Replace SEO with an SXO Mindset with Adam Helweh, CEO of Secret Sushi

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This is a podcast episode titled, Replace SEO with an SXO Mindset with Adam Helweh, CEO of Secret Sushi. The summary for this episode is: <p>In this episode, Adam Helweh, CEO of Secret Sushi, offers advice for turning page one rankings into results by using insight he’s pulled from working with some of Silicon Valley’s biggest brands, such as Edelman PR, Celigo, Broadcom, and others. You’ll hear Adam’s advice for creating future-proof content, reaching a more sophisticated audience, structuring your writing team, and much more.</p><p>---------</p><p><strong>Quote</strong></p><p>"My guiding light has been to write and create the best [content] that you can create for the human being, but understand the things you need to make structurally visible to the devices that connect those human beings to the data. When you're able to do that and understand the content [the audience] is looking for and give them that, not only will your content usually rank really well, it'll be future-proof.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                       </p><p>---------</p><p><strong>Key Takeaways</strong></p><ul><li>Even if your content is well ranked, it won’t drive results if the website is not designed for an optimal user experience.</li><li>Content will only solve problems if it's the truth - this means using a writer who can avoid the fluff and get straight to the heart of the issue by understanding people’s concerns. </li><li>Always create for the human being, but knowing what’s structurally visible on the devices that connect humans to data will help future-proof content and drive rankings.</li></ul><p>---------</p><p><strong>Time Stamps</strong>:</p><p>* (:56) Meet Adam, and how he came up with the name Secret Sushi</p><p>* (3:52) Biggest gaps in how marketing teams execute</p><p>* (6:01) Adam’s career journey to owning his own agency</p><p>* (8:55) Navigating the SEO Wild West</p><p>* (11:16) Optimizing the full search experience </p><p>* (16:56) Adam’s go-to marketing tools and utilizing freelancing </p><p>*(24:03) Lightning Round </p><p>--------</p><p>Sponsor</p><p>This podcast is brought to you by <a href="">DemandJump</a>. Tired of wasting time creating content that doesn’t rank? With DemandJump you know the exact content to create to increase 1st-page rankings and drive outcomes. Get started for free today at <a href=""></a>.</p><p>--------</p><p><strong>Links</strong></p><ul><li><a href="">Connect with Adam on LinkedIn</a></li><li><a href="">Connect with Christopher on LinkedIn</a></li><li><a href="">Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn</a></li><li>Learn more about <a href="">Secret Sushi</a></li><li>Listen to <a href="">Marketing in the Raw</a> podcast</li><li>Learn more about <a href="">DemandJump</a></li></ul>
Optimizing content for the full search experience
00:44 MIN
Backlinks are NOT the most important component to an SEO strategy
00:17 MIN

Speaker 1: Welcome to Page One or Bust, your ultimate guide to getting on page one of search engines. In this episode, we're talking to the CEO of a leading content agency in Silicon Valley, powering page- one rankings for some of the world's greatest companies. You'll hear Adam Helweh's advice for search experience optimization and much more, like how to protect your brand's credibility with future- proof content and structure your writing team, but before we get into it, here's a brief word from today's sponsor. Page One or Bust is brought to you by DemandJump. Get insights, drive outcomes with DemandJump. Get started creating content that ranks at demandjump. com today. And now, here are your co- hosts, Christopher Day and Ryan Brock.

Christopher Day: Welcome to Page One or Bust. This is Christopher Day, your co- host, the CEO of DemandJump, along with Ryan Brock, the Chief Content Officer here at DemandJump. We are super excited to have with us today Adam Helweh, the CEO of Secret Sushi, a Silicon Valley- based agency where they believe more leads are great, but more customers are better. Adam is also the host of Marketing in the Raw podcast and has worked with clients including the likes of Visa, Edelman PR, Adobe, and others. How you doing today, Adam?

Adam Helweh: Good, good. How's everybody going on your end?

Ryan Brock: We're doing well. Secret Sushi, I'm always fascinated by all these agencies, and I swear we were talking about this the other day, fish and the concept of fish shows up in agency titles all the time. I don't know why that's a pattern-

Adam Helweh: For user inaudible all these other stuff, right?

