Jacob Funnell on Semrush

Jacob Funnell is a customer of Semrush. Semrush describes itself as an online visibility management platform. I’ll be trying to understand why Jacob purchased Semrush, how he uses it and what alternatives he’s considered. Jacob’s a freelance digital marketer with a decade of experience helping SaaS and professional services companies. Jacob also shares why he uses Google Data Studio, Hotjar and Cookiebot

Jon: Welcome to empathy deployed the
podcast where you can experience an

example customer interview every week.

You'll discover new perspectives on
different software products and improve

your customer interview technique.

As I attempt to do the same

I'm Jonathan Markwell and this week I'll
be interviewing Jacob funnel Jacobs.

A customer of SEMrush stem rush
describes itself as an online

visibility management platform.

how are we trying to understand why
Jacob purchased some rush, how he uses

it and what alternatives he's considered?

Jacob's a freelance digital marketer
with a decade of experience helping

SAS and professional service companies.

Hi Jacob,



Uh, thank you for taking the time today.

Uh, I'm super excited to hear your
thoughts on, um, why, uh, you purchased

a particular software product.

Um, And, um, yeah, the goal of, uh, of,
of this podcast and these interviews

is, is, uh, for, for me to practice,
uh, customer interviews, but also just

to fill up people to experience other
people's experience of, of software.

Um, uh, so, uh, before we get
started, if you've got any questions,

Jacob: Uh, no, let's, let's dive in.


Jon: Then, uh, the final thing to ask
you, if you're comfortable sharing with

me recording this interview, as I've
already asked you as we are recording it.

Um, but also, um, that we share it
publicly for the, for the benefit.

Um, yeah, that's all cool.

Um, what was it normally a customer
interview like this wouldn't be

shared outside of the organization.

Um, but, um, yeah, so this
is a, this is a public one.

So if that's all cool, we'll
dive into a first question.

Um, and so can you tell me a
little bit about how you got

into needing, uh, SEMrush,

Jacob: yeah.

So, um, I used, um, a few STO
tools as part of doing SEO.

Uh, just in house.

I was, I was working for a small company
and, um, I was, you know, like responsible

for all digital marketing stuff.

Like when you're an exec, any small
companies you often end up in.

You know, the everything guy.

Um, and it used to use a SEO Moz.

That was a, that was a tool
which was available at the time

even before it's called months.


Um, but I just wanted to get some like,
decent information on, uh, keywords

that were available, uh, in the industry
that I was working with at the time.

And I just, I tried, uh, trials, a
few different products, and I just

found that stem rough was just so
much better than everyone else.

They just had a much wider
database of keywords.

So it came from that keyboard
or such stuff to BMI.

That was like the main motivating thing.

Jon: Makes sense.

Makes sense.

Do you remember when it was, um, that,
uh, the staff first started paying for it?

Author used to?

Jacob: Um, I think so.

Uh, as far as I recall, um, I was able
to make the case for it pretty easily.

I sustain, you know, I'm using
this, can we use this and stuff?

Most, I think most was
expiring anyway, at the time.

So it's a little bit easier to make
the case when your, your existing

thing's about to expire, because
you're not asking really for more

money, you just ask them to spend
the same money in a different place.

Jon: Right.

Um, terms of time, uh,

Jacob: uh, um, as in like before
present or into my bifocal, um, yikes.

This is going to be ages ago.

Maybe I'm guessing it's like 2017,

Jon: right?


Fears, fears, pain.

Um, and so can you walk me
through the work that you're

doing when you use, um, SEM rush?

Um, what's the end result
that you're trying to get to?

Jacob: Yeah, so generally speaking,
um, I use this for pretty much any,

any SEO project I'm involved with.

Um, and I think the reason for
that is it's really good at just

use it doing lots of things.

Well, um, so for example, if I have
a new site to look up, um, as a full

site audit report, so working on your
plan, then you site, and they want

to know what's wrong with a slate.

Is there anything in terms of
how it's bill that's wrong?

And that full site audit report
is a very good starting point.

You can't like completely
trust any crueler.

Um, by itself they will come up with
issues that aren't really issues.

Um, and it's, um, it's not as
comprehensive as, as doing everything you

could and something like screaming frog,
for example, which goes into way more, way

more detail, uh, and requires a lot more.

