How Dave Ramsey Consolidated Over a Dozen Brands & Websites

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez talks with Kacy Maxwell who is an Executive Director of Marketing at Ramsey Solutions about a recent migration of all their websites into a single mega site.

This is an episode that covers branding, SEO, domains, urls, and all the marketing tactics that come with them. Taking 18 websites and brands down to one required a serious effort from the team. Find out about the steps they took to accomplish it.

Mhm Welcome back to BBB Growth. I'm danSanchez with Sweet fish Media and I'm here with Casey Maxwell who is theexecutive director of marketing at Ramsey Solutions or one of a fewexecutive directors. Right, so we've got a number of them there. Casey,Welcome to the show. Thanks thanks for having me. I know in the past few yearsteam that Ramsey team has really been scaling from a few 100 team members tojust over 1000 now and with plans to go like to the moon probably to 2000. Iknow you guys are building a whole new building things are going up for teamRamsey and that means change. So I was excited to talk to her Casey today as Iknow there's had a lot of changes within the last two years. I know thepandemic has accelerated some changes going on recently, especially with youressentially a proliferation of brands that you've had before and websitesthat you guys have had. So before we jump into like what's going on now andwhere you guys are going in the future. I wanted to learn more about what youguys have done or where you guys were with the amount of brands and websitesyou were managing and kind of what you've done recently with them. Yeah,the interesting thing, so I've been, I've been at Ramsey for about fiveyears and I can say the most consistent thing at Ramsey has been changed. So ifif you look at at what Ramsey solutions was 25 years ago. Dave it was Dave witha small team, they had a radio show, they had a book and they had a classand they expanded some of the services over time, over those next 10 to 15years. But it's really been in these last 5 to 7 years that it really hasexploded. So when I, when I joined it was, it was a little under 500 teammembers. Like I said, we're now over 1000. We have the number of brands andservices that we've begun to offer. Just over that time Has been, it'salmost been 150% increase. Uh, and it's funny because when you look at it, alot of people will know us for one specific thing, maybe it is the book orthe class or the radio show, but the number of services that we provideacross money and across things like marriage and mental health and careerwere just, were just exploding. And it's, it's a really fun time to be partof that sort of growth. That's really, really accelerated how many, just togive people a sense of what, like how many things you guys got going on? Howmany like profit centers does Ramsay currently have going on? Well, we'vebeen consolidating those for a while, but if you, if you look back, there was10 to 15 profit centers across the company and we've consolidated a goodnumber of those over the past the past, actually a few months and few years,but it's, it's amazing, it's amazing how many different pieces the companyitself, it's always had this sort of entrepreneurial bent. So uh teamswithin, we would have these little startups that just happened within theorganization and it's a small team that that come around an idea and beginpushing it to get A P. N. L. And to be able to grow this. And so we had thosethings springing up all over the place Over the past, you know, 7, 8 years andwe've started to consolidate those and saying, Okay, these are hitting, butwhat would it look like for all of these to be together? What what couldwe push with with a consolidated effort? It makes a lot of sense. I mean withthe, I know you guys launched entre leadership like a while ago, I rememberfirst reading that when I got introduced to Ramsey is kind of aboutthat time and so you were like, yes, we want to have people that are equallyentrepreneurial but also leaders because we don't need them to go likecrazy all over the place. We need them to kind of set goals and milestones andshoot for those goals at the same time, but we want them to invent new stuff.So it makes sense that you kind of created a environment ofentrepreneurship and created all these new skews to sell, right, and you had alot of attention, you had a radio show...

