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EPISODE 6: SEO Success Stories with Steve Wiideman, talking local SEO for Applebee’s

“Stop following checklists and really think outside the box.” – Steve Wiideman

Meet Steve Wiideman, or as he’s better known as, SEO Steve. His innovations have played a key role in the inbound successes of a wide variety of national brands (think Skechers, IHOP and Grand Seiko), with his biggest claim to fame implementing highly successful SEO strategies for US giant restaurant chain Applebee’s – during the global pandemic!

He currently consults with several Fortune 500 brands in retail, consumer electronics, and multi-location services. Steve is dedicated to developing creative strategies that garner organic links in addition to strategising website migrations, upgrades and social media initiatives.

Join The Discussion With Steve Wiideman On Creative SEO Strategies.

The conversation covers:

  • How Steve fell into SEO (2:03)
  • Notable clients Steve has worked with (6:30)
  • Reverse engineering algorithms (10:05)
  • The importance of natural curiosity in SEO (11:50)
  • Taking over the Applebee’s account (14:40)
  • The biggest challenges with Applebee’s (16:30)
  • Process for Applebee’s in identifying metrics (20:12)
  • Internal and external resources to assist with Applebee’s account (25:00)
  • The importance of urgency and expectation of results (28:30)
  • Forecasting (31:02)
  • Reminder: there’s no room for ego (33:02)
  • Quick wins: the first 90 days of working with Applebee’s (36:00)
  • The best and strongest arsenal for a long-term SEO strategy (that’s often neglected) (40:25)
  • The wins and growth achieved with Applebee’s (44:20)
  • Link baiting (52:04)


Which previous Google algorithm change still keeps you up at night?

I hate to say it… but I really think that Penguin update from 2012 makes it too easy for competitors to try to get us penalised for things we didn’t do.

Gun to your head… which do you prefer, content or links?

Chicken and the egg: you can’t get links without content. I would do content for sure, and make sure it’s linkable, findable, and searchable.

What’s the most effective link-building technique you have used?

Depends on the brand. WIth the larger organisations, it’s reclaiming the broken links. 

Is the skyscraper technique still relevant today?

I don’t know. I think you want to stand out, and differentiate.

What do you love most about SEO?

The friendships; the community in SEO.

How do you apply SEO principles to your daily life?

I think it’s not looking at circumstances as “there’s only one solution.” You don’t need to compromise. You can do what’s best for the other person, and it will turn around and benefit you.

WFH life or Office life or Hybrid life?

I’m office. 

SEMrush or Ahrefs?

It would be SEMrush, but I’ve heard good things about Ahrefs.

Agency or In-house or Combo?

We’ve been really trying to push our clients in-house.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of our podcast! Please tune in for more SEO success stories by hitting “subscribe.”


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