All posts in Get Found on Google

Focus On One for Your First 6 Months - The Rest is Noise 01

Focus On One for Your First 6 Months – The Rest is Noise

The majority of entrepreneurs attempt to do everything at one go. This is especially when it comes to digital marketing. I always tell my clients and students as an SEO consultant, you should always only focus on ONE keyword to rank for in your first 6 months.

This is to prevent tactical marketing hell.

Focus On One for Your First 6 Months - The Rest is Noise

Mindset: Focus On One

When it comes to search engine keywords, you should only focus on a slightly easier keyword.

This is accomplished by frontloading your work and doing your research way before hand.

Through researching and laying your keywords on a spread sheet, you can determine which keywords are duplicates, which one are easier to target, and which ones to target 6 months down the road.

Here’s my advice for starting out entrepreneurs:

  • Focus on one commercial keyword

That’s it. You should not be greedy and try to target all keywords at a go. I made that mistake, and didn’t get any keywords ranked after months. 

Dive Deep: The Different Aspects of Digital Marketing 

Secondly, there’s a lot to learn just by optimizing one web page. When people come to your site, how many of them convert into leads or customers?

This is simply understood with these 2 topics, that are highly related to digital marketing:

  • Positioning

Positioning is what the market thinks of you and how you compare to the loads of other choices in the market.

  • Copywriting

Copywriting is the ability to take positioning, and accentuate it out in words in your web page.

I teach both of these in my SEO course, that’s how I position myself against all other digital marketing firms and SEO companies.

Last Words

Lastly, I’ll just like to remind you, focus on ranking ONE commercially valuable keyword for your first 6 months.

  • Track your conversions
  • Optimize your conversions
  • Write better copy, come out with a better positioning

The rest is just noise.

How to Get Over the Fear of Content Promotion 01

How to Get Over the Fear of Content Promotion

I’ve never considered guest blogging as an SEO strategy in my earlier days as an SEO consultant because Singapore generally doesn’t have a guest writing culture.

I’ve also reached out to some major publications and most they wanted a payment for a guest blog post.

However, as I toyed around with online business models, guest writing/ appearing on someone else’s podcast in one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site, hence, capturing email, subscribers and leads.

It’s also one of the best ways to build links, and in particularly, anchor text links.

How to get Over the Fear of Content Promotion 

So, one of the biggest fears I had:

What if they don’t reply?’

Here’s a reframe: ‘As long you’re not being scammy, genuine in your outreach, them not replying is a simple incompatibility’.

You can optimize your outreach by looking for ‘contributors’ or ‘guest blogging’ on their contact us page. There’s a higher chance that they’ll allow guest writers and contributors if they put them up on their website.

Reframe: Put Yourself in the Mind of the Person You are Emailing

Okay, secondly. These people that you’re outreaching to. They are generally busy people. They have content to write, subscribers to build a relationship with, a new product to launch, and much more.

Everyday, people email them asking them for something. Some times for a link, some times to submit a poorly written guest post. They don’t have enough material to post on their site. They’ve created a machine and they need to feed the beast.

However, to overcome this, you can something different.

Firstly, you can make their world’s best pitch to solve their problems.

  • Add massive value

By making you pitch clear and crafting your pitch in a way that adds massive value, you don’t have anything to worry about if they don’t reply or reject you. You’re doing it guilt free.

  • Build a relationship with them

Secondly, don’t treat them like a person you can leech traffic off. You should actually build a relationship with them.

  • Ask for advice

Thirdly, when you ask someone who’s ‘more successful’ for advice, they love it. It’s a form of stroking their ego. When you ask for advice, and take it, they’ll more likely to allow you to guest write on their site.

Mindset 1: Test Your Outreach Emails  

Lastly, by testing out your outreach emails, you can better optimize your outreach for a response. It’s recommended that you send out at least ten emails a week, track your response and follow up.

Some times people miss them in their inbox and you can ping them by writing:

‘Just floating this email to the top of your inbox’.  

Link building is tiring and tedious in SEO. However, link building makes up one of the most important aspects of SEO. There’s no way to ignore it.

One of the easiest, and most efficient way to go about building links is guest blogging on another site. The whole idea of guest writing is: you take a site with more readers and audience than you and you’re driving traffic and links to your site.

Mindset 2: You’re pitching a High Quality Article. It’s a Win-Win.

When your guest blogging, you’re pitching a high quality article to the site. You’re not begging or leeching from anyone. It’s a win-win relationship with a higher probability of paying off for both parties.

Mindset 3: Take the Best Stuff and Put Your Best Content

When people think of guest blogging, they think of just putting up a poorly written article. However, when you put out your best content, you’re going to persuade to hearts and minds of the audience behind the site who is bigger than yours.

You’ll also build a great relationship with the site editor.

When you build a good relationship with the site editor, you’ll open up further opportunities down the road for more guest writing opportunities:

Here’s a good example:

Why Guest Blogging is One of the Best Way to Grow Your Business

Why Guest Blogging is One of the Best Way to Grow Your Business

Pro Tip:

You should try to include anchor text links back to the page you’re attempting to rank for. If I’m attempting to rank for the keyword: SEO expert, then I should include the keyword SEO expert in the guest article and link it back to the page I’m trying to rank for.

