The SCOOTER Strategy: Mastering SEO with Simon Mauger

Episode 105 January 30, 2024 00:54:52
The SCOOTER Strategy: Mastering SEO with Simon Mauger
The Agency Hour
The SCOOTER Strategy: Mastering SEO with Simon Mauger

Jan 30 2024 | 00:54:52


Hosted By

Troy Dean Johnny Flash

Show Notes

Step into the world of specialized SEO with Simon Mauger, CEO of Practice Edge. In this episode of the Agency Hour podcast we delve into Simon's unique 'SCOOTER' framework, a proven strategy for delivering outstanding results in healthcare marketing. Learn the intricacies of SEO, from content creation to on-page and off-page tactics, and discover how to measure excellence and results effectively.


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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: I used to feel bad when I say to clients, guess what? Your website's crap. We're going to have to rebuild it. We didn't say it in that way, but you sort of infer that. But the number of times that we have to do that is more often than not. And they're devastated because they've just spent all this money and it looks great, but it doesn't function. [00:00:19] Speaker B: Welcome to the agency hour podcast, where we help web design and digital agency owners create abundant for themselves, their teams and their communities. This week we're joined by Simon Major, CEO of Practice Edge. Practice Edge are a healthcare digital marketing specialist agency delivering SEO, Google Ads and web design to healthcare and medical professionals. Simon's also an ex chiropractor, so he knows that world very well. He's also a member of our Mavericks club, Mastermind, and has become a very good friend of mine over the last four years. And in this episode, we're diving into what Simon calls the Scooter acronym, which his team uses to get great results for their clients. If you're a nerd like me, you're going to love this. I'm Troy Dean. Stay with us. All right, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, please welcome back to the agency hour podcast, Mr. Simon Major from Practice Edge in Melbourne. Hello, Mr. Major. [00:01:11] Speaker A: Hey, Troy. [00:01:12] Speaker B: Welcome back. [00:01:13] Speaker A: How are you? Very well, thank you. [00:01:15] Speaker B: Very good. Now, for those that missed the first episode or for those who are new to our world, just tell us who you are, what you do and what we're doing here. [00:01:23] Speaker A: So, yeah, Simon Major. I'm running practice Edge out in Diamond Creek in Melbourne. Been doing that for the past, gee, I suppose, ten plus years. And we're predominantly a search based marketing agency servicing the needs of healthcare providers. But we also do quite a bit of work overseas as well in the states and other places like that. But largely an SEO agency, Google Ads and SEO is predominantly what we do with a lot of web development stuff as well to support that. So that's our prime focus. [00:02:01] Speaker B: And you were a chiropractor before you? [00:02:03] Speaker A: I was a chiropractor, yeah. I spent my 1st 15 years practicing as a chiropractor and wanted something that allowed me to leverage myself a little bit better. And now we've got a team of 26 people. [00:02:21] Speaker B: Wow. [00:02:22] Speaker A: Yeah. And most, I think we've got about 1516 in the office here and the other twelve or eleven are over in Philippines. [00:02:34] Speaker B: You got bunk beds in the office now because people just work. [00:02:37] Speaker A: Yeah, we've actually run out of room when we first got down here, we rattled in this place, and since over the last few years we've got to the point where now we have to do desk sharing so that we can fit everyone in. We can't have everyone in on the same day. [00:02:53] Speaker B: So you're like the bank now. They have like a 60% capacity. Not everyone can come to work on the same day, pretty much. Some people work from home. [00:03:02] Speaker A: Do people work from home? [00:03:03] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:03:04] Speaker A: So we have a sort of like, what do you call it, three days in the office and two days at home. And it seems to work pretty well. [00:03:13] Speaker B: I think even people working from home, like I can't work from home anymore because I have two kids under the age of seven and I'd kill someone if work from home. So I love being in the office now, but I even think people working from home, what I'm hearing is people do want to go back to the office a couple of days a week because they miss the camaraderie. They yeah, I think that's really important. [00:03:30] Speaker A: And the other thing too, we had our SEO meeting yesterday. We have an SEO meeting once every month. And basically what we do is we put some tables down the middle of the office and everyone turns their chairs around and joins in so that we can fit everyone in. And we set up a camera and whatever for our remote team and we just join in and we just discuss SEO for 4 hours and talk wins and strategy and different things like that. And you can't do that remotely. It's not as easy, it's very difficult, it doesn't flow as well. But having that sitting there and just listening to the team talk and strategize is very powerful. [00:04:10] Speaker B: That's great. Now the reason this is, I think is important is because what we're going to be talking about today is a bit of a framework that you have developed for getting great results for clients. And I think one of the things about having a team that is remote or partially remote is communication is so important and people, and I've heard this cliche a lot and it's so true. The problem with communication is thinking that it's taken place. So you had a conversation in your head with someone but you haven't actually had it with the person. Right? And so I think frameworks are a really key part of. I'm such a big fan of frameworks, a really big part, in fact, in a very nerdy way, just as a little sidebar, I'm actually trying to develop a framework for how to develop frameworks because I think framework, there is a thought process that goes on to develop a framework, and I think frameworks are so important to communicate consistency across a team, because if you're all just working around a kitchen table, you can just shout at each other and kind of get it done right. But when you start working with remote teams, you need to have consistency. So why have you developed? We're going to unpack your scooter framework in this episode. Why did you develop this framework? What was the problem that you were trying to solve? [00:05:23] Speaker A: So if we go back to the start, when I first taught myself how to do SEO, which was a long time ago, probably twelve years ago, and I would listen to people online and it was really the Wild west when it