Why SEO Link Building Is Not Rocket Science – Tim Soulo

tim solo ahrefs seo link building

Howdy blog tribe! Today’s podcast guest is none other than Tim Soulo, marking guru and SEO extraordinaire at Ahrefs.

He’s here to chat about…

  • backlink outreach emails (and how to make them not horrendous)
  • marketing campaigns vs marketing systems
  • how to simplify link building in a way that works and doesn’t feel spammy!

That last point resonates with me ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy this chat, check out the transcript below, and feel free to drop a comment below if you feel inclined!

Let’s SEO ๐Ÿ‘

Listen to my episode with Tim Soulo from Ahrefs

or listen on \\ iTunes \\ Stitcher \\ Google Play \\ Overcast \\ Spotify

Here’s the full transcript!

Pete Tim, welcome to the show!

Tim Thanks a lot for inviting me!

Pete I am so happy to have you on their massive fan of your company which right off the bat I’ve talked about your product on like a dozen or more episodes at this point so I ask you Tim Soulo, here like once and for all settle this for the Internet…

Pete How do you pronounce your company’s name?

Tim Well the way our SEO founder Dmitri tells everyone to pronounce it is “H – refs”. Ahrefs. But I believe that kind of phonetically the right way to pronounce it is “a h refs” because you have to us you have to say all the letters but yeah we pronounce it Ahrefs because it’s just easier and everywhere in our content in our kind of video content audio content we say trips.

Pete I love it. Okay. I’ve been saying it wrong. All right. So Tim, like i said thank you for coming on. I do want to talk about a SEO because obviously I know that’s what company does. I know you’re knowledgeable that. But I also just really really love the content that your your team has put together as well as your medium content.

Tim Thank you.

Pete I’ve written a bunch of notes kind of primary on that but I think everything pretty much ties back to Ahrefs anyways.

Backlink Outreach Emails

Pete So I want to start off talking about everyone’s favorite subject back–backlink outreach emails. You this went live like a year or two ago. This is old but I still remember it. It was something like I just deleted your e-mail outreach and I don’t feel sorry or something like that. Do you remember this one?

Tim Yeah “I just deleted the outrage e-mail and they don’t feel sorry about it.”

Pete OK. Could you sum up either that post or your personal feelings on slick. It’s not necessarily spammy outreach e-mails. I think we can all pretty much see those nowadays. But what is the state of SEO backlink outreach emails?

Tim Yeah. So the thing is when I just joined Ahrefs I was on the spending side of outrage. So I was sending a lot of outrage e-mails to people whether about our product about the new features that we release about the updates and our data et cetera et cetera. Or later when we started actively blogging and creating great content that is worth promoting and worth sharing with someone we started writing and outreach e-mails to promote our content. But as Ahrefs brand grew as we got a lot of eyeballs on our content on my content specifically people started following me and I found myself on the receiving end of all these outreach emails and I realized how many of these e-mails basically the vast majority are absolutely terrible. They don’t care about me they don’t care about my needs. They don’t care about what helps me. They only care about themselves. Everybody basically is reaching out to you and they want you to do something that they’re not offering their help like they say in the letter that like the guy said in Godfather movie–you’re not offering me your friendship”. So the outreach e-mails are about them.

Tim So I figured that I’m deleting like 99 percent of following which e-mails that are being sent to me without even reading them really because like I opened an email and especially because of some SEO marketing experts who wrote articles about outreach and they provided the actual templates that people should be using.

Tim And a lot of people didn’t give it a second thought. They just copy pasted the template. They changed the URL from their article changed the name to the recipient–in best scenario. Sometimes they won’t even mention the name of the person they’re reaching out to.

Tim And like once you open the email you instantly see that this is a generic template can be slightly modified but you still see that person is not reaching out to you because they genuinely want to connect but because they want something from you and like you cannot just waste your time on every email from every any random person that will email you out of the blue.

Tim So this is why I wrote the article and they explained that if you want to. If you want people random who you don’t even know to do favors for you. You first have to do favor for them.

Tim You should make your e-mail about them not about you.

Tim And this was basically the article that explained how to. Like how to help the people on the other side instead of having them on the other side help you. And one of the simple things about it. So if you’re promoting your article and you want to reach out to people and make your article appear on their radar show your article to them. You basically have to explain them within your email.

