Your SEO Might Suck, but It Doesn’t Have To! – 239
Search Engine Optimization. Those three words are front and center in most entrepreneur’s and e-commerce seller’s minds. How to do it? Is it a real thing? Why does it seem that Google’s rules are constantly changing? Should you, as many recommend, simply concentrate on writing good content and let the SEO take care of itself?
At the end of the day, SEO is all about making sure that Google (and your prospective buyers) can find your business. In this episode of the AM/PM Podcast, Tim Jordan welcomes an SEO savant who is going to answer those questions and much more. Chris Porteous is a serial entrepreneur and owner of My SEO Sucks. He’s a fan of using organic search traffic to serve as the backbone of any e-commerce SEO strategy, and says that he’s developed proprietary technology that helps him stay on top of Google’s many algorithm changes.
Listen in as Chris walks us through the process of adjusting to the increased sophistication of Google’s algorithm, how to build authority, and taking your first SEO steps.
SEO’s not nearly as scary as it might seem. Dive on in!
In episode 239 of the AM/PM Podcast, Tim and Chris discuss:
- 03:00 – Pivoting from Cardboard Furniture to SEO
- 05:00 – What is SEO?
- 07:00 – Search Engine Marketing
- 10:00 – Algorithms and SEO Have Both Become Sophisticated
- 13:00 – There’s Opportunity for Those Doing It the Right Way
- 16:30 – It All Comes Down to Authenticity and Authority
- 21:00 – How to Build Authority
- 23:00 – SEO First Steps
- 25:30 – Best SEO Tools to Implement Yourself
- 27:45 – Start with YouTube
- 30:00 – Taking Advantage of Alternative Search Engines
- 32:00 – An SEO Optimization Checklist
- 35:45 – A Trip to Chris’s Bookshelf
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Tim Jordan: Building an online presence and therefore building an online business is not easy. It’s actually tough. One of the most daunting and scary terms that I hear every day is SEO. Search engine optimization. Frankly, it terrifies me because I don’t really know how it works. I really don’t know how to build it, but our guest today does. And he is so passionate about SEO that he even built an agency called my SEO sucks. We’re going to hear about that today. We’re going to hear about some things that he’s seeing in the space that will help us, and we’re going to get to glean some of his knowledge and wisdom. Stay tuned. It’s going to be a great episode.
Tim Jordan: Hi, I’m Tim Jordan and in every corner of the world, entrepreneurship is growing. So join me as I explore the stories of successes and failures. Listen in as I chat with the risk takers, the adventurous and the entrepreneurial veterans. We all have a dream of living a life, fulfilling our passions, and we want a business that doesn’t make us punch a time clock, but instead runs around the clock in the AM and the PM. So get motivated, get inspired. You’re listening to the AM/PM Podcast
Tim Jordan: In the world of digital entrepreneurship, well, everything’s digital. And one of the biggest struggles that digital entrepreneurs have is getting traffic, driving traffic to your brand, to your product, to your site, to your offer, whatever it is is like one of the biggest challenges. One of the biggest demands really that we as digital entrepreneurs have, and our guest today knows a few things about that. And he’s not talking about paid ads. He’s not talking about influencer marketing. He’s talking about SEO and apparently he’s somewhat of an expert in that. So I think that the information that we’re going to have today from him is going to be super valuable. He also, I believe is going to say some things that may be a little bit, what’s the word I’m looking for – controversial. Right. And we’ll talk about that in a second, but Chris, welcome to the podcast.
Chris: Yeah. Awesome. Thanks for having me on board.
Tim Jordan: So how did you get started in the SEO space?
