745: How to Eliminate Frustration in Your SEO Efforts w/ Byan Phelps

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Bryan Phelps, CEO of Big Leap.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

 

Are you struggling to come up with original content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweetfish MEDIACOM. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary vanner truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well, maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob grows show. We're here today with Brian Phelps, CEO of big leap, a strategic SEO and content agency. Brian, how are you doing today, man he logan. I'm doing really good. How are you? I'm doing doing really well. I'm doing really well. Well, Brian, really excited to jump into this topic of how folks can avoid frustration in their seo efforts or, you know, viewing their SEO agency is this black box that leads to frustration and they see stuff going in and and sometimes results coming out, but kind of a miss in the middle. They're so excited to unpack some of that. That I think is going to be useful for our folks that are Seo Practitioners and folks that are working with Seo Agencies. But before we get right into that, Brian, I would love for you to...

...share with us what you and the team at big leap or up to these days. Yeah, great, and appreciate the the opportunity to talk with the Logan. Yeah, big leap as a digital marking agency and we focus, like you mentioned, specifically in Seo and content. Big leaps about ten years old this year, actually coming up here in a month, and now we have about sixty people and our headquarters are here and kind of Salt Lake City area and Utah. We as a kind of a niche agency in the SEO space. Really our lives really evolved around Seo and and all that what all that means, so that the team here, you know, really focuses and specializes that and dedicates their time to that. We work with a lot of different types of companies. A lot of what we do is on the B Tob side, working with a lot of software companies that are trying to grow their their MRR and drive, of course, new leads for their their cells team. We get really integrated with their CRM's and our selves force installations to Really Monitor and see, you know, how is organic traffic impacting them, and I think the exciting part to that that we really get excited about as just seeing how how big of a impact organic search has on their their consistency and their leaflow for their cells team. So that's really where we've focused, and especially in the last last several years. But Yeah, we've we love kind of that be toob space and the software companies that we work quite a bit with yeah, so we've got, you know, in our audience a lot of bb marketers and, you know, Seo and really making sure they're getting their bank for their buck in that area is a hot topic these days. So really excited to hear your expertise on this. You know, as we were coming up with this topic in ways that marketers can solve this frustration area of working with an SEO agency, you mentioned one of the things that you've seen in the evolution of Seo. Would you mind kind of set in the stage for us with that just a little bit? Yeah, absolutely. I you know, I think Seo as kind of an interesting history and reputation.

Sometimes. It's really evolved, of course, over the last, you know, ten to fifteen years, but it's it's gone from something really obscure and really unknown the you know, there was a few people doing seo, you know, on the late s early and back then you know it was hey, if I throw a lot of keywords on my page, I will rank well. And if you've been on the Weblong enough, you'll remember it's going to the bottom of a website and just seeing just these, you know, fifty lines of text that just have keyword after keyword after keyword and interesting. Of course it worked at the time and then, of course, search engines continue to improve and get smarter and it kind of evolved from some of that kind of spammy stuff to link building, which is great in theory, but it was. It's the same kind of issue where once people discovered that, it started to get spammy and people manipulated it and so we saw, hey, people are creating a lot of fake links and blogs where they can put links from one site to another and again work really well for a long time and fortunately, I think for for everyone, it's Google continue to improve in that area and get smarter, and so I feel like Seo's really evolved from kind of its infancy and you know, if you kind of equate it to kind of a human life, you have those early stages as early years into or I think now it's kind of that more mature stage where Google's done a great job of kind of filtering out spam and tricks and now it's just a legitimate, you know channel where, when you do things the right way, you have an opportunity to rank well and the search engines and of course, drive a lot of traffic to website, right, right, yeah, and that that sophistication of the search engines has definitely come a long way. All that being said, at the same time, you know, there's kind of this disconnect sometimes between markets and the SEO practitioners that they're working with. They kind of feel like, you know, obviously money is going into the relationship, sometimes results are coming out, sometimes they're not, but in the middle there there's kind of, you know, not a lot of visibility and...

...people can feel like there's kind of this black box of the SEO agency or, you know, the folks that are doing the SEO and so really excited to hear some thoughts from you on how folks can can deal with that. And one of the things that you mentioned to me before, Brian, was some tools that folks can use when they're looking at at how they're going after the rankings that they're trying to to accomplish, especially, you know, if they're changing seo relationships or changing agencies. What are some of the things you guys have seen that have been successful for some of your folks in some of the things that you recommend there? Yeah, great question and you know, and you kind of mentioned people, not even today, not necessarily understanding Seo. I think that's accurate. I think one of the biggest reasons is there's not a single kind of source of truth for Seo like in ads. Good you know, Google ads or formerly add words. You know, there's one kind of place where everybody looked at and could understand. And if you switch to agencies or if you did it in house, you always kind of have that baseline, and I think that's true. You know a lot of different channels. You know, with Seo it's not not approved by Google. They talked about that. They give you recommendations and solutions, but of course they don't make money from SEO, so it's not a common thing that they talked about and they say here's exactly how to do it and how to measure it and here's a platform for that. If you have some tools, of course, like Google analytics and search console, which are two of the tools we definitely recommend companies continue to use. If you're starting with an agency or switching agencies or doing it in house, that can cut that can be that consistent kind of baseline that you have. If you kind of use that outworks. Example, you can always look at those tools to see how's my organic traffic doing, and search console is giving starting to give people a lot more data and insight into what keywords are driving traffic, how much traffic am I getting from search engines over time and and what issues do I have with my sight? And so those are two Google tools that we highly recommend. But in...

