Stephan: Websites move with that absolutely. So yes, I would do it.

Getting back to the domain signals. The address, do you guys understand what I mean? So, ADC company dot com forward slash about us. What you have up in that URL string. Lots of people when they rebuild websites they say it’s a new web developer and they created a new one. So maybe instead of about us now it is about dash us. For you guys it doesn’t make a difference. It makes all the difference in the world with Google. They think that is a separate page. You didnt even know and you just screwed yourself. You want to make sure that your URL structure at the top always stays the same.

So, if you rebuild a site, make sure you keep all of that exactly the same. It is very very important. It is one of the first things Google looks at. The like that consistency.

Female speaker: If you add to the top sections and where you started off smaller and want to start adding content pages. Does that make a difference when you are changing the site? As long as the name stays the same?

Stephan: You want to keep every single page that you have on the old site you want to keep the same. If you are adding new pages knock yourself out that is not a problem whatsoever.

There are some things that you guys should all be promoting, there is something called webmaster tools. Every website should have a webmaster tools account. It is a free account that you can have with Google. The webmaster tools account is designed to give you a checklist of the things that you need to be successful on Google. It’s got a little old checklist for things that this is how we see you. You can go to and register. And you enter in your domain name and there is a pre-verification process and after that it starts telling you we are seeing these broken pages, here is where you are ranking for.

They are all the search terms we see you for. And you are going to look at that and Don’s pool company realizes that he is showing up for a lot of general contractor keyword terms. Well that doesn’t match. I am a contractor but I am not a GC I’m a pool guy, I’m like okay. So maybe I need to tweak this a little bit, I wonder why this is happening. I have lots of pages about contracting on my website and yes, I am talking about pools but I am talking about it more in general terms. So, my content needs to become a little bit more specific for Google to understand me a little better.

Back link. Can anybody in here explain to me what a back link is. Before I jump in to this I kind of want to make sure that– Yes sir.

Male speaker: It’s like a link from an article on a different website that points back to your website.

Stephan: Right. Exactly. So, this is the part that drives authority. So, relevant content links are authority. So, if you have ever read an article and you saw there is a word that is highlighted and you can click on it and it kind of takes you somewhere else, that is a link. And Google seems to think that we have got nothing better to do than to go online and maybe say, “Oooh I like Don’s pool service and they are a pool contractor and so I see pool contractor I am going to highlight it and I am going to link it to Don’s pool service”.

The links are a big factor in Googles algorithm. It used to be one of the biggest and then companies like us came along and we completely abused it and built thousands of links for our client’s sites and then Google came out and said, “No no no no you can’t do that”. So, then they started rationing it down. I don’t know if you have ever heard of the penguin updates and things of that nature. Google views links as the website that has had the destination of it. So, if you click it and you are going somewhere that website has the most relevant information.

So, if I put a link on my website to your site and the Google search engine spider crawls to my site and then sees the link and goes to you site Google is going to think that your site has more authority on the topic than my site does. So, lots of people build these links to their websites because they think it is great, and lots of SEO companies say, “Argh we are going to build all these links to you for your website” and you are like, “Wow cool they built a lot of links for me”.

Well the problem with that is that it is not the quantity of the links that matter anymore. It is now the quality of the links. We have ranked websites at the top of Google in five weeks. What matters is where those links are coming from. So, if I was building a link to your website and then you got a link from The Wall Street Journal to your website, which link is worth more?

The Wall Street Journal, nothing against me but they are a much more authoritative company. So, you want to get links from websites that have a lot of authority. That is actually where– who was complained about the directories early on? Somebody said something, there maybe that was that gentleman over here. There is nothing about these directories on my search engine results page. Yes, that happens a lot with service industries, absolutely. Because you guys have a ton of them out there. But here is the thing. All of those websites that are directories have a lot of authority. And so, you need to be on there not only because you are listed there because they are ranking high, but also because they have a lot of authority, it actually helps your website get ranked higher.

I will let you guys in on a little secret. You can go to and you buy SEO for 99 bucks. Or you can hire some agency in New York who is going to charge you five thousand. Think there is a difference between the two?

Male speaker 2: Not as much as you think.

Stephan: Well probably not in that example, but if anybody is telling you they can do quality SEO for let’s say less than five or six hundred bucks its literally impossible. Because here is the thing, getting back to the speeding 10 miles over the speed limit. I’ll tell you guys flat out we are a great ad agency. We are the guys who will push the envelope.

All of us, all of the quality SEO agencies we are not going to sit on the phone and call the Wall Street Journal or email somebody and say, “Hey I have this customer. Can we just drop a link on your website?” It’s not how it works. You know how that stuff is done? Buying. Quality links nowadays are bought. What does Google tell you about doing that, don’t do it. Let it happen naturally. Trust me when I tell you the competitor who is eating your lunch has an SEO company who is buying quality links. And quality links cannot be bought for a couple of bucks. Contractors on general if we have to buy links for them our suppliers, so you guys lets sell a pool pump you are going to get it from the manufacturers the distributor. You are going to turn around and do a markup and you are going to sell it to me. Okay cool.

