At Pubcon, Las Vegas, we met up with Keith Goode, the SEO Manager at IBM, and we asked him about some of his learnings from 2017 and what his top digital marketing tip for 2018 was. 

Naeem: “What was your biggest lesson in digital marketing in 2017?”

Keith: “My first lesson is that sometimes you have to just be willing to let things go, and we talked about this before when we were talking about removing duplicates from a site. Also trying to reduce the resource utilisation on the site.

A lot of very big sites want to reduce their resource workload as much as they can and when you have millions of web pages, it’s overwhelming. A lot of executives want to use the delete button; and in some cases they’re right. And that’s a hard lesson for an SEO to learn, because we want to hold onto everything for as long as we can and what we’ve had to do is work through a compromise.

(eg) Okay, so let me identify actual valuable pages and tell you what I need redirected and then for the other ones, you can delete them if you want.

So that’s been a hard lesson to learn for 2017.”

“In terms of more of a fun lesson has been learning how to not obsess over keywords. It’s an interesting thing because, yes keywords are important and they’re sort of foundational to a good SEO strategy, but because of the way Rank brain is now beginning to perceive language and understand language, and understanding that 15% of all queries that they get they’ve never seen before on a daily basis, we now don’t have to have 15 iterations of variations for those keywords on a page in order to rank for those keywords – and I think that’s kind of a fun lesson this year.”

Naeem: “What is your top digital marketing tip for 2018?

Keith: “I would say, it’s nothing new, but voice search. It’s going to keep getting bigger all the time, and gaining access to that data and taking advantage of that data is going to be very valuable to SEO’s.”


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