Um, configuration, but in
terms of spotting the, uh,

the, the spotting, the big.

And doing it quickly.

It's really good.

And I think it's like, uh, so
yeah, it's really, really, really

useful in that first stage when
I was ordered to signify it.

I'm just trying to go like,
what's, what's going on here.

I'll say keywords.


What are they ranking for?

What's the technical side of things.

How's the site fit together?

Is there anything wrong with that?


Jon: Can you give me some examples
that anyone would recognize of

an issue that it might flag it?

Jacob: Yeah.

So often when you're building a site,
um, Uh, the focus tends to be on,

okay, let's just get the site live.

We want to make sure
that the design is right.

There are things that people can see.

If you feel you're making a psychic,
you're always looking at the things that

you can see about the slate and you,
anyone can spot if like the navigation

to navigation menus don't function
as, as supposed to, you can spot

that, but SEO issues tend to get lost.

And so, for example, um, Errors that
you might see things like this as it

relates to your mail tag, which tells the
browser, these are the words that should

appear at the top of the browser tap.

So, uh, and so that's the title tag.

And sometimes I work with sites
and they've got like seven.

And they're completely invisible.

You won't spot that unless
you crawl your site.


Uh, and then you've got more
insidious, more technical things.

So for example, if you've got the
same content translated into different

languages, sometimes, um, you won't
have set up correctly to tell Google.

This to sustain article,
but in different languages.


Uh, yeah, more technical still.

You might have things like you've
used structured data and you've

tried to tell Google I have a
software product and here's all of

the bits of information about this.

And quite often that's
incorrectly assessed.

So basically it's all kinds
of things that are hidden.

You won't be able to see
them just by going to a page.

It might be perfectly fine,
but then behind the scenes,

Jon: Got it.


Makes sense.

Um, and so what, what other tools
or things have you done manually

to try and solve the same problems
that you solve by using SEMrush?

Jacob: I think the big ones in terms
of like keyboard except stuff, um,

uh, Back in the day you would use,
um, Google ads, keyword planner, um,

it's becomes increasingly tricky.

You need like an actual paid
ad account to do that now.

So if you were trying to do it free, uh,
you just don't have that option anymore.

You have just going straight to Google.

Um, and also I feel like I just
have an easier time using some

Russia's tool than I do with, um,
Uh, easing, easing out to planner.

It's just a bit more intuitively laid out.

Um, in terms of site, uh, audit
seemed like technical audit.

Um, we've got things like screaming,
frog, um, but in the absence of any

other tools, which is often where
people start, especially if they're in

house, they don't have anything, then
you end up checking stuff manually.

So you might get like a plugin and it
becomes, there's so many things where

like, humans shouldn't be doing them.

Like it shouldn't be
like manually checking.

Your metadata page by page, you should
just, you should just get that crawled

and done in the report in seconds.


Um, so yeah, that's
another alternative, uh,

Jon: literally clicking B-cells at a page

Jacob: on page at a time.


So that'd be like the most
formative way of doing it possible.

And then like the next step step up would
be installing like a Chrome extension.

I have a Chrome extension that does that.

So if I'm on a particular page, Uh, and
I'm really focusing on that patient.

I have a lot of stuff, but
like if you're getting a whole

site, so this whole site stuff.


Anything, anything in
any level of quantity?

You just, you, you want
the tool to automate this?


Jon: Got it.


Um, and can you tell me when you
first started thinking that you should

use something else to get through?


Um, so may, I mean, obviously quite
awhile, while back in 2017, um, and

you were an employee at the time.

Jacob: Yeah.

So that was I'm obsessed.

I first started using this.

Um, um, yeah, I, I think I just wanted
to, um, get more keywords for ads.

I think that was one thing and
I also wanted to, um, yeah.

Keep exploring for keywords for,
uh, the blog is a bit, I think one

of the pinch points was that it was
quite difficult to find keywords.

It felt like particularly.

To the B2B audience that
we're trying to reach.

Um, and honestly, like I think part of my
initial motivations, like the misguided,

and I feel like I felt that was a big
reservoir of like B2B relevant keywords.

That if only I could find it,
it would, you know, be there.

