How Expert Interviews can Drive SEO Value

How Expert Interviews Can Improve Your SEO

“Just make good content and SEO will take care of itself” is the cliché of the SEO industry. It’s not that it is false really.  It’s that it’s makes it sound really simple when it definitely isn’t.

There are a lot of people trying to make good content. Even if it is great content, it’s getting harder every day to make sure people notice the content in the first place.

And even if they do notice it, there are no guarantees you’ll get a link out of it. The low ROI can be really frustrating.

What if I told you I could show you content that was almost guaranteed to rise above the noise of all the other things competing for online influencer attention?

It’s also almost guaranteed to get links and social shares.

If that isn’t enough, you can create this content in under an hour if you’d like. That probably sounds too good to be true (and I sound like a TV infomercial).

Interviews With Experts Can Do All of This

Think about it. Instead of being just another person asking them to share your content, you are asking them to share their knowledge so you can put them in the spotlight. That is a much easier sell.

And they will probably be asking you for the link so they can post it on their website and social media. Since their answers are the content, it, almost literally, writes itself.  I told you.

Picking a Subject

Deciding who to interview is easily the most important part of all of this. Even if you do everything else perfectly, the wrong subject can make it all meaningless.

Since this is for SEO purposes, you need to start with people that have strong online presences: A large social media following and/or well-maintained website.

I’d recommend looking for people that have a blog so that they can easily link back to the interview. Other things that can work are “Press” or “Media” links on their website

The next part is less critical but can make it much easier. Look for people that are seeking more attention online.

People that are very active on social media and/or people paying for ads (online or offline) want people to pay attention to them. These influencers will likely be very receptive to your invitation to be interviewed. And they will be equally eager to share the final product.

If you have a list of people that meet these two criteria, I’d encourage you to be a little more selfish now.  Out of those people, who would you be most interested in talking to?

You will find it is much easier to conduct the interview if you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. That will also generate more interesting content among your audience.

One final thought on this topic is to think beyond people in your industry.

Related charities and non-profits can be a gold mine for this exercise. They need all the help they can get when it comes to getting their message out. Even better, their supporters will also be very eager to spread their message as well.

It’s a unique opportunity to do good for others while also enhancing your SEO.

Setting Up the Interview

Experienced online marketers have undoubtedly read lots about how to reach out to people via email.

Normally, those articles are about getting someone to open your email. The goal being to distinguish yourself from all the other people trying to get something from them.

You won’t have that problem with this strategy. In fact, since you’re giving them something, your challenge is mostly how to convince them that your offer isn’t too good to be true.

Start by making it clear how you came to know about them. Good options include seeing their social media activity or their ads.

Also, almost as soon as you can, make it clear you are not asking them for money and won’t ever ask them for money. This alone will distinguish you from almost all the email they get.

They may not accept your offer. But I can almost guarantee they will finish reading it if you start with that.

The other thing that is unique about interview outreach is people’s insecurity. Depending on who you reach out to, they are probably not used to being in the spotlight in the way you are offering.

Make it clear that this isn’t some ‘gotcha’ interview. Give them unlimited edits and 100% approval of all the content before it is published.

You want them to share it, so make sure they know it is going to make them look good.

Conducting the Interview

You’ve made it 80% of the way now.  The interview itself is honestly the easiest part.

If you’re on the introverted side, it may help to prepare some questions/topics ahead of time. You don’t have to use all of them (or any of them), but it may make you feel better to have them to fall back on.

Some ideas to consider include:

  • Biographical questions: Ask where they are from, how they got to where they are, and maybe even questions about family or hobbies if you want a soft tone. This can also help people get comfortable since it is impossible for most people to answer these kinds of questions wrongly.
  • Questions about their expertise: What do they do differently from others? How would they recommend someone get started in their industry? What do they like about it? What is the biggest lesson they’ve learned? These are the most common questions you’ll see on the internet.
  • Questions about their future: Where do they see themselves and their business in the next few years? What changes do they see coming?

No matter what you ask, I highly encourage you to record your conversation.  That way you can just send the recording to a transcribing service.

Do a quick check and some light editing for ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’, and your article is ready to be approved by the interviewee.  See, I told you. It practically writes itself.


Hopefully, I’ve shown you that interviewing experts can be a powerful new tactics in an overall SEO strategy.

Even when it fails to get you a link, you have almost definitely helped to build a relationship that may pay dividends down the road. (This guest post is living proof of that. I can prove it.)

It’s a no-lose technique, so I’d encourage you to build a list and start today.

Feature Image Credit: CC 0; Public Domain. Feature image sourced from Flickr.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.

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Chris Lloyd is the owner of Everything Austin Apartments and spends most of his time trying to promote it as the best way to find an apartment in the Capital City. The rest of the time he spends having cocktails with his friends at comedy shows. Please reach out if you’re interested in helping with either of those.

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