Remember, it’s not a failure, just a test. The psychology of business is equally as important as the techniques and strategies.

I teach all of this in my SEO course.

How to Make your Emails Stand Out in a Cluttered Inbox

How to Make your Emails Stand Out in a Cluttered Inbox?

For the first 3 years of my digital marketing process, I didn’t know that there was actually an art to writing emails, much less as an SEO consultant. I didn’t bother with email marketing until later into my digital marketing career.

It’s said by many digital marketing experts that your email list is the lifeblood of your business, and email outperforms every other digital marketing strategy. According to a study by Mckinsey and Company, for every dollar you put into email marketing, you get back 40 times more than you would through Facebook, Instagram and every other channel.

Well, email marketing is the bedrock of many digital entrepreneurs, businesses, big and small. It’s how many businesses sell products, promote their events, and engage with their audience.

However, before you can sell anything to your subscribers, your subscribers have to open your emails. So, how can you engage your list, engage your subscribers, and turn them into willing buyers and customers?

Some questions come to mind: how long should your emails be? What size font should I use? Where should I put my graphics, is this good enough to hit send?

Just like I tell my SEO clients who worry too much on website design instead of the digital marketing aspects: these are mere minor details. The juice is in getting your emails to stand out in your subscriber’s inbox.

How to Make your Emails Stand Out

How to Make Your Emails Stand Out: The Framework

For every digital marketing aspect, you can splash strategies around, entering tactical marketing strategy hell: the most common digital marketing mistake, or you can approach it with a framework.

Here’s a simple 80-20 framework to help you write compelling emails that’ll stand out.

  1. Subject Line

First, you have the subject line, this is the first thing people see when your email hits their inbox. Whilst this is the shortest piece of your email, it’s the one you should spend the most time on to craft. Get it wrong, and you go unnoticed, get it right, and people will open your email.

Eg: How to Get Your First Paying Client Using Little Known SEO Strategies 

  1. Personal Greeting 

The goal for every email is to feel that you’re writing only to one person. One of the best ways to make an email feel personal is to include someone’s name in the opening line. Using email service providers such as Mailchimp, you’re able to include this functions.

Eg: Hi, Jonathan

  1. Opening Line

The opening lines is where people who opened your email decide or not whether to read it or not. The key here is keep your email engaged with every line of the email from top to bottom, and keep reading all the way to the end.

Eg: One of the funniest thing I’ve ever heard about business advice last month when talking to a friend is: ‘you just got to network to get your clients’. Obviously, he took a very different approach to marketing than I did. I never liked selling to friends. In fact, I hated selling to friends and family.  

  1. Stories 

Nothing is more boring than writing an email; that just sells or is filled with hard data. Your audience will want to see how a story unfolds.

Eg: Let me tell you how many clients or partnerships I’ve gotten from years and years of ‘networking’. Zero. So how did I get my first paying client, and a continual flow of clients if I wasn’t out to network events looking for customers?

It’s simple, I studied how to build a brand, using low cost digital marketing strategies.

I took note of how I myself looked for products and services online. Did I go to Instagram, LinkedIn or even Facebook? Nope. I popped out my phone, it Safari, and opened up Google. Okay I thought, now, let’s reverse engineer it. If I wanted to sell a product or service to someone, I should get my product or service found on Google right?  

  1. Call to Action

When you’ve said your piece in your email, you’ll need a strong call to action. This can be in the form of engaging, clicking, or buying from you. You’ll need to direct your audience to some sort of action with your emails.

Eg: Okay, now that you’ve understood my approach towards getting paying clients using low cost digital marketing strategies, I’d invite you to write pay to me about what are the problems you yourself face when starting a website?  

  1. Personal Sign Off 

Just like a personal greeting, you can include a personal sign off to make your emails feel specialized and personalized.

This reminds that it’s a human being, the one behind your emails, not some corporate machine, and it’s a real person engaging with them, someone they can reply to and ask questions.

Eg:

Warm Regards,
Marcus

  1. A Good PS

Unknowingly, a good PS is one of the most valuable pieces of real estate for your emails. When people aren’t sure if an email is worth reading, they’ll skip to the end of the story.

If you have something really important to say, you should write it in here. Here’s where you can also stick in a sales link or another call to action, so, treat your PS with great care!

Eg:

Ps. There’s nothing more satisfying than persuading a stranger to purchase your products and services. Imagine this, someone who doesn’t know you at all, has no connections to you, has no incentive to purchase from you, actually took out cold hard cash to purchase from you. It’s the ultimate test to see if your services are good for the market. If you want that for yourself, check out my SEO course here.

Closing Thoughts 

I almost always tell my clients and students that digital marketing is a holistic game. You’ll need to get your technical SEO down, your sales copy down, your UX and design down, your emails down for you to excel in your digital marketing campaigns.

