Here is the Transcript for Episode 78 – How Do You Track SEO Performance and Real World Impact On Your Business;
Caleb Baumgartner: Welcome to Local SEO Tactics. I am producer Caleb Baumgartner here with another great episode filled with tips to help your business succeed. Our sales expert Sue joins our hosts Bob and Jesse to discuss the importance of setting tangible goals for your business and the value of using metrics to track your progress towards those goals. We’re also opening the forum for listener questions, so if you have any questions that you have for Bob, Jesse, or Sue that you think would help you meet your business goals, we would love to hear from you. Now onto the episode, and as always thank you for listening.
Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to local SEO tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan. I’m here as usual with Bob Brennan, and for those of you watching on video, there’s a third face here, not an interview as we do guests sometimes, but the one and only Sue Ginsburg, who we’ve talked about multiple times here, finally get to introduce you, Sue, to our audience here. This is going to be a regular thing that we’re going to do with Sue. This’ll be kind of a slightly different format of an episode, but something that will be regular and we hope you all are going to enjoy it. So before we get into that, Sue, I know, Bob, we’re going to talk about Sue’s credentials and give everybody a little quick background of her, but first, before we do that, Sue, you are on Zoom with us. You are physically somewhere, but maybe not where it appears you are on your background. Is that something you want to tell us where it looks like you’re at right now?
Sue Ginsburg: Well, I think for all you hometown listeners, that’s the skyline of Minneapolis over one of our many beautiful city lakes.
Jesse Dolan: Yes. The city of lakes, for sure. And Sue does travel around a bit. We’ll get more into that, but if you are tuning in checking out the video, you’ll probably see a different background there often with her using the virtual background for Zoom. So that aside, Bob, maybe you want to share with everybody real quick, who Sue is, why she has big marketing chops and we’re happy to have her on the team.
Bob Brennan: And I just want to say, I’m excited for Sue to join us. I mean, she’s got some incredible marketing chops, if you will, literally decades of both national and international experience in the marketing world, and Sue, just correct me and throw anything out here if I miss it.,But basically I believe you got your start with 3M working on developing best practices within the 3M corporation, and then later on you went out on your own and you did a similar best practices model, if you will, with various companies here in the Twin Cities. Target, was it Quaker Oats, is that right, or Quaker? I’m thinking Quaker Oats. I grew up on Quaker Oats, sorry. And then I think you also did, did some work with Apple as well. I guess where we’re at is you’re excited about taking some of these best practices to, and have been recently, to small and medium sized businesses. And I guess if I could throw out one question, what excites you about that process in working with small medium sized businesses?
Sue Ginsburg: Great question. As much as I love working with the big companies and learning everything I did there, what really gets me excited is helping businesses who don’t have a formula already to do that. So instead of the big companies saying, “Here’s what we want you to do, here’s how to do it.” I like working with the companies that say, “We have this problem and we’d love to have you help us solve it.” That’s the part that’s fun for me.
Bob Brennan: And then do you see the two dynamics, large… I mean a company like 3M versus Johnson Brothers Photography or whatever the service is, do you see results. Obviously, do you see results happen quicker in those environments versus the large corporations?
Sue Ginsburg: Typically, the opportunity to happen quicker in the smaller ones is there largely because they can pivot quicker and react quicker. They don’t have all the red tape to go through to make things happening, to get things to happen. I would say, yes, you’re right when that’s the situation.
Bob Brennan: Great. We’re excited to have you on board and I know our customers are going to benefit from your experience. I know we’re going to benefit from your experience, and I look forward to working with you on this podcast and together on our different projects.
Sue Ginsburg: Thank you.
Jesse Dolan: And let me set up too a little bit more of the recent history of Sue, just to complete the transition. Like you said, Bob, we are excited to be working with Sue. Sue actually came to us through this podcast. I think we’ve kind of mentioned that before, but just being that this is the first kind with this kind of a format with Sue, I think it’s a good place to mention it real quick. Sue started working with more of the small businesses doing her own marketing agency, and wanted to learn more about local SEO, tuning into our podcast. We found out we lived in the same region and connected, and after working together for about a year, things have evolved and she was a major player on our team, and not only being successful doing that helping our clients, but we said, “We’ve got to take some of this knowledge. Let’s introduce it to podcast on our show and really get out there.”
