SEO continues to be more and more important for web designers to get a grasp of, particular for small business clients who want to get found in their area. To help us with this topic of Local SEO and how we can optimize and build our sites for best Local SEO practices, I’ve brought in a true SEO expert.

John Vuong, Founder and President of Local SEO Search, Inc shares with us priceless strategies and methods for optimizing small business websites so they have the best chance (and strategy) for getting found online.

To be honest, every time I interview an “SEO Expert,” I feel more confident with SEO and relieved that there are just so many ways to go about SEO. There’s often not a “right or wrong” as there are so many variables to consider and I’m excited for you to feel encouraged and more confident about SEO after hearing what John has to share 🙂

In this episode:

04:13 – Welcome to John
05:54 – Progression into SEO
11:58 – Team size now
13:04 – Great place to start
18:11 – Preparing a campaign
21:59 – Build loyalty
26:50 – Create the Avatar
28:54 – Competition study
25:17 – Behind the scenes
26:56 – Long term investment
39:55 – Quality over quantity
42:49 – Backlinking
49:49 – Link relevant industries
53:50 – Local or organic SEO
57:12 – Long tail keywords
1:01:16 – Partner with expert
1:07:02 – John’s final thoughts
1:10:03 – New impact initiative

You can also view the full transcription of this episode below.

Local SEO Search.com


Connect with John:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #086 Full Transcription

Episode Transcription

Josh 0:16

Hey, everybody, welcome to Episode 86 of the podcast. In this one, I’ve got a real treat for you. Because I am, I’m bringing in somebody who I would seriously consider to be an expert in SEO, particularly in local SEO. And if you’ve followed me for a while, if you listen to this podcast for a while, you know that I don’t often use SEO and expert in the same sentence because I think it’s very hard to find somebody who would be considered an expert in SEO because it’s such a wide ranging and broad and relative type of industry that also changes constantly. But to be kind of an expert status, you need somebody who is in the know and who was in the thick of it, and who really knows their stuff. And that’s what I’m bringing to you in this episode. My guest today is John Vaughn. He is the founder and president of an SEO company called Local SEO Search based in Toronto, Canada. They do a lot of SEO comprehensive plans and services for mainly small businesses. And I wanted to have him on to talk specifically about the local SEO aspect and what we can do as web designers to make sure our websites are optimized for local SEO small businesses. So if you’re working with businesses like automotive shops, or chiropractors, or dentists or barber shops, or anything like that, that’s often a brick or mortar, or brick and mortar, store, shop or store. Local SEO is absolutely key. And the beauty about local SEO is depending on the terms and the competition they have, you can really make a lot of waves by just doing some simple things with SEO to optimize it for local searches. And that’s what we dive into In this episode, john is really transparent and open about some of the best practices that you can implement. And just by listening to this episode, guys, I’m telling you, you’re going to be so much more valuable and confident with talking to your clients about SEO and helping them lay a strong basic SEO foundation to build off of moving forward because again, SEO is scary. It’s shady, it’s a complicated industry. But every time I interview an SEO person, I feel more and more comfortable and confident with it. Because even the experts often tell me there’s numerous ways to go about SEO, it just depends on the terms, the budget, the size of the audience, you want to reach the location, there’s a lot of different variables. So I’m hoping that this one really sets you at ease because I again, I don’t use the term loosely when I say SEO expert, but john is definitely somebody I would consider to be on that level. So really excited to hear how this one helps you out. Now, if you’re just getting started in SEO, and you feel like you just want to crash course, the beginners course to know the foundations of SEO, I have put everything that I’ve learned with SEO into my SEO course. And that course is available and open right now. So I’ll put the link in the show notes this episode. But that is dishing out the fundamentals. And it’s going to help you with the basics of SEO so that you can build websites, and have all of your checklist ready to go with the basic thing that you need to get done for some good SEO optimization on your websites. And a lot of what I teach in the course is some things that we talked about here in this episode, but also different strategies for a wider ranging SEO for nationwide or global and then also recurring SEO options for you and your business. So just by listening to this episode, again, you’re going to be much more confident and valuable. And if you really want to get a full understanding from point A to point B, with fundamental SEO, check out my course. And that’s where I dish out everything that I’ve learned to help you in your business. And you’re going to be able to charge for what I call SEO boost, which is a one time SEO optimization for your websites. And you’re going to learn how to build some basic SEO recurring income plans as well. So check that out if you’re ready to take the next level. And without further ado, please welcome my awesome guest, John, and we’re going to talk about local SEO.

Josh 4:13
John, welcome to the podcast. It’s great to have you on man.

John 4:17
Thank you, Josh. I’m excited to be on your show today.

Josh 4:20
So I always like to start out with where you are in the world and what you do. Exactly. And I know we’re gonna hear about your backstory a little bit and then talk about local SEO. But yeah, let’s just start off there. Where are you? And what would you say you do right now? Exactly.

John 4:34
So I’m in Toronto, Canada, so I’m a little bit north from where you are. And we I basically own a agency digital agency and we only specialize in full service search engine optimization and 80% of our clients are local small, medium sized business owners that we focus on 20% is more b2b or more national global in scope.

Josh 5:00
Gotcha. Now I, we’re gonna talk a lot about local SEO before we went live, I told you, you know, my audience of web designers, including myself, everyone struggles with SEO. It’s just a scary, shady, confusing type of industry. I don’t consider myself an SEO expert by any means. However, I realized that working with a lot of businesses over the years, and then my brand here with Josh Hall CO is 100%. SEO, I realized that it’s super important. And I have learned a lot. But at the same time, I wanted to pick your brain, particularly about local SEO, because me and my audience, we work with a lot of local businesses. And inevitably, every client is like, how do I get to the first page of Google? How do I get to the first page of Google? So I’m excited to pick your brain about that? I think a great place to start, though, would just be a little backstory. Can you tell us about your agency to do just do local SEO? What did that look like?

John 5:54
So seven years ago, I started this agency, not knowing anything about SEO, which is pretty interesting. Because before that, I actually worked in sales, advertising sales for 10 years, I studied business, finance, and the first biz, first job that I had, I actually worked at a company called the Red Pages. And it was a printed directory, going to every single business, home, you know, storefront, but it was only of websites. Business owners that had a website was in the book, you know how Yellow Pages was all telephone numbers, this was only website. So for me, it was a great concept. And this was back in 2003, when the internet was still three G’s, computers took a long time to load five minutes, took a long time to set, brows like on any, you know, browser as well as search engine. And it was all time consuming. People wanted things quickly, right. So for me, I thought it was a brilliant idea. And then of course, what happened was Google started to take off, and there goes out into that whole business. But I really got hooked into like sales and marketing and advertising, right. And that’s how I kind of continued my path in eventually owning my agency where I dabbled into online affiliate Performance Base with some fortune 500 companies learning about anything affiliate. And then I went back and did traditional advertising in advertising sales, I worked at Yellow Pages for five years. And, and that’s where I actually refined my art in sales really understood where I wanted to fit in, in terms of pursuing where what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And I really connected with business owners, I understood them, they were my, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors, right. And they had such a great story behind it, like, why they came and did what they did and what the purpose was right? It was all community building. And I loved the local landscape of it all that where I was connecting with them. And I spent, you know, years connecting and being mentored by 1000s of local business owners. And I picked their brains, right, on how to run a successful business owner, successful business. And at the root of it, they they let me know, there was frustrating times in terms of the advertising world, right? Yellow Pages was not getting a good ROI. People were pivoting the users behaviors were changing. And as you know, Google kind of dominates that space now. And so therefore, I had to pivot I had to figure out or in find a solution to really help my people, right, like connections. So that’s how I got into this SEO world.

