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The Human Approach to SEO

June 29, 2017

SEO tips and tricks with special guest Ivan Temelkov

We were very excited to be able to chat with Ivan Temelkov to talk about how we can be more human in our search engine optimization or what’s commonly called SEO. Ivan Temelkov is an Entrepreneur, Digital Marketing Professional, Start-Up Founder, and Speaker with 20+ years industry experience. In 2015 he helped his family’s flooring business go from $250,000 to over $500,000 in YOY revenue. Ivan has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Social Media Examiner, The Rise To The Top, and has worked with globally recognized brands. Some of those include Amazon, Audible, AT&T, Charter/Spectrum, and Marketo to name a few. A systematic, analytical, diligent and goal-oriented digital marketing professional using industry-leading approach and etiquette with direct focus on bottom line results.

In April 2016 Ivan Temelkov focused his time and energy towards the launch and development of his H2H focused digital marketing agency Razor Sharp Digital. A company that focuses on humanizing business while helping brands define their full digital governance in today’s fast-paced and competitive business marketplace.

How did you get into SEO?

I’m one of those guys that is a tech geek at heart since I was probably the age of 14. This is when I think the internet was extremely premature and it was yet to evolve, so the tech geekiness lit up into search out of the blue when I stumbled into a professional in 2006. I was very fortunate to be introduced into this sort of medium, if you would, and this was way back when search was in it’s novice stages.So keep in mind this was over a decade ago when search engines weren’t operating the way they do today. They weren’t as critical, they weren’t as diligent in terms of the things they looked for. I started with a company, with a franchise, WSI (World Site International) based out of Canada. I was one of those guys that had a passion for technology, had a passion for marketing, but was a complete novice at it. Little did I know I found pure curiosity, and I think it was the curiosity and the continued interest, the drive, and the evolution of search, that really kept me immersed in it. A lot of it was self-taught to be quite honest. A lot of it was trial and error. After a while, once you fail so many times, you tend to succeed, right?

There have been so many changes in the last four years. Can you sum up what has happened with SEO?

What has really happened over the last three or four years, is particularly search engine over at Google have put a stronger emphasis on toward humanizing search. There have been a lot of changes. For instance, the carousels come up on search results on mobile devices, really emphasizing that local businesses. A lot of what business professionals and marketers don’t understand is that search is in fact the number one activity we invoke as consumers. It is the number one thing we do on a smartphone. It’s the number one thing we do on a desktop device, and a tablet device. So much that, most people don’t know this, Google actually paid Apple $1 billion to be the default search engine on all apple devices. When it’s the number one activity, imagine the potential, the amount of interaction that brands can capture, and Google in particular. Google pretty much chases us around nowadays, anyway. They know where we are, what we do. What we like, what we buy, and that’s without us even logging in to our gmail accounts. There is a lot of anonymous data being collected.

What has happened over the last couple years is actually a couple things. Google tried to take a stab at the social game. We know what happened to that, with Google Plus. What a lot of people don’t know is that social is about 14 percent of the search pie. Here is why this is such a huge number, and why social is such a companion to search, is because emerging search trends always start on social media. This was the intent with Google Plus, which was the fastest rising social network, in its day and through its time, however, due to the saturated marketplace, it could not sustain.

A lot of people think of SEO as a campaign. Can you explain why SEO is less of a campaign and more of a commitment.

This is the number one dilemma I face, usually, is having to explain the difference. First and foremost, SEO is not an instant gratification. You have the paid results and then you have the organic results. Now, the organic results have over a 70 percent trust rate by consumers, because consumers are savvy enough to know that the organic results are not inflated. Now the paid result always are, they are an ad. That’s they are intended to do. Now, in the discussion I have with clients, I explain to them that SEO is not an instant gratification, and it’s something you have to plan for a long term. It does offer a lot of value, a lot of long term value, but it’s like anything else, when you plan for certain things you have to plan long term. Anything that’s worthwhile will take longer to accomplish. SEO is just that. The best way to explain SEO is there are two areas of SEO. There is the technical and the nontechnical. It’s not a campaign, it’s a relationship building exercise with your customers. To do that you need a strategy, you need good implementation, and you need good execution.

What are the secrets to SEO most people forget when they are trying to game the system?

Yeah, I want to share a link to Search Engine Land the SEO Periodic Table. This is the table I’ve used on multiple occasions as a reference point especially for more of those novices, who really want a layman’s terms education of what SEO is. It’s a free download you can grab.

When I first started SEO on of my challenges, and it took me nearly 10 years to figure this out, was that the simplicity of it is the differentiating factor. Simplicity in the sense that being able to transfer that information to other brands and individuals who wanted to learn more about SEO. And keeping it very basic. Okay, if I want to start SEO, what do I need to plan for? What do I need to do? How much do I need to spend? How much time do I need to allocate? How many resources?

Always focus on the user. There is this golden rule of search, always focus on the user first and the search engine second. You need to have good content, you need to have good usability, speed, and stories. These are all ranking factors. One of the things that is really key for SEO right now is the amplified mobile pages.

Explain how companies can get started with SEO.

There is a one, two, three approach. First, is like anything, you want to determine what your goals and objectives are. For SEO, it’s do you want more traffic, do you want ideation, do you want more awareness, do you want more conversions, do you want more phone calls, do you want more contact forms. What are your goals? And that is usually the number one mistake, most companies make, they don’t have realistic goals. They’re typically correlated to something monetarily.

The second that you need to determine is, and this is where it gets tricky, is time, money, and resources. All of those. How much is it going to cost you to achieve those goals. What kind of resources are you going to need. You need a creative, you need a project manager, you need a content writer, you need a social media specialist, you need a search specialist, and you need a page search specialist. That’s seven resources. If you count up the cost associated with seven different resources, or have one individual do all of that, it’s astronomical. This is where most businesses run into a dead end. They incapable of implementing or strategizing.

The third thing is your timeframe. How long is it going to take.


To follow Ivan check out his Personal LinkedIn Profile, the Official Razor Sharp Digital Website, or follow him on Twitter.

Want to watch the whole conversation? Check out our Facebook Live. Click here to watch Jessika Phillips, Mike Gingerich and Ivan Temelkov.

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