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Julian Goldie on Building Authority via YouTube & Converting Content

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Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie, YouTuber & SEO Agency Owner at Goldie Agency

Julian Goldie is a distinguished figure in the digital marketing realm, renowned for his expertise in SEO and his innovative approach to link building. As the dynamic founder of Goldie Agency, Julian has dedicated over eight years to mastering the nuances of SEO, transforming the landscape of online visibility for businesses worldwide. His journey from a solitary entrepreneur to the leader of a 50-strong team at Goldie Agency is a testament to his unwavering commitment and visionary leadership.

Julian's proficiency in SEO and his pioneering work with AI have not only set new industry standards but have also propelled his YouTube channel  (@JulianGoldieSEO) to remarkable heights, boasting 77,000 subscribers and a reach extending to over 200,000 followers across various platforms. This broad audience is a reflection of his ability to demystify complex SEO strategies, making them accessible to a wide array of individuals and businesses alike.

Beyond his YouTube success, Julian's credentials are impressive and diverse. A published author, podcaster, and revered speaker, he has been featured on prestigious platforms such as CBS, Cloudways, Lemlist, and NBC. His contributions to the digital marketing community are vast, having delivered a staggering 2,200% increase in website traffic for his clients within mere months and successfully working on over 1,500 link-building campaigns.

At the heart of Julian's strategy lies the Skyscraper Technique, a method that epitomises his innovative approach to SEO. This technique involves identifying high-performing articles within a niche, crafting superior content, and engaging with the original article's backlink sources to enhance visibility and traffic. This approach not only elevates a website's ranking on Google but also significantly boosts sales, leads, and traffic, allowing business owners to concentrate on growth and their passions.

Julian Goldie's commitment to ethical, white hat link-building practices has made him a beacon of trust and reliability in the SEO community. With a portfolio that includes partnerships with over 120 satisfied clients on and collaborations with industry giants like Hunter.Io, Cardinal Digital Marketing, and Signaturely, Julian's expertise in elevating online presence is unparalleled.

For those eager to revolutionise their digital marketing strategies and achieve exponential growth, Julian extends an open invitation to explore the transformative potential of SEO. By booking a strategy session, businesses can embark on a journey towards increased visibility, enhanced traffic, and ultimately, higher sales and leads, under the guidance of one of the most forward-thinking minds in the industry.

The Unscripted SEO Interview Podcast with Julian Goldie

Watch the interview

(click on the 'cc' icon to view subtitles)

Listen to the podcast

(45 minutes long)

Unscripted YouTube SEO & Content Q&As with Mark A Preston and Julian Goldie

Could you share your journey within the SEO industry, Julian?

My name is Julian Goldie, a YouTuber and owner of an SEO agency with a keen interest in AI. Over the past eight or so years, I've been immersed in SEO, developing my own websites and offering SEO as a service, which has seen considerable growth over time. Initially starting out on my own, I've since expanded to lead a team of 50, serving over a hundred clients with their SEO needs. My YouTube channel has attracted 77,000 subscribers, and across all my platforms, I boast roughly 200,000 followers, if not more. I dedicate myself to learning about SEO daily.

How did you successfully grow your YouTube channel?

It's quite fascinating, really. A significant portion of my channel's traffic, about 96%, originates not from YouTube directly but from Google search and Google Discover. Over the last year, the strategy that significantly boosted my channel's growth involved sharing numerous experiments and case studies, aiming to provide maximum value. Consistency has also been key; I've managed to publish at least one video daily, sometimes more. This routine over the past 12 months has greatly contributed to the channel's significant growth.

What's crucial for SEO on YouTube?

It wasn't a planned outcome to garner such extensive traffic from Google, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. The key lies in the volume of data you generate through frequent and consistent publishing. Analysing this data reveals which topics resonate, which keywords gain traction, and how content is distributed across platforms, including YouTube, Google Discover, and SEO. Interestingly, we've also noticed substantial traffic coming from platforms like WhatsApp. Essentially, the abundance of data allows for identifying trending topics and search terms, understanding click-through rates for videos, and improving strategies based on iterative feedback. This cycle of analysis and adaptation is vital for mastering the platform.

Do you follow a specific format when creating your videos?

I start each video with a compelling hook, drawing viewers in with a promise of valuable insights they'll receive for free, creating an open loop that piques their curiosity and compels them to continue watching. The main content focuses on delivering that promise, whether it's through detailed explanations, screen shares, or walkthroughs. The video concludes with a call to action, emphasising the importance of converting viewership into tangible outcomes like sales or leads. I recap what was promised and delivered, guiding viewers on how they can further their knowledge, typically through a free SEO strategy session. This structure is consistent across all my videos.

