Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Ask me anything SEO/Marketing/E-Commerce

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 23rd, 2017 12:52 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2004
4518 posts
480 upvotes
john5170 wrote:
Mar 31st, 2017 5:11 pm
How is Google different in 2017 from few years ago (2015 for example). What has changed in terms of SEO?
I think a lot of it is the same. People for the past five years have been saying Google is not going to rely on incoming links to rank sites, but it will always be there. It will always be a key indicator of how popular/useful your site is, by the number of (quality)people that link to you. I've mentioned it a couple times in this post but I think content is more important than ever, quality content. It used to just be content but now it's well researched content. Google is getting smarter and smarter and understanding content better. That plus other indicators such as links and social signals (shares/tweets), they can see what's important and well written. A lot of sites that had thin content are not ranking like they used to.
Newbie
Apr 2, 2017
17 posts
This question maybe redundant- how do find the right way to reach out to your target market. our company has hired a marketing team that post articles online on our behalf to our FB, twitter and LinkedIn pages however the direct target of those articles in my opinion is someone who has already followed us on social media. I would like to broaden our search find out other methods that would be optimal for targeting the right type of customers- any ideas would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 30, 2003
5004 posts
188 upvotes
Toronto
How do you setup client's goal?

For example if I want to be the "Wedding Photographer in Mississauga" , the competition is very high and there are much bigger / better studios out there. What do you suggest to your clients - what do they do?

PS: www.AnEpicStudio.com if you need to see more specifics.
For Sale:
    Canon C100 + Canon 70-200 f2.8 + ...
Looking for: Sony Camera for video (for a good price)
Deal Fanatic
Jul 30, 2003
5004 posts
188 upvotes
Toronto
robshipper wrote:
Apr 3rd, 2017 4:34 pm
This question maybe redundant- how do find the right way to reach out to your target market. our company has hired a marketing team that post articles online on our behalf to our FB, twitter and LinkedIn pages however the direct target of those articles in my opinion is someone who has already followed us on social media. I would like to broaden our search find out other methods that would be optimal for targeting the right type of customers- any ideas would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
Old School way is to do focus group. OP can enlighten us more.
For Sale:
    Canon C100 + Canon 70-200 f2.8 + ...
Looking for: Sony Camera for video (for a good price)
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2004
4518 posts
480 upvotes
PrinceMS wrote:
Apr 7th, 2017 4:05 pm
How do you setup client's goal?

For example if I want to be the "Wedding Photographer in Mississauga" , the competition is very high and there are much bigger / better studios out there. What do you suggest to your clients - what do they do?

PS: www.AnEpicStudio.com if you need to see more specifics.
Well, my clients goals are usually to rank the top of the search engines, whether they understand how it works or not. And whether it's super competitive or not. But I don't guarantee anything. I will also look for less competitive keywords that are not as high competition. So I tell them we'll target multiple keywords. Could take a year, longer, to get to the top fo a competitive term. They have to understand that. But the end goal should be to create sales. You may not rank #1 but if we can increase traffic and sales through other avenues, then you're atleast getting a return on the money you are investing in SEO.

On the other hand if you're asking as a business, I'd say your goal would be to drive customers from other routes rather than just ranking #1. In your case, sponsor events, offer to take picture for free, etc. Be active on social media. A lot of companies rank #1 and don't have to do anything. So you should take advantage of the areas they are neglecting.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2004
4518 posts
480 upvotes
robshipper wrote:
Apr 3rd, 2017 4:34 pm
This question maybe redundant- how do find the right way to reach out to your target market. our company has hired a marketing team that post articles online on our behalf to our FB, twitter and LinkedIn pages however the direct target of those articles in my opinion is someone who has already followed us on social media. I would like to broaden our search find out other methods that would be optimal for targeting the right type of customers- any ideas would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
The best, but not easiest way is to create amazing content, not just 'okay'. You need to create content people will want to share. Also, as I've mentioned, things like posting on local/related forums, asking to guest post on local/related websites, reaching out to local media, etc. If they're just writing some 500 word plain article, no one is going to have any interest in that.
Penalty Box
User avatar
Dec 16, 2015
577 posts
202 upvotes
How much do you bring home when you started and today?
Sr. Member
May 18, 2008
664 posts
49 upvotes
Scarborough
In for sub. Will read later
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2004
4518 posts
480 upvotes
Redsanta wrote:
Apr 11th, 2017 12:52 am
How much do you bring home when you started and today?
$200k+ a couple years in when I started.
$100k+ now. I usually don't talk about money but because I don't make $200k+ anymore I don't mind saying it lol. Not much of it from SEO. As good as it seems SEO profit margin really isn't that great. If someone is paying $1000/month, a lot of it is going towards tools, software, services, employee help, etc, and other secret stuff.
As to why I make less now I'm not 'all in' like I was back in the day. Plus it's harder of course.
I've told this story before and I'll give a quick recap again. When I started my first website I was 16. I started in the fitness industry because I was interested in it, I wanted to get big and muscular. I wanted to learn everything I could about fitness. Then I was introduce to computers and absolutely loved computers. So I combined the two and built a website on fitness. Not to make money like everyone does today but because I just wanted to share information and loved the two hobbies. That's why I was so successful, I wasn't building to make money, I was enjoying my passion and wanting to share it with everyone. And it blew up. Now the downside of that is it went from a fun hobby to a business. Lawyers, accountants, customer support, billing, tech issues, etc. I really lost my love for it over the years. It's unfortunate, but that's life. And obviously it's given me so much.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 30, 2003
5004 posts
188 upvotes
Toronto
wow good story. Whats your best advice to get / close clients?
For Sale:
    Canon C100 + Canon 70-200 f2.8 + ...
Looking for: Sony Camera for video (for a good price)
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2004
4518 posts
480 upvotes
PrinceMS wrote:
Apr 22nd, 2017 4:53 pm
wow good story. Whats your best advice to get / close clients?
Hard for me to answer this. I don't really actively seek out clients as I don't really run a full fledged agency. Most of my clients are word of mouth. They approach me and I tell them what I do, what I can do, and a bit of what I've done. I don't really try to sell myself or try to prove why I'm better than that spam email they got guaranteeing the first page. If they want to use that random guy that contacted them, go ahead. Last thing I want is someone to say "oh this guy said he can do this." "That guy said he can do that." I do a lot of my own projects, so when I pick up a client it takes away my own time on my other projects. I don't outsource everything like a lot of agencies do, so when I take a client you are getting me, and me doing the work. If I was trying to run a large agency my approach would be different of course.

