When I talk about SEO & SEO Expert, one name that comes to my mind without stressing for second is Matthew Woodward. I am a big fan of him and got to learn my first tip about SEO after reading his blog only. There is no doubt about Matthew Woodward, as one of the best SEO Experts in this industry. If you are not aware, then just read a few of the detailed SEO case studies shared by Matthew Woodward. In fact, I always preferred to learn SEO by following him and similar other SEO blogs.

Interview of Matthew Woodward (searchlogistics.com)

In this interview, I have asked some good questions Matthew Woodward and found some amazing answers. You must read this interview with Matthew Woodward, of you, want to learn SEO for FREE. Let’s start this question & answer series and explore some knowledge about SEO & blogging Tip from Matthew Woodward.

1. Who is Matthew Woodward? An Affiliate Marketer or SEO Expert or Blogger? Please share about yourself.

I’m Matthew Woodward and I run an SEO blog that’s primary focus is to help people with their own or their clients’ online business. I also have an SEO agency called Search Logistics where I have built a team of some of the top SEOs in the industry. 

I started my blog in 2012 after leaving the corporate world and over the years it has helped thousands of people develop and progress their websites.

I publish high quality tried and tested tutorials, reviews and case studies that offer actionable help and advice with everything SEO, blogging and working online.

2. How many websites or blogs do you run? What is the story behind choosing the domain matthewwoodward.co.uk?

The blog actually started out as an experiment, I had no idea what it would turn into so there isn’t really a brilliant story behind my domain name. I was simply testing a theory that you didn’t need to build links to have a successful website.

But my blog grew from there into what you see today. As well as the blog and agency I have a bunch of other websites that I like to build and play around with.

3. How many awards you have won and what is the story behind building the brand Matthewwoodward.co.uk?

As I just touched on, the blog started as an experiment and when it started to grow I solely focused on helping people with online businesses solve their problems. That was the whole premise for the blog and still is to this day.

I have been lucky enough to pick up some pretty cool awards along the way including:

  • HubSpot Top 5 Internet Marketing Blog
  • Technorati Top 100 Business Blog
  • Affiliate Summit Best Affiliate Blog
  • The Best Of Search Engine Journal
  • Unbounce Top 75 Internet Marketing Blogs
  • ProBlogger One To Watch
  • UK Blog Awards PR & Marketing Highly Commended
  • UK Blog Awards Digital & Technology Highly Commended

4. What are the key changes you have observed in terms of SEO in the last few years?

SEO has changed a lot in recent years. We used to only focus on optimizing our websites for search engines and their bots. 

However, now there is a much larger focus on optimizing for humans! Search engines are updating their algorithms to have ranking factors that pay more attention to user experience (such as site speed) and they watch carefully for user engagement signals.

5. What are the key strategies you follow when starting a new blog?

Do the research. Check out your competition and figure out how you can do it better! Pick a niche you are knowledgeable about and can compete in. 

Create a structured plan of action and build a really strong foundation for your site. Don’t skimp on hosting (I recommend WPX Hosting) and remember… quality content over quantity.

6. How you do Niche research and come up with a profitable niche? Feel free to mention all the tools or any cheatsheet you use during this process.

The key is finding high search, low competition keywords. There are a number of tools that you can use to do that and if you import the data into my intelligent keyword research spreadsheet it will tell you exactly which keywords you should target with your content.

The other important thing to do is look at the leading websites in that niche and answer the questions… How do they make money? How do they bring in search traffic? And then decide how you are going to do it better. Make a list of the things they do well and the things they don’t do well. But be realistic with your goals.

7. Most bloggers fail to continue in the initial few months. When starting a new blog, where exactly do they make mistakes? 

The most common mistakes I see are:

  • People starting blogs on free blogging sites.
  • Not understanding that it takes time to build up a successful blog
  • Not understanding what their audience wants and creating content to meet those needs.
  • Not doing the relevant research needed for that niche

Essentially not even getting the basics right and expecting it to generate a liveable income within a few months.