Ryan Brock: Yeah, yeah. So where does Secret Sushi come from?

Adam Helweh: It's funny because out of all of the things with the agency, it's been 15 years now last October, and it is the thing that is commented on the most, the name. " Oh, I love the name. It stuck with me." When I used to physically go to the bank more, every teller I seemed to get at the same branch was somebody different and they would always ask me, " Where's your restaurant," and then that would turn into a conversation about the agency, but really, at the time, it was trying to be phonetic and easy to remember what the company name and find a domain that would be easy for people to remember and keep in their brain. And at the time, we were actually using secretsushi. com as a completely different project. That project was just a fun, creative thing that never really got off the ground, and by the time I found all these people who were like, " Yeah, we'll give you this domain you want for$ 7,000 or $5, 000," and I was like, " You know what? I got this domain. I'm just going to do it," and I remember everybody going, " Why would you name a company that does marketing Secret Sushi?" And I was like, " I don't know. Let's go ahead and give it a try." It's not like everybody's naming their business exactly what they do, right? It's not just called we do marketing-

Ryan Brock: Right, right.

Adam Helweh: inaudible

Ryan Brock: You're 20 steps ahead of where I was when I started my agency because I had the same thought for a moment of, what can I get the URL for really easily? So I named my company Metonymy Media, which I regretted for about 10 years because nobody can pronounce it, nobody can spell it, and nobody has seen that word before. So I'm very jealous that you had a really great phonetic name to start with. That would've been nice.

Adam Helweh: Well, it definitely has a punch, your name, and I'm sure you probably had a few folks asking you what it means, but for me, I had to create a little bit of a lore around it. I had to go, " Okay, great, now that I've actually made this the decision to do this, what's the story when somebody says,'Why did you make that the name?'" And so I'd start to spin things around. " If you like sushi, it takes the right tools, the right craftsmanship, the right ingredients, and so should your marketing. It shouldn't just be fancy and beautiful to look at. It should actually be something that makes your customers feel not only satisfied, but hungry for more at the same time," and that folks really should consider that when it comes to their marketing. It's not all flash. It's also about doing something that makes your customers feel fulfilled.

Christopher Day: That's awesome you said that, Adam, because when we did come up with the name DemandJump, it was literally that 4, 137th version of it I think, but it was all about if we're going to do something in marketing, try to build a platform, a piece of technology, then let's do something where the customer, the marketer should expect better results. We have to make their life easier and whatever we do, it should make their life easier and better and show them proven results. That's how we came up with it, but so speaking of that, you've worked alongside many Silicon Valley CEOs and companies. What have you seen in the biggest gap in how marketing teams execute or how they're structured?

Adam Helweh: There's a couple parts to it. So we like to approach things that we call the heart and science of marketing. There's a human behavioral EQ aspect of it, empathy and all that stuff that has definitely become more of a buzzword these days, and then there's the science part of it, understanding what's going on behind the scenes between search engines and data and all that sort of stuff. So I think on the human side, there's a big thing which is either compartmentalizing marketing disciplines with separate people and separate teams and not having a clear idea of how those things actually work together exponentially. That's how we communicate one of our values is being able to have things, the right hand know what the left hand is doing when we're doing this stuff. And actually understand how those things exponentially help each other, or a lot of organizations have a problem with finding one person or a couple folks that can actually bring all that stuff together and that's really a problem, and then I think in addition to that, on the human side, it's marketing being able to talk properly and transcend just the marketing department, but actually talk to the engineers, talk to the executives, talk to the sales folks and understand that their role there isn't just to be a place where they're outputting deliverables, but it's a place where they are driving that connection point between the internal company and the actual customers, and in order to do so, they've got to be able to speak the language and work with those other teammates.

Ryan Brock: They've got to become a lens for each other, each element to see through. I've worked with some of the smartest people in the world. When you ask them as a subject matter expert, what should I be telling our audiences about this, what they say and what you can actually write is there's sometimes a huge gap between those things. It's a tremendous challenge. So yeah, I think you're right on.

Adam Helweh: For sure.

