Hey everyone this is Ken Courtright host of Today’s Growth Growing Business Today. This week is case study week, we have covered, on Monday, we covered a product based case study. This past Wednesday we covered a service based case study, and then today I’m going to kind of do a hybrid, if you will, and that is I’m going to do more of a generalization of two case studies that can overlap so many different areas. I’m going to kind of keep this one loose and free flowing. We’re going to do two smaller case studies in one podcast, and hoping you heard the prior two podcasts, so this will make some sense, because I’m not going to put the framework around it.
Case Studies Are The Best To Learn From
I’m just going to jump right in, so pretty excited about this, but I will say one thing, we set up the table Monday by talking about our tagline, “Growing business today.” I split out the word growing, I split out the word business, and today, just for a couple of minutes, to set the stage, and to me, the best way to learn is to learn from case studies, because there’s no theory involved, you get to see the cause and effect. You get to see what went in, you get to see the how it went in, and then you get to see the physical result of numbers growing, or numbers not growing, so pretty much if you haven’t figured it out yet, I believe if you go back into every podcast, almost everything I have spoke on, or from, is case study based. It’s pretty cool, and I’m going to jump right in. Again, this is same conference, I was in Vermont standing on a stage, and people were walking up to a microphone stating their name, their current business, and their current business challenge. It was up to me, and a panel of other subject matter experts, to see if we could help them grow their business. Each of the panel members got to take turns, so there was I don’t know how many people presented, but I definitely had my share of people, where I was best suited to offer some advice. Let’s just jump right in. A person comes up to the mic, young man, mid thirties, and I believe he said something like, “You know, I’ve been SEOing,” meaning search engine optimizing, “my website for the last two years. I think I’m pretty good at what I do, plus I’ve got a couple companies that have helped me. I think I’ve pretty much maxed out my website, it’s been growing through the whole two years, now it’s completely flat. Matter of fact, it’s even dropping a little bit.” I kind of stopped him, and I said, “You know, let me ask you. I hear what you’re saying, what would you say is your current business challenge?” He said, “My current business challenge is very simple. I have no idea what would the next steps be to get more traffic to come to my website?”
Increasing Your Google Ranking Alone Will Not Increase You Business
I said, “Okay, so your current business challenge is diversifying the traffic pattern coming to your site?” He said, “No, I don’t understand. I’m trying to increase my rankings in Google, because it’s been increasing two years in a row. I rank on hundreds of different terms, some on page one, some on page two, and I want to increase my rankings.” I said, “No, you actually do not want to increase your rankings, because if that’s all you wanted to do, and you thought you could do that with search engine optimization, you might as well close your doors.” He says, “I don’t understand.” I said, “Okay, for the sake of everybody in the audience, and everybody in the room, can I ask you a question?” I said, “How many pieces of content are on your website?” I think he said something like 60 or 70. I said, “Okay, for the benefit of everybody in the room, is it a safe bet that in the past couple of years you have made sure to tweak your tags, your meta-tags, and your descriptions?” He said, “Yes, no question.” I said, “You’ve probably gone into all your pictures, done the best you can to tag those properly.” “No question.” I said, “Have you even had someone tell you that you should go in and make sure all the H1 tags, or the titles of all your posts are very specifically built around key phrases?” He said, “Yeah, we did that summer of last year.” I went through all of the fundamental search engine optimization basics, and he had done all of them. I said, “Well here’s the deal, if you think there’s other SEO tips, tricks, or techniques, that you can do to increase your rankings, I’m here to tell you, currently managing 700 revenue generating websites, there is no more.” Man, I thought this kid was going to pass out. I said, “Trust me when I tell you, you do not want to ever think again about the word search engine optimization.” I said, “Forty percent of my websites that we manage, and co-own, they’re broken. They’re not search engine optimized, you can’t find tags and meta-tags on half of them, they’re all on something called WordPress.” I said, “We do not focus, ever, on increasing our search engine optimization through tags, meta-tags, and descriptions, for Google. We make sure they’re done, but it’s certainly not a focus, because it really doesn’t bring any traffic.” He goes, “Man, I really am not following you.” I said, “Okay, let’s just do it … Let’s back up. The first thing that I’m going to suggest that you do is you understand the law of consistency. This is not theory, this is not a Ken’s idea, this is from Google themselves. If you want to rank, you have to prove you have a heartbeat. Google cannot tell if the owner of a website is still breathing if there’s another marketing firm that’s sprinkling pixie dust, trying to search engine optimize a page higher up in the rankings. Google wants to know that the person, or the body, that wrote the original piece of content is still breathing, and still matters, in the industry. Meaning, they’re still alive. The only way Google can tell that is if that same individual, or that same company body, is putting new content on the website, on a fairly regular basis. If you have time, energy, and money, I would do three pieces a week. If you don’t, I would do at least one piece a week. If you do anything less than one piece a week, you’re probably in jeopardy of losing ranking.”