Chris: Oh, that was – you know what I kind of accidentally, like, most people stumbled across it. I had a cardboard furniture business, starting out after university and we were selling recyclable cardboard, mini desk shelves, and different types of products online. And without knowing it, we were kind of building SEO strategy through content, through marketing, through outreach, to various, furniture, businesses, blogs, et cetera. And we started driving a lot more traffic to our site. We started getting a lot more sales and from there as we researched more about SEO, we kind of started scaling that to the point where we were getting leads from Swiss government, US government, different federal agencies. We did some really cool projects, local companies in Toronto. We did some cool projects like Luminato Pan-Am games, statistics, Canada, all through SEO. They’re finding us because they wanted one-off recyclable products for various events. And then from there it just kind of scaled up. I started doing work for a few more clients, and then building kind of a full fledged agent agency as we kept on growing.
Tim Jordan: So you started off selling physical products, realized, Hey, this SEO thing is pretty cool. It’s pretty powerful. And then you decided to spin that off as a second business, actually doing SEO for other people.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. We ended up selling a cardboard furniture business to a manufacturer, which is really cool to see like the power of SEO, how it drives real-world returns, whether it’s selling your business, selling products, scaling, but yeah.
Tim Jordan: So was your SEO credibility or SEO positioning? Was that a huge benefit to the valuation of your company when you want to sell it? Was that like an actual asset that you had built was your SEO presence?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. We were kind of selling the value of the leads that were being brought in from the website, as well as our existing client base. That was all generated via SEO. We had no salespeople, everything was inbound, and it was quite a successful strategy.
Tim Jordan: Gotcha. So now you have an agency called My SEO Sucks, which I love. Tell me just for 30 seconds about that agency, how long has it been operating? How many clients do you operate? Like give me some stats here just to kind of set the basis for your expertise, so to speak.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. We have 50 plus clients. We, everything, we do link building content marketing, SEO, technical services. We built this awesome SEO platform called search eye that automates a large part of that process. And from there we’re able to kind of allow, we offer a lot of transparency. Everything we do is recorded. We have Sheet’s templates, we prioritize everything. And that’s really a big part of what we do in the SEO side. I mean, there’s too many agencies out there that will sell services. You don’t know what you’re getting, it’s not transparent and we’re really trying to change that.
Tim Jordan: Gotcha. So you’ve established your credibility in SEO here. You’ve worked for a lot of different companies. You kind of figured it out on your own, even created some automation tools and have the opinion that a lot of people don’t know what they’re doing. And when I hear that, it makes me think, Hey, there’s probably more credibility to this person because I could start picking apart the bad apples. So now that we’ve established that, let me ask you a very basic question for a lot of listeners that may already be lost. What is SEO?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. SEO at a high level is optimizing your site so you can get more visibility in search. So if someone’s, as you optimize your site, someone’s searching for XYZ keywords. And they’re more likely to find you that means that you’re optimizing your website for us.
Tim Jordan: And this is anywhere people are searching. This could be Yahoo, Google being, it could also be YouTube. Amazon, Pinterest, any of the search engines are essentially trying to match the best result for the query or for the inquiry. So that’s search engine optimization now, search engine optimization, or a good SEO presence. Is it kind of oversimplifying to say that good SEO creates free traffic? Or is that accurate?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s, it’s tough nowadays to say free traffic. There’s a lot of costs to build up those strategies, whether it’s through link building outreach, labor research, but essentially, yeah, it’s getting free traffic and search. And the one thing we do, and while we love building our businesses off of SEO, we have affiliate sites. We have e-commerce sites. We have our agency site as well, is as long-lasting, as you’re building links, as you’re building content, you’re building a model around your business and you’re kind of building long-term value. Where are you going to be capturing search and a higher percent of search over time, which again, really builds your business and really kind of adds real value.
Tim Jordan: Gotcha. So, the two ways essentially of getting traffic to almost anything online are to my understanding, SEO and SEM. So search engine optimization, what is SEM?
