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Mastering Technical SEO with Kristina Azarenko: The Insider Strategies

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Kristina Azarenko

Kristina Azarenko's journey in SEO is a tale of unexpected passion, determination, and technical prowess. As the Founder of MarketingSyrup and a renowned technical SEO specialist and educator through her Tech SEO Pro course, Kristina's career did not start in a conventional way. She humorously recalls that, unlike other professions, no one grows up dreaming of becoming an SEO expert - at least, not in her generation. This refreshing candidness is a hallmark of her approach.

Her foray into the SEO world was serendipitous. With no technical background and a bold decision to invest two salaries into an SEO course, Kristina embarked on a challenging yet exhilarating journey. Her early days were marked by a combination of intense learning, practical application, and the occasional frustration - a relatable experience for many in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Kristina's tenacity paid off. Starting as a junior SEO, she quickly distinguished herself through her keen analytical skills and a deep fascination with the intricacies of technical SEO. A pivotal moment in her career came while working with a major UK e-commerce store. She identified and addressed critical issues of duplicate content, learning the hard way that the devil truly is in the detail in technical SEO. This experience was a turning point, solidifying her passion for the technical aspects of SEO and the meticulous attention to detail it demands.

Kristina's philosophy is that technical SEO offers more control and requires a deep dive beneath the surface to uncover the truth. Her expertise lies not just in identifying problems but in the precision of their solutions. This meticulous approach has earned her a reputation as a detail-oriented and innovative SEO strategist.

Today, Kristina Azarenko is not just a technical SEO expert; she is a mentor, a thought leader, and a trailblazer in the field. Her journey from an SEO novice to a celebrated specialist is a testament to her belief that with curiosity, dedication, and a keen eye for detail, anyone can master the art of SEO. Her story is an inspiration to aspiring digital marketers everywhere, proving that sometimes, the best paths in life are the ones we stumble upon unexpectedly.

The Unscripted SEO Interview Podcast with Kristina Azarenko

Watch the interview

(click on the 'cc' icon to view subtitles)

Listen to the podcast

(49 minutes long)

The unscripted questions Mark A Preston asked Kristina Azarenko

  • Who is Kristina Azarenko, the technical SEO specialist?

  • What is your background in SEO, Kristina?

  • Why are you so passionate about technical SEO specifically?

  • What have you seen as being the biggest technical SEO problems?

  • Why did you decide to make the move over from doing tech SEO work for clients, to becoming a full time technical SEO educator?

  • Does a technical SEO need to be a developer?

  • From a scale of 0 to 100, how much coding knowledge does a technical SEO need to have?

  • Would you say that technical SEO is about understanding what the tech SEO problems are?

  • Who is responsible for fixing all the technical SEO problems?

  • What soft skills does a tech SEO need to have?

  • What is the best way for a tech SEO to communicate with their developer?

  • Do you have a specific example of a developer refusing to implement a tech SEO request?

  • How would an SEO determine if technical SEO is something they should specialise in?

  • From a top level overview, what are the main aspects of technical SEO?

  • Is your your Tech SEO Course and online course or you hosting live training workshops?

  • What is included within your Tech SEO Course?

  • As a tech SEO educator, do you teach SEOs how to solve problems?

  • What would you say to the SEOs who think that technical SEO is not important?

  • What made you want to create your SEO Pro Extension?

  • Can anyone become a tech SEO pro regardless of technical ability?

The unscripted conversation between Mark A Preston and Kristina Azarenko

Mark A Preston: Welcome to the Unscripted SEO Interview Podcast. I'm your host, Mark A Preston. Yes, it's 100% unscripted, 100% unrehearsed, 100% unedited, and 100% real. My guest today is a specialist in technical SEO, but just so I don't do her any injustice, I'd like her to introduce herself.

Kristina Azarenko: Hi everyone. My name is Kristina Azarenko. Yes, Mark is right. I'm a technical SEO person. I've been in the SEO industry for over 10 years doing technical SEO like hands on experience, like real experience, right? Not theoretical. And I've worked on different full time jobs and agencies and then as a consultant and then as the course creator who teaches people to do technical SEO correctly. I've been on different sides and I've seen it all, which gives me a really interesting perspective into the industry in general.

