An Expert Interview with John Doherty
Interview with John Doherty

At Blurbpoint, our team is glad to introduce one of the best SEO consultants ― John Doherty. He is the proud owner of Credo, a marketplace that helps businesses to take it to the next level by getting the right marketing professionals. Besides, he is the agency coach, offering all the SEO solutions in Denver, Colorado.

Being a great SEO consultant, John Doherty’s articles have been featured on top ranking websites such as Entrepreneur, MOZ, Wired, Growth Hackers, Hotpad, TNW and much more. He has altogether a different perspective that makes it possible for him to see the whole picture of a marketing strategy. He analyzes detailed technical SEOs from implementation to come out with flying colours.

If you too strive for bringing some change in your business, you can have a peek-a-boo into the conversation with him and our one of the team member.

Ravi

John, Do you mind telling our readers a little bit about you and what you do?

John

Absolutely! I am an entrepreneur and SEO consultant based in Denver, Colorado when I am not travelling (which I do frequently). My main business is called Credo. where I help businesses define their marketing needs and project and then connect with the right agency/consultant for them. I also have a couple of large websites for whom I consult on SEO, and I have some various side project websites as well that I am growing.

Ravi

How will artificial intelligence (AI) transform the landscape of SEO?

John

In some more rote SEO tasks, AI will automate a lot more of the work that is currently tedious, time consuming, and not valuable for a person to do. But I do not believe that AI will ever be close to replacing years of experience and the value add that those years bring to SEO strategies and deciding what to implement and when.

Ravi

What are the top SEO strategies that you think will not work in 2018?

John

If it’s a top SEO strategy, then it should be something that continues to work for a long time. The basics of SEO never change – crawling, keyword targeting, link acquisition, content build to target the user’s intent. None of these will go away. In the last 4-5 years Google has done a great job of squelching the “SEO tricks” which made working in SEO pretty easy. So I can’t think of a specific strategy that will go away.

Ravi

Which SEO tools you use and recommend to us?

John

I think tools are a dime a dozen and you need to use the right one for the right job, but the tools that I could not operate without in my toolbox are AHREFS, SEMrush, Moz Explorer, and Screaming Frog. With those four, I can do pretty much anything.

Ravi

Is there any sky-scrapper technique that you recommend to boost website traffic?

John

The skyscraper technique is pretty simple – find something that attracted some attention, do it better and take it further, then outreach to those same (or similar) people to get links back. As such, that in and of itself is worthwhile to do to increase your rankings and traffic.

Ravi

What do you think makes content successful or viral?

John

Successful and viral are two different things. To go viral the idea has to be simple, pull on some emotional triggers that make people have to share it, and be well executed.

Successful content is different. Not all content is meant to or able to go viral, no matter how much effort you put into it. Viral is not the goal.

Content is successful when it drives traffic, builds an engaged audience, answers the user’s questions, and ultimately converts into business and revenue. Without all four of those, it’s not successful.

Ravi

Did recent Google algorithm change or update has made any significant SEO impact for you?

John

My own properties have only benefitted from algorithm updates because I invest in long term sustainable SEO that is meant to grow consistently every month and every year and therefore to build a sustainable business.

This year has been relatively slow for algorithm changes that affected a lot of websites. Google has become much better at rolling out changes that effectively change the landscape of SEO instead of targeting specific sites. I have seen some changes they’ve done, especially around Knowledge Graph and Featured Snippets, that have both helped and hurt websites I work on.

Ravi

Are there any myths or misleading SEO philosophies you still see people following?

John

People are still holding to the simplistic notion that all you need to do for SEO is put some keywords and some meta tags on the page, and magically you rank. Startups are especially guilty of this.

Another philosophy I see large websites still missing is that of crawl budget and a crawlable site structure. I have worked on some websites with high six figures of pages to be indexed and ranked, but there is no way to access many of them in less than 10 clicks from the homepage. Large sites must invest in a strong information architecture and taxonomy structure if they hope to rank well.

Ravi

Throughout the year 2017, what are some of your biggest personal achievements?

John

I’m personally proud of doubling Credo, doing well for my consulting clients, and pushing out some new business models that have helped Credo be more successful. I feel like we’re finally nailing the right business model and the right offering for businesses looking to find the right agency.

Ravi

 Any advice/predictions for Digital Marketers / SEOs for 2018.

John

Keep rolling with the punches. You know what works, so keep true to your strategies and don’t be distracted by the “hacks” hucksters who try to give you “one weird trick to double your traffic”. Those articles will always leave you unsatisfied and chasing your own tail to actually move the needle on your business.

Real growth comes from understanding who your audience is, what your product and business do for them, and the channels that can drive traffic and business to your website. So read everything with a critical eye, decide if it applies to you, and then prioritize it among all the other things you know work.

Ravi

Whom do you follow in this industry? Suggestions for the readers to follow.

John

I have carefully curated the list of people I follow on Twitter, so it might be best to look through who I follow on my own Twitter account – https://twitter.com/dohertyjf. But my favorites these days around SEO, products, and entrepreneurship are Rand Fishkin, Brennan Dunn, Pieter Levels, and Chris Lema.

Ravi

How do you balance your professional and personal life?

John

I don’t really think about balance, but rather integration of life. Sometimes I have to work early in the morning and sometimes late into the evening, but I try to also make time to go have coffee with a friend or dinner and drinks with my wife. I try to take weekends off now and I’ve tried to take an afternoon per week off from work to go do something fun. All of that helps to keep me sane.

Thank you John for taking the time to answer my questions and sharing some great insights with us.

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