Today we are interviewing Rob Marsden, who is a Senior SEO Account Manager at Search Laboratory. Rob oversees all SEO activities and works closely with the On-Page page team to deliver great results for the company’s clients. Rob has worked for Search Laboratory since October 2011.
What do you enjoy most about SEO?
The fact that every site, every campaign and every client is unique. Each requires a different strategy tailored to their industry, their resources and their goals. There is no better feeling than devising a strategy, implementing it, watching the results and getting great feedback from the client. The thing that drew me to SEO was that the difference between a poorly optimised and a well optimised site could be the difference between a business success or failure.
What is the biggest SEO trend or update that companies should know about?
Natural, natural, natural – Google is pushing webmasters towards creating high quality content, engaging with users and attracting natural links. Rightly so in my eyes, it means that the companies willing to invest time in improving the quality of their sites and ultimately user experience will be rewarded. As far as algorithmic updates go the industry is eagerly awaiting the next Penguin rollout which Matt Cutts from Google has said is going to be big.
What are the so called ‘Quick Wins’ that companies often miss out?
The first one would relate to sites that are producing a good amount of content but there is a lack of keyword targeting. With subtle changes to their workflow, traffic levels could be greatly improved by assigning keywords to their articles and by following a small number of on-page best practices they could actively optimise for those terms. The other one would be them not making using their existing contacts and partners to obtain links. Businesses large and small have trading partners, many are part of industry bodies, some work with charities and some even have press contacts. All these relationships should be leveraged to open up linking opportunities.
Could you tell us a great tip for companies looking to go International?
Think long term – how many countries are you likely to enter? Will there be an organic search marketing budget for each individual country or is there likely to be just one pot? This will determine how the website is structured to serve country/language specific content. If a larger amount of countries are being considered and a budget will be allocated to each country then ccTLDs would probably be the best option. If only a small amount of countries are being considered and there is just one pot then creating country specific sub-directories would probably make most sense.
Finally, what would be your ideal algorithm update?
I like any sort of algorithm that combats spam. I don’t want to land on low quality websites from SERPs so I’m in favour of updates like Panda and Penguin, as they force webmasters into improving the quality and user experience of their website which will ultimately improve the quality of the web for us all.