1: Marco Bonomo, SEO Specialist

Marco Bonomo is a London-based SEO Specialist. He is involved in SEO strategy planning and technical SEO for leading e-commerce and governmental websites, focusing on the UK.
Marco is also an avid reader and a digital marketing advocate, contributing to Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch. When he’s not busy building new skills, he enjoys travelling, photography and exploring London’s secret spots.


Listen Marco:

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Episode Transcription:

Francesco:  Hello everyone,  this is the first episode of the podcast and that we have, the first, guests,  Marco . Marco, what’s your name? And  how should I pronounce it?

Marco: Hello Francesco. My name is, Marco Bonomo and, it’s very  nice to be here for your first episode.

Francesco: Okay. How do you pronounce your name?

Marco: So his name is Marco Bonomo.

Francesco: And how usually people call you, does it bother you when people say your name wrong or in different way at all?

Marco: Well, to be honest, I think my name is quite simple. So there isn’t very big big chances to get it wrong. I don’t know if you know what I mean. .

Francesco: You’re a very lucky my name is well misunderstood. Okay. Let’s move to the next step, from your website. I see that, you worked in the pharma industry for awhile. And you also moved  to the UK in 2012. As I think that these questions are. Quite connected. I’ll ask them together  what brought you to move from Italy to England? And what and why brought you to move from the pharma industry, that is completely different from SEO, to the SEO world. How did you learn SEO, how what’s the trigger for for this, Change.

Marco: Yeah, sure. So basically I came to England in June, 2012.

I came actually for our girls, so I came to, I moved country for, for love. and, yeah. Basically that’s it. So I didn’t have any specific reason apart from that. So no business, or job opportunities or anything like that. So I came just for like, you know, personal relationship, reason. And I used to work, in the pharmaceutical industry.

I started working, in a pharma industry here in, London. We need to, just go to let the audience know that, basically the pharma industry in a country like the UK, it’s really strong. So it’s one of the main, like businesses in the, in the country. So I had, the chance to get, to make some really good experience.

In the, in one of the, like the best industry, the UK can, can offer. And I will say it’s a very good industry because, it’s compared to our industries, it’s, it is continuous development. They are continuously like, new drugs and, the market obviously is the world. So it’s, there is more like, a lot of like international, you know, like shipments and, lots of like business developments.

So pharmaceutical industry is definitely one of the big industries in there in the UK.

Francesco:  The pharma industry and the SEO industries are very, very different.

How did you decide and why you started? What, what was the trigger that made you change and, how do you learn about SEO?

Marco: Yeah. So basically I always had a really, really big interest in SEO, digital marketing, but working in the pharmaceutical industry I never actually had a chance to develop any of it.

So I was trying to look for jobs, like, that allow me to, to get some experience. In the, at least the SEO, if not a digital market, but I wasn’t really successful. So, I started as a side project, so I started a business about actually CV writing for something like a one year, one and a half, two years.

I had this business where basically. I use the provide services to, Italian people. That’s wanted to move to the UK. And I used to translate, with the help of some like native speakers, these, CVs to like a perfect English standard, which was, you know, it’s, was my, which was my, my goal and to generate traffic, so leads to the business. I created a kind of a blog for Italian users to get to know, I don’t know, for example, how to write a cover letter in English, how to write a CV in English, why you shouldn’t use the Europe pass formats. So I created it.  as I kind of byproducts of creating these a block for business, I learned so much about the SEO that after like one year and half, I was feeling so confident that I managed to get a job a in an agency.

Francesco: So you did what most of the people should do SEO, having your own website You started with a job in the pharma industry.

Then you started your own, business that is, translations and helping  Italian expats.  To improve their CV and so on. And then you applied for an agency. And then, you, because

of your experience that you develop on your own projects, right?

Marco: Yeah, that’s correct. So, in, if you work in a pharmaceutical industry, it’s, to be honest, it’s a really good, it’s like a really nice industry to work for.

So you got lots of benefits. You go to very standard hours. All these companies they’re making, obviously a lots of profits. So it’s really very good place to work, in, but two months I wasn’t feeling like I’m fulfilled. So I really wanted to develop a more, my, my, my love, I always had for, for a SEO, and digital marketing.

So to find a way to get a full-time job into SEO, I had to make my own way. I had to build my, my own way to get to that point. So I would say learning from scratch, was really, really long, really painful, costly pricey, but I will say is probably the best way, I can recommend to anyone. Starting from something like scratch like this, because then, you know, how long does it take to rank a website?

