Read the full interview here
As discussed we will do an article on SEO and then your personal profile as a Maverick in business.
Louis Schoeman Profile:
- How was your passion for SEO evoked? The birth of the internet has given rise to unlimited opportunities. I knew from an early age that if I could understand SEO and its algorithms that I will be able to penetrate any market segment or industry for either my clients or personal ventures.
- What is your greatest Motivation? Delivering on promises. My word is my bond.
- Which 4 people would you invite to a “last supper”. Alive or dead. Jesus, Julian Assange, Vladimir Putin, Muammar Gaddafi
- What are you reading at the moment? Confessions of an economic hitman. – John Perkins
- How do you keep up with the latest trends in SEO? Read, read and more reading! In digital marketing it is all about a never ending education as the algorithms and trends changes daily. I have seen digital agencies close down business as they didn’t stay up with the trends that made them and their client’s campaigns obsolete. Knowledge is only power when you implement it.
- How do you keep a balance in your life? Very difficult to be honest. Being a digital marketer you are surrounded by technology every second. Your Laptop, IPad, phone ext. It is called digital cocaine in our industry. The thirsts for technology. The digital marketing world is a nonstop rabbit hole that never ends. One should always remind oneself that you can lose touch with reality if you get too consumed in this sphere. To keep me sane and out of the rabbit hole J I do cycling, hiking and anything outdoors.
- What do you like to do for fun? Putt off my phone and relax on my farm. The only balancer a digital marketer can have is to travel or be in nature.
- Who inspires you and why? Entrepreneurial risk takers like Elon Musk. In an interview he said when he sold Paypal he invested all his money in SpaceX and Solar City. He had to borrow money to pay his rent.
I respect that – His approach is both inspiring and foolish.The ultimate calculated gambler. Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk drive comes from success, not money. And that I respect the most.
- What have been some of your failures and what did you learn from them?
In life: A man should; never be judged by the way he falls, but the way he gets up.
Failure is eventually inevitable for all at some stage in ones life’s…
I always had great ideas. (No bragging) Spotting opportunity is in my 2nd nature. But I lacked strategic implementation. I have failed quite a few time on ventures when I was in my early 20’s. I didn’t do the correct research, competition analysis or opportunity mapping as I should have. I thought I could “wing it”. School fees well paid.
This was my biggest mistake. Nowadays data is my best friend. We live in an era of unlimited structured accurate data that can help us make the right decision 99.9% of the time.
- If you had a chance to start over again what would you do differently? Listen to advice when I was younger. Being a smart ass, I lost almost all my capital in an investment. But I have learned so much over the years; when to take high risks,when to play safe and when to pass on a opportunity.
- What did you want to be when you grow up? Entrepreneur. I have been buying and selling from the age of 6. From sweets, motorcycle rides to a mini in house casino. I hustled hard.
- What is currently playing on your ipod? Anything from jazz to alternative rock.
- What can’t you live without? Wife and Daughter
SEO Decoded Questions:
- What is SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of organic or natural visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. SEO is the future for business in the 21st century.
- Why should a business invest in SEO? SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. Every element of your SEO can be measured, evaluated and corrected. By doing this continuously, you can find out your return on every SEO dollar or Rand invested.
- What do business owners need to understand before investing in SEO?
SEO is not an overnight success story
Remember, SEO is a never-ending process and takes time.
SEO Is Not A Cost But An Investment
SEO is an investment with a high return. By tying in SEO to Web analytics data, you may observe certain keywords having great conversion rates for which you rank only on page #2 on Google and know that you’re leaving money on the table.
Lifting your rank to the top 3 spots on the first page, where most clicks go, can provide a massive return on your modest investment into SEO. It’s why SEO has been likened to investing in real estate – the returns can be truly stupendous when you get it right.
SEO Impacts The Research/Buying Cycle
SEO will increase your sales without proportionately increasing your marketing costs, thereby growing profits exponentially and over time. SEO can further all your business goals at a better ROI than most other comparable forms of online marketing because of this fundamental effect of better conversions and more sales at little incremental cost.
SEO Is Never Too Costly!
Nowhere else in marketing is it likely to pay off by being a contrarian as with choosing the right SEO company. In comparing several companies, you’re often tempted to pick the least expensive pitch, while it may actually be a smart choice to pick the most expensive one!
SEO Can Multiply Your Impact
By ignoring SEO, that’s exactly what you’re doing with your fancy new website. A website that could have been viewed by thousands of your best prospects and ideal clients. A website that you’re now leaving to the whim and fancy of Google to rank at its will.