Mark A Preston: So why technical SEO in particular?

Kristina Azarenko: It's really interesting. When I I fell into SEO in general, like everybody does in SEO. You just fall into SEO. Nobody... From our generation and like before our generation, nobody, when they're kids, they were kids, they asked, What do you want to be? Nobody said, I want to be an SEO. Nobody, because it was not a thing. Maybe now, my, now children do because oh, they see us. And they're like, Oh, maybe I want to be an SEO. It's cool. But then it wasn't the case. So obviously I fell into SEO. Accidentally, I just decided to invest like two of my salaries in the course in SEO. And at that point I had no idea what a website was. Like I was not tech savvy at all, like zero tech savviness. And if you don't have any developer background or anything, so I went through the course, I loved it a lot. And I read a lot and I was like doing things. I was crying a couple of times because I couldn't think about how do you. Upload your XML sitemap to the root folder, but whatever, it happens. So then I found a job as a junior SEO at an agency. And at that point, I didn't even know what the difference was between different parts of SEO, whether it's like link building content on page SEO or technical SEO. I was doing a lot of link building, creating spam on the internet, like most of the people who started in SEO did but I also was doing like I was analyzing websites and I was so excited. And I remember there was one client and the commerce store, it was a UK store, by the way. So it was a huge UK store. And I realized that they had like lots of duplicate content on the website and they recommended a duplicate content strategy where we would implement canonicals, but like they implemented, but nothing would happen. So I was like okay. What's going on. And then. I started looking at the implementation very thoroughly, like the things that I sent versus what was implemented. And believe me or not, but instead of href, they implemented hthird, which like, just a random combination of letters, which doesn't mean anything. So obviously Google couldn't read it. And that's when I realized that the devil is in the detail when it comes to technical SEO. And it was so fascinating to me. So then I realized that, oh, that's what I want to do. I want to do, to have more control because in technical SEO you have more control than on page, in my opinion. And you also you also need to be very attentive about what because things might not be the way they look on the surface. You need to be able to look under the hood and see if You're actually correct.

Mark A Preston: Yes. Before I got into this industry, I was qualified mechanic. So looking under the hood,  I mean, you can't just sit behind the wheel and think, Oh yes, it's broken without actually, looking under the hood and, stripping the engine down, working out what's going on. And I find that. that mentality of diagnosis and problem solving is a lot like the SEO part of it. And I think, the technical and that's probably why I get the mindset I have now, cause I'm used to diagnosing things, but from a technical SEO perspective. I've always said that if the machine is broken, the engine's broken, then there's no point trying to drive more people to the website if it's broken. And I think a lot of people just see technical SEO as, oh can I get my pages indexed? But it goes far deeper than that, from your understanding not from your perception and from what you've seen, what tends to be the biggest sort of technical SEO problems out there?

Kristina Azarenko: I think it really depends on the website. Like when you would talk about smaller websites, usually they're just like, they know index the whole website. It's oh, that's going to be a very easy win or the disabled crawling on the website. But that goes about like really small size. But with bigger websites, I'd say the problem, like the fundamental problem is that the structure is broken. And what I mean by that is Okay let's say a website has all types of pages that they need to have. Let's say it's an e commerce and they have products and they have categories. Amazing. But, then they have pages like search results. Then they have pages like, faceted, created by faceted navigation. And then, okay, they don't have any processes to handle those. And they really Influence badly that the good pages, right? The pages that you want to rank either they take too much of trolling budget, or it's the showing up randomly instead of the real pages that you want to rank all sorts of things, right? There, there is usually no structure between, okay, these are the page templates that we have. These are the page templates that we want to link. That's how they're connected to each other by internal links, right? Whether it's in text internal links or whether it's link blocks, which I love a lot. And these are the pages that we want to ignore. And then how we want to ignore them. Do we know index them or do we disable crawling for them, not both? Or do we canonicalize them to other pages that we want to rank? So I think fundamentally, this is the biggest thing that a lot of websites are missing.