Chris: People define it differently. I always look at it as search engine marketing, which could fall like everything technically falls under that, paid ads fall under that you could talk about like, Quora marketing. You can even talk about potential Facebook marketing through search there, Amazon marketing, like that all kind of falls under an SEM, a full integrated search engine marketing strategy. For us, we’re really focused on one part of that. And it’s because we’ve built this product that is so focused on SEO. It’s really tough to kind of branch out because you just need more resources, it’s more education, more learning, more processes. But that’s kind of the difference between the two SEO, which predominantly is search engine optimization within certain platforms and then search engine marketing, being an umbrella that incorporates SEO and other items.
Tim Jordan: So I think we’ve already answered this, but explain like why is SEO so important for any business, with any online presence?
Chris: Absolutely. And any business for the most part can use SEO, whether they might have different strategies around how they leverage it, whether it’s content marketing, following the final product pages and optimizing those. But essentially this is free traffic with Google ads, paid social, or even organic social. It’s very transitory. You turn it on, you turn it off, and either increases or drops quite quickly. Whereas with SEO, you’re building long-term value with your brand. If you’re ranking for kind of core search terms, and intent-based keywords, you’re also capturing that user at that time who wants to buy your product. If you were to advertise for example, on Facebook, they might not necessarily be your product or your service at that time. It’s really tough. It’s getting a bit better, but it’s really tough to capture the right person. Whereas if someone’s searching, I need a personal injury lawyer. They’re looking for something at that time and they’re looking, if you’re coming up, they’re looking for your service and they’re more likely to either engage with you or potentially even assign you as a client.
Tim Jordan: So I understand that SEO is great for discoverability. You want people to find you, is there any value or is there extreme value, a little value in credibility by SEO because what’s happening right now is a lot of people learning to tweak the systems, right? Like you even look at the stuff that happened at the Yelp back in the day you opened the Yelp, not too long ago, lost a lot of credibility because people were faking the results, the number one results by fake reviews and things like that. So I think that the consumer is starting to lose a little bit of their trust for things that look to be easily discoverable, first results immediately. Does SEO play into that credibility building for online brands and businesses?
Chris: I don’t think so. That could have been the case 10 years ago when there were so many black hat tricks, you could rank your business overnight. Now SEO, I think it’s gaining credibility as it is becoming much tougher, much more complex, even for our clients, it’s not enough to build a product page with a couple of links pointing to it anymore. It’s building, just building resources, it’s building educational pieces. And what we’re seeing more and more of now is at least in search algorithms. And at least in our different niches that we focus on is top of the funnel content is playing a much bigger role. It’s getting more complex where in the past, let’s say personal [inaudible], for example, you could rank that quite easily now it’s much more competitive, but now even looking at search terms, it’s not just businesses that come up, it’s learning about personal injury. It’s learning about what they do. It’s kind of building a holistic strategy around that, and a content strategy around that to scale and then kind of educate the user and bring them down and kind of funneling down to a leader or a new client from there. So it’s gotten much more complex. And I think that’s added a lot of credibility because it’s taken so much more work. It’s not fly by night companies who can build businesses anymore from an SEO strategy.
Tim Jordan: Sure. So I’ve had several companies of my own several brands online. I’ve also worked with a lot of companies that tried to create great SEO presence, awareness, and effectiveness, right. Hired a lot of agencies. A lot of times the needle didn’t move at all. It was bad. So I’m hearing a lot of people in this space running into that same phenomenon. They’re having the same experience. They’re having same frustration. They’re making statements like the need, the demand, and the use of SEO is dead. And I know that you disagree with that. You say that SEO isn’t dead, but agencies are dead. Can you explain that?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. And we’re obsessed with this model, agencies themselves. I think it’s getting more difficult, at least in the SEO space. I can’t speak for other industries, but it’s getting much more difficult to provide value. In the past you might retain agency for 10 and 15 hours a month. Unfortunately that’s really not enough to move the needle anymore because you have to build a content strategy. You have to build the content, the content guide outlines, there’s manual outreach, there’s technical. There’s so many different pieces that come from it. And then adding to that, there’s other strategies, there’s core marketing, which is a great one. There’s Amazon marketing and there’s so many different pieces to SEO that are looking at kind of a high level strategy. And so what we’ve been doing is a lot of things that we do differently is A, I don’t believe in commitments or contracts. I think that’s really kind of beneficial to the agency and doesn’t necessarily provide much value to the client anymore. And B, we’ve really focused on productizing things. So for example, a content strategy, we have all the templates in place. So now we’re just executing on strategy, at least our agency versus just kind of working with the client, making some ad hoc recommendations, some tweaks to the site that just aren’t going to move the needle. So I think a lot of agencies aren’t prepared for the complexities of what’s happening in the search space and how much more difficult it is nowadays to rank a business. And those agencies and a couple of years are going to be long gone or forgotten.