comes to SEO. It was very early days, there wasn't a lot of information around. It was when Google Page rank was still a predominant ranking indicator and links were very unknown. The more links the better. It didn't really matter about quality, so I had to sort of learn and teach myself. And what I found is that as the team has grown over the years is it's become extremely difficult to convey knowledge to people that aren't otherwise trained in SEO. They might have digital skills, but they don't necessarily understand the nuances of being able to work and deliver what is really important. And that comes with time and experience, but sometimes it's not always as easy to remember and do things. So my role up until recently, now I've got an SEO lead, but my role has been to really help with the training and to make sure that people, when they came on, can fulfill what I believe is the most important thing when it comes to running a business, and that is to deliver the promise. And so for me, when I take on a client and I still do the sales calls, I have a conversation and I make a promise. I expect that to be delivered. And so the transference from me to the team means that I need to make sure that they're delivering what they do. And look, part of that was the reason why we developed this software suite that we've also developed as well, because I need to be able to look and see what was going on in an instant. I need to be able to have a look and monitor what was going on. And I just couldn't do that without having a tool in front of me that allowed me to do that. So it's a natural progression that you start to think, right, how do I actually break it down into simple steps that give people the option to be able to say, oh, okay, I can go back to that. Have I done these things? If I do these things and I do them well, then I'll ultimately end up with delivering the outcome that we're expecting, the client demands or expects. [00:07:38] Speaker B: This is a huge problem for agencies who are growing freelancers who are going into the studio model or agencies that are growing their team is because initially the agency owner is the one that does everything, makes the promise to the client, knows what's possible. If I talk to an agency owner and I was going to coach them one on one for twelve months, I know exactly what to do. Right. But we've now got a team of coaches and navigators that, and I'm not even doing sales calls anymore. So it's like, how do you get that promise on the front end to match the deliverable? And this is why a lot of agency owners get stuck and don't hire people, because their thinking is, well, I know what's possible. No one else is going to be able to do it the way I do it. And so the consistency and the congruency with our clients now is I'm making the promise so I can deliver it, but as soon as someone else starts delivering it, there's a mismatch between what I'm promising and what the team's delivering. And it is very difficult to transfer that knowledge through because everyone's got their own way of doing things. And so every time you introduce someone new into the conversation, there's another weak link that can potentially break. [00:08:43] Speaker A: Yeah, and the other thing, too, and part of the reason for this was because we have this really detailed Asana process that outlines all the different things that need to be done, and we add to it all the time. We find there's things that have potentially been missed or not done in the way that we expect them to be done. And it evolves over time. But a process only goes so far, and there still is that level of accountability in terms of thinking through strategy and really understanding what that ultimate goal is. And I think sometimes it's easy to get sidetracked into just doing tasks and not thinking about outcomes. And so what I wanted to do was to be able to just go back to basics and have a conversation if something's not working, if I need to sit down with someone, I want to be able to sit down with them and say, right, let's look at this. Can you honestly tell me that you have covered each of these areas to the best of your ability and you're delivering them in the way that they need to be done because if you do them, it really is that simple. If you do them and you do them well and you've got great strategy, then you will deliver the result. Cool. [00:09:52] Speaker B: So you developed this scooter framework which you've been working on for a long time. This didn't happen overnight, right? [00:09:56] Speaker A: No. [00:09:58] Speaker B: Walk us through it and let's unpack each part of it. [00:10:02] Speaker A: So four key elements to SEO, which is on page, off page content and technical. Everyone sort of talks about that, but then I started to sort of think, okay, so how do I fit that in with all the other elements that need to be there? So I thought, we have to fit strategy in there. So strategy forms the s, right? And then the other thing that I thought of was, okay, so scoot is sort of halfway there. And I thought, what about scooter? You can jump on your SEO scooter and you can deliver this result, right? So then I thought, okay, so one of the things that I are going constantly about is doing things with excellence, right? So it's about looking at, can I do this to the absolute best of my ability or what is the best practice that can be done when it comes to each of the elements of SEO? And then the ultimate goal is to deliver a result once you've done that. So strategy is the s content, on page, off page, technical, done with excellence, delivers results. And it's a really clear and simple way for people to remember exactly what they need to be doing when it comes to SEO. And if you do those things, you do them well, then ultimately you can't fail. Sure, there's going to be challenges, but I think what most people do when it comes to SEO is they apply tricks without thinking too much at the start and understanding exactly what the ultimate goal is. And that's where the strategy part comes in. It's why it's the s, it's why it's the star of it all. Because if you just do tasks without having a strategy behind you, you'll end up with mediocre results. And this is how we always pitch to clients, is that we're trying to find angle as to what is missing with their website, and then that forms the basis of the strategy. And then everything else that follows beyond that is essentially just addressing those gaps. And I always talk, when I'm talking to clients, I'm always talking about, what is the competitive gap? Where are you now? Where is your future state? What's the gap? How do we build the bridge? And that's the plan that we use and outlining that plan of attack is very powerful for clients because when you can articulate the problems within their