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Work on the same thing, really hard, for a long, long, long time.

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Swingrover’s leadership in SEO, inbound marketing, and business development has helped investment advisors place over $1 Billion of investor equity into passive income–producing properties. He has also allied with leaders in the real estate industry to develop an advocacy platform designed to mobilize and amplify the voice of Americans fighting to preserve the tax-deferred exchange, serves as an official member of the Forbes Real Estate Council, and is completing a master’s degree in philosophy on the side. Previously, Swingrover helped launch and operate a start-up called Sabre Compliance Services, which was dedicated to preserving investors’ liability protection. His future plans include nothing less than bringing a REIT of net-leased assets to market under Reg. A+, so he can finally start making powerful wealth creation tools available to average Americans. He and his wife are foster and adoptive parents, enjoying their life in Idaho together with their children, bunnies, and bearded dragon. Swingrover is an alumnus of Biola and Gonzaga universities.

Please introduce yourself and where you work?

Hello, I’m Louis Swingrover and for the last 9 years I have served as the president of The Espresseo, a boutique provider of strategic marketing consultation for national real estate investment firms.

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

Over the last 10 years the discipline of Search Engine Optimization has called for an evolving variety skills and resources that must be integrated with one another and directed toward the appropriate ends. Ranking algorithms continuously change, new tools become available for the task, the software one relies on changes from year to year, the competition gets tougher, and the demands of our clients grow. But the basics of human nature are constant, the principles of marketing never disappoint, and the ideal toward which Google’s engineers labor, to serve the most relevant results possible, remains the same.

One thing that’s changed is that content has become more important, in various ways. Content is now generally weighted more heavily relative to technical signals, and the structure and the quality of the content have also become more important.

But what’s remained the same is that the importance of content has always been on an upward trend, and this will continue to be the case over the next 10 years. Knowing this, you can make the production of ever-better content a part of your company’s operations with confidence.

Another thing that’s changed in SEO over the last ten years is that 98% of the tricks and hacks that used to work will either be a waste of time or harmful to your site. But what hasn’t changed is that a very high number of people rely on services that provide answers to their queries. Who would have thought that changes made to websites with the intent of increasing their exposure but that do not improve their relevance would become obsolete?

I’ll suggest that there’s been at least one more major change, and we haven’t seen the end of this one either. Did you notice anything odd about how I phrased that previous point? I referred to “services that provide answers to queries” rather than “search engines”. If you’ve done your homework you know that Google has never been in the search engine business. It’s mission has always been to “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Their search engine is, obviously, still in use, and by no means can we afford to neglect it. But Google users are increasingly finding what they need without ever landing on a results page. Whether you site ranks number one on that page is irrelevant. And it’s not just on Android. Google Assistant is now effortlessly accessible throughout the kitchens and living rooms of America by way of their smart speaker, the Google Home. And not just here: it speaks French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. If the scope of your vision doesn’t extend beyond search engine optimization, the relevance of your discipline will shrink with the relevance of the search engine.

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

15 years ago I was working in the marketing department of a real estate investment related company, and the director of marketing at the time mentioned something about “arranging meta tags” as a way to get our website more exposure in search results. I had never heard of a meta tag and as soon as I left his office I rushed to my desk to Google “meta tag”, and I haven’t looked back since.

What are the services you provide to your clients?

Our team provides strategic marketing direction and campaign management with an emphasis on SEO and inbound marketing for national real estate investment firms. We work with internal resources, including c-level execs, creatives, and developers. We also work with our own preferred software engineering and creative teams as necessary to effectively achieve the goal. We prefer a fairly deep level of integration with a firm’s existing operations and digital infrastructure, so we are selective about who we work with, and we won’t overextend ourselves.

What strategy according to you will prevail in 2018 for SEO?

The SEO strategy that will prevail in 2018 is the same one that has prevailed up until this year, and there are two aspects to it: 1. creative value, and 2. make sure the search engines recognize that value. It’s the tactics that change, and while your meta titles, URLs, and backlink profile still feature prominently in the algo, the tactics that will uniquely prevail among successful SEO efforts this year will require coordination with the leadership of your clients’ companies and, in most cases, will have to be integrate heavy doses of PR-type work and, of course, high-quality content.

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

The advice that will be useful to one looking to take up digital marketing as a career will vary relative to their current situation and long-term goals. You ought to reflect on your goals and take stock of your position. What do you want out of life? What are your values? What kind of character do you want to forge? What do you want to achieve? Now what are you strengths and opportunities? Now think about how to put our strengths and opportunities to the service of your life goals. Take your time on this, do a little research, ask your loved ones for counsel, gain access to the wisest person you can and ask for their counsel. If you confirm for yourself that digital marketing is within your pool of live career options, start educating yourself on the industry, tinkering with your own website, building relationships with others doing this kind of work, and pursuing employment or entrepreneurial opportunities. Stay focused, work hard, and don’t give up. The way to become good at SEO is the same way to become good at anything. Work on the same thing, really hard, for a long, long, long time.

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Sahil Kakkar
Sahil is the CEO and Founder of RankWatch - a platform that helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape.Sahil likes making creative products that help in the automation of mundane tasks and he can spend endless nights implementing new technologies and ideas. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.
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