Mind, Money & Marketing Show – Episode #15 – The Past, Present & Future of SEO with Rand Fishkin

UnknownI was super excited to interview Rand. As I’m sure you’re aware, he’s a bit of a superstar in the SEO and blogging world with his fantastic and informational website & software Moz.com and his well known “Whiteboard Friday” videos amongst several other business interests and speaking all over the world!

Rand is hugely respected in the industry and rightly so! This was a fantastic interview full of some absolute marketing gems which you can start taking action on TODAY to begin to improve your traffic and lead generation.

Find out what Rand has to say on the past, present and future of SEO!

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Favourite Quote

You have to be willing to fail for a long, extended period of time before you have that first success.

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Raw Transcript of the Interview

Jo: Hello ladies and gentleman, Jo Barnes here and welcome to another fabulous episode of
Mind, Money & Marketing.

Now, today, I have a super special guest on the call. I’m really excited to speak to him and it’s somebody that I’m guessing you’ve probably heard about in your travels online, because he’s pretty famous. He’s a bit of a celebrity. So we are joined by the fantastic Rand Fishkin who you are going to know from SEOmoz,

I think it’s Moz.com now. I am going to be grilling Rand all about SEO and how it affects us and all the different things and of course, white boards Friday and all the things that he teaches us every Friday.

I would like to welcome and say hello to Rand. Hello!

Rand: Hi Jo, thank you so much for having me on the program.

Jo: Wonderful to see you and I believe you are in Seattle at the moment. You’re over in
Seattle right now?

Rand: I am, I am. I’ve got my blinds closed, but you could see the city beside me if it wasn’t
for that.

Jo: Does it rain all the time in Seattle? I got that off “Sleepless in Seattle.” I’m sorry, I’ve
never been there myself. Does it rain?

Rand: It does. We have a very high number of days of rain per year even though we don’t get
as much rainfall as a lot of other places. But this year, it’s actually been much drier than most, sadly, I think that’s because our weather is significantly affected by the deforestation of the Amazon. So it gets sunnier here, as they cut down the forests there which is really tragic, so.

Jo: Oh, that is a bit tragic actually, isn’t it? Yeah.

Rand: Yeah, it is.

Jo: Anyway, before we sort of go headlong into SEO strategies, Rand, I’d love for you to
tell our audience a little bit more about you. I know that you have, you kind of went into SEO. You were in online or in the online, the web world, if you like, all the way back in 1993. Something like that, a really, really long time ago.

Then you headed more into SEO in the beginning of the 2000s. But I wonder if you could just take us through a little bit of your journey that brought you to where you are today.

Rand: Sure, yeah. I started building and designing websites in the late 90s, like 1996, ‘97,
when I was in high school. Then in 2001, I dropped out of college and started doing a lot of web design, a little bit of development, barely any programming. I did some usability consulting for a little bit and that eventually morphed into doing SEO.

I think that I started doing a little bit of SEO early 2003 and in 2004 started the SEO Moz blog and that started taking off and so our consulting business switched from mostly designing websites and building websites to SEO consulting. And that was the primary business in ‘05 and ’06.

Then in 2007, we launched our software subscription suite and that’s when we took some venture capital investment, been growing ever since. I think we were six people in 2007 and today there’s a little over 130 Mozzers in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

We’ve had about 22,000 subscribers to our software, which helps people mostly with SEO, social media, content marketing, brand tracking, marketing channels. And it’s been a, yeah, really amazing journey. A lot of learning, a lot of discovery. Plenty of challenges, but a good experience.

Jo: What was it about SEO then, that kind of caught your attention? When you were
designing the websites and everything. Why did you kind of move in that direction?

Rand: Oh, really, it was the case study. Our clients morphed from just wanting a web presence
to wanting a web presence that actually drove traffic and helped their business. And since we didn’t have any budget for advertising and neither did they, SEO would sort of be the only option at the time.

There was very little social media, very little in the realm of other types of inbound channels. Things that are popular today, like content marketing were less so. Although blogs were starting to emerge in the early 2000s.