Tim Jordan: So you think there’s an opportunity for kind of building a motor on yourself or doing things correctly because everyone else is pumping money to SEO, but maybe a lot of them are pumping into the wrong methods, the wrong techniques, the wrong habits, even. So you think that even if there are people listening that have tried to build SEO credibility and had lack of success in the past, you think that it may be because it was done wrong because it is so complex and complicated now, is that a good statement there?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. It really comes down to how strong are your processes and the beauty of this. It doesn’t just apply to SEO. I think for e-commerce owners, if you have an affiliate marketing business, really building strong processes around everything you do and trying to productize it as much as possible. Now, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, the way things are changing. It’ll get more difficult for anybody just to kind of build things without having a process behind it.
Tim Jordan: Sure. And understand that the biggest player in the game when it comes to search is Google, right? Google is running everything, and Google is even tying into platforms that aren’t theirs. Now, I’m seeing, I don’t know if you call it cross traffic or collaboration between like Amazon and Google and even Facebook and Instagram and Google and things like that. So telling me how complicated SEO is and how complex it is, and Google is constantly changing too. How do we stay up to date? How do we stay relevant? How do we automate? My suspicion is you’re going to tell me that there’s a lot of great tools and stuff to do this because we have to have almost like our own technology toolbox your own technology partners to figure this out. Is that an accurate statement? And if so, can you kind of elaborate on that?
Chris: Yeah. I mean, I always look at SEO similar to. We used to do a lot of media buying. So, billboards being on the radio, being on television. And it’s really what Google is trying to do is it’s the same concept. It’s basically it’s about authority. For example, if I was on multiple billboards in high value locations, I was on the news, or I had a commercial on the news or something like that. I was like, listen on radio. I’m going to seem bigger. I’m going to get more leads from it and traffic from it. And it’s the same way with Google and how they build it, except this is all digital. So the stronger my Twitter presence is I know Google has a deal with them. The stronger my presence is if I’m e-commerce player on Amazon, the stronger my presence is on all these different networks and the more visibility I’m getting for those, it’s going to naturally – in addition to the backlinks and content, it’s going to naturally push up my authority. And I think what Google is doing, it’s like let’s place less importance on back links or things that could be gained and really focus on reputation. And how kind of valued and are they an authority figure in their community.
Tim Jordan: Yeah. I completely get that. And no matter what, talking about SEO or product ranking on a platform, it doesn’t matter. Everything is coming back to authenticity and authority, right? Because the systems are actually getting pretty smart, where it’s harder and harder to game the systems. The black hat stuff is more difficult. Also, I think that consumers are more savvy and I don’t just mean consumers of products. I mean, consumer information. Like they can look at a blog site and pretty quickly figure out, or at least be thinking themselves, are these guys legit? Is this content good? Or is this just a bunch of clickbait bull crap. Right. So as we’re talking about building authority and building trust, how do you recommend to your clients or the people that are listening to start building trust and authority for their topics, their content, like how do they make themselves a leader in their space, so to speak?