...that's being syndicated lots of placesthat probably lots of eyes and attention to sell new stuff, but nowyou have a lot of brands to deal with. And I know working with companies thatcan become kind of confusing, right? Like who's responsible for this product?Who is this brand? How do we type? People don't even realize this is aRamsey brand. How do you, how do you deal with that? I've worked at some bigenough companies to know that it can become confusing to have all these thisproliferation of different identities and brands and different, sometimesthey're in the home website. Sometimes they all have their separate websites,you launch a blog, you're like, okay crowd, where does that go? Does thatdoes that sit on the home brand? Or does it, does this new brand need atwitter account? Right. You just have all these pieces everywhere. So whatdid you guys do to start cleaning that up recently? Well, when, when you lookat our company, our company, the products that we offer, the servicesthat we offer, the shows that we put out? We are a trust brand, you you'renot gonna buy any of our books, you're not going to listen to any of theadvice that we have or you're not gonna take any of the recommendations that weoffer. If you don't trust us and trust is not an easy thing to, to have or toget in the market place, you've got to really earn that and Dave earned a lotof trust with people, one, he was consistent, two people were notdisproving this baby steps to seven baby steps that we that we've put outthere and so he's got all of this time and trust built and all of these newbrands that were continually being spun up didn't have that trust, a lot ofthem were starting from zero, we would, we had every dollar budget and unlessyou knew Dave and knew that we said you know you need to give every dollar ajob, every dollar a name, you're not going to connect those those two brands.And so we were going back to zero every time we would launch a new brand and wesaid that you know that's that's not scalable for the long term, you knowyou bring up, do we need a twitter account, do we need all of this stuff?We started going down that path which led to 23 different websites across theorganization and a bunch of Twitter accounts and a bunch of instagramaccounts and and we said this is not a scalable future. Just looking at our ecommerce platform, having Five, stores, if you think of all the skews that arein those, think each of that every time you had a skew your doing it eighttimes and managing across eight different properties and it just, itjust wasn't scalable. And so we said that we have to figure out that, buteven even before we got into that um this, this conversation falls into whatwe call succession planning. So as you know, Dave, Davis is kind of the heartof the company. He started it and he's a personality, he's written books, hedid live events, but he's not gonna be here forever, right? He's not going toleave the company unless he's forced to like in the future, right? He said he'sgoing to stay on the radio show until he stops making sense and we're gonnahave to like yank him off. So he's not planning to go anywhere but in thefuture, he wants the company to outlast him. He knows there's a lot of families,a lot of people that rely on Ramsey for their livelihood and that the stuffthat we're doing the way that we're helping people that needs to continuebeyond him. And so if that's going to happen, we've got to figure out a waywhere Dave is not the connective trust that runs through all of our brands. Weneed a brand that's going to connect all of this stuff together and weneeded to figure out how to get these experiences and these brands all to, tosound the same and worked together. I mean it makes a lot of sense. Whereas alot of legacy brands, it felt, I felt like personal brands were like a bigthing when people just often like maybe like 100 and 250 years ago? Peopleoften named the company's after themselves, right? And then that kindof went away in the Mad Men era when we...

...were coming up with different names forthings. But I almost feel like there's a swing back to this personal brandthing because again, there's a proliferation of brand. So people thatthe pendulum tends to swing. Ramsey is definitely one of those early adoptersof leading with the personal branding with a radio personality like his andlike a thought leadership that he has. It just makes sense. It works. It'seasier to build trust that way. So it makes sense that you're trying toconsolidate brands a little bit around that Trust. It's interesting. You madea point about like a trust brand and I'm like, wait a second. Like aren'tall brands equated with trust, right? You could say like there's might becheck like a, like a new thing of candy or gum at the checkout aisle, which maynot have any trust has zero brand. It's some, it just has a small valueproposition. It promises. Uh, I don't know, it's like a five hour energyknockoff, but it's cheaper than five hour energy. You pick it up, you go,you get the caffeine rush, whatever. So not a lot of trust there, but you wouldalso say that that doesn't have a brand, right? So are all brands, trust brands,how do you differentiate between a good brand and a trust brand? It's a it's areally good question. Trust, when it comes to brand, I agree that in anybrand, any time you're going to buy a product, you have a level of trust andthere's a level of commitment and expectation with that. So when I go toa fast food place, I don't necessarily have to have a lot of trust there.Right? So I can go in and say it's going to be a burger, it's going to befries. I don't have, I don't have to trust that this is going to be the bestburger I've ever had or that this thing is going to change my life, so I'm notgoing to pay that much and I'm not going to expect that much. But when youlook at the things that we do, we have a process to say, we're not gonna putanything out there that's not going to help people. And if if you're going todo something that is going to change your life, you have to have a lot oftrust in the person offering that to you before, you're going to do it. Somaybe like if we if we didn't have a lot of trust, we could probably sell alot of books. We could probably have people sign up for a lot of stuff, butfor people to actually do it and it to be successful because once you startgetting in there, that stuff is hard, right? I want to go spend a bunch, Iwant to spend money on whatever I want. You know, you need to budget this way,I want to put a bunch of stuff on credit cards. No, you need to actuallynot have credit cards. Well that sounds weird if I don't trust you enough tobelieve that even though that sounds wrong, but I'm gonna trust you andactually do it and get the results that that comes from it. Like if we don'thave a lot of trust people aren't gonna take the leap to do the weird stuff andif they don't take that leap, they're not going to have the awesome resultsthat are going to come from, from doing that weird stuff. I mean that makesmakes a lot of sense. You're asking people to go counter culture, you know,you're fighting against, but that's also kind of what makes a strong brandright, is to have, is I find that strong brands actually pick a fightwith something, right? Brand can almost be established by its villain, right?Where is a hero without a villain? If you don't have a villain, you probablydon't have a hero, there's gotta be a bad guy somewhere. So I actually thinkthat it's probably often missed in a lot of branding conversations. I thinkRamsey's is essentially the debt industry, right? Is that, is that themain villain? We, we have a lot of villains out there. We just released adocumentary about the student loan industry and the way that that hasbasically become this darling that everybody thinks, oh this is good debt,but that's actually a villain for what it's doing to your future. And so I100% agree that a brand is really solidified when it knows its villain.That was one of the best when when story brand first came out, it didn'thave that villain component to it and...