SEO was a big focus for attracting traffic and helping businesses find customers, right? People who were looking for, I need this thing and I need it right now. And they’d go to Google and Yahoo and Microsoft, at the time, a sans search, right? And Ask Jeeves, you remember those guys? SEO was a huge driver.

Jo: Gosh, I do remember Ask Jeeves, that’s been a few years, hasn’t it? Since Ask Jeeves?

Rand: It has been.

Jo: We’re going to get into, I really want to delve into content marketing and SEO
and social media and all that stuff as we go through the interview and I have to tell you, my whole business has been based in content marketing land. I am definitely content marketing land, I am not keyword land.

An awful lot of what I talk about is all to do with content marketing. But to start, I would love to hear from you the, kind of, past, present and future, if we have a bit of a crystal ball of SEO. Because it’s changed dramatically over the last couple of years and is currently going through some major changes right now, isn’t it?

All the way from, my picture seems to have gone, I hope you couldn’t, can you hear me Rand? It’s just a check thing, can you still hear me?

Rand: I can, I can hear you just fine, yes.

Jo: Yeah, great, Okay. If you could start with, you know, kind of where was SEO in the
Last, sort of, few years to where, how, what are some of the significant changes to where it is now?

Rand: Sure. So I think one of the interesting things is that SEO today is changing quite a bit.
But at no more different or unusual a pace than it’s changed over the last decade and a half. So the idea that, you know, that we’re in a particularly strong period of change, I think is false. We’re in the same rate of change that we’ve always been at in the SEO world and you have to be pretty comfortable with change if we’re going to exist in organic search. In terms of the past, I do think that in the late 90s, early 2000s, you had a focus on a very small number of signals that moved through SEO.

Those were things like keywords, links, accessible websites, not a whole lot else, right? Then over the last, you know, I would say the mid-2000s to sort of late 2000, late in the first decade of this century, you had more new signals coming in. Things like, a little bit more around content quality, a little more around the quality of the links that you were [earning].

A little bit more about new types of verticals, news and images, local and maps results. We can even pick parts of the algorithms and big parts of what could be visible. And you, you sort of felt that continuing evolution in the last three or four years. So you’ve got, today, a much more rigorous algorithm than we’ve ever had before, in terms of considering link quality and where you’re getting your links and references from.

You have a much broader set of influences, so Google, of course, today looks at things like user and usage data signals, which were smaller in the past or at least less noticeable in the past. You have things like speed and responsive design to consider because web users are becoming pickier.

You certainly have to be much better at things like web design and user experience because of these usage data signals, as well as the fact that you’re not going to earn a lot of editorial, positive signals unless you conserve user needs very well. You certainly have a lot more opportunities in universal and vertical kinds of results.

What I mean by that, if I go and search for, you know, a particular type of product, you’ll see people’s shopping results. You’ll see images, you’ll see video, you’ll see author mark-up, which is those little pictures of the person who wrote the piece right next to it which, of course, is powered through Google+.

Social Media is a much bigger signal than it ever was in the past, both directly and indirectly through things like Google+, but also, indirectly through things like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., etc. So you’ve got increasing complexity. You’ve got increasing overlap and I think those things are going to scale in the future.

The worlds of social media, SEO, content marketing, brand building and link building, these are not going to be separate practices, alright. They all interconnect with one another. And the businesses that tend to have the most success on the web are those that don’t silo those things, but put them all together.

Jo: Okay, fantastic. When you’re talking about link building there and I have to say Rand,
that’s always been, it’s always been a bit of a mystery to me. Link building seems to be this practice, whereby, you literally go out in order to try to build links back to your site and all that kind of stuff.

Nowadays with social media, if I’m placing, if I’m going out, say with my blog and I’m putting articles on Facebook and articles on Twitter and all that kind of stuff, is that all link building back to my site? Am I actually link building by simply distributing my content around all these social networks?

