Meet Your SEO Expert Peter Handley @theMediaFlow
Hello Peter Handley, first of all I would like to thanks, you are giving me your time. Now I like to ask some basic questions .
What is SEO, and how will you define SEO Importance?
Hello thanks Noman for having me. Fundamentally, Search Engine Optimization is the process of making a website performs optimally in search engine results pages.
That said, it’s morphed into something much more than that, which is part of why there have been lots of chatter about rebranding SEO to say, inbound marketing, as it then encompasses much more of the increasing scope of the role or defines itself more within a niche like content marketing is doing at the moment.
As an SEO, we are responsible for more than “just” getting a website to appear in search. You need to research the phrases that are relevant to you and your audience, look at website information architecture and ensure that content is reachable for search engines all over the website, make the necessary tweaks to on page optimization and content, develop a content strategy pertinent to the websites audience, ensure there are no barriers to conversion, make sure that everything is being tracked properly by analytics – all of this is just the tip of the iceberg really!
As to its importance – if you aren’t on page 1 for things people search for, you don’t get organic traffic, and you don’t make money. It’s as simple as that. Of course, getting there doesn’t mean that you will make money, but for me, it’s the first stage.
Our readers would love to know more about you, When and how you jump into this market and what were the hurdles you faced in past?
I started out in SEO in 2006 – I applied for a junior SEO position at a local company straight out of university, and got lucky and got the first job I’d applied for! I’d studied a degree in Entertainment technology, which touched on a lot of things that SEOs have to look at – html/web design, video, etc.
But the most important thing I took from university was to do with project management.
Anyway, I worked my way up the ranks there, and ended up in charge of the SEO service at the company. Just over a year ago, I was offered the opportunity to go and be a director at theMediaFlow with Nichola Stott and grasped the opportunity to really play a part in running a business, as well as an SEO service.
In terms of hurdles, there are all sorts of challenges involved in the SEO business, what with Google’s neverending cycle of changes. But to be honest, the biggest hurdle in a lot of projects comes down to time.
I like to think I’m pretty organised, but despite that, there are sometimes so many things that need to be looked at to cover all the required bases that time just seems to evaporate. If anyone invents a time stopping or rewinding device that allows you to double the hours in the day I can allocate to work, I’d love to use it!
From last couple of months, SEO world faces a lot of changes, what is your strategy now to achieve your client goals, and what should be focused more as an SEO?
Last couple of months? To be honest, the SEO world has always moved on at such a fast pace, that being able to adapt to those changes is a key asset for a good SEO.
You can’t get stuck in “this is how we do it” if that no longer works – you need to be nimble and be able to respond to what Google throws at you next.
In terms of strategy – it really depends on the goals of a site, but it typically still comes down to Research, Optimization, Measure, Rinse & Repeat in an ongoing iterative cycle.
Learn from what does and doesn’t work, and refocus appropriately and regularly to ensure that you deliver a good ROI.
In terms of what to focus on more – I personally am doing a lot of good work with various types of rich snippets for my clients as well – these don’t necessarily increase rankings as such, but even without increasing positions, utilizing different types of rich snippets on your results in the SERPs can have some seriously strong improvements to traffic due to the increases in click through rates from making your results stand out more on the page than your competitors.
Will you want to discuss your past One Bad and One Good SEO Experience with your clients?
The Good – one area that I am loving spending some time with is a charity that I am helping – this is mostly in my spare time, but it’s been really rewarding helping to define what they want from their website and to help them communicate their core messages to their audience more effectively.
The Bad – site re-launches that haven’t gone well. No matter how far in advance you prepare, no matter how you communicate how important some of the changes that need to be made to a development site, or be built in from the start – it’s not always possible for these processes to go smoothly, or for everything you want to be in place ready for launch. Sometimes compromises are necessary that in the short time might mean you have to take a hit to results and there isn’t much you can do about it other than be ready to put the work in to get what you needed in the first place done.
Nowadays we have seen a lot of positive changes in SEO people, they have learnt a lot from Google updates, DO you think SEO World is going to change in coming era and as an SEO what do you think will this educate clients too?
I think that for the most part the SEO community is a good place – certainly in the circles that I traverse. I have found generally over the last few years that the clients are more clued up about SEO and its potential benefits, and I’ve always been very keen to educate clients about the right sorts of KPI’s to be tracking etc, and importantly “why”.
The SEO industry always changes – we don’t know for sure that it will exist in anything like the same way in two, five or ten years (I suspect it will mind).
For all of that change – a lot of things have stayed the same – I still research audience and keywords, I still write titles and descriptions for websites, but the means and the processes used to manage these sorts of things have evolved.
I think SEO will undoubtedly continue to evolve, and the whole not knowing what’s coming, is for me a big part of this industries charm.
Fundamentally, SEO will change & clients need educating on the basics as well as the impact of that evolution.
Please mention few names that have influenced you as an SEO?
Far too many people to mention here really and I can only feel that I’m leaving people out that thoroughly deserve to be mentioned here.
As to some of the best of the rest – they include people I like to consider friends these days – Paddy Moogan, Samuel Crocker, Kelvin Newman, Mike Osolinski, Kev Strong, Anna Lewis, Dan Bell, Rhys Wynne, Alex & Anna Moss, Shelli Walsh & Alessio Madeyski.
If I didn’t mention you, it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you! I have an awesome network of SEO contacts to call upon when I need a second opinion or the like on many facets of the role.
Suppose for one day you will become a Matt Cutts what are the changes you’ll do to assist SEO community?
I don’t know that if I was Matt Cutts for the day I’d spend time helping the community – I think I might have to use the opportunity a bit more selfishly and look to glean as much information as possible about the weighting of various ranking factors. It would then supply me blogging material for months to come I guess, so maybe there would be something to give to the community at the same time.
In the end we would love to have your suggestions for our readers which will help them to get positive exposure in SEO World?
First of all – I’d think about why you want exposure in the SEO world? Some of the best, smartest SEOs I know are not particularly viewed as “massive” in the SEO community, but they are people whose opinions I trust.
I guess I’m saying don’t just try to become an SEO celebrity for the sake of it. Do something to get people talking, offer assistance to people that you can make a difference to. Earn that positive exposure in the SEO world rather than trying to take it. It’s a lot more fulfilling to have done it that way than to attract celebrity for the sake of it.