For the final chapter of this year’s Fast Five interview series, we are pleased to welcome Frederik Vermeire, SEO specialist at WiSEO, a Belgium-based marketing agency specialized in search engine optimization. With over 15 years of experience in the SEO and online marketing industry, Frederik Vermeire is undeniably the driving force behind WiSEO. With many strings to his bow, Frederik also teaches at some of Belgium’s best universities and is the author of the book “Powerful SEO”.
During the Q&A session, Frederik told us how he got started in SEO, discussed the upcoming SEO challenges, and shared with us some easy SEO improvements for e-commerce websites.
- What was your first SEO project, and how did it go?
My first SEO project was www.tennisinfo.be around 2001 (don’t have a look with The Wayback Machine please ;-)). I was 19 years old at that moment. It was a tennis website about Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters news, and in fact all about tennis in general. I created the website in php but was disappointed the website had no visitors.
I checked out Altavista (yes, I am that old) but I was totally crap. I learned about a simple website with a white screen, with an even more simple textbox and search button. It was called Google. My first steps in SEO.
- What are the main challenges of SEO in 2022 ?
In 2021 we had some new challenges like the Core Web Vitals and the
CTR dropped due to the roll out of zero-click SERP features like People Also Asked (PAA) in April in Google.be. Google decided to rewrite meta titles himself. Each month we see new structured data objects we can use.
The main challenge for 2022 is “go back to the basics”. 50% of the projects we start don’t have a proper information architecture. The landing pages cannot be reached in a fast way by Google, and by human beings.
The web is becoming too big and Google has some big problems indexing the world wide web websites. In 2022 it will be a must to have a proper view on indexation in Google Search Console (crawl stats). By the end of 2022, Google would have joined IndexNow to notify changes about your website.
“Don’t be evil” was a long time ago a statement concerning SEO. Now Google is becoming more and more evil itself. Google is scraping our beautiful written content and will show it more and more in the SERPs. In-SERP SEO is for me one of the biggest challenges in 2022 and later.
- What is your favourite SEO software ?
My favorite software is KWfinder for Keyword Research, AWR for rank tracking, Google Search Console and Screaming Frog for in-depth analysis, for big websites I use SearchMetrics or SEMrush. MajesticSEO can help me with advanced link building. Google Data Studio for reporting. I don’t believe in an all-in-1-tool that is the best in all of these aspects of SEO, although SEMrush and SearchMetrics can give great insights if you use it on a daily basis.
- What is the most common SEO mistake you see people making?
I see many companies that don’t have a plan for SEO. They start changing meta titles and make new content landing pages, but they don’t have a clue if the SEO KPIs are getting better each month. Clear SEO KPIs (like visibility score), a Google Data Studio report that can give in 5 minutes a clear view how the SEO project is going (for a digital marketing manager) are essential for a good SEO optimization plan.
- What is a typical low-hanging fruit optimization to make in SEO for e-commerce?
Start with in-depth clustered keyword research, expanded with the current SEO landing page, SERP position and Google Ads data (ROAS, conversions, …). Do a content audit to see if the search intent and page intent are okay, check your category pages, your internal linking structure. If you do this well, you already have a great start.