Tim What is that about your article that that can be interesting and exciting to them. To them something that they haven’t known already. And oftentimes if you reach out to top people in your field and you’re not at their level it is very hard to impress them. And it is very hard to share something that they don’t already know. So you have to be honest with yourself and you have to.

Tim Assess your article in an honest way to realize if it can be interesting to if it can be interesting doing it to people in your field because if it is not you shouldn’t be reaching out to them in the first place.

Tim So yeah this is subtle or more or less what the article is about.

Are there any backlink emails that impress you?

Pete OK so fast forward to today. I am absolutely positive that you receive a ton of these e-mails still and you probably just like auto delete most of them. However, I got to ask you mentioned words like impress.

Pete So my question would be–Do you still get any emails whatsoever even if it’s in like in the one percent that impress you? And if so like what is it about those 1 percent e-mails that you’re like “oh wow like this is good. Like I have to build a relationship with this person” or it makes you take notice of their request right.

Pete Do you still receive any emails that actually get results?

Tim Well to be honest with you I don’t remember any specific email but I can tell you like generally what can catch my attention since I am not a big authority like either knows Gary Vaynerchuk or Rand Fishkin can or like or even anyone. I don’t get that many emails to be honest. And usually when in the in an email a person is telling me that they have consumed a lot of my content that they have read a lot of my articles they have implemented my advice and they want to share some results of what I kind of. Thought them it immediately catches my attention because usually, people are reaching out to me without any kind of any studying of my work prior to reaching out.

Tim So when they see that the person is a genuine follower when they see that they have really read some of my articles they have applied some of my advice and they want to show me something I feel like some reciprocity. So I want to like look at that whatever they’re sending me and probably give them some feedback.

Tim So yeah this is almost classic ego bait and it works on me like super easily because like I said I’m not a big authority. So it is easy to please me by saying that I helped someone took my advice and achieved some results. So yeah quite easy.

Pete Yeah totally. And if you were still on early on excuse me in the company or if you were a brand new blogger or not brand new but relatively new that could actually be like a testimonial or are you going to add that to a sales page or a home page or what not. As of social proof to so, I like that “ego bait.”

Marketing Campaigns vs. Marketing Systems

Pete Tim, let me ask you this. Not SEO related I like I said I went back and binged some of your first couple of medium articles and I haven’t been on there too long but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying what you’ve written and so I’m gonna here’s my exact note here.

Pete “Marketing campaigns guy versus a marketing systems guy” I found this like super intriguing and I wonder if you could share with us like what the difference in those two and as you self identify yourself as a marketing systems guy like what is what does that mean to you?

Tim Yeah. So I figured that when I joined Ahrefs they were already doing fine. They they had a growing brand in the industry. A lot of influencers were using them a lot of top people in the field were using the tools. So when I became the CMO of Ahrefs and by email address was listed on the team page. I started to get a lot of different requests from people who wanted to partner who wanted to run a core promotion who wanted to host a webinar together who wanted to exchange guest articles etc etc..

Tim Anything like almost any marketing strategy under the sun some people wanted me to try their marketing tools so I didn’t have a shortage of marketing ideas and people in our industry who wanted to partner with us in some in some marketing-related way.

Tim So of course because when I joined Ahrefs I wasn’t a super experienced and super knowledgeable person. I just threw myself into any venture that was offered to me and they tried everything. Everything basically and what I realized is that I wasn’t getting much value out of these one of campaigns like a guest article here a webinar there. Podcast invitation here. Conference there. So I didn’t see any kind of compounding effect of this. It was just one of the campaigns.

Tim So after I would publish a guest article somewhere I would see a small uptick of referral traffic but then it would die to nothing.

Tim So basically the amount of effort that I invested into writing that article was exchanged into let’s say like three or four people that signed up for a shift and that’s it. So in order to ramp up the number of people that were signing up the number of leads that we were getting I had to scale the number of guest articles that I was writing and that was quite hard because I was the I started in the chefs as the single marketing person. So I figured I shouldn’t work in individual marketing campaigns they shouldn’t spread myself too thin I should focus on repeatable marketing processes and better if those marketing processes. If those marketing systems would work without me having to consistently fuel them with my work.

