#7 – SEO vs. Sales: What Should You Focus on?

Subscribe: iTunes or Stitcher.

Transcript

Welcome to the SEO life podcast, in this episode I’m going to explain whether you should focus on getting more organic search traffic or instead focusing on converting the traffic you already have. Let’s jump in.

Every business owner or founder has or will encounter this internal debate at some point. You know you need traffic to make sales, but more traffic doesn’t sales problems. On the other hand, if you only focus on sales, but not traffic, you won’t even know if your sales process is effective because not enough people are going through it.

So, what do you do?

The annoying answer is that there needs to be a fine balance of both. Focusing too much on one is clearly going to take away from the other. That’s the biggest problem I see. Especially businesses that want to use SEO to grow their businesses.

They believe that TRAFFIC is their problem so they go all in on SEO. Then, when their organic search traffic starts to pick up, but their sales stay flat, they blame SEO as the culprit. But deep down inside, you know that SEO isn’t the problem in most cases. If you’re getting more qualified traffic (given you did keyword research correctly) and you’re getting more conversions, then there is a conversion problem.

How you define a “conversion” is going to be different for every business. For example, a conversion for local wedding photographer would be a contact form submission or phone call from a lead. On the other hand, an e-com store would consider a conversion to be a direct sale. And lastly, in an information business like mine, I have two types of conversions. First, someone joining my email list is a conversion because that eventually leads to a sales funnel. My second conversion is going to be on the sales level.

So, on the other hand, if your conversions are solid and your closed a high percentage of leads, you then know that you should focus on driving for traffic to the top of your funnel. Your conversions may be high on a small scale, but you really won’t know how effective your sales process is until you get a large number of people to go through it. Traffic is the solution.

But what I just outlined is critical. You need to establish a strong conversion and sales foundation BEFORE you focus on traffic. Then, you’ll be able to iterate on this process as more prospects go through your funnel. In reality, most people just immediately jump into getting more traffic because this is what most Internet Marketers push. I’m someone who’s obsessed with driving organic traffic from search engines, but I’m telling you that your conversion and sales process is far more important.

It doesn’t matter how much traffic you get if you can’t turn those prospects into customers. It’s no different than have 20,000 Facebook fans who never buy from you. Having a lot of traffic or lots of Facebook fans is practically worthless if people aren’t buying from you.

You have to spend your days figuring out how to get more people to buy from your brand. SEO will NOT solve your business problems. I would say that most businesses I’ve worked with do not need to prioritize traffic growth. They need to prioritize optimizing their sales funnel.

In fact, I believe that it’s a much better use of resources to test your sales funnel using paid advertising. SEO campaigns are a big investment and you won’t know if your sales funnel is effective or not for at least 6-12 months in most scenarios.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do SEO. It just means that it’s not a great channel for testing sales funnels. Paid traffic is the clear winner for that purpose. The beauty of this strategy is that you can test your funnel using cold and warm traffic. Then you can iterate on your funnel and make it more effective WHILE your SEO campaign is in its early stages.

As a side note, this is good reason why you shouldn’t purely rely on SEO as your primary channel. Sure, I believe it’s the best channel because it’s organic and you know exactly what people are looking for when they come to your website. However, relying on one of anything is generally a bad idea. There are so many marketing channels that a business can tap into outside of search that it would be borderline insane not to at least test them.

In my experience the best move to combine organic search with paid advertising. My favorite combo is SEO and Facebook ads. The latter may change as I test other ad platforms, but throwing in paid advertising is a great way to continue growing your business while you wait for your SEO campaign to start getting results.

Plus, like I said, it’s one of the best channels for testing your sales funnel. And by the time your organic search traffic has picked up, you’ll have a fully tested and optimized sales funnel so you can start converting this traffic right out of the gate.

So, with that said, this episode of the SEO life podcast was a major rant, but I hope it helped you understand that you need to develop, test, and optimize your sales funnel BEFORE you begin focusing on organic search traffic growth,

That’s all for today. Thank you so much for listening and we’ll talk soon!

#6 – Why Overthinking Kills Your SEO Results

Subscribe: iTunes or Stitcher.

Transcript

There is an unlimited amount of SEO information you can consume online and this is often the problem. Anyone can give SEO advice and you get instant access to it. You then start to fill your mind with loads of information, most of which is probably conflicting, and this will eventually leads to action paralysis. Too much information causes you to second guess your actions. Question what works and doesn’t work. And ultimately stops you from taking important actions.

That’s why in this episode of the SEO Life podcast I’m going to explain why overthinking and over-complicating the SEO process, kills your results and then what to do about it. Let’s jump in.

