October 15, 2012
This is an exclusive image of Joel K for this SEO Interview and you cannot find this anywhere else on other blogs, so if you want to copy it, pass me the link first!
I am really pleased to inform you that today I am interviewing one of the amazing personalities in the search industry I know. He got a very different style and attitude towards everything he does in general, the moment you will notice him, you will become the fan of him.
A Canadian by born, he is the best looking man in the world. Today, I am interviewing him for two significant reasons one is obviously because he is a kick ass Internet Marketer and the other is because of the amazing open letters he write.
Our today’s best man is Joel Klettke. You can follow him on twitter. As usual, I will try to design my question in a way that we get to learn more about him and obviously SEO.
Hello Joel, Thank you very much for taking time and answering my question!
Question: Joel you got the business degree in Entrepreneurship and then you accidently jump in to SEO somehow! Did you ever felt that you are in the wrong profession and you should switch?
Answer: I do wonder sometimes. I’ve got restlessness in me almost all the time because I want to be moving and progressing.
I want to be great at what I do. I just don’t feel like I’m a “smart” SEO. Dan Shure, Ross Hudgens, Justin Briggs, Eppie Vojt – these guys are smart SEO’s. I don’t feel like I have the technical chops to be considered a great SEO; I’m not an innovator. I make people laugh; then I put my head down and struggle through this just like everybody else in the industry.
I often look to the future as a huge question mark. Truthfully, SEO wears on me a lot. But that said, the agency I work for has been very good to me and for the immediate future, I see myself continuing to grow here. I do freelance writing on the side, and that keeps things diverse.
Question: Humour somehow becomes your identity, so how important it is to be funny for a brand especially in the online marketing world in your opinion… or they don’t need this at all?
Answer: I don’t know that it’s necessary – it’s just a killer tool to have in the tool belt. Laughter is as universal as it is powerful. If you can make someone laugh, you can take their guard down for awhile and they’re less likely to bristle at the fact that you’re trying to communicate with them. Humor can make boring topics (insurance and deodorant, for example) fun to talk about too.
But then, businesses have taken trying to be funny to horrible extremes and made a mess of the whole thing. You can go too far –humor becomes a gimmick and your business gets lost in the noise you’ve created. Being goofy does not equate to great marketing; SO many companies are failing to see that right now.
Question: As you have a degree in Entrepreneurship so it would be great to ask this question from you that what kind of agency culture is best when it comes to web marketing and especially SEO?
Answer: A culture that embraces failure, because in any industry where there is constant, rapid change you are going to fail an awful lot. You also need management that can step back and away from the need to micromanage. If you try to micromanage an SEO, you’ll crush their spirit and make it impossible for them to evolve.
Question: Content is King! This is one of the most crazily famous mantra in the search bubble… do you really agree with it and why?
Answer: Ugh. So many platitudes, so little time. I’m sick to death of talking about content.
“Content” is a meaningless word now, sort of like “Alternative” in music. It’s this all-encompassing phrase that everyone chats to death and nobody seems to understand. Everything you create is “content”. “Content marketing” is just MARKETING.
Yes, you should have a website with a strong message. Yes, you can benefit greatly from creating resources that answer the pain points of your market and are share-worthy. No, you can’t (in theory) rank a blank website without any content.
But it is a complete lie to believe that “great content” is or ever will be enough. You can have the greatest resources in the world, but if nobody links to them, Google doesn’t care. They have no objective measure of “greatness” of content other than how users interact with it – and the extremely flawed notion that users naturally link to things with great enough frequency to impact rankings without manipulation of that economy. It’s just not reality.
People also (rightfully) say that links are just an outcome of great content – and they are, but as outcomes go for SEO, they’re a pretty crucial one. You need links. To get links, you need content. It’s a fish eating its own tail. There’s no “king”.
Question: 3 least important on-page factors that still help when it comes to search engine optimization?
This is a sort of bizarre question to be honest – anything that helps is important. But I guess three of the less-important things might be:
- H1’s semantically define the text that follows. So use them, but worry less about jamming keywords in there.
- Use a meta-description. This one sort of makes me sigh heavily, but writing a compelling meta-description can influence click-throughs – or so they keep telling me.
- Get your keywords into the content early on. I’m not a fan of making Google dig through long documents to figure out if you’re relevant – but they can do it.
Question: A funny question that came to me few days back so I thought it would be great to get the best answer from you. If a natural link profile means a combination of good links and bad links that means it is our duty to build bad links as well… no?