...and Donald Miller went in and added,you know, you've got to figure out who the villain is that is, is attackingyour hero so that you can be the guy to guide them out of that. So being veryclear on what you're going against is important, how you tell people aboutthat. That's that's a nuance of of the marketing. But yeah, being very clearis really important. So what does, what does the brandstrategy look like now for Ramsey? Are you throwing Ramsey on the front ofeverything? Like how are you consolidating how you explain all yourdifferent products and properties? Yeah, we're slowly walking into that a lot ofit. There is a is a good deal of, we need to add Ramsey to that. So Ramseyevery dollar Ramsey financial peace. If you look at our subscription now isRamsey plus we've consolidated something's under what we're callingRamsay trusted, which was our endorsed local providers and smart vester. So weare adding Ramsey, there's there's things that we're doing. So all of ourvideos online start with our block. R R Ramsey are it's not as as simple asthat, but that's that's one of the visual things. You need to starthearing Ramsey over and over and over. Because when you think of consumers,just in general, when when you think of a brand, How many pieces of informationof a brand are you you going to keep in your mind if you have 37 brands, areyou expecting people to understand all of those brands? Remember all of thosebrands categorize all those brands or do you want them to remember one thingso that when they hear it attached to other things, that trust is going to goto those other things. So if you heard Ramsey and you build trust around thatand then you heard endorsed local providers, your question is, well, whathas endorsed local providers? Who's endorsing them? What why do I careabout that? But if you hear Ramsey, you've attached some trust to that andthen you hear Ramsey trusted local providers, you're like, oh, oh, okay,these, these are trusted by Ramsey and I trust Ramsey. So I'm going to trustthem. So a lot of our strategy is how how do we connect that and there's, yes,adding Ramsey. But then the way that we talk about things, we, we want to beconsistent about how we talk about things across our property. When welook at our websites, we want to make sure we will talk about this in aminute. But we consolidate them all under one U. R. L. But that you couldtake a bunch of colors of plato and smash them together and they're stillgoing to be a bunch of different plato pieces together just in one ball. Butwe needed to figure out how how does it actually become one brand? And so whenyou go to the home page and you go to um one of our brands and then you go toanother brand, you don't feel like you're on a completely separate website.So there's a there's an audio, there's a written portion of it. There's acolors that we do. You know, even down to button colors as they go throughoutour website. Every website had different buttons, right? Differentshapes, different colors. That simple thing of making this connected tissuethat goes throughout is extremely important for making that consistentbrand experience for customers. And it's not an easy decision, right? Imean it takes weeks, weeks sometimes of all these all day meetings of debatingback and forth what we're gonna do, even from the top level of, I don'tknow you guys probably had this conversation of uh that's usually thethree part like branded house or house of brands, right? I think every brand,every market has had this branding conversation like which one do we wantto go to or do we want to do the one in between? That's the endorsed brand? Andit kind of sounds like you've landed essentially in that middle ground ofendorsed brand, kind of like a Mario, it's a good example where they'll havecourtyard by Marriott, right? It's...

