This episode features guest Julian Goldie. Julian specializes in helping websites increase their organic traffic, boost their rankings and land more customers using SEO.
Listen as Julian simplifies what it takes to rank your website well organically including optimize your keywords, creating backlinks and on-page SEO.
Find out what it takes to rank well organically in 2022 including creating backlinks and which backlinks Google counts with backlink quality.
Learn how Julian manages his client's SEO including prospecting for backlinks and creating a content calendar for creating new content and how you can implement into your own SEO growth strategy.
Did you know you can actually do more harm than good with backlinks? It is true. Discover how low-quality backlinks can reduce your organic position. Find out where more companies get it wrong when looking to hire an SEO agency.
Episode Action Items:
You can find Julian Goldie at https://juliangoldie.com. While you are there download a free copy of his book Link Building Mastery: How To Triple Your Traffic With Backlinks.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal, who was recently named to the Best of Los Angeles Awards’ Fascinating 100 List, is the founder and managing partner of True Online Presence, author of the Make Each Click Count book series and Founder of Make Each Click Count University found at https://www.makeeachclickcountuniversity.com.
He is a certified online marketing strategist with twenty plus years of experience and counting helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. To find more information on Andy Splichal visit https://www.trueonlinepresence.com, read the full story on his blog at blog.trueonlinepresence.com or shop his books on Amazon or at https://www.makeeachclickcount.com.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast and on Make Each Click Count at https://podcast.makeeachclickcount.com.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:02
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast. This is your host Andy splichal. And today we're happy to welcome our next guest to discuss today's topic, SEO using backlinks. This week's guest is dedicated his career to white hat, authoritative link building. He's helping companies rank their websites higher on Google using tried and true strategies. Over the last five years, he has helped hundreds of websites increase their organic traffic, boost their rankings and land more customers through SEO. A big hello to Julian Goldie. Hi, Julian.
Julian Goldie 1:21
Hi, thanks for having me on.
Andy Splichal 1:22
You know, we're excited to talk to you. SEO is one of the most important things I think a company can do whether Ecommerce professional service, so love to have you on to get to hear your take about it today.
Julian Goldie 1:35
Yeah, good to be here. Yeah, looking forward to it.
Andy Splichal 1:37
Now let's start talking about how SEO has changed over the years. I remember, You know, I think it was the late 2010s when Panda and Penguin updates really changed the game. In terms of needing more than just optimized title and meta tags. All of a sudden, backlinks were essential. How How's SEO and especially needing backlinks evolved in the last 10 years?
Julian Goldie 2:02
It's a good question. So essentially, with link building, the way that Google's algorithm works is it's kind of like a voting system. So the more votes you get a backlinks. And the higher quality those are, the more likely you are to rank on Google. Now, over the years, you know, since the days of Panda and Penguin updates, these backlinks have become more limited and restricted in the way you can build them because Google's algorithm is more sophisticated. So you know, back in the day, you could build some really low quality backlinks. You could get them from forums or, you know, from automated programs. And they worked. But as Google realized more and more people were building backlinks and trying to cheat the system and automating the process just outrank their competitors. They realized, right, we need to make our algorithm smarter, we need to be able to figure out which sites are quality, which backlinks are low quality, and, you know, penalize websites that are trying to sort of hack and cheat the system.
Andy Splichal 3:13
Now, how I remember, you know, back a long time ago, talking 10 years, there used to be a PageRank, where you could tell how high a quality somebody is linking to you. Now, how, as a website owner, are you able to is there a way to identify if there is what the quality of backlink there is?