No Content Means No Heartbeat
He goes, “Well, I haven’t added a piece of content in 18 months.” I said, “I know, that’s why you’re not only flat, but you’re now dropping.” He said, “Oh.” I said, “But it’s much deeper than that, so let’s cover a couple concepts. Number one, immediately start to write consistent new content once a week.” He said, “Done, consider it done.” I said, “But number two, you’ve got to take your eye off of rankings, and move your eye to roadways.” He gave me kind of a funny look, and I said, “Most people look at their website, and they go, okay, hire a firm, get more traffic coming in from the Google search bar. Most people, and I’m going to say 70% of businesses, if not 80, and I’ll say businesses that have been around at least a year, most of them have a Facebook, and a Twitter as well.” I said, “But if I were you, I would take your 70 pieces of content, and make sure that every one of the 70 pieces also has a home in one of the following, either stumble upon, Reddit, Lynda.com, a YouTube channel, UDEMY, Score.org, some other type of platform, Instagram.” I think I went through eight or ten, and he goes, “Well I don’t understand, what do you mean?” I said, “Of our 70 some employees, seven of them are in a dedicated team called content curation,” and I went deep into this on a different podcast. On a real service level, content curation says that there are numerous platforms, like Stumble Upon, like Reddit, like certain directories, where you can take a piece of a piece of content, like a paragraph, or a line, or a picture, and you can put that piece into these massive web platforms, like Reddit, and all the people that are using the search bar of Reddit, which is R-E-D-D-I-T, they’re searching for things inside of Reddit, they might stumble on your paragraph that starts one of your posts. At the bottom of the paragraph says, “Hey, if you’d like to read more click here,” and it sends people to your website. I said, “We have a website that is a very dominating website in its niche.” I said, “It actually has regular traffic coming from 600 different platforms.” He was just dumbfounded. Remember this, content is king, but it is the promotion of content that is King Kong. Google search is just one of hundreds of places that should be sending your website traffic. I think everybody listening to this podcast should look up Score.org, it’s a government sponsored program, started 55 years ago. See if you can do a local event for them once or twice a year, post your content there, linking back to your site. Maybe you pop up a UDEMY channel that’d U-D-E-M-Y, or a YouTube channel. Maybe you make a tutorial video, and see if you can get it on Lynda.com, that’s L-Y-N-D-A .com, they just told to Linked In for a billion and a half. Or maybe you could do some homework on directories, and see if you could get your site listed in at least 50 legitimate, real, not 2007 directories, but 2016 directories, you’ll have to do some homework on that. Number one, here’s the magic of this. If you focus on roadways it is going to take pieces of your site, putting them into all different types of platforms, other websites, and every time there is going to be a mention, or a link back to your site. Now watch this, as I told this young man, when Google sees that all of the sudden, in a 60 day period of time, they’re finding your website and your content, which use to only be on your website, now in dozens, and dozens, of other platforms, they’re going to scratch their head, or if they’re spiders, meaning robots, they’re going to scratch their belly, that’s suppose to be funny, and they’re going to go, “Wait a minute. We’re finding this guy everywhere, we need to raise his rankings from page two to page one, and from the bottom of page one to middle of page one, and from the middle of page one to the top of page one.” What’s going to happen for this young man is, number one, he’s going to start writing consistently, so Google knows he’s back alive. Then number two, he’s going to content curate, or some people call this chunking, he’s going to start taking chunks of his existing content, and he’s going to move it into multiple different platforms, and it is thus going to raise the rankings of the terms he’s been fighting to raise the rankings on with SEO firms for two years. That’s case study number one. Yeah, that was nice, real loud, right in the microphone, sorry about that guys.