Josh 8:54
And what year was that? That you were working for the yellow pages? Because Because you started your agency around? Was it 12, 13? Right?

John 9:01
Yeah, so 2013 is when I started this agency, but I would say 2007 2007 to 2012 is when I worked at Yellow Pages. And, you know, for me, there was already a shift, right? I would say 2009 to 10. Google started taking off right started getting a lot more users. And the last couple years at working on yellow pages. every meeting I had was a cancellation people were just unhappy with spending so much money and wanting, you know to cancel or reduce their spend because they weren’t getting leads like they once did. Right. So that’s why for me, I was like writing on the wall. I can continue battling it out. I was doing fairly well. But I was like, inside just not happy representing a company or brand or a product that didn’t work anymore.

Josh 9:54
Yeah. But what’s interesting is I can I can hear the progression it sounds like already with What you took and what you learn from yellow pages with your relationships with businesses, and I’ll be honest, the SEO that I’ve done in the past with my clients was always relationship based and very organic. And I think there’s a lot of value to that. I did that. I guess my first question for you, John, is did your experience at Yellow Pages and working with his businesses? Did this help you shape your mindset for your SEO agency, like how you were going to work with your plans and your clients?

John 10:28
So that’s the only digital agency that I kinda worked at, right for a very long time in terms of like the process, the billing cycle, the way to actually take care of a client, right? So that’s all I knew. And that’s how I kind of molded this agency to really focus on one thing, I don’t touch ads. I yeah, I do build websites for some of my clients. But I don’t say we’re experts at it. Right. We are experts at SEO, and we narrow down to whatever categories we’re in the Yellow Pages, those are the type of clients I really serve as very well at because I have personal experience, understanding their absolute needs, right, I understand what problem and pain points they have. And I can speak their language because I probably know a majority of their competitors that I work with, right over the years. So I get it, and they get it as well, if we’ve worked at a very similar, you know, digital or print media, traditional media landscape.

Josh 11:32
Yeah, they that makes sense. And it’s kind of interesting with SEO, because I know I would, for a while I had like a tear where I just worked with home inspectors left and right. And so I would take what worked with one and just make it even better on the next one. And a lot of it was SEO related. So yeah, you can kind of do that you can kind of look at the industries and you know, take competitors, but then kind of make them their own. Now your team is pretty big. How big is your team right now, for local?

John 11:58
We we have about 30 plus staff, and it’s broken down into pillars, right. So when I first started, I was really just hiring freelancers. And eventually, I got full time and hiring based on experience and personality. And, you know, skill set core values, all these other components are way more important today than when I first started. And now I have a team of developers, SEO strategists, consultants, as well as like graphic designers to link builders to content writers, to you know, operations manager, HR and all that stuff.

Josh 12:36
And one reason I ask is because you guys aren’t servicing just Toronto, right? Is this are you doing all across the nation? And do you do anything abroad? Or you just focus US or Canada?

John 12:46
So with Canada, US and UK, right,

Josh 12:48
Okay. Gotcha, gotcha. So yeah, let’s dive into it. Man, I’ve got some questions for you. Just because again, I’m really curious about picking your brain, what you have experienced yourself and what your team has realized with some of the trends that you’ve seen. I guess, a great play, I like to start simple. So a great place to start would be what are some of the best things we can do just for basic SEO of your, for my audience of web designers who might be working with an automotive place, or maybe a barber shop or something? I always let them know. And I feel free to critique my strategies with SEO here. But what I always did was, make sure everything submitted to the Google stuff, which would be Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Google My Business, make sure they have a listing, all the information is correct. And then ideally, one of the easiest wins, one of the quickest wins I found for SEO was to have individual pages for each service, which a lot of their competitors didn’t. Would you back those up as some of the best first steps? And would there be anything that you would add as far as some of the just the basic things we can do for local SEO?

I think content, like keyword research is very important. But it’s more important to understand your customers. – John

John 13:49
Yeah, yeah, definitely. All those are very important. And like, as you know, SEO, there’s over 200 signals, right. So making sure that the money pages, and I think content plays a very, very, very, very important role in this right, making sure that URL structure is based on the main keywords that you want to go after. So if it’s a service page, you want to make sure that the main URL, name keyword, is there, title tag descriptions, also embedded h1 tags to basically there has to be relevance, right. So then, if you’re looking at like the content piece, I think content, like keyword research is very important. But it’s more important to understand your customers, right? People get very confused with Yeah, there’s so much more search volume and traffic, and there’s a lot of keyword research tools. However, it’s all about user intent. It’s all about conversion rate. And what I feel is depending on the type of clients based on the journey that you want to take them on, either it’s informational gathering, navigational transactional, where they’re at Most of these small local business owners, all they care about is conversion rate, when they are ready to buy, get in front of them to be more visible so that they can at least interact with you or have the chance to win them over. Right? Not so much about creating guides and creating a ton of like, I guess collecting information on a final drip or whatever campaign, right? So it all depends on who you’re servicing. So if you are local barber or restaurant, these guys, all they care about are main keywords like takeout delivery, I need a haircut today kind of terms, right? Like, as opposed to here, I want the best tips. I want information on how tos, right? Those are, you know, different types of clients that want to do it themselves. Right? These are more transactional. And so therefore, with the content piece that you we kind of deliver, and we go through that whole process of uncovering all the buyer journey and conversion copy and understanding like who their ideal type of client is. Because without that information, you can’t even start a good SEO campaign. You’re gonna kind of go blind without that insight and information, because anyone can build an amazing website that looks incredible. Right? customer, you can just make it look very, very out there. Right. However, it doesn’t resonate with the customers or if it’s not even appearing, you know, on SERPs, what’s the point? Right? You invest all this money building a compelling, you know, brand new website. Business owners don’t really care about how nice it is. They care about how much business it brings them.

