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Jack: Hey! Welcome to this edition of Online X-Factor. Today is something that I know a lot of people have interest in yet very few people really understand what it is. It’s kind of like voodoo magic to some and to others they think they know but they really don’t.
I’m talking about SEO…not just SEO but SEO as it has evolved. It’s not just about all this linking and backlinking and pinging and all the kind of Ninja loophole stuff.
What I’ve learned from our guest today is that a lot of that is not worth the time anymore. If you do get any results from it it probably won’t last that long.
Today I have Brian Horn who is definitely one of the top SEO guys that I know, not just because he’s SEO, but because he’s SEO with a marketing slant. He understands the marketing piece.
He also does SEO to get you that X-Factor – meaning it’s not just about getting on the front page of Google. It’s getting the right message on the front page of Google and getting a message that gives you incredible authority and credibility.
Brian, how’s it going?
Brian: I’m doing awesome.
Jack: I’ve got to tell you one of the…you’re not just SEO. You do a lot of local businesses. You do a lot of different types of businesses but also nationally. You’ve spoken (Is that proper grammar? It will be today.)
Brian: You’re speaking properly in Texas.
Jack: Yeah, that’s one good thing. Brian and I are close together. We can have our own language here. That’s fine.
You’ve been on stages through Australia and all over the U.S. I know that we’ve spoken at a couple of events together, and he’s also been called into duty to do work for celebrities all the way from Dan Kennedy to Vanilla Ice. You’ve got to have some stories there, right? I’m going to have to find out what the one joke is that he’s really tired of. There’s got to be something around Ice-Ice Baby or something, but I’m sure you’ve got to keep it on a professional level.
So you’ve done it with these guys and the celebrities. What I’m really hoping is we get to dig in a little deep about SEO today but also what you’ve talked about how it’s evolved and become not really… A lot of people get mad when things change. Aw, it’s changed! We got to learn something new. But you’ve got to embrace it and take advantage of it and really dig in and learn how to take over.
The first thing I want to do is let everybody know – I know – but let’s let everybody else know a little bit about you…what you’re doing and where you came from and where you’re going.
Brian: Cool. I’ve been in SEO since the late 90’s. I kind of fell into it by accident. I was working in the corporate world and there came a need to develop a corporate instrument.
I knew nothing about HTML or building out websites or any of that stuff so I started researching. At that point it was more of going to bookstores and buying books and you could find some researching stuff online.
At that point it was more researching stuff in Yahoo! and I was taking the advice of and buying products on things off the top of Yahoo!
It just hit me one Saturday afternoon while I was sitting in the office working extra that this was a powerful place to be. I just started digging around a little bit and figured out the processes on how to do that.
Back then it was easy. There were very few people trying to do that so I jumped in and started doing that and figured out that this is a very valuable thing.
I went pitching to a couple of businesses and got them to let me do it for them and it worked well for them also. So then I went and met with a business here in Houston that had a web hosting team and we started offering this type of service to existing clients and branched out and grew it pretty big.
From that point I broke off on my own and started taking on some personal clients. Eventually I got into the info marketing space through a guy that was in Dan Kennedy’s Platinum group like his inner circle. He was a guy in the bankruptcy recovery space and credit repair space, chiefly bankruptcy recovery.
I got him ranked for every possible term and then actually I got him ranked for the term bankruptcy which at that point a lot of bad stuff was happening. It was the 7th most searched term of the year -not celebrity or pornography. (We’re doing Britney Spears and porn stuff that crushes everything.) You know, one of the top real terms.
Once that happened Dan jumped on and just about everybody else in that Platinum group jumped onboard and I started getting great results for all of them and it kind of spread from there.
I built my little SEO consulting empire. Empire is stretching it a little but I had my hand full of pie. I really took care of those clients and got a name.
From that point I branched out and did an info product back in 2010. Bill Glazer pushed me for awhile to do one and so I cranked it out and sold it at their Info Summit. It was at the end of 2010 with the Info Summit and did pretty well there.
Then I did a bigger launch the following year. Did decent with that one. It was a good solid 6-figure launch. Sold a few thousand units. It went over real well and good feedback on that.
From that point I developed a link building service, Instant Linkerati, which is still doing really well, still offering you 100+ customers on there.