Local SEO Singapore

How Local SEO in Singapore Can Get You Customers in 2018

Firstly, what the hell is local SEO? Why should YOU care? Isn’t SEO in itself complicated enough? Is there a ‘foreign SEO? Okay okay, I know all these sounds confusing to you. Let me explain the local SEO concept in this article.

Okay, here’s why you should care: if you have a strong result on local SEO, you can beat your competitors who are ranking well organically but do not apply local SEO in their strategies. Google places ‘local SEO listings’ above organic results from time to time. If you don’t have strong organic SEO rankings, you can bypass it and rank higher than the ones that do.

Users who searched and found localized results were also considerably more likely to become customers. Local SEO is researched to have the highest return on investment (surprise!) compared to other marketing strategies, because it reaches the largest market of likely consumers.

Sounds great?

Now, let me teach you how you can use local SEO to outrank and outsmart your competitors. You can actually do this on your own, and don’t need to hire an SEO consultant to help you with this.

The Singapore Local SEO Guide

Here’s an example of the search query: Life Coach Singapore.

Local SEO Singapore 01

You can see competitors outranking the first page result using local SEO. 

The Concept: Achieving Consistency on Online Profiles

The concept for local SEO in Singapore is simple. Google wants you to achieve consistency on your online profiles. That’s because they want their users to have the most accurate information possible. Google will crawl these profiles for your business name, phone number, address and URL.

They will compare this information with other sources and how well you rank on local SERPs is determined if Google can find consistent business information that matches the one you supply on your website.

Okay, firstly, you’ll require to publish similar name, address and phone numbers on your online profiles. This can range from social media profiles to review sites.

Step 1: Sign up and Use Google my Business

Secondly, sign up for Google my business, type in your the relevant information and verify it by mail. Yes, Google will send you a free mail.

Step 2: Sites to achieve Consistency On

Remember, you’ll need to have consistent NAME, ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBERS on these profiles.

Social Media Profiles:

These accounts are all free, make sure you fill in your physical address, contact number and phone number accordingly.

Review Sites:

Event Sites:

How can event sites help with local SEO? That’s simple, when you host events, you can publish similar address, phone number and business name on these sites. It’s an extra trick and tip to achieve consistency on online profiles.

Step 3: Business Directories in Singapore:

Business directories are a great way to build your first do follow backlinks. They are also a great place to achieve consistency for your name, address and phone number.

There are a lot more directories than these two, however, I’ll be including the top two for this article.

Step 4: Get Your On Page SEO Right

In your title tag, ideally you’ll want to include the country you’re targeting. For example, if you’re target dog training Singapore. You’ll want to include the keyword ‘Singapore’ in your title tag. Unclear about on page SEO? I wrote a huge guide on how to do on page SEO.

Secondly, you’ll want to double check that you’re targeting the right Geographic location in Google webmasters.

Step 5: Online Reviews

When you sign up for platforms such as Facebook or Google my business, you’re now open to reviews. Getting reviews on your services on online profiles is helpful for local SEO. There is research showing that sites with more reviews get shown in local SEO results.

The most common ones are Google reviews and Facebook reviews. You can get your customers leave a positive review you on Google or Facebook. Positive reviews also boost higher click through rates and hence, higher rankings.

Here’s the downside reviews: your competitors may be able to use negative SEO and sabotage you. You got to keep a look out for that and track your reviews. You can use tools such as Google alerts for brand mentions.

Is Local SEO in Singapore Enough?

Google doesn’t always show local SEO results above organic results.

Here’s a quick search query of: SEO Singapore.

Local SEO Singapore

The number one results is still shown above the local SEO results. You should also be optimizing for other keywords. It’s pointless to just drive traffic through one keyword. Furthermore, competitors are able to modify your listing on Google my business.

There are guides on the internet that recommends schema mark ups and etc. It can get quite technical. However, for this guide, I wish to keep it simple. I don’t see the need to complicate local SEO to that extent. Local SEO should be easy and doable for all business owners. If you want an advanced tutorial on local SEO, you can check out our SEO course.

I also think most small business owners in Singapore are unknowledgable about SEO in general, much less local SEO in Singapore. If you’re a start up or a small company with limited resources. You can take advantage of this knowledge gap, apply these local SEO strategies and outrank your top competitors within couple of months.

Here’s my verdict: I didn’t really focus much on local SEO when I started my SEO strategy. I prefer ranking organically. Well, that’s where the fun and the competition is at right? However, local SEO can be powerful when done right, especially in the beginning of your SEO marketing campaign, since organic results take almost half a year to show results. Furthermore, you’re wasting Google real estate space if you aren’t optimizing for local results.

So, why not dominate both organic and local results?

However, do keep in mind that SEO is an overall strategy of user experience, mobile friendliness, link building, press release and high quality content. These minor factors also play a role in local SEO.

Online Marketing Scam

6 Signs That ‘Online Marketing’ Course is a Scam

I hate the ‘internet marketing’ and ‘seminar marketing’ community in Singapore. That’s because it’s filled with: SCAMS.