8. What are the key ways to bring traffic to a newly started blog? Please share the methods that worked for you.

The best way to bring traffic to your blog in the early days is to spend time where your audience is and see what they are talking about.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Find out where your audience is spending their time
  2. Discover the best way you can connect with them
  3. Create content some awesome content that solves their problem
  4. Share it with them

9. Getting quality guest posts or responses from outreach emails is very difficult for a beginner. How a beginner can deal with this and actually get a quality backlink from an authority website in the early days of blogging?

Simple, offer something top quality! Have a really eye-catching well thought out email pitch. And above all – do your research. Only email people who are in your niche and will actually find your content valuable. 

I am plagued with outreach emails from people pitching for niches that are completely unrelated to mine. So invest the time and prospect your outreach opportunities thoroughly to get a much better response rate. 

It’s also always a good idea to add a little humor into your emails and be prepared to offer something in return for them placing your link.

10. Content vs backlinks – which one is more important? How do you balance both in 2019?

They are both equally important. 

For any website to be successful they need to create high-quality relevant content and then build backlinks to it. There is no point trying to build backlinks to a piece of low quality rehashed content, you’ll just be wasting your time and the time of those people who actually open your email. And if you don’t build backlink to your good quality content you are missing out on one of Google’s most important ranking factors.

But all of this is completely irrelevant if you don’t have a site built on strong foundations. So start with an SEO Audit before even thinking about these steps.

11. Google is changing its algorithm every week, do we have to worry about that? How do you make sure to keep your rankings safe with every Google Algorithm changes?

I don’t worry about it, I just make the decisions I feel are right at the time. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. You need to be prepared to react calmly and quickly in case you see a drop in traffic and rankings but that’s just the name of the game. 

We are all subject to the Google gods.

12. Please share a few of the advanced SEO techniques that you have tested and have worked for you.

My most recent hack I discovered when retesting is FAQs. When integrating them onto your pages they are had a massive impact on your search result. It was crazy! 

Within the space of about 30 minutes, my search results jumped up a couple of places and had their own FAQ listing making my result stand out more than anyone else. You can see exactly what this looks like in my article – How To Increase Search Visibility With FAQ Rich Snippets

13. Besides blogging, do you also offer services?

I have an SEO agency called Search Logistics and we offer full SEO services to anyone serious about increasing traffic to their site.

14. What is your major income source? Affiliate marketing or any other? Please share the different monetization techniques that you have tried.

Affiliate marketing is probably the main consistent income source from the blog. In the past, I have also created and sold online courses and tools such as my PBN course.

And of course, anyone who hires my agency through the blog adds to my income stream. I have other online businesses too that keep me busy. 

15. Is Affiliate marketing the best way to monetize a blog? Please share your experience. 

That’s a hard one to answer – I guess it depends on what your blog offers. Aside from affiliate marketing, you can make a pretty good income selling online courses or creating and selling tools as I mentioned in the previous question, but this isn’t a one size fits all.

16. Would you like to share some tips that worked great for Affiliate Marketing?

Writing really in-depth and detailed product reviews for popular tools on the market. Some of my most successful articles are SEO tool reviews like Ahrefs, SEMrush and Powersuite. 

I really explore all corners of these tools, demonstrating all the different ways they can be used to generate traffic – and these are genuine reviews, not just a promotion tool to earn some affiliate income. Which is why they are successful.

17. What would be your best advice to a beginner who wants to build a career in blogging or Digital marketing?

Pick a niche you find interesting/want to learn about. Then figure out how you can make money. You stand a much higher chance of success in this business if you enjoy what you do.

I would recommend they take a couple of online courses to learn and understand the basics. Then, get stuck in! 

SEO changes all the time and no matter how much training you do, strategies and tactics are constantly changing. You can learn much more productively on the job.