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Interview with Lukasz Zelezny, SEO and Social Media Keynote Speaker

Interview with Lukasz Zelezny, SEO and Social Media Keynote Speaker

Lukasz Zelezny is SEO and Social Media Keynote Speaker with 15 years of experience. He traveled 75,000 km speaking at many conferences including ClickZ Shanghai China, ClickZ Jakarta Indonesia, SiMGA Malta, SES London in the United Kingdom as well as conferences held in Europe. Lukasz shared his valuable SEO experience and SEO tactics. To know more about Lukasz Zelezny ’s projects, follow his Website or Twitter page.

1. How many years of experience in digital marketing do you have?

I have been working in digital marketing for just over 15 years now.

 2. What type of digital marketing you have the strongest skills?

Content marketing and technical SEO are my strongest skills, I would say. But I have tried my hand at a lot of things over the years. The world of SEO moves fast so identifying those core skills that are consistent throughout is vital for my survival.

3. You grow many own projects. Why did you decide to use different brand names for each of them?

I like to work with a diverse range of people and I believe that every project warrants its own individual team, a team that is tailored to the needs and demands of that project. Of course, when you find talented individuals, you want to use them for other projects. But it is also important that you don’t come to rely on a single group to the exclusion of all others.

4. What projects you have launched recently you are proud of?

SEO.London,, and have all launched as smoothly as I could have hoped for. I believe they put me on a good footing for 2020. I am also proud of the increasing amount of public speaking that I do, trying to help up and coming SEO experts to find their place in this unique and ever-shifting marketplace.

5. What do you do to further your own SEO knowledge and skills?

When at conferences I am speaking at, I try to meet as many of the people there as possible. I don’t just hang around with the other panellists and speakers. Those guys are cool, but I like to see what the fresh faces are saying, how they view what we’re doing from their level. It is always enlightening to hear their ideas, especially the more ambitious ones. I think that those interactions are an invaluable learning experience for me.

6. Is there any marketing or SEO blog you like most of all and why?

There are loads of great blogs out there today, the new kids just getting into the game have more resources at their fingertips than we could have dreamed of. Neil Patel is one of the obvious choices; he has a great way of explaining complex concepts in a way that makes them easily digestible for the average website or small business owner. And, of course, The Moz Blog is an awesome resource for newcomers.

7. What are the top 3 errors you made at the beginning of your SEO specialist career?

My first mistake was trying to do everything at once from the word go. No one comes into the SEO world as a fully-formed specialist who understands the nuances of the industry and modern SEO techniques. Second, I underestimated the importance of analytics. If you want to excel as an SEO specialist, you have to learn to love data, luckily for me, I now love data. And my final mistake was a common one among SEO newbies – I underestimated how important local searching is on a global platform like the internet. This is all basic stuff, but it is the basic stuff that you learn from experience. Every newcomer will make mistakes, what’s important is that you learn from them.

 8. What SEO tactics do you think are underrated?

The most common tactic that websites overlook when it comes to that SEO is just producing organically great content. If you attach a blog to your business website that is full of insightful and useful articles, you will naturally build an audience and generate traffic. Google is smart, it knows when a website is popular, and it takes that seriously, even if the website is making no effort to engage with Google. Other SEO techniques are no good if they are not paired with high-quality content.

9. What website performance items should always be tracked when it comes to Google’s recommendations?

Every website that cares about its SEO statistics should install Google Analytics tracker on the website. Google Analytics will connect all the data you could ever want for tracking your SEO. Your key metrics will depend on your goals and what you are hoping to achieve with your SEO campaign. For example, if you are just looking to give your traffic a bump, then your most important metric is going to be your traffic and you are going to be trying to make that number grow. On the other hand, if you are hoping to increase your rate of conversions, then you know traffic will only be one part of the equation.

10. Do you believe that backlinks are Google’s past? Is link building important for increasing the website’s positions nowadays?

Link-building is very important and is only going to become more important throughout 2020. We already know that Google is planning to make domain name authority a central component of determining SEO scores going forward. There has always been great value in links from high-authority sources, but these are going to be even more valuable going forward.

11. In your opinion, does the technical health of the website affect the ranking positions in search engines?

Oh, absolutely! Google is getting smarter and their algorithms are enabling them to dig deeper into the background of the websites that they rank. Google started penalizing slow websites a while ago; their understanding of what makes a healthy website is much more refined now.

12. We all know about the June update from Google. Some websites rose, some of them fell. What do you think about the new algorithm? What are the main new rankings factors SEO and Marketing specialists should pay attention to? How do you stay up-to-date on the near-constant search algorithm changes?

I think that it is always important to at least try and understand what Google is hoping to accomplish with each algorithm update. They aren’t very good at communicating this a lot of the time, but often their changes do have some kind of rationale behind them.

Many of the new changes this time round are things that SEO specialists can get behind. For example, the renewed emphasis on domain name authority will encourage high-quality sourcing. Beyond this, Google’s focus now is on evolving its search engine beyond keywords and text searching. Searching using voice is becoming more common, meaning that Google needs to be able to respond to search queries phrased like human speech. Marketing specialists need to start getting to grips with semantic searching and how they can target user intent rather than keywords.