Mark A Preston: Now, I can't remember when it was, but you decided to give the job up to do technically as your educational material yourself. Now, why, what spurred you on to make that decision, the big move from a, a regular income to, I want to educate people myself? on Technical SEO. Did you find that there was a missing need for it?

Kristina Azarenko: Yes. I think, first of all, I'm a continuous learner. And when I say that, it means that I don't only go on YouTube or read blogs. There's nothing wrong with that, but I buy courses. I buy courses all the time and I go through them. So it helps me to get shortcuts. to get and get to the end point when I want to be much faster. So that's why. initially, and my SEO career as I mentioned started with a course, so I know this works. And through my whole career, I was accidentally, usually accidentally in the company, I was the one who would train people, right? So in my first job, after six months, I was just a newbie, right? After six months, I started training people who were working. Much longer in this company just because I was fascinated and excited and I loved it and they not necessarily cared a lot So they didn't want like they didn't want to go this extra mile and learn So I was like, okay, we need to like a Japanese to adjust our processes. This doesn't look right So let me create this process to teach them and these happen through the whole career So when I quit my job in 2019 I decided, okay, so I'm going to work with clients and I'm going to teach people too. So I created my first course. It was general SEO, like all aspects of SEO. And then I realized that the aspect that I love the most and that people love the most, how I teach it is technical SEO. The I remember it was like seventh model in my course. And it was their biggest model, the longest model. And people loved it the most. I was like, okay. Why won't I, why won't I then just go and create technical SEO specific training? So last year that's exactly what I did and I realized that Simultaneous, like working with clients and creating a course for me didn't make sense anymore because I wanted to scale my income. And I wanted to basically dedicate myself only to, to it. And I made this leap and it was great. It has been really great. And I know that technical SEO is the thing that people if you take 100 percent of SEOs. The biggest percentage of people who are in SEO, they will be struggling with technical specifically. It's just because usually people start with either link building or on page, and then technical, they understand, oh, there is something more. But usually they have this limiting beliefs like, oh, I need to be a developer. I'm not a developer. I don't know how to do that. Oh, it's intimidating. I can't look at the code. No, just oh and I'm not a developer. And then you exactly what I need to do and what I need to know in order to be successful in technical SEO without being a developer. I knew that I had this perspective and I also created my whole method of understanding technical SEO and I knew that so many people will benefit from it. That's why I made this jump and decided to go into teaching.

Mark A Preston: Yeah. One thing that you mentioned there that's so relevant is so many people that I've spoke to Do you think that in order to be a technical SEO, you need to be a developer? You need to understand how to develop, but surely you just need to understand the principles and what you're looking at to get the developers to fix it. So from a scale of zero to a hundred, when it comes to development, how much actual coding knowledge does a technical SEO need to have?

Kristina Azarenko: Okay, so I look at it differently because for your question, I would answer zero, but hear me out. So when people say that they need development background in order to be successful in technical SEO, what they mean is that, oh, I should be able to fix it. If you want to, yes, but I believe that everybody should do their job. If you're a car mechanic, it's your job to fix a car. If I'm just a driver, is it my job to fix a car? It would be nice if I can change oil, but do I actually need to do that? Not really. I'd rather go to mechanical, like who has this specialty to do these things, right? Because I'll trust them much more than I'll trust myself because I have so many more things and they'll be generous anyway. So first of all, I believe that everybody should do their job. The second thing that people think when they say that they need technical that they need development background is that they feel insecure while talking to developers and they say, Oh, something between the lines development background makes me dangerous enough, right? So they are, they feel either without this knowledge, they feel insecure talking to developers, like speaking the same language, but you can't speak the same language without being a developer too. And The last thing that they think about is like code equals development, which is which is not true. And when I think about that, there are almost 9, 000 develop like coding languages, right? And JavaScript being the most important one and JavaScript has its own framework. Like lots of different frameworks and think about that every single like language and framework. They are also being updated. I once talked to a developer and she was just specializing in like particular frameworks, which makes sense. And she's I need to be on top all the time because they are being updated. So you as a technical SEO, you're also need to be aware of the things that are going on in the SEO industry. And there are like five or 10 Google updates has have happened since we started this podcast. So you need to be aware of all the things that are going on in the SEO industry. So like you put yourself in a very unfortunate position where you need to be to know development and to be like, to know technical SEO, that's a lot. So instead of Being a developer, what I believe in that you need to have deep understanding of technical SEO, which means. Yes, you need to like, you need to know what a canonical is, and you need to know what it looks like in the code. You don't need to code it, you don't need to code from scratch a page, but you need to know web standards. You need to know, oh, okay. This is this is an internal link which is added with web standards. Oh, and this is an internal link, which is added as a JavaScript event. You need to know the difference between them. Between them. Do you need to code this? No. Do you need to know the difference? Absolutely yes. And you need to know the HTML structure of a page. And you need to know what doesn't go in the head section. You need to know how browsers process pages and what the difference is between how browsers render pages and how search engines do that, right? So what I realized is that all this Is so much better than trying to learn coding and it's, it works so much better and I have clients who would say, Oh my God, like Christina is amazing because she understands coding. She can talk to developers and she can tell them exactly what they need to do. Yes. I can't do that without being a developer. So that's exactly what I want people to understand. And that's exactly what I teach because you are setting the bar too high and unrealistic for yourself. If you want to be it all.