...almost like you have these sub brands,but then it's always endorsed by Ramsey. Now, I'm sure you have some purelyRamsey brands too, right? But then you have a lot of separate brands and theymight just be products, but essentially like entre leadership is more than justa product. So it's a massive property in between, Right? Um so you guys havestayed clear from the P and G. Model, which is kind of where you were before,you had a bunch of different sub brands and they were Brandon dealt withdifferently, correct, correct. You hit the nail on the head. We made thedecision, we're not going to be google, right? So we're not gonna be googlemaps, google sheets, google docs. So we're not gonna be Ramsey debit card,Ramsey debt class, right? We're not going there, but we're not going thePNG route where you don't really know what PNG is and you only know the subbrands, we do fall somewhere in the middle and a lot of that is we've kindof got tier one level brands and then we've got sub brands that fallunderneath that. So when you think of uh entree leadership, you'll see RamseyEntree leadership, when you think of a product, like I said every dollar,you'll see Ramsey every dollar, but a lot of that is dependent on kind of thespace. So sometimes that means we got some big words, you want to throwanother word on top of that, like that's that's not gonna work, you'renot gonna see that in the app store where it's like Ramsey, every dollarbudgeting to like We've got to, we've got to consolidate that some way. Sosome of that is based on is based on space and availability. But yeah, wewe've spent the architecture of putting all of this stuff together. It's beengoing on for a while. I mean this conversation started at least 24 monthsago from a, how do we consolidate all of these brands and it's an ongoing, wehave a what we call a branding committee that meets every week and wenot only review those things, discuss those things, but we also look at whatare the new products and services that we have coming out, how does that,where does it fit into the brand architecture overall, does this need alogo, does this need to fall under this logo, how do how do all of these thingsfit together? So it's something that wasn't necessarily actively managedfrom a global perspective? We were always having those conversations froman individual product or even individual brand line? But looking atit from the global perspective, we've we've been so pleased about the wayWork that's been done over the past 24 months where it all starts to feeltogether and that that handoff from one brand to another to another, uh it'sgetting better, it's definitely not there, but it's definitely headed inthe right direction. So how do you decide if you want to start a newinitiative to sell a product? Maybe like your your B two B product that yousell, you sell your your software package and content to HR directors,right? Who kind of package it as a benefit? Yeah. Smart dollar, smartdollar. I know Sweet Fish is probably gonna be looking at signing up for thatfor that sometime, right? Yeah, I can connect you with someone, just let meknow. I think we're already in conversations, I can't remember, I'mnot in nature, so I'm not I'm not the guy in direct conversation but I'm likeI know that we've talked about this before, the leadership team like thisthing but let's say like you want to start a property around HR but Ramseyis not known for HR. Ramsey is known as a finance? Maybe essentially personalfinance is kind of the main category if you think of when you think of Ramsey,how do you then that idea? Do you try to figure out how it fits into theoverall brand or is then that or if it doesn't fit into the overall brand,does it become a conversation of like, okay then we kill it or do you considermaking new property for building a separate brand? How would you approachsomething like that? Yeah, we have, we have what we call the Wheel of Life. Sowhen we started, we were uh, we were just a money company. And when you lookat the Wheel of Life, there's a lot of...

