Category Archives for Orange County

For SEO in Orange County, You’ll Need to have an Address in Orange County

For businesses that are competing in local SEO, Orange County SEO is often an enticing market. This has to do, in part, with the fact that Orange County is home to more than 37 different cities — including Laguna Beach, Irvine, Coto de Caza, and Las Flores, to name a few. All of these cities identify, holistically, as Orange County. 

Because there are so many cities within this county, there’s a lot of opportunities for businesses to capitalize on it for local SEO. If you can rank in Orange County searches, you’ll also have tons of chances to bring in more traffic.

It’s important to note, though, that you can’t become competitive in Orange County just by stuffing keywords that contain the term “Orange County” into your online content. It takes a lot more. Those interested in following a guide we suggest you read our Orange County SEO Guide.

First Off, You’ll Need an Address in One of the Cities 

If you want to rank for any kind of city or county, including Orange County, it helps immensely to have an address in that city or county. This is because Google will give preference to businesses that have addresses in one of Orange County’s cities. 

How important is an address in one of these cities? In our experience, it’s pretty important. We’ve seen plenty of businesses that have relatively weak SEO profiles still be able to rank in their local city because they have the benefit of being located within its limits. 

If you’re located outside of an Orange County city but still want to try and rank in Orange County search engine results, you’re fighting an uphill battle. You have to work hard to overcome the handicap that Google gives to businesses that don’t have an address in the city.

It’s Not Impossible

Of course, it’s not impossible for your business to rank in other cities. While we’ve seen businesses with weak SEO profiles rank in Orange County searches, we’ve also seen lots of instances in which businesses managed to rank in cities outside of their own with the help of good SEO practices.

If you want to rank in a city that’s not yours, you’ll need to prioritize certain SEO initiatives. One of the most beneficial things you can do is to develop content and create sections of your website that are devoted purely to that city or the county (such as Orange County) for which you’re trying to rank.

There are lots of other factors to keep in mind when you start publishing this type of content and optimizing your site for another city. Your site will have to grow with that content in mind. 

For example, let’s say you have 100 pages devoted to optimizing your SEO for Irvine, a city in Orange County. Then, let’s say you decided you also wanted to rank for Tustin. You might start taking some of the Irvine-optimized pages and optimizing them for Tustin instead.

By doing this, you’ll have split your pages in half, and you’ll only have 50 SEO-optimized pages each for Irvine and Tustin. This waters down the SEO strength of your website and, in the worst-case scenario, can make it harder for you to rank for either Tustin or Irvine. 

If you want to try to rank for another city, you need to create new content for that city instead of borrowing from what you already have. This will give you the SEO resources to improve your ranking, and you won’t be at risk of cannibalizing your own content and spreading yourself too thin. 

Conclusion

If you have a goal of optimizing your site and ranking for Orange County searches, your best bet is to get an address within that county. If that’s not possible, you’ll then need to start investing heavily in growing your site and optimizing it for an Orange County city so that you can effectively expand into a new market.

Roadmap for Winning at Orange County SEO

There are many businesses and websites who want to rank their site for the entirety of Orange County. This isn’t hard to believe as Orange County is built up of over 37 cities and with many businesses and consumers. 

However, when it comes to ranking in Orange County, there are a multitude of factors that you’ll have to take into consideration, in order to strategize properly and win. 

In today’s post, we will be going over all the factors and variables you need to consider when developing your own Orange County SEO strategy.

Local SEO in Orange County

First things first, if you are trying to rank in Orange County, then you are competing in a Local SEO game. Therefore, you’ll need to ensure that you have all of your Local SEO tactics and campaigns ready and in place. 

This means that you will need to ensure that:

Geographic Modifiers in your Copy - Make sure that your title tags, meta descriptions and on page content all have the appropriate geographic modifiers, which in this case in “Orange County” or “OC”.  Ensure that this just isn’t on your home page, but across the whole website where relevant. 

Citations and Local Listings Updated and Consistent - A staple of Local SEO, citations and local listings ensure the accuracy of your business information, which helps Google and search engines ensure that you are a real business and that your information is accurate. Ensure that your info across the web is correct and that you have your address actually in Orange County. 

Ensuring business information is correct and easily found on the website - An often overlooked part of Local SEO, your business information has to be easily found on your website. This means your name, address, phone and contact information need to be displayed. An error or hiding your information can cause issues with your local SEO rankings. 

When it comes to Orange County SEO, you’ll need to ensure that you set up your campaigns with local SEO goals in mind. Your competition and actions will be honed down to other business in the county trying to rank.

This is an important mindset to discuss. Many businesses when engaging in SEO will forget that they are competing in Local SEO and will start thinking too broadly and think about other SEO goals, which can deviate and take away from the focus of your local SEO efforts.

Identify the Competition & Their Strengths

Before we can create a winning SEO strategy that will get you ranking at the top of your industry we must first understand your competition. You may think you know who your competitors are but your competition may not always be what it seems. Research will show us exactly which of your competitors are ranking within Orange County and which should be your main targets or threats. 

In our experience, we have found that although there are often a number of businesses trying to rank within a local area; in reality, there is only a handful (between 3 -5) of competitors that are actively trying to improve their rank. These are the only legitimate threats for SEO in Orange County that we should be concerned about.

When devising your SEO plan we must consider your competition as well as analyze their relative SEO strength and dominance within the Orange County market. Keep in mind that Google typically has 10 positions available for first-page ranking. If our research uncovers you have 1 or 2 competitors ranking on the first page will not be a difficult task. However, if the market is saturated with competitors vying for that first-page ranking then we must devise a more intricate and focused plan to compete for those top spots.

The first step will be to scope out the competition and figure out their strengths to help you create an effective SEO plan that will rank you among and above the best, rather than the rest.

Strategic Partnering & Reputation Management

 When conducting preliminary research for first page rankings you will often find that the first page is often a mix of competitors along with relevant articles and reputation management.

Reputation Management

In Orange County the most popular reputation management sites include but are not limited to:

  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Foursquare

Oftentimes, different industries will appear in some reputation management sites more often than others. However, it is important as part of your company's visibility to ensure that you are appearing within the results of those sites. Some sites may rely on sponsorship advertising while others may link your company's reviews to your visibility. Ensure you are taking the necessary steps to gain visibility within these sites.

Articles & Publications

Another common appearance on the first page of rankings will be articles or publications that mention their preferred choices for a service or product within an industry in Orange County. These articles can be written by a number of sources such as the Orange County Register, Orange County Business Journal, Local Mom and Parenting Blogs, or publications related specifically to your industry.  For your company to appear listed within these pages it will be necessary for you to develop a relationship with these publications for them to consider including your business within their top choices. Sometimes certain publications may offer advertising arrangements to be included within their lists and other times a simple email or request to be included may be all you need.

Google My Business & Google Map Pack

In order to achieve a successful SEO strategy for Orange County, you absolutely must optimize your Google My Business listing. Google My Business is a crucial element of your SEO due to the fact that Google Map Pack will more often than not appear above all other search results.

Optimizing Google My Business

First and foremost check all business information for accuracy and then make sure you are presenting consistent business information across your business website, your Google My Business listing, and all other citation and directory sites that you are listed on.

Next, take the time to fill out and provide all information requested within the Google My Business Listing including:

  • Business Description
  • Products and Services Offered
  • Categories of Your Business
  • Reviews

Closing Thoughts

Winning at Orange County SEO entails knowing all the goal posts you have and what you should be optimizing for. When engaging in SEO in Orange County, take stock of the keywords that you are targeting, the competition and the strategic partners. From there you can reverse engineer all the assets and needs and if you need more information feel free to follow our Orange County SEO Guide.

Guide to Orange County SEO

Guide to Orange County SEO

When conducting SEO, information can be found almost anywhere. There are plenty of free tools and great articles out there that can provide guidance. However, if you are like us, there are times when things just get frustrating; wishing there was a way to get an exact answer for the exact location of operations. Today we want to try to provide just that for all our friends and businesses conducting SEO in Orange County.

Local SEO or Wider Scope? 

One of the first considerations that will dictate your ultimate strategy is choosing whether or not to compete in local SEO. If you operate out of a brick-and-mortar location, or you service  mostly local clientele, then you will likely be operating in local SEO. If you are a business like us in that you provide services without geographic limitations, then there is a little bit more to consider diving into.

Take Zupo for example!

Search engine optimization services are a search query that though seemingly have no geographic bounds, when Googled, actually returns local results. In short, this means that Google is treating the keyword as a local search, where they will give preference to companies that are within a nearby radius. For a company like ours, taking a hybrid approach is needed. Local SEO results are prioritized in one campaign, with non-geographic results in another.

To sum up the scope of SEO: keyword groups are targeting local results, and will be competing in Orange County’s local SEO game. If the results are non-geographic specific, then feel free to disregard the rest of the article, because you will not be competing strictly in Orange County when it comes to SEO. 

Orange County or a City in Specific 

Another aspect that must be determined is the reach your business has within Orange County’s SEO. This is the scope of the area you are competing in. Let’s break it down. 

Specific Cities in Orange County  

Some businesses are really only interested in competing in their local city. Say you are in South County (let’s say Irvine) you may not be interested in having users from Anaheim find you. In other cases, companies have catered their businesses to be optimized for their local county or surrounding area’s citizens. In this case, they may not be interested in servicing people from other demographics who may have different socioeconomic statuses or styles of living. 

A classic example of this can be found in Anaheim, where businesses in East Anaheim are very much different than those in West Anaheim. In East Anaheim, businesses are much closer to Disneyland and are servicing tourists and the entertainment crowd. In West Anaheim, where there are more families and small businesses, the services are geared toward those families and many different immigrant and ethnic groups. 

When competing on a city level, there are some factors that influence the circumstances that you will be participating in. When it comes to the individual cities of Orange County, the number of searches per city is typically quite small. Based on our own research, we see city-specific searches go anywhere from 10 searches a month to maybe 100 if for some reason, surges in demand cause them to be really high. 

Simply put, when you are competing on a city level, you will have a smaller pot of searches that you’re competing for. This also means, however, that the competition is much weaker because less sites will be fighting for the local city’s business. Typically, for our clients, what we normally advise is to first win at your local city level, and then move to the county level. This way you can make incremental improvements and see results more quickly. 

Orange County 

Then of course, there is the county as a whole. Many businesses, especially service businesses would like to rank in the county to build clout and further future commerce.

Orange County amasses over 37 cities, a decently large area. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t go ranking for the county as a whole. For many of our clients, we work with them on ranking for Orange County so that they can have the widest net possible to capture leads and customers. When trying to rank for Orange County as a whole, the searches will always be much larger. You can see them anywhere from 50 to 200 searches a month for different keyword groups.

Of course, there are occasions when searches in the Orange County region are also low at 10 searches a month, but it really depends on the service that you are offering. On many occasions we can see a very small search volume, but because the business provides a high ticket service, one project has a larger return on investment. 

When ranking for Orange County specifically, the competition will typically be ratcheted up. More businesses across a larger area are all competing for the Orange County searches, so what is needed to rank requires more effort. This means a larger commitment to content and link building. However, once a business begins to start ranking for Orange County searches, they start to see large improvements in their leads because of the amount of exposure they are receiving. 

Content Development in Orange County 

Regardless of if you are competing for a specific OC city or if you are competing for Orange County as a whole, the content you make will need to be oriented towards the local area you are trying to rank within.

This means your online content needs to mention Orange County (or whatever city you are going for) in order for SEO to pick up on it. At times, this can seem weird, almost difficult or forced, because talking about your trade doesn’t necessarily always involve naming your local area. However, it is something you will have to commit to. Find ways to organically place mentions of your city, or in our case, Orange County into the written pieces.

For many of our clients, the best action to take is to become a known, active player in the community. Consider either leading, founding or joining different trades and community organizations to spread notoriety. Orange County specifically is thriving in different trades like community and nonprofit organizations which allow for business development to flourish. On an SEO level, these trades provide businesses with a great opportunity to write content that is geared towards the local city and county with ease. 

The content produced doesn’t need to be 100% catered to the local area, but will have to be a priority and an emphasis. Otherwise, your site will not be seen by Google as a business that is well optimized for the local area. 

Orange County Specific Content 

The key to a successful local SEO campaign is to be location-specific - meaning your content bleeds “Orange County” or the “OC” - NOT the “Greater Los Angeles” area. See what we did there? Only people not from Orange County call it the “Greater Los Angeles” area. 

