Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with VeraContent’s Kyler Canastra and Nermeen Habashy, head of SEO content at B.TECH:

Kyler Canastra 0:00
Hi everyone, I’m Kyler from the content mix, and I’m happy to be here with Nermeen Habashy, head of content quality and SEO at B.TECH. As the largest specialized retail chain in the area of home appliances and consumer electronics in Egypt. B.TECH can think their client centric approach for their success and approach that goes hand in hand with their content strategy and SEO optimization. And this is where Nermeen comes in. After graduating from Helwan University in Cairo, Nermeen started her career as a freelance content strategist for Nowadays, she’s spearheading the text content and SEO strategy, while implementing quality assurance and monitoring content accuracy. So if there’s someone we should be talking about quality and SEO with, it’s Nermeen. So let’s just dive right into this conversation and get the show started. So without further ado, I want to welcome Nermeen to the show, thank you so much for joining us today on The Content Mix. Thank you so much, Tyler, as mentioned nermeen, you’re from Egypt. So can you just tell us a bit more about yourself and where you’re from, and what’s your connection to content marketing and SEO.

Nermeen Habashy 1:09
Okay, and you joined to come as a content Freelancer in 2015. And then I joined quality team as a content specialist. And for me, it all starts, how your inputs reflect on the site and directive to the customers and use your job seeking, right that is to be understood by the customer and relevant as well. So from here, you’ve found that what you are doing has a direct impact on the customer, you don’t wait to see the sales and conversion rates, what you are doing is actually reflecting on on the sight of the customer is a word of mouth when you meet someone and say, I bought something from your website, because the content was you have rich content, you have the information needed to make me make my decision to buy this product rather than this one. So this this is the quality and this is the value I want to add when I’m working in any company. So yes, our Yeah, for me, we started our journey started. And then I tried to ask myself, what, what more what’s what’s after the content writing. So first, I have a customer who already visited our website to make a buying decision and buy a product. So how this person reach our website, how we find or any platform he wants that is so I searched on Google, I searched for a lot of I have a lot of questions. And for sure Google answered all my questions, then I started to know about search engine optimization and how we can use certain keywords that matches the customer keywords search for and, and how we can go deeper to the to the stage where the customer really is looking for his keywords. He wants to buy something not he’s just exploring either an iPhone 12 I want to know what what is specification? No, he’s wanted to buy, I think 13 Tony’s looking for it. iPhone 13 or iPhone 12. Pro Max is 128 gigabytes. So at this point is searching for something to buy not is just exploring the product specifications. So from hearing I started to go through go through before SEO and work on it. And

Kyler Canastra 3:46
a lot of it came from your your interest now kind of just as a consumer thinking about yourself, have you know, you know contents there, but what’s the purpose of it? And I feel like you’re you were mentioning how you were just interested in that kind of what the customer thinks and kind of how what they’re going to input into Google and how you can help them with your strategy through SEO to get to the right product know and find what exactly what they want in a very easy and simple way, and also a way that’s relevant to your customer base. No, that’s, that’s the kind of your approach and Is that how you got interested and SEO, just from being a consumer yourself

Nermeen Habashy 4:26
just for being a consumer itself, and also not just being a consumer. So as I mentioned, I was looking what’s behind the content. So the content on the website, and that’s okay, so what’s the next step? What Well, how we can reach more the customer by ads, maybe it’s very ads or billboards or media ads. And I was missing the main point is the Google. Google here, people search Look, I’m gonna search on Google for a lot of things. Maybe I have the answers, but I want to make sure of the answer. Right. So at this point, I started looking over that there’s something called search engine optimization, how we can use some keywords to attract customers. So I started from here. Yeah, I was. At Google, I changed the algorithm every now and then, and then have to work hard and brainstorm how we are going to cope with a new advertisement. A ranking, disable and traffic and impressions. So it’s kind of a game more more than it’s kind of routine work. You have some of the content writing after a while it became everything. Yeah, so. So it was much more

Kyler Canastra 5:56
people don’t understand what SEO is no. And you know, they don’t, I think we take for granted as some people that use Google, for example, we all I feel like everyone around the world uses Google to search for things we don’t realize the work that goes behind it, and how you know, those pages come up as top hits. So that’s kind of what you’re doing is spearheading that by using my keywords and a lot of people just don’t think about what goes behind like behind the work. So now speaking of that, I’m just curious to know a bit more about like what’s your typical day at work so we mentioned before that you’re working at B.TECH, which is if you could explain to us a bit more about the tech that’d be great too, and kind of what are your responsibilities on daily basis

Nermeen Habashy 6:39
Oh, in fact, I’m mainly responsible for the quality team as a team first The great thing is it was making sure that all the products meet our company standards and also meet our customers. So we have to make sure that the website is up and running all the all the pages on working and has a bright beta making a very, very diverse

Kyler Canastra 7:14

Nermeen Habashy 7:17
diversity in the title catalogs we have in order to match all the segments we target this is for equality and forgit and for the zoo have always we have a daily monitoring for the keywords where the ranking is now how the impressions going CTR and clicks By the way, so we keep monitoring old word how we can add some keywords that have a better ranking than the others we have some trending products and we have to make a page for the customers to search for it

Kyler Canastra 7:59
we have a lot of a lot of task and you’re kind of focusing your your responsibilities on two main ideas non quality so making sure the products are being represented properly for your segments that you’re trying to attract. But also the SEO so they do go hand in hand so what kind of content are you working like on the website? Just curious to know like what kind of content Do you produce for repeat text page?

Nermeen Habashy 8:26
We do the kind of product content

Kyler Canastra 8:28
for describing the different products and the product content and

Nermeen Habashy 8:33
also sometimes we we optimize blog content Okay,

Kyler Canastra 8:39
so you do have a blog that you work on his

Nermeen Habashy 8:41
love page. It’s categorized but some of the products are some are kind of promotional articles others are educational articles for as a customer and others are buying that we’re making the buying guide why customers should purchase a washing machine seven kilograms instead of eight so why what’s the difference between LED and culet Yeah, we have right by this we are trying to help the customer as much as possible in his own decisions and making sure that he chose the right

Kyler Canastra 9:22
product for them. Yeah, so

Nermeen Habashy 9:25
we are building a customer relationship with with our website.

Kyler Canastra 9:32
So it’s really important that you

Nermeen Habashy 9:36
Yeah, I’m trying to make a website is the go to place when I have a question regarding the product. Why should I buy a coffee machine? Black and Decker for example, instead of special so yes. Okay, I was searching on unitech instead of any other website because we are trying to not be biased to certain products. So you Just list down the differences, the benefits of each one, so we can easily make his own decision.

Kyler Canastra 10:06
That’s really nice, because it seems like you know, a lot of these websites don’t focus on the customer and kind of what these common questions a customer has. So as I mentioned the beginning B tech is a, like an appliance now in home, you can buy certain, like, electronics and appliances for the home. No, it’s largest in Egypt. And it seems like you guys are really focusing on what the like, the customers perspectives. I mean, we just mentioned the beginning of how that interests you, right? And when you went on Google, you saw these things, and you were now you’re thinking about that person that you were before, and now you’re the one building it. So for today’s episode, we decided I know you want to talk a lot more about SEO. And you mentioned a bit already about why you’re passionate about SEO. But one thing that I think that really you are interested in is kind of capturing the customer’s voice when you create content and when you’re optimizing the content for SEO. So kind of Could you explain to us what the customer’s voice is for detect like what Who is your ideal customer? Who is your target audience? And what kind of tone like what approach Do you have to your marketing and your content in general with them.

