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New Podcast: “SEO is Never Going Away,” with Gavan Thorpe (Video)

In this episode of the Above the Cloud podcast, we ask Boostability CEO Gavan Thorpe to talk about the state of local SEO. His company focuses on delivering SEO services at scale to very small businesses.

Boostability works with partners like directory companies and digital agencies, as well as, increasingly, non-media centric B2B channels like MSPs and hosting companies. 

The podcast covered a lot of ground in a 20-plus minute interview. Some highlights below (with timestamps that take you directly to that place in the episode).

Life After Zero Clicks

(Starting at 6:15) One topic of particular interest involved how SEO firms like Boostability are adapting to Google’s steady march towards being a walled garden, where more and more searches are of the zero-click variety. 

Gavan insists it is far from a death knell for the industry.

“Every other year someone says that SEO is dead,” Gavan said. “SEO is just as relevant as ever. Now, with Google going more toward a walled garden, SEO is becoming more competitive than ever.”

You can check out his complete response in this video clip. 

Does SEO Really Work at Very Low Budgets?

(Starting at 9:38) Boostability’s market positioning as a provider of quality SEO for SMBs begs the question of how much you can really do for SMBs at very low budgets. So we put this right to Gavan and asked what $50 a month can really do for a very small business. 

His answer was direct. If you want to rank in a competitive category in a large market, $50 isn’t nearly enough money. What small budgets can do is help an SMB optimize its presence for SEO.

“If you are talking about ranking only, the answer can be no, depending on the market or category,” Gavan said. “But if you are talking about making a business’s presence holistically more valuable, then we can offer value at any budget.”

What are Your Channel Partners of the Future?

(Starting at 13:44) Given the competition for channel partners, most martech companies that work through partners are widening their scope to include new channel opportunities in areas that are less about media and more about technology, for example, MSPs, hosting companies, or even B2B retailers like Office Max. 

Gavan said Boostability is moving down this path as well.

“Anyone who is a small business aggregator is someone who can sell online marketing to an SMB,” Gavan said.

Are Robot Content Creators in Boostability’s Future?

(Starting at 19:46) We also asked Gavan if AI will eventually generate SEO content, potentially offering much greater scale. Gavan laughed this one off a little. He noted that Google’s insistence on quality content means that Boostability doesn’t see automated content creation happening anytime soon. He said crowdsourced content creation is producing enough quality content at an acceptable cost.

He did say that AI and machine learning are playing a growing role in analytics for Boostability.

You can listen to the full podcast here:

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