How long did it take for your YouTube channel to start growing after posting videos consistently?

The concept of growth can be subjective. At the onset of my YouTube journey around the COVID period, my videos would garner only 200 to 300 views, but they were highly targeted, focusing on specific aspects of SEO. This approach quickly bore fruit, landing my first client within a week. In terms of broader viewership and engagement, significant growth became apparent over the last year. From a modest base of 3,000 subscribers, the channel experienced a dramatic surge to 77,000 subscribers, showcasing a remarkable growth trajectory.

What is the most effective video format to enhance growth on YouTube?

Experimenting with a variety of video formats is key to understanding what resonates best with your audience. The preferences for content, presentation style, and SEO strategies can vary widely, even within the same industry. By diversifying content through edited videos, tutorials, interviews, and more, you can gather valuable data on viewer preferences. For instance, interviews with well-known figures tend to perform significantly better than those with lesser-known individuals. Similarly, content themes can influence viewer engagement, with topics like Chat GPT drawing substantial interest compared to others. It's crucial to analyse these trends, as the correlation between audience growth and revenue isn't always linear; expanding your audience doesn't necessarily equate to proportional increases in income.

How do you generate your income, Julian?

Primarily, my earnings stem from several SEO-focused websites through affiliate marketing and advertising revenue. Beyond this, I've developed and offer various coaching programmes and informational products, which constitute a significant portion of my income on the backend. Additionally, I run an agency that provides SEO services to clients, further diversifying my revenue streams.

How crucial is it to provide value in your videos?

Delivering substantial value upfront is a cornerstone of my approach on YouTube. By offering significant insights and useful information from the outset, I establish a foundation of trust with my audience. This rapport is crucial when introducing them to further opportunities within my sales funnels, including upsells. Essentially, the initial focus on providing value paves the way for successful conversions later on.

What kind of clients does your agency serve?

Our client base is incredibly diverse. Within my SEO mastermind, we support individuals who are new to SEO and looking to learn more about the field. As for the agency, we cater to a wide range of clients, including some exceptionally large corporations with valuations in the billions.

Have your views on the use of tools like ChatGPT by SEO professionals evolved?

Indeed, they have. Reflecting on the past 12 months since I initially began working with ChatGPT, my initial fascination was with the ability to generate articles instantly. However, as I've grown more accustomed to these tools, I've come to realise that the true differentiation lies not in the tool, prompts, or workflow used, but in how one edits and quality checks the generated content, incorporating unique elements to enhance it.

What effect did the March 2024 Google Updates have on you?

Personally, the impact was quite pronounced. There was a significant focus on SEO influencers, with many, including myself, experiencing manual action penalties through Google Search Console. This wasn't a reflection of malpractice but seemed more an effort by Google to set a precedent, urging a shift in how we discuss certain SEO strategies publicly.

Have you noticed any patterns in the websites that were affected?

From an algorithmic perspective, my websites remained unaffected. My private case studies, which were not associated with the same Google Search Console account, have continued to perform well, indicating no direct impact from the updates on my broader portfolio.

Have you observed any recovery from sites that were penalised recently?

Indeed, I have noticed a considerable number of recoveries, not within my own portfolio, which has remained unaffected, but within my YouTube audience. Many have shared reports and Google Search Console screenshots showing dramatic recoveries post-update, which is quite fascinating. There have also been instances where sites were delisted or deindexed by Google, only to be re-indexed the following day, making this a particularly intriguing time for the SEO community.

How can SEOs utilise AI without risking penalties?

The most prudent approach to leveraging ChatGPT, avoiding any risk, would be to focus on aspects other than content creation. Given Google's recent guidance on avoiding scaled content production, it's clear they are cautioning against the mass generation of content without thorough editing and quality control. Therefore, AI's utility lies in supporting tasks such as keyword research, content planning, understanding latent semantic indexing, and keyword clustering. Post-creation, ChatGPT can also be instrumental in comparing your content against Google's helpful content guidelines, offering a quantitative assessment and actionable improvement suggestions. This method ensures quality control throughout the content creation process.

Why is it crucial for SEOs to move beyond merely duplicating AI-generated content?