Lately I’ve just been going more toward with the changes Google is going – which we’re going to go into more detail with. I’ve gone back to really doing a lot of personal consulting and just – some people call it…said I’m the Jerry McGuire of SEO… taken a whole bunch of different clients and putting on extra stuff. Just really skimmed back to a couple or a handful of people and just giving them a ridiculous level of service. It’s not cheap but I’m really enjoying going back and just digging in and really knowing their business and just giving them crazy crazy results.
Jack: You know, that’s what I’ve always known you as…the guy that people say: Oh, he’s got a handful of clients and that handful includes the Glazer-Kennedy folks and Vanilla Ice….So you got a little bit of depth there in that client.
The work you do is top shelf. You do premium stuff and you charge premium prices for it because you get results. Just like for the bankruptcy guy…those results you’re going to get him are probably worth tens of thousands or more each month in revenue by doing that.
So focusing in on a handful of very very select clients that can really benefit is definitely a smart way to do it. That’s why I’m glad we have you here so we can benefit from some of this. Hopefully it won’t cost me more than a couple of lunches, but that’s cool.
I’m one guy that doesn’t pay a ton of attention to Google. Everybody says: Oh, Google! The things that I do for clients really has less to do with being on the front page of Google than it does on the marketing site, but you’ve got a good mix of that.
Google has done everything from Panda to Penguin to the Polar Bear. (Do they have a polar bear yet? I don’t think so.)
Brian: That’s probably next.
Jack: So everybody runs through their streets with their hands…I got slapped! Oh, all my sites that were all over the place are nowhere to be found. So you’ve kind of looked at it that Google obviously…I remember back in the day when there was gaming them. Anybody could fall down and get up and they were a Google gamer, right? It was pretty easy to do.
Now clearly Google from what I understand has a couple of bucks in the bank and they can do some research. They’re smart enough to know what’s going on. They’re also smart enough to shut it down pretty quickly. So you’ve kind of what I call today’s Ninja loophole strategies are ‘let’s just play by the book. Let’s just play by the rules.’ …and do it right.
Let me know how that’s changed over. I know you’ve dug your hands. I don’t want to say you’ve been the Black Hat but I think you’ve dabbled in the Black Hat a little bit so tell me how you’ve kind of moved from there, seen what’s happened, and how you’ve kind of moved towards giving Google what it wants.
Brian: Sure. It’s always been about…I’ve always been about whatever delivers the best possible results. For a long time what you consider Black Hat stuff worked. When I say Black Hat stuff I wasn’t taking over websites or injecting links maliciously into websites.
It was regular stuff. I just had the software that would crank out links or finding open wikis on .edu’s and posting content on there. Basic stuff like that. There wasn’t anything that would damage another person. I never did that.
Jack: Yeah, let’s make that clear when we say Black Hat.
Brian: I take advantage of ways to get my clients the best results possible. Black Hat stuff for years worked and once the Penguin and Panda stuff started happening you kind of could see the writing on the walls that those days were slowly over.
Those really were like what I call precursors or tiny little tremors to what’s coming later this year- early next year at the latest- which is going to rock everybody’s world.
They can track all this stuff now with what they know about the sites that are using Google Analytics. They can tell what happens when people leave from Google and go from a search result to a site, if they bounce back, and how fast they come back from there. They know they didn’t like that.
Even if they’re going from Facebook or from an ad post to your site if that person is using Google Chrome they know what they’re doing. They know what link they’re on. They’re scrolling up and down the page. They know exactly what they’re doing and they know if a user does not like a site or not.
They’re in the business of delivering results that their customers like. That’s where it all is right now. You have to have a site that Google customers will like.
Some people say it’s always been about delivery or building a site for the end-user in mind, which was true, but come on. There were easier ways you could do that plus do some gaming and get it up there.
Now it really is to the point where you have to deliver really quality stuff that the user will like.
Jack: That’s probably where the breakdown was before. It seems like before and early on when Google really started cracking down on this it was what they wanted was different than what users wanted as far as content. It was tough to connect the dots so a lot of people felt they had to sacrifice human readability or the best human experience in order to feed Google so they could get on the front page.
A lot of people think Google is evil but really what they’re doing is wanting to give people the best experience. I don’t want to be…I’m not saying Google’s my uncle and I’m saying: Go. Go. Go. They’ve made me upset very many times, but in reality it’s all about having a good experience.
