Meet your SEO: Ross Hudgens

Hello comrades! it’s monday, we are approaching the half of August, and if you ask me….NO, I didn’t took ONE day off for summer vacation. So til now it’s been a long summer, full of work and crazy things, but I’m happy. Yes I am, because I’m planning to develop my knowledge about online marketing a little bit more in the next months, with some projects I hope they’re gonna see the light. Let’s wait and see, but the cool part of the whole story is: you have to try. I can happily fail if I know I tried.

Back to us. Because I know you are here not to read about my stuff :) .

Today I have the pleasure to interview one of my “living myth” both as a person, SEO and now entrepreneur. I’m talking about Ross Hudgens, digital marketing consultant, SEO, and now on his way to become an awesome entrepreneur (how do I know this? I know). You can read more about him on his blog. Ross is really one of the people I respect the most and I strongly recommend to follow him on twitter.

Ok Ross, ready to let us know a bit more about your vision? Rock and roll then!

Ross Hudgens

When did you enter the SEO world, and why ?

I entered the SEO world what seems like forever ago – sometime in 2008. I used to scan documents at a pharmaceutical company while in college, and the CEO was nice enough to let me experiment with my degree (Business Marketing) to help promote their website. It was an absolutely terrible job I did, and I probably sent three visitors, but it helped me discover SEO. I did a free internship, which got me a part time job, a full time job, two relocations and now my own business. I love this stuff – in whatever iteration it happens to take on.

A great tip about onpage optimization?

In general, for content marketing, I find users in general have two actions at the end of a post – intent to convert, or want to view more information. Your post may have been so bad they want neither – if that’s true, improve the post. However, you must inform their ability to do both of those things or risk losing them as customers. So, I suggest creating an in-content internal link out to a natural secondary page that offers more information on a common pain point – and also, having a clear call to action to convert, whether that’s a form, following you on Twitter, or something else. If you don’t have either of those things in a way that doesn’t make users think, you’re hurting your business.

The most stupid thing people believe about onpage optimization?

Besides obvious things that continue to perpetuate, nothing really stands out. Luckily I don’t hang around dumb enough crowds to really learn what people think still works – that might be the smartest thing any of us can do.

A great tip on how you build links?

When broken link building, I suggest finding the new location of the broken link – or a replacement, and offering that to the webmaster. Do this for a max of three links so it doesn’t take too long. Webmasters LOVE this, and almost always will add your link. Similarly, if you have multiple clients, trying to build linkable assets that are different, but appeal to a singular market – then you can suggest two broken links, appear non commercial through offering two links, and then get two nice links back to your websites and/or clients.

The most stupid thing you heard about linkbuilding?

It’s dead. That junk links no longer work (they still work, to a threshold, but if you’re not skating to where the puck’s going, you’re playing a losing game).

If you have to explain what you do at a 10 year-old kid , what are you gonna say?

SEO is a giant monster that will eat you while you sleep, and give you cavities and then cause your dreams of playing professional sports to crumble.

What do you drink when seoing?

In order of time of day – really good coffee (preferably Sightglass), lots of water, and finally, good beer. IPAs, Belgian, Wheats – all a nice night cap and a great way to pump out a blog post.

What do you think about SEO community?

I both love it and also don’t care. I love it always, I don’t care when gossip arrives on the table. The distraction is never, ever worth it. Build things.

Make yourself a question and give an answer: What’s your favorite part of SEO that doesn’t fit in the traditional mold of SEO?

I like businesses that allow me to be holistic in operation. So often we experience companies that can only operate on one or two rungs – PPC or boring link building. When we can sync link building, Twitter, Facebook and more in a total, efficient package, it creates a beautiful, organic machine that can absolutely wreck things across the board. Those kind of companies make my job extremely fun to do.

  • Spook SEO

    Great interview, Alessio. It brought out the best definitions of the real essence of the industry. I guess what also keeps SEO interesting is the continuous need to learn. Also the different approaches appropriate for unique business situations. There is no standard solution pattern – that’s why it’s never boring.

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  • http://01100111011001010110010101101011.co.uk Vlad

    “When broken link building, I suggest finding the new location of the broken link – or a replacement, and offering that to the webmaster. Do this for a max of three links so it doesn’t take too long. Webmasters LOVE this, and almost always will add your link.”

    Yoink.

  • http://trafficdigital.com Mark Hughes

    Great read Alessio, it’s always worth sitting up and paying attention to advice from Ross Hudgens.

    The advice on creating two linkable assets on different client’s sites is good advice – this was something I came to naturally, as I always felt too transparent offering a single/multiple link for a single company. As a webmaster, I’d be like “oh hello, I wonder what this kid’s intentions are!”

    Not so sure about his way with children though… even I’m scared of SEO now!

  • http://www.scalablelinkbuilding.com/ Wesley Exon

    Hey Ross, great link building tip on adding two links for two different clients in the email. Recently, I have been emailing a specific type of blogs and I would save a lot of time and money if I just combined the two in one email.

    What’s your response rate when sending out emails?

  • Michael J. Kovis

    Unexpected pleasure to read this interview today.

    Ross has for sure made it on my list to drink a beer with someday in the future. Looks like he has similar tastes to me with what he considers “good beer”.

    Another great addition Alessio.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Thanks Michael! I need to participate to all those beers you want to drink with these people :)