...it in addition to that, we always recommend our clients track their own search engine rankings and keep that access as there's as an agency we do that for our clients, of course, and there's maybe certain keywords or projects were focusing on, but there's great tools like see, m rush and bright edge and others out there that will help you again track that over time and track all of your keywords, not just the ones that maybe you're focusing on with a certain agency. So by doing that, but analytics and and checking your rankings, you're able to continually monitor that performance and hold your agency accountable. At the same time, you don't have to just completely trust whatever data there are they are providing you. Hopefully you have a great agency that you don't have those concerns with, but it's always great to have that backup. You know, data that yours that you can always fall back on right right and preparing yourself for, you know, a transition if you are changing agencies down the line, that you know, as you put it when we were chatting offline, so that you don't have these real hard starts and stops to your SEO efforts. So I love those recommendations. There are a couple things we also talked about Brian, and things that clients can do to improve relationships with their SEO agency, and one of those centers around transparency. Yeah, transparency, I think is is really key with as an agency and an SEO agency. We've, you know, have these conversations with clients or last ten years and we understand the frustrations they have with agency relationships and in Seo and and otherwise and kind of the way we position ourselves as we're not, you know, we're not magicians. There's there's not big secrets and what we're doing, we think we're we're really good at what we do. We test and we understand some things that work, you know with search engines, but at the end of the day we're very transparent about what we do and we love to educate our clients on what we do. We think our value that we add is that we provide additional expertise that some of our clients don't have and some of...

...our clients do have really great expertise and now those situations we become kind of an extension of bandwidth for them where we can help execute on things that their internal team wants to do. So again with in that transparency it but it's a two way, two a road. We feel we provide that to our clients and something that's really helped us really grow and retain clients. We do client interviews pretty regularly and we did five recently and every single one of them use the term transparency. It actually became one of our core values because of that, like I mentioned on you know, that being a two way street. It was one recommendation we were talking about, you know, in making sure when you're working with an SEO agency, that that, as a customer, that you're making sure that you're being as transparent as possible, and you had a quick example of that where, you know, a customer could could have maybe been seeing a little bit more results sooner making sure that that they were, you know, stepping up to the plate and being as transparent as possible. To write. Because yeah, exactly both ways. Yeah, definitely it goes both ways and in a few different ways, like the example we were talking about. Sometimes clients higher and Seo Agency and they say okay, I'm they kind of compartmentalize that and they say, okay, that's the SEO agency. They're going to go. And sometimes they the client has kind of an archaic understanding, so they say, I'm just going to plue put everything on their plate. They're going to go and optimize search results and magically I'm going to I'm going to show up in the search results and and of course we'd like to work with clients and take things off their plate, but there's a lot that goes into seo and it overlaps with different channels. You know, when you talk about PR and things like that, that's a great asset to an SEO campaign. But that transparency, kind of with your business metrics, is really important too. Some as we talked to people, and that example was, you know, they they had a lot of other activities going on in their business, different locations and things that they didn't communicate to us, and when we found out was hey, once you know, six months...

...into this, once we've discovered that, it created a lot more opportunities for them to rank well and drive traffic into those locations. So we just commend for our yeah, for our our partners, our clients. Let's, you know, kind of get it out out there on the table and if you're looking for agencies, do your due diligence up front and and find one that you do really feel confident in that you don't have to hold back. If you if it takes six months to get to that point and your kind of behind the find the time already. And so yeah, we would recommend spend more time up front in that cells process before you dive into it if you're not comfortably yet. Right right, because sharing, you know, those other activities of their campaigns, other things that they're trying to accomplish, different things that are going on within the business, like maybe opening a new location or trying to target a new market, not just siloing. Okay, this SEO agency is trying to help us with this portion of the business. Maybe that's all you continue to do, but there could be something else that comes up in those other conversations that could kind of guide what you're doing as an SEO agency that could lead to better results. So I love that idea of making sure that obviously you want to choose an SEO agency that that you feel like can be transparent with you, but you want to choose one that you feel being as transparent as possible as well, because that's going to lead to better results. To the other topic we were talking about offline, Brian, is is reporting, and I love the way you put it. As you know, a lot of folks see reporting in Seo is, you know, oftentimes ninety percent fluff and ten percent, you know, really good information. And so if you could kind of let folks know the way that that you guys approach it and this idea of really making sure that reporting isn't just a dump of data that you're seeing, but it really is something that can that can give you a line from works that are going on, that SEO efforts, to the results, and they're a few components in that. If you could...