Rand: In some ways, yes and in some ways, no. I’ll clarify what I mean there. So I think a great
marketer is going to combine these different practices. So they’re going to combine the practice of acquiring high quality editorial links and mentions. I mean, I do really mean both. Both can assist you considerably in the realm of SEO and the realm of getting traffic and those kinds of things.

It wouldn’t be, it’s not like link building was in the late 90s, early 2000s, where I don’t care whoever sees this link, I don’t care who clicks on it, I don’t care if it’s an editorial endorsement or just a link that I’ve kind of drove by and spammed someone and left on a page.

Google has become much more sophisticated and Bing as well, much more sophisticated about analyzing the sources of those. It really is the case that you have to be earning your links, not sort of proactively building them.

While link earning is still an important part of SEO and an important part of brand building and an important part of traffic earning on the web, it’s not the case where you’re going and doing that classic kind of aggressive link building.

Social media is certainly a great way to expose your content to an audience that is likely to potentially link to it, mention it, share it on their networks, help amplify its reach. And so, I certainly urge marketers of all stripes to do those things, right? To produce content influences and people who will help amplify the message. Who’ll actually care about it. Who will help you spread far and wide.

That will certainly, if you’re doing, you know, at least your basic walk and talk of SEO right in terms of, I’m targeting terms and phrases that people care about and are searching for. I’m making my site accessible to the search engines. I’m making sure that I don’t have, you know, issues like duplicate content or a bunch of different URLS that point to various versions of the same thing.

When you’re doing those things right, then all your efforts are helping each of those channels, right? And you build a flywheel over time, too. Because every time you produce something of great value and it earns, you know, these links and other kinds of signals, it will help that next time it gets easier and easier.

Social media is one of my favorite examples of that because, you know, think about Twitter. Every time I go and I share something on Twitter that earns a lot of retweets and a lot of attention, I get more followers. Now the next time I go to share something new, people remember that I shared something good last time and they follow me now.

More of those people are going to retweet me and so this process just gets easier and easier over time, but it’s really hard to start. I think getting that flywheel pushed at the beginning is the toughest part.

Jo: What would you actually say would be some steps that people could take to start to push
that flywheel?

Rand: It’s just elbow grease, right? I mean, you have to try, you have be willing to fail. You
have to be willing to fail for a long, extended period of time before you have that first success, before you start that, oh, this is what works for my audience, for my content, for my strengths as a writer, an illustrator, a tool builder, a graphics creator.

Whatever it is that you are producing that is helping to amplify your brand’s reach on the web, you have to find that strength and that often means months, even years of investing without success.

A lot of the times, we have this false impression that the people who do a really good job in this field are those who have some special skill, some special talent that we don’t have. That’s not really the case. A lot of the time it’s just, they put in the time.

Jo: I love that. That is such a great quote. You have to be willing to fail for a long, extended
time. That is just gold, Rand. That is absolutely brilliant. I love that one. Because people, well people have this kind of sense, especially in this online world we live in now that, you know, it’s overnight success.

You have to have dramatic, overnight success or, you know, you’re a failure and it’s not going to work. And it’s just simply not true, is it? We have to just keep, tenacity is the name of the game.

Rand: Absolutely.

Jo: Really, with everything we do.

Rand: Particularly in the realm of things like content marketing and SEO and social media and
everything, it’s just, you know, if you are identifying a bunch of what you think are overnight success stories, you are almost certainly getting wrong biases and taking away wrong signals.

What’s almost always the case is that someone’s put in a lot of years of effort to get in that position and this is merely the first time that you’re seeing and being exposed to the success.

Jo: Fantastic. So talking about content marketing and I, you did a white board Friday, a
while ago now, on content marketing versus keyword marketing. You’ve just obviously spoken here and we’re talking about, actually, the best marriage is to really incorporate both into your business, is to be doing your content marketing but also employing that keyword marketing in with that.

Rand: Yeah. I mean otherwise, you get into this realm where you say, hey, I’m going to do
content marketing but if I don’t use the best practices of SEO, that content doesn’t have a long-term opportunity to succeed.

