Posted by Sanket Patel
November 13, 2013
“I’m kind of a big deal.” These words are spoken by Neil Patel, founder of KISSMetrics and Crazy Egg. In an interview with him, we discussed SEO best link building practices, some common errors and future insights on the online marketing industry. Below is the transcript of the interview.
Sanket: Neil Patel is an influential name on the web. How does it feel to get this honor at an early stage of life.
Neil: “ I feel extremely honored. I don’t consider myself that influential when I look at what other people have accomplished such as my idol Elon Musk.“
Sanket: The promotion of websites is taken up in various ways on the basis of the views of the Internet marketing experts. Which 3 components according to you are inevitable for getting revenue?
Neil: “First thing would be building traffic. You need customers in order to generate revenue. Next is trust, when I produce content I always focus on quality over quantity. Quality content will get you loyal and trusting followers. Third, a product that actually benefits people. Never release a product just to have something to sell. Make sure it provides value and accomplishes what it is supposed to. Those 3 will always generate solid revenue.“
Sanket: Let’s suppose you have 2 sites, an e-commerce and a multilingual. What kind of an online marketing strategy would suit the both of them according to you? Also, how would you market them in the Internet world?
Neil: “I would make sure for the commerce site you leverage shopping feeds as it is a great way to make sales. This will help push your products over to other sites such as Amazon and Google Shopping, which will drive extra sales. In addition to that I would leverage a content marketing and conversion optimization strategy as well.
As for the multilingual site I would use the same strategy above, other than the shopping feeds, and I would ensure that I have my content in different languages. This way I can rank well in each international search engine.“
Sanket: Google rolls out algorithm updates for the betterment of search results. What is your take on this as a digital marketer?
Neil: “I take Googles updates with a grain of salt. What I like about google is they are smart and think in terms of common sense. So, if you focus on offering solid content, using white hat SEO, and keeping your site spam free, google will treat you well.“
Sanket: Recently you made a statement, Its better to create tools than creating content. Do you think that creating tools is a better alternative to generating content? Could you throw more light on this statement as to how it helps marketers in their promotion part?
Neil: “I don’t think creating tools should be considered an alternative to generating content. It’s important to do both because content gets you traffic. If you create a tool without having content, the tool won’t be utilized. Once you have traffic, creating a tool can be very powerful as it gets people interacting more and can instantly help them improve their websites. It’s also much easier to make money from selling software.“
Sanket: You have some of the best brains in the search marketing industry. Thus, I feel it is right in asking you that how vital is the working culture in an employee’s growth? Or, does a person move to the next level only by his/her personal efforts?
Neil: “I think better working culture equals better employee performance and company growth. For an individual, I think success is measured by how bad they want it. Take Richard Barton for example. He started out working for Microsoft and launched Expedia during his employment with Microsoft then went on to found Zillow.“
Sanket: You must have audited or even noticed a number of websites with killer content. Our readers would be glad to know from you those 3 vital things to be considered when creating a content.
Neil: “First thing to take into consideration is topic. Take your time picking something that readers would like to know about. Additionally, write something that you care about. This will usually result in you connecting with your readers. Second, express yourself. Find your voice and pour it into your writing. I often see people taking themselves too seriously but I believe you should have fun with it. Make jokes, be cheeky, use rhetorical questions, lighten things up a little. Third, have a call to action. If you don’t call your readers to action they are much less likely to take it. Share. Download. Register. Try. Buy.“
Sanket: Neil, do you really feel that an SEO project could achieve success only with the efforts of one man, or is it a dedicated team work that helps in achieving success. Our readers would like a detailed answer for this.
Neil: “It all depends on how much work someone is willing to put into it. I write all the blog posts on Quicksprout and I don’t use a company for SEO yet I rank high in google for many keywords and phrases. Some simple tips for SEO to consider when writing are internal linking, have a title less than 160 characters, and a title that gets search traffic. The big picture comes down to the quality of your content. I ask myself these questions with every blog post. What’s the point? What am I trying to communicate? What impact do I want to have on my reader? How will this benefit my reader? If you answer all of those questions well, you will provide solid content. And solid content builds traction/links which will boost your SEO more than any other method.“
Sanket: What are your recommendations for those companies, which have lot of negative reviews and customer complaints online? How would you suggest them to manage their online reputation?
Neil: “The best way to improve a business is by listening to your customers. If you are getting a lot of complaints, read them to learn why your customers are upset, then you can zoom in on that area of the business and try to make it better. “
Sanket: For you, the game is not only about rankings or traffic. This is the concept of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Does this concept totally avoid the principles of SEO?
Neil: “I put CRO and SEO in two separate categories. When I’m trying to improve conversions on a page I don’t really factor SEO principles into the equation. “
Sanket: Neil Patel is an idol for all in the Internet marketing industry. Who is Neil Patel’s idol? From whom do you seek guidance?
Neil: “My idol is Elon Musk. I’ve followed him for many years and admire his accomplishments and hard work. I watched a documentary on him a few weeks ago and learned a valuable lesson from it. He made a huge bet with his own money dumping it all into Tesla when people didn’t believe in it and look what a major success it’s been. If you believe in yourself, I think betting on yourself is the best investment. “
Sanket: If you had the power to change something in Google for one day, what would that be?
Neil: “I would make all my websites a page rank 10! I wouldn’t really change anything I think google is a great search engine and the majority of my traffic comes from it.“
Sanket: We have read you watch lot of basketball matches, Does it prove it to be a motivational factor? If not, than what is it that drives you the most?
Neil: “I enjoy watching basketball although it doesn’t motivate me in business. What drives me the most is growth as a whole. I like to make my business grow as much as I enjoy helping others grow. The bigger I can scale a business the more it motivates me.“
Sanket: We have noticed in your signature that you regard Kissmetrics.com as your Boss. Why so?
Neil: “My email signature is supposed to be a joke. I also say “what’s a fax”.“
Sanket: How does your workspace look like? Can we have a picture?
Neil: “I travel a lot for speaking and KISSmetrics client meetings. Right now I am working on a plane and tomorrow from a hotel room. So if I gave you a picture, it would probably be a collage of me in different locations. Some may find it exciting, but with all the time zone changes it gets tiring pretty quickly. “
Thanks Neil for being a sport and answering the questions. The internet marketing world will look forward to this interview as a valuable source.
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