Brian: Right and some things they do (I think) are completely evil and wrong. I know for a fact I’ve had clients in certain spaces where just because they’re a direct marketing type site and not a site driven off AdSense revenue that they can’t compete in the search results at all. They without question handpick sites like that in some of these really competitive niches.
There’s other stuff that they’re doing with what we’re talking about. It makes sense to me because it’s my business. I’d want people to keep coming back and using my search engine and give them the best results possible.
Now the best way to track it is not by how many thousands of links you have. It’s by what people do when they get on your site. You’ve got to be cool on your site and that’s where they’re at right now.
Jack: So ultimately it’s kind of come closer together to that merging of what Google wants also happens to be what you want to give to the person reading your website. You don’t necessarily have to try to find this balance and dilute both of them. Now you’re able to really give solid content, good stuff, and the stuff you really want to put out there.
Now the fact that Google can appreciate and do measurement on the engagement of that site…That’s really what Google now, the new ranking is: We want sites that engage people the most and that people enjoy. Right? And give people what they want.
Brian: Yeah, absolutely.
Jack: Alright so now that you’ve figured that out and it’s kind of like: Wait a minute. I don’t have to game the system as much anymore. So what you’re seeing now as working? What are you seeing slam dunk results with?
Brian: Well, I’ll tell you once you have…your content has to do a few things. It has to be entertaining. You’ve got to be entertaining. That doesn’t mean you have to be necessarily a funny or witty person but it has to be something that will engage a person at an entertainment level.
If you’re a more serious type of niche – some type of health stuff- and you don’t really want to be funny, if you’re dealing with some serious issues you’ll connect with them on a more emotional level. But your entertainment is one.
You have to be helpful. It really has to go out there and help the reader in some way…so entertainment, helpful, and also show that you’re an expert and you’re cool.
This is the format that I’ve found works. You have a 40-40-20 split of content.
Forty percent will be showing that you’re an expert. That will be the typical kind of stuff that you would post like for an SEO type thing it would be 5 Best Places to Get A Guest Blogging Gig to Give You the Most Traffic – something like that.
Some really basic list type stuff that can show that you’re an expert and give your target audience information they can really use and find valuable.
The other 40% you do more entertainment type stuff. In SEO stuff I did a post awhile back that was The 7 Things I Learned from SEO That Could Help Me Survive A Zombie Apocalypse. I did that during a Walking Dead release and had some tie-ins with that. That was really popular. I got close to a thousand shares on Facebook which as much as anything I’d ever done before.
With entertainment you get lots of interaction. On Facebook it shows that you’re entertaining and fun. Even with people not on your list and who have no interest in your list at all they will pass it along because they like it and it’s entertaining and funny. The people on your list – it will give them a break from the constant barrage of just pure information. So it’s a little something different. That’s 40% percent and 40% that.
The other 20% is personal which for me is a lot of stuff on my son, Jackson, who is Down’s Syndrome. I might share his story and what he teaches us. My list, my people, really follow him and know his story and normally will like to hear his stuff.
But if you don’t want to get on the topic of yourself or your family personally, we also have clients where we do stuff and talk about their customer stories…not testimonials where it’s: I helped my client get this much traffic or make this much money. It’s real stories about your clients.
One of my clients we got them a bunch more traffic and they made a bunch more money and they were really happy with it. We’d tell a story about how they were able to take their family on a vacation, have a picture of their kids on a vacation, tell a story of what that meant to that child or where we made them be able to hire another employee. What it meant for them to be able to hire that other employee and how they now have they’re more comfortable they are.
Tell some more engaging emotional story and you split things between those 3 ways. You’ve got 3 distinct types of content and it doesn’t become stale and boring.
If people have something different to read each time…alternate between those…they’ll most likely read that content and will be more apt to share it and open your emails when you send them and actually go back and check on your blog more often.
Jack: And actually turn something into a destination…the places they go to.
Brian: Those things are just your core ways to split those stories up. One of the key things to do – I mentioned before that one of the things Google is looking at and can track now as people look at and scroll up and down your site when they get there. It’s called Scroll Rate. It’s something they’re looking at.
The biggest key to up your scroll rate is have a picture at the top of your site that cuts off about halfway across the fold. So if you have a picture halfway on there, particularly if it’s a picture of an attractive woman or a kid or a dog (sorry, a pet…for you cat lovers), people most likely take that extra second just to scroll down and see the full picture.
