View the latest episodes from the 1st and 2nd seasons of the show.
- His passion for cycling and how he went from working at a bike shop to SEO.
- His time both in-house and at agencies
- Why he believes his best fit is within the agency environment
- Doing SEO on eBay
- Local search
- Being a jack of all trades
- And so much more!
In the news we talk about:
- A few studies on keyword research (from Brian Dean of Backlinko & Dan Leibson of Local SEO Guide) and how accurate the search volumes of various SEO tools may or may not be
- The new Review snippets reports in Google Search Console.
- We have a deep dive biggest SEO challenges. To paraphrase Frank Costanza of Seinfeld, we got a lot of problems, and now you’re gonna hear about them!
- How he went from college soccer star to Fiverr hustler to SEO
- The founding of his business
- His advice on how SEOs can begin to speak executive-level language
- What it’s like to scale and run an agency and the pressure of being responsible for so many people
- How he works to empower those within his organization
- What it’s like to have to deliver bad news to an employee
And so much more.
In the news we talk about:
- The acquisition of Distilled by Brainlabs
- A really interesting Twitter thread started by Kevin Indig about super annoying public speaking habits.
Finally, we have a deep dive into why discoverability (not traffic, keywords, and links) needs to be put on an SEO pedestal.
- How she began her career as a copywriter and how that eventually led her to SEO
- Why it’s easier to train copywriters to be SEOs than SEOs to be copywriters
- Developer and SEO relations
- Doing SEO for small businesses
- Doing SEO for a funeral home (and why it wasn’t morbid for her)
- Her time at CallRail and what that taught her
- Founding her own business and the life of a solopreneur
- The importance of women’s empowerment and balance in representation within the SEO industry
- The news that Avast shuts down marketing analytics subsidiary Jumpshot amid controversy over selling user data
- The news that Google May Revert Favicons & Black Ad Label On The Desktop Search Results
- A deep dive into the role of SEO in user journeys
- And more!
- A follow-up article from Rand Fishkin on the recent Jumpshot story (discussed above): https://sparktoro.com/blog/avasts-shutdown-of-jumpshot-will-harm-the-web-and-the-world/
- Resources mentioned by Carolyn during the show:
In this episode, we talk with Andrew Cock-Starkey (better know as “Optimisey”). Andrew runs an SEO consultancy out of Cambridge, England working with clients all over the globe. He also runs one of the most popular SEO meet-ups in the UK.
We talk about:
- How Andrew’s career began 20 years ago as a broadcast journalist working at the BBC with a focus on cricket and fut ball
- How the emphasis placed on creating fresh and timely content around the sports stories of the day really opened his eyes to the power of building traffic online
- His time as Web Editor as Newsworks
- His management of the website for the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)
- How it all led him to found his own SEO consultancy Optimisey
- What it’s like running the Optimisey SEO meeting
- His Optimisey YouTube video series
- And more.
We also touch on the news:
- Google has started dropping a site’s normal snippet when a featured snippet is displayed
- The sunsetting of support for data-vocabulary.org as a schema language
This episode’s deep dive
And last but not least, we dive into a few overlooked SEO fundamentals including:
- How often simple analytics configurations seem to be overlooked
- The use of site monitoring tools and how they can help businesses
In today’s episode, we talk with Martha van Berkel, CEO and Co-Founder of SchemaApp, a service that empowers the Digital Marketer to own their schema markup strategy through to implementation without ever writing code or engaging with IT.
We talk about her background in mathematics and engineering (she also attended the MIT Sloan school of management). We also discuss how she spent almost 14 years at Cisco, what it’s like to be an innovator at an otherwise slow-moving, highly-bureaucratic company, and the circumstances that led to her going out on her own and eventually forming her own company with her husband.
In the news, we talk about Google’s recent broad core algorithm update and share our thoughts on how the industry reacts to algo updates as well as our own approaches.
And finally, we deep dive into structured data, how brands can use it, as well as what challenges SEOs face with schema and getting it implemented.
Also, follow Schema App on Twitter.
- How he began building websites in high school as part of a class project
- How his early experience led him to building affiliate websites and making money online at a very young age
- We discuss his foray into marketing and optimization in the adult and online poker industries
- How a federal law forced him to change his career arc, which eventually led on to various agency and in-house roles
- The founding of Traffic Think Tank
- What it’s like to run one of the most well-known and reputable private SEO communities
- Coordinating the Traffic Think Tank Live conference
- The news that Bing says 2020 will be the year where keyword research becomes obsolete (while Google says it isn’t)
- The rise of DuckDuckGo
- Deep dive into Affiliate Sites
And much more.
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Jacob Stoops: All right, everybody. Welcome to the Page 2 Podcast I am your host Jacob stoops and I am here with Mr. Jeff, Louella Jeff. How’s it going?
00:00:15.750 –> 00:00:17.340
Jeff Louella: Going well how’s everyone doing out there.
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Jacob Stoops: They can’t answer you, Jeff.
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Jeff Louella: Ah, I was trying this time.
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Jacob Stoops: No.
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Jeff Louella: Not respond on Twitter. How you doing,
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Jacob Stoops: Yes, please respond on Twitter and we are joined by Mr Ian Howells. Ian, how are you doing?
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Ian Howells: Good man, Jacob. Jeff, thanks for thanks for having me on. We
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Jeff Louella: Are very
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Jacob Stoops: Very excited and I don’t want to bury the lead. But if you don’t know, Ian. He is the one of the partners at Traffic Think Tank. And we’ve already had one of his counterparts on I think about 10 months ago, Nick Eubanks who also
00:00:57.210 –> 00:01:09.030
Jacob Stoops: Founded Traffic Think Tank. They’ve got a lot of really awesome stuff going on there, which I’m sure that we’ll get into and then he and I believe you. You’re also, you also have a day job at a soft landing tree.
00:01:09.420 –> 00:01:17.130
Ian Howells: So I did previously. Up until the end of August of 2019 I was leading the the SEO team at lending tree.
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Ian Howells: Yep. Now just affiliate stuff consulting and Traffic Think Tank are kind of the three legs of the stool and
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Jacob Stoops: I had that in my notes and I completely glossed over it. We do take notes here.
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Ian Howells: Before we
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Jacob Stoops: Find people and then I just get on and I just messed them mess them all up or
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Jacob Stoops: In one case I butchered
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Jacob Stoops: Somebody somebody’s name.
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Jacob Stoops: Almost immediately, I believe that was Jamie, I called her out Jericho. It’s Alba Rico and she definitely called me on that.
00:01:47.070 –> 00:01:49.590
Jacob Stoops: Yet Lee, which was a little embarrassing.
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Ian Howells: I mean, it’s better to call better to call a name mispronunciation out early. Right.
00:01:54.420 –> 00:01:57.060
Ian Howells: Rather than it happening over and over and over again.
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Jacob Stoops: The whole thing. It’s like that episode of Friends were Chandler gets called Toby at his workplace and he never corrects them and then you Toby from there on for like six years.
00:02:07.590 –> 00:02:19.350
Jacob Stoops: And he anyways. So in today’s episode. For those of you that have listened, you’ll kind of know what’s coming for any first time listeners. Let me just tell you kind of what we’re going to do.
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Jacob Stoops: The hallmark of this show is kind of the origin stories of great SEOs SEO is not a very old industry and in our experience, nobody tends to get into
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Jacob Stoops: Especially if you’ve been in it for a while, into SEO on purpose. A lot of people come from other places. And we’re interested in figuring out
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Jacob Stoops: What are those other places, and how, how did how did people get into SEO in the first place, and what are their
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Jacob Stoops: What are their backgrounds and even more importantly, we’d like to talk about
00:02:52.860 –> 00:03:00.960
Jacob Stoops: Successes failures, what it’s like to be an SEO day to day. It’s kind of it can be kind of a grind and we like to kind of get deep on
00:03:01.410 –> 00:03:09.840
Jacob Stoops: What people experience on a day to day basis. So that’s kind of part one. Part two. And this is something that we’ve added in Season two is we like to
00:03:10.620 –> 00:03:22.230
Jacob Stoops: We like to talk about what’s what’s in the news kind of current events in the SEO world, which usually ends up with me just yelling about various SEO topics and ranting and complaining, but that’s it. That’s okay.
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Jacob Stoops: Jeff kind of runs runs that section and he kind of balances ME OUT HE’S KIND OF THE even keeled person and I just go off.
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Jeff Louella: Sometimes, AND I KNOW HOW TO TOSS THINGS UP TO YOU, TOO.
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Jacob Stoops: Well, Jeff, I want to, I want to hear just for one wants me being maybe the even keeled person and just being cool and you just
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Jacob Stoops: I want to know what you want to rant about at some point I want to see that.
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Jeff Louella: So all right, I will do some topics, the data Jeff will ramp.
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Jacob Stoops: And then the third, the third leg of the stool in our, in our episodes is typically a deep dive and today’s deep dive is going to be on affiliate sites.
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Jacob Stoops: Which we’re excited to talk about. So if you’re in the affiliate game or if you’re not in the affiliate game and you’re thinking about it. We’re going to deep dive into that topic at the towards the end of the episode so
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Jacob Stoops: Ian
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Jacob Stoops: Let’s jump into kind of the first phase, who are you, how did you get into SEO, what, what’s your story.
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Ian Howells: Cool. So, like you mentioned up top. Ian howls co founder and partner at trek think tank which the short version of that is a 700 plus now person community.
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Ian Howells: Community portion happens in Slack all of the educational kind of training material and resources are all within Traffic Think Tank calm. So think of like distilled you accept not five years out of date now.
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Ian Howells: Is the website portion and then the community. I think is really one of the the big strong
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Ian Howells: Assets for it because folks can ask questions get feedback on campaign ideas that they’re going to have more if you just get stuck on something that’s a good way to
00:05:04.110 –> 00:05:13.710
Ian Howells: Just kind of stop smashing your head against the wall, have a problem and get feedback from from other folks, kind of in real time. But in terms of
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Ian Howells: Getting started in the the industry. I built a website when I was in high school, my cousin and I actually started
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Ian Howells: What would be now called a blog, but then was not called a blog because at that point blogs were literally just
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Ian Howells: Like an online Diary of like what your day was about. So at that point we hated the word blog like rebelled against it completely because that sounded like
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Ian Howells: Stuff that like children, but would do. Right. And we were all a 15 at that point. So like we were obviously, way, way too cool for that.
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Ian Howells: So today would be called a blog started that in December of 99 when I was, I think, a freshman in high school. So, you know, like all cool kids in high school I was sitting around learning HTML.
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Ian Howells: So that was, that was fun, really good for your social life being the kid that you know is figuring out how to build websites but worked out long term so
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Ian Howells: That’s all right.
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Jeff Louella: I was the kid with the Commodore 64 so myself a little bit more, but we would trigger games on the bus.
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Ian Howells: So what’s funny is like I wish I went back that far. We didn’t have a computer in the house until 98 my parents got a gateway and they make splurged and went crazy and got like the six gig hard drive and the 64 Meg’s around like it was
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Ian Howells: It was a dream at that
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Ian Howells: But I built the site with my cousin as a hobby really because other guys in high school, so I took art.
00:06:50.100 –> 00:06:56.100
Ian Howells: In high school, and there were juniors and seniors in my class because like art was just an elective it wasn’t part of a track or whatever.
00:06:56.790 –> 00:07:07.680
Ian Howells: And these guys had built their own website and they were hilarious and it was basically like online short skit type things written out
00:07:08.460 –> 00:07:22.860
Ian Howells: And I wanted to be a part of it. But I was this like dumb freshman. So I was like, well, screw it like we can just make our own. So we built a website and just run it as a hobby for like two years and then I was in
00:07:24.630 –> 00:07:32.100
Ian Howells: Some webmaster forum. I can’t, I can’t remember which one it was. But one of the guys that were on there. This guy, Aaron.
00:07:33.360 –> 00:07:41.130
Ian Howells: He has since legally changed his name to sunshine Megatron he he built t shirt hell calm.
00:07:41.610 –> 00:07:48.870
Ian Howells: And T shirt hell had an affiliate program. And so he painted a bunch of people from the forum and was like, hey, do you want to join my affiliate program.
00:07:49.380 –> 00:07:59.550
Ian Howells: Was like, I have no idea what that is, but maybe so he gave me like the 92nd elevator pitch of what affiliate marketing was. It was basically like just make an account. I’ll give you a wink.
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Ian Howells: Put the link out to your website, if somebody clicks through that and buys a t shirt. I’ll give you five bucks for each shirt that they buy it was like, well, you can make money on the internet like i can i can make money for my website. Tell me more.
00:08:16.380 –> 00:08:16.560
Ian Howells: Well,
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Jacob Stoops: Not only could you make money, you basically had a person with the name of a transformer
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Ian Howells: Not yet. But he was still just Aaron at that point he is a crazy person. I don’t know if he’s like in a bunker somewhere if he is still accessible that you’d be
00:08:33.330 –> 00:08:45.240
Ian Howells: Talk to him but interesting life story, I’m sure. But this was in 2001 so like for two years just built a website as a hobby and
00:08:46.080 –> 00:08:55.770
Ian Howells: That was kind of it and then 2001 was introduced to this whole affiliate thing. And I was like, Okay, this will be great. So put some banners on the site.
00:08:56.160 –> 00:09:09.300
Ian Howells: First month sell like 30 T shirts and make 150 bucks. And I was like, Oh damn, this is amazing because at this point I’m 17 right so the option is either work every Saturday for the like.
00:09:09.630 –> 00:09:21.120
Ian Howells: $5 and 25 cents an hour. I think that minimum wage was at that point, or just screw around on the internet and make the same amount of money each month. I was like, this is beautiful.
00:09:21.660 –> 00:09:29.760
Ian Howells: And then the second month hats and we sell like three t shirts. And then the third month hits and we don’t sell any news like ah shit.
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Ian Howells: Okay, so turn. Turns out we have like the same hundred to 200 visitors to the website every single day. So by month three of promoting literally one thing everyone saw it already. So like if they were going to buy one of those T shirts, they already bought it and we were done.
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Ian Howells: So then it was like okay well I need a lot of traffic and I need a lot of new traffic. And if you ask any 17 year old guy on the internet. What gets a lot of traffic on the web is answers probably going to be the same. It was an adult websites will will say to use the
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Jacob Stoops: Horn, it’s for
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Ian Howells: Clean important. Yeah, yeah, it’s probably part
00:10:13.500 –> 00:10:13.980
00:10:15.930 –> 00:10:26.340
Ian Howells: So that it was like Okay, so here’s how dumb. I was, I had a shared hosting account that was running me like 20 or 30 bucks a month at that point because hosting this still pricey.
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Ian Howells: And I go to one adult site, they don’t even I think they still exist, but they’re not really a thing anymore. They were called T GPS thumbnail gallery posts.
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Ian Howells: Which was basically a big just text list and every day, there’d be like 50 or 100 new links and it’d be like an eight word description and you would click through.
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Ian Howells: And then all of the most of the listings were like third party external people sites and you would build a single page photo gallery with like
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Ian Howells: 10 to 15 thumbnails and then two or three calls to action to try and push people to a pay site to get them to sign up is that the short version of how it worked.
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Ian Howells: Here’s how idiotic. I was, I went to one tip there were two big ones that I knew about through, you know, recreational internet usage, let’s say,
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Ian Howells: I went to the first big one that I know about click through to one of the galleries downloaded all the photos built my own gallery and submitted it to the second
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Ian Howells: Big tip site that I knew about. And instead of pushing an adult site with adult content. I tried to sell them offensive T shirts from t shirt health so
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Ian Howells: Total copyright infringement, because I just stole, I had no right to use those images whatsoever just downloaded them and through them back up on a new page.
00:11:47.100 –> 00:11:58.860
Ian Howells: And then took people that were looking for pictures of naked women, and then said, hey, want to buy a t shirt. So that was about as well as you would expect.
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Ian Howells: To go
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Jacob Stoops: It’s a logical jump, I guess.
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Ian Howells: Right. Because, because I didn’t even like it had not even occurred to me yet that like affiliate programs existed for other things I just knew about this one. So when you only have a hammer.
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Ian Howells: Everything looks like a nail. So I was like, well, okay, I’ll just get a bunch of traffic to look at this banner and surely someone will buy a t shirt.
00:12:21.960 –> 00:12:32.430
Ian Howells: Turns out, no and turns out a small shared hosting account cannot withstand like 70,000 visits in a 24 hour period, at least at that point.
00:12:32.910 –> 00:12:42.900
Ian Howells: So my hosting crashes, the host wasn’t a huge host. So I have the actual guy who owns the company emailing me basically saying like, what the hell are you doing
00:12:44.490 –> 00:12:54.030
Ian Howells: So that was great. A nice bandwidth overcharged that I’ve been had to come up with. But that was my first kind of exposure to
00:12:54.720 –> 00:13:08.430
Ian Howells: Holy crap. There’s way more traffic than, like, I realized, one could get to there were like 70,000 people in a day before the hosting crash. So like it could have been over 100 for all I know.
00:13:09.030 –> 00:13:25.620
Ian Howells: And then, you know, kind of the head smacking like maybe I should try and sell somebody. The thing that they are very clearly looking for not trying to divert them to another. So it was a good lesson, even though it was like a $200 bandwidth bill that I had to
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Jeff Louella: Pay for
00:13:27.330 –> 00:13:30.450
Ian Howells: Which one, you’re 17 is not, you know, super, super fun.
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Jacob Stoops: I think the question that I wanted. So how long did you stay in the in the porn game in terms of, like, working, working on the those types of sites.
00:13:41.610 –> 00:13:50.700
Ian Howells: Until I met my now wife in 2005 okay so that’s so almost four years, four years, yep.
00:13:51.180 –> 00:13:53.430
Jacob Stoops: So you’re 17 at the time and you
00:13:53.430 –> 00:13:53.910
00:13:56.160 –> 00:13:56.310
Jacob Stoops: The
00:13:56.430 –> 00:13:59.610
Jacob Stoops: The only thing I can imagine is a lot of giggling
00:14:01.200 –> 00:14:01.920
Jacob Stoops: And not only that,
00:14:02.370 –> 00:14:04.620
Ian Howells: The novelty wears off pretty quick.
00:14:04.800 –> 00:14:06.660
Jacob Stoops: Well, that’s what I was gonna ask one. What’s it
00:14:06.810 –> 00:14:11.880
Jacob Stoops: What is it like having never like done work for a porn site. I know that there are
00:14:11.880 –> 00:14:19.470
Jacob Stoops: People that do that. And then, especially being that young, how the hell did you explain that to your parents or did you
00:14:20.460 –> 00:14:30.180
Ian Howells: So they knew I was running websites because at the time. I still had to literally like use my mom’s credit card to buy domains.
00:14:30.180 –> 00:14:32.280
Ian Howells: Because I’m 70 like I didn’t
00:14:32.490 –> 00:14:39.750
Ian Howells: So I would literally give her cash and then she would punch her credit card number into I.
00:14:41.700 –> 00:14:45.660
Ian Howells: I can’t remember in my domain GoDaddy. I can’t remember the first place I bought a domain.
00:14:47.520 –> 00:14:54.630
Ian Howells: But they were like $30 a year at the time, like when I first bought a domain, like now it’s a joke it like there’s
00:14:55.200 –> 00:15:00.480
Ian Howells: Some deal. These are like a buck 99 or 99 cents. It’s not ones you want, but still
00:15:00.900 –> 00:15:08.130
Ian Howells: Like at that point 30 bucks a year for your domain plus 20 or 30 bucks a month for hosting like kind of bar was was a lot higher.
00:15:08.490 –> 00:15:20.850
Ian Howells: And so they knew that like this was a thing. And mostly about the hobby site that was that I was running with my cousin until check started showing up at the house and then it was like, what, what the hell is this
00:15:22.950 –> 00:15:29.670
Ian Howells: Yeah, about that. So I think they were thankfully they were super cool about it. They were
00:15:30.420 –> 00:15:39.360
Ian Howells: I guess a good point of context here when I was 17 my parents were 35 and 36 they were 18 and 19 when they had me
00:15:40.140 –> 00:15:52.140
Ian Howells: So they were my age now basically so me having a 17 year old kid. So they still remembered I guess the point is they still remembered kind of being a 17 or 18 year old because
00:15:52.470 –> 00:16:00.990
Ian Howells: They were like 15 months away from accidentally getting pregnant with yours truly. So of all the things that I could be getting into, I think, was their
00:16:02.010 –> 00:16:17.700
Ian Howells: Perspective. This was like that that big of a deal like okay if you turn a 17 year old kid loose with a cable internet connection. He’s probably going to look at porn. Anyway, like screw and if he’s going to make money off of it like it’s not illegal, like what the hell.
