The day Shane laid his hands on a CGI screen, he knew the digital industry was where he was heading. His earliest career moves involved repairing the first DOS computers and building websites while nurturing his love of hands-on learning in all aspects of digital. With qualifications in business management, web development, SEO and web analytics, Shane is also passionate about the team-building and personal skills development aspects of digital. We caught up with him to get his perspective on how to approach SEO creatively.
Q1 – MANY DIGITAL MARKETERS THINK OF SEO AS A TECHNICAL DISCIPLINE. BUT HOW IMPORTANT IS CREATIVITY TO PRODUCING REMARKABLE RESULTS IN THIS FIELD?
The field of search engine optimisation is not what it used to be. In fact it has become far more integrated with other aspects of digital marketing. Five years ago you would have been required to have a solid web development coding language in your skill set to rank well in search engines, but this has changed. I’m not saying you don’t require any coding knowledge now, but it’s not like back in the day where it was all about driving traffic to your website and hoping consumers would bite – playing the good old numbers game.
SEO’s have more control now – they can facilitate the user’s journey from viewing their listing in SERP, all the way to transacting or enquiring on their website. The user experience, compelling content, enquiry forms, checkout processes – these are key elements of good search engine optimisation and without these key elements, driving all that traffic is actually worthless. Getting others to acknowledge you – that’s a skill that is not technical at all. In fact creative thinking is needed to negotiate the acquisition of good backlinks or removing toxic backlinks which could potentially be painful to your online presence. Understanding neurolinguistics programming, user intent or paving the path of a user journey is very much part of being a creative SEO specialist.
Q2 – PANDA, PENGUIN, HUMMINGBIRD – HOW DO SEO’S MANAGE TO STAY AHEAD OF THEIR GAMES WITH ALL THESE ALGORITHM CHANGES?
The industry is constantly evolving – even faster than five years ago. Researching, studying, watching videos and experimenting is all part of keeping abreast of these evolutionary developments.
Q3 – WHICH METRICS DO YOU REFER TO WHEN MEASURING THE ROI OF AN SEO CAMPAIGN?
Whether you are asked for an ROI from a client or not, make sure they receive it from you. Clients have misconceptions about SEO ROI such as organic traffic, rankings or backlinks. I believe SEO ROI should be calculated in 2 steps:
1. Expected ROI: This would come into play when pitching to a new client and would be calculated as follows: Expected ROI = (Anticipated Revenue from SEO efforts – Proposed Cost of the SEO Project) / Proposed Cost of the SEO project
2. Actual ROI: This comes into play once the SEO campaign is being run: Actual ROI = (Total E-Commerce Revenue through SEO + Total Goal Value through SEO) – cost of running the SEO campaign/ cost of running the SEO campaign.
Head of SEO