Search Marketing Series – Interview with John Doherty


John Doherty, the founder of Credo, a company to connect great companies with the right agency or marketing consultant for their needs. He is also a freelance digital marketing consultant.

Here’s what John Doherty had to say about his company and the future of digital marketing:

For those who aren’t familiar with you and your company, please tell us a little more about your company.

Credo is a marketplace where businesses can find the best digital marketing pros (consultants and agencies) online to help them build their business. Every pro is vetted for the highest quality and reviewed by their clients because we believe that businesses should have the information they need to make the right decision on how to grow their business.

What would you consider the most important development in digital marketing in 2015? What are your top 3 digital marketing trends that you think will dominate in 2016?

2015 was a fun year for digital marketing as there continued to be a lot of changes made. I think the biggest general shift we have seen across digital marketing is the continued rise of platforms like Facebook that are starting to take traffic generation away from search engines and moving it to new places. If you also take into account Twitter and Pinterest, traffic continues to move to those platforms. The largest shift I saw overall is the move to mobile, with Google prioritizing mobile friendly websites increasingly more in their search results and other businesses focusing hard on mobile users.

In 2016, we will continue to see big pushes towards what is right for users and digital marketers will have to keep on top of the changes. The big three I see continuing to happen are:

1) Secure search and websites continue to be prioritized by businesses like Google and Facebook because security is good for users.
2) Continued focus on mobile friendliness and conversions. We are still very nascent in tracking users across platforms and I think we’ll make big strides this year.
3) Continued move of web traffic to apps.credo

Most business owners want to follow their competitors’ digital marketing strategies. Do you think this is a good or bad practice, and why?

I have always believed you should know what your competitors are doing, but copying a competitor’s strategy will only get you potentially even with them, never ahead. Also, you never know if what a competitor is doing is actually working. It’s better to know what they are doing then test the different channels on your own site to find what works.

Today, a higher Google rank doesn’t mean you’ll get more organic clicks. What are your thoughts on this?

This is definitely true depending on your website’s vertical. For local businesses, the map and other search result page features keep pushing organic results further down the page. In ecommerce verticals, the search engines are aggressively monetizing these with ads.

There are definitely ways to get traffic that the search engines are not monetizing – such as searches for resources and advice around your topic – but gone are the days of 80% search driving all of your revenue.

Do you think the other search engines like Duck Duck Go / some other will stop Google’s Monopoly?

No. I think search is a dying medium and is slowly being replaced by other things. I think Google will continue to have a monopoly on what eventually will be a dying way of using the Internet. Facebook is Google’s biggest threat in the next 10 years.