PreneurCast is a marketing + business podcast. Author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
This episode was recorded during a live stream in Rich Schefren‘s Strategic Profits offices in Florida. Pete and Dom discuss the idea of what would you do if SEO died? How would you get traffic for your site and customers for your business?
Pete and Rich talk about getting website traffic and customers without SEO
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What if SEO Died?
Dom Goucher: Hi everyone, and welcome to this week’s special edition of PreneurCast with me Dom Goucher and him, Pete Williams.
Pete Williams: Hi guys.
Dom: You might notice a little bit of a difference in the sound this week. That’s because we’re both in the same place. Normally it sounds like we’re both in the same place, but we really, really are this week. We’re actually in Rich Schefren’s offices in sunny Florida. It is very sunny outside, sunny Florida. We’re actually in the middle of a [Profit Hacks] live stream. So this is going to be a slightly shorter episode but still high value content for you folks. We’re going to get right into it. And Pete, what are we going to talk about this week?
Pete: I think the episode for today which actually fits in with the show and the all the episodes we do every single week here on PreneurCast. Everyone can get on PreneurMedia.tv. But we want to talk about this and talk about what would happen if SEO died. Because so many people, you know, whether you’re a small business owner or an internet marketer and obviously, you know, we’re talking to the live stream viewers right now are obviously are in the business of generating traffic for their business. That should be one of the core focuses people do. We talk about this so often on the PreneurCast podcast is one of the real core focuses that business owners should have whether it’s a retail store or online business is getting traffic to that business and a lot of traffic for a lot of businesses these days is web based traffic or traffic from Google. People are spending all this time sort of doing backlinking and trying to get their websites ranked high on the Google search results. Which is important. Google gets a lot of traffic and a lot of traffic to a lot of people’s businesses comes from Google. But the issue is that obviously Google is making a lot of changes to their algorithms and people who are in that SEO game are would be aware of Panda and Penguin updates which might sound weird for those of you listening to the podcast that don’t know about SEO and stuff. But there’s other ways to drive traffic to your site. In my opinion better ways. And I think SEO is changing and even Google search results page is changing quite a bit too. There’s the universal search with maps coming up on the pages and videos and stuff which makes it much harder to get your website ranked on the first page of Google anyway.
So playing that game is not necessarily the best use of your time as a business owner and as a marketer. So what would you do if SEO died and also should you actually be thinking that it is already slowly dying right now and change your approach to generating traffic to your business.
Dom: Can I just add one extra level to this. Because for me, if you’re only relying on SEO, search engine optimization, and that ranking in the normal search results in Google, that’s your only source of traffic, then that’s a dangerous position to be in anyway. Now with all these changes in Google, potentially, it’s even more dangerous. So really this is kind of a little bit of cautionary tale regardless of whether somebody is worried about the death of SEO. It’s still a cautionary tale for anybody who is relying solely on search engine traffic as where all the traffic for their business is coming from.
Pete: I think Jay Abraham first sort of, I’m sure I’m going to mess up this quote and I’m sure it’s not going to be quite right, but the message is there. I remember him talking quite a bit about the issue he had with a one-legged table. If you have a business and you only have one leg and that’s one traffic generation, one path to market, you’re in danger because if that actually falls over. Your business is complete gone. And he talks about having multiple legs to the table. Doing different things. So not only online but looking at off line. But if you’re in that online space Google and other ways to get traffic to your site than just one platform that can fall over and wipe you out in a moment.
Dom: So enough of the scare mongering. What can we do about this? What if SEO did die?
Pete: I think the issue is that SEO is great for traffic because people are out there proactively searching and things like that. But there are so many other ways to get traffic to your business and I really believe one of the best ways people should be looking at growing their business online is standing on the shoulders of giants. And we’ve spoken about this term before on this show and things like that about the importance to leverage other people’s communities and get their endorsements. This is something I think is a great way that relates to the show we’re talking about but also the viewers on the live stream to sort of bring them back in as well is that standing on the shoulders of giants, other people have spent years of hard work, blood, sweat, tears and time to build a platform. Build a community. Get their site already ranked in Google. So why not stand on their shoulders and approach them and start doing guest posting. So rather than spending all this time trying to get your own blog post ranked in the search engine which means you have to get your domain have authority and trust with people and have your own little individual slice of blog post ranked, why not go to a platform that already is ranking for your search terms in your niche that already has a domain authority and offer a high quality engaging piece of content. Whether it’s a video, audio or written blog post that you can leverage off. They can put on their site and have that site ranked, or that article ranked much quicker than drive traffic and awareness yourself.