Josh 16:44
Yeah, that’s a great point, a beautiful website suddenly doesn’t seem as beautiful if it’s not converting anybody or not bringing in any money or any leads. So well, well said, that’s a good point. Because there are these different aspects to web design. And this is why I’m a big proponent of all web designers, at least knowing the basics of SEO or having really good partners, such as yourself, to be able to handle some of the SEO related stuff, because you said it, it is so important. It’s SEO, design and conversion. Those are kind of some of the top pillars, the importance of all websites. Now, you touched on something really interesting there, which was really being more organic, and then talking to clients about their customers and the customer journey. I love that you said that because it’s totally true. I think the ads for SEO companies that’s like, build your perfect SEO game for $199 a month or whatever. It’s like, how, how detailed are they going into the business’s ideal clients and conversion based talk like what’s really going on there. So I would love to hear if you’re if you’re open. John, I’d love to hear maybe just an outline of the questions that you guys asked to your clients to make sure we were building our sites for the right keywords and stuff, because I agree some people dive right into keyword research, which is great. But there’s also power and just talking to a business owner and saying, who’s who’s your ideal client? Like, what would they do? Would you guys have like a certain set of questions or any? I’m sure it’s pretty complicated or complex. But is there like a summarized version you can give us?

John 18:11
Yeah, we have like a two sheet, two sheet, one hour long interview process as an intake. And typically, what we do is we do a lot of pre research right on their website, some of the services they wanted, really show up for their niches, their product, whatever, and their major competitors, say three of their major competitors, we do a lot of digging and analysis pre call, right? Actually, when they sign up, we actually know a lot about them, right. And then when they actually sign up, then we do the conversion coffee call. And this is where we dig deep in terms of like profiling their ideal customer. Because if you’ve been in business for a couple years, you probably have a handful or a dozen loyal paying customers. And with that, you probably can pull them with what their exact personality trait is, where they reside, how they consume content, what they like, what they don’t like, who they hang around, you know, what’s their behaviors like, right, like, profile them, their age, their race, you know, everything right? I know, it’s kind of weird, but it’s interesting enough for you to know who you want to speak to. That’s where the start point of content creation resides. And then, what content do they expect or want? how frequent Do they like it? Is it written content, images, videos, podcasts, audio? You need to understand the journey behind it, and then do they expect reviews? So if that’s the case, start getting some video case studies and testimonials, understanding what triggered them to pick you in the first place? Why didn’t they pick the three other competitors? Get in the mindset of speaking To those customers, and this is a little bit deeper. But it’s so important to understand that I think that’s where the gap of website design versus an SEO company, there’s a major difference. Because, you know, website designers will only make it look pleasing. Like, it’s nice, but they don’t go deep in terms of wanting to help them deliver results in terms of like client acquisition.

Josh 20:28
Well, what it what a great like additional secondary service you’re talking about, which is more like business r&d, like research and development for our clients. And I will say, for all web designers listen to this, if you have the approach that John just talked about, which is to ask your clients about their ideal customers, and then potentially do like investigation for them, or give them a sequence of questions to ask their customers that will separate you, and I’m sure it did for you guys. John, I’m sure that separated you guys from a lot of different SEO companies, that will really make you look like a total professional. And it’ll feel like for the client, you’re on their side, because you’re not just taking their money and diving right into research, but you’re actually asking them about what’s working? And do you guys have? Like, do you have something where you give questions to clients? And then they reach out to their customers? Or do you actually handle that? Do you say, Can you give us your top 10 customers? And we reach out to them? What does that look like?

John 21:28
Yeah, we only work with the clients, right? So it’s their job to provide us all the Intel information. And typically, they know, right, based on if they’re in business, they have revenue, they have clients, they kind of know a lot like as an entrepreneur, you know, who your ideal customers are, and where you want to play in the whole realm of niches, areas locale. So, and this is the other thing, adding value. As a business owner, people become more sticky that where if you actually care about their business, and you actually giving them more than they expect, they’re very loyal to you. And they’re going to become more of a advocate to your product or service, or you as a business owner so that you are going to get more referrals in the long run, right. So just learning these little things as a business owner, and from all my engagements with 1000s of businesses, it’s all about like helping, giving, listening, asking cues, right, asking the right questions at the right time, and being curious about wanting to learn more about them. Because if you are just in it for the sale, you’re not gonna get very far. But if you actually care, that’s what’s gonna set you apart. Because business owners want to build strong relationships with people that they can trust, and really know that they’re going to look after them, good times, and bad, not just take their money.

Josh 23:04
Well said, john, that was very well said. And it’s funny that all of this correlates to SEO, because you just we wouldn’t think about that like, and that’s one reason I love people in the SEO world who are taking a different approach. And not from that typical, like standard SEO package, you know, productize, I’m all about productizing stuff where you can but SEO, the heart of it is a very organic thing, at least it should be. And my brain is a perfect example of that I did not do any professional SEO work or keyword research I just talked, I just want you said I kind of knew who I would be best, you know, creating content for, and I put it out there and I promoted it where I could and that was it, there was really no extra thought. And I think SEO can be so daunting, sometimes. But if you really just break it down. And I would encourage everyone to do this for their clients. But don’t overthink it. Don’t get so overwhelmed by you know, the complexities that are out there. But just look at your best type of clients. Just like you said, john, what are they looking for? Where are they? What are they, you know, what are their habits like? And it is weird, again, to start off with that. But what a great place to start. And I would think that would catch clients off guard too, in a good way. They would be like, wow, these other SEO companies were just trying to get me to pay 1000 bucks a month for their package. Whereas, you know, you’re really taking a different approach and being much more organic and interactive with that. So that’s great. I love the idea of empowering them. Do you guys have like a typical type of questionnaire outline that you give your clients that they would use to collect that information? Or what does that look like?

John 24:41
Yeah, so during the intake, we give them all the questions and prepare because we need to record everything so that we can actually disseminate across all parties within our team. And it’s all about like, understand, even though these are questions, you can actually tell if they in it or not in a video conversation, right? So then we would re watch the video to see if we’re not sure about this, can you really think about this point or this area where you mentioned this? Because I feel we can go much deeper? What do you mean by this? Because a lot of people, you know, as a business owner, a lot goes on in their mind, right? They, you know, versus they’re going a million miles a minute, right? And sometimes they kind of overlook things. So I kind of tell them to reflect on what their answers are. Because it’s a big decision. When we’re starting to create a campaign. We take good businesses and make them great, right. But we cannot take a business that doesn’t know how to run a business, like someone or entrepreneur has no clue how to run a business to become the best business owner, a good business owner, because they don’t know the foundations, the fundamentals of how to run a good business.

Josh 25:56
Gotcha. So yeah, it seems like you guys are really being a guide in a lot of different areas outside of just the standard SEO. What so I want to ask you what a campaign looks like. And I’m sure that’s an open ended question. It depends on the industry and the client. But we’ve talked about some of the basics with like, at least having a aesthetically pleasing site that has good copy that’s going to convert, talk about some of the basics, submitting to Google Analytics, Search Console, Google My Business, doing some really good organic type of research. So you know, the customers setting up good funnels on the website. But I guess the next question is, where do we go from here? Like, what does an SEO campaign look like? Is it Google ads? Is it blog posts every week? or once a month? Is it content is a new pages? Is it updating the site with new content is digital marketing evolve? What does a good campaign look like in the average type of sense?

