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

Everything You Need to Know About SEO and Your Book

Speaker 1: Welcome to the authors who lead podcast. This podcast is dedicated to you. People who want to be inspired by authors leaders and the messages they share. This is such an important podcast to us because we help uncover what goes on behind the scenes. When authors are writing their book, we talk about the process. We talk about where they get big ideas and you can listen in on those conversations. We can't wait for you to join us. So let's get started. Everyone else

Speaker 2: Let's hear from authors who lead podcasts thrilled today to have David Burton on the podcast he has for over a decade. He's beat a billion dollar company by outranking websites on Google. And since then he's come in to something and has gone to build an international search engine marketing company. That's worked with NBA teams, inc 5,000 companies, shark tank feature businesses. We're going to talk today about his book and about the power of SEO and how those things such as the tools you can use as an author can be used to outrank, which the name of his book to serve others as they find you and learning about who you are. They welcome the show. Thanks as well. I can't be the first person that's told you. You have such a soothing voice. Thank you. Thank you so much. You know how it is as a podcast.

Speaker 2: You're like, man, I'm the worst. I sound terrible. You get that self doubt. Yeah. Other people say that it sounds silly. One person, another podcast. So this was saying like, you kind of love me to like peacefulness. I'm usually like, yeah. Yeah. That's good to know up there. Yeah. Let's do some meditation. Let's do it. So meditation, Hey, let's talk about this book. When did you decide that you thought you would use a book as an idea to build into your business? Obviously it works really well with your businesses tied to the business. Where did the book idea come from? I'm sure you probably had an impetus to when you should have started this. Yeah. I mean, I had the idea of doing a book couple of years ago. So I've been in the SEO world for 13 years and then I had another seven years before that and just design in general.

Speaker 2: And so it's kind of crossed my mind and I don't know the last five or 10 years. And so about two years ago is when I started the process. I kind of said, I either need to do this now or just stop thinking about it. So, but in many ways I feel like I've done business backwards because I, especially nowadays in the world of click funnels and online gurus, and everyone's saying that you can achieve six figures and all these attractive phrases. And so I just did the work and, you know, built up a company through just traditional hard work and progress and motivation. And then I went, Hey, I made it, this is weird. I didn't do any of those other things that, any of that. And I didn't realize until I was already there, that I was like, why didn't do that thing? And I didn't do that other thing. And then I didn't do the other thing, but I see the value in them. And now I can come to those, do those things from a different perspective. Cause I can be more authentic with it because I've already accomplished those things. But without the weird guru side or the weird hacks, I just did it through hard work. So, you know, that's why I say kind of felt like I did things backwards. So now, you know, coming circle to the book,

Speaker 3: I kind of wanted to accomplish two things. One was help the little guys and say, you know, if you can't afford SEO, here's a blueprint or what the business owners or marketing managers say, Hey, if you're going to hire somebody, you know, here's your ammunition to make sure that you can walk into a conversation, speak intelligently and kind of weed out the bad guys. Yeah. I thought your book did such a great job of being so crystal clear without dumping jargon. So heavy on the newbie. And I would say that I felt, I was like, Oh, I kind of understand what he means. I kind of get SEO because all my SEO friends start talking and two seconds later I'm lost, but I thought your book did a really beautiful job of making it simple, but also not making it dumbed down. It really was like, this is, these are clear strategies.

Speaker 3: This is why you need to do this. Here are the myths. Don't get lost in all these things, be aware of this. And here's why you should do this. And if you're creating content that can be searchable on the internet. So I just want to commend you on that because I read tons of books every week for the podcast. And you know, I have to retain this information to be able to talk to people. I thought I did a beautiful job and I just want to commend you as an author and as a content creator, because that's not always easy to do when you become an expert in your field. Thanks. Yeah, no, that actually means a lot because that was kind of the goal. And you know, if you read it, I, one of the first sentence that says something like, you know, the topic of SEO doesn't sound like a sexy topic to write a book about.