Mark A Preston: Yes, definitely. You can't be everything to everyone, and I think that just specializing and for me, In a very simple form is technical SEO is very much about problem solving, understanding what the problems are, then being able to communicate those problems to the relevant people in the teams, in order for them to fix it. But from technical, I say, do you physically need to know how to fix something or do you just need to know this is broken, please fix it.

Kristina Azarenko: So I always use two way approach. I'm using my soft skills and my hard skills. When I say my soft skills, what I mean by that is that I understand that I'm on the same team with the developers. I don't just play the blame blaming game. Oh, you didn't do that. Like you, you failed, right? I want to be on the same team with them. And I want, because at the end of the day, they care about the same thing that I do. But we just say differently. So I don't tell them, oh, you need to do this for seo because nobody cares. When you, apart from SEOs, when you say, oh, it needs to be done, needs to be done for seo. Like nobody, nobody does. So I speak their language. Okay, this website needs to be fast because blah, blah, blah. Not because, oh, they're like Google. No, they don't really care about that. When I say hard skills, what I mean by that is that I use very specific requirements. I write user stories and acceptance criteria. So let's say if you need to have an XML sitemap on the website, right? Usually what happens, an SEO just says Oh, I need an XML sitemap on the website. And then a developer implements it, let's say. And they, and then you look. And this sitemap is not automatically updated. It doesn't have a bunch of URLs or it has the URLs if you don't need them there and they go back to developer and say, Oh, like you screwed up, like you didn't do your job correctly, but it's actually you who didn't do your job correctly because it's on you to communicate properly what needs to be done and what it looks like, what success looks like. So that's why I use a user stories. So user story would be. Something like as an SEO manager, I want the XML sitemap to be on the website and found in this URL because it will help the pages to be discovered and indexed by search engines. And then acceptance criteria is, okay, that sitemap is found in this URL. The sitemap is automatically updated whenever a page is added or removed. The sitemap has only the URL that returns 200 HTTP status codes. All those things, you list all the things, and then, magically, It becomes so much more clear what exactly you want and then when a developer gets back to you and says, Oh, it's done, then you can test it against the acceptance criteria. And when something is not done, you can back and get back and say, Oh, actually, these things have not been implemented. Can you look into this? Because you have something to back it up with rather than just saying, Oh, do it. So I find this is super important to be very clear in your communication.

Mark A Preston: Yeah, definitely. I think a lot of it is communication. And I think the whole battle between SEOs and developers just comes down to communication. it's like I've recently worked with a development team and I've said, look, this is what I'm trying to achieve and fakes. wHat do you think? How do you think we should go about it fixing? So I'm like involving them in the process of creating the solution, and I think that a lot of it, I don't think, like you said, the soft skills of technical SEO, I don't think that. a lot of people understand that and they think we need to talk in development language, but you don't, you just need to be nice and, include them in everything.