John 26:50
So there’s a lot that goes on. But at the beginning, it’s all the content piece, understanding that customer avatar, creating a strategy behind it. And then we we have a lot of software. For this SEO campaign we use SEMRush, Ahrefs, we do a lot of keyword research. We don’t touch ads, actually. Because for us ads are different, like it’s renting space, right to acquire new customers new engagement and all that stuff. We stay away from that we only focus on delivering ideal clients inbound, because as you know, majority of the traffic, customers don’t like being pushed ads at them. They’d rather find it organically in themselves. Right?

Josh 27:36
I look real quick. I love that you said that to john, because I always have felt like Google Ads is completely different than local and organic SEO, it really is. It’s like a whole different ballgame. And yes, you can get quick results with ads. But what happens when you take your ad down, zip, you’re down, you know, on page 100, or whatever.

John 27:57
So my analogy for ads versus SEO is your either renting space, just like in the housing market, you can rent for the rest of your life, or you can own real estate, which is yes, you’re going to save, it takes a while to save money. But when you’re there, you buy it and you purchase it. When you start paying, it’s all about building equity, building the momentum getting some inbound. And that’s where I feel when you do work with a good SEO company or you do it yourself or whatever it is. If it’s a good campaign, you’re gonna feel the fruits of all the labors, because all of it will come together. So proper campaigns. Let’s go back to your question. So it’s the content piece. But then we have our SEO strategist team, always on board. So they’re on it to figure out where the gaps are the opportunities are, they look at your competitors, what worked for them, we typically mimic and then once it’s competing, we try to overtake based on global competitors, right? Someone in Toronto might be competing and doing well. But what is New York looking like? What is London looking at? What is Chicago looking like big markets? And what are other people, other companies doing? Because we have software that could detect anything, right? To see how their strategies work. So as an SEO or someone that has experience, it could be, you know, a lot of internal links. It could be just depth of content, right? relevant content, nice, specific goal there, get more Association links or get more credibility, because that’s the hardest thing. How do you amplify your message? You write a blog, no one reads it because it’s only on your website. How do you get awareness? Is it PR? Is it other influencers, publishing it, referencing it, like, that’s the biggest challenge but people have to realize it takes time just like building a business. It’s relational. ships that matter. And that’s where link building of relationships if done right personalization, and there’s a whole technique behind link building. But if done right, it’s going to really amplify your business.

Josh 30:13
Well said, and you talked about this earlier, which was the customer behavior, like, Where are they? What are their behaviors? What are they doing? Are they listening to a podcast? Is it YouTube tutorials? Is it some industries, people are reading blog posts, and they like that, depending on the demographic and the type of industry, some people are very active on social media, and I imagine quick social media posts would go over very well, if it’s like somebody like my wife follows for like a shopping brand or something like that, you know, that strategy would be completely different from the content that I produce, and like long form podcast, so well said. And my question would be with that, when you talk to your clients, and you’re you’re planning out a campaign, like, do you have to basically tell them, Hey, you guys should start a YouTube channel? Or like, how do you prepare them to, to switch up their content planning? Is that something you guys do? Or do you have partners who can assist with that? Because I know a lot of clients are like, Oh, I can’t, you know, now I’m gonna have to do videos, I have to start a podcast. What does that look like?

John 31:13
Yeah, so a lot of business owners don’t have resources, and they don’t have time. So they want everything now affordable, and with the best results in the world. So I’m very real. I’m, I’m basically very raw and authentic. And I’m like, Look, your competitors. And it’s, say, for example, a dentist in Toronto. And there’s 1000s of them. And some of them have been doing SEO for 10, 15, 20 years, right? And say, you’re new, you bought a practice, you start a new website, you have to be real with them and say, Look, in the first couple of years, you may not get good leads or traffic, right. But if you stay the course, and you’re in it for the long term, 5, 10, 20 years, eventually, we will supersede them. You focus on what you’re good at, which is take care of your clients, learn how to run a good business, go get good reviews, go out there, talk to your clients, take care of your clients, and then let us know on what’s going on in your business. Like if there is newsworthy information, if there’s during the pandemic, what is the new process looking like? What is the new intake of clients, inform us, because we are partners? So we are trying to understand them? And yes, if they have a budget to do video, go in there and do video because that’s what’s expected today. Right? If you don’t have a video, go try to do it on your phone. Go update your website with bios of all your staff with a whole written bio as well. Right? personalized as much as much storytel let people in differently, how do you differentiate yourself from the other 1000 dentists, right? Because a lot of them aren’t even active, they’re not engaged, they’re not updating, right? If you just stay set yourself apart some way you’re going above and beyond a lot of the other businesses.

Stand out and whatever creative way that suits your style and your the size of your team, or even if it’s just you as a solopreneur. – Josh

Josh 33:12
I love that you’re totally and you’re just you’re reaffirming everything I tell my members in my web design students in that personalized, do something different look at what your competitors are doing. And just do the opposite. Just stand out and whatever creative way that suits your style and your the size of your team, or even if it’s just you as a solopreneur. I love that, John. So I want to talk about linking because you mentioned that and that’s a big piece to particularly local SEO. But before that, we were talking about how you’re how you’re talking with your clients, you’re being very real with them. Before we talk about linking, I’d love to find out from you. How do you prepare your clients mindset with SEO? Because all clients want something done overnight. And I don’t know where the idea of getting them the first page on Google came from as far as like it being first of all, something quick. And then one thing I’ve always told clients to is when they say I want to be at the top of Google, I’ve always said for what term like you could be on top for one term, but really far back on another like that’s a that’s not a simple question. Like it sounds like so how do you prepare your clients mindset for for proper Seo?

John 34:26
So this is a good question because business owners all think differently. They’ve either been bought and burn using other SEO companies. They’ve hired in house freelancers and got poor results. They’ve spent tons of money spending money on ads, thinking that was the you know, golden, you know, way to get new clients but they become frustrated right? So they don’t know who to trust where to go, how it’s supposed to work. So the more you inform and educate them by giving an examples giving case studies and let them talk to real customers of yours. That’s where it’s, it’s a relationship piece, right. And because I do a lot of speaking, I do a lot of webinars and it’s all about like, letting them in on the process of what goes on behind the scenes, then they’ll realize how difficult it is how long it takes, how much AB testings evolved, how much strategy is in it. And even when you write 1000 word blog, there’s the SEO team with keywords, semantic keywords, keyword research, as well as the graphic team, the dev team, everything plays to then post it that will then amplify on social, right. So you can’t just write a good piece of content that may take hours to write a really good piece that will actually deliver good impact, right? So it’s, it’s the whole strategy behind it. It’s the same thing with video, right? You don’t just put out a video, there’s content that has to be strategized, then you have to edit it right, then you get to plan the posting of it. And then you put it embed it in your newsletter and email funnel so that all of it gets a big impact. It’s the same thing with SEO. Right? Hopefully that makes sense. So once I talk to the clients, it’s all about like, yes, we can help you. As long as you’re patient, and you understand that we’re here together for the long term. If you’re looking for a quick fix 1 2 3 6 months, we’re not a partner that we should work together, right?