SEO Will Help People Find Your Website
Your website is the first point of contact with your audience online. It can generate leads, qualify prospects and attract potential new customers, partners or investors.But unless people can find it, your website is good for nothing. SEO plays an invaluable role here.
SEO Builds Trust & Credibility
SEO can make your brand stronger, better and well recognized. The eventual goal should be that, when people search for business critical and relevant keywords and phrases, they should find you at the top of search results. Then, psychology takes over and prospects will believe that you’re the best.
SEO Drives Offline Sales
Good SEO starts with smart purchasing decisions. Today, more sales offline are driven by research initiated on the Web. A study in found that 86% of consumers use the Internet to find local businesses from which to buy offline. Yes, in the store!
- What are some astounding statistics and changes in the SEO world currently?
- 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.
- 91% of internet users use search.
- 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results.
- The first organic search result will get nearly 33% of clicks.*
- 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
- Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%.
- Local Searches Lead 50% Of Mobile Visitors To Visit Stores Within One Day
- Why can businesses not afford to be without a Social Media presence? I will highlight only the key points:
- Social media posts can be used to drive targeted traffic to your website.
- Using social media for business boosts your site’s SEO, great fit.
- If you’re doing it right, social media will lead to real relationship building with clients and prospective clients.
- Social media ads allow targeting and retargeting of type of audience or previous visitor to your website.
- You can respond to problems immediately via social platforms.
- A strong social media presence builds brand loyalty
- Your competition is getting social – you should too!
- Social media marketing will get you more sales
- You’ll find customers you didn’t know existed
- What can you offer a Business which the more traditional Marketing and Advertising Agencies can’t offer?
One Simple Answer. Online Marketing is measurable
With online marketing you can measure and account for every single cent spend. You can work out a 100% accurate ROI unlike traditional marketing such as newspaper advertising which can’t accurately show you an ROI on your advertising spend. Traditional marketing is dying a slow death – It is much cheaper and more effective to advertise online than traditional channels today.
- How do I choose a SEO company which can show deliverable results?
- When an SEO firm makes unreal promises – RUN! Don’t trust anyone that is promising first page rankings (either in Google or other search engines). Getting you on the 1st page of Google in 24 hours ext.
- Get case studies and references from the SEO firm you planning to contract. Make personal calls to the clients the agency has worked with.
- Reputation – This is a critical step when trying to pick the right SEO agency. You need to do as much homework as possible on the company, their ethics and the founders.
- Let the SEO Agency explain what actions they will do – Although your goal is to hire a professional firm to handle your Internet presence without having to worry about SEO or digital marketing, this does not mean that you shouldn’t know what methods they will use to increase your website rankings or get more traffic. If they can’t explain exactly what they will do and all they tell you is about ‘building links’ then forget about them, they can do more harm to your website than good.
- Most reputable digital agencies are “Google Premium Partners.” Make sure your digital agency falls in this bracket.
- There is currently a trend promoting ‘”white hat” SEO vs “black hat SEO”. What is the difference? In basic laments terms – Black hat SEO refers to attempts to improve rankings in ways that are not approved by search engines and involve deception. They go against current search engine guidelines. White hat SEO refers to use of good practice methods to achieve high search engine rankings. They comply with search engine guidelines.
Not many people know there is also a GREY hat – Border line white and black hat SEO.
- What would your advise be to potential customers on what to look for in a SEO Partner and why?
Ask your SEO agency 2 questions. If they answer it correctly you can consider them on a shortlist ;
- Can you guarantee my website will achieve a number-one ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo?
If the agency answers yes, “Turn and run in the other direction as fast as you can.
- Do you add meta keywords for SEO purposes?
If they say YES, run! As this is an outdated practice that has no effect on SEO anymore.
Potential clients should look and request the following from an SEO agency:
- Their Track record
- Transparency in their work
- A list of current and past clients
- How they are measuring up to your set out KPI’s
- Reporting Structure.
- Accountability after a certain period of work.
- Your company is currently positioned to offer Boutique Style SEO? What does that include?
SEOPros Boutique Agency has a personalized approach to every client’s campaign when they sign up with us. Our clients are not just a number like with most SEO Agencies but they become part of an amazing dedicated family who knows them by 1st name, understand their industry, brand and requirements . In short : without too much bragging we are a marketing savy hands on team making sure that all your strategic campaigns get nurtured and optimized every single day to surpass your competition and keep your strategic edge in your relevant industry. That is why listed firms choose us.
