SEO is still seen by many business owners as this shady online marketing strategy primarily used to trick search engines and Google, above all. That was true ten years ago, but since Google came out with some major algorithm updates, believe me – things have changed A LOT!
Curious to ask another SEO expert what his approach behind some sensitive topics such as link building is, I’ve reached out to a Pro seller. Here’s the result of our conversation.
Welcome and thank you very much for accepting this interview. For those who don’t know you, can you give us a little background about yourself and what you offer on Fiverr?
Sure, my name is Tharindu Gunawardana, and I am a digital marketing specialist based in Melbourne, Australia. I offer services to business who wants their brand to be visible in Google Search by offering Search Engine Optimization and Google AdWords services.
The purpose of SEO is to rank a website as high on search engine results pages as possible. That made clear, when should one start thinking about SEO for a new website and why?
That’s a good question. Lots of people think that they only need to think about SEO once they have built the website. Nearly 90% of the people approach me once they have completed the site or after many years of being in business.
The thinking process for SEO needs to be started in early stages as much as possible. Most of the time keyword research will be your first step. Based on that your web design needs to understand the potential customers’ intent when they are searching on Google and needs to address those within your website design, structure, layout and content. SEO is a long-term strategy, and if planned well in the early stages it can save you time and money in the long run.
Obviously the first benefit to ranking high on SERPs is to drive more (free) targeted traffic. Are there other reasons why a business owner should invest in SEO?
SEO is a long-term strategy. It takes time depending on the competition of the industry. In the short run Google AdWords can bring you traffic to the site at a cost. However, if you optimise for SEO you will get traffic to the site free of charge, and the most important thing is that you are not paying for each click or visit. Furthermore, based on my experience, in the long run, most of the website’s main channel of driving traffic will be organic traffic. Organic traffic averagely contributes to more than 50% of businesses’ traffic. The users coming to the site via organic traffic tend to be more engaging on your site than visitors from other channels. Typically, we see the bounce rate is low, average time spent on the site is high, and the number of pages they browse are higher than visitors coming to the site via other channels.
As SEO is keyword driven, how can somebody understand the exact keywords that convert visitors into paying customers?
Another good question. Now, I would say SEO is more topic driven than individual keywords. In a world where people search for the same intent in thousands of different ways, we can’t just think a single keyword anymore. As such, you must understand the user intent of each keyword.
Moreover, you need to understand the typical life cycle of your customer. The most common stages are “Information Search”, “Comparison” and “Decision Making”. For each stage, the type of keywords you are targeting can be different. If you want more sales targeted keywords you can select keywords related to “decision-making stage”. Most of the time high search volume keywords can be related to the “information search” stage. So, going for high volume will not always be the right approach. Generally, I advise having a mix of keywords on each stage, so you have a good balance of visitors to your site.
Links are still a very important ranking factor, however it’s well known how much search engines and especially Google hate (black-hat) link building as much as webmasters who abuse the system. What are few different white-hat strategies you could nowadays recommend to get high-quality backlinks for your website?
Yes, links are still very important. My top recommendations to get white-hat backlinks are as below.
- Media outreach
- Blogger outreach
- Local directory submissions
- Creating really valuable content
News and media are the most authoritative backlinks you can get. Normally this is hard work for small business owners, but for big business, this is a must.
You can use tools like buzzsumo.com or find your local blogger directory and reach out to bloggers in your industry. Ask them to review your product or publish an article.
Local directory submissions still help to especially boost your ranks within your service area. However, you need to make sure you submit to the most authoritative local directories only.
The type of content that can get shared by people. If you really want people to share your content make sure you give it your all. Don’t just produce content to optimise for SEO; instead, think of your potential customers and try to solve their problem. The effort you put into really great content will definitely pay off one day.
I’ve been really impressed by Tharindu’s level of professionalism and knowledge and I now fully understand why he has been chosen to be a Pro seller on Fiverr. That said, I hope you all have a better understanding of what SEO is and how important it is for your business to integrate it well before you actually build and design your website.
Is there anything else you would like to know? Any specific question you would like to ask? Don’t hesitate to leave your questions or comments here below.