...different areas when people arethinking about, how do I, how do I better myself? So that's marriage,parenting career business, which is kind of outside of career, you've gotmoney. Exactly like all of these, all of these different areas kind of fallin, in the wheel of Life and we have been a money company for the past 20years. We've slowly started moving into some of these other spaces now, almostunintentionally at first, like you mentioned entree leadership, that bookcame out in 2008 and really that book was just how Ramsey did business. Ifyou read that book, it's like, well we do it this way and we did this and wedid that. It wasn't necessarily, hey, we're going to redefine the businesslandscape. It was kind of like this is this is how we do it. But as we'vemoved forward, we've been very, very intentional about the different, whatwe call spokes uh, that we go into one. If we don't feel like there issomething that needs to be disrupted or there's something that needs to be um alight shined on it. We're not going to go down there just because somebody hasan idea, some of it is, we've all, we've, we've always had this championmindset, we call it where somebody has an idea and then it goes through apretty significant vetting process. It doesn't make sense with Ramsey andbefore, if it wasn't money to, to your point, it was kind of like, well no, weprobably won't do that. Like if you looked at our events, a lot of ourevents, anytime we would have someone come and speak, that was outside ofmoney, it wouldn't be one of our in house personalities, it would besomebody from the outside. But as we begin having conversations of what doesthe future look for our company, we do say we're going to need to move outsideof money in some of these other areas because honestly, when you look atmoney, everything of life interacts with money in some way, I'm not sayingthat money is the most important thing, but if you look about any area of life,money is a part of it. So just think about parenting, how do I pay for a kid,how do I teach my kid money values? I need to send my kid to school, how am Igoing to pay for that? How do I set them up for the future? Right, What arethe things that I should teach them? Oh, what about marriage and marriage andmoney? Like we have a conference called Money and Marriage and when you thinkabout that, there is a lot around money when it comes, should I, should we havea joint bank account? How do we have a budget conversation? How do we get evenon the same page about how we're trying to move forward? So when we look at,when we look at things that we're going to move forward, there's a very uhspecific process around how we do that and a lot of it comes down to do wefeel like we can enter this market and provide value and help people becauseyou know, that's, that's what our mission is to bring hope and educationto everyone in every walk of life. It doesn't just say money and so it's,it's not an easy, it's not an easy thing to just jump over into a spacethat we're not known for, but part of the global branding effort is so thatwe can transfer that trust into that space so that we're not going to justdo something that is a completely separate brand. Um it may be somethingdifferent than we've ever done. We just had john Deloney join, join our teamand we've been moving into the mental health space and he's amazing, butwe're connecting that back to the brand and we're connecting that within he,you know, he hosts are Ramsey show, he is in Ramsey Plus, which is our oursubscription, he is throughout our different areas so that we can tie allof this together moving forward. So what I hear you saying is that youwould take an initiative like that would be like how do we connect thisback to the home base? In what ways is this tied to our core thing of of money?So if you're reaching out to HR...

...directors and you're kind of reachingout with the value proposition, like people struggle with money and the moreyour employees struggle, the more they're not going to be focused ongreat work, help your employees thrive, build it into your benefits to getsmart dollar and help teach them how to use their money, teach them how toutilize your company benefits, become a better HR director. And we essentially,we want to help you can become a better HR director and that could be aproperty that you then build and still tie back to the core thing of, we helppeople take care of their money so that they can live a better life or whateverthe slogan is, right? Yeah, yeah. I mean you look at, you look at a lot ofthe ways that our products and services, they all grew out of an initial class.So financial peace is a class that teaches you how to do money. We said,okay, there's a lot of people that come in are doing that on their own. Butwhat are the other areas that people need this help? Well, what about toyour point? What about employees? We found that employees that don't havethat are able to pay and get out of debt and start saving for their future.They're actually better employees. Because the stress that comes withmismanaging your money actually makes you a worse employee because you'refocused on that. I'm gonna need to constantly leave to get a better jobbecause I need to make more money because I don't know how to spendcorrectly. Um I've got stress. I'm not going to come into work. I can't focusbecause I got all that we've got the research and we found that companieslove that. They're like, yes, please, how do we offer a benefit that's gonnaactually make a better worker, right? And it's not just we need to to makebetter workers, but the way that we're helping people at the same time thatthen produces a result that a business is going to like, it made completesense for us to do that. And we also did that in schools. Nobody wasteaching financial literacy in schools. I mean, the reason financial peace wasso successful is because nobody taught in schools and people time and timeagain, we're like, man, I wish, I wish I learned this when I was in school.And so we said, well what if we found a way to start getting this into schools?So we started working, we got Ramsey education, which is a, is a sub brandof ours, but it's teaching that curriculum in schools and some may say,well that's stupid because if that's really successful, then this wholeother part of your business, you're not gonna need anymore because everybody isgoing to be doing it right. And and yes, that's true. And if you look at our ourwe want to bring hope to everybody, That would be a great world. We wouldbe 100% okay if everybody took this curriculum in high school and didn'tneed us for that part of of us in the future, that would be, that would beokay. And there's different areas like that. How do we take things that are inone area and move them into these, these other areas? That just makessense, man makes a ton of sense to me. I before sweet fish, I was working fora university called Bethany Global University and it was a required classbudgeting and they just walked through Financial Peace University and I knowthat students were very thankful for that. So I know colleges are doing evenbetter to get it at the high school level, but if not then at least at thecollege level, as you're starting to prepare for those things and hopefullyyou didn't take talk, you'll probably learn. I mean, a lot of collegesprobably wouldn't want to do it because you'd be like anti large college debtand they'd be like, well, so hence the high school level would be better. Yeah.Well, and the thing is like, if you take the curriculum, I think therecould be a future and maybe if there's anybody at college is listening, ifthey said, hey, we want to sponsor this to get into all of these schoolsbecause we're not anti college. That's, that's the thing. We're anti studentloan debt because it robs your future. We, if you look at one of the babysteps, one of the baby steps is saving...

