Get to know Matt Harding, Principal Owner, Coffee Marketing & SEO | RankWatch Blog

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Get to know Matt Harding, Principal Owner, Coffee Marketing & SEO

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Area man on a 16-year adventure as a marketer, graphic designer, client support rep, IT pro, and web-based business person. Matt has deep experience building conversion-first websites and SEO into a lasting revenue program for Inc. 500’s and technology startups. Dog-haver and avocado grower. Likes his coffee black – like good content.

Please introduce yourself and where you work.

My name is Matt Harding and I’m the principal owner of Coffee Marketing and SEO.

How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?

You can’t game the system anymore. I mean, I’m sure there’s exploits available, but algorithm changes are more frequent and the penalties very real – so why bother? Today it’s more about competitor research, a dedication to content, update frequency, and the usual architecture/structure/links in.

It’s also much more difficult to get rank. More people know the fundamentals of writing SEO content with good linking strategy, high word count, good content structure, etc. You can do all the basics, and still not move a SERP in the right direction.

It’s also not just about Google anymore. I’m spending more and more time optimizing where conversions will be the best for my clients. If it’s Yelp, I’ll do a lot of Yelp work. Amazon? Same.

Long tail is still great, product-driven results, quality/ingredient-relative content. That seems to be where the searcher is headed.

How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?

I started in 2001 when I was building my own websites and advertising on AdWords. I spent a LOT of money on a lot of bad clicks. It was a good education that led me to how I can get out of spending lots of money on the same traffic that I could rank naturally on.

A friend and ex-boss of mine was doing some really forward thinking work in SEO at his company, and I ended up working as his VP of Marketing for 5+ years in Portland, Oregon. I learned a lot and it kept the company above water during the Great Recession.

What are the services you provide to your clients?

Marketing/growth strategy, PPC management, web development, lead gen, design, some user experience, landing pages, conversion optimization, a lot. It seems like I’ve touched just about everything in marketing during my 20 years in and around the business.

What strategy according to you will prevail in 2017 for SEO?

Long tail will remain strong, good storytelling and video will continue to draw a lot of links and clicks. With Amazon devouring more and more of the world, Amazon product page optimization is going to be HUGE.

What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?

Learn to code. Knowing more than the fundamentals will make you less reliant on development teams, allow you to adapt faster, do more complex SEO, and most importantly tie everything together in analytics tools.

Learn to write. Connecting with your audience is all-important. Learn how to write to the value of why someone needs your service/product.

Learn Excel. The questions you need to ask are buried in the data.

Read often. Today’s “growth hacks” are tomorrow’s “best practices” – keep up.

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Devanshu Arora
As the Head of Strategies and Planning at RankWatch, Devanshu is also an avid reader and loves his technology. Spending at an average of 4 hours a day, he instills himself with the latest tech related news and insights. Aspiring to be a author of a technology coursebook for young entrepreneurs, Devanshu is leading in the right direction.