Ryan Brock: Okay. So let's make this a, I'm going to challenge you to 10 seconds to answer this first question because it's just establish some foundation here. How did you get into the marketing business? How did you find yourself owning a marketing agency?

Adam Helweh: Man, totally by accident. So my background way back in the day, I loved being in, I guess what you call the service sector in regards to human services. I worked a lot with working with human beings. I worked as an aid with autistic children for a period of time. I worked in a care home with adults with disabilities and also out in vocational scenarios where they were having to go to jobs every day and they needed help in doing so, and then I was flipping burgers alongside folks that were working a three- hour shift over at a Burger King and then helping to bottle water the next day with another group of folks. So I really loved working with people and there's just something that feels good about doing so, but I also love creating and so my background actually was in getting into digital design. At the time, it was called New media. So the little degree that I had was called new media design degree. That's what it was, new media now being very much not new media any longer, and that was things, basically anything that was on- screen was considered new media, so websites and animation and video and all that stuff, and eventually, I just made the leap and said, " You know what? I want to start creating more." Where I was really, my nine to five was in that service- based business and I wanted to do some more creating, and as I started to do it, I've always been able to pay attention to the landscape of what's going on and what people are seeing as possibly commoditized in comparison to times of past and in the creative field, you'd find that folks were willing to pay quite a bit to have somebody creatively come in and do a logo and a branding package and do all kinds of other things that were going to have an impact on their marketing. And as digital came about, folks who were willing to spend less money on those things in general were really focused on how do you make that leap between what was going on previously in marketing to this new world that was coming out from websites, social media was starting to become more prominent and so on. I made the change and said I'm realizing that what we're doing is actually more business consulting and we're doing creative services, but those creative services are a means to the end of the business objectives that people have and they're having a lack of understanding in doing this, so how can we help them?

Ryan Brock: Cool. It was a wonderful response. I have to give you an F for the timing on the ten- second rule.

Adam Helweh: I know. I just realized that. I was thinking, I got to cut this short. You just said 10 seconds.

Ryan Brock: No, that's great. I think it's important. The whole point of this show is we want to learn from as many people as we can, who have been in the SEO world about what they've learned and how they learned it and how they got to where they are today. So I think understanding how you got into marketing is the precursor to my next question for you, which is when did SEO become a part of your business? When did that become something that you were like, this is something we need to be paying attention to if we want to help our customers grow?

Adam Helweh: It took a few years, so I'm not even entirely sure exactly when it was, but I know that on the technical side, I remember a client telling me years and years ago that I don't understand SEO. SEO is just black magic. They know they wanted to be seen more. Everybody uses Google so they understand what the experience is like to want to find a solution or an answer or a vendor and then ultimately go out and search for it. So they wanted to be on that side of the equation. It was really easy for them to understand that they wanted to benefit from that experience, but they didn't understand at all how they were to do so, and me looking and saying, " Great, that's a place where people have high value and a high need." I jumped into the fray at that point.

Ryan Brock: What year are we talking about here, roughly?

Adam Helweh: Easily 10, 12 years ago probably if I think about the time that I spent with the agency so far.

Ryan Brock: Yeah, Wild West, right, of the SEO world. I came up in that and it was just like my memory of that time was nobody cares what you're writing. It's not really for humans. We just need to get a certain number of links, a certain number of keyword references, and the spiders are all we care about. Was that your experience at the start and how is that different from where you're at today with how you provide-

Adam Helweh: Yeah. It's like read my mind. It's funny because you say the Wild West of it all and really, it's SEO is a Wild West story built with characters with black hats and white hats, right?

Ryan Brock: Yeah, a hundred percent. Exactly right. A hundred percent, and robots and Westworlds.

Adam Helweh: Yeah, yeah, totally. Exactly. Robots like Westworld. So I think that was one of the biggest issues that happened initially was it was just like, we have to write content based on this input that R2D2 needs in order to achieve the mission or whatever it is, and thankfully, it's evolved since then, especially somebody who actually really values the human people that we're trying to serve. Yes, it was definitely much more mechanical and you're like backlinks, backlinks, backlinks. We got to get backlinks because backlinks is all that matter and less focus on the end user who was actually inaudible.

