This speech was originally given to the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce. Watch it here:
Or read it here:
I’m proud to introduce our speaker, Dr Ty Belknap. He’s been doing SEO since before it was called search engine optimization, which started in 1995, and has been running internet marketing companies since 2002.
Dr Ty has three degrees in leadership, including a Doctor of Strategic leadership in Life Coaching. He is the author of three books: Leadership for Introverts, Timeless SEO Secrets and How To Get Exploding Referrals) and has been published in many publications, including Reader’s Digest
Please help me welcome Dr. Ty Belknap
We’re going to talk about applied SEO techniques. Today, I’m going to show you the top two ways to get your website onto page one of the search engines and you’re going to start today to actually do that.
So, let’s look at the code of one of my web sites:
If we start getting into making sure that the HTML language is English, the utf character sets and viewport is right; I mean really just get into the coding of a website, I guarantee you I’ll put you to sleep in about 30 seconds.
I’m not going to do that today. What I am going to talk to you about is, like I said, the top two things that you can do to actually get onto page one of, let’s just call what it is: Google.
And those two things are: Content and blogs. You do these two things right and you could be on page one of Google. it does also depend on what your competition is like, what they’re doing, but these are the two things that I do when companies hire me to do search engine optimization.
A lot of people have different definitions of search engine optimization. I’m going to tell you what my definition is so we can have a baseline of what I’m talking about:
search engine optimization is nothing more than the tools and the techniques a person uses to get a website onto the top of the search engines.
It’s that simple. All the other techie nerdy stuff that you hear like SEM, SMM, CPC… all those acronyms are completely different things. Search engine optimization is just one of the tools in a digital marketer’s toolbox. Another tool is SEM (search engine marketing), but it’s different. Search engine marketing is like when you go into Google and you type in what you’re trying to find, and you get the paid ads at the top. that’s search engine marketing.
SMM is social media marketing. Doing ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, stuff like that. All I’m going to talk about today is natural search engine optimization.
The big difference between the two is:
I’ve been doing SEO since 1995. Yes, I’m that old. I was working at Microsoft at the time and we were about ready to launch Windows 95. For those of you that are familiar with it, it was the first major change in operating systems, at least a Windows operating system since 3.1. And we had four volumes of techie stuff that supposedly had everything we neede to know on how to troubleshoot this new operating system. But within two hours of launching Windows, we threw half of it out. It didn’t work in the real world. We had to redo a lot. But while I was on the help desk answering telephone calls, I realized that probably 20 to 30 percent of the calls that I got were things that people could fix themselves.
I actually felt bad for people because they were waiting online for like three hours just to get an answer to a question that took about three minutes to fix. So, I developed my first website.
None of that was there in 1995, so we didn’t have a lot of the advanced stuff we have today. But even then, we had ways to where we could see how many people would go to certain web pages.
And I noticed that people went to some web pages more than others, even if the web pages they weren’t going to had better information. I realized then that it was all about keywords. That’s when it first dawned on me about SEO. That was back in the days when there were search engines like Infoseek, Alta Vista and, if you remember it, there was there was this upstart at the time called Yahoo.
A lot has changed between then and now, obviously a mountain. You couldn’t do videos on a website in 1995. In fact, we were lucky if we could do an image correctly.
So a lot has changed, but a few things haven’t. And the number one thing that is the same from 1995 to now, more than 20 years later, like I’ve already said, is content. You get your content right; you can be on page one and you can get a ton of people to your website. But there’s one thing I want you to remember; it’s not about getting people to your website.
Don’t run for the door yet, I can show you how to get a million people to your website in the next 45 days, I’ve done it before. I had a client that challenged me to do this many years ago, and I did It. I created a high-quality web page on their site and within 45 days we had almost a million people to their website.
And their sales didn’t go up one single penny.
The web page I created was about a controversial actress of the time; it had nothing to do with their products or services.
You want to target your market to get the right people because what’s better; to have ten people with cash in hand that want to buy your product or service, or a million people that don’t?
So, what’s the use of marketing to the million people?
How do you market to the right people you ask? Questions.