Chris: Yeah, for sure. And back to your first point with consumers being more savvy, I’m the same way. Like I do a lot of affiliate marketing and I get so frustrated because I’ll go down a list and I’m like, Oh, SEO site, SEO site, SEO site, affiliate marketing site. Like, and I start to avoid those and I know that’s me being in the space, but I can imagine others are getting a bit more savvy when it comes to that as well. They know it’s just content designed to rank listicles clickbait. That’s on one side. And then in terms of like helping clients build authority and what we, again, we’re just one piece of the puzzle. And, but we do see ourselves more as that high level piece that is kind of managing different relationships. So in the past. A company would have a marketing person, they would engage with us to do their SEO. They would engage with a social media company, do their social, engage with a content person to do this, and then, so on and so forth. But the problem with that, it’s not a very integrated strategy and there’s different things going on. And I think with that, it creates a lot of issues in terms of developing yourself as an authority in this space. What I’m seeing now is with us, we’re actually working directly with the marketing team, very closely, and then working with them with their various partners, making sure that SEO is integrated, throughout the entire process. Even for like an insurance company that we work with, different legal firms we work with, we’re actually developing new products based on what we’re seeing on the SEO side. So it’s really interesting how building SEO as a core function of the business and making sure everything you do is kind of focused around SEO. You’re going to be seen as an authority because you’re taking everything into account and building a very strong holistic brand and SEO strategy.
Tim Jordan: Yeah. And when you are an authority, it increases your reputation and it increases your value. So whether you’re selling products, services, like people don’t always want the cheapest. One of the great examples of how I’ve seen this authority marketing is SEO Marketing is a company called salt strong and Salt Strong. Saltstrong.com. And they do a lot of like, they used to do a lot of free content, right? So YouTube videos, and this is all saltwater fishing stuff. And now they have a course and people pay a ridiculous amount for this course on how to catch Redfish, right? And now they’re also selling products and everywhere I look, they are selling lures and tackle and boat accessories, but they didn’t do it because they said our products are the best. They did it with authority because they told people, Hey, we don’t just know how to sell a product. We know how to catch fish. Right? So the authority to me is a massive, massive, like increased value to your business, whether whatever you’re selling or whatever you’re doing online. Now talking about SaltStrong, the reason that they have done so well as they just put together massive amounts of content, which then built their authority and built their traffic and built all sorts of stuff. Most people don’t have the resources, the time and the team to build something as strong as that. So how do you tell people, like they’re getting started in a business, or maybe it’s a small business, how do they create a process, a system and a strategy for creating content, which will build authority and traffic.
Chris: Yeah, for sure. And just to plug ourselves for a bit, with the search ad platform, we’ve designed it exactly for that, where, Hey, I need a content strategy, but I don’t want to hire an agency to build it all or develop it all that could take thousands of dollars, tens of thousands, depending on the complexity. It’s like, Hey, one click, I need a content strategy. And then we deliver a template and they can work off of that. And then we can even provide guide outlines and content with that, everything on an ad hoc or a deliverable basis. But ultimately it comes down to if you’re starting out as a business, content marketing is you’re right. It’s very expensive. There’s writers, there’s research, there’s strategy behind it. It’s not that simple. And then it’s also working the user down from a content perspective from top of the funnel down to an intent-based kind of bottom of the funnel type type strategy and conversion. But I do recommend from the beginning, like start small, like look at what your competitors are doing. Even in a really cool tool is called Atria, I think it’s all ahrefs, but you can look at competitors, look at their top pages that they have on their site, what’s driving the most value. And ahrefs will actually break it down by what is the value of that page by taking estimated search hits, that page is receiving times cost per click to give you an estimate and even starting small, like maybe it’s, let’s put a goal in place of one full resource page a month, start small, build that out because you’ll be surprised how quickly that scales. Within 12 months you could have all 15 guideposts that are two, 3000 words and a bunch of blog posts. And then here you go, you finally have an integrated strategy. So the first step is always just kind of looking at your competitors, planning out a strategy that works for your business from that. And then just one by one building up the content. There’s really not a quick win for it. But if you do have a process, you do have a strategy. You are going to see the benefits of that over time as you scale it.
