As a part of our BloggersIdeas interview series, today we have kickass SEO Consultant Fili Wiese from SearchBrothers who is making his living out of his own business. Fili will tell how he decided to be entrepreneur and not to do regular job from 9to5. I am sure you will learn lot from his SEO skills and efforts he has put to grow his business.
Hi Fili welcome to my blog, please introduce yourself to my readers?
Thanks for having me. My name is Fili Wiese and I am a SEO Consultant at SearchBrothers.com helping and educating clients with Google penalties they may have received and site audits. Before that I worked for about seven years at the Google Search Quality and Google Ad Traffic Quality teams where I tackled web spam and click fraud. I am also a judge for the European Search Awards and am a regular speaker at SEO industry events.
Why did you leave your job at Google? What motivated you to start your own business?
For family reasons I wanted to move to Germany and Google did not have anything for me there. So when I did move I embraced the opportunity to become my own boss again and have fun in a different way, something I was also doing before I joined Google. When Kaspar left Google as well, it was a no-brainer for us to work together again like we did in Google.
How has Facebook helped you to generate leads for your business?
A lot people in the online marketing industry focus on social media, Facebook being just one of them. In my experience these channels can be great lead sources. But there is one with a significantly higher conversion rate: it’s word of mouth. Especially in a niche as compact as the SEO industry every player lives and dies by his reputation and the feedback from peers and clients. That is why we at SearchBrothers.com do not spend much time marketing our expertise through social media.
Instead we focus on two things: contribute in a productive way to ongoing discussions in the industry and -most importantly- to constantly strive for excellence while working with our clients. In fact our clients are our best lead generators.
How do you get maximum traffic from Facebook for your business? Does promotion in Facebook Groups help with marketing?
As you may guess from my previous response, our focus really is not that much on Facebook. Personally, I have not been sharing updates on Facebook ever since better, more compelling alternatives became available. Now Facebook Groups can still be interesting and I do utilize them for communication in closed circles but not so much for promotion as to stay in touch with like minded industry people.
How you do SEO for clients? What are the top 5 tools you use for SEO?
These are really two different questions! Our approach to SEO is data and experience driven. That means we use a variety of public and proprietary tools to collect data, on and off page before we aggregate and analyze it. Now in order to translate findings to actionable results expertise, both gained inside as well as outside Google Search Quality is key.
Now, when it comes to tools there are a few that really help with any SEO initiative: OnPage.org, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, Majestic, SEMrush, Searchmetrics and LinkResearchTools come to mind, in no particular order. These are all superb tools if applied in an expert manner. And of course we also heavily utilize Python, Google Drive, Google Cloud Servers running Debian and Gnome Ubuntu on our primary computers.
Last but not least, we use Google Webmaster Tools for every single SEO project. It’s the one tool no industry expert can do without.
What are your top 5 favorite social media tools that you use on a daily basis?
I am using my Gmail account, the web browser on my phone and laptop to connect to my Facebook account. For Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ I am using primarily the mobile apps installed on my Nexus 6. But I am a huge fan of Yahoo Pipes and IFTTT.
In 2015 SEO has changed. How you see SEO in future? What are your top 5 future SEO strategies?
I don’t think SEO changed in 2015 only. SEO is constantly changing, ever since search engines came to existence. The trends for upcoming months and quarters can be seen by what is currently in demand. To me it looks like link building operations are being downsized. Link risk audits and removals are in growing demand.
So is content building but again the focus is changing from sheer volume and publishing frequency towards user intent as an important factor. Overall User Experience Marketing is further growing in importance.
How do you optimize landing pages for your clients? What are your 3 best strategies?
We do not do templated SEO consulting. Every single client website is being evaluated separately and only upon reading it’s search signals we are in the position to offer expertise. That said there are some issues that pop-up on the radar more often than other: page speed, managing user expectations and unique selling proposition are among them.
How many PPC campaigns you currently handle? How do you optimize them?
Please bare in mind that we are experts in Search Engine Optimization and focus primarily on organic Google Search. Although I do have an extensive experience fighting click spam in Google advertising products, I leave the paid search industry to my friends.
Do you use any tools for link building? Do link building tools like Scrapebox or Senuke XCR help in link building? Please share your thoughts.
Any tools that automate building links that pass PageRank are likely in violation with Google Webmaster Guidelines and can in consequence cause Google to apply a manual spam action to a website. We are in the business to keep our clients sites out of harms way and in Google’s good grace, not the other way around.
As Kaspar and I were both (at different times) part of the Google Search Quality Reconsideration team, the only way for us to apply link tools is to crawl and investigate them in order to provide recovery assistance for clients who struggle with past link building liabilities.
How important is mobile SEO for online businesses? What methods do you use for optimizing mobile site’s SEO?
SEO for mobile users is crucial. According to variety of studies, a large part of all mobile device searches are being queried from mobile devices in close proximity to desktop or laptop computers. User behaviour is changing and even though we have a laptop at arms length, we prefer to Google whatever is our mind through our iPhone or Android device.
That is why site design has to be designed as mobile first and responsive. The specific recommendations depend as always on the individual site. There are no templates to follow.
People buy social media signals to improve rankings – do you think this is right way to manipulate Google rankings?
Buying social media signals in order to improve your site’s Google rankings can be compared to buying AdWords ads to improve organic rankings. In other words, it’s a waste of time and money. These resources are better spent building an actual social media presence and reputation. If done right, it will make your business, regardless of the niche, more robust and less dependant on search engine traffic and can get you more legitimate visibility in Google and social media networks over time.
How do you get clients for your business? Which platforms do you use for hunting big clients?
At SearchBrothers we are strong believers in word of mouth marketing and reputation building founded on the quality of our SEO consulting expertise. We do not use any particular platform for client acquisition, however we have an online presence and speak regularly at industry events such as SEOktoberfest, BrightonSEO or SMX.
What is the best & worst thing you would like to say about my bloggersideas blog. Please be open to this question.
Now you’re asking for free SEO advice, are you now? 🙂 Ok, fair enough. We love BloggersIdeas, of course, that is the nice thing to say but why do you apply the nofollow attribute when you link from one article to another within BloggersIdeas?
Thank you for the opportunity to share our thoughts.
I hope you enjoy this interview with SEO Expert Fili. If you have any questions about this interview, please do ask in the comments below !