Digital Marketing Advice for 2018 from Scott Hendison

We met up with Scott Hendison from Search Commander Inc at Pubcon 2017 and picked his brain with a few digital marketing questions. Check out the video below.

Naeem: “What was your biggest lesson in digital marketing in 2017?”

Scott: “It seems to be snippets, snippets, snippets.

Getting in position zero. I was in a session earlier where Marie Haynes was going through the search queries in Google search console, showing where she was ranking number one, but only getting a twenty percent click-through rate to her website. I can’t remember exactly what the query was, but she looked, she did a search and she found, yes, she was ranking number one, but the answer was right there in the snippet.

So it really hurt her more than anything; it wasn’t helping to drive traffic, she was answering the question right there. So I think the key learning is snippets aren’t always right. Getting in position zero, which is that answer box above the top, isn’t right for every phrase. Sometimes you don’t want to necessarily answer the whole question in that snippet.

The other thing that I think, or more of a reinforcement of what I’ve known is that video is taking over.

People want video”

Naeem: “What are some of your favorite tools and why?”

Scott: “I’m a small agency, so I really like Raven, primarily for the customization of reports. I really like Google search console tool because it gives me almost everything I need.

For links, the general consensus among everyone in the industry is that Ahrefs seems to be about the best, but I’ve been a Majestic user for so many years, and I just love them. I’m a loyal customer to them. Beyond that, boy, I’m always trying new tools.”

Naeem: “What’s your recipe for local search success?

Scott: “The single most important thing I always advise local clients, is to look for consistency.

Make sure your name, address and phone number are consistent, and spread wide throughout the web and everywhere anybody is mentioning your name, address and phone number. All the directories – everything from Google local to Bing local to yellowpages.com, whatever website. It should be really consistent, and quite often is not.”

Naeem: “What advice do you have for webmasters wanting to start on AMP?

Scott: “AMP is not necessarily for every site. AMP is really designed for new sites, so if you’ve got a news site, or a blog, or if you’re putting content out on a regular basis, that’s somewhat timely, not so much the evergreen content, that’s really where you could implement AMP and see instant results showing up in the carousel.

So many businesses hear AMP and they jump on the AMP bandwagon, and it’s just really not necessary. You know, when AMP came out, you couldn’t have a form, you couldn’t have ads or shopping cart products, but for the last 18 months or so, they’ve started to expand that more and more. But really, is AMP going to be right for your customer? It really depends on your business.

On my site, for example, I don’t AMP anything except for my blog.”

Naeem: “What is your top digital marketing tip for 2018?

Scott: “Pay attention to schema data… or structured data. If you’re a local business, whatever your products or services are, look into schema.org. Make sure you’ve got that markup in all the appropriate places on your site.

And then video – figure out video production. You don’t need a $10 000 camera or a huge video budget; you can make quite effective videos just by being creative using your camera that’s right on your phone. If it’s done well, it’s going to get shared. Turn your phone and your camera sideways.”

Naeem Dollie :Naeem is our SEO prodigy, analytics virtuoso and link outreach maestro. He’s had a decade's worth of experience in the SEO game – 4 of which were dedicated to becoming a human link magnet. Naeem is passionate about brand outreach, new digital developments and getting results through SEO. When he’s not beating somebody at pool (he’s represented Western Province) you’ll find him captaining his football team or supporting Man United FC.