We’re getting a great response from our SEO interviews so why stop?! Last week Fathom offered his thoughts no SEO, now it’s time to move to another web marketer with a wealth of experience — Daryl Clark (full bio at article end). Be sure to post your comments on Daryl’s responses; without further ado let’s head straight to the interview.

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?

Search engine optimization is about creating relevancy so the search engines will deliver your website to qualified web surfers. The search engine relevancy of your website is essential but it is only part of SEO. SEO is about using your website as a lead generation tool. Using it as a lead generation tool means moving a website visitor into a funnel from visitor to prospect, from prospect to lead and from lead to converted sale. The sales process has to be at the forefront of all you SEO and Internet marketing activities.

2. Many 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?

I think SEO is already a mainstream component of business marketing. However there are a lot of companies that masquerade as ethical and competent SEO firms. These companies give the SEO industry a bad name. I’m afraid as long as the Internet exists this will not go away.

3. How can we solve/address the issue outlined above?

The best advice I can give is to avoid working with newly established companies who might have taken a seminar or online course and work with companies with proven track records and references. It is amazing how many firms will not provide references and how many potential clients will not call references when provide. Due diligence is important in SEO just as it is in any major business decision.

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

Off page optimization for sure. If you ever have the opportunity to run a website that gets thousands of visitors from Google a month, it is truly a mind boggling experience. With more people using Google every month the referrals from Google grow at dramatic rates every year if you can dominate the top three positions for your desired search terms, especially if you can manage to capture a few #1 rankings.

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

Search relevant SEO researched page title, good copywriting, H1 and H2 tags, search relevant body text and lastly clean code.

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

Co-citation is the most important component of off page optimization in my opinion. Google will give your website significantly higher rankings if the websites linking to you are related and if the link to your site comes from a links page, ideally all of the links on that page should also be related to your content.

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

Health and life insurance on a local or regional basis.

Service industries in particular almost all facets of local or regional construction contracting.

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

Ah…being a futurist isn’t one of my strongest skill sets. I used to work for Bose Corporation. In 1992 I said the wave radio “will never make it”. Bose now sells about 8,000,000 of them annually. I’ll have to pass on this question. [What’s a wave radio Daryl? Just kidding…]

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

No, this isn’t true! SEO is a marketing function. If you have a good general knowledge of marketing then yes you can learn most of the things SEO professionals know and apply. If you don’t have a marketing or technology background my advice is to hire a professional.

10. 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?

This is a tough question. It really depends on that person’s aptitude for learning. It depends on the individual not their background in my opinion.

11. I really want to get involved in the SEO industry, maybe do some consulting eventually, should my main skills be rooted in one of the above categories?

As per my previous response I think the most successful SEO’s are and will be people with marketing and sales backgrounds. Of course I might be a little biased in this area but to my SEO is a marketing function not a technology function.

12. What are the most essentially aspects I should include on my web site—the absolute bare minimum/fundamental additions?

Your success will come from focusing on the customer’s experience at the point of purchase. Treat your website just like it was a brick and mortar store. Make sure people know your store is open. Make sure easily find what they want. Make sure the purchasing process is easy and provide superb customer service. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer.

Web Site: http://www.internet-search-marketing.com

About: Daryl Clark has owned and operated Internet only businesses for 8 years. His clients are earning more than $10,000,000US combined annually from his work. All of his clients all have top rankings (1 -3) at Google for popular search terms and so does his own consulting website. His first Internet marketing website eMarketingman.com was started in 2000 to help aspiring internet marketers. After selling eMarketingman.com in 2004 Mr. Clark started his current web site and blog. Both are great resources for information regarding SEO, SEM and Internet marketing.

[tags]web marketing interview, interviewing seo managers, seo training interview, seo interviews[/tags]