00:16:18.810 –> 00:16:19.050
00:16:21.720 –> 00:16:22.860
Jacob Stoops: So where did you go from there.
00:16:24.000 –> 00:16:35.730
Ian Howells: So did the adult thing for a while. A big regret is that I did not push harder on that front. Right. Because once I got to the point where I was making a few hundred dollars a month.
00:16:36.450 –> 00:16:45.600
Ian Howells: I then just got super lazy like being a kid still at that point, like I didn’t have a concept of hey, if you work really hard.
00:16:46.110 –> 00:16:54.960
Ian Howells: And do a lot of effort into this like this can become like a big, full time income level type situation.
00:16:55.800 –> 00:17:03.960
Ian Howells: Like I just had no awareness of the fact that that was even possible, right. I’m like 18 months removed from. Oh my god, you can make money on the internet.
00:17:04.290 –> 00:17:08.880
Ian Howells: So the fact that, like this could be the way somebody supports themselves full time.
00:17:09.630 –> 00:17:16.950
Ian Howells: Just didn’t even seem like a plausible thing. So I would work to the point where I was making like six or 800 bucks a month.
00:17:17.490 –> 00:17:25.890
Ian Howells: And then we’re just kind of let it coast and then if like if money started falling off, I’d build a couple more pages or free sites at that time they were called
00:17:26.640 –> 00:17:34.140
Ian Howells: And get it back to the point where it was up in that six $800 range again and then like repeat just over and over and over again because
00:17:34.800 –> 00:17:40.770
Ian Howells: You know, as long as I was buying video games. And then in college like beer money like
00:17:41.400 –> 00:17:55.170
Ian Howells: It didn’t, you know, it didn’t seem like a pressing thing to you know forgo going out for the night to sit at home and you know Peck away and dream Weaver and make new new pages look. What is the quote night in
00:17:55.230 –> 00:18:10.200
Jacob Stoops: The movie The Social Network. I feel like it’s Justin Timberlake character that that says something to the effect of, you know, what’s cool you think or something like you think a million dollars is cool. Let me tell you what’s really cool a billion dollars.
00:18:11.580 –> 00:18:12.870
Jacob Stoops: If you needed that mindset.
00:18:13.020 –> 00:18:13.920
Jeff Louella: Yeah, I
00:18:14.040 –> 00:18:17.610
Ian Howells: Did not did not have that, I guess, unfortunately, so
00:18:18.960 –> 00:18:31.170
Ian Howells: I kind of plugged away on that for you know, while until 2005 when I met my wife ended up selling the the few sites that I had that were worth selling at that point.
00:18:31.740 –> 00:18:40.500
Ian Howells: The ones that had kind of their own traffic and wasn’t just the hamster wheel of like submit a page get listed get traffic. Three days later, it’s gone. And you just kind of repeat
00:18:41.490 –> 00:18:51.750
Ian Howells: And moved from the adult industry into online poker. So, you know, again, just sticking with like vice marketing, I guess, and going with stuff that
00:18:53.910 –> 00:19:01.200
Ian Howells: I knew from my own internet usage, let’s say, and stuff that had attractive payouts right because the
00:19:01.680 –> 00:19:13.170
Ian Howells: The attractive thing about the adult industry was a a sign up, it’d be worth anywhere from 30 to $50 one time CPA and there was just
00:19:14.070 –> 00:19:30.060
Ian Howells: an absurd abundance of traffic to be had. Right. So, like, getting to the point where you’re doing like I said that six $800 a month level was not hard, like I did not know anything, and was doing that as like a 17 1819 year old kid.
00:19:31.080 –> 00:19:50.220
Ian Howells: So went from that to online poker only really pushed an online poker for like a year because in I think it was October of 2006 the safe port act passes and online gambling in the US, almost disappears overnight.
00:19:50.220 –> 00:19:53.490
Ian Howells: Because all the major credit card processors lose the ability to
00:19:53.820 –> 00:20:07.590
Ian Howells: Run charges for these gambling sites. So I had a good year primarily promoting poker room calm the big draw. There was, it was now $100 like if you got a real money.
00:20:08.280 –> 00:20:19.560
Ian Howells: Verified deposit player you get 100 bucks so started out really simple and kind of scam me were like the weekly poker game that me and my friends did on Tuesday.
00:20:19.890 –> 00:20:25.590
Ian Howells: I just got the other nine guys to sign up through my affiliate link and then it was like, okay, sign up
00:20:26.040 –> 00:20:37.110
Ian Howells: And then get on aim and let me know your name in poker room, and then we’ll start a heads up match and I will just intentionally lose $50 to you.
00:20:37.410 –> 00:20:45.840
Ian Howells: And we’ll call it. Even so, like you sign up for me. I got 100 bucks. I’ll purposely dump 50 bucks to you in game because we can just talk on AIM about like
00:20:46.260 –> 00:20:58.350
Ian Howells: What cards we have and figure out how to how to make this work. So like a a in incentivize traffic, I guess, through real life and then just started building out
00:20:59.250 –> 00:21:16.650
Ian Howells: Fairly simple sites through recounting what I actually did was just word count games that I would actually play online and made like a online poker blog basically just talking about playing online and then having poker room calm ads all the hell over the place.
00:21:17.910 –> 00:21:27.150
Ian Howells: But only got to do that for like a year, which is unfortunate because hundred dollar payouts were really good and in like 2005 2004 or five, six, like right after
00:21:27.780 –> 00:21:36.480
Ian Howells: Chris moneymaker basically made online poker exploded in popularity, there was kind of lots of traffic and referrals to go around.
00:21:37.680 –> 00:21:47.460
Ian Howells: But then it all disappears overnight because of a bill that the Senate passes so I’m near the tail end of college. At this point, I was on the five year plan.
00:21:48.090 –> 00:22:00.540
Ian Howells: I majored in graphic design and I figured like, hey, I can just like I’m already building websites for myself, like maybe I can just get a job building websites for other people. So that’s how I ended up picking graphic design as my
00:22:01.230 –> 00:22:08.610
Ian Howells: As my major. Again, it did not occur to me that, like, oh, I could just work for myself or I can just build sites that that earn money.
00:22:10.110 –> 00:22:18.930
Ian Howells: And so I’m in what was supposed to be my last year of college turned out to be year year four of five.
00:22:19.980 –> 00:22:31.170
Ian Howells: And it just, you know, the bottom falls out, like the all the sites I have are now completely worthless. Nobody will want to buy them because they can’t monetize the traffic either
00:22:31.800 –> 00:22:37.110
Ian Howells: So that kind of reinforced for me that, like, yeah, maybe this whole
00:22:37.830 –> 00:22:44.130
Ian Howells: You know, trying to make money on the internet thing, definitely. It’s not a thing that you should do as your attempt at full time income because
00:22:44.370 –> 00:22:51.300
Ian Howells: Stuff like this could happen where one day you just wake up and because of something that has nothing to do with you all your money is just gone.
00:22:53.340 –> 00:22:59.490
Ian Howells: So the following year in 2007 I am getting ready to
00:23:00.510 –> 00:23:07.950
Ian Howells: Coming into college and as a graphic design, Major, you have to do a senior show with like your art portfolio. Right, so I need a printer.
00:23:09.000 –> 00:23:26.010
Ian Howells: Locally to print all my stuff. And so I pull out the Yellow Book, like the physical Yellow Book. I don’t know if you’re our younger listeners here. Oh remember what the hell it was but there used to be these books that were like 300 pages and had phone numbers for everybody.
00:23:26.100 –> 00:23:26.550
00:23:27.630 –> 00:23:41.220
Ian Howells: So I’m flipping through the Yellow Pages looking for a printer and I come across a listing for pepper jam Internet marketing in Wilkes barre Pennsylvania and I’m 20 minutes north of Wilkes barre in Scranton PA at this point.
00:23:43.290 –> 00:23:59.430
Ian Howells: And I was like, What the hell, there’s an internet marketing company in Wilkes Barre, so then that leads me to their website, it was hilarious. The bad. It’s a super like 19th looking website if you go through the Internet Archive and look at what pepper jam calm, but I think it was
00:23:59.460 –> 00:24:00.360
Ian Howells: Pepper jam search
00:24:00.420 –> 00:24:04.440
Ian Howells: Com. At that point, looks like in like 2007 but
00:24:06.150 –> 00:24:11.910
Ian Howells: I ended up emailing the VP of search can moan with just like, hey,
00:24:12.600 –> 00:24:32.100
Ian Howells: I mean, how’s here’s some stuff that I’ve done, and just talk about like selling subscriptions to porn sites and poker online, not even thinking for a minute that like, hey, maybe this is kind of weird and like that and not the way to get a response from like an actual company doing
00:24:32.160 –> 00:24:33.030
Ian Howells: Internet marketing.
00:24:33.960 –> 00:24:39.360
Ian Howells: Turns out, though it was a great idea because they later told me like that was the reason that he answered the cold.
00:24:39.630 –> 00:24:46.140
Ian Howells: Email was like, Oh, somebody has built affiliate websites before and like gotten traffic through search and monetized it
00:24:46.560 –> 00:24:54.930
Ian Howells: And so had I not mentioned it, and was just like, oh, I’m a local college student at Mary, would I was wondering if there were internships or whatever he probably would have completely ignored me
00:24:55.920 –> 00:25:07.740
Ian Howells: But that got me a phone interview in person interview then internship my last semester of college and then college graduation was a Sunday that Monday I started at pepper jam full time.
00:25:08.970 –> 00:25:17.730
Ian Howells: Six months later I was running the SEO team at pepper jam in fairness, it didn’t even really exist when I got there was basically can the BP in one writer.
00:25:17.940 –> 00:25:26.490
Ian Howells: So he looked at it, it’s like, Okay, great. Here’s somebody that knows SEO like let me just dump this chunk of work off on him and he can run with it.
00:25:27.600 –> 00:25:38.580
Ian Howells: Short version three years later pepper jam cells to gtsi commerce down in Philadelphia. That’s where I meet Mr. The Willa. And my boss for like the nine minutes that he stuck around
00:25:40.140 –> 00:25:44.250
Jeff Louella: And though that was interesting times. I mean, Pepper jam. When we we bought
00:25:45.510 –> 00:25:57.480
Jeff Louella: We bought pepper jam for its affiliate network. Yep. And then it was interesting. And then like learning when we peel back some of the skins on the onion, see what’s behind there there was some fun things we found, but
00:25:57.540 –> 00:25:58.920
Ian Howells: Oh, it was garbage.
00:26:00.210 –> 00:26:03.030
Jeff Louella: Yeah, I think they had, like, once they got in there like crap.
00:26:03.240 –> 00:26:13.710
Jeff Louella: We bought, but it’s still around today and it seems like it’s it’s gotten better. But I remember just getting I come into the office and my boss at the time was just like
00:26:14.370 –> 00:26:22.800
Jeff Louella: Hey, we bought a company and they have an SEO team just drive up there and meet them and see see who you want to you know who you like up there and things like that so
00:26:23.550 –> 00:26:30.540
Jeff Louella: Me and Bill Sebald drove up there. I don’t know if you remember that day, but it was kind of it was fun. I think it was meet you, Eric and Todd.
00:26:32.310 –> 00:26:42.390
Jeff Louella: I think that was really the three they might have been someone else or two, but no, it was, it was interesting time and right there. Like, I think we all got kind of got along really well and
00:26:44.100 –> 00:26:51.720
Jeff Louella: And after that, you kind of taught me some things about affiliates and I think we use some or at least I used I’ll say some auto blogging tools that
00:26:52.440 –> 00:26:55.890
Jeff Louella: Got me a little bit of money that I learned I was because I always want to learn to kind of the
00:26:56.640 –> 00:27:10.890
Jeff Louella: The darker side of SEO. And at that time I was I was still somewhat newer I was a developer who moved into SEO when I was at Razorfish, and then right my second job was at GSA and you will learn that a deal size network. He couldn’t do much on
00:27:11.970 –> 00:27:16.920
Jeff Louella: The and every time I would go to a client. So you have to fix this, this and this and they’re like, well, we can’t because our platform is bad.
00:27:18.150 –> 00:27:19.920
Ian Howells: And by the way, our platforms you
00:27:20.460 –> 00:27:21.090
Jeff Louella: Yeah, exactly.
00:27:22.830 –> 00:27:23.730
Ian Howells: slightly awkward.
00:27:25.290 –> 00:27:31.500
Jeff Louella: So that that was always an issue there. But we, but yeah. When I got to meet you at that point it was, it was awesome. And then
00:27:32.010 –> 00:27:38.880
Jeff Louella: I just, you know, was hitting my head against the wall bunch of times there and you had some falling outs between me and some of the
00:27:39.540 –> 00:27:46.110
Jeff Louella: I’ll say I was in a weird position because I wasn’t leadership, but I reported all to the like the major leadership there.
00:27:46.770 –> 00:28:00.510
Jeff Louella: But then with the people in my life I was the only one who wasn’t like a VP or director level with all in all, the VP meetings. And then when I would go back to everyone who was like the same level as me. They wouldn’t want to talk to me because I thought I was a snitch.
00:28:02.760 –> 00:28:04.290
Ian Howells: The plant the leadership.
00:28:05.310 –> 00:28:05.610
Jeff Louella: It.
00:28:06.120 –> 00:28:14.430
Jeff Louella: Was I was caught out that one time in a meeting. They said, like when I was in there like they thought I was the leadership, like a snitch on the leadership. And I’m like, I’m the opposite of that. Like, I’ll tell you everything they’re doing
00:28:15.780 –> 00:28:16.320
Jeff Louella: It but uh
00:28:16.440 –> 00:28:17.040
00:28:18.180 –> 00:28:21.780
Ian Howells: Guys, don’t get me wrong, I’m a terrible employee. I’m not helping them.
00:28:23.850 –> 00:28:31.590
Jeff Louella: And those meetings were just all insane anyway. But, so I would go through things and eventually I just told Bill as I go. I had to leave.
00:28:31.980 –> 00:28:38.310
Jeff Louella: And at that point, they decided that they were going to make be part of the leadership and like, Well, no, that’s not like I’m already made my decision.
00:28:38.970 –> 00:28:46.080
Jeff Louella: But the fun part was I had to the person who was in charge of the platform come to me because I always complained him about how bad the platform was
00:28:46.500 –> 00:28:54.330
Jeff Louella: So like they were coming out with like platform 11 or something and he they tried to get me to stay and become part of the platform team to make the platform or SEO friendly.
00:28:55.170 –> 00:29:06.750
Jeff Louella: Because that was always my plan was like you make the platform better every client, we have on it is better. Why are we trying to sell our clients SEO when we can fix our platform. And we got a percentage of all sales. We could have made it better.
00:29:07.890 –> 00:29:21.120
Jeff Louella: Than I heard like that platform didn’t really do very well and then eBay bought everybody and then it became like, then it was like an interesting I saw how they merge everything packaged it like fanatics com came out from that and then
00:29:21.450 –> 00:29:37.440
Ian Howells: Man, Michael Rubin is like, just like God damn. I don’t know how the hell he talked a bay and the letting him keep fanatics and the official league stores out of that deal and still walked away with two two or two 4 billion.
00:29:38.640 –> 00:29:39.120
Ian Howells: Amazing.
00:29:39.960 –> 00:29:42.120
Jeff Louella: And I see, I’m a big Sixers fan.
00:29:42.630 –> 00:29:47.910
Jeff Louella: And I see him sitting on the sidelines and next to like Allen Iverson and Meek Mill’s and I’m just like,
00:29:48.240 –> 00:29:54.120
Jeff Louella: Not bad. Not a bad job because, I mean, I’ve got, I had a couple meetings with him, where I got the pitch and he was
00:29:54.690 –> 00:30:01.140
Jeff Louella: He’s a smart dude. He was very energetic, you know, and I was great. But it was interesting time where it’s like, once he sold them like
00:30:01.650 –> 00:30:09.570
Jeff Louella: Hey, you started some sneakers out of the back of his mom’s car is kind of like a Amazon story in a way, you know, not as big, right. He’s not millionaire, but at the same time.
00:30:09.930 –> 00:30:11.160
Ian Howells: Thanks. All right, I think.
00:30:12.450 –> 00:30:13.500
Jeff Louella: For billions. Not too bad.
00:30:13.800 –> 00:30:18.000
Jeff Louella: You know and and become a minority owner of the Sixers and running.
00:30:18.240 –> 00:30:19.440
Ian Howells: fanatics and still
00:30:19.530 –> 00:30:24.450
Ian Howells: crushing it just that even if he had nothing else in the past. Just that alone like he’s
00:30:24.840 –> 00:30:28.830
Jeff Louella: Good at anything by rue La La are also some of those others flash sale site.
00:30:28.860 –> 00:30:30.600
Ian Howells: Yeah, real law was rolled in.
00:30:31.770 –> 00:30:42.600
Ian Howells: Mostly for the the email. We bought we being gtsi while I was there CLEAR SAILING so order attribution company out of Ohio. I think in like
00:30:42.630 –> 00:30:42.870
Jeff Louella: I was
00:30:42.990 –> 00:30:44.280
Ian Howells: Out in a lemon
00:30:44.520 –> 00:30:46.440
Jeff Louella: I was the person to introduce them all.
00:30:46.560 –> 00:30:53.790
Jeff Louella: Because I was a I was friends with some people over CLEAR SAILING and they asked me to introduce them to the analytics team.
00:30:55.020 –> 00:30:56.310
Jeff Louella: I was hoping I got a kick, but
00:30:57.360 –> 00:31:00.000
Jeff Louella: I left before that even like fully materialized but
00:31:01.020 –> 00:31:08.640
Ian Howells: But no, that was I guess just to complete kind of the, the career arc overview here gtsi
00:31:09.540 –> 00:31:23.700
Ian Howells: Jeff left very shortly after I got there, Bill Sebald was running the team. Start of 2011 bill Sebald decides he’s had enough. And he gets out of there. So then the hot potato goes to me run the SEO team inside there.
00:31:24.030 –> 00:31:34.830
Ian Howells: Jeff and I were talking before we started recording here. It had like 19 names because they kept hired new creative directors and day one every creative director wanted to rebrand the agency.
00:31:35.640 –> 00:31:47.160
Ian Howells: Eventually eBay buys the thing I lose interest pretty rapidly after we become part of eBay, like HR turned into, literally, here’s a phone number for a call center in Utah.
00:31:48.810 –> 00:31:57.900
Ian Howells: Call them if you need anything, right, like when you have that many employees, like, yeah, you’re not going to have big HR teams in each office, it would be crazy. So it makes sense, but
00:31:58.560 –> 00:32:06.570
Ian Howells: Wasn’t wasn’t for me and to 2012 end up going moving down to Charlotte, North Carolina, where I still am to work at Red ventures.
00:32:07.380 –> 00:32:21.570
Ian Howells: Ran, one of the the SEO teams in there until 2016 left RV in 2016 to head up the SEO team at lending tree and did that from 16 until
00:32:22.140 –> 00:32:33.720
Ian Howells: August of 2019 like I like I mentioned briefly before and now in the meantime affiliate stuff consulting launch Traffic Think Tank two years in a couple months ago now.
00:32:34.410 –> 00:32:39.270
Ian Howells: So always had kind of stuff going on outside of the main full time job. But that’s kind of the
00:32:39.870 –> 00:32:48.510
Ian Howells: The rough shape of the full time work with small agency with pepper jam get bought by a bigger agency in the form of gtsi eBay nine other different names.
00:32:49.470 –> 00:32:55.860
Ian Howells: In house to red ventures, which was a really interesting blend of in house and agency, because at that point.
00:32:56.400 –> 00:33:06.540
Ian Howells: RV didn’t really own their own website properties. It was licensed like it would be branded domains for DirecTV or ADT
00:33:07.470 –> 00:33:16.020
Ian Howells: So it was in partnership with large companies. So we were kind of an affiliate, but kind of in house because all the dev and tech and everything happened internally.
00:33:16.560 –> 00:33:36.660
Ian Howells: And then in house at back to a public company in house a lending tree and kind of getting reacquainted with the pros and cons of being at a large public co with, you know, the pros being most things comp related and the cons being the general speed at which things can get done.
00:33:37.650 –> 00:33:38.310
00:33:40.380 –> 00:33:52.800
Jacob Stoops: So let’s talk about Traffic Think Tank, you guys are two plus years into that. Now, what led to that. Like what’s behind the idea. What’s it like today in terms of running that
00:33:53.400 –> 00:34:05.370
Ian Howells: Yeah, I think what led to it really Eubanks So Nick, did traffic thing tag. The one I guess you would call it on his own. So it was
00:34:06.450 –> 00:34:18.330
Ian Howells: Similar and very different at the same time. So he limited to I think 12 people but higher price point. It was 500 bucks a month.