business or within their online profile very clearly by just having a glance at something, they understand that you know what you're actually doing. And it was interesting the other day, Adam, my partner in America, we were talking to a client and I was showing them the results of a competitor insights audit that we'd done. And as soon as they saw what I was presenting, he started finishing my sentence because he knew that that was the problem that he had. And essentially what it was was that they were trying to rank everything on their home page instead of having sub pages where we could create the relevance on those internal pages. And so as soon as he saw that, instantly he understood what the strategy that we would be taking was. And his big concern is, okay, so that's the strategy, but am I going to lose traffic? Because everyone else tells me that I'm going to lose traffic when I play with my SEO. And we said, well, when you're ranking at 24 and 76 and 58, I wouldn't be too much worried about traffic. It's all upside as far as I'm concerned, because once we fix these things and get a foundation right based on having a solid understanding of strategy, then it's just follow the road, follow the bouncing ball. [00:13:41] Speaker B: A lot of people don't understand strategy. When I first started out, I didn't understand strategy. Right. I was guilty of what I think a lot of people are guilty of, which is, and it's no one's fault. It's just that you don't know what you don't know. I think that I was guilty of just copying tactics that I saw online from competitors just going, oh, well, they're doing that, so it must work. What you don't see online is the underlying strategy that's driving those tactics. So for the beginner, for the newbie, who may not understand what strategy means, can you explain what is the difference between a strategy, say, for example, a strategy for a podiatrist, what's the SEO strategy for a podiatrist versus the SEO strategy for an ecommerce store or an SEO strategy for a coach or a consulting firm? What is strategy exactly? [00:14:37] Speaker A: Okay, so the first thing in sort of unpacking that is understanding where the traffic might be. So for an online coach, it's probably going to be very different to what it is for a podiatrist, because the way that the audience will be looking for those people will be very, very different. When I found you, I didn't necessarily know that there was a coach available for digital marketing agencies. I stumbled across you on social media, which is where you do most of your marketing. However, if I was looking for a podiatrist or something like that, my first instinct is not to go to social media, it's to go straight to search, right? And it's a local based search because you're trying to find someone local. So I think the first part of strategy, and when you're looking at a client is understanding where that person is particularly likely to find their traffic from. So that's the first thing, right? And strategy is saying you're probably not best suited for an SEO strategy or you're probably more suited for a search strategy. So understanding where that traffic comes from is probably the most important thing. The next thing, if we're talking about a service based business that actually generates leads from online. And the great thing about SEO is that largely, it is all very similarly based around keywords. And so for me, I'm a foundations guy. So everything comes from having a solid foundation and that comes from understanding what people search for and then basically creating an environment where you create the relevance required to attract those people to your website. See, social media is a push strategy, whereas SEO and search is a pull strategy. So very different strategies. Understanding the difference between the two is critical when it comes to being able to market to people. And I think part of the problem with a lot of junior SEO agencies is they'll probably try and run an SEO campaign for someone in the wrong space and not get the results they're looking for. So having clear expectations around what you're likely to expect is the first part of the strategy, but then establishing the foundations of a campaign so that you can come at it from a very much keyword focus. Like people often say ACO is dead or it doesn't work or whatever, and that's just absolute crap. It is always going to work. It's just how we get it to work is very different. But people will always go to a search and they will always type in keywords because there is no other way other than sticking in front of audiences like I do on social, that you can actually connect someone's intent of question with the data that's there. So in a long way, to answer your question, strategy is about understanding how to connect what someone's looking for with the services and products your client might offer, and then working out the best possible way to do that, and doing that with a clear understanding of keywords. And then creating an environment that is actually able to pull those people to your page is the most important part of the strategy. And that comes down to content. It comes down to your on page, it comes down to structure. Structure is so critically underlooked when it comes to SEO. The number of times we get websites from web developers that have completely missed the mark when it comes to building a website with proper structure and we have to rebuild it. And I used to feel bad when I say to clients, guess what, your website's crap. We're going to have to rebuild it. We didn't say it in that way, but you sort of infer that. But the number of times that we have to do that is more often than not. And they're devastated because they've just spent all this money. And it looks great, but it doesn't function. [00:18:39] Speaker B: It's got three h. One strategy, just. [00:18:42] Speaker A: Making sure that you have set an environment that is going to deliver the ability to communicate to the person looking for the service and product. [00:18:53] Speaker B: So the strategy is the plan of what we're going to do and how we're going to do it to achieve the goal, right? [00:19:00] Speaker A: Correct. [00:19:01] Speaker B: Okay, so let's talk about content. I think one of the things that, where clients get stuck and then effectively where the agency gets stuck is that the clients don't want to produce content. How much content do they need to produce? Most clients don't want to do things like make videos or produce, don't have the bandwidth or the budget to produce beautiful photography or podcast episodes. So how much content is required? And the obvious question is how much is AI augmenting that or disrupting it, or is AI just making it worse? [00:19:41] Speaker A: So how much content you need is based on