Dom: Okay, Pete Williams, friend to the stars. Recent fireside chats with Robert Greene and many other luminaries and friend to Rich Schefren, etc. That’s all well and good for you to say that. But what about the real world? What about where … you’re talking about going to somebody who is possibly already an authority. They’ve already got ranking in in Google, what’s in it for them? How would you approach these people if you aren’t Pete Williams?
Pete: Great question. I think it’s a number of things. What’s their objective? This is something Ed Dale talks about quite a bit is, you know, understand their objective. What’s in it for them? Always back self-interest is a saying that he taught me which I love because look at that blogger, that website. What’s in it for them? Their self-interest. You’ve got to support their self-interest. For them, they want highly engaging content for their audience. So if you’re creating good articles, good content, that can go on their site, that helps add value to their community. It shows them in good light, that they’ve got good connections with smart, intelligent people. So it’s good for them in that regard as well. It helps position them well. And there’s potential to do JV’s and stuff right off the back of that. You could potentially talk about doing an affiliate offer and things like that. It’s about adding good value to their community and to their list.
Dom: You possibly could say that in this case and I think going forward, from now, given the way the world is working, content is kind of currency.
Pete: It is. Absolutely.
Dom: High quality content is currency. If you have high quality content, especially if somebody is an authority they’re expected to produce content. They’re expected to produce high quality content. And that can become a drain. We’re on a live stream right now talking about some really effective ways of leveraging your time and creating content…
Pete: But for a lot people that don’t understand these hacks and these work flows, you’re absolutely right.
Dom: Going to them and offering them high value content is real currency.
Pete: I think that’s a great quote. Content is currency. I think it’s a fantastic little quote.
Dom: I just made that up.
Pete: You should put your name to it and copyright it. The thing is if SEO died, what would you do? You’d have to go out and create content and leverage on other platforms because you can’t get your platform ranked in the search engines. So what else would you do? Podcasting. This is one the things that we do here is because there’s other platforms out there that have hundreds and thousands of people coming back to your site. There’s platforms out there like iTunes, for example, that has hundreds of thousands of people going every day to it. So why try and build up your own platform and get that platform ranked when you can just stand on other platforms that exist like our show. We put that on iTunes and we get thousands of subscribers coming in and downloading the show purely because we’re already on iTunes. We didn’t do anything else. People are already going to iTunes looking for great content. So why not deliver that content on a silver platter in the form of a podcast like we do?
Dom: Which is again, a great thing and just one of those if somebody is worried. I really can’t approach these luminaries with my content, let’s look back at our history. We’ve said this a couple of times. But I think it’s important. If you go back to the beginning of PreneurCast, which PreneurMedia.tv, slight plug. Go back and look at PreneurMedia.tv. Look at all those episodes. You’ll see the first; I don’t know how many episodes did we have before we interviewed anybody?
Pete: It would be at least 30 or so, wouldn’t it?
Dom: And then I think it was possibly a friend of ours that we interviewed.
Pete: Yep. So we started with people we knew and people who could add some value and we just leveraged off that.
Dom: But what we did do is we went to a platform that again is already ranking, already publishing and already popularizing content. iTunes. Apples iTunes, every Apple device there is, is connected into the iTunes system. If people want entertainment, that’s where they go first. They go directly to iTunes to see what’s new, what podcasts they can have and be regularly updated with. And it’s free. They make it free. They make it easy for you to submit. So why would you not put your content on there?
Pete: Think about Nike as a brand. Whether you love them or hate them, think about Nike. What have they done when they started up their brand? They built the shoe. The built the content which is the shoe and then went to platforms and got distributed. They went to retail stores that already existed. That already had people walking into. They went to Wal-Mart that had thousands of people walking into. They didn’t go and start their business by creating their own franchise of Nike stores. They did that after the fact. After they had brand awareness and sales and exposure. But with online marketing, so many people what they do is start and try and build a brand, build a product like a Nike shore, but they also build a Nike town around it and then get people to come to the Nike town. It’s like three steps of effort before I can even get any traffic or make any sales.