00:34:18.780 –> 00:34:24.090
Ian Howells: But you had to sign up for the year. So basically he got 12 people to sign on for six grand
00:34:24.630 –> 00:34:34.020
Ian Howells: And then it was a Facebook group at that point. So like a 13 person Facebook group. So these 12 people and Nick. So, a lot more
00:34:34.380 –> 00:34:41.850
Ian Howells: Kind of deeper one on one individual consultation, because there’s only 12 people right like that’s a decently manageable.
00:34:42.540 –> 00:34:54.420
Ian Howells: Number to kind of go more in depth with with every single person. And part of what he did was each month he would do one like guest webinar on zoom right basically just
00:34:54.930 –> 00:35:02.490
Ian Howells: People, he knew from the industry through his own network would just ask, like, Hey, would you, would you be cool with coming on and doing a webinar for these folks.
00:35:03.390 –> 00:35:11.850
Ian Howells: He bought me some really good mine in exchange for doing it, which I didn’t know what was gonna happen when I said yes but like was a very nice Park afterward.
00:35:12.330 –> 00:35:23.100
Ian Howells: So I had done a webinar for him. And then he was starting to kind of come to the end of the 12 months, I think it was in like month nine or something.
00:35:23.700 –> 00:35:26.310
Ian Howells: And I had just made like a very offhandedly like
00:35:26.940 –> 00:35:39.510
Ian Howells: Hey, if you’re going to do TGT again like let me know if you know there’s a way for me to get involved or whatever, like something benign and kind of off the cuff. I had no Nick at that point.
00:35:40.050 –> 00:35:50.940
Ian Howells: Nick and I met into late 2010 or early 2011 through the Philadelphia SEO meetup SEO grill, which was phenomenal and like
00:35:51.600 –> 00:36:03.270
Ian Howells: Just an absurd roster of people. So we can go into that in a minute to so I didn’t know Nick for several years at this point. So just kind of threw that offer out there like, hey, if you’re looking to do more with this thing. Let me know.
00:36:04.500 –> 00:36:12.120
Ian Howells: And he had gotten back and was like, actually. Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Like, I think the model makes sense.
00:36:13.290 –> 00:36:23.160
Ian Howells: If it scales up like I think we could scale up membership and bring down the price. So it’s not like you got to sign up for six grand for a year, right off the bat.
00:36:24.000 –> 00:36:32.490
Ian Howells: And kind of reach more people because at that point, you know, and I’m talking about like a history. It’s two years and four months ago, or whenever
00:36:34.650 –> 00:36:44.220
Ian Howells: You think about SEO book in that community kind of getting shuttered because Aaron had decided that he was going to kind of step back from doing that.
00:36:44.580 –> 00:37:03.150
Ian Howells: So that left kind of a void where. Okay, there was a paid SEO forum that ran. I think it was 99 bucks a month. So like not a in substantial price point, like a good gate to make sure that everybody in there was serious, so that it kind of left a void, and then
00:37:04.380 –> 00:37:07.020
Ian Howells: The mas community at that point was in a
00:37:07.860 –> 00:37:18.000
Ian Howells: Let’s call it a bit of turmoil. Right. Eventually, like they end up having to do layoffs and all that stuff that’s part of mothers history now that we don’t have to go into. But there was generally a
00:37:18.390 –> 00:37:30.720
Ian Howells: A lack of I think outside of Twitter but Twitter is very noisy and chaotic. There wasn’t a great like single point of community at least that I was aware of
00:37:31.770 –> 00:37:33.570
Ian Howells: So that felt like
00:37:34.620 –> 00:37:39.330
Ian Howells: To nick that felt like a big opportunity and I was less certain.
00:37:39.870 –> 00:37:51.480
Ian Howells: Matthew Howells-Barby, same kind of general opinion he did a big LinkedIn post about kind of the, the formation of traffic think tank where he says, much the same thing that like he wasn’t as confident as Nick was
00:37:51.960 –> 00:38:07.440
Ian Howells: You had Nick on already. I think one of the things that became probably very clear within the first few minutes of talking to him is that super high energy will make decisions quickly and then once he decides he’s going to do a thing like he’s he’s going to do the damn thing.
00:38:08.580 –> 00:38:19.710
Ian Howells: So he was kind of more bullish on it. I was like, maybe we’ll get 100 members like we can probably get 100 people that are serious enough that they’ll pay 99 bucks a month to join the thing
00:38:20.820 –> 00:38:31.440
Ian Howells: And I guess short story long. It went over a lot better than I initially thought. And it wasn’t until like month three where it was like oh shit like this could be
00:38:31.980 –> 00:38:41.640
Ian Howells: Like this could be a real thing. Like there is more appetite for this than I thought. I think what I discounted incorrectly. In the beginning was the
00:38:42.270 –> 00:38:52.740
Ian Howells: Amount of people that are individual affiliates and are just kind of like sitting in a home office by themselves all day grinding away doing their thing.
00:38:53.280 –> 00:39:06.540
Ian Howells: And people that are like the one online marketing person at their company right like digital is this one person and nobody else in the company knows what the hell they do.
00:39:06.930 –> 00:39:23.730
Ian Howells: They don’t have anybody to bounce ideas off of because again, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing all day and I think I just had a general lack of awareness of how many people find themselves in that situation. And I feel like that’s a need that we ended up filling
00:39:25.800 –> 00:39:27.750
Ian Howells: Hopefully, very well. So
00:39:28.050 –> 00:39:37.920
Jacob Stoops: One thing that occurred to me especially when you mentioned initially. Now, obviously, it’s much lower. Now it’s that initial $6,000 price point.
00:39:38.370 –> 00:39:53.340
Jacob Stoops: And I guess for for me thinking about like fine running that probably Nick being a more confident person than I would be like, Nope, I got this. Is that a lot of money to ask for people and it’s like
00:39:54.660 –> 00:40:04.890
Jacob Stoops: How do you bring enough value to justify somebody paying you that much money with with what you guys are doing that would feel like a lot of pressure.
00:40:05.640 –> 00:40:12.930
Jacob Stoops: Pressure to me. And I just wonder, how do you guys kind of manage that on ongoing in terms of making sure that the value is is there for the for the members.
00:40:13.350 –> 00:40:22.500
Ian Howells: So in the the first iteration. And again, this was 100% next on semi speculating here, but I’m fairly confident, how he basically positioned. It was like
00:40:23.190 –> 00:40:32.220
Ian Howells: Almost like your pre buying consulting time with him right so like it was the original 12 members if I’m remembering correctly. We’re all
00:40:32.940 –> 00:40:46.470
Ian Howells: people that own their own econ business or Legion business right like it wasn’t affiliates. It wasn’t the one full time marketing person at a company. It was the owner of a very small digital company.
00:40:46.950 –> 00:40:55.140
Ian Howells: That basically viewed this as I am purchasing $6,000 worth of strategy consulting from this person who knows what they’re doing.
00:40:55.500 –> 00:41:10.170
Ian Howells: I have a junior person or I can do like I have execution figured out what I need is guidance to make sure that I’m not shooting myself in the foot and that I’m doing smart things, I think, was basically the the rough
00:41:11.040 –> 00:41:20.910
Ian Howells: Outline of positioning there, which in that light, it makes sense, right, because if you think about an hourly SEO consulting right 500 bucks a month is a joke right so
00:41:21.330 –> 00:41:35.160
Ian Howells: I think with that angle it made sense. And then for him. I think attractive 12 people same 12 people, you get to go pretty deep with everybody. So you can kind of have more meaningful connections and results.
00:41:35.910 –> 00:41:44.430
Ian Howells: But now for us. I think the the responsibility part is interesting, I think, as the community has gotten bigger
00:41:44.940 –> 00:41:51.090
Ian Howells: We’ve gotten less and less reliant on me, Nick and Matt right because like first 50 members like
00:41:51.600 –> 00:41:58.980
Ian Howells: Munich and Matt one of us had to answer every single question that came in and slack. And I think as the community has grown
00:41:59.670 –> 00:42:08.340
Ian Howells: It’s now gotten to a point where, by the time I see a question come in, there’ll be three or four answers in a thread already from other people who
00:42:09.090 –> 00:42:16.770
Ian Howells: All know you know what they’re what they’re talking about every once in a while they’ll be like an idea for another whatever that will come in and be like, and maybe
00:42:17.880 –> 00:42:23.880
Ian Howells: Maybe don’t do that exactly but like Core Kernel of the idea is good. Like I would do XYZ
00:42:24.480 –> 00:42:33.150
Ian Howells: And so I think the the kind of self reinforcing aspect of the Community has been super exciting to watch kind of take take shape and continue to grow.
00:42:33.870 –> 00:42:41.850
Ian Howells: But it is. I think it is a responsibility on us to make sure that we continue to produce you know stuff that’s
00:42:42.270 –> 00:42:51.840
Ian Howells: Timely and useful in a variety of situations. I think that’s probably the hard part is trying to make sure that you’re creating guidance and resources that is
00:42:52.800 –> 00:42:57.000
Ian Howells: That are applicable to people in a variety of roles, because we have
00:42:57.720 –> 00:43:09.480
Ian Howells: Members in I think 21 of the 24 time zones working on every industry, you could imagine, right. So you have to try and make sure that you’re really hitting the, the core
00:43:10.050 –> 00:43:18.360
Ian Howells: Of a concept or idea and make sure that it’s actually useful for the community at large. And then the other piece is just ensuring that we continue to tap
00:43:19.950 –> 00:43:26.220
Ian Howells: Other experts in the community come on and talk about the stuff that they’re good at, right. So like having Hamlet. Come on.
00:43:26.700 –> 00:43:31.740
Ian Howells: And do a Python webinar was like extremely useful for a bunch of folks so we try and make sure that
00:43:32.160 –> 00:43:49.290
Ian Howells: You know we we keep our finger on the pulse of what what sort of stuff does the community want and then go out and see, okay, if that’s not like I can’t write Python to save my goddamn life. So when it’s something that like we can’t do go find somebody who can and bring him on so
00:43:49.440 –> 00:43:58.290
Jacob Stoops: Last question I want to ask in it’s not as much of a question is more of like, what’s it like in before we move on to the news.
00:43:59.160 –> 00:44:09.330
Jacob Stoops: You guys are. I think it’s your second event Traffic Think Tank live, which by the way it is. On May 16, it is not in Philadelphia. It’s in Miami.
00:44:10.050 –> 00:44:28.290
Jacob Stoops: For and I’m going to give you a quick promo for non members. It’s $349 for members traffic thing take members. It’s $149 for a ticket. So go bye bye bye attend attend attend, but I want to know. And I asked, Nick, the same question. What’s it like to put on an event.
00:44:28.650 –> 00:44:38.610
Ian Howells: Though was dumb. It was like it was so much more like when you talk like I’ve said a few times. Like my general lack of awareness like
00:44:39.060 –> 00:44:57.480
Ian Howells: I think all three of us were inflicted with that on this one. It was like, Oh, how much work. Can it be into a one day conference, like what could possibly be involved in this. Turns out there’s a dumb amount of work involved in running a conference we did the first one by ourselves.
00:44:58.920 –> 00:45:08.100
Ian Howells: Mistake. I don’t know. It was good that we did it because we realized very quickly. Like, how much is actually involved and how
00:45:08.100 –> 00:45:17.010
Ian Howells: Like, you should just hire a professional. If you’re gonna throw an event like just hire an event planner. And so we had
00:45:18.030 –> 00:45:24.360
Ian Howells: Yeah, it was hectic. So like literally 10 minutes before registration started the morning of the conference.
00:45:24.750 –> 00:45:32.010
Ian Howells: We were still working with the AV guy from the Hilton to try and get us to the point where slides would project onto the screen like
00:45:32.760 –> 00:45:42.510
Ian Howells: Everything was just going wrong like anything that could go wrong went wrong, like it was a good kind of intro, you know, kick in the face for
00:45:43.110 –> 00:45:55.020
Ian Howells: For running an event. But now, you know, thankfully, it still went over fine the presenters, all you know stepped up and delivered and talks were really good getting
00:45:55.410 –> 00:46:05.940
Ian Howells: I think the really great thing was getting all of these people that are used to interacting and slack together in person was awesome, right, because now all of a sudden
00:46:06.390 –> 00:46:15.900
Ian Howells: You have all these conversations happening where then light bulbs are going off, like, Oh, you’re a bubble. Like I recognize your, you know, Avatar and whatever, like you have all these folks who were talking online.
00:46:16.170 –> 00:46:21.390
Ian Howells: Now, getting to meet in person. So that was, that was awesome. And then this year.
00:46:23.160 –> 00:46:33.150
Ian Howells: Version we hired an event planning company they had done one of the earlier mas cons. So not only used to event planning, but also for our particular industry.
00:46:33.840 –> 00:46:48.870
Ian Howells: And that is worth every single penny that a good event planner will charge you because there’s so much stuff that we just had no idea about that she is just breezing through and it makes life a million times easier.
00:46:49.230 –> 00:46:57.600
Jacob Stoops: I feel like it probably gives you guys more of an opportunity to focus on the the content in the in the speakers and the and the quality and not worry about the minutia.
00:46:57.690 –> 00:47:07.530
Ian Howells: And that’s basically our only job this time around, which is great that we don’t have to get on the phone and talk about like Wi Fi connectivity in the room and chair covers and nonsense like that.
00:47:08.040 –> 00:47:15.750
Jacob Stoops: was awful. It’s like when you get married, you have to think about things like paying half people cut your cake for you or just
00:47:18.330 –> 00:47:18.840
Jacob Stoops: God
00:47:19.530 –> 00:47:20.340
Jeff Louella: It was a wedding planner.
00:47:20.970 –> 00:47:21.780
Jacob Stoops: Right, exactly.
00:47:21.900 –> 00:47:23.220
Ian Howells: Right, same, same idea you
00:47:23.460 –> 00:47:30.660
Jeff Louella: Know, I mean, it’s funny, thinking of the same way. So I used to run a homebrew club and we started off and it was
00:47:31.380 –> 00:47:43.290
Jeff Louella: Kind of out of just wanting to meet people in the industry. Next thing I know, we have like 300 members and like, I’m just, I ain’t got overwhelming for me to an extent, especially since I at that time recently had twins.
00:47:44.220 –> 00:47:49.650
Jeff Louella: Which, you know, adds a little, you know, cramped to going okay I’m going out drinking from a with a bunch of guys
00:47:51.510 –> 00:47:52.080
Jacob Stoops: With my kids.
00:47:53.190 –> 00:47:58.800
Jeff Louella: But, uh, but it was like everything they’re just setting it up. And that was just like one night a month and like I
00:47:59.100 –> 00:48:09.030
Jeff Louella: But I always did it kind of like this podcast right we we always wanted to have a good guest. So I was always trying to get like head brewers for all the local breweries and in Philadelphia, that time.
00:48:09.390 –> 00:48:15.510
Jeff Louella: Which there were a bunch and we would come in. We’ve talked about brewing have them like how that kind of like this podcast, how they got into it because
00:48:15.960 –> 00:48:24.690
Jeff Louella: As a home brewer, like a lot of people have dreams that open up their own brewery one day and real brewers will talk you out of it. They’re like, hey, do you want to be.
00:48:26.340 –> 00:48:33.870
Jeff Louella: Do you want to actually be a janitor because 99% where you are when you’re abroad because brewing beer is 5% of actually owning a brewery so
00:48:34.650 –> 00:48:39.450
Jeff Louella: But it was interesting that way. And I always want to being part of SEO grill.
00:48:40.230 –> 00:48:49.380
Jeff Louella: Like I kind of now being in Atlanta. Like, we really don’t have that close connection and I’d love to be able to like build one down here and I just know the amount of work. It’s going to take
00:48:49.830 –> 00:48:56.670
Jeff Louella: And, and, you know, I couldn’t imagine trying to actually have like 5000 people come in for a conference and how much work that actually takes
00:48:58.590 –> 00:48:59.460
Ian Howells: Yeah, it’s
00:49:00.540 –> 00:49:01.740
Ian Howells: It’s funny, like the
00:49:03.240 –> 00:49:15.960
Ian Howells: The finding good speakers and getting people to come and talk and like the logistics of that actually isn’t hard. The hardest part is when you get down to like we can have five
00:49:16.500 –> 00:49:27.360
Ian Howells: Who are the five people that we think are going to get on stage and like deliver something new that hasn’t been rehashed at 50 other conferences already right and so
00:49:28.140 –> 00:49:37.440
Ian Howells: And that’s the like the hard part on the, the speaker side, right, I think, thankfully, we’re in a community where like, generally, people are looking to
00:49:38.040 –> 00:49:49.380
Ian Howells: To share and talk about the stuff that they we, you know, have learned over the years, I think, you know, Nick Matt and I fortunate that we’re connected to
00:49:49.980 –> 00:50:02.790
Ian Howells: Folks like Jon Cooper, who generally don’t do the conference speaking thing like he’s not out there that’s an accent se es every season, you know, given it is same presentation over and over again.
00:50:03.840 –> 00:50:15.600
Ian Howells: But when we hit him up and we’re like, hey, we’re bringing a conference basically to your backyard, you’d like two hours away. Do you want to come speak like he’ll say yes and come to it.
00:50:15.600 –> 00:50:16.560
Ian Howells: So I think we’re
00:50:16.620 –> 00:50:31.140
Ian Howells: fortunate in that respect to it’s really just all the the minutia of like the actual logistical of event planning portion of it. That’s the hard part. And like I said, hiring a pro to take that weight off of our shoulders is
00:50:32.190 –> 00:50:32.790
Ian Howells: Amazing.
00:50:33.870 –> 00:50:34.350
00:50:35.910 –> 00:50:36.630
Jacob Stoops: So Jeff, what’s
00:50:38.130 –> 00:50:48.090
Jeff Louella: Cool. So it wasn’t really any major I’m going to say news is sweet, but there’s a bunch of little things. And a lot of times you know NEWS TODAY IS LIKE WHEN JOHN MUELLER says something
00:50:49.380 –> 00:50:57.180
Jeff Louella: So there was a lot of that because of his, his little town hall things that he runs, there were. So one of the big things.
00:50:57.930 –> 00:51:06.390
Jeff Louella: Was, you know, search engines get as search engines get better at intent, he basically said like keyword research is not going to go away, which
00:51:07.170 –> 00:51:17.670
Jeff Louella: You know, I look at it all as as much as Google comes out with Burt and all these different machine learnings. It is really based off the data that you’re giving it and that data is content.
00:51:18.630 –> 00:51:23.910
Jeff Louella: And, you know, knowing what search engines. You know what people are typing. It’s still always going to be important.
00:51:25.620 –> 00:51:30.660
Jeff Louella: And even I know like having different affiliate sites out there like and being very nice like
00:51:31.320 –> 00:51:38.340
Jeff Louella: Doing that keyword research are doing that, like research and gentleness, a keyword in an industry is ultra important to be able to
00:51:38.790 –> 00:51:53.430
Jeff Louella: Like if you’re going to start a site on something where no one is searching. There’s no nothing about it. Like, what’s the point of doing that right so so research is super important. I don’t know. I mean, I guess that it’s probably not much to go deeper into that one. But it seems like
00:51:55.500 –> 00:52:05.790
Jacob Stoops: This is where a yellow, yellow about things. So, so if you’re looking at. And this is an article on search engine roundtable THIS WEEK FROM WHAT IS IT THE 10th. It’s from yesterday. Yeah.
00:52:06.180 –> 00:52:12.540
Jacob Stoops: This so John’s response didn’t just come out of the blue. Right. It came in response because it’s
00:52:13.020 –> 00:52:24.690
Jacob Stoops: Beginning of 2020 so everybody’s making their big 2020 predictions. I’m Rick debut. Debut I doubt i’m pronouncing his name wrong and I’m and I’m going to go on record as saying that
00:52:25.140 –> 00:52:43.140
Jacob Stoops: This guy is probably way smarter than me. So maybe I have no fucking clue what I’m talking about. But he is. He is the person in charge of beings overall course search team and he is has essentially predicted predicted that this is the year that keyword research becomes obsolete.
00:52:43.680 –> 00:52:44.850
Jeff Louella: Which it’s coming.
00:52:44.880 –> 00:52:58.710
Jacob Stoops: And it’s just funny. The difference between what people have been you’re saying what people Google are saying and I agree with Jeff and I will say there. I wish there would be more times where we have disagreements, but we seem to be like
00:53:00.090 –> 00:53:12.600
Jacob Stoops: I don’t understand how researching and understanding if the data is available, what people are searching for when that becomes obsolete, like, in what way just because search engines are better.