One of the reason I never intended to be a big agency is because I don't like trying to pressure, trying to over sell, trying to convince you why you should go with me. So if I was trying to pick up clients I'd probably focus on local clients first of all. Many companies like dealing with someone local they can speak to in person. Now this is all just general advice as I haven't done this, but I'd try to speak to someone about their SEO. They get phoned and emailed constantly, so it would be rare for them to have someone actually speak to them in person. I would do research into where they are ranked, their social media, content, incoming links, on site SEO, etc. I would tell them some of the areas they need to improve. Keep in mind this will be like a foreign language to some of them so you have to be ready to explain well. The good thing is is that companies are starting to understand all the top companies are doing SEO, and they know they need it too. And they know it costs money. So five years ago it was a lot harder to convince a company, where as today almost everyone needs it. Now I would look for areas I can actually fix and improve, and not just BS them. I don't want to give them some BS spiel of what I can do, then they hire me and I'm left wondering wtf can I actually do. With years of experience it's fairly easy for me to see what has been done, and what I can fix, and what I can plan long term. But if you can speak to someone in person and show them a small report, you're already ahead of 95% of the competition. So in short, be prepared and be confident. I know my stuff well enough i'm confident in what I say that I can do, especiall if what they've had before is pretty crappy. I'm a very honest guy if I look at their work and it's pretty good, I'm not going to come in lying saying I can do this and that when the last company was doing a pretty good job. It would leave me in an uncomfortable spot of they hire me. Anyways, I have enough experience that I can give my track record and answer any questions related. I'm not sure if I mentioned this in the thread but I recently picked up a large US client. I flew down to meet with them in person. I spent four hours learning about the company, and met with marketing manager, CEO and two owners. Now I only have a small number of clients, so normally don't have big meetings like this. But like I said I was confident in what I can do, confident I could do a lot better than what their past SEO company did for them, and I was just upfront and honest.

Anyways, I'm rambling a bit. I would start with trying to speak with someone in person. Ask for 20mins of their time. Like I said these companies are getting contacted 10x+ per day with people trying to sell them stuff. First of all, they don't understand any of it, and second of all, they don't know who to trust. So if you can get in front of someone and show them what you can do, there's a chance you can win them over. Didn't say good chance because it's a difficult business to compete in (another reason I don't put a lot of effort into trying to find clients). Hope that helps a bit.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 30, 2003
5004 posts
188 upvotes
Toronto
baz5 wrote:
Apr 22nd, 2017 8:15 pm
Hard for me to answer this. I don't really actively seek out clients as I don't really run a full fledged agency. Most of my clients are word of mouth. They approach me and I tell them what I do, what I can do, and a bit of what I've done. I don't really try to sell myself or try to prove why I'm better than that spam email they got guaranteeing the first page. If they want to use that random guy that contacted them, go ahead. Last thing I want is someone to say "oh this guy said he can do this." "That guy said he can do that." I do a lot of my own projects, so when I pick up a client it takes away my own time on my other projects. I don't outsource everything like a lot of agencies do, so when I take a client you are getting me, and me doing the work. If I was trying to run a large agency my approach would be different of course.