I did that originally just to get that scroll rate bounce but I found once I started doing that is people scroll way down the side and are reading more of the article and are balancing the site more so just that little extra action to get them to take those little extra seconds to move their mouse down the page will engage them more on the site as a whole.
Jack: That’s really interesting because it almost goes counter to what people tried to do just a couple of years ago. Oh, don’t make them scroll. Put it up on different pages. But now you’re seeing that on news sites and things like that where it can go on forever. Even Google with some of its results…if you’re doing image searches or anything like that they don’t say go to next page anymore. They just keep bringing them down further and further down the page.
Jack: I want to make sure that we’re really clear on this so everybody gets it. The 3 different elements – the entertainment…Because really what it does is it all ends up engaging and making people want to share it and come back again and again to find out more.
So let’s take this and let’s apply it to a business. Let’s say mortgage company. I work a lot of real estate type stuff so let’s say you’re going to apply this to a mortgage company. The first part – setting yourself as expert- is a 40%, right?
The way you do that is you educate. You become an educator. I always say to be an advocate for the success of your customers. So a mortgage company just like you said, a report or something or an article about The 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Get Your Home Mortgage, The 5 Things You Need Before You Buy Your First Home… that type of thing would be that first 40%.
Jack: The second 40% is the entertainment?
Brian: Something designed to be viral and engaging.
Jack: So I need to tell my clients now: Okay, we need a report. Do you know how to juggle or anything like that? Get them to go take juggling lesson or something. It doesn’t need to be that far wacky.
Brian: No. It’d be something like an article just on mortgage tied in with some type of movie or something like…
Jack: Like one of those movies like back in the day The Money Pit or something where there is some story about moving gone wrong or something like that.
Brian: 5 Classic Movie Lines would be completely altered if the person had good mortgage advice.
Jack: Yeah, okay. Very good. Perfect.
Brian: I wonder if that’s a good movie to tie…any kind of movie like that. Then the way you write it is you…the way I talk about the movie a little bit first and give a quick storm of what happened in 3 or 4 sentences of what happened in the movie and then 3 or 4 sentences tying it into your mortgage like you still show yourself as the expert but you kind of use a fun way.
Jack: Yeah, to teach it. Obviously. The other one is personal…either a personal thing about something that you’ve done or without being too self-absorbed about it, but like you said a great case study about a client.
So if a mortgage company helped somebody move into a house that had some human interest story around there or another successful…without making it an advertisement about ‘me, me, me’ but more of a …
Brian: You don’t make an advertisement at all. Both of those work. The personal story works because it gets people to really know you and like what we’re talking to hundreds of thousands of people hearing our message. Those little things really make them feel like they know you.
I get asked all the time at events by people I don’t know that actually know everything…my kid and what’s going on with him. They follow that stuff and they wait for stories about him. So that stuff works good.
Then the personal stuff…the clients love to have their story out there also. Anything you feel can reach and talk to your clients like my son, with a kid. Anybody that has children you know the kid stories and can relate to the stories I’m telling so that works for the kid stuff incredible.
Pet stuff seems to work really good also. Before I had kids the dog stuff, funny dog stories worked for sure.
Jack: Well, you figure that’s why TV is filled with reality shows now because people like watching someone else’s story as mundane as it may be or you know…That’s what folks like so you give them what they want, right?
Brian: They like the realness. If you’re in…they don’t want to see you going on and flashing off your BMW or your Ferrari.
Jack: Oh, yeah. They’d rather see you in a hot dog eating contest or something.
Brian: Absolutely. They want to see you being a real person that they can probably make fun of in some way.
Jack: There it is. So this is stuff that people can put on their website as content. It’s something they can then post on Facebook to drive people back. Go read this on my website. They can send out to their email list along with maybe an offer to…Oh, by the way, check out this story of any one of those 3 different segments that we talked about. So that’s a perfect way to get there.
Now you’ve kind of gone above and beyond that to where you’re kind of twisting these or crafting them in a way that the word authority is perfect for that. You used the word authority.
What is it that you do that gives people the authority? People want to work with the expert but they don’t necessarily want to work with the person that calls themselves the expert. I always use ‘be the educator and the advocate’ and then you don’t have to call yourself the expert. Your prospects and clients will call you the expert.
So what is it that adds that X-Factor and attaches authority to them as they’re doing this when they’re thinking about SEO or when they’re interviewing or looking for an SEO consultant? The right questions…or what to look for or think about that is going to add that authority factor to it?
