(Video Transcription. See video below.)
Stephan: Contact Google. We had to do disavows, we had to do all sorts of– Erica actually over there in the blue shirt she has been through this. We literally have to compile lists of these crappy links and submit them to Google and say, “No no no. That was not our client okay. These new pictures have nothing to do with air conditioning, okay. Get rid of it. Don’t count it as part of the algorithm alright.”
But that is negative SEO. I saw a hand over here. Yes ma’am.
Female speaker 1: twelve hundred dollars for SEO.
Stephan: Yes absolutely. And it is monthly fees. Don’t go in to any long-term contracts for the love of God. Just hire somebody month to month and kick them to the curb if you are not happy, have the flexibility. There are way too many quality agencies out there that will do month to month.
Male speaker: So you are telling me that I can have a website and my competitor can be actually undermining me without me knowing it?
Male speaker 1: And can you check that and find out if it is happening?
Stephan: Absolutely. Any of tools would tell you starting with the rank finder tool. If you haven’t done anything to your website and it is kind of meandering along and it is up two slots down two slots, something like that. That is normal, that is fine. But if your website was number five and suddenly its number 50, something happened. I saw a hand.
Male speaker 2: Here is what I bring in too, I’ve had web designers coming to me and say, “Web page for 500 bucks” so I’ve had them say, “Web page for four grand” I’ve had them say, “Web page for ten grand” I’ve had them say, “Five grand a thousand dollars a month and we’ll manage your page for you” what the hell is the difference? It’s insane because we’re fairly large fairly successful company with a reasonably unlimited budget and I can’t find anybody. Its like trying to navigate a minefield, its unbelievable. As a business owner, I don’t have time. How do you know– do you put the money in to the website, do you put the money in to SEO? A combination of both, what do you do?
Stephan: That is a great point. A lot of it depends on what stage company you are. Your startups stage two stage three and so on and so forth. You will never go wrong with a quality website. Does a quality website have to cost you five or ten grand, no it does not? WordPress for most local businesses does just fine. The WordPress content management system itself if free. And then you need to buy a template and that template needs to be built out. A core website developers cost to kind of buy all the plugins and everything is going to be a couple hundred bucks. That puts it all together.
Now beyond that you have their time, that is the variable. So how valuable do they think their time is. For you guys, local businesses, we would build them between 2,500 and about 4,000 dollars and really a lot of it has to do with the size of the website and what functionality you want. I am real big believer in keeping it simple. You guys are a very visual product so I would certainly recommend invest in the visual side of things. But no way should you spend more than five, let me make that clear.
Here is the other thing. You will get to a point where it actually makes more sense to actually bring somebody in house. If your digital marketing budget starts creeping about 2,500 3,500 a month you guys should start looking at potentially bringing somebody in-house. Because at that point in time you can just pay somebody a salary, now you have got them for 40 hours versus somebody that kind of does less. However, if you are in that 2,500 and below range it makes a lot more sense to outsource it because what you are tapping in to at that point in time is a slew of people. So, we are 18 in our agency and I don’t know everything. But I know that there are people in the agency that know. So, if I am stuck on something I can go here and I can give it to Erica or I can Nina or Katherine in the back room whomever.
I call them subject idiots, we are just kind of like very smart at certain components of it and so then you can actually leverage an agency.
To answer your question, start with a quality website and then make a determination on what business model do you want to go after. Do you want to be the quality guy, do you want to be the volume driven guy? Where do you want to go and then your marketing should be a part of that?
Because you guys are visual you guys are crazy not to run display. Remarketing display. You need to do it. Remarketing display or rebrand your website to anybody that has been to your website. So, there is predetermined demand. Somebody said, “Oh I’m interested in your services” you just spent money on SEO or pay per click or whatever to get them there. If you didn’t you at least spent money on your website to be there. Well you want that person to be re-exposed to your brand over and over and over again. Especially, and this is where we get in to the interviews again, if your sale cycle goes than a media close and chances are I am buying a pool I’m going to shop for a couple of pool contractors.
Well if I’m going to continuously see your pool ads pop up on– I don’t know I am reading a story on CNN or wherever than at that point in time I am just going to think, “You know something I need to talk to them again okay.” So, if you guys have ever noticed, you may look for a product and suddenly you feel like that product is following you around. I’m being followed by Gas Grills right now. So, that is what I’m talking about and it works really great with visual products. And so, take you prettiest pool, slap your logo on it. Get a display campaign launched by your web marketing company or if you have somebody in house they better know how to go in and do that.
Local reputation. So, big for you guys. Reviews, you need not only Google reviews but you need reviews on the directories that are listed on your worksheet. This right here, this bottom part. The directories that are in here you guys need to make sure that reviews go on all those directories as well. Because Google pays attention to that. And if you don’t know how to collect your reviews number one, I said this earlier, bribe. That is the best 25-dollar investment you have ever made. Give somebody 25 bucks off service call. Everybody is on Amazon nowadays. Digital gift cars on Amazon, digital gift cards from Starbucks, you name it.
Absolutely go ahead and do that. We pay, I’ll tell you guys we pay. And I would encourage you guys if you go and– You guys are all in Orlando so we are kind of a local Orlando company even though we are coming in to Tampa. Go on your mobile device later and just search Orlando SEO or Orlando SEO company or Orlando web marketing or whatever. We are going to be that A. We are going to be at the top. And then I want you guys to look at our reviews versus everybody else’s. And if you are not going to do it I am going to tell you right now and you guys can find me at the booth later and call me a liar if I am lying. But we beat the competition about five to one. There is no competition when it comes to us, and it is because of the fact that we make it abundantly clear that if you write a review for us we want you to be honest about it but if you write a review for us we will go ahead and pay you.