But now that I've worked
with a lot more company.

Um, I feel like I've got a better
understanding of the buying

cycle and that how massively
differs from companies company.

So the thought that I was thinking,
wow, there's just going to be this like,

like undiscovered land of keywords.

And if I managed to get them,
then, then, then I'll be able to

get people on the site and apply.

Whereas now I think a lot more about like,
well for companies, a lot of the time.

A person just has the training need.

And then they start Googling things
about like, you know, X training course,

and you just got to get them there.

Then you gotta put a lot of effort
into making sure you get them there.

And the, the stage before that,
while they've got like awareness of

a problem and all the rest of it,
I mean, you will get such stands

around there, but like the, the
overwhelming, like, wait, is that, that

particular bit where they've just gone.

We needed a training course.

Um, and I, I feel like at the time, I
didn't really think that way so much.

I used to, I used to think that like,
there'll be a more even level of

interest at all bits of the funnel.

And you're taught that, you know, oh yeah.

There's the awareness about where
people are just barely aware that

they've got a problem or something.

Some industry that's true.

Something like dollar shave club is
a fantastic example of that, where

absolutely awareness was there.

No one knew you could get subscription
raises fate, that there was, there would

have been very little search volume for
subscription razor service at that time.

Um, so they needed to get up there
and that awareness bit, whereas,

uh, and so, you know, uh, you know,
the YouTube stuff and the display

advertising, I'm sure they would have
done was absolutely what they need it.

But for that company, it was just
getting people at those extremely

high level of intent, you know,
they saw training courses.

And so it's like getting them
when they're searching for

those sorts of training courses.


So yeah, I thought your
mistaken belief grinding.

Jon: Interesting.

I thank you.


and, um, So before, so you've told
me where you were hoping for it to

solve, um, to get you this rich set
of, of B2B keywords for the particular

businesses that you're working in.

Um, and, but you indicated
that maybe it didn't help them.

Do you expect it to help?

Um, was there anything, um, before you
started using the product that you were

unsure of about it, or that was unclear?

Jacob: I think, I mean, there
were a lot of capacitor tools pan,

so differentiation between some
roughing, other ones, it was khaki.

And I feel like I answered a lot of
my questions just by doing the trial.

I think that that, that, that, that
helped me out with the loss of them.

As far as I can recall, I was,
I felt pretty sure that it was

like, it was just like mole.

So we had this understanding my
head there's more SEO, most visible.

Um, and so I had this kind of
template in my head like, oh, So I

feel like happens a lot with stopper.

You just, you just go,
oh, it's this thing.

So you don't really need that kind
of, if I was mistaken, it would

have been mistaken to the extent
that it was different from us.

And as far as I recall, like that
wasn't a lot that was different from

Jon: yeah.

But going back, was there anything
about Mazda at the time that you didn't

like, was there more that were sort
of pushing you away from, from most.

Jacob: Yeah.

Like I felt like summer felt
about a keyword database.

Um, and, um, yeah, that's, I think that's
the main thing I remember possibly.

I got a sense that there was more,
there were more sort of features

in SEMrush, but I'm not sure it's
a, quite a long time ago now.


Jon: Um, and you've touched on this
briefly already, but, uh, Before

you decided to use, um, the break.

Was there anyone else that you, um,
asked, um, about it or, um, places

that you look for information about it?

Jacob: I mean, I was kind of,
I just remember being like,

roughly aware of a few of them.

Uh, I was aware of spite, baby.

You know, my boss at the
time told me about that.

We used to be subscribed to that,
but again, it's called SpyFu.

I don't even know if it's still going,
but it's chemo database was just

nowhere near as good a stem rush.

Um, and I think a cool thing is I
tried in all of them to do this sort

of keyword search and SEMrush just came
up way better than the rest of them.

And that was during the
trial was a big thing.


That was during the trial in advance.


You know, it's so hard.

I'm just, oh, I have this like
awareness of it being around.

I feel this happens a lot
with, um, a lot of products.

Like your first, you often don't
remember your first time you see them.

And then cause it's just
like, oh, it's around.

It's people are talking about it and
you're barely even clocking at, um,

Jon: The w where would you have sort of
been hanging out to have discovered it,

there are like any forums or websites
or podcasts that you would have, uh,

or maybe the, the today, if, if, um,
you had to come across a new product.