00:53:13.200 –> 00:53:21.840
Jacob Stoops: At surfacing up a matching content to the particular queries like, Why the hell, wouldn’t we want to know what people are searching for, like, that’s
00:53:22.560 –> 00:53:30.990
Jacob Stoops: Data. Like, why wouldn’t we want that data. Why would we stop looking for that data, all of a sudden, just because search engines are good at matching. It just doesn’t make any freakin sense and it makes me wonder where the
00:53:31.320 –> 00:53:38.340
Jacob Stoops: Where the hell is their head at on the big side that they’re like coming out and saying stupid stuff like this. So I don’t know.
00:53:38.670 –> 00:53:40.200
Ian Howells: Well, I mean what smart.
00:53:40.320 –> 00:53:58.590
Ian Howells: smart decisions on search from bang would be a whole new frontier for us right so I you know bad takes coming from the big team is not something that expands incredible surprising here. Enjoy your 3% market share and continue with your hot takes, I guess.
00:53:58.950 –> 00:54:03.750
Jeff Louella: Yeah now. And it’s funny because there’s another news article out there about being loses out to duck, duck, go.
00:54:04.800 –> 00:54:06.900
Jeff Louella: In Google’s new kind of Android.
00:54:07.920 –> 00:54:11.700
Jeff Louella: They came out of, like, a search ballot and asks countries in Europe, because they’ve
00:54:12.630 –> 00:54:18.690
Jeff Louella: They got sued. You know that because they promote Google on Android devices, you know, makes sense that they would do that but
00:54:19.320 –> 00:54:30.120
Jeff Louella: You know, it also makes sense that that’s kind of, you know, playing a little bit of monopoly, so they they put out a ballot to people in different countries through the EU or what search engines. They want listed
00:54:30.750 –> 00:54:47.280
Jeff Louella: At like that you can change to besides Google. So the idea is like Google is probably going to be default, but if you want to change it. What ones get listed on there. And for most of Europe DuckDuckGo is well actually DuckDuckGo is number two, and every you country.
00:54:48.630 –> 00:55:00.990
Jeff Louella: And being is only in a certain amount of info.com and Queen and privacy Waller all before being so the only one that being kind of beat out DuckDuckGo
00:55:01.290 –> 00:55:06.540
Jeff Louella: Or any of the other ones was in the United Kingdom and we know everything with Brexit. Now it’s a
00:55:07.050 –> 00:55:20.460
Jeff Louella: It’s one of those things where it’s like every other country, you know, Italy, Lithuania, Iceland, Greece, everyone picked up. Don’t go in there. I’m not saying there’s the writing on the wall for being or anything like that, because being is is
00:55:21.480 –> 00:55:29.640
Jeff Louella: It’s funny because we compare them to Google, which is like 90% of everything well being, is it can the rest of world is still a leader to some of that but
00:55:30.210 –> 00:55:36.810
Jeff Louella: It is an interesting approach. What’s going on these days and DuckDuckGo is really pushing privacy, which I think is
00:55:37.560 –> 00:55:44.370
Jeff Louella: It’s interesting. I tried to stop using Google and use duck, duck, go for a couple months and then when I switch back to Google. I was like,
00:55:44.790 –> 00:55:55.230
Jeff Louella: Oh, all these things like complain about as an SEO, like, as a user, I are actually really good. It’s like, you know, pushes my 10 blue links down to the bottom like I missed that. DuckDuckGo does not have that so
00:55:56.640 –> 00:56:01.200
Jacob Stoops: I will say I like what DuckDuckGoes trying to do. I like their style.
00:56:01.620 –> 00:56:03.870
Jeff Louella: But when a duck, duck go shirt on. Yeah.
00:56:03.900 –> 00:56:05.640
Jacob Stoops: Right. Oh, you do have a duck, duck, go.
00:56:07.200 –> 00:56:09.990
Jacob Stoops: I don’t know where you would purchase such a thing. Maybe on affiliate site.
00:56:10.020 –> 00:56:10.740
Jeff Louella: On DuckDuckGo
00:56:12.240 –> 00:56:18.300
Jacob Stoops: But, um, I think the big advantage that being still has is their
00:56:18.870 –> 00:56:30.960
Jacob Stoops: inroads into other markets, similar to Google, like Google builds phones Google Now builds computers. Google does all kinds of shit. Well guess what, so does Microsoft. They have a massive browser with a lot of people still using it.
00:56:31.320 –> 00:56:46.200
Jacob Stoops: They do computers. They do all kinds of stuff. And guess what they’re going to make you use Bing on all of those things. It’s actually surprising, given the amount of users that they have that being isn’t representing representing more of a marketing share but that’s, I think,
00:56:46.770 –> 00:56:57.360
Jacob Stoops: Because Google has basically become so so big that they’re almost a verb. Now I don’t search something I Google it. I don’t DuckDuckGo it I don’t bring it I Google it. So,
00:56:58.020 –> 00:57:11.040
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, that’s it’s, it’s interesting. I don’t know if DuckDuckGo can ever overcome. You know, the advantages that those other two big players have with respect to the business, but I do like their style and I like their tenacity.
00:57:11.730 –> 00:57:19.350
Jeff Louella: And I don’t think their goal is to be bigger than Google, right, because I’m guessing there. I feel they’re pulling stuff in from Google. I don’t know exactly how they get the result.
00:57:19.380 –> 00:57:20.550
Jacob Stoops: Like the anti Google
00:57:21.300 –> 00:57:30.900
Jeff Louella: Yes. And there’s gonna always be a group of people who will enjoy that. Right. So as Google gets bigger and, you know, evil or
00:57:31.830 –> 00:57:43.050
Jeff Louella: And like basically the benefits of them sharing all my data between all the tools is convenient to some things, but some people don’t want all that data shared so DuckDuckGo would be great for that. So,
00:57:44.580 –> 00:57:52.650
Jacob Stoops: We, who is Sundar Pichai is he basically Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies. Is that is that who he is now.
00:57:53.940 –> 00:57:54.810
00:57:56.070 –> 00:57:57.210
Jacob Stoops: CEO of Google, I think.
00:57:57.210 –> 00:57:57.570
Jeff Louella: That
00:57:57.690 –> 00:58:08.340
Jacob Stoops: Those missions is don’t be evil, but I feel like increasingly they’re becoming they’re becoming a little bit more evil, just like Facebook. And I just wonder if maybe Dr. Evil running both of those.
00:58:10.170 –> 00:58:19.650
Jeff Louella: You know, I feel, Google. It’s when you have so much data. Right. It’s like, there are certain like they have more data than anyone probably in the whole world right now and it’s
00:58:20.070 –> 00:58:27.870
Jeff Louella: Just being able to make things more convenient kind of seems evil. I remember when they started running ads inside of Gmail and part of it was like
00:58:28.500 –> 00:58:34.080
Jeff Louella: There would be a something that would read your email. So that would give you an ad based off the content inside of your email.
00:58:34.440 –> 00:58:40.920
Jeff Louella: And the world flipped basically like you’re reading my emails and it’s, you know, just like, shut it off right now but Alexa
00:58:41.910 –> 00:58:55.680
Jeff Louella: You know, when we, you know, they’re always listening, but like, are they fully listening or they just listening for the word Alexa, I think some people jump on the evil thing very quickly does not necessarily. I don’t think they’re evil, but I also think that
00:58:57.030 –> 00:59:07.980
Jeff Louella: They can be very easily. Right, and I think they remove that whole, don’t be evil thing out of there. Yeah, so it’s those where we feel you’re not you’re not evil, but you’re also not
00:59:08.760 –> 00:59:17.190
Jeff Louella: You know it, you’re not planting trees where if you search that like other people are doing right and and things like that. So they are definitely a for profit company.
00:59:17.880 –> 00:59:21.420
Jacob Stoops: They start building a Death Star. Then I’m going to be really well.
00:59:21.420 –> 00:59:22.740
Ian Howells: Yeah face fours.
00:59:22.800 –> 00:59:23.550
It’s coming better
00:59:24.630 –> 00:59:29.550
Jeff Louella: Well, when they, when they bought Boston Dynamics right and it’s like they have AI and then they have robot.
00:59:30.630 –> 00:59:39.690
Jeff Louella: It would. That’s where I kind of got, like, oh, but then they sold off Boston Dynamics, but they still, it’s a little creepy, because their AI stuff and putting it in those robot dogs.
00:59:40.080 –> 00:59:44.190
Jeff Louella: Is like things in my dreams and I get like not my dreams my nightmares.
00:59:44.970 –> 00:59:45.990
Jacob Stoops: Jetsons or
00:59:46.650 –> 00:59:51.630
Jeff Louella: One of the two self driving cars like they’re everywhere. They’re doing a lot of things and it’s. To me, it’s
00:59:52.560 –> 01:00:02.310
Jeff Louella: Great because it’s pushing humanity forward to an extent it’s merging us with machines. So we all become cyborgs. But I just don’t want to, like, you know, have all my brain power, run by Google right now so
01:00:03.210 –> 01:00:07.620
Ian Howells: I don’t know, I’m ready to be a cyborg man my hairline is garbage, my eyes are trash.
01:00:07.620 –> 01:00:11.220
Ian Howells: Bring bring out and cybernetics. I am. I’m here for I’m. Let’s do this.
01:00:12.930 –> 01:00:21.600
Jeff Louella: I am also not the singularity is one of those things where it’s it’s coming. And, you know, if it can make me live. I always wanted to be bit by a vampire.
01:00:22.050 –> 01:00:35.190
Jeff Louella: So that can live forever and see like where technology goes. So if I can be on a cyborg. And the same thing happens. I think another way of doing it. The Vampire part like I’m old involved. Like, I don’t want to be a vampire forever right now.
01:00:36.990 –> 01:00:39.240
Ian Howells: I mean like a half here in the gym first before I
01:00:41.640 –> 01:00:43.050
Jeff Louella: Don’t want to be the old vampire at the
01:00:44.040 –> 01:00:46.920
Jacob Stoops: Subconscious and then by be. Oh my god.
01:00:48.090 –> 01:00:48.630
Jacob Stoops: Okay.
01:00:49.230 –> 01:00:58.200
Jacob Stoops: So I want to do a time check. Um, let’s move into phase three, and we’re going to deep dive into affiliate sites and I’m just gonna, I’m just going to
01:00:58.650 –> 01:01:06.030
Jacob Stoops: Caveat this by saying this is one of those places in SEO. It’s such a broad area that
01:01:06.750 –> 01:01:18.300
Jacob Stoops: You should have a base in everything but I feel like the longer that this in the older that this industry gets, the more opportunities that there are to specialize in the chances of you not
01:01:19.200 –> 01:01:33.240
Jacob Stoops: knowing everything is is is high, Python, that’s something I have no freakin clue what it is and I’m going to say affiliate sites, we’re going to talk about it, but I have. I’ve never done it. I have no clue. Not a damn clue.
01:01:33.870 –> 01:01:49.890
Jacob Stoops: What I’m, what I’m doing. So I’m going to rely on you as an expert and Jeff you as an expert to guide me through what’s it like what do you need to think about if you’re in 2020 and you’re trying to run an affiliate strategy.
01:01:51.600 –> 01:01:53.100
Ian Howells: So I think there’s
01:01:54.510 –> 01:02:01.830
Ian Howells: There’s probably two two different paths to to answering. This one is for folks that are maybe
01:02:02.520 –> 01:02:15.840
Ian Howells: Either newer in their career or have been in SEO or digital marketing PR bit in like an agency setting where you’re in, like you mentioned, a very specialized function and then there’s folks that are kind of
01:02:16.980 –> 01:02:25.260
Ian Howells: I guess further in their career, for lack of a better explanation and kind of deeper in their knowledge already for the new folks.
01:02:26.340 –> 01:02:32.550
Ian Howells: It’s great. And I recommend it for everybody that’s working at an SEO agency in that capacity.
01:02:33.150 –> 01:02:36.240
Ian Howells: Because you have to think about everything right like now.
01:02:36.540 –> 01:02:50.160
Ian Howells: The, the horseshit with oh the client will do this and like their pricing is higher, the content that competitors. So like, that’s why they’re not making money. And, you know, on and on and on and on every excuse is gone, right, like it’s just you.
01:02:50.700 –> 01:02:55.770
Ian Howells: And typically WordPress right like it’s you and a content management system and a domain.
01:02:56.160 –> 01:03:12.120
Ian Howells: And if it flops. It’s because of you. And if it does. Well, it’s because you did good things, right. So it kind of is a bit of a put up or shut up for for folks to put themselves into which is great because that’s when you learn stuff that you didn’t know
01:03:12.120 –> 01:03:12.840
Ian Howells: Before
01:03:12.900 –> 01:03:19.620
Ian Howells: Right, you have to get better at pre selling and copywriting otherwise you’re going to get traffic and it’s not going to convert
01:03:19.920 –> 01:03:22.830
Ian Howells: You have to get better at keyword research and planning.
01:03:23.130 –> 01:03:29.880
Ian Howells: Because you’re probably a small new site. So you’ve really got to pick your battles for what you’re going to try and go do
01:03:30.060 –> 01:03:38.820
Ian Howells: Because you’re not going to go outrank the wire cutter or credit cards calm for you know best, small business credit cards or something like that. Right.
01:03:39.210 –> 01:03:53.070
Ian Howells: So it kind of top to bottom through the process forces you to get better at each piece because everything has to work or the end result is not going to happen. Right. And again,
01:03:53.520 –> 01:04:03.360
Ian Howells: You’re the only reason right you you are the lever on every step of that process. So I think it’s a really good thing for for folks to do
01:04:03.780 –> 01:04:09.270
Ian Howells: And then even just taking the like you should want to learn and get better and do new things out of it.
01:04:09.720 –> 01:04:18.930
Ian Howells: It makes you absurdly employable. Right. Like if you are a junior SEO in your first gig and an agency and you’re 12 to 24 months out of school, call it
01:04:19.650 –> 01:04:30.510
Ian Howells: building your own site and putting that on your resume, like, hey, I made this website. It ranks for, you know, a few hundred keywords and gets 1000 visits a month and makes me some money.
01:04:30.810 –> 01:04:39.270
Ian Howells: Your resume is immediately at the top of the pile like as somebody who was a hiring manager at a large mid cap public company.
01:04:40.230 –> 01:04:53.730
Ian Howells: There are like so many resumes come in when we put out a job posting will get like 300 resumes. Right. And I had to get the recruiting team like three things to look for, like, if you see resumes with any of these three things.
01:04:54.840 –> 01:04:59.310
Ian Howells: shortlist like those are the resumes that I want to see in one is they built their own website.
01:04:59.850 –> 01:05:06.060
Ian Howells: Like that just immediately gets you through the hundreds of other resumes into the front of the line.
01:05:06.480 –> 01:05:11.610
Ian Howells: It’s going to get you on the phone. And then if you barf all over yourself on the phone like that’s the end of the road, but
01:05:11.940 –> 01:05:23.370
Ian Howells: You know, if nothing else, like if you’re applying for jobs and not getting a call back as an SEO and you haven’t built your own website and put it on your resume. That’s like the biggest lever. I think you can can pull
01:05:24.540 –> 01:05:26.280
Jeff Louella: It’s, it’s funny because I
01:05:27.540 –> 01:05:33.660
Jeff Louella: I totally the same beliefs and things like that and I you started off building websites myself started
01:05:34.470 –> 01:05:46.380
Jeff Louella: Yeah, I was a DJ went to promote promote myself as a DJ built websites doing that I learned how to use like real audio back then to do streaming. Unfortunately, everybody had like 14 four modem at that time and if
01:05:47.820 –> 01:05:48.660
Jeff Louella: I was a little early, and
01:05:49.680 –> 01:05:50.400
Ian Howells: Just early
01:05:50.820 –> 01:05:58.980
Jeff Louella: Exactly. And then, so things like that when great. But actually when I when I met you and we started, you know, I started learning more about affiliates self.
01:05:59.400 –> 01:06:09.510
Jeff Louella: I’m trying to start up those niche affiliate sites. I think I started one called like barbecue pit man calm and I was selling, you know, talking about barbecue grills on there and
01:06:09.900 –> 01:06:16.200
Jeff Louella: It actually I had a couple different ones. I had one about music, because I love music realized that music wasn’t a great affiliate
01:06:16.590 –> 01:06:32.190
Jeff Louella: You know area because CDs. At the time, like you would get like a nickel or dime off of it while an $800 barbecue grill, you know, and if you’re using Amazon affiliates, you’re getting like 7% so it’s like a, you know, same amount a lot more money and
01:06:33.330 –> 01:06:45.570
Jeff Louella: You know, and then of course you get a little greedy. Sometimes when you start getting some traffic and you start getting a little more spammy to get that more traffic and then eventually, Google, you know, get you get you get on their shortlist, and then they
01:06:46.650 –> 01:06:56.370
Jeff Louella: Then you get banned from it and I’ve learned a lot about that too. So actually, for me, kind of making affiliate site being a little more spammy on it learned a lot more about penalties.
01:06:56.610 –> 01:07:05.130
Jeff Louella: And I did learn a lot about things there. And I say that, you know, when I am interviewing somebody I always say, like, hey, you make a website, even people on my team.
01:07:05.550 –> 01:07:13.650
Jeff Louella: That don’t have like even if you don’t build the website from scratch. But just like the art of getting traffic to your site and natural is like is important and
01:07:15.330 –> 01:07:23.610
Jeff Louella: Doing it to incentivize like hey I I made money off of this now gives me more the incentive to actually try to make it even better.
01:07:24.030 –> 01:07:30.240
Jeff Louella: And that’s kind of where I feel like affiliates are at a lot. I mean, there’s a lot of good affiliates out there. There’s a lot of bad ones, and I think
01:07:31.080 –> 01:07:38.010
Jeff Louella: The bad affiliates especially what I did with that barbecue site was, you know, did a lot of spinning content and things like that that I’m not proud of but
01:07:38.940 –> 01:07:51.030
Jeff Louella: I think in affiliate world there are the good and bad and I, IT’S KIND OF WHAT I WANT YOU KNOW WHERE MY QUESTION IS GOING TO GO. It’s, um, do you think affiliates have a bad like SEO. In general, they might have a bad name and marketing industries because SEO.
01:07:51.120 –> 01:08:01.620
Jeff Louella: Or spam your overall, you know, not me, of course. But other people and in the SEO world there’s affiliates and affiliates kind of get that that more of the
01:08:02.220 –> 01:08:17.850
Jeff Louella: Black Hat aspect of things. So I think there was a lot of affiliate like black hat networks and syndicate and things like that. So where do you feel like with affiliates like as it getting better or is it actually still a world of spam and junk out there.
01:08:18.390 –> 01:08:21.720
Ian Howells: So I think it’s interesting. There are
01:08:22.980 –> 01:08:32.940
Ian Howells: There are obviously different perspective right on affiliates. I think now within the SEO community. I don’t think affiliate has a bad reputation because like
01:08:33.150 –> 01:08:49.620
Ian Howells: How the hell else are you making money, right, like for people that run their own sites like that’s kind of like, unless you’re just running AdSense or display ads like. And I would argue from the display of that I see they deserve a worse reputation than
01:08:49.680 –> 01:08:51.030
Ian Howells: A lot of affiliate marketing.
01:08:52.320 –> 01:08:59.700
Ian Howells: So I think within the industry, you know, pretty widely accepted. I think you’ll have very differing opinions from
01:09:00.120 –> 01:09:11.250
Ian Howells: When I think back to the GSA commerce days like folks that are in house at an e commerce store will have very different opinions about affiliates based on how their network has gone right so i think
01:09:11.670 –> 01:09:21.930
Ian Howells: Some will basically equate if you’re an in house at an E calm place and like digital marketing is not your thing. You’re a product merchandiser or something, an e commerce store.
01:09:22.410 –> 01:09:35.040
Ian Howells: Your exposure to affiliate marketing is probably heavily dominated by coupon sites. Right. And in that view like through that lens. You probably view them as a parasite right because
01:09:35.340 –> 01:09:42.990
Ian Howells: They just rank for my store name plus coupon or coupons and all these people that I would have gotten any way.
01:09:43.320 –> 01:09:51.090
Ian Howells: Are now clicking through here just to get a promo code to put in. So I’m losing money on the ARV because now they’re all using the 10% coupon.