You don’t pretty much everything from keyword search to HTML, to, link building, to internal, linking to. I mean, lots of like, lots, basically all about SEO, obviously for a very small website. I’m not talking about an e-commerce, but at least you got the basics to start a career in, in SEO.

Francesco: You basically know what, what you’re talking about, and one big question. Okay, the pharma industry is, quite simple to understand how do you describe to your parents what do you do for living now?

Marco:  So, if you ask my mother, she is going to tell you that I work with computers. So basically she doesn’t have any idea, any clue about what I’m doing.

She knows I’m working with websites, but, that’s it. So I think probably the previous generations, the older generation, is a bit of struggling to fully understand what is digital marketing, the potential of organic and the biggest part of that. Probably more used to, you know, like traditional advertising, like TV, radio, this kind of stuff.

Francesco: Okay, Marco, you told us your story. You’re also an SEO speaker. you spoke to BrightonSEO and other SEO events.

And a contributor for several industry magazines. you’ve wrote about topics like, the, future-proof for your UX, fuzzy lookup, SEO front-end, SEO alerts, Google for jobs and, other topics.  your two big things you are known for Google, for jobs. And, fuzzy lookup. Do you want to talk about  a little bit more about these topics? I know that you are very into these two themes. So just let us know, the listener know  what you think about that.

Marco: So basically I started working on a fuzzy lookup just for a very, very, very simple reason.

I tend to work on my day-to-day SEO job, with a very large eCommerce. So as you can imagine, most of the times these, these websites, they made, they might have, lots of . 404 pages. So I really hate like manual work. So if there is any way to automate these kind of like very simple work.

I trust me, I’m going to find it. So in an attempt to make the most of my time working on, redirecting the 404 of big e-commerce, which sometimes we are talking about even thousands of 404 . If the site has not been like dealt with, for, for a long time. So I figured out a way to use a fuzzy lookup, which is an Excel plugin, which allows you to create a match between, two different datasets. Where for example, on the left, we got all day 404s and on the right, we got all the new, all the URLs from a fresh crawl. So this tool, basically is giving you a similarity score and basically simplifying a lot.

What’s used to be a lot of like manual work and, probably one of the main, like points of, I’m most proud of is that once I did these a presentation, this talk fuzzy lookup in the Brighton SEO. I had people contact me, people contacting me online, LinkedIn and Twitter, somehow some other ways.

And then we need to say that, Oh, thank you so much. I have no idea that I can use like Excel to do something like this. So this is the, like for me a really a, you know, it’s,  it proves that what you do and you share with the industry it’s actually working. Which is one of the best thing.

Yeah. So migration or e-commerce website, they are, they could, they change, The products, the changes pages and so on. And when you have many pages, thousands of pages, sometimes something that automates everything would be very, very helpful. I’m sure you’ll be your work will be helpful for  many, many, many other as SEOs.

Thanks. the other topic is about Google for jobs, which is, which is a topic that really, I really love.

I actually spoke at SMX Milan, quite recently about that. And, I actually did a few podcasts about that because, I really, really think that, Google for jobs is a feature not many people know. So it’s, I’m really keen on like sharing with, the biggest audience I can about Google for jobs, which is a search feature, available on Google as soon as you type a job in the search bar.

So for example, let’s say that you’re an SEO consultant and you live in London. So you type SEO consultants, even without specifying a location. And then Google is presenting you in a dedicated box. All the search offers posted by companies or agencies that adopted the schema markup job posting.

The good part is that all of this is free. So any company, even if you have no recruitment, budgets can appear in Google for free, with a job posting.

Francesco: Do you expect this schema markup to be more popular in the next few months, years, and why companies are not yet using that?

Marco: Well, for a very simple reason, big companies, they tend to rely very much on, Job portals.

We’re  talking about, portals like Indeed, Reed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor or something like that, and that the others would have lots of traffic, lots of application for that. But the fact that you can do pretty much the same job for free it’s something they should be aware of. And that is something that could really, really cut also the, the budget for them have recruitments.

Francesco: Basically  implementing Google for jobs, for smaller companies could be a  no brainer. Just, it’s something that, if they hire frequently is something that they should implement as soon as possible.

Marco: Yeah, definitely. So let’s say that to you, are a very small company, even if you’ve got a website with like five pages, you can create a sixth page with the job posts and the schema markup and optimize the page for Google, for jobs, and you have the chance to rank it in a very good position and to have to receive lots of applications for free these like in a various small business case.