Number two, person walks up to the microphone, she says, “I am a 55 year old psychologist, I just started over, finally branched off into my own practice.” I said, “What is your specialty?” She goes, “Well I was kind of getting there.” She goes, “What I love to do more than anything is help people in mid-life crisis.” I said, “Okay, I can stop you … ” I said, “No, well what is your current business challenge?” She goes, “I don’t really know where to begin. Do I rent an office? Do I start a website? Do I write book?” Her ideas were actually very, very, well thought out. I said, “You know what? I’ve got this, no problem. First, I would say is your specialty mid-life crisis? Is that what you’re known for at your previous job when you were working with that group? Or is that what you truly are most passionate about? It fulfills you when you see people benefiting from your counsel on how to help them through mid-life crisis.” She goes, “No, it is my passion, it’s what I’m known for, but it is definitely my passion.” I said, “Okay, I got this. What I want you to do is go home, and I want you to get out a piece of paper, and I want you to think like you’re going through a mid-life crisis. I want you to think about what do you think all of the patients that came to you, what do you think they were Googling, that is a word, Googling, at 2 o’clock in the morning, when they were all by themselves, depressed, trying to find answers online?” She goes, “Well probably things like how do I fight this depression, how do I deal with my insecurity, what’s the next phase of my life? How do I cope with my husband’s loss?” Et cetera. “Why do I not feel worthy?” I said, “Man, you’re nailing this.” I actually looked over at the camera crew, and I’m like, “You guys are recording this right? Because we got to give her a transcript.” I said, “Those phrases are exactly, exactly, what you have to type in to a tool called the Google Adwords Keyword Planner.” I said, “I want you to type them in one by one exactly the way you said them to me just now. The whole five to seven phrases each.” She goes, “Okay.” I said, “The tool, by default, is set to relevance. What’s going to happen is that tool is going to catch these seven phrases you just read me, it’s going to stack them up, and what you’re going to do is you’re going to hit go, and that tool is going to search and find all of the IP addresses of every computer, of every person in the United States in the last 30 days, that has typed those exact phrases in. It’s going to show you the quantity of how many people have typed in, “How do I deal with my insecurity? How do I deal with the loss of my husband?” All those phrases. She goes, “Wow that’s amazing.” I said, “That’s nothing, just wait a sec.” I said, “When you hit run, that tool is by default to relevance. What it’s going to do is it’s going to scan all of the people that typed those phrases in, but it’s also going to show you the other 7093 other phrases that the exact same people also typed in.” I thought she was going to fall over. Basically what this tool does is it helps you read your client’s mind, and I have a whole podcast, I think it’s episode three or four, that is about how do you read your clients mind. It goes into this in an incredibly deep fashion, especially how to use that tool in a couple different ways. The point of this message is, if you can put yourself in the place, at least temporarily of a client, or potential client, and you can truly think like they would think for a minute, then you can put that information into a tool, instead of you guessing what you think they’re typing into Google, looking to find you, you can see definitive evidence, or definitive proof, of what they’re actually typing in, okay? There’s two magic moves here. Once you get from Google those 800 total things that the people looking for you are actually typing in to find you, because it was set to relevance, you want to focus on the top 100, because those are the most relevant to the seven you put in. The ones at the bottom, they’re going to be sort of similar, but not exactly the ones you’re looking for, so you want to stay to the top of this Excel spreadsheet, or CSV file, when you export it from the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. What we’ve counselled people to do for years, is you start at the top, and you write a post on that phrase in your website. That phrase might be, “How do I deal with the loss of my husband?” What we would do is we would tell people to pretend that someone actually asked them that question, we have them turn on a tape recorder, or microphone, and a recording device, and we have them physically answer that question, and keep it five to nine minutes long, or three to nine minutes long, no more than nine, no shorter than three. Then have that transcribed by a human being, and that is your post, and you just make sure that that phrase is included, word for word, in the