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 dan Sanchez with Sweet fish Media and I'm here with Casey Maxwell who is the executive director of marketing at Ramsey Solutions or one of a few executive 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 years team that Ramsey team has really been scaling from a few 100 team members to just over 1000 now and with plans to go like to the moon probably to 2000. I know you guys are building a whole new building things are going up for team Ramsey and that means change. So I was excited to talk to her Casey today as I know there's had a lot of changes within the last two years. I know the pandemic has accelerated some changes going on recently, especially with your essentially a proliferation of brands that you've had before and websites that you guys have had. So before we jump into like what's going on now and where you guys are going in the future. I wanted to learn more about what you guys have done or where you guys were with the amount of brands and websites you 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 five years and I can say the most consistent thing at Ramsey has been changed. So if if you look at at what Ramsey solutions was 25 years ago. Dave it was Dave with a small team, they had a radio show, they had a book and they had a class and they expanded some of the services over time, over those next 10 to 15 years. But it's really been in these last 5 to 7 years that it really has exploded. So when I, when I joined it was, it was a little under 500 team members. Like I said, we're now over 1000. We have the number of brands and services that we've begun to offer. Just over that time Has been, it's almost been 150% increase. Uh, and it's funny because when you look at it, a lot of people will know us for one specific thing, maybe it is the book or the class or the radio show, but the number of services that we provide across money and across things like marriage and mental health and career were just, were just exploding. And it's, it's a really fun time to be part of that sort of growth. That's really, really accelerated how many, just to give people a sense of what, like how many things you guys got going on? How many like profit centers does Ramsay currently have going on? Well, we've been consolidating those for a while, but if you, if you look back, there was 10 to 15 profit centers across the company and we've consolidated a good number 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 company itself, it's always had this sort of entrepreneurial bent. So uh teams within, we would have these little startups that just happened within the organization and it's a small team that that come around an idea and begin pushing it to get A P. N. L. And to be able to grow this. And so we had those things springing up all over the place Over the past, you know, 7, 8 years and we've started to consolidate those and saying, Okay, these are hitting, but what would it look like for all of these to be together? What what could we push with with a consolidated effort? It makes a lot of sense. I mean with the, I know you guys launched entre leadership like a while ago, I remember first reading that when I got introduced to Ramsey is kind of about that time and so you were like, yes, we want to have people that are equally entrepreneurial but also leaders because we don't need them to go like crazy all over the place. We need them to kind of set goals and milestones and shoot 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 of entrepreneurship and created all these new skews to sell, right, and you had a lot of attention, you had a radio show...

...that's being syndicated lots of places that probably lots of eyes and attention to sell new stuff, but now you have a lot of brands to deal with. And I know working with companies that can 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 a Ramsey brand. How do you, how do you deal with that? I've worked at some big enough companies to know that it can become confusing to have all these this proliferation of different identities and brands and different, sometimes they'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 that does that sit on the home brand? Or does it, does this new brand need a twitter account? Right. You just have all these pieces everywhere. So what did you guys do to start cleaning that up recently? Well, when, when you look at our company, our company, the products that we offer, the services that we offer, the shows that we put out? We are a trust brand, you you're not gonna buy any of our books, you're not going to listen to any of the advice that we have or you're not gonna take any of the recommendations that we offer. If you don't trust us and trust is not an easy thing to, to have or to get in the market place, you've got to really earn that and Dave earned a lot of trust with people, one, he was consistent, two people were not disproving this baby steps to seven baby steps that we that we've put out there and so he's got all of this time and trust built and all of these new brands that were continually being spun up didn't have that trust, a lot of them were starting from zero, we would, we had every dollar budget and unless you knew Dave and knew that we said you know you need to give every dollar a job, 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 we said that you know that's that's not scalable for the long term, you know you 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 the organization and a bunch of Twitter accounts and a bunch of instagram accounts and and we said this is not a scalable future. Just looking at our e commerce platform, having Five, stores, if you think of all the skews that are in those, think each of that every time you had a skew your doing it eight times and managing across eight different properties and it just, it just wasn't scalable. And so we said that we have to figure out that, but even even before we got into that um this, this conversation falls into what we call succession planning. So as you know, Dave, Davis is kind of the heart of the company. He started it and he's a personality, he's written books, he did live events, but he's not gonna be here forever, right? He's not going to leave the company unless he's forced to like in the future, right? He said he's going to stay on the radio show until he stops making sense and we're gonna have to like yank him off. So he's not planning to go anywhere but in the future, 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 stuff that we're doing the way that we're helping people that needs to continue beyond him. And so if that's going to happen, we've got to figure out a way where Dave is not the connective trust that runs through all of our brands. We need a brand that's going to connect all of this stuff together and we needed to figure out how to get these experiences and these brands all to, to sound the same and worked together. I mean it makes a lot of sense. Whereas a lot of legacy brands, it felt, I felt like personal brands were like a big thing when people just often like maybe like 100 and 250 years ago? People often named the company's after themselves, right? And then that kind of went away in the Mad Men era when we...

...were coming up with different names for things. But I almost feel like there's a swing back to this personal brand thing because again, there's a proliferation of brand. So people that the pendulum tends to swing. Ramsey is definitely one of those early adopters of leading with the personal branding with a radio personality like his and like a thought leadership that he has. It just makes sense. It works. It's easier to build trust that way. So it makes sense that you're trying to consolidate brands a little bit around that Trust. It's interesting. You made a point about like a trust brand and I'm like, wait a second. Like aren't all brands equated with trust, right? You could say like there's might be check like a, like a new thing of candy or gum at the checkout aisle, which may not have any trust has zero brand. It's some, it just has a small value proposition. It promises. Uh, I don't know, it's like a five hour energy knockoff, 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 would also 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 a really good question. Trust, when it comes to brand, I agree that in any brand, any time you're going to buy a product, you have a level of trust and there's a level of commitment and expectation with that. So when I go to a 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 be fries. I don't have, I don't have to trust that this is going to be the best burger I've ever had or that this thing is going to change my life, so I'm not going to pay that much and I'm not going to expect that much. But when you look at the things that we do, we have a process to say, we're not gonna put anything out there that's not going to help people. And if if you're going to do something that is going to change your life, you have to have a lot of trust in the person offering that to you before, you're going to do it. So maybe like if we if we didn't have a lot of trust, we could probably sell a lot of books. We could probably have people sign up for a lot of stuff, but for people to actually do it and it to be successful because once you start getting in there, that stuff is hard, right? I want to go spend a bunch, I want 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 actually not have credit cards. Well that sounds weird if I don't trust you enough to believe that even though that sounds wrong, but I'm gonna trust you and actually do it and get the results that that comes from it. Like if we don't have a lot of trust people aren't gonna take the leap to do the weird stuff and if they don't take that leap, they're not going to have the awesome results that are going to come from, from doing that weird stuff. I mean that makes makes 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 brand right, is to have, is I find that strong brands actually pick a fight with 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 probably don't have a hero, there's gotta be a bad guy somewhere. So I actually think that it's probably often missed in a lot of branding conversations. I think Ramsey's is essentially the debt industry, right? Is that, is that the main villain? We, we have a lot of villains out there. We just released a documentary about the student loan industry and the way that that has basically 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 I 100% 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't have 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 attacking your hero so that you can be the guy to guide them out of that. So being very clear on what you're going against is important, how you tell people about that. That's that's a nuance of of the marketing. But yeah, being very clear is really important. So what does, what does the brand strategy look like now for Ramsey? Are you throwing Ramsey on the front of everything? Like how are you consolidating how you explain all your different products and properties? Yeah, we're slowly walking into that a lot of it. There is a is a good deal of, we need to add Ramsey to that. So Ramsey every dollar Ramsey financial peace. If you look at our subscription now is Ramsey plus we've consolidated something's under what we're calling Ramsay trusted, which was our endorsed local providers and smart vester. So we are adding Ramsey, there's there's things that we're doing. So all of our videos online start with our block. R R Ramsey are it's not as as simple as that, but that's that's one of the visual things. You need to start hearing 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 information of a brand are you you going to keep in your mind if you have 37 brands, are you expecting people to understand all of those brands? Remember all of those brands categorize all those brands or do you want them to remember one thing so that when they hear it attached to other things, that trust is going to go to those other things. So if you heard Ramsey and you build trust around that and then you heard endorsed local providers, your question is, well, what has endorsed local providers? Who's endorsing them? What why do I care about that? But if you hear Ramsey, you've attached some trust to that and then 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 trust them. 