Nermeen Habashy 11:14
So we have many target audience. We are the biggest retailer in Egypt, we also have provide some financial services like installments, he can campaign installments, not only from me, but from other vendors. So we are using the tone of voice, we have a many tones for communicating with high end customers. And we have this high end products that communicate with the customer with a very high with a very enhanced that meet their standards and give them not only the product information, but it’s much more how we use it and how how it is good to buy this product. We have a midrange customers who are looking for I just wanted a product with a certain amount, that would be good with me. So we have these products and provided to them with a very simple product catalog with it shows the product. information in a very simple way also in a marketing way, even when we push our applications or make ads, we don’t use language. It’s not that funny language or strict one yet is something that from outgoing voice from Egypt onwards.

Kyler Canastra 12:41
What is an Egyptian tone of voice? I’m curious, Like what? Like cultural things you have to keep in mind when you’re creating your content?

Nermeen Habashy 12:49
A very simple tone of voice Oh, you have to do is not do. You have to treat the person as he is well educated me understand what you really want to do. So don’t try to marketing or to try to sell him something that is not good for him and convince him that it’s going to be good

Kyler Canastra 13:14
for you. Yeah, so you have to make sure you’re not trying to trick.

Nermeen Habashy 13:19
Don’t trick them. Yeah, always direct communication. Yeah. And then maybe all our campaigns are very light. Sometimes it’s a bit fun. Making some push notifications in a funny way sometimes attracts people. And it makes them curious, I want to see I want to open this product in new ways and send this kind of me. This is a tone voice.

Kyler Canastra 13:48
Yeah, seems like it’s really interesting because we have so many different target audiences. And it seems like you currently are breaking them down by like the price range of what people are looking for. So you might take a different approach with someone trying to buy really expensive things because they might have a different mindset or approach to what they’re buying versus someone that’s in mid range. And also something you brought up is, as I probably mentioned a couple of times on the show for people that are listening, I actually studied linguistics. So like as my academic career. I’m very fascinated by it. And I learned a lot about pragmatics and kind of how Arabic is a very direct language. And this kind of leads me to the next question because I was really curious because like SEO, I know a lot about it in English and other you know, European languages. That’s what, what I do for work is we’re multilingual constant agency focusing in Europe so I know a lot about that. But I was just curious about Arabic because Arabic as people that don’t know, there’s many different varieties of Arabic spoken and we need to go from one country so Egypt and Lebanon, for example are totally different. And a lot of times communications are done in classical Arabic and versus you know, the regional variety. So does this impact SEO at all or you know, how you approach SEO Arabic, I was just curious to know more about that.

Nermeen Habashy 15:05
If your company is targeting more than one country in the Middle East, it’s hard, because you have to know the terms that older countries uses in order to attract a customer to rank in Google. But if you are focusing on one country, it would be much easier. Also, the competition will be very low for realizing the words in Arabic. So how many website that that are targeting Arabic audience or Egyptian people that how many of them are optimizing their website, so the competition is very low. But when it comes to English, the competition is very high. The same word has a lot of bids on it. So it’s much better than also when you have to own the customer behavior or dealing with, well, which word to use to search for products.

Kyler Canastra 16:00
That’s super interesting. So I’m assuming at B.TECH, you’re just focusing on the Egyptian market. So you’re just writing everything right now. And then, so if everyone wanted to expand, for example, especially in like the Middle East, or Arabic speaking world, you’d really have to worry about localization? No, like in localizing your content for each market, which is a lot of work. There’s a lot of different, you know, varieties.

Nermeen Habashy 16:25
Yeah, I was working as a vendor as a field in a different industry. So we had three websites, one in Gulf, one in Egypt, and the third one is in Morocco. So it’s three different languages. And I have to do very well how the Gulf knocks the products in Arabic in their own way. And what are their slang language they use it to and dislike languages is

Kyler Canastra 16:58
really particular to that area.

Nermeen Habashy 17:00
Yeah, in this language, we use it for session on Google. Autism. Oh, c’mon is very, very hard. Yeah, yeah, they speak very, very fast. And also the other words, like, I got combined in a very, in a very good way, but I couldn’t understand very well. But yeah, I have to, yeah, I have to learn all the terms and how to search for certain products in a certain way, and make a lot of research and a lot of analysis and word that just is a search volume for this word. I hear. Maybe I search for gold. For Gold in certain way. different way.

