Ross Hudgens will be speaking at the “SEO For eCommerce” 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.
I run a consulting agency, Siege Media. I recently left my full time job in-house four or so months ago to pursue consulting as a full time gig, and so far, it’s been great. I’ve spent a lot of time in the lead gen space but my knowledge comes mostly in the area of link dev/content marketing, where I’ve spent a lot of mindshare writing on my personal blog. Most people know me for my writing there as I’ve spent the last three-four some-odd years blogging about whatever came to mind from my efforts doing SEO. Now that I’m on my own, my work spreads to other verticals like e-commerce, and my work to other areas like on-page work and traditional content strategy.
2) What are some deep linking strategies for business that have massive numbers of product pages?
The best bet is to create something great at each level of the scheme. If you have a great pair of jeans that you make, people will link to it because it’s revolutionary – for example, Se7en Jeans get tons of links without ever doing “traditional” SEO. But that’s not very helpful, and it requires you make the product, so I’d go as far as to say that you should create content value on each page, such as making unique category pages that are unique (such as a zombie category), or product pages with powerful video and informative, educational content for the products. BodyBuilding.com is one great example of that where they create informative content around lots of different products that generates a boat load of links to deep pages, because they legitimately create value there.
3) If an ecommerce site asks you what the value of content marketing is, how would you respond?
Content marketing is an accelerant of your current content strategy. Businesses who simply do content strategy very well can do great things, but it is the marketing of that strategy that creates a true multiplier effect. I like to think of it in various forms – first, effective “static marketing” – those things like e-mail automation, having the appropriate social share buttons, account names, and calls to action at the end of a purchase that get your users not just to buy, but to get on the hook to evangelize what you do. Second is the ongoing, manual promotion of our content – it is true that great content gets talked about, but it is not always that easy, and effectively using CRM, solid outreach skills, and more can help inform a great strategy and make the natural spread more fluid over time. These fundamentals at play allow for SEO wins in aggressive markets to take effect, which can represent 75%+ of the revenue for some businesses – and doing it appropriately requires continuous, effective effort that should represent an entire department for large-sized companies.