The obvious reason why overthinking or second guessing your actions is a killers of your results is because it stops you from taking action. Taking action is the key to learning SEO and getting results. It doesn’t matter how much you think you know about SEO because the only way to truly know is see what happens after you make a move. A move will either produce a positive or negative result. Do this thousands of times and you’ll see what works and doesn’t work. I will say this is rugged path and it’s the path I personally took to learn how to do SEO.

I’ll never forget the day I basically enough is enough and I stopped consuming ALL SEO information unless it was to solve a specific problem that I was encountering. No more reading about the latest updates, no more reading forums threads, and no reading debates on Twitter. I shut it all off and focused on taking action with the limited knowledge that I had. This was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Sure, I failed repeatedly and it probably took me way longer than other people, but I learned through experimentation. And when you learn through experimentation, you never forget. Let’s face it, much of the SEO information you digest is probably forgotten because most people never take action on it. The truth is, reading without action is borderline pointless. If you aren’t taking action on the information than you’re reading for entertainment. Not for building a skill. That’s why I still don’t read many SEO articles or marketing content. And if I do decide to read or digest one, I’ve made it a rule to create an action list for every single piece of content I digest.

Personally, I don’t read marketing content for entertainment. I read it to learn from others and to get better results. That’s it. There’s nothing romantic about it. Get the information you need, create an action list, and take the actions.

The biggest problem with SEO is that it’s SO easy to overcomplicate the process. In fact, a lot of SEO agencies WANT businesses to believe SEO is complicated, technical, and too advanced for them to take in-house. Of course, this serves their special interests which is to look companies into monthly retainers. But deep down inside every qualified SEO knows that SEO isn’t that complicated.

If you understand just the 30,000-foot view of SEO and then take action on it, you’ll be smarter than most of the world. Here’s what the 30,000-foot view of SEO looks like:

  1. Find Keywords to Target
  2. Make Sure Your Website Has a Positive User Experience
  3. Choose Your Target Keywords Based on Competition Levels
  4. Create Incredibly Valuable Pages Around Your Target Keywords
  5. Acquire Backlinks on Relevant Websites
  6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5

That’s the 30,000-foot view for a national campaign. If you’re working on local campaigns, there is an additional step or two. Now to be fair there are many micro steps within these larger marco actions, but here’s how your thought process should be if you’re working on a new SEO campaign.

So, you know that the first step is find keywords. So if you don’t how to find keywords, this is the time to research that. Once you learn how to find keywords, you immediately start trying to find them. You see how different this is? You’re not trying to learn the entire craft of SEO any more. You’re learning the most important steps one at a time. Isolating each step makes the process far less complicated.

So, that’s all you need to do to stop overcomplicating SEO. Only digest information when you have the intention of taking action or when you’re trying to solve a specific roadblock. Otherwise, you should be trying to figure it out yourself and testing. I also recommend you look into the difference between Just-in-Case learning vs. Just-in-Time learning. I’m a big advocate of the second one. I do believe there is some value in the Just-in-Case learning model, but the problem is that it’s really hard to learn that way. You can store all kinds of information in your mind, but it doesn’t mean anything else you’ve taken action on that information. For example, you can go to business school and LEARN about how to start a business, but I can guarantee you, you’ll learn more about starting a business by actually starting one.

Action leads to accelerated skill and knowledge acquisition in my opinion. Trust me… There is no book on this planet that could prepare me for some of the stuff I’ve encounter in my business over the last 5 years. Any way, definitely look into Just in Case and Just in Time learning. It’s extremely valuable. And most importantly, don’t over complicate the SEO process. Learn the bare minimum, take action, learn from the outcomes, pivot, and repeat.

That’s all for episode of the SEO life podcast. Thank you so much for listening and please subscribe if you got value from this. Talk soon.

#5 – Why You Should Study Neil Patel

Subscribe: iTunes or Stitcher.

If you’ve been involved the Internet marketing industry for more than a minute then you probably know who Neil Patel is. Neil has a hater or two because of the level of popularity he’s achieved in the digital marketing space, but there is a ton you can learn from him. And no I’m not talking about reading or digesting his content.

I’m talking about studying the way he operates so you can get similar results. That’s what this episode of the SEO Life podcast is all about. Let’s jump in.

Lesson #1 – Create

The first lesson I’ve learned from Neil is that you need to create. This man creates new content at a blistering pace with the help of his team. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that he’s been pumping valuable content consistently for YEARS. There aren’t many people I can list that have produced as much content as he has and for as long as he’s been doing it.

Does this mean you should try to create as much content as Neil? Definitely not.

But Neil understanding a combination of content marketing and SEO is a potent way to grow any business when it’s executed correctly. If you’re a marketing nerd like me and you want to study Neil’s content marketing strategy, just go to Google and search “Neil Patel -quicksprout.com -neilpatel.com”.