W where, where might you
first come across it?

Jacob: Um, yeah, a lot's changed today.

So like, where, what I do now
is like way different from even

like a cereal four years ago.

Um, So I would say since about 2018,
uh, I joined an absolute ton of, uh,

Facebook groups are actually really good.

Um, handful of them are really good.

You normally get decent information than
I have, um, posed questions about, um,

things like learning patient flower or.

Um, I think that was the
most recent one yeah.

Landing page stuff.

And I was just going to be like, what
are people using for page building?

Because I knew about Unbounce.

Was there anything else people knew about?

So, yeah.

So, um, uh, so the idea is to get a
recommendation from someone who has

actively used the tool and who seems
credible, like there's someone who's

actually, you know, you, you, you have
faith that they, in their ability to

use this as part of a larger process.

So, um, you know, if I'm talking to
you, uh, about, uh, something and

you say this tool is just good, it
just immediately goes like waste

waste at the top of my consideration.

Let's yeah.

So it's trying to find a
recommendation from a peer or

Jon: better.

And so you actively look for it right?

When, when you have a
problem and it is that

Jacob: right.



So I, um, I normally am able, as long
as I can conceive of that being, uh, uh,

a kind of a tool, which does the thing.

So, um, I'm sure that there are
some things which I'm doing some

problems that I'm having, that I
don't even realize that there's a

tool which could help me with that.

But with things like landing page
builders, like a concept in my brain,

um, But then there are other things where
I'm like less, you know, I'm probably

just not aware that this is something
which, um, could, uh, could help.


So wherever I bought a sense that,
that, that this is, this is a

category of staying that I want.

And, um, then I'll ask for opinions.


Jon: can you name any of the specific
Facebook groups that you've found useful?

Jacob: Yeah, the, I mean the big one
for me, like huge, uh, just generally

in my, my career for like the past three
years, the CXL, uh, compassion, but a

group it's just absolutely enormous.

Um, loads of the contacts that I've made,
the, um, uh, the recommendations, uh, Uh,

yeah, that's another, I remember asking
about full my elastics on there as well.

It's another thing we've got some
recommendations that, um, yeah,

that's, that's always been a big one.

Um, I feel like, uh, that there were
some other ones, like the Google tag

manager one is, is another one, but it's
very specific to help within the tool.

I'm trying to think of, oh yeah.

Some interesting . Um, if I'm asking
about tool, you know, if I was asking

tool agnostic, there's also like
superstar SEO, which is pretty good.

Um, um, Google ad strategy with Kohl's
Soulard has never in a group ever,

but like it's decent Google ads group.


So, yeah, so I'd say that
was like my, like one tier.

And then I see above
that in terms of quality.

Is the private slack groups.

So, um, let's measure slack,
uh, which is excellent.

Um, and.

Uh, there's one or two smaller ones,
which I'm members of, which are just

like some individual who I know is
like fully scaled and what they do.

And they have their own
private slack group in on that.

Um, yeah, but for these slack groups,
you need like the quality of the question

that you need to ask to get a response
in those groups is extremely IST.

You need, but you need to
clearly be asking her question.

That is worth asking
people who know this much.

So I go there, when I've got
a question where I'd like,

just, just beat my brains out.

I can't figure it out.

I just get pleased, anyone.

Um, yeah.

And, um, uh, I would take a recommendation
from inside that extremely seriously.


Jon: That'd be great to have that
kind of squirt network around

Jacob: and built it up.

I built up really, really
painstakingly any, any opportunity.

I literally added to one at recently
as a guy who just posted a lot

on, um, uh, San Mar full styles.

And he's very, he's clearly very good.

And I've learned those from his posts.

And then he just, he just
said, oh, I bought this.

He mentioned.

Almost done an offhand about like in his
private flat group, someone mentioned X.


I just commented, you know, the
bit in fight club where they're

waiting outside the door, trying
to get membership to the club.

I just, that that's me right now.

Just waiting outside.

And he gave somebody the invite.

So, um, yeah.

Uh, and, um, private,
private mastermind groups.

Who've got other things like that as well.

So some really excellent conversion.

