Masters Series Transcripts: Hunter Boyle (Sales Optimisation Expert) — SEO Secrets Ooohhh!

Camille Monce —  April 6, 2018 — Leave a comment

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is the key that helps people searching the Internet find your website and pages when they rank better in search engines.

Hunter Boyle has been a leader in digital marketing and sales optimisation for 20 years, achieving outstanding results across a variety of brands, clients, and markets, including catch.com.au.

Disclaimer: Transcripts may contain a few typos. Similar sounding words can lead to them being deciphered wrongly and hence transcribed likewise.

Serpil Senelmis: For WeTeachMe this is the Masters Series where industry professionals share their secrets to success. I’m Serpil Senelmis from Written and Recorded. Search engine optimization is commonly known as SEO. It’s the key that allows people searching the internet to be directed to your website. So if your site ranks better in search engines like Google, you’ll be able to reach far more people. And far more people means far more potential customers. So how does this mysterious artwork? Or is it a science? We’ve got an expert in SEO to share his tips and tricks on how to increase your website traffic. Hunter Boyle has over 20 years of digital marketing experience back in 1998 is first site optimization relaunched tripled traffic and doubled sales. But the founder of optimization copilot says You don’t need to optimize every detail.

Hunter Boyle: You do not need to either on the technical side or on the creative side, do every little single thing that you can come up with. This is one of the things that I find for startups, small teams founders often leads to analysis-paralysis, or let’s say choice overload. And I go, Oh, my God, I have this list of things that I need to do on my site now and Holy crap, I’ll never get all that done. I’ll just go do this instead. Alright, let’s get around that.

Serpil Senelmis: We’ll find out how to avoid analysis-paralysis later, but first Hunter channels, Oprah and then Yoda, to help you put together your SEO action plan.

Hunter Boyle: Thank you very much. So the thing about SEO is that it takes an awful lot. There’s a quote by Arnold Palmer, about golf being deceptively simple and infinitely, whatever the rest of the quote was. And SEO is very much the same thing. I’m not going to go too deep, we’re going to be very broad, but it’s going to be very structural. And the idea is to give you something that can help you get super results. The process that I’ve been using here is one that I’ve used for a long time. And what we’re going to do today is focus on a couple of the really key components that you can use for your own action plans with SEO and by the end user, you’ll get an action plan you man, you get an action plan and you know everybody will give to the rest here I don’t have to confess Alex did you not there’s no confetti for. Before we do all that, I just want to take a really quick feel of the audience and find out what your number one SEO pain point is? Yes sir?

Audience: Keywords.

Hunter Boyle: Keywords. Everybody like keywords? Keywords are the number one pain point for anybody else? No, everybody else has keywords figured out. Well, crap. All right. Okay, well, Alex, I’m just gonna cut it here. So we’re going to open up? What we’re going to focus on with this plan for getting you into action is primarily the creative, and also some of the technical. We’re going to wrap it all up, put it all together, and then the ideas was the idea. You leave with an action plan. That’s right. Cool. All right. What we really need to figure out with the creative side of SEO always comes back to one thing, how can we better align with our buyer journey, right? We don’t need to optimize our site for the people who aren’t our ideal buyers or our people who come here mistakenly or looking for the wrong things, things that we don’t have. We want to serve our best buyers and our best customers the best that we can, and we need to figure out what our best options are for doing that and how we can use the creative side of our site and content to do that. So there are dozens of areas that we can focus on. You have content formats, so text, video images, downloads, PDFs, etc, podcasts, those sorts of things, content styles for different types of users who are visual or image-driven. For people who are text-driven or like to read a lot. Audio is another very important one. It’s super important to not just see these as individual buckets in isolation but to think about your users and your buyers, and how they react to these different types of formats. If you have a very visual aesthetic format, if you’re an e‑commerce fashion site, you’re going to do a whole lot different SEO and content than a SaaS platform or a marketing tool or a download, right? This is why SEO isn’t one size fits all. And what we think about when we think about the buyer journey is who are best customers are. And then we kind of match up the styles, formats, and formatting to meet those needs. Keywords, nobody has a problem with keywords. So we’ll just skip over that one. I was going to talk about keyword ratios and page stuffing combinations, research phrases, those sorts of things. But nobody needs that. page titles, site links, descriptions, everyone knows what site links are, right? When you do a search in Google and you get whether it’s pay result or an organic result, you get the main result. And then you get these, oh, maybe this the About Us page and this is shop page, that page, those site links. Those are things that you can control and need to control and do very well with testing and controlling descriptions. Another part of that cost action value proposition is one of the biggest sticking points for just about any website and this is one of the areas that most is defined by putting your buyers first the voice offers urgency, we can go on and on and on. But if you are thinking about these things, again, not in isolation or not in buckets, but you’re thinking about them in a way that makes sense for your users and for your site and the buyer journey that will help you focus on which ones you really need to prioritize. And that’s how we’re going to tie all this stuff up later. So stay tuned. How am I doing on speed? Good. Am I going too fast? Okay, would you like an accent right now? Would that be good?