how much content your competitors are doing. So if you're in a space that has huge volumes of content and you've got thin content in your website, you can't expect to rank, you're not competitive. Whereas if you're in a space where there's not a lot of competition, the content is typically poorly done. That's a great opportunity, and that's what it comes down to when you analyze. So let's look at your website, for instance, right? You have thousands of blog posts and things like that. If you want to be seen as an authority, not only do you have to produce volumes of content, because that's what your competitors are doing, but also for your potential clients when they hit your website. If you've got thin content or it's poorly written, or it's not interesting, then that forms an impression of what you offer as a business. So the content, like we had an example the other day of a physio that came to us and he had poorly structured website. And if you went to, you had to find where to get to the service pages when you eventually got there. There was one sentence on physio or something like that. It's like, he's not going to be competitive. If I'm looking for someone to help me with my shoulder and I get one sentence, whereas the competitors have volumes of content, then that's how much content you need. So the thing with SEO is it's not about, you don't have to beat everyone, you just have to beat your competitors. And so look to your competitors for the amount of content that they're producing and the quality of content they're producing. And if you want to go toe to toe, then you've got to have content that is as strong, video that's strong, and images that reflect exactly what you're doing. Because if you don't, they'll beat you every time. Because your clients are the best. It's unconscious what they do when they evaluate your website, but they evaluate quality and they evaluate the way the content's written all the time. When it comes to AI, AI isn't the problem. The problem is people using AI just straight out of the bot, right, and not reading it, or not modifying it, or not curtailing it to the way that it should be done. I wrote a whole heap of AI content before Christmas on specific topics that I wanted to address. And I was really careful how I did it, and I put in big, long descriptions and I got the content back and I edited it and I read it and it came out really good. So it's not about, I mean, garbage in, garbage out. If you give a sentence and say, write a 1500 word blog post on podiatry, you're going to get something that comes back. It's generic and crap, but if you actually spell it out and say, look, here's how I want you to structure it, or use a tool that helps you structure it, then you're going to get a much better quality output. So if you write AI content, not a problem. Just make sure that it's relevant and comparable to what your competition are doing. [00:22:51] Speaker B: That's right. Our mate Timbo Reed. I'm just googling because I wrote an article based on your advice last year that's not getting any search results. But there is one ideal client. Avatar is the phrase that I experimented with. And we went from being completely invisible to position twelve in about two weeks. And that was largely AI content, but it was very heavily prompted and a lot of thought and effort went into actually who the target audience is and what the purpose of the article is and what we want them to do. And our mate Timbo Reed says something. He's been doing a keynote presentation. Timbo reads a podcast, has got a podcast called the small business big marketing show. You should definitely check it out. And he's an absolute bloody legend of a bloke, Timbo. He's a ripper, he's a ripping bloke. And he is also a keynote speaker. He gets paid to go in and talk to corporates because he's just a charismatic fella. He's got an amazing voice, he's a big fella, he's a big cuddly teddy bear. He's got a great energy. You love spending time with him. And he had a presentation, I can't remember what it was called exactly, but I'm paraphrasing, it was basically be helpful, right? Your whole content marketing strategy, your whole marketing strategy in his mind is like, just be helpful. And I think with content, I think the number one thing that people can be thinking about is, how can I just be the most helpful? Insert what I do here to my local community. So if you're a chiropractor in Diamond Creek, you go, well, how can I put content out that is the most helpful to the local community? So that if they're struggling with any kind of issues, they might not even need to come and see me. I might be able to produce like an infographic of exercises they can do at home to relieve lower back pain. And if they can do it at home and not come and see me, that's a win, because I've been super helpful. They're going to remember me for life, I'm going to have a fan for life, and they will refer their friends in the future. So I think a lot of people overthink the content strategy. The rule is just be as helpful as you possibly can. [00:25:05] Speaker A: And I think the other thing too is that if you can almost have a conversation with someone about what's going on in their brain and you can relate clearly to what it is that they're going through and the experience they're having. Like say, for instance, if a podiatrist is talking about plantar fasciitis and they say, do you wake up in the morning and when your foot hits the ground it feels like you've stepped on a sharp rock or something like that. That's how people feel. And they go, okay, yeah. And then does it ease as you move throughout the morning and then sort of don't notice it till nighttime and you get home and your feet ache and you have that conversation with people and they say, oh, he really understands what I'm talking about. He must have experience dealing with this. Yes. And so that's the sort of way that we try to write content. We don't write content anymore. We have a very experienced content team do it for us. And I just say it's all the hassle for us to have to do it, but it comes back and there's a framework that's used for that and the framework basically takes people on that journey. And so we use a tool called Surfer SEO, which I explained to you before Christmas as well. [00:26:17] Speaker B: Surfer SEO is pretty cool. [00:26:19] Speaker A: And so we get scores now so we can grade our content objectively against what the competition are doing. So you go to page one for the particular keyword and then you take out the results that aren't necessarily relevant, like Wikipedia or anything like that, or the directory sites. You take those out and you compare your content directly against those of your competition and you get a score and you see where you sit. And so if your content