For your content to climb in search rankings you’ll want to lean into all the things that make life in the OC unique and relate it to your business or industry. This can be difficult when you’re so immersed in the area - you may not even notice what is “unique” as it all seems familiar to you. 

Not sure where to start? Sometimes the best way to get inspired is to look at what websites located elsewhere are talking about and adapt it with an Orange County spin. Some examples of great OC content could be:

  • Best Dog Beach in Orange County
  • Best Picnic Spots or Hiking Trails in Orange County
  • Best Places to Do a Video Shoot in Orange County

At the end of the day, the best options depend on the nature of your business. You’ll just have to get creative and employ one key strategy: try to think like a person who has OC pride. Think about what they’d like to read, learn and know. Build your content with that person in mind and you’ll be well on your way to grabbing the attention of local influencers and becoming a trusted resource. 

If all else fails, check out the competition and do what they’re doing but better. Mimic their topics but bring a better tone. In researching your competition you are likely to get those creative juices flowing - and once those juices start flowing make sure to start writing right away. Documenting your great ideas about OC, even if they aren’t fully baked, will help to ensure that nothing is forgotten. Jot down every sound bite that comes to you. You’ll thank yourself later for that diligence. 

Complimentary Topics

The other thing you need to keep in mind is that you want to be as authentic as you can with your audience. Of course you have to be thinking of your business’s bottom line when you’re devising your marketing and content strategies, but people don’t necessarily want to feel like they’re being “marketed to” all the time. You want potential customers to feel like your business is contributing to a greater good in terms of knowledge. 

For example, if you are a dentist, you don’t want your web content to be only about teeth and procedures - you need to explore other topics of interest. You can create local content that explores other interesting themes, such as the local school lunches, what foods are teeth healthy or how the fluoride levels are in your city’s water. 

In other words - don’t be one-dimensional. Build your content library and establish yourself as a trusted local resource. Leverage your industry expertise and generate local content specific to your audience - the effort will undoubtedly pay major dividends in sake ranking and overall engagement.

On Site Optimizations

When working on your site’s search engine tags for optimization, keep in mind they also have to be catered to Orange County or one of the OC cities you are targeting. This will have a lot of similarities to content development in that you want to make sure the title tags and meta descriptions of your site include the local modifiers. Also, when building internal links, there should be anchor text that states the OC city name or “Orange County.”

Link Building & Referring Domains in Orange County 

When it comes to link building, it is much less relevant to have links come from only local sources. So when engaging in link building campaigns, there can be less focus on developing links specifically from local areas or sites.

What we have found is that an over reliance on local link building can severely slow growth of links and referring domains. We encourage businesses to build links where you are able, and do not make it restrictive. A large part of link building is acquiring links from relevant sites, so if you are trying to rank within your area and can acquire links from local sites, we recommend to do so! This is one aspect of link building that is advantageous when it comes to working in your local area. 

If you live and operate in Orange County, you probably have built some level of network with organizations, educational institutions, or friends. With these connections under your belt, it will be easier to give talks and provide value in your local area. If you think about it, you most likely already have some of these existing relationships. However, if you are reading this and don’t think you have a network within the community, then getting started isn’t too difficult either.

You live and operate in Orange County, all you have to do is put in the time and start reaching out and attending events. That of course is if you want to start acquiring thought leadership in the local community.

Building Thought Leadership to Help Orange County SEO Campaigns

For many business owners in Orange County, working towards building thought leadership can be an intimidating process.

Being right next door to Los Angeles, one of the biggest centers of business in the world, many Orange County companies feel overwhelmed or unworthy of thinking of themselves as a thought leader, or as a name worth featuring online, or even at an industry event.

I understand that… but I don’t necessarily agree.

That’s why in today’s post, I want to tear down this idea and go over actionable strategies your business can use in order to build thought leadership for itself. Read on!

Collegiate and Educational Institutions in Orange County

I want to start here because it was in educational institutions that I personally built most of my PR and contributor opportunities.

Graduating from California State University, Fullerton, provided me with the launchpad to kickstart my link building and digital PR abilities, as I had the chance to work with the local business clubs, entrepreneurship departments, and business schools, not only to speak at certain events but also to contribute with some content.