Tim Jordan: All right. So if I’m going to sit down, I’m going to start building content to increase my SEO, increase my online visibility. What are your, let’s say you’re speaking to a new business or a small business, maybe even a one man band type deal. What platforms should they start focusing on first to put their content to have the biggest bang for their buck, achieve the lowest hanging fruit scenario with their content? Where do they put content first?
Chris: Yeah. Again, I always suggest having your own site, and making sure you’re building that because ultimately for any company, there’s a few strategies, right? You want to be either, is this a passive cash flow type business, or do you want to exit. There are in between, but those are kind of the two goals. Both of those have to happen by building your own platform out, and building out your own site. And I always focus on building content on those sites. Step one, and then using forums using Quora marketing on Facebook and other types of distribution networks to then push that content out to so on Quora, let’s say, you have XYZ product, you would find keywords around that that are ranking that Quora is ranking for. And then you provide comments. You provide an answer to answer someone’s question and incorporate kind of a link to the content you’ve created. So that’s how we would typically do it. But always starting the core of your site. And then depending on what niche your business is in looking at how people find that content and then kind of building distribution networks and methods and relationships on those sites.
Tim Jordan: So if I’m trying to build my own site with content, the most common type of content for a site is going to be blog content. Correct?
Chris: Yeah. I would always start out making sure you have kind of the low-hanging fruit. I always thought it was on the, like product side, building up the product pages, building out those core info pages. So if you’re like an e-commerce, making sure that you have the right products in place, the right categories in place, before you can even start on building out kind of the top of the funnel awareness type content.
Tim Jordan: Okay. Makes a lot of sense. So we’ve mentioned that building content is tough. It’s not easy, it’s a lot of work, right. Are there some really great tools or processes that you would recommend now that simplify it? Like I know you’ve used the term before cutting out the middleman, you don’t have to hire all this stuff out. You can do this a lot easier in house. Can you suggest some of those tools or resources that you’re seeing people use well and have high efficiency with?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a bit more, it’s a bit steeper learning curve. Should I say? We love clear scope. It’s fantastic. You pay it’s like five, $6 per guide outline. You’ve put in the keywords you want to focus on. It would find you like recommended keywords to incorporate into your content. It would kind of break out recommended sections. And you can do it in a few clicks. It’s fantastic. It takes a lot of the guesswork out and this way you’re writing content. That’s already focused around what people are searching. SEM rush is a great tool as well. They do something similar, as we use ahrefs all the time for keyword research, looking at our competitors, as well as building out content clusters around certain areas.
Tim Jordan: And what type of content now are people – Well, let me backup content to my understanding is used for two very different things. I know there’s some others, but two primary things, right? One is building like SEO authority with Google and the search engines, right? This could even be blogs that people aren’t even reading, but it’s stuffing your key, your website, essentially with specific keywords. There’s also content that’s like organically consumed content. Like this is actually bringing organic traffic to your site. It’s bringing conversions. And so getting away from the SEO driven content for a second, and I know they work hand in hand, if you have good organic content, it’s going to help your SEO, what are the best platforms? And when I say best, I mean the most effective platforms for organic type content that are driving traffic to your website and increasing SEO, is it YouTube? Is it instant Facebook? Is it Tik Tok now? Like if someone wants to have fun and actually create organic content, where should they be parking it that will most positively affect their website SEO.
Chris: Yeah. And it changes based on the business. Like if you’re a product business, you’re right. You can even do really interesting things now through Amazon as well as they kind of opened up to be more of a platform. But for us, we love YouTube. I think it’s absolutely fantastic because it shows directly in search, like in search engine rankings, for keywords and it’s much easier to rank certain content. We built some really cool content around like SAS marketing. We have a link building pricing calculator that ranks, I think number one or two for quite a few keywords. So it works really well. Like YouTube marketing is great. You get more creative with it. You can embed it on your site as well as other third party sites depending on the relevancy of the content. We also do a lot of Quora marketing. Again, works really well because we like to find for us, at least our strategy, everything is built around Google. So things like Quora ranked quite well in Google, tens of millions of keywords, hundreds of millions of keywords, I believe. So if we can find the right pages on Quora that are ranking highly for the keywords that we want to rank for, we can do a lot of kind of traffic jacking there. So we look to build our strategy around different sites that rank well in search and then build content on those pages where possible, depending on the platform.