Kyler Canastra 17:52
Yeah, it’s so hard. And I think a lot of people they don’t realize, you know, how much actually has to go into this. It’s not like, you know, you’re just doing it one language, one market, if you’re working across different markets, even in the same language, you’re gonna have a lot of roadblocks and

Nermeen Habashy 18:09
yeah, it’s all our big but it’s not the same key terms we use. So we have to make sure that we all get all the terms and all the key words in order to make a great impact and and get a higher ranking. And also even we’re going to make a backlink. So you have to go to know there all the magazines, I have all the websites, I have news websites. So you make a lot of effort when it comes to if you are working on a multilingual website.

Kyler Canastra 18:40
Yeah, a lot of work. Oh, are there any resources that you’d recommend to learn more about SEO?

Nermeen Habashy 18:47
Well, I recommend Linda you the city SEMRush, Neil Patel, Neil Patel provide some articles that will help anyone who’s looking for SEO or trying to monetize content. There are a lot of articles that would help. Also sem rush has a fundamental course for SEO for free, and has much more related to marketing courses that provide on their platform, not on the SEO. So yeah, a

Kyler Canastra 19:19
lot of online resources that are free that you can use, right for different not just for SEO, but just to get more marketing info as well. Yes, very multifaceted in that sense. And

Nermeen Habashy 19:33
a lot of videos that can take step by step by the end user who is looking for SEO courses?

Kyler Canastra 19:40
Yeah, really, a lot of people are curious, right? Because SEO is such a topic of conversation. And a lot of people are interested by it and they just don’t know where to start. So it seems like we have great resources that our listeners can use to to kind of get their feet wet and learn more about SEO. Now I’m curious to like know more a bit about why quality Something that you know I think a lot of people don’t value enough right when it comes to content in general sometimes you can see pieces of content online and the quality is quite bad and it seems like the quality is something that’s very important to you and to your role at the tech so it’s kind of wondering what’s the most challenging aspect of ensuring quality across different channels and what like why does quality plays such an important role for you and also at B tech

Nermeen Habashy 20:24
plays a very important role and B tech as it impacts the customer and their turn redirecting the customer satisfaction it’s one of the customer right to see the exact product you added to the cart we wish to have it. Secondly is a business no worries I turned magically the praises of compensation for their own products. So at first we have to pay our budget for compensating the customers for wrong products as delivered and then we started to by decreasing this number of regions to compensation now it’s very

Kyler Canastra 21:05
lower now so it shows it shows right that like the quality of the content itself and the accuracy it’s so important because if you’re misleading your customers then they’re not going to buy the wrong thing and then it can lead to like kind of like a ripple effect of one little incident one bad piece of content could lead to the company spending more money on returns and compensating the people so your role is very important because you’re you’re kind of building trust know amongst the target audience and your client

Nermeen Habashy 21:34
because of one incident and ruin our remarketing campaigns

Kyler Canastra 21:44
yeah the reputation as

Nermeen Habashy 21:47
your post and say I have once I have ordered a PC Lenovo I received assets for example so you knew one of your companies so we have to make sure that the customer sees the product

Kyler Canastra 22:04
Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s really important especially in this kind of industry so is 100% you want to make sure your catalog is correct and the contents accurate and that your client doesn’t feel misled and I feel like the trust is something that you mentioned before it’s like building trust and it’s really cool i don’t think a lot of people you know, I see that someone that doesn’t know about content and marketing in general they don’t understand why it’s so important to have content that’s accurate and high quality because then you lose trust people don’t trust in your brand or trust you because it seems false anything that’s kind of mean that you’ve mentioned and it seemed really interesting. Now how like you lead a team you mentioned you lead two teams know at bitec and for one’s quality assurance right and once SEO so how do you lead a team with very high standards in order to deliver the best results and what are some techniques or best practices you would recommend to be a good leader

Nermeen Habashy 23:02
first you have to lead by example they have to see you working very hard to get to achieve all your targets so they’re starting to get encouraged executives their leader is working hard with them hand in hand and providing all the data that needed and and even if they weren’t they found that you are the go to person when they have anything issues and ideas and and you listen to them that this makes everything satisfied with you. And and even happy working with encouraging them and appreciation appreciating that work is one of the main factors that keep people going. So we got so there will not even eventually become no flow it for the team, they become loyal to the company and work very hard as they are working in their own company, right?

