Growth Hacking Interview Series #17: David Jenyns
It is worthy to note that David Jenyns is also a fellow Brazilian Jiu-jitsu enthusiast, as I am also an enthusiast.
But what is more interesting is David’s ability to tune in directly into the minds of his market and business utilizing SEO as his springboard to success.
Read more about him in David’s about page and be inspired!
It is of utmost honor that Marketing Manila get to feature one of the best SEO’s in the world.
Hi David, great to meet you! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you became to be involved with the SEO industry?
I discovered online marketing because a friend and I created a home study course for a stock market charting package call MetaStock.
We created a great product and had some fantastic reviews from people that we knew but we needed to get word out further.
That was the prompter to be become interested in marketing and more specifically, online marketing.
At the time SEO just seem a great way to get the word out for our product. A lot has changed since then and my business partner and I moved on.
He headed in one direction and I became more interested in marketing which lead me to set-up Melbourne SEO Services and Melbourne Video Production.
How do you personally keep up to date with the latest in SEO? It’s an ever changing industry so SEO consultants by nature need to be on the ball – how do you achieve this?
SEO and online marketing moved so quickly and in a blink of an eye, strategies that work today can be useless tomorrow.
One of the ways that I keep on top of current trends and changes is to review hundreds of SEO blogs.
I have a blog reader where I subscribe to all of the major blogs and some undergrounds ones which keeps me on top of most of the biggest trends.
I’m also in fortunate position where I have a good friends and colleagues in the industry who can keep me up to date with changes.
That’s not to mention we work on a large number of sites, both clients and our own, so I’m able to spot algorithm updates changes before they are publicly announced.
These 3 methods when combined together means I can stay right on the pulse.
There have been a lot of algorithm changes from Google over the last year. I am sure that you’ve had many potential clients come to you with ranking issues due to past SEO practices they might have undertaken. Do you have any top-level advice for people who have seen their websites take a dramatic hit recently, or incurred a penalty?
If your website has been hit with a penalty or algorithm update, one of the first things you need to do is identify if you had manual action taken by Google or if the penalty is algorithmic.
If it’s algorithmic it’s a good idea to look at the algorithm update history to determine what you’ve been hit with.
This will give you insight as to what needs to be fixed first. If it’s manual action, check your Webmaster Tools account for Google’s comments.
What sets your SEO practice apart from the competition? Are there any unique aspects to your consultancy that gives you a competitive advantage?
We’re a little bit unique in our approach to SEO, we take a more holistic view focusing on objectives of the business owner.
It’s not just about the number of links you build or the number of #1 positions.
It’s important to work with someone who understands online marketing as a whole rather than someone solely focus on traditional SEO.
If you were talking to client in your local area who was unsure about the benefits that local SEO can bring to a business, what would be the key components of your pitch to them in order to convince them?
Typically, we avoid prospects that need convincing, we like working with clients who are already sold on the benefits of online marketing.
The fact is, most businesses’ prospects and clients are searching online for solutions to their problems.
The business that doesn’t effectively market themselves online is leaving a lot of business on the table.
For any beginners to SEO, what advice would you give them? It could be anything from how to set the business up, to winning business, or just some plain motivational advice.
It’s important to focus on the client’s objective. Ensure that both you and the client are on the same page when it comes to measuring the success of an SEO campaign.
A business owner, and SEO for that matter, should be focused on the user first.
They should create the best user experience that encourages prospects of your client’s business to want to engage with them. Don’t get lost in the details of the latest tactic.
During your career as an SEO consultant what has been your favourite or most interesting project that you’ve worked on?
One of the most fun project we worked on was with the Twins from the block TV Series.
There’s always a bit of excitement for the team when working with celebrities.
Are there any other websites or online projects that you want to tell our readers about – or perhaps any social channels or things you are working on currently?
We’re really excited with some of the work were doing in regards to web video. Video is quickly turning into a huge component of successful SEO and online marketing.
There are many great wins to be had those moving quickly to take advantage of this opportunity.
We’ve recently launched a company called www.melbournevideo.com.au that focuses specifically on smart video strategies.
How do you view content in SEO as a leverage in providing relevant search results and as a way of doing link-building in the advent of the recent changes in Googles Algorithm and penalization of Ann Smarty’s MyBlogGuest?
Content strategy is also another important component of good SEO, as a general rule it is good to avoid cutting corners and mass automation tools, particularly the one’s that claim results that appears to good to be true.
Another thing to watch out for is when online marketers single out a particular strategy and say that it’s dead.
For example, we’ve all heard recently of the death of one of the following methods: press releases, guest blogs post and directory submission.
Regardless of what strategy it is, there is always someone saying it’s ‘dead’. Your focus should be on creating good high quality content that is submitted to relevant places.
Remember to focus on what is best for the user, high quality content and do it manually.
What do you think of Google’s approach to SEO? Are they being helpful by launching the disavow tool or do you think that this only gives more credence to negative SEO?
Google has really stepped up its game as the online market place becomes more competitive.
And while often times many of their updates frustrate SEOs, I think the overall picture is still positive.
Google is looking to provide more transparency and communicate more with website owners.
While I don’t get it right all the time, constant improvement will keep them moving in the right direction.
What is the fastest way to generate backlinks?
Creating a viral campaign where SEO happens naturally is the quickest way to generate back links as for the most effective way to build back links we use the strategy outlined at www.authoritycontent.com.
What is the best quick fix way in optimizing your website for SEO?
This question implies that there is magic button, quick-fix way to optimize your website. Sadly, those days are behind us.
To do well in the search engines requires much more work and analysis in multiple different areas.
It’s not as easy as it once was and careful attention needs to be paid to usability, technicals, and link building.
How do you measure your SEO success for a particular campaign?
There isn’t one size fits all for this answer, it really depends on the client and their objectives.
That said we intend to re-educate our clients to focus on conversion and traffic is also another key area to focus on but not in isolation.
The ultimate success for an SEO campaign is increased authority within the niche. Being seen as an authority gets you attention, engagements and trust.
What project that you’ve handled that gave you a hard time in optimizing yet you came out successful afterwards?
Working on www.melbourneseoservices.com has always been challenging and fun.
Being in such a competitive place (SEO) means we are constantly having to innovate and go head to head with some of the world’s best SEOs.
Fortunately we’ve remained strong and have great visibility and authority within search engines.
And lastly can you suggest any book, video, person, website that keeps you inspired in doing SEO?
I don’t have one specific guru, I’m always interested in keeping up to date with other industry leaders.
That said, Rand Fishkin (Moz) does a great job. Matt Cutts, one of Google's engineers is worth keeping an eye on and Avinash Kaushik, Googles chief analytics evangelist has also some great insights too.