Speaker 3: And so I had to do exactly what you just said is find the balance between, okay. SEO is in the technical space, but how do you not bore people? So I tried to ease into it, open up the book with, Hey, here's how I got into it. Here's these fun stories. But through the course of those stories, it illustrates the power of SEO. Hopefully it hooks the reader and then it eases into, okay, here's the concepts. And slowly it gets into the more specifics as you go. Yeah, no. And I thought it was great. What's really great about having you here with the authors is that so many authors come to me and say, Hey, should I put my book on my blog? Do I need a blog? Do I put it on a personal brand? Where do I put it? I have two websites.

Speaker 3: I have my business and I have a personal brand. Do I have a book site help us understand like authors, like most people are good at writing or good at the thing they're doing. And then all these other components they can get lost on. If let's say we have, we have a business and we have a book or we have a personal brand and a book, where's the strategy. They can spend their most time focusing on. If they're going to create content that is worthy of SEL worthy of searchability. Well, we kind of answered it a couple different ways. So I'll, I'll answer the SEL part of it second. So first I would say it depends on your intent with the book. So for example, with me, I wanted to leverage it as proof of concept of the power in SEO. And I did not necessarily want to bring it to market, to sell copies. And so I wanted to be able, I wanted to treat it like a really expensive business card and say, you know, here's how I showcase my expertise. And so for me, I had to make the decision, okay. I have to self publish to give me the freedom to give away those free copies and those free snippets. Because when you go with a publisher, then you know, it's kind of their book and you sometimes run into limitations, how freely you can use it. So I started there and then knowing that, that I to give value

Speaker 2: And then, like I said, help the little guys or explain to business owners how to accomplish, you know, how to do SEO correctly. So what I decided is a couple things, one I'm going to give away copies. So for me, I do a couple of things that I always, I feel guilty. I'm not a big sales pitchy person. And so as I'm giving my domain, I feel guilty.

Speaker 3: Oh no, that's why you're here. I want to help you. That's why this show exists. So please get out of thanks.

Speaker 2: What I did is I, so I bought a domain called free SEL book.com. And so for me, it's like really clear, right? It tells you exactly what it is. And I use that to reach out and connect with people. And then pre-qualify people that I could potentially work with. So for me, that makes sense to use it as a lead magnet. Now, other people you can use it just for credibility. And so, you know, it depends on your intent with what you want to do is what I'm getting at. Now, the second part of your question, SEO. Okay. So what do you do to optimize your exposure on your book? It depends on if you're okay. Completely giving it away because the thing with SEO is search engines are going to say, is this unique content, or have I seen this many times over on other places?

Speaker 2: So if you're willing to give away the context of your book, then put it on the domain that is a most immediately relevant to the content of your book and then B that you want to optimize. So where my book is on SEO, then my area of expertise. So my personal domain is SEL. So if I wanted to, I could just go put the whole thing on there. And then Google's going to see all the content and say, wow, this is all new stuff. It's unique. We don't see it a hundred other places and there's 150 pages. So it's really in depth, let's reward Damon's domain or the value of that. Now, if you have a different situation where you are a photographer and then you write a children's book, then that doesn't make sense to put on your photography blog because it's unrelated. So sure it's fresh new in depth content, but it has no relevancy to the core content of what's on your domain. So largely depends on your intent and what the relation is to the possible domains you want to put it?

Speaker 3: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So let's say an author has a personal brand. Let's use me. That'd be good. That way we can have something real and not be a lot. So our brand and we just moved away from my personal brand and move towards office release. If I'm writing a book or let's say, I want to draw content to my site for people know me, and maybe I will have a book there. If I'm writing content, I love that in your book, you give this beautiful sort of 52 week content planner. It's so good. It's worth the book alone. I tell people, go get the book because in there you're going to get, if you take away just that you're going to be successful. It was so great. So simple, really easy to follow. And I know you even give it away specifically if they want to download it. But what I found is if I were going to create the same, more content around writing books or something to draw people to my site, write original content. And then I had a book that was original as well. Like they're two separate things, the content isn't duplicated. Would that be a good strategy to start to grow, leverage towards a brand that might also a book?