Answer: No. A thousand times, no. A “natural link profile” might have some lower quality sources because low quality links tend to take care of themselves. There’s enough scraping and auto-spamming of the web to last a thousand generations.
You don’t NEED these to rank or look “natural”. There’s absolutely no evidence to support the idea that adding in a measure of “bad links” to your profile does anything but make that profile worse. It’s like injecting yourself with Cholera to help avoid getting a flu. It’s a terrible idea.
Question: Please share the 3 most valuable link building tactics that you use for your clients as well as for yourself? I think it’s ok to reveal secrets sometime
I wish I had secrets to reveal but my link building repertoire is pretty much the same as most people’s, I’d imagine.
- The guest post. It pains me to say it but these work – for now. That said, I guess if there’s a uniqueness of some kind to how I do this, I spend less time going for volume and far more time trying to get on the radar of just one mega-influencer. Then the follow-up opportunities tend to take care of themselves.
- Broken link building. It works. If you can find a competitor who has let a resource slide, get outdated or broken a link, these links are shoe-ins. Great approval rates, easy to convince clients to get one board, high-impact with low effort.
- Because I work with a number of companies who are being mentioned often but linked to rarely, setting up Google Alerts for branded terms, while not revolutionary, has had a big impact. If you work on any larger-scale campaign, this should probably be the first thing you set up.
I understand if it’s kind of disappointing to learn I don’t have some sort of super-crafty approach to linking, but I’m of the school of thought that “link building” more or less comes down to exchanging value for value – or deception. Pick your battle.
Question: Joel, It is one of the clear fact that many business people still underrate SEO and internet marketing as compare to TV and other offline medium… do you really think that in the coming 3 to 5 year they will invest more in to SEO and digital marketing as compare to others or we will be fighting like the same we do to increase the digital marketing budget?
Answer: Those mediums get that kind of budget because there’s a perceived “process” and they seem to be “proven”. SEO and digital lives in this world of massive ambiguity for most people – they don’t know how it works, don’t know what to expect from an investment, don’t know how to measure real success.
But I think any business owner who doesn’t see the merit in a strong online presence has already been left behind. Yeah, it’ll grow. We can help it grow by upping the industry standards so far as measuring and proving our value. Right now we do a horrible job of that.
Question: What’s your take on Negative SEO? And do you think it can work in the real world? (I asked this question keeping in mind that SEOmoz even get the warning email from Google but it didn’t affect their ranking or traffic).
Answer: If you can do SEO, you can do negative SEO. I don’t even see this as a debate. Is it tough to do against a juggernaut brand or authority website? Of course, because those websites are already sending so many quality signals to Google that there’s a buffer zone as far as what they can “get away with” for crappy links and so on.
But can you sink a small-time business with negative SEO? I think so. If you can do bad SEO and get penalized on accident, you can do that same bad SEO and penalize people on purpose. You just have to be methodical enough.
Question: We all know that social media is important, and it is the part of the overall SEO strategy and we cannot exclude social media from SEO and so on… my question is simple, are business in general doing it right? If not, how should they do it (Here I am talking about normal mid-size businesses).
Answer: This is raw opinion, but I don’t think so. Social media is just a medium. The only reason it exists is for sharing ideas and communicating; advertising disrupts that natural flow unless it is done very, very carefully. And yet we see businesses still trying to use the channels as “disruption” ad channels. It doesn’t work that way.
Social media has a huge role to play in communicating a business’ personality and story. It’s HUGE for customer service when it’s done right. But it’s not some megaphone to yell at people until they love you.
Again, raw opinion – but I don’t tend to give a shit about a brand unless it’s done something for me. I don’t want to interact with brands like I would with a best friend. Your brand and I are not buddies. Use social media to answer my questions and show me why you, as a brand, are worth investing my dollars in. Show me you care about service and feedback. Show me you care what your customers are saying. Communicate your story and innovation selectively. Then get out of my feed.
Question: Joel, Our job is quite different and difficult for a normal person to understand what we exactly do (especially if a person is from a non IT background). I am sure there must be few friends in your circle who don’t have a clue of what SEO is so how do you explain to know what you do?
Answer: I tell them that I help businesses get found by customers online. Probably the most loaded statement in the world.
Or in plain English, I’m a “ranky-clicky-magic man”.
Thank you Joel for taking your precious time and answer my questions… It was pleasure to have you. Your answers are amazing and it really forced me to enhance my vision and think about things from multiple perspectives instead of flowing with the wind.
I am sure this will be equally helpful for the readers of the blog.