Interested in tips about search engine optimization, digital marketing, and the future of the web?
Namecheap recently had the opportunity to speak with online marketing guru Neil Patel about his online journey. He gave some insights into where he sees the digital space moving over the next couple of years.
About 12 years ago you started getting recognized in the digital marketing space for your work as a top digger. What were you doing prior to that, and what made you choose Digg?
Prior to leveraging Digg and other social media sites, I focused on page SEO. I did this for my own sites and clients.
I started to use Digg because it was popular, drove thousand of visitors within hours, and thousands of backlinks. That’s why I loved Digg and spent so many hours a day on it.
What was the first major project you worked on for SEO purposes?
It was a power supply manufacture called Elpac. I helped them rank #1 on Google for the term “power supplies”.
How important is choosing the right domain to you?
Very important. People focus on keywords within their domain, but if you want to create a big business, keywords aren’t as important as picking a name that is brandable. SEO alone won’t create a huge business.
Take your time and pick a brandable domain name… one that is short, easy to spell and ideally a .com.
You say the audience is more important than keywords. Why?
Catering to a specific and defined audience is far more powerful than targeting keywords. Keywords are like paint on a wall. The paint makes the wall attractive. The paint gives the wall personality and differentiation. But the wall is your audience. And without a wall to paint, keywords are useless.
What advice would you give someone just getting into digital marketing?
Learn by practicing on your own website. It is the best way to learn.
You are a big proponent of learning from mistakes. Why?
Even the Elon Musks of the world, the Mark Zuckerbergs, the Bill Gates—they all make mistakes. No one’s perfect.
As humans, we inherently tend to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again, but if you can learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them, your chances of success are going to continually rise.
On top of that, if you can learn from other people, whether it’s Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, whoever it may be, and avoid repeating their mistakes, again, your chances of success are going to drastically rise.
What is one thing you learned from a previous mistake you use today?
With my early tools, I did not offer a free option—a reduced offering or a limited period to use the tool for free. Since learning this I have found people like to test before buying—just like test-driving a car. If you have a good tool or product, giving people a short period of access to use it helps convert far better than not doing it that way.
What do you see as the big up-and-coming thing for websites in the next year or two?
Personalization. You’ll start seeing websites change the design and text based on the traffic source. Everything will become much more personalized.
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, three tools many advanced digital marketers and SaaS developers use, as well as the founder of Quick Sprout, his digital marketing firm that helps businesses increase traffic and ROI. He’s also a prolific blogger.