Josh 36:33
Beautiful, beautiful now do you? Do you let them in on that process? And talk about that before the sale? Or is it like you kind of give them a peek of it, but then you really dive into it? Once they make the sale? What does that look like?

John 36:48
We are very upfront at the beginning, we give them the price at the beginning to weed people out right to find out if they’re a good fit. And then also we’re all about long term. So we’re a little bit different than a lot of agencies, but we do one year terms only. Okay, because I stayed in the Yellow Pages world. And that’s all I know, when your contracts. And so therefore, I kinda just pass it along to this agency. Well, I know a lot of agencies that do month to month in binary…

Josh 37:18
Like that, yeah, I like that, because SEO month to month is, if an SEO company is saying month to month, that is a straight up gimmick because no one’s gonna, you know, no one’s gonna get results in a month, not, you know, not something that’s gonna pay for an average SEO campaign. Three months is still really tough, I feel like on average, to get really good results, you could probably do some pretty good damage and six months, depending on the competition in the industry in the terms, but I feel like a year is like a good benchmark as to whether you know, like, that should be a pretty good standpoint to where it’s paying off, you’re getting ROI, and then you can see what’s going to happen moving forward. So I like that I would feel comfortable as a customer, if a SEO company was an annual type of thing, because it’s it’s, you know, not locking you in for something super long term. But again, it’s enough time to really start seeing results. So I like that because I was gonna ask you about that I was gonna ask if you did packages by month or by certain months, so that that definitely makes a lot of sense. And so you talk about weeding out? Do you? Do you feel like once you get the those people, the tire kickers out to get the people who want something super cheap for nothing kind of deal? You get them out? Do you feel like you’re already setting yourself up for some relationships that are going to last a long time? Because you’ve got the people in the door? Who are there have that mindset, right? You kind of trained them already, probably without them even knowing.

John 38:44
So, again, myself, and my VP are the ones that take care of all client intake. And it’s a gut check, right? It’s all about like, do I really want to help them? And are they really the type of profile that we can help and serve? Well? And are they in it for the right reasons? Right? Because, again, we’ve made a lot of mistakes early days. But today, it’s all about making sure and vetting them the right way. And maybe 90 95% of the leads that we get are not our type of clients. And it’s okay to say no, it’s actually better to say no, to say yes to everyone that comes in, because you got to refine your type of profile your clients, and you know who you can really help and you know, who you don’t think you can help well, right.

Josh 39:33
Do you this is a total aside type of question. But do you personally care about conversion rates on sales that much? Or are you much more focused on, you know, having a much more closing percentages, as long as they’re the right type of clients?

John 39:49
At my agency, or the clients that I serve?

Josh 39:53
Your agency, and the reason I ask is because I think a lot of people get discouraged when they’re not landing 10 out of 10 clients I’ve always been in the mindset of, if you land two clients out of 10, but they’re really good clients, I would much rather take that than landing 10 out of 10 clients, and they’re all not great fit. So I was just, I was curious about what your thoughts were on how you got, I don’t know if you measure your conversion rates, or what that looks like.

John 40:16
So early days, when I first started the agency, I took every single client that came in, that wanted to work with us. As the years progressed, we got you know, less and less clients, but quality clients, I would take quality over quantity any day, because they are the biggest advocates of you, when you take care of them. And they feel that you’ve made a difference in their lives. Because the ones that I took early days, you know, after a couple months, they’re gonna complain, they’re gonna cancel and they’re disgruntled, right? So you kind of understand who you want to serve, if that makes sense. Because it’s hard, right? When you’re starting off, you want to take everyone, and it’s feast or famine, you’re just starting off, you don’t have revenue. But when you’re more established, and you understand who you are, as a company and agency, what your brand represents, what’s your values, like, and they as they get it to, right, because you have your presentation, pitch, whatever. It’s all about, like letting them in to see if they understand who we are, and if we are a good fit for them. So when they do that vetting process, we vet them as much as they vet us. Right? Because once you’re at that stage in terms of the business, you know, you’re in a better situation, because you don’t need to take on everyone. You just want to take on the ones you want to take on, if that makes sense.

Josh 41:42
Definitely. And I think the really cool thing about the position of my audience as web designers is we’re generally doing SEO after the fact. So or it’s part of like, it’s, you know, maybe we’re doing some basic SEO while designing a website. And then the SEO campaigns and the ongoing content. That’s kind of a phase two. So we already know the clients. It’s not like most web designers are not getting random SEO leads if we’re not promoting ourselves as an SEO agency, or person. So yeah, that that definitely I love that mindset, quality over quantity all about that. So I’d love to talk about the linking stuff here, John, because as we know, linking is. So I feel like when you think about linking, the average person probably thinks about some shady, you know, like SEO company putting comments on blog posts that are either related or seemingly unrelated. And then they just tell you, Hey, you got 100 links, but it’s like, are they linking back? What? What are your thoughts on linking? You talked about it being organic, I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with linking with what I do with my podcasts and stuff. But yeah, what are your thoughts on on how we can do linking for clients locally, at least?

John 42:48
Yes, definitely. So I love this topic. I always try to get back to basics. What is a backlink first? So for all the audience members that don’t know what it is, think about before the internet times, traditional business, bricks and mortar, how did they grow? organically, they took care of their customers, they relied on word of mouth and referral type businesses. So that sets the foundation of digital now, Google, they don’t know your offline business. Right? They may track you with GPS, they know that signals and how many people are visiting your store, how many people are calling you when they go on digital, but they don’t really know who is referring business and how they came across you. So come Google Now. It’s more like Google can index sites, there’s millions of websites out there. And the only way they can determine your influence, your authority, your that metric of saying, look, I feel this company, this website has all these other people referencing to it. Why? Who are these other websites? Why are they referencing to your website? Are they credible? Are they BBB? Are they associations? Are they niche specific to your industry relevant in terms of content? If they are, then maybe I should increase your ranking. Because other people who are much more senior and been more you’re way more credible are? Right. So that’s how you have to break it down. First off, and then there’s different types of links. I’m going to talk about citations, very simple directories, first, Yellow Pages, Yelp, you know, web, local, all these other sites, you can actually claim your directories. Submit all the information and put your URL there. Usually it’s a nofollow link. There’s a difference from a do following, nofollow, nofollow, those are there’s no link juice being passed on to your website. So what you want is do follow links because some of these links are actually patented, make the juices pass onto your website. So that That’s an attribute that you should really look at, then there’s different ways to get links, which are natural link building methods, which is you have been, say you’re a contributor to a different blog site, right, say Medium or Huffpo, Huffington Post or vice. And these are big, you know, big sites, right media sites, but it took you years to become a contributor took you years to continue writing good content to get there. So think about that process. It’s like you being an expert in writing that they trust you now, to then write a piece of content, and in that piece of content, then you have a link going back to your website. Right. So it’s still relationship that you have as a contribute to the contributor of that site, that will then allow you to write a piece of content that will mention you that links back to you. And usually those are earned, right? Because it takes years to build relationships. There’s of course, other ways like forums and comments which you mentioned, which is still, I would say, I would stay away from it. Like,

Josh 46:11
What your thoughts were on that? Yeah.