Hunter Boyle: You know what the cool thing about this is that you put a picture of this guy up and you put little text there. You’ve already done the accent in your head. I don’t even need to do it. Become one with your buyers. You must I did it anyway. There you go. There’s a bonus. All right, quantitative. Here’s what we’re trying to do when we’re becoming one with our buyers. We want to take the quantitative side and the qualitative side. All right. So the quantitative side often comes from Google Analytics right Google search console. A bunch of different other tools deep crawl, sem, rush, etc, etc. But the areas that you can focus on and prioritize channel comparisons, we’re talking about SEO here specifically. But what may work in social or may work indirect, or if you’re doing paid search or email, what happens in those channels can also have very important crossover with your organic channels. So try not to look at them in isolation, look at how they may interact with each other with your core buyers as the goal. keyword tools again, don’t need to worry about that. So it’s search analytics. Let me tell you something. I was on a call today with a client. And this is something that you’re really going to want to know there are about 3.6% of their site users as an e‑commerce fashion site. Super well known doing great business 3.6% of site users use the site search. How much revenue do you think Those 3.6% of users accounted for? 14%, 14% of revenue 14.6% of transactions from 3.6% and site users. Now, this is where the buyer journey comes into play. The people who are using the site search, they’re hunters, they’re not browsers and gatherers. They know exactly what they want, they’re going for it, if they’re not seeing it on the homepage immediately. And the site that I’m talking about doesn’t even, you have to almost look for the search function for that site. So these people are really way along the line and buyer intent. They want to shop they know they want to buy, they want to do that. This is important stuff, the kinds of insights you can get from looking at your site search analytics, both on-site search, and in Google Search Console, formerly known as Webmaster Tools. That helps a little bit with keyword tools that you know, are harder to find in other ways. Now, these can be gold, heat maps, and click maps. And then how many of you guys are familiar with the Net Promoter Score, NPS? Net Promoter Score is just basically a response to a question from one to 10. Would you recommend us to a friend, you can look it up. There’s more to it. But it’s a really cool indicator and trend line of how you’re doing with your customers how you’re serving your audience. And it’s great to keep track of for a quantitative focus. Qualitative, now, this is where we get into more of the front end and more of the things that can directly give us by your voice. Okay, so session recordings, polls, and surveys, social media posts, responses, engagement levels, those sorts of things. Are you guys familiar with a tool called hot jar? For those of you who aren’t go look it up. It’s free tool. It’s basic level, it’s going to be one of the greatest things you ever installed on your site, puts a snippet on there. You can watch session recordings, you can do polls, surveys, you do amazing things. I would highly suggest upgrading and getting more functionality out of it but even at a basic level that will give you insights into how people are using your site and take a lot of the guesswork out. Have your hands in trying to figure out what you should do about this page, that page, this process, that kind of stuff, ratings, and reviews, e‑commerce again is going to have a very different outlook on this than assess products, testimonials come into play, depending on what your market what your products, your customers, our customer service, inquiries, orders. It’s not just the requests that you get from people, whether it’s through email, or whether it’s through something like intercom or drift or live chat on your site. The language that people are using is one of your best guides for keyword research. Because those are the actual words that your customers are using when they communicate with you. Alright, Frequently Asked Questions pages should be developed from this. There are a whole lot of things that you can get from the qualitative side that you can’t get from the big data and the big numbers side and analytics, but you need to use both.