Ryan Brock: Maybe we should put our keywords into italics. Maybe we should underline them. Maybe we should bold them, maybe we should have them used 16 times, but it was all guessing, right? That's the thing that killed me about it is when you talk about SEO being black magic, back then, it felt like if you wanted to claim to do SEO, especially to do it for money, you have this long list of technical things you needed to do and nobody actually knew if that was right. Google's not saying like, check these boxes and you win, and so it blows my mind the amount of guesswork that it used to be. How does it compare to now? What's the difference for you?

Adam Helweh: So my guiding light over, I'd say probably the last five years has been Google's put a lot of effort into a lot of different areas of their products, including search especially, and in an effort to try to think more like humans. So between the natural language processing, between all the AI stuff that they're doing, between holistically looking at an entire piece of content in context versus looking at, well, how many times does it say the word SEO agency inside this article and how many words does it have to be and everything, they've become much more sophisticated at reading the room in a more complex fashion. You add things in like home devices like the device I'm not going to note that's in my room that's owned by Amazon and some of the other ones that are also pulling information and data. That stuff is requiring those search engines or interfaces to understand more natural conversational questions and put together more complexity in each of the articles. So my guiding light has been write and create the best stuff that you can create for the human being, but understand the things you need to make structurally visible to the devices that connect those human beings to the data. And when you're able to do that and understand the content that they're looking for and give them that, not only will your content usually rank really well, it'll be future- proof because the last thing you want to be doing is like, crap, I did all this stuff before and now the search engine's changed and now my stuff has changed. I mean, the search engines of the future are just going to continue to think more and more and more like human beings and ultimately, they're the ones that have to read your content and decide to do business with you in the end anyways.

Ryan Brock: Right. Yeah. You're so dead on. We almost share the same brain here, Adam. I'm feeling-

Adam Helweh: We got the same.

Ryan Brock: Yeah, for sure. There's plenty of room up there, I think.

Christopher Day: You're saying you got a man crush?

Ryan Brock: A little bit. Yeah. You guys remember, either of you big AOL instant messenger users back in the day?

Adam Helweh: Oh, yes. What is it that we used to ask people, ASL on there, it's like age, sex, location, who are you, where are you?

Ryan Brock: I've always talked about this in terms of two robots, what search engines used to be and what they always wanted to be, and one of them is SmarterChild. Do you remember SmarterChild

Adam Helweh: No, no.

Ryan Brock: Chatbots on AOL where you could be like, what's the weather or what is the movie show times, and mostly, middle schoolers used it to make fart jokes. So very simple technology that could do nothing more than-

Adam Helweh: You were in middle school when that came out, is what you're saying? Is that what you're saying?

Ryan Brock: Yes, effectively. But these are thoughts that read like, okay, they know that in what you just input, there's a noun and there's a verb, and it knows that if it just takes that noun and puts it in here and then takes the verb and puts it in a different tense, it can spit back functionally correct grammar to you, but it doesn't know what it's saying. It's not aware of context. I think a lot of us were trying to keep up with a search engine technology that was at that level 10 years ago, 12 years ago. But I think another robot that maybe is more familiar to you all, WALL- E from the Pixar film, WALL- E. I think WALL- E is who Google's always wanted to be. WALL- E is watching videos of Hello Dolly and watching people dance and wanting to learn what it's like to be friends with people, and it's a very emotional robot. It doesn't care about the words itself, it cares about the feeling and the context and it's paying attention to humanity and it wants to be friends with people, and I'm like to me, that's what Google is now. It's like if we're doing our job right, we're making friends with the robot by making friends with our customers first.

Adam Helweh: Well, and in addition to that, humans, people have become more sophisticated in their use of technology. They've become more sophisticated in their needs and their ability to add search engines and all these other things to their daily life, and so Google, especially considering what its bread and butter is, most of it is about the advertising and people coming to the search engine as many times as possible every day to find utility with it. All the changes they've made from an SEO perspective in ranking factors such as mobile readiness and page speed and all these other things are all related to experiential elements-

Ryan Brock: That's right. Yeah.

