Zupo is happy to announce it’s nomination for Alignable’s Small Business Person of the Year in Anaheim. Jason Khoo, Founder of Zupo, was nominated and currently is a leading vote getter for the title of Anaheim’s Small Business Person of the Year.
We are extremely excited to see Jason nominated and doing so well in this contest. Zupo puts a lot of emphasis on not only delivering for our clients, but also helping the local community. The contest is still ongoing, so we do encourage all our friends and fans to help vote for Zupo and Jason to win the final prize!
With millions of connections across +25,000 local communities, Alignable is the free network where small business owners build trusted relationships and generate referrals. Members use Alignable to get the industry answers they need, connect within their local business community, and increase word-of-mouth for their business.
When Sparkhouse, a video production agency based out of Orange County realized their critical need to optimize its Search Engine presence they called on us our experienced and professional team at Zupo to help them out. Sparkhouse came to us boasting a strong network and a reputation as a well-known agency in the marketing and advertising community. For years they had relied on its networking capabilities and connections within the community to build their business, but they had been missing out on critical SEO opportunities. Zupo was brought in to assist Sparkhouse in understanding and implementing an effective SEO strategy to bring in more traffic to their current business.
Due to Google's classification of video production searches as local intent searches, it became apparent to us rather quickly that Sparkhouse would have to develop and compete in an Orange County SEO Strategy. Our primary goal was to attain ranking for Sparkhouse for "Orange County video production" searches and its possible variants. Our team at Zupo wanted to see significantly improved performance for Sparkhouse in both Search Results and Google Map Pack.
Once we determined Sparkhouse's need to focus on local intent searches we knew we would be engaging in an SEO strategy that revolved in and around Orange County. Citations and local listings were an essential part of the overall SEO strategy for Sparkhouse. Citations not only ensure that the information available across various internet sources is accurate and consistent is also works to give Google important signals of where a business is actually located.
Based on our research and analysis we discovered that Sparkhouse had a substantial amount of inaccurate information through various sources on the web. This was in large part due to a prior brand name as OC Creative Media used in its past business dealings as well as three different business addresses used over the years when Sparkhouse relocated to different office locations. Zupo worked hard to rectify all inaccuracies and correct all information related to Sparkhouse across the internet. In addition, we took the extra step of making sure to eliminate and delete any outdated and wholly inaccurate citations linked to the Sparkhouse business.
Sparkhouse is a successful and elite video production company with many years in business. However, the nature of Sparkhouse's business revolving around video puts them in a weak position when it comes to SEO. Unfortunately, Google has yet to perfect an algorithm that will read video in an efficient and accurate manner. In fact, video weighs very low when it comes to rankings in organic searches.
While Sparkhouse's website was filled with amazing video there was little to no text in support of their media. Their website was overflowed with multimedia content that Google was unable to properly read, making the company virtually nonexistent in various search rankings. Zupo was able to identify this weakness in Sparkhouse's website and update and optimize their site with relevant and effective text-based content in combination with their video content to ensure that their overall content was optimized for Orange County searches. The Zupo team included the use of the "Orange County" term across the site in headers, titles, and SEO tags. The team properly implemented Orange County keywords throughout the SparkHouse website. In addition, we took the time to organize each different section of the website to flow smoothly and effectively. As a result of these changes, Sparkhouse's website began to rank quickly in searches for Orange County video production keywords and its variants.
Due to Sparkhouse's well-regarded reputation and networking throughout their local community; they had a very valuable competitive advantage and SEO asset that we could implement into their overall SEO strategy.
Sparkhouse had extensive connections throughout the community having collaborated and worked with various other local companies, small businesses, and community organizations such as:
Zupo used these valuable local connections and their involvement with each different organization to drive traffic through the implementation of local OrangeCounty links from all of these organizations into Sparkhouse. This identified connection between Sparkhouse and each company works as an Orange County Signal to Google. The implementation of these Orange County links helped signal to Google that Sparkhouse was not only located in Orange County but was also connected to various Orange Country organizations and websites related to this specific location through these connected links.
After the various changes integrated by Zupo into Sparkhouse's website and web presence; the company quickly achieved becoming the top-ranked site in many of the searches using "OC" or "Orange County" in combination with a variety of video production keywords. Sparkhouse also made a drastic turnaround in performance and dominated the Orange County Google Map Packs with their Google My Business Account. Since Zupo began its work with Zupo their Google Analytics Traffic has tripled in performance. More importantly Zupo's relevant business leads and incoming inquiries has tripled since working with Zupo.
The development of Local SEO requires unique strategies and tactics that differ from a typical SEO strategy that does not require the identification and implementation of geographic factors. Zupo's expertise and knowledge of Local SEO created a successful Orange County SEO strategy that boosted Sparkhouse's SEO in Orange County to dominance. Sparkhouse continues to see monthly growth and continual improvements in their SEO results leading to increases in traffic and a steady flow of leads.
Sparkhouse's situation is not unique or rare. There are many successful businesses especially those in niche sectors such as video production that are surviving on networking and connections but are not reaching their full potential because of a lack of a fully functional website and strong web presence that could work to its benefit in building and growing their business.
Today I'll be talking about scaling SEO for Startups from Zupo. That's my company. Zupo is SEO agency based in Orange County. We help companies with their SEO strategies, content development, content marketing and digital PR. Today's not really about my company, though today is about SEO. Before I jumped in, I wanted to go over what I've been telling a couple people, if this were... I was off. There we go. Today, what we're discussing is not SEO one on one, we are talking about SEO strategy. That's something I want to make very clear is that we're not talking about like, what is SEO or what a link is, or anything like that.
I have done many talks about that in this very room. Also, Cal State, Fullerton campus, I've done many of those comfort topics. I really want to change what we'll be talking about today. If you want to know more about what is SEO? What it even means, why is it important, I've done a talk about it and it's actually on Cal State Fullerton's YouTube channel, it's the same event, when you are speaking, there's a video of it, there's a really old photo of me. You can go watch that if you want to know what SEO is on a one on one basis. I have it on my website, zupo.co/entrepreneurs, you can watch the video there if you want to know. Some questions that are very important for SEO purposes.
What is SEO? Is SEO a good fit for me and my business? Number two is probably what a lot of people here thinking about. And three is how to do keyword research. These are all very important SEO questions, but I don't know why I put it on here, but we're not talking about any of these today. The topic today is, if you know that SEO is good for you, we're talking about, now you know that SEO is great, how we're going to be successful with it. We're not going to go about the conceptual or what is or I don't know if it's right for me. That's all in the other presentation. I just want to set that boundary right there. Today's going to be a very high level strategy, how to do SEO and how to plan for on the long term.
Let's go into who Zupo is or who I am. My name is Jason. That's my dog Kana. I'm the founder and CEO of Zupo, and before that I was the co-founder of a company called Search Business Group. My roots are in Cal State Fullerton. I was a Cal State Fullerton student. I was very involved in the entrepreneurship department. I was part of the entrepreneurship club. At one point I was on their board. We did events, I've been very steeped in this university's entrepreneurship program, big believer in it. They're the ones that helped inspire me to start the business. I always like to do a shameless plug along with the other students I met at Cal State Fullerton, I think are the catalyst to why I started my own companies.
That shameless plug is over, let's go into my actual professional career. When I graduated, I co-founded a company called Search Business Group where we amassed a client list about thirty different clients. We mostly focused on the dental and veterinary space. We had clients all over the country, some in Canada, and we helped them with their SEO strategies. If you didn't know, the number one most competitive SEO industry is the legal field. If you're a lawyer, specifically a personal injury lawyer is one of the most competitive spaces. Dental is number two. Dental was so competitive that when I was on sales calls at the doctors, it's so easy to do sales calls like this, they told me, "I know what SEO is, when I was in school I learned about it and they told me I had to do it. So I need to hire someone to do it."
Which for a sales call is super nice because now I don’t need to convince you that you need it, I shouldn't convince you that it's me that you should pick. Right? That's always just the second most competitive, it really got me the experience of being in a very competitive SEO space. I sold the company Back in May of 2019, my ownership interest of it and so now, Zupo is my main focus right now where I focus on more B2B clients now. My clients range anywhere from... Actually one of them is a Cal State Fullerton startup all the way to a $25 million engineering company, based in Mission Viejo. Now I focus more on the B2B as opposed to B2C companies. That doesn't mean I can't help them on either side of it.
Enough about me. What I want to go over today is just the SEO side of things. Let's talk about SEO practices. Again, we're not talking about what is SEO, we're going to talk about how to be successful SEO. As a quick reminder, SEO is search engine optimization or trying to rank on Google. Let's put our mind frame and our mindsets at the right place. You already have a website and you already know what keywords you want to be going for. We're just skipping to that. That's where we are as a company and our job is to understand that hey, we have our website we're running right now, we need leads, and we just have our keywords. That's where we are right now. What we're going to be discussing in the next slides is now that we know that, what do we need to do to succeed?
Google is one of the most complex algorithms out there. There's nobody who's going to outbeat their algorithm and the logical scale, you just say, Google has over 100 different factors that affect their algorithm and there's all these different things that can influence your rankings and you hear all these scary things about, five things to not do or stop doing this, or you have to be doing this. As someone who practices SEO at 24/7, I'll tell you there are three primary battlegrounds of SEO execution. I don't want to oversimplify my own field, but generally when I'm consulting, it comes down to these three things. The three pillars are content strategy, digital PR and building Technical SEO. This was a slide I borrowed from Paul Shapiro.
He's a very well-known SEO in the industry. He's very technical, though, if you don't know anything about SEO, you could go look him up always, I can understand because I can barely understand some of the things he's talking about. I want to make sure that if I borrow one of his slides, I pay homage to him. These are the three things that really influence SEO. All these other things, you don't want to be chasing minor signals or minor goals that don't really have the biggest influence. These three things will always come down to whether or not you’re going to be a successful SEO. Anything outside of these three things, arguably, are just variations of these three, or just not that important. I'll go over each pillar today and that's what we're going to be walking away.
We're going to go over the pillars and how they influence the SEO side of things. Then second, we're going to run through some simulations, because what I want everyone to walk away with the SEO side is, I consult a lot with my clients, but also I work with a lot of startups and people who don't end up actually working with me, but I try to be very generous with my SEO advice. Something I find is that, where the internet is great is that everyone can find articles about the top five things you should be doing with your SEO. I can guarantee you on that list somewhere says "Update your SEO title tags and meta descriptions." That's probably something you have read if you've been doing any SEO reading before.
The problem is a lot of these articles you read, these tactics are so right on but out of context and not understand the biggest strategy they’re almost pointless. I've come to many sites where I've seen them. I know what you're doing based on these articles and I never tell them, but I always in my mind, am like, "Well, we're going to wipe all that because that means utterly nothing and we're going to do something else with this." That's what we're going to be going over. Again, it's not micro execution, this is all strategic top level side. This is what internally with my own company, we have these exact conversations about how we're going to be moving forward. Let's go over our first thing.
These are three SEO pillars we're going to be talking about. Content strategy. Content strategy revolves around the output of content on website. In this case, it just specifically means pages and posts published on a website and the text published on those pages. Content strategy can sometimes be over complicated. It just means pages on your website and the text on top of them. Now, there is a caveat, videos don't really function well for SEO purposes. I specifically mean texts on a page, not videos. Google's still not the best at reading videos just yet, but that's a totally different conversation.
Just know, if you are a master at making YouTube videos or whatever, and you're putting those on your website with no texts with them, Google almost sees that as diddly-squat, they don't really know what's going on. You need to have text. This can come in the form of a page or a post, it doesn't really matter as long as there's text on the website. Now, content strategy is one that I harp on the most, because content strategy, quite literally is the one thing in SEO that you can actually control. You'll see later on, there's a lot of things SEO that are competition based, very algorithm based, and it's very difficult to be increasing your mark, but then with content, this is actually the one thing that nobody else could control but you. We go into what content strategy.
This is an example of a Content Library that we look at with our customer. What I want to show you guys is this is a chart showing the different sizes of different websites. This is an actual chart but I've hidden people's names, what they’re talking about, but this is my client and these are three of our competitors. We're trying to rank for a certain keyword, let's just say pizza. I always use pizza as my example. Let's say we're trying to rank for the keyword pizza and we're analyzing the Content Library. What we're analyzing with Content Library means is we're measuring the size of the content you have on the site. Let's make it very simple, we just have a small Mom and Pop Pizza Shop and our website has 20 pages that includes product pages, blog posts, everything, we have 20 pages devoted to pizza.
Our competitor three has 34, two has 12, and one has 45. Now, the reason why these three competitors are pulled out is because they rank above us right now. This will show us, well, one of the reasons we might not be ranking ahead of these guys is because our content library just isn't as big as them. The reason why this is so important is because content is really important to SEO and that SEO and Google, they want to make sure that when they're returning results, that they’re returning websites that have the most thorough responses because Google is in their interest, if they're going to return a website to you, they want to make sure they have the best answer.
It is not a straight one to one, but generally, the more content you have more authoritative you look, because your library just looks bigger. Of course, there are ways to scan it. If you have 100 pages that are just terrible, badly written, they don't make any sense, this is not going to work. As long as they reach a reasonable sixth grader level, generally I say sixth grade level, you'll do fine. What I would tell this client is, "Though you are doing better and way competitive, I would invest in a lot more content because you are just lagging behind the competitors."
If you think about it from Google's perspective, if you have four websites, and they all have these Content Libraries, this is the size of their site about pizza, if you had to pick one to return to users who are looking for pizza, you'd probably go with the most thorough one. SEO can go down to that almost basic level. Yeah, is there a question?
Yes. The question is, number of pages versus number of the keyword? Let's say I choose to make the number of pages but a smaller number in terms of content. Let's say, text, picture and something that would be great, so then it’s not crowded.
Is that a better strategy that way then going and cramming information on one page?
Yeah, there is no better strategy, whichever one you can execute is fine. I guess what you're asking is, should I make one 2000-word piece or four 500 word pieces? At that point, it doesn't really matter as long as you commit to whichever one you're doing. In isolation, it doesn't matter. What I tell most businesses though, an actual real world execution, I would always suggest the former do four or 500 word posts as opposed to one 2000-word post. The reason I say that is because if you've ever tried to write a 2000-word post, you'll put it off for weeks, because it's just difficult for anybody to write essay, but 500 words. Ever written 500 words it's almost you feel like it's nothing, you're like, "Wow, that was so little."
It's easy to merge four posts into one 2000-word post. Actual execution, I would say, do four 500 word posts, but if we ignore the real world, and we're just looking at SEO, actually, longer word pages tend to rank better than shorter word pages. That is a totally different level. We don't worry about it too much. I'd say most businesses, the problem is not going to be how many words on the page, the problem is, you're just not even getting content out. You're so busy with helping customers, handling your sales calls, you generally won't even get a blog post out. For the people out there who have a website, you probably been there before where last time you updated your blog was six months ago and you hate looking at it because you just haven't got around to it.
Or on a more basic level, maybe it's building a website, maybe even knowing you need to build a website. You just have never got around to it because it seems so massive. In terms of execution, I always go the shorter route. Any more questions? Cool.
Anyway, content strategy on that one pillar, at its basic form, it's just measuring the amount of pages. What I want you guys to think is that wherever your website is, or your company is, there is going to be a layer of you having to fight against your competitors. If you're going to start a new company, let's use an auto insurance. Just because you have five pages about auto insurance, why would Google rank you higher than Cal State Fullerton where they probably have tens of thousands of pages.
There is a layer of scale that you have to input to put you on the right pace. It's almost like a sport, you score enough points. Content is very... If you control how much content you have, and bigger your libraries it's going to be best. This is something that I feel like a lot of people overlook, and it shouldn't be overlooked. I get a lot of people who tell me, "I don't want to rank ahead of our competitors." I look at their website, it's a one page, homepage, and there's nothing else. There's no blog or anything else, just one page. Their competitors have entire libraries of 10,000. I'm like, "Why would someone rank you above them?" There is a layer of you need to invest in content.
If you want to get even more technical with it, this is a chart showing those exact four players, the rate of growth of their content. You'll see in the top one, this competitor over here, started around 34 then at six months they had 41. The next six months, they went to 42, and the next six months, they went to 44. They average about one to two blog posts a month. If you can see that from your competitors, they average about one to two new pages every six months they're adding, you can add one to two pages. The problem is, I believe we are green right here, we're green. If they're adding one to two pages every six months, and you're adding one to two pages, every six months, you're already about a quarter of them and you're never going to catch up.
As an SEO tactician for your business, you can't be going at the pace that your biggest competitors are, they are adding it one to two every six months for you, you need to register... Not only are they devoted to you, I need to beat them but I also need to cover the spread. I probably need to be doing six to seven pieces a month to be able to match their Content Library. That make sense? When you're adding content, it's not about, "I just added one blog post, that's great." What if your competitor puts three a month? If you do one a month, you're actually going in the negative because your spread's getting bigger. When you're doing SEO, there is a point to see how much content and page they're putting on a month by month or six-month basis.
How long should some of the blogs be? Should they be a couple of paragraphs or what?
To me, if you really are just strapped for time 250 words is the other floor, but I want to say 500 because it is a good one.
I'm looking at strictly HTML pages or do all send links to other forms, PDFs and...?
It should be more HTML. PDFs do count, but Google doesn't like PDFs because PDFs have terrible user experience online. Generally, HTML. If you add 1000 images, and they have their own URLs, it doesn’t really count. It's more HTML pages. Yeah.
