Today’s interview features Kumail Hemani, a blogger and professional SEO consultant in Dubai.
SEO (search engine optimization, for those new to the game), is something that literally affects all internet businesses and blogs, so whenever I get the chance to chat with a professional, I take it.
This interview isn’t too heavy on any technical SEO tactics or strategies, but there are some good tips from someone who has dealt with SEO and internet marketing first hand, seeing a lot of different things from the clients he has worked with.
I’m a big fan of your blog at KumailHemani.com, as you write a lot of interesting content about SEO and blogging. Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey – how did you first get into the world of SEO? What types of projects/businesses are you currently involved with?
I spent three and a half years at that software house. For the first year and a half, I was working with the front-end development team. Later, my company launched two internal projects for which they required SEO services. One of my colleagues and I were chosen to research for our strategy and learn about SEO.
We produced convincing results and my boss planned on creating a separate SEO team within the company. I got promoted to being a full-time SEO specialist and hired two junior SEOs to help me with the projects.
What has been your greatest success (or successes) so far?
Fortunately, there have been so many in my career! But SEO can never be a “one-man show.” I’ve been lucky to have worked with a great team of researchers and they’ve played an instrumental part in the big experiments we’ve conducted and the successes we’ve achieved together.
If I had to choose one, I’ll choose this campaign from one of my personal clients who has been working with me for the past two years now.
He runs an e-commerce website and was already doing pretty well. They found me through one of my guest posts on a blog and wanted to see what I could do for them. We had a discussion and they hired me. These results (shown above) were achieved after just two months’ worth of work.
Even the most successful people run into failure along their journey to success. What do you consider to be your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?
Lauren Kris Friend says, and I quote, “FAIL means First Attempt in Learning.”
Where there have been many successes, I’ve hit a lot of failures too. It is so hard to think back all these years and remember each story. It’s funny how during this interview, I seem to be forgetting everything about my life! 🙂
In my early days as SEO consultant, I was hunting for articles with SEO tips like crazy and implementing what I read to learn. So I read every SEO article I could find.
The worst advice I followed was that to earn authenticity in Google, you have to create a lot of pages on the same topic.
Maybe I misinterpreted it. Maybe what the author meant was “produce more educational content on your blog and become a thought leader.” However, I created a hundred pages on the same topic, put related RSS from Google News and ended up with a handful of pages to rank with keywords.
The SEO-landscape is always changing, and while some things seem to get more challenging, a lot of the same tricks and tactics continue to work. You’re an SEO expert, so I have to ask:
In your opinion, what is the most effective SEO tactic or strategy that everyday bloggers/website owners aren’t doing enough of today? Is there something that sticks out from the SEO audits you have done?
Well, content marketing and social media had massive growth in 2012 and 2013. Still, I have found that a lot of websites are lacking in this area and not updating their content regularly.
Using these channels isn’t easy but if used properly and sincerely, it can bring large numbers of targeted traffic and convert many potential clients for your business.
I agree – there’s no question that producing a greater quantity of content (with good quality, of course) is going to lead to more search engine traffic. Are there any other effective SEO tactics you’ve implemented for your clients that we should know about?
Of course there are a lot of tactics and you learn them by experimenting and through experience. I’m doing a lot of link building and the best tactic to use is to analyze the website properly and find the link building opportunities around it.
I shared an exact tactic in one of my posts here (about earning editorial links through e-mail outreach). I think you will find it worth reading.
Let’s take a step back and look more generally at SEO and blogging. I know you have a lot of great advice to share, but if you had to take your best advice and put it into one sentence or phrase, what would that be?
Customers aren’t numbers. They are real people. [Click here to tweet this]
What are your favorite online resources?
1) Twitter, because it really helped me a lot (free)
2) Moz blog (free)
3) SEMrush (paid)
4) Webrank toolbar (free)
5) Moz’s toolbar (free)
For someone who is just starting out creating a blog, what advice would you offer? What do you wish someone told you about when you first started?
- Go for quality over quantity.
- Write when you feel the urge to write and have unique ideas to share.
- Create gripping headlines.
- Create link-able resources.
- Be loyal to your readers – share something substantial and new every time.
- Mention other bloggers and then email them the link to your blog post.
- Share your article with related people in the industry and politely ask them to share it.
I don’t claim to be the superman of blogging. When I started off, I conducted my own research of do’s and don’ts, surfed expert blogs, and created my own checklist. I keep looking for improvements and help others as well.
Outside of the SEO world, who has been your biggest inspiration?
Finally, where can people find you online?
I am available on Twitter 24/7 @KRHemani, reading tweets and sharing interesting content. I’m open for sharing advice, suggestions, or answering questions.
In my spare time, I am contributing on different blogs as well as my own blog KumailHemani.com – feel free to explore. 🙂
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