01:09:51.540 –> 01:10:01.200
Ian Howells: And now I’m paying a whatever five 6% commission to this, you know, parasitic affiliate site at the same time, right. So I think there’s still pockets like that where
01:10:01.440 –> 01:10:09.630
Ian Howells: Because a lens that affiliate marketing to view through can be very specific to certain stuff you can come away with a bad taste in your mouth.
01:10:10.140 –> 01:10:21.450
Ian Howells: I think the the flip side to that would be seen stuff like wire cutter getting bought by the New York Times, right, like the name in the US for news, generally speaking.
01:10:21.900 –> 01:10:37.140
Ian Howells: Buying an Amazon affiliate website for almost 100 million dollars i think is a a good temperature read for life okay yeah affiliates, not a joke and like large companies recognize the value and potential that’s there.
01:10:39.300 –> 01:10:40.740
Jeff Louella: How do you go about and
01:10:40.950 –> 01:10:41.250
01:10:42.840 –> 01:10:49.470
Jeff Louella: Not going to ask what your affiliates are or think that, but how do you go apart like and just figure out how to
01:10:50.160 –> 01:10:54.180
Jeff Louella: Pick an affiliate that you want. So you’re going to go, you want to start a new site.
01:10:54.780 –> 01:11:00.030
Jeff Louella: You go through the process of doing your research and things like that. Like, what are some of those steps in that process to
01:11:00.450 –> 01:11:08.520
Jeff Louella: Pick an industry or find out like information about that industry and whether it’s worth to. It’s a lot of work, you know, to build up a site so
01:11:08.880 –> 01:11:18.150
Jeff Louella: You know you don’t want to go into something like, like I said, with music and realize they have zero like even if someone buys something, you get a dime compared to where you get
01:11:19.590 –> 01:11:24.960
Jeff Louella: To ask yeah yeah right where your poker sites that like when you got $100 each one. Like, that’s awesome. I wish I get $100 a
01:11:26.070 –> 01:11:27.600
Jeff Louella: Click the link on my website right so
01:11:27.840 –> 01:11:38.640
Ian Howells: So there I think to two ways. Basically the framework that I use for picking affiliate spots three I line already and backtrack and so the first way would be
01:11:39.210 –> 01:11:46.080
Ian Howells: An industry that I already know is high volume and high dollar right so home security being a good example. I got
01:11:46.470 –> 01:11:54.690
Ian Howells: Cheated On that one because I got exposure to home security when I was at Red ventures. They were. And I think still are a very large ADT dealer.
01:11:55.470 –> 01:12:08.250
Ian Howells: So was able to see firsthand like the amount of volume available in the space and what home security companies are willing to pay out because they’re getting you know that 3040 $50 recurring monthly
01:12:09.390 –> 01:12:20.910
Ian Howells: Purchase with like a 24 month contract. In some cases, right. So, like they’re dealing with real money. So bringing them a customer, it can be very lucrative for you. So what are those kind of large industries.
01:12:21.270 –> 01:12:29.850
Ian Howells: That are going to be around for a long time payouts are really high right those are basically where I make my long term bets like
01:12:29.880 –> 01:12:33.120
Ian Howells: The site is not going to do anything. And it’s first 612
01:12:33.150 –> 01:12:48.780
Ian Howells: Maybe even 18 months, but it’s a iron in the fire that you know I just keep going and the plan is, I’m still going to have this website five years from now, right. So stuff like home security web hosting like those big industries with high dollar payouts
01:12:49.710 –> 01:13:00.630
Ian Howells: The second would be pockets where I see week competition that generally speaking funnel to Amazon, right. So basically anything you can buy on the internet you can buy on Amazon.
01:13:01.200 –> 01:13:06.600
Ian Howells: The Commission structures there. You know what it is, the tracking is there, like, there’s not a lot of unknowns.
01:13:07.020 –> 01:13:18.360
Ian Howells: All you really have to be able to do is the keyword and competitive research and you’re good to go. Like I farm out all the content production I farm on a lot of the link production. So at that point, it’s just like a capital.
01:13:20.490 –> 01:13:27.060
Ian Howells: Application game of, like, where am I going to put funding and you know how, how big of a bet. Am I going to make on each one.
01:13:27.870 –> 01:13:28.320
01:13:29.580 –> 01:13:31.680
Jacob Stoops: You said keyword research is still relevant.
01:13:32.340 –> 01:13:49.860
Ian Howells: I did, I would venture to say for an affiliate, it is arguably the most important thing that you can do because you have to find keywords that not only have volume but have intent and have SERPs that you can crack with whatever site, you’re actually working with alright
01:13:50.040 –> 01:13:51.240
Jacob Stoops: So, suck it being
01:13:53.070 –> 01:13:54.990
Ian Howells: That they’ve been doing that for years already there.
01:13:57.870 –> 01:14:05.910
Ian Howells: And then the, the only other the, the kind of third that I backtracked my two part answer to, and turn it into a three parter.
01:14:06.420 –> 01:14:17.940
Ian Howells: Is just if I either get approached or see an auction for a domain where the price looks right. And then that kind of sends me down the rabbit hole of looking into that industry.
01:14:18.210 –> 01:14:28.140
Ian Howells: Trying to get the scope of how big can this be a trust is really like my go to tool like I’m, you know, aside from when it logs me out, which it does more than
01:14:28.950 –> 01:14:35.490
Ian Howells: I would like, but in general, there’s probably two or three hrs tabs open in my Chrome at all times.
01:14:36.240 –> 01:14:42.090
Ian Howells: Because it is the fastest way to go from like two or three seed keywords to a list of probably 50 keywords.
01:14:42.450 –> 01:14:47.610
Ian Howells: To filtering up. Who are the domains that are kind of owning this space.
01:14:47.910 –> 01:14:52.890
Ian Howells: And then being able to click through right to them and say, okay, they’ve got this many referring domains. They do this much traffic.
01:14:53.130 –> 01:15:03.450
Ian Howells: Let me see where those links come from. Can I replicate that like that becomes like a 20 minute process of being able to size up in industry and have a general gut feeling of
01:15:03.810 –> 01:15:09.660
Ian Howells: I’m way out of my league and there’s no way I’m getting in here. So, like this is either going to be a multi year bet or
01:15:10.050 –> 01:15:24.000
Ian Howells: Oh damn, this looks like there’s something here. There’s people all over, page one that are pretty weak that I feel like you know in six or eight months, I can replicate the mountain quality of content they have and the mountain quality of links that they have. Yeah.
01:15:26.100 –> 01:15:35.490
Jeff Louella: So when you get your, you know, your niche and you you build a site. I am guessing most of time. It’s a WordPress get there. I mean, because it’s just so simple.
01:15:36.150 –> 01:15:44.070
Jeff Louella: There is a lot of, you know, we need lots of content to be able to build that right so I’m guessing. The next kind of approach is
01:15:44.490 –> 01:15:58.110
Jeff Louella: Getting the site structure and start building out content. Is that something you’re writing yourself or is that something you’re kind of going not fiber. But, you know, some other place to get content written and then you just the editorial notes of that.
01:15:58.470 –> 01:16:05.700
Ian Howells: Yep. So thankfully, now I do less than, less than less myself. One of the things I focused on in 2019
01:16:06.510 –> 01:16:11.940
Ian Howells: Was bringing more part time folks on to help me with portions of it, right. So, now, thankfully.
01:16:12.240 –> 01:16:25.170
Ian Howells: I now have a reliable part time person who knows a trance knows how to do keyword research and they can basically build content maps for me. I give them an industry and two or three competitors to look at and they can just go
01:16:25.650 –> 01:16:35.610
Ian Howells: And then come back with a Google Sheet template that I made filled out with what keywords and then I know what pages. Do I need to make. What are the keywords that need to funnel into them.
01:16:36.180 –> 01:16:46.470
Ian Howells: I basically then take those Google Sheets and pass them over to word agents word agents calm and they right now all of my new affiliate content.
01:16:47.250 –> 01:16:48.660
Ian Howells: And so, it all goes to them.
01:16:49.110 –> 01:16:59.970
Ian Howells: The last missing piece I need to fill is then the, hey, we got a Google Drive folder, full of content from word agents, I need all of this in WordPress now and I need the internal links done and blah, blah, blah.
01:17:00.270 –> 01:17:09.540
Ian Howells: That’s the the piece that I’m still kind of rotating through some folks trying to find somebody that I really like that. I’ll continue to work with. But you can kind of
01:17:10.770 –> 01:17:26.340
Ian Howells: D scale each individual portion of the process and have different folks fulfill each part, right, because I am not going to sit here and pick out 800 words about, you know, this camping tent.
01:17:26.430 –> 01:17:37.710
Ian Howells: That and why it’s great. Right. Like there’s people who write for a living, that’s what they want to do. They do that from wherever the hell they want. That’s great word agents just takes care of the content for me now.
01:17:38.430 –> 01:17:40.590
Jeff Louella: You just need Hamlet write you a script and play.
01:17:43.140 –> 01:17:43.500
Ian Howells: Button.
01:17:45.690 –> 01:17:51.570
Jacob Stoops: between him and jr folks to build a search engine or machine learning how to auto produce the content, I bet.
01:17:54.510 –> 01:18:04.530
Jacob Stoops: So Ian on definitely want to thank you for, for your time. We always wrap up, or at least we tried to sometimes we forget and you’ve kind of alluded to, to it.
01:18:05.070 –> 01:18:12.120
Jacob Stoops: To building websites, being a good thing. So I’m going to ask you to maybe provide a different piece of advice, but we always end by saying
01:18:13.020 –> 01:18:24.150
Jacob Stoops: If you were a new SEO you’re you’re fresh out of college or you’re thinking about getting into the industry literally today this moment, what would be the advice that you would give to that person.
01:18:26.970 –> 01:18:33.510
Ian Howells: The, the biggie is building your own site. But you said that’s not that’s not an answer. I can do is I’ll take that off the table. I would
01:18:34.560 –> 01:18:42.990
Ian Howells: If I was still in college. I would look to get an internship at an agency. And if I had just graduated, I would do.
01:18:43.920 –> 01:18:56.760
Ian Howells: Everything that I could to make myself marketable on paper to get an interview at an agency and get a junior level role I hate on the agency model a lot. And there’s a bunch there that I don’t like.
01:18:57.240 –> 01:19:13.020
Ian Howells: But it is the fastest way to get in somewhere see a bunch of stuff happen and learn, kind of as you as you do. And I think starting out your career as a junior person in house somewhere.
01:19:13.830 –> 01:19:22.260
Ian Howells: I think kind of insulate to a little too much into the specific tech stack and the specific goals and like how monetization happens
01:19:22.560 –> 01:19:26.460
Ian Howells: You get a little bit pigeonholed into one way of doing things.
01:19:26.730 –> 01:19:35.460
Ian Howells: Whereas generally at an agency, you’re going to get exposed to multiple different CMS and platforms, you’re going to get exposed to different kinds of people. And if you’re going to be successful.
01:19:35.730 –> 01:19:47.250
Ian Howells: Have to figure out how to talk to clients and other stakeholders to actually get work done. There are a lot of skills that you can hone working in an agency, and I think it’s a good
01:19:47.700 –> 01:19:54.990
Ian Howells: Spot for somebody to spend their first call a two to three years in the digital marketing world doing that work.
01:19:55.830 –> 01:20:06.960
Jacob Stoops: Speaking of agencies Jeff and I worked for one search discovery. So if you are one of those people looking and coming out of college we do college hires every single year.
01:20:07.440 –> 01:20:20.730
Jacob Stoops: And in Ian’s right it is really great experience. You get to work across multiple verticals with a lot of different people that know a lot of different things, especially at search discovery. So I don’t want this podcast to be just like a
01:20:21.570 –> 01:20:25.650
Jacob Stoops: Major plug, but come work with us. We’d love to work with you and
01:20:25.710 –> 01:20:26.490
Jeff Louella: Anyways, rent.
01:20:26.970 –> 01:20:27.270
01:20:28.530 –> 01:20:28.920
Ian Howells: Yes.
01:20:28.950 –> 01:20:33.240
Jacob Stoops: Yes, let’s yell about things in person. So he and where can people find you.
01:20:35.100 –> 01:20:50.310
Ian Howells: So on Twitter, just at Ian Howells Real original and creative with the Twitter handle there otherwise I don’t like I’m the worst solo SEO in the world. Like, I don’t have
01:20:50.880 –> 01:21:04.560
Ian Howells: A website that like advertises my service. I think I NH media com is literally a logo lucky pixel calm is the BBA that I do my consulting on it’s again a logo on on the homepage. And that’s it. There’s not even a contact form.
01:21:05.220 –> 01:21:18.720
Ian Howells: And so really Twitter and inside Traffic Think Tank are like the two places that I hang out and network with with people in the industry. So Traffic Think Tank calm and Twitter at Ian’s house would be the best bet.
01:21:19.680 –> 01:21:32.610
Jacob Stoops: Awesome. I’ll say it again if you want to go to one of the best conferences about building traffic that is going on right now. Go to Traffic Think Tank calm, forward slash live
01:21:33.150 –> 01:21:46.320
Jacob Stoops: The event, again, is in Miami. So nice warm sunny place that most people want to go and it is on May 16 Ian I don’t know how many like if you guys restrict the number of tickets. But how many, how many tickets are left left at this moment.
01:21:46.440 –> 01:21:58.170
Ian Howells: We are, I think, right now we’re 64 65% sold. So there’s like 120 spots left, something like that. Cool.
01:21:58.530 –> 01:22:04.740
Jacob Stoops: Alright, so you hear that there are spots left this episode is going to release on on the following Monday we record ahead so
01:22:05.820 –> 01:22:10.980
Jacob Stoops: I believe that they might there might still be some spots left by that time, that’s only a couple of days from now. But, uh,
01:22:11.250 –> 01:22:26.880
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, go and go and buy a ticket if you want to meet some really, really great people and attend to, really, really awesome about. But otherwise, em, thank you so much for coming on. We really appreciate your time. Really appreciate the candor candor candor. Yeah.
01:22:27.930 –> 01:22:28.740
Jacob Stoops: That’s awkward. That’s
01:22:29.820 –> 01:22:31.020
Jeff Louella: The Rings Kelly appreciate
01:22:32.520 –> 01:22:33.390
Jacob Stoops: It was a great discussion.
01:22:33.810 –> 01:22:37.740
Ian Howells: Now awesome I fun. Thanks for having me guess. Awesome. Thank you.running
- How she got her start in marketing working for an online dating site in the mid 2000s literally handing out flyers in clubs, which actually led to her first SEO job which is ultimately where she fell in love with it
- How she got to KoMarketing, how she left and then boomeranged right back
- In-house versus agency
- Her biggest SEO challenges
- Convincing clients to get recommendations implemented
- How she learned to be a confident public speaker
- The recent SEO’s are assholes kerfuffle
- The importance of SEO training and education
And much more.
00:00:01.260 –> 00:00:11.219
Jacob Stoops: Hey everybody this is Jacob stoops here again with the Page 2 Podcast and I am joined by Mr. Jeff Louella. Jeff, how’s it going?
00:00:11.759 –> 00:00:12.690
Jeff Louella: Hey everybody. How you doing?
00:00:13.590 –> 00:00:15.839
Jacob Stoops: Good. Jeff you changed it up that time.
00:00:15.900 –> 00:00:16.410
Jeff Louella: Yeah.
00:00:16.560 –> 00:00:17.970
Jacob Stoops: We, it’s like, Hey, how are you, hey,
00:00:18.750 –> 00:00:21.210
Jacob Stoops: Hey, like out. What is it out Borland
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Jacob Stoops: And yeah, that’s funny. We’re getting better.
00:00:27.240 –> 00:00:28.920
Jeff Louella: You’re getting better. And now I’m trying to figure it out.
00:00:29.730 –> 00:00:34.770
Jacob Stoops: And we are also joined by Casie Gillette, how’s it going, Casie.
00:00:35.040 –> 00:00:38.820
Casie Gillette: Hey, howdy, I think you’re too old time reference might be overlooked.
00:00:42.030 –> 00:00:43.260
Casie Gillette: Cast. Yeah.
00:00:44.190 –> 00:00:46.260
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, Jeff reminds of Al Borland
00:00:46.920 –> 00:00:48.210
Jeff Louella: Yeah, his
00:00:48.240 –> 00:00:49.980
Jacob Stoops: Side hobbies, and he’s do-gooder.
00:00:50.430 –> 00:00:50.640
00:00:52.770 –> 00:00:53.520
Jeff Louella: Just like out
00:00:53.640 –> 00:01:10.380
Jacob Stoops: Um, so, Casie is the Senior Director of digital at KoMarketing and is really awesome guests. I’ve said this, I think, to a few guests. So I don’t want you to feel like you’re not at all special because you are special and
00:01:10.650 –> 00:01:11.610
Casie Gillette: You sound like my mother.
00:01:11.820 –> 00:01:12.540
00:01:13.590 –> 00:01:14.520
Jeff Louella: Very special
00:01:14.970 –> 00:01:24.750
Jacob Stoops: But know when we were setting out to when I was setting out over a year ago to do this podcast. And when we kind of sat down for for season two.
00:01:25.350 –> 00:01:35.940
Jacob Stoops: You are definitely on the on the list of people that we wanted to talk to in in there’s a there’s a massive like we basically want to talk to everybody in SEO, but but
00:01:35.970 –> 00:01:38.070
Casie Gillette: It does really, really making me feel good here.
00:01:40.440 –> 00:01:41.370
00:01:42.480 –> 00:01:46.620
Casie Gillette: I made Season two. That’s exciting. Thank you for having me. Yes. You made it to season to
00:01:46.860 –> 00:01:48.330
Jeff Louella: Meet you in
00:01:48.360 –> 00:01:54.900
Jacob Stoops: Season Season one was entirely just me trying to figure figure stuff out live on the internet. So anyways,
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Casie Gillette: That’s our job. That’s our job is search marketers anyway.
00:01:58.530 –> 00:02:07.920
Jacob Stoops: Well, yeah, yeah, it’s, it’s basically 25 hours of me just gabbing gabbing online and I decided to bring Jeff in to talk with me so
00:02:08.430 –> 00:02:09.240
Jeff Louella: Just for my intro
00:02:09.840 –> 00:02:10.470
Jacob Stoops: Yeah.
00:02:10.500 –> 00:02:12.840
Jacob Stoops: Yeah. So in terms of what we’re going to be
00:02:12.840 –> 00:02:26.010
Jacob Stoops: Covering today. So we’ve got a great agenda, first and foremost, we’re going to talk to. Casie about her background and then we are going to cover a little bit of SEO news, surprise, surprise, there was another kerfuffle in the industry.
00:02:26.550 –> 00:02:31.980
Jacob Stoops: Always industry seems to always have a kerfuffle probably once or twice a week.
00:02:32.730 –> 00:02:39.420
Jacob Stoops: That will talk about a little bit of drama and then at the end of the show. If anybody has stuck around to the end.
00:02:39.960 –> 00:02:48.240
Jacob Stoops: We’re going to talk about building a team and SEO training and how to go about that and the importance of doing that.
00:02:49.200 –> 00:03:11.550
Jacob Stoops: So definitely, definitely a great agenda today so Casie, the hallmark of the show, kind of like we’re superheroes is the the origin story of great SEOs and the the backgrounds, the trials. The tribulations. Um, so tell us about yourself. How did you get into SEO and just, who are you
00:03:11.820 –> 00:03:24.930
Casie Gillette: Yeah, loaded question. Um, you know, I was one of those people who didn’t know what SEO was we didn’t know what it was in 2005 I’d never heard of it. You know, I was out of college, I was bartending.
00:03:25.380 –> 00:03:31.200
Casie Gillette: thought, gosh, I guess I should probably get a job in marketing. My parents paid a lot of money for my college education.
00:03:31.920 –> 00:03:44.760
Casie Gillette: And a guy that I knew that that I had just met through the bar had approached me about this job in marketing. I was like okay well what it ended up being was. It was an online dating site.
00:03:45.210 –> 00:03:55.200
Casie Gillette: And but this is 2005 so like online dating wasn’t really a thing. And what we had to do was go out to clubs and hand out flyers for
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Casie Gillette: Dating site, which is awful. Right. That’s just an awful job but fast forward about six months I had stopped doing that, after
00:04:04.410 –> 00:04:14.610
Casie Gillette: Month, I think. And he reached back out and said, Hey, I have this job. We have another job doing SEO. Are you interested. And I said, I don’t know what that is but sure.