The focus on enhancing content quality is paramount for the satisfaction of both Google and your audience. I advocate for a thorough content quality checklist, which I've shared openly with my audience, covering every stage from keyword selection to fact-checking, ensuring AI-generated content does not produce inaccuracies, and incorporating both internal and external links. This meticulous approach to content refinement is essential for optimising the value and effectiveness of your SEO efforts, steering clear of the pitfalls associated with simple copy-paste strategies.

Should SEO professionals refrain from criticising each other on social platforms?

I firmly believe in fostering a positive environment and uplifting others. It's my view that a supportive community benefits everyone involved. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats, and it's crucial we help and support one another within our community.

Without Google, how would your approach to SEO change?

Identifying myself more as a marketer and business owner than an SEO expert, my strategy centres on brand building and quantifiable outcomes across various digital channels. If Google were out of the picture, my focus would shift towards utilising every available channel — from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to educational sites like Udemy. It's all about creating systems, monitoring inputs and outputs, and understanding the correlation between actions and results. My approach involves meticulously tracking the performance across all marketing platforms, aiming not just to build a brand but also to ensure each channel delivers a direct return on investment. Diversification is key to avoiding reliance on a single source of traffic and ensuring that you convert audience engagement into owned assets, such as email lists, for greater control and sustained business growth.

Is the SEO industry missing the mark on prioritising the right objectives?

Indeed, the ultimate measure of success isn't the volume of traffic but the revenue it generates. The industry often gets caught up in vanity metrics like rankings or traffic volume, overlooking the importance of return on investment (ROI). For instance, ranking for something as trivial as "Kim Kardashian sunglasses" might attract massive traffic but won't necessarily translate to significant revenue, unless it's directly linked to a profitable niche. The focus should always be on the financial outcomes of our SEO efforts, shifting away from mere traffic statistics to the actual monetary gains.

Have you altered your approach to affiliate sites over time?

Certainly, it's been about continuous learning and refinement. My strategy has evolved to focus on developing systems that enhance ranking, boost traffic, and maximise revenue from that traffic. This process involves rapidly adopting new, more effective affiliate schemes or monetisation methods. My allegiance isn't to affiliate marketing per se but to whichever approach yields the highest conversion rates. This might mean replacing an affiliate scheme with something more lucrative, such as a proprietary tool, an informational product, or a coaching programme. The key is to learn swiftly and implement robust systems that ensure every necessary task is accomplished.

When did you first realise your business was generating substantial income?

The realisation hit when one of my websites began earning around £5,000 on its own. That moment was a revelation; the income wasn't just sporadic but consistently compounding over time. This success spurred a significant increase in my dedication and eagerness to learn. Passion, I've found, often stems not from the outset of an endeavour but from gaining proficiency and achieving results. The process becomes incredibly enjoyable, akin to mastering a game.

What was your reaction to your sites being deindexed and losing revenue overnight?

To be frank, I was somewhat prepared for it. I had always recognised the strategy I employed was high-risk and anticipated its lifespan might be short. I had even previously expressed that I didn't expect the success to last indefinitely and wouldn't advise it universally. So, when the deindexing occurred, it didn't come as a financial shock. I viewed it as an inevitable outcome that was long overdue, and it didn't perturb me in the slightest.

Do you believe many sites that were penalised deserved it?

Indeed, I've maintained the stance that while engaging in SEO experiments can be intriguing and educational, it's crucial to rigorously edit and review content manually before publishing. This approach is something I've experimented with for the sake of fun and learning, rather than a strategy I'd advocate universally. If such sites face penalties, it seems justifiable, as there aren't any victims in this scenario. Google's actions, in imposing penalties, are necessary measures to maintain the quality and integrity of content on the web.

Is it advisable for SEO professionals to utilise AI-generated content for client websites?

From the outset, I've been transparent about not using AI-generated content for client projects. Our focus has always been on employing human writers to ensure the content we produce and the link-building strategies we employ are of the highest quality. The potential risks associated with AI content are significant, and it's vital to communicate these clearly. While AI and human-produced content both have futures in SEO, quality control remains paramount. My position has always been to avoid AI content in client work, emphasising human creativity and insight.

Should SEO professionals pay more attention to context when applying shared SEO tactics?

My approach is grounded in first principle thinking, which applies universally across various industries, including SEO. This method involves basing decisions on fundamental truths that remain constant, such as prioritising factual information over mere opinions. Critical thinking is also essential, enabling one to discern which pieces of received information are truly valuable and applicable to their specific situation. For those managing websites or running a business, it's crucial to sift through the multitude of potential actions and identify the few that are genuinely impactful. This discernment is key to effective leadership and strategic decision-making in SEO and beyond.

