Kerry Dean, our Chief Traffic Officer, spoke tonight on the State of SEO 2015! and Beyond. In his introduction he said, “Data is my friend” and “Imagination is my favorite tool”. Kerry was able to cover 136 slides in one hour. At the end, one person commented that it should have been called, “SEO for ADD”. The presentation was fast paced and engaging. It was laced with photos of movies from the 80’s and 90’s and some of his favorite wrestlers. There were slides of birds with arms and bears with beaks. This made the presentation fly by and kept us entertained.
Kerry started learning SEO in 2005. He has now been in the space for 10 years. Back when he started the #1 goal of SEO was free traffic. SEO has changed through the years. Kerry shared a lot of information tonight, but these are some of my takeaways:
• Don’t disregard your onsite search data. Your users are telling you exactly what they are looking for.
• Kerry said his best advice ever is to test. Create a culture of testing. Stop reading about SEO. Do SEO.
• He asked, “When was the last time that you crawled your site map? It is full of errors. Search engines may distrust it.”
• Learn to use sparklines in your excel spreadsheets. (A sparkline is a very small line chart, typically without axes or coordinates. It presents the general shape of the variation in some measurement.)
• It is always good to create long list posts. It keeps people on your site longer. He used examples from Buzzfeed. If you type in Buzzfeed 67, you will find several search results pertaining to 67 things you will like about your search topic, this keeps you on their site. This increases their average time spent on the site. This makes them more appealing to advertisers. Do people like this? Whether you do or don’t, it is smart. My favorite quote of the night was, “People love to hate. Just ask Justin Bieber.”
If you ever get the chance to hear Kerry speak, go. He is funny, extremely knowledgeable, and his slides are hilarious. His final advice was “always end your presentation with a picture of a cat”. I don’t know why, but after 136 slides, I didn’t question the advice.