This is essential because it allowed me to keep building my portfolio, which is key when it comes to building thought leadership.

Plus, universities and educational institutions have their private interest to ensure there are resources for students to engage with, particularly those that can speak to future careers.

Clubs, classes, and the universities themselves are starving for programs that can bring those who are already working to come back and speak, and that represents a great opportunity for yourself.

My tip is that if you’re not sure whether or not anyone would want to hear about your brand or your opinion as a business owner, start with speaking at schools and colleges.

Reach out to clubs or professors, as they’re usually very casual and don’t have to do any intense vetting of your past accomplishments, and propose your idea.

The truth is that they just want to hear from someone real who can speak about certain topics… someone like you!

And if you didn’t go to college in OC, don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out. As long as you have relevant insights to share with the students, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get in touch with the university.

Orange County Specific Publications

Orange County is thriving with several publications - and no, I’m not just speaking about the typical Orange County Register or Orange County Business Journal.

In fact, there are many publications in OC that cater specifically to a certain industry, and all you need to do is find the one(s) that are a good fit for your business.

Personally, I have worked with two OC startup publications, OC Startup Now and OC Startup Council, and I can say that doing is a foolproof way of boosting your thought leadership, as these publications often want to talk specifically about businesses in the area.

And the best part is that more often than not, these journalists or website owners are incredibly accessible!

In order to get in touch with them, you can:

  • Attend local events where journalists typically go to in order to write stories and find people to feature in their pieces.
  • Send outreach emails to your chosen publications, letting them know that you’re from OC and mentioning what you could offer to their website and content.

Personally, I find that going with the first option, and having face-to-face conversations from the get-go, increases your chances of being featured. However, going with the traditional online marketing route can work just fine as well!

Meetups and Events

Last but not least, going to industry meetups and events is another great way of building thought leadership.

As someone who doesn’t exactly love networking, I have found that if you have no contacts or networks whatsoever, meetups and events are great starting points to build some credibility.

Granted, you’ll find countless people just trying to sell you things. However, you’d be surprised at how many high-powered OC individuals to these networking events to find up-and-coming names in the area.

As such, my suggestion is that you do your best to attend relevant networking events and meetups. Do it consistently, and you’ll start making some headway and become someone that people look to for advice.

And if you want to take things one step further, why not start hosting events yourself? After all, being the host of an interesting, well-organized meetup will give you credibility like never before.

Additionally, whenever you go to events, try and identify strong organizations that you should pursue opportunities with, in order to service on boards or get an elevated position.

I have found that if you continually go to networking events from a specific organization and they show opportunities to join their board, you’ll find great chances of building credibility and boosting your exposure much faster. 

The key to starting your journey towards thought leadership and to finding opportunities for link building is simple: you need to get out there. 

Luckily, there are plenty of SEO opportunities in Orange County, thanks to the many publications, institutions, and organizations looking for more content and value. Make the most of them, and you’ll become an authority in your industry!

Conclusion

When working on SEO in Orange County, the strategies that are to be used are similar to traditional SEO campaigns, however, what you have to keep in mind is that your strategies have to skew towards the local OC goals you have. 

Going through what we have discussed above will help create the mindset and foundational strategy when creating your own SEO strategy. 

Zupo Wins Silver & Bronze at the American Advertising Awards

Zupo participated in its first award season, by applying for the 2020 American Advertising Awards which awarded great advertising work done in 2019. Zupo submitted 2 entries under the “Integrated Media”, specifically focusing on Blogs. We actively engage in Digital PR and thought leadership work for our clients, so we wanted to submit some of our work.

Silver Addy Award - Hubspot Thought Leadership Post

Silver Addy - Hubspot

The Hubspot Thought Leadership post was a campaign we worked on together with Sparkhouse and Torrey Tayenaka. We we worked together to author a blog piece titled "The Guide to Successful Silent Videos for Facebook Videos Ads (+Examples)". 

The piece provides readers with the latest tactics and strategies for video ads working in silence. And of course, the article is filled with examples of ads and videos that utilize silence effectively. 