We do the same thing with links. We are go and get our links from suppliers and then we are going to now mark them up because we need to live and eat, feed my daughter. And then we need to go and place the links, quality links. Quality links in the construction niche are at least 35 to 55 bucks a piece, at least. And if you want to move somebody depending on your market, so if the suppliers on the market is let’s say you are going Tampa versus some little town. Your competition is going to be different so it is going to take more quality links than Tampa to go out and get them all done.

So, hiring somebody for 99 bucks is ludicrous. You are just tossing money away. Why? Because all the links just cost more than that. Yes, I saw a hand back there.

Male speaker 3: I had a question regarding of back link and links you were talking about being purchased. Is that like a social media endorsement where you have some of these really famous people with 15,000 followers or 50 million and they endorse your product or just mention the product like a hashtag? Is that a social signal link?

Stephan: That is more social. So, let’s say on Twitter or something like that or even Facebook.

Yes, that is a social signal, that helps. The issue with that is if you want to do that job and you want to get that done that’s cool. It’s just I really look at opportunity cost, so I am a financial guy. I look at opportunity cost I’m like man that is going to be a lot of smoozing and potentially a lot of bribing to get that person to go ahead and do something.

But a lot of these people are in it to live and so an argument can certainly be made that said, “Hey if I pay you x amount of dollars will you go ahead and promote me?” I don’t see anything wrong with that. If they don’t respond or if they say no, then I am certainly not going to waste my time on that. But from a link building standpoint, this right here, the brutal truth is that quality agencies have suppliers that go ahead and do it.

As a matter of fact, very quality agencies actually own some of those websites that have very very high authority. Has anybody ever heard of Yodel? And they also own Yext, have you guys ever heard of Yext? That is that story. So Yext is they have lots of directories under them. Yext has a lot of domain authority. Yodel said, “Wow we could really benefit from this, let’s just buy them.” That is exactly what happened.

Male speaker 4: I just wanted to point out that just in case some people in here don’t know. As an FSPA member you have a listing of your company on the FSPA website just like any other directory, and that includes a link to your website. So, if you haven’t given the FSP your website information you are missing out on a link opportunity and because they are a professional organization in the state that makes them a higher quality link.

Stephan: Yes, he is exactly right. It also makes it relevant. Thank you. It also makes it relevant because what are they, they are part of the industry. You are absolutely right.

So here is the thing. The bottom line is this, you don’t want to go cheap on SEO because you are literally just wasting your money. And one of the big reasons is the back-link signal. I’ll give you one more example on that and then we will move on. Press releases you can buy an online press release for– they start at about 30 bucks and then you can go and spend a thousand. It is all quality in those backlinks again because those press releases on your company they get submitted to certain news agencies and the more quality that press release is the more authoritative news agencies it is going to go out to.

So, it is a big benefit to you to, for example, to do less press releases but do the high-quality ones than do the little chintzy ones that really aren’t going to accomplish anything. Yes?

Male speaker 5: When you say the quality you mean the content itself and the website -

Stephan: I mean the content as well as the website. So, that is a good point. Let’s use an example. You are a pool contractor and you just landed the deal for the latest country club in your community that you are going to build their pool. That is a press release. That needs to be written, you would be crazy not to do that. If you hired us for consulting, we would recommend let’s go to lets a quality press release written and then your investment on that press release is going to be about 350 bucks. That will blow it out to about sixteen hundred quality news agencies around the country. And you are going to say, “Well I don’t care about having that listed in Seattle or Washington or wherever.” It’s like yes you do because Google is there and that press release is going to be relevant to what you do, obviously. And it is going to be submitted to these news agencies, maybe 50 or 60 of them will post it on their website and things of that nature.

And then in that press release are links that talk about you and your website. And so, that channel news 65 in Seattle picks it up, posts it on their website and here comes the link from news 65 back to you. That is what a quality link would be because it is relevant content and it is on an authoritative website about a topic that has a lot to do with you. Does that make sense? About how everything kind of flows together?

So, don’t spend money on SEO if you are not at least willing to invest five six seven hundred dollars. Simple because the link purchases are going to cost the SEO company, the quality must cost the SEO company more than that. Can an SEO company buy link for a buck or 50 cents? Sure. But you get what you pay for and so if you only then spend 99 bucks you are going to get 50 cent links and penguin is going to whack you because you have nothing but crappy links pointing to your website and your website actually goes in to a nosedive.

It is actually negative SEO. Has anybody every heard of that? Negative SEO. Pay attention. If I can make a website, go up on Google do you think I can make it go down? I am just going to do everything in reverse. You can make, not that I recommend you do this and we do not do this. Let me be clear about this. But you can make a competitor’s website disappear. All you need to do is hire somebody to build really really crappy links to that competitor’s website. What do you think is going to happen? It is highly unethical and immoral if you ask me.

But I will do you what is Google going to do? Google is suddenly going to say, “Oh now suddenly they have crappy links. Okay they are going down.” We just had it done to a roofing contractor and about six months ago, we had it done to an air conditioning contractor. And we had to go in, they were our clients, and we had to go in and we had to fix the problem.

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