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Rand Fishkin is one of the world’s leading SEO experts, strategists, speakers, and authors.

We’ve been fortunate enough to have Rand joined us on a previous episode of the podcast where he answered a rapid-fire list of questions from the DPB audience. This time, he’s back to offer his top techniques and predictions for the future of SEO.

What is SEO today versus what it has been in the past?

Due to the constant change that’s happening online, many dealers get overwhelmed about the perceived speed at which things move. When asked about what SEO today is versus the past, Rand offers and interesting answer.

I would say that SEO today isn’t that dissimilar to what it’s been over the last 4 – 5 years. Tactics change, and opportunities to get visible in Google change, but the fundamentals of SEO have remained the same very consistently for quite a while now.

He goes on to say,

There are a bunch of things that you need to do technically, correctly, to be visible, crawlable, indexable to Google and there’s a bunch of things that can harm your potential visibility; mistakes that you can make, and you need to avoid those. There is serving users and searchers in a fashion that’s going to get you engagement and amplification.

Rand Fishkin says that there are two sides to SEO

The technical side of SEO and the creative side of SEO, that’s essentially what optimization has been for a while now. Rand expects that those elements will remain well into the future.

Most of the time we get caught up in the technical side of SEO that we often forget how important it is to use our optimization efforts to generate amplification.

User experience is extremely important to search engines. In fact, that’s one of the measurements they look at when determining whether your website is valuable to searchers or not.

The importance of conducting SEO tests

Since SEO is an important element of online marketing, it should be no surprise that doing tests (experiments) are a factor of success. Many dealerships worry about the cost of testing, often not realizing that ‘winging it’ is a much more expensive strategy.

Nobody likes to fail, but failing in marketing is the fastest way to find out what works and what doesn’t work.

There are over 200 ranking factors. Which one should take priority?

When you have limited time throughout the day to focus on SEO, what should take the priority? Here’s what Rand has to say,

I think about it less from a ranking factors perspective; I’m not sure that’s a great mental model to use. What I vastly, more strongly support is a model that follows an order of operations. That’s simply from the SEO fundamentals pyramid and up. It starts with ‘Can Google crawl and index your websites?’ – pure accessibility…

From there are you targeting keywords and have you created content that has the potential to rank for those keywords? You might want to create a keyword to content map where you have 1 column for the keywords you want to target and one column for the content on your site that are targeting those keywords

From there I’m thinking about on-page optimization, and links, and engagement (user and usage data signals, social signals, etc.) all those kinds of things – e.g., amplification and reach…

You can essentially prioritize all of those pieces of work by the importance of ranking for the keyword. The four metrics that I care about most are volume, difficulty, opportunity, and relevance to my business.

As you’ve probably guessed, SEO is alive and well. All of those reports from a year or so ago suggesting that the end of SEO was in sight were quite literally short-sighted.

By following the suggestions offered by Rand Fishkin in this episode of the show, you’ll be position for greater SEO success moving forward.