I don’t know if we'll be covering this later, but what about websites or companies or pages that have Instagram integrated, that have YouTube integrated? I know, for example, some people they were really trying to push making YouTube videos. How does that impact your blog posting because you mentioned text but those videos...? That is a text.
Yes. Great question. I promise I'm answering your question but I’m going to leave it that way. We are reaching a point where SEO has a weird divide with modern day marketing. Modern day marketing is very video driven right now. I think I mentioned in the beginning of this, this part, Google doesn't read videos well, if you've ever had auto captions, they're just awful. Even if you have a 30-minute video on your website, Google will read it, but they’re not going to understand it. They're just going to be... All they see is that embed code. They can't read the actual video. What I tell all my clients, if you're going to go for like a video strategy, it almost voids if there's no text with it. Get the transcript of the YouTube video and then put it on there and then you're fine.
I'm going to give you an example. One of my longest lasting clients is a video production studio, and they have been in business for 16 years, they have one of the strongest brands of Orange County, and their website was full of videos, but no text, because they have these beautiful videos. They weren’t ranking all right. When I got their account, and I started working with them. We started adding transcripts, adding text to it, and now they are the top ranked video production studio. I don't want to oversimplify, but it was mainly a content strategy and this actually adding supplemental text to your videos. Because otherwise... It's funny.
No one wants to admit. I had to tell the client that sounds like essentially Google when they see your site, you’re a big production studio, it makes sense for you to have videos, but your entire site looks blank to Google. They just see it as a blank site because it's just a bunch of embeds from YouTube. Instagram, anything, those are fine as well. They're iframes and they're embed files, it's best to have your own text. If it's an embed file or iframe, they're not going to get... When it's iframe, they're going to give that content value to the iframe and not your website. They're going to understand, this content is from Instagram, we're not going to give credit to your site because you’ve taken it from Instagram. Yeah. There is some layer of making your own content with it.
How does DuckDuckGo operate? Some people may not want to use Google.
Yes. Unfortunately, my presentation is primarily with Google focus, but DuckDuckGo, generally, and from what I've seen in the industry, it's very new. There's not a lot of info out there. It's generally the same practices in Google are with DuckDuckGo.
There's no recognition of video?
No. Because if DuckDuckGo figured out recognition of video, we would know, because then that would make them orders of magnitude better than Google. Then Google would be doing some corporate espionage trying to figure out that. Yeah.
How important is it that the content that you have like the text is completely original? For example, I had an idea for one of my site's articles and publish by other people but if I find any interesting article, would that contribute to ranking or would that happen to be more original, whatever your avenue?
Yeah, good question. A lot of companies do this. They syndicate content. There is a way to do it right and most people don't know how to do it right. If you're just copying and pasting onto your website, it's actually a negative. Google may actually blacklist your site. I don't know how technical you are, but you have to add a canonical link in the back end and the canonical link will tell Google like, "I am literally copying and pasting this onto my site, but the original is this page." You can tell Google that. Therefore, they'll understand you're duplicating the content. In terms of actual value to you, it's marginal. It's good because you're adding stuff, but Google's not going to give that much credit because they know it's copied.
They're also not going to hurt you because they know that you could credit but it's not a sustainable long term strategy, you need to at least have your own content.
Of course. Is there any questions about this slide? Again, this one is about the rate of content growth. We all good? Okay. What I would say in terms of actual execution, is that, what I want you guys to walk away with is when you get home and you think about your SEO strategy, I want you to be able to have a short and long term strategy to run. What you want to start analyzing is how many pages are your competitor's site, and then you need to start creating content goals. This isn't an actual real content link, that I have with a client, we need to hit 40 more pieces by the end of March. Now unfortunately for them, that's five a week, that's a lot, but if they have big dreams, a lot of startups, they say their runway is six months, eight months, you need to move quickly though.
You got to scale your content as fast as possible. When you're seeing this analysis, this is the execution part of it, you see that your competitors are doing two a month, but they have 20 more pages than you. You might need to do five a month to catch up with them in a six-month period. That's what we need to think about content and execution is add more blog posts, add service pages, videos and transcripts and podcasts and transcripts. If you really don't mind writing, one of the easiest hacks is to just use video or a podcast. I think a one-hour video or podcast is 10,000 words. If you've ever seen 10,000 words, it's a lot. If you really don't want to write, I think 500 words is like a minute of talking. It's like nothing. What we do tell clients is that...
I've seen a couple of clients who they do a lot of interviews, but can't write very well. We just take all their interviews, transcribe them, that's their content. Let's go jump to the next pillar. Does anyone have any questions about content? Yeah, I want to finalize content, that content is so important because it is what you can control. Yeah.
Does it favor WordPress or any particular platform for blog posts?
No. Not really. I think at that layer, there's just execution. Yes, like some CMS or others on the technical aspect, but I think for SEO purposes, the number one inhibitor of content strategy is getting content out there. WordPress is pretty easy to publish a blog post. That's fine. Generally, it's only a problem if your CMS, you have so many parties that it takes a week turn around to get a blog post out. That's when that might be a problem.
How about this one. If the short term goals is to get to same amount of posts as your competitors, what are the long term goals?
Long term goals is to continue to stay ahead of them because this is what a lot of people don't remember with SEO, is that when you do SEO, SEO is competitive by nature. You're trying to be the number one ranked. Someone's there right now, someone has number one position, and what often happens as I feel like when I work with a lot of people, we spend six months to a year to a year and a half, we get them to the first spot. They're happy, pop champagne, we got it, we're all good to go. Your competitor is probably pissed off and usually what they do is they hide the CEO company, and then it becomes almost like a video game. Essentially, you're now at the final round, hence forever essentially.
I would say the long term strategy is surpassing them with content and then maintaining that. Cool. Let's talk about the second pillar. This is the pillar of SEO that gets all the attention. If you've ever read stuff about SEO, it's probably about this section. That's probably because it is the hardest part of SEO, where I talked about content, content is directly in your control. This is definitely not in your control. This is the holy grail of a lot of SEO campaigns. When building in Referral Domains links and SEO are almost synonymous. They're just so important for each other. It revolves around... Actually it's the same definitions so I’d rather change that there. Linkbuilding and referring domains revolves around driving links to your website.
How many links are you getting to your website? If I have a website, Chris, you have a website. Chris please raise your hands because I’m talking about you, and you have a website and sitting next to him has a website as well. My website gives both of those guys' websites a link, that's a link to them. That's what you want. You want to get more links back to your website. The reason being a link to your website is seen as an endorsement. The example I like to give is if you move to a new town, and you went to your neighbor and said, "Hey, I'm new here, what pizza place would you recommend?" You go to every neighbor on the block. If all 10 of them say, The Pizza Hut, you're going to go to The Pizza Hut.
If nine of them say Dominos and one says Pizza Hut, you’re going to go to Dominos. At a very basic level, that's what links are. Links are just seen as endorsements. If we have two pizza websites, one has 1000 links, one has 100 links. Google feels more secure with the 1000 linked website, because they see as there's more endorsements to that website, therefore I can trust it better. We can go down the path of not every link is made the same. For example, a link from the New York Times food critics, new website is much stronger than Joe Schmo's blog or anything. Generally, just like content, the more links the better. Now, what referring domains are. This is, I don't know why I won't say big kept secret, but it's a well-kept secret, but referring domains are actually more important than linkbuilding.
I don't know why linkbuilding gets all the attention. The difference between referring domains and linkbuilding is pretty simple, actually. If I have a website, and I'm linking to another website, I'm giving them one link. But let's say I'm trying to spam the system. I know Chris, he's my friend. If he profits, I profit because we're buddies. The more he makes money and the more beers he'll buy me or whatever it might be. If my website gives Chris 1000 links, he just got 1000 links from my website, it's only one referring domain. Because the domain can give 1000 links but it's only one.
The real value of SEO actually is the more referral domains you get. Yes, getting 1000 links from one website is great, but 1000 referring domains is much more important than 1000 links, because it's much more difficult to get an additional referring domain, than an additional link. Does that make sense? Does is not make sense to anybody? Because it's actually really important to understand the concept.
It is because the referral deals with different sources?
Yeah, it's much more difficult to go to different websites and get a link than it is to go to the same website to get more of the same. It is shown in studies that let's say I wrote for Entrepreneur Magazine, that's a very good link to get. Every subsequent link I get entrepreneur.com gets weaker and weaker to my site. It's not that you shouldn't do it, you should still go for it because you’re still strong but they get weaker and weaker. If I went to entrepreneur.com, and then let's say go to inc.com that's even better value because it's seen as a different domain. The reason why this is so important is because referring domains is generally what really moves the needle for any SEO for a website. You can add a lot of content but referring domains truly is the main driver of an SEO campaign.
This is a sample chart of websites' overall growth referring domains over time. A good SEO strategy is where you see one like this, where in a one-year period you'll almost double or triple. You see, in one year, they went from about 50 to about just above 100. Then in that one year, January 2019 to 2020, they went from a hundred to 300, they tripled in size. That's exactly what you want to see.
Not to pick on any particular company, but let's say GE, multiple businesses each with their own website. How is that counted? Is it still considered one source because of the company or it's a different domain because it's a different website from the same company, maybe even in the same division, different websites?
Yeah, good question. How SEO operates is it all comes down to the URL? If it's, let's say I'm going to use fullerton.edu. fullerton.edu is Cal State's website. fullerton.edu owns a lot of sub websites. I think they own business.fullerton.edu, business.origin.edu and fullerton.edu are kept as the same because they’re seen as same domain. But let's say Cal State did it differently for every college they did fullerton.edu, business.fullerton.edu, those are treated as two separate entities, even though the same company might own them in an SEO world, there's no way to verify. They just go by domains.
Yeah. This is what you want to see on our referring domains chart, you want to see that growth. Because I'll tell you, this is actually my client's website, I joined working with them around this period, around March. In March, we were here. They were not ranking for what they needed to and this company is a software development company. They were not ranking anywhere where they need to in the Irvine or Orange County District, they wanted to rank for software development company. By increasing their referring domains to about 300, we were able to get them onto the first page. Referring domains really drives that needle and if you had to pick one thing you wanted, referring domains is the one thing. That's really what you want for your website. The question is just...
Anyways, linkbuilding and referring domains. There's two websites you can go to Ahrefs is my personal choice. I like Ahrefs a lot but a lot of people know Moz and Moz is fine. I love Moz. They're a great company. You can use either or but they generally are the two speculative websites you can use. They're both not free anymore. I think Ahrefs is definitely not free but Moz used to be free. I don’t know if they’re free anymore but these are websites and softwares you can use to see how many referring domains and links you can probably get. This is a look at the sample, one of my clients of their backlink referring domains and this is utterly made up. I don’t know what site this is. This is taking Moz's images. Any questions about this?
What about Alexa Toolbar?
Alexa I feel like is a legacy from the 2010s and before but I think Alexa is seen as an old... It's like a Dreamweaver you’ve left aside. It's outdated now. I don't think anyone really uses it. I don’t know if you know Dreamweaver.
Any questions about that? Just like I mentioned earlier, I just want to clarify, you see, backlinks are from domains. Usually your backlink count is exponentially higher than your referring domains because that's exactly what we talked about. It's easy manipulating backlinks, the big number to look at referring domains, Moz has as linking domains because you have 6.1 links coming from 72,000 referring domains.
I’m curious, how does the domain reputation factor in, is it just the number of domains as they get few?
Yeah. That's a great question. Domain authority's influenced heavily by the amount of links you're getting. Also, the quality of your content, but it truly just really is the amount of links coming into your website and the quality of them.
What's the quality of the links coming from Facebook or Reddit?
Links from social media are utterly valued. They're so easy, manipulatable that when you get a link from Facebook, we call those no-follow links. That's what Google calls it. There's follow and no-follow links. A no-follow link tells Google, "I am linking to this website, but I'm utterly not endorsing it. I'm not getting any value; I'm not endorsing it." All social medias are a no-follow. If you have 10,000 links coming from your Facebook to your website, they don’t mean anything. They just don’t mean anything. What I do want to clarify, though, is when I say that people think, does that mean social media is utterly worthless?
No, the link is not of any value, but you're getting traffic from that link then there is value because the more traffic you're getting, the more Google sees that, the more it is better. To think that it's a causal relationship is not right. It's more like a secondary benefit rather than actual value. If you're curious about why no-follows exist, the real reason no-follows really existed was, let's say the days in Enron, we want to talk about Enron, and you're amazing Financial Times publication and you are the best here and that's supposed to be credibility, and you're linking to Enron that will literally destroy your credibility as Google sees you are linking to a scam.
Well, the reason, that's why you implement no-follows so that publishers and websites could say, "I want to talk about this scam, but I'm not associating myself with them." No-follows are now evolution to social medias like Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, where they’re automatically no-follows. That's not something that you could change. Google just automatically knows it. The real link referring domains and links you want to get are generally wherever you can get them as long as they're not spam. Generally, the definition for not spam means you can tell. If you look at a website and you’re like, "This is clearly a spammy website, probably you shouldn’t be putting links on them." The best things to get are industry relevant and from high authority websites.
Industry relevant can be as simple as if you're a restaurant, you probably should have a listing on Yelp. If you don't have a list on Yelp for your restaurant, that's one thing but links on... Yelp, I would argue, is more of a restaurant directory than anything else. It behooves you as a restaurant to have a look. If you are a lawyer, it is good to have your listing on Super Lawyer or any of the lawyer directory websites are there for that. Every industry has their own directories. In the agency world for marketing, we have a directory. We have Clutch, App City and you can go down the line. Even universities have theirs. It behooves you to do that and then the holy grail is always if you can be getting links from an Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes.
This is a different chart that we also analyzed for clients. This looks at the linkbuilding & referring domains spreads. This is the same client actually that we showed earlier but again, our things are hidden. We're going to make this very simplistic pizza shop again. We have five referring domains coming to a pizza shop, number of competitor, one and two, had 39, 21, and three. This is almost like in direct order of who's doing best. Competitor, one, two and three, they are order in who ranks best, number one, two, and three. One has the most referring domains, two has the second most, the third has three. This is where SEO sucks. Sometimes you can have more referring domains than someone, but you still don't rank above them.
That comes to call everything, maybe you just build links on small directories, but the three he has is from Forbes, Entrepreneur and Eagle. Something like that. Generally, this is what we use to figure out what we need to do. I was looking at this client, I tell them, "Even though you're better than the third place, you still have a long way to go. We probably want to hit more like 20 to 25 different domains to give you a better shot to rank on the first page. Because if you got 20, 25 you'll probably surpass competitors." What you're going to start doing in terms of execution, citational directory links, Clutch. There are a lot of articles you can find online really easily that say like, "150 directories, to put your website on." You can go do those. I won't spend too much time on those, it's marginal benefit, but if your website started fresh at zero then do that.
If you are a legacy company that has been in business for 10 years, I'd argue it may not be worth your time. Industry specific links, we already talked about that. Try to do it within your industry. Topical authority contributorships. This is where most companies stop. Most companies build links and they stop here, because it is very difficult to get topical authority and contributorships. It's like me saying, "Hey, I want you tomorrow to go to Orange County Register and write for them." Not as easy as getting a directory. This is really where if you get links from these places, it really starts to move your site to a good place in linkable assets. I have a screenshot example on the top. This is my media production studio.
I'm sure Torrey's not going to care that I’m using this space, you can go look him up, he'd like that. We got him on HubSpot. He wrote a post for HubSpot, and this really helped drive the needle up for all of his rankings as well. A goal you should have is that go to high authority websites in your industry and find a way to write. That presentation and that topic is a complete different presentation, like an article it'll take months and months, but that's the goal you should have. I can always do the presentation in the future but how to get those, this is what you really want to be getting. What linkable assets are, I'll define what linkable assets are. If you can do linkable assets, you can skip three of over. Linkable assets are very difficult.
Linkable assets are things like, they must be articles where your state's favorite reality TV show, making things that people will genuinely just want to link to on their own core. Because the problem with stuff like this, these three right here you have to manually do the on your own. You have to go build a link or write contributorships topical authority, you have to go be an author or something of that sort. Linkable assets, it's like the dream of making passive income when people say, "I want to make money while I'm sleeping." That's linkable assets. We want to get links in your sleep. You want to write such a great piece that people will link to it without you needing to tell. For example, is 06:00 PM reality TV show, that's a good example of a fun pop culture one.
One that you're probably all familiar with and you've seen before, is stuff like this. You've all seen categories like this. Usually it's the different mortgages or savings accounts. This is what I'll call my volume. I don't know how I found this. Actually, I think I thought this was a mortgage calculator when I did my last presentation, and it was not. Calculators like these are very popular to be linked to as well because a lot of people don't want to calculate on their own even though this calculation is probably really easy. I just have to input numbers, and have the answer come out. These are linkable assets. Things that people genuinely want to link to. If you want to delineation between linkable assets and normal assets, 99.9% of the content you put out nobody wants to link to.
That's just how the nature of the world is. You need to create tools for just something so entertaining that everybody wants to be linking to. This is an area of SEO, that I'd argue if you're starting out, I wouldn't suggest going down this route, is a very, go big or go home. What I mean, go big or go home, if you swing and miss and you’re a startup with a six-month runway, this might actually bankrupt you because this stuff takes a lot of time. If you're going to do a calculator, you have to develop that, you have to get a web developer and build this out there. You have to spread the word about your linkable asset, tell journalists about it, and they want to link back to you. For the stuff like this creative stuff, how many times in our life have you been like, "People will love this."?
