Category Archives: seo

Learning About Client Acquisition for SEO

I’ve been involved in marketing for a long time. I actually started reading books about marketing when I was in my teens, because I always knew that one day I wanted to own my own business and I knew that without marketing I wouldn’t be successful. So I went to the library (remember those things?), which was the only place you could find these types of books without buying them.

I remember checking out a handful of marketing books and being really excited about them. I have a weird habit of needing many books just to learn a subject. I feel like I learn more, but in reality I go from book to book and rarely finish one. Strange habit.

A few years later I eventually got into automotive sales, which is what my grandfather had done for almost 50 years. He had his own dealership and I hung around there quite a bit as a kid. He seemed to enjoy it so I decided to give it a shot. I went through 40 hours of sales training before realizing that I didn’t want to sell Ford vehicles (tried for 3 months). I ended up going next door to the Chevy dealership that was twice the size (at least) and paid very well. It also had better sales training and a lot of cool perks. I went through another 50+ hours of sales training while also listening to my sales training CD’s by Joe Verde. I was a sponge. If I wasn’t learning I felt like I was losing out on too much knowledge. I loved it.

What I didn’t love was dealing with humans. Yep, that part was always awkward for me. Many of these “ups” were very cold (just looking) and I hated dealing with the SUPER SALES managers that thought they could close everybody that walked onto the dealership. I even challenged many of them to go and close them. The best any of them could do was to take a test drive, which I then had to do…then if I couldn’t close them from there I had to deal with the asshole manager again. Such a clown show. I would challenge them again and they ALWAYS failed and got mad. I nearly came to blows with one guy, which is a reason I left the Ford dealership. He was a joke, like so many “super salesmen”.

I’m just not a sales person in the end. So now that I’m getting back into client SEO on my own, without a way to have clients brought to me with deals already agreed to, it’s tough. I have had to start all over again. Over the past few months I’ve had to go through many videos, books, etc., as well as documenting strategies so that I could test out processes and build systems to make this stuff easier.

Now I have a cold email strategy that brings me a lot of warm leads. From there I give them a video analysis and ask them to schedule a call. If they get to that point they are now a hot lead. I simply discuss the analysis over the phone and remind them of their issues and why they’re failing. I’m not selling, I’m pointing out the realities of their current struggles. I can help in almost every case.

The issue here is: are they actually qualified?

  • Can they actually afford my services?
  • Will they balk at the price and attempt to haggle? If so they need to be removed from my pipeline, in most cases. Low paying customers expect everything. They are a headache in most cases.
  • Are their websites actually in need of SEO?
  • Is the website penalized by Google?

There’s a lot of questions to be asked, which is a part of the system I’ve created. Email > Analysis > Phone Call (or email if they prefer) to Qualify > Proposal > Close > On-boarding

I have various email campaigns that I work on, but there’s one that is super easy and probably something I will hire a VA to work on soon. I will test other methods over time. For now, while I build up my client list, this seems to work for me.

Delivering is the easy part. I’ve never had an issue here if the website and service/product wasn’t junk, but there’s still things you have to be worried about. If the website has technical issues and they expect fast rankings, this can come back and bite you in the butt. I make sure I get a good idea of what’s going on prior to the proposal. ALWAYS do your due diligence before writing the proposal!

Cold calling is not for me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing it in the future. In fact, I may simply hire someone in-house (or outsource) that knows about SEO and create a script to help get to the point of qualifying the lead and then closing on a proposal.

Lumpy mail is something I’ve actually done in the past, about 10+ years ago, but it’s something that seems to still be working.

Of course, FB advertising is most likely effective as well if you can find a great way to create a tripwire/offer to get a foot in the door.

One other thing I’m having to learn more about is CRM’s. Oddly enough, back in 2004 one of my first PHP projects was to build a little CRM for my own company, or what I thought would turn into one. It was a pain in the ass and I learned about vTiger CRM. It was a cool CRM and worked for what we wanted. But we never really used it and I’m not very organized anyway, unfortunately. At least compared to some people I know.

Now I’m trying to figure out a simple, yet effective way to organize leads. I’m currently using Streak CRM for Gmail, but I still don’t get it. It’s actually a pain in the butt so far, but I’m sure I’m doing something wrong… seems way too easy to fail that hard. If anyone knows of a solid CRM for this stuff that would be great!

Another thing is knowing your target audience when cold emailing. A lot of people talk about “finding your niche.” This is really the best advice I could give anyone starting fresh. Now I don’t agree with niching down so hard that you’re a Plumbing SEO guy or something along those lines. That doesn’t always work for everyone. Some people simply play the number’s game and some focus on a certain market or demographic, if you will. Either way, you need to understand that audience you are targeting.