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 be consistent about how we talk about things across our property. When we look at our websites, we want to make sure we will talk about this in a minute. But we consolidate them all under one U. R. L. But that you could take a bunch of colors of plato and smash them together and they're still going to be a bunch of different plato pieces together just in one ball. But we needed to figure out how how does it actually become one brand? And so when you go to the home page and you go to um one of our brands and then you go to another 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 a colors that we do. You know, even down to button colors as they go throughout our website. Every website had different buttons, right? Different shapes, different colors. That simple thing of making this connected tissue that goes throughout is extremely important for making that consistent brand experience for customers. And it's not an easy decision, right? I mean it takes weeks, weeks sometimes of all these all day meetings of debating back and forth what we're gonna do, even from the top level of, I don't know you guys probably had this conversation of uh that's usually the three 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 want to go to or do we want to do the one in between? That's the endorsed brand? And it kind of sounds like you've landed essentially in that middle ground of endorsed brand, kind of like a Mario, it's a good example where they'll have courtyard 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 purely Ramsey brands too, right? But then you have a lot of separate brands and they might just be products, but essentially like entre leadership is more than just a product. So it's a massive property in between, Right? Um so you guys have stayed 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 with differently, correct, correct. You hit the nail on the head. We made the decision, we're not going to be google, right? So we're not gonna be google maps, 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 the PNG route where you don't really know what PNG is and you only know the sub brands, we do fall somewhere in the middle and a lot of that is we've kind of got tier one level brands and then we've got sub brands that fall underneath that. So when you think of uh entree leadership, you'll see Ramsey Entree 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 the space. So sometimes that means we got some big words, you want to throw another word on top of that, like that's that's not gonna work, you're not gonna see that in the app store where it's like Ramsey, every dollar budgeting to like We've got to, we've got to consolidate that some way. So some of that is based on is based on space and availability. But yeah, we we've spent the architecture of putting all of this stuff together. It's been going on for a while. I mean this conversation started at least 24 months ago from a, how do we consolidate all of these brands and it's an ongoing, we have a what we call a branding committee that meets every week and we not only review those things, discuss those things, but we also look at what are 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 a logo, does this need to fall under this logo, how do how do all of these things fit together? So it's something that wasn't necessarily actively managed from a global perspective? We were always having those conversations from an individual product or even individual brand line? But looking at it from the global perspective, we've we've been so pleased about the way Work that's been done over the past 24 months where it all starts to feel together and that that handoff from one brand to another to another, uh it's getting better, it's definitely not there, but it's definitely headed in the right direction. So how do you decide if you want to start a new initiative to sell a product? Maybe like your your B two B product that you sell, you sell your your software package and content to HR directors, right? Who kind of package it as a benefit? Yeah. Smart dollar, smart dollar. I know Sweet Fish is probably gonna be looking at signing up for that for that sometime, right? Yeah, I can connect you with someone, just let me know. I think we're already in conversations, I can't remember, I'm not in nature, so I'm not I'm not the guy in direct conversation but I'm like I know that we've talked about this before, the leadership team like this thing but let's say like you want to start a property around HR but Ramsey is not known for HR. Ramsey is known as a finance? Maybe essentially personal finance 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 the overall 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 consider making new property for building a separate brand? How would you approach something like that? Yeah, we have, we have what we call the Wheel of Life. So when we started, we were uh, we were just a money company. And when you look at the Wheel of Life, there's a lot of...