Just put out there, people are like, "meh." These are very risky things to do, I would only do this if you have the assets to come with your marketing team or your company is willing to take the gamble. I actually have consulted with clients where we can go two different routes. We can make easy incremental wins, we can go for topical authority, continue writing blog posts, or we can swing big or miss. Most of the times clients will say, "Let's just go incremental, let's not go for everything." Because you don't want to spend months on end developing something, just for it to not work. I will tell you a success story of a linkable asset that did work though. My last agency, we worked with veterinarians and if you didn't know veterinarians have very depressing jobs.
A lot of people think veterinarians have happy to lucky lives because they have puppies and everything, but actually, I know in Australia, veterinarians are the number one professions for suicides. I think in the US I think they’re third or fifth. It's a big problem for veterinarians because the problem is, as long as the Asia and veterinarian industry, and if you love animals, you have to put down everything you love. The reason why I'm talking about this is the other aspect of it is your job is to save animal lives, but veterinarians are often attacked a lot on Yelp and reputation management software on Google My Business, they're often attacked. One of the linkable asset strategies we had around in my last agency is we decided to analyze all of Orange County's reviews.
We analyzed all the five star reviews, in Orange County veterinarians, and all one star reviews for veterinarians in Orange County. Then we published a study saying, "One of the top reasons for one star reviews and we're on top as if five star reviews." It was actually pretty successful because we pitched it to different journalists and we actually got invited to do a national circuit of speaking at conferences for veterinarians about it. When you win, you win big, but I've done a lot of linkable asset strategies where I spent months just for no one to ever pick it up. There is this level of understanding of what you're committing to. That's linkable assets.
What I want to do is take a pause and understand these two variables. Content, that's the size of your website.
You can directly control that. Referred domain, not directly in your control, very difficult, but it really moves the needle. What we do with most of our clients is most of you in here, your SEO strategy for the next three to five years will stay here content, referred domains. I'll explain later why but what you want to do that because when you're analyzing what the strategy for your website is, this is a combination of the content library, and the referring domains. You want both versions.
This is the same two clients put together here on this chart. We can live analyze this. This is what I do with my clients. This is how many pieces of content, what does your pizza get? We have a pizza 17 and five referring domains. Number one competitor 43 and 39.
That's probably why they’re ranking number one. They not only have the biggest content library, they have more links and referring domains coming in. It's just that simple. This is where I say SEO can get over complicated. You can change your tags, you can add more keywords on the page, but they literally triple, almost triple your content and they are seven X to eight X your referring domains. No matter how many times you change the keywords in your pages, it’s not going to matter. It's about that spread. This is why it's so important about the pillars, what I said earlier, it always just comes down to this, it does come down to content and referring domains. Let's analyze this. Competitor two, why are they doing better?
They have less content than us but they have way more referring domains than us. Competitor three is the exact opposite. They don't have a lot in front of me, but their library is big. For us as client or us as a team, what's our strategy? We can pick one or two ways. We can go for more content or we can go for more referring domains, we can do a mixture of both, but this gives you understanding. I would tell you there is no obvious answer right now because it depends with the business. If your business and you've been in the industry say 20 years and you know every journalist in the book, wouldn't go for the referring domains one because you know that you can get referred domains.
If you're, and unfortunately most companies are in this situation. You are a new startup or you’re a small business, humble beginnings, you don't really know that many people, content's your way to go, because that's the only thing you can be able to control, you can try to get that to 45. You would then need to create 43 minus 17, that's 26. Right? 26? You need to get 26 posts, that's about if you want to start being on the same pace as your competitor overnight because you don't want to wait six months 26 posts in one month is about six to seven a week. Blog posts every day, doing all that kind ofstuff.
At what point do you lose your consumers interest if you are oversaturating yourself?
Great question. That's the weird thing with SEO. SEO has this weird thing where SEO is not for consumers it's for the algorithm. It's like people when you watch movies, they're like, "Wait, obviously the guy was innocent, or the legal system doesn't care about what's obvious. They care about a couple of laws in the book." As soon as we're going to end up like, "Who's going to want to read the blog post?" Everyone's going to be like, "I don't care." As long as you have a big library. It's one of those things. The nicest way to say it's it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if they’re going to read it or not. This is a great example of a live client I actually have right now, this data was taken two months ago of the situation.
I don't need to tell you; you can just know what your strategy needs to be moving forward. Let's go to the technical SEO, I'm not going to spend much time on it because most of you won't need to do this side. Technical SEO revolves around the technical aspects of a website that directly influence Google's ability to index column understand a website. I highlighted understand because it's very important that Google not only knows you exist; they need to understand what your business is about to properly categorize you. Let's go back to technical SEO and I’ll explain why we won't focus too much time about it. Technical SEO complex chart is about understanding the level of what your website's about.
You brought up a good example earlier. What if I have a company with multiple different services and all stuff? If you are a conglomerate company, who does 50 different things, how does the world understand what page ranks for what? Proper technical SEO implementation provides that. If you internally link the right way, you can tell Google, "I know I have 50,000 pages but these thousand are specifically about this." There's ways to do that. The reason why I won't go into too much detail, technical is technical and don't want to intimidate for and just confused people. Generally, this is only a concern if your website is above 100,000 pages.
If you're a startup that wants to create social media, you want to create, I was thinking back there, an Amazon kind of site, then yes, you're doing this. If you're an insurance calculator, and you're going to get quotes and your life pulling API's and stuff, yes, this. If you are not, then you're not doing any of this. If your most startups, their website's going to be less than 100 pages, nothing to do with it. The reason why I said 100,000, Google has a crawl budget. I don't know the exact number, but I believe Google will crawl every website to 50,000 pages and then start considering if they're going to stop keep going. I believe I might be butchering the number. Regardless, what the number is, your site is probably not that big. I'm not going to spend too much time on that.
If your site is truly that big, we may have a different conversation, but I'm assuming most of you are not going to be needing that. I still have yet to work with somebody who is at that size. Generally, you're more established if you had that many pages. This is what they see is a good crawl structure and everything. Again, I don't want to get too much into detail. Another crawlability thing is, I’ll just put a light example is how you know you have a crawlability issue if you're in this situation. Let's say on the back end of your CMS, you know you have 300,000 pages, you just know, because your CMS tell but Google has only indexed 14,000 pages, we'll just use fullerton.edu, I don't know that's true or not.
Let's say fullerton.edu, Cal State Fullerton website has 300,000 pages, but your Google index, you check their index, and they say you only have 14,000. You have a Google index problem, because Google knows your site exists, but they're only indexing a small portion of it and there's ways to fix that. Again, most people don't have this issue. This is always the question, when we talk about this. That's probably the reason why I'm not ranking Google is not reading my website and I look at your website, you only have 50 pages that's not an issue. It only becomes an issue when it is just laughable how small portion, Google's indexing of your site. If, let's say your site has 150 pages on the CMS, but Google's indexing 100 of them, Crawlability is probably not the issue.
What I'm talking about is 300,000 pages to 10,000. That's a huge issue. That's that but we won't focus on technical. Again, these are the three pillars in practice, I just want to re summarize this. Content, digital PR and technical. Technical, I don't want you guys to worry about too much. It's a lot of just naming my tags, crawlability. The two that most companies need to worry about is the top two. Digital PR and content strategy. Those really move the needle, any SEO strategy, any SEO company you work with is going to revolve around these two things. What I want to do is I think that we will overlock concepts, it's a little bit technical in the sense that we're rushing right into the SEO stuff.
I want to run through some simulations of data I already have just to show you what typical live clients to deal with.
Let's go over simulation one. This is simulation one where I have a client who has 15 pages devoted to this topic and they have six referring domains. Competitor three and two have zero referring domains and 21 pages, and two pages, and at number one is just massively. This is a live case scenario of what my client has to deal with. Weirdly enough, they're actually already doing that at number three. What we had to figure out is what we're doing at number three, then we're going to the right path, but just for some reason, we're not ranking. That might be on page, they might have too many videos, there might be a lot of things.
What I want to focus on is content and referring domains. If I was to move forward with this, if I was to recommend a strategy, we already have six referring domains over the two zeros and this is the most difficult to get, I would recommend to client, add more content, unless, like I said, you have referral name contacts, which is going to be very difficult. I would just tell the client, "Up your content because though you have more referring domains and do have a bigger content library, you probably have a better chance if you at least magical surpass content level. Make sense? That's the problem with this stuff. It's not always obvious just because we have more it doesn’t mean we're always out ranking them, but it still gives you that gap. I'll say focus on that, is what I’m saying.
Simulation number two, what did I have here? Again, client has 18 pages, with zero referring domains. Competitor three has only four pages. That's way less than us, they are 25. 121 referring domains that's just scary, 21. The number one has 12 pages and 12 referring domains. This one's a little bit more obvious. The strategy then is our content library is on par with everybody. If not, one of the highest. There is 21, but we have 18. That's why we couldn’t be better. It's quite obvious that the strategy here is referring domains because we have zero. We need to build links going forward. These are very typical, general, strategic decisions that need to be made.
Simulation number three, I want to show a very complex one, because what I've been doing is over simplifying. I'll to try to do this slowly. This is a client that is going for seven different keywords, and if you're like any other business, you're probably going to do the same. Most companies do not just go for one, they want to go to three, five, seven. The reason is, because let's use a software development company. You don't just do software development, you do app development, you do mobile app development, you do healthcare application development, you do web apps, you do a lot of different things. To silo your SEO just to one is not where you want to be. What I've been showing you prior is easy because we're just assuming I'm a pizza shop and I sell pizza. Well, most startups and businesses here are much more complex than either. That's why I like that you brought up the different services is very complex.
What's hard about that is... I'm going to use a different example. Let's use McDonald's and In-N-Out. They sell McFlurries milkshakes. That's not part of their main business model, but I'm sure for them they want to rank for milkshakes right? Because you want to rank for milkshakes, now you are competing against non-hamburger restaurants, you're competing against other milkshake companies, and it gets very complex. I don't want to scare people but it's just the nature of how business is. Your secondary product, it's someone's main product.
Like Dairy Queen, for example.
Dairy Queen, right and Dairy Queen, I think they do sell hamburgers. I don't know why but it's there. Anyways, I've never had them, I don’t know if they’re good. Now we have to compete against them. What I want to show you is this, we have seven different keyword depth categories and these are the spreads of every single keyword category we have. On the left is content, on the right is referring domains. What this chart does is it takes the average of our top competitors and gets the average amount of content and the average amount of referring domain and for each keyword category. I specifically want to take a startup.
This is a startup that I work with, and they have big dreams, but they’re a startup, they are very small right now, and they want to rank for seven different keyword categories. Like you mentioned, every keyword category has lots of businesses that their main business model might be that keyword category. Not only are you competing in a void, you are competing in seven different battlegrounds, and you better be ready to compete in every single one of them. The scary thing is, let's say they're like, "We don't care. We want to rank number one for all them." Let's just take content. We need 30, plus 13, plus 44, plus 112, plus zero, zero, plus 187, plus 71. I don’t want to do the math; therefore, I’m going to guess it's 400 pieces of content.
If they want to rank for all seven, they got to make 400 pieces of content at some point and their startup, if I want next year. 400 pieces of content is more than one blog post or page every day. These are realities in SEO, that I'm not trying to scare you about, but when you do SEO, I feel like there is ignorance to it where people think, "I want to rank for everything." If you want to rank for everything, there is a reality. There are other companies whose entire business models are companies based on SEO and they're not going to let you just walk in, with your one little page and be like, "Yeah, you guys rank that." They're not going to do that. They're going to bolster them. You said long term strategy, this keyword category, they have 187, their credit is big gap.
So if anyone enters the market, they have the gap. You can try and do it, but try get 187. That's just content but also the referring domain side. This is a reality for startups. The reason why I was wanting to scaling for SEO is that when you're a startup, you have to figure out what resources and what strengths you have. Hopefully you have something you could work with. For some businesses, he's a founder who's been in the industry for 30 to 40 years, he has all the business contacts, he knows all the journalists. I would tell them, "Don't do a content strategy go a referring domain strategy. You've been in the industry for 30 to 40 years, you know what's cutting edge, you know what people want to see. Focus on creating linkable assets, become a thought leader.
For someone like myself, who when I started out very young in the industry, I stumbled and face planted my way into my own business. I don't have the years of experience and I don't have journalists, I don’t have any of that. For me it's content, I need to scale this. You have to find the way of scaling and it's sweat equity and you got to write every single day, if you do have funds, go hire writers, at creating content machine. There are ways to do but the only way to scale unless you know where you need to be. For my client who is in this one, they don't have the industry context. For them, the reality is media blowing content down. That's the problem. This is just step one. Step two is what happened to their content? That's why you need content.
You can do it yourself, hire the writers to start doing that or you can get a content team, content outsourcing, many different ways to do it. If you are a startup, this is a general reality you would do. Now, what I would tell you though, is if you're a startup, and you don't have the funds, I would actually just focus on one or two. I would just focus on one or two at the beginning because it is much easier to win one, then jump to the next one then jump to the next one. Is you have that ladder. If you go for all seven, it's a shotgun approach and you can be easily intimidated. But I do have clients, I'm telling you who I tell them, I always recommend to clients, "Let's focus on one or two, and go get your own page on one of those then the next one."
I do have clients who go the opposite of that. They say, "I don't care about ranking page one for just one keyword group, I'd rather have all of them on page three, and we'll slowly move down the coast line." This is where SEO stops and your business model comes in. As a business leader, as an executive, as the founder, or just someone who knows your industry, you decide. For this client, the good thing is the three right here are their primary keyword categories, if they win these, their business model will work. These are secondary sources where they got maybe happy, they probably want to be uber successful. Well, the great thing for us is that the secondary sources are very competitive, but the three primary ones are not as much.
So when I sit down with the client, it was an obvious choice that, "Good, we won’t focus too much energy on these, we will focus on these three." You can argue, this is zero, zero... Actually, this is five, five. Five and five here. This one will be really easy to cover, but this keyword category for that client is not even an afterthought. It's like when [inaudible 01:02:12] has got a rounding error. If they got this win, they probably want to go ending their revenue. Just a little slight blah. Even though it's easy, they're not going to go down that route. This is where SEO ends and your business decisions come into play, you as the business team decide at this point.
What I want to discuss is you will have to scale scales as part of SEO, but you need to know what you're scaling for and what you’re going towards. If I don't know how to discuss how to remember this, I don't play fantasy football or basketball or baseball. I played it once got way into it so I've stopped ever since but it's very much like fantasy. You know your spreads, you got to the company spreads. At SEO strategic level that's what's going to be. Everyone has brought good points, not all links are the same. Not all content is made the same. The reason why I will stay for this discussion we're going to ignore that some links are more powerful than others. Because if you have some categories we don't want to over analyze each of them, we just need a general direction to go.
This would give you a good idea. Let's just talk about the simulation. What's the client going to do? There is no answer with this. Like I said, it's down to the business to decide at this point for the business, like I said. That's going to conclude the slides. I didn't want to go too long or too in depth because I feel like that's a lot of info that you need to register. I just want to conclude by saying, again, my name is Jason and that's my email, you can email me if you have any questions. I’m pretty chill with giving advice and stuff when it comes to SEO. I feel like SEO has a bad rap or what a lot of people could call as a lot of spam out there. Because of that, whenever I say someone, "I’m SEO." I get the dirty look, so I just try to do my best to be a model SEO in my industry.
If you have questions, you could email me. I can go on my LinkedIn and connect the three, I'm not very active on LinkedIn, I'm not very active on any social media. That's okay because I'm SEO, I don't have to be active on social media. The best way to contact me is email, and that's that. Other than that, I want to leave the rest for questions. I'm sure everyone has a different website, different questions. I just want to open it up unless you have something that is different.
When you said that there is a website probably like Squrespace, WordPress, did you say that there is one platform that would be the best for SEO or amongst the best?
My role is I'm not a developer. I don't think I'm the best to ask, we have developers we can invite and they'll be better but I would say whatever is the easiest for your business. I have worked with people who have had a scheme as it takes. They don't understand well, or the way it's built, it takes a long time to get things out. Actually like one of my clients, they were technical, they were a developing company, but it was taking them a seven-day turnaround to get pages up and we just had a lag of receivers taking too long. I don't think the CMS matters as much as with Squarespace or WordPress, as long as it has general SEO tag abilities, and then you can get out of this.
If you were to ask me which one I've seen most clients with the most success use, generally it's WordPress. Wix is a pay to play with SEO, it's free with its add SEO status you get to pay for stuff. And Squarespace, my personal website's on Squarespace, my personal one. I like it because Squarespace is very visual. In terms of SEO it's fine, but it's definitely made for design and not SEO. Where I think, I heard you mention earlier, WordPress SEOs makes life 10 times easier because the plugin is easy to use and it's got a lot of stuff. I say WordPress, but also, I’m no developer and there's no correlation between, if your hard work is priced, it's better for SEO.
Most of that is debunked, it's just about what gives you the most agile way of moving, but that's actually it. If you're a Squarespace expert, then go that route.
What is a meta tag in terms of importance to SEO?
Yeah. Meta tags is again, very important. A quick rundown. There are three main SEO tags, title tags, meta descriptions, and then SEO tags or meta tags. Meta tags and SEO tags I think it was back in 2008 Google had to stop reading them. 2008. They officially said, "We do not read those tags. Do waste any time trying to figure out those tags. It's only the title tag the meta description." Those are the only two that really matter for you. They actually, SEO title tags and meta description are very important. Again, that's going to be in my first presentation, you should go watch that one. Those are so basic one on one thing, origins of a technical SEO, but you should go watch the first presentation, those are the important ones. Did that answer your questions? Any questions?
Once a client engages you, I presume you do some kind of an audit, and other than the pages and their backlinks, what else are you looking at?
Yeah. What I'm looking for is those title tags and if they're set up correctly. You'd be surprised how many times they are not set up correctly. I will look at SEO title tags. Again, that was presentation one, I'll look at page speed. If page speed is super slow, that's a problem. I will look at the last time that they've updated their website. Generally, it's around those. There are technical issues and stuff but generally, like I said, those pillars will give you a good understanding. Well, I will answer your question a little bit further though. When someone comes to me and they want to engage in SEO, actually, ironically, the problem isn't the SEO, the problem is they don't know what keywords they should be going for, the keywords that they think they should be going for those aren’t really keywords.
I don't think I can go over that too much in my first presentation. Shameless plug, it's on my blog, I run a keyword research guide. A lot of people go for semantically the right word, but the incorrect search term. The infamous example I love to use is I work a lot with dentists, when I would sit down with dentists, I'd be like... I actually wouldn't tell. They would just tell me, "Jason, I want to rank of cavity." Which makes sense because it's a problem and there's a solution. Have you ever googled the word cavity? It does not return consumer commercial intent, you will get Wikipedia, colgate.com defined cavity but you won't find anything that helps you fill the cavity. A dentist... Let me take a step back.
Because of Wikipedia, Colgate, and these websites are ranking for cavity as a definition based or informational based is a national global play. You are now competing against Colgate, Wikipedia who are global companies. Your California, Orange County Irvine dental practice, it will take you years to outrank Colgate. It's a huge amount of resources, you probably don't have. A better keyword for you to rank for, not very imaginative is dentist, in Uber. That doesn't sound very sexy, but why would you want to rank for county, because it's not the right keyword. That's generally what the main problem is. They want to go for keywords that are just not the right content. Another good example, I was talking with someone from this building who was very interesting.
He had a startup that's going to sell frozen Korean dumplings. You would think we should rank for Korean dumplings, when you go Google that, and it's all recipes. Why would a frozen dumpling want to rank for recipes? Generally, the issue is not what's on the site, it's the direction. Yeah, it sounds stupid but it's like any physical trainer or whatever to them with questions like, “This is what I want." Then you have to do a zoom out, is that the right goal though? Is that really the meaning of happiness? Same thing with SEOs, something like that.
Any thoughts on using an open platform to grow content on one site?
Yes, if you can do that that's the best actually. Because then it grows without you needing to do anything and that gets more into the technical side. If you can do that... They call user generated content, the dream of every website. Every website wants to do user generated content, it's very difficult, but if you can, ignore everything I've been talking about. Go down that route. To be successful with it is extremely difficult because you need to have enough user generated content, where it's just like Reddit or Facebook, it's just so much, it's overwhelming. if you're going to use user generated content where you have someone post something once every two weeks, it's not.
How would that be different then when you were saying that social media links don't help towards ranking?
Good question. Okay. The reason why social media doesn't count is because we're talking strictly the links on that section, in that term. When talking about user generated content, we're not talking about links we're just talking about content on your own website. That's why that works. But in terms of a link it doesn't really matter. Does that make sense? Yeah.
Actually I have a question for social media. Let's say you have a basic content on your website where there's just some type of word on there where you only have a few pages, you don’t have a big bang but you have almost like a traffic strategy where you're posting on no-follow sites like Instagram, and you get hundreds of thousands of people coming in. Does that play in at all?
Yeah. Let me give you the good answer then I'll give you a smarter alecky answer.
The first answer it does help. Traffic coming into your website is a small SEO sign with a good SEO sign so it will help. If Google sees a lot of traffic coming to your site and people stay, then it will help you. The Smart alecky answer is you don't need to worry about SEO then if you have a hundred thousands of different visitors. That's the smart key answer. You know what I mean. It does help SEO.
Away from startups, are products more successful or services?
That's a great question that I think it's beyond the realm of SEO. I would say, this is more- Yeah. The hard SEO ties in it. Okay. Services I find have an easier time SEO wise, because services generally have a bigger ticket revenue cap for sale. If you're doing a service for $5 I don’t know why you’re doing that service, but if you're doing a service, I would say the average service I see in the market is, I don't know, 100 to 500 bucks an hour. It's much more conducive for a business to invest in the SEO if they get three sales and each one's $1,000 each. The return was easier than if you sell a product for $2. Then you sell a lot of... It's harder for startups to stomach $2,000, $3,000 per month investment when they're per item sells are $2 $5.:
I'm not saying that they're not successful, but I find that the founders of startups that just sell products, there's much more a headache because their nerves get to them, they're like, "Why do I spend so much if this particular item is not as good?" Let me give you another comparison. You saw with the restaurants and back then I used to charge 750 a month for SEO, I don't charge nearly as low as I used to. 750 a month for restaurants. Let's just use one of the restaurants I had for five years and he and I are still good friends today. He's actually alumni from here.
He would have to sell I think 200 burritos to warrant the cost of that, and a restaurant just selling 200 burritos just sounds a lot, whereas like a dentist, I would need to sell one patient to come in and they would pay for the entire retainer. That's why I would say services tend to have an easier time SEO, not because they're better for SEO it's just the thought process. Now there's no other... Yes.
You said that you usually check for page speed when doing the audit, what's the correlation between page speed and ranking?
My words are escaping. It's like there's a minimum, you need to pass the minimum. As long as you pass the minimum, then generally it's equal playing field. Because your site is extremely fast, doesn't mean you're going to rank down so fast, but if your site is just frustratingly slow then you... It's more of a penalty thing than a benefit. There's a free PageSpeed tool from Google, it's called Google PageSpeed Insights, just type in Google PageSpeed and it will tell you the speed. Something that a lot of people don’t realize is mobile is more important to desktop, check your mobile speed. Here's another thing that I suppose a lot of people don't factor in. Don't just check your homepage, in PageSpeed, you'd be surprised how many people only check their homepage.
Check all the important pages like your product pages and service pages. Those are also very important. I've seen websites where the homepage is really fast, but every other page was really slow. That's not good. Any other questions? Anything SEO related or entrepreneur related? Yes.
I'm curious how the SEO applies through apps.
Yes. There is, it's called ASO, which is App Store Optimization, that's completely different from SEO, I don't know anything about it. I think ASO is a very small field. SEO is good for apps in that, People do Google things and then they will download the app. I definitely think SEO is worth it for apps. I the other day, it's funny being an SEO because when I fall for my own SEO tactics I hate it, but I just have to. I am very big on productivity. I googled a productivity concept and an app ranked for that productivity concept, there was a blog post about it. I read the blog post, I liked it, and they were like, "By the way, our app helps with that." I was like, "Let me sign up for a free trial."
And now I'm a paying member of this app, just because the stupid blog post ranked really well for that one-minute search, it does play a factor.
Cool. Any other questions? I'm happy to answer anything. No more questions. Alright, if that is all the questions, I will be around... What time is it? Does anyone know? I will be here till eight, so if you have any questions, you can come up. Again, my contact info is here. I have my business card. Let me put them over here. I was ready to pass them out. My business card is here. My business card has my personal email. It looks different from that one. Whichever one you want to email, I’ll respond to, it's mine.
What was that keyword article that you said you made the keyword research article?
Look at my blog, I don’t have any blogpost on my website. My blog, I do update. I have to take my own advice and I had to write a blog post to make my site bigger. You think doing SEO is not for your business if you’re doing SEO against other SEO agencies, you're literally doing SEO against the best of the best. I have to constantly make content and get referring domains and stuff. Yeah. There's a lot of things that you will go home with, we had a lot of questions. You’re probably going to go home and be like, "Hey, I don’t know any more links." Then you'll be like, "How do I get those links?" You can email me and we could talk about those things. Are we good?
Welcome to the business marketing podcast.
Hello everyone. And welcome to episode three of the Bismarck podcast. On this episode we're talking about marketing from nothing. And with me today, I have Jason Khoo, founder of search business group, an SEO company in orange County, California. So welcome to the show, Jason. So just a little bit of background about yourself. Who are you and what type of marketing do you do?
Yeah, so my background is always been in marketing. I was lucky enough that when I was in high school, we actually had business courses and one of the courses was marketing. So from early on I kind of knew I wanted to do marketing. I think I always had a feeling I was going to do business. And then, um, you know, after taking the accounting class and other courses in high school, it just kind of knew that marketing was the way I was gonna go. And then from then on, my marketing career really began in college. I brought my sophomore year, you know, I was part of the entrepreneurs society at Cal state Fullerton. And, uh, I was in a leadership role, but I felt very like insecure about the fact that I had never started a business. Um, I had been marketing positions in these like club organizations, so I was able to like get some experience recruiting members and everything. But I started my sophomore year, I went door to door to businesses and I had a background in search engine optimization or SEO, um, and just because I was 20 at the time I was like, Oh, I didn't, I know social media. So, uh, with those two I kind of went door to door and got my first client. And then fast forward, I know I'm in partners, I have a partner and we have a business called the search business group where we do SEO for veterinarians, dentists and table tennis clubs.
So you started off pretty early in marketing in high school. Pretty awesome.
Yeah. Um, yeah, I always say I'm a little lucky that my high school had those classes. Uh, but it was only like a nine week program and kudos to my high school teacher though. He really got me into the whole thing. And I still remember my high school project, what it was for the marketing and stuff. But, um, yeah, I guess you could say I was lucky enough to have an early start and be exposed to it fairly early on.
Nice. So you specialize in a SEO. How, how'd you get into that specific?
Yeah, so when I was a freshman, I had met someone in my, one of my courses and he designed a websites for local businesses and he told me like, Oh yeah man, I make like thousands of dollars. And I was like, Oh, Schnapp, well this guy's like my age 18 and you know, maybe there's something I can learn from him. And I at the time was trying to learn how to code by myself. So my dorm room, I would like code or try coding. And man, I was awful. So like when I say I was coding, I really wasn't. I was just trying. So, um, I knew enough where he needed me to do basic HTML improvements and so I did that. It was all fine and everything, but he told me like, Hey yo, um, there's this internship. I took the top me like SEO, they're doing like another round of recruiting. You want to go ahead and do it? Um, I was like, yeah, like you're the guy who's making thousands of dollars. And I was like, sure, I'll, I'll do it. And then through that internship, that's where I got my first taste of it. But by no means was that like, did it teach me like all the basics, SEO, SEO, like many other trades I guess is very self-taught, independently taught. And so after that internship I just went home and studied it a lot and that's how I took off.
So did you learn coding to understand how SEO works? Like in the back end?
Big misconception about SEO. Uh, everyone thinks SEO is like coding and actually a majority of SEO is not coding there. You can do SEO with coding, but a lot of people don't. There's just a lot of ways around it. And um, coding does give you an, uh, an advantage. And thank God my partner does know coding. So there are certain sections of SCO that require it, but for most people, like 95% of people who are just doing basic SEO, that requires no coding whatsoever. So
going off of SEO, you have clients that basically want to get to the top of the searches from keywords going up with that. Do you have clients that start with nothing? Yeah, so SEO
for here's a, here's where it gets difficult. So let's just say if when you open a store, the way to know of SCL is going to be good for you is if you're opening a business that already exist in the world. So if you're, like for example, I have a, I had a client who he opened up a table tennis Academy in orange County. It was not the first of its kind, but they just opened and they had hired us. That was a client we took from not being found on Google. Did anybody exist? And now that the, the number one [inaudible] Academy in orange County, you type it up guarantee you'll see them. That's when it works. Where it doesn't work is for startups who are creating new products that don't exist in the marketplace. For example, like, uh, let's say you're creating, I don't know, a new potato chip. No one's really Googling new potato chips or anything like that. SEO is all about people finding things that they want you, they search something that they know they want and they find it right? For startups, it doesn't really work like that because they're opting, creating a product that does not exist in the marketplace. It's like the same thing as like looking for an iPod before iPods even existed. No one's doing it. It just doesn't make rational sense. So that's where the one limitation of SEO is
going into today's topic of, um, marketing from nothing like say a startup. They barely have
a product that they develop. So what are some of the ways that somebody should start marketing? Yeah. Um, I actually got this question yesterday at an event I went to the, some guy said like, Oh, you know, I want to start my own business. Like, how do you suggest I start? I remember when I was in college when I really want to start or start from nothing or marketing from nothing. They said, look with your family, your friends and your network and see what opportunities are there. And that's very true. If you have a new product or a new business they're starting, or let's say you just have a scale you want to get out there because if you have a skill, like you're a painter and you want to paint for people, that's still entrepreneurial in a sense, right? You've got to ask around your network.
Now you gotta be careful because doing business with people when you're so experienced can be tough with family and stuff. But I was unfortunately unable to find anyone in my network who I could work with. Um, so I went door to door, like two businesses. That's not a great marketing. So, so why do you go to people in your network? Because they trust you, they already know you. And there's the hardest part about business is legitimately just getting new clients. There's a, there's a natural issue is that people only really want to hire you when they know that you have a good reputation. When you don't have a reputation. Uh, it's really hard. It's really difficult to get them to trust you, right, to even do business when you go your network of family and friends, they know, they know you don't have a portfolio of work, but they still know your personal reputation and that's where it's good to go to your family and friends.
So that's the advantage you have. Yeah. Yeah. It's like the same way where like if you've ever had solicitors coming to your door and they want to sell something, like, have you ever really bought like the only thing I've ever done in maybe, maybe I bought like girl scout cookies or I donate to some kid's athletic career, but, um, I've never bought anything and it's the same thing. But if my friend's sister came and was like, Hey, you know, I'm doing this, I'm trying to sell girl scout cookies, you're much more willing to do it because you know them and there's that personal relationship. So that's a good way to go. A don't, I would encourage you to not take it so lightly because when you ruin w, when you get bullishness with people, you know, if you don't do it well, there's a bigger repercussion though because there's waves, there's waves of it.
This person probably talks to some more of your friends. They hear you do a bad job. There's a whole concept on that, I think. Yeah. So don't, don't mess around with that. So, so, so that's sort of where you build word of mouth marketing, right? Yeah. Word of mouth marketing is a lot about that. It's like the people you work with and they spread the same thing. So when you're starting from nothing, yeah, go to family and friends. You know, word of mouth marketing is one of the most overvalued points of market. Everyone loves word of mouth marketing because it's the easiest. But, um, any good marketer will tell you that dries up very fast. So, uh, for those starting out, yes, rely on word of mouth marketing in the beginning. Try to try to take advantage of it, but it cannot sustain you forever.
Um, even my own company were, were dealing with the repercussions of our word of mouth well is drying up. So that is a good one. But it's, it's imperative for you when you start out. Yes, word of mouth gets your first handful of clients. But are you transitioning to other forms of marketing as well? So, so this is one type of offline marketing in regards to offline marketing. Besides say advertisements, what other channels are there? So you can go through, I listened to one podcast called marketing schools with Neil Patel and Eric SIU that, that was pretty good. Um, it's mainly for SEO and marketing people, but they had a podcast portion where they wrote into the topic was, well, how do I get clients when you just, there's no one coming in. Right. And it wasn't the most basic answer, but I just thought it, it rang so true.
And it's just networking. And what I mean by that, just going out to events. So what this is what I would encourage people to do actually beyond family and friends is go to as many networking events as possible and network. And so, um, I hate a lot of college kids hate that word. I'm okay with that word now. Now that I'm actually in the real like business world. Um, but another strong offline channel is just going out into the community or the local area. And pretty much when I say networking, you network, right? But make an impact or develop relationships. That's where collaboration comes in. Yeah. So, you know, join a nonprofit organization, uh, join a meetup group. If there are no organizations available, just grab some people you know, and form one, like those are the best ways to do it because it's not that those people you meet at networking events will get you business all the time.
But every so often you will get one person like, Oh, you're the exactly the person I need. And you're like, well, this was totally worth it. But usually what happens is when you network with someone, you naturally actually absorb their network. Once you've developed that relationship. So you never know who that person knows that might need what you provide. So that is a much stronger way of marketing. It's still hyper-local, but it's a very, very strong way of marketing. A lot of people don't like it because networking is difficult, but it's the way you got to go. So that's sort of your second community. First you start off with your family and then you go to a business community to throw your idea. And I see collaboration opportunities. Yeah. And um, if you're, you know, I do that because you know, naturally when you've never done something before and you're not the most confident when you go to a network and you had to say, Oh, let's just use these websites for example, you want to design websites for people. If you've never done one, uh, you'd be hard pressed to be confident. It's going to networking it and say you could do it for someone. So family's usually just a good, like, you know, like video games when they have like the, the first level, it doesn't mean anything. It's just a training level. That's what working with them is probably going to be or friends. So
that, that was sort of a, some of the offline stuff. Um, now going to online, what are some things that a business should focus on? There's obviously social media, there's their website. What's important in the online world? You talking about like, uh, as far as getting your product out there, product service out there. So it kind of blends in for to go to your family. Uh, they can share it online. Um, what are some strategies for online exposure?
