SEO Tactics to Drive Traffic: Interview With Michal Pecánek – Marketing Educator at Ahrefs

Home / Digital Marketing / SEO Tactics to Drive Traffic: Interview With Michal Pecánek – Marketing Educator at Ahrefs

Searching the Internet for information has almost become a reflexive act for all of us. It is convenient, fast, and has answers for all your queries no matter what! Every day, millions of people browse the internet to troll for information on products or to glean insights that will help guide business decisions. They get millions of search results, a plethora of pages, images, video clips, and everything related to their questions. So, what happens if your business website is not efficiently SEO optimized to pop up to customer questions related to your products or services? It’s simple, your digital brand will be invisible to customers, hence lessening the opportunities to convert qualified prospects into customers. Therefore, if you’re looking to drive quality traffic to your website through organic search engine results, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is your best bet.

Page Experience Optimization

Your customers will have absolutely no patience for error-ridden, slow websites that offer very poor user interaction. If the experience on your website is unsatisfactory, customers will leave your website and find better competitor sites without a backward glance. To improve customer experience Google has prioritized Page Experience Optimization with their recent algorithm update on Core Web Vitals. For business websites to rank in the new digital era, they must improve three factors, ie, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Brands that adhere to this new update from Google have better chances to increase brand visibility, improve site performance and stability along with several other relevant factors.

Structured Data for Your Website and Landing Pages

Often when we search for something, we find some websites offer data in a unique way right on the SERP. It could be knowledge graphs, informative videos, drop-down lists, etc. All these are examples of structured data or can also be called schema markup. It shows customers that your website has more relevant information related to their queries than any other site, thus increasing click-through rate (CTR) and reducing Bounce Rate. By leveraging structured data for your website, you can make your organization more visible to potential customers, and even better, your site will appear at the top of the search engine result page (SERPs), before the organic listings.

Responsive Web Development

With the stratospheric rise in the use of mobile devices, businesses that identify and embrace a responsive website design can gain a competitive advantage over their rivals. By leveraging responsive web development services, a business will be able to seamlessly communicate with its audience on any platform or device. As more than 50% of Internet users surf websites through their mobile devices, it is no doubt that having a website that is compatible with handheld or mobile devices will present possibilities for successful business development.

Impact of Voice Search Queries

There’s no denying that voice search will be just as crucial as other methods of searching the internet for information. In fact, voice-controlled personal assistant devices, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home have helped normalize voice search across a wide segment of the consumer base. Having your website optimized for voice search will be a critical SEO factor to rank websites in the future. Rather than the usual keywords, businesses will now have to focus on natural language patterns such as conversational languages as people are likely to make more precise queries using complete sentences. This and several other SEO functionalities will help in successfully capitalizing on this growing innovative technology.

The cornerstone of an effective website is the ability to continuously improve and innovate. There will be newer Google algorithms in the upcoming years and it’s imperative to improve your website without the need for a cumbersome process. Several brands are looking for efficient development and web design in Toronto that can help build innovative websites capable of implementing updates, utilizing digital assets to bolster lead generation, and enhance e-commerce capabilities. If you are looking to create a standalone website, make the right choice and invest in core performance and SEO functionalities, rather than just a flashy new site.


Interview With Michal Pecánek – Marketing Educator at Ahrefs

Ahrefs has many tools and features that help digital marketers. Can you tell us which tools are most widely used and popular among experts?

The most used tool in the Ahrefs toolset is Site Explorer that helps you get an in-depth look at the organic search traffic and backlink profile of any website or URL. I’d also highlight Keywords Explorer which is essential for keyword research and content planning, followed by Site Audit that automatically scans your website for more than a hundred of SEO issues.

Last but not least, the tool that has gained the most popularity in the past few months is our free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools which integrates Site Audit with other features and tools.

What are the biggest challenges and obstacles Ahrefs team has overcome?

Ahrefs was founded relatively late compared to the other big SEO software companies so getting the market share we have today was certainly not taken for granted.

When we launched back in 2010, Ahrefs was focused on backlink analysis and built its reputation and popularity on it. While it’s great to have the image of the best backlink analysis tool, it took some time and effort to shift the image towards a full-fledged SEO toolset we have today.

How do you maximize productivity with the tools and processes used in SEO?

Whoa, this can be a stand-alone article. Read our articles, watch our YouTube videos and take our SEO and marketing courses.

It’s easy to get lost, focus on unimportant tasks or go down the rabbit hole in SEO. We practice what we preach, share what works, what doesn’t and how to get your work done in the most efficient way.

TLDR: There’s no shortcut, you have to know SEO, its role in marketing, the tools you use, ideally create SOPs if you work in a team and the productivity and efficiency comes with time.

As the world of digital marketing is transforming continuously since its inception, what do you think the future holds for SEO?

SEO has been dead for like 15 years…or at least many people say that every year.

The main principles of any marketing channel, strategies and research stay the same, I don’t expect any big changes in SEO as well. It will always be the main marketing channel for many businesses.

How do you think AI will play an important role in SEO and what will Ahrefs do to help marketers?

AI plays an important role in how search engines work but it doesn’t influence the SEO work much and I don’t think it ever will. Sure, we have cool stuff like GPT-3 that can generate solid content. But the value of expert input is often needed to make a piece of content stand out and appeal to what Google is looking for – expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T).

Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms and techniques can help with keyword research, specifically clusterization, categorization and classification. However, these are things even most SEOs are not very familiar with so the benefit of implementing such features in our Keywords Explorer would be debatable.

What are your biggest pain points as an SEO thought-leader?

I consume tons of marketing and SEO content to stay up to date and when I do research for my writing which is often just assessing the search intent in the SERPs. Well, some popular companies and “experts” in the space produce low quality content and I hate when the perceived authorities mislead people.

On the other hand, this also gives me a lot of motivation to produce the best content I can and (re)educate the market.

In your view what updates of Google search engine are most important in 2021?

Probably passage indexing. While it’s not something we can optimize for, it will help to return even more relevant search results.

Generally speaking, before this update, a whole page had to be quite relevant to the search query to rank high but now it can rank high just because it contains a super relevant passage. So someone might search for “the most important Google update in 2021” and this page can pop up even though it’s just a small part of this interview and it won’t be relevant to the page title.

What would be the role of Core Web Vitals, do you think this algorithm update has the potential to be a game changer in 2021?

Everyone talks about it, there’s a whole new section in Google Search Console because of it but I don’t think that the impact is huge. When I discussed CWV with SEO freelancers, we all concluded that unless it’s really broken on the site, there are likely many other tasks that should have a higher priority. Developer resources are generally scarce anyway and improving CWV isn’t something that most SEOs can execute on directly.

What motivates you to work in the digital marketing industry?

I already touched this topic earlier. Sometimes people who read my content or listened to some of my talks reach out to me and share how it impacted their work. Educating the industry and helping people grow their businesses or advance their careers is truly the biggest motivator. I’m grateful for being in this position.

How will 2021 be for the SEO experts in particular, what advice do you have for new marketers?

There seems to be increased demand for SEO since the pandemic started and it still hasn’t stopped yet. It’s a hot market right now so it’s a great time to be in SEO.

My advice for new marketers is to be curious, question everything and to follow and learn from the right people. A good start would be to subscribe to the newsletters.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t have an SEO plan in place, start following these proven strategies to get higher rankings in 2021.

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