These reductive queries allow you to see everywhere that Neil has published content outside of his owned assets. As you’ll notice, Neil knows that the other big piece of growing a website is to get quality backlinks. That’s why he puts so much effort and time into getting content placed on other websites so he can score relevant backlinks.

As I said, you don’t need to try to publish as much as Neil, but his efforts are a good reminder that each of us can probably work harder than we currently. Or at least, produce more than we currently are. The one thing you need to keep in mind is that Neil is able to produce at this level because of his team.

Lesson #2 – Build a Team

Neil may sit down and write some of his content, but I’m going to assume that 80% of it is written and edited by other members of his team. This is a valuable lesson because it shows what’s possible when you are willing to give up control and you build your team.

A good example of this is when I go and look at the hours that my team members have worked on UpWork. For example, my video editor, as of today, has clocked in over 700 hours of video editing work for my company. Think about that. 700 hours. It’s crazy to think that I’ve saved that much time, but in reality, I’ve saved much more 700 hours.

That’s because I’m not a video editing expert, so that means I would need to learn how to edit videos and then spend an enormous amount of time trying to implement what I’ve learned. In short, it would take probably twice as long if not three times as long to complete the same amount of work.

The point is, time is money. We’re only on this Earth for a short amount of time and you need to value your time.

Trust me… There are so many activities that I shouldn’t be spending my time on, but that’s a part of the process. All you can do is try to be self-aware and try to operate like fortune 500 CEO.

I like to ask myself a simple question:

Would Steve Jobs spend his time doing this task?

If you’re honest, you’ll probably find that almost everything you do can be systemized and given to a team member. I talked about this in Episode #1, so make sure you give that one a listen.

Lesson #3 – Never Stop Learning

The next lesson I’ve learned from Neil is to never stop learning. Now, I don’t know a ton about Neil’s learning habits, but I do know that he seeks out advice from experienced people. How do I know? Because he’s called me before to ask me about my 301 redirect method, called The Merger Technique.

In short, this is the process of finding “dead” businesses that are hyper relevant to yours and then quote on quote merging with them by 301 redirect their dead website to yours. I came up with this strategy when I was working a large data center company who was acquiring data centers across the United States and we needed to figure how we were going to handle all of these new websites. So, we simply created geo-targeted landing pages and then redirected the relevant data center to that page. We did this repeatedly and turned my client’s website into an SEO powerhouse and grew their organic search traffic by 256%.

With that said, Neil called me to learn about this method. I thought that was really cool because it showed that someone like himself who’s already very successful was still willing to learn from someone else.

Lesson #4 – Hate Stagnation

The fourth lesson I’ve learned from Neil is to hate stagnation in your business. I can tell based on Neil’s activity and behavior that he’s never satisfied with his work. That means he’s always trying to figure out new ways to bust his businesses through plateaus. That also means he’s not afraid to try new methods.

Although Neil is known for his SEO experience, you’ll notice that’s he’s always testing other channels such as podcasting, YouTube videos, and even paid ads. He doesn’t get romantic about growing his business like Gary Vee always says.

[post-video]

[/post-video]

Neil doesn’t say “I’m an SEO specialist, so that’s all I’m going to use to grow businesses.” Instead Neil probably says (subconsciously) “I will try every method available to see what works to grow my business.” Another person who has a similar mindset who I recommend you follow is Noah Kagan. Noah has a system for testing new channels for his companies. It’s definitely a good habit to get into because every industry and business is different.

Never rely on what YOU think is the best channel. Test and pivot. That’s all you can do.

Lesson #5 – Don’t Be Afraid to Sell

The last lesson that I’ve learned from Neil Patel is that you can’t be afraid to sell. Too many inbound marketers push this idea that you should almost never be pushy with sales.

This is really bad advice.

Yes, the goal of inbound marketing is to attract leads, but you need to actually sell to these leads. It doesn’t matter how good your marketing is if you can’t turn people into customers.

At the end of the day, businesses that survive (and grow) prioritize customer acquisition.

Face it:

20,000 Facebook likes on your company page doesn’t mean anything if you have no customers. Customers… People who give you money is what matters.

Marketing is nothing more than a tool to get more people to give your business money. You do that by first having something of value to sell and then explaining why your product(s) are valuable to them and why they need to buy it. You can’t be afraid to push your products and services. Your products and services are SOLUTIONS to your prospects problems.

You’re doing them a disservice by NOT promoting them.

I recommend studying Neil Patel, Grant Cardone, Frank Kern and Alex Becker because these are people who aren’t afraid to sell. I’m not saying you need to be as polarizing or as aggressive as they are. Just study their behavior, learn, and take action.

