We spoke with Emmanuel de Vauxmoret, CEO of Uplix, as part of our project to share what SEO specialists do in their day-to-day work.
Listen to the full interview, the very first podcast in our Real-life SEO series or read on for the key moments below.
Interview in French
“I began to discover the SEO industry in 2003. As Google entered the scene in 1998, you could say I was kind of in the right place at the right time; it was the 2000s and thus the rise of the internet.”
The beginning of a career in SEO at the dawn of the internet
Emmanuel had the chance to start an exciting career in the SEO industry when the internet was just beginning.
His career path is quite linear: after graduating from high school, he embarked on a career as a consultant followed by a few internships in web development.
As it was the era during which the internet was beginning to find its footing, web languages like PHP were also starting to come about and he had the chance to start learning about SEO and web development while also learning these web languages.
“I was doing a little bit of development and I was able to take my time and learn to make them my own. Working as a developer helped me a lot in terms of cultivating my somewhat technical and digitally-oriented mindset.”
Founding a new company with a different vision
After occupying a number of different Digital Project Manager positions, Emmanuel then chose to specialize in SEO.
About fifteen years later and after two key experiences as SEO Director at iProspect and then as CEO of Eskimoz, Emmanuel chose to launch his own company.
Emmanuel: When I took over as CEO of Eskimoz, it was a five-person company. I was able to expand the business, both in terms of number of employees – from five to about 60 people – and in terms of revenue – to the tune of 5 million euros by the time I left in 2020.
It was a great experience, but as it became a big company, I wanted to change and rather create something where I could implement more of a “tailor-made” approach for my clients. That’s why I created Uplix; I wanted to offer something quite different from what was already available on the market.
The appeal of SEO
Oncrawl: Is there anything in particular that attracted you to SEO?
Emmanuel: Yes, and it’s a very simple answer, but before I can respond, we need to put it in context. At the time, between 2005 and 2010, the web was something completely new. It’s like talking to your parents about bitcoin today; they probably don’t really understand what it is. And it’s the same with the web and the internet when I was getting started; it was all so brand new.
So why did I choose SEO? Because I had some web development experience which gave me the opportunity to build a few sites very quickly and I was also exposed to technical SEO. With every change I made to a site or with the addition of new content, I immediately saw the impact those changes had on our traffic. I wanted to continue to see how I could do more and get better. I took the bait and haven’t stopped since.
The tailor-made approach to SEO
Since 2020, Emmanuel has managed Uplix, a next-generation SEO agency specializing in organic search engine optimization.
Oncrawl: After fifteen years in SEO, the work you do has probably evolved. Can you tell us what your job is like today?
Emmanuel: Today, to put it very simply, my job is to generate customer acquisition for my clients. Ultimately, they come to us for our expertise in order to increase their visits and consequently their turnover. And this arrangement works well because we manage to offer them a combination of unique recommendations that allows us and them to achieve our collective goals almost every time.
Oncrawl: When you have a new client, is there one thing in particular you consider the most important to explain regarding SEO?
Emmanuel: Yes, I think it’s very important to explain that SEO takes time and that you shouldn’t listen to people who want to tell you otherwise and sell you a bit of a fantasy. We have implemented extremely advanced R&D tools in order to be able to push the boundaries of traditional recommendations. We strive to offer our clients “tailor-made” recommendations and in order to see results, it simply takes time.
Technical SEO at Uplix
Oncrawl: Is predictive ranking one of your most important projects at the moment or are you working on other things?
Emmanuel: One of our three pillars at Uplix is R&D and that includes tools like predictive ranking. We put a lot of energy into R&D, but we also work on other projects.
For example, we have automated internal linking tools as well as automatically generated semantic audits. In addition, we have tools that allow us to create very advanced dashboards based on Google Search Console data.
I could go on and on, but we put a lot of time and energy into R&D because we want to offer something that you can’t necessarily find at other agencies, in other words, tailor-made solutions.
What SEO looks like to you
After spending a lot of time working in the SEO industry, Emmanuel has developed unique insights into this sector.
Oncrawl: Of all the things the company does, and of all the things you do, what do you like the most?
Emmanuel: My favorite thing to do is to find Google’s flaws. What I enjoy is analyzing Google’s behavior towards my clients in order to find recommendations that are really bankable. I like to search and test so that we can go beyond what’s expected and propose very precise, very customized solutions. And by following this approach, we manage to achieve some pretty impressive results.
Oncrawl: On your site, we noticed that you work a lot with SEO, UX and CRO. What would you say is the connection between the three and why are they so important?
Emmanuel: In our recommendations, the importance of user experience and CRO optimization are extremely important because, in the end, if we overlook these aspects, we are going to completely miss the point of our job.
UX and CRO are essential points that are not necessarily SEO strictly speaking, but we can’t afford to forget them. We have to constantly think about our clients and understand their goals and understand where they want to go and what they want to achieve.
Oncrawl: Do you think that’s the most difficult aspect of your job?
Emmanuel: No, the hardest part of my job is getting ranked and getting results. But I think the second thing in that list of challenges is probably maintaining the client relationship.
Oncrawl: Speaking of clients, are there any results that you are most proud of?
Emmanuel: I think that my greatest accomplishment would have to be my work with Maaf because it’s a client that has followed me throughout my career. I have changed companies three times in the last few years and they have followed me each time. I think that concretely, what is very important for this client is the quality of my work, and that is a great success for me.
Also, I’m very proud because of all the insurance companies in France, it’s the highest ranked in Google and also the one with the most traffic. I’m extremely pleased with what we’ve been able to accomplish and how we’ve been able to achieve such great results.
[Case Study] SEO storytelling to sell your SEO projects
The drive to continue working in the SEO industry
Oncrawl: Is there any SEO advice you would give to your younger self?
Emmanuel: Don’t change anything! In fact, I don’t regret a thing and I love my job. I’m happy with my career and the path I’ve taken and I’m having a blast doing what I do. But if there was one piece of advice I would give myself, it’s that I wish I had discovered SEO earlier.
Oncrawl: On your LinkedIn profile, you’ve noted that your motto is, “The fast eat the strong.” Why is that your motto? And what does it mean?
Emmanuel: I love that expression! In fact, I proved it when I worked at Eskimoz when we were able to implement a lot of new procedures very quickly; we got pretty big pretty fast! But basically, what I’m saying is that if you’re very efficient and very focused, with good reflexes and a little bit of experience, you’ll be able to out-perform those who rest on their laurels and take things for granted.
At Uplix, we constantly challenge our thinking and practices because certitudes are the worst enemy of business and SEO. We avoid declaring anything as a certainty and instead employ a “test and learn” strategy.
Oncrawl: Do you have anything else to add?
Emmanuel: I think it’s important to conclude by reiterating that I didn’t want to just create another SEO agency, I wanted to do something different. I really try to offer my clients tailor-made solutions and I want people to know that we are focused on a results-oriented culture, test and learn and humility. Quite simply, we strive to make our clients happy.
Takeaways from chatting with Emmanuel de Vauxmoret
Our discussion with Emmanuel shows us the importance of the “test and learn” method. SEO is a constantly evolving discipline and in order to offer the best, it is essential to try new methods and propose unique solutions.
One of the ways Uplix strives to be different is by using advanced research and development techniques, such as predictive ranking, to go the extra mile in providing the best recommendations.
Finally, Emmanuel emphasized his desire to always offer customized solutions for each of his clients: what he calls tailor made SEO. SEO is different for each client and for each industry, so the proposed solutions must be as well.
We’d like to say thank you again to Emmanuel for taking the time to talk with us and for sharing his views on the day-to-day issues faced by SEOs everywhere.