Interview with Jim Westergren

jim westergren smiling in white shirtJim Westergren is a Swedish SEO expert from Malmö, currently living in Malta.

He is a company owner since 2005 and high profile SEO in Sweden. The last years Jim have learnt programming and built N.nu which is a fast growing free website builder used by more than 60 000 people. Mr Westergren says he is currently focusing to get N.nu to be a success. (note: He is well on its way already). Continue below to learn more about Jim Westergren, his views on Google, entreprenurship and his tips for SEO beginners.

Status?: Happily married with 2 kids.
Age and birthplace?: Born in Malmö, 1982.
Started with SEO?: In 2005 Jim started working full time with Internet marketing and SEO in general.

Education

Mr Westergren is self-taught.

What is Jim best known for?

He is a high profile SEO in Sweden since 2005. Jim Westergren has been covered in international media for almost winning an SEO contest in 2006. Since 2009, he has been working with N.nu, the free website creator.

Do you have any motto?

There are two quotes which I live by, says Jim Westergren:
“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking”, by William B. Sprague.
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves”, by Thomas A. Edison.
Can you elaborate a bit more about your thoughts around this?
“Well, I just know that I can always perform better and I try to push myself to learn and advance on a regular basis. And to have the courage to learn new things and try out new things, says Jim Westergren”.

Family background

Jim is grown up in a small village outside Malmö. His father has been using a computer since as long as I can remember, which inspired him to eventually start with web development and search engine optimisation. The computer my dad was using when I was small was a big machine without Windows, says Jim.

Professional Background

“I have always been passionate about computers and especially the internet. I started making some websites in 1999 (frames and invisible tables!) but had then a break for 5 years and went on it again in 2005. Since 2005 I have been working with the internet full time. Initially with some simple web building but I rather quickly during 2005 started work almost only on SEO. This was later focused on link building and by 2007 I was offering link building to a large number of clients around the world. In October 2007 I then sold that part of my business to a company in the UK and focused to offering consultancy to Swedish clients instead”, says Jim Westergren. During 2009 Jim learnt programming and built his own content management system (CMS), which eventually transformed to N.nu. He has been working on continuously improving N.nu for two and a half years now and don’t take on-board any new SEO clients, since N.nu takes up too much time.

How did you start with computers and SEO?

My first computer was a Commodore 64 which I got on my 12 year birthday. During that time it was all about games. I have always been passionate about the internet. I did my first “SEO” by writing meta keywords for Altavista in 1999.

How to stay up to date? How do you stay up to date with Google and SEO in general?

As for SEO I read inbound.org on a regular basis and as for my startup I read hacker news (news.ycombinator.com) and “The Lean Startup” to name a few.

SEO in Sweden vs other countries

Well, it’s like night and day. It can be rather simple to get high rankings for Swedish keywords but then the traffic you get is not that much.

What do you work with on a daily basis? How does a normal working day look like for you?

For example today I have been working on programming the blog function for N.nu which is in beta at the moment. I added social sharing buttons and a list of latest blog posts in N.nu. I have also been looking into options on how to work with domain names via an API. The coming weeks I am developing and improving N.nu. I am in the process of starting a new internet company in Bolivia and recruiting 5 developers to work on N.nu and related services. I have also plans to offer SEO services, more on that in the future. Since I married and got children a lot has changed. Work time has been reduced to 40 hours per week.

Tips for beginners: Do you have any advice for people new to SEO? What should they focus to learn firstly?

If you want to get long term results in SEO you have to build something great. Focus on that and you will see that SEO will be much easier. And please put time in the begining to plan your URL structure and then don’t change your URLs. I keep seeing people changing URL structure all the time, which is not good for SEO.

You had an international SEO company which was later sold. Do you have any contact with the buyer? Can you describe SEO Fusion?

SEO Fusion was a brand name of my international part of my link building business during 2006 and 2007. I decided to stop offering my link building services in the summer 2007 and Epiphany Solutions which was one my major clients reached out to me with an interest to buy that part of my business which I then sold. It was long time since I had contact with them.

How is it to work with Jim Westergren?

I am very passionate in what I do and I do believe everything is possible – it is just a matter of time.

How is your leadership style?

To be honest I am more a technical person than a leader of other people. I will be the CTO rather than the CEO of my new company simply because it suits me better.

Goals: Do you have any personal goals to complete by next year?

1 million users in N.nu and a house built without debt. (29th of July: N.nu recently passed 60 000 users)

Future SEO: Can you name a few things website owners/SEOs should look out for the coming two years?

Search engines want to present the best search results for the users search query. That’s the basic and the search engines uses hundreds of signals to figure that out. Signals that changes every month. Instead of focusing in manipulating search signals, it’s better to put the energy in making sure that your URL is the best result for the search query. Once that is done then work can be done to better reinforce the signals.

What do you do on your spare time?

If I am not working I am usually playing with my two kids or see a movie with my wife. Other interests include playing cards, board games and take photos.

7 quick general questions

1
QDo you use Google or Bing when searching for images?AGoogle
2
QAre you spending most time on Facebook or Twitter?ATwitter
3
QDo you prefer working on Apple or PC?APC
4
QDo you rather go skiing or take a holiday in the sun?A5 days skiiing.
5
QWhich keyword would you like to be #1 for in Google.com?AFree website
6
QDo you use Blekko or any other alternative search engine?ABlekko is too far behind. I only use Google.
7
QIf you couldn’t work with SEO/web related things; what would u do?AI would be a writer.

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