I think the most beautiful forms of content marketing are when you take something that is a great idea, that’s interesting to a large group of people or even a small group of people, a small group of influential people. You put that out and you earn the amplification of shares that help you to rank well in search engines.’

That then means that for years to come, people who are searching for that content, that answer, find your resource and you build your brand every time. You know, on an ongoing basis. That’s the true power of connecting these channels.

If you don’t do that, you don’t connect an SEO with your social efforts and your link and mention earning efforts, your branding and PR efforts, your content efforts, you’re missing a massive opportunity and someone else is going to take that opportunity from you, because someone else is always ranking.

Jo: What you’re talking about here is social signals, is that what you’re saying this
amplification and the mentions and all that, are these social signals that we’ve heard Matt Cutts talk about?

Rand: Yeah. There’s a lot of complexity and nuance in terms of how social signals are
discussed. But there are both direct and indirect ways that social signals influence how content performs across the web as a whole, in search engines in particular. We could get really technical and talk about the deep details.

I think for most marketers, the important thing to keep in mind is if something that I’m producing is earning a lot of social shares and I’ve done a good job of making that also a piece of content that is worthy of earning links and references and will help build my brand and can be indexed and seen by search engines and keyword targeted, then I’m doing my best work. And if you’re missing some of those elements, you’re probably missing opportunities there.

Jo: Okay, all right. Google, one of Google’s, I mean, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing
here Rand, I’ll just warn you of that. A little knowledge.

Rand: Okay.

Jo: One of Google’s algorithms always seems to have been relevancy. I’ve always seen the
word relevancy a lot when we talk about SEO.

Rand: Sure.

Jo: Recently, I watched a video on YouTube and Matt Cutts was talking about influence
and that in the future as Google grows, it will tend to favor, the rankings will favor people that have more influence.

How, do you know how they’re going to kind of measure that? I mean, is that through, is it going to be through Google+ do we think, moving forward? The amount of people who have got you in Circles?

Are they going to measure it through Facebook, Twitter, do you know how, is it going to be through hits? How are they going to measure that kind of influence that he’s talking about?

Rand: Yeah, so, what’s funny is he says, “In the future.” I would argue that that has always
been the case, that Google has, in fact, biased to authoritative and influential entities almost from the very beginning. That’s because of how page rank originally worked.

How the concept of domain authority has worked throughout the past decade. And domain authority basically says a more influential website, right, a site that earns lots of positive signals. And positive signals could be links, absolutely, they could be brand signals. They could be user and usage data signals.

They could be signals about speed, they could be signals about things like bounce rate and time on site, in proportion to other things. Pogo-sticking, people who visit the site and come right back to the search results because they clearly had a poor experience there.

All of those types of signals have biased towards this kind of concept of domain authority. This domain is more authoritative than this other domain and, therefore, when we see, when we Google, see content on these two different domains, we’re going to bias to the one that is more authoritative, even if it doesn’t have the better keyword targeting, you know, the better individual links to that particular page.

You can see this with sites like Amazon, Wikipedia and Yelp and, you know, those types of sites that you consistently see in the top 10 over and over again. They’re benefiting from that domain authority system.

I think in the future, Google will continue to use those signals of the past and they will expand them with future kinds of signals, social media signals certainly being one. Google+ I’m sure they will leverage in some ways. They may leverage them only for logged in users, but that’s 50, 60% of us already anyway. And they may leverage them even for logged out users as well.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and these other kinds of things, I would suspect that they’ll probably use what I call second order effects to measure those. They don’t have the direct agreements with those companies and so they’re not getting the kind of level of access that they get to Google+ but they can still see a lot of things like links, branding signals and mentions, etc., etc. from those services. Those are going to be influencing indirectly.

Jo: Talking about keywords, what’s up with this whole kind of changing that we’re not
going to be able, because if keywords are so important to us as marketers being able to understand, you know, what people are searching for, what’s going on with this whole kind of Google aren’t going to search for keywords or find keywords anymore? I mean, what’s that all about? What’s going to happen with that?

