Growth Hacking Interview Series #36: Tadeusz Szewczyk

Tadeusz Szewczyk has more than 15 years of experience in online publishing.

For 5+ years he’s been known internationally for writing here on SEO 2.0 and blogs of Datadial.net,  Positionly, Ahrefs, Hubspot, Google Blogoscoped among others (from About).

I encourage you to connect with Tadeusz through Delicious, Twitter and Google Plus.

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

Good question! It depends. In an ideal world I ask the clients what they want and then we decide which KPIs to look at.

Sadly, most clients are rather interested in specific tasks and pretty short-sighted results. For example, when it comes to outreach everybody is only interested in immediate links.

Nobody cares about long term relationships that usually yield many more links in the long run.

Personally I always consider some sort of ROI I think.

For example a recent client paid me 1100 Euro for outreach and got 7 editorial links from genuine quality blogs and sites.

In case you’d pay for such links to rent them you’d need to pay around 50 Euro monthly for each. That means that by sheer market monetary link value the client has his money back within 3 months.

Given the fact that he earns a lot of revenue with his site the ROI is probably much higher.

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

Organic in-content editorial links from active publishers are the best. I don’t believe in “high PageRank links” from blogs that haven’t published in a year.

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

I have some kind of experience with a lot of tools by now. Over the years I have used and tested many of them. Yet I always prefer self-reliance.

It’s like Micheal Martinez of SEO-Theory.com says: a fool with a tool is still a fool.

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 above mentioned relationship building is the most scalable white hat link building strategy. Outreach is ultimately just begging for attention and a shortcut.

What you need to do though is to become friends with your industry peers first. Then after a while they will be more prone to listen to you.

Ideally, your peers start to spread your content and link to you on their own then. Sounds impossible? I have done that for several years for my own blog over at seo2.us.

It’s my favorite because it works like human relations have worked for a million years. You are friendly to people and people reciprocate on their own.

Sure, not all of them do, some even try to spit at you, but who cares. You only need to socialize with friendly ones on the Web.

To build relationships properly, you need to forget your sneaky link building agenda and act like a human being. Be friendly, supportive, be yourself.

The rest works by itself. Do not focus on the people who ignore you. Ignore them too. Celebrate those who acknowledge you.

My best incoming links (even traffic and referral-wise) are from people who I engaged with regularly already years ago.

A link is just a technical manifestation of a relationship. People rarely link to strangers. They link those they know and trust.

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

The more friendly I am, the more link love I get back.

When I tend to become selfish and link out less or share too much of my own content I notice a change quickly. Promote others and miraculously you will be promoted.

What is more important: Onsite blogging or content marketing?

IMHO blogging on your own site is the foundation of content marketing but you probably mean spreading your content and activity over third party sites? It’s not black and white.

You need find a balance that works for you. What certainly doesn’t work is neglecting your won site and creating great content for everybody else.

You need to have a strong foundation on your own blog.

What is more important; rankings or converting traffic?

Again, that’s not a black and white binary opposition.

Usually proper rankings lead to converting traffic unless you rank for off topic keywords or your site is so ugly that most people bounce.

In these times rankings can be only a temporary solution though. You need to build a loyal audience using tools you control yourself, not Google, Facebook or other gatekeepers.

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

Both Panda and Penguin were very challenging even for me. You’d think a squeaky clean white hat SEO like me would get spared by almighty Google but no.

What is the most important stage of SEO for you and why?

It’s like asking which body part is the most important. You need all of them. Losing some won’t kill you but what kind of life is then? A much more difficult one to say the least.

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

Oh my. I could provide you with a huge list. My time is limited today. That’s why I will recommend only one: Brian Dean of Backlinko – the man who has inspired me most in recent years.

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