Eric Enge will be speaking on SEO at Engage 2018, which will take place March 8th, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

Engage 2018 Speaker - Eric Enge1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.

I’m CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, a 70 person digital marketing agency that provides services to dozens of large, well-recognized brands. The services include SEO, content marketing, social media, and other related services. In all cases, our goal is to help our clients increased their ROI from their Interwebs activities. On a day to day basis, my areas of activity include:

Lending assistance to the Stone Temple team of lead consultants with some of our tougher client problems.
Driving our research projects, including the analysis for the data studies that we publish.
Aiding with the sales efforts of the company, particularly with larger opportunities.
Traveling around the country and keynoting or presenting at many different conferences.
That all keeps my pretty busy!

2) What are some SEO Factors that are very important now that weren’t important a few years ago?

One of the big ones is the emergence of featured snippets. These are important because they show up above the regular search results. This has led to the industry to refer to them as being position zero (credit to Pete Meyers for coining the term).

One thing that makes them so attractive is that you can earn a featured snippet even if you don’t currently rank number one in the results. Further, if you rank in position 5 currently, it’s probably easier to get position 0, then it is to get into position 1. But, that’s not the only reason.

We’re fast approaching a world were digital personal assistants will be an increasingly popular with end users, and these will start to capture more and more search volume. These applications will be much more voice driven, and the responses will be played back as a spoken response … and there will be only one response. You won’t get a page with 10 results, you’ll get one. And, if you’re not that one result, you will get significantly less visibility than you will if you are.

I believe the featured snippet program is an investment being made by Google to develop new algorithms that will help them make their number one results increasingly better in quality. In traditional search, it’s not that bad if the first result is not what the user wants, if what they want is in position two or three. In a world where the response is spoken, you only get one result, so if it’s not what the user wants, the consequences are higher.

So, investing in learning how to get featured snippets can help you get more traffic today, and also prepare for the digital marketing world of tomorrow.

3) How do you communicate Technical SEO Factors effectively to the C-Suite?

The answer to this question does depend on which person in the C-Suite, as the needs vary by job function. I.e. the CMO will need something different the CTO, and the CFO will need something else. That said, here are a few keys to addressing a C-Suite audience:

Learn the knowledge level of the person/people you’ll be presenting too. If you’re talking to the CTO, you may need to be prepared to speak about the technology or even the code. For the CMO/CFO/CEO, you won’t. Knowing your audience is critical. Once you understand this, adjust the technical level of the discussion to that of your audience.
If you’ve not presented to this audience before, go talk to someone that has, and get their input on the key aspects of how you should structure your presentation.
Plan on having 5 minutes to deliver the core message. Even if you have 30 minutes scheduled, get the core point across in the first five minutes. Otherwise, you’ll lose their attention.
Be very clear on the potential level of impact that the technical SEO recommendations will have. Make sure that this is included in what you communicate in the first 5 minutes.
Be prepared to back up your statements. You may not be able to show specific case study data, but draw on other industry articles or resources to help backup your position.
Most importantly, know your stuff cold. This will help you with my final recommendation, which is to relax and enjoy the process!

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