On this episode of the podcast I interview Geoff Atkinson about SEO basics and actionable tips. Geoff was previously the former VP of marketing and analytics at Overstock where he developed expertise in SEO.
He is presently the founder and CEO of Huckabuy a software company that offers technical solutions for SEO
How did you start working in the industry?
He started working on SEO in the email marketing team at overstock in 2006-2007. They grew it from 0 – 300 million and he learned a lot along the way about what it takes to get that kind of growth. He has been in the SEO space for about 13-14 years.
Can you tell us about Huckabee?
Huckabee automates the technical side of SEO. They have two products. One is the automation of structured data markup, they also take advantage of a new concept called dynamic rendering that allows you to create a version of your site just like you have a desktop version and a mobile version which is a search engine version.
What are some basics we need to pay attention to from the beginning?
Most SaaS founders spend time and money on their product but they often ignore their website. He recommends founders to think about the keywords they want to rank for. This helps them not only in relations to SEO but it allows them to learn a lot about their business.
He advises founders to start thinking about their website as an important piece of technology and think about the demand is out there for their products and how it fits into the market.
Any specific tool you recommend for SEO?
Google keyword planner is a great place to start because they give you the most accurate volume estimates and the best suggestions.
There are other tools such as Ahref and Moz which shows you how competitive the terms are from an SEO perspective.
Geoff elaborates on the importance of website architecture
Your website should have keyword friendly navigation. Your website should be optimized not only for users but also for search engines so that the crawlers can understand what you actually do.
Domain authority is an issue for new websites because Google doesn’t care about brand new websites. You need inbound links to establish domain authority, so links from other sites, PR, getting people talking about what you do, podcast and more.
You need to get the navigation optimized and start gathering inbound links.
What is Structured data?
Structured data is a great way to communicate what you do to Google in a technical fashion. Your content is important, you need to talk about your product in a way that the users can understand it easily. Page speed is also important to Google algorithm now.
We share some tips on the quickest way to start building inbound links
I share a quick way to build those links to your website. You can search for some roundup posts that talk about your competitors or anything that is within your industry or speak to the people that you are targeting and recommend that they include some information or recommend that you provide some information in return for them adding more information about your tool.
Jeff says that podcasting is a great way to make relationships and gain inbound links. Guest posting is another good avenue to get links. Pinterest is also a great place to get inbound links.
Is the platform you are using to build your website important?
WordPress is generally a great place to start. You have to make sure your page speed is good. If it is a technical CEO and they are comfortable building their website then that is the often the best route to being successful.
How can our websites be seen in other places apart from the organic search results, what about rich results?
Rich results are search results enhancements. Back in the days when you search for data you will get only blue links, those days are over. Now you get lots of data coming back at you when you search, if it’s a news related query you will see news articles populate the top. If it is weather query it will show you the weather directly.
To be eligible for rich results you need to use structured data. Good structured data, good content and good backlinks are really important in trying to qualify and capture rich results features.
To have an idea of what is happening take you top five keywords, search for them and find out what kind of enhancements are available.
What is the importance of having technical things in place so that Google can see your website as an authoritative website?
SEO usually kicks in as a real driver later in the business. If you don’t do it now then you might never get the opportunity to scale when your name gets out there. That is why it is important for founders to get in on SEO early on because it is a long-term play.
Any other questions I should have asked?
Dynamic rendering means that your URLs and websites load dynamically based on what calls them. Google big change allowing for dynamic rendering gave them to actually crawl a website that is separate from the user version.
How can listeners connect with you directly?
LinkedIn is the best way or leaving a message on the contact us form.
Huckabuy – Speed up your website and increase your organic search traffic
Ahrefs – SEO tools and resources to grow your search traffic
Moz – SEO software for smarter marketing
Google Ads Keyword Planner – Keywords to use in your Google Ads campaign
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