Mark Van Overmeire has been active in digital marketing since 2005. He started his own digital marketing agency in Belgium in 2008. Besides running his own agency he worked as a free-lance consultant for some of the biggest companies in Belgium. Currently, he resides in the US and is the Managing Director & Director of Digital Marketing at Go2marK, a digital marketing agency based in Las Vegas.
Please introduce yourself and where you work.
Mark Van Overmeire. Managing Director & Director of Digital Marketing at Go2marK, a digital marketing agency in Las Vegas.
How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?
The biggest change, in my opinion, occurred with the rise of Social Media and how these outlets have benefited businesses to enhance their customer reach. The rise of mobile phones has also completely changed the digital marketing landscape, more specifically in web design where we now have adopted a mobile first approach.
Another change, one that has not been beneficial for small businesses, is in Pay Per Click. 10 years ago the cost per click on important industry keywords was about $0.10 (10 cents). Now, in certain industries, the cost per click goes up to $10.00 (10 dollars). This just shows that democratic bidding system such as Google Adwords & Bing Ads have a big downside. When big corporations have the budget to pump up the cost per click on important industry keywords small businesses are just not able to compete anymore.
If I look at on-page SEO nothing has changed at the core of on-page optimization over the last 10 years. If the question were 20 years I would argue that keyword stuffing became a thing of the past. Maybe now there is a bit more focus on internal link flow than 10 years ago but the same standards still apply for on-page optimization. A lot of high quality content with good keyword targeting gets you results. However, what did change drastically are off-page SEO factors. There is a clear before and after 2012 in terms of creating a backlink profile. This is when Google introduced its Penguin algorithm update and a lot of businesses saw their rankings evaporate overnight. It is now crucial to have backlinks coming from quality pages only.
Something else businesses now appreciate more than before is the importance of website usability, especially with the rise of mobile devices this has now become more important than ever before. You can spend thousands of dollars on SEO, if your website or landing page is confusing or does not convey your message clearly you will not make a sale or get a lead.
How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?
In 2005 I decided to set-up a travel website to share some of the experiences I have had during an 18-month backpacking journey in South America. I wasn’t aware of SEO but was building the website and learning how to create good quality pages and how to divide keywords over pages and how to target them. As I was getting great results and it occurred to me that this could become a career for me.
In 2007 I got a job at a digital marketing company in Belgium. Here I got introduced to PPC and learned the ins and outs of the Google Adwords platform. Social Media was just getting started. At the company I got experience with handling big clients from start to finish. Late 2008 I started my own digital marketing business in Belgium. After moving to the US in 2015 I founded Go2marK and run and manage all aspects of the company.
What are the services you provide to your clients?
Go2marK offers a wide spectrum of digital marketing services such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Optimization (SMO), Pay Per Click (PPC), Responsive Web Design, Email Marketing, Video Marketing, Content Marketing, Conversion Marketing, International SEO Strategies, SEO Workshops, SEO Auditing, Conversion Marketing, Link Building Strategies, CMS & e-Commerce Consultancy, and Brand & Reputation Management.
What strategy according to you will prevail in 2018 for SEO?
Mobile first strategies and ensuring that you are marketing on the platforms that your customers are using will be on the top of the list in 2018.
What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?
Digital Marketing is now a field of many specialties. My advice would be to focus on a field that you are passionate about and master it to the best of your abilities. Set-up personal projects to gain experience and to understand what happens when you make certain changes or additions. Once you land a job at a company you will learn other fields and become a more well-rounded professional.