Daniel Randolph is a 30+ year marketing veteran helping transform both National and Local Brands ROI on marketing investments. He spent 15 years managing .com marketing efforts for venture capitalists and corporations. He has created over $1billion in online revenue. In 2010 he started Minnesota Interactive.
Please introduce yourself and where you work.
My name is Dan Randolph and I am the CEO and a Sr Consultant at Minnesota Interactive Inc.
How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?
While the precise work to optimize and promote websites has evolved with technology the basis of SEO is unchanged. Google set out to build a search engine that was able to detect relevant content that is also popular and serve it to searchers. While the Google algorithm has evolved, in reality it does not work much differently than it’s original intent. What has changed is the ability to game the SERPs.
How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?
I started digital marketing work in the late 90’s. I was running the sales and marketing for a consulting company and part of that was building it’s first website. I read widely about how to do that and built it right and about a week after the site went live our phone started ringing with people wanting to hire us. A few years in the future I was running an eCommerce business and we were paying a large “SEO” company to get us on page 1. As aI became more and more frustrated with their results, I started learning SEO for myself. I fired them and started doing the work and the results took off. 20 years later I have helped companies gain over $1 billion in eCommerce revenue.
What are the services you provide to your clients?
We are a full service digital consulting company. For most of our clients we are their web department. We manage the server environment, design and build websites, run all marketing including SEO, PPC, Email, Social etc, we do all the reporting, set strategy and build budgets for all marketing investments. We also do digital assets for a variety of uses (photo and video). We also do some custom development for our clients to automate their processes.
What strategy according to you will prevail in 2018 for SEO?
Google change the landscape for SEO last year by taking over the page with relevant paid ads. For non-niche efforts, the best SEO play is the long tail. For good niches, the game is the same build great content and make sure it’s popular. I would add, that companies that don’t have complementary social and PPC efforts, will lose.
What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?
eMarketing is a very exciting job right now and the barrier to entry is low. We see a lot of people in the industry who are wholly unqualified. If you are not the kind of person who finds this space interesting you should choose an alternate path. The landscape changes completely every few months and if you are not evolving with it, you will be unsuccessful. Occasionally I will be listening to speakers who our touting techniques that an algorithm changes killed years ago. 25% of all our new business comes from clients who were working with someone who was not keeping track of Google changes and hope we can recover the loss that took place because of it.
New people in our industry should try to learn and don’t believe what you read. Almost always, the “experts” are 3-6 mos behind the market.
Lastly, many new entrants to the market are happy to freelance. Freelancers should understand they are devaluing both their own worth but also their future earning potential.