Top SEO Expert Roger Balmer Interview
Interviewed by Gordon Choi
Questions from Gordon Choi and Answers from Roger Balmer – Let’s get started.
Q1. How long have you been in the SEO or online marketing industry?
Roger, “I have been in the SEO industry since 1996 by adding websites to search engines manually.”
Q2. For what reasons did you start your first SEO or online marketing project?
Roger, “My first SEO project was a tourist information platform which had the goal to provide something like the maxx city guides, but online.”
Q3. What industries or niches have you worked with for SEO or online marketing?
Roger, “I have worked mostly in all industries as a SEO. May it be a clinic, a pharmaceutical company, dog food, chemicals, tourism, finance, insurance, TV, media, I’ve completed about 1,000 projects.”
Q4. In your experience, which industry or niche you have found easier than others to work with for SEO? Why?
Roger, “Travel is still one of my favorites for SEO. Even so competition is huge, there is still a niche about information beyond the provided hotel information that potential tourists look for. It is easy to build content for and there are not that many rules you have to follow. It is definitely hard to do SEO for pharmaceuticals, at least in Europe, when you are not allowed to mention the medication and have to build the page about or around the symptoms first.”
Q5. In your opinion, which industry or niche is the hardest for doing SEO?
Roger, “I think one of the hardest is to do SEO for deal portals, where you do not have much of content that you can provide to search engines or as above, pharmaceuticals. All other work well. Even so tourism or finance is a challenge, it is never annoying and therefore worth a try.”
Q6. How is SEO in 2020 different to SEO in the past years?
Roger, “In my eyes, the abuse of schemas fully runs trough the SERPs. Again if I check on tourism, there is a enormous abuse (in my eyes) of the FAQ schema. If you checkout Booking.com, Hrs.com and Trivago, I am not really sure how beneficial their FAQs are to potential clients and to search engines.”
“Lot of people will more and more tend to use optional search engines as Duckduckgo, which is not yet schema overloaded.”
“Search is in the change to vocal (voice) search. Saying that in my eyes it is dangerous that one of the key triggers for vocal are schema based information. This might become as spammy as meta data have been in the past.”
Q7. For online marketing newcomers, what resources do you recommend them for learning online marketing and SEO?
Roger, “Google Webmaster Hangouts are always a nice resource. SEO Roundtable is another and of course your sites if I would hunt for asia. Also I would try to get a chance to visit a offline conference such as SMX and build a network. Networking in my eyes is one of the best to get into SEO and learn from others.”
Q8. Please give us one tip for improving local SEO?
Roger, “A tip to improve local SEO? I would try to get on any local gov site where I pay taxes to. At least in Europe, this can help improve a ranking. Listings on Google Maps, LinkedIn Biz, Facebook Biz Page and so on are must round up.”
Q9. Please give us one tip for improving international SEO?
Roger, “Focus on developing native content when doing international SEO.”
Roger Balmer (Linkedin Profile) has given us SEO advices from his interview answers on international SEO, local SEO, and industry-specific SEO.
He has mentioned the over-use of schemas in SEO pages.
- Local SEO involves in ranking websites for a single (or specific) country or region (i.e. market) such as Hong Kong.
- International SEO is usually for multinational companies to optimize one or more websites across multiple countries and/or multiple languages for organic search engine (e.g. Google) rankings.
- Industry-specific SEO is when a SEO professional optimizes websites for a single industry/niche such as tourism, pharmaceutical, dog food.
SEO is the combination of art and science.
It is art because it requires the creation of content. It is science because it has to measure and test the results including keyword ranking, traffic and conversions.
It involves the SEO professional to use both his/her right brain and left brain to go through the following tasks:
- Market research
- Web analytics and reporting
- Graphics design
- Human psychology (in terms of marketing)
- Personal competitiveness and character stiffness
- Ability and desire to keep learning
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