Workplace Wisdom: Jonas Sickler

Editor’s Note:

Our internal marketing team is stacked with some truly dedicated individuals. We caught up with Jonas Sickler (marketing’s SEO Manager) to learn more about his must-have workflow tools, and what advice he’d give to a new coworker. We’re so lucky to have him on the Tera-team and we continue to learn from him every day!

Q1: What is your role and how long have you worked at Terakeet?

I started working at Terakeet six and a half years ago building backlinks to customer websites. Since then, my role shifted to internal projects where I’ve had the opportunity to work on everything from content strategy and content optimization to technical SEO. I’ve also helped guide multiple website rebrands over the years.

I currently oversee search engine marketing and lead generation for our company websites. So, my role involves creating buyer personas, mapping the customer journey, and doing keyword research, as well as building and managing our SEO strategy.

Sometimes it feels a bit meta to do SEO for an organic search company’s website. But I love the constant challenge of staying nimble and efficient while driving real value to the company’s bottom line.

Jonas Sickler stands next to one of his prized Japanese Maple trees.
Jonas Sickler stands behind one of his prized Japanese maple trees.

Q2: What advice would you give someone who is new to Syracuse or to Terakeet?

Talk to everyone, and learn from everyone.

So much has changed since I first joined Terakeet, yet one thing has remained constant. There truly are no walls (metaphorically and literally).

Before the pandemic struck, most of us worked in one building. Our President, CEO, and executive leadership all had desks in the same open office environment as brand new employees. If you had a question, you could walk up to anyone and ask them — regardless of seniority.

Despite working in different corners of the country these days, that culture remains a crucial part of who we are at Terakeet. You have access to everyone in the company, so learn from them. Ask them about the business, how to advance your career, or just grab a cup of coffee and have a personal conversation.

It’s hard to imagine a more warm, kind, and inviting group of people under one roof.

Q3: List a quote that has helped you get through a tough time.

“Every adversity carries with it the seed of equivalent benefit.” That quote is from an old book by Napoleon Hill, so the wording is a bit clunky. It basically means that every cloud has a silver lining.

What does it mean to me personally?

I was laser focused on a particular career path, and when it didn’t work out I felt devastated. But, once the dust settled, I realized that I was chasing something for the wrong reasons. If I had achieved that goal, I would probably be miserable. Looking back, NOT getting what I wanted put me on my current path, and I couldn’t be happier.

Q4: How do you unwind after a long workday/case of the Mondays?

SEO is like a race without a finish line, so you really need a way to slow down and recharge your batteries.

I’ve been collecting rare Japanese maples for about a decade, and it’s as much of a passion as it is an addiction. Every time I cross one cultivar off my wish list, I add ten more. But this hobby requires eons of patience (I have a 40 year plan to build a garden oasis in our backyard).

In a way, waiting for a fourteen inch tree to get twenty feet high is like watching grass grow. But, it’s also incredibly peaceful.

Q5: If you could invite any famous businessperson or workplace guru to dinner, who would it be and why?

I might choose Simon Sinek. I recently read his book “Start with Why,” and I was fascinated by his approach to unraveling the purpose that drives each successful business. I’m prone to asking why anyways, so the concept struck a chord with me.

Beyond his theories, he’s also an incredibly engaging and passionate person to listen to.

Q6: If you could only use 5 workplace tools or platforms, what would they be and why?

Wow, trying to create a list of just five tools is insanely hard. I feel like I couldn’t do my job without at least 10 tools. But, if I could only use 5, I’d include Ahrefs for backlink analysis and keyword research. Clearscope for content optimization. ContentKing for technical SEO. Google sheets for data analysis and Google Analytics to track site performance.

Q7:  What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from a coworker?

Don’t trust anyone. Out of context that may seem cynical, so let me explain…

Several years back I was discussing ranking factors with a fellow ‘Keeter when I mentioned something I read by a trusted name in the SEO world. The advice contradicted what we believed internally, and I wasn’t sure who was right.

My colleague then said those three powerful words, “don’t trust anyone.” He said there’s tons of bad advice out there. Some of it is really old, some is speculative, some is just flat out wrong. He told me never to take anything I read about SEO at face value.

Always ask myself if it aligns with Google’s goals: Is it good for users? Can it be accurately measured at scale by an algorithm? So, if I ever sound like a toddler during a conversation, peppering you with questions, that’s why.