Inbound Marketing Twitter Chat with Gianluca Fiorelli @gfiorelli1 #VCBuzz

twchat-gfiorelli1This week we are honored to chat with the well-known SEO author and consultant Gianluca Fiorelli @gfiorelli1

**To join the Twitter chat please sign in here -> Twchat.com/hashtag/vcbuzz

About Gianluca

Gianluca Fiorelli is a respected SEO and Web Marketing independent consultant, specialized in Inbound Marketing and Spanish and Italian SEO. Gianluca is initially an Italian-only SEO.

Gianluca is also @Moz Associate. That’s our second @Moz associate in a row here at #vcbuzz, followed by the awesome @SEOAware

Follow Gianluca on Google Plus

Questions we discussed

Q1 How (and when) did you get into SEO? How did you learn SEO so well?

I started quite late (I was in my 30s). Before I was working in the TV Industry. I was moved to the Web dpt. of the tv channels where I was working. After a while I started asking me why the site wasn’t appearing for simple searches… from there I started learning and doing SEO. And still learning. It was around 2005… pre Florida. I learnt as I many of us: experimenting things, reading and learning from the best…

The need to find the most reliable sources of knowledge moved me to know SEOs from outside Italy. they were many: @dannysullivan for sure, but also all the @moz gang

Back in those years (2007/8) the @moz community was mostly made by people we all follow now (you were there)

Q2 You’ve been an active @Moz community member (even before becoming the Associate) How did @Moz help you build your personal brand?

It helped and helps a lot. I didn’t do it following a “branding” plan, though. It was my need of learning new things, share my views and being proactive that made stand as one of the most “annoying” @moz members. Take into account also that as a freelancer working at home, @moz really was a place I could spend time with peers. Right now, then, my “seniority” gives me authority amongst the new members of the community, some of whom will be great.

Q3 I confess, for a couple of years I didn’t even know you beyond your cartoon avatar. Why the cartoon?

The most honest answer is that I had not a good photo of myself. Seriously! But after so many years this cartoon has become a sort of brand identity, so it’s hard to dismiss it just like that 🙂 Said that, if you look at a photo of me, you can see the cartoon reminds me quite well.

Q4 [Let’s now move to our main topic: #inboundmarketing. After Google’s attack on guest blogging, many people suggested calling it something else, e.g. authorship building. Similarly, isn’t “Inbound Marketing” just a fancier word for SEO since Google seems to dislike the industry?]

On a more serious note, What is Inbound Marketing and why this is such a popular term within @Moz community?

And that’s stupid, as if Google won’t follow you if you do a “301”. Inbound Marketing is not SEO, that’s what SEOs still don’t understand. Inbound is also SEO, but much more. Inbound Marketing could be called Internet Marketing and stop. In my vision (which differs a little from @randfish one). Inbound is more a strategy that uses all disciplines that may help with “organic” reach. And SEO is surely one of them.

But also Social Media, Email Marketing. Even Online Marketing can be used for Inbound. Said that, sometimes I think people tend to get fixated on Semantic and loose the real meaning of what a “word” may mean.

Note: We highly recommend From SEO to Inbound (and return) presentation by @gfiorelli1 as well as his Inbound Marketing: misunderstandings, facts and strategy article at @stateofdigital

Q5 As an Inbound Marketer, what would you suggest a website owner who is looking forward to higher rankings (but is probably too afraid of doing anything by now)?

I’d suggest him to be brave, to think to his audience and not Google. Is guesting an article from an influencers interesting for his audience? Then guest it and make your audience happy and make the power of that influencers helping your brand. And Is having a guest post in a site worth because of audience exposure? Do it, no matter the link being nofollowed. What matters is the visibility, the referral traffic, social buzz. Links will come another way thanks to it.

Q6 Is there even such a thing as “white-hat link building” nowadays? [If building = means being proactive]

I think that every link that is not earned just because you wanted the link as first objective, then that’s may be called WH LB. That means that creating content that resonates with our audience, that will make us earn visibility (especially via social) will tend to generate links naturally. We are not forcing the links, but we are creating all the bases for having links. I think that that is what @mattcutts means when saying “Create great content”.

On the other hand there are still many classic link building tactics that are totally white hat. i.e.: broken LB done well

Q7 What are your favorite (inbound marketing) tools you are using on a daily / weekly basis?

Depends on the project and area I’m working on. Surely I use @followerwonk for everything related to audience targeting. And lately, for the same reason, I discovered @tribalytics, which helps me defining audience’s communities via Twitter. When it comes to pure SEO: @screamingfrog @moz analytics @searchmetrics and @semrush are my daily tools.

Then, I tend to use mostly every tools related to links search (OSE, @majesticseo and AhRefs). To tell the truth, though, even if I tried and try every tool, I tend to rely in just few. Less than 10 actually. Oh… and I try to exercise my best tool: my brain! Also because tools cannot substitute your reasoning and testing. Just helping you and giving confirmations.

Q8 Now, we can’t help asking the best-known Inbound Marketer 🙂 *Google: Evil or Not?*

Ah! Good question. I tend to be conspiranoic (conspiration + paranoiac), hence I would say Evil, especially when G acts stupid. But then, when quiet, I think it’s neither evil or angel. It’s a business.

As a user, for instance, I really like it. I like Google giving me immediate answers, I like the Knowledge Graph… As a marketer too, because I see the opportunity it gives me with all the new features. But then it does things like the guest blogging crusade, hitting good and bad as equal… and I feel appalled. Or I cry when I see the difference in quality between the .com and the regional Googles.

The reality is that Google is a business, and us depends on what a business decides. But being a Social Media Marketer and dealing with all the changes Facebook does must be almost the same. On the other hand we cannot change what people use. And they use Google (98% in Spain).

What we can do is: 1) trying to work without thinking about Google, but our public; 2) Making SEO invisible (in the good sense). With SEO being invisible, I mean having great technically optimized sites, having SEO leading audience targeting and helping the content strategy, while synergically working with Social for boosting branding, awareness and visibility. The best SEO result is having your site not depending on Google.

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