Firstly, I hate to be called an ‘online entrepreneur’ or an ‘online marketer’. Fuck that. I am a fucking entrepreneur. Someone who has provided services to real companies, with real staff, real services and real revenue.

If you’re looking to invest in courses, I’d like to advise you on that. Over the years, I invested into SEO courses and digital marketing courses both from real life mentors and online mentors. I’ve gotten a hang of how to properly differentiate the bullshit from the real deals.

1. Person you are learning from

Here is one of the best videos I came across when research how to differentiate good courses from bad course.

‘Are they standing in front of a private Jet telling you that you can become a millionaire in sixty days?

– Ramit Sethi

This is why I always tell my clients or my students: this isn’t easy, however, if you follow the system and you have the patience, you will get results. I don’t promise Google rankings for both my SEO service and my SEO course.

I don’t sell the ‘make money and work 4 hours a week lifestyle’ and if you read my ton of free advice on business and positioning, you’ll know that it isn’t walk in the park.

2. Track Record of Excellence

Second thing to ask yourself: does that person you’re learning from have a track record of excellence beyond creating an eBook about how to sell more eBooks? You want someone with technical expertise, not marketing fluff.

Which brings me to my next point.

3. Full Names of Their Successful Students – Browse Their Successful Websites

You want Googl-able results. This is something I’m SUPER FOR especially in the investment training industry in Singapore. No one releases their track records and make crazy marketing claims! It’s crazy! If you’re really that rich, why can’t you release your investment record from a small 10K account?

Okay, since we’re on the topic of SEO. You can track my client’s Google rankings here. You can also check my students and client’s testimonials and what they have said about me. When it comes to digital marketing, you want full names, Googl-able results, non-anchor text domain names of successful clients and students. Here a bonus for you: I’ll be releasing my own site’s rankings in due time.

4. Make Sure You’re Considering Joining has Customer Service to Get Technical Support

You want to make sure the course you’re signing up for has great customer support systems in place. This can include follow up coaching sessions, student networking meet ups and etc. You want to make sure that your course you’re signing up for has some sort of support in place whether be it through live meet ups, phone or email.

I personally offer all my students 2 times SEO follow up reviews. When you sign up for my SEO course, it’s not a one and done deal. They are also free to email me any time of the week to ask me about any SEO/ marketing questions.

5. Find The Best Course – Don’t go For Cheap Courses

Lastly, PRICE. There are tons of CHEAP SEO courses and digital marketing courses out there. There’s also companies including up sells, down sells and side sells. I only offer ONE COURSE: you’re going to get all the SEO knowledge you need for the rest of your life within ONE COURSE.

However, it isn’t going to be dirt cheap. That’s because I had spent years and years refining my SEO knowledge. You’d rather spend three thousand dollars on an amazing course than three hundred dollars on a shit-y course that gets you nowhere. This is the same philosophy with SEO services. You can hire some cheap SEO Indian firms that don’t know what they are doing, or you can work with a SEO consultant that has tons of verifiable results.

6. Google around

Take your instructor name and Google them. You’ll find the bad eggs popping up on websites and forums. Avoid them at all cost.

Closing Thoughts

I’ve shamelessly asked for refunds on some of the courses I’ve attended over the years. Some of these courses charge a full month’s pay. You should value your money and time, and if you feel the training isn’t right for you, then go ahead and ask for a refund.

There will be courses with a no refund policy. However, just ask anyway. If the trainer still refuses, you can simply leave a negative review for him on his site. It’s actually not against the law.

Well Marcus, aren’t you afraid of negative reviews yourself? I’m not, that’s because I have Google-able results and if an unhappy customer or student comes my way, there’s nothing I can do to prevent that negative review.

It’s time to raise the training industry standards in Singapore.

How many Keywords Per Page

How many Keywords Per Page to Target in 2017

It’s not uncommon to see site owners attempt to include as many keywords as possible into one long title tag, hoping to rank for multiple keywords for with one piece of content. When your niche isn’t as competitive, that is possible, however, for most crowded markets, you’ll need a unique piece of content to address different keywords or search queries.

How to Choose Your Keywords and Structure Your Site?

Firstly, you’ll need to understand site structure. I wrote about the internal authority of a site. You’ll want your ‘more competitive keywords’ on the ‘top of your site structure’.

Common Mistake:

You Will Not Rank by Stuffing Your Keywords 04

You’ll see here at he’s attempting to rank for ‘life coach’, ‘masculinity’, ‘relationships’ and ‘dating coach’ all in one title tag. Some of these terms are hugely competitive. I can assure you that he isn’t ranking for any of them by stuff all of these in one title tag. When you stuff multiple keywords in on title, you’re diluting the power of these keywords.

Good Example:

Here’s a good example used by a competitor of mine (I’m not ashamed to say it when I see good SEO).

The company optimized his title for: digital marketing courses Singapore. They also smartly added in the word ‘short’ to further optimize for the 70 searches a month by Google. Essentially, they are killing two birds with one stone.

Choosing & Separating Your Keywords

Rule of Thumb: Here’s a guideline I use when making such decisions. I’ll Google my desired keyword and take a look at the highlighted, bold terms in Google’s results. I want you to take a look at the meta description underneath of the title tags. Observe the highlighted terms by Google.