What do you do? Think about it, what do you do? Write it down.
I’m going to pick on two industries because there are two industries that I have worked with a lot: Real estate and plumbing.
I had a guy come to me one day and said, “I want to be at the top of the search engines for plumbing.”
I asked if he was sure and he said, “yes, I want to be number one for plumbing.”
Now, for those of you not in the industry, if you had a water leak, would you type in “plumbing?” Probably not. Maybe “pipe repair,” or even “plumber,” (which is different from plumbing).
He wanted to be at the top of the search engines for a keyword that people weren’t looking for. So, I asked him, “what do you really do?” and his answer surprised me.
What I didn’t realize is there’s at least five or six different types of plumbers. there are people that do nothing but work on the pipes that go from the street to your house. There are people who do nothing but work on the pipes that go from the house to the street. We haven’t even gotten inside your house yet. There are residential, commercial and industrial plumbers. It’s amazing how many different types of plumbers there are.
Look at what you wrote down for what you do, and now ask yourself what you really do. I do plumbing. I fix pipes inside the house or the apartment building, or commercial properties. whatever it might be.
real estate agents, do you want to be at the top of the search engine for real estate? I don’t know anybody that would type that word in. another example is my industry. I would love to be at the top of the search engines for “SEO,” but the problem is that most people that type SEO are looking for tips and tricks on how to do it themselves; they’re not looking to hire me.
This is really important because I’d like you to stick to probably no more than maybe 50 for now, and yes, I’m joking. Try to find 10 keywords that describe what you do right now. And this is important. This is step one and we’ve got several steps to do. What keywords describe your business? techie words are okay but, if you have techie words, you want to also give a definition for them.
Think of the keyword “SEO.” You have probably heard that before, but how many different definitions have you heard? If you have (and every industry does) techie words, then define them.
My stepson is in construction. he was helping me do something in my office this summer and he wanted me to get a nail. I went and grabbed a nail and he says, “No, I wanted you to get blah blah nail, not blah nail” (I still don’t know the words he used).
I didn’t know there were different kinds of nails, but I should know because I have about 50 different types in my garage. Of course, they’re all scattered together, and I just grab one when I need it.
Every industry has a techie words. So, when you use a techie word, describe what it is; and here is one of the tricks for you if you’re not sure what to write down.
I’m going to give you some homework (now, aren’t you just so glad you’re here today?). Figure out 10 keywords (it’s really keyphrases, don’t use just one word). Start writing them down.
and another trick for you: What are your clients searching for? Contact your current clients or your past clients and ask them, “if you were to search for my type of business on the Internet, what words would you type in?”
You may be very surprised; they may be completely different from what you’re writing down now. And if you get three or four clients to say the same type of words, if they’re different than yours, throw yours out because these people are your target audience. If they are looking for you that way, then a whole bunch of other people are too. The right keywords are very important.
Now I asked you once not to run out the door and I’m going to ask you again, please don’t run out the door yet.
There was a study done that just came out about two months ago about the web pages that are on page one of Google, and a majority of those have at least 2,000 words on them. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to make your main page full of text. It doesn’t have to be your main page. A lot of websites have a page other than their main page on the first page of Google. That’s one advantage of recent advancements from the search engines.
But start looking at your top ten words and creating 2,000-word articles about each of them. Now, I’m not saying to write all of them now, this minute, by the end of the week will be fine.
Realistically, why not make it a 12-month goal? You might look at that and say, “There’s no way I can do that.” But think about it, that’s just one article every five weeks. That would be an article about every five weeks.
You don’t even have to write them down. Grab your trusty smart phone, hit the voice recorder, dictate it and then have someone transcribe it. Okay, maybe you don’t have anyone to transcribe it. here’s the super secret
There are many, many different freelancer sites on the internet. The two that I use the most are
There are many others, but I like those simply because of the way that they do things. So, let me tell you the difference between the two.
