SEO Interview with Jim Carroll
Jim Carroll is a search engine positioning expert and operates in Salt Lake City. In this interview Jim shares his insights on search engine positioning planning and provides some best-practice advice to gain position in search for website and blogs.
SEO is important for any business that want to gain exposure using the Internet.
Q: What do you see as the biggest weakness when you talk with a new client about their SEO planning?
A: This is an important question. The answer is simply that the primary weakness is lack of any planning. A lot of people believe if they put up a cool picture or graphic without and without top level content and launch the site people will come. That is not the case. First you must have a plan that includes the creation of high-quality relevant content. This high-quality content will help you to get quality links from important sources. Links count when it comes to high search position.
The basics also must be covered such as site architecture, alt tags, H1 & H2 tags, meta descriptions and keywords etc.
There is not one silver bullet; you must incorporate all of these items into any successful SEO plan. But the most important will be relevant content, and high quality linking.
Q: How do you add value as a search engine positioning expert?
A: That is easy, my client get found. This does not happen by accident. We think through the search engine process. We ask up-front questions such as:
- Why do my clients want to be found?
- What should they be found for?
- Why would someone want to find them?
We then work to maximize the business performance as it relates to the answers to these questions.
Q: How important is it to be on the 1st page of the search results?
A: It is Vital. If you cannot be found on the first page, the searcher unlikely to look any further. The searcher may be satisfied with the results presented on the 1st page and not go to the 2nd results page. If the searcher is not satisfied with the 1st page results then they typically adjust their keyword or keyword phrase and search again without visiting the 2nd page.
The difference between being on the 1st and 2nd page is very significant.
Q: What is more valuable for search position on-site SEO or off-site SEO?
A: This is a question we are often asked. If there were just one silver bullet to solve the search question I would sell it all day, but there is not. You need to do both.
On site SEO is defined by the process’s I mentioned before. Meta data, copy and content relevance etc. But in reality the web is a popularity contest. You must have high quality links form authoritative sites and blogs. When you think about it … if someone of importance wants to link to your website content, that will carry a lot of weight with the search engines, and they will rank your site higher.
Q: Matt Cutts from Google is often explaining that if you create great content then you will gain links naturally. Do you find this to be the case in your work with your clients?
A: First of all Matt is great! I’m not sure what his role is at Google, but he should be called the chief propaganda officer. He frequently shares great insight to us SEO professionals. But to answer your question “yes” no one thing I can think of is more important than real relevant content. In my blog I frequently say “Content is King” and I mean it. This by nature will bring your site valuable links.
Q: Google has placed a strong emphasis on “Page Rank”. Now they have introduced us to Author Rank. How do you see this having an impact on search results?
A: Yes, page rank was always a bit illusive. Not that you couldn’t achieve it. But they “Google” kept moving the target. And once you were there, they figured out they could be manipulated, so they moved again. Then they figured out that the Rank “strength” was being shared by inappropriate pages so they changed the formula again… Page Rank has not been one of Google’s best successes. I believe the author rank will accomplish their intentions. It seems logical and well thought out as a strategy for applying value and credibility to posted content.
Q: Does blogging factor into the SEO plan for your clients?
A: Yes, it’s vital! I never give a proposal that does not include it.
Q: Is there any parting advice you would like to share?
A: Yes, always plan to create wonderful content. Visit my blog to gain insights on SEO. Continue to learn about SEO. If you are a modern marketing professional or own a website then it will be good business practice to learn about this aspect of online marketing.
You can read more from Jim at his blog which is dedicated to Search Engine Positioning.