But, These are also, applicable to big companies, because if you’re a huge company, let’s say like, I dunno, like, the Tesco, Sainsbury’s where they continuously recruits all the time, because obviously the bigger the company, the bigger the turnover. They have the chance to save a lot of money because just because  Google for jobs at the moment is free.

So why not? So I’m making the most out of it.

Francesco: And, for sure if you look for Marco’s name and Google for jobs, you’ll find, quite a bit of content he created around this area.

Okay. Specific topics apart, English is not, your native language and as well as it’s not mine. And I know that doing so well takes time and a lot of energy.

You wrote for several magazines, as we said, you talked on conferences, BrightonSEO included, many conferences don’t  have many not native English speakers.  can you give our listeners and me as well  some advice how,  how to be more  present out there as a non native speaker.

How do you overcome any fear in terms of language?  I know that writing or talking or presenting, you know,   can be difficult. The confidence, the language and everything. They, they are, something that can, stop you for doing that.

Marco: So in my personal case, I would highly recommend to start small. So in my case, for example, I started with blog, is an English blogger callers Smart Insights. And from that, I slowly built my career  as a author for, SEO related posts. So after that I started work, with the Search Engine Watch .

And then after that, I managed to collaborates with Search Engine Land, which is one of the most, probably one of the most popular. So the way to get to the top, obviously it’s probably going to take a few months if not a few years, but my recommendation is that if your company has got a blog, if your friend has got a blog, just start writing something about you’re most passionate about.

Because then the piece is going to start writing by itself. If you’re keen, if you’ve got an interest in that. And apart from that, the industry really is really looking forward with, for like new knowledge. So probably the best I can, I can think about is about like a, a business case.

So if I kind of case study. So, if you work on something for one of your clients, you did a good job. And, you’re able to share the kind of work, how you did the work, why you did in that way is probably the best way to get popularity in this industry. And after getting some confidence in like writing, block posts for like even big magazines, I will say, starting with public speaking, even at like here in London, we got amazing ones.

For example, one of my favorite is SearchLondon, which is, is happening  every few months even now is up in, virtually, even in the middle of the pandemic. But, if you go to small meetups, You really have the chance to get started. And, for example, like few weeks ago, I spoke with SMX, which is one of the, the biggest one, but the way to get there, obviously it takes is going to take some time.

So my recommendation is that don’t, don’t be like stress because you don’t get to the big ones is going to take some time. And, especially if you’re, if you’re an expat like me  don’t think that’s since you’re not the native speaker people, they’re not going to listen to you.

I spoke with person, with, they have a much better knowledge, knowledge about SEO than me, but they’re a bit afraid of like public talking, even writing articles, speaking of podcasts, but let me tell you that. And your knowledge is much more important than you accents. So there is no way, like an audience is going to tell you will tell you off because just because you have an accent, so just get it started and, you, you can pick it from there. Absolutely.

Francesco: So  you actually started with a quite big, all the names that you mentioned are quite well-known .

You were talking about the positive aspect and everything. what was, what is  your biggest challenge in speaking or writing and how did you overtake it?

Marco: Probably, if I had to think about that’s probably the biggest challenge ever. Was that to change the career because I started doing SEO when I was, 35, which, if you come for a country like Italy, where basically, if you’re over 30, you got very much limited opportunities, especially if you want to change your career.

So for me to have, had the opportunity to change career, 35 was the biggest accomplishments I ever done in my life, especially because I used to work in a pharmaceutical industry. And to start from scratch, in SEO had to cut everything, had to cut benefits salary. I had completely to change my life.

So, was a big gamble on my side. But if you’re really passionate about what you’re doing there is, I, I really think that nobody’s going to stop you

Francesco: Let’s move on. you live and work in a language, that’s not your native language.

And do you also recently, learnt Spanish? what brought you to learn Spanish and another as another language on top of, your, current languages?

Marco:  So I am, Italian native speaker and, I will say probably Spanish is the closest one to two Italian or Spanish person once told me that’s a four is it’s easier for an Italian learning Spanish than for a Spanish learning Italian, I don’t know the reason, but I just trust the person that person was probably learning Italian.

I always been curious about different cultures personally, so. If I, to be honest, if I had one more day per week, I will start learning French or some other languages because, it’s not just, speaking the language, speak, speaking the culture. So it’s like jumping, traveling, traveling without moving.

And that’s why I love, Speaking more than one language. Yep.

Francesco: Thank you. Okay. We are getting to the end and I hope our listener will not complain about the length of our podcast.

let’s go back to, SEO. What’s your focus at the moment?