Yeah, so I'm a big believer in the whole, I think networking gets lost in the online world. So, uh, Jose, I think you've heard me talk about this. I can twice now. Um, it's the whole idea that like online has its own community and you can also network there. So this is, uh, this is more conceptual, but it's important that I get the conceptual portion across first, which is that there are lots of communities out there, whether, whether they may be Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and there are a lot of micro communities within that platform. Right? So it is important for you to network and identify groups and people on the online that you can market to. So a prime example, let's say Nike, like Nike does a great job of marketing online and they do a really good job. Not because they're just broadcasting their message on Facebook like, Hey everybody, look at this new shoe we got now.
They do a really good job of like identifying the people that they need to market to. So besides celebrities, Nike does a good job of marketing and delivering their products to fitness enthusiasts. So running blogs, when they come out with a running shoe, you can be pretty sure that the biggest influencers on Instagram blogging world, Twitter are getting some media access to the product and they'll be talking about it. So that's a big scale company. And so it's kind of hard for little businesses or not a little but small businesses to mimic it. But even on a micro level in a local city, you can do the same.
So, so there's, it's a micro level influencers.
So, you know, I used to help this Boba shop in Fullerton and they actually were the first client to ever take me in. So that, that was the person that knocked on the door. They actually gave me a chance. They a was some things I did for them. They're right next to Cal state Fullerton. They were probably a five minute drive. Right. And they want to get to the college kids. Um, there's not really college kid influence. There's at floor 10, like this isn't mean girls. There's not like the Copular kids or anything, but there are groups, there's like, like just like Facebook, just like Twitter. There's micro groups. So what we did is we reached out to local clubs on campus for a fundraising competition. So I think we reached out to community service organizations, uh, some of the fraternities and sororities to do a competition to see, you know, uh, whoever ordered the most drinks, I think a one $500. I don't, I don't remember the exact prize, but it was some sort of competition. And that's the same thing your business needs to do. You know, that's, that's a form of networking in your, or collaborate, like you said earlier in your community, collaborating with the local university that are clubs to make it beneficial for everybody. It's a fun game quickly. The Boba shop got customers, but the clubs also benefit if they had one, you know, so it helps everyone out.
Most of these strategies have been focused on a local business, uh, bringing in local community, uh, networking locally. What are some strategies for something that is, uh, like an eCommerce site that is global or national?
Yeah, so the reason why I focus so much on locals, cause that's actually the area of marketing SEO I specialize in. But on the product side, it's typically the same thing. You know, it's a, this is a not a, not a groundbreaking strategy, strategy or concept, uh, influencer marketing within your industry. So, um, if you have a new product, I don't know, let's say like you made a new kind of popcorn, let's just say something like that. Uh, you want to go and market it to, you know, any blogs, communities are all about trying new foods. I'm sure you know, on Facebook I'm just overloaded with the video is about, Oh, this new burrito that has like a, it's like a sushi. It's like, you know, there's always the courageous things coming up. You identified those that would find those targets. So you don't have to think, you want a local level, just think about it in a relevance level.
So find out what industry your product is in and try to get with those that discuss that kind of field, um, on a daily basis or for their business. And even then you have to start small. You're not gonna like if you came out with a new phone, I don't think CNN and all these companies can really cover you unless you have funding and you're some big hype train. Uh, but if you're some small local guy or kid in a, in their dorm or garage, uh, you're gonna have to start small spots to start with a small guys and slowly build it from there. Yeah.
So another thing on marketing is you can spend a lot of time doing the wrong thing in marketing or some strategies for being efficient in what you're doing.
Yeah. Uh, marketing has the classic issue of, as it is very difficult to always like track. Like how do you know if something like how you have a billboard actually worse? You never really truly know and wants to try to, yeah. If you, you know, when companies use commercials, we know they work to what degree you, we, we don't know. Right. And there's a lot of advancements in the marketing industry that allow us to track more and more, but still not perfect. And so, but discussing and trying to figure out what's going right, what's going wrong. It's just being organized. So when you go out and do marketing, you know, it's the little things. So for example, if you're going to, let's say you're going to go to a local event and pass out flyers, like you want to just, you know, Oh, you know, this is how lifts Augusta, they went to Cornell university and just passed out little papers, right?
Like trial lifts, trial Charlottes and this was when they first started. Uh, I, you know, we do that with some of our clients too. We want to build some hype, you know, you just gotta be a little bit creative, strategic and organized about it. Um, if you go to a local school and you're passing out flyers, make the deal on that coupon, a little different or ton of different, bring the coupon and then that coupon for some reason has like a blue streak across the coupon or, but then if you go to a different school, it's a different color. That way you know where things are coming from. If you give one generic liar all across the board, you'd never really going to know what's going on. So with, on an online level with like products and e-commerce, if you're working with different Instagram or blogs or whatnot, you know, coupon codes, unique coupon codes for each person and track their, there's a lot of tools out there to help to track. But at the end of the day, it just, it all comes down to how organized you are and creative with it. You are.
So that's more of a tracking strategy to find out what's working, what's not, and then focus on what is,
yeah, that's extremely important. Um, you know, sometimes people will fall into the trap of like, Oh, Google ads, I'm paying Google. That's good enough. No, no, no, no, that's not good enough because you'll waste a lot of money doing that kind of stuff. You need to, you know, move fast but also be monitoring it and ensuring that it's worth the money. And
so, so this is where quality and quantity comes in. You know, if you take shortcuts, there's obviously Bob back on that
believer and that's good. Really good. And that like, I don't, if you're starting out, don't join 10 social media and tried to operate 10 profiles, you know, start with two or three and then whatever, whichever one of the two or three is doing best. Focus in on that. Right? Like, you know, everyone's going to remember you based on how good you are at something rather than your, um, how, how many different platforms you are on. Like, like taco bell used to be the King of Twitter, like they just dominated Twitter and they're really well known for that. Right. So for your small business it's important to, don't worry about all 10, just worry about the couple ones that will work, one or two here and there. And then once you do really well with one, then you can move over to the second or third platform. But you rarely get people who start all 10 and are good at a whole 10. You just want me to do one and slowly build from there.
So this is where, um, some of the stuff you don't want to do is like buying followers or somebody can see based on your engagement and it could also hurt you in the long run.
Yeah. Oh my God. Yeah. I'm, I'm a, I'm a big proponent about not buying followers. Um, I know people who will, you know, swear that it's gonna, it's good and everything, but the whole premise around it just seems a little unethical. And I've had a client who bought ballers before for his Facebook and it became a huge mess. Like, you know, he bought I think 2000 followers on his Facebook. And, uh, when we started running Facebook ads for him, we could not do any, any analytics because, you know, I think we grew to 2,500 followers, but then 2020 500 followers for bot. And so I always say like 70% of our traffic came from Egypt. I'm doing air quotes while I'm saying this, but Egypt, this restaurants in California, man, there's no way that 2000 people are coming from Egypt. But that's just the nature of the beast. He bought the followers. There was no way for us to learn anything because dude, these guys are from Egypt. There's nothing if we're going to learn from that. Right. So he was actually forced to delete that Facebook and started a new one. So, you know, in my line, I don't believe in holding the whole buying followers and everything. Your relation to be doing that.
Yeah, definitely. So just to recap today's show, you want to start with family, pitch your idea to them and then you want to go to networking events. Uh, tried to collaborate, involve the community and then obviously focus on quality work. Yeah.
If I could say nothing about the networking thing, you know, as, as you said, that made me think like, man, that sounds like classic business cliches that I learned in college. Uh, I think what would be good to sets as you kind of what the networking, remember it's notch distributing business cars. The true power of networking comes after business cards. It comes, are you following up with them? Are you, are you communicating with them? And that's very important. So if you meet someone and you've directly can help them still follow up, get coffee with them, say, Hey, what are you looking for? Help them look for that service that they need and then they will help you as well. So let that collaboration thing take it upon herself to provide value for them.
So going back to networking, at what point do you think it's too much? You mentioned you don't want to be passing out your business cards everywhere. Um,
I do, but that's not the hope. That's not the end all be all. Yeah. Right. It's just one step of many steps. Yeah.
So this is where the quality comes in as far as your relationship to who you network with. Just for you, how many people do you think you network with regularly and go to that second step to?
Um, that's a good point. Um, I don't know. I'll probably meet like at least five individuals a month. Um, I don't, I recently have been starting to go into networking more so, and this last month I've probably met like 30 people, so it was months a little bit high, but other months it can get slow. But yeah, just, you know, I try to, I try to do one or two events a month. That's what I really try to do. Yeah. But what I, what I mean by like, you don't want to just pass up as card. Yes. Pass out the business card. But for example, let me just you an anecdote. My company went to Orlando, Orlando, and Vegas. So let's talk about Vegas. Vegas was a conference the second week of the conference for veterinarians. Right. And we networked with Vanessa. We got some cards all get to go.
What's important is to continue communicating with them after the conference is over. Right? So are you sending texts? Are you sending emails? That can get difficult because you don't know what to send them. But that's where it's extremely important to remember a little details about the conversation. Right. Uh, one of the vest from Newport beach that we met there, he's a big Laker fan, so I'm a big Laker fan. That was easy. I just texted him, Hey, did you hear about, you know, the lagers like losing this game? Like Oh my God, they needed to be losing more. We're taking right now, stuff like that. But for others, like, you know, you just want to keep them in the loop and be friendly and stuff. So for example, uh, we have a veterinarian we met from Portland who are never going to sell to, she will never hire us, right?
Because she's not in a position to, it's just probably not ever going to happen, but we can still leverage the relationship. So we wrote a post about the top 10 none of that was the top 10. It was 11 Yelp reviews that reminds you why you treat animals, not humans. And it'll just be some funny, you know, funny one-star, Yelp reviews that make bets. Kind of like pull their hair out and when I'm not done with it yet, but I sent it to my contacts saying, Hey, you know, I'm working on this poster right now. Can you give me your two says a little thing is like that kind of go along the way. So kind of do the same thing when you go out networking, you know, people, key people in the loop, ask them about their progress on stuff that they're doing. See if you can help them in any way.
So this is building your network over time. Yeah, it's building your network and it's, it's also building, um, your leads, right? Like I think when you say network, people think like, Oh, networks. Like, Oh, who could say they have more like friends that have do big things. That is a one part of it. But lead generation is a lot about just grooming, right? Are you going out there? What is your reputation? What do people around the area know you as a, do they say, Oh Jason, you're a marketing guy. Great, cool. I want them to know that. Or do they think, Oh, Jason, this young guy who comes on and cracks jokes all the time, you know, you want people to start associating with you. It's something and at the beginning and we really slow, you're not going to really build a reputation, but you know, you keep going, you make some friends, second, third person, they end up becoming someone who refers you to other people and whatnot.
So what did we see when we talk about going out to networking events, it's also just being methodical about the process after, you know, staying connected with them, uh, giving them a call, Hey, you know, Hey, so and so, how's it going man? And you know, that's the one thing man calling people has been one of the biggest assets for me in communicating and networking with people. So this is where you start to gain trust from people outside of your family, right? And, um, you know, you just say hello and whatnot. Uh, there was another person I met on a plane flying back from the conference to orange County. We figured out, Hey, we're both in orange County and we're both trying to go for the veterinary market, right? Uh, let's, let's, let's talk. And we just talk. And I called him, I called him occasionally and say, Hey, you know what's going on?
He let me know. Oh, actually, we're trying to hire someone right now. I said, Hey, you know, I actually from Cal state flows here, I still know the career people there. Why don't we connect you and everything. A little things like that, you know, really kind of help you out and you want to help people, even if you know that in the long run it might not directly become like a customer for you. You want to, you want to do it without expecting in return. Yeah. So I think the perfect example is this podcast. You know, my, my target market is veterinarians. I don't think that's the target market of your podcast per se, but just still doing these kind of, you know, opportunities still go a long way because you're still building trust. You're still communicating with people. I don't know. And I'm sure with you, you know, if you know that now and you're like, Oh well Jason did that one thing and then you know, for myself, if people want to know more about podcasts, well I'm probably gonna refer to them to the you because obviously you have the set up of the microphones over here.
So you know, that's just really what it is, is, are you actively going out of your way to connect with people? Right. Yeah. Oh, that's a well rounded dive into marketing. Yeah. So where can people check you out? Where's your company located? Yeah, so my company operates up two locations right now. We have an office in Costa Mesa. We were kind of a coworking space called crash labs. If you want ever watch it, check it out. I usually there half of the week. So, um, I'm, I'm available if, if you're in the area and OSI you can drive over if not, um, we have another office in Fullerton, but my website is the search business group.com. So actually no, that's incorrect. It's search business group.com. No, the, so it just the word search, the word business, the word group all into one.com. Um, I think we can add it in the show notes or something like that would be the show notes.
Yeah, you can look at our website there. As of right now when we're doing this recording, I will have, so it's not completely done yet. So if you look at it and you're like, what the hell is this? It's in progress. We just finished a photo shoot or [inaudible]. It'll be live really soon. I also have a personal email@example.com which is what our company used to be called, but we ran it to search business group and those are the places you could find me if you'd like to shoot me an email. It's just Jason at the search business. God keeps keep saying the, it's firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm more than happy to answer any questions. If anyone has any NFPA, if you guys like to show, just be sure to tweet us out using the hashtag Bismarck BIC M a R K may, who knows, maybe we'll do another show
with Jason. He, uh, obviously is an SEO genius. He knows a lot about SEO and local small business. Thanks for being on the show. Yeah, no worries man. Hello everyone and thanks for listening to this episode of the Bismarck podcast. If you'd like to learn more about Jason, be sure to check out his email@example.com and if you liked this podcast or would like to be interviewed on a future episode, be sure to shoot us an email at Bismarck podcast at [inaudible] dot com as always, be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won't miss any episode in the future. Thanks for listening. We'll see you guys next time.
Ringing in the new year, Zupo is excited to share that our founder, Jason Khoo, has joined the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). The Young Entrepreneurs Council members are part of a trusted, invite-only community that elevates their business with concierge-level support.
YEC provides support not only for its council members, but also utilizes the pool of talent and expertise to help educate the online community about pressing business and entrepreneurial conversations. We have seen many of our peers and clients benefit immensely from YEC and we look forward to participating as well.
What we are most excited about is to be apart of a community that can share ideas. By exposing the company to other innovative thinkers we can continue to think on a larger scale ourselves and provide cutting edge tactics and campaigns for our clients!
Zupo is also looking forward to collaborating with YEC to provide business and SEO knowledge for businesses across the country. We will be actively contributing content and expertise in the realms of SEO, digital PR, content development, in addition, to general online marketing in order to continue to share and educate.
We are proud to announce that Zupo is now a Certified Partner of Upcity. Upcity is a trusted website for many customers who are looking for new agencies to work with. The UpCity Marketplace launched with the mission of empowering successful relationships between businesses and marketing service providers by providing transparent, trustworthy information and insights.
Zupo is now working with Upcity in the Orange County area as a certified partner, providing search engine optimization, digital PR, and content marketing for businesses. Looking forward, Zupo will actively become a partner in the community to educate and provide strong search marketing knowledge.
As Zupo begins its partnership with Upcity, we will be collaborating on content that will be going on the Upcity blog. Zupo is actively engaging with the online community to bring educational and reliable search marketing content. This way we can better educate and build understanding of the search marketing landscape, so more businesses can engage in proper, white hat SEO.
We are excited for this new partnership and look forward to more great search marketing campaigns!
Zupo had a blast attending the American Advertising Federation's Holiday Party! The event was held at Del Frisco's in Irvine Spectrum and was hosted by the Orange County Chapter of AAF. The group is led by Kyle Johnston of Gigasavvy and Zupo's own Jason Khoo serves as the Communications Chair on the board.
The event was a great night, full of friends, raffle tickets and prizes. Agencies from across Orange County came together and got to share the holiday season together. Some of the notable advertising agencies to attend included:
The event and AAF OC's purpose is to bring together the advertising and marketing community in Orange County. Overall, the holiday party was a resounding success with many groups finally getting to meet one another. We even saw many conversations start with, "it's nice to finally get to meet you in person!"
As Zupo moves into the new year, we will continue to help out AAF OC and their vision of continuing to cultivate and bring together the advertising community. Zupo will report back as the famous American Advertising Federation hosts its American Advertising Federation Awards in March!
My name is Jason Khoo. I've done SEO and this is my fifth year doing it and I, you know, pretty much love the topic. Today's presentation when I'm doing what it mainly will be on is just the basics. As an entrepreneur or if you're the freelance consultant,this will pretty much get you started. So after this presentation, you should be able to go home tonight and start doing some SEO work. I like to keep things really casual, so if you have any questions, you know, feel free to just, ask away and then we can go ahead and go deeper or move on as fast as needed.
I started this as a sophomore in college. I knew, I knew I always liked marketing. I was lucky enough in high school to have the business program in my high school. So I got introduced really young and I knew I wanted to do it. But then when you get to college, I think we all have the same thing happen where you get kind of bored really fast the first two years are all GEs. You also like relearn things you learned in high school. But you know, when I went to college, people like Mark Zuckerberg and people had like reached their climax, they were blowing up the internet saying like, Oh, these are the guys to follow. And I was like the sophomore college, like still not being able to take a business class. So I got a little impatient, I knew a little bit of SEO based on a prior internship. And I always remember January 17, 2013, I bucked up, put a tie on and I went door to door on Chapman and State College, begging businesses saying, I'm a student. I know this skill. I'd really like to try it with your business. You know, if there's anything we can figure it out.
