SEO

5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick Interview

What makes an SEO community so vibrant and attractive is for sure the bright personalities who have helped shape the SEO industry, creating unique products and offering their advanced expertise. Today, we decided to ask some of the remarkable Internet Marketing gurus worldwide about their current view of the SEO industry and a few other SEO-related subjects. Welcome Ann Smarty, Neil Patel, Aleh Barysevich, Peter Attia, and Moosa Hemani!

Ann Smarty

Founder of the MyBlogGuest.com community. An SEO/blogging manager and consultantann smarty 5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick Interview

What set of skills does a modern day SEO need in order to succeed?

Patience. A lot of patience. Also readiness to learn and collaborate. SEO is not a standalone industry any longer. An SEO professional needs to closely interact with content team, Web development team, social media team (or he/she should do everything which is hardly possible), so he/she needs to know how to organize and maintain the whole collaboration process.

Which SEO tasks take most of your time? Which ones bring the biggest results?

I am not the best person to answer this question because I have the team who manages most of my work, so I mostly do planning and monitoring. I spend 70 percent of my work time replying to emails (I get a lot of them), but that’s hardly about SEO though. Monitoring the campaign and reporting to clients is another huge task that takes plenty of time. My most productive time is the team management (i.e. task distribution and work planning).

Speaking about SEO reporting, do you have to deal with it? What kind of SEO data is of utmost importance in your opinion? Which tools and techniques have you utilized?

I don’t do SEO audits nowadays. I mostly do guest blogging consulting and management, so I do [SEO reporting] mostly without tools. All I am using is Google Spreadsheet (for content brainstorming and reviewing). I am also using our self-built guest post management tool.

What’s the greatest challenge you’re currently facing with your new projects, and how are you going about solving them?

The greatest challenge is the SEO FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) that’s spreading [to] the Web like plague. After Google’s update, people are scared to death by possible penalties, negative SEO, etc. All I am doing to fight that is simply keeping my sanity and waiting for the FUD to calm down. icon smile 5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick Interview

Neil Patel

Co-founder of two Internet companies: Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. Runs a QuickSprout blogneil patel 5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick Interview

What set of skills does a modern day SEO need in order to succeed?

One of the skills that I’d be looking for is HTML skills. You don’t have to have the most advanced HTML skills, but if you can modify some basic PHP/HTML [and] stuff like that, it does help a lot. On top of that, I’d be looking for someone who is a great content writer and creator, because if you are not creative and you cannot write content, you are not going to do a lot, since SEO is many times about content these days. Getting rankings is not as easy as it used to be, so creativity is really important.

How has your SEO lifestyle changed since you started?

Yeah, the tasks have been definitely different, a lot of them similar, but … it’s just more work, right? It’s tougher to keep up these days—a lot of things are changing, lots of things are much harder than they used to be. That’s quite more work when, you know, pass the product, than it was like seven years ago.

The main thing is that you are spending more hours on coming up with strategy versus actual implementation, figuring all the issues, and how you are going to solve them.

Aleh Barysevich

Co-founder of SEO PowerSuite tools. An occaisonal guest bloggeraleh barysevich 5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick Interview

What set of skills does a modern day SEO need in order to succeed?

A holistic approach for any SEO team is something that should be perceived as top priority. I mean that everything should be fully covered, including design, development, content, social, outreach, analytics, CRO, and community, plus the traditional SEO tasks: keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building.

Additionally, a successful SEO is not subject to the community hysteria and always has an alternative solution to achieve the goals.

Speaking about SEO reporting, do you have to deal with it? What kind of SEO data is of utmost importance in your opinion? Which tools and techniques have you utilized?

The figures are truly important for a software company. We need to track keyword rankings and traffic stats and analyze the conversion rate to see which campaigns prove to be more successful. That would be so unfair not to use the reporting functionality of the SEO tools I have been personally working on, so yes, SEO PowerSuite together with the Google Analytics data and logic satisfy all my SEO stats needs.

What’s the biggest challenge in SEO for you?

SEO is all about facing the challenges! I guess the biggest one is to have your own understanding and not to be afraid of experimenting with your website. We all see that Google (which is a huge business first of all!) rolls out an update after an update, that’s why you still need to keep an eye on what Google’s doing, then analyze it and work out your strategy!

Peter Attia

Peter Attia 5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick InterviewWith 5+ years experience as an Internet Marketer at CucumberNebula.com

How have your SEO routine changed since you started?

When I first started out, I looked at SEO as a very technical skill since it was based on Google’s algorithm. The more I started to understand and learn, the more creative I got with it—looking less at the algorithm and more towards what intrigues people through social channels.

Which SEO tasks take most of your time? Which ones bring the biggest results?