So the format, what we’re trying to do here with Sue… Bob and I are still going to do our traditional episodes, if you will, but we’re going to mix these in with Sue every week, or even multiple times a week as we get rolling, and it’s going to be a little bit more of a question and answer. Everybody knows, we’ve talked multiple times, we want you out there, our listeners, your feedback, your questions, what’s bugging you, what are you having trouble with? Because if it’s an issue for you, it’s going to be an issue for a lot of other people. And Sue is very tuned in with clients with what’s going on out there, and we thought she would be a great person to bring in to not only talk and bring some expertise, but also help field those questions and facilitate those questions.
So whether they’re questions that everybody’s submitting to us through the show, or just that she’s getting engaging with the clients out there, that’s kind of the intent of this episode format. We’ll see how it evolves and where it goes as we go. Anybody who’s listening to our show, this is going to be episode somewhere in the highest 70s. We’ve gone through some different paths and some different types of shows. This is going to be one that has this more of a question and answer format as we go forward. So with that stage set, Sue, where do you want to kick it off today on the first one?
Sue Ginsburg: Okay, thank you. Thanks to both of you. Today’s topic I wanted to talk about is the importance of paying attention to your marketing metrics. And I thought I would start with the thought opener, which is a well-known thing in the marketing community that’s very relevant to this topic. And that is, I always know that half my marketing is working, I just don’t know which half it is. I think that a lot of people can relate to that. And especially back in the day when the metrics weren’t as available, it wasn’t quite as easy to track and learn that. I can understand that most business owners don’t have the time, energy, and maybe even the knowhow to track and analyze their marketing metrics. And one of the great things about working with us is that we do track and analyze those metrics and translate that into the actions that the business owner, the business can take in real time.
That’s really where the power of the numbers are. It’s not just looking at numbers because they’re fun to look at. It’s what are they telling me, and how do I translate that into actions that will move the needle. Doing that and looking at the metrics and understanding them that way is what’s going to give you a good ROI on your marketing budget, on your marketing spend, and the results that you want in the end, whatever marketing it is, that’s what every business owner, every marketing manager’s going for. A good ROI on your marketing spend. I’ll tell you a little story about a common experience that I had back in the day when I was working at 3M. I’ve always been a big proponent of tracking metrics to understand what’s working and what isn’t. It never made sense to me that… Or I guess I’ll say I never believed in just throwing a dart and seeing what worked. I always wanted to be looking at the numbers and learning from them so that we knew what worked.
When I was first doing marketing at 3M, we used to do a lot of trade shows, and part of my meeting prep was always asking the team, “How will we measure if this trade show is successful?” Trades shows are really expensive, they take a lot of time from a lot of people, and I wanted to know what do we consider success? And my point was, are we tracking the number of people we talked to, the number of business cards we got, or are we tracking the real measure of success, how many people said yes to a sales meeting after the trade show was over and they were called or contacted? These days, with so much of marketing done online, I love that tracking metrics to see progress and success is a given and that the metrics are right there and readily available to see and to use. So my question for both of you as business owners is how do you track the progress and success when you do SEO or of SEO, and how do you track the real life business success that SEO drives? I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, I think I can probably start off on that when. For SEO, literally search engine optimization, there’s a lot of metrics. Anybody who’s listened to show, Bob and I’ve talked about the job for SEO is really to make your phone ring and your email ding at the end. But there are other gateways to measure before that actually happens, and if you’re optimizing content for the search engine, what you’re trying to do is rank your content. At its most basic level, and it’s not the end all be all metric, none of these are, you kind of need everything, but one critical area is for sure your ranking of your keywords that you’re going after. Like we always say, your content, your SEO efforts, everything should be very intentional. Deciding what keywords you’re going to be trying to optimize content for, deciding what keywords you want to be ranked and found for should be pretty critical to your business. Otherwise you are just throwing stuff out there to see what works.