Tim Jordan: All right. So you’re talking about YouTube and I suspect that you’re like YouTube because, you said it pops up, first and search for Google because Google owns YouTube. Right. We know there’s a strong correlation there. And I think it’s safe to say, but correct me if I’m wrong. Like the Holy grail of search is Google. That’s the one that everybody uses. It’s not everybody, but it’s the largest it’s has the most authority. It has the most traffic. I’ve also heard that there’s some pretty low hanging fruit on other search engines because other people aren’t thinking about them. A prime example would be Bing. Bing is very interesting in some ways, because, you know, that’s the native browser that comes with Windows PCs, and a lot of people, especially older generations don’t know to change it to Firefox or Chrome or something like that. So they’re using Bing, are there other platforms that you would suggest based on like the concept of, Hey, this is easy to get ranked. It did not have huge traffic, but it’s easy.
Chris: Yeah. Absolutely. Like the low hanging fruit as you’re mentioning. Again, the challenge with Bing, it really depends on your business. You could argue it again, it’s business dependent, but at least for us, what we see is a lot of our traffic from Bing doesn’t convert nearly as well as what’s being found on Google. And then it could come down to, for us, we’re looking for more sophisticated buyers and that’s just what we see at least from our analytics. It really depends. That said, it’s, there’s a lot of easy wins, like with Bing you can build, like it’s easy to optimize. It’s easier to optimize for. It’s less complex than what you have to do when optimizing for Google. And you can build some really cool funnels where your goal is to capture. Maybe it’s not to get a lead through Bing, but maybe it’s like, I’m optimizing pages and I’m going to build them for capturing their email address or something like that. And kind of build our assets. It really depends. It’s kind of case by case there. That said, for us, there’s at least basic quick wins that we can do when we start marketing for a client. And that being, even just a really simple thing like submitting your site back thing, set up your profile through Bing, like a lot of easy wins that people don’t do because they’re so focused on Google. And I think it makes up around six to 8% of search now. So I don’t know if that’ll grow or change, but it’s still a big enough market where you can’t ignore it. Again, depending on the size of your industry,
Tim Jordan: It’s definitely not a small number for something like Bing. Well, this is all good. So let’s just summarize for a second as we wrap up, tell me if I’ve got this correctly. Because the cool thing about this podcast I get to learn too. And I’m not an SEO nerd. I don’t, I know just enough, like to be scary, right. But tell me if these statements are correct. SEO is still massively, massively valuable, but it’s not as easy as it used to be. Is that accurate?
Chris: Yeah. That’s actually correct.
Tim Jordan: Okay. People that have been discouraged with SEO performance in the past, don’t need to stay discouraged. They might need to realize that maybe they use the wrong source. They use the wrong information. They use the wrong agency, they use the wrong methods and that if they will update their methods, there’s still tremendous value in growing that SEO. Right?
Chris: I think the big thing with that is not taking shortcuts. It does take work. It takes time. It takes resources.
Tim Jordan: All right. Another thing that I’ve picked up is authority matters and authority being from the search engines, right? Like the position you hire as well as actual conversion authority from the consumers of the information to the product. Right. So authority is like one of the most important things for your SEO performance.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. We didn’t talk much about link building, but in general authority, which would incorporate link building as well, matters significantly.
Tim Jordan: So content is also king. We know that whether it’s link building, whether it’s organic traffic, whether it’s allowing the search engines to kind of like index you and analyze what you do, what you’re good at, based on that content, that’s all accurate. Correct?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely.