Optimization practitioner and you just
see the sheer quality of what he's

posting and I've just, you know, it's
just being proactive with these things.

Um, because as a, as a solo freelancer,
this is the thing that I'm just, I will

just, I can easily be totally deficient.

Then I can literally just talk to nobody.

And I had exactly the same thing
when I was working in house.

Like you just constantly know
more than everyone in the room

about like your specialist.

'cause it's just you.


Um, and that's not a good place to be.

You need to constantly be
around people who have.

You are, I'm challenging.

You, you have, and then I think also
the other side, it's really good if

you've, um, if you're, if you're trying
to impart that knowledge as well.

Um, that's the biggest side though.


Jon: really useful.

Interesting stuff though.

I'm conscious of time.

We're already up to 23 minutes.

Um, you're right.

To keep going for a bit.

I've got a couple more questions.

So, uh, well, where are we up to?

Um, was there, um, anyone that
you needed to sort of, uh, have

weigh in on your decision to buy?

I think you mentioned this also earlier
because you were working in house at the

time, and so you, you have a boss that was
going to sign off on the, on the purchase.

Um, yeah.

And is that similar now
or how, how do you make.

Jacob: Uh, so it's interesting.

So when I work with, so yeah, at the time
it's just, the boss needed the decision

and he was, um, one of the real strengths
of that company was that if you wanted

some software, you wouldn't end up in
some just tedious debate about, you

know, relatively small amounts of money.

You just get the thing.


Um, that's, that's great.

So, um, Next company I was at, um, I did
get some rough, uh, and I think I, that

was with like the initial bit of momentum
that I had as a new person coming in.

I was just like, this is
the tool of my, I need this.

This is what I use.

Um, and I think it's, that was fine.

Um, when I've, I.

I helped move, uh, an agency I've done
some work with, to summarize as well.

And again, they were using muzzle ready
and I was really like up for just being

like, oh yeah, no, I just use most,
if I can do the stuff I do at SEMrush

and most and fantastic, but I just
couldn't quite do it in the same way.

And workflow and process becomes a big.

So a lot of the time, if I'm working
with clients to say like, look,

here's the tool, but here's also
the workflow and process behind it.

And with, with SEMrush, you can fit
it into work flows and processes.

Um, and yeah, and also a, um, it
works it's really, really good

for, um, moderately successful and
above small and medium businesses.

I think once you start getting
increasingly complex website,

And you start getting, um,
the investment in SEO becomes

progressively more, um, worthwhile.

Then you need to start
expanding your toolkit.

So a lot of people use pH rights, um,
because it's just better, but things

like link-building air trust just
acknowledged as being a better tool.

Um, but San Francisco very
good at doing lots of.

So it's quite a, it's
slightly easiest, Alex.

It's like, can we just get this?

And it'll cover lots of bases rather
than let's get this kind of ecosystem

of, you know, it's funny how some
are actually does do lots of things.

And if you were to go back 10 years,
there used to be more like separate,

separate tools doing these things.

And some are just kind of bring us

Jon: into, you mentioned H refs,
would that be something that

you use instead of SEMrush?


Jacob: Um, you know, I never used.


I just know that loads
of people do use that.

And I know that if, uh, um, if I
was in a position where I was in

any way responsible for extensive
link-building then, um, I would

definitely at least try it.


Um, I know it does other things as well.

Um, One of the things hair,
as well as that light.

Let's just that you've got
to look at like where your

bottlenecks are and your processes.

And, um, so often, like there are multiple
tools that will do things well enough

for the level that you can execute.

You know, in most small medium-sized
businesses, there's just a limit to how

well they can execute any ex STO work.

And so the amount of extra benefit that
you'd get from having lots of tools

just doesn't translate into actual.

Real changes.

It's just, oh, I've got lots of
fancy tools, but I've got like this

really limited amount of actual work
practical changes and what I can do.

And so I felt like SEMrush is quite good.

I could level.


Cause you can just go, right.


This covers covers my basis.

Anything that I would want to do, this
will give me the adequate support for it.

Jon: Makes sense.

Um, and so if, uh, If SEMrush
disappeared, um, tomorrow and you

weren't able to use it, what would
those unit you comfortable with the

tools that would fill the gap that,

Jacob: um, I think the main thing, yes.

