If you are in the Digital Marketing industry in general or SEO in specific, you must have heard the name of the great Rand Fishkin. If you ask me his positive attitude and magical whiteboard Friday videos back in the days was one of the reasons I was interested in learning SEO in the first place.
Currently, Rand Fishkin is the CEO of a company called Sparktoro and today we will be talking a bit about SparkToro and a bit of technical questions so that audience learn as much as possible from this quick interview!
Rand, I know you are busy but thank you for your time and answering the questions!
Question 1: Rand, for the people who don’t know if you can quickly explain what SparkToro is and after the success of Moz why did you think that you should invest your time and the energy in the idea behind SparkToro?’
SparkToro is basically like getting all of your audience’s phones, logging in, and seeing what they read, watch, follow, browse, engage-with, listen-to, etc. It’s a database for audience intelligence and market research that uses public social data (from 10 different platforms) to give never-before-available information about how real people behave online.
As for why we made the investment… I’m worried about what happens if marketers think the only way to reach their audiences is through Facebook and Google. There’s not a lot of software companies investing beyond those platforms, and not a lot of marketers putting serious effort in those places, and that’s exactly why it’s so valuable — because it’s rare.
Question 2: Lost and Founder: don’t get me wrong, it’s a great book but there are already so much content available about founders and entrepreneurship so why do you think you should write this book in the first place?
Looking at the reviews of folks who’ve read Lost and Founder, I think you’ll see it’s very different from almost every business and startup book available. It covers topics that most founders don’t usually discuss — layoffs, failure, depression, product missteps, marketing mistakes, all of it. There’s a lot more value to be had from looking transparently at a real story this way than from the “inspiration” and “hustle-porn” that much of the entrepreneurial world produces and consumes.
Question 3: Rand you spent a great amount of time preaching and practicing hands-on SEO, which is why I wanted to know your take on Google’s new passage-based indexing and is there something that SEOs and content creators should care about moving forward?
I’m a few years out from the SEO world these days, but in my opinion, this is hardly new from Google. It’s formalizing and announcing something that’s been happening for a long while — Google’s extraction of your content to answer searchers’ questions directly in the results without sending you a click. The question for marketers is whether it’s worth the investment to have that ranking and ability to influence a search audience even without the traffic.
Question 4: November is usually the tough but great month of ecommerce businesses. You must have witnessed a lot of brands and online stores from your SEO eye. If I ask what are the top 3 common mistakes that ecommerce stores made and if they fix will increase their conversion rate dramatically?
1) Gain a deep understanding of your target audience, the people who have bought from you, the people who might buy, and the people/publications that influence them.
2) Gain a deep understanding of the messages, brand, positioning, and UX that helped people buy, and the roadblocks that slowed some down. Fix those roadblocks, then…
3) Start telling the stories and messages that nudged buyers to buy in the places that similar audiences already pay attention.
Question 5: Very quickly, do you think the length of the content matter when it comes to search engine rankings?
By itself? No. Do some queries demand long-form content? Yes. Do others have correlations with length? Sure. What should you do? Not be biased by generalization and serve your searchers and their needs best, no matter the technical length of the content.
Question 6: After COVID-19 many companies started to offer remote positions within the companies and it’s the need of the day but do you think this will transform the work ethic later down the line and agencies and startups will be offering full-time remote positions or you think things will go back to normal after things get back to normal?
I think we’ll see a long-term lift in remote work, but it won’t be universal. Some businesses will go back to offices because their leadership teams prefer that, and others will continue being remote-friendly or all-remote. I certainly never plan to go back to an office 🙂
Question 7: One advice you will give to a 25-year-old Rank Fishkin?
Go work at a few other startups before you build your own
Question 8: If you get a chance to make a Movie about SEO/Digital Marketing, what will you name it?
I’d really much rather make creative/fiction content than something about marketing, but if I were forced to, maybe “The Screen Is Mightier Than The Sword.
Rand Fishkin is the name to be reckoned with across the digital marketing arena. He has built an SEO empire out of his keen insights. And more importantly, he made it out of his sheer passion for unveiling the obscure world of SEO and bringing clarity to the fuzzy knowledge sets scattered across the internet in terms of conquering the search world.
Fishkin’s insight in the present interview is cardinal, albeit only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the compendium of his actual knowledge.
In this interview, he really drives home one crucial point that all marketing mavericks need to internalize: Know Your Audience. You have to completely drill down into the construct of who your target audience is.
We hope that this interview has added value to your knowledge, and we aspire to create more content that benefits your career in digital marketing.
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Junaid Hayat is best known as an SEO Optimizer. He is a keen observer and loves to blog. Gaining digital wisdom and spreading it is what he loves. Problem-solver is his second name, as he likes to help businesses that are in the middle of a shipwreck. When he isn’t solving SEO related problems, you’ll find him lost in the sea of Google, learning more about the ranking factors.You can find him on twitter as @Junaidhayat2