- If I show them some really cool tactics or strategies
or show them ads on what they could be doing better,
or if I try targeting them for a webinar
that breaks down how to solve some problems
and provide value first,
that's much more likely to do better.
(soft upbeat music)
- You're really known for your SEO tactics.
SEO is search engine optimization
for anybody who doesn't know that acronym.
(bright music) What are entrepreneurs
getting wrong about SEO today?
- What they're getting wrong about SEO
is they believe that the key to winning is like,
"Hey, you need more links, you need better on-page code,
or you need better, you know, load time."
And don't get me wrong.
Those are actually factors and they're important factors,
so I'm not trying to downplay them,
and you need to do them to rank higher.
But when you do a search on Google,
have you ever thought to yourself,
"Man, this result should be number one
when I'm searching for cars,"
let's say I'm trying to buy a new car.
You're like, "Yeah, this result should be number one
because that's a million backlinks
and the number two result has only 500,000 backlinks."
It doesn't cross your mind.
No one cares which site has more backlinks
or less backlinks or better on-page code
or worse on-page code.
Now, don't get me wrong, fast load time, more links,
all these things are signals, and you do need to do them,
and they will help you with your SEO.
But the key to really ranking high in the long run
is building amazing product or service.
If someone goes to your website,
no matter how fast your website loads
or how good your content is
or, you know, any of those factors,
if they don't find what they're looking for,
they're going to go back and go to the next site.
And if everyone keeps going back
and they don't find what they're looking
for on your website, even if you're ranking right now,
your rankings in the long run will decrease
because it's user signals that Google
and Bing are picking up and it's telling them,
"Hey, other people prefer other types of content."
- Mm, so don't just focus on the tactics to rank,
focus on keeping people on your page
and having a good content and good product.
So you mentioned on-page SEO.
For those non-marketers out there,
what's the difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO?
- Yeah, on-page SEO is the stuff you're doing
to your own webpage that you can control,
like speeding up your website load time,
it shouldn't take a website five seconds to load.
Or making sure they have keywords on your page,
because if people type in dog food,
but there's no mention of dog food on your page,
you're not really going to rank for dog food.
Off-page is signals from other sites to yours.
So a great example of this is, it's like votes.
Person will win in a presidential election
based on how many votes they typically get.
Typically, the more votes you get,
the more likely you are to win.
And the reason I say typically is it depends on the country.
Like in the United States,
it is one person takes a whole state, right?
So there's a winner.
You know, you may not have the most votes,
but if you have the most votes
in the states that matters, you can end up winning.
But similar goes with Google.
If other websites are linking to your website,
it's kind of like a vote.
Someone saying, "I vote for Neil, I vote for John,
I vote for Cassidy, or New York Times,
or I vote for whatever site there may be."
Another aspect of a vote is the person voting for you.
So if Trump or Obama or Biden say,
"Hey, you should vote for Neil,"
whether you like those political figures or not,
it's another politician saying, "Vote for Neil.
We endorse his political viewpoints,
and he knows what he's doing."
That's more relevant than Joe the Plumber
or Sally the Plumber saying vote for Neil
when it comes to politics.
The same thing goes with SEO and rankings.
If I'm trying to rank for marketing related terms,
it's more effective for another marketing website to say,
"Hey, Neil's amazing," or authoritative website,
like a New York Times or CNN saying vote for Neil,
versus a small mom and pop plumbing site
linking to my website and say, "Neil should rank higher."
I know, you mentioned keywords,
and I know when it comes to SEO,
there's like lots of talk about keywords,
and a lot of people sort of overdo it with keywords.
So is there a right way and a wrong way
to think about keywords when it comes to your SEO?
- Yes, you don't need to shove in tons of keywords
in your content.
Google and Bing understand what you're talking about,
you know, from a topical standpoint,
as long as you have some keywords in there.
The key is, you need to find the right keywords to target.
What are the ones that drive revenue?
What are the ones that have a lot of search traffic?
So what you want to do is you want to use tools
like Ubersuggest or AnswerThePublic.
They both have tons of free plans,
where you can type in any keyword,
it'll tell you what's popular
from a search volume perspective, what's not competitive,
and what has a high cost per click.
So a CPC stands for cost per click.
The higher that number, that means more people
are willing to spend money more on paid ads,
which means that keyword tends to drive more revenue.
Okay, and Ubersuggest, we'll put the link in the show notes.
You own that website, right?
- I do. Thank you very much for that.
- Yeah, of course.
So let's talk about if you had a choice between organic SEO
and investing in Google Ads as an entrepreneur.