This will help you for keyword research, outreach models or processes, phone calls, etc. Know what they’re dealing with so you know what you’ll be dealing with.

I know a lot of people use free SEO audit forms like MySiteAudit or whatever it’s called. I’d say give it a shot. I signed up for a free trial to test it out but it expired before I got the chance to actually try it, within a few days. Very weird. But it may be a great way to get some warm leads.

One thing I do know is that you need to have more ways of finding clients than one. It will help bring in fresh leads each month, and if one source dries up you still have the other sources.

Moving Forward with SEO

Over the past few months I’ve realized that passion and money don’t always work out the way you would hope. My passion (Baseball) is very limited compared to what I’ve been doing over the past 13 years now. Unless you’re a high-level coach or you own an incredible product that sells extremely well, there’s just not enough money to reach your goals, financially speaking.

So since September I’ve dug back in pretty hard to learn more about SEO, now and in the future. My knowledge from the past is still there, but brushing up a bit on some stuff always helps. I mean I just drove a brand new site from 0 searches a day at the end of 2015 to 58,xxx/day in late 2016. Not bad.

I’ve been working with clients over the past few years but I didn’t really feel that most of these clients were difficult as far as “having fun with it”. These days I’m working on client acquisition myself, focusing on generating my own leads and working with clients throughout the whole process. I think that doing white label stuff was decent money, but there’s a lot that is left on the table when you’re behind a wall and not able to get a good understanding of the job that needs to be done, no matter what information that the middle-person gives you. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for those that brought me clients… it just felt like thankless work though.

In 2016 I am revamping my digital marketing agency that I started back in 2008. I feel like it was left to rot since then as I was working on just affiliate stuff, then on to startup projects that eventually failed (but those were fun to work on!), at least for now.

Now I want to focus more on generating a client base and overseeing the work being done. I don’t mind doing the work, but there’s parts of it that I would rather hire others to do. That will be my strategy for 2017.

Of course, I also have other stuff that I will be working on. I have some side projects going on and I will also be digging into affiliate marketing again. If that takes off then good…but I will continue on with my clients either way.

I intend on making 2017 the best year I’ve ever had by far. Financially and physically (the big 4-0 coming up soon…yuck).

SEO is broke money

Many months ago I remember someone mentioning how SEO was “broke money.” I couldn’t believe that person said that, but then I realized he was a CPA Network owner who was simply protecting his business. Slow money doesn’t fit in at CPA Networks, then again most CPA Networks have no clue how to utilize SEO and CPA offers, making them work in harmony.

The people who say SEO is “broke money” is always going to be either:

1. Someone who has no clue on how to REALLY make SEO sites rank (much less convert), and…

2. CPA Network owner.

We always hear about how “X” made $20,000 every day for 30 days. That’s awesome. It really is. The problem is — how much money did they spend to make $20,000 every day? I’m guessing $10-$15k per day, if not more. So let’s exaggerate and say that they made $10k per day for 30 days and then the offer they were killing it with was pulled… that’s $300k per month. Excellent money, no doubt!

But there’s still a problem. Most people who suddenly produce these numbers have never been there before and, honestly, got lucky. Most of them will spend that money on douchebag type stuff that is meaningless in life and makes most down to earth confused. We see it all the time, and some people have the balls to admit it on their own blogs (UberAffiliate gets props for that). It’s not easy to make $300k a year, much less a month, so when we see a person hit these numbers we’re all pretty curious about how they did it, and the fact is — most of them talk about it after the money is dried up for them. Campaigns die quickly in the CPA world, that’s just a fact.

So what does this have to do with SEO? A lot, actually. I’ve been a huge SEO advocate for years, but that doesn’t mean I bash paid traffic. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact…

It’s human nature to get worked up over seeing someone say “I made $600k in a month,” right? Of course it is. We’re in this business for that sole reason: money, and lots of it. But how much profit comes from those numbers, and how much money did they make after that? Most likely not much more after it died pretty quickly.

Now what if someone said that their SEO site made $20k per month? Doesn’t really compare to the look of that $600k, I’ll be honest. But let’s take a deeper look at those numbers.

Most SEO sites last for years (in my experience). It’s not hard to rank a site if you’ve been doing it for a while, even in more competitive environments. We don’t always need #1 rankings for keywords like “diet.” In fact, we don’t care about those keywords anyways, but let’s stay on topic (I know it’s just me, but pretend we’re having a conversation so I don’t feel crazy while typing this).