Kristina Azarenko: Yeah. And also make sure that you know what their success looks like because you are another voice. From from all the voices that talk to them that want things implemented, right? So what success looks to them. And I remember, honestly, it was a breakthrough point for me. I remember Jackie Chu. She was she's in Dropbox now or Uber. I don't know. Don't remember. But she, she worked at Uber then she came back. Anyway I remember, so she works with Enterprise. Teams like huge teams. And I remember he told a story of one of, in one of her talks about how she wanted to develop her to implement something. I don't remember exactly what, maybe it was like a log analysis or something, but he asked the developer to implement something and the developer wouldn't. He just wouldn't. And then she. Realize that, okay, there is something else that is going on that she doesn't understand. So she asked this developer what was important for him. And apparently what was important for him is security of the website. So he was actually afraid that the thing that she asked him to implement would trigger some security breach, right? And when she realized it, she could talk about that. She said, oh look, this is what I want you to do. This does not, influence. Website security, so it's going to be fine. So once you explain he implemented almost right away. So that's what I'm saying Like this is an example of Stop skills. I realized that I was doing it like Unintentional a lot of the times but when I heard this story from jack i'm like Yes, that's exactly what a lot of the times we're missing and I get it. I honestly get it because as SEOs, I think that we need to be like the most multifaceted people ever, because we, especially technical, sometimes you just be like, Okay, I don't want to talk to anyone, but you need to talk to people because you need to get things implemented, right? And you need to be heard. So you need to be a good communicator and you also need to be pretty tech savvy and understand how things are working on a deep technical level.

Mark A Preston: Yeah definitely. Now for SEOs out there that You know, they've done all the foundational stuff, they've got a base, an overview of things and want to specialize in something. If somebody's thinking about specializing in technical SEO what should they be understanding? What would determine them, yes, technical SEO is for me or not? What is it or how deep do they need to go in order to determine yeses? the direction I want to go in or not?

Kristina Azarenko: Oh, it's a really good question. I think that you first need to try to understand what technical SEO is in the first place. And Maybe if you're just trying to understand whether technical SEO is for you or not, maybe get your website, break it, and see what's going to happen. And honestly I'm the first person who hates the advice of just get your website and you'll learn SEO. Because I think that in most of the cases, this is not the case. Because why would, why? We have so many people with broken websites and they don't magically become SEOs once they register the main and set up a website. But if you are not sure what way you want to go, test it, experiment with it. If you like what I'm doing now, for example, with my main website, which some people think is crazy, I think is Just pretty fun. I disabled crawling for my main website to see, okay, what is going to happen. This is an example of a task. that I can do and see, okay, what's happening. And then if you are if you're testing with your own website and you are really fascinated about, oh, okay did Google pick this up? Okay, what are the crawling stats in Google Search Console? If you are fascinated by it, if you find yourself going through the rabbit hole and trying to understand what these things are, Them technical SEO is definitely for you. I find that technical SEO for me in general and I said like I Came not like from not tech saving the ground. I had no idea what things were So I taught myself to be tech saving But technical SEO helped me. I like Never realized that this would be a thing. But first of all, I now can figure out any online tool out there. Maybe except for Slack. I hate so many things that it has, but when I need to set up like for my online course business, there are a lot of things that I need to do and that are going on behind the scenes. So I, when I need to figure something out, it happens like this just because my green things. in the right direction. Plus, when I plan something, being a technical SEO, what it means, I look at everything from like the bigger picture, and then I go deeper and deeper. Because that's how I look at the website. Okay, what what are the pages and page templates that there are, right? And then what I want to do with each of them. So it really helped me to think like that. If this is something that you want to achieve, if this is something that you already have, then most likely technical SEO is going to be for you.

Mark A Preston: Yes. Yeah. Now with. A basic understanding I don't want to go into it too deep into technical SEO because it's very much dependent on lots of different things. But from a top level overview, what would you say the main aspects of technical SEO are?

