Romain Brabant is an entrepreneur and the founder of SEOBUDDY that helps teams generate more organic traffic through efficient Do-It-Yourself SEO frameworks. He is originally from France, but a Digital Nomad since 2007. To get more SEO tips from Romain, follow him on Twitter or Facebook.
1. How did you get into SEO?
I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2000. From doing affiliate marketing, selling eBooks, and providing SEO consulting services to finally spending the next ten years in a specific niche in the cell phone industry was extremely rewarding.
It’s in that niche that SEO became the name of the game for me and my future venture. By then, we were ranking in the Top #3 for over 5,000 keywords.
2. What projects have you launched recently that you are proud of?
Today, my focus is on building SEOBUDDY. We create step-by-step SEO frameworks that make getting to the top of Google soooo much easier. Our flagship products are Link Chest and the SEO Checklist, but we have more products in our pipeline.
SEO is an extremely competitive industry, with probably one of the most challenging keyword difficulties, and on top of that, all our competitors are SEO Experts. It’s a slow burner project, but I’m finally starting to get some traction on the SEO front.
3. How did you come up with the idea to build your own tool?
The short answer is: “scratching my own itch.”
We needed a productivity tool to monitor that our manual SERP Audit efforts were made diligently by our employees, as well as training material to scale up recruiting process. What was needed didn’t exist, so we created it.
4. In your opinion, what are the SEO trends in 2022?
I think the most significant trend is, unfortunately, related to Artificial Intelligence.
Advanced content editors with NLP recommendations have started to add an AI Writer feature to generate blog articles. At best, it can be used to find inspiration, and at worst, it can pollute the web with AI-Generated content. Next, it’ll lead to the “automate-everything” trend 🤖
5. What factor would you wish to modify/add/remove with Google’s algorithm and why?
I wouldn’t touch anything; it’s perfectly balanced.
If I did have a magic wand, though, I wish I could make the bounce rate less important.
I know I don’t produce enough video content, which is, in my opinion, the best method to keep our audience engaged and have them stay longer on our website, and it’s my weakness today.
6. Have you ever used black hat and gray hat SEO tactics? What do you think about them?
When I was younger, yes, I experimented with it a lot. The conclusion is: long-term “white-hat” consistency trumps short-term “black-hat” tactics. SEO is not a sprint or even a marathon; it’s a lifelong journey. And black hat tactics are like bad karma that will hit back at you during that journey.
7. What are the most important principles of an ideal SEO team structure?
Having a vision and a plan for the next 12 months (content strategy) and structuring it by following processes (Standard Operating Procedure).
8. Can you share an effective backlinking strategy you have come across lately?
The best strategy is to go big on earning contextual backlinks. It requires having an outreach specialist looking for mentions of desired keywords on articles that are already ranking for that keyword and building relationships with other webmasters.
9. Please, share your growth advice for aspiring business owners based on what you’ve learned.
Become an expert at something, and go big on it. Also, stay focused.
10. How to build a personal brand in 2022?
I’m not an expert on this, and I’m very shy to do much about developing my personal brand. My goal is to hire a spokesperson for SEO Buddy, and when I look at the requirement, it seems like hiring a Rock Star🤘
12. What do you do to further your own SEO knowledge and skills?
I usually check the SEO University for the most popular SEO tools of the moment. Ahrefs is one of them, and the quality of the content they produce on YouTube is stellar.
13. Can you share your professional plans for the next 2-3 years?
My best guess is that I will still be working on SEO Buddy. I believe it will take another five years to reach my goal for this venture and make it a success.
14. How do you see the future of SEO (in 5 years)?
The barrier of entry will just become harder and harder for existing industries with high competition. But the fundamentals won’t change that much.
15. What book, podcasts, or other resource has helped you the most over your career?
I recommend everyone to check the free resources from YC Startup School. It was an excellent resource when I struggled with my product-market fit for SEO Buddy.
16. The best piece of advice I have ever been given is…
Don’t ever stop learning and growing as a person. Be kind to people; treat people as you would like to be treated.