Tyler Tafelsky is the Senior SEO Specialist at Captivate Search Marketing. Having been in the digital marketing profession since 2009, Tyler offers vast experience with expertise in SEO and search engine marketing. His background extends into content strategy, social media, link building, and other specialized facets of organic SEO.
Please introduce yourself and where you work.
My name is Tyler Tafelsky and I am the Senior SEO Specialist at Captivate Search Marketing.
How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?
In a nutshell… the focus of SEO has shifted from keywords and search engines to users. While the concepts of keyword relevancy and technical optimization still hold true today, more and more importance is being placed on users (i.e. providing great content with a clear and meaningful user experience).
How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?
Digital marketing became a part of my life in college, where I took a few courses that touched on related subject matter. During that time, I also took on small side projects related to design and content development.
Directly out of business school I sent my resume and cover letter to various marketing firms in Traverse City, where I was living at the time. With experience writing for an online new site in school, I piqued the interest of a local SEO company that needed a copywriter. It was a great stepping-stone into the world of SEO, as this reputable company was established in 1999 and had deep roots in the industry.
What are the services you provide to your clients?
Like most firms in the digital marketing space, we offer it all – web design, social media marketing, search marketing, etc. However, we at Captivate Search Marketing emphasize a search-first approach to every program we engage in. Our experience and expertise centers on search marketing, namely SEO. We strongly believe it’s the most effective form of marketing and advertising today for virtually any business. We’re such strong advocates of this approach that we’ve trademarked “It Starts With Search™” as our company’s tagline.
What strategy according to you will prevail in 2017 for SEO?
Most proficient SEO’s are aware of the importance of content marketing. However, many fail to implement a successful strategy. For instance, a common mistake is to produce a blog post every month that targets the same keyword phrase (presumably with the intention of building greater keyword relevancy for that particular phrase.)
Instead, it really comes down to producing unique, in-depth, evergreen content that truly resonates with your target audience. When shared and boosted on social media platforms, we can increase the exposure and visibility of the content. Not only does this drive traffic, but it also lends to earning greater trust (via social signals) and authority (via backlinks).
You can still incorporate keywords, too. But instead of targeting the primary keyword target (that you’re probably optimizing your homepage for), try long-tail keywords that ask a question and beg for a solution. In orchestrating your content marketing strategy, seek to provide the best possible content given your topic. Content that’s best-in-class, or best-in-subject-matter, is what will win the game of SEO for 2017 and beyond.
What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?
If the former, I suggest specializing in one or two specific areas of digital marketing, such as content strategy, social media marketing, link building, technical SEO, etc. Absorb as much as you can and master your craft in a particular specialty. Agencies often want subject matter experts more than they do candidates who claim to be jack-of-all-trades with modest proficiencies.
If you want to create a business of your own, then you will need to have a good understanding of all (or most) areas of digital marketing. However, I do suggesting have an edge in particular area (as in the case for Captivate, it’s local and organic SEO.) Whatever the case may be for you, start following influencers and companies in the industry who are slaying it. Read articles on Search Engine Land. Watch Moz’ Whiteboard Friday. Tune into the weekly Search Buzz Video Recap at SERountable. Get immersed and speak up.
Lastly, stay righteous. The SEO community has gotten a lot flack over the years as a result of spammy practices and take-your-money-and-run services. Be a proponent of positive change in the community.