Brian: Sure. It makes perfect sense when you think …a lot of this will make sense to you. If you look at what any authority …the big players on whatever category you want to think about, they do one thing almost always. They’re the ones that put out the most content, puts out the most variety content.
Google is absolutely without question picking up on everything that you’re doing right now. So what we do now is we get all this content we put out that we talked about earlier, all different types.
For each type we’ll get that made into an audio file either by the person themselves or voiceover talent…get that made into a video – either someone uses the audio file and have it like hand drawn style cartoons or a cartoon style drawing of the keynote style presentations. Those go on YouTube.
We get slide shares put out. We get pdfs on pdf document sharing sites we put the content out on there. We create info graphics from each one. Mini style graphics and put those out on Pinterest and then of course do press releases. All these things link within each other.
Not everything links right back to the source. We kind of interlink everything but make sure Google is aware of all this content that is going out there.
Whatever our client takes on becomes the publisher of content in their niche and I’ve found just by putting this stuff out there we were putting out the articles. We were putting out some ezine-type articles and getting those to link back in, putting out videos, and all that was working fine.
As soon as we started putting on a podcast on speaker and on iTunes and started putting out some info graphics and memory style pictures on Pinterest – boom! We shot up on Google. Those have nothing to do with this…no links, no science that are valuable in any way, but we popped up and really did not have – aside from the Pinterest we had some people sharing and comment…not much.
As far as the podcast goes there was nothing. This a boring, boring niche and we got really no clear results. As soon as those went up all of a sudden –boom- we shot up from like the 5 and 6 spots to the 2, 3, and 1 spots. That was the only thing we changed.
It could’ve be some other stuff that affected us…some other links that sat there for awhile. This has worked for a couple of people that I’ve done it for so I’m convinced that Google is really looking for that authority and by putting that stuff down there and showing us you are the publisher of content and the stuff on your site is good, that’s what they’re looking for.
I’ve had some people who have barely done any linking. We’ve done just some few press releases and a handful of solid back links and are getting rankings on stuff.
Now that they’ve gotten this Google authority we put out stuff and it just pops right up there. We’ll put up a video and it’s already showing up in Google for keywords we choose that are not hyper competitive but moderately competitive ones that rank to YouTube. We’re putting this stuff out there and instantly popping up once you hit this authority level.
Jack: So I want to make sure folks understand that this not like Hollywood production type stuff. You’re getting the audio and things like that. Let’s put it in layman’s terms. I know you go into some pretty deep and you really dig through this stuff, but let’s say I want to take the minimum effective dose of this.
We could take this. We could take the Online X-Factor interview shows because these are done. Obviously we have video. We rip the audio out of it to an mp3. We have it transcribed into text. So we have some of the top 3 pieces here.
Really what we’ve done is just repurposed something. So this isn’t like 3 different things that a business has to do. They can take one thing and then they have 3 assets there that they can use. So let’s take those 3. (I’m sure you’ll talk in a little bit about some of the others like the press releases.) You take those 3 and what would we do with those 3 pieces of information?
Brian: The minimum effective dose or the easiest way… Write your article. Put it on your site. That’s now your source article, the reference for everything else. This is where it starts.
You leave that on your page 24 hours. If you want to you can do a free press release at prlog.com to make sure Google picks up on it and make sure you have your xml site ramps installed. Make sure Google sees that piece of content there. Once that’s up there you can start getting ready to repurpose that.
You could use something like either Power Point or QNote and use the free service, Jing, which I think you can do a 5-minute video and that’s all you need. Keep your video short.
Just basically make about 5, 6, 7 slides with content from the article on there. You can just Copy and Paste top sentences. You don’t have to do anything fancier than that. Just sit there and read the article and click through the slides. You’ve got a video you can download and upload to YouTube.
Then use a free software, I use Wondershare® (I might have paid for that one but there are certainly some free ones out there that you can use.). Use it to strip mp3s out of your video. You can upload to spreaker.com which you can create your own free podcast on there.
Jack: Yeah. I’ll put a link on there because I use one, too, that strips the mp3. What was the site you said that you upload?
Brian: Spreaker is really easy to set up. It comes right out within a few minutes. So at that point then you’ll have an article, you’ll have a podcast and you’re going to have a video on YouTube.
Now you take your slides you just made and upload those to slideshare.com. Now you’ve got your slideshare and you can save and crank those out. So you’ve got that.