Now there are some cool tools out there. There is a company out there called Call Tracking Metrics, its actually who we use for tracking numbers. It’s about a buck 75 to two dollars per number per month. And then I think you are paying like four cents a minute. But it integrates with a text messaging system for Google reviews. So, you just met with your customer, customer is super happy. You say, “Hey would you mind writing us a Google review I will give you a $25 VISA gift card right here on the spot. I have got a couple of them in my car” “Yes no problem” Okay, I am more than happy to go ahead and do that. You can go ahead and text them the letter G. They will go and receive a link in their text message. They simply click on it, it takes them directly to your Google review page. They don’t have to search for it, they type in the review. It tells everybody how much they love you and how you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. They click submit you hand them the VISA gift card and you are done.
Female speaker 2: What is that called?
Stephan: The company is called– Well there are lots of services out there, the one that I like is called Tracking Metrics. That is the phone company that essentially has the DID lines. They are like a buck 75 or two bucks a piece. The girls can tell you all about them. The reason why I like that service better than almost any other service is this. With this service, you own the reviews. There are lots of other services out there that say we will integrate it and we will put it in our system so on and so forth, but you don’t own the reviews. Meaning you cancel them you lose the reviews. Don’t do that.
So, if you hire somebody for the love of god make sure you ask this question, “If I fire you who gets the reviews” because that is kind of how they lock you in and then you are stuck and then you can’t leave. Yes sir?
Male speaker 3: Is that Yext?
Stephan: Yes. Yext and Yodel will own the reviews the minute you cancel them they are gone. Don’t get in bed.
So, you don’t want to be held hostage. You want to own them yourself. You can do that. Also, have something on your website that lists all the directories you are on, a simple link like Joes Pools company forward slash people love us or something like that. And then you can send that link to customers and they can click on it . All the ones that are on that particular page. What happens? You go ahead and they can click on that Yelp icon or whatever and write your review there as well. So, some people may not want to do it. But at the end of the day, and by the way this is completely against Google terms.
Finally let’s talk about the social signals here really quick. Social is a necessary evil, you need to make a distinction between being on social media marketing and just kind of being there. You should have a Facebook page a Twitter page a Pintrest page for your company, you should have that. Even if you are never ever going to use it and I will tell you why. Because you don’t want your competitor hiring us and then us registering that Facebook page in your name. Why? Because now you can’t get it.
It is a defensive play. So, make sure that you guys get your Facebook page with your name your Twitter page all of that even if you never use it you just want to have it. Now if you do decide you want to get into the marketing side of things here is the thing. Don’t have some social media guru tell you this is what you need to do, just at what your competitors are doing and then just kind of do the same and maybe a little bit more.
Here is why I don’t like social. Remember I said early on I am a numbers guys. I can’t quantify social, I have a really hard time wrapping my head around the ROI portion of social. So, social is a branding . It gets very very messy when it comes to tracking.
Any questions about that? You guys hit on these signals you guys are rump roll, I am telling you. Yes sir.
Male speaker 4:
Stephan: Are you tracking it?
Male speaker 4: Yes.
Stephan: You are. Okay what is your acquisition .
Male speaker 4:
Stephan: If you acquisition cost is higher than about $14 dollars apiece then the answer is yes then you are wasting your money. And if you are spending 45 grand, if I roughly take 45 grand and divide it by 14 chances are you throwing money away.
Okay. As you plug the spreadsheet in, by the way at the very bottom here we have color coded the tools on our website. So, on the left as you are going through the spreadsheet you are going in to word counts and digital content and contact phone numbers where it simply says you just circle yes or no. At the bottom, it tells you the tools you can use on our website to go ahead and get that done. Once this sheet is done you are going to have your recipe. You are going to know what you need to do because whatever it is that you find here you either need to do it or you need to do it plus one step better.
So, content, if your average competitor has 500 words on each one of their website pages, guess what? You need to have 550. If your average competitor that is ranking high has 15 website pages and you have five you need to build more pages. It is as simple as that, it is a numbers game. And at the end of the day I bet you guys dollars for doughnuts that if you guys start doing that it is going to start moving in the right direction. If not, you guys have my contact information and you can call and yell at me or just a bad review.
The tools on this particular pages I mentioned are color coded so those will actually really help you as you are going through this. And then you want to go ahead and implement the plan. So, I want to review this with you guys really quick. Because we talked about filling out this sheet. But at the end of the day you need a valid plan so let’s try and run through this really quick.
Number one make sure your keywords have a reasonable difficulty score. Under 70%. Number two. Ensure that Google category matches your competitors. Number three, ensure that you are properly represented in all the directories on the sheet including having reviews on there. And you will find people who are saying, “I don’t have a Gmail account” therefore they can’t write a review for you on Google. Don’t just say okay that sucks alright see you later. You are going to go and tell them well okay Yellow Pages . You don’t need an email for that.
Set up a Google AdWords account with any keywords you want to research. Also, if you see that there are certain keywords in your analysis where you feel the ads are not really strong, you want to consider pay per click. There is a spot for pay per click. Absolutely. The beauty of pay per click is you will be there tomorrow but with SEO it is a six-month investment. But with pay per click you can churn it very very quickly. Ensure your website beats all of your competitors.