Adam Helweh: That either kill or bolster the experience of the end user coming to that website and send signals to Google that this site is not only ranking well because of the content, but overall, the experience matters, and so they've just got to continue to go that direction. I actually, sometimes I like to call SEO rather than search engine optimization because we're not optimizing the search engine. It's search experience optimization. We're optimizing the experience of what we are connecting through our metatags, help people find what they need in a search result, and decide whether it's the right thing to click. So even if our content itself is well ranked and is appropriate for the search query, if the metatags aren't good, nobody's going to click through it. So boom, that experience is cut off right there and on the website, the mobile readiness and the page feed is all about experience.

Ryan Brock: Yeah. It's not just the search. It's like what are you giving them when they get there and then what are you giving them as a next step? Can I go deeper? Can I go broader? Can I go somewhere else? It's that experience. I love that.

Christopher Day: Yeah. I never heard that phrase before and I love it as well. I think it's spot on.

Ryan Brock: So what tools do you use today, and let's talk less about research because we know a lot about that, but what tools do you use today to help you and your team, and I'd also be curious to know how you currently are creating the content for yourself, for customers? What resources do you use for that, but what tools do you use that help you feel like you know what? We're actually doing what we're supposed to be doing. We're on target here, we're speaking to the right people, we're checking the right boxes, and the experiences is on point.

Adam Helweh: So one of the things that hasn't changed is being able to pay close attention to search console. I think it's one of the most under utilized by your average marketer who wants to understand where things are going, and the reason being is that you may never be showing up anywhere that's going to drive any search traffic to your website just yet. I'm sure you've heard the joke a million times of the best place to bury a dead body is on page two of Google. I'm certainly not the first person to have said it, but usually, page one, page two, you can get a couple clicks or obviously, page one, you'll get a lot more than not depending on where you are on there. But if you want to know you were even in the race or if you want to know that you're starting to be within striking distance, you need to pay attention to where Google says you're showing up at any point in time. So if you're on page nine or six or whatever, that means you're on the board and maybe you weren't on the board before and sometimes being on the board is a signal that you may never be in page one for that particular result, but that Google's paying attention to you collectively across the board with all of the stuff going on on your website. So that's one of the best places because with all the data that's available, you can get different data from all over the place, but we can get it straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. You're going to be better off and Google is where folks want to rank, so why not go directly to the source?

Ryan Brock: How do you get content on? Do you have a team of writers in- house? Do you utilize freelancers?

Adam Helweh: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So in regards to the team and everything, I would say there's the client there is what I would consider, we call it our AM/ PMs or our executive team is account manager, project managers that we put together so that we have as close proximity to what the client needs to all the other stuff going on. We don't want to create too many layers where things get lost because having a clear understanding of the person's business is what's going to help us with search and everything else we're doing because there's nuances sometimes. You can have five businesses that are in the same space, but they're slightly different in either their offering or their strengths in who they're reaching out to.

Ryan Brock: Totally.

Adam Helweh: So you want to be able to translate that to research around, so what's showing up and what of this stuff are we... We work with a number of companies who are creating what I would consider more emerging technology products that are not quite things that people are going to search for as often. So you got to understand how to educate people with the content, but also how to gravitate towards those things they may be searching for that will drive them towards a product that they never knew existed because it's so new or innovative, and when you can get all that research together, then we got to get it to the right writer. And the right writer, I've found over the last especially five years is there's so many variations in the right writer when you have a great person that understands how to parse out technology and speak to that because when you write content for heavy tech companies, folks that are trying to market to CIOs and CTOs and folks on the IT side, you can't fake that. You can't BS what you're saying in there because it'll sound fluffy and fake and it'll sound like marketing, and it needs to sound like the truth, especially if somebody's looking for this to help inform them and solve a problem. It's only going to do so if it's the truth and having the right writer for that versus something that's more like, let's say, lifestyle or answering a question about a particular product segment in fitness or whatever, dramatically different, and so being able to make sure that we have the right writer on the project and then tying that research and helping to communicate those nuances of that particular business to that writer matters, and being able to do that consistently so that the writers themselves build up their own institutional knowledge around that particular topic for that particular client is just invaluable.

