Matthew Woodward runs an award-winning SEO blog that publishes detailed case studies and tutorials that focus on helping people to build and run a successful online business. He started his blog in 2012 and since then has helped thousands of people reach their marketing, blogging and SEO goals.
How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?
I first started messing around with computers when I was 13. I wrote online gaming reviews which led me to create my first community-based site. (I did a paper round to pay for this)
It was a while before I realised you could actually make money online and when I did, I joined the corporate world. I then really started to develop my skillset and eventually became head of marketing and lead some huge campaigns for leading brands.
But I got fed up quickly with the rigid structure of the corporate industry… small jobs that should have taken 5 minutes to complete were subject to meetings and further discussions and approvals… it was ridiculous!
I left and started my blog in 2012 and it was the best decision I have ever made.
What topic areas are you most passionate about?
My heart lies in SEO, I have always been extremely passionate about it and also about helping others understand exactly how to use it to help their website shoot up the rankings.
Which influencers influence you within those key topics?
I find my ‘competitors’ a fantastic influence, we always discuss and debate topics and they certainly keep me on my toes. SEO doesn’t stand still so it always keeps us incredibly busy.
Outside of your key topics who else influences you?
I would always give a shout out to the original influencer Darren Rowse – he has been a solid force in the industry for longer than I care to remember and certainly a huge influence for me, especially during my early days in the industry.
What are your passions outside of work?
Since moving to Costa Rica 6 years ago I like to spend my spare time spear diving and cooking. Although since becoming a father recently my spare time is spent sleeping!
How would you describe your offline influence?
I work very closely with my team at the SEO agency and spend time with our clients, working out strategies to improve their online business. I occasionally take on one to one consulting when time permits.
If a brand wanted to work with you, what offline / online activities would you be most interested in?
I am happy to take bookings to appear as a guest on quality podcasts, I do Q&A written interviews almost weekly and would happily do this via video too if that was a preference. I also speak live at certain conferences throughout the year… the most recent one being the Barcelona Affiliate World 2019 and my next one the Chiang Mai SEO Conference in November.
Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?
Speak at or attend an event. Participate in a podcast, webinar or online chat.
What’s your best source of information for getting ahead of a story?
Well SEO is changing constantly, and as much as we would like to be able to predict when and what an algorithm is going to look like… all we can do is keep our ear to the ground and make educated decisions on how best to safeguard our sites. At the end of the day, we are all at the mercy of the Google gods.
To get almost instant news of algorithm updates I use tools like Accuranker’s Google ‘Grump’ Rating and Mozcast. Moz also has a useful page that documents any changes called ‘Google Algorithm Update History’.
What brands have you worked with?
I have many affiliate partners but I have a very strict rule that my blog is not used for promotion. If I were to recommend a tool then it is one that I already have bought and used myself, such as Ahrefs and SEMrush. I do a lot of testing and experimenting with SEO tools and hosting providers and I publish my results on the blog which can be somewhat controversial but… data doesn’t lie and even if one of my affiliate partners come last… I hit publish.