Is Google specifically targeting AI-generated content, or is the focus on low-quality content in general?

The critical issue, from what I've observed, isn't the method of content creation, whether AI-generated or not. Google's guidelines, as far as I understand, haven't explicitly singled out AI content. The focus is squarely on the quality of the content. While there may still be spammy or low-quality sites ranking, Google's primary goal is to enhance the quality of search results. This aim is rooted in a fundamental truth: improving search result quality enhances user experience, which, in turn, increases Google's profitability.

What defines quality content, especially in terms of content that converts?

The SEO checklists I advocate for are designed to be practical, guiding content creators through each step to ensure their output is of high quality. However, for content to truly resonate, especially on platforms like YouTube, it must offer significant value to the viewer. This means not only addressing their queries but also engaging, entertaining, and encouraging them to eagerly anticipate the next piece, much like a compelling TV series. The most binge-worthy content often elicits strong emotional reactions, inspires viewers, and is memorable enough to prompt discussions. This is how I view and aspire to produce quality content.

How crucial is it to establish an emotional connection with your content?

Broadening our perspective beyond SEO to content creation at large reveals the importance of forging emotional connections. This principle is evident in songwriting, where the emphasis is on showing rather than telling and capturing universal experiences that resonate on a personal level. Whether it's through songs, YouTube videos, or blog posts, engaging content often touches on emotions, offering relatable and meaningful experiences. While achieving this level of engagement might be ambitious for most content, aiming for such depth and emotional resonance can significantly elevate the impact of your work. Art, including content creation, thrives on this emotional engagement, often emerging from the most unstructured and chaotic processes.

What are your views on incorporating everyday experiences related to the industry in writing?

Absolutely, I wholeheartedly agree. It's all about being observant. Much like the finest comedies or songs, it's the subtleties of life that truly resonate. The essence lies not merely in the topic but in the nuanced observations and the small details often overlooked by many. These elements can significantly enrich content, making it more relatable and engaging.

Where do you believe many SEO professionals fall short?

The key aspect often overlooked is the user's perspective. Many tend to focus too much on quantitative metrics, such as the volume of content produced or the number of backlinks acquired, neglecting how the content is perceived by the audience. When I create content, especially YouTube videos, I always consider the audience's reaction. Will they find this inspiring, motivating, entertaining, or utterly dull? The goal is to truly empathise with the audience, to understand and cater to their responses and needs.

What are your thoughts on developing extensive content hubs around specific topics?

This ties back to the concept of topical authority. By covering virtually everything there is to know about a specific topic, you establish yourself as a go-to source. Google values authority; as highlighted in Glen Allsopp's report, a few dominant entities tend to control a significant share of search traffic because they are perceived as authoritative sources. Achieving this status in Google's eyes involves several factors, including backlinks, content quality, and the credibility of the authors. However, a crucial component is the depth and breadth of content you produce on a given topic. A website that discusses ice cream once versus one that delves into it a hundred times is seen as more of an expert on the subject, thereby enhancing its authority.

Is it worthwhile to produce content that doesn't directly generate leads or sales?

Indeed, questioning the financial return on content that doesn't directly lead to sales is understandable. However, content aimed at the top of the funnel, even if not immediately lucrative, can still be invaluable. Ranking for informational keywords offers opportunities to convert readers into leads or to encourage email sign-ups. This kind of engagement may not yield instant financial results but can cultivate relationships that potentially convert into significant revenue over time. For instance, in my experience with SEO content, subscribers who initially engage with free resources can become high-value clients after months or even years of following my work.

Are many missing the opportunity to capture subscribers with their top-of-funnel content?

Absolutely, this overlooks a critical aspect of leveraging content. The aim should be to maximise output with minimal input, a principle that extends to content strategy as well. Failing to view content through the lens of potential revenue generation, focusing instead on volume or viewership metrics, is a missed opportunity. It's essential to evaluate content based on its ability to contribute to the business financially, rather than just its capacity to attract views or produce a large quantity of material.

What discussions interest you, and where can people engage with your content?

I'm always keen to delve into topics surrounding SEO, AI, and the broader spectrum of marketing and business. My YouTube channel, Julian Goldie SEO, is a hub for daily content, including live streams, video tutorials, and various experiments in these areas. I encourage anyone interested in these subjects to visit and explore the wealth of resources available there.

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