Shoaib Mughal has 20 years of experience in SEO, digital marketing and Google ad words. He took his wealth of knowledge and, in 2018, started his own agency Marketix. Working closely with brands to improve Google search and digital footprint, Mughal sits down with Marketing to discuss the journey of both his career, and that of the digital world.
Marketing mag: How long have you been doing SEO for and what’s changed?
Shoaib Mughal: I first started doing SEO back in 2004, those times were very different – it was fairly easy to rank websites just by adjusting the titles of pages and optimising the meta tags.
Keyword stuffing was a common strategy back then. The competition was minimal, easy to use content management systems (such as WordPress) weren’t as pervasive so you had to know how to work HTML, and Google’s algorithms were far less sophisticated.
As a result, achieving higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) was much easier in comparison to today.
Over the years, Google has evolved tremendously, becoming more intelligent and focusing on delivering (arguably) higher quality and relevant content to users.
This shift has led to the need for more comprehensive and user-focused SEO strategies, including creating high-quality content, building content clusters, obtaining authoritative backlinks, and ensuring a responsive and user-friendly website design.
I am the founder and head of SEO at Marketix Digital, a leading digital marketing agency located in Sydney. With a proven track record of delivering exceptional SEO solutions, I lead a team of experts dedicated to propelling businesses towards online success. Our strategic approach focuses on harnessing the power of SEO to amplify your online presence and drive sustainable growth.
MM: What is your process when working with new clients to tend to their SEO needs?
SH: When it comes to working with new clients and catering to their SEO needs, I follow a step-by-step process that ensures we’re on the same page and working towards their goals. Firstly, I kick things off by diving into a discovery phase. This helps me get a solid grasp of the project’s scope. I delve into who the clients are, the markets they’re targeting, their competitors, and even take a look at the historical performance of their website in terms of conversions.
Once I’ve got a clear picture, I take all this information and put together a thorough website audit and a competitive analysis. The website audit really helps pinpoint any gaps or areas that need improvement on their website. On the other hand, the competitive analysis sheds light on which keywords their competitors are ranking for and the strategies they’re using to get those top spots. It’s usually a mix of content, structure, backlinks, and technical setup.
With all these insights in hand, I move on to the exciting part – defining and creating a roadmap for what comes next. This involves deciding on the keywords we’ll be targeting, understanding the value of these keywords in terms of opportunities, and planning out the necessary structural changes, content enhancements, and backlinks required to outperform the competition.
In some cases, a website might need a complete overhaul in terms of its structure to align better with what Google favours. This often results in a website that not only ranks higher but also performs better in terms of conversions.
And let’s not forget about the content. I make sure to give it a thorough review to ensure it’s not only coherent but also adds value to the user experience and drives overall performance for the website.
So, to sum it up, my process revolves around thorough research, strategic planning, and a keen eye for detail to ensure we’re boosting the client’s SEO game and delivering results that truly matter.
MM: What are some of the most common pain points that you identify?
SH: In my experience, our clients often fall into two distinct categories. Firstly, there are those who are seeking assistance in generating more traffic to their websites because they either want to grow revenue, or outperform their competitors. They’re looking to expand their online presence, reach a larger audience, and ultimately drive more visitors to their platforms.
On the other hand, we frequently encounter clients who are facing a decline in their website traffic. These individuals are in need of someone with extensive technical expertise to pinpoint the root causes of their traffic loss and implement effective strategies to rectify the situation. This could involve addressing technical issues, optimising their content, refining their website’s structure, or even rethinking their overall SEO approach.
What’s really cool about SEO is that it lets us figure out exactly what people are searching for on Google, and we can see exactly how many are looking for it. This helps us segment our target market from a top down approach. We find the right keywords that match what people want, and this feeds into the bigger business plan. Clients who grasp the power of this approach tend to do really well with their SEO.
MM: What size businesses do you normally work with?
SH: Our clientele typically comprises mid-market to enterprise-level companies based in Australia, and our expertise extends to providing SEO services on an international scale as well as nationally. Our client base encompasses a diverse range of industries, encompassing service-oriented enterprises, eCommerce platforms, distribution companies and government agencies.
It’s important to note that our engagement is contingent upon specific prerequisites. The fundamental requirement is that your business offers a product or service with discernible search demand, coupled with a demonstrated degree of market traction.
We are unable to engage with newly established businesses that lack a clearly identifiable product or service. Implementing effective SEO strategies for enterprises in the early stages of their product-market cycle can pose challenges. Consequently, our suitability for collaboration diminishes with businesses in the process of shaping their primary offerings. The bedrock for achieving successful SEO implementation predominantly hinges on establishing a robust market presence and possessing a distinct product or service identity.
MM: Why is SEO so important for a business to have their website ranking on Google?
SH: I’ll give you three reasons why SEO holds immense importance for businesses aiming to enhance their digital performance and why you should care:
A staggering 97 percent of users resort to Google for their specific queries, underscoring the platform’s pivotal role as a gateway to information.
Users often harbour a degree of scepticism towards advertisements, leaning instead towards the credibility of organic search results featured on Google. Furthermore, the traffic generated through organic search channels boasts a notably higher conversion rate, underlining its effectiveness in driving tangible results.
Achieving a higher ranking than competitors within search results not only enhances visibility but also conveys a perception of superiority, solidifying a business’s reputation and standing within its industry.
Marketix’s Shoaib Mughal
MM: Can you let us know a specific successful case study?
Successful Case Study – UNO Home Loans
Marketix Digital provided SEO services to Uno Home Loans, a prominent online mortgage company under the Westpac umbrella, to invigorate their SEO strategy and reclaim their dominant position in the fiercely competitive online mortgage broker sector.
Achieved the number 1 ranking for the highly competitive keyword “online mortgage broker” in Australia.
Significantly improved search engine rankings for relevant keywords, enhancing Uno Home Loans’ online visibility and market share.
Strengthened the website’s technical architecture, on-page structure, and content quality, improving user experience and search engine friendliness.
Implemented a successful content strategy, enhancing content relevance and establishing Uno Home Loans’ expertise in the mortgage industry.
Should you wish to engage in further discussion or explore our services, feel free to reach out to Shoab at Marketix Digital. Whether you’d like to connect or have an interest in SEO, please complete the form on the website.