Marco: So at the moment, I’m a very keen on, expanding my knowledge about YouTube.

So, we need to probably, if you’re interested in YouTube, we need to split the into two YouTube analytics, which is a everything you can get from, once you get Yolanda, you got your own channel. And, you can, you start with optimise, for example, like the description, the title, and that you actually have a, you start measuring with the metrics, so retention, this kind of stuff.

And the other bit, which is the pure content creation, which is obviously is a closely related to the YouTube analytics. But if you work in SEO, probably I get started to get interested in YouTube, starting with the YouTube analytics, which is amazing. Because, I really, really love, Google analytics and Google data studio.

So you can do amazing things, creating dashboards with YouTube analytics, data. So I warmly recommend to play around with, with both. And, I, now I’m getting started with, with also like content creation, but I it’s kind of a slow process to to be honest because I know very much about the SEO by them, super junior about, content creation.

So I’m in slowly starting with Adobe after effects, Adobe, premier, Adobe Photoshop. you got all the tools in the ward now and they are absolutely, the price is absolutely inexpensive. If you want to create the contents. So you just need the laptop a bit of spare time and you can absolutely be like a year in configuration. .

Francesco: Thanks.

Okay. What should they ask you that I didn’t know enough to ask you?

Marco:  probably I really like the angle you add,  with your questions .

Probably talk about more about the personal experience. They kind of like what is driving you? Why what’s the reason why you work in SEO? We need to, from my personal perspective, SEO is an industry where if you don’t have a patient for that . It is not the career for you. Because you’re going to spend an awful lot of time in trying to get that up to the, up to speed towards Google is, is, doing with the algorithm with, how complicated is the search engine of Google is so. If you want to reach that, that kind of, understanding the kind of knowledge he has to be driven by passion in my opinion, is as simple as that,

Francesco: I agree. Marco. we are at the end of the episode, I have my two last questions. where can our listeners connect with you online?

Marco: So they can contact me on LinkedIn. quite easy to find on a, I think at the only Marco Bonomo doing SEO in London. So it’s, it’s quite easy. So on LinkedIn, they’re probably very easy to find and also on Twitter and quite active on Twitter. So please feel free to follow me on Twitter. My handle is MarcoBonomoSEO, which is very simple to, to remember.

So hopefully, and going to get more followers from now on.

Francesco: And of course your website,

Marco: of course. Yeah. Sorry, my website, which is a marcobonomo.co.uk if you want to pay a visit.

Francesco: Okay  this is my last question. I’ll give you a few seconds to think, who has been the biggest influence on your life.

And, can you tell us about this person, talking about work, talking more your personal life? you decide .

Marco: Sure. I got no esitation about this, so it’s, I want to go say lots of my friends, Armando Salah, which has been  a very close friend for many years now.

he’s an SEO expert. So it’s got many years of experience in industry. And most importantly, he has been keen on sharing every kind of secrets he learned about the SEO to, to myself. So I remember when I used to build my own website as a side project for a business, we used to meet.

Every Wednesday evening for probably six months, six, eight months. And, in those evenings, I learned so much about SEO, just because I had a person who was willing to share. So, and these also brings me to another, like a, thoughts about, the nature of the industry, because this is an industry where the more you get to know people that works in the industry, these are, is going to be for you.

To make a career out of it. So, and tweet there, for example, is another excellent tool to stay in touch with industry reading articles, reading what people are actually doing at the moment. So I was lucky. I had a really good friend, which by chance, is also like an expert, but, you can find lots of experts on Twitter and, the industry, in my opinion, it’s super open.

You go to find lots of like. People that are, really, likeminded, that’s really, have a willingness to share. And it’s probably one of the best thing about the industry.

So if live in a big city, you’ve got a chance to  network in person. Obviously it’s going to be, perfect. Compared to just five years ago, the number of meetups doing, SEO, digital marketing simply exploded. Absolutely. So if you work, especially in the South of England, you got London, you got reading, you go to so many different, kind of cities.

Also. They are, BDB, crazy amount of podcasts that you can listen to to get to know more about people. Because obviously you’ve got all these people, like, you know, experts that they, they love to share about the experience, about what the best ads. So they’re always like many different ways to get started with networking.

So now I think now we live in an age where there is no excuse for you to stay up to date with the current knowledge, because there are so many ways we need to start networking.

Francesco: Thank you, Marco. And thank you our listener to listen my first episode of this podcast and, yeah, let’s catch up online.

Bye bye.

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