The goal of the project was to help improve Sparkhouse’s brand strength, exposure and, most importantly, their backlink profile. This thought leadership blog posts was just one of the many articles and blog posts that Zupo worked on to help Sparkhouse drive high quality, relevant links back to their website. 

After completion, the article was pitched to Hubspot’s marketing blog and published!

Bronze Addy - Social Media Examiner Thought Leadership Post

Bronze Addy - Social Media Examiner

The Social Media Examiner Thought Leadership post was one of the final projects we completed in 2019, with it being published on December 24th. The final piece was titled “How to Use Instagram Stories in Your Sales Funnel”. 

This was the culmination of a campaign where Zupo helped drive thought leadership guest posts on a variety of publications discussing video SEO strategy within the sales funnel. For this particular piece, we worked with Social Media Examiner to go more granular by focusing on a piece that went into detail about how to use Instagram Stories, a very niche medium of video, and how to employ these stories with the sales funnel in mind. 

This was another example of the long term SEO strategy to help drive more high quality links back to Sparkhouse. This would ultimately help Sparkhouse tighten its grip on ranking in Orange County SEO for video production terms, while also growing their potential for ranking in other keyword groups. 

The piece is rich with specific tips, examples and screenshots from actual Instagram stories!

Thank You's & Shout Outs!

Overall, we were flabbergasted to have won awards. This was Zupo’s first year entering any type of awards and applications were sent in just as practice so that for future years we could better understand the process. 

We are very grateful to have received recognition for the hard work everyone on the team has done, so it is only fitting that we shout out and credit the key players that were apart of these award winning projects. 

Christina Brown
Christina Brown
Torrey Tayenaka
Jason Khoo

Zupo is Now Working with Kaizen Shabu

Zupo is excited to announce that it is now working with Kaizen Shabu, Orange County's hottest Shabu Shabu & Hot Pot restaurant. Kaizen Shabu is led by Lamson Nguyen, a local Orange County entrepreneur and a board director for Downtown Inc which helps facilitate the enhancement of Downtown Santa Ana as a vibrant shopping, entertainment, business and cultural destination for all.

What is Kaizen Shabu? 

Kaizen Shabu is a specialty Shabu Shabu and Hot Pot restaurant and bar located in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana and Orange County, CA. “Kaizen” is a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices and personal efficiency.  We are always striving for the betterment of our store and within ourselves as reflected in our motto:“Be Better Than You Were Yesterday.”

Kaizen Shabu’s Future

As the name suggests, Kaizen’s future is in continual improvement and growth. The vision for the company is looking to continue to expand beyond its one location with more restaurants, concepts and locations. The ultimate goal is for Kaizen to become a national brand! 

Zupo & Kaizen

Zupo will be helping Kaizen Shabu with their fast growth in there Orange County SEO rankings. The restaurant is quickly becoming a top restaurant in Orange County, and with Zupo’s experience helping other restaurants reach the top spots in Google, we are excited to be partnering with Kaizen and working together to continue their success and growth. 

Zupo nominated for Anaheim Small Business Person of the Year

Zupo Nominated for Anaheim's Small Business Person of the Year

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! 

What is Alignable?

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. 

How the Contest Works

  • Comment with the name of the business owner you’d like to nominate and include a link to his or her Alignable profile.
  • Like and reply to other nominations you agree with. Only 3 of the most-liked nominations will make it to the next round -- and only Alignable “likes” count.

Case Study: Optimizing Sparkhouse for Video Production in Orange County

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.

Optimizing Sparkhouse for Orange County SEO Strategy

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.

An SEO Strategy for Sparkhouse

Citations

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.

On-Site Markup

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.

Consolidating Local Orange County Links for Sparkhouse's Benefit

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:

  • American Advertising Federation Orange County
  • AD2 Orange County
  • Forge 54
  • Ocean's Institute
  • OC Food Bank
  • Playworks Socal
  • Eva Drop – Orange County Startup
  • Kite Patch – Orange County Startup

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.

Sparkhouse's Successful SEO results

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.  

Scaling SEO for Startups

Transcript

Today I'll be talking about scaling SEO for Startups from Zupo. That's my company. Zupo is SEO consulting agency that focuses on Orange County SEO. 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.

Entrepreneur Guide to SEO

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?

3 Pillars of SEO 

3 Pillars of SEO - Paul Shapiro

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.