Kristina Azarenko: I developed this technical SEO formula that actually it's much better to think about this as a periodic table, right? Periodic table in chemistry. You have like different elements, you need a water, you get two H's, and then you get O, and you have H to O, right? The same thing, I see a technical SEO the same way. There are different parts of technical SEO. So I categorize them as rank, Don't rank and accessibility and UX. So in the rank part, we see, okay, there is a self referencing canonical. So rank means that I want this page to be ranked by Google. Okay, so I want this page to be ranked. It means that it needs to be allowed for crawling. It needs to be allowed for indexing. It needs to return to high HTTP status code. So basically understanding crawling and indexing. And then, and then basically what the page should have, like the right canonical tag pointing to itself or zero canonical tag. is fine as well. So I want this to happen. Plus, I want things from the UX and accessibility bucket. I want the page to be secure. I want the page to to be fast. All these amazing, and accessible, all these amazing things, right? And if I want the page And if I don't want the page to rank, then I decide, okay, do I want Google to crawl it? Do I want Google to index it? Should this page be canonicalized to itself or to some other page? These are the this is how I think about, and even like on the page template level, this is how I think about technical SEO so that I can understand what exactly do I need to do with this page to maximize the impact of this page on the website, or to minimize its negative impact, right? But I would say that Starting with a deeper understanding of crawling and indexing, that would be really important, because most of the SEOs don't get it, even after being in SEO for a while. And that's fine, that we all start somewhere. But I find that so many people are confused about okay, do I have a staging website indexed on Google. So I disabled crawling and I also added noindex. Hey, no, it doesn't work this way. So I think this would be really important and fundamental things to learn.

Mark A Preston: Yes, now I want to talk a little bit about your course, your technique class, your course. Is it you actually doing training live with them or is it like an online course they go through?

Kristina Azarenko: It's an online course people go through at their own time, at their own pace. I believe they're like 13 hours of content or so, but it's also very practical because honestly I hate... theoretical courses, especially when it comes to SEO and they ditched all the decks and everything and I was just like, okay, these are the things that you need to know. And here is, I'm showing you in the browser, how exactly like you find this, how exactly you fix the issues, right? Or how do you write User stories. So it's pre recorded and sometimes I think, I know like people are like, oh, how an SEO course can be up to date. For me first of all, I update the course when it makes sense, but I, but it's not my intention to give people like 60, 80 hours of content that they will not use ever watch. My intention is to help people to understand, like to start thinking as a technical SEO, to get the technical SEO mindset. That's my main thing, because I don't want people to rely on me all the time. This is not real learning. Real learning is that when you finish and then You just sit and okay, I got this. I got this without relying on anyone else, without relying on external validation, on like wasting hours on forums and everywhere. So that's why the course is pre recorded and I update it when it makes sense.

Mark A Preston: Yes, I was talking to a SEO yesterday who I'm mentoring and training and I said when you don't need me anymore, I know I've done my job.

Kristina Azarenko: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. I'm not a drug to to get people dependent on me. I really want people. And this is one of my goals is to help people to rely on themselves, to rely on their knowledge, because that's when, where your expertise is. If you always just keep looking on forums and online and you get this conflicting advice, you're just stuck in the impulsive vicious cycle. You're just like. I don't know anything, but if you can rely on your knowledge, and then you add your experience to that that's the best thing. That's where magic happens. And you can, it's, it doesn't mean that 100 percent of everything. Nobody does. Nobody does. But you are confident when you don't know, you are confident that you can figure out because you know this whole structure. You were a mechanic, right? Like, how cars work. I don't have, I don't know anything about the cars, but I for some reason decided to make this example. You like know how different cars work, right? And you how with the agent with Hyundai, right? But agent for Honda is going to be different. But you can figure out. You can you can look at the manual, because you know where to look at, right? You can look at the manual, you know exactly what to ask, if, even if you Google, or even what chapter you need to look at in the manual. But you can figure it out. Because you have this fundamental core knowledge that you can rely on. That's what I want from people.

Mark A Preston: Yeah, definitely. Would you say your job then is to give people an understanding of how to problem solve?