Rand: Yeah, so I think you might be conflating two different things here. Google has basically
said, “We’re going to remove keyword referral data.” You won’t be able to see what someone’s searched for before they came to your website from Google.

What they’re not saying is, “We’ll remove the ability to do keyword research from our advertising platform, Adwords.” Which was, classically, how most marketers that think about keywords have gone and done keyword research.

I think certainly not provided, right? Which is what Google’s doing with all the keyword referral data. Significantly hurts marketers, it’s an anti-competitive move. Yeah, it’s hard to argue it’s Google doing anything but evil. But sometimes you’ve just got to be a little bit evil.

The ability to do keyword research still does exist. We’re just going to have to think a little bit broader. We’re going to have to be more experimental. It’s going to be harder to see our success as directly as we did before, right? We won’t be able to say, hey, I rank number one for this keyword term and it sent me this many visits and those visits turned into this much value for my business.

That was a beautiful thing to be able to track as directly as we did track it. We won’t be able to do that anymore and so it becomes a little bit less of a measureable channel. Which is kind of like social media and content marketing, which are also difficult to measure the direct impact of those. And so, from a serving stance, you know, we have to build leading indicators as metrics and then try and track those leading indicators and the correlation they have with our KPI’s.

And do a little bit of magic sometimes in there, especially for us smaller sites and smaller brands, it’s more difficult. I don’t think this removes the value of doing those things. It actually, in some ways makes it more compelling because our competitors are going to have a hard time measuring those things, too. If we invest in these serendipitous channels, we can earn outside returns.

Jo: Just a challenge to make us all a bit more creative, I guess?

Rand: Yeah. It sort of goes against Google’s mission, which I really hate, right? Their
supposed, they say that one of their core values is transparency and their mission is about world’s information. This is really a move that takes those things away.

They argue that they’re taking away this data because of privacy. But you know, a couple months ago, right, you can see the NSA is getting this data anyway. They’re just pulling it at the ISP layer before Google encrypts it.

It’s not protecting anyone’s privacy, it’s just Google preventing their competitors from getting this data, particularly in the keyword retargeting market, which is really, really frustrating. I wish they’d at least be honest about why they’re doing it.

Jo: Yeah. Well, that’s a great shame. It’s a shame for marketers, but, you know, these things
happen. So just follow Moz.com, guys and Rand will tell you what to do.

Rand: Oh goodness. I mean, this is one of the things that we try to do as a software company
too, right? So we’ve got, you know, a bunch of engineers right downstairs from where I am right now, who are working on keyword not provided.

They’re trying to figure out, can we build an algorithm to recover some of that data for marketers to at least predicatively say, hey, we think that these are likely the terms and phrases that are sending traffic to you, here are some terms and phrases that your competition is ranking for that you’re not ranking for that you might want to go after. That type of thing but it’s a hard, hard thing to do.

Jo: Yeah, I can imagine so.

Rand: I’m glad I don’t have to write that software.

Jo: Yeah, no, gosh, clever engineers. Very, very clever engineers out there. Lots of clever
people. So just talk about content marketing a bit, Rand. How important is that to your overall marketing strategy?

I was just literally talking to a chap just before I spoke to you this morning, where we were talking about inbound marketing, obviously. You’ve got your other website, haven’t you? Inbound.org, I think it is? Called Inbound.org.

I’m definitely from the content marketing camp. I’ve built my entire business based on content marketing but there’s still a lot of people, I think, who are out there, who are trying to go at it from the whole, what’s the quickest way that I can kind of get my products and services in front of my target market without necessarily having to put in too much effort? How important do you think content marketing is to your overall marketing strategy?

Rand: I think depending on who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish, content is a
phenomenal marketing channel. Now that being said, I want to go back to something you just said, which is if you are thinking about something from the perspective of, what’s the least amount of effort that I can put in to accomplish what I need to.