I can be intern, you know, small payments, whatever it may be. And that's how I got my start. So I've been doing it in the field for awhile and I've been applying this on real businesses. So you can be assured that this is not just some theory, this is the things I'm teaching you. I'm just getting rid of all the BS and making sure I show everyone what's the most important. Because my goal is not really to sell my services to anybody. My goal is to make sure that the understanding of the field increases because for some reason social media is really well understood and SEO is still is fairly misunderstood in a sense to a lot of people think SEO is bad because there's a lot of bad people doing SEO.
I pride myself on being the par part of the crew that has done it the right way, the correct way, the ethical way. And the proof isn't that in the five years I've done it, I've never had a single business drop in ranking. They've all maintained the ranking if not gone higher. So that's the kind of proof I have. If you want to see my Excel sheets here where the welcome to this is a little bit about me and my background. I am from Cal State Fullerton. I'm from the Mihaylo program. I actually wasn't in the entrepreneurship field, but I was very involved with the entrepreneurship community as an Entrepreneur Society. That's where I met Philip. We did a lot of stuff for four years. That was my main focus, just making sure that other students could start a business while and in addition to myself. And so I'm also part of the marketing program at Cal State Fullerton. This isn't a hit on Cal State Fullerton, but all the SEO I learned was not from the program. They don't teach this kind of stuff yet in the college. All of that had to be self study and internships, but like anything in this world, it's pretty much just self study. I have books on books and blogs.
I'm just going to keep going back to what you said about going door to door. How long did you do that?
Oh, I got, I got lucky in the first day, someone agreed. So I got the first client and then I started working with them. So I never had to go door to door again. I was deathly afraid that
Sure! And how long did you work with that one?
I worked with them until about two, three years. I didn't, I never got paid that well for, I was, I was still trying to learn business. I didn't feel confident to be asking for major payments, but then as I got more confident and you know, I grew a little bit he didn't want to pay.
And I guess your question reminds me, I need to tell you about what I do now. So I got lucky in my last year of college. I met my business partner who is a web designer, a graphic designer and a web developer. And he has 10 years of experience. But for himm he said for the first time ever, he lost two clients in a couple of months because his clients were being approached by marketing companies saying, we will do the graphic design and web design for free for you on our marketing contracts. He couldn't offer marketing with his graphic design cause he didn't know how to do it.
So we just met up and it's, it's worked out ever since.
So let's say if we're asking about marketing, we're asking him to do the SEO
Yeah. And he didn't know how to do it. And luckily for me, I knew it and I do have a background in photography and design but I just don't excel in it. So I try not to do it, but he handles all the design web design and everything. But I handle all the SEO strategy and it has just worked out really well. So I'm the typical story though, I went through I think three or three or four partners before I found him, which has really worked out.
But this is more an SEO talk than his entrepreneurship talk. So so today, like I said, feel free to ask any questions along the way with like today the here at the goal is we need you to rank at the top for Google, right? So there are times I may use jargon.
If you don't know what I'm saying, just raise your hand. Sometimes you forget what people do and do not know. There's a five step process. I pretty much use this presentation. We're just going to talk about SEO concept first and then go through the rest of keyword research, competitors, link building and best practices.
I don't like when people make marketing arbitrary, so I'm very like systematic about it. So you're going to see through today that you know, a lot of people say, Oh, branding, marketing, put yourself out there. But that doesn't really correlate with what we learn in business today, which is to have goals, have numbers that you can kind of stack up with. The SEO I kind of run will follow a more systematic system, I guess. So understanding SEO. Does everyone have a general understanding of SEO?
Does anyone not know what it is?
Okay, cool. I will assume that most people know. Well to kind of get a better idea. I like to always put it on the Google side rather than the consumer side. Consumer side is easy, you're just typing in something you want something to appear. But the best way to improve your SEO is to think from Google's perspective because essentially you're on Google's platform or Bing's platform and you understand why they would want to put you on the highest ranking.
So I always like to use the example of a library. If you had a library, right? Or a bookstore like Barnes & Nobles and you need to make sure that people find the best books because the best books, when people read the best books, they tend to get more books because they liked the book. And so someone says like of these three books, which books should we put in the front aisle while the rest of these go in the back? Cause you know, they always display the best books in the front. How would you know how if I, if I gave you these three books and I said, okay, which one are we going to put in the front? How would you kind of decide?
This is a question for all you guys.
It depends on who's searching for what, you know I may like a certain type of book or we made like a different type of book and he's going to want that book to show up first.
So in a, let's just imagine though that you opened the store and you can't dictate for each person the result. How would, how would you make sure that you get the best results with which book would you pick?
The book that has the words in it that I was looking for?
Don't think of it in the Google sense right now.
Just think of as a library and you have three books that's you're trying to put it, yeah. In the front.
Probably the most popular. Right? And how do you determine if something is popular?
Whatever is selling right?
So that means that's what's most talked about. Right? So the example I'm trying to get at is how Google understands it. Is that the book that is cited more is the one that's probably the most popular. The more that people talk about certain book, the more popular it is, the more it behooves you to put it in the front. A book that no one really talks about, you'd never heard anyone really say it to you. You're not going to put up front. Because now a lot of people talk about it. Well, and these examples thinking, grow rich is the most popular book of these three and most people are citing it, right?
You're saying sales people, a lot of people have, this book has sold a lot. I think they have like 85 million, if not more. A lot of people talking about it, you're going to put up in the front. So in a Google sense, now if we go back to the Google sense, you need to make sure that your website or whatever you're using is being mentioned the most, right? And so the connection is in reality with a bookstore, you just want to see, Hey, it's you. You can go to your friends. Which book of these three do you know? And you can do a survey, but generally you have a general understanding going through your life knowing that this certain book is more read than than another one, right? But how do you translate that to the online world? And the one thing I can say, it's links.
Links are the way that Google knows that you're being talked about, right? Because a link points from one website to another, right? And now imagine, let's imagine that we're not a library, but now we are Google and there are only three things that exist in the world. These three books and someone types in book the whichever book has the most links is pretty much going to rank number one. And that's something, this is a pretty raw basic way of thinking about it, but links is the Google's way of understanding what's most popular, right? Because it benefits Google to make sure that the best results goes to the searcher, right? That's why Google ended up beating Yahoo because Yahoo people always complain that Yahoo didn't have great results. But Google does. And Google ensures this by making sure that they provide you with the one that has the best, the most links going to it.
Later on the in the presentation, I'll go a little bit more in depth. It's a little bit more complicated, but for now this is a great way to kind of think about it. Is there any confusion on this example for now?
So Google is using this outlet space on some data.
Yeah. So they have, yeah, so they have these things called crawlers and they're like art spiders. I like calling co crawlers cause I hate spiders. But the goal rock has internet and they jumped from link to link. What did they find? A link? They jumped to that site. That site has links, it jumps and they just cause canvas the whole internet world. And they tally up everything along the way. Right. So you know, a lot of people when they think of SEO, because it's on the internet, I think they make it a little bit too complex.
I always like to tone it down to the real world. So if you're confused about why someone might be ranking better than you or you're trying to explain to someone, I always say use a real life example. It's nothing different. A link is like a human recommendation. The more recommendations a book has, the more popular it is. Same thing in the internet world. The more links you have, the more popular that is as well. Right.
So what do you think would be a significant amount of links to have coming in or linking in or what do you think might be a good good number to kind of shoot?
That's based on the competition. I would say for most small businesses, if you want to rank number one or two, even like one to two a month is good enough because a lot of what, what is, what is scary is that a lot of people think, Oh, online have so many people who beat me.
I don't want to do this. I think the best thing to experience is to go to all these businesses and ask them, Hey, when's the last time you updated your site? And most will say like three, four, five years ago, right? Which you can't blame them. It happens. We've all been there. But the person that, you know, every month there, they're going out there trying to get one or two links in, it adds up to 10 links, 10 links more than their competitor. There's 20 links. And what I would tell a lot of people is just take the small steps, right? Don't try to go for the home run. Don't, don't make the problem so big you'll, you'll get there. Right? And a lot. And you know, lots of small businesses don't even know what their site looks like. Right? So but I will, there's other ways to answer that question, but I'll go over later as well.
So to understand SEO is all well keywords and you guys are kind of mentioning it in the beginning. It's about what users are searching for. Well you can go online and they'll are probably dictionaries about keyword research. And a lot of people say you just spend as much time as possible on keyword research. I've done it for long enough to realize that you don't need to spend too much time. It's just a little bit of intuition and looking at data. The people who say you need to spend days and days of looking at keywords are the people who have, you know, multimillion dollar companies and you know, they're all over the world and they have a huge team. When it's just you helping up the local pizza shop, there are not that many keywords you need to be looking through because the sheer volume is just not that high.
The long tail is not worth it. But that reminds everything I talk about today is a free resource. Every I read everything I, you should have to be able to pay for anything. I did SEO without paying a dollar for the first four years of doing it and I reached a certain scale or that I had to start paying it. It made more sense. But for you guys, there are very few things that you need to be paying for. And it's kind of a debate about whether you really need an RA efficacy. But this next one is one I've used from day one. It's a Google AdWords keyword planner. Maybe you used it before. Yeah, it was kind of a, but to use, I kinda hate it, but as you start alerting it more, it becomes, you, you start learning how to use it faster.
But what you need for it is, this is kind of annoying when you use Google ad words, you have to use a unique email address. So if you have happened to ever sign up for Google ad words with your personal email, you have to create a whole new email. Let's make a new ad words account, right? So if you have multiple clients, you need to have a specific email for each one of them. And this is what sucks the most. If you've created an account with an email, but you want to delete that account and start up, start all over again. You can't, they have to be unique. I've tried everything I've called Google. They have to be unique, right? So when before you create an account, make sure you log it down, make sure that you're committed to the email and it's pretty easy. You could always just put like ad-words the client's firstname.lastname@example.org. The only thing that is you need to have a unique count for Google ad words.
Okay. Why do you need the you to kick off? I'll say for example, if someone has different websites, they can put in different keywords for each one opinion going what they're doing. I'm not clear on why you say
So what I'm saying is so ad-words because advertising platform and there's a lot of money going back and forth. Google wants to make sure that it's a one account to one credit card to,
Oh, you mean if you paying for it? No, I'm not looking at it app. So if you're paying then they want you to happen. Okay.
It's just because the platform itself is so large and you can pay for it. You guys don't have to pay. But that leads me to a second point. You need to put a credit card on file. You will never be charged in my law. I've never been charged for any of it. But you just need to have one on file for them as well. And then you need an Excel Google docs platform because you need to be able to export everything. Now so how to navigate to Google ad words. You just type in Google AdWords or Google AdWords keyword planner. When you go to, you're going to go to a page that looks like this after you've signed up. This is a personal account. I have that. I don't use it ever, but this is what's going to look like. And you're going to see this orange bar across the top.
That's that. That shows that you're not paying for anything. He'll say none of your ads are running, but you have a credit card on file. If you don't want to pay for anything you need, you should be able to see the orange bar. If you don't see that orange bar, you're paying for ads. So make sure you see the orange bar there. So to get to the keyword planner, you hover over tool or click on it and you're gonna see keyword planner. It's where the green arrow is right there. And from there, that's where all the power is. This is the basis of every SEO campaign I've ever run from here is where you get access to Google's database of how many how many people are searching, searching for certain keywords. So I always use Google keyword planner. There are other tools out there.
This is probably the by by far the most popular, but going from here it's kind of blurry, huh? Well the only thing you need Google AdWords is famous for being complicated to use. They're just, they haven't been seen as a user friendly as much, but the only thing you need to know are these two areas. There's one area on the here, keyword entries, search for keywords using a phrase, sorry, go ahead. So as a search for a key words or phrases, you can enter as many keywords as you like. I just make sure you make sure you add a comma or at least a press enter between each of them. My recommendation, use an Excel sheet first and then copy and paste it into the bar. I mean the table, it makes it a lot easier. So all you gotta do is enter it here.
You're going to see like your landing page. You don't really need to put any of that. The only one I would deal with was this top one. There are negative keywords too. Don't either worry about either. So just worry about putting in your own keywords. A little bit of a token, a note. If you want to kind of power your SEO a little bit more. Sometimes you don't know what your keywords are, but you know who your competitors are. And then your landing page section, you can actually put your competitors a website in here and Google will show you the keywords that, that they're kind of going for. So it's a, it's a really good tool to kind of see what competitors are doing. I don't use it too much, but sometimes you, you, you, you're new to a client's business.
You don't understand what keywords are being used. They might though. So it's a good way to also understand that better. And this is the most important part. All right, so down here there's a table called targeting. You can target the geographic region and this is where it gets extremely powerful when you go to class or you read on articles and say, talk about the power of geographic targeting with the digital marketing. This is, this is what I'm talking about. You can kind of add location you want. It can be based on city counties, state or the nation or the globe as a whole. Right? typically what I do is I do it on a, on a city level or County level. Orange County though it might be too big. So if you're doing it for a business in orange County, orange County is one of the most competitive counties in the country for anything.
So I typically just pick four or five cities in a surrounding area, right? And that will make sure that the data they have spits out to you is only based on those geographic regions from those searchers in those geographic regions. You can do language, Google all languages or anything, but I don't see anybody needing to play with languages. That's pretty much it. So remember it's just search for new keywords and target. It's just these two right here. Other than that, don't press any of the other buttons because you don't need it. You really don't. You, yeah, you really don't like this. Is there another source? There are, but a lot of them are paid. Google keyword planner is one of the only free ones. When I say I don't like using it, I mean that more in like a unknowing, but I love it at the same time because Google AdWords, well, a lot of people have gripes about it is that it updates a lot and they'll change where the buttons are.
But I've used keyword planet for so long that this has stayed stable and I would encourage you to Google keyword planner because because Google is the most used search engine by far, I you want to use their data set more than any other company because other companies can have their data sets, but at the end of the day, they're using some variation of Google's data set as well. Right? so once you answer in your keywords, this is what it's gonna look like. And I'll kind of show and I'll kinda cover with you how to read it. I read this, no, it's just for Meditechs or we're doing a keyword search. So yeah. So kinda to give you a basis understanding this is the step you take before you do anything, you want to know what you want to rank for. And so the reason why you're doing this is because when you enter into any business, do you think, you know what words you should kind of target, but you want, you want to F you want to check the data, right?
So you know, an example I like to use is what I, I just recently signed a solar company and they do solar installations to them. They're technical, they, they're engineers. They understand you know, full photo voltaic cells and all these different things, but the consumers don't. So you need to understand what people are searching into Google. So this is not really to define anything. This is just more to understand what keywords you should have to work with. And there are people out there who say, pick 50 to 60. I'm in the kind of school of thought you should just pick five to 10 as a small business and go from there. Right? so let's you put in your keywords and I put in three bubble tea, frozen yogurt Boba. Otherwise, I always use this example because when I was in college, I want to start a Boba shop.
You still might wanna we'll see. What else fit out is the keywords that you've added, terms that you add these keywords already and they add, they split them out here. The average amount they searches competition and the suggested bid. The reason why this is a suggested bid and competition is because remember, this is on Google ad words. And so this is what other people who are buying ads are, are paying. So this is the suggested bid. The kind of give you a scale to kind of work with any suggested bid under $5. It's not that competitive. It's definitely do anything, any suggested bids under a dollar, the market is wide open. Nothing should be under a dollar. If you see something that's suggested bid at 47 cents, the market's open for that. So you go for it, right? Anything that's above $10 is starting to get competitive.
Not impossible. But if you start seeing things like 50 to $75 that's, you're playing with the big boys. And to kind of give you understand. And when you do, grew out of Russ, I know we were not talking about ad words, it just to help you read this. What do you do? Google ad words. You pay per click of the ad. You don't pay for the ad showing, you pay only when someone clicks on it, right? So the suggested bid is what Google is saying, how much you should pay for each click, right? So if you're willing to pay $75 a click, that means you're, you got a budget to work with. If you're under 10, it's understandable, right? So that's kinda to give you an understanding of that. But the number of that means the most to you is average monthly searches.
You're low, you're targeting should have something here that says, well, the cities you picked for this example, I didn't put any geographic zones, but it'll give you, it'll spit out the number of average monthly searches. What do you do from here is you can just download it. You see us download a Dell to Excel or Google docs file and you'll have it on file. So what you want to do that is you, it's pretty self explanatory from here, from all the keywords you've kind of looked at, find the one with the highest searches and see if it makes sense for you. And you go for that. And what'd you start doing is you start implementing that into your site, right? So I love to use this as an example because on the West coast we call a the product Boba Boba. But on the East coast they call it bubble tea, right?
So you need to ensure that what do you have zone you're at, what's the more popular term, right? So if you were to launch a boa business in the East coast, you need to make sure you're using bubble tea instead of Boba cause you're not gonna, you're not allowed. People are searching for it. And the geographic targeting will tell you that, right? Because I didn't have space on the screen. If you scroll down, Google will give you hundreds and hundreds of recommended recommended keywords. I suggest you look through them because they what, how Google determines the recommendations is that when people type in this search term, how many of those saved people searched another search term of equal relevance? I would definitely kind of go through that. So to kind of walk you through. What you should do is when you, so you go in there, you put your keywords in that you think you want to use, right?