...different areas when people are thinking 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 got money. Exactly like all of these, all of these different areas kind of fall in, in the wheel of Life and we have been a money company for the past 20 years. We've slowly started moving into some of these other spaces now, almost unintentionally at first, like you mentioned entree leadership, that book came out in 2008 and really that book was just how Ramsey did business. If you read that book, it's like, well we do it this way and we did this and we did that. It wasn't necessarily, hey, we're going to redefine the business landscape. It was kind of like this is this is how we do it. But as we've moved forward, we've been very, very intentional about the different, what we call spokes uh, that we go into one. If we don't feel like there is something that needs to be disrupted or there's something that needs to be um a light shined on it. We're not going to go down there just because somebody has an idea, some of it is, we've all, we've, we've always had this champion mindset, we call it where somebody has an idea and then it goes through a pretty significant vetting process. It doesn't make sense with Ramsey and before, if it wasn't money to, to your point, it was kind of like, well no, we probably won't do that. Like if you looked at our events, a lot of our events, anytime we would have someone come and speak, that was outside of money, it wouldn't be one of our in house personalities, it would be somebody from the outside. But as we begin having conversations of what does the future look for our company, we do say we're going to need to move outside of money in some of these other areas because honestly, when you look at money, everything of life interacts with money in some way, I'm not saying that 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 I going to pay for that? How do I set them up for the future? Right, What are the things that I should teach them? Oh, what about marriage and marriage and money? Like we have a conference called Money and Marriage and when you think about that, there is a lot around money when it comes, should I, should we have a joint bank account? How do we have a budget conversation? How do we get even on 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 uh specific process around how we do that and a lot of it comes down to do we feel like we can enter this market and provide value and help people because you know, that's, that's what our mission is to bring hope and education to 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 space that we're not known for, but part of the global branding effort is so that we can transfer that trust into that space so that we're not going to just do something that is a completely separate brand. Um it may be something different than we've ever done. We just had john Deloney join, join our team and we've been moving into the mental health space and he's amazing, but we'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 our subscription, he is throughout our different areas so that we can tie all of this together moving forward. So what I hear you saying is that you would take an initiative like that would be like how do we connect this back 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 reaching out with the value proposition, like people struggle with money and the more your employees struggle, the more they're not going to be focused on great work, help your employees thrive, build it into your benefits to get smart dollar and help teach them how to use their money, teach them how to utilize 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 a property that you then build and still tie back to the core thing of, we help people take care of their money so that they can live a better life or whatever the slogan is, right? Yeah, yeah. I mean you look at, you look at a lot of the 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. But what are the other areas that people need this help? Well, what about to your point? What about employees? We found that employees that don't have that 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 with mismanaging your money actually makes you a worse employee because you're focused on that. I'm gonna need to constantly leave to get a better job because I need to make more money because I don't know how to spend correctly. Um I've got stress. I'm not going to come into work. I can't focus because I got all that we've got the research and we found that companies love that. They're like, yes, please, how do we offer a benefit that's gonna actually make a better worker, right? And it's not just we need to to make better workers, but the way that we're helping people at the same time that then produces a result that a business is going to like, it made complete sense for us to do that. And we also did that in schools. Nobody was teaching financial literacy in schools. I mean, the reason financial peace was so successful is because nobody taught in schools and people time and time again, 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 brand of 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 whole other part of your business, you're not gonna need anymore because everybody is going to be doing it right. And and yes, that's true. And if you look at our our we want to bring hope to everybody, That would be a great world. We would be 100% okay if everybody took this curriculum in high school and didn't need us for that part of of us in the future, that would be, that would be okay. And there's different areas like that. How do we take things that are in one area and move them into these, these other areas? That just makes sense, man makes a ton of sense to me. I before sweet fish, I was working for a university called Bethany Global University and it was a required class budgeting and they just walked through Financial Peace University and I know that students were very thankful for that. So I know colleges are doing even better to get it at the high school level, but if not then at least at the college level, as you're starting to prepare for those things and hopefully you didn't take talk, you'll probably learn. I mean, a lot of colleges probably wouldn't want to do it because you'd be like anti large college debt and 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 there could be a future and maybe if there's anybody at college is listening, if they said, hey, we want to sponsor this to get into all of these schools because we're not anti college. That's, that's the thing. We're anti student loan debt because it robs your future. We, if you look at one of the baby steps, one of the baby steps is saving...

...for college. So we are very pro education. We're very pro, like, hey, we want, we want higher ed. The thing is you just got to figure out the best way to pay for it. And they're like, we teach all that stuff through scholarships and part time jobs and figure 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 reaching the crescendo and something's gonna disrupt the college industry in a major way they would be good to look and say how do we figure out how to help people pay for college so that people can continue to come to college instead of trying 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 as it was, you guys had a have a massive web presence, how did you go about consolidating a lot of those websites that were out there with all those different U. R. L. S, all those different style sheets, all those different Back End Systems, Like Why Did 1? You've already talked a little bit about why you wanted to consolidate some of these things to provide a more holistic experience for brand reasons. But what were some of the technological reasons you wanted to do this? And then how did how did you execute that process? How do I distill 18 plus months of work into answer? Like that is a really, it's a great question, but it is a really, really big question. So when when we made the decision to consolidate this a lot of it, uh branding was a big part of this, there was also S E O that we thought about it, It's very similar to Trust Google is a is a trust brand right there there, they have to trust your website before they'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 Dave Ramsey dot com which was our primary website. But every time we would go launch a new website that wasn't connected to that, we didn't have that trust. So we were building that trust from scratch so that every time if we put 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 we were struggling on all of these other sites. So we made the decision, we need to combine all of these into 11 site and to do that it was it was going to be a massive undertaking. So they were like, there were three main things that we thought through in this process. One we had to to think of traffic right? We had to think of, there is a lot of traffic coming to this site. There's a lot of traffic from S. C. O. Coming to this site. And so how we plan this and walk this out if we do this wrong, it the damage that it's going to do to our site that we are going to be digging out of forever. It's like we did, we looked 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 when it's not doing the redirects correctly or giving a bunch of four floors and all of these other things. And so a big focus of our planning was around how do we 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 is there was a lot of work that needed to be done. Not all of these websites that we had were on the same uh systems on the back end. The CMS is so we had to figure out how do we transfer pages over into the new section with that came redirects? Our final redirect map...