John 46:13
The core reddits are free. So anything free, I would say, stay away from and don’t put links out there, because Google recognizes those are very spammy, right? Instead, position yourself as someone that is knows their stuff, and you’re informing the audience numbers by giving value answering that question, but not mentioning who you are, or what company you are. Maybe that hyperlink of your name, goes to a profile in the profile has a link to your website. Sure. But don’t make it stuffing it to your website, because that’s kind of spammy. Right? Yeah. So with and then I’m going to talk about guest posts, right? guest posts, it’s very similar to the contributor model, where you’re reaching out to the website owner of some of these sites, major sites, right. And they allow for guest posting, they allow you to contribute to their blogs, write or contribute to newsworthy information. And as long as you pass their vetting process on writing a piece of content, and then you have a link back to your site. So I feel like link building is more relationship building. Yeah, in the digital sense. And the more relationships you build with site owners or contributors, the better you are position, when you’re doing the proper link building campaign. Just like building it’s very similar to like sales, right? When you’re doing sales, outbound sales, or relationship building, high ticket item, it takes time, it takes months years to harvest a good relationship for them to even talk to you, let alone pitch you. And then during that time, how many knows until they actually listen, receptive for you to be a guest post. And then you have to actually write a long piece article content that’s compelling to their audience members, right. So all these are, you know, points I wanted to mention.

Josh 48:14
Yeah, no, it’s great. It’s really kind of the model that I’ve taken with this endeavor here, which was just one step at a time doing tutorials. My tutorials, were then getting shown on different websites that were popular in the WordPress community. And I use a theme called Divi, which is one of the most popular themes for WordPress. And then I became a blog contributor for Elegant Themes, which is the company that made Divi. So that was a big piece, just like we talked about, but it didn’t happen overnight, I built those relationships. And the way before I became a blog author, on Elegant Themes was I just happened to find out that the Content Manager at Elegant Themes lives in Columbus, Ohio. So I took the total organic rate and just messaged him and asked him out for coffee. So my SEO ranking for Josh Hall.co started over a cup of coffee here in Columbus, Ohio. So it’s like a parallel example of what you’re talking about. So I love that idea. Now, the caveat here, though, is your average home inspector or your realtor your business that maybe maybe not realtors, but most business owners are not going to be interested in blogging or, you know, taking this type of method. So when it comes to link building for those type of industries, have you seen any successful strategies between like, sharing, you know, like, like networks, like let’s say, for example, I’m big on networking groups. One thing that we had done in my networking group is like, here’s my website. Here’s a bunch of trusted people that I use, and they might be all different industries. Have you seen stuff like that be good sources of link bad or backlinking?

John 49:44
I would actually stay away from that. I would actually go after relevant niche industry sites because Google’s always looking for backlinks that are credible, right that are specific To you industry, because what’s the point having a dentist linked to, you know, a law office or something that is, or a b2b company, even though they’re a part of this big a or any networking group, right? There could be 20 different industries, from insurance to mortgage to restaurants to all this, but they’re not really related. In a sense, yes, they’re a part of that network. And you can have like, a reference page and everyone shares like referral links there. But it’s not really going to help you improve your profile, because then links that you get from them are not really your relevant audience members, those people are not, you have to look at in an organic sense of is it generating value from the users? Right? So the audience members of that dentist, are looking for a dentist, right? And therefore, if you they are, why should they be linked to a lawyer?

Josh 51:01
Yeah,

John 51:02
It’s irrelevant. But if you’re looking for a dentist, and maybe, you know, I don’t, I don’t know what dentists are referred to, but maybe like something more concrete associated to dentist, it will help, right? I can’t think of…

Josh 51:20
No, that’s a great point. And I asked that because I guess you have to think about what Google would do as well, like, you have to think about the human touch, which we’ve talked a lot about, but you do have to think kind of robotically in some ways to like, Google is going to search for a dentist, but then there’s a page that’s linking out to an auto mechanic and a flower person, and a chiropractor probably isn’t going to recognize that as a great referral source for this article, or this directory, or whatever. So that’s, that’s a really good point. And I do think there’s a lot of value in the even your competitors, like, I call it coopetition, working with people who are your competitors, but you can still benefit from each other. So I know, I worked with a retina surgical place here in Columbus, Ohio. And we got a lot of SEO juice from some of their competitors, that they just didn’t have the exact same services. So like, some eyecare places would do some eye surgical stuff, but they wouldn’t do really advanced stuff. And then they would refer to my client. And my client would give them a link back to their site for other stuff that they didn’t handle. So that was, I think that’s probably a good example, right of a way. That’s a similar industry. That might be some SEO juice, that, you know, similar industry, but they’re similar companies, but they just don’t do it the exact same thing. Is that kind of a good way to go.

John 52:35
Exactly. So give you an example websites, website design, or development and SEO, digital marketing, we don’t really do the same thing. But if you had a website, and you offer SEO in links to my site, for instance, then it’s a good backlink, right, because it’s relevant type of clients who searching for website, also needing SEO. So when they reside and land on your site, they’ll actually stay on your site. So the key is not just traffic to your site, but good traffic to your site. So the behavior of the people, how long are they staying? Are they relevant? Are they checking you out with the services? Are there is your intent actually going to buy something afterwards? That’s more important in Google standpoint, because they’re watching every single thing going on on your website, right? So the more you provide the better.

Josh 53:31
Wow, that’s beautiful. John, I’m loving this man, because you’re just you’re reaffirming everything I’ve been telling my students and I love your approach. With all this. I am curious about the difference between local SEO? And I don’t know if you would call it national SEO, or just I don’t know what the term the correct term is. But what’s the difference between the two? Because I’m sure it takes a whole different approach. If your customer has clients nearby, like a barber shop versus an online store that has clients over the over the nation or over the country? What What up first question, what is that called? Would you call it national SEO, global Seo? What’s that called?

