Aaron Gray


aaron-grayMeet Aaron Gray from Studio 56 in Australia.


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Aaron Background

You have been doing SEO for…
more than 5 years (you are old aren’t you?)

Do you do
White Hat

You have your own content marketing in house?

You do Link Building in House?

Time to be humble..
  • Your Link Building Skills: 4
  • Your content Marketing Skills: 4
  • Your SEO Strategy Skills: 5
  • Your Local SEO Skills: 5
  • Your Penalty Recovery Skills: 4
  • Your Site Audit Skills: 5
  • Your Ecommerce SEO Skills: 5
  • Your Corporate SEO Skills: 4
  • Your International SEO Skills (languages): 4
  • Your Google Analytics Skills: 5

Who is your Average Client
Medium to Large Companies, Ecommerce Sites, Corporate clients

Your average client spends around..
$1000 to $2000 per month

How do you communicate with your clients
Our own CRM tool

What makes your SEO biz different?

We don’t talk about rankings. Yes I know this is about SEO and I love SEO but let’s all be real. SEO isn’t everything when it comes to online marketing. We don’t sell SEO we sell digital marketing. We work off getting a client an ROI as that’s what every business really needs. Not ranking just because.

What Services do you offer?

Link building, Content Marketing, Paid traffic, Media Outreach, Onsite SEO, Copyrighting


What makes a Good SEO? (don’t give me a crappy answer)

Someone who changes with the time. The one thing I hate the most in our industry is when I get a client who has paid some wanker $600 a month for four years for SEO.

They don’t have one link or they have 10,000 links all from poor spammy websites.
Let’s be real here good SEO is about making a good website, with good content, which converts and biggest part is that it has great niche links. If an SEO can do all of this than yes they are good.

What is your opinion about Private Link Networks?

Great way to make money and suck people in but not long term. Seeming Google is now hitting sites with high outbound links. All I can say is the end is near thank god.
No i don’t use PNs now days used to but it’s not the best way to do it

What are your favorite 3 ASO Tools

Don’t do work on Apps. Not going to lie and make shit up

My site has been penalized. How do I recover?

Well this comes down to two things first is if it’s a Manual Action or Algorithm.
I will break it down for each.
Manual action for be is the better of the two because you know 100% what it is and two you have someone to tell you if you fix it.

Most people get these for unnatural link building. So first thing is to do a disavow and put a reconsideration request in telling the nice people at Google you are sorry and tell them what you have done. You can put the time in to make up a doc which says you contacted all of these people and so on and so on.

Second one is the shit one. If you get hit by Algorithmthan you need to fix the issue content, links, mobile and Quality. You do this by working out the date you lose rankings if you are tracking or using GA to see a drop in traffic.
After you fix the issues you got to hope by the time useless Google does another update you have it all fixed. Sadly this can be 18 plus months as we are still waiting on Penguin. On a better note Google is now moving this more into it core Algorithm and have it update itself.

What is the best thing of being an SEO?

I love the fact it changes and will always change. What we were all doing two years ago isn’t what we are doing now. Well for the good SEOs out there we change and I like that part.
Also won’t lie I love traveling. I am setting right now in Mexico City doing work and traveling around.

Where do you see SEO going in the next 2 years?

This is hard in someways because Google loves changing the playing field.
For me I think content marketing and outreach work and digital PR are going to be three tasks an SEO is going to need to know to get a good outcome and more so a long term outcome.
The days will end that you can buy $200 a month to get to page one and that shitting SEO work of the past is going to start hurting more going forward. The sades part of that is a lot of people are going to lose a lot of money because they don’t know.

Who do you Admire in the SEO Industry?

So many but these are my key people
Brian Halligan
Matt antonino
Rand Fishkin

How many SEOs it takes to change a lightbulb

Non because we don’t need it as we have the light from our laptop or desktop. 🙂

How did you achieved your first SEO client?

Using one of those lead gen sites. Like three quotes or something. They went out of business.
The client was mainly looking for a website which I quoted her to do but as we were talking I was telling her about how I was ranking a lot of my own sites and lied and yes I was working on client websites. ( who doesn’t lie in business) anyway she was keen and signed up at a wait for it monthly amount of $300 and that was 2009.
My god I feel old now. That’s my great story of my first client.