Speaker 2: Yeah. You know, what you can do is I have a good friend of mine that has, he has this big agency that is different than what I do, but kind of similar concept. So you know, me with SEO to Google, he does to Amazon. So he's kinda like an Amazon SEO. So what he did is he took his book. He has his blog on his website, writes regularly on there, but then he set up like a resources tab and underneath the resources, it has his book. And so the way you can position it on your website to maximize SEO value is divided up into chapters. And so what we did is we did a top level page that says, here's the book, here's the summary chapter one. And then there's chapter one. And then you can click on next to chapter two. And so you signaled a Google, here's the structure of the book.

Speaker 2: And there's other stuff we can get into the super techie, like there's variables called schema that tell Google it's a book, but without going that deep, basically we can do is just chop it up into digestible pieces. That's focused on, you know, a core concepts, whether that is a couple of pages at a time or an entire chapter at a time, 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. And so, you know, when Google comes to a website, it says, Hey, I see the homepage. And I see the links. Now let's scan the content, follow the links, scan the content, all the links. And it just repeats that. So if you can signal to Google a structure of something and next and back means this, or as related to this chapter, then you can help Google maximize that content and understand how to relate it back to search query is where ultimately that's what brings the search,

Speaker 3: Right? And what was really helpful. One of the things that it used to be really hard for me to put my mind around where all these backlinks and good backlinks, poor backlinks, one of the things you made really simple, which to me was, Hey, if your own site doesn't have backlinks to sell from one page to another, you're really doing yourself a disservice because it doesn't tell someone else where to go from your own site. I thought, Oh, that's very useful. And also, you know, good backlinks from other sites where you might have valuable content somewhere else. And then it brings it to your site that aren't some sort of black hat or gray hat, heck that could get you in trouble or penalize you, or also useful. So if you wrote a post for someone else that it came back to your site are also used to ways for authors. I'm trying to leverage off those guys, mostly as listening to say, Hey, look, if you have a particular expertise, go to somebody's site, your book might be on photography and it's on your site. You might do a guest post about this thing. Does that seem still relevant to people who are trying to continue to build their reputation online? Yeah.

Speaker 2: The internal links thing is, you know, that's not going to necessarily improve the rankings of your website, but it'll help Google understand the content of your website and the structure. So then if you do the other things that increases your rankings and it knows how to display your website properly and send people to certain pages more accurately. So it is good to internally across or link page a to page B, if they're related, because you're telling Google, you know, this content is related to this content and it can help answer these other questions. And at the end of the day, Google wants to show your website. If you make them look good, because if somebody goes to Google inputs, you know, searches something and it sends them to a website that's irrelevant or a bad experience, then that person says Google dropped the ball that time.

Speaker 2: I may not use them next time. And then Google is out on the ad revenue. So if you just make it a good user experience, easy to navigate, good call to action that in turn helps, you know, Google help you back. So that's the internal link structure comment. Now, as far as external links, yeah, it's definitely more valuable to have, we'll say 10 links from related content websites, similar industry websites than a hundred from unrelated websites. Now, if we want to get super nerdy on SEO, there was an algorithm change in 2012 called penguin. And that's really where the game changed on backlinks because before it used to be a quantity game. And so the more links you got generally speaking the better, but then I said, Hey, you know, people are manipulating this let's focus on quality and relevance. And so almost immediately after that, it was much better to focus on relevancy.

Speaker 2: So a good example for you is, as you said, you know, reach out to these other people that you interviewed and how does guests and then say, Hey, I appreciate your time on the show. Do you mind adding link on your blog and talking about your experience and then linking back to your episodes? So that would help you. Likewise, on the other side of the mic, you know, as when the guest is finished, they might ask the opposite and say, Hey, as old, thanks for your time. As you put my show notes together, do you mind linking to my website? So depending on, so those links certainly do help because you have a real site, your guests have real websites. Now the maximum value of those links is going to depend on, you know, the industry they're in. So the ones that come in from other authors are going to have more value for you since the core content of your website as about authorship,

Speaker 3: Right? So let's talk about some of the mistakes. You think that someone who's setting up a site that maybe they're new to content, they're just starting out. Maybe they're an author, they have a book, they have a platform that they want to start to create. What are some of the mistakes that newbies have when they're doing content creation and how can you help? Correct. Those

