We’re learning everything from what it takes to make it in the competitive automotive SEO world to what it would be like to sit down with Nikola Tesla in this Who We Are interview with Director of SEO, Tony Soares!
What team are you on? And what is your role at DealerOn?
I am the Director of SEO for DealerOn. I oversee the growth and the execution of our current SEO plans for our clients.
How does your team & role contribute to the success of DealerOn?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. We help our clients’ websites rank better in online searches, which in turn gives our clients more traffic, more business, more sales, and so on.
What do you feel separates DealerOn from other players in the space?
I think what makes us different is an attention to detail on our products and a lower ratio of automation to human effort. We use automation where it makes sense. In areas such as writing content or making adjustments to usability, a human touch makes all the difference. I think we handle that better than everybody else. Other vendors really lean on automation to get more accounts per person. DealerOn values the human touch, and we want people handling accounts personally.
I’m a big believer that your exec team makes or breaks your company. We’re lucky to have an Executive Team like DealerOn’s, they make decisions from a viability of the company perspective. And that’s vital to being better than everybody else. I can’t thank them enough. They make life a lot easier.
What do you feel is different about working at DealerOn?
It’s going to sound corny, but I really enjoy the people that we have in my department and the camaraderie that we have. Whether things are going smoothly, or things are going crazy, it’s always being done together and we’re all on the same page.
If you could go back to your first day at DealerOn and tell yourself anything, what would it be?
I would tell myself that leadership isn’t as scary as I thought… So I would tell myself to kind of be a little bit warmer with them from the get go.
What is a fun fact about you that people don’t know?
I was born and raised in Brazil. A lot of people assume that I have some sort of Latin heritage because of how I look. But because of how I speak English, most people assume that I was born here, even though I grew up in Brazil. Some other fun facts about me, I played water polo in high school and college and I make my own kombucha.
What makes (DealerOn) different is an attention to detail on our products and a lower ratio of automation to human effort.
What motivates you?
I’ve always liked the idea of helping businesses be found when it makes sense to be found, which is how I got into SEO. I like the organic side (of SEO), because you’re not paying to be in a specific spot, you have to earn it. I’ve always been a fan of helping small businesses grow and succeed.
I’ve been doing it for 12 years, so I’ve seen the fruits of my labors. I’ve seen businesses that I’ve helped grow past what they would have been otherwise. That’s the big motivator. All of these different clients throughout the years are better off because we did this (SEO) work… There’s clients that I haven’t worked with for a year and a half, and some of the pages I built still generate traffic. I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of it, trying to beat the algorithm at its own game.
What are you passionate about?
My biggest passion in life is family. I don’t know if it’s intrinsically from myself, or because I’m Brazilian and so that’s built into my culture. Family for us is everything. I talk to my parents every single day. I talk to my family in Brazil at least once a week. They’re a part of my life, even remotely. That’s why we moved to Texas. My parents live in Houston, so we’re closer. I was living in Panama before DealerOn, and before that Nicaragua so it’s nice to be home in Texas. There’s nowhere else like it.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I’m a nerd. SEO really is a passion of mine. Outside of that, I’m passionate about technology in general. I’m really big into gaming, I used to be a professional gamer. Most people know I played professionally when I was in college but I still game today. It’s something I thought I’d grow out of over time but if anything, I’ve actually grown more into it as new technologies and better games come out.
If you could have coffee with anyone from the past, who would it be?
Probably Nikola Tesla. Either him or Ford. They were instrumental to everything we do today. Tesla with electricity and Ford with the assembly line and manufacturing. It would be so interesting to pick their brains on how they thought of all this stuff. Things that seem like no brainers now, but back then were strange ideas and fought against tooth and nail. When Ford added the five day workweek people were like, “This is insane. Two days where you’re not working.” And now I can’t imagine a world without it.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I’ve had this debate with myself a million times. I guess time travel. I would time travel and then visit Tesla and and Ford.