Christopher Day: It's like the marriage of science and art, and I think of the art as the domain expertise or the storytelling component. Step one is search experience optimization, as you put it, which I love. So what is the experience? What is the human voice that's on the other side? What are they thinking? What are the questions they're asking? How are they asking them? How are those words clustered together? And then if you understand that and can organize that in a fashion that is connected as tightly as possible to those target customers, and then you overlay that, that storytelling, that domain expertise or that art, that's how I think about it. Is that how you think about it, Adam, at a high level?

Adam Helweh: Yeah. Yeah, totally agree, and then ultimately, when the writing's done, it has to be published and it has to be published in a way that's following, okay, great, now we've got to put it in the receptacle that it's going to be consumed in. So how do we make sure that we optimize that appropriately and add all the right elements to that when it's published as well? So yeah, that's even more art because that's presentation and what images are we going to put here so that the experience that the end user gets when they come here is not that they're reading some boring, word technical doc.

Christopher Day: And it builds trust. When they come there and they find your article that is on point with what they're thinking, then it builds trust in that digital relationship.

Ryan Brock: Not just on point with what they're thinking, but context of their need and of the consumption of that content, and I've been saying this for years. The most famous writers in the English language that we talk about nowadays, it's not because they were necessarily the best storytellers or had an objective quality that was over everybody. It was because they understood their audience in the context and the medium of the day. You got Shakespeare doing sonnets the exact same so that people could remember them because they weren't reading them, they were hearing them at a bar. You've got Charles Dickens buying his own industrial printing press and then serializing his novels so that he gets people to buy the next chapter every week and make it as long as he can. These people are still known because they understood both their audiences' need for content and their cultural context, but the context of how they were consuming that information, and I think that's so easy to overlook.

Adam Helweh: And trust is imperative, period, end of story. It's the thing that's going to drive somebody to do business with you initially. I can't tell you how many times I've had conversations with people that have been burned by three or four different agencies in the past and it's just like, oh, great. Now we're about to try to prove ourselves before we even get to work with somebody because they've been burned by other folks, but if they can't trust you, then it doesn't matter. And so trust is imperative and when it comes to the content, if somebody comes to your website and sees it's just filled with a bunch of marketing fluff, it doesn't matter that you guys can go great, look at all the clicks from organic search we've got to our website. Yay, we're on page one of this particular search query, yay, but in the end, it's all about a business objective. The business objective is connecting with the customer. So if the customer comes and thinks that you're full of it when they read the article, it's all for naught.

Christopher Day: That's right. I totally agree. All right. Well, that's been awesome, Adam. We're going to move to some rapid fire questions. Whatever's top of mind, let it rip. These can be short and punchy answers. So any SEO myth is busted along the way, any like, oh my God, that's just not even true.

Adam Helweh: It's all about backlinks. I'm sorry, I don't think it's all about backlinks.

Christopher Day: Right, exactly.

Adam Helweh: I think backlinks are important, but it's not all about backlinks.

Ryan Brock: Because again, the search engine engines used to look at the content and try to parse it and how do you derive authority by who's linking to it, but now they could be like, this is authoritative because people like it, they stay on it, they read it longer, they go more places. Yeah, there's more data points to understand how authoritative something is than a backlink.

Christopher Day: What's the last thing you searched for?

Adam Helweh: Honestly, I was going to say Riverside FM because we're doing this podcast on this platform with you and I was interested in checking it out.

Christopher Day: Awesome. Awesome. What is something that you want to test, but you haven't yet?

Adam Helweh: There's a handful of them, but I think it would be really interesting to test, if possible, almost like AB testing or AB multi variant testing metatags, just to see what you can do to get folks to click through more similar to what you would do with ads.

Christopher Day: One of the top three marketing tools that you can't live without.

Adam Helweh: My team, my team for sure, having the right people is very different than having the wrong people or having average people, and then anything related to analytics, anything that can give me really truly good analytics is super important. I've been finding that if somebody's working with five different agencies and I can talk with them and really show them directly the data that's going on, it seems that a lot of agencies aren't doing that much and it really helps, again, that trust factor.

Ryan Brock: Right. Don't argue for trust. Point to the data that builds it.