John 54:09
We call it just organic SEO. But it’s more broad term keywords versus the local keywords. So just for audience members, what I mean by locals, the local three pack, usually the Google My Business three pack, and that’s more of a local product or service that you’re looking for, right? Local pizza shop, local coffee shop, local dentists, right? And then below that is more organic in nature, but you can also rank if you’re a local business, right? So what’s what we focus on? What’s the battle? Okay, the Google My Business map. So if you’re on mobile or on desktop, you look for nearby searches, right, or whatnot. Usually it’s a three pack. So that’s Google My Business. So optimizing Google My Business with the name category, all the information you can also update all your posts once a week, very similar to Twitter and Instagram or whatnot, it’s their social media channel. So once at once a week do it, because it allows for much more visibility, right? add an image, a little piece of content. And you can also upload like videos as well write on Google My Business, make sure the key component of Google My Business is the category very important, as well as making sure you get really good reviews. Right reviews is a huge signal for the local three pack. So again, run a good business. Run good business.

Josh 55:39
Yeah. And I was gonna, I was just gonna say I was gonna ask about your whole idea for like the, the organic, you know, broad based kind of stuff.

John 55:49
Yeah, so with the local as a local dentist, for instance, in Toronto, you want to go after like, even micro local neighborhood terms, right, like Yonge and Eglinton or, you know, stuff that actually resonates with the actual users within that base, right. So it’s community driven. That’s what I mean by local because Google has a lot of signals. And what you need to do as for backlinks and profiles, and getting more awareness is getting people to talk about neighborhoods within the reviews or content, or any of the blogs or anything that resonates for local, because Google is always indexing crawling different words and content pieces and signals. So the more regional, even the URL structure, the title tags, it mentions that region, neighborhood street level, it helps, right, because it supports who you want to be known for in that region. Because as a dentist, you probably only service two to four kilometer radius, right? People don’t drive that far. restaurants, maybe 1015 kilometers, and now it’s more takeout or different service providers like Uber and whatever. So then there’s the organic, right, so these are more broad term. Even brighter, or local term, I always start off with go after longtail keywords, five words or more. Because more than 50% of the search terms, search queries from Google are five terms or longer. And yes, there’s less volume, but it’s way higher conversion rate. Because people who are looking for a dentist, they’re not typing in dentists in Toronto, right? That’s too many. And it’s too broad. Right? They may type in I’m looking for a root canal in young and Front Street in Toronto, Ontario. Yeah, you working out services, right? That’s much longer, that’s five or six words, but it’s speaking to exactly who that customer is looking for. Right? you’re answering the query by providing a piece of content that delivers exact match or a longtail keyword, right? Similar to you know, YouTube similar to any, any video that you have to answer customers.

Josh 58:08
Yeah.

John 58:10
That, yeah, sorry. Questions that the customers have. Because once you start doing that more so by getting in the head and mindset of your customers, and delivering on exactly what they’re looking for, then that’s where you get a higher conversion rate. Right.

Josh 58:25
Yeah. And I was just thinking back to like, when my clients would ask me, if I want to get to the top of Google the classic question and I would say, Okay, well, if you are a home inspector, and you want to be home inspector Columbus, Ohio, that’s going to be a whole different ballgame. Then, you know, termite inspection in, you know, I’m in Grove City, Ohio, which is a suburb outside of Columbus, termites, termite inspection, Grove City would be a lot easier to hit and get quicker instant results than home inspector Columbus. And that’s the I could see their mind shift when I tell them the difference of how Google works with and it’s just, it’s common sense. But sometimes business owners just they need to be enlightened on how Google works with the idea that there are differences between the keywords, there’s there’s short, mid and long tail keywords and long tails. I have an SEO course. It’s like a basic beginners type SEO course. And I say that to long term or long, long keywords. longtail keywords, excuse me, are the not easiest, but generally the quicker results. And I almost feel like I don’t know your guys’s approach with link building and some of the plans we talked about for your customers. But I almost feel like if you can start out with some longtail keywords and get some quicker results, that’s gonna build some trust with customers and they’re gonna feel like alright, maybe you know, we’ve got a couple of customers with this. Now maybe we can move on to some bigger terms and sell bigger plans and do more, do more SEO damage as it were.

John 59:55
Yeah, we always start with local even though you’re a national or a larger brand. Because it’s quick wins. Once you start dominating in the local space, it’s a lot easier to go after other regions and other markets. And then when you start going after more broad terms, and more competitive keywords, it’s a lot easier because you already have some influence, right, you already have some authority within the industry. And I forgot to mention, like, with link building, anchor text, keywords, the ratio is very important understand the competitive analysis, how they’re mapping is, as well as the trust flow, how much organic traffic there’s a lot of metrics behind link building. And there’s a lot of software and tools for it. And I would say, if you’re very interested in understanding this learn, there’s a lot of YouTube tutorials is a lot of like Moz is a great resource search engine, land Search Engine Journal, there’s a lot of information that’s just targeted for SEO is right. Yeah. But again, as a business owner, do they have time do they want to do this?

Josh 1:01:02
A lot of even my web design students, they don’t necessarily want to do the keyword research. I have a partner Michelle, who does that for me. And she’s doing it for a lot of my students. Now she just has a package for just the keyword research part. So that’s what that’s the beauty about this, too, is web designers can focus on the design, the conversion, some basic SEO, but then get help with the ongoing SEO or the keyword research aspect. Like I don’t want to pay a subscriptions, or a subscription for H refs. Because I know it’s freakin expensive, but I know how awesome it is to so I just partnered with somebody who does you know, that’s, that’s the beauty about this. And it can be a really win win. Because no matter what for for my audience of web designers, you have to at least cover the basics. Particularly his clients are going to ask I know when I started out with web design, I had no idea about SEO, it took me several years to really wrap my head around how to just do the basics, I should have just gone through some training and through a course or something to help me at least get the basics but for some reason, I just neglected it. But inevitably, my clients always felt like the website underperformed no matter how beautiful it was, to your point earlier. But if it isn’t getting found online, then it’s not finding the right people looking for those services or places aren’t getting aren’t finding it. That’s that’s the issue. So it makes sense that you least have to have the basic understanding of what we’re talking about. And I like your approach to john of local verse. Again, I don’t know the right term to use, but organic or broad like, where it doesn’t miss not location specific. It sounds like a lot of the practices are the same, right? You would still go after longtail keywords, you would still keep it organic, good link building and stuff like that. Any other tips for like the more nationwide type of SEO kind of stuff? Is it just about detailed terms? Ideally?