The most important factor in SEO in 2016 is??

Content, content and more content.
Google has one goal to give the best search results. These results need to give the end user an answer. If your website is boring and doesn’t do this good luck. As you will need it.

What is your best SEO advice for a new/rookie SEO professional?

Start small, try and do SEO on one of your own sites. Making mistakes are bad at the time but they will make you a better SEO.
Always remember you can’t go to University to learn this so learn as you go.

What is your view about Private Link Networks

Same as above. I know your trying to make it hard but already had this one.

What is your best tip for awesome content marketing?

Put money into a good content writer.
Plan your campaigns and set clear KPIs
Use images. Content marketing isn’t always about just content.

How do you measure the ROI of SEO?

Using GA and having goal tracking and phone call tracking setup.
If it’s Econ than having the right Econ tracking setup to feed into GA.

What type of clients you Don’t Take?

carpet cleaners
And photographers

And reason is they are normally small businesses and it’s a hard part from a ranking point of view, Adwords point of view CPC is crazy high.

What is the most stupid question any client has ever asked you?

Why are we not ranking yet? The website went live yesterday.

What has been the most significant SEO Algorithm Update?

I know a lot of people wouldn’t pick this but Panda/Farmer was just so large over 12% of sites world wide hit this is just mind blowing. The firsts Penguin to come out only did 3%. I’m sure most people will say Penguin but it’s really not. Yes we had to change a lot in the last few years but still when Panda/Farmer everyone had to change just as much.

You have $1000 to invest in SEO, where do you start?

I would start with ensuring the website is working, again content, flow of the website mobile friendly. I would than out the rest into link building.

Is SEO the right solution for all sites? Yes/No/why not

No not at all. A lot of sites don’t have traffic in there core search terms so what is the point.
Second if the niche is hard e.g credits or fliers sometimes no matter how great at SEO you are the guys others have more money and larger teams. Doesn’t mean it’s over just got to pick your fights.

>Ecommerce SEO . What are the challenges?

I have two here. The first been duplicate content issues both in titles and meta and also now dats with content on the site. You really need to set a clear plan for this at the start.
The second for me is that as Ecom sites can be so large things get missed and no matter how great you are. Humans make mistakes and when there is more work there is more of s chance something won’t work.

Client wants to Rank for Yahoo and Bing. your answer is?

its ok to rank on these sites but Google still has 80% of the market. Sometimes letting go of the other 20% can give you a better return than trying to do both.
Reason I’m saying this is that check search engine works out your ranking looking at many factors and some of theses are different to what Google likes.

Define an SEO Cowboy?

Sorry just joking. They are losers who make our industry look bad. They normal don’t do any work but take the first few payments than just go offline for good or they are taking your money and not doing any work.

Define Grey Hat and your view about it

I don’t really believe in hats. I think the rules Google put in place are not there to help the end user but to help Google. Everyone forgets Google is a for profit company and they shouldn’t have the right to pick what people can and can’t do to rank on Google.
In normal business if one person out smarts the other that’s how it goes but in search we have to follow the rules of a company who have no oversight.

The best way to look at it is Google will always win. If you want to take a bigger risk than yes do what they call grey hat. You just need to work out reward vs risk

Google: Fair? Villain? The Enemy?

Villain and enemy. They are a for profit company who do not care about anyone but making money. Great exmaple removing ads from the right hand side. Now they make more money for less clicks.
Google will always change the game and that’s the unfair part. shat is ok to do today to rank will not be in 6 months time. Who knows what that might be

Best strategy for Local Ranking?

Local listings, Google places and ensuring you get the details right. Biggest thing I see is the address is different in each platform. If you put street on Google places than change the rest to match it.

Favourite Resource to learn SEO?


LinkedIn, Facebook, search engine land, moz for sure. Inbound. I could keep going but I think that’s enough

What has been your biggest SEO mistake?

Buying cheap shit links from black hat world. Will add this was many many years ago and it wasn’t for clients. I thought I would text it and see what happens. Tankers were great but only lasted 3-4 months than got hit by Google. Got them out but took ages and took even longer to get rankings back

The SEO world is a Jungle. what Animal defines you?



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