Ok Google, which car is right for me? or Everything you need to know about SEO today
What is SEO today, how to set up search engine promotion correctly, and which trends will rule SEO field in 5 years to come - talked about it and more with Sviatoslav Slaboshpitskiy, Head of SEO at the international marketing agency Digital Choo (DC).
Interviewer: Georgia iGaming Affiliate Conference (GiAC)
Respondent: Sviatoslav Slaboshpitskiy (S.S.)
GiAC: Tell us more about Digital Choo. What niches and markets are you operating in?
S.S.: Digital Choo (DC) is an international marketing agency with deep expertise in the gaming category. We also have a vast experience with a wide range of categories, both niche - betting, poker, e-sports, fantasy sport, financial trading, etc. - and mainstream like retail, e-commerce. We specialize in full-cycle marketing services and work with clients all over the world. Efficient adaptation of global solutions and strategies to the various local markets is one of our main advantages. Among others, there are analytically sound solutions, cross-regional and multichannel planning, a wide network of own traffic sources, sponsorship opportunities of any complexity, and more than 500 international partners.
GiAC: How does legislative regulation of the gambling industry affect SEO?
S.S.: SEO, or search engine sites promotion, is initially a manipulation of search results in order to get the maximum amount of targeted traffic to sites. This is a direct competition for contextual advertising, which search engines make money on. Therefore, the constant competition with them is a usual thing for us. The search engine improves its algorithm - we respond to it, adapt. It should be clearly understood that the main goal of any search engine is the quality of the search, the maximum compliance of the results with the user's expectations (the so-called relevance). As for legislative regulation, it makes the promotion process more expensive (for example, when local regulation began on the Swedish market, the cost of linking increased several times).
GiAC: What is an absolute NO GO in SEO?
S.S.: SEO today is more about correctly set processes in which you go towards the intended goal step by step. I am firmly convinced that you cannot make a website once and then constantly improve the result without working on it. It's like in the restaurant business - first you open a small cafe, then, based on feedback from visitors, you improve the service, add and remove menu positions, adjust the format of work and hours to the flow of guests. SEO is pretty much the same - you launch a site, then constantly fill it with content, build links, work with the audience in places of presence - for example, on social networks. The most important thing is not to do anything out of the blue :) And if something works, don’t touch it :)
GiAC: Does the design and usability affect the position of the site in the SERP?
S.S.: Yes, it definitely does. But let me be clear - the process of website promotion to the TOP-20 and TOP-10 and promotion ON the first page is very different. Design and usability are secondary on the first stage. As long as your site does not have a statistically significant number of users, the search engine will not be able to evaluate the quality of design and usability.
On the other hand, the search engine has the so-called dynamic delivery - when new sites come up to the first page of the search results. Then the search engine evaluates the behavior of users on the site - viewing depth, return to the search results, time spent on the site. For example, Google owns the incredible Big Data - look only at the number of users of the Google Chrome and the sites with Google Analytics.
GiAC: What is the best way to customize the site structure at the moment?
S.S.: The site structure is primarily guided by logic. After all, the structure is, in fact, a distribution scheme of paths to categories, subcategories, demo games and casino reviews. This is a set of URLs that are logically arranged in a specific sequence. A site with the correct structure distributes the internal link weight across all pages in accordance with their importance for the user and for promotion. Therefore, use human logic and don’t forget about the occurrences of keywords in the URLs of pages and categories.
GiAC: Which elements are key to best page results?
S.S.: One of the main elements of internal optimization today is a mobile friendliness: it is both usability on a mobile device and download speed. Actually, download speed is important in every way. As Google representatives said at a conference: “We are not pessimizing slow sites, you should not pay much attention to this. We simply rank sites with a good speed higher” :) Another must-have is the use of the HTTPS protocol. Also, do not forget about the metadata for all the content on the page (text, headings and subheadings, lists, tables, images and videos).
GiAC: What SEO tools are relevant now?
S.S.: We use a fairly wide range of tools and services. Among them are Ahrefs, Semrush, Netpeak Spider. For automation we use Aparser and ZennoPoster. In addition to public tools, we have a number of our internal developments that allow us to work very accurately with text optimization, do a deep competitor analysis, and almost perfectly optimize content from the search engines point of view. I am a supporter of automation, and we try to automate any monotonous processes using ready-made solutions or developing our own.
GiAC: In your opinion, what trends will be the main in the SEO industry in the next 5 years?
S.S.: The dynamics and speed of technology development now is really amazing. I think there will definitely be a strong shift towards voice search, towards decision making by search engines based on Big Data. We’ll probably go from the queries “Ok Google, where to buy a BMW?” to the queries like “Ok Google, which car is right for me?” - because now AI, machine learning and Big Data are one of the most actively developing areas of search engines.