The response has been positive for the resources our SEO interviewees are providing. Rather than stop and give some top whatever lists on SEO, let’s keep going on with the interviews adding more thoughts and opinions. Next up:

Name: Ben Cook (aka Skitzzo)
Web site you wish to have linked:
Shameless plug about yourself: Visit our forum! It’s small but our members are second to none. (I’d like to say that SEO Refugee is one of my favorite forums purely based on the number of big name SEOs who are regulars.)

Skitzzo Offers His Thoughts on SEO and Marketing

1. Defining SEO should be more than ‘on-page and off-page’ components. If you had to describe the industry to someone new what would you say?

SEO is about getting as much targeted traffic from the search engines to your site as possible.

2. The SEO industry is continually evolving. Do you feel currently there is less emphasis on the ‘little things’ and even more weight given to content and relevant links?

I really don’t know that it’s ever been about anything other than content and relevant links. Sure there were tricks here and there that let you cut corners but those never last.

3. What’s more important to you? On page optimization or off-page optimization.

You really can’t have one without the other. On page optimization is the one we have control over. Off page optimization involves so many external forces that are continually changing that it requires a ton of experimentation and even a bit of luck. That can be really frustrating at times so I tend to first focus on the on page side of things.

4. In your view, what are the top 5 must haves (if you think there are 5) for on-page optimization?

Title tag, H1 tag, internal anchor text, and site structure… you’d be surprised how many issues that solves.

5. Same question, only this time aspects for off-page optimization.

There’s really no must have other than links. There’s a reason people sell them, buy them, and bait them.

6. Web 2.0 is here and alive, where do you see Web 3.0 (Web Cubed) heading?

We’re just now getting into the good part of 2.0 and I think it’s going to be around for a while. I don’t know where we’re headed after this but I’m guessing mobile multimedia will play a big role.

7. Looking in the crystal ball, where do you see SEO in the next year? The next five?

The line between social media optimization and SEO will continue to blur. Those who are able to harness the incredible power that is the mass of social media users will be the one’s ranking and in multiple ways (traditional search, image, video, audio, etc).

8. I want to start offering SEO services. What basic essentials should I keep in mind?

You need to decide if you want to be in the service industry. Offering SEO services is as much about managing clients as it is about actually performing the SEO.

9. I know nothing about SEO/SEM or web marketing. What are the most essential aspects I should include on my web site—the absolute bare minimum/fundamental additions?

Title tags, h1 tags, and your navigational links (internal anchor text is the only kind you can control).

Additional thoughts? Continually test things. Theories, methods, tactics, tricks, layouts, content, etc. test it all. Learn from successful people and sites but don’t trust everything you read. Go with what works for you.

Be sure to read the other SEO interviews for more tips and tricks.

[tags]seo refugee, skitzzo, ben cook[/tags]