“What do you think is the biggest SEO myth ?”
A lot of myths fly around about SEO, like keywords don’t matter and keywords in anchor text don’t matter and guest blogging is dead, but I think the biggest myth is people questioning the importance of meta tags.
“SEO is not about building links, it’s about building relationships to build these links.”
What Search Engine Optimization involves is more than coding a webpage. The best SEO experts also have a comprehensive understanding of technical SEO, on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
In addition to three-dimensional SEO expertise, the best SEO professionals are the ones who have a thorough understanding of digital marketing and branding as a whole and how it relates to the end user.
Our interview today is with an expert SEO Specialist – Meet Ryan Clutter.
An employee of 1SEO.com Digital Agency, Ryan also contributes industry related articles to multiple platforms, including Search Engine Journal. In 2015, he was shortlisted by the US Search Awards for Young Search Professional of the Year.
As an experienced digital marketer, he brings a creative and comprehensive approach to content and copywriting. Through competitor analysis, keyword research, on-page SEO strategies, and constant updates and tweaks, he hones in on a full-scale digital approach, helping make sure your business sees success online.
Sharing some of his SEO tips, it’s truly an honor to host Ryan Clutter in our Agency expert interview series:
1. We would like to know a bit about your career background, and how you became SEO Specialist?
I studied journalism in college at Monmouth University in New Jersey. I was ready to become a sports reporter, but then I got an opportunity three years ago as a content writer at a digital agency. I quickly realized that digital marketing was an evolving, growing, and forever changing field. I started to learn more and more about the industry, guest posting on various sites, and fine tuning my craft to become immersed in digital marketing day in and day out. Three years later, I work as an SEO specialist at that same digital agency where I assist with on-page optimization, content marketing, email marketing, and more. Every day is a challenge, but every day is a chance to learn something new.
2. What do you believe to be the most important task you do on a daily basis? Why?
Every day the focus is different. Tracking analytics is vital to the overall approach, and that is done on a daily basis. I look at the traffic coming in, data from blogs and email marketing campaigns, learning what is working and what needs to be adjusted for the best results. It’s tedious, but must be done to know that the work being completed is actually benefitting the company. At 1SEO.com Digital Agency, we have to know whether our content, emails, and videos are performing and resonating with our audience. If it’s not, we have to adjust. Tracking the metrics and diving into the analytics of the website is the most important task on a day to day basis.
3. What resources or influencers do you follow for staying ahead in the world of SEO?
There are a lot of people that share their knowledge and their followers of new trends in search marketing. I follow and stay up to date with the latest blogs and news on Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, Moz, and many others. I follow many industry experts on Twitter and see what they have to say, including Gary Illyes, Mike King, Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuk, Rand Fishkin, and the industry resources I’ve just mentioned. You can’t read enough if you want to stay up to date in the SEO world.
4. What do you think is your greatest career accomplishment?
As a professional in my mid-twenties, it’s been a short career so far, but I’ve been fortunate enough to establish a network in the industry. While I take pride in guest posting for industry websites like Search Engine Journal, my greatest accomplishment has been being recognized at the US Search Awards as a nominee for Young Search Professional in 2015. While I didn’t win the award, I was on the shortlist and it made me realize my potential in the industry and work harder to become an industry influencer in the years ahead.
5. How do you think Search Engine Optimization will evolve in the coming years?
SEO is always going to evolve. There will be new trends and marketing initiatives for SEOs and marketers to learn. Right off the bat, I’d say that the next wave of search is going to deal with voice. We’re beginning to talk to virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google. We’re going to have to learn and understand how to optimize for voice search which are generally longer-tailed queries that require specific answers. You’ll see more AMP pages, a focus on mobile, and more opportunities within paid search. The search results will continue to be refined, and optimizing for voice search as well as creating AMP pages will help ensure you’re ready to tackle the upcoming changes to SERPs.
6. What’s your favorite method to build links to your site?
Link building in a traditional sense isn’t as valuable as it once was. There are a lot of factors at play, and just as content needs to be high quality, links to your site have to be authoritative. Since Penguin, you can’t risk building a low-quality link, because then your search presence will take a hit. If you create high-quality content that provides value and is well-written, you’ll begin to see reads and visitors, while shares pour in and other resources link back to it. Another method that gains quality links from authoritative domains is sponsored posts on authoritative blogs relevant to your industry.
7. Share with us your biggest SEO achievement and how you did it. For what competitive keywords have you ranked high and what techniques you used?
By assisting small businesses and non-profits in growing their online presence and increasing their reach, the biggest achievement by far has been helping a non-profit increase donations exponentially by growing their traffic and exposure. Utilizing and optimizing for competitive keywords on the site, we’ve been able to achieve their highest total in online donations this year. Being able to help a small non-profit children’s charity is something special, and directly impacting their exposure online is a huge achievement.
8. What do you think is the biggest SEO myth ?
A lot of myths fly around about SEO, like keywords don’t matter and keywords in anchor text don’t matter and guest blogging is dead, but I think the biggest myth is people questioning the importance of meta tags. In organic results, the title tag and meta description is likely the first interaction a potential customer has with your company. When you don’t specify a meta description, Google pulls content from the page and it could look haphazard in search results, letting your customer move onto a different result before clicking.
While it’s true that there might not be any ranking boost directly from the metas, you’re still telling search engines and users what your page is about. When used creatively and written to attract users, you’ll increase your CTR and that will help boost your rankings. Meta tags still hold value and importance in today’s evolving SEO.
9. What SEO techniques do you believe are working best right now?
The two most important factors to any SEO campaign are links and content. Content that is well-written, authoritative, and relevant to the topic of the page will entice clicks, generate traffic and improve rankings. The content that is written will be shared and help your site earn links that strengthen your domain. With a high number of links—that aren’t spammy—pointing back to your URL, the relevant search terms on that page will improve in ranking. Focusing on creating content that resonates and appeals to your audience will lead to links, which leads to improved SEO. Content and links will always work best.
10. What is the best SEO tip you give for your clients and our audience ?
SEO is needed for any digital marketing campaign. As search engines advance and get smarter, so too do your site visitors. In order to attract the right audience, you need to have an SEO campaign in place. To succeed in SEO and digital marketing, take an integrated approach. All factors of digital play a role, and you must utilize the likes of pay-per-click advertising, social media, email marketing, and retargeting to complement your SEO strategy.
One tip would be not to silo your approach to just organic results, and fuel your complete digital presence by being active in all other aspects. Make sure you’re still providing valuable, relevant content that appeals to your audience and lets search engines understand what the page is about.
In this blog post we got to know some key traits of a SEO Specialist. Going forward there are many more specialists that we want to chat with. We will resume our discussion with another expert in our next blog post.
Until then, Happy Marketing!!