How to Win Against Biggest Brands in SEO with @HamletBatista #VCBuzz

How to Win Against Biggest Brands in SEO with @HamletBatista #VCBuzz

I like saying that SEO is not a rocket science and anyone can understand and implement the most essential fundamentals of it.

Yet, with search engines becoming more and more demanding, we see biggest brands win time again.

And this issue reveals itself in everything. Amazon doesn’t have to use Schema to have rich snippets and eBay doesn’t have to go above and beyond to have several listings per SERPs.

Yet, can we still win against biggest brands?

Yes we can! Let’s see how!

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About @HamletBatista

@HamletBatista is CEO and founder of RankSense, an agile SEO platform for online retailers and manufacturers.

Hamlet started doing SEO as a successful affiliate marketer back in 2002. These days he holds U.S. patents on innovative SEO technologies, , and believes great SEO results should not take 6 months.

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

I became an Engineer in the Dominican Republic and my first marketer role was affiliate marketing back in 2002. I was able to make a fortune promoting my own sites.

I moved to the US in 2010 to join a startup company and later set out on my own to start an SEO consulting company, and finally RankSense. Our software business in 2015.

Q2 Some time ago you wrote an article “SEO: How to Win against Giant Competitors,”… do you still believe it is possible? If so, how?

Absolutely. Large companies have to pursue huge, obvious opportunities. 

Few of them have the patience to slowly experiment and explore customer pain points that seem too small at first

The ideas in the article are still applicable:

  1. Take a big market and carve out an audience that you are intimately familiar with, but that it is not getting a first-class experience. It is easy to see that when it affects you or someone you know closely.
  2. Provide that superior experience to such group of people
  3. Leverage them as brand ambassadors

Q3 What is the easiest, fastest way to generate some organic visibility?

The easiest and fastest way is to generate some sort of controversy or pull a publicity stunt. 

But, I personally don’t take that approach or recommend it. 

  1. It is not sustainable
  2. It can damage your reputation in the long run.

I’ve seen great success with publishing interesting data-driven studies, but those are probably not easy when you don’t have the programming skills.

Instead of looking for a massive short term win, focus on small, but consistent wins every month. You won’t see the impact for the first several months, but 6-12 months later the reputation you builts starts compounding.  I’ve seen my online visibility increase +10x in a year using this approach.

Yes. It is perfect for local businesses, but not every business has a physical location (or multiple)

Q4 Do we have to invest in backlinks these days? How to beat big budgets when it comes to advertising and link building?

I have a different opinion than most SEOs when it comes to link building, authority scores, etc.

Let me use an analogy to explain my perspective.

When you go to school you are supposed to learn, acquire skills. Your skills are the real thing.

However, schools assess your skills development by using grades. But the grades are only proxies for the skills, not the real thing.

Many students focus exclusively on getting the best grades. In the short term, it seems like a good plan. But if they didn’t really acquire the skills, they will fail in the real world.

Links, like grades, are only proxies for real expertise and authority

Instead of chasing links and tweeter followers, I focus on sharing real and unique expertise in visible places. I’ve 10x my visibility in a year with this approach.

I  can barely keep up with the attention this is driving for me personally and my business.

People, search engines want real experience. Plain and simple.

That is how you even get to guest blog at a search engine’s site 🙂

If I was just chasing links, I’d not been even close to being in the place I’ve been. Again, in about a year of consistently sharing real expertise.

Again. Links are very valuable but remember they are proxies. Try to aim higher than just links and focus on your online reputation.

Q5 What are your favorite digital marketing tools?

I don’t spend a lot of time using marketing tools these days. I spend a lot of my time prototyping ideas and talking to our customers about their challenges.

My favorite tools are probably Google Colaboratory, Mac Notes, and Twitter.

Great options. I forgot to mention that I’ve been doing a lot of exciting research using @____lighthouse#SEO and #webperf

Also, check @BingWMC new set of SEO tools. Very impressive what you can get for free, including #SEO scanning, questions research, etc.

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