Speaker 2: Account of my, it comes to mind is don't overthink it. Don't don't focus like this is totally contradictory. Don't focus on SEO. So here's the problem that you run into. When you come into writing a piece of content for the benefit of SEO, then you start thinking, well, I need to say this keyword a bunch of times, or I need to stretch it out to a thousand words, but I'm only at seven 50. And so then you start just cramming garbage in there or diluting the message that you're bringing. So Google is getting smart enough to understand what content is unique and what is value filled based on when people do come look at your website, how long do they stay? So 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, which makes Google frown upon that page. So I always tell, you know, I actually just had this conversation about an hour ago with a new client. And they said, okay, you know, Damon may Esther, she's part of our content team. You know, how can you to maximize your relationship together? So I said the same thing, Hey, Aster, ignore me.

Speaker 3: So, you know, you do the

Speaker 2: Pass right at, based on your expertise, because that's where the value is going to come in. Then when you're done, go do the second pass after that, then do the SEL review and say, okay, can I massage it slightly? Did I miss, you know, mentioning something of SEO importance here, but don't put your first round efforts on structuring it for SEO, focus on the value. So that's the first one to come to mind. I mean, there's, I got a million more, how many more you want to go? Yeah,

Speaker 3: I know. Well, let's take one more, one. I'll add before you even say it, maybe it's obvious, but it's to be consistent that you don't like your consistency because having him on here when they're like, what I've done in the past, doesn't seem to produce much value. So it seems like that would be one of the things. And that's maybe why you offer a content calendar like this be consistent. We could simple for yourself.

Speaker 2: That's exactly the reason. Yeah. The 52 week content calendar you mentioned is for that specific reason, the problem that you run into is, you know, a fair amount of people don't like to write, which is understandable. Even if you do like to write, you know, every day, isn't a good writing day. And so what I suggest is yes, as well as correct, you need to be consistent because you know, Google is looking for that consistency and saying, okay, does this all continue to bring value to the audience? Does he always have fresh new content? And so to do that, if you're telling yourself that I'm gonna sit down every Friday and write something, you're lying to yourself, because some of those Fridays are going to be bad days. Some of those Fridays, your kids are going to be screaming in the background. Some of those strategies, your phone won't stop ringing.

Speaker 2: So what you have to do is build out a blueprint. That's what that 52 week content calendar is. Okay. Make a calendar of January, March, April, may. And so on. Then within that calendar do weeks, one, two, three, four, five, and then plan it out. So when you do have those good days, you've already done the research to identify topics that you can bring your voice to and your expertise to. And then when you have a good writing day, you can crank it out. You can knock out two or three at a time. And then, you know, most people are on something like WordPress, where you can pass and post data, you know, future date things. And so then you just get on their preload, a month's worth of blogs of time, space them out by a week. And then you give yourself a little buffer and you're not going to rush yourself later when you know, Oh, I don't have a blog scheduled for this week, but I know the value of consistency. So now I'm just going to crank out a piece of garbage. So yeah, definitely focus on consistency to get your value, but, but do it.

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, that's great. You talked a little bit about your book about these myths, the myths of SEO. And we didn't even start at the top here talking about what SEO stands for. Maybe we should stop,

Speaker 2: But I do that sometimes. And I, I, you know, you're in it for so long. You just take it, take explanations for granted.

Speaker 3: There's half people going, what are they talking about?

Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. SEO stands for search engine optimization. That's my bad. Usually I am proactive about catching that too. So what search engine optimization is the, your goal is to have your website show up higher in search engines. For words, you can monetize, but without paying for ads. And so that's what we're talking about is building that credibility and relationship with Google. Yeah, that's great. So now that we have that, if you were drifting away, come back, come back. We want you to focus on it. So what are these SEO myths that the search engine myths that people come up with when they're thinking about all this stuff and they get probably wrapped up in their head before they even write, like you said, a good piece of content, what's a, we don't have to do all of them. You have a lot of great ones.