Would you suggest that people,
like where should we start first?
Should we try to optimize organically first
or should we just go straight to paid ads?
- You can try either/or.
There is no right answer for that.
It varies per market and also varies on your skillset.
If you think you're going to struggle with SEO
and you also don't have the time to wait,
then paid ads is the best approach.
If you think, "Hey, I don't,"
or if you're in a circumstance
where you don't have the money,
but you have the time, SEO is a great first approach.
Or if you have both and you're a venture funded startup
or you have capital from previous ventures or parents,
then you can do both at the same time.
Generally speaking in marketing, one social channel
or one pay channel or one SEO channel,
one's not really better than the other.
It's you leverage all channels
as long as they can cause you to grow in a profitable way.
Okay, so let's move on to email marketing.
Everyone and their moms is trying to grow their email list.
It's a really popular thing.
Email still has really great ROI.
And I know you're full of creative ideas
when it comes to growing your email list.
So what are some of your most innovative creative tactics
when it comes to actually getting people to subscribe
and opt in to our email list?
- My favorite one is giveaway a tool for free.
So you can go to sites like codecanyon.net,
find tools in any industry, mortgages, cars, automotive,
whatever it may be,
buy them for like 10, 15, 20, 50 bucks, and it's white label,
so you can put it on your website
and pretty much say it's your own.
And as people keep using the tool, if they use it once free,
if they use it twice, have them collect a,
or collect an email address, have them register,
so that way you can keep generating more emails.
And we do that with AnswerThePublic and Ubersuggest,
and we generate close to 300,000 email addresses per month
from that strategy, new emails.
And it's one of our favorite strategies
that not too many marketers use.
- Wow, so what is the name
of that website that gives the tools?
- [Neil] CodeCanyon, codecanyon.net.
- Mm, I love that.
I've never heard of that before. Really Cool.
And let's stick on lead generation
and go a little bit wider now.
What are some creative ways to generate leads?
Now, I know, I've heard you on an interview in the past
say that you've even acquired companies
to generate leads for your agency.
So I'd love to hear some of the creative ways
that you've generated leads in the past.
- Yeah, so great example of this,
February, we're in 2023 right now,
but February, 2022 we bought a tool called AnswerThePublic
for 8.6 million bucks.
And AnswerThePublic was this tool similar to Ubersuggest,
which accounted for roughly 40%
of our consulting revenue at NP Digital.
At the time, I think AnswerThePublic
had around 60% of the traffic Ubersuggest did,
but they only monetize it by charging for the tool.
We felt, A, there's more money in services
and marketing and we've seen that ourselves.
If you look at any of the marketing software companies,
none of them generate anywhere near the amount of money
as a marketing services companies like WPP or Omnicom.
So we're just like, "Wait,
it's similar to our Ubersuggest tool.
They don't even monetize this from a lead perspective.
Giving away free tools is a much better approach
to generating more and more leads."
And again, you can use that same strategy from CodeCanyon.
Buying tools drives a lot of traffic organically.
You don't have to do tons of marketing
because people love free tools,
and you generate leads from there.
Another strategy that we love doing is LinkedIn Ads.
You can end up going out there
targeting the specific company type and person and job title
and show them ads and only them ads
and get really qualified leads from that.
We also love doing webinars, going live,
doing podcasts with other people.
Omnichannel, of course, just being on all the platforms
helps generate a lot of leads.
Another unique strategy that we do
is we speak at conferences, and then instead of charging,
so I used to charge money for speaking at conferences,
now we're like, "Ah, don't care for the money,"
but what we love doing is having the conference organizers
set us up with the right meetings.
So great example of this is,
I was in Brazil speaking at event,
got set up with meetings with Michelin, the tire company.
One of the biggest marketplaces
is like their version of eBay down there.
Got set up with one of their biggest
life insurance companies in Latin America.
So what we'll do is, again, speak at some of these events
and then get set up with meetings like Whirlpool, right?
Whirlpool's a global company.
And it's been an amazing strategy to help us get customers.
You can also then B2C.
Like if you're selling nail polish,
speak at an event where you can meet potential distributors,
or the event organizer can set you up
with the introduction to, let's say, Walmart
who can carry your nail polish and put it in all the stores.
- Yeah, these are such great ideas,
and I love that you pointed out LinkedIn Ads
because too often I feel like
when we're thinking of social ads, it's just meta, right?
It's Facebook and Instagram,
and nobody's really thinking about LinkedIn
or the other platforms.
So I think it's really cool that you mentioned
that there's some really good targeting on LinkedIn.