You have the numbers here, Google will spit out another 300 for you. Go through the whole list, gather a list of about 50 and 60 then, and there's a button right here, says add to plan. You just press this button and you add a Google. We'll save it for you. Just download that plan. It'll be, it's right there on the screen for you. And then put on an Excel file and kind of look through the list, see the average monthly searches, and then using your intuition and not just data, decide which ones are the ones you want to focus on. And like I said last time, I have to probably tell people to focus on five, five to 10 because five to 10 is should get you to where you need if you're trying to, if you're trying to optimize for 60 he was at the same time. Be everyone in this audience here isn't trying to be an SEO master, you're more likely trying to manage a business at the same time. You don't have the time to be managing 60 keywords. And even from my company when I matched for clients, I don't do more than 10 keywords at a time. Really. So key Google keyword planner is a little bit complex. If we have time in the end, I'd be happy to just pull up on my computer and kind of walk you through it. Yeah.
Okay. When you say five to 10 keywords, or what about if there's a phrase like, you know, might have two or,
Yeah, I know, I love that you use the example. I was hoping someone would ask that. So what might happen sometimes I'm use like a pizza. I love pizza. You could try to target the word pizza, right? But what about pepperoni pizza or pepperoni white cheese pizza or you know, sausage pizza, right. I typically don't like people targeting two phrases that are like two or three words deep because you should just be targeting word pizza because pieces in that phrase. Now if you start optimizing for the word pizza, once someone types in pepperoni pizza, you'll appear because the word pizza in there. Right? But if you go chasing the whole phrase, it's like a swing and a swing and a miss sometimes.
Does that kind of make it? Yeah. Let's say, let's just say you do have a choice of [inaudible] pepperoni pizza. Either use a pepperoni pizza. The one with pepperonis that were wings out. Yeah, that would, the one with pepperoni may win. So I like, yes, that's actually becoming a good point. So the way you should think about it then is this is what I like to go to the business itself or if you're the business owner yourself, what products make you the most money? I always ask that in my meetings. I said, well, which products or which service makes you the most money? And we're going to focus on that one because like with pizza there's like 80 different combinations. But if you know pepperoni makes and she's making you the most, then yeah, pick pizza, pepperoni, pizza, cheese, pizza, breadsticks and I don't know. Like I say my pizza Palo is specializing it dish.
Yeah, so except competing greens. Everybody else. If the guy slash fish if I mean, yeah, but that's the caveat. You need to make sure people are actually looking for our deep dictation because there's one thing that SEO does not do well. SEO does not do well with new products because new products are not being searched for because they're new. When when the Apple iPod came out, no one is searching for iPod, right? They're searching for MP three player, so it might benefit. Apple did have optimized for MP three player rather than iPod because no one knows the term iPod, so you need to, that's what I mean. Meaning intuition a little bit with it. You can't just look at straight data, but if you have a specialty item, yes, go for it. But the number of searches has to be worth it. The lowest a number you can get on who I would want to spit it back out is 10 if you get, if your main five keywords are 10 each for average monthly searches, that's another good sign you need to have it.
And let's say you just did one city, let's say we just did four 10 you need something at least 50 50 is a great number. If you just took one city. Now if you keep adding cities, just kind of multiply on top, but anything that's less than 50 it doesn't seem worth it. But with the whole scale, you'll be able to start understanding it when you see like a hundred keywords at one time, and if you just clicked the the top panel, it'll organize everything based on the most amounts or just to the searches. Right? So, but I liked that you bring that point. Remember, SEO is not, I always say, well, I'm an SEO guy. I don't create demand. I meet demand, right? I don't create, you can't create demand on SEO because it's users searching, right? You can't, you can't make them type a term that they don't know, right.
So you kind of have to strategize it with your whole biz operations because a lot of people will say like, Oh, I want to optimize my business names with this cool products. So this, I'll, I'll like Joe's Joe Bob's bicycle, they would optimize for that. Right. But no one's going to search that because it's such a niche term that's unique to them, has to be more generalized. Right. so do you look for like Los Angeles is a really big city. Yeah. so would you look say, okay, instead of LA, maybe I would look at like a small little hole. Yeah. You could do like silver Lake and yeah, I, my recommendation, pick three to five cities in a, in a zone. One city is usually too small. So you need to do a three to five cities and you can stack the cities. You're gonna stack the cities.
So this is the tool I highly recommend, but sometimes you just don't want to, you just want to do a quick look at two keywords. Right. I, the other tool I would recommend is Google trends, another Google product. Google trends to me is the most underrated tool of Google's arsenal. Then like a lot of people don't take advantage of. All you gotta do is you gotta type in Google trends and you see, you can add up to five keyword terms and it'll give you the average searches in whatever zone you want based on, I think it's, I think the smallest you can get is for Google translate is the country. I don't think you can do city, but it just gives you a really quick look at what term is more popular. So for example you could also use this for like demand research.
You know what, back in the day when I was trying to do the Boba shop, part of my pitch was that if you look over time Bobo's the rat frozen yogurts, the blue and at the end of 2015, Boba actually overtook frozen yogurt in terms of searches, which shows a seismic shift in the market. That Boba is actually snapped being soft sod more than frozen yogurt is right. You can also use a simply, maybe I can just put bubble tea instead of Boba. See which one is being used more. Google trends is just a lot faster way to look at key was a little bit quicker, but you can't really download an Excel sheet. They're not giving you exact numbers. Everything is based on just relativity. Well we will, Edwards gives you the ag Zack, the exact monthly searches. So I would say you Google trends that you're just sitting at your computer and you're like writing a blog post or you're writing a title.
You don't really want to spend a couple of hours looking at Heuer planner. So you're just like, should I use this word or that word? Throw it in here really quick and I'll tell you the answer. So that's actually just reminded me too. When you go to a keyword planner, when you're looking at the average monthly searches the, the, the world's not perfect. And why, why I say that is because of the, because it's average. The give and take on what is actually is as 40% up or down. That's just how it is. You kinda have to take that with a grain of salt. But you just look at the number and you just know it might change, but there's no way you can actually like exactly estimate what the exact amounts going to be, but just know that's be 40% higher or it can be lower than that.
So that's Google trans. It also will give you a map based on where that term is used more. So this is a I L I love using this for any phrases that might get called into question, like some people say pop instead of soda. This will kind of kind of show you if you're, if you don't really know what people, what words people are using, the darker the blue, the more heavier it is being used in that state. Can you use this to see who's going to your website? For example, can you put like a website name in there? No, it won't. It won't do that. Yeah, you'd have to use a Mox for that kind of stuff. So the, the, those last two tools are for the basis of SEO. That's just, it gets you start and off the ground to make sure that the words you pick for your website are the right ones to use, right?
Because there are so many words that we can use. A Google keyword planner allows us to decide which keywords we should focus on, right? Because you want to be using the right keywords from the beginning because if you don't, you have to rewrite everything and start off like can start all over again. You want to make sure you put in the time to research it in the beginning. Are we all kind of understanding that the keyword part of it? I don't have to kind of go over why keywords are important, right? We all understand that the relationship Google index is based on the keyword. Okay. So this is something that I feel really strongly about and that's assessing the competition. It's cool as you know, your keyword, it's cool that you have your website, but that's where a lot of entrepreneurs stop.
They just think like, Oh, I have my website, I know the keywords, the keywords on my site, I should be good. It doesn't really work like that. What I always advise people is every keyword you chose, so hopefully five and 10 put it in Google and see who ranked them. The top 10 right? This is, this is where I say I like to be more systematic about it. Let's understand the results. Let's see who pops up first. So I want to throw some SEO concepts on you there. I promise you, I'm not trying to inundate you with too much technical knowledge, but if you know this, it will make your SEO. It will translate SEO from ambiguity to actually specifics. So just kind of follow with me here. Did we all know what page rank used to be? We all know what page rank is.
Okay. Google used to operate with this a scoring system called pantry and page rank on a scale of one to 10 and they would rank every site they found on a scale of one to 10 and which when you're, when you were going for a keyword, they would just see who had the highest page rank and put it based on the higher, the higher the page rank and the higher the result. Correct. A couple of years ago, Google annihilated that. They took it out because they knew that people figured out about page rank and so they've taken it out. Now the online community has adopted a new page rank called domain authority. Right? Domain authority is a number a scale based from one to a hundred so it's not that complicated. It's just like a ratio from page rank, Pedro, it was a one to 10 domain authority was to this one to a hundred if you want to know kind of where you should be looking at for your website, if, if you're a small business, 20 to 30 is great.
2030, she gets you the top rankings. Anything a lower than 10 you we need, we need to work a little bit harder to get above 10. To kinda give you a scale understanding, Cal state Fulton has a domain authority of 77. They're, they're an educational institution though. They're massive. BBC New York times, they have a domain authority of like 90. So that kind of gives you an understanding of where everyone's at. Most local businesses will have nine, nine to 18. That's why I say 20 or 30 is pretty good for a small business. Medium sized businesses a little typically have like 50, 60. But domain authority is a great way for you to understand your placement. Yes. Do you find out what their domain name? We're going to get to that in two seconds. Right. So one of the next free tools I want you guys to all take advantage of is called the MozBar.
It's the online community. The MAs is like the Sage, the master of SEO. They sell SEO software, but they are credited with the creative. One of the first communities of SEO and they created something. You've got to use Chrome for this toolbar, but it's a Chrome bar. Mozbar and what it'll do is that you guys can see it right here when you type into Google and it'll give you the pain authority, the domain authority will tell you how many links the top result has. The second was all has that way, it gives you a number to work off of. I know I should've picked a better example because these, these are national keywords, but this is what happened. I think one, 1 million, eight, 800 800,000 links, right? So you have a number to go off of. Their domain authority is 88.
So clearly they're a dominant force. But what I like about this is that SEO is all about rankings, but a lot of the people don't know how to get to the top page because they don't even know the strength of their competitors. And I'm a big believer in, you know, the military warfare, you'll know your enemy better than you know yourself. You need to understand where your competitors are being placed and why they're there, that you need to look at their domain authority and the amount of links going in direct page authority and debates are, the only difference is each page on your website has a different page authority, but there's a single domain authority for your whole website. I'm pretty sure everyone gets that aspect of it. So I would highly recommend you use MozBar it. They will show us a, an M on the top of your browser and you can go onto any website, click the button and it'll spit up the domain authority for you. Right. And there's a lot more awesome stuff to it too. But for the sake of this, I just kind of want to focus on domain authority and that way this gives you a roadmap. You know, it's like everyone's like, Oh, I just want to rank higher. Higher doesn't mean anything unless you have other people to compare higher with,
Yeah. It's a, yeah, a Chrome app that you can just download. T the one disclaimer I will put is that I'm a paid user of Moss. And so the toolbar, if you're a paid users, a lot more powerful. I've never used it on a free subscription, but I do know it does spit out the domain authority. So it may, there are certain things that you may not be able to see, but I know for sure domain and paint authority is something you can see and model says a 30 day free trial if you want to see beyond that as well.
Can I move on to next time? So I'm sorry, go ahead. Yeah.
So would you say MozBar is also like Alexa toolbar or would you use them? Would you choose one over the other or, yeah. You don't, to be honest, I don't use Alexa ever. I've heard a lot about Alexa when I was you right? Like learning about SEL. But I will admit, I don't think Alexa is used that much anymore because I think it's more of a, it just tells you like, I think I just used MozBar I don't, I would recommend Mazor Alexa. Yeah, I don't think I like says use it as much. [inaudible] De SEL. All right, cool. So that's to understand who your the competitors. So like I said, type in those keywords into Google, see who wrecks top 10, and it starts seeing the domain authority. So that gives you a, an understanding. So like if you know your sites is five and your competitor has a, has a domain authority of eight, you know, you're not far behind. Mozbar is the Mazda. The domain authority is not updated every day though. So it's not like a every day you can just see it updates every, I think one or two months. So you do have to have some patients, but if you're doing SEO, it's, it's a, it's a patient game. I always say SEO is like farming. You kind of just have to plant some seeds and you know, you did everything right. And just hope that it comes out of the ground is there's no way just incrementally see everyday changes.
Okay, I'm that good lane authority. Is there any, cause I'm just saying, let's say for example, you know, purchase your domain name long time ago, that's going to get a higher ranking. That's something, you know, cause we're looking at [inaudible], I think Google calls it history. So if that person, let's say purchase their domain name in 2000, they're going to get a higher ranking to somebody they purchased theirs recently
In a vacuum. Yes. But that's eliminating all other factors. But yes, that has a ranking factor, but let's say like the newer site has a way more links going into it than a will that says some have a higher positioning. Right? So, so what artifact of second mall? There are thousands of factors. Yeah, there are thousands. And that's why I say I want to focus on links and keywords because those two are the most dominant. There are factors like mobile usage, mobile, like can it be used on mobile? Does it have a mobile site? The site structure I'll, I kind of go more into that later, but there are thousands of them. But what I always say is links as the number one and keywords is number one. Those are the top two. So legs, any, anytime anyone comes to you and says, Oh well you know that you're not doing this right though. That's when you get really nitpicky and it's okay to be nitpicky. But when you're, when you're just a small business startup in a local area, being nitpicky, is this going to slow you down? You just need to kind of go for the big fish cause the big fish will get you there just like that. Right. Some people try to focus too much on these small details. Just focus on the big fish right now.
Well one of the hardest things is to get people to link back to you though. Do you have any suggestions on
Yes, I will get to that. In a couple slides. Yeah. so an obstacle I think that everyone should use is rank checker. I don't mean to make it complex, but rank checker is only able, you can only use rank checker on a Mozilla. It's not available in any other platform Chrome or internet Explorer. You have to use Mozilla. But the reason why I would highly recommend you use it is because can you imagine having 10 keywords you've chosen now and 10 competitors and you're going to try typing it in every month to like look through them. That would be a big pain in the butt. What range checker will do is you just put in the keywords on the left side and it will find the rankings of all your competitors and your own domain for those keywords. I'll split it up now.
I put it won't look like that exactly cause I always export it to an Excel sheet. But I would highly recommend you use just UDA to, to play with it because it makes your life 10 times easier for SEO. A lot of the people, what they try to do is they type in the keyword and then they look for themselves. That's a very inefficient way to do it, especially when you're trying to track your progress and your competitors. So this is an example I would, you know, really recommend, I've been using this from day one. So this is something I recommend everyone to use in terms of organization is just efficiency. Yeah.
Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla, yeah. And it's called the rank checker as yeah. I will provide the PowerPoint and I'll have a link. So if you don't remember just go into my PowerPoint, I'll have it linked. So just click the link and I'll go right there. Really is a lifesaver to be honest. If you talk to other SEO people, some of them will say tracking your rankings is stupid. Because you know, because Google personalized searches for everybody, it tends to be different for everybody, your ranking. But to me, I really believe that it does matter because yeah, sure that for you, a CSUF might be in a psych listing, but for me it's the fourth listing. As long as I have an average understanding, I'm okay with that. These numbers may fluctuate based on the user, but generally from what I've seen from the years I've been doing, it is pretty like average.
Correct? It's usually correct. Right. And it's just a great way for you to kind of see your improvements. A lot of people say, Oh, you don't even need to check your rankings if you're not checking your rankings. And sometimes I, I want to ask, how do you know where you're at then? Right? Because some people say all depends on traffic. But you're ranking really dictates traffic as well though. So that's not so I would highly recommend everyone to use. So increasing your rankings. We've talked a lot about how to track your rankings. Now this is the big gold part, which is how to increase your rankings. Now, I know I said earlier, there are thousands of different things that dictate your rankings. These are the six I think are the most popular and the most discussed about link building, number one by far.
Number one, they are there. Our entire profession is devoted to link building. I will, the end of this presentation is devoted Lake building, so don't worry about that one. Mad data. The amount of times, that's what a Philip was talking about. That's your title ties and med descriptions. I'm not going to go over today because I don't think we have the time. And the reason why I chose to leave that one out because that one is easy to find info really quick online. Just type in title tags, med descriptions, and you'll find enough info just like that. Right? So that's why I'm going to go with that one today because it's so easy to find. The one caveat. A lot of people like stuffing keywords into meta tags. So there's something called title tags and descriptions and med tags. And if you look at any websites, a page source, there's something called meta tags.
Med tags are not looked at anymore. So a lot of people say, Oh, I put my SEO and I put the mad tagline. I think like five years ago, Google announced that they're not going to look at med tags anymore because too many people were just stuffing it with as many keywords as possible. So if you want, if you ever hired an SEO person or you're talking to an SEO person or someone who's acting like they know everything about SEO, I kinda like to throw it out there like, Oh, so what about this med tax? And if they say like, Oh, I was just, I put all the metal tags in, they don't, they have, they don't know their SES because as med techs are not checked by Google, they don't even look at them anymore. They have no ranking factor whatsoever. So don't let anyone tell you I did your SEO, I put them in attacks. Then really what they're saying is I just did nothing
Right after I talk. Let's say for example with the meta title, when you look at Google, it actually calls whatever you have in the medical.
Yeah. So there's title tags, meta descriptions and met attacks. So the title tag and the MediScripts are still checked. The meta tag is not checked.
And then a web traffic, mobile friendly content marketing, social I don't like putting social on there. Yes, soulful is a ranking factor, but the amount of ranking factor it actually has is very minimal. And a lot of people don't know this, but whenever you have a link going from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any of the social medias into a website, Google does not contribute any ranking factor to that. So they, they see the link but they don't add any additional like rank for you. Because the reason why they do that do that as a, there's two schools of thought, one, Google and Facebook arrivals that Google is not going to let Facebook try to help them, like with the rankings. And two, it's just too easy to game on Facebook. You can, you can just put links in every post and it'd be easy to game system. So they actually, they call it, they call them no follow links, which means that you tell people, yes, I'm linking there, but we're not going to give them any ranking added raking juice, reg, raking, inherit pushup. So when you're trying to do SEO, when you're putting your link on Facebook, it's not actually, it's not actually really doing anything.
