I am excited to reveal a new, recurring item on my website: interview with an Industry Expert. It’s always great to get in touch with and learn from influencing people in the same industry.
Recently, I had the oppportunity to interview Himanshu Sharma. He has developed his career in different Online Marketing disciplines. At the end of 2011 he found his own company SEOTakeaways. Earlier this year he was one of the nominees for the Award of Excellence from Digital Analytics Association. A great accomplishment!
I have asked him a couple of questions related to his efforts in the blogging industry, career development tips and his future plans with SEOTakeaways. I am sure you will benefit from reading through this interview.
Where do you find your inspiration for writing these in-depth blog posts on your website?
Himanshu: I love sharing my knowledge. It is my way to give back to the industry from which I have learned a lot and still learning. Another advantage of sharing the knowledge is that I always end up learning even more and I love learning.
Every article that is published on my blog must provide useful and actionable takeaways that the readers can start using straightaway. And when you blog with this mindset then your articles are going to be detailed and lengthy.
What skills or other assets do you need to possess or develop to become successful at blogging?
Himanshu: You need to be persistent. Success doesn’t come overnight. It generally takes years to become a successful blogger. It is only through experience, you will learn what works and what doesn’t work for your blog.
Other than that find a niche you are passionate about and just stick to it. Don’t try to build authority in multiple subject areas. It doesn’t work.
How do you keep up with the latest trends in every industry?
Himanshu: To be honest I generally can’t keep up with the latest trends. Nor do I have any desire to read about every new shiny thing, trick or tip. I read about a new topic only when it gets popular in my social circle and I see lot of people talking about its benefits.
I believe in sticking to the basics and repeating and revising whatever I have learned so far. I get all of my industry news through Twitter and inbound.org.
What would you recommend to someone willing to pursue an online career in SEO?
Himanshu: Set up an account on ebay/amazon, sell products and try to generate profit. You will learn a lot about ecommerce during this process than through any SEO blog in the same amount of time. Other than that moz.com is a place to be to learn all about SEO.
What would you recommend to someone willing to pursue an online career in Web Analytics?
Himanshu: The first thing that you need to remember is that there is a high barrier to entry in the field of web analytics. Unlike SEO, you can’t easily get access to high quality information on web analytics for free. Yes there are lot of blogs and other online resources out there but they won’t teach you web analytics in a systematic mannner from the very basics to very advanced topics.
Almost all online resources on analytics assume that you have some basic to intermediate knowledge of web analytics and probably some experience too. Other major problem in learning analytics is the expensive tools set. With the exception of Google Analytics and piwik, almost all major analytics tools are really expensive to even try and you must be good in using several analytics tools in order to execute web analytics 2.0.
You should consider becoming certified in analytics from Market Motive. No one can teach you analytics better than Avinash himself. The course is well structured and teach analytics from the very basics to advanced topics.
I would also recommend to read this related post and get the opinion from other industry experts I have interviewed: Analytics Career Advice from Top Industry Experts.
Why would you recommend to someone to take a Master Course at Market Motive?
Himanshu: Market Motive provides two types of certifications for web analytics. One is self paced and one is a coached course. In the Self paced course you don’t get any personal mentoring from Avinash and John. You don’t get any virtual office hours and you don’t need to submit any project. All these are invaluable experiences which you can get only in the coached course.
It is only the coached course which can make you Market Motive Certifed Master. This is because then your project will be evaluated by Avinash himself and you need to convince him during dissertation that you deserve to be a certified Master. And it is not so easy to convince him. The projects are also very hard to complete but in the end it is worth the efforts.
Paul: here you can find my review of the self paced courses at Market Motive.
What do you expect to be the three biggest changes in the upcoming five years?
Himanshu: More companies will realize that web analytics is much more than visits and pageviews and that they need to invest some serious money into online measurement and testing.
The hype of big data will be over and companies will realize that big data is just big noise. They need smart data which is accurate, actionable and agile.
With ever increasing acqusition cost, marketers will spend more money on converting existing traffic than acquiring new traffic.
With regards to seotakeaways.com, what are your future plans?
Himanshu: I am thinking of rebranding it in the near future. SEOTakeaways doesn’t clearly reflect what I sell any more. I sell not only SEO but PPC and analytics too. In the future I may sell even more services. So I need a brand name which is not tied to just any one service.
About Himanshu Sharma
Himanshu Sharma is the founder of seotakeaways.com which provides SEO Consulting, PPC Management and Analytics Consulting services to medium and large size businesses. He holds a bachelors degree in ‘Internet Science’, is a member of ‘Digital Analytics Association’, a Google Analytics Certified Individual and a Certified Web Analyst. He is also the founder of EventEducation.com and EventPlanningForum.net.
Now it’s your turn! What advice or tips do you have for someone starting out or willing to build a career or business in the Online Marketing Industry?One last thing... Make sure to get my extensive checklist for your Google Analytics setup. It contains 50+ crucial things to take into account when setting up Google Analytics.