I urge you to think about that in relation to how it works in the rest of your life. I’ll give you an example, alright? Let’s say you are in the world of dating. What’s the least amount of effort that I can put into a relationship and still have someone stay with me?

Who thinks that way? That’s an, an insane, an absolutely insane way to think about your life, right? And I would say that that’s true no matter what we’re talking about, whether it’s, I want to perform well in this sport or in this hobby or in this passion that I have.
What’s the least amount of effort I can do and still? Come on.

If you are of that mindset, you’ve got to recognize that you’ll always lose long term to people who are making smarter, more passionate, more long term investment. And so I would just, I would urge anyone who’s watching this, anyone everywhere, to get it out of your head – what’s the least amount of effort I can do to get a return on this? That’s a crazy way to think about this.

Jo: Can you imagine Usain Bolt saying, what’s the least amount of effort I can put into
running in order to be able to win the championship?

Rand: Yeah, come on, what’s the least amount of effort I can do and still make it to the
Olympics? You’re crazy. This is nuts. And you know-

Jo: Fantastic.

Rand: The world is getting so much more competitive, right? I meant content
marketing, inbound marketing and, you know, the number of websites that are producing great content, really high quality stuff to try and earn traffic and try and build their brands is increasing at a logarithmic rate.

How is it that you are going to stand out in your field by putting in the minimum amount of effort? It’s mind boggling.

Jo: Yeah. I always talk about, when I talk about inbound marketing, I always quote a quote
that Brian, oh gosh, I’m so sorry, I can’t remember his name-

Rand: Halligan.

Jo: From Hubspot. Yes, Brian Halligan, thank you, said about inbound marketing. And I
always say to my community, look, it’s about attracting people to you. What’s your definition of inbound marketing?

Rand: I like to say, it’s earning your visits rather than interrupting, right? It’s earning an audience rather than interrupting an audience. And so, whenever I phrase inbound, it’s always, you know, inbound is the channels where I am appearing to you at the time when you have an interest or a passion or you’re performing a search.

An interruption is, I’m stopping you from doing something you wanted to do, in order to spam or present you with some message that you might not care about right now. Alright, so interruption, almost always, some, a lot of forms of advertisement. A lot of forms of email spam, a lot of forms of search spam, right and web spam and irrelevant page search and, you know, interruptive marketing ball points. Inbound marketing, it’s channels like SEO, social media, right? There’s nobody who, you’re not going to follow someone on Twitter if they are spamming you with crappy, interruptive messages, right? You follow them because they have something interesting to say.

You know, you fan a Facebook page because they have something interesting to say and you care about what they’re saying. And so, all those opt-in permission marketing kinds of practices fit in to the inbound realm.

Jo: It’s interesting actually, because Facebook advertising has always been, for everybody
I’ve learned Facebook advertising from and I’ve even heard myself say it, in fact. It has always been a case of saying, you’re interrupting somebody’s pattern by putting up a great image or a great message, what you’re trying to do on Facebook is essentially interrupt somebody’s pattern so that they do pay attention to your advert.”

Is there a way to mix the two? Can you do advertising with that kind of inbound marketing thought process?

Rand: Absolutely. If you’re thinking about, how can I help this person who is currently on
Facebook? How can I make their experience better? How can I make them happy that they experienced what I shared with them? I think that’s a very, very challenging thing to do in forms of social media advertising. I have seen a few examples, very, very limited set of examples.

Those ten may be ones that are extremely well targeted, extremely well written, very, very content and context sensitive. So a good example is, I’ve seen a few promoted tweets that happened while I was searching a conference or an event hashtag.

Those promoted tweets were particularly relevant to the event that I was at, right? They were saying, “Hey, come check out a list of all of the slideshare presentations from the speakers sponsored by so-and-so.”

I thought, oh, that’s really nice of them to aggregate all of those links for me and to have this great page that I kind of needed anyway because I happen to be at this one event. That’s useful. But if you are interrupting without adding value, you’re spamming me.