Tim Jordan: Okay. And then even though things are complex, things are more complicated than they used to be. They’re not unattainable because there are so many good tools. You mentioned several of those, several of those SEM rush, ahrefs and some others. So would it be fair to say that even someone that doesn’t understand SEO, but knows the SEO needs to be implemented, that there are still good solutions, good agencies, good outsourcing opportunities, but there’s also great tools where they can kind of figure it out and automate some of it themselves. Are those statements accurate?
Chris: Yeah. It’s, I mean, it’s getting more complex. I think the high level, like thousand foot view, 10,000 foot view of SEO, hasn’t changed. Really high quality content that people are going to read and engage with, getting mentions with industry leaders in your niche and just making sure you have kind of the basic things in place on your site. So Google can crawl it and make sure that you’re making it as easy as possible for them.
Tim Jordan: Okay. Makes a lot of sense. And my suspicion is that because you’re an SEO guy and you talk about content and authority that if someone wanted to learn more about SEO, you probably have some amazing online content they can read. Is that correct?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. And to plug myself again here. Yeah. Check out myseosucks.com. We’ve built some awesome resources. We have a 6,000 word plus guide on starting out SAS marketing, marketing for lawyers, e-commerce affiliate marketing, link-building, it’s just a lot of resources to help you out. There’s videos, training, because it’s really important to space to provide the right resources, to make sure you have a strong footing and kind of that strong, foundational knowledge. Even if you’re going to hire an agency, having that knowledge to allow you to like critique them, see what you need, you’re ultimately going to get a lot more value out of what they do.
Tim Jordan: Makes a lot of sense. So everybody go check out. My SEO sucks, free content. You can’t beat free content. So Chris, we appreciate you being on. I’m going to follow and I’m going to wrap this thing up with a question I’ve been asking anybody lately. And to set the context of the question and just so you can listen to this now, I never prepare the guests for this question. So we literally get the first thing that pops out of our head, which I think is the most valuable. Chris, you started a cardboard company. All right. You are obviously a young guy from the cardboard company. You’ve made an exit on that. And now you own an SEO agency, which is not a tough thing to do to run an agency. So my suspicion is you’ve had to take some good advice, some good lessons and wisdom from others in how to run businesses. So if you walked to your bookshelf right now and you had to pull off one book that made the largest impact in your ability to create businesses, that you would suggest all of our listeners read, what would that one book be?
Chris: When I started actually building a team for the agency, everything before that I was doing myself. It was a four hour work week. Not that I’ll ever have the four hour work week, I don’t think is necessarily attainable. And that’s not, especially if you’re growing and scaling a business.
Tim Jordan: I was about to tell you that Tim Ferris is full of crap, there isn’t such a thing as a four hour workweek, but keep going, keep going.
Chris: I know that I read that book. And I learned about Upwork. This was about five, six years ago. And that’s when I started playing with hiring contractors, freelancers and lower cost countries. And from there we have, because of that we’ve grown quite a bit. We have an office now in the Philippines with 20 plus people, we’ve done some really cool stuff and it’s not necessarily from what was his specific content inside of the book. But at least getting me to think about outsourcing and getting me to think about productizing building processes that helped me get to where I am today.
Tim Jordan: Yeah. So even though you disagree with the general premise, it was that one nugget that changed everything for you, so to speak.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely.
Tim Jordan: Great. Good piece of advice. All of you consume as much content as you can keep learning, keep growing, because even if you’re listening to somebody, you might not like they might give you one little piece of advice that changes the game for you. So Chris, thank you so much for being on. Everybody check out myseosucks.com, go read the four-hour workweek and try to pull one nugget out of it and completely dismiss the idea that there’s any such thing as a four hour workweek because it doesn’t exist, but it’s on my shelf. I’m looking at it. It’s sitting on my shelf. I’ve read it. So thank you, Chris for being on. Thank you all for listening to the podcast. We’ll see you guys in the next episode.
Chris: Thanks for having me.