SEMpdx SearchFest 2013 Mini-Interview: Ian Lurie

Todd Mintz

Ian Lurie will be speaking at the “The Switch to Content Marketing Strategy” session at SearchFest 2013 which will be taking place on February 22, 2013 at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click the following link.

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
My background makes very little sense. I’ve got a degree in history, and in law. That somehow got me to digital marketing. Now, I’m the CEO of Portent, Inc in Seattle, a digital agency I started in (gasp) 1995.

2) How do you convince a business that quality content is worth the added cost?
I actually don’t. I try to help a client determine what a certain amount of growth – higher sales, more signups, whatever – is worth to them. Then, I show them a few routes to achieving that growth. Content is one route. PPC might be another. TV ads might be another. 90% of the time, content turns out to be the best long-term value.

3) In 2013, when someone asks you about keyword density and its relation to search engine rankings, how do you respond to them?
Wow. If someone blindsided me with that I’d probably laugh, assuming they were joking. If I had time to collect myself, I’d give them a hypothetical: Do you think you’ll rank #1 because you’re the only site with 5% keyword density on your home page? Nope. Lots of sites will probably have that same density. So clearly, there are a lot of other factors. I suggest we look at those first. You’ll find that many of them relate to the quality of the writing on your site. Since writing to a specific keyword density usually yields writing that reads like a bad Dr. Seuss knockoff, you can bet that targeting a keyword density will hurt more than help. Focus on all these other factors, first.

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