Although Andriy considers time as the most valuable resource, he is not afraid to spend it on his favourite activity. With fifteen years of SEO experience, Andriy Tymoshenko, SEO Strategist at our Fund, still has the enthusiasm and desire to explore Google updates and experiment to ensure powerful SEO traffic. In this interview, we talked to Andriy about his work, Ukrainian start-ups and also trends in search engine optimisation.

Why did you choose this profession?

My choice is completely natural as I became interested in SEO while I was still studying at university. After graduating and being employed in retail, I considered SEO more as just a hobby as I only launched and promoted my own small websites.

After a while, I thought about the idea of making my hobby a profession. In the end, that's what I eventually did.

What is your role in the Fund?

My role is to help the Fund's SEO projects make the right strategic moves, use and share SEO best practices, and build SEO processes if required.

In addition, I am involved in evaluating future investment projects for the Fund.

Finally, I assist in working with the team, sometimes including recruiting when it comes to hiring SEO specialists.

Try to describe the Fund using three words.

Expert, ambitious, SEO-esque 😀

I love the Fund because of its high concentration of professional, intelligent and responsive people.

If you are with the Fund, you believe in Ukrainian start-ups. Why?

Because Ukrainians are very strong in the IT sphere. To prove it, it is enough to give a simple example with Ahrefs - a tool (service) that no SEO specialist in the world can imagine their work without, and it was developed by Ukrainians.

What advice would you give to the founder of a start-up just taking its first steps?

Start getting user feedback on your product as early as possible and make improvements accordingly. The worst thing that can happen is when you've invested tons of time and money into a product that nobody wants.

What do you enjoy most about your job? What goals do you set for yourself?

SEO is what makes search engines get better 😀 and it benefits anyone in the digital world even if they don't notice it.

What I enjoy the most is finding things that work best for a particular project. Doing constant research is a vibe for me.

As for my goals, they are specific - to grow my projects and the profits they bring accordingly.

What challenges do you face and how do you overcome obstacles?

As you know, Google changes the rules of the game constantly. With each new update, some ranking factors lose some of their importance, while others become more significant. And we have to deal with such updates several times a year.

Not only to keep up the momentum but also to continue to grow is the biggest challenge for projects in this very volatile environment. And to stay afloat, you need a lot of experience and analytical skills.

In general, the ability to correctly establish cause/effect relationships is one of the most important skills for an SEO specialist.

Which websites do you work with most often?

Typically, I work with sports and gaming web projects. As for the scale of sites, these are projects with several hundred to tens of thousands of web pages.

What would you advise those who are just planning to start their way in the SEO sphere?

Keep learning all the time. Since SEO is a very fluid environment, you need to constantly update your knowledge base. In fact, doing SEO is all about experimenting and checking whether things work or not.

What is a source of inspiration for you personally? How do you learn?

Unsuccessful cases teach me while successful ones both teach and inspire me 😀

What do you consider an effective SEO strategy?

I always recommend focusing on strategies that can work in the long term. So, there are still SEO specialists working with "black" methods of optimisation and remaining successful with that. However, year after year, the results of such work become less and less stable and predictable.

Therefore, a really effective SEO strategy is to work with a project as a product standing at the intersection of optimisation and marketing. This includes understanding the needs of the audience, and adapting the site pages to these needs so that users find really what they are looking for and even a little more. It is also necessary to work on increasing the value of the site as a product in an effort to invent and implement things that are not yet in the competitors.

It is also necessary to ask the following questions: "What exactly makes my site (product) stand out among competitors and how it is the best?", "How to make users want to return to my site?". Working on finding answers to these questions and implementing appropriate improvements create additional value for SEO itself, thereby simplifying the promotion of the site.

As an expert, what trends in SEO and digital marketing can you highlight?

If we talk in the context of affiliate projects, you will see not just review sites, but products in the top of the competitive queries. That is, these are the companies that create additional value. And it can be either just statistical data calculated on the backend or additional features for users provided to them through personal accounts. Such sites contain a news section with large amounts of content published daily. So, there are huge content and editorial departments behind it, as well as real businesses, which is the most important thing.

It is extremely important to Google that behind these sites are real people who are experts in their field, not fakes from the ‘thispersondoesnotexist’ site or fictional characters. Therefore, creating a real business instead of mimicry under it is the main trend today.

The transition of more and more SEO teams to use white promotion techniques instead of black ones is another important trend that emerges from all of the above. The reason for this is that black techniques are becoming less and less effective over time, and this trend is only going to get stronger.

What difficulties do SEO projects usually face in their initial stages? What can you advise to avoid such problems?

Miscalculating what resources are required to achieve the desired result is one of the most common problems. In turn, this is also related to the methodologies used to promote web projects. As a result, you do not what you really need, but what your budget is enough. Therefore, a detailed analysis of the competitive landscape and proper budgeting are crucial in the early stages of implementing SEO techniques. The best way to avoid such problems is to assemble an experienced team. Moreover, if you are launching a project in a niche that is new to you, then you should involve specialists with a lot of relevant experience and successful cases through consultations.

Lastly, let's talk a little bit about personal stuff. Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, I like to play billiards, chess and poker.

What are your dreams?

Right now, the war ends with our complete victory.

What's your life credo?

What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

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