Dom: That is a really good example. I never really thought about it. That’s an excellent example. Just imagine if Nike had started out going to all the trouble of making those shoes and then tried to create a store just to sell their shoes.
Pete: There’s no leverage in that. This is the whole thing is what people have been taught to do is go off and start in internet marketing spaces. Start a blog, start your own little store, produce your products and things for your store and then try and get traffic to that store. It’s a huge amount of effort. Whereas, things like Amazon is great. Kindle is huge. iTunes is doing this now with their magcast. Ed Dale has a great platform to create magcasts in the newsstand platform. Because there’s people already going to Amazon every single day with their wallet and their purses open, credit card in hand trying to buy something. So by producing content that goes their already you’re getting in front of these people straight away.
Dom: Then that’s really the message here I guess. Your first example probably scared a few people. I’ll be honest. It would scare me. If I wasn’t friend to Pete Williams, friend of the stars, it would scare me a lot because to go out there and just go straight to an actual person and say here’s some of my content, would you mind publishing it on your site is a bit …. I don’t feel too comfortable doing that. I think a lot of people might feel that way. Other people might think it’s great and off they go.
With these platforms that we’re talking about whether it’s iTunes to publish a podcast or the Kindle platform or newsstand for the magazines….
Pete: I think to just cut you off there as I always do in most episodes, is what most people are doing especially with online marketing is they’re building their product and selling in one place. On their website and having all that effort. But if you can, rather than do that, just take your content and go straight to platforms where people already are, you’re standing on the shoulder of giants. So you don’t need SEO. Because what you’re doing is just creating great content, highly valuable content and going straight to the platform where people have their money ready to spend.
Dom: If you look around for opportunities like that … it really has never been so easy to get exposure. It’s weird. People are focusing on search engine optimization or focusing on the Google search engine. Actually there are these platforms out there that are inviting you. They’re worrying. They’re paying millions of dollars in advertising. Amazon is a huge company that’s spends millions and millions of dollars on advertising and promoting and so let them do that work. You get the easy part. You create the content and you can create content just like we do right now. We’re having a conversation. We’re recording it. Anybody can do this with any computer. You can see as we’ve done, this will be our 80th show. It’s going to be on iTunes along with all the other 79. We don’t do anything particularly complicated. We aren’t paying any money to anybody to list it. ITunes are out there and we’re everywhere now. Through the course of the show we’ve gone from nowhere to we were ranked number one business…
Pete: We’ve been ranked quite high. For something with valuable content every single week.
Dom: And that by them ranking you inside their platform, people as you say, are on the platforms looking new content. Looking for high value content. They see you ranking. They’ll click it. They’ll download you. You’ll grow your audience. We’ve done it. That’s what we’ve done.
Pete: An analogy I’ve heard as well which I think is quite a good one and hopefully I can articulate it well is that if you had a race horse. And you raised a race horse and using that race horse to make money. You’re racing it and trying to make money. Well what’s best, to actually spend time creating the race course, trying to find other people to come and watch and gamble and on your horses or just take that horse to other race courses that already exist, that already have races organized and just race the horse and then win the prize money.
Dom: That’s a really….
Pete: So many people are trying to build the race course as well which is just very hard. There’s huge profit in owning the race course later down the track. Like Amazon clearly makes more money than the publishers do because they own the platform. But you can’t start with that. You need to start with instant cash flow. That’s sort of a Profit Hack which is a term we talk about on the show a bit and relates to the live stream we’re doing now is that the Profit Hack is what is the fastest way to profit to business in your business?
For so many people what they’re doing is not going that fastest path. They’re doing the SEO. They’re actually going out there, trying to start a website and a blog and blogging and trying to a way of traffic to eventually sell a product. Why not just take that product straight to the platform and hack that time it takes to actually make a sale.
Dom: What about flipping this completely on its head?
Pete: As we always do.
Dom: I like to come out from both sides. Another example from us. Because when you got Ryan Holiday, Robert Greene, Rich Rowe, Tim Ferriss next week on the show, all those people, when they come on the show, what’s the benefit to us?
