By @SimonCocking. Delighted to bring you this interview with one of our favourite SEO thought leaders, Rand Fishkin. Even better you can catch Rand in Ireland next week at the Business of Software Conference Europe, taking place in the Powerscourt Hotel on the 16th – 17th May.

Tell us about your forthcoming trip to Ireland. Why did you chose to speak at this Business of Software event?

I’m, sadly, only in Ireland a couple days this trip, as I have other obligations right after BoS, but I was thrilled to receive Mark’s invitation because BoS is one of my favorite events, and one of the most valuable for me personally and professionally. A big part of that value comes from the focus of speakers and the makeup of the audience. Generally speaking, these are software professionals who are entrepreneurially-minded, willing to experiment, and extremely open-minded. I find that makes for some of the best, most valuable sharing and quality of conversations that I have. I get to see speakers who focus on product design, on audience development, on sales, on community, on growth issues around HR and people, and even on finances. Many of those subjects get short shrift, or entirely ignored, at other events, but BoS has this special ability to look into the hearts of software entrepreneurs and startups and see what keeps us up at night, then give a venue for deep, honest, actionable talks on those subjects.

From your expert perspective what is happening in the world of Inbound at the moment?

Crazy growth. That’s the only way to put it. Use of search engines, time spent on social media, consumption of content, and messaging (of all kinds) between people has never been higher, and it keeps skyrocketing. As a result, the opportunities for smart, dedicated organizations to put resources against organic forms of marketing like SEO, social, content, community, email, etc. and reap massive rewards is immense. But it’s also insanely challenging and complex. As a result, you have huge numbers of consultants, tools, data sources, processes, tactics, and beliefs that can make discovering the best path and executing on it nightmarishly complicated. A lot of us in the field today are working to simplify that, but when change is the only constant, it’s hard to keep up.

What tips would you give to get the most benefit out of conferences?

I approach conferences as an opportunity for three big things – first, helping other the best I can by delivering a high value presentation that’s understandable, entertaining, memorable, and actionable. Second, by meeting and spending time with people around the event, learning about them, their professional struggles, their personal lives, and building real relationships. And third, by listening to the other speakers and applying their knowledge and their styles to my own talks and to my business.

You were here last summer, how did you find Ireland on your last visit?

Amazing. Honestly, it was one of the best trips I’ve had, partially because we had some good friends join us for the trip. Geraldine (my wife) is a travel blogger, and she wrote about it in a number of posts here . Maybe my favorite part was our visit to Ballycarbery Castle.

What’s the best way for people to find out more about you?

I’m very active on Twitter – @randfish, and I also maintain a personal blog here.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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