Fiverr is generally less expensive freelancers (and, right now, the first freelancer site I check when I have new projects). You could hire someone for about $50 to write a two-thousand-word article. Now, you will get an article worth about $50. it’s not going to be completely done, there will be some editing you’ll have to do yourself. but I’m sure you will agree with me that it’s a lot easier to edit a 2000-word article than it is to write it from scratch.
what Fiverr does is, you can get on there and say, “hey, I’m looking for content writers,” and they will give you a big long list of available content writers. You look through them all, pick one that you like and hire them. When you hire them, you pay up front, but the funds go into an escrow account; it doesn’t go straight to the designer. that way, if they don’t deliver what they say they’re going to do, you don’t have to pay them. that’s one of the things I like about Fiverr.
Upwork actually does the same thing, that’s why I like these two companies. The freelancers won’t get the money if they don’t provide quality work. So, you hire a designer and tell them “I want a 2,000-word article,” and be as detailed as you can.
I hired a designer recently to do an article about depression and chiropractic. Some studies have come out about how situational depression that people get, like depression over the holidays or over a breakup can be helped with chiropractic. I was amazed about that, so I asked the freelancer to do an article about depression and chiropractic.
He comes back with an article that starts with “what is depression? Well, when you’ve suffered childhood abuse…” And he went into some really deep issues. I’m sorry, adjusting your back isn’t going to help with childhood abuse issues. Counseling could help with that a lot, but that is a much more serious issue than a chiropractic adjustment could help. So, I told him that we can’t have that; he needed to rewrite the article. And he did because I hired someone that did free revisions.
So, you want to be sure of the type of article you want written. But you also want to be as detailed as you can about things like:
the more you give them, the better the article they will write.
And by the way, this was a Fiverr article. So, like I said, with about $50, you can get a 2,000-word article. with Upwork, that’s going to cost about $150. So, if you’re on a budget, Fiverr is generally better. If you have the money, Upwork is generally better because you’re more likely to get a higher quality article. you might have to five to 10% of the article verses about 30% of the Fiverr article.
The other difference with Upwork is that you can ask for bids on a project. You can put a project up for content writers, tell them what it is, what your total budget is and how long before you want it done and they will bid on it.
One warning about asking for project bids: If you say you have $120, ninety five percent of the people will give you a bid for $120. but if you say you have $10, they’ll give you a $10 bid. it’s always going to be pretty much the top of what you have available. And, of course, however little or however much you spend, the higher quality of a freelancer you’re going to get.
So, getting the articles written is great, but what do you do with them when they are done?
The two best places for these articles are: On your web site and on your blog. A frequently asked questions page on your website is a great spot for a 2,000-word article. And it’s going to be full of keywords that the search engines love.
Already have a large frequently asked questions page? How about the top ten reasons why to hire your kind of company? I have a top eight reasons why the hire an SEO company. it’s full of great keywords; search engines love it and people like it because it distinguishes why people would want to hire Port Bell SEO than doing the work themselves. So, there are two of the ten articles if you want; frequent questions and why hire you.
Now, the other place you want to put your articles is on your blog.
I had a client that pushed against me for years on doing a blog and there are ways now… I love the changes that are being made on the internet. it’s just amazing. I can go and I can tell you how much a website is worth for its keywords now. I can find out how much that website would be worth if you had to pay for those keywords.
So, I client who pushed against me forever to do a blog. We had been flatlining for her main pages. They were worth about $8000 a month in keywords. I finally got her to get a blog up there. within six months, her website was worth over $17,000 a month. it more than doubled just because we put the blog up there and started putting content articles up there. So, like I said, if you don’t have a blog get one now (and a good place to go is http://www.koolwebhosting.com).
what I’m going to say now is a personal preference, but I’m going to tell you why it’s a personal preference. if you’re going to do a blog, do WordPress. I don’t work for WordPress. I don’t make any money from WordPress and, for most of the time I’ve been SEO, I hated WordPress; it didn’t work.
but they made some major changes a few years ago and now WordPress works with SEO very well.
there are two big places that people put blogs: blogspot.com and wordpress.org. don’t use them. What you’re doing is creating an article there so the search engines will go there to find your article, not your website.
the more you can get them to be on your website and stay on your website, the better. Having links to your web site from a blog in a different spot doesn’t do anywhere near as good for you as it does for them. the good news is if you’ve been on either of those places, you can move the blog to your own website if you have to a. caveat to this: If you don’t have hosting that will allow for a WordPress blog, you may need to change your hosting (to hosting like http://www.koolwebhosting.com). some hosting companies have their own blogs. like I said, this is personal. but I know that WordPress works great for SEO and that’s what we’re here for today. if you don’t have a hosting company that does WordPress blogs, go to http://www.koolwebhosting.com and move your web site.
