, articles, talking to peers, and watching people such as yourself.

Olga: Awesome, thanks. And, talking about SEO courses, I am creating one now. I am building a community all around SEO audits, but it’s, of course, it’s taking me way, way more time than I thought it would take me. So I hope it is going to happen in the first half of this year, 2023. What about you?

Emanuel: I said the same thing sometime in 2021. I actually recorded the course. It’s the second version, v2, or actually the third. And it’s in beta testing right now. I’m getting the feedback. And guess what? It’s about SEO audits.

Doing an SEO audit, presenting an SEO audit, and recording and teaching a course on SEO audits are three separate sets of skills that don’t necessarily link with each other.

Olga: Exactly.

Emanuel: And I believe by recording a course, I’m the one who’s learning the most.

Olga: Yeah. I think Jason Barnard said the same thing. He recently created a course as well, and this is also what he said that he learned so much about what the course is about during the course creation, and I can say the same for me.

I want to create something and then, oh, I have to read more about this. Oh, I’m not sure about that. I have to watch this, that, and actually, like, yeah, this is a course for me on doing SEO audits. Of course, it’s about growing. Yeah, exactly. And, what platform are you using for the course?

Emanuel: Udemy. That’s my go-to platform. It’s accessible. It has its own audience. Most people in the SEO industry, from beginners, juniors to experts, have an account there, so it’s easy to reach them.

Olga: When will it be available for the public?

Emanuel: If I said this in 2020 or 2021, it’ll be the first part of this year. Then I wouldn’t lie anymore 🙂 In 2023 sometime 🙂

Olga: Okay. Okay. I see. Okay. Any final thoughts about SEO? Maybe one more question. Can you recall one of the weirdest things you spotted during one of your audits? Something that was totally unexpected?

Olga: I’ve discovered a couple of, some good 2000-something pages that the website I was working on, and I’ve been working for a couple of weeks already.

Emanuel: And you didn’t know that those pages existed?

Olga: Yes, I was already working on it, but they were almost orphan pages. There was one link to the first one. It was a series of tips. But instead of having consolidated tips on a single page, they chose to publish even one sentence tip on a separate page.

With the note that I was not doing the “SEO optimization” on that website. I was mostly publishing and updating, and consolidating.

At one point, something was not working; I said, okay, let me run a crawl. I was probably using Sitebulb by then, and I just said, okay, what’s this? Okay, now I know. And then, I started to paint the bigger picture.

So SEO audits didn’t happen just by chance for me; it was a series of actions that I took that led to me loving this part of the craft.

One of the weirdest things there are many weird things I’ve discovered. Something that you probably don’t want to see, images or pictures, or information available for whoever might do a site crawl. Site colon – indexed. And information in spreadsheets, you download the spreadsheets, so you don’t need to do any other work and all those things. But yeah, those were basically my findings.

Olga: Okay. Okay. Nothing spectacular. Nothing that would say, oh my God.

Emanuel: No. But one thing I would say is, during the audits we discussed, there are many aspects of why a website would perform well. It’s not just one thing. Yeah, server matters a lot, and some people pay $20 a year, and they expect good results. And I was surprised to see a big website that was a very cheap option for hosting.

Olga: Regarding those cheap hosts. Very often, you’ll see in Google Search Console across that report that there are that robots.txt fetch. There are three types of reports, DNS connection and something else. I don’t remember. And very often, with cheap hosts, you will see that something was not necessarily okay for the entire time. And at least I had a few such cases.

Okay. Any comments?

Emanuel: It’s amazing. I’ve been devouring and consuming all the information you’ve put out there for the past couple of months. Up to a year already, I believe.

Olga: Yeah, I think on YouTube, less than a year. Yeah. But I still make so many newbie mistakes when it comes to YouTube podcasts, and video quality. There is still so much for me to learn, and this is like a separate skill. It doesn’t matter that I know SEO auditing, I have also to have at least a basic understanding of those other pieces that are necessary. And the same with SEO course, definitely a different set of skills.

Okay, so let’s close the topic of audits and now do something more personal. What does your normal day look like? You wake up, you start learning SEO, tell me.

Emanuel: I like to think that each day is different when it’s not. I wake up, I try to allocate some personal time, reading, answering emails, and probably learning; I like to learn in the morning the most. And then doing the “SEO optimization stuff”: starts with what’s urgent. Some fire needs to be put out immediately, then some reporting, some prospecting. Some content reviews, some new opportunities to identify, all the good stuff, keyword research, link reviews, content reviews and so on.