Kyler Canastra 23:56
environment right that people feel invested in a bigger goal, right, like the objective of the company. And they almost feel like it’s their company, like what you just said, rather than thinking they’re alone. And one thing that you said to I really, really like, is listening. I think obviously people on your team might suggest something or give feedback, you don’t agree. And instead of shutting them off, at least you listen like anything, that’s what you’re referring to is that it’s so important to listen and to encourage and, you know, maybe they’re not right, and you don’t agree but like you know, make sure they have a space to feel comfortable right to, to express their ideas, share their feedback, and if they because if that way, maybe one day, they will have really good, you know, feedback or input and then but if you keep shutting them down, then they don’t feel comfortable and they might not never share it or they might leave or they’re just not they’re not invested in what the company is doing. So I think those are really important factors. No job being a leader. Thank you. So we’re at the part of the interview. About recommendations I always ask people on the show, you know you’re in marketing, we work in the same But I want to know what things that you do or what are you know habits or tools or apps that kind of help you get through your day to day and help you be successful. Now do you have any daily habits that you would attribute to your success? So anything that you do every day that you think makes you a more successful person?

Nermeen Habashy 25:18
Yeah actually I open LinkedIn and some other platforms that provide news that means that ecommerce not only to content and SEO in order to know what’s new, what’s the business is heading forward and so I can cope with so always not focus on your new circle but but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture or the bigger circle, where are the business going globally? And locally? are we are we going to have more than more ecommerce platforms or I will have offline marketing digital marketing is now one of the main factors if you go 10 years backwards? If you ask someone do what did the marketing or the I don’t know? Six years backwards? No one knows what what was. What was Seo? Yeah, so

Kyler Canastra 26:23
changes so fast. Yeah, change. Your habit is checking these things daily. Checking LinkedIn checking, yeah, commerce news, kind of just keeping yourself fresh, that you can see the different trends, what’s going on. So that way you kind of predict know what’s going to what change is gonna come.

Nermeen Habashy 26:41
You can predict the new trends, there’s something new to learn, so you have to search for where is the best provider to learn this new technique on YouTube. Like nowadays, we have automation for our content, so we don’t use the manual way we used to search for the product and the copy of the product, data in the sheet. Now there’s a lot of things that automate our processes. So this is how we keep going and cope with changes fast.

Kyler Canastra 27:12
Yeah, so good. And it’s good to like keep yourself fresh. I’d like to say, mentally checking everything. And so like LinkedIn or other things, e commerce news, just even around the world in different industries, I’m sure you can gain a lot of insight into what’s happening and how you can improve your own strategy, your own campaigns, etc. Now, I always ask people this to like, do you have a professional role model or source of inspiration? And a lot of times people are like, I don’t have a role model or my plan. It can be like, your friend could be a role model, but I’m just curious to know like, Do you have anyone that you look up to or anyone that you want to, like, kind of emulate not their their life in their career?

Nermeen Habashy 27:53
Actually, I don’t have one. Hey, yeah, every every successful I can inspires me in a way or another. So, one, one of one of the people I was inspired by Mark, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. Yeah, yeah. He founded Facebook when he was at young age and he took the risk to make it an idea was also the founder of KFC. Maybe it’s funny, but fun. Young and he, he followed his dream after a year, even after the very old age six. So in that way, so yeah, this was that. Actually, I chose those. Those items, as they tell us, that age doesn’t matter. I was just gonna say that. Yeah, if you haven’t been Go for it. Don’t wait. Don’t Don’t sit waiting for something to give you the opportunity on a golden plate. No. You have to go forward to your dream and achieve it. try as hard as you can to make your dream come true. seize every opportunity you have. Don’t wait for it.