Jo: Yes. So funny actually, I was literally, this interview I was just doing before you, where
I was actually being interviewed, I quoted from Jay Baer, he has a book “Youtility” and he talks about being useful. You’ve just said those words, “Being useful to your community.” So important.

Rand: Certainly, and being respectful, right?

Jo: Okay.

Rand: Empathizing.

Jo: Yeah. Absolutely, yeah. You’re talking to people, aren’t you? At the end of the day,
whatever kind of marketing you’re doing, the fact is that you are talking to people. And the more that you can actually talk to people and communicate your message, you know then, in a non-aggressive and communicative engaging, and engaging is the term way, then the more success you’re going to have.

Rand, we’re heading out of time. So before we do go, what are some of the, what would you say would be the first steps people could take to improve their SEO efforts from right now?

Rand: Yeah, so I would start with a few things. I’d start by asking the question around
marketing strategy, where SEO potentially fits into your marketing strategy. Is it the case that there are a large number of people or even a small number, who are searching for exactly the product or service that you offer?

Or, is it the case that your audience maybe isn’t searching for that product or service but is searching for content and answers to questions that would lead them to or would lead to you capturing their attention, their awareness and building their brand. Right? So maybe they’re, maybe they’ll never perform a query for exactly the product you have.

Maybe they’re searching around your area that indicates that’s a target for you. Or they’re the people who influence your audience. If you can capture those folks with search, that’s a very powerful channel.

Then go to the next step of, alright, what are those keywords, terms, phrases that people are going after, what’s the content that I can produce that really answers their question and that provides an insane amount of value.

Not just answers the question but also, if someone were to land on this page that I’m going to build, what would I do that would make a large percent of them want to share it? How is it that nine out of ten people would think, wow, that was really great. I should share it with somebody. Twitter, Facebook, my friends, my cousin who I should email.

If you can get those things right, now you can start to build the content that harbors those keywords that’s also relevant for your social audiences that also helps you with content marketing. Now you’ve really connected up those channels.

Then, I’d urge you to develop the metrics to be able to monitor this, so it’s something like a Google analytics, or this is somewhat self-serving but Moz Analytics, which is our product.

You can try to measure those channels and how they’re having impact for you. And then, you can keep investing into ones that are having a high return.

Jo: There’s really no room left for the lazy marketer anymore, is there? In today’s society,
there’s just no room for, you know, the lazy marketer.

Rand: I mean, this is what happens, as, you know, as a practice becomes more sophisticated
and the field becomes more mature, the opportunities for exploitation shrink and shrink and shrink. I think that’s a wonderful thing. I’d much rather be the guy-

Jo: Oh, so do I.

Rand: Who builds the flywheel, you know, puts in the elbow grease and earns the return than
the guy who buys a bunch of spammy links.

Jo: Yeah, absolutely, I’m with you. So Rand, I love talking, this has been an amazing
interview and what I love so much about talking to people like you is that it makes me want to be even better at what I do. Do you know what I mean? I come off of calls like this and I think, oh my gosh, there’s so much more I can be doing, you know, to be better and better and better.

I hope that the audience watching has been inspired by this, as well. Just before we go, I like to ask my guests at the end of the show if there’s anything along your journey, a book you’ve read, a film you’ve watched, a person you’ve followed, anything at all that’s really inspired you that you can share with our audience that may in turn inspire them, too?

Rand: Yeah, yeah, a couple of books. I read a book on a plane recently that I loved. It’s by
an author from Seattle. His name’s Sherman Alexie and he’s a native American, American Indian writer. He wrote a book called, “The Absolutely True Part-Time Diary of an Indian.”

I thought that book was really phenomenal, sort of life-changing to read. It’s hard to read but beautifully written and the other book that I love that’s inspired me a lot is the book called, “The Billionaire Who Wasn’t.”