Hunter Boyle: One thing that that always comes down to is five-star service, no matter what you’re doing with any of the stuff that we’ve talked about before, with qualitative or quantitative, the best thing that you can do for your SEO, and it’s not a direct one to one, but let me tell you, it’s going to have a huge impact and growing impact is deliver five-star service. Everything that you sort of see Google going towards now, in both paid search and organic search. You know, there’s little local ads. So if you have local business, you’ve got that little panel on the right. Reviews, ratings, right? People are looking for that stuff. Facebook reviews, social proof, Google ratings, those sorts of things. You can have the best-optimized site on the planet. If you are sending out junk products or you’re screwing up in fulfillment and your customer service is garbage. How many people are going to come back and become repeat buyers? None. How many people are going to give positive reviews very few to get a lot of negative reviews. Your best long term focus for SEO indirectly. Making your service stuff that people want to rave about, tell their friends about, come back and buy from you again. Or if it’s a long term sales process, be your customer for a very long time. Technical side, this is where a lot of the quick wins can be found. So just to sort of give you a similar top-line overview to the creative side, site efficiencies, load speed, https right? Site security, and how that impacts your search visibility right now, you probably heard about the Google switch a couple months ago, with HTTPS sites being up non secure sites going down site structure, URLs and subdirectories, sitemaps the redirects, what you really need to understand is not so much that you need to get down and dirty in the technical side, but that you just need to do it because if you can get some of these things taken care of, and taken care of quickly. If you need a developer for someone else on your team, if it’s some help from another source, whatever you got to do to get the technical side fixed up, this is one area that you want to put at the top of your list. The creative side generally takes a little bit longer. It’s more fun so you have a little bit more fun with it goes through different revisions, getting your site load speeds up to par, getting some of the sitemaps where they ought to be fixing broken links, redirects, all that sort of stuff. It can take a matter of hours with a very talented developer, or with a very talented staff member, team member, somebody who lives for that kind of thing. If that’s not your idea of fun, get somebody else to do it. Don’t put it off, ah I need to do this, get it done. The tools here again, analytics and search console are sort of the basics for finding some of the technical opportunities, sem rush, SEO quake, deep crawl or a couple others that we talked about each of them have kind of a free level version. That’s why I include them. There are dozens more tools out there. These ones I use and recommend, and they’re very easy for small businesses and startups because they’ll have a free level or very affordable level and they can help even the non-tech centric person, at least figure out what needs to be fixed so that they can pass it off to someone technical who can do.

Serpil Senelmis: Are you keeping up? Hunter gave us a lot of SEO info to digest there. And he’s about to reveal his prioritized SEO action plan for you right after this.

Ad Guy: The Masters Series is WeTachMe’s weekly creative program which connects you with industry experts. As Australia’s biggest school, WeTachMe brings teachers and learners together with courses that range from permaculture and sewing to language and IT skills. WeTachMe helps you follow your passion. Find classes near you at weteachme.com. This podcast was made possible by Written and Recorded a content creation agency specializing in copywriting and audio production, Written and Recorded will make sure your story is heard. From blogs to podcasts, social media to feature articles, written and recorded, create effective content that will help your business reach and engage with more people. You’ll find them at writtenandrecorded.com. And now, back to the SEO secret oooohhhhssss.

Serpil Senelmis: And that is the biggest oooohhh of them all. The prioritized SEO action plan over to you, Hunter.

Hunter Boyle: All right, let’s tie it all together here. Here’s the important part. You do not need to either on the technical side or on the creative side, do every little single thing that you can come up with. This is one of the things that I find for startups, small teams, founders, often leads to analysis-paralysis, or let’s say choice overload. And I go, oh my god, I have this list of things that I need to do on my site now, and Holy crap, I’ll never get all that done, I’ll just go do this instead. Alright, let’s get around that. How many of you are familiar with the ICE prioritization framework? So ICE has a couple of flavors or variations. This one is from my buddy Sean Ellis of growth hackers, impact confidence and ease is one popular way to think about it. Another variation is impact cost and effort. But in general, this is used to help you get your roadmap and your action plan in place with the biggest priorities offset by the amount of effort that they’re going to take. So you’re not spinning your wheels for days at a time and weeks at a time, you’re able to kind of rate what you are going to do first, second, third, fourth, based on the potential impact that you believe it will have the confidence or the objective. Level setting that you think you can achieve with that potential impact, as well as the ease slash effort. Now, the number one priority is always going to be your profits. Okay? One quick story on this, running some email tests for catch. But a year and a half ago, we actually did a series of A B tests with the club, catch email list, sort of your VIP subscribers and people with a higher average order value. One of the things that I tested was not just subject lines or copy or content, those sorts of things. But I tested a different lineup in the email by profitability, okay, and margins, not just revenue, we’ve been sort of using revenue model for this net, and email does pretty well in general. Now, here’s a fun fact. You can get an email and do an A B test split, and you can have almost exactly the same open rate and you can have almost exactly the same click-through rates.

