Growth Hacking Interview Series #40: Rick Ramos

Rick Ramos is a seasoned veteran in online marketing with over eighteen years of experience developing global brands for companies of all sizes.

He has written several best-selling books on online marketing, including books on content marketing, landing page optimization, social media, blogging and more (from About).

I encourage you to connect with Rick through LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.

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

I’ve always been a performance-based marketer and my main metric is to have a positive ROI on all activity.

For most websites, you need to know the LTV (life time value) of a typical user and monitoring that on a campaign or project level.

For things like content marketing initiates, it’s a bit harder to get a quick ROI analysis but you can gauge it from a historical perspective and a little faith

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

Links from popular trustworthy sites are best. The link page should have some relevancy in content to the target page. Good anchor text is still also important.

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

You can go crazy with SEO tools but I keep it pretty basic and mostly use Google tools and Spyfu.com.

Google tools are free and get the job done. I’ve used Spyfu for years and I believe it based on great data and delivers so much information.

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

I believe is ALL starts with producing the highest quality content you can produce on a subject, something that helps solve a pain point for your intended audience.

Producing high quality Infographics is a great strategy to get links, they come in organically.

You can also do some reach out to people that cover similar subjects and politely ask them to post your information and link to your blog. It’s time consuming but it works.

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

Going the white hat way can be labor intensive and I’ll outsource some of the work.

I’m not just talking about just finding the lowest priced service provider, I’m talking about finding highly skilled labor, sometimes offshore to perform some of the more time consuming tasks on my behalf.

Things like; doing research, outreach, graphics, etc.

What is more important: Onsite blogging or content marketing?

Good question and those are terms that come people use incorrectly and interchangeably.  To answer your question, I would say content marketing is more important for most people.

The goal of content marketing is to turn readers into buyers. The content can be many different things including a blog post. The strategy is really what separates the two.

If your readers want to learn more about content marketing, they can check out my best selling book available on Amazon:  “Content Marketing: Insider’s Secret to Online Sales & Lead Generation.”

It’s only $3 on the Kindle store and is a good introduction to the subject.

What is more important; rankings or converting traffic? Well, if you’re trying to make money, converting traffic is your number one goal.

Just getting a ton of traffic is useless if they don’t turn into sales. This is assuming that you’re not trying to make money from advertising on your website.

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

Many years ago, I would try and use the latest trick or technique to get traffic for websites. These things don’t work anymore and if they do, they can stop working at anytime.

I don’t sweat Google algorithm changes too much anymore since I use only white hat techniques and work on producing the highest quality content I can.

Do this and you can go to bed not worrying what Google is going to do tomorrow.

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?

Content creation is the most important and will be the most important going forward.

Look, you need to know the basics of on-page SEO but after you get this knowledge, you’re better off becoming a master a content production.

It’s a lot tougher skill to master and sometimes feels like your trying to capture lightning in a bottle but it gets easier over time.

Make sure to analyses your content performance and try to figure out what’s working for your specific audience.

Survey your audience, interact with them in your comments, talk to them. The more you know about your audience, the better your content will get over time.

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

Rand Fishkin at Moz. He’s been around for a while and really knows his stuff.

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