Digital marketing is, as always, changing and evolving with the way that Google adjusts their own algorithm. Because of those changing ways, SEO—or search engine optimization—is also in a loop of twists and turns, and learning all there is to know about SEO can be overwhelming for someone who’s just beginning to dip their toes into that side of marketing. How can we make it easier to understand the basics while also contemplating what will change in the future, and working around the new ways that Google is handling search results?
That’s where Deepak Shukla comes in. An SEO expert and founder of Pearl Lemon, Deepak gives us all of his amazing tips and tricks on how to get started with SEO, where the future of SEO is headed, and what pitfalls to avoid when beginning your journey with ranking. He also tells us about the future of searching, telling us his best ways to prepare your business—and website—for mobile devices. Let’s get started!
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- How Deepak got his business, Pearl Lemon, started! They started as a full-service marketing agency and slowly begun to remove services in order to focus solely on SEO. It’s always been their background, and Deepak assures us that it’s better to specialize, so they made SEO their main focus! By that, it means that they don’t really offer help with things like Facebook ads, or LinkedIn—they focus and will provide help with SEO.
- Deepak then tells us the fundamentals of ranking competitively and growing an audience. It starts with having excellent content! The issue people seem to have, however, is knowing the best ways to spread that content, and Deepak assures us that SEO is the best route that people should choose to go. Deepak also explains that his company doesn’t write content for people most of the time—if people truly can’t write their own content or find a provider to do it for you, then they’ll write a few pieces and build an outreach campaign around it.
- In terms of writing shorter blog posts every week, or biweekly (or even once a month) blog posts that are longer and immersive, Deepak advises people to do what people think they’ll be more consistent with. If you can write good, quality content that’s shorter in length, but can be posted every week, it’s preferable over a longer form of content that isn’t as good, and won’t get posted on time. Work to your strengths!
- Deepak also gives us some advice that 90% of businesses don’t even think about. When writing content, first look up your competitors. Then, make a spreadsheet, and look through the first 3 pages for their branded keyword terms. By doing this, you’re getting an edge up on what your competition is writing about. Additionally, make sure you have some level of syndication set up, so the content you write is being shared with relevant platforms. This leads to your blog getting indexed faster!
- How important are social signals? Deepak explains that they’re definitely part of the puzzle, and the more competitive of a space you’re in, the more important every factor becomes. Locally, it’s not as much of a big deal, but as the curve of ability or competition goes up, the importance of social elements goes up as well.
- Deepak discusses the recent shift of people searching for something on Google, and Google displaying a rich content piece instead of providing just a list of websites, which affects the clickthrough rate. In terms of the future of SEO, Deepak assures is that this method is still considered SEO. The content that’s displayed is chosen by Google’s decision to serve the best content to the users. We simply need to adapt in light of that—SEO is still what you know it as.
- Deepak also assures us that this hasn’t diminished the value of SEO, as Google will typically display the top level keyword search. There are innumerable variations around a key search term, and that doesn’t mean that someone’s journey is going to stop at just reading the rich content that Google displays. It just lengthens the journey instead, and the process of the search is going to change.
- Deepak talks to us about “mobile first,” explaining that Google now recognizes that people use their phones to search more frequently than desktops. The better ready your website is for a mobile search journey and mobile phones, the more preference that Google will give to you. So long as your mobile site is as good as (or better than) your desktop site, your rankings will remain high.
- Deepak also talks to us about accelerated mobile pages, explaining that it’s a page specifically developed for a mobile experience. You can make specific web pages load very quickly (sometimes instantly)—new sites do this really well, Deepak explains, and Google gives preference to pages with acceleration and very quick loading times as well.
- Deepak explains to us the main traps that people can encounter with SEO, explaining that the more open your house is, the better. This means that you should consider having technology that most people are familiar with and get can access to. Even if you don’t realize it right away, a person considering SEO is a person who wants to play with code, so an open framework is the best to tinker with.
- Lastly, Deepak gives us a few tips on how to get connected with real people on LinkedIn! Your LinkedIn profile is like a conversion channel, and if your profile was like your eCommerce shop, you need to make it as attractive as possible to your prospective buyer. These 6 things will help: 1) a customized cover image, 2) a picture of yourself, smiling, like you’re someone worth connecting with, 3) having a handful of endorsements across a multitude of areas that are relevant to your target demographic, 4) having at least 15 recommendations, 5) having a call to action in your headline, and 6) making your profile as interesting as possible, not just to your targeted audience, but to everyone!
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Did Deepak not get to answer a burning question on your mind? No problem! You can get in contact with him at any of the social media listed above. SEO is a game changer, and keeping on top of what works best can be time-consuming when you’re worried about running a business. Luckily, Deepak gives us the best ways to stay relevant to our content, and with Google!