For Eg. When I Google: SEO course, the keyword SEO training is also highlighted in Google’s results. This means that I can include them together in one title tag, and optimize for both of them at the same time.

If you keywords are completely different, then you’ll be required to come up with another unique page of content and optimize for it. Well, you might say, Marcus, that’s really confusing, how do I know where to place all my keywords then?

This is why before launching your SEO campaign, you should have already mapped out your site structure, done your keyword research, identify similar keywords, and know where the keywords suppose to be at and etc.

Here’s another guideline: make sure your more competitive keywords make up the main pages of your site. For EG. Ideally, ‘SEO Consultant’ or ‘Digital Marketing Company’ should be my main keyword for my home page. That’s because your homepage is going to get the most number internal links through your site’s logo. Figure out your niche’s most competitive keyword, and plan accordingly.

Good Site Structure

Instead of stuffing all your keywords in one title, you can separate them into categories, research longer tailed keywords for your that keyword, and internal link them up to each keyword accordingly.

For Example:

Target Keyword:

  • Life Coaching

3 Long Tail Keywords with 3 Separate Posts:

  • What does a life coach does exactly?
  • Do you need a life coach?
  • 5 Benefits of life coaching

Target Keyword:

  • SEO Course

3 Long Tail Keywords with 3 Separate Posts:

No Short Cuts

If you notice your competitors using these strategies to attempt to rank for multiple keywords, you can play it smart and focus on one or related keywords on one post or article. You’ll eventually outrank them in due time. There’s no need your try to manipulate Google’s result by stuffing more than required keywords in your title tag.

How to Use Google Rank Brain 01

How to Use Google Rank Brain to Rank in 2018

I just love talking about user experience. Nothing beats opening up a freshly purchased MacBook Pro or iPhone. Not surprisingly, it’s going to be similar for websites. Nothing will beat opening up a website that works intuitively with well written content, that fulfills what you’re searching for.

User experience is going to be the future of everything. Oops. I mean, SEO.

Last year, Google announce their third most important ranking factor. That is: Google rank brain. Simply put, it is a machine algorithm that helps Google further sort out and refine their search results. Google has also officially announced that this was their third most important ranking factor.

Let’s say you click on a page about SEO courses. You love what it’s written, you love the content, you love the user experience of it. There’s no annoying ads, no annoying pop ups, the copy isn’t scam-my, it might even instructive!

Okay, now let’s say you open up a page about SEO consultants. First, the page isn’t mobile friendly. It looks horrible on your phone screen. Secondly, there’s a huge annoying pop up getting your to subscribe to their newsletter. Thirdy, the content is horrible, instead of fulfilling your need of finding a consultant, they go off talking about ‘jet planes and making money online’.

You X it, and next, you’re faced with scammy promises in bright yellow words screaming at you: Google page 1 number 1 within 7 days!

You X it, and never come back again.

Google rank brain is going to take note, and give a rankings boost to the result that you stayed longer in.

Rankbrain Focuses on Two Things

  • How long someone spends on your page.

The head of Google confirmed that Google uses dwell time as a ranking signal. The average dwell time for a top 10 Google result is 3 minutes and 10 seconds. If you can outperform that, you’re sure to get a boost in your rankings.

  • The percentage of people that click on your result, also known as your click through rate.

It’s researched that if a higher CTR will get a permanent rankings boost. Well, if no one is clicking on your site, why should Google give you a permanent rankings boost? On the other hand, if your site is getting clicked on like it’s the best thing since sliced bread, why would Google keep it buried on the #9 spot?

How to Increase Time Spent on a Page?

  • Remarkable, long form content

Useful and great content has been Google’s adage since day one. If you aren’t publishing long form content that is researched and useful, you won’t be ranking anything soon. I can guarantee that.

  • Engaging writing

Humans don’t want just technical information. Imagine if I wrote this article without stories or real life examples. It’s as good as reading something out of a text book. You should add in personality, stories, jokes in your articles. You’ll also have to understand the language of your audience.

  • Embedding videos in your content

This is a new technique in the book. You can embed a relevant and engaging video in your article, to show or teach you audience something related to your article. This way, you’ll increase your time spent on that particular page. 

How to Increase Your Click Through Rate?

  • Understand features and benefits 

When you write your titles, you need to understand: what’s in it for your audience? They want a clear benefit. They want to get something out of clicking on your result. How can you include a clear benefit in your titles?

  • Branding Your Techniques

When you brand your content or techniques, it’s shown to increase click through rates as it creates intrigue.

Instead of just writing a title termed: The steps to getting your dream job. You can write: The brief case technique to getting your dream job. (Credits to Ramit Sethi)

When you brand your content, you paint a picture in your audience’s head and you’re highly likely to increase your click through rate.

User Experience as a Whole 

Look, I’m saying that you need to stretch out your content for the sake of publishing long form content.

There are SEOs that take these techniques too far and make you scroll forever just to read their content. This is a negative user experience. Yes, you may get higher time spent on page initially for your rankings, however, you’ll hurt your brand as a whole.

