Beloved Analytics Tools, Stupid SEO Fads, & Panelist Heckling: Richard Zwicky 360º
Richard Zwicky is a true blue online marketing veteren. Active in the industry for over a decade, Richard’s recognized as a thought-leader in many areas of the SEM spectrum. Gathering deep hands-on experience as co-founder of Metamend, a top marketing firm serving Fortune 100 behemoths and small biz sites alike, and developer of Enquisite Search Analytics technology with clients from around the globe– he’s a guy who knows his stuff. Currently, Richard’s got a sweet gig as Chairman of the Board at BlueGlass. It’s there he’s responsible for, among other things, overseeing the organic and sustained growth of the company. <good-hearted sarcasm fueled by respect> No big deal. </good-hearted sarcasm fueled by respect>.
On the advent of Search Engine Strategies New York, where Richard will lend his expertise as moderator on a healthy handful of sessions, aimClear had the chance to share a candid cyber-interview with the man who’s Twitter bio (@rzwicky) simply yet poetically reads, “Entrepreneur, strategist.” Questions ranged from basic backgrounds to inspring bloggers to favorite foods. Read on for the full effect.
| aimClear: Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, where do you come from, how did you end up here?
Richard Zwicky: I always find this the hardest question to answer! We all have interesting and distinctive backgrounds, and upbringings. My parents are immigrants, and I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. Although Montreal is in a predominantly French-speaking region of the continent, I only learned to speak French properly in college. It was sink or swim, and although I came close to drowning, I’m now completely comfortable in both languages.
After university, I moved to the West Coast, and shortly thereafter started my first business. There, I built a small chain of retail stores in the luggage and leathergoods vertical. In 1998, I decided that this Internet thing was both interesting and likely to matter, and I built what was at the time one of the earliest pure-play etail operations, and was one of the first drop-ship operations around: I built a retail operation without any inventory when Amazon still had warehouses full of books! Pretty basic today, but virtually unheard of back then. At the time, Internet Marketing was really basic, and almost unheard of, but I found it consuming. I realized there were opportunities around scaling which needed to be addressed, and started Metamend Marketing, which dealt with an incredible array of clients. That started me on the path to where I am today.
| aC: Inspired! Now, with the advent of social, encrypted keywords, the big personalized Panda and Google+, etc. this is a particularly difficult time in the lives of many SEO analysts. What advice do you have to avoid being left in the dust?
- Read a lot of high quality blogs.
- Attend some conference to keep up with / get refreshed with everything that’s going on in the industry.
- Ask colleagues for help. People in this industry share a lot of great information, if you just ask nicely!
- Think about what you’re doing, and whether whatever you’re doing is going make for a positive user experience. (Think before you jump.)
- Contribute new, meaningful content to your site daily. People come back to see what’s new, not to re-read what they’ve already learned.