...was over 15,000 U. R. L. S. So we had a spreadsheet of €15,000 that said here's the old one and this is the new one that 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 but it kind of made my eyes bleed when I just would look at it just because it was it was so long and so complicated. And so we had to figure out how do we do that? How do we make sure that we don't have a ton of 4/4. We had to look at the overall architecture. We went from a very brand first architecture to a topic first architecture. So instead of leading with financial peace and an R. U. R. L. Slug. We lead with debt or money or insurance because that's what people 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 do we make this site scalable? So that in the future if we had more products that are gonna help you with dead or more products that are gonna help you with insurance, they're all going to be categorized in the right way with with google. And the last one because we knew we were going to take a hit. And in terms of traffic, we looked at revenue and seasonality to figure out when we were going to do this because all the research we did and anytime you research anything on google, the one thing that you're going to find is that everybody thinks something different. No matter if you are an S. E. O. Expert or you are someone who used to work at google or you're somebody at google that is putting things out that it's this black box for how you actually do it, quote unquote correct. And so the decision, the decision that we made, we called the light switch approach. So instead of slowly migrating all of those sites, one after another, we did them all at one time. So we did all of the work for about 18 months and then 1 10 hour plus day we got 100 plus people in a room and we migrated all of these sites at once. So we turned the lights off 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 touched that project in some way but we had so just just from the sheer number of volume we had over um over 1000 marketing pages. We had over 2500 blogs that had to be had to be either consolidated, migrated. We had even more than that that we killed or redirected And then like I said over 15,000 you or else not to mention because google likes hard coded links in web pages. We had to go in and update all of that in every page we went in and hard coded all of those links again. Now luckily we were able to get a script, we have some smart developers that that did that but had we had, we done that manually there was like over 120,000 in page links throughout the website that we were going to have to update. So those are kind of the main the main things that we considered, but a lot of it was a phased process that we did. We had some key milestones over that time um and then we had times where we called it the freeze, there were different things that would have to freeze so that nothing else would change and we could verify it again and again, one of one of my favorite things that we did, we called it everyone's a Q A and so everyone in the organization, we had a giant spreadsheet that had all the U. R.

L. S. That we were transitioning and we sent it out to everybody and we said, hey go in and choose 3 to 4 pages and just go in and q it make sure the links work, make sure it loads, make sure when you click to something that's going to the right thing and we involved the entire organization and we we actually we did that two different times. So we had everyone's a Q a part two and everybody knows that Sequels are always better than the original. Um And so we got every, we had to get everybody excited. Again, we're like we're gonna QA again let's do it. But it was it was such an awesome example of getting the entire organization behind this, this overall project, but all let's say is not easy. The decision was not taken lightly and the amount of time and effort we put in here was significant and I hope to never have to consolidate that many domains into one again, I found big transitions like this usually only take place once unless something dramatic and the company happens way later down the line like you change business models or something then of course then it's time to 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 these properties page size wise. The only the only people that are like bigger than this as far as our like maybe dedicated media properties like you know like Forbes or wired or whatever. Like those guys that were like social networks are people who do like programmatic sc Oh so you think of like Zap ear who set up like 100,000 pages automatically just by coming up with all the different weird tool combinations that people search. Right? So those can be kind of complicated but you guys have multiple properties and not only do you have multiple properties but you change the your all of your core property. It went from Dave Ramsey dot com to Ramsey solutions dot com which is that in and of itself is a big change over just changing the core properties don't mean but not you should decided just to go for it all at once, which is which is crazy 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 changed it all over in april and we're still walking that back. So we we had the dip um immediately and one of the things, so obviously you're watching your domain authority, so our domain authority uh dipped and within a week it was back up to exactly where Dave Ramsey dot com was, which was great. We and we have been watching where we're kind of falling from. We look at both what we call branded and non branded search and so are branded rebounded immediately. That was that was never a major concern for us in terms of us getting back up in those rankings, we knew that the only way we were going to lose those is if we did something horribly wrong, like if we didn't if we didn't do the redirects right, or something broke or they didn't take a site map that we submitted or something like that. So that stuff came back relatively quickly. The non branded is what's what's been slowly coming back up and a lot of that is because we have things that span a lot of different areas, each of those are kind of having their own path back, right. And there's things that are happening if if nothing else was happening in google. So if they weren't constantly releasing algorithm updates and they weren't constantly shifting what they're saying about core web vitals and page experience and all that, it might be a more consistent return. But there are so many different factors that are that are impacting our our trek back up. And so we are we are on the path we're still down. Um But we we knew that we were going to be down for a good amount of time in S. E. O. And so we've been looking at what are other ways that we can continue to drive that um Because S Ceo is not just done in the world of S.