You want a WordPress blog, no matter if it’s your own hosting or not. most hosting places do allow it, so it shouldn’t be that difficult to do it.
don’t hire a freelancer to install your blog. If you don’t have a blog now, hire someone to do it for you, and I do recommend that you hire someone. I’ll tell you why here in a second. I don’t recommend you hire a freelancer because you’re going to have to give them your core login and password.
If you hire an anonymous person over a freelancer site, they may change your password you’re locked out of your website. Then then they can do all sorts of hacker stuff to it and that can happen to anybody.
I had a problem with a WordPress website that I had designed a few years ago. I hired a freelancer to make some changes on it.
He did the changes I wanted, but I made the mistake of hiring someone I’d never met before.
He got done, he left, everything was great. Except that he left what’s called a logic bomb on the website. two weeks later, boom! I had French casinos all over my website. I have nothing against going to casinos, but I don’t speak French so I couldn’t understand what they were trying to do.
The big thing is, I didn’t even realize that those casinos were there. But Google did. I got a nice email from Google saying “we see that you’re a spammer. We are blacklisting your website. Have a nice day.” Thanks Google.
I had to write back and say please, please, please wait. And I explained to them what went on. It took me three days to get all this junk off. I contacted Google and told them that all the spam was off. They sent me an email back saying “okay, we see that everything’s gone, it looks good. We’re going to watch your web site for the next year to make sure that nothing comes back.” Now, in Google speak that means they’re going to sandbox* your web site for a year.
*Sandboxing is a term I made up. It means Google won’t have the web site go down in the search engines, but no matter what you do, it won’t go up either. You’re stuck for a year and may as well design a new web site at a new place and start marketing it for a year, because for one year that web site won’t do anything.
luckily for me. it was a web site that wasn’t doing a lot at the time. You have to be really careful when you hire freelancers, especially if you’re giving them logins and passwords. If you’ve got a freelancer you’ve worked with four six, eight, twelve months and they’ve been doing articles and other things for you, there’s trust there. Yeah, go for it. I know people that have hired freelancers on day one and given them master passwords that never had a problem. I’m just lucky that way.
Don’t trust social media. Remember what I said in the beginning. If you do post on social media, copy your posts to your blog. If you post on your blog, go ahead and copy it to social media.
Now, let me promote WordPress just a bit more. WordPress has some cool little things on it. When you have a WordPress blog, you can set it up so you can send an email to a specific email address and it will become a blog post. You could be sitting here right now, grab out your cell phone because you have an idea to tell your clients, do an email, hit send. Boom, blog post.
Let’s back it up: So, you hired your freelancer and they send you an article. The title of the article is the subject of the email and you put the rest of it the body. Hit send. Now the article is a blog post that took you, what, five minutes?
Five minutes isn’t bad for creating a 2,000-word article and posting it, is it?
Now, let’s take it one step further. WordPress has a plugin to where you can set it up so it automatically links to all of your social media sites. So, you do everything I just said. When you hit send, the post goes out to all your social media all at once. And you don’t even have to know anything about WordPress once it’s set up. That’s pretty darn cool.
So, like I said before, be wary of giving freelancers logins or passwords unless you know and trust them. Actually, I’d say that for anybody. I wouldn’t give anyone your login and password unless you know and trust them.
Local companies are a bit more reliable, simply because you know where they live.
We can help you set your blog up. Contact us today to get started.
Everything I talked about today, plus a lot more, is in my book Timeless SEO secrets. is available on Amazon.
Dr. Ty Belknap, Port Bell SEO
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