You’ll recall back in December a brief note I wrote on the lack of female SEOs in the web marketing world. Well one person who has been around for ages (not a commentary on age, but rather wisdom :D) is DazzlinDonna whom we welcome for our seventh installment of SEO Interviews. Read on to catch some of her words of wisdom.

1. Welcome! Your vitals before we start:

Name you wish to be displayed: DazzlinDonna (aka Donna Fontenot)
Web site:
Shameless plug about yourself: I think calling myself DazzlinDonna is shameless enough, don’t you?

Let’s start off with some questions sets:

2. 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?

I’m not sure it really should be described as more than on-page and off-page components. That pretty much sums it up. But as far as explaining it to a newbie, I’d say that SEO is one aspect of Internet Marketing that focuses primarily on improving organic search engine rankings, via the use of both on-page and off-page strategies. What most of us really do these days, however, goes far beyond mere SEO, and encompasses the whole superset of Internet Marketing. We don’t always mean “just” SEO when we use the term “SEO”. More often than not, we are actually referring to several components of Internet Marketing in general. And hopefully, we are also concentrating on more than just ranking,such as conversions, usability, etc. Still, it’s difficult to change our ways and use a term other than SEO when that’s what we are so used to saying.

3. Many managers, webmasters, and web owners have heard horror stories about the SEO industry. In your opinion what’s the biggest problem preventing SEO from becoming a mainstream component of business marketing?

Publicity, and the lack thereof. There simply isn’t as much “good news” going around as there is “bad news”, and that’s typical of our world in general. When a business is looking to expand online, they eventually get around to asking questions. Hopefully, they’ll stumble across someone reliable to give them the correct answers.

4. How can the industry solve/address this issue?

I’m really not sure, but I think some sort of alliance between the Internet Marketing industry and the conventional offline marketing industry would probably go a long ways towards educating the masses.

5. What’s your opinion what component is more important to you? On page optimization or off-page optimization.

On-page, because that’s where we have the ultimate control. But that doesn’t mean off-page is NOT important, because it certainly is.

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

Internal link structure and anchor text

While other things are great (headers, bold, etc.), those two alone are MUST HAVES. You can do a lot just with that.

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

Just the obvious.

1. As many links as one can get from trusted pages with great anchor text.
2. As many links as one can get from a nice mix of various types of not-so-trusted sites.
3. A nice natural mix of anchor text scattered throughout in addition to the the “right ones” mentioned in the first one.

8. Name two web markets you believe are not yet saturated and have relatively higher than average ROI potential.

No thanks. I’ll keep those kinds of secrets to myself. :) Seriously, my advice is always to keep niches to one’s self. Share everything else, but don’t share the niches!

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

3.0 will be everywhere. We will be connected no matter where we are or what devices we have or don’t have on us.

10. Is it true that just about anybody can ‘do’ SEO?

Sure. Just about anybody can ‘do’ anything with the appropriate amount of information, study, and practice. Even rocket science!

11. Case scenario: a strong web programmer (short on business skills) and a strong businessperson (short on programming skills) enter the SEO industry at the same time. Who has the advantage?

The business person. It takes far more general business knowledge to succeed than it does programming knowledge. But either COULD succeed. Heck, someone with zero programming knowledge, and zero business knowledge could succeed. But the business person probably has the advantage.

12. I want to get into the SEO industry, should my skills be rooted in one of the above categories?

I think if I had to choose a preference, I’d say study up on marketing in general first, business, second, and then programming third. It’s fairly easy to outsource programming stuff, but not so simple with general marketing and business skills.

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

Know which keywords to target on each page, and then use those keywords wisely in the title of each page. That would be the absolute bare minimum, imo.

14. Additional thoughts?

You’ll never shine if you don’t glow.

Well thanks a lot of agreeing to do this Donna, we appreciate your input!

[tags]dazzlindonna, dazzlin donna, donna fontenot[/tags]