00:04:15.330 –> 00:04:28.230
Casie Gillette: And that was it. You know, I was so fortunate because the company that I ended up working for at the time was huge. They were about 150 people in it had people like Jenni Halas and Garrett French and Andy Beal
00:04:28.890 –> 00:04:31.470
Casie Gillette: These people in JP Sherman these people that you know
00:04:32.460 –> 00:04:42.090
Casie Gillette: As these you know industry thought leaders. Well, that’s where they also started out. So I had these amazing people to train me and to teach me. You know what SEO is and
00:04:42.690 –> 00:04:56.520
Casie Gillette: I think like most of us, I just fell in love, you know, you start doing it like, Wow, this is this is exciting and it changes and that’s cool. And, you know, here we are 1314 years later, whatever year it is. Now, I don’t know.
00:04:57.660 –> 00:04:59.400
Jacob Stoops: I hear that it’s going to be 2020
00:04:59.580 –> 00:05:00.420
Jacob Stoops: Oh, that’s
00:05:01.770 –> 00:05:04.020
Jacob Stoops: A new decade or still the same decade people
00:05:04.020 –> 00:05:04.410
Jacob Stoops: Yeah.
00:05:04.470 –> 00:05:06.210
Casie Gillette: No, no, it’s tricky.
00:05:06.600 –> 00:05:14.850
Jacob Stoops: So how did you get to KoMarketing and not only then, how did you kind of climb the ladder to senior director
00:05:15.150 –> 00:05:17.280
Casie Gillette: Yeah, well, just run
00:05:18.930 –> 00:05:24.330
Casie Gillette: I had when I was down in Carolina. I was ready to move up, back, back up north. I was like, I gotta South here.
00:05:24.900 –> 00:05:34.980
Casie Gillette: So I applied to a job at KoMarketing actually and I just, I loved what I loved what they had to offer. Well, at the time, there were only three other people
00:05:35.430 –> 00:05:46.860
Casie Gillette: So I ended up moving up here. There were four of us in total just really small, which was so fun. You know, it was a whole new experience. I went from this big company to a very small company.
00:05:47.400 –> 00:05:58.050
Casie Gillette: And that was really exciting. Now that happened around 2009 2007 2008 right before the economy collapsed.
00:05:58.770 –> 00:06:05.370
Casie Gillette: And you know, we started to lose a lot of client, right, we just didn’t have a lot of business and I was approached to go in house.
00:06:06.180 –> 00:06:09.930
Casie Gillette: Start, you know, start an SEO team there help run the digital marketing team and so
00:06:10.230 –> 00:06:15.210
Casie Gillette: I went and did that for a couple years. And that was really cool. I never thought that I would want to go and house because
00:06:15.480 –> 00:06:20.550
Casie Gillette: You know when you’re on the agency side. It’s so fun right there. There’s all these different things always happening.
00:06:21.120 –> 00:06:32.640
Casie Gillette: But the opportunity was really great. You know, I got exposure to like running TV ads and radio ads, you know, building a social team building a community team so that stuff was really fun.
00:06:33.720 –> 00:06:41.010
Casie Gillette: But I stayed in touch with the marketing guys because they were so fantastic. In a few years into that they said, you know, do you want to come back.
00:06:42.630 –> 00:06:50.430
Casie Gillette: I don’t know. And, you know, Derek, who, who runs KoMarketing was like, well, moving the office downtown. I was like okay now I’m listening.
00:06:52.020 –> 00:07:02.130
Casie Gillette: You know, I live in the city. And I always had to drive out there and my whole dream of moving to Boston was I didn’t have to have a car and I didn’t have to drive. Anyway, so he was making my dream come true.
00:07:02.520 –> 00:07:03.090
Jacob Stoops: There it is.
00:07:03.690 –> 00:07:10.350
Casie Gillette: Yeah, so I mean that’s, you know, I’ve kinda, you know, I’ve been at KoMarketing twice. Now, I’ve been back seven years. So a total of 10
00:07:11.880 –> 00:07:26.850
Casie Gillette: And you know, it’s just, it’s been fun to watch. It’s been fun to help grow the company, the guys who run it are fantastic. We have such great people on the team. We’re really meticulous about who we hire and how we hire and I think because of that we’ve been able to be successful.
00:07:27.930 –> 00:07:39.390
Jacob Stoops: So I’m going to apologize in advance because I’m, what I’m hearing is so you were at KoMarketing in then went in house somewhere and then back to KoMarketing.
00:07:39.390 –> 00:07:39.960
Casie Gillette: Correct.
00:07:40.020 –> 00:07:44.010
Jacob Stoops: Okay, because I was thinking I was like wait, you’re at KoMarketing, but you’re also in house.
00:07:44.160 –> 00:07:46.770
Casie Gillette: Yeah, I’m very to I’m multitasking. Yeah.
00:07:46.800 –> 00:07:58.980
Jacob Stoops: OK, so the, it seems like the first time you were doing a lot of off offline TV and radio and and then a little dabbling in in the social space and
00:08:00.000 –> 00:08:07.530
Jacob Stoops: I guess what is so different outside of being downtown different this time in terms of like your role.
00:08:07.800 –> 00:08:20.250
Casie Gillette: Yeah. Well, I think one of the things that was really exciting to me was I got to come in and build a team. And that’s honestly one of my absolute favorite things about my role about this industry.
00:08:21.000 –> 00:08:28.170
Casie Gillette: You know, I do a lot of speaking events. And the reason is, I love that part. Like I just love when someone comes up to you and says,
00:08:28.500 –> 00:08:34.440
Casie Gillette: I’ve never thought about this this way or like, Oh, this is so helpful or, you know, you write a blog posts and someone says,
00:08:34.800 –> 00:08:41.310
Casie Gillette: Oh, I use that and I sent it to my team like it makes you feel like, okay, I’m doing this for a reason.
00:08:41.940 –> 00:08:52.740
Casie Gillette: You know, there’s a rewarding element to it. And as part of coming back. My role here was to build a team who you know we got, I get to teach them SEO. I get to teach them marketing.
00:08:53.370 –> 00:08:59.700
Casie Gillette: And you get to watch them all grow up and become really good marketers and I love that. I think that’s really fun and exciting.
00:09:03.120 –> 00:09:11.370
Jacob Stoops: So have to ask always have to ask this comes up, like every episode, I’m in house or agency.
00:09:12.030 –> 00:09:14.610
Casie Gillette: So I am an agency girl.
00:09:16.260 –> 00:09:31.200
Casie Gillette: I do have to say like there are benefits of being in house one a lot easier. You know you you’ve talked to people who work at agencies I. In fact, I remember when I was coming back to the agency world and
00:09:32.700 –> 00:09:35.040
Casie Gillette: I know it’s like, well, how could she
00:09:37.080 –> 00:09:46.860
Casie Gillette: Like, why don’t you do with clients, but I don’t know like I don’t know about you guys, but I love the challenge, right. I feel like there’s always new challenges and like
00:09:47.130 –> 00:09:58.590
Casie Gillette: When you’re in house you’re only exposed to a minimal amount of things, whereas on the agency side, you know, I have 10 clients. And so I’m seeing all of these different situations.
00:09:59.130 –> 00:10:13.350
Casie Gillette: Just the learning element in the space. We have to keep up. You have to be constantly learning. And I think at the agency side, you get a little more exposure to that because you do have the different things. So for me, if agency, but I certainly understand why people like being in house.
00:10:14.040 –> 00:10:18.780
Jeff Louella: Do you ever feel that you can’t get everything you want to get done.
00:10:18.900 –> 00:10:19.440
00:10:20.550 –> 00:10:21.210
Casie Gillette: Yeah.
00:10:21.420 –> 00:10:26.850
Jeff Louella: We have a set amount of hours where, you know, not sure what that is but you know every
00:10:26.850 –> 00:10:27.960
Jeff Louella: Client is different, but
00:10:28.620 –> 00:10:35.880
Jeff Louella: They’re my I’ve always been an agency. I’ve never been in house and the one thing I always dreamed about was actually being able to just
00:10:36.450 –> 00:10:43.950
Jeff Louella: Sit there and like being internal meetings and hammer own like I have one client who’s blocking right now blocking Google
00:10:44.940 –> 00:10:57.060
Jeff Louella: And and they have been for the last six weeks and their dev teams like, well, we’re just trying to block acts like during the holidays, they’re blocking extra crawlers coming to the site because they’re so fragile.
00:10:57.570 –> 00:10:58.440
Jeff Louella: So sad.
00:10:58.800 –> 00:11:06.660
Jeff Louella: And I just wish I can be in those meetings every day and showing them and I do send reports as don’t know if it gets to the dev team because I’m working with marketing team and
00:11:07.020 –> 00:11:17.100
Jeff Louella: The thing. So sometimes I do dream about being in a house, but, um, but, as you said, like we have 10 different clients. So I just focus my time. Other places where I need it but
00:11:17.400 –> 00:11:23.760
Casie Gillette: Yeah, well, and I also found that, you know, working in house was cool because it’s like, hey, I want to do this. Okay, I’m just gonna go do it.
00:11:24.270 –> 00:11:34.500
Casie Gillette: And if you have that autonomy. That’s fantastic. But I was there for three years. And so, and thankfully I did have three different websites that I was working on. But like
00:11:34.860 –> 00:11:45.960
Casie Gillette: If you’re only working on, let’s say one website. And it’s not like a giant e com site. It’s just a, you know, maybe it’s a B2B site, whatever it is, like, there’s only so much you can do.
00:11:46.230 –> 00:11:46.560
Jeff Louella: Yeah.
00:11:46.590 –> 00:11:56.850
Casie Gillette: There’s only so much for me. I started to get a little bored and it was nice because like I said I got exposure to these other things, but it can get a little enough. Yes.
00:11:57.510 –> 00:12:08.160
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, I’m sure. I think like you, like you said, You’re an agency girl, I think, like, I don’t know what it, what it is, but I feel like it’s just
00:12:08.970 –> 00:12:15.000
Jacob Stoops: bred into your personality in terms of which side of the fence you you fall on
00:12:15.510 –> 00:12:24.690
Jacob Stoops: Some people tend to lean in house. Some people tend to lean agency for different reasons I’ve said many times I’ve been in both situations and
00:12:25.110 –> 00:12:41.310
Jacob Stoops: For whatever reason, I just tend to thrive more in the agency lifestyle as crazy as it is, it can get. Sometimes I’ve been in house, a couple of times. And each time I, I just, I really didn’t like it.
00:12:42.420 –> 00:12:50.130
Jacob Stoops: Made me. It was a function of just the particular opportunities and what was going on in house at the time.
00:12:51.000 –> 00:13:04.080
Jacob Stoops: But there have been times in my agency life where I’m I think just like Jeff like man, the grass looks really, really green, it would be great just to just to work on one web
00:13:04.530 –> 00:13:13.470
Jacob Stoops: All the time and do it really, really, really well. And then you get on the you get on the in house side and you’re like, Okay, I’m working on this.
00:13:14.730 –> 00:13:16.890
Jacob Stoops: And now what do I do with the rest of my time.
00:13:16.890 –> 00:13:17.850
Casie Gillette: Right, but
00:13:18.390 –> 00:13:29.010
Jacob Stoops: It is nice to be able to like have in developed close relationships with a lot of different stakeholders within the, within the company like it’s nice to
00:13:29.670 –> 00:13:37.170
Jacob Stoops: For example, in my last last role, I was able to just get up and walk two desks over and say, hey,
00:13:37.770 –> 00:13:49.770
Jacob Stoops: Aaron, who was a developer, like I’m trying to get this thing implemented, but like, I’m seeing this error and he would fix it on the spot and go okay great that’ll get pushed live tonight and stuff like that was
00:13:50.370 –> 00:13:57.870
Jacob Stoops: Invaluable. And not only that, but just walking down to to another floor to talk with one of the other teams.
00:13:58.260 –> 00:14:09.720
Jacob Stoops: And get an understanding because they handled customers directly and like working directly with them. I mean, there were a couple of times where we work directly with them to actually create pieces of content.
00:14:09.840 –> 00:14:11.220
Jacob Stoops: Yeah subject matter.
00:14:12.480 –> 00:14:18.390
Casie Gillette: That’s like one of my favorite things I talked about that a lot is like when I was in house we talked to the customer support team every week.
00:14:18.780 –> 00:14:29.220
Casie Gillette: Right. And it was so awesome. Knowing here’s what people are asking for. Here’s what they can’t find like here’s what the second yeah so that there are those benefits. Yeah, but
00:14:29.580 –> 00:14:40.110
Jacob Stoops: Like I said, I just, I made for agency. I like the I like the challenge. I like the diversity and I feel as if
00:14:41.520 –> 00:14:44.130
Jacob Stoops: The competition with other agencies.
00:14:45.480 –> 00:14:51.420
Jacob Stoops: In addition to the competition with your clients and their competitors. Yeah, really.
00:14:51.750 –> 00:15:00.480
Jacob Stoops: Really drives me. I come from a sports background so I’m super competitive and not to say that if you don’t come from other backgrounds. You’re not competitive, but I feel like for me that’s
00:15:00.870 –> 00:15:08.100
Jacob Stoops: Plays plays into it. So like I i like to win. And for me, I can see is giving me the best chance to kind of
00:15:09.510 –> 00:15:11.100
Jacob Stoops: Scratch that competitive edge.
00:15:11.190 –> 00:15:13.140
Casie Gillette: Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel.
00:15:14.340 –> 00:15:18.180
Jacob Stoops: So you do public speaking. What’s, what’s that look
00:15:19.410 –> 00:15:19.680
Casie Gillette: Like
00:15:21.270 –> 00:15:33.390
Casie Gillette: Well, no, it’s fun. Honestly, um, I don’t know. I don’t even remember how I got into it, or why, but I just know like once I was up there. I was like, oh yeah, this is for me.
00:15:34.890 –> 00:15:36.630
Casie Gillette: There’s just something to be said about
00:15:38.070 –> 00:15:50.940
Casie Gillette: You know, you’re being in front of your peers and having them listen. It makes you have to up your game. I never ever ever want to go to a conference and disappoint people
00:15:51.630 –> 00:16:03.690
Casie Gillette: And because of that, I think it’s really forced me to make sure that I’m talking about the right things. I’m learning the right things. I’m focused on the things I’m passionate about. I think that’s a huge one.
00:16:04.950 –> 00:16:16.110
Casie Gillette: When I first started speaking I talked about link building about a year into that. I was like, if I have to talk about link building one more time. I’m going to jump off the stage. Like, I can’t, I can’t talk about it anymore.
00:16:17.100 –> 00:16:26.970
Casie Gillette: But I needed to find something else that I was passionate about right and and also you have to find something that not everyone else is saying, although there’s a lot of it right
00:16:28.110 –> 00:16:36.540
Casie Gillette: That in the space, and I’m sure I’ve done it, too. But I just, I just love it. I love what the camaraderie of conferences.
00:16:36.960 –> 00:16:53.730
Casie Gillette: I will say that I have made some amazing friends through conferences that I go on vacation with now that I talked to you in real life that have become like close lifelong friends that are never would have gotten to do that without speaking. So it’s just fun. I just really like it.
00:16:54.540 –> 00:17:02.340
Jacob Stoops: Have you do you get nervous or you just one of those natural, natural because like I feel like it was
00:17:03.630 –> 00:17:15.120
Jacob Stoops: All a couple of couple of guests ago I can’t remember exactly who it was. Alicia or Leisha Anderson or Andrea Bergman, it was like, Nope, I just stepped right up there and it’s it’s easy.
00:17:15.180 –> 00:17:20.310
Casie Gillette: It’s nice. I get nervous. Yeah, there’s a moment not I’m not nervous like
00:17:21.120 –> 00:17:31.770
Casie Gillette: A day before I’m nervous for like that 20 minutes before, but the moment that I’m on the stage. It’s fine. Totally fine. Like the moment that I’m up there. Your adrenaline’s poverty, like, all right, I’m in
00:17:32.460 –> 00:17:37.620
Casie Gillette: And you can’t be nervous up there. So, but, yeah, there’s about I usually don’t eat before I can
00:17:39.030 –> 00:17:39.960
Casie Gillette: Just gotta go.
00:17:41.610 –> 00:17:42.270
Jacob Stoops: It. Go ahead, Jeff.
00:17:42.300 –> 00:17:46.590
Jeff Louella: I’ll just say I don’t speak a ton bone. I do. I usually start off with the dad joke.
00:17:49.050 –> 00:17:54.270
Jeff Louella: When the crowd. As soon as I get them the laugh. And I’m like, all right, I’m good. But, but if they don’t laugh. I’m like, Oh, no.
00:17:57.780 –> 00:17:58.980
Jeff Louella: Luckily I’m so good. They always
00:18:00.240 –> 00:18:02.190
Jeff Louella: Get the greatest dad. Exactly.
00:18:03.030 –> 00:18:10.980
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, I have this I have this thing and it’s sometimes applies to speaking, but mostly singing in public, where
00:18:12.690 –> 00:18:29.250
Jacob Stoops: It’s literally like, like you said 20 minutes before I’m set to like go on and go on. It’s not like I sing in like these massive arenas or anything. My wife and I sing it a benefit concert every, every color. Yeah, yeah, it is cool.
00:18:30.450 –> 00:18:43.920
Jacob Stoops: But even as small as the as the venue is I have this thing where, when I go on for about the 20 minutes before and even sometimes as
00:18:44.850 –> 00:18:55.530
Jacob Stoops: As close to performing as literally like the song comes on and I’m about three seconds from having to open my mouth. Forget all the lyrics, they just go out of my head.
00:18:55.980 –> 00:19:10.290
Jacob Stoops: Really, yeah. Yeah, it’s like a complete blackout really like scary because like there are times when I’m standing out there. And all I’m thinking is not how well I need to sing more like what do I say
00:19:10.350 –> 00:19:11.640
Casie Gillette: What am I even thinking
00:19:11.880 –> 00:19:21.960
Jacob Stoops: What am I singing and then then the music comes on and I’m still I’m starting to panic. Now, like Panic, panic. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. And then finally,
00:19:22.950 –> 00:19:32.190
Jacob Stoops: I remember like it was yesterday. I opened my mouth words came out and they were the right words and I went along by I went along my merry way and
00:19:32.670 –> 00:19:49.350
Jacob Stoops: For anybody that has that kind of public phobia. The idea of public speaking can be nauseating like nauseating. So I guess what advice would you give to people that struggle with the idea of getting up in front of their peers.
00:19:49.500 –> 00:20:00.630
Casie Gillette: Well, what I was gonna say was, I mean what you just talked about is just the benefit of muscle memory, right, like we talked about practicing. I know there’s people who will say, like, you know, I don’t practice my presentations. I do.
00:20:01.020 –> 00:20:05.190
Casie Gillette: I run through them like you know me I don’t I try not to go, word for word, but like
00:20:05.580 –> 00:20:20.250
Casie Gillette: I run through that thing 20 times because I want to know that when I get out there that if something goes wrong, right, if I can’t see my slides. If there’s technical errors or whatever’s going on, you know, whether it’s fear or whatever that I still know my materials.
00:20:21.450 –> 00:20:29.370
Casie Gillette: But one of the things we do here is we start getting people like some of the trainings that we do involve people giving presentations.
00:20:29.760 –> 00:20:35.760
Casie Gillette: Because you’re only in front of maybe five people or 10 people or whatever it is you start small.
00:20:36.300 –> 00:20:45.000
Casie Gillette: I tell anyone you know who’s looking to get into public speaking. Look at a local event like I started just doing word camps that were here in Boston.
00:20:45.480 –> 00:21:02.220
Casie Gillette: Events like that, or just like local SEO meetups where you know people give you an opportunity new speakers, they’re expecting new speakers, where you don’t. They don’t care if you mess up, right. Those are the things that that for me, it’s like know your material and start small.
00:21:04.350 –> 00:21:12.990
Jeff Louella: You have done a couple when I used to live in Philadelphia and we had a pretty vibrant SEO Meetup group. They’re called SEO grill and
00:21:13.500 –> 00:21:21.270
Jeff Louella: I got to speak there a couple times and I do small events. A lot of times I used to run a homebrew club making beer.
00:21:21.960 –> 00:21:30.150
Jeff Louella: So I would I would do presentation. Yeah, you know, a it was funny when I decided to start a club. I was like, I don’t want to do work after work.
00:21:30.930 –> 00:21:40.650
Jeff Louella: And I enjoyed the air and me, my friends who started brewing were like, you know, we want to meet other people to do it. And then we started a club and then that grew to 300 people
00:21:40.950 –> 00:21:46.920
Jeff Louella: My guy, and it was insane. Like we were just at this one bar on the Tuesday night would just be packed to the gills.
