123: Damon Burton – How to Outrank a Billion-Dollar Company

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Everything You Need to Know About SEO and Your Book

Over a decade ago, Damon Burton had beaten a billion-dollar company by outranking websites on Google. Since then, he has gone to build an international search engine marketing company that’s worked with NBA teams, Inc 5000 companies, and Shark Tank featured businesses. 

Today, Damon shares some concepts from his book, specifically about the power of SEO and how those things such as the tools you can use as an author can be used to Outrank competition.

Not only does Damon bring an easy-to-follow approach to increasing your revenue and online visibility, but he is also a trusted educator on the subject and has literally written the book to serve as a guide to those who want to dominate Google’s search results without paying for ads.

What We Discuss with Damon Burton:

  • His impetus for writing his book
  • What is SEO?
  • How to create an SEO-worthy content
  • How to leverage your book in building your brand
  • Are links still important?
  • Mistakes newbies make when it comes to content creation
  • Debunking some SEO myths
  • The value of show notes
  • The future of SEO
  • Building trust with your audience

[01:22] A Book You Can Build Into Your Business

Damon wrote the book to help small business owners and entrepreneurs who can’t afford SEO. It serves as a blueprint for business owners or marketing managers to make sure you can walk into conversations and speak intelligently.

In the book, you will learn about the myths, what you need to be aware of, and here’s why you should do this so you don’t get lost in all these things.

Damon did a great job finding that balance between getting technical and keeping people from getting bored. The book contains fun stories that are relatable and that illustrates the power of SEO.

[05:15] Creating an SEO-Worthy Content

People create content depending on their intent. They can leverage it to showcase their expertise. Some do it as a lead magnet. Others use it for credibility. 

To optimize your exposure, if you’re willing to give away the context of your book, then put it on the domain that is most immediately relevant to the content of your book, and that you want to optimize.

The core content has to be relevant to what’s on your domain. But this largely depends on your intent.

[09:16] How to Leverage Your Brand Through a Book

If you want to chop it up and make it navigable, and digestible, and indexable, then that’s going to maximize the value of it. So when Google comes to a website, they can see your homepage and the links. They’re going to scan the content, follow the links, and it just repeats that. 

Chop it up into digestible pieces focused on core concepts, whether that is a couple of pages at a time or an entire chapter at a time. 

So if you can signal Google a structure of something, like “Next” and “Back” means this is related to this chapter, then you can help Google maximize that content and understand how to relate it back to search queries. Ultimately, that’s what brings the searchers to your site.

[11:56] Are Links Still Important?

The internal links improve the rankings of your website. It will help Google understand the content of your website and the structure. So if you do the other things that increase your rankings, then it knows how to display your website properly and send people to certain pages more accurately. 

It is good to internally cross link page A to page B if they’re related because you’re telling Google, this content is related to this content, and it can help answer these other questions. 

At the end of the day, Google wants to show your website if you make them look good. 

Because if somebody goes to Google and searches something, and it sends them to a website that’s irrelevant or a bad experience, then that person says Google dropped the ball so they may not use them next time. 

Google is set on the ad revenue. So if your website has a good user experience, it’s easy to navigate, and good call-to-action, that in turn, helps Google help you back.

As far as external links, it’s more valuable to have, say, 10 links from related content websites, similar industry websites, then 100 links from unrelated websites. 

In 2012, the algorithm change called Penguin was when the game changed on backlinks. Before, it used to be a quantity game. The more links you got, the better. Google shifted that and focused on quality and relevance. 

[14:42] Correcting Content Creation Mistakes

Focus on the value. 

The problem some people run into when they come into writing a piece of content for the benefit of SEO is that they focus on the keywords or the number of words. So then they start cramming garbage in there or diluting the message they’re bringing. And Google is getting smart enough to understand what content is unique and what is value-filled based on how long people stay when they come to your website. This is called a bounce rate. 

So if you start adding a bunch of gibberish just to extend your content, then you end up diluting the value of it, which makes people leave faster. And this makes Google frown upon that page. Write based on your expertise because that’s where the value is going to come in. Only then can you review it for SEO and slightly massage it to mention something of SEO importance. But don’t put your first round efforts into structuring it for SEO. 

Be consistent.

Google is looking for consistency so you always have to bring fresh new content. And that’s difficult. So this is where the content calendar comes in so you can plan things out and knock out two or three fresh content at a time. Then you can just preload a month’s worth of content and space them by a week. That way, you’re able to give yourself a little buffer.

[18:43] What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Your goal is to have your website show up higher in search engines for words you can monetize, but without paying for ads. So you have to build that credibility relationship with Google.

[19:30] Debunking Some SEO Myths
Meta Keywords

On your website, there’s a little snippet of code that your users don’t see it on the front end. But on the back end, Google sees this code that says keyword is basically like a list of what you feel like your website is related to. 

As a new search engine at that time, Google differentiated themselves and provided better search results. That’s why they gained popularity so quickly because these other search engines relied heavily on this meta keyword tag. Webmasters could just go in and just spam fill it out with any keyword possible that they thought they wanted to monetize. They even used keywords that have absolutely nothing to do with their website but have high search volume. And so they were hoping to tap into that audience.

So when Google came onto the scene, they said those are abused pretty sufficiently. Over time, Google just phased it out entirely. 

[21:15] The Value of Show Notes

Audio files and video files are called rich media. So they’re not literal text. You can’t highlight and copy and paste the text within a video or an audio file. And Google is getting smart enough to try and listen to the audio waves and figure out the words within the audio file. But even with AI and transcription services, there’s a margin for error. 

When you take in video and audio files into literal text, that definitely helps Google understand the content. More than anything, you’re helping search engines, more so than people. Although some people also want to scan the show notes and find parts they care about.

[24:47] The Future of SEO

The core concepts of good user experience are that they’re easily readable content, unique content, and mobile-friendly. Do not get overwhelmed with the new stuff and don’t worry about what the latest hack there is. 

Stick to the core competencies of good user experience – good content and unique value. 

[28:23] Building Trust with Your Audience

If you want to increase your visibility, get on there, and give out answers. People who are going to consume your content may not be immediate buyers. But at least you build trust with them, which builds your tribe and your audience, and they may send a referral. And maybe they are the people that want to buy. 

You really don’t have an opportunity to lose by just giving away that free value. 

Pick your platform, get really good at one of those, showcase your expertise, and don’t be afraid of being vulnerable.

Episode Resources:

Grabe a copy of Damon’s book, Outrank.

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