So, those are the lessons I’ve learned from studying Neil Patel. If you got value out of this episode of The SEO Life podcast, make sure you subscribe! It would mean the world to me.

Thank you so much for listening and I’ll talk to you soon.

[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]

#4 – Is Passive Income Possible with SEO?

[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]

I don’t think there’s a single person who wouldn’t want passive income. In fact, that’s one of the biggest reasons why people get into SEO. For well over a decade, Internet Marketers have been selling the idea that you can generate passive income by learning how to do SEO.

But the question is:

Is it actually possible? That’s what this episode of The SEO Life podcast is all about. Let’s jump in.

The first thing I need to establish is that SEO can be a passive channel for growing a business.

But what determines whether or not your business generates passive income is completely dependent on the monetization model.

I’m not going to hammer you with the fact that SEO is one of the best ways to grow a business. You already know that. What I want to focus on is how you can use SEO to generate passive income.

First, I need to cover what business models will NOT generate passive income.

Non-Passive Model #1 – Service Business

The first is service-based businesses. It’s extremely hard to have a passive service-based businesses. So whether you’re offering SEO services or plumbing services, it’s still going to require human capital to complete the tasks. You can build out systems, but you still need people to operate the business and get the desired results. Then you have to actually manage your team members.

And lastly, service-based businesses have to sell and deal with customer service. All of these moving parts make it challenging for a service-based business to be passive.

Non-Passive Model #2 – Personal Brands

The second type of business that is NOT passive is one that revolves around your personal brand. For example, the success of Gotch SEO is largely dependent on my personal brand. Sure, I have team members and systems for making things more efficient, but at the end of the day, people are only going to care about Gotch SEO if I’m consistently putting out value and continually try to establish myself as an SEO expert.

Now the way I generate income for my company (Gotch SEO) is passive because I sell an information product, Gotch SEO Academy. Anyone can go through my funnel and sign-up for the course. This doesn’t require me to sell each person 1-by-1. It’s passive in that respect.

But the part that isn’t passive is maintaining and building my personal brand. In short, I’m the engine that pushes this business forward. This means that Gotch SEO is NOT a passive income business model.

Listen:

The idea that you should be building your personal brand is incredibly valuable because it can lead to so many opportunities. But that doesn’t mean that all of your business ventures should revolve around it.

That’s why last month I launched a new business that isn’t dependent on my personal brand and I plan to launch a few more. I’ll update you with the progress of these businesses on my blog.

But at the end of the day, all you need to do is look at the most successful companies in the world. They aren’t personal brands. Sure, there are some anomalies such as Kylie Jenner, but even her brand is completely dependent on her. Anyway, I won’t get too deep into this topic, but building a business or website around your personal brand isn’t a passive solution.

So, then what is a passive income model you can use?

The Best Passive Income Option

I believe the most passive income model you can take advantage of if you understand how to do SEO is to create niche websites and then to monetize those niche websites through affiliate offers, ads, collaborations, and e-com or information products in some cases.

I would say that affiliate and ad-driven businesses are the most passive because you completely eliminate one of the most time-intensive and complicated parts of a business which is selling. Sure, you need to pre-sell affiliate offers, but that’s much easier than having to build out sales funnels, write copy, create sales videos, etc.

But at the end of the day, every business including affiliate businesses are going to require a massive amount of planning, work, and time. The beauty of SEO is that once it’s rolling, you will continue to get traffic even if you aren’t actively working on the site.

Why Chasing Passive Income Doesn’t Make Sense

But all I know is that for me personally, I don’t think I would ever stop trying to create new revenue sources or working to grow something. Even if I have passive income rolling in. I mean seriously, life is pointless if you’re aren’t challenging yourself and continually try to grow.

My business is a position where I can go on vacation whenever I want and do what I want on a daily basis, but I still don’t do that. I still work like I’m broke.

Trying to grow businesses is fun for me. Sure the income is cool, but I genuinely love the process.

And the reason why I’m saying this is because I think you’ll end feeling the same way. Once you achieve the goal of “passive income,” you won’t be satisfied. You won’t just sit back and not doing anything anymore. I can predict this because if you put in the work and create a passive income asset, then you’re not someone who just sits back and lets life come to them.

You’re someone who takes action and someone who is willing to take on risk. That behavior isn’t going to change once you get passive income. Trust me!

But either way, there are some business models that are more desirable than others. I personally love building niche websites because I like having control. Some people like service-based businesses. That’s cool too. You just have to figure out what works for you and most importantly, what makes you the happiest.

So, that’s all for this episode. I’m going to be diving deeper into developing niche websites in later blog posts and videos because I believe it’s the best way for people to monetize their SEO skills. With that said, thank you so much for listening and talk soon!

[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]