In my experience, most of my SEO sites last for 3-4 years, depending on what they’re about. I try to stay pretty general or very exact. Very rarely do I go in between. I either produce a branded (Authoritative) website or an Exact Match Domain (EMD) for a specific product, service or niche. Now if someone states that they’ve got an SEO website producing $20k per month, that might end up being pretty decent after all. If a website lasted 3 years and produced $20k per month — that comes out to be $720k in those 3 years. Of course, most Affiliates also have more sites, but we’re trying to stick to some basic numbers.

With paid traffic you pay for…well, the traffic. So $600k is RARELY profit for those who brag about those numbers. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but it’s not realistic. $720k for SEO in those 3 years costs…I guess you’d have to say we’re using a Dedicated Server, so we’ll be generous and say $200 per month x 36, which equals $7200. So $720,000 – $7200 is still not bad, right?

Now there’s always going to be people who will still bash SEO and say that these numbers don’t matter, but my point is that SEO is slow traffic, which is not appreciated by those who need fast sales. Those people will always bash SEO, and that’s OK. It creates less competition!

I’ve always told members of Affiliit.com to be diverse with their traffic. Use PPC for their SEO sites if they’re quality sites. I also believe that there’s more to Internet Marketing than building SEO’d sites and running PPC to them. You should always test different traffic sources and offers and find out what’s best for YOU. Not everyone is going to be successful in SEO or PPC or Media Buys or whatever… everyone is different and everyone has their strengths. This post is for those SEO’s in Affiliate Marketing that hear people bash SEO.

Now, to dig a bit deeper — what about other SEO sites that make $500k+ per month? That’s for another post, but that’s real. Don’t let the unknowing make you feel the need to switch before you get moving, prove them wrong and ignore those with an agenda!

What Is The Best Way To Learn SEO?

I’ve received numerous emails over the weekend from people asking what the best way to learn SEO was.

I have been mentioning, throughout my blog, about how good Search Engine Optimization can increase your Affiliate Sales from within your Website(s). Aaron Wall wrote the SEO Book and I highly recommend it. It’s one of the few ways I would suggest, even to my own family, on learning Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Aaron Wall is like an “SEO Beast” and everyone in the industry believes so as well.

So, check out SEO Book and take advantage of Search Engine Optimization. The book is for newbies and advanced SEO’s alike. I don’t know anything that compares to the SEO book, especially for the price!

All In One SEO Plugin For WordPress

In the past, I have tried a lot of different plugins for WordPress, including most of the popular “seo” plugins. Most of these plugins weren’t very helpful, in my opinion.

But, thanks to Chris Hooley, I have found a new plugin called “All in one SEO Plugin”. This plugin is awesome. It’s easy to setup with a little bit of SEO Knowledge and I love how it functions.

Get the All in one SEO Plugin here.

This plugin is awesome and it’s free!

Certified Professional Search Engine Marketer!

So I got a little PSEM Certificate from WebCEO this weekend. Might not be anything huge to some but it’s pretty cool …

Professional Search Engine Marketer

This is to certify that

Clint Matthew Lenard

Has completed the Professional Training Course
in Search Engine Marketing
At WEB CEO UNIVERSITY

and is now competent to offer expert consulting and services in:

Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Marketing
Web Analytics
Site Quality Management

Grade: 99 out of 100

Unique certificate number: PSEM-46731412

Certification date: January 08, 2007
Valid through: January 08, 2008


Additional Information
As provided by certificate holder:

Employer information:
Employer: BrandedVentures.com
Employer address: United States

The Professional Training Course covers the following skills:

  • Keyword Research and Keyword Strategy;
  • On-page and Off-page Web Site Optimization;
  • Advanced and Site-Specific Optimization Techniques;
  • Web Site Structure Optimization;
  • Rank Monitoring and Ranking Trends Analysis;
  • Link Popularity and Link Profile Analysis and Improvement;
  • Site Quality Assessment and Site Quality Management;
  • Web Analytics and Conversion Improvement;
  • Visitor Behavior Analysis;
  • PPC campaign management and ROI improvement.

 

🙂

Danny Sullivan is Back! SearchEngineLand.com launches December 11th, 2006!

I found a link on threadwatch.org which talks about Danny Sullivan launching his new site SearchEngineLand.com on December 11th, 2006.

I can’t wait until then… should be a great site to browse when I get the spare time! For those who don’t know who Danny Sullivan is – find out here.

It still surprises me how many “SEO Experts” don’t know who he is… haha.