Julian Goldie 3:36
So, these days, it comes down to a few factors, I would say. So, you have similar ranking factors like like there are metrics you can check such as Ahrefs domain rating. And a must also have a similar metric called domain authority. And in theory, the higher these numbers are, you know, if you have a Dr. 90 versus like a Dr. Zero link, the more authoritative and the more valuable that backlink is. It's not always the case, because like any metric can be manipulated. And it's more like a vanity metric. But then if you consider it in a range of other metrics, so if you check the websites organic traffic, and you see like, right, this website has a high dr. Plus it's also getting organic traffic. So therefore, Google likes this website is ranking it highly and it's driving visitors from Google straight to the site. And that's another sign of backlink quality. You've also got to look at relevance. So let's say if you're if you're building backlinks for an E commerce site, and let's say you're selling phones, then if you get a backlink from, say Apple comm then that's really relevant, you know, especially if it's a page about the iPhone and where and that's an authoritative link as well. Whereas if you get a backlink from, say, a plumber in India to phone up to your website about phones, then all of a sudden it's not relevant. It's not authoritative. And it's not going to help your website rank. So relevance organic traffic der, and then also just the look and feel of the website. Like when you land on a website, you can easily tell whether it's been nicely designed, whether it's well maintained, whether the content is actually good. And if it's a real website that people actually read and has a decent audience, or whether it's just a website that this is this happens more than you think a website is just created to link to other websites and manipulate Google's algorithm and rank you higher.
Andy Splichal 5:48
So you do the backlinks. But what other elements are important for for SEO, if you want to drive a lot of organic traffic to your website.
Julian Goldie 6:00
So I mean, in Google's algorithm, there's like over 200 ranking factors. So it's a little bit overwhelming. But just to really simplify it, I would say this comes down to three things really, you know, to rank your website. So optimizing your content for the right keywords. So essentially, you have to reverse engineer, what are your audience looking for? How can you find out what they're typing into Google to look for your services or your products? And then how can you create content that's going to solve their problem and answer their questions as soon as possible in a way that converts. Then obviously, you've got backlinks, like we talked about, but also your on page SEO. So how fast is the website load? Is it easy to navigate? Is the content engaging in keeping people on the page? Because
Andy Splichal 6:58
So use usability factors?
Julian Goldie 7:00
Exactly. Yeah, that's it. And this is good, not just for SEO, but for improving your conversion rates on page two, because,
Andy Splichal 7:07
Well, I am being paid traffic as well.
Julian Goldie 7:09
Absolutely. Yeah, that's also, you know, if your website is optimized for on page SEO, then it's going to work for pay traffic is going to convert nicely for any sort of cold traffic, I would say.
Andy Splichal 7:21
So what what are you doing for your clients? I know, I saw that. Are you mostly specializing in? Well, I guess, are you exclusively specializing in the link building? Are you helping with everything as far as the on page factors and all those that you just mentioned?
Julian Goldie 7:38
So we focus mainly on backlinks? Okay. We do we have, like agencies we can recommend, and freelancers, we can recommend to, you know, work on content or keyword research, that sort of thing. But we just specialize in link building, because SEO is so vast, and there's so many different elements to it, that it's almost impossible to do everything really well. So instead, we just want to focus on one thing, building backlinks and being the experts of that.
Andy Splichal 8:09
So how does how does your service work? Somebody comes in to you guys and and says I'm not getting as much organic traffic as I would like. You take a look. They don't have backlinks I may take take me through that.
Julian Goldie 8:23
Sure. So the way that we typically build backlinks is through something called the skyscraper technique. So the first step we would do with a potential client is reverse engineer, what their competitors are doing to get backlinks already. So if we saw a site client comes to us, and they write, we haven't got enough backlinks, we're not ranking.
Andy Splichal 8:44
We don't stop for a second do most people know they don't have enough backlinks or they just don't know. They, they know they don't have enough traffic.
Julian Goldie 8:53
It's a bit of both really, I mean, typically when clients come to us, they already understand link building. They already understand what backlinks are got it. Okay. And that's how they found us. Yeah,
Andy Splichal 9:05
Yeah. Okay. So they say I don't have enough backlinks, how can you help me?
Julian Goldie 9:09
Yeah. And then what we would do usually is either jump on a call them or, you know, via email if they prefer, and just analyze the website and look through, okay, how much traffic are they getting right now? How many backlinks have the built? What's the domain rating, like, and how are they performing?
Andy Splichal 9:28
Okay, and so you develop a plan on reaching out trying to get backlinks that are those that have linked to the competitors, or how does that work?