Speaker 2: What are some of those myths? One of the obvious ones is a thing called Medicare words. So on a website, there's a little snippet of code. Like your users don't see it on the front end, but on the back end, Google sees this code that says keyword. It's basically like a list of, of what you feel like your website is related to. And so it's key word, one, comma keyword, two keyword, three keyword four. And so when Google came onto the scene as a new search engine where they differentiated themselves and provided better search results and why they gained popularity so quickly is because these other search engines relied heavily on this keyword tag. And so webmasters could go in and kind of just spam, fill it out with any keyword possible that they thought they wanted to monetize. And even keywords have absolutely nothing to do with their website, but they have high search volume.

Speaker 2: And so they were hoping to tap into that audience. And so when Google came onto the scene, they said those are abused pretty sufficiently. So let's not pay attention to them as much and pay attention to other external things like the backlinks we talked about. And then over time, Google just phased it out entirely. I mean, there's a documented video on YouTube from Google's former head of search, Matt Cutts, where he said in 2009, we don't use them. And so who knows how far before they came out and said that video, maybe it was even a year or two before that, but for one reason or another, this one just won't die every once in a while. I think, you know, the majority of people understand, but there's still a big chunk of the SEO audience or people that are new to it say, well, Don, I just put my keyword in there a bunch of times and then like flip the switch and turn it on.

Speaker 2: So many key words is definitely a reoccurring one. You know, one of the things that we do for our show, whether they're great or not, I don't know who even goes there because this is only people were interested in that episode. We'll go and look at the show notes. And those are not transcriptions. We have somebody write them so that they're actually relevant as possible readable. Right? I love once people say, download the show notes and it's all, all transcription, but so we do that in effort to one make, get succinct and clear and put markers when they could listen to that episode. If they were curious when to start, how well do you think that service some podcasts or who are like somebody like me who has a show to help them kind of keep people paying attention? Maybe, I don't know if it does anything.

Speaker 2: I did it for the ease of my listeners, but does it do anything for search ability on social? Yeah, definitely. That's one of the best things you can do because the trick you run into with podcasts or, you know, flogging video formats is that audio files and video files are what's called rich media. And so they're not literal text, right? You can't, you can't highlight and copy and paste the text within a video or an audio file. And so certainly Google is getting smart enough to try and listen to the audio waves and say, I think that the, these are the words within the audio file. But even with, like you said, with AI and transcription services, there's a margin for error. And so when you take and convert video and audio files into literal text, and that definitely helps Google understand the content. So I think more than anything, you're probably helping search engines more so than people, but I am one of those people that will scan show notes and say, okay, where's the part that I want that I care about. Yeah. So there's definitely some value to some of the audience, but it is a huge advantage to, you know, search engines and, and

Speaker 3: More so because, you know, when you use

Speaker 2: These podcasts syndication platforms, whether it's, you know, libs in or, or blueberry or whatever, usually when you embed the audio, it's an eye frame, it's an external code. And so you take that well, more people are probably familiar with embedding a YouTube video. So it's the same concept. So I'll use it that illustration. So if you go to YouTube and you want to include a video on your website, you click share and it gives you a little embed code. So then you go to your blog or your website and then paste that code. So when your page loads, it's loading that external asset, that external file. So that's not your file. And so when you're loading your Stitcher embed code or your lives and embed code, that's their asset that Google sees. And so when you can add the transcriptions or show notes or some texts conversion of that audio or a video that is yours, and then Google does see that naturally on your website.

Speaker 3: Yeah. As all things, you know, getting in early or understanding the trends are important. I had Leo Babauta on the show who is one of the top blogs in the world. Leo's a good friend. And he, I mean, he just said, he's one. He was prolific. He just decided I'm going to go all in early in, but also he's been so consistent over the years. So being in early on

Speaker 2: Or staying consistent over time, like in his case, Zen habits, you talked a little bit about the future of SEO. What could be coming here? What could be important as far as content goes, maybe

Speaker 3: A little peek into that we don't want to overwhelm. Our audiences are mostly authors. You would be like, wait, I'm going down a rabbit hole. I just want them to understand, you know, how, how these things work, because if they're going to show up online, they need to know that these things are