One of the reason I never intended to be a big agency is because I don't like trying to pressure, trying to over sell, trying to convince you why you should go with me. So if I was trying to pick up clients I'd probably focus on local clients first of all. Many companies like dealing with someone local they can speak to in person. Now this is all just general advice as I haven't done this, but I'd try to speak to someone about their SEO. They get phoned and emailed constantly, so it would be rare for them to have someone actually speak to them in person. I would do research into where they are ranked, their social media, content, incoming links, on site SEO, etc. I would tell them some of the areas they need to improve. Keep in mind this will be like a foreign language to some of them so you have to be ready to explain well. The good thing is is that companies are starting to understand all the top companies are doing SEO, and they know they need it too. And they know it costs money. So five years ago it was a lot harder to convince a company, where as today almost everyone needs it. Now I would look for areas I can actually fix and improve, and not just BS them. I don't want to give them some BS spiel of what I can do, then they hire me and I'm left wondering wtf can I actually do. With years of experience it's fairly easy for me to see what has been done, and what I can fix, and what I can plan long term. But if you can speak to someone in person and show them a small report, you're already ahead of 95% of the competition. So in short, be prepared and be confident. I know my stuff well enough i'm confident in what I say that I can do, especiall if what they've had before is pretty crappy. I'm a very honest guy if I look at their work and it's pretty good, I'm not going to come in lying saying I can do this and that when the last company was doing a pretty good job. It would leave me in an uncomfortable spot of they hire me. Anyways, I have enough experience that I can give my track record and answer any questions related. I'm not sure if I mentioned this in the thread but I recently picked up a large US client. I flew down to meet with them in person. I spent four hours learning about the company, and met with marketing manager, CEO and two owners. Now I only have a small number of clients, so normally don't have big meetings like this. But like I said I was confident in what I can do, confident I could do a lot better than what their past SEO company did for them, and I was just upfront and honest.

Anyways, I'm rambling a bit. I would start with trying to speak with someone in person. Ask for 20mins of their time. Like I said these companies are getting contacted 10x+ per day with people trying to sell them stuff. First of all, they don't understand any of it, and second of all, they don't know who to trust. So if you can get in front of someone and show them what you can do, there's a chance you can win them over. Didn't say good chance because it's a difficult business to compete in (another reason I don't put a lot of effort into trying to find clients). Hope that helps a bit.

It is - thats very helpful. Thanx.

I have read fair bit about SEO online. One thing I can't figure out is - how do you know what kind of ROI or % of goal will you be able to achieve? E.g., two cleaning ladies want to setup cleaning business.
- You create branding.
- You create their online presence and regular post on most social networks.
- You engage clients.

How do you determine what level of success will you get?
For Sale:
    Canon C100 + Canon 70-200 f2.8 + ...
Looking for: Sony Camera for video (for a good price)
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2004
4518 posts
480 upvotes
PrinceMS wrote:
Apr 22nd, 2017 11:18 pm
It is - thats very helpful. Thanx.

I have read fair bit about SEO online. One thing I can't figure out is - how do you know what kind of ROI or % of goal will you be able to achieve? E.g., two cleaning ladies want to setup cleaning business.
- You create branding.
- You create their online presence and regular post on most social networks.
- You engage clients.

How do you determine what level of success will you get?
Not sure if i"m fully understanding it but I'll try to answer.
For the most part they can determine the success. First of all, if you're not a well known company and not in the top ten in Google you're more than likely not getting any online leads. So if you start getting leads it's from the SEO.
Secondly sales in general will pick up. Maybe your bussiness gets a couple calls a day, now it's getting 5+ calls per day. Another way track that is using a different phone number online and you can track the number of incoming calls. The company above I mentioned who's contract I just got, their previous agency was using if the visitor visited antoher page on their site, that was a conversion for them. I guess the thought was they are looking for more information! But that was pretty silly to me because we want to try and give them as much info as we can on the one page. If we're targeting cleaning maids and they visit the site, for the most part we want contact info and everything else on the page they find us on and set up an appointment directly. Even more so important if you're doing paid advertising. Say I'm an online electronics store. I'm paying advertising for "HP Laptops", and bringing visitors to www.site.com/hp-laptops/. Ideally they should be finding what they want on that page, I shouldn't consider them clicking to another page a conversion.

Anyways, people like to see numbers. They want to see themselves on the front page for their desired keywords. That's going to be the easiest for them, and hardest of us. But the very least you can show them climbing up the search engines, so the work is paying off. Then eventually you hope to get more leads via phone and email, and they see it's paying off.

Not sure if that's what you were asking when you asked " How do you determine what level of success will you get?"
Sr. Member
Nov 5, 2009
647 posts
36 upvotes
Hi,

Are all SEO service offers that I get via email spamish? All of them? Granted, most of them don't look anywhere near professional but some of them are, should we ignore them too? What about all these guys on Fiverr offering better ranking with thousands of good reviews to back up their claims?

Thanks for your input, interesting thread.

John

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