Hunter Boyle: And you can have one email with those same stats perform 12% better in terms of profitability per items sold in that email, right? This is where coming into the analytics side of things. Looking beyond conversion rate, looking beyond average order value looking beyond clicks. If you start looking at things like profitability, you can turn small changes into very big impactful wins. Now, being realistic about your capacity and your limits, small teams, midsize teams, whatever you do, when you are putting your action plan together, mapping out your priorities and using your ICE scores, thinking about that costs and that effort or ease number. This is where you really need to be legitimately upfront with yourself and say, is this something that I need to spend my time doing? If you haven’t figured out your day rate or your hourly rate or haven’t thought about how much time is going to take you to do something with meta tags or something with doing your JavaScript, right or figuring out your CSS making the site faster, doing redirects, that sort of thing. Be honest with yourself with the creative stuff is the part where you want to focus on and that’s good, make your action plan focused on that and save the fun stuff. What generally tends to happen is we do a little short, medium, and long term based on those kinds of prioritized segments. So weeks one and two, because we can often do a couple of tech quick wins and fixes so maybe us so maybe a dev, that sort of thing. buyer journey tool setup, setting up HotJar, looking at some of those other tools to get that qualitative research, welcome email that asks people for feedback, or an order confirmation message that has an NPS score, those sorts of things. Get those set up now start collecting that so that you can revisit that in weeks three to 12 and beyond. And analytics and benchmarking. First thing you need to do when you start anything is take a snapshot of where you are now what your numbers are. Use Google annotations, make sure that you keep track of the changes that you’re doing. So you will know what had this impact what had that impact what we did that worked, what we tried that did not go. Priority content, repairs, things that you’ve discovered that are really mucking things up, those go into first couple of weeks so that you can triage and get those out of the way. And then you start to clear yourself and get ready for weeks three to 12. Right. And that first month, next month or so, keyword research, a lot of you guys have already just taken it off buyer session reviews, right? Once you’ve set up your hot jar, and you can review some of your site visits and see what people are actually doing content revision and production, things beyond just titles, descriptions, page content, the kinds of things that will really move the needle, ebooks, PDFs, downloads, other sorts of things, other kinds of larger content projects, whether that’s revision or producing entirely new ones based on what you’ve learned, design revisions, these are obviously things that take a little bit more time in some instances and some of the content and copy. And then weeks 12 and beyond and on a quarterly basis, right. This is where you start to map out. While you’re doing all this at the front end, you start to map out when you’re going to plug in your major design or development projects. If you need to do new landing pages or a new site design or whatever you’re trying to do on the technical side, that may take a few weeks, make sure that you’re running these in a cyclical fashion survey, NPS cycles are a good place to start every 90 days is sort of a good reminder or some businesses, six months to get that NPS score from users, and then reviewing and analyzing progress and making this a cyclical process so that you can not just continue learning, but you can continue building on what it is that you know is working and try to do less of what isn’t working. Let’s put a prioritized action plan looks like so look, that’s a lot. Like I said, I know this usually takes about half day as we get more and more into detail, not just with SEO, but different channels as well social cross channel, as well as on-site conversion rate optimization. But the three immediate action steps that you can sort of take now that you have a big picture overview of the process and how that’s involved, one, finding and fixing those critical technical SEO issues, and the test my site Google URL, it’s good starting point, deep crawl, there are other ones that can give you other overviews on technical SEO, sem rush is another one who still do it even at the free level. So those are a great place to start implementing your buyer journey and insight tools. Remember, these are a couple of the keys from that first week one and two. These are usually the initial steps to get you right out of the blocks. And then three, if you need help, whether it’s the technical one, there’s the design, whether it’s the copy, like whatever it is, just find it right try to get out of your own way if you are trying to do all the things, finding that help and turning this into a system, so there’s not a one off deal so that a year from now you’re not coming to the next WeTeachMe session on SEO going oh yeah, I heard about that then and I wanted to do it and then I got this and then you know, squirrel, but those three you can do so that you can get some mega gains. And that is where I leave it.

Serpil Senelmis: So my key takeaway from Hunter Boyle, you can have the best optimized flier on the planet. But if you’re sending out junk, you won’t get any repeat customers. Thanks for that tip, Hunter. And now you can combine these SEO secrets with all the killer content tips from our last podcast, the internet is truly your oyster. Next time will tell you how to turn your passion into your business. While your passion may appeal you to start your own venture, any more than that to sustain your business and keep going and going will point you in the right direction. Until then, I’m Serpil Senelmis from Written and Recorded and for WeTeachMe, this is the Masters Series.

Hunter Boyle: Would you like an accent right now? Would that be good?

Audience: *Laughing*

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