In terms of staying up to date, Google doesn’t always give advance warning of their plans to update their algorithms.

Updates often take the community by surprise, so the best way of reacting to them is keeping your ear to the ground and monitoring SEO communities on social media.

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO Keynote Speaker

 13. Are you going to surprise SEO and Digital Marketing world with something new (tool/app, course, product)?

Over the course of this year, I will be focusing a lot in my talks on how SEO specialists can manage groups of people more effectively. Lots of the most talented SEO specialists I know are quite introverted. People assume that SEO just involves sitting at a computer, but you need to be a people person in order to really succeed.

14. How do you make competitors analysis? Please provide a short 1-2-3 steps guide. 

  1. Define your goals. Before you begin any task, you need to know why you are doing it.
  2. Identify your target keywords. You need some good keyword research before you approach your competitor analysis.
  3. Use Ahrefs to view their backlinks. Use this to compile a list of links that you can target.
  4. Use Majestic’s backlink tool and the backlink profile that you just compiled to gain a better understanding of their link profile and its relevance to you.
  5. Establish the industry average using The Competitive Landscape Analyzer provided by LinkResearchTools. You can compare your competitors and yourself to this average to work out how far you both have to go.
  6. Scout out their social media and look at how they market their content through their social media platforms.

15. What key factors to measure when planning to launch a website in absolutely unknown to your niche?

If you are preparing to launch a new website in an unfamiliar niche, your preparatory work will be vital for your success. You need to establish who the major players in the niche are and what their SEO is like. You might get lucky and discover a niche whose biggest websites have become complacent about their SEO. This enables you to swoop in and pick up a big slice of the market much quicker than normal.

 16. If somebody asked you to help/make SEO for website, what themes would you decline? And why? 

If you want to establish a career in SEO then you need to stay well away from illegitimate websites. Sometimes, it’s up to the individual where they draw the line morally – if you do SEO for a major porn site then you can get good money and the sites are legit, but do you want that on your resume? On the other hand, you have websites that deal in hate speech or illegal content. No matter how much money they offer to pay you, you can never put that work on a resume and expect to find legitimate work.

17. Google webmasters every year say that backlinks do not work. What do you prefer for your website according to them: good backlink profile or high-quality content? 

Both! Neither is much good for you without the other and you shouldn’t ever have to choose between the two. If you produce high-quality content, then you will naturally attract high-quality backlinks. Not to mention the other SEO bonuses.

18. What is your checklist when doing website audit?

  1. Check for dead links and zombie pages.
  2. Make sure that the website displays correctly on different devices and screens.
  3. Prune the website architecture so that it is easier for crawlers to cover.
  4. Check meta tags.

19. WhIn your opinion, does a user’s behavior impact on website ranking in SERP?

In short – yes. Google monitors click-through rates and other metrics that indicate whether users are interested in your website or not. If your website is appearing near the top of SERPs but still being overlooked, Google will know something is up. Every click-through is a vote of confidence. It is easier for Google to use these measures to track websites rather than doing it manually.

 20. In your opinion, does the technical health of the website effect on rankings in SERP?

Yes. Anything that has an effect on SEO will have an effect on your maximum potential SERP ranking.

21. What is your approach to developing an SEO strategy?

I like to gather as much data as I can beforehand to build a clear picture of the challenges ahead. If you gather the right data together, your strategy will more or less write itself. I start by defining my target keywords and competitors and conduct an in-depth analysis of both. I then work up content and link-building plan to work in tandem.

22. What services/companies/apps have inspired you the most this year?

Ahrefs has been a favorite tool of mine for some time and it remains a staple for almost all of my projects. Google’s analytical tools shouldn’t be overlooked either, they are improving all the time and are one of the few Google services getting some love from the company.

23. What are the most critical SEO mistakes you have ever seen in other companies?

Probably the most damaging mistake that I see other businesses making with their SEO is not doing any research at all. Lots of businesses who have never spoken to an SEO specialist are just thinking of obvious keywords and then targeting these. You need to do the groundwork before any major SEO campaign.

24. How do you evaluate web analytics to measure SEO performance?

Keyword rankings are the gold standard of SEO metrics and this is the most important metric for you to consider. But as well as monitoring these and the backlink profile, I also find click-through rate and the portion of mobile traffic we’re getting to be reliable indicators of SEO performance.

25. How do you see the future of SEO (in 5 years)?

In 2020, Google is beginning its push away from keywords and towards intention-based searching. Google is about discerning user intents and providing solutions, not retrieving information. SEO will change to reflect the changing way that we use search engines. This can already be seen in the move away from text search and towards voice search and image and video search.

26. Which SEO or marketing tools can you recommend as a must-have for every SEO specialist?

SEMrush, Ahrefs, and LinkResearchTools together form a solid core for SEO specialists to build on. Of course, the best tools will depend on the kind of work you are doing.

27. What advice can you give for those who are just starting their career in digital marketing?

Be versatile. Digital marketing moves very quickly, you need to be adaptable in order to keep up. The more skills you have, the more valuable you will be.