I would say link building, but that’s a variation of several different things. That’s creating content, launching creative projects, being active on social, etc. Everything related to “link building” is just doing a good job at SEO. Every aspect attributes to getting links, mentions, and rankings.

Speaking about SEO reporting, do you have to deal with it? What kind of SEO data is of utmost importance in your opinion? Which tools and techniques have you utilized?

I think the most important reporting is just showing analytical results: increased traffic, conversion rates, and ROI. If I notice a ranking improvement for a solid term, I’ll mention it in a quick email, but I don’t consider it a vital part of reporting. I personally don’t use many tools for reporting, because I don’t handle “making it look good.”

However, I think it’s important to implement design tools to make reporting visually appealing and easy to digest at a glance.

What’s the greatest challenge you’re currently facing with your new projects, and how are you going about solving them?

Convincing people link building doesn’t come first. Not working with clients that don’t understand that.

Moosa Hemani

An SEO strategist who writes about his views about SEO and Inbound on his SEO blog. He also offers Guest Blogging Services.

moosa hemani 5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick Interview

How have your SEO routine changed since you started?

Since beginning, I was more interested in link building (love the frustration this job contains), so I believe a lot has changed over the past few years. It was so easy before, and I don’t really have to understand the business and dynamics of it, but all I have to do was to build high PR links that point to the client’s website.

Today, it has become essential for me to understand what the client’s business is all about, then plan how to design their SEO and link building strategy that can give them relevant and authority links, which can eventually help them increase their business.

Speaking about SEO reporting, do you have to deal with it? What kind of SEO data is of utmost importance in your opinion? Which tools and techniques have you utilized?

Reporting, to me, is a very tricky game, especially if you are working in-house. A report that is appropriate for an SEO director may be of no worth for a country manager or a business development manager, as they are more interested in conversions than the traffic coming in.

In order to make maximum number of happy people, I prefer sending a relevant report to each manager, so that they value SEO and understand how investing more in SEO can offer them higher return on investments. I use several tools for reporting that include Google Analytics, SEOmoz Pro, Majestic SEO, and Raven Tools.

What’s the greatest challenge you’re currently facing with your new projects, and how are you going about solving them?

I think one of the greatest challenges that most SEOs are facing these days is either Penguin or negative SEO. I am done with the Penguin penalty test and got a handful of interesting findings that I am saving for my blog icon wink 5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick Interview I will discuss this topic in detail over there soon.

The other important thing that most SEOs (including me) are concerned about is negative SEO. My scrutiny (reading blogs of fellow SEOs) and logics prove me that having a clean and smooth website, links from authority sources, and powerful content are few of the many things that can help you stay safe from negative SEO.

The challenges are going to come with time as I never see this industry resting (not even for a day), but a bit of research and lot of testing can keep you intact and prepared for any situation to come.

A huge thanks to all the experts who have shared their thoughts with us! And what about you? How would you personally answer the questions discussed above? Your feedback is truly appreciated!

 5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick Interview
Inessa Bokhan is the co-founder and chief internet marketing manager at SEOlots , a startup SEO agency. She’s been working as a copywriter (software development and marketing topics), pay-per-click manager, and has provided strategic consulting to search marketing clients. A cycling freak, in love with cats.

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8 thoughts on “5 Outstanding SEO Personalities in a Quick Interview

  1. Great lineup of SEO personalities and questions. As an answer to one of those questions, I would say the biggest challenge in SEO is working with a client who is obsessed with getting rankings any way they can and would rather risk Penguin / Panda penalties than invest in quality work to achieve their goals.

    1. Thanks, Kristie! I know what you are talking about – the ranking-obsessed behavior is something I face pretty often, my solution is trying to educate clients during meetings and discussions, and repeating that 2 times more afterwards :)

    2. Agreed Kirsti. We had to terminate a contract only half way through because of a client obsessing about one keyword ranking and suggesting unethical SEO tactics to increase it’s ranking. The lesson we learnt from this is to be careful what kind of SEO clients you take on board – the objectives and time scales need to be made clear from the beginning and above all they need to be as serious about getting ethical results as you are!

  2. This is a great list of SEO personalities. I really like Peter Attia’s answer to the question “How have your SEO routine changed since you started?”

    When I first started out, I looked at SEO as a very technical skill since it was based on Google’s algorithm. The more I started to understand and learn, the more creative I got with it—looking less at the algorithm and more towards what intrigues people through social channels.

    This is just so much true…

  3. The overall emphasis here that search engine optimization is about a creative human approach to content and communication rather than an attempt to merely optimize for an algorithm is definitely refreshing to see. It’s certainly at the heart of what online business and indeed all business should really be about in the first place.

  4. Penguin and panda updates has changed the real face of the SEO Industry, so SEO guys should have eye on it while working before things get penalized.