Then you can do a press release announcing whichever one of those you want. It doesn’t have to be direct on your site it could be that you’ve announced your videos up there. It’s just that ‘Brian Horn releases video about X on YouTube.’
You do a little paragraph or two about what it is. Link to it. Do a little clout. Let it go on prlog.com and you’ve got a press release announcing your video also.
Then you can take the article again and just change the title of it, change the first paragraph, change the last paragraph and save that as a pdf and you can put it on several document sharing sites as well.
Some will have different formatting so you’ll have to change on there, but for the base part that’s what you can do on that.
Jack: Change those so it’s different than what’s on your website?
Brian: Yeah, just so it’s a little different.
Brian: Still reference your article but you want to give a little bit and change it up a little bit – specifically the title and the first and last paragraph.
That’s a good bit to get started.
Jack: Absolutely. So a lot of people have a lot of this stuff anyway and this is just a way to repurpose it to give it exponential…
Brian: You can probably do all that within half an hour, an hour if you’re actually writing the article. Also or you can go on somewhere like iWriter and get it written. Generally if I go – and I don’t do stuff for clients obviously – but I’ve gotten stuff written on there before. You want to have something written if you have trouble getting started. Go back and clean it up and put it in your words and it’s pretty cool what you get.
You can get an article written for 5 bucks and then 20-30 minutes of cleaning it up. Find some images and put the images in and then start this whole process. Like within an hour you can have all this stuff done. It’s very very fast.
Jack: Right. Let me take a break here. For you perfectionists out there this isn’t something to get caught up within a week to make it just perfect. Right? So literally take 30 minutes or something.
Don’t sit down…you’re not writing a novel. You’re not trying to get a Pulitzer Prize here. You’re not doing any of that stuff. You’re trying to get content out there to drive people and traffic to your compelling message.
Brian: Yeah. Most likely it’s a shocker that people are probably not going to read your stuff to start off with. It takes a little while to build that up, but again, there always people out there that are going to look at just the production quality of what you’re doing. There’s always going to be someone saying ‘there’s not enough light or you need to change this line or change your sound; do this…’ You’re not going to get it.
As long as your content is out and is good you’re cool. Don’t weigh heavily on that either. Just get your stuff out there. Get it done and as soon as you start the process you get that done and you still can start changing your content up and upping the quality. Just get it done. Quit thinking and just get it done.
As one of my mentors said: Quit over-thinking and just go get a (expletive) sale. Go get something done.
Jack: Yeah. That’s what it comes down to. Stop thinking and do it. Don’t think. Do. Alright, so that’s perfect and with that essentially what you’re doing is telling Google that you are compared to the rest of the world, a prolific content creator in many different mediums and then after that what is it that you should see?
You said you’d start seeing bump up in rankings on Google for things but I guess now with all that different content each time you do this you can target…You mentioned early on in the call about how you got ranked for bankruptcy, but there’s probably how many different, peripheral or associated terms that would generate business for a bankruptcy attorney that you can do on each one of those and be very purposeful about …I guess so many folks that wanted to get ‘My City CPA’, right?
I say if you focus all your time getting ranked #1 for My City CPA you’re going to get a bunch of calls from people trying to sell crap to CPAs, right? Because that’s what they’re looking for.
You know, you want to go deeper than that and say: My City Small Business Bookkeeping…all the little things this is where you talk about what you do rather than who you are so people can find you.
Brian: Yeah, the terms you want to go for (and this is a good point Jack is bringing up) is not the terms you think of. It’s not the big generic ones. Those will come. But with this Google authority method those will just come as you progress. You’ll start to rank in those. You want to go for easy to rank for, longer tail terms that is a burning need of the person searching.
Like in this CPA stuff it would be a bookkeeping one like ‘I need a bookkeeper now….Available bookkeepers in Houston’….something where the person that’s just really hurting.
Those are bad examples there but like in the real estate one…I had a meeting a couple of weeks ago with real estate investors here in Houston. They were wanting to rank the term Houston Real Estate Investing. That was their big lofty goal. That’s cool but you’re going to have all kinds of junk traffic to your site.
There are people who just want to buy emergency homes from people who just needed to dump. So we said: Okay, we need to go for the term: Sell my home fast Houston because that person is not messing around. They need to sell their home right at that point.