You also don’t want to be scam-my or spam-my with your titles. Yes, you may get a high click through rate shouting: Google Page 1, SEO Results Guaranteed. However, you’ll hurt your brand and user experience on the whole. There has to be a balance to it. Don’t overkill in your marketing.

Think of how a MacBook is designed and packaged. You want your website to work flawlessly and beautifully like an Apple product.

User experience is going to be increasingly a ranking factor for Google. This is especially so in the information economy. There’s a fuck ton of information out there on the web. What makes your content stand out from the rest? Is it the way it’s written? Is it the way it’s package? Is it the way your website works flawlessly?

Oh yeah, did I mention that mobile friendliness, site speed and SSL are all official ranking factors?

Yes, they are all officially announced Google ranking factors and all of them will contribute to your site’s user experience. You want your sites to work on mobiles, load fast and are safely secured.

Closing Thoughts

I personally am HUGE on user experience.

Whenever I conduct any of my courses or services, I make sure I over deliver. I want my courses, services and content to work flawlessly, like an Apple product.  I make sure I am my client’s most trusted advisor. When I publish SEO advice, I make sure every piece is personalized. It’s vanilla boring to just write about SEO jargon. I want you to go deep into how I think about SEO and marketing in general.

User experience is going to be an increasingly ranking factor in 2018 and beyond.

The SEO Ranking Factor to Master in 2018

The SEO Ranking Factor to Master in 2018 (and Beyond)

Have you ever come across those ugly sites that are so predictable that you’ll merely browse through it and in your head it says: I already know what they’re kind of getting at, there’s no need to write that much?

Well, you have, you also come across those sites daily. This especially so in the SEO services industry in Singapore.

Just to prove myself, look at these boring ass ads:

SEO Ranking Factor to Master in 2018 and Beyond

Wait, the last one is pretty unique I must say. ‘No smoke and mirrors, just results’. That’s interesting copy. Okay, I’m not here to make fun of SEO consultants or agencies. I’m here to teach you the SEO ranking factor to master in 2018 and beyond.

That is: user experience signals.

You can’t control if someone relies to your pitch for a guest post to earn a backlink, you can’t control your results with off page SEO. However, you can maximize your on page SEO and you should maximize your user experience signals by writing irresistible content for your audience. What you write on your site is the most controllable factor when it comes to digital marketing.

You should maximize it.

I once beat my competitor who has multiple backlinks with this one SEO ranking factor. I deleted half my site articles, re-wrote a lot of them, and that lead to a reduced bounce rate to 0.87%. I outranked them with little to no backlinks.

SEO Ranking Factor to Master in 2018 and Beyond 03

User Experience Signals: Bounce Rate & Time on Page

SEO Ranking Factor to Master in 2018 and Beyond

These data can be tracked in your Google analytics data.

  • Bounce rate is the rate at which someone leaves your page without clicking into another page. The lower the bounce rate the better.
  • The average session duration shows the time spent on a page. The longer the better.

These are user experience signals that Google uses.

How to Decrease Bounce Rate & Time on Page?

  • Remarkable Content

One of the easiest way is to write remarkable content that is useful and engaging for your audience. Stories, statistics and researched content make the best form of content.

You should also always be asking yourself: there are tons of information out there, what makes your article or your website stand out from your competition? To differentiate, you can include personalized stories, real life examples and case studies in your article to make it more interesting and engaging.

  • Longer Content

The second way is to write longer content. Research has shown that many post and pages that get ranked first on Google have around 1900 words. No, you should not write spam-my articles just for the sake of writing 1900 words. Your audience is going to realize that, and they are going X your site, and you’re going to get a high bounce rate.

  • Master the Language of Your Audience

The third way to do it is to master the language of your audience. Stop writing technical how to guides. The library has tons of that already. For EG. No one cares about the 4 factor model of investing, everyone cares about if the stock market is risky.

This is how I plan on beating 99% of the SEO companies, and differentiating my SEO courses in Singapore. They are outsourcing their articles to writers who write generic, blend SEO advice. Their sales pages are ugly, filled with Google Page Rank 1 promises. Ugh. I can’t get through half their sales pages. The majority of them look similarly monotonous. There’s a complete lack of effort.

When you master the language of your audience, people will find you more relatable and will they will be glued to your site.

  • Bucket Brigades

The fourth way you can use is to include some copywriting tactics in your sales pages. One of the way to do it is to include bucket brigades.

Here are some examples:

  • Here’s the deal
  • But there’s a catch
  • What’s the real deal?
  • How can you actually use this?
  • The best part?
  • Why does this matter?
  • That’s not all…

I don’t recommend including these terms in the majority of your articles. They can get quite annoying if over-used. However, for your pages that have high commercial demand, you may want to pepper these in to increase your time on page.

  • The App Formula

You also have the APP formula, recommended by SEO expert Brian Dean. It’s called the agree, promise and preview formula. He mentions that you only have 2 seconds to convince your user if your page is a good fit when they click through into your page. It’s a story telling formula where you agree with your audience about the problem he or she faces at the beginnning of your post, you then follow up with  in a promise, and a preview to a solution in that order.