- How does a potential customer evaluate what the success rate is for SEO companies?
The client should set out clear KPI’s ( Key performance Indicators ) for their SEO agency e.g. Do they want?
- More website visitors
- Primary Conversions – More leads and sales
- Secondary Conversions – More email sign ups, Facebook likes ext.
- Favorable Cost per conversion
- Better brand positioning than of clients competitors
Then the SEO agency should be measured against the set out KPI’s on a monthly basis.
- Where do you see SEO moving in the future and why? SEO will continues to grow in stature every year as the world continues it dependency on technology and the internet. SEO will solidify itself as the cornerstone and most important marketing channel for businesses. That I am sure of.
But SEO has a curveball:
The greatest threat to the SEO market is A.I (Artificial Intelligence ) Machine learning technology will in the future replace SEO companies and their services just like A.I is a threat to all traditional jobs within the next 20 years.
- Is SEO a fad or a necessity for any business? Definitely not a Fad but he most important necessity for every business today
Let me point out 3 necessity points regarding online marketing ( SEO )
Point for Necessity 1: Consumer Expectations Have Changed
Almost all of us now have access to and regularly uses the Internet viqa our mobile phones, destops, laptops or iPads. Most of us, when we hear of a business for the first time, immediately look for a website or social media profile where we can learn more. We don’t stop in for a visit. We don’t look you up in a phone book. We don’t consult a rolodex. People expect you to have a website, and if you don’t, they may doubt your legitimacy or discard you as a potential option altogether. There’s a “bare minimum” standard that consumers expect to see of businesses online, so strive to achieve at least that.
Point for Necessity 2: Competition
Just because you’ve been reluctant to adopt an online marketing strategy doesn’t mean your competitors haven’t. They could be conquering the digital landscape, poaching your potential customers and offering a better first impression to anyone searching for businesses like yours in your area. To make matters worse, every day they continue to follow these strategies is another day ahead of you they’ll be.
Point for Necessity 3: Rate of Change
Finally, I want to point out the rate of change in technology accessibility, reliance on online stores and services, and of course, consumer behaviors. Big breakthroughs in technology, such as high-speed Internet and mobile devices, make us more dependent on the Internet and less dependent on physical structures every day. This means online marketing becomes more important on a consistent scale as time passes. If you don’t think online marketing is important for your business today, there’s a chance you’re right—but think about next year. This is a long-term investment.
Conclusion: Your SME businesses will become obsolete if they do not have a strong competitive web presence.
- Is there a difference in how you approach SEO for different industries?
Not really – our agency has a battle tested SEO approach which we apply to every new client. But our implementation will always differ from client to client based on our data discovery we do on every client campaign. E.g. competition analysis, industry trends, SWOT analysis, industry landscapes ext..
Our 4 stages to every camping is
Your brand is unique. We need to find out everything we can about your business, customers, competitors and industry for us to drive growth. To do that, we leverage a number of tactics
- STRATEGIC PLANNING
Armed with knowledge about your brand, we can formulate the strategic way ahead needed to drive growth. In this bucket, we use your industry and competitor data to formulate a plan to execute over the life of your campaign
- CAMPAIGN ADJUSTMENT
At this stage we have everything we need to execute your campaign. Our team goes to work implementing the fixes needed to steer your website and brand in the right direction for growth.
This is where we show our worth based on your KPI’s –We’re able to execute 100% white hat campaigns at massive scale due to our detailed process and strategy backed by data.
- What advice would you give young start-ups? The internet is a beautiful sphere where you can have a global product / service / app overnight.
What I have learned:
Start with something you know. Do not invest into something you have no clue about. You have to have passion in your industry start up you are targeting to make it a success.
- How important is a website for a business and what can customers do to ensure that this valuable asset is secured. Mavericks has heard many stories of business websites being held ransom by unscrupulous companies.
Your website if done correctly with professional online marketing, will become your most valuable sales rep. A platform that will produce quality leads or sales on a daily basis for your business.
- No Website Means Losing Business
- A website is the anchor for your marketing.
- Your website is your company’s 1st impression – Make it Count.
- A website helps you connect with new customers.
- A website builds credibility.
The second part of your question :
- Your domain ownership data (whois records) should always on your personal name / company name – Never in the name of your web host, webmaster, or web designed company.
- If you are hosting with a 3rd party – Have clear contract with your web host / webmaster to make sure that the domain and website always belongs to you.
- If your domain is being kept ransoms you can file a complaint with whois Icann – https://whois.icann.org/en to release it to you – but it is quite a tedious process.