28. How to make a website search engine friendly? Could you please name the main steps?

Being search engine friendly is mostly about being tidy. Don’t allow your website’s architecture to become overly complex, use simple URLs for articles and blog posts, keep the underlying coding as trim as possible, also ensure that navigation is easy for humans as well as search engines. Finally – produce good content!

 29. SEO is such a controversial thing. Every SEO specialist rate its success differently. What is your way to rate SEO success? What metrics do you look at? 

Whenever you begin a new SEO project, you should set yourself some clear goals. If you are able to set yourself a goal and then achieve it, you can consider yourself a success in my view. In the long-term, you are looking for consistent user engagement without your users becoming fatigued.

30. In your opinion, good SEO specialist should be a good analyst? What extra knowledge should SEO specialist has to succeed?

Absolutely. If you want to succeed in SEO then you need to learn some basic statistics. It’s not a bad idea to pick up a high school math book and teach yourself how to analyze data. You need to be able to spot patterns and trends, then pick them apart and understand them.

31. What SEO analysis metrics you pay attention the most?

Click-through is one of my favorites. Ranking highly on search engines is great, but you need to be able to pull users in with those brief snippets that Google shows them. Click-through tells you how successful these are.

32. Do you have any experience managing a marketing or SEO team? What were the biggest challenges? 

Yes. In Zoopla, as Director of SEO, I was responsible for 10 people. The biggest challenge is communication. Even if I am ok talking to them, communication goes both ways. The more people there are, the harder it is for everyone’s voice to be heard. For that, you need structure and you need everyone to know who’s in charge. As long as you can keep things organized, communications will flow freely.

33. You are noticed at many digital conferences. How important live communication is for business? How does it work for you?

It is very important.

One of the luxuries of being an SEO specialist is that you have a skill that people need all over the world.

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO Keynote Speaker

Not only this, but you can sell your services over the internet. Anything you can do to facilitate communications with clients increases your capacity to make money.

34. Should a business have a corporate blog?

Yes, without a doubt. A blog is a powerful SEO tool, as well as an easy way of offering more value to your most loyal users and customers.

35. How can start-ups and early-stage businesses use SEO effectively to drive traffic to their sites?

As soon as a business has a website, they can begin to work on their SEO. Adding a blog to a business website immediately gives you an avenue for both building your SEO and keeping your nascent website active.

 36. What do you prefer the most: client SEO, own projects, consulting, something else?

It really depends on the specifics, but personally, I enjoy having a problem to solve. Whether that comes from something that I want to achieve for myself or from trying to meet a client’s specifications, I like the challenge and satisfaction of solving puzzles.

37. What strategy do you prefer: launch and grow many small projects or work on a few solid projects?

I always like to be occupied, but not overloaded. So, I will usually take on a main project and then, depending on how big that is, some smaller projects on the side. But this is a personal preference thing, some people work best when they focus on one thing.

 38. Have you ever used black hat and grey hat SEO tactics? What do you think about them?

Not in my professional career. I think that black and grey hat SEO are fascinating to read about from my perspective as an SEO specialist. But I prefer to stick to the white hat stuff. It isn’t worth risking Google’s wrath.

39. Have you ever run Google Ads campaigns? How do you combine Google Ads campaigns and SEO?

Yes, I have. If your business has a physical presence, you should be writing your PPC Google Ads with local SEO in mind. Google Ads can be a very fruitful source of new traffic and users, but far too many businesses overlook the importance of considering SEO when constructing those ads. Write natural ad copy that incorporates your most important keywords to enhance their power.

40. Does your university degree help to succeed in SEO and digital marketing?

Yes, I think so. You don’t need a university degree to work in digital marketing, but you will learn a number of important skills regardless of the degree that you do. SEO requires an analytical mind and a willingness to research. The skills I learned at university have definitely helped me.

41. Can you share your professional and business plans for the next 2-3 years?

Not in 2-3 sentences. There is a lot that I want to do in the next few years and we are at a pivotal moment for SEO. The landscape will look very different in 2023.

42. Can you describe in a few words your strategy, how do you work with any project from start to finish?

I treat each project as a unique and individual case. I don’t tie myself down to one approach and try to make it fit everything. Instead, I consider each case before I commit to a strategy.

43. What can you tell about mobile SEO? Is it true for you that mobile SEO will absolutely force out desktop soon?

I think that mobile SEO is definitely going to become more important, whether that is to the exclusion of desktop I cannot say. Most internet browsing is now done on mobile and many of us are reliant on internet searching throughout our day. But the way we search on our mobile is different to the way we search when sat at a computer.

44. Is it important for SEO success to have high-quality content or optimized meta tags?

Yes, both of those are very important. High-quality content is the single most effective way of scoring and maintaining a high organic SEO score.

 45. Structured data is becoming more and more important these days. How do you think why? Why did Google start to pay so much attention to structured data sites?

The more structured data is the easier it is for computers to read, sort, and analyze it. This is particularly important in the world of big data, where the databases are huge.

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