Today I am presenting another written interview with James Reynolds. In this interview I asked several SEO questions and why he chooses to focus on SEO in general.
Check out the interview:
- What got you interested in becoming an entrepreneur and online marketing? Share your story.
I grew up in a household where my father was his own boss and this meant that, although he worked really hard, he had the flexibility to make sure he had lots of time for his his passion projects and his young family; we all had a pretty idyllic life as a result. So I suppose I wanted to replicate the same for myself, to find a way for life and work to be in harmony which meant working for myself and setting my own terms.
However, I got started by working for someone else! After leaving school, I joined a small photography business as an assistant, which was great at the time as I harboured a desire to become a photographer. At first I mainly lugged equipment around.
However, this role led to an unexpected twist and I soon found myself becoming more and more interested in the business and marketing side. I was lucky that the business nurtured this and allowed to me gain mainly self-taught skills in direct response copywriting, negotiation, sales and other entrepreneurial areas. Eventually, over the course of nine years (with a little help) I built that business to multiple millions a large team of over 50. By this time I was utterly hooked by the business world.
The chance to strike out on my own came out of the blue; a well known internet marketer, Ernesto Verdugo, approached me for photographs for his forthcoming event. We struck a deal where he would coach me in internet marketing in exchange for photos. At this moment, my eyes were really opened to the possibilities available online and I embarked on some intense research into how it could work for me. Within a few short months I took the decision to quit my role at the photography company and started my own digital consultancy firm. I’ve never looked back!
- I know you are fond of SEO, what got you interested in SEO over other topics?
Search Engine Optimization struck a chord with me for a few reasons.
- It appeals to both my creative and mathematical brain. I’ve always been quite good at maths as well as art subjects such as English Language, Design and Art. The best SEO’s have strong grasp of the numbers and are extremely analytical, as well as being creative through content.
- In the early days at our agency, we provided several services including web design, social media management and SEO. I found that web design and social media were very subjective. I liked SEO because there was never any discussion over the outcome, we had either delivered a result (increased rankings, traffic etc.) or we had not. There are no grey areas with performance-related marketing services.
- Finally from a business perspective, SEO services are great because they are recurring. Continuity income is the holy grail for a business.
- What are a few tips you can share that are working for you today when it comes to SEO?
One thing that is really working for us is the ‘intro-graphic’, or in other words infographics with unique introductions. It is highly leveraged and works because it utilises both outreach and micro guest blogging.
To make it work you need to:
- Check out the infographics that have been popular in your market, either most shared or most linked to.
- Improve on what’s already there with your infographic by providing more depth or by making yours more visually appealing.
- Post it to your site.
- Make sure that those people who have shared similar infographics previously know you have something they might be interested in.
- When they show an interest in posting the infographic to their site, offer to write a unique introduction to accompany it. Because they don’t have the issue of having to write their own text, they’re more like to publish it with a link back to you.
We use this strategy a lot for own sites and for our clients. Promoting this “What Does Organic SEO Mean?” infographic recently we were able to acquire 76 highly contextual links from 150 emails sent. We also published the infographic on a few infographic aggregators. That is a phenomenal result.
- What are your thoughts today on using PBN’s (Private Blog Networks)? Do you believe they are going to be around for a while?
Using PBN’s is a dangerous strategy since Google declared their “war” on blog networks 3 years ago. There will always be a temptation for SEOs to use blog networks, link farms and automation but doing so is very short minded. To get long lasting results, backlinks need to be earned, moreover the small subset of links that really make a difference cannot be gamed.
To really get ahead, you need to acquire links from the Forbes.com or HuffingtonPost.com in your market. Being cited on these types of websites requires you to build genuine authority, establish relationships and create content of real value. Links on these sites are hard earned.
- What are your future plans for 2015 and beyond?
I am heavily focused on growing our two search divisions SEO Sherpa and Click Jam to establish ourselves further in the Middle East and beyond. Aside from focussing very much on my own businesses, I’m excited to be helping others grow their business too. This year I will be traveling to speak at several conferences starting with Australia in March. Closer to home, I will be continuing my mentorship of several startup companies, something I do in my spare time.