Hi there, I am Chantal

Chantal Smink

I am an author, podcaster, speaker and trainer in SEO. I work as a freelance SEO & organic marketing strategist. I started in SEO in 2010 at one of the largest travel companies in the Netherlands. Since then I worked on both agency and client side. 

In 2022 I published my first book (Dutch only) about creating better content to rank in search engines, not content created around keywords but for your ideal customer. This was way before Google released the Helpful Content Update. 

I then called my approach Horizontal SEO: not ranking as high as possible but as widely as possible. A few months later Google introduced the concepts of People First Content and Helpful Content.

SEO e-magazines voor vacatures en ecommerce
Regularly I create e-magazines for companies in a specific vertical (NL only)
Learn everything from me in my online SEO course (NL only)
Column in tijdschrift Marketing Tribune
Every now and then I write a guest column for Marketing Tribune
SEO Podcast
Stay up to date during my 10-15 minutes podcast episodes on Spotify (NL only)


Guest in podcasts:

My vision on SEO

I don’t think SEO is a checklist. You won’t get there with some simple optimizations and keywords are not a good basis in my opinion.

Since 2010 I have seen the SEO world change dramatically and, above all, become busier: everyone now wants something with SEO. If you also want to do something with it, you will have to do things better and differently because you know: Google’s bar is really high by now.

Horizontal SEO

A possible option is to search for more visibility in SEO through Horizontal SEO. This approach is especially interesting for small players, the idea is that you look for niches and gaps in the market that are not interesting for the big players. Your ideal customer is the starting point and not keywords that you find in keyword research. It’s not about longtail or your products but about your customer’s questions, pain points, fears, frustrations, concerns, goals, interests, etc.

Building authority through Organic Marketing

In addition, it is necessary to get started with organic marketing and do branding: put your company, your knowledge and your experience in the spotlight, earn online attention and build a reputation: thought leadership. In times where everyone can create content with the help of AI it will depend on who the source is whether the content will have reach, both in search engines as other platforms. Thought leaders will manage to cut through the noise and get there message out there.


Succes case:

Jong & Laan grows faster than Deloitte, PWC & EY on non-branded terms

“De Jong & Laan are depending less on their brand name because the are largely visible on non-branded search terms”.

Research after accounting companies and SEO
(independent research published on Searchsignals.nl)

Succes case:

Hypotheekshop most effective SEO strategy in financial sector

“Relatively taken the Hypotheekshop.nl turns out the be the company with the most effective SEO strategy”.

Research after winners and losers in finance
(independent research published on Adformatie.nl)


Linda Poucochinho
"A relief to experience that SEO can also work in this way"
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No one can tell you better about your products than yourself, you shouldn't want that at all outsource.” In the 10+ years that I've been active online, that was the first time an expert didn't try to take work off my hands, but instead told me to keep it to myself.
Em Burfitt
"Chantal flips the script on SEO"
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I’ve been a copywriter for 5 years now. I lived through the “keyword stuffing” days where incorrect grammar was valued higher than good copy if it got the clicks. Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan. Chantal’s approach to SEO is something I’ve always wanted to work with and never knew possible until her. She’s a great teacher and doesn’t overcomplicate things so people like me can understand more about how SEO actually works.

Mentioned by SEO BENELUX:

Must listen SEO Podcast

Mijn SEO podcast wordt getipt door SEO Benelux

Must read SEO boek

Het boek 'Handboek SEO & Contentstrategie' wordt getipt door

One of the SEO's of 2022

Chantal Smink een van de SEO's van het jaar 2022 door SEO Benelux

Image gallery

Mini resume

Freelance SEO-strateeg
Freelance SEO-strateeg2021- current
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In 2021 I started for myself as a Freelance SEO and content strategist. You can contact me for advice, coaching, training and support when it comes to SEO.
YourSurprisem Global SEO Strategist
YourSurprisem Global SEO Strategist2020-2021
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At YourSurprise I was responsible for all SEO activities of 26 websites for 23 countries. Prioritizing and scaling are critical to success.
Maxlead Online Marketing
Maxlead Online Marketing2012-2019
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I worked for over 7.5 years at Maxlead as an SEO consultant, Sr. SEO consultant and later Head of Content Marketing. I have worked for great names such as KWF, Rijksoverheid, BPD, ABN AMRO, Sparta, Wolters Kluwer, Centric and Manpower.
Spreker, Auteur, Podcaster
Spreker, Auteur, PodcasterDiverse platformen
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I really enjoy talking about SEO, which is why I like to speak at events or in other people's podcasts. In addition, I have my own podcast series on Spotify, wrote a book and am active on instagram.