I wanted to find out more about the Performance Marketing Insights event taking place in Amsterdam, July 4th – July 5th. I interviewed Product Marketing Manager Malte Landwehr who will be presenting “Search for 2016 – Understanding and Mastering SEO on all devices”.
1) How long have you worked in SEO and what has been the biggest change?
I got involved with SEO out of curiosity when I was about 16. In the past 13 years it has grown from a hobby into a career.
The biggest change in the SEO industry began around 2014 and is still in the process of transforming the landscape. I’m talking about the demise of keywords and backlinks and the rise of user experience and topics. Why and how that is happening will be an important part of my presentation.
2) In your session, you will talk about Understanding and Mastering SEO. Do you have any examples of clients you worked on who used to focus on keywords and backlinks but now have moved towards content and have seen a positive result?
I cannot divulge any client-specific information. But thanks to my job as a Product Marketing Manager at Searchmetrics, I get insights into a lot of companies. Online marketers at leading brands all around the globe regularly share their challenges with me. So I guess I’m in a position to say that I have seen many companies have tremendous success by focusing on creating and minting high quality content and delivering a great user experience.
One thing I can share, comes from our case study with iPrice. iPrice uses our Content Optimization punctuality a lot and saw a 53% increase in search traffic in Indonesia over just 3 months for their main topics. In Thailand the same tactic led to 39% growth.
3) How would you convince a company to move away from keywords and backlinks if that has worked for them in the past and they were not penalised?
That is a challenge we actually have to deal with quite regularly. The approach various from country to country. In the US most companies already have understood the necessarily of focusing on content instead of keywords and backlinks. And if you encounter one where this is not the case, it is normally enough to show them how they are being outperformed by competitors that focus on content.
In most other countries this is actually a bigger issue. Here my approach is to show how the market in the US has developed over the last couple of years and how the same thing will happen in other countries.
4) How important is Mobile as part of an SEO Strategy? If a company has limited budget for example, should they still spend money on making a mobile friendly site?
This varies from website to website. If you are a B2B company in Germany, there is actually a good chance 90% of people searching for what you offer are on a desktop computer. In this case, mobile is obviously less important than desktop. But I also work with companies that have 60-70% of traffic on their mobile website, plus a bunch of additional users on their mobile apps. For them, the question is actually “do I have to make my website desktop friendly?”
With the rise of smart TVs, computers that are part tablet and part laptop, smart fridges, etc. it just makes no sense to create a website that does only work on a desktop computer. There are very good technical solutions for making websites responsive. Just do it!
5) What do you think are the top 3 elements a site should have in place when implementing their SEO Strategy? (outside of mobile)
Coincidentally, for me SEO comes down to 3 things.
First you need what I call “technical hygiene”. Your website must be accessible to search engine crawlers, have an internal link structure that makes sense, and not hide any content behind flash or other crawler-unfriendly technologies.
The second thing is great content. If your average user has certain questions, make sure you answer them. If you write about a topic that requires a comparison, create an actual comparison (for example a table). Content is not just text. It is lists, videos, tables, calculators, and images as well. Everything the user can see, hear, and consume is content. And if you put content on the internet, better make sure it is at least as good as the content that you can currently find on Google. Else is not even worth publishing it for SEO purposes.
The third pillar of SEO is the user experience. This includes website speed, design, accessibility, and a match between your content and the user’s experience. If you want to explain me, how to tie a tie, please create a video. If you want to show me the lyrics to a song, please have (at least) text. If you have great content but is does not align with the user’s needs, the experience is bad
6) How would you respond to a client when they ask for an ROI on SEO on a small budget? For example, have you worked with clients where they had a small budget for SEO originally and then this grew due to SEO training and education?
I think if you look at the amount of money you would have to spent with Google AdWords to attract the kind of users you can get via SEO, there should be no further discussion if it makes sense to invest in SEO.
For example, take a look at this:
The “auto loan calculator” page on bankrate.com ranks for more than 4,000 different keywords on Google.com and attracts about a quarter million visitors per month from organic search. This one page is responsible for 10% of the organic search traffic for the whole domain! If you bought the same visitors from Google AdWords, you would have to pay more than 500,000 Euros per month. This page is not just an example for proving the ROI of SEO, but also for the points I made above. The main content is the comparison calculator. Underneath it, you find easy to understand definitions of the relevant terms.
You can see Malte presenting atPerformance Marketing Insights in Amsterdam, July 4th and 5th ! There are a few tickets left so get yours before they sell out.