That’s basically what a day looks like. I try to schedule them as much as I can. It’s not always happening the way I set them up, but I can only imagine  how they would not happen if you don’t plan for them as much as you can in advance?”

Olga: Yeah, sure. And do you work remotely? Do you miss going to the office?

Emanuel: I guess it’s been a blessing in disguise, working from home. Going to the office has its own benefits. We’re humans, so we need human interaction, not just the virtual one. We need the actual live one. So, I enjoy what I have now.

Olga: Yeah, I am a homebody, so I totally couldn’t go to the office, and I don’t miss it at all. Like, this is the place to be, my home and my computer.

Emanuel: I’m so focused on my work sometimes that it doesn’t really matter where I am. My screen tends to be kind of the same regardless of what’s going on behind me.

And do you go to SEO conferences? Are you going to any?

Emanuel: I’ve attended some virtual ones. Once I came to Canada, it was more accessible for me to go to some local ones. The biggest one I’ve been to was not an SEO conference; it was WordCamp for WordPress.

And I had the opportunity to learn a lot and interact with some knowledgeable people that actually really know what they’re doing. They’re like truly experts in the field of SEO and WordPress. I didn’t know many things could be done that fast, that cheap, and at a scale without attending these in-person meetings.

And for 2023 and beyond, my plan is to start being more active, if not in the office, at least in person, at some conferences.

Olga: Okay. Okay. Awesome. So tell me now, what do you think is the area of SEO people should be focusing on now?

Emanuel: Right now? More, I guess, probably AI leveraging, the partnership they have with their best virtual assistant, which is AI and ChatGPT ????

How to leverage its use at most for your specific needs. If I expect it to do my work, then I think I’m off to a wrong start. But as I use some rank tracking tools and I don’t take pen and paper and put in my keyword, and I say, okay, position one is this website, title, meta description. Okay. Who’s positioned no2 and so on?

No, I use tools that monitor this and send me into a spreadsheet. I see ChatGPT and the likes – because I assume more will come soon – as an extension that will help me scale and perform even better than I anticipated.

Olga: Yeah. Be more efficient. Yeah. And I, to be honest, like, I enrolled in a bunch of different courses around AI on Coursera, like, I don’t know how many I enrolled right now, eight or more. And I am going to go through all of them because I feel that I have a basic understanding of the coding of AI—a very, very basic one. But I feel that this is something I need a very deep understanding of to be able to perform in the years to come. So we’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed.

Emanuel: Definitely, we’ll need more than just opening and closing tags in HTML.

Olga: Yeah. Yeah, sure. Okay. So, where can people find you? What’s the best place?

Emanuel: Probably my website, E M A N U E L And at @EmanuelP986 on all your favourite social media platforms 🙂

Olga: Okay. And on your website, I haven’t seen it. Do you publish SEO knowledge there?

Emanuel: Depends on when you are watching. At the moment, the current website that I have is the one I used for the course. I’m working on a separate version that should be launched from the day that we’re recording this, no longer than a week.

And that one should be a little bit more presentable and more in-depth, and I’ll try to focus more on creating content for my website. I’m one of those guys that kind of neglected my website for the longest.

I always had a website but never actually put much effort into it. But I try to add more stuff to it. And because it’s my website, I also share stuff that’s outside of the digital marketing perspective because… it’s my website.

Olga: Yeah. You can share whatever you want.

Emanuel: I’ll definitely be focusing more on creating great content, video blog posts, and all the good stuff.

Olga: Okay. Awesome. So it was very nice talking to you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge about SEO audits and sharing your SEO story.

Emanuel: My pleasure. And, as I said, a privilege.

Olga: Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. So thank you. Thank you once again, and thank you, everyone, and see you in the next episode of SEO Podcast by SEO Fly. Bye-bye.

Emanuel: Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and hit the notification button. And leave a comment, and let us know what you think about this episode.

Olga: That’s awesome. I always forget to say that. Thank you.

Emanuel: Thank you. My pleasure.


Emanuel Petrescu

Emanuel Petrescu is an accomplished SEO specialist based in Toronto, Canada. He is a digital marketing wizard, offering digital marketing services for more than 10 years, consulting corporate clients, small business owners and other independent professionals enhancing their online presence.
Read Emanuel's full bio

Emanuel Petrescu

Emanuel Petrescu is an accomplished SEO specialist based in Toronto, Canada. He is a digital marketing wizard, offering digital marketing services for more than 10 years, consulting corporate clients, small business owners and other independent professionals enhancing their online presence.
Read Emanuel's full bio