They’re typing exactly what they need and instead of a few thousand searches a month there may be 50 but every one of those 50 is going to be a high converting lead.
You rank #1 and you have a compelling offer on your page they’re going to call you and you’re going to be able to close the deal with them a high percentage of the time.
Jack: Yeah. So people go for like keyword tools and think ‘Oh, well, that’s not going to…that doesn’t get enough hits.’ Going back to like mortgage some of these people ‘I want to focus on Houston mortgage company’.
Just like you said, that’s going to get so much trash traffic to you but if you focus on terms like ‘Houston first time home buyer loan, Houston low down payment loan, Houston low rate refinance’ you’re going to get less traffic to each one of those but they are going to be much higher converting and probably easier for you to get ranking for.
Brian: Yeah because they’re further along in the buying process. I have a client that sells printing cartridges like reusable printing cartridges. We got him ranked for toner, just the one word toner which has millions of searches a month. That makes nothing. It was a non money maker and he’s actually out of Google search results now because it wasn’t a good fit.
But for the specific terms of the exact printer cartridge model from years ago ranked for that one…boom…sale…boom…sale. Very few but you get ranked for thousands of those special terms that people know exactly what they want that’s where the money is.
So one good visitor is worth as much as a million bad ones. There are millions of searches for toner but it wasn’t worth as much as one person searching for one kind of piece of (expletive) printer being sold 6 years ago. That’s a better search for them to rank for. It’s that way across the board and that’s where so many people miss and so many people are messing up in SEO.
It’s still good for those… bigger terms are cool to rank for because you can get people on your list. You can start putting them through the process. You can start selling to them which is good, but you’re missing out on the real money by not…
Jack: They’re ready to buy. They’re ready to go right now.
Brian: And those things when you create this content we’re talking about it’s not a one-stop shot. It’s not created up there and you sit back and wait and hope for your sales to come through that week. Years down the road you’re going to get traffic off these. You’re going to get sales off these.
I did stuff for Kennedy years ago where I wrote some stuff on his blog and I still get traffic every single day off of an article I did years ago. We’re talking like 5 years ago on his site. I get daily traffic referred back to my sites from that article. People actually…that’s a site that ranks. You find that and click through mine every day. There’s all kinds of traffic coming from that.
That’s the way it works. It’s out there forever. Same with your YouTube and if you put articles and podcasts up there it’s going to happen.
Jack: Yeah, so just get it done now. Alright, so this has been really fantastic stuff and I’m going to use some of this stuff right now on my own site.
So tell me what you think is one of the top things you have right now that you think would really give that local business the X-Factor when they’re dealing with this.
You know, I always talk about the minimum effective dose. If there is one thing that they should do around this what do you think it is to spend their time on that you feel is going to give them the best return on their investment of time or money or whatever it is if they’re dealing with an SEO consultant?
Brian: I’ll tell you this is not even much of an SEO thing. This more falls into the branding yourself as an authority. This is a cool little hack I shared with my list last week, I think.
You want to pull in…you land on the site…any site you see the person has been on NBC, ABC, CNN any of those sites it’s impressive that this person knows their stuff but it’s a lot of work to get on there. You really have to be an expert. It’s process usually but now there’s a cool little way you can get on CNN. Anybody can get on right now and do it, get your article published on there about your area of expertise and use your ‘As seen on CNN’ logo on your site.
It’s iReport.cnn.com. There’s a section seen there…just look for citizen journalists to write news. So your news can be on anything you want. So just write a news story about your area of expertise, publish it on iReport.CNN.com, and after you’ve been published on CNN throw that logo up on your site. Boom.
When people land on your site they’re going to see that you’ve been featured on CNN and they’re going to go: Okay, this person has actually done something. I’m going to trust them a little bit more.
That’s a very cool way to do it. Everyone on this call can do it.
Jack: I’m going to do it today!
Brian: Within 30 minutes you’re going to be ‘As published on CNN’.
Jack: I’m doing it right now because I’ve got a long way and gone to a lot more effort and expense to get that kind of credibility.
Brian: I have, too!
Jack: Yeah, I know. I think we actually co-authored a book a few years ago so. We got best-seller status and through press releases and articles I’ve gotten to be on Bloomberg Businessweek and I got to be in Forbes Magazine. You’ve littered all over the place with that kind of credibility and so we know firsthand the credibility that you get when somebody sees you as someone that’s been published in one of these magazines or on these websites like Bloomberg, CNN, Amazon best-seller.
