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In episode 27 of the Customers Who Click podcast I had a fascinating chat with Kris Reid the founder of Ardor SEO.
Kris is adamant that SEO is still one of, if not the best marketing channel brands should be attacking.
Obviously the huge benefit is that the traffic itself is free, and once you’ve got things in place, those search results should just keep driving traffic for you. Obviously there’s a bit of ongoing maintenance to do, but once you’re setup and on page 1 you’ll continue to benefit from it for quite a while.
Most businesses fail because they can't get enough customer. Kris developed a simple system to get your message in front of your ideal customer to predictably grow your business.
02:39 - 08:33 - Why did Kris get into SEO? - Intent is key for Kris. Radio and TV is super expensive and difficult to really assess the impact. Facebook, Youtube, Digital Media are great and of course they work, but the intent isnt there. Someone will see an add on their phone, or an interrupting ad at the start of the video they want to watch and if the ad is good enough it may catch their attention briefly, but the credit card isnt out. The real purchase intent isnt there. With SEO, you can target that intent, whether it’s the transactional intent or the informational intent.
08:44 - 12:09 - Myths & Misconceptions about SEO - That its risky and a gamble. Google has to get this right, a huge amount of its business model relies on putting the right results in front of people. If you build a solid site, give your customers a great experience, and provide quality content that can be trusted, Google will reward you for that. The days of spammy link building and keyword stuffing are gone.
12:19 - 16:12 - Key Parts of an SEO Strategy - What sort of growth do you want? You can spend any sort of amount on SEO, but your business has to be able to handle the growth. Sustainable growth is key, and if you’re relatively small right now, you don’t want to go for explosive growth because if you then scale up the business operations, and that traffic disappears, how do you keep your company going? The algorithms don’t change a huge amount, and when they do it’s so make things better and more specific. They don’t suddenly change their criteria and wipe out businesses. So build a strategy that is suitable for the level of growth you can handle, and work on being the best. Do things better than your competitor, and give the customer what they want.
16:33 - 24:50 - On-site or Off-site SEO? - Both are super important. Less than 10% of content actually gets any views from Google, and it’s down to so many reasons really. Your site has to be great, the content has to be great, but you also need those backlinks. Backlinks are basically a way of saying to Google ‘yeah i think this is an awesome article that’s worth people seeing’. But those backlinks also have to be relevant. If a website all about plumbers and plumbing links to your plumbing website, that’s great as it’s relevant. If Mumsnet does it thats also probably fairly relevant and it’s a great site, but if travel website linked to you...you’re probably not going to benefit.
25:06 - 28:05 - Biggest Mistakes People Make - Not having a strategy is an obvious one, if you don’t get things right then you can start to canibalise your own content, and give Google mixed signals about which page you actually want to rank for a keyword. The other big mistakes is a focus on design. Really at the end of the day, a website has to look professional, but thats it really, people don’t care about how pretty you make it, only designers do. The website has to be structured well, and easy to use. That’s the key criteria.
28:25 - 32:00 - Trends in SEO - There’s not exactly much that is new coming, the key thing is to always be better, always improve, and keep an eye on the trends in consumer behaviour regarding search. Mobile is becoming more and more important all the time, so make sure your website is optimised for mobile. Make sure your forms are formatted properly and fields are optimised for mobile input. Make sure your URL structures are clear, and just keep improving. The same concepts apply for SEO and for CRO, you can always keep improving.
32:17 - 34:25 - Strategies & Tactics to Avoid - Private blog networks and backlinks are still a thing, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Just getting spammy backlinks wont help, but if you can snap up an expired domain of an authoritative business that’s gone bust, you could have a super valuable asset on your hand as the links are still there, the authority is still there. Keyword stuffing won’t go down well either, and it includes things like talking about men's clothing, and also using fashion, Google understands that they’re linked.
34:51 - 36:52 - Kris’s Pet Peeves - Untargeted, interruptive ads. Whether it’s Facebook, Youtube, random digital media, outdoorsy media which is a bit more intrusive like in elevators. If it’s not targeted well it’s just annoying and a waste of money.