Tim So like like I said with guest articles you have to be writing more and more and more guest articles so that to get referral traffic to your website to your service to your tool and get sign-ups.

Tim Compare that to SEO.

Tim If you write just one article if you manage to rank it for its target keyword it will start getting consistent traffic every single month, SEO is absolutely beautiful in that sense.

Tim So you write a single article and it will be bringing you leads for years to come. Given that it will keep ranking in Google so what you have to do to ramp up the number of leads that you’re getting. You have to write the second article and you have to rank it to Google again. And now the amount of leads that you are getting every single month double so you can go on vacation you can take a sabbatical but the leads will be coming in because the articles rank and Google not so much with guest articles where you have to write more and more and more to get new and new eyeballs to the website.

Tim So yeah I figured that I have to focus on those systems and SEO is the most beautiful thing that you can do to get passive traffic and passive leads and customers to your website.

Tim And then I also thought about guest articles I thought about webinars. I thought about the podcast and I tried to distill each of the strategies into a scalable repeatable process where you would invest a lot of effort in the first time you do it for example into webinars you would invest a lot of effort into creating your first webinar.

Tim But then if you reuse that webinar and like reach out to a lot of bloggers other companies too to run that we’ve been there for them. You’re increasing the ROI of the webinar because basically all the job of setting up the landing pages email or e-mail sequences the actual webinar or the slides. You already did the like the 80 percent of work and now you just need to run that webinar again and again. And not only that once you’re on your way but there for the tense time for the 20th time you get so good at it that you’ll see the conversion rate goes up your speaking skills goes up.

Tim So yeah it makes sense to think of marketing as repeatable processes and better if that process can have compounding returns for you.

Pete I like that and you actually transition nicely all on your own, Tim, to another bullet point. Note that I’m going to ask you about and that was the webinar so I’d read that you had done like that 80 percent of work for your first webinar and it didn’t obviously turn out all that great. And what you learned from that you just set it by the way. So this isn’t a question but I like that I am about to write a new webinar myself and I was like Oh this is actually like incredibly valuable information for me right now. Yes, there is a ton and tons of work of creating slides and this goes not only for a webinar but for pretty much an SEO to write there’s like a ton of work up front that can continue to pay dividends on and on. So thank you for that. Well done.

Pete I don’t have to ask you the question you answered it yourself but on that note, you’re actually reminding me of something.

The importance of updating old content for SEO

Pete So I’d love to get your opinion on fresh content versus updated content.

Pete You don’t mean like specifically. I write this post specifically for SEO and it will hopefully continue to gain rankings for first couple of months and then hopefully provide leads and value for years to come. However how often do you recommend this could be from the trust blog or for everyday bloggers how often do you recommend updating old content for SEO.

Tim So there is no specific answer to that question. I cannot give you any timeframe or any like system it is. It is random so you have to look for a quote unquote triggers that kind of hint to you that the content should be updated first of all and the most obvious one is if if you see that your content your article is outdated. If the information in your article is no longer relevant then you should updated. It’s like obvious right.

Tim The second thing is if your article was ranking really well in Google but then you see that it slowly started losing its rankings and you see that the competitors that are out drinking you have kind of newer articles like with better images or they use like better examples or whatever they’re better than you in some way and that is why Google starts ranking them higher because because soldiers who click on their articles stick longer read more and etc. etc.

Tim Google can see all that stuff. There is a hint for you that you should be updating your article. And then again how how important the topic is to you and. How often do you want to expose your audience to the topic.

Tim So for example my article. The one you mentioned the “I just deleted your outreach e-mail and they don’t feel sorry about it.” I updated it. I think 3 times already Andrew promoted to our entire list because they trips the moment I wrote it. We have we had let’s say like 5000 people in our audience. So I when they publish that article I promoted it to 5000 people. Then a year later we had like 10000 people in our audience and out and only five thousand of them saw my article so it makes sense for me to promote that article again.

Tim Even if some people will will see it. You’ll see the article again they will just ignore it. They will not treat it. But against many of these people because they enjoyed the article first time even without reading it the second time they still tweeted it to their friends because I reminded them of an awesome article they read.

Tim So yeah. The third kind of trigger for update is how often you want to expose your audience to a certain piece of content and how awesome that piece of content is. So. So you’re confident that you’re not going to irritate anyone. If you send it to them.

