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Interview with Rajiv Pandey – Lead SEO Trainer at Digital Vidya

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Rajiv PandeyRajiv Pandey is a software engineer by education and started his career in same vertical as a programmer in 2006. He stumbled upon “Search Engine Optimization” in 2006 and thrilled with the potential internet marketing contains in the future. Rajiv decided to pursue his career in SEO and Internet Marketing and that’s how the journey started. He took the entrepreneurial route in 2013 by starting his own digital marketing agency. Rajiv has successfully managed to run his agency for 2.5 years and worked with hundreds of big and small businesses from India and all across the globe including Herbalife, Pepe Jeans, AutoTrader, Mu Sigma, Reliance Digital, Asian Paints. etc.

Currently, he is working as a consultant for startups in India and Europe. Rajiv is helping brands in developing & implementing smart digital marketing decisions by optimal understanding of web analytics and conversion rate optimization. He loves to constantly innovate and devise strategies to reach out to target audience and build a differentiation point for his client’s businesses.

What makes Search Engine Optimization an essential subject for Entrepreneurs, Marketing Professionals and Students? Please share separately for each of these profiles.

Rajiv:  

  • For Entrepreneurs: Search is the most popular activity on web, Only Google now processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. These numbers are bigger than any other marketplace opportunity on the planet. 🙂 

Your potential customers are constantly consuming content on their smartphones. 70% of mobile searches for products or services will result in a sale in the near future. Having a prominent visibility in search results on your most business intent keyword’s can be a boon for your startup.

  • For Marketing Professionals: To sell a product or service in today’s time, there are two big challenges traditional marketing professionals are facing:
  1. How to reduce cost per lead for their clients?
  2. How to effectively measure success and improve accordingly?

Cost per lead coming from inbound channels like search engine optimization are 61% less than outbound channels like cold calling. Practical understanding of search engine optimization can help you generate large number of potentially more convertible leads in significantly low cost possible. As a marketing professional, you can do data-driven competition and market research to effectively scale up the lead generation and conversion process.

  • For Students: According to a report from TOI – More than 1.5 lac jobs are expected to be created in the field of online marketing in 2016. Search Engine Optimization is an integral part of the online marketing industry and this is the best time for students to pursue career in this vertical.

Taking a decision about your career is going to be one of the most important decisions of your life. It’s always better and safer to choose an industry which is constantly growing. People are adopting digital at an unprecedented scale and brands are leaving no stone unturned to reach out to them. SEO is a fast moving industry and if you are open to learn, make good money and work with cool startups and big MNC’s, Search Engine Optimization can be the best career match for you. 🙂 

Please share top 3 mistakes committed by organizations in leveraging Search Engine Optimization.

Rajiv: 

  • Thinking only about optimizing a website for search engines rather than users – Keep your customers on priority, give them much better web experience than any of your competitor and you are halfway to your SEO success.
  • Using wrong strategy/metrics to measure effectiveness of SEO – I’ve noticed that people are generalizing SEO metrics for every business. Your business model, target audience and competitors are not always the same, right? Think realistically, have patience and look at the analytics trends to decide what is the SEO success for you.
  • Using old school strategies and failing to keep up with industry changes – Search Engines (more often Google) is constantly changing its algorithms to deal with spam activities and give better user experience. Outdated SEO strategies can be listed as a spam activity and backfire your business very soon. It’s always important to go with the recent algorithm changes like improving content quality, better user experience and participating social conversation for better results.
What are the key Search Engine Optimization topics you cover in the training program that you lead at Digital Vidya?

Rajiv: On Page Optimization, Keyword Research, SoLoMo (Social,Local,Mobile), Google Algorithm Updates

List top 5 takeaways of the Search Engine Optimization course you lead at Digital Vidya.

Rajiv: 

The SEO program that I lead at DV will take you to a level where you’ll be trained enough that by the time you’ll cover all modules, you will be ready to implement SEO on your own/client websites.

Some of the key takeaways:

  • Clarity of Search Concepts – Once you have a 10,000 feet understanding of how Search Engine and SEO strategies are working, you’ll get clarity of what are we doing and why.
  • Market and Competitor Research – Using better keyword and competitor research activities, you can literally spy on the SEO strategies of your competitors and improve, accordingly.
  • Understanding of Tools – Hands-on experience with important SEO tools and real life examples to implement SEO on any website. 
  • Understanding best SEO practices for different business vertical – I’ve worked with hundreds of big and small brands in last ten years. Sharing experiences of businesses in different verticals will give more clarity of practical SEO.
  • Understanding of the broader picture in SEO – More importantly – How SEO is connected with other verticals of digital marketing (social media, paid search ads) and how to implement everything in harmony for much better results.
In your experience, what are the key advantages of  ‘instructor-led, online’ delivery format?

Rajiv: According to me, Instructed-led online learning offers you the following benefits:

  • Learning from the specially designed courses’ module by industry experts and thought leaders.
  • Participants get much better clarity of the concepts and technical terms of the subjects because they are given ample of amount of time to ask any doubts.
  • Availability of industry experts from all across the world as per your time convenience.
  • What challenges do you face and how do you overcome them while delivering an online course?

I love helping people understand digital marketing and answering their questions and curiosity of the terms. However, I am just expecting my attendees to join the session on time so we can go in a consistent flow.

What are the top 3-5 trends you foresee for Search Engine Optimization in 2016?

Rajiv: 

  • User behaviour on your website is going to play more important role in the ranking of the website.
  • Local SEO will be on priority for small business and can be utilized more effectively.
  • Social Media presence and Content Marketing will get a prominence in SEO strategy.

Are you inspired by the opportunity of Search Engine Optimization? Start your journey by enrolling for our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Certification

[Sr. Associate - Content Marketing] A content passionate, Jasleen handles the content writing and marketing activities. Additionally, she leads Digital Marketing Internship Programme. Her deep passion and enthusiasm for writing guided her towards being the Associate Editor in English for her college magazine. Only deep passion and zeal can guide a person towards a professional writing career. Apparently, Jasleen is one of those persons. She is in the content writing and marketing fraternity for 5 years now. A top-notch individual, she is proficient in writing content for multiple requirements including blogs, articles, books, brochures and social media. She embraces practical knowledge of WordPress CMS. Besides this, she is also highly engaging in Social Media Marketing activities.
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