On the Gold Coast of Australia, you can find ancient rainforests, mangrove-covered islands, world-famous surfing beaches, and, of course, Blake.
Blake Hampson is a self-employed digital marketing pro and SEO whiz who uses Jetpack for all his clients’ websites. An admitted workaholic and botany aficionado (who, by the way, doesn’t surf), he was kind enough to chat with us about his work life as a Jetpack user.
Q. How did you end up a digital marketer?
I actually studied business. But with any business I’ve worked for in the last ten years, there are always significant ways I can help them from a digital marketing perspective. I can see the low-hanging fruit they’re not taking advantage of.
When I start working with a business, whether as an employee or consultant, I try to figure out where the gaps are and what solutions exist. Most local businesses are experts in their craft, but not at acquiring new customers — especially on the technical side of things.
I’ve become passionate about it. I’ve found SEO is one of those industries where there isn’t a lot of trust. A lot of businesses have been burned by agencies that don’t provide transparency. It can take a lot of time and money before clients find out it’s not working. I try to empower clients and provide as much transparency as possible.
Q. We heard you recently had a harrowing experience migrating one of the websites you manage.
Yes, it was one of those situations where you don’t sleep that night and hope everything is okay by the time the client wakes up in the morning.
We migrated from a hosting provider that wasn’t giving us the performance we needed for SEO. And when we migrated, there was some issue with code, because we also changed the domain.
There were also lots of changes and conflicts with plugins. It turned out some of the issues stemmed from external developers who worked on the site and hadn’t implemented some of the custom code properly.
Q. How did Jetpack help?
I checked the activity log to see who did what on the site and what effect it had. We were able to track down the issues and use Jetpack Backup to find the best point to restore.
Q. How important is Jetpack Backup?
While the host sometimes performs automated daily backups, Jetpack’s real-time backups are so important because they’re more granular. I can drill down to where I think the problem might have started and restore to that point. Without that, you can lose a whole day’s work.
Q. Who is your main client?
Madison Healthstyle. It’s a group of premiere, full-service wellness centers on Australia’s Gold Coast that offer chiropractic services. I manage all of their sites.
Q. How did they become your client?
They acquired a business I was working for and were really impressed with the SEO quality. So they hired me to replicate the process across all their sites.
Q. What’s your approach with them?
To use an industry analogy, in healthcare, we really try to sell people on being proactive about their health rather than reactive. We want people to take care of their wellness before problems arise because when you deal with issues after the fact, it’s harder to fix and recover from them. That’s pretty much the way I use Jetpack.
Q. What do you mean by that?
I implemented Jetpack when I first started working on their sites. They didn’t really have a strategy for logging activity and backups and a lot of the functionality that Jetpack includes. It gives me a quick fix when issues arise. I install it on any site I work on for that reason.
Q. Every site?
Almost every site. And I’ll probably add it to the ones that don’t. I don’t even charge the business for Jetpack. I pay for it myself. It’s worth it to me as an external agent. Regardless of whether the business covers the cost or not, I‘ll always implement it because it gives me peace of mind.
Q. How would you describe Jetpack?
Jetpack is an insurance policy. Security management, spam filtering, plugin updates, downtime monitoring, and backups are things that every business website requires. They need real-time information about what’s happening and whether their site is working and secure.
Q. Why is keeping the website running so important?
One big reason is the appointment booker on the site. If that’s not working, it’s a huge headache for people on the front lines. The clients and employees suffer. If they’re not fully booked or not able to give people as many appointments as they’d like, then clients who need healthcare might not get it and employees might not get to work as many shifts as they’d like. It all has a spillover effect. Setting up that process correctly from the beginning is critical.
Q. How did you discover Jetpack?
To be honest, I’ve always used Jetpack. It was made by Automattic, so I wanted to at least give it a try. They totally understand from the ground up how this works and the needs of people running and managing WordPress websites. From then on, I was sold.
Q. As an SEO expert, how does Jetpack help?
Where Jetpack really matters in terms of SEO is the user experience. Bounce rate, speed, and performance play a huge role in how Google views a website. Jetpack helps with all of those. It’s the biggest, easiest win.
Q. What else do you love about Jetpack?
The support is phenomenal. The Happiness Engineers are really invested in helping you resolve any issues you have. They’ll really drill down to what’s been going on. If something ever goes wrong, I can always reach out to Jetpack support and they’re going to figure out what needs to happen. It’s good to be able to rely on that because some WordPress plugin providers don’t have very reliable support.
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