Julian Goldie 9:40
Yeah, so we created something that's called a content calendar. And basically what this is, is it plans out the content our clients need to reduce for the next six months. And usually we'll try and use their existing content first, because that saves them time and they've already got it on the website. And then we would figure out okay, What are their competitors doing to get backlinks right now? How can we produce similar or piece better pieces of content? Because that's what's already attracting links. And then we prospects, all the websites we could potentially reach out to, to ask for a backlink. Got a cold email?Andy Splichal:
Yeah, cold email. That's so that's how you're prospecting. You're saying, Hey, we have this great piece of content, you might be interested in linking to it. Yeah. How effective is that?Julian Goldie:
I mean, for us is very effective. Because we've been doing it for years. We've literally tried to optimize every single part of the process, you know, in terms of making sure we get the best results, the best conversions, that we stand out from everyone else, and that also, we save time and automate parts of it along the way. What I would say is, if you were starting from scratch, it would be very difficult to do it yourself unless you had the right system and the right method.Andy Splichal:
You know, that's, that's what I was going to ask. Yeah. You read my mind was, and companies tried to do this themselves? Or is it better to get an I mean, it's always usually better to get an agency. But is it needed to get an agency if you're trying to get backlinks?Julian Goldie:
I would recommend it. Because not only is it difficult to build backlinks, but also, it's if you're not careful, and you don't know what you're doing, then you could do more harm than good to your website. And it's the same even if you hire an agency, you have to be very careful about who you work with. Because obviously, some websites could come in, and they could build low quality backlinks to your website. And the problem is, if Google's algorithm detects that you're building low quality links to your site, they could give you an algorithmic algorithmic penalty, they could give you a manual action penalty. There's all these sort of problems that come with building low quality backlinks to your site. So you have to be careful how you build them and who you hire to do them.Andy Splichal:
You know, that's one of the things that SEO just really seems to be prone to be filled with con artists. And scams, that I mean, I still get two or three emails every week says Then get me on the front page of Google for like five bucks a month.Julian Goldie:
Classic. Yeah. Yeah.Andy Splichal:
I mean, do you get upset when you see all the scams around SEO? That it's kind of given your industry a bad name?Julian Goldie:
Yeah, I mean, is sad to see really, it is also just, you know, just from an ethical perspective, it's sad to see that where there's an opportunity to make money, you know, there's obviously going to be a certain percentage of suppliers who are sort of Con in the system and, you know, do more harm to good, do more harm than good to people's websites. So it is sad to see Yeah, and I think a lot of clients that come to us have already been burned by companies in the past, especially when they've tried to go cheap.Andy Splichal:
know, I mean, I hate to ask, but it's kind of like watching a car wreck. You can't you can't stop them turning away. But do you have any stories about a client you could share that has been burned by working with one of these scam artists type companies?Julian Goldie:
Well, we had one website that they were an E commerce company, and they came to us. And they received a an algorithmic penalty from Google. So instantly from the SEO company that had before they saw like instant results, really quick results. And then they receive the penalty after a few days on howAndy Splichal:
Do they know they got up and it'll do did they is it just Google doesn't alert you right? And you just see all your rankings suddenly tank or disappear?Julian Goldie:
Typically, there's two ways of seeing it. So sometimes, and this is quite rare now. But sometimes you'll get a manual action penalty, which is where Google reviews your website. And it sends you a message in Google Search Console, saying, Okay, we've reviewed your site, we've checked out your site, and we think you're doing something dodgy. We're giving you an manual action penalty. But that is very rare. Normally, you'll just see your your website, traffic flatline. And it's absolutely brutal. Because all the hard time or it's not just the money you wasted with that supplier, but also the time you spent your competitors now ahead of you. All the hard work you've put in this has done more harm than good. And, yes, it's heartbreaking for the business owner.Andy Splichal:
So you saw this, this person came with you and they'd been hit with one of these penalties where they flatlined. So what did you do? How did you How are you able to take care of that?Julian Goldie:
First of all, we looked through their low quality links, and we gave them a list of backlinks to disavow which disavow in all it means it's just a fancy words to say to Google, Listen, please ignore these backlinks. Google Don't include these in your algorithm. So what you do is you use a tool on Google Search Console, upload the backlinks and disavow them.Andy Splichal:
And then how long does that take before Google might remove the penalty? Or is it just random?Julian Goldie:
Can be pretty quick, honestly. Yeah. Usually within like, 30 days, I would say,Andy Splichal:
Okay, yeah, you did that. And then that work?Julian Goldie:
Yeah, that works. And then also, we, we just focus on really white hat, high quality backlinks to the website. So you know, just building links from authoritative sites, and then also give them some tips on keyword research and the types of content they can produce to start ranking on Google easily.Andy Splichal:
Now, when you are working with a company with the SEO, have you found that there are any website platforms that you think perform better than others when it comes to ranking well for organic?Julian Goldie:
So I would always recommend WordPress. Honestly, I think it's the easiest to use. And also, it gives you a lot of control over your website. So if you need to optimize your site, there's going to be certain things that you need to edit. So for example, your meta tags, the meta descriptions, the URLs, for example. And the good thing about WordPress is it's just very easy to set up. There's loads of plugins you can install, that will help you have SEO. Plus, it just makes it very convenient. And it'll save you time. And I know that as a website owner or business owner, you just don't have that much time to spend. So anything that's going to make your life more easy, easier and remove the friction is perfect. And that's why I recommend WordPress SEO thing. I would sayAndy Splichal:
what about for E commerce stores? For Ecommerce still work practically like WooCommerce? Or or some Shopify?Julian Goldie:
I would say Shopify for Ecommerce stores. Yeah, yeah.Andy Splichal:
Okay. Now, there was a recent update, I think, in June of this year, for AI for paid traffic, where it really focused on PageSpeed and usability did. Did that affect SEO as well? Or, or not so much?Julian Goldie:
Well, as you Google released the algorithm update in June and July, that was a core update, basically a core update, right? Yeah. And they've been like non stop with updates this year, honestly. But basically, this core update was like a holistic Google algorithm update the whole website, which means it wasn't just targeting one ranking factor, it wasn't just targeting links, or it wasn't just targeting anchor text, it was focusing on the whole site's metrics. And just taking a snapshot of that. These are pretty big updates, because it affects your whole site. And you kind of have to wait until the next core update to see your site's rankings move if you make any changes.Andy Splichal:
Now, did you find that affected your clients? Or what percentage or clients or since you guys are using these white hat techniques, did it not?Julian Goldie:
I would say a tiny percentage of our clients did get hit simply because the content they're producing, and the way their site was optimized, wasn't up to par with their competitors. Okay.Andy Splichal:
Now, what about I mean, you can get them all the relevant traffic in the world when you're working with a client, but if they don't convert, you know, it doesn't matter. Do you give your clients any tips on increasing conversion rates on their website.Julian Goldie:
We the way that when we go to client on how to produce content for outreach, the tips that we give them, optimize the on page SEO, and help them improve their conversion rates too. The other thing I would say as well, is that typically when we work with a website, we give them a keyword research report. And this helps them figure out okay, what keywords are my customers, specifically typing into Google? So that they'll find my website, because if you optimize for the wrong keywords, then the offer you have on your page isn't relevant to them, and it just won't convert. Just like paid ads, you know, if you if you target the wrong audience, he won't convert.Andy Splichal:
Right? But are you telling them stuff like, you know, bring your call to action button above the fold? Or, you know, do this or do that or you need to speed up the website or is it more just about working with them to get traffic and then you're you're recommending, if they might need help with conversion?Julian Goldie:
Yeah, it's mainly mainly with just optimizing the content for outreach to increase convergence of email sent versus backlinks built. But it's a good point, I think we should offer more advice and guidance on how to improve your conversions. And nowAndy Splichal:
What about what about content? I've had a couple of guests recently here that have developed some AI assisted content, being able to produce content through through AI suggesting content, or have you had any experience with that? Or what's your, what's your take on that?Julian Goldie:
Honestly, I'm not a big fan of it. I've tried it through a couple of my websites with AI. And using AI to optimize content and to write it for me, it can produce a lot of content, but I typically find it doesn't rank. And when I've, you know, I know a lot of SEOs. And they've had similar problems. It's like, AI can pump out a lot of content. But isn't rank or it goes off on a tangent, and it's not that relevant as well. But I think it has loads of potential. And it'd be something very interesting to keep an eye on. Yeah. But we have had a few pages that did rank with AI, so but it's like a few not not all of them, you know, not the majority.Andy Splichal:
Now, do you have a favorite success story from one of your clients that you'd be able to share?Julian Goldie:
Yeah, sure. So we worked with signaturely.com. Their website that at the beginning of the year, it's 2021. They literally started out from zero, so they had no authority, no backlinks to the website, a brand new site. And they started off from zero visitors from SEO to literally 145,000 visitors per month. In six months. Wow. Which was, yeah, it was insane. Like that was a dream client to work with, honestly, because they created awesome content. The website was really nice, really nicely designed. AndAndy Splichal:
Now how many backlinks did you have to get them to start seeing that kind of jump in traffic?Julian Goldie:
Literally just a handful per month, it was about five or 10 backlinks per month. And we still been building backlinks now. But yeah, they just got a huge ROI from LinkedIn. The one thing I would say is with link building, it's all about quality, not quantity. So it's better to build 505 high quality backlinks versus, you know, 1000, very low quality backlinks.Andy Splichal:
Now, are there any challenges that you sometimes struggle with? getting results for your clients?Julian Goldie:
Yeah, I would say so. It's really delivering a service as an agency, you've got to see every challenge as an opportunity. Because if you see it that way, then you can continuously improve. I would say, one of the biggest challenges we had this year, you know, as we grew was that we had to invest more in account management. And now every single client that works with us, gets a personal account manager, who's especially specialist in SEO, and can coach that client and give them tips personalized to them, so they get the best results possible of SEO.Andy Splichal:
Now, you personally, is you've grown your career, or have there been any business books out there that you can attribute to some of your success.Julian Goldie:
I really like Principles by Ray Dalio. That's one of my favorite books, because it's all about building a culture within the business and leading the team with values. And I think that when you start off as a one man band, like I did, you know, I was just like freelancing, one to one with clients. That isn't something you value that much. And then you realize as he started building the team and scaling, you need to really have a good culture, good values in the team, and help them make decisions on their own. So that was a bit of a game changer. I really liked the audiobook for that. Also, the road less stupid was a great book.Andy Splichal:
I've heard of that one. I haven't hadn't heard of that. So you you said you started as a one man band. When did you start the company?Julian Goldie:
That was five years ago. Yeah.Andy Splichal:
Okay. And how many employees do you have today?Julian Goldie:
13 on 45.Andy Splichal:
Wow. Wow. So that's yeah, very, very quick growth. Now, back to your clients. Where do you find that most companies get it wrong when looking to hire an agency like yours?Julian Goldie:
I think one of the biggest challenges they have is they have no idea where to start. I was speaking to a potential client the other week and you know, he's had all these quotes from different SEO agencies. And they literally had no idea how to differentiate between them. Or, you know, they were offered these big, like $4,000 packages, but they couldn't get their head around. Okay, what's the deliverable? What are they actually getting from that? So I think it's really tough for clients, especially if they're new to SEO, and they don't understand how it works. Also, with SEO, there's a lot of cheap options, you know, you could go onto fiverr.com, for example, and you could buy like 100 backlinks for $5. Right, right. But cheaper isn't always better. And like I say, it's all about quality, not quantity. So there's that temptation to go cheap. And the problem is, if you do that, then you're building your website on a really poor foundation, because the work you're doing now could harm your website for years to come. If you don't get link building or SEO. Right.Andy Splichal:
So you're saying those $5 for 100 links, not only will they not probably help you, but they actually might hurt you by doing that?Julian Goldie:
Oh, yeah, definitely could do more harm than good. Because all it's going to do is, you know, lends you with a penalty that's very hard to deal with and hard to manage. So it costs you a lot of time and a lot of stress. And it will hurt your results while your competitors get ahead of you.Andy Splichal:
So what problems are you guys solving for your clients? And how, in such a crowded field with such a different pricing models? How are you standing out from the competition? How are you clarifying?Julian Goldie:
So in terms of like the problems we solve, well, we help websites get more traffic leads and sales, from SEO, with link building. And we help them essentially become more profitable because they're getting free traffic. And they're no longer, you know, paying for ads. Which means when their traffic converts, there's a much higher profit margin. It is a crowded space. So you know, there's a few things about us. Like, for example, I started off working on up work. So we have like over 200, verified five star reviews from link building clients. I don't really know any other link boom agency that has also, we do pay on performance. So we have a pound performance guarantee, which means if you don't get any backlinks, then you don't spend any money.Andy Splichal:
Oh, that's great. That's great. So no, no risk on that.Julian Goldie:
Yeah, it's risk free. Yeah. And also, one of the things I see in SEO, and let you say is, you know, there's a lot of con artists out there. And there's a lot of companies that don't do a good job. But usually it's because they're not very accountable. There's no one who's the face of that business. Right? Yeah. So for us, it's like, you know, for me, I do a lot of thought leadership with YouTube videos with LinkedIn, appearing on podcasts like this releasing the book, etc. So you can see everything I do, and there's no secrets of how we do it. You know, I'd say that the SEO, SEO is quite simple to understand, but very hard to execute. So that's why so many clients come to us.Andy Splichal:
And then, did you say you're releasing a book? I'm sorry to interrupt.Julian Goldie:
Oh, sorry. Yeah, we've already got a book out called Link Building Mastery.Andy Splichal:
Oh, okay. When did that come out?Julian Goldie:
That came out at the start of this year.Andy Splichal:
Is that available on Amazon? Or?Julian Goldie:
It's available on Amazon? And you can get it for free from our website as well.Andy Splichal:
Oh, okay. Well, we'll put the link, what's the link to that? And we'll put it in the show notes.Julian Goldie:
Thanks, juliangoldie.com.Andy Splichal:
juliangoldie.com. Okay, great. Now, for you what makes the perfect client? I mean, you mentioned I believe, what was a signature really? But are you guys more focused on professional services, e commerce both were? Well, who's that person? If they're listening right now, they should write down your contact information and contact you.Julian Goldie:
So we work with a lot of commerce companies, even signaturely.com Like they sell digital products through their website. So they were still even they're a SaaS company. They they do ecommerce, too. And yeah, we I mean, for us, we work with a lot of Ecommerce companies, and help them get more customers through SEO. So they can, you know, increase their profit margins, I would say in terms of a perfect client. We love working with websites that have the ability to produce content, give us the freedom to go out there and do good job and also have the patience to see the results of SEO because you need to give it a bit of time.Andy Splichal:
Now how can an interested listener learn more about working with Yeah, he had mentioned your website? Is that the best way?Julian Goldie:
Yeah, let's see if you go to juliangoldie.com, there's a link to book in a call on there. Or if You don't want to call and you just want to contact us with a contact us form too.Andy Splichal:
And finally, what would you say to someone who has been burned by an SEO company in the past, but still would like better organic rankings?Julian Goldie:
So I would say be very careful about who you work with. Always look for case studies or references, try and find some proven success stories from that particular agency. Also look for someone who's done it themselves personally, there's a lot of SEO agencies out there. But not a lot of them actually done SEO for themselves. They don't own their own affiliate marketing websites, for example, which is, you know, something we've always tried to do. And then if you can, you know, whether they have Trustpilot, or work or something like that, but just try and find actual validated and verified reviews.Andy Splichal:
Well, this has been great. Is there anything else you would like to add before we wrap it up today?Julian Goldie:
That's it for me.Andy Splichal:
Great. Well, thank you for joining us today, Julian.Julian Goldie:
Thanks so much, that was fun.Andy Splichal:
Great. Well, and remember if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding connecting with Julian you will find the links in the show notes below. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our all new podcasts Resource Center available at www.makeeachclickcount.com. We have compiled all the different past guests by show topics and they've included each of their contact information in case you would like more information on any of the services I have discussed during the previous episodes. That's it for today. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.