Marc Heighway on Mastering Search Engine Optimization

Do you find it difficult to work in SEO given search engines constantly changing algorithms?

I won’t lie, as it can be extremely frustrating sometimes with the goal posts continually being moved by Google.  But having said that, I am constantly testing and trying new strategies to see what works and what doesn’t so I tend to be very on-top of what’s changes are happening.

As part of my job and business I have to be at the fore-front of what’s happening in search engine marketing, and the benefit to my client’s is that their own websites and projects that I work with them on should sustain their results and continue to improve.

I run an SEO agency in the UK and my clients value the fact that I only offer them SEO – it’s not just an after-thought but instead a very specialised service that I like to offer.

What’s the hardest part about affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is another revenue stream to my company’s monthly income, and a particular niche that I love.  I started out as an affiliate marketer before offering SEO services to clients and have been running campaigns for quite a few years.

The hardest part is probably finding the offer… but what I tend to do first is identify a problem or a need by looking at search trends.  Once you have that nailed is usually pretty easy to find an affiliate offer or partner with whom you can send the traffic to for conversions.

If there are any budding affiliate marketers who want to get started and don’t know what to do with SEO then they can take a look at my personal SEO blog where I share tips from time to time.

If you could rewind your business 3 years, what would you have done differently and why?

Great question.  I’ve only actually been running my business full-time for a year and a half.  Three years ago I was working in Switzerland for an American company called Garmin where I was their online marketing manager for Europe.fiverrmarc

If I could rewind life back a bit I think what I would have done is look at start-up my own business a lot earlier.  I wasted a lot of time in my early twenties with your typical things like partying and going out.  Sometimes I wish I had had more business focus back in those days because you never know where my business might be today.

Having said that, I can’t complain as I had some great times, plus the business is going well and it’s changed the life of my family so it’s all good!

What’s your take on black-hat SEO techniques? Should small businesses use them?

Hmmm… well black-hat SEO serves a purpose, but I only ever view it as a short-term solution to a long-term goal.  With the businesses I work with I would never practice black-hat with because their website can be their livelihood and it’s far too risky.

However, I have explained black-hat SEO to some clients and connected them up with people offering these types of services.  I like to tell my clients about all the different options available, but personally don’t use black-hat techniques when it comes to building up long-lasting online businesses and relationships.  It’s not worth my time or reputation to do so.

If you could leave our readers with one piece of online marketing advice, what would it be?

If at first you don’t succeed, then try, try, and try again.  Yes, I know that’s a tired old cliché, but it’s true.  I must have built 10 or 15 websites when I first started by own online marketing and affiliate projects before I hit on one that really succeeded.

SEO can be a bit of a game of chess. logo

If I can give one more shout-out,  I am actually developing an online course at the moment to teach beginners how to do their own SEO.  The website is still very much under development but I plan to launch it soon – it will be called the Simple SEO System and will include videos and guides for members who want to get started in Internet Marketing.

Hopefully you can let your readers know about it!  It will launch in December 2014.

Finally, thanks for the opportunity for the interview Stephen.

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