Okay, cool. So we're gonna talk about link building. I know earlier I was talking about links and how the sheer volume of links matters, but I kind of have a graphic to kind of discuss the, so not all links are made the same. And the reason why that matters now is because there were too many people in this world who are crediting websites just to put thousands of links. So we called those link farms. I'm going to go back to that example with the library. If you know a world renowned author and he's a great writer and he recommends a book to you, his word is a lot stronger than the average person because he is seen as an authority, right? That same model falls into SEO. If you have a thousand links, but they're all from a thousand blogs that only have one post, right, or you have one link from time magazine feature article, that time magazine article, it will actually bump you higher than those 1,001 links because time magazine has a bigger authority.
So I actually made the artists, me made a graphic, kind of understand it. This one has the most circles, which are links. Circles represent links. This one has the most circles, but in it altogether, it doesn't mean it has a bigger size, but if you look at this top one, it has the fewest links, but it has high authority links and that bumps it up high. So not all links are made the same. So the higher the domain authority of a site that links to you the better. Right? So if you're getting links from 50s forties 50s great. If you're only getting links from eight, seven, six sites, your, your ranking is a little increase, but not by much because the Google, they're saying, yeah they're getting recommended, but it's by all these small dinky little sites and can we really trust those sites?
Right? But they're saying, wow, look at this guy, they're getting mentioned by Forbes, time magazine, a New York time. Kelsey folds is talking about them. If you are Google, you know, you would make that same decision that that one company being meshed by the major publications should be bumped up higher. So when you're, when you're going out there looking for links, do not go for the sheer volume. Go for the equality and the authority of those links, right? So the Holy grail of links is.edu and.gov if you can get.edu and.gov site, it is wonderful for your rankings because Google sees those domains as high, high trust and high authority, right? So I always say it with the Cal state force when people try to get calcium folds to write an article about you, cause there are diets when it comes to [inaudible] dot EDU article are raking shot up to right.
So if you've tried to LeBron what you got, if you got a kind of friend in a college or dug up, tried to get like that's number one priority. And sometimes what governments or cities will do is they'll have a try to get on there, try to get on that directory because there are.gov or.edu. So like I said, not all links are made the same. Now saying that I can say yes, you want to get a link to a time magazine, how to, how to get that link as a whole nother story. So you know, I don't want to sound like I'm jumping back and forth. So yes, go for those awesome domain names. But what I would say is you should not focus 100% of your time because that's like trying to get a home run every time at bat.
It's just your chances are so low, you need to kind of build slowly. Even with this big one, they have the small guys, right? So there are different there are things that I always do with every client to get links. Number one is directories. Directories are the low hanging fruit of the SEO world. Caveat directories are though like a small circles, they're not the most strongest thing in the world because directories at the end of the day are just link farms essentially. But with higher authority, we'll go for directories and everyone just thinks of Yelp, Google, yellow pages. There are hundreds of them, right? And in every niche, there are directories of those niche, right? So in every car I've ever had, and it doesn't stop on Yelp. In the solar industry, there are thousands of solar directories in horseback riding. There's crews everywhere and you can find them. It's as simple as typing in, let's say you own a pizza shop, pizza directories, and Google should spit out some directories for you. And that's where you try to add your listing. So that's a great way to start. It shouldn't be your main strategy, but when you just want to see a little bit of bump, you want to start moving the waves a little bit. Go to directories.
For me, the second one blogs is the unsung hero of Casio. I think not enough people give blogs credit or look at logs, but with technology being so much easier to access and blogs being so easy to make, I really think everybody should go for blogs, right? Because there are hundreds of people who wants to review restaurants or review products, right? And a business going to them, offering them a product to review it, like strokes. There you go. But you get a link out of it, you get more exposure and it's just a lot easier than trying to go to a journalist and being like, please write a cover story about me. But then to like 10 bloggers who, who are like, Hey, I know you blog every week, can I, can you, do you want to come in and try this out? Right? So I highly recommend go for the blogs and you go for the niche blogs too.
So just like how I said every industry has its own directories. Every industry has his own blog as well. Orange County has the the strongest mob blog contingent in the world. Right? And so if you have a product that's for kids, boom, go there. Right. And you know, you have to always think about it from their perspective too as bloggers, they need something that's eye-catching that's interesting for them. So if you can kind of work with your client on making something interesting that they can review, great. Right? And what a lot of people are afraid of and actually wrote a lot of blog posts about this as well as people say bad things about me. The first thing I'll say usually have a bloggers on like what they got. They won't write anything. Usually they'll just tell you, Hey, we didn't like it.
We're not going to write about it. Because a lot of bloggers actually don't want to be negative on their blog to their muse. Like you, you have a blog, you don't want to be screaming at people like, Oh this person sucks. Cause it kind of lowers the value of your authenticity. And the second thing I always say is if you're afraid to put your product out there because of negative reviews, then you're probably just doesn't deserve to even be there. You need to take that risk. Right? so till this day, I still haven't had a single person. The publication would be like writing us a bad review on their blog posts. They either send it back or they're just like, you know, we didn't like it. Once I, sponsorships, I don't like I put that on there because you never know what you got.
But sponsorship does require money. But if you can sponsor a local, a charity event, that's always great. And sometimes you can sponsor them by not even giving them money. You can just make a buyer. I would highly recommend bars. Bars are the best way to get links and trade associations. So if you can get a chamber of commerce, you know, to, to link to you, that's great. And so what I know is a chamber of Commerce's is that they're their own entities as well. And they need help. So for one of my clients, I got them into the chamber of commerce for free because we helped like, you know, help them with event where the client offered them some free stuff and everything worked out and we started getting links like that. So that's pretty much the five main ones. At the end of the day, link building is something you just got to roll up your sleeves and go fly.
But like I always say with SCO, do not make it something super complicated. It's just like the real world. It's just like the real world of networking linking is like having their business card. If you can make a great impression with them and work with them because you should be feel at like, and you can be as creative as you want with it. For example, there are always complimentary businesses, services and products to your business, right? You can always work with a complimentary business trying to get a link. So I'm going to give you the example we're using right now, which is the solar company. Through my research, I understood, I started understanding that solar company is one of the major obstacles is that they against all on people's homes, right? And people are afraid of the, the, the value of their home, how's going to affect the mortgage and everything like that.
So we decided to go to real estate companies and say, why don't we work on joint content on your blog? We'll, we'll be guest writers on there and on our blog you can guess around ours so that people who come to our website can see from both perspectives, right? And that, and that's when link-building gets not so isolate like, Oh, I've got one link here, I've got one link here. The best links are business partnerships. If you can partner with a complimentary business, say there's this thing that a lot of customers are talking about, why don't we together make content? You're going to get five to 10 just like that, right? And that way it's more fun. It makes more sense for your business. I don't really recommend going at, I want at some point we all have to just try to find each link.
But if you can just create partnerships, it's a lot better. That's why I sometimes I like telling people if you can find something like the chamber of commerce or even this incubator they'll host, what they usually do is they always host new events every year, five, seven events every year. If your business decides to go, guess who's links on that event page your business. And that's five links a month. Five links a year, right? And if you go to the event, you might meet more people, more linking opportunities. Another example I like to always tell people is if you ever get featured by a blog, milk it. When I got peaches by Cal state Fullerton, put the seal of calcium folds and on your website, right? And so that way when you go to another blog or another publication, you can say, Oh yeah, we got featured on Cal state Fullerton and we think the product would be great for your blog too, right? So you kind of really have to be creative with link-building. But at the end of the day, I can tell you, I've read as many online articles and books as I possibly can about link building and there is no way to just pass a week, get them right. You need to be able to go out there. And I always say it's just networking the online version, no network, build a great product and then people will talk about you.
Yeah. You for like a number on like how many directories you tried to link to or blogs or directories. 30 is a good number, 30 is a great number to have. And then it depends on the size. If I think a small business, if they can get three to five blog posts about them from a, from another blog a year, you're way ahead of, than everybody else. That's what I, I, I kinda think, Oh, I don't know why I didn't make a slide for this. But when you're doing SEO, you should see your first ranking fluctuation in the first six to six to eight weeks. No, I'm sorry, eight to 10 weeks. Sorry, I haven't flipped it. It's eight to 10 weeks is when you just see your first fluctuation. After the first eight to 10 weeks, you should see the rankings start improving by a lot.
But the first, those first eight weeks you, you probably won't see much happening. So that's why I say SEO is like farming. You could just kind of know that you did the right thing and that the eighth or 10th week it'll, it'll happen. Why? Because Google is not updating their their stuff that, that, yeah, they don't have the server strength yet, but eight to 10 weeks, if you don't see change after eight to 10 weeks you just start wrapping up the SEO work. Not so much anymore because hopefully the work you were originally doing has some movement. Right. but like I always just, just if you're, if you're nervous, put more work in. Right. But if you're a small business like a brick and mortar location in orange County and you're just trying to try to target your local city and you're not an insurance real estate or solar or anything like that, 30 directories start blogging. Once a week, two times a month should be good enough, I'd say. Because the, I have a client in Newport beach, they, their gym, Newport, beautiful. That club, we don't have any bloggers, Riley writing about us. All we did was we updated the directory, is updated, the keywords, made the site nicer with content. He blogged every week and now we're the number one gym in Newport beach. We'd be the Equinox. We'd beat a 24 hour fitness. Right.
I'm sorry, you said three to five or a year or how many, Oh, sorry. Okay. I should've been more specific. Three to five blog blogs like external blogs who are, who are writing about you. Okay. For blogging yourself. If you can get two a month, I think you're set. But like I always say, I don't like to give numbers on a vacuum. I like, you need to look at your competitors. If your competitors blogging weekly, then okay, you need to probably match it or whatnot. But what I wouldn't, I would not ever be deterred by is a lot of people get deterred by like, Oh, I have an Equinox in my city, or I have a pizza hut. Well, a lot of these people, they're franchise owners, they're not gonna have the time to do that kind of stuff. So essentially we're not competing against Equinox, the corporation, we're just competing against that one office, right?
And we beat them out because they weren't doing anything on their site. And if I could just add more Google ranking factors, the more site is updated, the more Google likes it, right? So it just shows Google that you care about the customer that you're trying to be as up to date as possible. So that's a good way to do it. But when you do link build, I would highly recommend you to keep an Excel sheet. I always like to put an Excel sheet. You put the name of the, the, the place. I'm trying to add a link, put a date and put what you did because let me tell you, after three years of trying to do it by memory, you forget so fast. We'll link to, you're trying to build and sometimes links will be easy to get. We'll say, Oh, add your business. And you're like, Oh, that was easy. Sometimes you have to literally email them or call them and say, Hey, I saw you have this. Can we add ourselves on there as well?
Okay. My question is, because you said something about earlier about me forums, there are no more. So basically when you're doing these blogs, ever mentioning your company and they're mentioning it as a hyperlink back to your website.
Yes, correct. But what you, yeah, so that's, that's what you want. You want a natural organic link to your, to your site. So hopefully that blog post was talking about a great product you put out or there's a local event in the community and your business is going to be there. What you don't want is a blog saying, if you pay me $10, I'll, I'll put your link in a, in a list of links because Google does not like that because
Do you have a directory though? It doesn't.
Yeah, if it's, if it's a directory then yes, but it's I test, right? If the site looks not that trustworthy, you kind of don't want to do it. But if it's like a yellow pages site or a looks well-built, of course there are a, the other day I looked at a blog devoted to pet pigs and they had directory, but you have to kind of do a little, this shouldn't take you more than three minutes, but look at the directory. They look at the size of the hole. Is it well put together or is it just that one page with the links, right. If it looks like a site that is devoted to that concept and they just have a one page or there's a directory of among like 30 pages, but yes, trustworthy. But if it's like why is every page here just full of links, you should avoid this.
Yeah. And then you had talked about like landing pages. I was cool. Cool. We'll look at both because I think I used to be called Blue-Ray page.
Yeah. landing pages landing pages are great when you're trying to optimize for specific keywords. So for example let's say someone was typing in like pizza versus pepperoni pizza. He didn't create a whole nother page just for pepperoni pizzas, the optimized for pepperoni pizza. So that would mean when you just come on, they can see a see a page more cater to the search term. I, I would recommend creating landing pages for only a high volume keywords like the phrase like we're talking about like don't try to create it for every single one. Just create it for like the five, 10 that, you know, make you a lot of money and then, and then that's good.
From what I understand, no, I don't, not at all. Yeah, because LinkedIn fall, it falls into the social media aspect. Yeah. Yeah. There is a correlation. Like the more active you are on LinkedIn, the more likely to be active on your website. But I would recommend against
Linkedin being your only strategy. We have media there, air paid media,
Time magazine. Casa falls in kind of, those kind of means that the reason why I don't focus on that is because we'd all love to be in those. And if you can't get on those, great. But
It's kind of difficult. Same thing though. Those links don't reciprocate. Yeah. Then all that passenger value. Yeah. So Google plus, does that help at all? No, no. None of the thoughts were made to do. Yeah. What about paying for PR? Should you pay for care?
Yeah, so that is something I've actually had my own discussions with the, the SEO community online about as well. For PR if you're going to pay for it, the, the general understanding is think about the PR PR PR you're doing, if you're just churning out press releases because of keywords, you're going to get penalized if you're putting out press releases because you have a new product launch or do you have an event coming up? That's okay. That's okay. You can pay for that if you, like. I tell the state have not paid for one. I am heavily considering it for a client,
But it just your intent, you're right
And if you write press releases with Goodwill and the flow of your business, then yeah, it makes a lot more sense. Yeah. Cool. So that's pretty much all I have for today. But I'm happy to answer any questions. I know there's so much out there of SEO, so
I'd be happy to whatever comes to your mind, I'd be happy to go over. Great. Thank you. Yeah.
Zupo is pleased to announce that founder, Jason Khoo, has been appointed to Marketing Chair for the American Advertising Federation Orange County chapter. Jason follows the amazing Daniel Reizes of FGPG.
The American Advertising Federation Orange County includes members of Orange County across all disciplines and career levels in advertising. Over the past 5 years, AAF-OC’s goal has been to help Orange County agencies with new business, while retaining and growing the careers of young up-and-coming talent.
AAF/OC continues to become the nucleus of the creative community here in Orange County, home to over 150 advertising, marketing and PR companies. Each year, this effort culminates at the annual ADDY Awards, which will be held this coming March.
Last year, Orange County’s American Advertising Awards hosted over 400 people at Huntington Beach’s Pasea Hotel & Resort, where agency and brand leaders came together to mingle, collaborate, and celebrate a year’s worth of hard work.
Zupo looks forward to collaboration with AAF OC to host a multitude of events including the Holiday Party and the American Advertising Federation Awards.
Zupo and Jason will be providing it’s expertise in Orange County SEO and email marketing to the board, while also its network of up and coming entrepreneurs and marketing professionals in the OC.
Born and raised in Anaheim, Zupo’s CEO Jason Khoo has always been an Orange County man at heart. While studying at California State University, Fullerton, he started his first freelance business from the ground up, going door-to-door to local businesses in the area and asking if they would take a chance.
As a freelancer, Jason understands the power of taking initiative. Back in the earliest years of running his business, he marketed his SEO, social media marketing and graphic design services to every client where he saw potential. Going above and beyond, he had a hand in coordinating the broader marketing plans for businesses by designing print collateral and campaigns, effectively creating results as a digital marketing agency while still a one-man operation.
Finding his foothold as an effective SEO freelancer, he turned his attention towards establishing his business as a trusted marketing agency.
From his freelancing roots, Jason founded his first agency, Ron Wave Design, which later became the Local SEO-focused Search Business Group. Working with each business to design an optimal marketing strategy, his agency focused on helping small businesses rank as #1 in their city. Back then, clientele ranged from dentists, orthodontists, pediatric dentists, and veterinarians. Applying tried and true methods for creating winning SEO, Search Business created demonstrable improvements in each client’s digital presence in Fullerton and the greater Orange County area.
After selling his company, Jason founded Zupo in May 2019, and it continues to operate out of Orange County in Costa Mesa. Zupo’s team not only continues to work with clients in personalized, effective digital marketing campaigns, but also champions future startups through enthusiastic outreach work in the surrounding community.
Zupo is actively involved in the Orange County area, being comprised of members the sit on the board of the American Advertising Federation Orange County, as well as volunteering with Forge 54, a local non-profit that commits 54 hours of one weekend to design a marketing campaign for another non-profit. Many are also CSUF Startup Incubator Speakers and Mentors, helping entrepreneurs learn valuable skills in earning capital for launching their businesses. Zupo values giving back to the community that fostered the same freelancing, entrepreneurial thinking that led to its inception.
Zupo’s new roster of clients includes 2 of the leading advertising groups in the Orange County area, including Vincit California and Sparkhouse. Vincit California is the newest software development company in Irvine, working with Zupo to grow its reach in the United States; Sparkhouse is the largest video production group based in Orange County, and Zupo is helping them maintain their position as an industry leader in the local market.
Continuing the same attitude towards marketing and SEO that propelled his beginnings as a freelancer, Zupo’s team prides itself on creating solutions that keep clients on the right track towards success.