When it comes to SEO, you can never know it all. And if you think you do, it will take just one big update from Google or any other search engine to completely throw you off your game.
What do you do then?
Algorithms will keep changing for as long as the search engines are up and running. When there’s a big update, even the best minds in the world sit down and study the changes to revise their strategies and adapt.
One such great mind is Neil Patel, digital marketing expert, and Co-founder of Neil Patel Digital, a performance marketing agency that creates digital marketing plans for big and small companies worldwide.
In this interview, Neil Patel answers some uncommon questions related to SEO and gives useful tips for startups and entrepreneurs.
Find out what he has to say!
1. What are some of your earliest memories from the world of content marketing and SEO?
When I first started off, there was this site that would drive a lot of traffic. It was called Digg.
I would spend hours a day participating in the community and figuring out what content I could create that would hit the home page.
The moment you hit the home page you would get 20,000 to 30,000 visitors and hundreds of natural backlinks.
It was a fun ride… sadly most social sites don’t drive the same results as they used to.
2. For a startup that has just launched, what would be your recommendation for growing their organic traffic from 0?
Create a free amazing tool. If you want to do well with SEO, you need content and links.
I’ve found that creating an amazing free tool generates more links naturally over time, which makes your other pages (content page) rank higher over time.
3. What are the parameters to determine whether one’s SEO efforts are working?
Traffic and revenue. It really is that simple.
4. At which point should a startup invest in an SEO agency? Do you think hiring an SEO agency is a must for SEO success?
It really depends. There is no right answer.
It’s more about asking yourself if you have the budget, and if you think hiring an agency will help get you better or faster results
Each company has to figure out what’s right for them as some may be early stage, or venture-backed, or late-stage… and agencies come in all shapes and sizes.
5. What is that one SEO mistake to be avoided at any cost?
Not updating your old content. An easy way to get more traffic is to constantly update your old traffic.
6. What do you think of long-form content platforms such as Quora & Medium? How do they help with SEO?
They are a great source of branding and additional traffic. They don’t help much with SEO, but they have large communities.
So why not get your brand in front of their members?
7. What role does the domain name/domain extension play in SEO rankings?
Your domain name can potentially help with SEO if it contains keywords. But your goal shouldn’t be to pick a domain name for “SEO purposes”.
A domain name should be brandable and rememberable. That’s more important.
8. What are some of the trends in content marketing and SEO that you foresee in 2021?
eCommerce sites will start focusing more on voice search. According to Comscore, roughly 50% of searches in the US are now voice-based, and voice commerce is going to grow into a multi-billion-dollar industry according to OC&C.
Another trend will be the user experience. You will see that user experience will impact SEO as Google rolls out the page experience algorithm update.
We hope the SEO insights shared by Neil Patel were useful to you. For a detailed understanding of SEO for startups, you can check out this article.