Pete Not only that but a lot of people actually just don’t remember anything like they land on a blog post they’ll read it. Maybe they’ll tweeted out share it or whatever. But then like how often does that really stick with them? Like 20 minutes? A day? so circling back like every 6 months or a year or whenever those triggers occur. I don’t think anybody would be offended by that like “oh you sit this out a year ago and now you’re sending it again. How dare you.” I don’t like it.

Pete So I agree. I apologize in advance for not sending you these next questions ahead of time. I figure it’s all on a raft so you’ll just be able to spit it out anyways and you didn’t ask me.

How new bloggers should start off in premium SEO tools (like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, etc)

Pete By the way audiences tend to not ask me to share and just straight up promote Ahrefs but that’s what I’m going to do it anyways because I do believe it’s an incredible tool for someone who has. Not gone into the tools before. Like I’ve never been in Ahrefs. Not even the trial. Nothing. But I’m into SEO, I think I’m ready to upgrade from maybe using some free tools or some chrome extensions or maybe they’re using some of the software or whatever and they go in for the first time. Even if that’s the trial. If you had to lay out this article for them like I’d say a 3 Top things beginners need to do in Ahrefs or something. Some article like that. Where would you have these bloggers start in the software? Most like top three things that they should do first.

Tim Yes. So that’s easy because the difference between Ahrefs which is a premium tool and free tools is the level of insight and quality of data that you get.

Tim Let’s say you’re using a free keyword tool or even like a cheap keyword tool to research your keywords and find out what topics you should write about to get search traffic. The only thing that these keyword tools will give you is the search volume of forgiven keyword there is how many times people around the world are putting that keyword in Google search. So for example there is a certain topic let’s say landing page and like 3000 people search for a landing page in Google.

Tim So you would compare that to let’s say call to action which gets search like 2000 times in google and like make your decision which topic you want to target first because it gets more traffic. So what Ahrefs gives you is extra insight.

Tim First of all search volume is not always indicative of how much traffic you’re going to get because a page will never rank for just one single keyword along it will. It will rank for all sorts of variations usually in a so we call that long tail. And that’s because people around the world will ask the same the exact same questions in Google in all sorts of ways.

Tim For example “how to create a landing page,” how to make a landing page how to design a landing page how to build a landing page how to build a great landing page how to build a short landing page etc etc etc..

Tim And Google understands that that all these searches mean basically the same.

Tim So it will rank the same pages at the top of the search results and what Ahrefs shows you whenever you put any keyword into our keywords explorer tool we’ll show you the top 10 ranking pages for your keyword and we’ll show the total search traffic to each of the pages and how many are the keywords the pages ranking for and and immediately you’re going from researching the search volume of individual keywords.

Tim That doesn’t necessarily mean much to the total search traffic potential of the topic that you want to cover on your blog. These days they don’t really look at the search for them of individual keywords that much. I always go to the search results section within the keywords explorer and see how much search traffic pages are getting in total.

Tim And here’s another interesting thing I think we’re going to publish this research in two weeks from now. But maybe the podcast episode will already be life. So we did a study I wanted to study how often the top ranking page in the search results the top ranking page in Google the page trends. No one will get the most search traffic in total out of all pages. The tracking top 10.

Tim So we did the research we started 100,000 different search queries 100,000 different keywords we pulled top 10 pages for each of these keywords then for each of the top 10 pages we pulled the total search traffic that the pages getting from all other keywords to the transfer. And only in 51 percent of cases the top ranking page was also the one getting the most traffic. So it’s not always about even the ranking number one for your keyword. It’s also about how how broad and deep you will cover the topic to rank for all sorts of keywords.

Tim It’s also about how many backlinks you will generate to your page.

Tim For example are I’m seeing cases like if you search for chocolate lab which stands for chocolate Labrador which is about a specific dog breed you’ll see that a Wikipedia page about Labradors will rank there. So there are pages that are focused on chocolate Labrador specifically but there are also some general pages about Labradors that would rank for that narrow topic because they have too much authority and Google’s things that it will be valuable for people to read the general pages about the topic and not like niche-specific pages about the topic.

Tim So yes there are many cases how you can get a lot of search traffic and it’s not just limited to the search volume of a keyword.

