You can have the best data and most sophisticated tools, but it doesn’t mean anything without great people. Fortunately, at Catalyst, we have no shortage of great people. From Search Associates to Search Directors, and from Project Managers to Managing Partners, each member of the Catalyst team is committed to maximizing client business results and making Catalyst a world-class agency. Read our Employee Spotlight series to meet some of the team members responsible for making Catalyst an all-star agency partner and a great place to work.
Name: Eric Mandell
Title: Associate Director, Organic Search
How long have you worked at Catalyst?
I have worked at Catalyst for almost two years.
How long have you worked in SEO and what type of clients have you worked on?
I have worked in search since 1999. I started before Google had any type of sophisticated algorithm and website owners had to register their domain with DMOZ to get crawled.
I initially started working with small mom-and-pop ecommerce website publishers that were selling products online. I worked with dozens or maybe even hundreds of small ecommerce business websites across a variety of industries such as retail, fashion, technology, art, music and photography. Years later, I graduated to medium and large websites supporting higher education, international non-profit, and well-known brands like UPS, MIT Sloan, and a technology company that makes the most popular smartphone on the planet.
How did you get your start in SEO?
Shortly after graduating high school, during the 90’s ‘dot-com boom’, and after three separate startups and company acquisitions in two years, I was employed at a web hosting company that needed someone to help support their ecommerce product hosting. My job was to help them integrate the ecommerce shopping cart into their website. That led to customers asking the popular question, “now how do I get people to my website and buy stuff?” From there, I started my own organic search marketing company and I was off.
What do you like most about working at Catalyst?
First, the people who I work with are amazing. My colleagues are some of the most inspiring search marketers in the industry and I get to be part of the most prominent technical SEO conference worldwide, TechSEO Boost. Additionally, I get to work on some of the biggest and most influential brands out there.
What has been your greatest achievement or success in SEO?
I feel my greatest achievement is in making my experience and knowledge an integral part of the success of so many online businesses, from mom-and-pop shops to some of the largest brands on the internet.
In your opinion, what is the most important SEO trend or change for 2020?
Search engines are learning fast with artificial intelligence, deep learning and natural language processing. As search engines get better at understanding search intent and natural language, SEO will become far more important than it ever has been. We will need to think more about SEO for video/image content and optimize pages for new devices and voice search.
If you had to give one recommendation to an advertiser who wants to use search or social marketing to achieve business results, what would it be?
Know why your website exists, who your users are and what they need from you. Every website marketing decision you make should reflect the answers to those questions.
Share a fun fact about yourself
I’ve been to the Grammys three times and I high-fived Paul McCartney!