...for college. So we are very proeducation. We're very pro, like, hey, we want, we want higher ed. The thingis you just got to figure out the best way to pay for it. And they're like, weteach all that stuff through scholarships and part time jobs andfigure out how to, you know how to do all of that higher education. If they,if they look at it as like, oh, we don't want to talk about this. No, no,something's going to happen with student loans. Like it's, it's reachingthe crescendo and something's gonna disrupt the college industry in a majorway they would be good to look and say how do we figure out how to help peoplepay for college so that people can continue to come to college instead oftrying to say no, no, no, don't do that, continue to do the way we're doing now.So with Ramsey being as big of a brand asit was, you guys had a have a massive web presence, how did you go aboutconsolidating a lot of those websites that were out there with all thosedifferent U. R. L. S, all those different style sheets, all thosedifferent Back End Systems, Like Why Did 1? You've already talked a littlebit about why you wanted to consolidate some of these things to provide a moreholistic experience for brand reasons. But what were some of the technologicalreasons you wanted to do this? And then how did how did you execute thatprocess? How do I distill 18 plus months of workinto answer? Like that is a really, it's a great question, but it is areally, really big question. So when when we made the decision toconsolidate this a lot of it, uh branding was a big part of this, therewas also S E O that we thought about it, It's very similar to Trust Google is ais a trust brand right there there, they have to trust your website beforethey're going to give it the right placements and they call it, you know,different things. But we have a lot of trust in google. We had it for DaveRamsey dot com which was our primary website. But every time we would golaunch a new website that wasn't connected to that, we didn't have thattrust. So we were building that trust from scratch so that every time if weput the same article out on Dave Ramsey dot com versus one of our other sites,it would always win. It would always go to the top of that search result and wewere struggling on all of these other sites. So we made the decision, we needto combine all of these into 11 site and to do that it was it was going tobe a massive undertaking. So they were like, there were three main things thatwe thought through in this process. One we had to to think of traffic right? Wehad to think of, there is a lot of traffic coming to this site. There's alot of traffic from S. C. O. Coming to this site. And so how we plan this andwalk this out if we do this wrong, it the damage that it's going to do to oursite that we are going to be digging out of forever. It's like we did, welooked at all of these migration case studies and found that, you know,people were losing in 90% of their S. E. O. Because of the way they did it whenit's not doing the redirects correctly or giving a bunch of four floors andall of these other things. And so a big focus of our planning was around how dowe make sure that we don't destroy ourselves in S. E. O. For the long term.We knew we were gonna have a hit regardless. We were going to have an S.E. O. Hit. But how do we minimize that as much as possible? The second isthere was a lot of work that needed to be done. Not all of these websites thatwe had were on the same uh systems on the back end. The CMS is so we had tofigure out how do we transfer pages over into the new section with thatcame redirects? Our final redirect map...