Pete: Huge benefit. It’s fun talking to these bright people, it’s very cool and good networking and stuff that’s obviously a byproduct. For us, is a couple things. It’s great positioning for us and our show because it’s good to have high experts, but more importantly, with a lot of these experts, they Tweet out to their followers. They share on their Facebook page. They share it. So riding their wave as well. We’re standing on their shoulders. So we get great guests on the show, which help position the show and make it engaging and all that sort of great stuff but more importantly what happens that they go and share it. There’s no SEO in that. They go and share than and what happens is they share on Twitter, on their blog on things like that. It’s getting exposure to their followers, their community which we kind of hopefully they’re engaging content to bring over to our community, but also what happens is with those links they’re creating, they creating backlinks to us and SEO is happening as a byproduct. So it’s not that they’re trying to drive the link, the link coming is a byproduct of giving good core value and core content every week on a show like this.
Dom: And without prompting, there you go with one of your common and very powerful phrases which is SEO, as far as we’re concerned really should be a byproduct of quality content.
Pete: Yep, absolutely.
Dom: This is just a couple of examples of that where we’ve kind of gone full circle with the podcast and I don’t want to focus, and I don’t want to say everybody should be podcasting because a lot of people say I don’t want to podcast. Which is fine. You know, there’s lots of other ways to product content and on the live stream we’re going to show how we’re going to repurpose even this content. Even though we recorded it and its primary purpose is the podcast. We’re going to use this content which is at the bottom of it; it’s just a conversation between you and me. Or it could have been an interview. We rang Adam just before the call. We rang Adam Kaye from Strategic Profits just had a chat on his mobile. And it could be any of these things just to create content and then there’s so many different platforms out there. So many opportunities whether it’s someone in your niche or market that can publish this content for you or whether it’s one of these platforms. It’s so easy today if you just stand back and look. Instead of looking at these platforms and these people as either competition or as suppliers to you, which a lot of people do. You know a lot of people sit there and go I need something; I’m just going to look on Amazon. But it doesn’t occur to you that if you’re going to look on Amazon and it’s in your mind; you didn’t go on Google. You didn’t put a search engine query in. You went, I’m gonna go on Amazon. You go straight there. If you’re going to do that. What about your audience? Might they do that? Might they go looking for content? And if they might, well then it’s about time you put something on Amazon.
Pete: This brings it all back to sort of the topic of today’s podcast which is what would you do if SEO died? Or if SEO is dead? And the whole thing with that is hopefully people have seen through this episode as we tie it up, and it’s a shorter episode than we normally do here on PreneurCast is the bow on this and the theme we should think about is that, hang on, SEO should be a byproduct of good marketing. Go to the platforms that already exist. Leverage off other peoples blogs and communities and forums and newsletters and their podcasts and be a guest on their shows to get your traffic. But more importantly, to hack that time to profit is to when you create your products don’t worry about trying to build the actual platform yourself. Go firstly to other platforms and get exposure on those platforms as a byproduct will help you grow your own platform and your own internal community. Go where the profit and that is on platforms that already exist.
Dom: So I guess we like to wrap up with an action point. So for me, my action point will be looking for somewhere out there that you can publish your content which content is currency. I’m going see if I can get that one it. Look for an opportunity to publish your content so that you either get more profit because you’re directly selling without having to create platform yourself or you’re just going out and getting more exposure, more traffic and association with maybe a bigger name than you.
Pete: Beautiful. Well, that’s it guys. We’ve got a short podcast episode this week. As usual, thanks for listening to PreneurCast. All the show notes, the transcriptions, links and past episodes are available at PreneurMedia.tv.
Dom: Absolutely. Thanks folks for listening. Do leave us a comment on the iTunes store in your country. We love your comments and do take them onboard. We love to hear back from you.
Pete: And next week for those listening to the show next week, I’ve got a chat with Tim Ferriss. We speak about his new upcoming book called The Four Hour Shift which is really cool. I think we’ve spoken about this on the show before. I’m not a food fan, but I have to say Tim’s book surprised me quite a bit and within two days of having I cooked two meals and really enjoyed a lot of the meta learning stuff he talks about in the show and the book. So keep your eye out for that in your area for that episode of PreneurCast next week.
Dom: I’m going to have to look out for that book because I can actually burn water. See you next week folks.
Show Notes + Links:
http://profithacks.com – This episode was recorded during a livestream for the launch of Profit Hacks.
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