Communication and SEO – Alicia Carrillo

Since she was little, Alicia Carrillo knew that communication was her calling. She currently works as a country manager for SERPed.es and, as she explains, her experience as a communicator has been more than valuable.

Alicia talks about the relationship between communication and SEO, the importance of constant training, digital transformation and its consequences and the challenges that must be overcome every day to continue growing as communicators.

How did you get interested in the world of communication?

From a very young age I knew that I was interested in listening to others and interacting with people. Being able to tell stories, understand how we communicated… My mother always tells me that when I was 3 years old I was already doing interviews, even without speaking well. And I remember playing to give the news with my cousins. I think I came with the built-in chip!

When deciding the career I wanted to study, I did not think much about it. Communication and journalism were always my first choice.

 

You have been dedicated to communication for many years and now you are dedicated to SEO, why did you decide to make this change?

Someone once told me: “we have to diversify”. And I think that’s it, even if you study a career and specialize in an area, you should always have an open mind to new challenges.

You are not what your titles say. The willingness to learn something new, every day, seems fundamental to me. Beyond enriching the intellect, improves you as a person, every day.

And there was the opportunity to work with SERPed, a suite of SEO tools, in its development for the Hispanic market. So I said, why not? Finally, SEO, marketing and communication are not completely different, on the contrary, I think they are complementary.

I started providing advice in communication and what I’m learning from SEO, because in any way my work requires it, I’m also taking it for my personal projects.

 

Do you think your experience as a communicator has helped you to work better as a SEO?

Undoubtedly. In part, to reach the first places (to stand out as a person, as a professional) you must know how to communicate what makes you unique. You must understand and listen to what is happening around you to draw a strategy that allows you to excel.

If we put it in terms of SEO, you must understand what content you have to write, what keywords you have to use, what links you can build. I make a constant analogy between SEO, communication and life itself.

 

Would you go back to journalism?

Of course. Surely not in the short term. I do not close the door either. Listen, seek, help, tell stories, understand that journalism is a service you provide to society, I love all that.

Surely some professionals have misrepresented the true purpose of our profession and have made many see journalism as a mediocre desktop profession…

It seems like some people were too lazy to contrast sources, to investigate… However, I am happy to say that they are “some”, because I know that there are still very good journalists.

 

What exactly are the tasks carried out by a country manager?

A country manager is, above all, someone attentive, someone observing and someone who listens. In my case, my tasks range from the translation and adaptation of the tools that make up SERPed, through verification and testing, to customer service.

If you do not understand how the whole process works and what things you can improve listening to the customers, the developers, your colleagues, I think you can hardly think of delegating something.

Maybe my training as a communicator has made the task easier for me, and although I’m not a developer, designer, much less a super marketing expert, I try to understand why and why of all the processes.

 

In addition to SEO, you also dedicate yourself to consulting for people and companies, what are the factors that you pay attention to when you audit a new client?

I listen, I always try to listen. If it is a consultancy for people, it will have to do with issues related to development and personal branding. And many times, what happens is that we do not know how to communicate assertively. I also pay a lot of attention to non-verbal communication, because it helps me to understand many things about my interlocutor.

When it comes to a company, I hear the double.

Do they need a consultancy because there are internal processes that are not communicating as they should? Will the company want to promote brand issues? From Community Management? I pay a lot of attention, to those things that are not said, to how people look (and I do not mean physical appearance), if they are happy at work, etc.

 

“The most important thing in communication is to listen to what is not said”Peter F. Drucker

What are the most common problems that your clients tell you when it comes to digital communication?

Many still believe that it is a weirdo, that it does not exist or that it is not necessary. The dynamics of communication have obviously changed and will continue to do so.

The most common problem that people and companies have presented to me, is that they believe that digital presence and personal branding are optional.

Some people only want to develop their oratory capacity to express themselves better, but then they realize that building a brand and developing as a person in different areas is supremely necessary in a highly competitive professional and work ecosystem.

In the case of companies, there are companies that do not see social networks as a communication channel or, on the contrary, believe that “on Twitter you can say everything” and all your communications want to direct them by that means. I think there are some companies that still do not understand the nature of social networks and believe that all messages can be communicated in the same way, through all channels.

 

In that line, do you think that companies are prepared for digital transformation?

I think we are already understanding how important is to be immersed in the digital culture. The digital transformation has already begun, is what happens every day, and of course many companies also make efforts to adapt to all these changes. As with Darwin, a species that does not adapt, it is extinguished. Is there a lack of education and training in this regard? Surely, but I think the message is already understood.

 

Which advice would you give to a company that wants to get its digital transformation?

The digital transformation is real and is happening now. I think that the most important thing for the company is to understand that what we’ve previously communicated in a certain way, nowadays we do it differently and in a few years, it will not be like that anymore.

Companies, like people, must always preserve their identity, their personality, their added value… And simultaneously they must understand how to combine these changes and that digital transformation with what makes them unique.

Reinvent yourself, that is the key.

 

You work in three languages: Spanish, English and French. What are the advantages of being able to work in several languages? Is there any problem?

It has been a challenge and I love it! As advantages I would say that working in several languages ​​opens your mind and spirit. Really. You become more attentive, you get to know other cultures and customs and you exercise the brain. Working in several languages ​​has become an important part of my own personal development process.

More than inconveniences, I would say that it demands more, that it is more challenging.

So be trilingual or polyglot, when you learn a language that is not yours, you will have to be much more careful in your way of expressing yourself and writing. You are, perhaps, more vulnerable to errors. And of course, you should also keep in mind that what you say in one language, do not say it in the same way in another.

 

Have you observed differences depending on the language in which you work? Which?

Perhaps the biggest differences are cultural. Understand that even among Hispanics we communicate differently. What is easy for a Latin American, for a Frenchman it may not be so. We usually say that Europeans are “more serious” and that almost tropical uproar is only a Latin American quality.

But human beings are always going to have many more things in common, than differences, regardless of our language. That’s why I also like to observe non-verbal communication a lot. It is amazing what we can get connecting with other people when we move away from prejudice and try to listen to what is not said.

 

You have a long career in radio, are you ready for the arrival of audio SEO?

I think? Hehe … Nowadays, with voice searches, obviously artificial intelligence has gained prominence.

We do not write as we speak, we do not express ourselves in the same way when we are with our friends or family members when we are with our colleagues or when we speak to someone we do not know. And this is what we have been capturing with voice searches. Apparently the search engines, at the head of Google, are already understanding, so you have to adapt and experiment. Because that’s also what SEO is about, of experimenting.

 

What could this mean for radio journalists?

A huge opportunity. I think that journalists should be the first interested in SEO. Today the voice gains more power and there are many other ways to make radio. This has to be exploited. I return and insist, reinventing is the key.

 

Do you think that there really will be a time when Google will be able to index audio as if it were text?

This could be a never-ending debate. Google can already distinguish even some variations for the same query. The AI ​​is advancing by leaps and bounds and it will surely not take long for Google to determine what is indexed and what not by just hearing the voice. Come on, many of us could not differentiate Google Assistant from a real person, if not because Sundar Pichai explains it with video and everything…