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Dana Lookadoo

I met Dana a few years ago during PubCon Las Vegas. Who would have thought there would be so much dynamite in such a small package? Needless to say, she knew almost everyone at this conference. Keeping up with her was a task all in by itself. Aside from being a popular networking diva, running her own agency, speaking at various conferences, I found something genuinely honest and sweet about her. She’s thoughtful, super smart, ethical, professional and most of all cares about sharing the right information with people.

1. What’s your personal elevator pitch? What should we know about who you are and what you do?

Elevator state was the first thing I learned in a computer architecture class in 1995. Oh, wait, you weren’t asking about elevators and computer science… However, understanding an elevator’s on-or-off states as binary, 1 or 0, did set the course for who I am today.

What do you do?

When asked that question recently while bicycling, I replied, “I do search marketing.” “What’s that?” was the response. I expanded my answer to “I help companies be found on Google.” “Oh, OK…” One only has a few brief moments to carry on a conversation while bike riding in a group, so that’s where I formed my brief elevator pitch.

Answers vary depending on the audience. Most likely, the Level 343 audience would understand elevator state, binary, and a longer explanation. For them, I would explain that online marketing is my second career after 17 years in the corporate world and that I’m a technologist turned marketer. I help companies understand their needs for online visibility and how to engage with their audiences. The following Venn diagram explains who I am professionally:

Lookadoo Online SEO Marketing

My sweet spot is the intersection of those 3 circles!

2. Which area of SEO or online marketing in general do you focus on primarily, and which is the most exciting or most boring to you? Or is there an area that you’d love to dive into more?

Running a boutique SEO agency means we do many things. Maybe it’s easier to explain what we don’t do. We do not go out and build links, and then present clients with a monthly report. We have three types of clients.

  1. SEO and Online Visibility Audits
  2. Ongoing engagements in which we train and equip the team in their SEO and social media efforts.
  3. Consulting gigs in which we help troubleshoot, strategize, and train them with knowledge and skills necessary to go it alone.

I especially like training and equipping clients with information to help them understand and strategize. The smarter they are, the more we can do. The best moments are when clients have that “Ah ha!” moment and get it. Recently, one client was so excited she exclaimed, “Holy Bananas!” THAT excitement pushes my button!

What I’m missing is time to write more, time to develop more content and work on personal marketing passions. I’d like to spend more time in two other areas – conversion optimization and analytics. Give me a little right brain and left brain each day, and I’m happy!

3. We’d love to know more about the personal you (without being too nosy). What area of the world do you live in, or want to live in? What are some of your quirks? What fuels your fire?

Many probably know I’m passionate about cycling, primarily road biking these days. I live in Folsom, California not far from the gorgeous American River and the infamous Folsom Prison that Johnny Cash put on the map. I’ve raced, won a few medals, and now I’m simply trying to find the work-life balance to do some serious training while also working crazy hours. Folsom has 30 miles of paved bike paths. I’ll be taking up swimming this next month, but don’t expect me in any triathlons. There’s absolutely nowhere else I’d rather live!

View from Historic Folsom Bike Trail where Dana Lookadoo rides often

View from Historic Folsom Bike Trail where Dana Lookadoo rides often

To enjoy more of the outdoors, I’m having to let some of my idiosyncrasies not get the best of me. I prefer the labels in the refrigerator to be facing forward, and lately that OCD issue is not predominant. My spices must be lined up in alphabetic order. I don’t like a lot of “stuff” out and prefer counter & desktops with wide open spaces. (I’ve yet to get my husband to be equally excited about this level or organization.) At work, I keep my file folders named with all lower-case letters and words separated by hyphens.

I have learned that I don’t fit the standard “geek” profile.

  • I don’t drink coffee or do caffeine.
  • I try to get 8 hours of sleep a night – by necessity after years of burning the candle at both ends.
  • I’m not glued to email or my iPhone.
  • I don’t multi-task well and thrive on batch processing. This means I actually shut down email and social media for hours at a time.
  • I do focus. When I’m working on a project for a client, I’m in that mode completely for that period of time. It results in a better product and feeling of accomplishment!
  • I have a voracious appetite for information, self-improvement, and the world of online marketing. I listen to a lot of podcasts and ebooks. I don’t watch many movies or know much about the latest music craze.
  • My energies are focused on organic gardening and SEO and how to optimize maximum ROI for both!
I’d love to connect with Level 343 readers, so I encourage them to shout out a Yo! or follow me on Twitter at @lookadoo or Google+, and/or @YoYoSEO