E. O. Right, people don't just search because of work that you've done in search. So it's things that you're doing outside, whether it's branding, um whether it's media hits. We we saw some great seo traffic increase through all of the advertising that we did around the borrowed future documentary that just came out. So there's a lot of stuff that we're still glad that we did it. We knew long term and we made the decision that the long term brand of the company was not going to be Dave Ramsey. And we also knew that as we had these other products and services that are just going to have Ramsey on it, that the kind of easier sc oh way to go would be to just consolidate into Dave Ramsey dot com but that was going to be a big disconnect for our customers. So if I, if I find Ramsey every dollar and I go and then I'm redirected to Dave Ramsey dot com. If you don't really know Dave Ramsey, that's going to be a really big disconnect, you're gonna be like, what does that even, what does that mean? But even our personalities like Rachel Cruz or john Deloney when they do media hits, they're called Ramsey personalities so that when they go to Ramsey Solutions, which is the name of our, our overall parent company and it's the name of our building. So when you come in and listen to a show, you're gonna see that that on the outside too, that there's actually a connect. So again, it all goes back to this 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 the long term benefit. We talk about that and investing, right? You gotta put in money now and it's gonna be painful now so that you can have good stuff in the future. That's a similar situation that we're experiencing today. Have you seen a 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 areas aren't dependent on non branded for the most part. And so we haven't seen that and like I said, we knew a lot of this was coming. And so we've been focusing on 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 I know 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've talked about S E. O. Domain names, uh, this massive project Ramsey over did to consolidate all these anywhere else. One of the bigger projects that I've heard of, thank you so much for walking me through all of that. If people want to connect with you, Where's a good place to connect with you Casey and what's probably the most relevant thing for B2B marketers to know about Ramsey and where to find it. Yeah, we, so connecting with me is, is relatively easy. 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, but that's, that's how you can find me. And there's a lot of really smart marketers from Ramsey that are on linkedin, like if you're listening to this and you want to connect with. I've never worked at a company around so many people that are extremely intelligent and experts in their craft and so if you're looking for, if you're looking for that, there's a lot of people whether it's uh you know, Andy high or tray cinnamon. You've got Jennings recently. We have a lot of people that are active on linkedin as well. So connecting with people, there is a great thing to do. But if, if you're looking for like Ramsey Solutions, what we do. Ramsey Solutions dot com is where you can go and get all of that. And we are hiring a lot of people, we're hiring marketers were hiring developers, we've got a lot of people out like a lot of roles Because we are continuing to grow. I said we're at 1000, We've just built our second building um that houses 1000 people. So we have 1000 in one building and we just built another one. And so...

...we are poised for a lot of growth in these next years. And so if you want to get on that ship, go to Ramsey solutions dot com and and look in the career section. Fantastic Casey. Thank you again for joining me on GDP growth. Thanks for having me and sweet fish. We're on a mission to create the most helpful content on the internet for every job function and industry on the planet for the B two B marketing industry. This show is how we're executing on that mission. If you know a marketing leader that would be an awesome guest for this podcast. Shoot me a text message, don't call me because I don't answer unknown numbers. But text me At 407 four and I know three, Just shoot me. Their name may be a link to their linkedin profile, and I'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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