Part of doing that as good keyword research, to know what people are looking for, and then deciding what it is that you want to go after. We’ve talked before about the curse of knowledge, especially if you have industry speak. You might refer to something in your business completely differently than a person on the other end of the keyboard that’s doing the actual searching. So I’d say for sure, one of the key metrics you got to look at is, your ranking for your keywords. But even further within that, be intentional on what your keywords are, do some good keyword research, and then make sure everything is aligned, the content you’re producing or the content you’re optimizing fits with those keywords and has a good intent, and then that you are tracking those keywords to make sure everybody’s on the same page.
We talked about SEO being cyclical. What do you want to rank for? Are you ranking for it? And if not, you have to re-optimize existing content or create new content. But the key to all that working is are you ranking for it? So whether you’re doing some manual tracking yourself, like just doing a Google search. Bob and I have talked different ways to do that on mobile, on not mobile. If you’re waiting at the dentist’s office before your appointment, if you’ve got a few minutes to do some quick check-in, whatever it is, or you can use tools that are out there to track your ranking, I would say right there, if you’re not tracking your ranking on keywords or having visibility to your ranking on keywords, that’s what you got to do.
And again, to be specific on that, if Bob and I are working on a business together and we’ve decided what keywords we’re going to track, rank, and go after, that we’re aware of the same ones. I always say red balloons as an example. If Bob’s doing Google searches for balloons and like, “Hey, we’re not ranked.” And I’m like, “Well, it was red balloons. That’s what I’m tracking.” There’ll be a disconnect there. So not just the act of tracking the keywords and monitoring, but that communication, coordination to make sure everybody’s on the same page with exactly what those are, then it becomes important.
Sue Ginsburg: That’s great to hear, Jesse, and you’re absolutely right. The tools and the metrics are there. You may as well use them to be smarter in our businesses. Can you share or think of a success story about tracking metrics for one of your clients or your own experience as a business owner that you can share with us?
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, we do have a client, a custom framing shop, a local shop, and working with her doing some keyword research, again, custom framing, custom photo frames, photo frames, things like that. Looking at all the products and services she offered, doing the keyword research to find out what the end users are searching for, coming up with a big list and then putting her efforts towards those. One of them, which we’ll talk a little bit more about in a second was jersey framing, like sports jerseys. I guess it’s a hockey sweater, right Bob? I don’t want to offend anybody, but you can call it a jersey too. Basketball jerseys, football jerseys, things like that. And she had been doing those, but as we started doing SEO, we found she was actually getting into a pretty good niche there. There wasn’t a lot of people putting a lot of energy on the SEO side to getting ranked for jersey framing.
And with local SEO you have a proximity. Where are you and how far is your reach for what you can be found for? And we found that she was getting a lot of traction for custom jersey framing, and on her end, that actually translates to some pretty good jobs because people that want these things framed… Maybe if I want a diploma framed, that’s going to be a certain dollar amount and it’s usually a smaller size, but a jersey, that’s bigger, it’s maybe going to hang down in my man cave or at a bar or something, or who knows what, but then the jersey itself is pretty expensive too. So she actually fell into a pretty lucrative niche with the SEO where you’re able to identify what cities. Once she identified, “This was something I really want to go after,” it’s like, “All right, well you’re ranking in this city at this position, this one here, this one there.”
And now we use that data to find out where is she weak? Again, what do we want to rank for? Are we ranking? And if not, what do we got to do? Once you zero in on that keyword, look at all the different geographic areas, increase the rankings. And in her case, she’s kind of known in the broader area here as the go-to spot for this now and is getting repeat business, referrals. Has been able to raise prices along the way, which as a business owner… She’s not just trying to go home and brag about her rankings, she’s making money doing this stuff. So the rest of the business was elevated as well because more exposure, more ranking, more traffic, more customers.