...kind of unpack that for folks, I think that would be great for Seo Practitioners to to think about this framework in presenting their reporting and also for clients to think about what they should be looking for from their SEO agency when it comes to the reporting that they're providing to them. Yeah, now it's IT'S A it's hot topic that comes up often when we are talking to potential new, you know, clients, that we always love it when they want to dig into reporting because we, like I mentioned, we are you and the spirit of transparency, things like that. We love to get our cards on the table and that cells process so that aren't surprises down the road. And, like we talked about again, there's, you know, often times ninety percent fluff and these these reports and obviously everybody, every agency, every internal person that's reporting up once to put their best foot forward, and so we love to highlight all the winds, but we also think it's important to talk about things that aren't aren't going well or aren't trending well, and sometimes that's area is where, as an agency, we need to focus and improve on. Sometimes it's not even necessarily specific to us. You know, we re a great example. We had a client whose traffic on a certain page, on their home page, was decreasing. It wasn't we were focusing on some other pages, but it was a result of a change in their adspend, and so we can kind of consult with them and identify why there's changes happening. And sometimes, again it's it's areas where we can improve or help on and sometimes it's not unique to us. But in that framework that we follow it, we try to focus. You kind of almost look at it as a funnel. In some ways, we have kind of where we start at that top of that funnel of here's everything we did for you this month. You know, really simple reporting in terms of yeah, here's the projects we're working on, what's stage they're in, all those kinds of things, which, of course, again hopefully isn't news. We work with clients throughout the month on those types of things, but it's helpful to course them in a central place. But when we are working on those projects, of course the goal of those is, hey, how are these impacting your search engine rankings?...

So we take it from here's the work we did to what impact did that have on the search results? Of course we hope to report the Hey, things are improving from that, but we've yet to have a client that says, Hey, the only thing I care about is my search results improve. I don't care if it tries traffic. So we take that and we say okay, well, search results, here's the impact we're having. What impact of that having on your actual traffic? Because it isn't it is possible to increase your rankings without that increasing your traffic if there's not a lot of extem yeah, certainly. Yeah. Yeah, so we try to focus on okay, what impact is that having? And very similarly, people that's not really their end goal in this. It's usually isn't more traffic. It say any more leads. I need more sales, if you're maybe on the commerce side. And so we try to track that from you know, traffic to cells and leads, and so you can kind of see how that kind of comes full circle of here's everything bigly did for you as an agency. There's the impacts that had throughout that that funnel or that chain and at the end of the day, how much we know what impacted that have on your business in terms of leads or cells or, you know, revenue. And we found that just over the years. You know that that kind of transparency. It helps remove that middle portion where sometimes it's a black box. You see what how much money you're putting in as as a client and you know that's sometimes the extent of what you see. We hope to be able to show again, kind of behind the scenes, here's what we're working on and what impact that had on you the day. Yeah. Well, Brian, this has been great stuff where I think our listeners are going to get a ton of value in the things that you shared in thinking about, you know, how they can approach transparency. Is a two way street with their SEO agency in the impacts than that can have some of the tools they can use to make sure that, you know, what they're hearing is lining up with what they see and prepare for any changes down the road. And then, you know, this framework for you know the sort of reporting that they should be looking forward so that they can get that that peak behind the curtain. I love this topic, Brian. If folks are interested in following up with you,...

...learning more about what you guys are doing, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Yeah, definitely recommend checking out our website. Of course, a big leap. That's big Eli apcom. You can look at what we're doing, some articles of course, that we're creating on there and contact us. Do there and if you want to connect with me. I'm most active on linked in, so search for Brian Phelps on Linkedin and I'd love to, yeah, connect with people. They are always happy to answer questions and kind of talk about how things are going. Awesome, Brian. Thanks so much. This has been a great conversation. For our listeners who haven't heard yet, we've been giving a shout out over the last week or so to the flip my funnel conference that's going on August eighth, fast approaching in Boston. Going to be a great conference with a lot of great speakers, tons of stuff around account base marketing and a lot of hot topics going on. Want to share with you a Promo code for our listeners when you get your tickets at flip my Funnelcom, if you go to the two thousand and eighteen conference link, when you go to get your tickets, use that Promo Code. Be To be growth. Be The number to be growth, just like the show name. We tried to make it easy and you'll get fifty percent off the cost of your tickets for the flip my funnel conference. So use that Promo Code. Be To be growth and look forward to seeing you in Boston. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the bed growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a be...

...to be growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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