the title of that post. That’s number one. Number two, is you want to make sure that under no circumstance do you ever make an offer at the bottom of your post, where it says something like, “Hey, if you like this I’m $240 an hour, call me. Hey if this helped you out, you should really see what I can do in person.” You don’t sell when you’re making content. When you’re making content you’re adding value, you just want to add value. Then, on the seventh post, you’ve earned the right, it’s called the Law of Reciprocity, where you’ve put enough emotional tokens in, and you haven’t asked for the order for anything, now you can say, on the seventh piece, “Hey if you’re interested in actually talking to someone, you might want to click the box over here, maybe we can start a chat,” and you certainly don’t mention price, you don’t do any hard selling, you don’t really make an offer per say, you then start to segway them to more of a landing page area, where they … You can talk to the people that are really serious, that need some one on one coaching, and some one on one help. Tip number is start reading your customer’s mind, or your potential client’s mind, but instead of guessing what you think they need, I want you to actually find out exactly what they need, and then you take that information and you answer what they’re searching for at 2 o’clock in the morning. You make your website be exactly what they’re looking for. The whole point of WebMD in the early days, WebMD early on started aggregating all of these great MDs. They said, “Guys, gals, we got to figure out exactly what people are searching for in the world of online do it yourself help.” They found out that moms and dads were searching, “My son has a fever. My kid has a rash. I’m starting to lose my hair.” Instead of guessing they communicated with tools, with Google, and other search engines, and directly asked the search engines, “What are people searching for?” They then gave those phrases to the doctors and said, “Can you respond to this.” What you want to do in your niche, if you’re helping people with say a mid-life crisis, you want to do exactly the same thing. Then every week, every week, every week, you’re adding content. Now here’s the magic, this is the magic, you want to make sure you stay so tight to that vertical of mid-life crisis, you don’t start writing on other psychological aspects of how you can help with marital counselling, or dealing with their kid’s no, no, no, no. You stay on the vertical of mid-life crisis. You drill that down so hard, and so deep, to the point where Google goes, “My goodness, this lady has one more thing to say about mid-life crisis? I thought she’s exhausted by now.” Nope, nope, here comes post number 85 on how to deal with mid-life crisis. If you could just imagine how many articles in WebMD’s website have been written in 20 years, about kids with a fever, kids with a rash, kids with a sore throat, I mean come on, they just don’t stop. They want to make sure that nobody has more, or better, or more consistent content, on that topic, than WebMD. Thus, that’s why they have 500 writers, and they make $542,000,000 last year in advertising revenue. Let’s wrap this up. Number one, you’ve got to put yourself in the mind of the person that needs your help. Number two, you’re going to start to physically use tools instead of guessing what you think they’re searching for. You’re going to have it proved to you. Finally, what you’re going to finish with, is you’re going to speak into a recording device, and answer these questions, and in the most empathetic way you can, because you know they’re Googling this when nobody is watching at two in the morning in the dark, you know they are. Give them your best, answer their questions, and a lot of people think, well if I answer the questions online they won’t call me for my service. Oh yes they will. All you’re going to do … Those are like little pieces of candy, or little pieces of worms on a hook for a fish. Once you get them started, and they realize, “Wow, this person speaks my language, this is somebody I can talk to.” As long as you have a contact me button, or a box off to the right that says, “For deeper information on this topic … ” You just give them the door, “Trust me,” they will barge through the door. You can almost name your price because you’re delivering what’s called an unseen concern. They don’t even necessarily know they need your help to talk one on one, but when you start talking to them through your blog, or your YouTube channel, your podcast, they’re going to fawn over you. Hoping that helps, I’m going to end right here. A couple quick case studies for this Friday. I am Ken Courtright, with Today’s Growth Growing Business Today. If this one hits you do me a favor and subscribe, or if you really have the energy, jump on iTunes because you got to be on a desktop, and shoot me a review. Talk to you guys soon, you’re awesome. See ya.