I think I could definitely do.

Like, there's nothing that like, if
they do, which I don't think I, I

could do in some other way, there are
all the keyword research tools out.

Um, um, I think I would just
have to relearn some of my

privacy practices or alter them.

So, um, like a core part of when I
do technical audits, of course part

is just going through the summary
report first, um, and pulling out

what looks relevant from that.

And it's a couple of, so
many things so quickly.

Um, I would have to look at like,
okay, how do I do this manually in

screaming frog, or how do I am, you
know, what other tools do the same thing?

Um, yeah.

Jon: And to understand that process.

So SEMrush will give you, um,
is that a list of keywords or

issues at that at that point?

Jacob: Yeah.

So, um, you've got like a Crow.

What I call it, like the cruel report.

So basically they, um, it's like a full
site audit and that's the technical stuff.

Like how your site is set up,
um, things like, you know, your

method descriptions or your.

EMA or your internal
linking and stuff like that.

So Ross just let you run a report
on all of those issues at once.

And then, um, from that report, then I go
through that and I, I, you know, I look

at picture it manually and I go, okay,
here's an issue that needs a bit more.

So there's an issue
which needs a bit more.

Um, probing that.

Am I going to screaming, frog and
then an investigator a bit more

or depending on what the issue is?

Um, so, but it forms my core thing.

It's just gone and it's gone all
the checking it's it's it's the,

the, it, it C it means that I won't
have had to have done what would

literally take dozens of hours to do.

Depending on the site, it
could be crazy amounts of time.

Um, it's just dumb.

Um, and you know, other, other
other sites would do this,

but I would need to get that.

It's just that while I was doing research,
right, I've got this report and this

provides like a nice backbone for me.

Um, Um,

Jon: yeah.

All right.

That's been super insightful.

Um, I've learned loads, having not used
these tools much my myself, but is there

anything else you think I should know
about your experience of using SEMrush?

Jacob: I think it's, I think
it's, um, it's your experience?

It's going from like user
friendliness has gone from being.

Really bad to mediocre.

Um, he used to be so, um, uh, it
was so hard to find what you wanted.

It's still not easy.

Um, there are so many options.

There are so, so, so, so many options
and it, it definitely feels like.

Uh, an agglomeration of
lots of different tools.

Um, and that's taken precedence over
its user-friendliness as a tool.

You definitely don't get it.

It's definitely against that
kind of, oh, I'm new in the tool.

Let's cut down the number of
decisions that I have to make so that

I get in and I get stuff using it.

Start getting value immediately.

Like that is not a sudden rush.

It's like, here are so many
things that you can do.

You figure out a way of using them and you
figure out your own workflows and stuff.

Like it's, it's something that I've
really had to learn to work with

to come up with what flows around.

Jon: Yep.


Jacob: Um, yeah.

Um, and I feel like that's, that's
one of the major gaps with it, with

a torch there's so many things is
actually having strong workflows because

it's so easy just to get like all of
these, like Google analytics, right?

Like a, you have this preponderance
of reports I spring as it just

to kind of dive in and get lost.

Um, and so the, the,
the really cool thing.

SEMrush is knowing when to use what
tools at what stage and what to do

with the outputs of them and happy.

You know, it's very, um, it's a very kind
of multi-purpose tool, but it's certainly

not the kind of thing where you're going
to get the maximum value out of it easily.

Um, yeah.

Jon: If you had a magic wand and
you could change one thing about

SEMrush, what would it, would it be?

Jacob: Um, I think that I would, Hmm.

I feel like it's a more, always more of a.

Conceptual thing where like, it could be
nice if it had some way of guiding people

through a particular process, rather
than like giving you loads of reports.

I'm working with people who sometimes,
um, when a client I'm working with gets

SEMrush, you know, Uh, I often work
with people, um, who are, you know,

they're not like asking your specialist
or they're early in their career.

I was talking to someone literally
this morning talking through some

Russian and different things that
he, that he could be doing in it.

And, um, I feel like if there was a
way of organizing it so that you could

just go, what are you trying to do?

And then, you know, I'm trying to
find technical issues on my site.

All right.


And then here's like this
checklist checklist do this.