Just like bucket brigades, from a branding standpoint, I don’t think this should be over used. It can get dry and boring if all your articles are phrased like that. If you are a good natural story teller, writing remarkable shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Videos

Relevant and informative videos can be a method to retain your audience to spend longer time on your page. Note, you can’t just spam random videos and expect people to watch. Your video has to fit into the context of your article.

  • Addressing Your Audience Hopes, Fears and Dreams

I recommend delving deep into your audience hopes, fears and dreams and address these issues your audience face in your articles. This way, you’re not tricking them into staying longer on your page, however, you’re writing something that they are thinking about and looking to solve on a daily basis.

I wrote about how you should do your customer research and get feedback from your market before you launch a marketing campaign. There are many ways to go about it. You can it online, and offline. This way, you get multiple angles on how to address your audience’s hopes, fears and dreams.

The SEO Ranking Factor to Master in 2018

Links can be bought and manipulated, however, user experience is hard to manipulate. My personal guess is that UX is what Google is going to focus on in the near future. They are already making mobile friendliness and site speed official ranking factor. Come on, it’s 2017-8, stop creating or designing non intuitve sites, nothing irks me more than a buggy link that leads to a dead page.  Your competitors may have more linkes than you, however, you can outsmart them by crafting your content and your site in a manner that’s great for your user’s experience.

How to Use Long Tail Keywords

Is Publishing 200 Pages and Praying a Good SEO Strategy?

‘Tell me where I am going to die so I won’t go there.’ That’s good philosophical advice from billionaire Charlie Munger. This is especially true it comes to digital marketing courses and services.

No Do Not Publish 200 Pages

I once attended an SEO course whose trainer preached that a great strategy to launch an SEO campaign is to publish 200 pages (not blog posts) targeting long tailed commercial keywords, that other businesses aren’t targeting or are ‘weaker’ based on his method of determining keyword competition: the number of post or articles already targeting that keyword.

Here’s the strategy. It isn’t complicated:

  1. Find a niche with 200 commercial keywords
  2. Outsource content around these keywords
  3. Publish them and get initial traffic that way
  4. Use off page SEO strategies such as paying a blogger to publish an article pointing links back to your site
  5. Try to rank for the short tail keywords after all of these is done.

For the SEO educated, I know, mental face palms.

This method didn’t work for me, so I put on my scientist’s hat and went to research how to actually do SEO, with high quality on page SEO and link building strategies.

Keyword Rankings or ‘Profitability’?

So one of the argument this trainer asserted is that keyword rankings should not be a key performance indicator and that the whole point of SEO is to drive sales. Profitability is a business key performance indicator, whilst rankings is an SEO key performance indicator.

However, since when should keyword rankings should NOT be a KPI when it comes to SEO? I didn’t say it should be the ONLY KPI, however, it definitely IS a KPI.

SEO authority of MOZ has something to say about this:

What if Your Niche Doesn’t Have 200 Commercial Keywords?

Okay, secondly, I questioned him: what if your niche doesn’t have 200 commercial keywords? His answer: then don’t attempt to go into that niche.

Oh?

So do SEO consultants or freelancers have the luxury to pick our clients? Of course not. How can SEO only work when your niche is huge enough for ‘200 commercial keywords’?

Furthermore, the determinant of a keyword that is going to rank isn’t by it’s length of it’s tail or the number of post or pages already published on that keyword.

It is determined by 1) quality of content 2) quality of backlinks. Simple as that. Companies like MOZ uses metrics such as domain authority and page authority to measure such metrics.

It’s Not the Quantity – It’s the Quality of a Post or Page  

Lastly, it’s 2017. heard of Google hummingbird?

Google doesn’t only display results with word for word keywords to users. If you’re determining keyword competiton using those metrics, you’re never going to rank for your keywords.

I refuted his ways and thought. Why should I be going for long tailed commercially keywords with low search volume? Even if I was attempting to rank for these keywords, just because they are long tail, does NOT mean that I was going to rank for these keywords.

Okay, I don’t want to turn this into just a rant post. Brian Dean from Backlinko ranked for the more competitive keywords (and profitable) with just a website 36 pages.

If you’re going to splash 200 pages with zero focus on the QUALITY of a page, you’re not going to rank for a good portion of them. I can guarantee that.

What about on page SEO strategies such as 1900 words of useful content, measuring metrics such as time spent on page, bounce rate, internal links, your images and other metrics?

Secondly, you’re not paying attention to site structure and page authority. Yoast (another well respected global SEO) wrote a good article on this.

Huge Missing Puzzle: Your Informational Keywords

When you publish 200 pages on commercially valuable long tailed keywords, even if you do not track your keyword rankings, you may get a drizzle of traffic.

If you’re going to build a site only targeting commericial keywords, you’re missing out on potential social media shares, articles and informational keywords that can get you both traffic and backlinks.