It’s about Chuck Feeny, the founder of duty free shops. It’s an odd one but it’s also a tremendously fascinating read. I urge you to check those two books out. I have a large list of books on my personal blog, it’s Moz.com/Rand. There’s a list of, sort of, recommended books on there if you want to read more of them.

Jo: Lovely, thank you. I’ll put the links actually, this video is going to be on the blog, so I’ll
be putting the links below this. Obviously, also to Moz.com, also Inbound.org, which is another of Rand’s sites.

I don’t know if you know this, but Rand was also the co-author of a book called, “The Art of SEO,” that’s still available to purchase on Amazon, correct Rand? That’s-

Rand: Yeah, there’s a new edition out the beginning of this year from O’Reilly.

Jo: Yeah, great. I’ll be putting all those links anyway, below this video. I urge you as well
to go and find Rand on the social networks and follow him. Because he posts some really interesting stuff, as well, over on Google. That’s where I am, I’m on Facebook and Google+ mainly.

I find some really interesting stuff. I looked at a fabulous cartoon recently, which I shared around Google+, which gives you an insight into how Rand likes to live his life. Gosh, I have lots of other questions, but we’ve run out of time. But Rand, it’s been awesome talking to you.

Thank you so much for your time today. And thank you for such an inspiring chat and inspiring messages that you’ve given us today.

Rand: It’s my pleasure, Jo. Thanks for having me, take care.

Jo: Take care. Thank you, guys and I’ll see you next week for another episode of Mind,
Money & Marketing. Have a fantastic week. Get out there and make it happen. See you soon.

So what do you think about that? Pretty awesome right! Now’s the time for you to take some ACTION! Please comment below and tell me 3 things;

1. What was your AHA moment in the interview?
2. What one piece of action are you now going to take because of what you heard on the interview?
3. When are you going to do it by?

Thanks for listening! See you next week! :)

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  • http://www.bountyvirtualsupport.com/ Karen Christian

    I absolutely loved this interview Jo. In fact I ended up typing 4 pages of notes and I want to include it as part of a blog post I’m crafting. The reason is that recently I have had a lot of queries regarding the integration of SEO and content marketing which I think you will agree, many of us are a little confused.

    I loved Rand’s candour and honesty regarding his opinions regarding Google’s decision to dump their keyword research tools. However my biggest takeaway was his opinion around marketers who want to put the least amount of effort into their marketing and gain maximum benefit. The amount of people I have had to tell that content marketing is a long term strategy that takes a lot of work and time is … well, you get the picture. Great work guys.

  • Owen Hemsath

    Great interview. Really interesting how he mentioned Sherman Alexi who is my wifes favorite author.

  • Facebook User

    Hi Jo and Rand

    I love the way I can read the webinar instead of having to stop the video or duct tape the kids while watch it.

    I lost my job aged 46 and decided I could be an internet millionaire. I am 48 on Wednesday and have learnt the very hard way how to shimmy around cpanel and fix the bits of code I break.

    I have just moved to an ajax responsive site and got a google slap for spamming myself I think as there is nothing else to warrant such a loss of PR (laziness on my part)

    My plan was to give up and let the site run in the background while I get paid employment. I have spent 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 2 years working on it plus spent all my savings. One year on holiday the ladies were reading 50 shades of grey, I was reading algorithm updates

    Reading this and having had a few orders this week I think I will carry on believing my gut instinct and keep going so thank you both for that

    I am definitely lacking in the content marketing side, I seem to have a mental block, and for someone who talks constantly I need to figure out why.

    Thanks very much, I look forward to the next webinars

  • http://www.vegancoach.com/ Sassy

    Jo, your videos are so good. You always ask the questions I want to know. Thanks for doing such a good job! :)

    Rand is hot. And sooooo smart. So easy to watch and learn from. I love his Whiteboard Fridays. My biggest takeaway is that it sometimes can take years to see the success you’re looking for. That and the competition will continue to get smarter and tougher and we really need to continually (and perhaps more than ever) bring our A game.

    Never give up. Never surrender!

    Thanks so much for another excellent interview!! xo