Rand Fishkin is on a mission. He’s an SEO expert that believes sponsored stories and tweets, as well as Google Ads, are a waste of money, and he wants us to know why.
Rand began dabbling in the World Wide Web 20 years ago and since then he’s built up a successful career as a search marketer; recently revealing his secrets to snagging customers without an enormous outlay. Those in media jobs should sit up and take notice.
Buying Ads Does Not a Marketer Make
Fishkin, who’s a graduate of the University of Washington and previously worked for Outlines NorthWest, firmly believes that spending pots of cash on ads does not make you a marketer. A fact he says, is borne out by the figures.
“Only 10 percent of clicks on Google go to ads, while 90 percent are on organic results. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is much cheaper. The average cost of customer acquisition through online advertising is $500,” according to Fishkin. “But the same customer can be found through great web content for just $100.”
Great content, he says, is the key to successful online marketing.
“Great content makes companies and products more visible in search, gives them great reach in social media channels, and even improves email marketing and PR or news efforts,” says Fishkin.
He even goes as far as to say that optimization is the worst possible way to think about SEO. He feels that it should form an important part of the overall marketing mix; a part that requires diligence and consistent monitoring, as well as robust measurement, to see what’s working and what isn’t. Rand certainly sees the future of SEO as less Silo-shaped and more integrated.
“User experience, search, social, content, links, and branding are all connected,” he said. “The engines are constantly working to make their algorithms reward those who build genuine interest and value across these channels and devalue those who exploit any individual signal.”
His tips for search marketing success?
- Develop a content strategy. A blog just won’t cut it
- Be prepared to fail once or twice
- Get creative – blog posts, articles and infographics are great, but is there something more you could be doing?
- All content should be on one domain, under one brand
- Use del-author and post to Google+. This handy tool put an image by your posts and attracts clicks
- Combine keywords with ‘tweetable’ titles
- Identify key influencers using online tools
- Don’t ignore advertising – retargeting works as social media ads get more effecting the bigger your inbound brand gets
Why Should We Listen?
Although he’s been active on the web since 1993, Fishkin started to develop a serious interest in SEO in 2002, when he began stalking the first exponents of search marketing; posting questions and joining in discussions on online forums. By 2004, he was posting reports, data and tools on a site that eventually became SEOmoz, the site he now runs, which has become one of biggest, most popular – and most visible – search marketing companies in the world.
Fishkin is also a best-selling author, having written ‘Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization’ and co-written ‘the Art of SEO’. He’s a sought-after public speaker having delivered presentations to the United Nations, YCombinator, Stanford University and Hackers & Founders.