Tim And this is just one of the insights that you can get with Ahrefs. But it illustrates quite nicely how we trips puts you like 10 steps ahead of any competition you’re up against for using any other tools because the level of your understanding of search traffic and how much search you can how much search traffic you can get with different topics is is completely on another level and the one.

Tim One other thing that I like super easy application of Ahrefs is whenever you put a website of your competitor into Ahrefs we have a site called a tool called site explorer. You can see there their top performing pages the pages that get them the most traffic from search.

Tim So if you want to wrestle with your competitors and you want to get more traffic than they do you you’ll find out that like of principles still applies here only like 20 percent of their pages if not less are bringing them 80 percent of all their traffic. So so you can just replicate their top pages like top 5, 10, 15 pages and you don’t have to replicate all other hundreds of pages hundreds of articles that they have, and Ahrefs can show you each of their articles are bringing them the most traffic and Ahrefs can also show you all the backlogs that they have like all the websites that are linking to them.

Tim And it is important to know where the best links are coming from because backlinks from other Web sites is what helps your Web site to rank better and Google and get that perpetual search traffic that you get even when you go to vacation. And even when you sleep. So yeah these are the most simple use cases of road trips but it’s insanely powerful and if someone is serious about and dedicated about drinking in google and getting search traffic from Google they should really try out they should not actually try out the trails but go to our YouTube channel and watch some of our tutorials because in like in the most little detail we are showing how to use our tools to achieve different they SEO goals to get more traffic etc etc.

Tim So you don’t have to sign up for a trial you can just go to YouTube see how to use a trips the older use cases and then decide if you want to do something like that or not totally.

Pete I can definitely vouch for the YouTube channel I believe Sam Oh I believe it is. Yeah he does an incredible job.

Pete Those videos are like it’s just absolutely spot on. They’re like bite-sized like 10 12 minutes max. And yeah they cover pretty much everything I have seen in the entire platform. That’s awesome.

Simplified SEO link building in 2019+

Pete So I want to go back just for one second talk a little bit more about link building specifically. I feel like everybody in my audience, by the way, is generally bloggers in their first two years.

Pete Every single one of which has heard of SEO. They know what SEO is. They have like Yost installed in WordPress and they kind of realize that they need backlinks but that’s like pretty much the extent of it. Right?

Pete And link building seems to be the number one thing that people are just like. I don’t know. I’ve heard of guest posting and I’ve heard of sending average emails and that’s pretty much it.

Pete So I was wondering if you had any ideas any 2019 trends. If you’re not like look at it this way of what is working well right now in link building?

Pete I mean obviously guest posts like we said a lot of people to realize that’s still a viable strategy in a lot of ways as long as it’s relevant and authoritative blog etc etc.. Does anything else come to mind that you could share with the audience in terms of what’s working right now in link building?

Tim Well, to be honest, I think of link building in a somewhat simplified way. I don’t think of link building as some kind of rocket science with some hidden strategies that only the gurus know or something like that. I think link building is quite straightforward especially if you do it in an ethical way and not violate any guidelines because.

Tim Like if you want to build backlinks in a non-ethical waste way by violating guidelines you just go reach out to people pay the money and they link to you.

Tim So that’s basically how black hat SEO people do their link building they basically exchange money for links which Google doesn’t endorse. So you never know which link will get you in trouble where Google will realize that this is a paid link and where Google will not realize where this is a paid link so at Ahrefs we will never suggest people to pay for links because this can get you in trouble. This can get you. Blacklisted in Google and you will not rank for anything at all.

Tim So the way I think holding building is it’s basically building relationships to people.

Tim Think about it when you get a link. It means that someone who has a Web site has links to you for some reason. So why would you link from your Web site so easy.

Tim Your audience is bloggers so this is amazing. We in this so we called people who have Web sites link ready because people who cause Web sites are the only people who are capable of linking to you if you don’t have a Web site. You have nowhere to link from.

Tim So bloggers are a perfect audience for anyone to get links because bloggers they publish articles and within those articles they might reference some other resources or things that inspire them that told them something or are valuable to their readers etc..

Tim So think why you are linking to specific things and then think back to why someone would link to what you’re doing.

Tim Usually it comes to things as simple as if you have an article that has tons of value that talks about things that no one has done before or that that has some experience experiments some life story or some first-hand experience, first-hand knowledge something absolutely unique that you cannot find anywhere else. People will link to it because of how unique it is.

