1. How did you first become interested in e-marketing and SEO?
After launching TEXILOG in Morocco in 2004, I began specializing in web marketing in 2007. Of course I began with the creation of websites, web design, and flash animation, etc. I did a variety of work within the web agency that I had started. But I quickly realized that the return on investment (ROI) was the main KPI (key performance indicator) for measuring the success of businesses' internet projects. So I got interested in SEO, which is the safest way to drive traffic. It has a major advantage compared to traditional marketing techniques: its price. It's not cheap, but it's definitely affordable!
2. What can readers expect to find on your new site, Mozalami?
The site is dedicated to SEO and internet marketing services, and includes web marketing advice and strategies for e-commerce. Social networks are no exception as I do some consultancy in this area, too.
At the same time, Mozalami is my new blog. The name is the contraction of "MOZ" (for marketing optimization) and my name "Alami." So it will be also my SEO journal. Readers can subscribe to my feed and follow me on social networks to get the latest news, information, and analysis of search engine optimization strategies and tactics that drive results.
3. I feel like SEO is a bit of a moving target. What do you think? Is SEO always changing, and if so, how can business owners and/or webmasters keep up with the best practices in the industry?
This question is really interesting. Indeed, a few years ago, the EMD (exact match domain) and PMD (partial match domain) were the way to go ahead and create a big SEO signal to Google via keywords contained in the domain name. So as an example, years ago I launched two websites: Referencement-site-montreal.com which has long been positioned as first on the keyword "Montreal SEO" and Marketing-internet-montreal.com which was first on the keyword "Internet Marketing Montreal" (in French). Now, however, I'm including the content of both sites under the new domain Mozalami.com to avoid this kind of hack.
The only constant in SEO is change. Since we know that, everyone in this field should keep reading blogs and articles from industry to stay up to date. That's why Mozalami can be great resource for beginners and even advanced search strategists looking for the basis of SEO art and science.
4. What is the importance of positioning your business locally when it comes to SEO?
I'm also an expert in local SEO, having participated in bundling the yellow pages Canada's local product for SMBs. So I know that it's crucial that Mozalami shows prominently in search results when search intent is local like "SEO Montreal." My job is to conduct strategies for my clients but also to make sure best practices are applied to my own website. SEO unfortunately has no entry barrier, and anyone can claim to be a SEO guru or expert, whatever the title they choose. But there's a great way to avoid inexperienced SEO service providers: just ask for references and results against KPIs.
5. When it comes to getting a website ranked highly in the search engines, do you feel that there are particular concerns that are especially relevant to business owners and webmasters in Canada?
In Canada we face two challenges: our websites are bilingual, and this both dilutes PageRank and makes positioning on double sets of keywords harder. And in the meantime we're competing with French websites in Google Canada French search results. It's unfair as other countries do not have this problem to solve. However, using best practices and especially by applying semantic markup to website pages, we're able to explain to search engines what the website is about and what's the target, and then we have better results in SERPs. Semantic Web (3.0) is one of my passions: expect in 2015 to see a huge surge of these techniques all around the web.