A summer interview with… Jeroen van Eck (@jvaneck): “Don’t fixate on numbers”
There are many great search-experts out there. We decided we wanted to give some extra attention to some of them. Therefore we will be interviewing some of these experts. During the entire summer you will be served with short interviews with influential people in the industry. You will be seeing interviews with the likes of Joost de Valk, Marcus Tandler, Chris Sherman, Mike Grehan and Danny Sullivan, and off course our bloggers! Be aware that some interviews will be published in the newsletter!
Today: Its time for ‘one of our own’ again: our blogger Jeroen van Eck.
1- Can you introduce yourself in one paragraph?
I’m Jeroen van Eck. I live in Arnhem, a city in the eastern part of the Netherlands. I work at E-difference, a Dutch company specialized in online marketing, now for almost two years. We build websites, web applications and do search engine marketing. Here I’m responsible for all SEO activities for our clients.
2- What are you doing this summer?
This summer I’ll be mainly doing some work around the house. We just bought a house in Arnhem in February and the garden has yet to be done completely. We’ll also be enjoying two weeks off and we probably will do some sightseeing in The Netherlands, but there’s no holiday planned for the summer.
Furthermore I’m going to try and use the summer to take some steps to professionalize the SEO services we offer. I’ve started two years ago at E-difference to set up the SEO services. Since then we’ve grown steadily and now the time has come to professionalize our services and systems.
3- What is the most hottest subject in search at the moment, what should every SEO be looking into?
The most important shifts we’re seeing at the moment are actually three shifts: more social, more local and more real time. These three aspects all bear in mind that you have to start thinking about increasing you’re overall visibility as a company. It even means thinking outside your website. There will be other online channels that could be more effective than your own website. A lot of companies don’t know how to handle these shifts yet. Although it seems we’re moving away from the basics of SEO with these changes, we’re not. It brings back SEO to the simple SEO rule that has always been there: create high quality, whether it’s high quality content, high quality products, high quality support or high quality services. You need something that people like about your company.
4- What do you think is the “state of search” at the moment, is the industry doing good?
I think it’s not evolving as fast as before. Some things just aren’t developing as fast as you’d expect (or want) them to. For instance mobile isn’t a major factor yet although I’ve been hearing the ‘this is the year of mobile’ quotes ever since I started in this business. As Joost already mentioned in his interview techniques like HTML5 and rich formats are the future but full integration is still far away. These are all aspects you have to be prepared for, but my advice: don´t leap in just yet. Make sure you optimized every other aspect which has influence at this moment before trying these new possibilities.
5- What is your favorite website, apart from your own?
I can’t say I have a website I visit every day and read everything posted there. I collect my information from different sources (Twitter, Google Reader, etc.) and read what interests me. Oh wait… I always read the new comics on theoatmeal.com. Those really crack me up!
6- Can “social marketing / media” and search survive apart from each other?
They probably could, but why should they? A good strategy will focus on both. Although you have to bear in mind that social media and search both appeal to a different mindset. By focusing your strategies on those specific mindsets you will be able to get more quality traffic to your sites.
7- What’s your search tip for the summer?
Don’t fixate on numbers entirely. I always find it enlightening to ask people around me how they search for specific information. You’ll see: they’ll always tell you something you haven’t thought of yourself and the statistics won’t tell you.