Kristina Azarenko: I would say yes, how to problem solve and how to But to make sure that everything works properly with a website, like from the technical aspect of perspective, because, in some key, like in most of the cases, yes, we are problem solvers, but also we are these kind of people that. If everything works properly, and you made sure that it works properly, nobody knows about it, about you. So I remember there was some story about, I don't remember what, like what company it was. I'm really bad at remembering this things, but I remember the essence. So there were mechanics. in the factory or something. And usually people are paid by hour, right? So obviously if more things break, the more time they work fixing it, the more they could make, right? But it means that the main point of things not being broken is missed. So these people were paid when things were working. So they were paid for the hours that they didn't work because the machines were functioning properly. So I think in many cases with technical issues, like if people, because especially let's say you're setting up like I helped many clients with, okay. They are like, Oh, we want to set up our custom CMS, right? We want to set up our custom CMS. Can you give us all like technical SEO recommendations for the, for this? And I would write down all technical SEO requirements for a custom CMS and it will work if it didn't, then I didn't do my work properly, but if it does, they might forget about me, but I did my job properly.

Mark A Preston: Yes, definitely. Sometimes, people only remember you in the moment. That's a case of many different things. But for you personally, what makes you passionate about what you're doing?

Kristina Azarenko: There are two things in general, like in SEO, in technical SEO, as I said, for me, the devil is in the detail. Like I've seen so many things, so many fascinating things when you just look. They look good on the surface, but then when you dig a little bit, things don't look good. So that was really fascinating to me. And then, when it comes to teaching, what makes me passionate is seeing my students results. Because, I get messages like, Oh, I just learned a new job, like a much better job. I just learned a new client. I had a student, Alex, she is amazing. She's just okay. She went through my through my... Previous general SEO course. And then she's okay, I want to go specifically in technical SEO. So she wants for my technical SEO course. And then remember she finished and she messaged me, Oh, you inspired me so much. You're now really want to go and pursue specifically technical SEO opportunity. And they have a company on my radar and they have a dream opportunity and I really want to get it. And I'm like, okay go girl. That's amazing. And then sometime later she messaged me. And she's I got the job. I'm so happy I'm starting soon and I feel so empowered by learning those things from you. And that makes me so happy because like I have over 500 people in my course right now. And it's just, it's a lot and it's helping to improve the industry in general, right? The knowledge in the industry. And I'm just thankful to the industry in general and I, this is my way to give back and to help people to be much better at their jobs and to get better opportunities. That's what I love. 

Mark A Preston: Yeah, I can totally relate to that. As you're aware, I do provide training myself, and The, I think it was last week, somebody who I've, been there for the past five years started as a junior, text me and said, Mark, I'm so excited. Thank you for everything, because I've just secured a head of SEO job, and that for me personally, it's not about money, it's not about things, it's about helping to make a difference.

Kristina Azarenko: Yeah, exactly.

Mark A Preston: And that feeling, obviously we need to pay the bills and everything, but that feeling is something money cannot buy. Right now, Technical SEO, what would you say to all the people in the industry out there to say Technical SEO doesn't really matter because it's all about the content. Right.

Kristina Azarenko: I would say that, okay, I'll tell a story. I worked with one of the clients and we recommended the best pages for them. They finally created this pages. And like the content was really great, but then Google wouldn't pick this up. Good. Google wouldn't. See those pages and wouldn't index. And when Google can't index, obviously it can't rank. So I looked into this and they have a JavaScript issue on these pages. And it's funny because it was like a company providing development development education, right? So I think they went too smart with it. So the whole body of the page where like the main content is was because of this JavaScript issue was not available. So obviously, Google is looking at this, it sees only the main navigation, the footer, and it's oh, that's, you don't want these pages, right? So the thing is, even if the content is really great, it doesn't matter unless it's indexed and ranked. And it really, it's a, it was a really great reminder that all things should work together. Of course, if you have a well optimized website in terms of technical SEO, but there is no content, the website is not going to rank. really too, right? But these things should work together. And I remember also people coming to me when they were enrolling in the course, they always ask, I have an onboarding form. And I asked them, okay, why did you decide to join? And many people would be like, I provide content, but when clients come to me, I see that there is like something going on with their website that all my work, like all the content that I create, it'll not have as big impact as it could be, could have. Right? And then they realized that they lacking this knowledge to solve this issue so that's why they decided to join the course. But the thing is, it nothing exists in just silos. All the, all these things are important.

