Richard Zwicky will be speaking about “SEO Tools” at SearchFest 2010, which will take place on March 9th at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available now. To purchase, please click the following link.

1)      Please give me your background and tell us what you do for a living.

I’m the Founder and President of Enquisite. What do I actually do for a living?  Well, I’ve kind of resigned myself to the fact that “I do stuff” and what that is changes constantly based on organizational needs.  Generally, I love it!

Prior to creating Enquisite, I built a search marketing firm – Metamend, and prior to that a traditional bricks and mortar operation in the luggage and leathergoods (fashion) industry.  Fortunately, I’ve been successful each time.  For that I’m grateful to (almost 🙂 ) everyone who’s participated in each of these ventures, helped me grow, and taught me a lot about business and myself along the way.

For quite a few years I made a living as a full-time SEO entrepreneur.  That ended in 2006 when Enquisite really started taking off.  I was fortunate enough to work on search campaigns across a plethora of sites, geographies and industries.  Working on a large variety of sites which ranged from  500 search referrals a day to ones with well over 1 Million search referrals per day really exposed me to a large range of the challenges that search marketers face, and I’ve used that experience, and the experiences others have taught me to guide Enquisite’s development path.

2)      When does a business “graduate” from Google Analytics and need to consider a premium analytics solution?

I’m not sure you graduate from Google Analytics, as opposed to need to expand beyond it!  GA offers value to a lot of people, but there’s also a tremendous amount of things it just doesn’t, or outright, can’t do.  As you become more seasoned, or the sites you are dealing with become more complex, you need to add deeper, more powerful applications like CoreMetrics, Omniture, or Portland’s own WebTrends.  Of course, it you want to get serious about customer acquisition opportunities and analysis, then you need specialized applications, like our own Enquisite!

Specialized applications are really necessary for great search marketers.  Sure, anyone can go to Google, compile a list of valuable potential links and score them, but a great search marketer uses an application like SEOmoz’s Linkscape.  You can do negative keyword research by hand, or you can use Epiar’s keyword tools.  You can do bid management via Google’s Adwords interfaces, or like the experts, you can use specialty products like Marin, Acquisio, or ClickEquations.  The same holds true for analytics.  A professional worth their salt should be using leading edge applications, like Enquisite! Then of course, you get specialized in-depth search marketing analytics, plus predictive analysis and reporting you can’t get elsewhere.  No need to drop GA, but why handicap yourself?

3)      Please give me some important analytical metrics that are too often ignored by search marketers.

I’m still shocked at how many search marketers refer to ranking reports as a meaningful metric.  How about Quality of Traffic from search, social, links, etc?  How many people engage in link building campaigns, and then monitor the rankings instead of counting the visitors?  How about putting a dollar figure to the value of a referral across all channels?  These are all meaningful metrics that people ignore, or fail to report to their clients.  Unfortunately, many of these clients don’t know to ask for this information.

I often hear people ask about how long a tracking JavaScript takes to load, but no one ever asks how often it doesn’t load.  There’s more than one application I’ve tested that misses significant numbers of page loads, and then just samples data to fill the gaps.  Far too many people are assuming their data is good, and don’t realize how poor the data collection systems they depend on really are.  Your work is likely being undervalued because the value you’re delivering is under-reported.

Ever watch the status bar at the bottom of your browser to see what code hangs? Now that page load times are important to your site’s score in Google, can you afford to use data collection systems which don’t load hyper fast? (this is why we use Akamai to deliver our JS).

People always talk about quality of data, and they are right to do so.  But are you sure you are getting all the data, all the time?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *