Peter has been in the field of SEO since the dark ages, way back when Alta Vista was a thing and Google wasn’t. He does contract and freelance work and can be contacted through Linkedin here.

Peter joins us to share some of his SEO knowledge in another installment of our 3-Question SEO Series.

What is the most valuable SEO tool or technique you’d advise all website owners to adopt in 2023?

There are many great tools and techniques, but I think the most valuable thing remains the fundamental marketing imperatives. Think trust, reputation management, and other external signals of influence.

If your site ranks well, that’s great. But what does a searcher do next when encountering a site they haven’t seen before? They check reviews, press, and other sources for signs of group acceptance.

So, you’ve got to make sure those types of pages are positive and rank well, too. Think of SEO as a reputation-building exercise. And any page that ranks well and leads back to you via a link is a positive, SEO “result”.

There’s a great book called “Influence” by Robert Ciandi in which he talks – at length – about how often people look to others when making a decision. Think about how you can use SEO to help influence their decision-making process.

In your experience, what is a digital marketing or SEO basic that website owners tend to neglect time and time again?

Having a poor understanding of their audience, their competition, and the way search engines work.

Everything starts from there, really. If a site ranks well, but there are few or no conversions, then what use was the SEO campaign? There is often an expectation that if a site has SEO, and ranks, then the job is done.

What happens next is the important bit. So, having identified what your customers really need, what your competitors are weak at, and where your strengths lay, publish deep and wide to get in front of your audience. Demonstrate why you’re a better choice than your competitors.

Finally, there are many signals that you can’t see. They’re to do with searcher activity. You can influence this activity by focusing on brand-building techniques.

If you could travel back in time to 2005 and give yourself one piece of SEO advice, what would it be?

Buy up existing domains much more often than I actually did! There was a lot of web “real estate” that was underpriced in 2005, and as the years progressed, established sites with good link profiles became much more useful from an SEO perspective than starting from scratch.

As always, we want to thank our interviewee for taking the time to give us their expert advice. Thank you Peter! We’re sure our paths will cross again soon.

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