I feel like there's some, I
like walking people through

the processes through SEMrush.

I feel like it could be more,
more useful for newbies, but

it's, you know, it's, it's tricky.

I'm, I'm calling.

All of how onboarding and making
tools, user friendly is like its

own its own discipline, same thing.

Um, and I I'm, I'm sure
that whoever's worked on it.

It's like really organized over.

But I just, I generally get the sense.

It's just very easy to
get lost in the report.

And sometimes it'd be nicer to have
some sense of where this fits into

a broader process, particularly for
people who aren't familiar with that

Jon: that's really very useful to hear.

Thank you.

Um, so that's the, uh,
end of my questions.

Thank you again for taking the
time to share that experience.

Um, is there anything, what else do you
think I should talk to if I was exploring

more about SEMrush, um, who else would
be good people to ask where if you're

not comfortable saying their name on
the, on the show, that's, that's fine.

Um, but are there other, other people
that use, uh, use it a lot that you

know, that you could introduce me?

Jacob: Um, there's uh, Ooh, Hmm.

There, uh, there are some people
who could potentially talk to him.

Um, the reason I hesitate is because
of like, um, let us super busy.


So it, uh, it, I mean, you could,
you could certainly try, um, I would.

If it's interesting, you
asked me like where, where I

find information about that.

Like someone like stupid stuff, SEO.

I do this all the time.

When I'm researching stuff for clients, I
will just find the niche Facebook group.


That I remember of that that's relevant
to whatever thing I'm working on.

And then I.

Whatever question I want to ask.

I'll just stay, you know?


Like, like for example, if I'm trying to
find out, um, I have to find out, uh, I

was writing some ads that were in, uh,
fiction writers and I wanted to get a

sense of like, what's what's success.

What, what, in terms of like
the, you know, what, what

can I put into this coffee?

That's going to make
it compelling to them.

So I just asked them, like, what
does success mean to you as a.

What does it picture it?

What does, what does the
picture of success look like?

You, I gave you only one of these
ideas and it's like, okay, brilliant.

I can try these in ads.


Um, uh, so yeah, superstar,
Theo would be a pretty good one.


Um, there was some are styles, which
would obviously be a biased sample.

Um, but then you've got,
um, guests you've star SEO.

You'd get a ton of recent.

Got it.

Jon: Thank you.

All right.

Um, and, uh, yeah, that's really good.

I mean, we've probably started to get
a picture of some of the work that you

do, but can you tell me what, what,
uh, what you do if there's a way for

people that are listening to work with
you, um, where we can find out more.

Jacob: Yeah.

So, um, I work with, um,
like a variety of businesses.

It's been this really, really wide span
of businesses, um, particularly with

like, um, stat and professional services,
but actually, um, brought it out a lot.

Um, just multipurpose thing.

And what I was hearing is, you know,
if, if you've got the sense of, oh,

we could reach more people or, oh,
our website could convert more people.

Um, Then, if he comes to me,
then I can help you figure out

where these opportunities lie.

Um, I think, um, one of the major
benefits of having someone who's

external to your business have a look
at it is I can, you know, I can get

the sense of like that bit where it's
talking about like the awareness.

Uh, and why, like you have these
different kinds of areas, which

are like particular target places.

Um, because I do your SEO and do
a conversion rate optimization.

I'm very good at looking at like,
okay, maybe you want to create more

content here, or maybe you want
to, um, improve this landing page.

Or maybe you, you know, this
bit is conceptually wrong.

It's just about finding
places where you could grow.

And improve, identifying them
coming up with a plan to, to,

to, to, to grow your business

Jon: excellence.

Where on the web, can we find that,

Jacob: uh, it's funnel
marketing.com and follow us?

Actually, my name that's F U
double N E double L marketing.com.

So it's, um, I think it's got an acronym
for your work, reflect your, um, name.

So, yeah, I was recently told by a
business owner that my site is very

easy to understand, but there's a state.

So if you go there, hopefully you'll
get the answers that you need.

Jon: I would say the same.

It is.

It's great.

But you know, I'm very
fortunate to have worked with.

Both all the way, way back, um, when
you had that, uh, in-house role.

And, um, I was, you know, I
was impressed, uh, then, um,

about the quality of your work.