So back to email, I'd love to understand
the importance of cleaning up our email list
and how we can actually make sure
that our emails hit the inbox in the right folders.
- The simplest thing to think about with emails is,
if someone keeps sending you emails and you never open them,
and a lot of other people get similar emails
and they don't open them from the same people,
even if you don't mark them as spam, Google and Outlook
and all these email providers will start putting them
in the other inbox or spam box
and less and less people see them.
So what you want to do is scrub your list.
A lot of emails solutions have this option.
Like for example, I use ConvertKit.
ConvertKit has cold subscribers, and they label them as cold
because they mean when you send them emails,
they don't open and they don't click.
So what we do is, we look at our cold subscribers
on a monthly basis and we delete them, that simple.
So we always send emails to the people who are engaging,
and that ensures that our emails stay in the inbox
and have much better deliverability.
- Mm, I know a lot of people are doing this thing
where they're scrubbing emails
or scraping emails off LinkedIn
and in other ways where people are not actually opting in.
What's like bad about that strategy
or what would you say about that strategy?
- You want, you can do it,
but you're going to run into a lot of privacy and legal issues,
so I would definitely recommend avoiding it.
Even if it was legal, I would still avoid it
because they're not opting in
and they probably don't care for what you have to offer.
Instead, you want to engage with them
in a way where they're interested about your products
or services and they're much more likely to convert.
So for example, we sell into all CMOs and VPs of marketing.
For me to just go and just email all of them,
people are going to get irritated and hate me.
But on the flip side,
if I show them some really cool tactics or strategies
or show them ads on what they could be doing better,
or if I try targeting them for a webinar that breaks down
how to solve some problems and provide value first,
that's much more likely to do better
than if I just go and start spamming people and say,
"Hey, pay me money for marketing services."
- Yeah, it's totally a turnoff,
can hurt your brand reputation, I agree.
So let's say we do it the right way.
We have a legit email list, people have opted in,
we're scrubbing our list,
and our emails are hitting the inbox.
How can we actually get people to open our emails?
What are your suggestions?
- Casual subject lines is one of the biggest thing.
When a friend emails you,
it's not all capitalized and proper.
It just could be as simple as something like,
"Hey, what's up?"
Or "Neil, you got to check this out."
And all lowercase.
And basic things like that
what we found really help boosting open rates.
In addition to that, make sure your emails provide value
and you're not selling all the time.
So like 90 plus percent of the time we like providing value.
You can go down
to 80% of the time providing value, 20% selling.
That also helps with open rates.
The other thing that we like doing
is making sure you're scrubbing your list,
which we already talked about,
that helps with opens and deliverability.
And lastly, make sure every time you email people,
I want you to respond to them when they ask you a question.
So a lot of times you when you send emails,
you're going to get responses back
or replies back with questions.
And you can encourage more of that
by just putting a question in your email,
and people be like, yes or no.
It adds you to their address book a lot of times
depending on the email provider,
but also causes people to engage with you
and build that relationship.
So they're much more likely to remember your name,
the company name, open up the emails, and buy from you.
- Wow, these are really good tips.
Like I'm just thinking
about our own email marketing campaigns and I'm like,
"Wow, we're not doing enough, you know,
educational content in the emails."
And we have so much educational content
that we could just repurpose for emails,
but we've just been selling.
So that's really eye-opening.
And I think the casual subject lines make sense
because no matter what marketing platform you're on,
pattern disruption always works, right?
So you're just breaking up the pattern
of things always looking the same.
Everybody has an emoji in their subject line.
So try it without an emoji,
try it all lowercase, like you said.
- That's right.
And as long as you rotate things up,
it really does break things up.
And yeah, even if you have a marketing tactic
that works really well,
if you keep doing it over and over again
and your competition all starts doing it,
people tend to kind of drown it out over time.
- Yeah, sensory adaptation, totally.
So one last question about email marketing,
and then I would love to move on to trends
before we close out the interview.
So let's talk about what good looks like
for an email marketing campaign.
What are the metrics that we should be looking at,
and are there any sort of metrics
or benchmarks we should be trying to hit
in terms of open rates and things like that?
- You want to shoot for 30 plus percent open rates,
and you want to shoot for click rates
that are at least in the one, two percentile.
If you can do that,
you're doing really well and you're doing a great job.
- Do you suggest that we have just like one main link,
or is it okay to have multiple links in our emails?
Any advice around that?
- Either strategy works.
You don't want to have like 10 links in an email
that starts getting overboard,
but one, two, or three links isn't too bad.
