SEO

Exclusive Interview With Neil Patel – Talks About What Matters Today

Neil Patel is Interviewed by Dynamic Search…

  Everyone thinks that the biggest challenges we’re facing are with big brands, because they want to be ranked high for very competitive keywords; however, this is a big mistake! My vast experience in online marketing includes full responsibility for the SEO strategy of huge brands like Babylon, Caesar’s Entertainment (WSOP) and more, and I can tell you that even though they promote very competitive keywords, they are also more favored by Google as a brand. Don’t forget that they have the money, the means and, of course, the connections to do almost anything they want and be featured on every magazine that counts. In light of all that, however, I wanted to give you, small business owners, some tips and insights directly from the Guru of Content Marketing – Neil Patel. Neil Patel is a serial entrepreneur. He’s currently the co-founder of two online companies that help websites measure and improve user experience, Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, and he blogs about his business at Quick Sprout. Neil is well known in the online marketing world and is considered to be a leader in the field of content-based marketing. Neil has helped large corporations like Amazon, AOL, General Motors, HP and Viacom increase revenues online. He has also been recognized as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 by Barack Obama, and as one of the top web influencers according to the Wallstreet Journal. Despite the fact he typically deals with huge clients and brands, I felt it would be beneficial to interview him since he also has a profound understanding of what small businesses need to do in order to rank well and increase visibility. Read the interview below.

The Interview:

Ben: Hummingbird is not just another update; it’s the biggest one since caffeine. In terms of web marketing, how are things going to be different and what do you think the implication of having a Q&A driven search engine would be?Neil: In my opinion, companies that invest in content marketing will start to see more traffic and better rankings. The goal of Hummingbird is to answer questions for the users as quickly as possible, and I think it’s good. It’s not about traffic, it’s about helping the user, and if you’re the one providing that data, then more power to you. Ben: It may sound like a cliché, but we support the saying “content is king.” However, local businesses mainly focus their efforts toward co-citations, directories, and reviews. What’s your advice for the small local business community with a small marketing budget? Neil: The thing with small marketing budgets is, I think, you can do almost everything you want. It’s not about budget; it’s more about how scrappy you are. Especially if you are a local business – you can use “get listed” to get yourself in all the local directories for example. You can tell all your customers to go out and post reviews for you and talk about how your company is so great. So it’s about being scrappy, the ones who tend to succeed in search results, in marketing, are the people who are more creative. Ben: The Zebra update is just around the corner, and e-commerce websites are in the cross hairs. How could these business owners prevent devaluation for having hundreds, if not thousands of thin-in-content product pages? Neil: You have to add more reviews from your customers. You also have to have more unique descriptions, because e-commerce websites have the tendency to repeat the same descriptions over and over again. Those are the main things I would look out for, for e-commerce. I would also not worry too much about these updates, you can’t control them – all you can do is provide the best user experience you can and hopefully, if you are doing a good job, you should do well overall in the long run. Ben: As one of the top bloggers in the web marketing industry, what are the three best tips you can give blog owners in order to help them grow their audience genuinely? Neil: There are quite a few tips, let’s get started with the first one:
  1. Make sure to participate in the social web: most people don’t realize that social media profiles is what drives a lot of blogroll readers, so focus on dig, Twitter, all those social sites. Interact, engage with the community, read responses to tweets, tweet other stuff, respond to questions, whatever it may be.
  2. Write detailed content: most bloggers tend not to write content that is very thorough, and if it’s not thorough, it won’t do as well.
  3. Focus on being consistent: without being consistent, you won’t do as well. I think that by being consistent, you will see your traffic going up. Consistency will lead to many people reading your blog on a regular basis.
Ben: The never-ending war on web spam is necessary and fortunate (for most of us). However, there are no wars without victims. What do you think Google’s next strategic move would be, and how should genuine guest bloggers prepare themselves? Neil: Guest bloggers can prepare themselves by going out there and just saying, “hey, I’m not going to throw too many links”. I don’t think that as a guest blogger you should be worried about search engine updates or anything like that; instead, you should be writing content on relevant blogs, blogs that have authority so they can help you improve your brand, and focus on adding links to your site when it is relevant for traffic, and not for ranking purposes. If you do all that, you should be fine. Don’t use rich anchor text, just do what is natural and I think that you will be fine from a search engine perspective. Ben: From your personal experience, what is the main mistake SEOs make when they approach a new client’s website? Neil: The big thing that they do, they start making changes without analyzing what is the lowest hanging fruit, and then going from there. Ben: If you were teaching a new marketer how to work in SEO, what resources and tools would you point him towards first? Neil:
  1. Semrush
  2. Moz
  3. Quicksprout tool set
Ben: What tips can you give to freelance SEOs/web marketing companies that want to make the jump into the industry, but have a tough time selling themselves with no past clients’ history? Neil: You can start to e-mail clients. I would e-mail potential clients through crunch base or LinkedIn that need help, and just give them free advice. Some of them will pay you for your services. Ben: Taking into consideration the changes in Google’s algorithm for the past two years, the cost of an SEO campaign has become too costly for most small businesses (quality content creation, art, strategy development, etc.) As a result, more and more small businesses are focusing their efforts on PPC. How does this influence the SEO industry (if at all)? Neil: Not necessarily, from what I have seen they are still focusing on SEO and not spending so much time or money, but yes, they are still trying to rank if they can. SEO is still competitive and it’s getting harder and harder due to Google’s algorithm. Even if less people spend money on SEO, the algorithm’s changes are making SEO harder. Ben: What advice can you give to SEOs/webmasters in the light of Google constantly reducing the share of SERP real estate that organic results occupy? How can they promote their content without outsourcing it to 3rd party sites that are featured prominently in SERPs (like G+ or FB)? Neil: I would tell SEOs – don’t worry about it, you can’t do anything so your best bet would be to focus on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even those social sites can change their algorithm and the way they work, so what you need to do is to focus on what channels are out there and what’s best. I hope you found this post useful. Please share your thoughts with us.

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