00:21:47.580 –> 00:22:03.030
Jeff Louella: The guy would never have any traffic on the Tuesday night before, and so it was a good time. But from there. I learned a lot of just, again, if you know your material like if I talked about SEO or if I talked about home brewing, I can. I don’t need slides, I can just talk about it, but
00:22:04.530 –> 00:22:10.530
Jeff Louella: But yeah, when you’re in front of a bunch of people, it can be be scary. So, but where did you get from like
00:22:12.090 –> 00:22:19.380
Jeff Louella: The confidence. You know, you start off bartending. You’re saying, and then now 10 years later, you’re in stage, you know, Mosque on
00:22:20.640 –> 00:22:26.100
Jeff Louella: And then there’s many of us who’ve been doing SEO just as long. And, you know, haven’t gotten past the meetup groups.
00:22:26.160 –> 00:22:27.570
Jeff Louella: Yeah, so
00:22:27.960 –> 00:22:41.310
Casie Gillette: Honestly, I again I’ve just been really lucky, like the support of the community, I would say. So even when I first started doing like I did an SMS show and it I
00:22:41.970 –> 00:22:49.380
Casie Gillette: One of the benefits. I was working in house right and I do think there’s a benefit when you’re in house that if you’re looking to speak, they’re more open to having you right
00:22:49.500 –> 00:22:50.820
Jeff Louella: Now big brand behind. Yes.
00:22:50.880 –> 00:23:00.030
Casie Gillette: Yep. And so that was really helpful. But at that show I met a couple people, you know, Elizabeth awesome Alaska who worked for third door for a long time. Greg Finn.
00:23:00.600 –> 00:23:10.590
Casie Gillette: There, people who just became my friends, but they also were these huge support systems. And so they were encouraging me to start writing for Search Engine Land. Right. So they got me doing that.
00:23:11.280 –> 00:23:23.100
Casie Gillette: You know, they would encourage they would help me with my pitches. Right. So I’ve just been really lucky I think in that the people that I have surrounded myself with or gotten to know have all been so supportive
00:23:23.790 –> 00:23:28.620
Casie Gillette: You know, even I was doing. I got invited to do search love one year in London.
00:23:29.100 –> 00:23:37.440
Casie Gillette: And a friend of mine, Aaron Friedman, who I had met through another show like we spent the night before our sessions just practicing with one another.
00:23:37.860 –> 00:23:42.900
Casie Gillette: And so, those kinds of things. Just, just really help. I don’t know. I’m not a shy person.
00:23:43.860 –> 00:23:55.530
Casie Gillette: I think that that makes the biggest difference is I know people in the industry will talk about, you know, I’m very introverted, or I’m very extroverted like I am an extrovert. I just very much am I enjoy being around people.
00:23:56.280 –> 00:24:08.400
Casie Gillette: I like conferences, I’d like being in crowds. So that part I think certainly helps because you know when you’re just out there just being loud, like I am. I don’t know if that helps or not, but
00:24:09.450 –> 00:24:25.830
Jacob Stoops: Funny. My wife is exactly like that, and I am. She is like the type of person that never met a person that she couldn’t talk to and like immediately make them like her, and be her friend and I am like, I’m a nice person, but I am
00:24:26.550 –> 00:24:35.550
Jacob Stoops: The opposite where like when I get into big crowds situations. It makes me like twitchy uncomfortable super uncomfortable.
00:24:36.840 –> 00:24:40.230
Jacob Stoops: Which is the yeah I then find it odd that I choose to do a
00:24:40.500 –> 00:24:42.300
Casie Gillette: Podcast right out there.
00:24:42.570 –> 00:24:51.780
Casie Gillette: Talking to people. I mean, I will say this, like, I don’t love I’ll be the first to say that I don’t love networking events like where you’re just with a whole bunch of strangers, but like
00:24:52.140 –> 00:24:59.100
Casie Gillette: I just like myself up for it. So you just, I just get mentally prepared and then you’re just you’re in, you know, I’m fine. Once I’m in it, but
00:25:00.900 –> 00:25:02.460
Jeff Louella: Yeah, I mean, it was tough moving like
00:25:03.540 –> 00:25:09.570
Jeff Louella: I know you. It seems like you’ve moved around a little bit, but I lived in Philadelphia for 42 years
00:25:09.990 –> 00:25:17.040
Jeff Louella: Wow started to move to Atlanta and pick up the family and move and it was really tough for my wife at first.
00:25:17.520 –> 00:25:26.280
Jeff Louella: But she is that type of person to you can put her in a room, she starts chatting with people and I think she’s actually impressed herself with how she can. She’s like 1000 friends now.
00:25:27.300 –> 00:25:30.180
Jeff Louella: And and the ones in there going, like I have a couple people. I kind of talk to you.
00:25:31.620 –> 00:25:37.350
Jeff Louella: I’m still I’m like texts with my friends back home, but it’s and she’s out every night, so it’s it’s interesting how
00:25:37.350 –> 00:25:37.800
Casie Gillette: I
00:25:37.950 –> 00:25:41.010
Jeff Louella: Put yourself in that position, and then you can like, get out there. Yeah.
00:25:41.190 –> 00:25:43.320
Jacob Stoops: You don’t it, Jeff, you’ll have a few more friends.
00:25:43.650 –> 00:25:45.660
Jeff Louella: Yeah. That’s what the internet’s great
00:25:48.270 –> 00:25:56.190
Jacob Stoops: So Casie, what are some of the biggest challenges that you run into operating in the agency world.
00:25:57.150 –> 00:26:12.870
Casie Gillette: Um, I mean, I do think, you know, it just thinking about the team, you know, thinking about hiring. It’s so competitive right now, you know, especially, you know, we’re a smaller agency. There’s a little under 30 a few of like 30 of us.
00:26:13.920 –> 00:26:21.720
Casie Gillette: And when you’re trying to hire that like 123 years person. It is like just a battle.
00:26:22.320 –> 00:26:28.650
Casie Gillette: Axe and especially here in Boston, where there’s a ton of companies and a ton of tech companies and even just a ton of agencies, right.
00:26:28.890 –> 00:26:38.100
Casie Gillette: A lot of the big digital, you know, the big agencies, you have like digital us and you know those places who are now trying to get in the game, and they’re willing to pay a lot more
00:26:38.430 –> 00:26:43.650
Casie Gillette: To have those 123 years like I think hiring has certainly been a challenge. And we’ve been really lucky.
00:26:44.370 –> 00:26:51.060
Casie Gillette: Make our team is amazing. We’ve been able to get some really good people in, but then you have people who are constantly recruiting them away.
00:26:51.960 –> 00:26:56.070
Casie Gillette: So it’s like a battle. It’s like such a battle right now from that perspective.
00:26:57.000 –> 00:27:09.780
Casie Gillette: But then you have clients and you know to Geoff’s point earlier, there’s only so much time right there’s only so much time, you only have so many resources. I have a client right now that I adore. I love them to death.
00:27:10.800 –> 00:27:21.930
Casie Gillette: Unfortunately, when the search results changed in June with that big update. They weren’t penalized. But what happened was the search results themselves shifted so much
00:27:22.290 –> 00:27:30.870
Casie Gillette: That they went from being in you know the position one at the top of the page that didn’t have a lot of elements to now they’re
00:27:31.260 –> 00:27:43.620
Casie Gillette: In position to be ahead of them are now sponsored products and a map and the Knowledge Graph and people also asked box and so their traffic just tanked. And when you see that like
00:27:44.070 –> 00:27:55.290
Casie Gillette: It’s just gut wrenching because, you know, like I’m doing everything I can to help this client, but I can’t get them back there, right, like unless those search results change like I can’t get them back there.
00:27:55.980 –> 00:28:01.650
Casie Gillette: So that stuff is is just, it’s so challenging and frustrating because you have these clients that you love and you want to help them but
00:28:01.980 –> 00:28:12.450
Casie Gillette: Sometimes you just have to say like we have to change our, we have to change our strategy right and i mean like a complete one need to change our strategy. So I think that that’s a tough one.
00:28:13.170 –> 00:28:25.650
Jeff Louella: I mean it’s tougher all these days with Google putting so many other elements on the page. Besides that, besides just organic and it is surprising. Sometimes when I still do well. And there are other things on that page.
00:28:26.370 –> 00:28:33.090
Jeff Louella: But you know Google’s tracking all that, too. So they’re also going to be changing those features around a lot. Yeah. And I do
00:28:33.660 –> 00:28:37.050
Jeff Louella: You know, I think it’s really important to start spreading out into other mediums.
00:28:37.470 –> 00:28:46.200
Jeff Louella: Cuz you’re going to have video links are going to have image links and it’s like if we don’t optimize our images or maybe add videos like those are areas we can get to
00:28:46.560 –> 00:28:56.670
Jeff Louella: I think figuring out a track it all is another aspect. Um, but, but one of those is like there’s gonna be 10 listings above you, that are just not organic. And how do we get into those listings
00:28:56.940 –> 00:28:59.670
Casie Gillette: Right, and even, like, you know, for that same client. I mean,
00:29:00.090 –> 00:29:11.520
Casie Gillette: One of the first things we did. We’re like, All right, let’s get like FAQ schema on the site right like they have FAQs the search results are showing FAQs. Like, let’s get this up. Let’s test it. Let’s see what that can do so.
00:29:11.730 –> 00:29:24.780
Casie Gillette: We’re really trying everything we can think of here to help with that. But sometimes you know there’s there’s only so much that we can do. But yeah, I love your like, but like you have to diversify. Some people just don’t want to hear that, though.
00:29:25.590 –> 00:29:34.050
Jeff Louella: Yeah, and it’s hard to diversify. Right. I mean, one reason when Jacob asked me to come on to the podcast was like something I always wanted to do, but I know it’s a lot of work to do it.
00:29:34.560 –> 00:29:39.780
Jeff Louella: And it’s like there’s a whole bunch of new algorithms. I got to learn because it’s like to get your, you know, a podcast even
00:29:40.170 –> 00:29:50.730
Jeff Louella: Show up like it’s learning right it’s like you on iTunes. We don’t show up yet. But there’s ones out there that haven’t been talked like having the three episodes and haven’t been uploaded in 10 years entered like number four.
00:29:51.810 –> 00:29:58.140
Jeff Louella: It’s like why so that’s not the that’s not Google. I feel like if it was Google. I don’t understand it but
00:29:58.170 –> 00:29:58.530
00:29:59.880 –> 00:30:01.740
Jeff Louella: Exactly so. So
00:30:01.830 –> 00:30:13.860
Jacob Stoops: When people don’t want to hear it. How do you approach that because I feel like I’ve said it like 80 million times the implementation, especially on the agency side is our biggest problem and then
00:30:14.400 –> 00:30:31.800
Jacob Stoops: Changing hearts and hearts and minds and figuring out from a psychological perspective, what can you do or say to get people to kind of come around to your understanding of a situation or the reality of situation, how do you, how do you go about that.
00:30:32.100 –> 00:30:39.600
Casie Gillette: I mean, one thing that I take a lot of pride in. And that, you know, specifically here at KoMarketing is like we have really good relationships with our clients.
00:30:40.140 –> 00:30:50.910
Casie Gillette: You know, I have a client that I’ve worked with since I started here and she’s like her fifth organization and she just brings us with her everywhere she goes, it’s so awesome.
00:30:51.930 –> 00:31:00.510
Casie Gillette: But because of those relationships we are able to be very direct about it, right, like, one of the things that I really do pride myself in is
00:31:00.810 –> 00:31:06.330
Casie Gillette: I’m not. I’m never gonna lie to my clients right so like that example that I told you where search results shifted
00:31:06.690 –> 00:31:15.270
Casie Gillette: You know, I said like, look, we can keep trying to get back, we can keep trying to get back for this keyword all you want, but unless this changes.
00:31:15.600 –> 00:31:22.980
Casie Gillette: There’s nothing that we’re going to be able to do. But here’s the data that shows here are the other things that we can do right so
00:31:23.640 –> 00:31:32.160
Casie Gillette: In fact, one of the one of the girls who works here put together this sheet yesterday, this data set for this client that specifically looks at their competitors.
00:31:32.610 –> 00:31:35.040
Casie Gillette: We’ve been trying to get them to do a couple things.
00:31:35.910 –> 00:31:48.660
Casie Gillette: They’ve been a little bit hesitant to do it. She pulled all this data that’s competitive data search volume data like potential revenue data that now we take that and we present to them like here’s the actual financial impact of doing this.
00:31:49.260 –> 00:31:54.720
Casie Gillette: And I think that helps the one thing I always tell people I’m like just show them competition just show them their competitors.
00:31:55.110 –> 00:32:04.020
Casie Gillette: Like, especially when you’re talking to the C suite. If you show them like here’s what your competitors are doing. They absolutely are always like, Well, why aren’t we doing that.
00:32:05.250 –> 00:32:18.030
Casie Gillette: So I do think that helps is, you know, just just being honest and direct, you know, using the data you have, and, you know, if you can get buy in from from the upper level that that goes such a long way.
00:32:19.110 –> 00:32:25.080
Jacob Stoops: Do you find that they believe their data or the data that you provide them.
00:32:25.200 –> 00:32:33.780
Casie Gillette: I do it. But, you know, the one thing I do like is I think our clients are very smart. That’s actually something that’s changed that’s gone wrong.
00:32:38.970 –> 00:32:40.470
Jacob Stoops: Like I wanted to rewind that the
00:32:42.390 –> 00:32:50.550
Casie Gillette: The one thing that has definitely shifted over the past, you know, seven years, specifically for me being here is our contacts weren’t always
00:32:51.120 –> 00:33:10.890
Casie Gillette: Search savvy and now they are much more savvy when it comes to understanding SEO paid search, whatever it is. So our clients, not only they will question the data if it’s if it’s wrong, or if they have questions, but they understand it. And I think that is really, really helpful.
00:33:11.220 –> 00:33:14.910
Jacob Stoops: What do you think is led to that higher degree of understanding
00:33:15.390 –> 00:33:17.310
Casie Gillette: I mean, I think, just as the guy was so much more well known.
00:33:17.820 –> 00:33:30.420
Casie Gillette: Right. I mean, there’s still people who don’t necessarily know, but you know 10 years ago was like this little thing that maybe someone did. And it was such a niche. Whereas now, it’s a thing that they teach in college, which is amazing.
00:33:30.930 –> 00:33:34.740
Casie Gillette: But I think there’s just so much more awareness of it and people who who need to understand it.
00:33:35.130 –> 00:33:52.500
Jacob Stoops: You guys ever like I like even five years ago, I had never once on in like a traditional medium heard anybody like refer to SEO. So it was like the thing that I do for my living is like this super
00:33:53.160 –> 00:34:10.860
Jacob Stoops: Secret sort of thing to the to the public. And now, like I’m driving around done listening to in I’m in Columbus, so it’s 97 when the fan my sports radio and when you start to get the commercials in the ads there a company’s advertising SEO services. And I’m like,
00:34:11.880 –> 00:34:21.900
Jacob Stoops: Holy crap, this is becoming more mainstream whereas five years ago, like, no, you never saw it. I even today I’m ups. I’m upstairs and I’ve got a TV.
00:34:22.470 –> 00:34:35.580
Jacob Stoops: That can play I can play the YouTube and YouTube ad came on and it was for a digital marketing and SEO company. And I was like, well, about a year ago, I didn’t see much of that going that going on.
00:34:37.080 –> 00:34:39.990
Jacob Stoops: So you’re right it is becoming a little bit more, more.
00:34:40.350 –> 00:34:44.130
Casie Gillette: What we do it was on Jeopardy jeopardy. We’ve made it. Yeah.
00:34:44.880 –> 00:34:45.510
Jeff Louella: Yeah, one of my
00:34:45.600 –> 00:34:53.730
Jeff Louella: Favorite my favorite podcasts is a radio lab. And for the last two months or three months they they’ve been brought to you by wicks
00:34:54.180 –> 00:34:57.960
Jeff Louella: And all they’re talking about his mixes SEO capabilities.
00:34:58.470 –> 00:35:05.130
Jeff Louella: And I’m just like, oh, this is my favorite pocket. Like they their whole podcast is about like breaking things down. I wish they broke their average
00:35:08.490 –> 00:35:19.500
Jacob Stoops: Amy and knowing them, which just shelled out $25,000 to Marie Haines bolting like for winning the the wicks SEO contest and
00:35:19.500 –> 00:35:19.800
Jacob Stoops: Like
00:35:20.280 –> 00:35:28.650
Jacob Stoops: I was like holy shit if I didn’t know there were, there was 25 grand on the line, I would have been like, all right, I’m in. I let me let me get in there but
00:35:29.250 –> 00:35:40.170
Casie Gillette: I you know I appreciate it, that it goes to someone like her, though, who actually knows what she’s doing. Right. That, you know, I think she made a comment today, like, you know, she had eight people working on it for six months or something like
00:35:40.410 –> 00:35:48.600
Casie Gillette: But, you know, you see someone, it’s like okay this is a person that I know is smart. I know knows what they’re doing like better than some, you know, shady person.
00:35:49.110 –> 00:35:59.370
Jeff Louella: Yeah, well, when they ran a competition. Last year I know with a Patrick stocks, he like it was it came down to between him and someone else and
00:36:00.420 –> 00:36:11.940
Jeff Louella: You know, there was a lot of shady stuff going on on on some of those people were being bought and and and that was part of the rules and he couldn’t buy links so i know i don’t think Patrick was I think the guy who won.
00:36:12.330 –> 00:36:14.280
Casie Gillette: The other guy did yeah and it’s
00:36:14.640 –> 00:36:22.500
Jeff Louella: So it is an interesting thing. I give wicks credit because SEO is love like that again, there were competitive so
00:36:22.920 –> 00:36:23.850
Casie Gillette: That they’re on it to
00:36:24.450 –> 00:36:26.190
Jeff Louella: Totally like if we’re not in it. We’re crap.
00:36:27.630 –> 00:36:29.880
Jacob Stoops: I couldn’t believe the size of the font, though, man. I was like,
00:36:29.880 –> 00:36:30.270
Jeff Louella: That
00:36:30.360 –> 00:36:35.130
Jacob Stoops: You’re serious about this 25 G’s. Cool, man. So Jeff,
00:36:36.150 –> 00:36:37.710
Jacob Stoops: Let’s move to the next segment. What’s in
00:36:37.710 –> 00:36:38.250
Jeff Louella: Right.
00:36:38.370 –> 00:36:39.420
Jacob Stoops: Let’s get to the drama.
00:36:39.960 –> 00:36:49.530
Jeff Louella: Yes, more Twitter drama. So there was a post by think I’m gonna probably announce it will just say, Holly cuz she what’s her name on there but
00:36:49.860 –> 00:36:50.310
Jacob Stoops: I think you’re
00:36:50.910 –> 00:36:52.530
Jeff Louella: Blocked yeah girl Ziploc
00:36:52.950 –> 00:36:53.190
00:36:54.480 –> 00:37:02.160
Jeff Louella: But she pretty much came out and was saying in the first two pages of Google never surface any personal blogs or personal websites anymore.
00:37:03.330 –> 00:37:06.810
Jeff Louella: And everything it’s worthwhile like a question, you look at
00:37:08.220 –> 00:37:24.960
Jeff Louella: You know, it’s just being optimized bunch of bunch of SEO assholes. And that was a word to use, and I thought it was awesome. But at the same time right there was like you know as SEO assholes were kind of going out and saying there was a lot of different post out there so
00:37:26.580 –> 00:37:36.270
Jeff Louella: I know someone like Joe Hall, kind of like some of us aren’t assholes. And we took the time to learn the algorithms and stuff. And I think there was a lot of battle going back and forth between
00:37:37.410 –> 00:37:43.260
Jeff Louella: Is someone who is not so familiar with SEO and if I could see you know like you type in
00:37:44.010 –> 00:37:50.160
Jeff Louella: Anything and not anything but anything that’s like a probably a broader keyword. You can have a major company show up for it.
00:37:50.610 –> 00:38:02.820
Jeff Louella: Especially if it’s like something you’re trying to sell you know if you’re typing in iPhone or something like that. Like, you’re going to get a big brand, whether it’s apple or BestBuy or somebody there. And yes, they all have SEOs working for them.
00:38:04.350 –> 00:38:12.990
Jeff Louella: But it was the outrage was kind of interesting with it, where I mean john mule Mueller posted about it like you want to know what people thought
00:38:13.320 –> 00:38:22.500
Jeff Louella: You know bills. Yet all the big name as you guys out there, Bill slough ski, um, you know, there was an interesting conversation. I don’t know what your take, was it on
00:38:23.220 –> 00:38:37.620
Jeff Louella: Jacob, but it was really interesting kind of post between it because I really feel that, yes, there’s big brands out there. I think I understand why there’s big brands out there. I don’t think it’s anything. It could be. It’s not shady. It’s a grower trying to optimize for that.