But I think that’s a pretty good example of… Again, we’re talking about monitoring keywords, being aware of your keywords, and sometimes you’re going to have success in the A1 things you’re going after that where maybe the most popular keywords for your industry, but sometimes if you… Like Bob says, often, if you go where the fight isn’t… Not a lot of people were going after jersey framing, carved out a great niche there and is now the market leader in her geographic area for that product, and it’s a very lucrative product. So without paying attention to keywords and the rankings and those successes, she would just be like, “Oh, we’re getting busier, doing more jerseys. Cool.” And not really being able to pump that flywheel. So I think that’s a good one.
Sue Ginsburg: It’s a great example. It’s a great example. Really, really good. Any success stories or stories about this that you want to share, Bob?
Bob Brennan: For me, I think one of the areas… We work a lot with the transportation business and the truck repair business, and one of the areas that we niched down on is a certain type of van called a sprinter van. And there, again, visiting for us, it was visiting with the customer and finding out where they wanted to do the work and where they were the most profitable or where they had an unfair competitive advantage. And that’s really important. Once you once you can figure that out and put all those things together, the internet’s wonderful for that and being found for that. So we were able to do that for a customer and to a point… Again, it’s fun to see them hire more people and provide more jobs and then to see small business owners with a smile on their face again and begin to dream.
I know that’s a little woowoo, but it’s true. You’re actually glad to see, when you go visit them, because you’re helping their business. So it’s putting those things together and being very strategic, but it’s very difficult to get small businesses to think strategically, because they’re… The reason, I think, is they’re just so focused on paying their bills and just getting the water out of the boat. It’s real tough to dream and think strategically again. I don’t know if that makes sense in terms of success and then being strategic about it, but when it does pay off like that, it’s pretty cool.
Jesse Dolan: Absolutely. All right, Sue, I think that’s a pretty good. I think Bob and I both chimed in. Did you have anything else you wanted to add on the end of that?
Sue Ginsburg: The only other thing I would like to say is to give a recommendation to everyone listening about tracking marketing metrics, and that is, in simple terms, define what constitutes success for your marketing initiative. Is it brand awareness? Is it number of calls? Whatever it is. And then track that so you know what’s working and what isn’t, and look at it, or have somebody look at it. And by doing that, you will learn what’s working, what isn’t, what you should do more of, what you can stop doing, and that’s how you get the best ROI on your marketing and the results for your business. And that’s what we want in the end.
Jesse Dolan: You got to track this stuff. You got to know what’s working. Absolutely right, Sue. Thanks for posing the question. Looking forward to more of this format in different shows. It’s a little different than Bob and I maybe trying to teach something or show something or illustrate something. Being able to answer a question and speak a little more direct is kind of cool, so I like the way this is going. For everybody out there listening, mentioned it before, but if you have a question, go out to localSEOtactics.com, go down to the bottom left corner, click the button for submit a question.
Two things, you can either just type it in and submit the question and Sue will get it and will read it on the show and we’ll answer it for you. But even better is if you could actually record the audio of that question. What we want to do, we’ve done it before on episodes, but with this format is to play that audio and let you actually say the question in your own words, get on the show. Five million megawatt podcasts here, blast that out globally. And if we do do that, we’re going to give you a free Intrycks t-shirt and we are changing the rules a little bit. Up until this point, Sue, and I’ve told everybody, if you submit a question, if we use it, you’re going to get a t-shirt sent, but we’re upping the stakes. You’re only going to get a free t-shirt now if you record the audio of your questions.
So don’t be bashful out there. If you got a question it’s just leaving a voicemail is what it amounts to at the end of the day, but just go on to localSEOtactics.com, bottom left corner, click the button for submit a question. Pretty clear, walks you through the steps, and it’ll just take you a minute or two to record it and get it on there and then help everybody else out, answer a question, you get a free t-shirt out of the deal. Not bad at all. That about does it for this episode. Thanks for tuning everybody. Sue, thanks for jumping on for the first episode. We’ll do more and we’ll see you guys next time.
Bob Brennan: Bye everyone.
Sue Ginsburg: Bye-bye.