1st Pillar - Content Strategy

Content Strategy

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.

Content Library

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?

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?

Jason:

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.

Rate of Content Output

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.

Question:

How long should some of the blogs be? Should they be a couple of paragraphs or what?

Jason:

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.

Question:

I'm looking at strictly HTML pages or do all send links to other forms, PDFs and...?

Jason:

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.

Question:

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.

Jason:

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.

Question:

How does DuckDuckGo operate? Some people may not want to use Google.

Jason:

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.

Question: 

There's no recognition of video?

Jason:

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.

Question: 

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?

Jason:

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.

Content Execution

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.

Question:

Does it favor WordPress or any particular platform for blog posts?

Jason:

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.

Question: 

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?

Jason:

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.

2nd Pillar - Linkbuilding & Referring Domains

Linkbuilding & Referring Domains

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.

Question:

It is because the referral deals with different sources?

Jason:

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.

Linkbuilding & Referring Domains

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.

Question:

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?

Jason:

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...

Ahrefs & Moz

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?

Question:

What about Alexa Toolbar?

Jason:

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.

Question:

I’m curious, how does the domain reputation factor in, is it just the number of domains as they get few?

Jason:

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.

Question:

What's the quality of the links coming from Facebook or Reddit?

Jason:

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.

Referring Domain Spread

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.

Linkable Asset Example

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. (Shameless plug but those interested in local SEO in Orange County I recommend you read our Orange County SEO Guide). 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.

Content & Referring Domains

Content & Referring Domains

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.

Content & Referring Domains Chart

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.

Question:

At what point do you lose your consumers interest if you are oversaturating yourself?

Jason:

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.

3rd Pillar - Technical SEO

Technical SEO

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.

Technical SEO Example CSUF vs Chapman

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.

Scaling Startup SEO Simulations

Scaling Startup SEO Simulation

I want to run through some simulations of data I already have just to show you what typical live clients to deal with.

Simulation #1

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.

Scaling Startup SEO Simulation #1

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 #2

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. 

Scaling Startup SEO Simulation #2

Simulation #3

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.

Scaling Startup SEO Simulation #3

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.

Comment:

Like Dairy Queen, for example.

Jason:

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.

Questions & Answers

Question:

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?

Jason:

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.

Question: 

What is a meta tag in terms of importance to SEO?

Jason:

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?

Question:

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?

Jason:

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.

Question:

Any thoughts on using an open platform to grow content on one site?

Jason:

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.

Question:

How would that be different then when you were saying that social media links don't help towards ranking?

Jason:

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.

Question: 

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?

Jason:

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.

Question:

Away from startups, are products more successful or services?

Jason:

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.

Question:

You said that you usually check for page speed when doing the audit, what's the correlation between page speed and ranking?

Jason:

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.

Question:

I'm curious how the SEO applies through apps.

Jason:

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.

Question:

What was that keyword article that you said you made the keyword research article?

Jason:

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?


How to Start Marketing & Bizmark Podcast

Transcript

Bizmark:

Welcome to the business marketing podcast.

Jose Mota:

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?

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

So you started off pretty early in marketing in high school. Pretty awesome.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

Nice. So you specialize in a SEO. How, how'd you get into that specific?

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

So did you learn coding to understand how SEO works? Like in the back end?

Jason Khoo:

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

Jose Mota:

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

Jason Khoo:

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

Jose Mota:

going into today's topic of, um, marketing from nothing like say a startup. They barely have

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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

Jose Mota:

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?

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

So, so there's, it's a micro level influencers.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

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?

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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?

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

So that's more of a tracking strategy to find out what's working, what's not, and then focus on what is,

Jason Khoo:

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

Jose Mota:

so, so this is where quality and quantity comes in. You know, if you take shortcuts, there's obviously Bob back on that

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

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,

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jose Mota:

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?

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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?

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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?

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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.

Jason Khoo:

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 website@jasonjkudotcomandalsoanotherwebsitecalledronwavedesign.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 jason@searchbusinessgroup.com 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

Jose Mota:

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 site@searchbusinessgroup.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.


Zupo Founder, Jason Khoo, Is Now Member of Young Entrepreneur Council

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. 



>