ranks well and it's got all the right keywords and the correct keyword density and whatever, then happy days. But if it doesn't, it'll tell you what you need to include in order to make it better. And so trying to use these acronyms and these methods of getting all the things done that you need to do to deliver the result is part of just making sure that you can quantify the work that needs to be done and do it in a way that's scalable with multiple people across multiple clients. [00:27:19] Speaker B: Okay, so we've got the strategy. The strategy informs how much content we're going to need to produce and what type of content we're going to need to produce. One of the things I've learned is that, and something that we're starting to experiment with is so great. Now there's a great blog post that's ranking around ideal client avatar. Let's just turn that blog post into a YouTube video, an educational, helpful YouTube video, and then embed the YouTube video on the blog post. So add more media to the blog post and hopefully make it better than the competitors. Right? So we have the content. Talk to me briefly about on page, off page and technical completely transparent. I don't understand the difference between on page and technical. So just walk me through the high level version of what do we need to do on page? [00:28:03] Speaker A: Okay, so on page is about the way that your page, the meta titles, the tags, the headings, all of that stuff, right? So it's about the alt tags that you use in your images. It's about the signals that you give to Google about what your page is about. Now, we learned a huge lesson before Christmas about this. And it was something that I did in a talk with the Mavericks a few days ago or a couple of weeks ago. It was actually. And basically what we learned was that on page titles, whilst keyword research is important and gives you the right indication, the most important consideration that you've got is what are the SERPs using to relate to that particular keyword? I'll give you an example. So it might have been websites for. Okay, the keyword research came back, websites for chiropractors or something like that. And when we went to the SerPs, we found that it was actually the keyword that Google was choosing and preferencing was chiropractic website design, something like that. And so what we found was that not always do you use the keyword that comes out of Google Keyword Planner, whatever it might be, as the primary keyword on your page title. So the on page, as soon as we made that change, we jumped from low results to page one pretty much overnight. And that's on page. On page is incredibly powerful if it's combined with really great content. So great content defines what the page is about, creates interest for the user. The on page is how you relate that within the search engine. So the page title, page description are what are found in Google search results. And the page title is probably one of the most important elements that you can do with your on page. But then it's also about having one h one heading, having a hierarchy of headings, h two s and then h three s and h four s. H two s, h three s, h four s. And then having all the other thing like schema markup and alt tags for your images and just that structure on the page. Right. That's what on page is. And then your off page is about authority. It's two things that drive SEO. Relevance and authority. Relevance is making sure that the content and the on page relate specifically to what the audience is looking for and what the content is about. And authority is how well that page is interlinked from other websites. And the score that's given by third party tools or whatever. We use page authority, but the backlinks that come to the page give that page the authority and the ability to be able to rank. Because if all things are equal and both pages have similar relevance and similar on page, how would Google rank pages? By importance. There'd be no way to do it. So they have to have relevance, they have to have authority and get those two things sorted. And that's going to solve most problems with SEO authority. [00:31:09] Speaker B: Someone explained authority me once. It's like if you imagine being in an art gallery for a local artist who's having their first exhibition and you walk in and there's half a dozen people there and you don't recognize anyone and that's all cool, it's all fine, and you're there to support them because you might know them. Or you walk into an exhibition and it's packed and there's a bunch of celebrities there. You see Eric Banner's in the room and Tony Collete's there and they're all pointing at the paintings going, wow, isn't that amazing? Instantly that person's got more authority. [00:31:36] Speaker A: Correct? Yeah, that's right. It's a little bit like if you start a new restaurant and it's got no reviews and no one goes there or whatever, it doesn't have any real. [00:31:48] Speaker B: Sort of no vibe. [00:31:50] Speaker A: Yeah, that's right. It doesn't have that level of authority or relevance that you need. So people won't go off. [00:32:00] Speaker B: Page is basically backlinks and that's a whole other story. [00:32:05] Speaker A: I mean, that's a seriously, it's still. [00:32:07] Speaker B: The wild west, isn't it? [00:32:09] Speaker A: Much wild west. It's just you can get your fingers burnt really bad. I mean, we spend fortune on links, but it's about buying the right quality links, but we also build links. We also do outreach on our own account. And look, we've got a team that does that stuff and that's where you can really do some damage if you're not doing it the right way. So for us it's about objectively increasing your authority score. And so say if we take someone on and this is part of the audit that we do, if we take someone on and they've got an authority score of one out of 100 and the competition's got 20 or 30, well then we know that it's going to take better part of six to nine months to generate that level of authority before they're going to be competitive because we can increase their relevance. That's easy. That gets done within the first two months, the authority. [00:33:06] Speaker B: Authority. [00:33:06] Speaker A: And sometimes that takes a little while. Like, we work with a lot of, some of the tradie stuff that we do. We might be working with the local tree fella and one of the guys that we took on recently, he came to us, his website was hacked. In the end, we had to actually switch domains because his domain was so tainted with these bad links that had been hacked for two years and he hadn't noticed because his previous web company wasn't looking at his website. [00:33:33] Speaker B: Wow. [00:33:33] Speaker A: So we changed his domain name and within, I think a day, we just rebuilt