Tim But if you’re writing articles about the same things that others are writing articles about it you’ll be super hard for you to get links because there’s just no reason for people to link to it.

Tim In the early days of course if you’ve just started your blog like three to six months ago and you don’t have any backlinks you can use the good old strategy of going to all the forums where people in the industry are hanging out to going deep to go into different blog directories to where people least like different resources to going to different social media sites and registering your Tumblr account your Twitter account etc etc etc. anywhere where you can create a profile and get a link.

Tim So this works in the early days to get some sort some links that you’re building yourself with your own friends by going to different Web sites and registering there. But from there it will only get you so far it will give you a very small uptick.

Tim At least Google will will find your site because you have links to it and will start indexing your content but it wouldn’t really actually help your rank because to rank in Google you have to get back links from quality established Web sites from other Web sites in your niche for from other bloggers in your niche. And for that you have to do notable things.

Tim You have to do things worthy of linking to.

Tim So once you do that once you created a resource that you know is absolutely unique the next thing you do is outreach you need to reach out to people in your industry and like that. Like I said the trick you know “trick” in outreach is to make sure that the article that you’re reaching out to show people is so unique that people will be impressed.

Tim And that article has something that these people haven’t known already.

Tim So that’s basically it creates amazing things that were never seen before and let other people who have Web sites know about these things and you’ll notice that they’re linking to them.

Tim, For example, I will finish that thought with an example. I just told you that we did the research over the top top 10 pages in search and we discovered that only in 51 percent of cases the top ranking page would also get the most traffic in total. So this is something no one has ever done before and they know we’re sitting on it on a ton of data heritage. So it is easy for us to produce these studies because we have data because we have resources but I also used to be an up and coming blogger.

Tim I had my personal blog and I wanted to do something unique as well. And when I wanted to write an article about guest posting what it did is I reached out to 500 bloggers and they asked them to share their Google Analytics data with me because they wanted to see how much referral traffic they were getting from their guest articles. So of course out of 500 bloggers only maybe 70 or 80 gave me their traffic numbers from my from their guest articles that they wrote but it was enough for me to create a very small research and give people the number that the average referral traffic from a guest article was 50 for visits.

Tim So even as an up and coming small blogger without any resources whatsoever I was able to do a small research. I was able to come up with an experiment that no one has done before me and that article is the most linked article on my blog still. Well better because I stopped blogging on my personal blog. But yeah that article quickly became my most linked article because I invested a lot of resources and the idea was a regional and basically it was notable it was worthy of linking to I love them.

Pete I also just really love the word “notable” that you said. I mean I I and several other podcast guests in the past have said stuff like yes you absolutely must put your time and effort and energy into producing great quote unquote content. Amazing quote unquote content. But, obviously, people are like Yeah okay that sounds really nice. How exactly do I do that? I love the word notable because that actually implies something slightly different.

Pete Not that it has to be unique data-driven research content every single time but notable actually I think better encapsulate the capsule its use of fancy words or temp. I think it gets this idea across a lot better.

Pete So I like that I wrote that in my notes here. No. So I don’t take up the rest of your morning My evening is twelve hours ahead of me by the way but let me just ask you one more question. Kind of a lightning round question I ask this to everybody comes on here and you’re more than welcome to take just a second to think if you really want to.

Pete What is one thing you wish other bloggers would stop doing immediately?

Tim That’s a good question.

Tim Probably I’d say that I wish other bloggers would stop writing articles before they researched the search traffic potential of these articles.

Tim This especially applies to newbie bloggers because when you’re when you’re someone like Tim Ferriss who has how many like 300 thousand people on their email list you can write about whatever you want because you have a huge audience of people waiting for your article you just send it to them via email and they will tweet they will spread it to their friends. And this is how your articles get exposed past the audience of people who know you already. If you’re an up and coming blogger maybe you have an email list of 50 people of 100 people.

Tim So whenever you write in your article and you send your article to your email list you share it on Twitter etc. You’re only reaching people who know you already and the chances that these people will tweet your article and bring their friends who haven’t heard about you already to your blog are very slim.

Tim So it is very hard to grow your audience. It is very hard to get the exposure just from sharing your article with the audience alone.