...was over 15,000 U. R. L. S. So we had aspreadsheet of €15,000 that said here's the old one and this is the new onethat it goes to. And we had one person that was responsible for owning that.And the thing is she was really good with spreadsheets and she loved it butit kind of made my eyes bleed when I just would look at it just because itwas it was so long and so complicated. And so we had to figure out how do wedo that? How do we make sure that we don't have a ton of 4/4. We had to lookat the overall architecture. We went from a very brand first architecture toa topic first architecture. So instead of leading with financial peace and anR. U. R. L. Slug. We lead with debt or money or insurance because that's whatpeople are looking for in in search. And so when we consolidated all this,we said, what is the, what is the future of this site need to be? How dowe make this site scalable? So that in the future if we had more products thatare gonna help you with dead or more products that are gonna help you withinsurance, they're all going to be categorized in the right way with withgoogle. And the last one because we knew we were going to take a hit. Andin terms of traffic, we looked at revenue and seasonality to figure outwhen we were going to do this because all the research we did and anytime youresearch anything on google, the one thing that you're going to find is thateverybody thinks something different. No matter if you are an S. E. O. Expertor you are someone who used to work at google or you're somebody at googlethat is putting things out that it's this black box for how you actually doit, quote unquote correct. And so the decision, the decision that we made, wecalled the light switch approach. So instead of slowly migrating all ofthose sites, one after another, we did them all at one time. So we did all ofthe work for about 18 months and then 1 10 hour plus day we got 100 plus peoplein a room and we migrated all of these sites at once. So we turned the lightsoff on all of those sites and the lights on at Ramsey solutions dot com,It's by far the biggest, the biggest project that I've ever been a part of.I mean if you look at everybody in our 1000 plus person organization touchedthat project in some way but we had so just just from the sheer number ofvolume we had over um over 1000 marketing pages. We had over 2500 blogsthat had to be had to be either consolidated, migrated. We had evenmore than that that we killed or redirected And then like I said over15,000 you or else not to mention because google likes hard coded linksin web pages. We had to go in and update all of that in every page wewent in and hard coded all of those links again. Now luckily we were ableto get a script, we have some smart developers that that did that but hadwe had, we done that manually there was like over 120,000 in page linksthroughout the website that we were going to have to update. So those arekind of the main the main things that we considered, but a lot of it was aphased process that we did. We had some key milestones over that time um andthen we had times where we called it the freeze, there were different thingsthat would have to freeze so that nothing else would change and we couldverify it again and again, one of one of my favorite things that we did, wecalled it everyone's a Q A and so everyone in the organization, we had agiant spreadsheet that had all the U. R.

L. S. That we were transitioning and wesent it out to everybody and we said, hey go in and choose 3 to 4 pages andjust go in and q it make sure the links work, make sure it loads, make surewhen you click to something that's going to the right thing and weinvolved the entire organization and we we actually we did that two differenttimes. So we had everyone's a Q a part two and everybody knows that Sequelsare always better than the original. Um And so we got every, we had to geteverybody excited. Again, we're like we're gonna QA again let's do it. Butit was it was such an awesome example of getting the entire organizationbehind this, this overall project, but all let's say is not easy. The decisionwas not taken lightly and the amount of time and effort we put in here wassignificant and I hope to never have to consolidate that many domains into oneagain, I found big transitions like this usually only take place onceunless something dramatic and the company happens way later down the linelike you change business models or something then of course then it's timeto reconsider again, I mean this is one of the bigger ones that I've heard of,the amount of traffic you guys were dealing with across all theseproperties page size wise. The only the only people that are like bigger thanthis as far as our like maybe dedicated media properties like you know likeForbes or wired or whatever. Like those guys that were like social networks arepeople who do like programmatic sc Oh so you think of like Zap ear who set uplike 100,000 pages automatically just by coming up with all the differentweird tool combinations that people search. Right? So those can be kind ofcomplicated but you guys have multiple properties and not only do you havemultiple properties but you change the your all of your core property. It wentfrom Dave Ramsey dot com to Ramsey solutions dot com which is that in andof itself is a big change over just changing the core properties don't meanbut not you should decided just to go for it all at once, which is which iscrazy what has been the results you've seen as a result of changing it over.When did it change? And you had the dip where you guys at now. So we we changedit all over in april and we're still walking that back. So we we had the dipum immediately and one of the things, so obviously you're watching yourdomain authority, so our domain authority uh dipped and within a weekit was back up to exactly where Dave Ramsey dot com was, which was great. Weand we have been watching where we're kind of falling from. We look at bothwhat we call branded and non branded search and so are branded reboundedimmediately. That was that was never a major concern for us in terms of usgetting back up in those rankings, we knew that the only way we were going tolose those is if we did something horribly wrong, like if we didn't if wedidn't do the redirects right, or something broke or they didn't take asite map that we submitted or something like that. So that stuff came backrelatively quickly. The non branded is what's what's been slowly coming backup and a lot of that is because we have things that span a lot of differentareas, each of those are kind of having their own path back, right. And there'sthings that are happening if if nothing else was happening in google. So ifthey weren't constantly releasing algorithm updates and they weren'tconstantly shifting what they're saying about core web vitals and pageexperience and all that, it might be a more consistent return. But there areso many different factors that are that are impacting our our trek back up. Andso we are we are on the path we're still down. Um But we we knew that wewere going to be down for a good amount of time in S. E. O. And so we've beenlooking at what are other ways that we can continue to drive that um Because SCeo is not just done in the world of S.