the website on the new domain. Within a day we got rankings for the keywords that we were waiting three months to rank previously. And then over the next probably four months, we built the authority backup of that domain. And then he's ranking everywhere now. So relevance is important. Authority is what drives the on page and the content and then the technical aspect of it. We all see the audits that SEO people spruce and they say, oh, we'll do an SEO audit for you. And typically that's a technical audit. And they come back with 3060 problems and pretty much none of them have an impact on the SEO. And I mean, some of them might, but the problem is that there's no strategy behind the website as it is. If you just fix technical problems because it's not focused on necessarily the keywords. If you don't add a keyword theme or you don't understand what keywords you're vying for, technical audits don't do any value. They sort of assist the work that you've done with your content and your strategy. [00:34:49] Speaker B: So what are some of the things that I'm going to tackle during technical SEO versus on page? What are some of the differences? [00:34:56] Speaker A: Look, it's going to be things like site speed. There's a whole site speed. I'm just trying to think now of all the technical things that the guys work with. I don't really do that stuff anymore. [00:35:09] Speaker B: Like responsive. [00:35:11] Speaker A: Yeah, responsive things. They'll look at caching, how Google caches, crawl budgets, things like that. They'll look at a whole heap of things that come into play. [00:35:30] Speaker B: So it's not just a particular page, it's across the whole site? [00:35:34] Speaker A: Yeah, it's across the whole site. We run a hrefs technical audit and it's got, I don't know, maybe 30 or 40 different things that they'll run through and they'll get a score on that and then they basically look at that score and then they'll address the things that need to be addressed. So yeah, look, the technical side of things is probably one of the easiest things to do because it's done using a tool, identifying the problems, and then they fix those problems and then they can run the tool again and get another score and see where it's at. But technical is not a hard thing to do. It gets managed by our overseas team largely, and it's done every three months. They run a technical audit and they just make sure that nothing's getting out of control and that the site speed and got it crawling and those sorts of things are all under control. [00:36:31] Speaker B: Okay, so we've got the strategy, we've got the content, we've done the on page, we're doing some off page, we've done the technical fixes. Talk to me about excellence. This is tricky to, because it's very subjective, isn't it? [00:36:46] Speaker A: Look, it is, but it's a little bit like you can do anything with excellence, right? You can do a quick job in washing your car or you can do a really good job and wash your car, right? You can, look, what we're, what we're aiming for is what's best practice, right? What, what do we need to do in order to be able to deliver the absolute best that we can in each of the areas that we're meant to be doing things in? And so excellence for me means that your page titles have been structured in a way that is relating to your keyword research, relating to what the SERPs are telling you, relating to what the competition are doing, and that they're generating results. It's making sure that the content on the page, the layout of it is perfect, that the internal linking is done in a way that has diverse anchor text and it's just done so that there is that level of care and attention, that it's nearing perfection and it's done with thought and care. And I think that's the thing that, for me, defines excellence. It's about making sure that you really gave it your best and that it's not half asked. Right. That's what unfortunately happens a lot of the time. It's what we see a lot of the time. And when we do a post mortem meeting with a campaign, the thing we say is, well, what went wrong? If we lost a client, we say, well, what went wrong? What could we have done better? Where could the process been improved? What was missing? Why did the client leave? Was the communication up to speed? Was the reporting up to speed? Was the campaign managed properly? Were the rankings good enough? Were the conversions good enough? We look at all of those things and try to understand if there was something that we could have done better but didn't do, and how do we get better for next time so it doesn't happen. And that to me is what? Pushing constantly for generating the best possible outcome, because as I said initially, it's all about delivering the outcome, delivering the promise. And if someone's left, then we haven't done that and we need to do better. [00:39:16] Speaker B: I think we're in an interesting inflection point in time, because on one hand, everyone's trying to be more productive, more efficient, everyone's trying to be more profitable, get things done faster. But on the other hand, and AI is definitely helping us with that, but on the other hand, I feel like a lot of people are just ticking things off the to do list and say, well, it's done. And what you're saying is that. And I'm reminded of Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, a great book I read a long time ago. And one of the things the author talks about, I can't remember the author's name, but one of the things he talks about is you can feel quality in a product. And he defines quality as someone who has taken the time to put a lot of love and care into producing that product. And it's the same with services. And so on the one hand, we want our team to be more productive and more efficient, but we also want them to slow down and just think about what they're doing and not just tick stuff off and take care. Because I think care is the key word, isn't it? I've done this with excellence because I've taken the time to care about the outcome and care about what I'm doing so I don't have to come back and fix it. Because if you don't have time to do it right the first time, you're not going to find time to fix it the second time. [00:40:41] Speaker A: This is really interesting because it's one of my other things that I often say to my strategist, I say, okay, so you've sorted your strategy out. The content's done tick. The on page is done tick. Don't go back and do them again. If you do them properly the first time they're done, they're done for six months, right? The only time you need to look at them is if the results aren't showing the impact that you expect them to be doing. But if you've done strategy, content and on page. What's left then is building backlinks, high quality backlinks, making sure that