When you publish high quality guides targeting informational keywords such as: ‘how to do on page SEO‘, and assuming you promote it right way, it’s a great way to get social shares and do follow links from other blogs and authorities in your niche.

You’re definitely not going to get links if you target only 200 pages of commercial keywords.

Lastly, he asserted is that one of the reasons he goes with the 200 keywords was that you don’t really have control over your rankings.

I actually find it cool for an ‘SEO guru’ to actually say: Google ‘gives you your rankings’.

Okay, I see more face palms.

High SEO Rankings But No Customers

High SEO Rankings But No Customers?

I use to obsess over my SEO rankings. When I finally got my rankings after painful months of optimizing my website. I had a lack of business sales. Can you imagine how frustrated I was after months and months of work into SEO?

I consulted my friend, who was an expert on copywriting.

He told me: who cares about your SEO rankings? What’s more important is your copy and your market positioning. Well, he’s half true. I don’t agree about the SEO rankings portion, however, I did agree about his thoughts of copywriting.

I wasn’t deterred. If I could educate myself on SEO, I could go on and learn about persuasive marketing. I then spent the next couple of months delving deep into the psychology of buying.

I found out that persuasive copywriting can also lead to positive SEO results, vice versa. Here’s the million-dollar idea: Good SEO = good copywriting = good branding and business strategy. When your content is persuasive and engaging, firstly, it helps your brand and marketing positioning, secondly, your users also spend more time on your site and come back to it. This in turns, helps with your SEO efforts.

No, SEO Isn’t Enough 

This is why I don’t position myself just as an SEO consultant, I’m also an entrepreneur and a marketer. High rankings aren’t the solution to your business woes, cash flow and sales are.

When you work with me or attend my SEO courses, you’re not only learning how to rank your keywords, you’re also learning marketing strategies, how to convert traffic into clients and how to build business systems.

So, what if you are currently already ranked on Google search engine results but have a lack of sales results? Is there anything you can do to improve it? Yes, you can. There are about 7 psychological triggers you can include in your copy to convert your traffic, into buyers and clients.

So, what are the psychological triggers that make people buy?

The 7 Psychological Triggers

  • Future Pacing 

Future pacing is painting the potential before and after picture customers will attain after purchasing your product or service. This is the art of showing your prospect what will it be like from a month, 6 months or 10 years from now. You can also then compare that to how their life might be if they decide NOT to buy.

It’s about creating a story that describes the future results of the benefits of your product.

  • Scarcity

Creating scarcity to your offer is a way to ethically nudge people to decide on your offer.

  • Keeping your product open for a limited period of time
  • Holding a limited number of spots for a product tier

The courses I conduct in my company are small grouped, personalized and have a limited number of spots.

  • Or giving a bonus if they act today

Risk Reversal

You can make it easy for someone to purchase from you if you understand every single risk your market has.

Some of the most common concerns your market has is:

  • Will this product work for me?
  • Will I get ripped off?
  • Will I waste my time?
  • How is this course different from anything else there?

Like I’ve mentioned, I don’t just focus on SEO rankings, I’m not just an SEO consultant, when you attend my course, you’ll learn about branding and positioning. You can also address these concerns by using a money back guarantee, testimonials, a free consultation, or anything else that can ease their fears and worries.

Social Proof

Social proof is one of the most powerful triggers you can use as a marketing strategy for your business.

Having social proof for your product or service can your audience the confidence to purchase for you. You use emails and testimonials that your customers have provided you, the press converge you’ve received, tweets made about you or high profile customers that has worked with you. 

Framing

This is the art of framing your product in the larger context of your prospect’s perceived choices, then show then why your product is the best choice possible.

For E.g. I can compare SEO services to other marketing options.

Well, firstly, SEO can be tracked, measured and you’re targeting already hungry buyers. Compare this to purchasing a spot on television commercial, where you’re investing thousands of dollars on something that can’t be measured and advertised to a mass audience that might not be interested in your product or service at all. 

Stories

I used to think that people want just technical SEO information and guides.

However, the majority of my clients and my students don’t want to hear me ramble on about on page SEO jargon, they want to hear me describe why I chose SEO as a marketing strategy, how I struggled with website traffic, how I spent a year writing content that nobody read and how I changed all of that.

When you use stories in your copy, you will be able to keep the reader’s attention to make your case to persuade them to purchase from you. Humans are incapable of stopping themselves from listening to an interesting story.

Trust  

Lastly, people tend to purchase from people or organizations they like and trust. The more you share your personality, success stories, and even failures in your content, the more likable you will become.

Closing Thoughts

You can include these elements not only in your sales copy, but also in the articles you publish on your website. If you’re just putting your product or service out there without telling them more about it, you’re only going to get lacklustre results.

It’s only right to assume that your reader is an educated buyer.

Last week, I came across a potential client that has researched all the other options in the market for SEO courses. He also told me he’ll normally get three quotations before making a decision. I asked him: why did you chose me over my competitors?

He said he liked my stories and my honesty. This is one of the psychological triggers that make people buy.

Remember, high SEO rankings don’t mean anything if you can’t convert the traffic to sales.