I know that you’ve used your best-selling author status with books to hand a book to a business. It instantly changes. So this right here is fantastic because you’re giving away that in 30 minutes anyone that listens to this can start using ‘As seen on CNN or as quoted on CNN’ or something like that, right?
Brian: Yeah. There’s nothing…That’s a cool way to build your authority not necessarily in Google’s eyes but it is showing you as an authority to people who land on your site. Many are going to stay there longer and trust you a little bit more. It’s an absolutely good branding handle.
Like Jack said, I’ve spent a lot of money appearing other places and it’s a bit of a crap shoot also. I’ve gotten really lucky getting picked up on Newsweek. I’ve been featured in Inc and on Advertising Age for a video I did and those are all just: Wow. How cool is that?
I was putting the work in but this way you just go and do it and in the time Jack and I have been talking so far you’ll be on CNN and you can plant a logo online somewhere on your site and you’re done.
Jack: That’s awesome. That’s an X-Factor tip right there. That’s definitely an X-Factor tip. So that’s iReport.cnn?
Jack: Okay, we’ll put a link up there on this.
So here’s what I want to do. I’ve got two more questions before we run out of time here and wrap this up. First one is: What book do you think should be at the top of the list of any local business owner right now that they should be reading?
Brian: The one I’m reading right now I actually got a copy of it here. It’s Business Brilliant by Lewis Schiff, who is an executive at Inc.com at Inc Magazine. It’s really cool. He went through and found the common personality traits among successful entrepreneurs and explored each one of those, interviewed lots of…Branson and lots of really successful tip top entrepreneurs.
It’s a fascinating book. I’ve gone through it just reading it quickly, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a good book.
Jack: Beautiful. We’ll throw that link on there as well.
Now tell us what Brian Horn is up to? What have you got coming up? What should we be looking forward to seeing you with?
Brian: I’m doing some cool training over on my Facebook page put up there. It’s Authority Alchemy. The website they can sign up also. It’s all about…kind of like what we talked about just about becoming an authority in Google. I’m not doing any big info products anymore, cranking stuff like that. I said I’m all done with that. I’m going to give…You put lots of free content and people are at that point now where they can just be more to the point of doing stuff for themselves than…
I take on a couple of clients each month and help them get that authority in Google also, people who are really ready to kick that up to the next level. I’m ready to invest in their business.
Jack: Yeah. I tell you right now if you’re at that position…It’s not for everyone. People that need a lead next week to make payroll probably not the best time for that but you guys that are ready to kick it in and really ramp it up, Brian is…I don’t think you need to look any further than someone that is going to get you probably some of the quickest and most effective results with the type of stuff that he does. That’s fantastic.
Brian: We’ll put up a link here also to an application form to chat with me to see if it is a good fit for your business. Fill it out whether or not you want to talk to me about it. If it’s not I’ll tell you straight up when it’s not. I can point the right direction to where you want to go but if it’s a good fit I love just talking to all you guys and helping out.
I’ve had several of these with people that are not close to being qualified but I’ve really been able to make some huge improvements for them. There’s one that was not ready yet at all but I found a hole in their business where there was a way to charge a lot more for the work she was doing just by applying a couple of these techniques. We did them. She bumped up a client from a thousand dollars a month to a $2500 client with just this one phone call. So that added fifteen hundred dollars.
Jack: Yeah, if they’re not qualified you put them on the path to being qualified.
Brian: Yeah, in about 30 or 40 minutes. So little things like that I’m happy to talk to anybody. I really enjoy this model I have right now.
Jack: Fantastic. Brian, I want to thank you for coming out here and thank you definitely definitely you spoke volumes to the term X-factor today that folks can go out and do some very actual content. I might owe you two meals on that one, I don’t know.
Brian: I’ll take it.
Jack: Well, it’s beautiful. I love it. I learn something every time I talk to you. Thanks so much for coming out.
Guys, you saw today this is the Online X-Factor…putting some of this stuff to use especially the iReport that Brian was talking about. That can give you that X-factor in the next 30 minutes that you can use in your business.
Jack: So go out, put it into action. Don’t be the one that thinks. Do and you’ll soon find that you have that Online X-Factor. So until next time, I will see you later. Brian, thanks a lot.
Brian: See you next time.
Jack: Bye. Awesome.