John 1:02:49
It’s I think SEO is very simple. People overcomplicate it. But it’s all technical, the challenges even with a software Ahref, sem rush, you have to actually know what the software can deliver, which means you need people that to actually do the work that are trained and knows how to perform the actions, right. So as a business owner that’s trying to do everything themselves. Yes, these tools and software’s can help. But are they good at it? Do they want to learn and it may take you months of stress, trying to figure it out? If you’re not technical at all right? It’s the same thing as website design. People can learn it, figure it out. But why pay someone is because someone has experienced expertise, done it before. Do it right the first time last going back and forth. And it’s results driven, right? You know what to expect. And it saves you time and stress and energy. So as a web designer, as a business owner, it’s more like, yes, there’s a ton of resources, you can actually go to conferences, join slack groups, join different communities to learn, if you all if you have the passion to do that. But you’re busy with your life, right? Because not only do you run your freelance job, or your agency, or your business owner, there’s all these other things that you have to worry about. This is an extra layer of it. And it’s evolving all the time. And there’s challenges that going on, right. So it’s like anything, it’s like, have fun, enjoy what you do but resonate, like understand what, what works for you as a business owner.

Josh 1:04:31
Yeah, well, you said it there. It’s evolving. It’s changing constantly. It’s the same thing with web design, web design and SEO. They’re they’re similar, but they’re different. And they it’s very hard to be a top notch web designer developer who can keep up with everything that’s going on there. And SEO at the same time. I’m big on doing the basics. But then when it comes to a really advanced stuff, unless that is your passion like you talked about it’s best to partner up with somebody for sure. I actually do you guys do do you part With web agencies and stuff as well, or do you do pretty much just client to client type of work?

John 1:05:06
So right now it’s, we have referral plans. So very similar to affiliate programs. But it’s all about like the stickiness of the client right relationship, because SEO is a long term play. But we bring in clients that have really good relationships with web site designers, right. And we still own the relationship, but we give kickbacks, right? So it’s very similar to the affiliate world.

Josh 1:05:33
Cool. I wanted to know, because a lot of my students and members are Diane for more SEO partners. So I’ll make sure to link your site in the show notes and everything and sounds, you know, I really, really appreciated this conversation. JOHN, I love your mindset and approach to SEO, we talked about some great stuff, we talked about some of the basic stuff we can do with SEO, which is Google My Business and just, you know, service pages for certain for certain terms, knowing which terms are going to be best for the ideal client, you talked about the organic approach of businesses really just thinking about their clients, and what kind of people do they want in their doors or purchasing their product? Talk about linking that was great love your insight on some best practices and not so great practices for linking, we talked about the difference between local versus more like nationwide, or global type of terms, which really doesn’t sound like it’s that much different. It’s just more emphasis on maybe the the terms and the longer tail type of keywords. A little bit about Google ads, I love that you affirmed what I’ve always thought, which is Google ads are different than SEO, it’s a quick win, but it is just that it’s just an ad. So that’s great, man, this has been awesome. I think this will really empower my audience to feel a little better. Like I feel less daunted by SEO after talking with you about this do you have I do want to talk about what you have going on with your initiative. But do you have any sort of like Final thoughts in regards to SEO, particularly for web designers on how to just you know how to get started with it.

John 1:07:02
So I deal with quite a few website designers that refer business and we we refer each other business right? Again, it’s, it takes time to learn, not everyone wants to learn this, right? If you are eager to learn, there’s a lot to learn and may take you years to do that, right? The challenges in just like anything partnering actually ramps up and speeds up your time, a lot faster, right, then you have someone you can pick their brain at build a relationship, and actually understand what goes on in the actual campaign. So for the web design, designers don’t get too caught up with, you know, reading a blog that says, you know, you got to focus on amp, Southern mobile pages and forget about responsive websites, because you know, and now there’s a new thing about like, making sure that the website speed is under 2.5 seconds. And you need things that really like are daunting for a lot of sites, because you’re like, well, I’m using these other speech acts, you know, sites and it doesn’t fit lights be because of whatever Google is using, you know, all these metrics. And then you’re like, I don’t know what’s going on, I install new plugins, I get frustrated, it breaks the site. This is where my developers, because I talked to them as well. We have five in house developers. And it’s more like, they’re more SEO developers, as opposed to like, custom website designers. They’re more web SEO related, because they’ve been with me for a long time, we’ve moved them to really talk about, you know, converting clients with good results, as opposed to make it look beautiful. Right? So there’s a difference. And it all depends on what you want to do. Right with your career, your business, or if you’re a freelance, her, that’s just curious. There’s a lot of resources out there to be curious on and learn. S

Josh 1:09:04
So yeah, well, I appreciate that man. And most everyone knows I have an SEO course for people who want at least get the basics covered and don’t want it to be overwhelmed because it covers a lot of what we talked about here. I really appreciate having your insight, john, on some of the finer detailed stuff and your guys’s approach. Where can people find you? And do you want to talk about the the incentive that you have going on right now, which is a really cool program?

John 1:09:27
Yeah, definitely. So they can check out my website. It’s www.local SEO search.ca. We also own the diet calm. And we also have a podcast. It’s called local SEO today. And really, it’s all about just educating business owners on fundamentals on how to run a good business. Don’t make mistakes. What we’ve learned after working with over 10,000 local business owners it’s all about like real life experience with real tips. That will move the needle. And then in terms of the impact initiative, so in October, we started an initiative because usually, at that time, in the summer, we give back with backpacks for underprivileged new immigrant families filled with school supplies. But this year, unfortunately, here in Canada, we were unable to, based on their, you know, you’re not allowed to give anyone anything. So I pivoted away, and I am now giving away SEO campaign. So I’m helping support local business owners. So it’s all about just helping where I feel I can do the most impact and good. And we already have a team set up, it’s all about helping people that actually need it the most, which are the ones within your community, right? local business owners have suffered the most, especially if your main street, storefront, you’re paying abundance and rent, but no walk in traffic anymore. And that’s what you paid a huge rent for, right? And they’ve laid off a lot of people, like, I just want to do good, right, I want to help others. And that’s another way of just doing good. And this whole SEO world, like, we’re good people, majority of us are great, individual human beings, right. And we want to help each other, empower each other to do good. You know, just not for your community and your business, but for your family, for your neighbors for all your relatives, right. And that’s what life is about, right? understanding what’s really important in someone’s life.

Josh 1:11:41
That’s awesome. John, I’ll make sure I link that to the show notes. Because I think you guys have a program to where you’re, you’re offering to partner with with some local businesses, to give them some help, right, as far as just get, like some basic SEO Services. Is that right? Or like, isn’t like a year?

John 1:11:56
No, it’s a full line, a full on one year campaign. And usually they go for like, 20 $30,000. But it’s all about helping these business owners out, right. It’s doing good. And you know, there is a vetting process and making sure that we can they fit our mode of ideal customers, but the ones that actually need it the most.

Josh 1:12:17
Gotcha. Awesome, john. Well, man, thanks so much for your time. I really, really enjoyed this talk. I don’t think it’ll be the last time I have y’all because maybe we can get more specific about some of this stuff. But in the meantime, man, thanks so much. It was awesome having you on. I’m excited to hear how this helps my my audience.

John 1:12:34
Thanks a lot, Josh. It was a lot of fun.

 

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