Speaker 2: Okay. Yeah. I'll probably answer it surprisingly opposite and talk about what not to be concerned with in the future. Because every time SEL evolves at the end of the day, it's still the same core concepts. And so some of those core concepts are good user experience, easily readable content, unique content, you know, mobile friendly. And so when all these new shiny things come along, I think that's largely contributed to my successes as I don't onto the new shiny thing. You know, certainly I pay attention to them. And the mobile friendly one is a great example, but even mobile friendly backs into a core concept of good design. And so every time something new comes along, I treat it more or less as, okay, how does this fit into the existing bucket of a core concept? And so, you know, one of the newer examples might be voice.

Speaker 2: And so a lot of people are like, I need to optimize my website for voice, well, voice backs out into the good content bucket. And so if you think about how voice works is, voice is actually an input command. And, you know, you pick up your phone and say, Hey, Google, tell me this thing. And so you did the voice to Google, but when, what Google has to do to find the answer is it goes and reads content. It just makes it audible. So those answers that Google voices are not really voiced content it's coming from content content. So if you stick to the core concept of good content, good site structure for Google to find that good content, to then give a voice, to apply all these new things that come along or just the same old, same old. And so I just stick to the core competencies of good user experience, good content, unique value. So I would not get overwhelmed with the new stuff and not worry about what the latest hack is.

Speaker 3: No question in my mind, in why you're successful is you make all of these complex things seem very simple and clear, which I can't. I mean, I've fucked a lot of SEL folks and I always walk away going

Speaker 2: And I nodded, but,

Speaker 3: And I think that's the beauty of this book. One, let me tell you, I keep repeating this, not to shoot sunshine up here, but, but because I really find valuable books useful to people. This is a book that will help you. If you have a blog, if you have content forward facing and you want to have your stuff be noticed and be seen as valuable by the searches, this is a wonderful book. Outrank will help you. It is helping me. It's helping me think simply and not get overwhelmed, realizing that keep on it, keep producing simple, clean, unique content. You know, I really think it's useful. Where would people go to learn more about you? Because I think as authors, the hardest thing about them is they're trying to focus on their, their product, their book, and all the other things tend to overwhelm them. But I thought this was such a simple thing. So I'd love to have them come to you to learn where they can get, of course, get the book as well as get to know you.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I appreciate that. So free SEL book.com, you can go grab a free download. There's no upsells or anything on there. It's on the next page. And then I'm active on Facebook and LinkedIn and, you know, kind of touching on what you were just mentioning about how do authors kind of get out there. You can kind of look at the way that I come to social media platforms and same topic. We've talked about giving away free value. So I get on there and I say, here's free SEO answers. So authors, depending on what your area of expertise is, do the same thing. If you want to increase your visibility, get on there and say, you know, here's the answers. And a lot of times people say, well, why would I give away my answers for free my trade for free? Well, you know, the types of people that are gonna consume your content, sure.

Speaker 2: Maybe they're not an immediate buyer, but at least you build trust with them, which builds your tribe and your audience. And they may send a referral, but maybe they are the people that want to buy. So you really don't have an opportunity to lose by just giving away that free value. So, you know, I say that and to underscore pick a social platform of your choice, you know, for me, I'm not active on Instagram so much because my audience is or am definitely not on tick tock because I don't want to be the dancing SEO guy. So, you know, pick your platform, get really good at one of those. And don't be afraid of being vulnerable and just showcasing your expertise. That's great advice and do it. We'll link all that up in the show notes. Everyone should get. I mean, he's giving this book away for free people. There's no reason you shouldn't go get it. It's a great book. I'll refer to it again and again, especially as we plan our content and thinking through it, thank you for being a guest on our show. And I look forward to learning more from you. Thanks so much as well. Appreciate it. Thank you

Speaker 1: You for listening again, to another episode of authors who lead, we appreciate you being here and we hope you subscribe. So you get this delivered to your device every week. And if you haven't left us a review, please do so. It really helps. And if you have a book in your heart, you've been wanting to write a book, please go to authors who lead.com and join us on this journey of becoming a published author.

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.

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