00:38:38.910 –> 00:38:49.170
Jeff Louella: I do feel like there are some bad SEOs out there and they probably are doing bad things. But overall, we’re all trying to make our clients site more for the customers.
00:38:49.590 –> 00:38:55.770
Jeff Louella: And that’s why Google showing them over other people and that’s kind of what I feel that’s going on but I get her pain.
00:38:56.340 –> 00:39:08.790
Jeff Louella: Why, she’s, she’s like, if you don’t know that. And you’re just a blogger and you wonder why your blogs loss efforts traffic or isn’t getting the traffic. It means like, of course, you’re just gonna blame the people who specialize in that so
00:39:09.180 –> 00:39:13.860
Casie Gillette: I mean, at the same time, though, if you’re just realizing, like you’re so behind
00:39:13.920 –> 00:39:16.320
Casie Gillette: That’s why you’re not showing up anymore. Right. I
00:39:16.320 –> 00:39:16.740
Jeff Louella: Mean
00:39:17.130 –> 00:39:22.500
Casie Gillette: This started changing how many years ago, I personally don’t have any patience for that so
00:39:23.760 –> 00:39:30.930
Casie Gillette: I just don’t like one. I try to stay out of the SEO dramas, just like again I just other things that I’d like to do
00:39:32.190 –> 00:39:35.400
Casie Gillette: And usually it’s just people I think sometimes people like to argue
00:39:36.660 –> 00:39:38.100
Casie Gillette: I do think in one of the things I do
00:39:38.100 –> 00:39:51.660
Casie Gillette: Love about the SEO space and the people in it is that people are very protective of it right and it goes back to what we were just talking about were five years ago, people maybe didn’t know as much about SEO as they did. So I do think people are very
00:39:52.170 –> 00:40:05.970
Casie Gillette: protective of the Community as a whole, protective of what we do because we’ve always had to be a little bit defensive about it because let’s be real, like when I started the ship were doing was not like well as shady. Right. You’re just buying links and
00:40:06.480 –> 00:40:12.330
Casie Gillette: And it worked. And it was awesome. And you know there are people who are still figuring out how to game the system and at the
00:40:12.360 –> 00:40:27.720
Casie Gillette: End of the day, like, yes, like we’re not personally. It’s not like I’m doing over here doing anything shady, but I am working really hard to innocence game that algorithm. Right. I want my client site there and so
00:40:28.380 –> 00:40:37.080
Casie Gillette: What does that mean, well, it means you have to have a brand presence and it means you need to have content and, you know, yeah, these personal blogs don’t necessarily have that. So maybe they shouldn’t show up.
00:40:38.190 –> 00:40:39.750
Casie Gillette: And what are you trying to show up for so
00:40:39.990 –> 00:40:49.800
Jeff Louella: I don’t know i just i and i can show them like I didn’t want to get into because I’m anti drama myself, but I can show her where there’s personal blogs meeting some of my clients that
00:40:49.830 –> 00:40:50.790
Are driving. Yes.
00:40:52.080 –> 00:41:04.740
Casie Gillette: And it goes to the it goes to the sense of diversification exactly what we were just talking about, you know, for people who maybe you don’t have a big brands like you need to be looking at, you know, social or whatever it is, or medium or these
00:41:04.800 –> 00:41:06.480
Casie Gillette: Other platforms where you can gain
00:41:06.480 –> 00:41:12.600
Casie Gillette: Visibility because, I mean, even for my clients. I’m like, look how much time you have left in Google here, right.
00:41:13.920 –> 00:41:19.380
Casie Gillette: Time is limited for alive. So, you know, whether you’re a blogger not have enough people to sell things to complain, but
00:41:19.650 –> 00:41:20.880
Jeff Louella: What I find interesting.
00:41:20.880 –> 00:41:28.710
Jacob Stoops: About this is like, just like you guys said there are certain queries like across some of my clients were like
00:41:29.400 –> 00:41:35.940
Jacob Stoops: Half of the results are product pages and half of the results are articles.
00:41:36.570 –> 00:41:50.400
Jacob Stoops: blog articles resource articles, things like that. And as an SEO. It’s like it’s really interesting to try to figure out what Google thinks the real intent is. Is it informational is it transactional
00:41:51.000 –> 00:42:03.420
Jacob Stoops: But I would say to like the first comment about how, like, okay, Google never almost never surfaces blogs and personal websites what and my Google Pixel is going up as I’m saying saying this, so I’m
00:42:05.460 –> 00:42:06.630
Jacob Stoops: Always listening Google
00:42:08.340 –> 00:42:27.540
Jacob Stoops: It’s let’s just actually in inaccurate and I’m for, you know, I hate to to rail on this particular person. I don’t know what search that they were doing, but like honestly the last place I worked like we grew our traffic in about a year by like 100% and almost all of it was like
00:42:28.020 –> 00:42:32.850
Jacob Stoops: A blog. Yeah. And that brought in a lot of business. So like, there’s that.
00:42:34.050 –> 00:42:48.210
Jacob Stoops: The second part of this is the, the kind of more kerfuffle were like, Okay, well, just because there are people online that that optimize things to show up. We’re, we’re all assholes. Well,
00:42:49.530 –> 00:42:58.050
Jacob Stoops: Now you something like I feel like there are some because there are two sides of the fence one on one side of the fence. You’ve got people
00:42:59.160 –> 00:43:18.510
Jacob Stoops: In I think rightfully so, defending the industry and the people in it as not all assholes. Okay. And that and that’s true. Like, we’re not all assholes. But there are some assholes. It’s just like other place on Earth. There are things in there. There are not assholes in any profession ever
00:43:19.230 –> 00:43:24.810
Casie Gillette: So, you know, there’s people that are in this industry that I like very much but they’re still assholes.
00:43:25.110 –> 00:43:26.280
Casie Gillette: Right, yeah.
00:43:26.490 –> 00:43:28.110
Jacob Stoops: There’s, there’s even that. But then there are
00:43:28.110 –> 00:43:28.530
Jeff Louella: People on
00:43:28.560 –> 00:43:35.310
Jacob Stoops: The other side of the fence. And this is where I feel like for me in terms of my opinion because I believe that when
00:43:35.580 –> 00:43:41.760
Jacob Stoops: We’re all being generalized as assholes. We have a right to push back. But there are people on the other side of the fence and
00:43:42.300 –> 00:43:53.100
Jacob Stoops: I don’t understand it quite as much and I’m trying really hard that in one case like Tom Raynor who was a was a previous guest on the show and sometimes has
00:43:53.580 –> 00:44:07.500
Jacob Stoops: Some, some opinions on this, this type of stuff basically getting upset at the people for defending the industry and pushing back on on this type of stuff in there were other people saying, hey,
00:44:08.190 –> 00:44:16.530
Jacob Stoops: You’re missing the point. You’re missing the point. And I agree, like, okay, what what’s great about this country is that people are allowed to have
00:44:16.890 –> 00:44:26.250
Jacob Stoops: Opinions and there is freedom of speech and that’s awesome, but there’s not freedom from accountability. Right. You have the right to say whatever the hell you want
00:44:26.610 –> 00:44:35.370
Jacob Stoops: And so to other people. And you mentioned earlier that Twitter is great for our Twitter wouldn’t exist if people didn’t arch. You didn’t argue
00:44:35.400 –> 00:44:37.860
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, absolutely. So anyways,
00:44:40.470 –> 00:44:41.010
Jeff Louella: Okay.
00:44:42.060 –> 00:44:44.130
Jacob Stoops: Anyway, so let’s so let’s move on. Let’s
00:44:44.310 –> 00:44:45.480
Casie Gillette: We can hang with us all day.
00:44:46.950 –> 00:44:59.910
Jacob Stoops: Let’s quickly. Let’s get into kind of the team building want to be respectful of time. So let’s jump into the team building component and deep dive on that really quickly. So, Casie. How do you build a good SEO team.
00:45:00.300 –> 00:45:03.540
Casie Gillette: Yeah, so this was something that I was asking.
00:45:04.380 –> 00:45:18.270
Casie Gillette: You know, five years ago, six years ago, like I said, when I came back to KoMarketing. Um, there were probably about eight people eight or nine people that were here at the time and you know we were growing and I realized that once you hit that 10 to 12 mark.
00:45:19.470 –> 00:45:29.940
Casie Gillette: You need things like processes which like I hate my life just like God, like, all right, we need to do something like how do we actually make this scalable.
00:45:30.720 –> 00:45:38.550
Casie Gillette: And so I started talking to just different people in the industry about how they have grown their teams, you know, I was talking to will Scott
00:45:39.420 –> 00:45:47.430
Casie Gillette: Talking to Mike Arneson about like what they do for training and, you know, just thinking what these people were telling me I was like okay like
00:45:47.880 –> 00:45:59.010
Casie Gillette: What we actually have to do is, is give people the tools that that are going to make them successful but also you have to give them the process to lead them there. And I think that’s something that I struggled with a little bit
00:45:59.940 –> 00:46:18.000
Casie Gillette: Because I just don’t love having to tell people to do something a certain way because especially with search. There’s so many nuances, you know, and I see people who are like, Okay, well, you told me that I have to have 60 characters. And so I have 16 and I’m like, Oh, no.
00:46:20.070 –> 00:46:20.850
Casie Gillette: I just had
00:46:20.940 –> 00:46:27.150
Jacob Stoops: Somebody today asked me how important the little green bubble is in the Yoast SEO plugin.
00:46:27.690 –> 00:46:37.170
Casie Gillette: Yeah yeah yeah yeah that’s fine. So like you have to consider all that but I mean one of the things that that we realized is
00:46:37.980 –> 00:46:40.620
Casie Gillette: One. You just have to we start people slow
00:46:41.280 –> 00:46:48.720
Casie Gillette: But we also give them that you know we give them templates for things and we give them the tools they need and we give them the information they needed and
00:46:49.020 –> 00:47:03.720
Casie Gillette: You know, now we have managers who are helping and there’s people above them who are we’re guiding them through the process, especially people who they don’t have any experience with SEO. Right. They don’t know what it is. So I would also say the one thing that we have certainly changed.
00:47:04.890 –> 00:47:12.810
Casie Gillette: Is focusing on the user. And that’s one thing that I tell people the team now especially new people.
00:47:13.290 –> 00:47:21.900
Casie Gillette: When it comes to things like keywords is I always tell them like think about the user first. And that’s something that even that I feel like has changed.
00:47:22.590 –> 00:47:34.380
Casie Gillette: But you have to really think through all of the nuances that come with search and and that’s tricky, but I think when you’re building your team, you know, you learn it as you go. I’m still learning new things every day.
00:47:35.610 –> 00:47:37.290
Jeff Louella: Yeah. It’s funny, I always tell
00:47:38.400 –> 00:47:40.410
Jeff Louella: There’s different everyone has different ways of doing things.
00:47:40.410 –> 00:47:41.010
Casie Gillette: Right.
00:47:41.160 –> 00:47:46.950
Jeff Louella: When it comes to the title tags. Like, I’m kind of the anti like pipe between like keyword pipe keyword pipe.
00:47:47.400 –> 00:47:58.710
Jeff Louella: And just I’d rather it read something better and. And at the end, it’s not even like I don’t like pipe client I like you know by client or something, some so read, you know, it’s like
00:47:59.130 –> 00:48:02.040
Jeff Louella: A new Nike sneakers. But, you know, from whoever and it’s
00:48:02.520 –> 00:48:12.660
Jeff Louella: And it just little things like that were getting people in brand new and SEO and they read a lot of articles you just end up seeing it, like, way more robotic than it needs to be. And
00:48:13.140 –> 00:48:13.920
00:48:15.180 –> 00:48:21.660
Jeff Louella: Jake’s working on a lot of training stuff where and our work and it’s kind of, it’s tough to get the full gamut of everything you do.
00:48:22.350 –> 00:48:29.700
Jeff Louella: In there, so we’re trying to build a slow kind of library of videos and that when someone new comes in, they can go through them.
00:48:30.210 –> 00:48:30.990
Casie Gillette: It’s a great idea.
00:48:31.260 –> 00:48:33.330
Jeff Louella: I think just the relationships between
00:48:34.380 –> 00:48:39.120
Jeff Louella: People senior people and junior people is where I think a lot of team building needs to come from. So
00:48:39.210 –> 00:48:41.130
Casie Gillette: Yeah, and I mean even thinking about
00:48:42.150 –> 00:48:49.860
Casie Gillette: Like, how are we starting them so like we don’t just immediately drop someone into like doing keyword research. For example,
00:48:50.340 –> 00:48:59.070
Casie Gillette: But what we might have them do is optimize a page which forces them to figure out like how do I find the right keywords and how do I make sure that
00:48:59.280 –> 00:49:05.850
Casie Gillette: I’m you know I’m whatever I’m changing still relates to the user. But it also forces them to go look at search result so
00:49:06.060 –> 00:49:15.690
Casie Gillette: You know, kind of easing them into all of the elements before saying like, all right, like I’m going to have you go do this, this full scope of keyword research or whatever it might be.
00:49:16.650 –> 00:49:20.730
Jacob Stoops: How do you when you’re bringing people into the team, right, there’s
00:49:21.300 –> 00:49:32.790
Jacob Stoops: Just like in sports, right, there’s, there’s the X’s and O’s. Right. But then there’s also an element that’s a little bit more on definable called chemistry right and fit.
00:49:33.240 –> 00:49:39.720
Jacob Stoops: Within the team structure. So when you’re bringing people in and it doesn’t just have to be intro people, it can be mid level and senior people
00:49:40.890 –> 00:49:50.820
Jacob Stoops: What are the characteristics of a person that you look for in terms of that person’s fit as you’re constructing your team. Yeah.
00:49:50.850 –> 00:49:54.060
Casie Gillette: We said, I mean as an organization, we sat down about two years ago.
00:49:54.330 –> 00:50:04.710
Casie Gillette: And it tried to answer that question because we were we, you know, we really wanted to take hiring, we really take it seriously because again we’re a small team. So the people that you’re hiring. You’re putting a lot of investment into that person.
00:50:05.040 –> 00:50:18.600
Casie Gillette: And what we figured out is the people that were looking for, they have to be self motivated. I think that’s the biggest thing is like, we don’t have time. I don’t have time to micromanage people and also who likes that. Like nobody
00:50:19.260 –> 00:50:32.340
Casie Gillette: Can nobody likes that. So you have to be an element of being self motivated and in this industry where things change, like we’re talking about, you need to go figure. You have to be curious. Right. You have to go figure out
00:50:32.910 –> 00:50:42.270
Casie Gillette: Well, I looked at the search result yesterday, and now I’m seeing something different, like why or like last week, my client was here and now they’re not why
00:50:42.990 –> 00:50:55.890
Casie Gillette: So I think between being self motivated and curious. Those are such like key elements for us in the desire to learn is a big one, a really big one. So I love when we interview someone
00:50:56.970 –> 00:51:00.870
Casie Gillette: Excuse. Excuse me. I love when we interview someone and they say,
00:51:01.740 –> 00:51:10.230
Casie Gillette: Yeah, well I’ve been doing this but I’m really interested in this. So, you know, I went in took like the Google Analytics test because I wanted to learn about it right or
00:51:10.410 –> 00:51:21.540
Casie Gillette: I went and looked at HubSpot x because I wanted to learn about it. That’s the stuff that really intrigues me and I’m like, all right, this person, this person is going to be a good fit. So
00:51:21.750 –> 00:51:35.790
Jacob Stoops: Are there ever and I want to be. We’re running out of time so I’m squeezing squeezing questions. Are there ever people that check those boxes, but then come in and still are in a culture fit and how do you, I guess. How do you figure that
00:51:36.210 –> 00:51:42.180
Casie Gillette: We, we haven’t we haven’t had that honestly it we’ve been so lucky. I met. Oh.
00:51:43.020 –> 00:51:47.490
Casie Gillette: But we do like when the people come in, like, we’re very we work in an open office.
00:51:47.790 –> 00:51:56.850
Casie Gillette: Right. And I’m very just apparent like the questions that we ask are, you know, the questions I asked her what type of environment. Are you looking for. How do you like to be managed. How do you learn
00:51:57.750 –> 00:52:04.800
Casie Gillette: You know what, what is your, your dream job. What you know those questions, kind of, they can give you a lot of insights into that.
00:52:05.160 –> 00:52:12.810
Casie Gillette: But we also will have, like, it’s not just the leadership team who’s interviewing these people. We have their peers come in and talk to them.
00:52:13.290 –> 00:52:21.810
Casie Gillette: We have a, you know, middle managers come in and talk to them. So, you know, at the end, we’re all deciding does this person seem like a fit. And I think that helps
00:52:23.100 –> 00:52:25.560
Casie Gillette: Okay, we’ve had like one, maybe, maybe there’s like one
00:52:28.950 –> 00:52:30.480
Casie Gillette: So we’ve been lucky I guess.
00:52:31.440 –> 00:52:37.500
Jeff Louella: Awesome. So if you know you ain’t got a couple drinks and you’re talking to the bartender and the bartender says
00:52:37.800 –> 00:52:46.770
Jeff Louella: Hey, I want to follow the same steps that you did. I want to get into SEO. What kind of advice would you give them to go like come from, like, you know, bartender waitress or, you know,
00:52:46.770 –> 00:52:48.660
Jeff Louella: Any type of job into the SEO world.
00:52:49.140 –> 00:52:52.200
Casie Gillette: I tell people all the time. Start build a website.
00:52:53.220 –> 00:52:55.230
Casie Gillette: Even though they’re not showing up in search results.
00:52:55.800 –> 00:53:00.180
Casie Gillette: You know, start playing around with WordPress. I think WordPress is the easiest place to start.
00:53:00.990 –> 00:53:09.450
Casie Gillette: But just building your own site. I think that’s your best test environment you’re never going to learn more. That’s how, like, I didn’t know HTML. When I was coming out of school.
00:53:09.990 –> 00:53:17.550
Casie Gillette: I just started playing around with it. I started building my own websites. I’ve read like I got like HTML for dummies. I own I bought SEO for dummies.
00:53:18.570 –> 00:53:18.900
Casie Gillette: Me.
00:53:20.130 –> 00:53:22.140
Casie Gillette: You learn this stuff by doing it.
00:53:22.200 –> 00:53:23.430
Casie Gillette: And that’s never in that goes
00:53:23.430 –> 00:53:30.030
Casie Gillette: Back to the start of our conversation on being in an agency where you have these different places to play and explore and
00:53:30.360 –> 00:53:38.070
Casie Gillette: I would say just go and I tell the team here. Like if you want to learn. People are like, oh, I want to learn HTML, you can, it’s, it’s not really that hard.
00:53:38.850 –> 00:53:55.950
Casie Gillette: There’s plenty of places to do these things, but go start go start playing around and read. I mean, I read an hour every day. So every I pay attention to what’s what’s whether it’s on Twitter, whether it’s on my feed Lee feeds. I still read every single day to learn what else is new.
00:53:58.080 –> 00:54:02.880
Jacob Stoops: Reading is very, very important and underrated skill in this industry.
00:54:03.990 –> 00:54:12.210
Jacob Stoops: Well. Casie I’m know you’re running out of time and have a hard stop wanted to thank you so much for coming on. Where can people find you.
00:54:12.540 –> 00:54:22.500
Casie Gillette: Yeah. Thanks for having me. This was fun. You can find me on twitter at Casie G. You can find me. I always say this, I’m LinkedIn. I’ve never on LinkedIn. Don’t find me there.
00:54:24.480 –> 00:54:26.580
Casie Gillette: Find me at KoMarketing com
00:54:27.030 –> 00:54:28.410
Jeff Louella: Cool, thank you so much.
00:54:28.410 –> 00:54:34.950
Jacob Stoops: For coming on and I know our audience will will love your episode. It was a great, great discussion.
00:54:35.550 –> 00:54:37.020
Casie Gillette: Well, thanks. It’s good to talk to you guys.
00:54:37.200 –> 00:54:37.680
Jacob Stoops: Thank you.
00:54:37.740 –> 00:54:38.280
To talk to you.
We sit down with Patrick Stox, Product Adviser at AHrefs, former technical SEO at IBM, and co-moderator of The TechSEO subreddit (one of the best SEO subreddits going right now) and organizer of several SEO meetups in Raleigh, NC.
We talk about:
- How the downturn in the economy caused by the 2008 financial bubble led him to a career as a developer which eventually led him to SEO
- His time at IBM
- What he’s currently up to at AHrefs (also pronounced “Hrefs”)
- The importance of practical experience rather than simply having a degree
- The announcement that Speakable structured data is no longer restricted to news content
- And so much more.
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