Adam Helweh: Yeah. I mean, let data be the third party that's telling you what's going on, and then honestly, right now, DemandJump plays a big, big role in what we're doing because there's so many different things going on there in the data. So we find it, especially with our content side, because content marketing wasn't always tied as well directly to SEO. It sometimes it was seen as different things.

Ryan Brock: For sure.

Adam Helweh: It's great to have SEO plugged in as a part of it and the interface that we're seeing, the data that we get back after the fact, speaking of data with DemandJump especially helps us justify what it is we're doing and verify the progress of what we're doing in a lot of different ways that's a much better snapshot than what we'd have to end up parsing together from a number of different places manually. So right now, all of our clients are using it with us in some way, fashion, or format.

Ryan Brock: Well, we weren't fishing, but we appreciate that.

Christopher Day: So three more. What is the best piece of advice for someone that wants to perform SEO better or SEO and content creation better?

Adam Helweh: Really pay attention to, again, that heart and science, understand communication and reading, and then look at any area where you can get data, good data that informs you what people are looking for. We're not trying to write content or create content that search engines want. We're trying to write content or create content that people want. Search engines are just that mechanism between it.

Christopher Day: How about the best piece of advice for the CEO of an agency, either CEO of an agency or someone who wants to start an agency?

Adam Helweh: Wow. Remove all the fluff, remove all the fluff, just get straight to the point and help people with their results and don't do anything that would compromise trust along the way.

Christopher Day: I love it. I love it. Last one, what keeps you up at night? I've got like 16,000 answers to this question, but anyway, what keeps you up at night?

Adam Helweh: I know we keep that measurement stick of keeping you up at night as the gauge of how well you're doing at any given day in any given week. For me, the only thing that keeps me up at night is how much I'm leaning into creating content still, to be honest, for myself. It's something I love with my podcast. It's been one of those things where depending on the year or over the last couple of years, I've had either more or less time to commit to it, and so for me, it really is kind of like going, I need to carve out time to do this and I need to share. So that's the only thing keeps me up is seeing somebody else like you guys doing this great podcast and going, " Man, I need to be doing the same thing," and thinking about that until I watch the Mandalorian in the middle of the night or something, and then pass out.

Christopher Day: Where can people find your podcast, Marketing in the Raw?

Ryan Brock: Very appropriately titled Marketing in the Raw. That's a great name.

Christopher Day: Yeah. Love it.

Adam Helweh: Yeah, thank you. Again, playing off the sushi thing. So Marketing in the Raw is basically anywhere you can find podcasts or would like to listen to podcasts, Apple and Spotify and everything. You want to just jump right in without having to download an episode or anything, you just go over to Spotify or wherever you want. I've got 30 something episodes right now and I'm about to gear up to the next season and everything and just start rolling with that. So thanks for letting me share that.

Christopher Day: Absolutely. Well, thank you very much, Adam. So we were joined today by Adam Helweh, the CEO of Secret Sushi, an awesome agency based in Silicon Valley.

Ryan Brock: And if you're there, you need to be calling this guy. I'm telling you, I got a huge crush now.

Christopher Day: Absolutely. Every hot company in Silicon Valley, you should have Adam on a speed dial. How can people, speaking of that, Adam, how can they contact you?

Adam Helweh: Hey, if you want to reach me, adam @ secretsushi. com. I'd love to hear from you. You can obviously go to secretsushi. com as well, but just email me and happy to connect with folks, and on LinkedIn. If you're not ready to have a conversation yet, you just want to bookmark me for later or whatever, just connect on LinkedIn.

Christopher Day: Beautiful. Awesome. Well, thank you everyone for joining us on Page One or Bust. That is another episode and that's a wrap. We'll see you next time.

Speaker 1: Page One or Bust is brought to you by DemandJump. Know the exact content to create to increase first page rankings and drive outcomes with DemandJump. Get started for free today at demandjump. com.


In this episode, Adam Helweh, CEO of Secret Sushi, offers advice for turning page one rankings into results by using insight he’s pulled from working with some of Silicon Valley’s biggest brands, such as Edelman PR, Celigo, Broadcom, and others. You’ll hear Adam’s advice for creating future-proof content, reaching a more sophisticated audience, structuring your writing team, and much more.