Mark A Preston: Yeah, everything has to work together. I explain it as though it's a big jigsaw puzzle and each piece of the puzzle plays a part and they all have to fit together, now regarding your Chrome extension. I know it's, I know lots of people who are using it and it's become that the lifeblood of everything they do, it's saving them so much time and effort. It's, yeah, for me, it just makes everything, easier at a glance what. made you want to create that SEO Chrome extension?

Kristina Azarenko: Yeah the SEO extension, I love it. And honestly, it might sound selfish, but initially I created it for myself because I was using another tool which was like pretty similar but honestly the UX was shit and I didn't like using it at all. So I was like, okay, I need something that I will actually enjoy using and that will give me the information that I need. So I sat down and I wrote down like all the requirements and everything and my husband is a UX UI designer. So that's why it's, that's why the SEO presentation looks so good. And so many people say, oh, finally someone with eyes, right? Because it's created by UX, UI designers. And I was just like, okay, that's what I want to see. That's what I, how I want things to look like. And then it just exploded. I think I got like couple of thousands of users within the first month. Now we're about like over 70 K users worldwide. Which is crazy, and I love adding at this point, we, don't have any bugs that I'm aware of, at least. It's only building on it. So I have a roadmap of things that I want to add, and I'm very strict about like how I view the extension because some people are like, Oh, it needs to be pageantry research, it needs to be this, it needs to be this. I'm like, this is not my vision. This is not like at all for everything. Because if I started doing everything, then it will not be good at one thing that it does. It's showing you the information right away, all the SEO information about the page right away in three seconds, right? So usually we started with fewer features. Now we also have COBOL vital word count. And my next thing that I really want to add is packing the difference between the source code and the RAN HTT ml because ran HT ml, like now the extension will show you the information from the ED HT ml. So I want to add like the difference between source code and ran HTT ml Uhhuh that some somewhere on the roadmap for the next year. But yeah, as I said, like initially it was, I was creating it for me and I'm using it myself every single day. I sometimes have I install a new browser profile and then I'm on some website and I want to check and my extension is not in the browser. I'm like, no, I feel like I don't, I feel like so helpless. So I'm like, okay, I need to install it right now. So yeah that's how it all started.

Mark A Preston: Yeah, I know you, you recently added the social tab on it. Yeah. And literally within two days, I clicked on it and think, Oh, the social images aren't appearing. We go back and look at it, but without that, I wouldn't probably want to look, I probably wouldn't have, tried. So it really does at a glance make things. Not the peer, but more, ah I can see if it's supposed to be doing what it's meant to be doing. Now, the time is rocking on, and I want to ask you, is there anything you feel the audience need to hear that we haven't already covered yet?

Kristina Azarenko: I think there is one thing that I really want the audience to hear. We covered that, but I think this message is very important. If you think that you want to be in technical SEO please don't feel intimidated by it. And don't listen to gatekeepers who will tell you that you cannot be successful if you are not a developer or you don't have a science computer science degree, right? Don't listen to those people, especially if you're a woman, because I can't tell you how many women I've met who would come up to me and say, Oh, I thought it's it's so intimidating. And I can not handle it. Usually Italian Glaciers are only males. This is not true. So you, if you want to go that road, you have an opportunity to do that. And It's up to you to decide, not up to anyone else. And even in my course, I have like almost 50 percent of females, which I'm super happy about. And if you want to check out the course, you can go to and you can get all the information there.

Mark A Preston: Wonderful. And on that note... Where can people find you and what sorts of conversations would you like to have?

Kristina Azarenko: So you can find me on LinkedIn at Kristina Azarenko. You can find me at Twitter. I'm @azarchick there. And yeah, tech Pro is the main the main course that I have and. Yeah, I think that's it where you can find me. There are more places, but these are the main ones. And if you have any questions about okay, how do I proceed in technical SEO, just go for it. You can message me.

Mark A Preston: Many thanks for your time and it's been absolutely fantastic having you on.

Kristina Azarenko: Thank you so much, Mark. Thank you so much for everyone who is listening, who is watching this. You are amazing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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