you're technically sound, which is managed by the overseas team, and then just monitoring the results and the outcomes that you're getting. And so essentially with an SEO campaign, the vast majority of it should be front loaded within the first two to three months. And then after that it comes down to building really good quality backlinks and then just making sure that that's what's pushing the relevance. The authority then pushes the relevance and you've done it all properly because you've sorted it out from the start. And that's how the plan works in terms of the acronym. You get your strategy right, you get your content right, you get your on page right, tick that off. And we have a milestone at month two. And we have an audit on that. And we say, has this been done with the highest level of excellence and quality that we can expect? Because at that point, I don't want people going back and revisiting poor on page or content that was crappy to start with if they haven't done it properly in the first place. So that, to me, is how you ultimately should be running a campaign. You do the best that you can in the start and hopefully when you've done that, you're delivering great quality outcomes towards the latter end of the campaign. [00:42:28] Speaker B: And then excellence is subjective. But your software, your internal software that you've built, your RTC score, you can actually see it's very quick for you to sort of dial in and say, okay, well, I can see something's been missed here. And so it's just a matter of constantly communicating to the team that this is what excellence looks like, right? [00:42:51] Speaker A: So excellence can be quantified, it can be quantified by results, and it can be quantified by churn, right? So, you know, we, we grade our, and we're just doing this at the moment, actually, we're just revising our scorecards. But what we aim for is that 90% of our campaigns have what we call green light status. And that means that clients happy campaigns running along well, generating conversions. Rankings look great. It just looks like it's running on fire. 90% have to be green. The other thing that we ask for is that using our software is that 90% of our campaigns have to be generating a positive result. When we add the rankings, traffic and conversions together in an algorithm, we want a percentage score that reflects that level of excellence that has to be greater than 90%. And then the only other thing that we ask for is that the churn rate is low. [00:43:52] Speaker B: Right. [00:43:52] Speaker A: So if the churn is low, around about 3% is the standard that we aim for, then we know our clients are happy. I believe that excellence can be quantified, and we expect that we don't stand for that level of nonsense. We're having a new thing this year, which we call constructive confrontation, which is where if someone's not delivering that, then we have a conversation, and we outline that, that expectation. Now, it's been difficult to have that conversation with labor shortages and things like that, and people don't like to be confronted. But at the same time, I believe that that is the pathway forward. I think that's the way we need to be communicating and that we need to be having conversations with uneasy conversations and saying, this is not good enough. This has not been done. This should have been done. It's an expectation that's done. And thankfully, we're at 85% now. Green light. Right. So we got 5% to go. [00:44:56] Speaker B: That's great. [00:44:57] Speaker A: I can tell where everything's at. And then look, of those, we've got about 5% that might be sort of struggling a little bit. Everyone's got campaigns that struggle. No one gets 100%. SEO is not an easy game, and more often than not, it's because something along the line hasn't been done properly and we need to go back and redo it again. And so if we have those checks done in the early stages, then that's when we can make sure that those things are unlikely or less likely to happen. [00:45:32] Speaker B: Yeah, love it. Okay. And then around out the acronym results, how do you measure results? Or more importantly, how do you report the results back to the client? What do they see that lets them know, hey, you guys are doing a great job. Yeah. [00:45:44] Speaker A: So there's a couple of things. The first thing is that our software generates a report for people, which is, look, it's a very similar report to what most people provide. It shows traffic, it shows conversions, it shows what the search data is, the rankings, all those types of things it goes through and does those things. And there's sort of like a summary that the strategist gives, and then the strategist is also expected to communicate with the client, either, most likely through phone, but sometimes they're really hard to get onto. So, like a video message or an email will suffice. But that's how they communicate. So ultimately, what we're trying to do is we're trying to say, here's where you're at. This is the conversions you're generating. And we can tell from the reporting that we do how well things are moving, but there's nothing better than being able to get on the phone and have a conversation, say, hey, this is all moving really well. Happy with everything. Is there anything else we need to be doing? So on and so forth. So, yeah, just the reporting has to happen. I mean, the funny thing is a lot of the reports that we see from other agencies come back, like I saw one the other day and it had their keyword rankings without volume. And I thought, wow, that's really interesting. So you're reporting on, there was about 100 keywords, there was no volume next to them, and they're all these reasonably good results, but they're all these obscure long tail keywords. And I thought, they're not getting any traffic for any of those terms and there's no relevance in terms of how important they are. And so sometimes the reporting that people give, I feel is substandard. And I think that's something that you get a really solid chance every month to make an impact with your clients. And that comes from having an open conversation about, this is where you're at, this is what you need to be doing and this is what we've tried and this is what we're going to do next month. [00:47:40] Speaker B: Love it, love it. All right, so the scooter framework strategy, content on page, off page technical excellence and results. We're going to have AI write that up and stick it in the show notes underneath. [00:47:52] Speaker A: You've learnt it in a heartbeat. That's how we do SEO. [00:47:56] Speaker B: I'll never forget it. I'll remember it. I'm going to go back. [00:47:58] Speaker A: That's why we did it, because it's so simple. And as I said just a little while ago, is that you get to the SEO tick, don't have to