And, um, I've been very, uh, glad
to be able to hire a few times, um,

to work with a couple of different
clients that I've worked with.

Um, and I can, uh, yeah, I will keep
hiring you because I'm, we're actually

about to have a conversation about
one client that we're working with

after, after this interview, um, Uh,
because yet Jacob is someone that, that

knows us, knows his stuff on, on this.

I'm quite a generalist and I
really need an expert on SEO.

Um, and I'm in conversion
rate optimization.

Jacob's the person that like go
to, um, so, uh, yeah, check, check

out his website, funnel marketing.

, so my last leading question, um, we.

Can you, um, and they may be a piece of
software that you've already mentioned,

um, earlier, but are there three pieces
of software, um, maybe relate to this

conversation or just generally that you've
used recently or bought recently that

you would recommend people check out?

Jacob: Um, I am going to be
extremely generic on this.

I think that one is a studio.

Obviously people have had.

But the amount of clients I
see who do their reporting

right out of Google analytics.

So high, you need to get it.

You need to get it into Google data studio
because analytics is not a reporting tool.

It's a data store.

Analytics is not a reporting tool.

It's just a data store.

It was designed with
your reporting in mind.

That's why they crazy Google data studio.

If you use Google
analytics for your reports.

You're costing yourself time and
you're not getting your information

across as well as you can.

Google data studio is free and it
takes, you can learn how to use it

well enough to like create a dashboard.

You can learn it in a day.

So there's really, really, really,
really no excuse not to use data

studio now, like you should.

Um, but that's my harangue.

Uh, that's the first part.

Um, I think, um, I'm going to, again,
this is another one, which I think is

like widely known, uh, lots of people use
Hotjar, but I think, uh, lots of people

don't get enough, uh, value as they could
out of the surveys, functionality of that.

Just asking if you don't have any surveys
to up on your site, then if you're an

e-commerce site, then set up a question,
which just does both one thing that's

holding you back from making a purchase.


If, um, you've got a lead gen site
as a question, what's one thing that

almost stopped me getting in touch.

Um, if you've got, uh, like, uh, as such,
but, and you've just, just after someone

purchased, just ask, but what's one thing
that almost prevented you from buying

today and the amount of feedback you get.

And also often the consistency of that.

Um, it's storytelling it's
supposed so, so valuable.

Um, so yeah, Hotjar, uh, is it's still
remains like, um, the easiest one

stop shop for this sort of thing, even
though they've increased their prices.

Um, and for a piece of software,
I think it's particularly useful.

I think another one, uh, particularly
in GDPR times, uh, is cookie box.

Um, it's just a very easy way.

So if you pass cookie bot with Google
tag manager, then all of the stuff

where people ended up getting in,
in like tying themselves in knots,

over GDPR and permissions and stuff,
it just integrates photography.

It's not expensive and it's
way better than trying to

build your own thing in house.

Just like, I think when GDPR first
came out, people just instinctively

went to the web developers
to try and create something.

And you can give better to
that in just install this thing

integrates the tag manager.

So it means that the things that
you're using will be compliant.

Um, Yeah, those

Jon: would be my three.


Thank you very much, Jacob.

Again, it's been brilliant to have you on.

Um, and, uh, yeah, I was looking forward
to our next conversation about a specific,

um, plant that we're both working with.

Um, but yeah, take a

Jacob: code test.

Jon: That was hopefully a useful
example of a customer interview.

You can find notes from this episode,
including links to all the products

mentioned at empathy, deployed.com.

If you know anyone who might benefit
from hearing this perspective,

please share the episode.

And word of caution.

This interview is a snapshot of
just one person's perspective

in an artificial situation.

You should be very careful about
drawing any conclusions about

the guest people like them or the
product from this single data point.

Customer interviews are most valuable
when you see parallels across, many

of them will be in a specific context.

I'd suggest a minimum of
five and ideally 12 to 15.

I recommend the book, deploy
empathy by Michelle Hanson for a

practical guide on how to do it.

Well, if you'd like to join
me as a guest on a future

episode, please send me a note.

I'm jumped on Twitter.

That's J O T.

My DMS are open.

You can also use the form at
empathy, deployed.com or email.

Hello at empathy deployed.

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