E. O. Right, people don't just searchbecause of work that you've done in search. So it's things that you'redoing outside, whether it's branding, um whether it's media hits. We we sawsome great seo traffic increase through all of the advertising that we didaround the borrowed future documentary that just came out. So there's a lot ofstuff that we're still glad that we did it. We knew long term and we made thedecision that the long term brand of the company was not going to be DaveRamsey. And we also knew that as we had these other products and services thatare just going to have Ramsey on it, that the kind of easier sc oh way to gowould be to just consolidate into Dave Ramsey dot com but that was going to bea big disconnect for our customers. So if I, if I find Ramsey every dollar andI go and then I'm redirected to Dave Ramsey dot com. If you don't reallyknow Dave Ramsey, that's going to be a really big disconnect, you're gonna belike, what does that even, what does that mean? But even our personalitieslike Rachel Cruz or john Deloney when they do media hits, they're calledRamsey personalities so that when they go to Ramsey Solutions, which is thename of our, our overall parent company and it's the name of our building. Sowhen you come in and listen to a show, you're gonna see that that on theoutside too, that there's actually a connect. So again, it all goes back tothis overall branding, the connective tissue that's going to go throughout it.And you know, sometimes you gotta, you gotta pay a little bit up front for thelong term benefit. We talk about that and investing, right? You gotta put inmoney now and it's gonna be painful now so that you can have good stuff in thefuture. That's a similar situation that we're experiencing today. Have you seena big fallout from revenue based on your, your lost traffic? Yes. And no,we've, we've had issues with with some areas with revenue, some, some areasaren't dependent on non branded for the most part. And so we haven't seen thatand like I said, we knew a lot of this was coming. And so we've been focusingon other areas to kind of minimize that, that gap overall bummer for the teams that are dedicated,the products that were most dependent on it, but at the same time there's so many things going on that Iknow it would work out, man. We've covered a lot of different topics.We've talked about branding, we've talked about house of brands, we'vetalked about S E. O. Domain names, uh, this massive project Ramsey over did toconsolidate all these anywhere else. One of the bigger projects that I'veheard of, thank you so much for walking me through all of that. If people wantto connect with you, Where's a good place to connect with you Casey andwhat's probably the most relevant thing for B2B marketers to know about Ramseyand where to find it. Yeah, we, so connecting with me is, is relativelyeasy. I spend, I spend a good deal of time. This is where we met on linkedin.Uh, and so that's K. C. It's K C Y. It's a, it's a weird spelling, butthat's, that's how you can find me. And there's a lot of really smart marketersfrom Ramsey that are on linkedin, like if you're listening to this and youwant to connect with. I've never worked at a company around so many people thatare extremely intelligent and experts in their craft and so if you're lookingfor, if you're looking for that, there's a lot of people whether it's uhyou know, Andy high or tray cinnamon. You've got Jennings recently. We have alot of people that are active on linkedin as well. So connecting withpeople, there is a great thing to do. But if, if you're looking for likeRamsey Solutions, what we do. Ramsey Solutions dot com is where you can goand get all of that. And we are hiring a lot of people, we're hiring marketerswere hiring developers, we've got a lot of people out like a lot of rolesBecause we are continuing to grow. I said we're at 1000, We've just builtour second building um that houses 1000 people. So we have 1000 in one buildingand we just built another one. And so...

...we are poised for a lot of growth inthese next years. And so if you want to get on that ship, go to Ramseysolutions dot com and and look in the career section. Fantastic Casey. Thankyou again for joining me on GDP growth. Thanks for having me and sweet fish. We're on a mission tocreate the most helpful content on the internet for every job function andindustry on the planet for the B two B marketing industry. This show is howwe're executing on that mission. If you know a marketing leader that would bean awesome guest for this podcast. Shoot me a text message, don't call mebecause I don't answer unknown numbers. But text me At 407 four and I knowthree, Just shoot me. Their name may be a link to their linkedin profile, andI'd love to check them out to see if we can get them on the show. Thanks a lot. Live with it. Mhm.

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