Tim So this is why you should focus on SEO traffic because once your article starts ranking in Google absolutely random people will be finding it to Google people who have never heard about you before. People who have never visited your blog before. So on autopilot passively you’ll be growing your exposure and then you can convert these people that land on your article into your email subscribers and then as your email subscriber base growth it will also become your exposure channel because like I said once you email your article to people who follow you already they might bring some of their friends and some of the people who follow them.

Tim But again this is not as effective as making your content found and discoverable in Google.

Tim So I wish more bloggers would return to SEO and would figure out what kind of topics people are searching for in Google as opposed to what kind of topics they want to write about. Because first, you have to grow your audience. You have to have a big audience to be able to write about things you want to tell them.

Tim First of all you have to write about things that people are searching for. Generate an audience and then you tell them what you want to tell them.

Pete I like that. I love it. Grant Sabatier. He writes about finance. He just released a book but is also a user unlike an NCO company back in the day like ten years ago. For I don’t know college textbooks or something I don’t know. He actually gave the exact same advice he fully supports writing The Tim Ferriss content like exactly what you want to say with no research no optimization no nothing. It’s up for like I’m super passionate about the subject or whatever. Write an opinion piece.

Pete He’s all for that except for the fact that you have to have the eyeballs first. You have to get sound first.

Pete So I think you’re absolutely correct. It’s a great answer.

Pete So Tim. I’m gonna wrap up. Thank you so much for coming on. Is there anywhere specific you’d like to point people? Obviously, Ahrefs and I guess I’m just answering for you. I’m sorry about that and the YouTube channel is so good. Really really really solid videos on all of your product as well as just SEO in general so I’d highly highly recommend that on YouTube. But did I miss anything? I guess I’ll give you the opportunity to speak since I was like “Hey where you wanna be found.” Let’s show people where to go.

Pete Anything I miss there?

Tim No no that’s it. I really encourage people to if they’re interested to learn about SEO and how to get traffic from Google which is not that hard actually. Because right now as we were discussing it we did we didn’t go into any rocket science or technical details. It’s all easy and simple.

Tim I don’t know any technical details myself. And I was able to grow the search traffic of Ahrefs blog substantially. We went from 15000 visitors per month like four years ago to right now over two hundred and fifty visitors per month. And that’s from Google alone. So we don’t even track our direct traffic referral traffic social traffic et cetera. We only care about traffic from Google.

Tim So yeah if you want to learn about SEO it’s not that hard actually. Go to youtube search for Ahrefs and you’ll find a lot of our tutorials like you said they’re quite short and the super action-packed super valuable. And from there yeah I hope it will help you to ramp up the search traffic to your blog.

Pete Sweet. Well, thank you Tim. I appreciate your time today. Slash tonight and thank you for coming on. I appreciate it.

Tim Thanks a lot for inviting me.

Does link building scare you? Drop me a note in the comments!

I won’t lie–the thought of link build frightens me a bit. What about you?

7 Responses

  1. Wow. Just Wow. Excellent Interview Pete, I know that Tim is one of the leading authorities in SEO that’s why listening to this podcast is just gold. And l also found a word that we would definitely apply to our future content “NOTABLE”. Thanks for this interview.

  2. Loved this interview. Agreed, a lot of times I think marketing people like to overcomplicate things like link-building with a lot of jargon. I appreciated Tim’s basic breakdown and unintimidating analysis of his success with SEO. Thanks for the great interview!

  3. Loved the answer to the question “What is one thing you wish other bloggers would stop doing immediately?” Very honest and practical reply.
    I guess in the beginning one needs to keep emotions aside and be a little practical, no?

    Thanks for the interview, Pete and Tim. Actually thanks for the transcript (I don’t like listening to podcasts!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    (Also, brilliant start to the interview – how to pronounc Ahrefs! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ )

  4. I believe that most SEOs fail to rank because of over optimization or less optimization of anchor texts! This is only because we are afraid of getting penalized, however, with my recent anchor text optimizations I have seen massive rankings growth! How much importance do you think “Anchor Text” holds when doing link building? I believe 80% of rankings are associated with proper anchors texts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses cookies!

Full more details, check out our legal page.

Psst. If you’re a blogger, you probably need a cookie consent popup too! I can teach you how to do that here.