Lessons from Rand Fishkin: SEO, Social Media and Entrepreneurship | Google Hangout Summary

“The days of build it and they will come… they are long gone”

Sifting through the unsurmountable mountain of SEO content is hard. And confusing. This week we hosted Rand Fishkin, Co-Founder of Moz and Inbound.org, for a Google Hangout. In conjunction with our Co-Host, Dave Collins of Software Promotions, highlight after highlight of actionable SEO tips was delivered in what was an interesting, wide reaching conversation.

This article summarises some of the key points, but be warned, this only touches the tip of the iceberg, check of the full video below to hear more about demystifying SEO for your business.


We always brush our teeth, what is the SEO equivalent of brushing your teeth?

“I think it’s one thing or two. Crawling and Indexing… At least make sure search engines can find your site” “Check your webmaster tools… It should be a recurring event in your calendar – once a week or at least once a month”

What are the top things you should be thinking about in your copy?

“Five years ago you had to write titles and headlines that closely matched your keyword… today Google has got savvier. I still think it’s very very wise to target your keywords intelligently… [it’s] Part art, part science”
“In a way common sense rules to SEO… We judge people by what they say, how they stand when they say it, how they say it…. The days of build it and they will come, they are long gone”

“In an ideal world, the quality and content of your website should corrolate with the links you earn… SEO is more and more about the quality of the content, but one of the primary ways that is being measured is still amplification… this is a fundamental challenge or dicotomy for alot of people… SEO is not about one or the other right now, it’s about both”


“Companies inherit the strengths, weaknesses and characteristics of their founder.”

If you were going to start a non-related business, where would you start with your online marketing?

“One of the things I do have, is self awareness – what I am good at, what I am not good at… My approach would be ‘I know I can create content that resonates with people’… as a result, deliver something remarkable… Content creation would be highly on my list… Visual content performs very well.”

“I wouldn’t suggest that same route for everyone” “Use your one to one personal strength to improve your amplification”

We also touched on Rand’s depression, born of the challenges of growing something and having to become a different person to do so, among other factors – link here.


What’s your take on LinkedIn?

“I haven’t got alot of traction on LinkedIn. I see alot of B2B businesses have more joy on it than other outlets on social media” “I have still struggled to find success on LinkedIn”

“[On Advertising] LinkedIn is about to take off with the second wave of users… But right now it is a good time” “I think there is maybe a year left on the extrodinarily high returns from social media”

Is Pinterest, Facebook, Instragram still geared to B2C?

“Google+, Twitter has seen alot of success on B2B… Different groups congrigate on different platforms” “If you are trying to reach certain people…the job of marketers is to investigate [which is the right platform]… Using in built tools allows you to research”

Do Google pick up on social traffic?

“Yes, there is a clear corrolation… However, this is an area of strong debate, are these direct impact?… Basically it seems you can’t pound on one social signal you can’t rank high… If you can get 10 strong links in contrast, then you will more or less always find yourself on the first page… It’s similar to the cat and mouse thing, we wait, we react to the latest trend”

What’s right for my ecommerce site, trying to gain links through influencers or from social links?

“There is no right path for everyone, but there is a right path for you” – It depends on your strengths/weaknesses. Who is in your audience and how they react to your marketing – how it resonates – “it takes time and energy” “There is no Dave and Rand’s Top Ten Tips to getting your page to the top page”

On Social Media Advertising

“Because so many people are companies are investing in social, the noise has got louder. The folks who are doing the best job, they stand out more and more… Facebook advertising can be enormously powerful – for example you can target admins of pages”

Do you use email marketing? How does it compare?

“The conversion rate – there is no comparison” “[On] Twitter… I have never had 1% click through… On email I have had 3-5% people not only clicking, but taking the action… Email is a hugely powerful tool.”


“BoS is so entrepreneurial, with so many honest conversations going on in the hallways, on the stage, over dinner, it is a catalyst for that type of thing [self reflection]. You learn alot, but it is also therapy, you learn alot about yourself.”

As you can see, the hangout touched on far too much to be summarised in one article.

Next Hangouts – Derek Sivers and Jeff Szczepanski

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