Growth Hacking Interview Series #41: Kathryn Aragon

Kathryn Aragon is an award-winning marketer/copywriter, content marketer and consultant specializing in advanced content marketing (from about).

What is your primary marketing goal when it comes to delivering results?

My primary goals usually relate to traffic and conversions.

What type of links do you believe are the best links to get?

I’m most excited when I see links from authority sites and universities since they typically only link to well-respected, credible sites.

That’s when I know my content is meeting my quality goals, and I know it’s being noticed by industry experts.

What SEO Tools do you have experience with and which ones do you prefer and why?

I tend to keep it simple. To be sure, my pages are well optimized, I like Yoast’s SEO plugin.

And to track results, I use Google Analytics. For finding keywords, I like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends.

What kind of “white hat link building strategy that scales” that you recommend? (What makes it your favorite one? How to execute it properly?)

The most reliable and scalable link building strategy I know is content marketing. Content can be used at every stage of the funnel to attract your best prospects, nurture them, and drive conversions.

Executing a content plan properly takes more room than I have here, but it boils down to two things: know who your audience is and provide content they find valuable.

To do it well, it’s imperative that you refine your message. For instance, what does your brand stand for? What does it stand against? And what value do you offer your audience.

Once you know who you’re targeting and what your message is, it’s a matter of creating content that gets people to your site and into your funnel.

How do you scale this favorite white hat strategy of yours?

Generally, it begins with a blog. At that stage, your biggest priority is optimizing the blog to attract more traffic and drive more subscriptions.

The next stage is to create content for specific funnels. Lead magnets drive traffic to your site, and follow-up content keeps them coming back.

What is more important: Onsite blogging or content marketing?

I see blogging as one piece of your content strategy. Blog posts and videos are content, just as lead magnets are. All of it is valuable. The key is to know the results you can expect from each type of content.

Blogs are useful for attracting traffic to your site and building credibility. Individual posts can drive traffic to your landing pages, where larger pieces of content can then be used to lead prospects deeper into your funnel.

But you can also drive traffic with other types of content. I see the best results when the blog and off-site content work together to meet specific goals.

What is more important; rankings or converting traffic?

Conversions are your ultimate goal in marketing. Your ranking can tell you how much traffic you’re likely to get and help you diagnose weak areas in your marketing plan.

But improving your rank doesn’t pay the bills. Higher conversion rates do.

Among the Google algorithm updates what is the most challenging one that you’ve encountered?

I think Mobilegeddon is likely to be the most challenging. Previous algorithms were ultimately about teaching marketers to optimize for people, not search engines.

Mobilegeddon forces marketers to adapt their marketing on a deeper level.

That’s not to say we weren’t expecting it. Google has been telling us to optimize for mobile for a while now. But since this update, you can’t just create great content and optimize it.

You also have to look at how it’s coded and whether its design is appropriate for all devices. It almost adds another layer to your SEO efforts.

What is the most important stage of SEO for you and why? According to other SEO’s each SEO campaign has stages from where to start and how to start it, my apologies if the question is a bit fuzzy but just to rephrase it, if SEO is about stages (ex: onpage audit, offpage audit, linkbuilding, content creation, onpage seo, etc) what do you think should be given more importance by an SEO given the current Google Algorithm updates?

Google ranks pages that add value to the end user, and content is the vehicle for adding value. That’s why I see content creation as the most important stage of SEO.

Of course, you can get more eyeballs on your content if you incorporate all stages. You need to invest time and energy in all of them.

If there’s one SEO Guru you’d recommend who and why.

My go-to expert on SEO is Rand Fishkin of Moz. He and his team offer the best, most understandable SEO training I’ve seen. Its breadth and depth are truly impressive.

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