Kyler Canastra 29:16
I love that. I feel like a lot of times we live in a world where you know, you’re too old to do this, or you’re too young. We’re always told that we’re not right. And I think what you just said is really nice to hear. Like, doesn’t matter how old you are. If you have something that you’re passionate about, do it because life’s too short not to do it. I think that’s really inspiring.

Nermeen Habashy 29:36
Oh, it’s also the one who inspired me by this is my grandfather is a one. He was a historian learning until he was 90 before his death was trying to learn Spanish Spanish. Really? Yeah, I was trying to learn Spanish because he found himself by you knows a lot of languages. He studied English, French, a lot, a lot of languages. And he found that, why didn’t I studied Spanish? I have to go for it.

Kyler Canastra 30:15
Yeah, why not? Anything, that’s something that’s so important in our field. And something you mentioned before, it’s like your daily habits without learning about what’s going on. It’s like that. I think like constant learning is so important, especially like, not just in marketing, I think in life in general, like, we’re never too old to learn, or to like, we need to keep our brains fresh, try something new. And I think that’s so important, not just to be successful, but I think just to be aware of what’s going on. And like, if you learn, if you study history, for example, you can get a lot of great insight about past events that could apply to current events. Anything languages helps you open your mind to New World, new audiences, new ideas, new cultures. So I think it’s really cool like that, from Colonel Sanders to your grandfather, you find inspiration, kind of just this idea of, you know, achieving your goals, following your dreams, and also this continue continuous learning, I think that’s really, really, really cool. And something that’s so important, I think, for our, our roles, you know, and especially in marketing, you got to stay fresh, you got to keep doing the new course, the new trend, you got to stay on top of it. So it can be very hard sometimes, but it can be very interesting. So we’re coming to the end of our interview. And it’s been really great to connect with you. And to learn more about your work at B tech. And also just learn more about why you’re passionate about SEO and content quality and why it’s so important not only you know, in your market, but also for your company, and for this general kind of why these things matter. And I was just wondering if you had any, like a final takeaway, or a piece of advice that you’d like to share with our audience before we sign off?

Nermeen Habashy 31:49
Yeah, learning has no age. Do not be aren’t learning from someone who’s older than you or smaller than you have. If someone knows something, it’s, it’s good to learn. Also, to go for forward to the demon achieve with them, try to wrap maybe creature. So don’t wait. Take a step.

Kyler Canastra 32:17
I love that idea. You don’t have to wait for your opportunity to make your opportunity is not sometimes you want to do something you waiting for an opportunity to come. But never comes unless you actually are the one doing it. You make the opportunity for yourself. And those I think are very important Words To Live By. Now, is there a way to get in touch with us anyone wanting to reach out maybe to learn more about SEO? Or to learn more about the work you do? I Are you active on LinkedIn or anywhere else that you’re active as well.

Nermeen Habashy 32:48
I’m active on LinkedIn.

Kyler Canastra 32:50
So people can look up your name nermeen. And they’ll find you. They’re awesome. And we’ll make sure to include it on if if people are listening, we have like a blog post that will go with this. And we’ll include the link to an or means LinkedIn as well. So you can feel free to connect with her and get more insight and also see what she’s doing what work she’s working on at B.TECH. So I want to thank you again Nermeen so much for joining me today on the content mixed in for sharing your insights with us. And very much, very much I’m very glad I’m here with you. I’m very glad for this. Yeah, no, it’s great to have you and I also want to thank everyone for tuning in. As always, for more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe and now also in the Middle East. Check out and keep tuning to the podcast for more interviews with content experts. We’ll see you next time. Thanks again, Nermeen. Thank you again.

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