touch those again because they're all sort of set, and then just keep working on the other things and it will give you the outcome that you need. [00:48:15] Speaker B: Hey, if you're as excited about this as I am, when I first started out as a freelancer, the way that I got to recurring revenue, the way that I got to ten grand recurring revenue quickly was selling SEO to local clients. And I knew a little bit about SEO and I started out doing SEO, but very quickly realized that I didn't want to actually be the one clicking the buttons and pushing the mouse around. Right. So I found a partner who did SEO for me and they did an amazing job and I had agency analytics back in the day it was called my SEO tool. When they first launched, I had that set up to send out all the rebranded automated PDF reports to my clients every Monday with a little email that was templated so it was completely hands off. And I had a company offshore who were doing all the SEO work. So if that sounds interesting to you, one of our partners is e two m solutions. They are based in India. Manish is the founder and CEO of e two M Solutions. They have 180 staff working out of their head office. They're an incredible white label WordPress development, SEO and content writing agency. You might want to check them out because it's a way of filling a gap, getting some extra capacity in your agency. You can then learn about SEO, you can go sell it to clients and you can have Manisha's team do the content, do the on page work, do the off page SEO. I don't believe they do backlinks at this stage, but if you just want to get started doing SEO for local clients, definitely check out Manish and his team at e two We'll put a link in the show notes. They are the exclusive sponsor of the agency, our podcast. We're very grateful for the partnership. They are continuing to partner with us for Mavcon, our live events this year. So we're very excited to keep working with them and to be hanging out with them again. We'll put a link in the show notes. Go check them out. I think you get a discount for the first month if you want to take them for a spin. We've got a bunch of our clients who are using them and getting great results. So go and check out e two you most scared about with AI, like, are you fully embracing it? Do you have any? It's like six months ago, you kind of like a half glass, half kind of. Not sure if it's half full or half empty. [00:50:35] Speaker A: Look, you know what? I always think that quality will always outstrip quantity. And I think what's happening at the moment is Google will look and understand and I think it's great to use it as a tool, but I'm not too concerned. And I think it's actually going to go the other way where people will opt for having someone that does work with the assistance of AI to keep the cost down a little bit. But ultimately having someone think about what it's doing because AI is just rehashing other ideas that are out there. Right? It's not necessarily. [00:51:05] Speaker B: That's right. [00:51:08] Speaker A: You can't derive. If you asked AI to come up with a strategy for your client and you followed that aimlessly, good luck. [00:51:17] Speaker B: That's right. That's right. Because what it's doing is, and I've done know, I tested out, like, write me your strategy for a new YouTube channel that I'm going to start, blah, blah, blah, blah. I read through it, I'm like, it's really good. Actually. There were some things in there I hadn't thought of and it was really good, but I was like, it's Pretty generic. There's no nuance, there's no us, there's nothing specific. I can't go back and say, but give me some insights around this. The one thing I've been saying this for a long time, the margin, I think, is moving to the strategy and the relationships. That's where the margin is in business, because AI, I agree, the strategy piece will always come from another human being, understanding, as you said, understanding your problem, being able to articulate your problem, proving that you've got experience and that you know what the right pathway is. Right. I think about the GP model all the time. You go to the GP with some symptoms. The GP's job is to assess the symptoms, is to diagnose the root cause and then prescribe a strategy for you to fix it. The GP doesn't actually fix anything. He might send you to the chiropractor, he might give you a referral to a specialist, send you down to the chemist to buy some medicine. Right. Well, a lot of that, the deliverable stuff, can be done with AI and augmented with AI. But that consultation with the GP, that's never going to go away. [00:52:37] Speaker A: No. [00:52:38] Speaker B: And that's what our role is, I think, as strategists, as consultants, is to sit with a client, do the analysis, the diagnosis and the prescription. [00:52:46] Speaker A: Step one strategy. [00:52:48] Speaker B: That's right, exactly. [00:52:49] Speaker A: And that's why. That's why I think that AI will be used as a tool, but I don't think it will ever replace a human for these types of things. I can't see it happening. It'll get better. But if you rely. I drive a Tesla and it's meant to have autonomous driving. I would not trust that car, no way. I have tried to trust it nearly ran me on the other side of the road. [00:53:14] Speaker B: Yeah. I don't. [00:53:16] Speaker A: So AI is good and AI will help. But would I put my hands on my life in its hands? No way, no. Would I put my business and my livelihood in AI's hands? No way, no way. [00:53:32] Speaker B: Love it. Hey, thanks for coming back to the agency for the second time around. [00:53:36] Speaker A: Not a problem at all. Thank you. [00:53:37] Speaker B: Appreciate it. And thanks for your contributions to the Mavericks community. If you want to get in touch, reach out to practice edge. I think it's just au right, based here in Diamond Creek in Melbourne, and look forward to hanging out at Mavcon coming up in a few weeks in February and then some live events later this year. [00:53:55] Speaker A: Very good. Thanks, Joy. [00:53:56] Speaker B: Thanks, Simon. Cheers. Hey, thanks for listening to the agency, our podcast, and a massive thanks to Simon for joining us. I'm looking forward to catching up with him again at Mavcon in June, which is happening on the Gold coast here in Australia. It's our in person event in Australia later this year. Keep an eye out for that. Our virtual Mavcon is coming up in February very soon. Check out mavcon. That's M-A-V-C-O-N short for Mavericks Club conference. mavcon for all the details. Okay, folks, please don't forget to subscribe and please share this with anyone that think may need to hear it. I'm Troy Dean, and remember, mosquitoes are attracted to people who just ate bananas.

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