And sometimes you should be sending emails with no links.
- Mm, how about emails with video
and picture and things like that?
Do you suggest that that's an effective tactic?
- We found that text-based emails work the best
and they have better deliverability
than when you start adding in rich media from our tests.
- Mm. Love it.
Okay, so moving on to marketing trends.
What would you say in the general marketing space,
we don't have to stick to any particular channel,
what are the biggest trends
that you see this year in marketing?
- The biggest trend that we're seeing this year right now
in marketing is podcasting.
So people look at podcasting,
we survey over 8,000 companies,
and we found that the two big trends were podcasting and AI.
And here's what I mean by that.
When we look at the total number of blogs out there,
it's over a billion.
When you look at the total number of podcasts out there,
it's less than 10 million.
It's a wide open ocean, there's not tons of competition,
and companies are either, A, starting to create podcasts,
and B, they're starting to advertise on podcasts.
And what's funny is we're seeing them advertise on podcasts
to promote their own podcasts to get more listenership,
and then people are starting to repurpose that content
and use it all over the place.
Because you can use the podcast content
to turn it into text-based content,
you can use it to turn it into social media clips,
whether it's shorts or long form video.
And what's really cool is, when you do podcasts,
a lot of times people are doing them
with other people, like you and I are,
and we're both going to push this on all our social profiles
and we're both going to get play from this.
So it's actually a really amazing win-win strategy
for both of us, right?
So companies are really pushing hard on podcasting,
and they're pushing really hard on AI.
What can they automate?
And most people look at AI like,
"Oh, I can use OpenAI to help write content,
and I can use them to figure out how to create images."
But there's much more to AI from,
when we interviewed companies,
a big portion of what they're looking to use AI from
in a marketing standpoint is analytics.
How can you have AI analyze your analytics on a daily basis
and tell you where the wastage is
within your marketing campaigns
and where you can cut costs and reallocate money?
Because if you look at the biggest expense in marketing,
it's not services, it's not writing a piece of content,
it's actually spending money on paid advertising.
Look at the revenue that Google is generating
and Facebook is generating.
I think Google still is like a trillion dollar company
or somewhere around there, depending on the month you're in.
And Facebook's still a massive company.
We spend so much money on ad dollars.
Imagine if analytics were analyzed by AI
and it told us quicker when to cut our losses.
- Yeah, AI is something that I want to spend so much time
trying to figure out how I can optimize my business.
Especially as a marketer,
I feel like there's just so much information out there,
things that we can experiment with.
There's so much to learn right now,
and it sort of happened out of nowhere.
And now as entrepreneurs, we've got to dedicate time
to actually learn and experiment
and figure out how we can leverage it for ourselves.
And one of my favorite,
somebody, I don't remember who told me this, but they say,
"AI is sort of like a really good intern," right?
So how can you leverage AI
and use it like it's a really good intern
to help you just level up everything that you do?
And I just told you I had 60 employees,
now my 60 employees all have a really good intern
that they can use to level up their work.
- Yes, and they can be more efficient,
which helps you increase your margins,
which helps you give that cost savings to the customer,
or give them better results and spend more time
on each campaign so that way they're happier.
AI is a friend.
- Yeah. Yeah.
Okay, so let's talk about another trend, hot topic,
and that's IG verification,
paid verification, Twitter paid verification.
What are your thoughts around that?
- I was reading an article,
something like 40 something million people
in the first 24 hours got the blue check mark,
which was 600 and something million, I think 660.
It was somewhere around there.
It was around $600 million in revenue.
I think the problem is, what's going to happen is,
everyone's going to start getting these check marks,
and they're not going to mean much anymore.
They're going to have to have different colors
or variations for it, kind of like how Twitter
has like a government official version.
So then that way they have some sort of meaning
at least for some of the check marks.
- Yeah, totally, but I'm happy
because I personally am having trouble getting verified,
and I have three bot accounts
that are like selling fake crypto to my fans,
and I'm like really happy about IG verification,
even though I don't have the capability yet.
Okay, so we always close out the interview
with two questions that I ask all my guests.
The first one is, what is one actionable thing
our Young and Profiters can do today
to become more profitable tomorrow?
- The one thing you can do every single day is,
I would first start off right now,
doesn't matter if it's the start of year,
middle of the year, end of year,
break down what your goals are for the year,
what you need to do to achieve them,
break down those tasks into a monthly basis,
then they take those tasks
and break them out into a weekly basis,
then break them down to daily,
and then break those tasks down
into what you need to do each day
within the hour to achieve them.
And don't go to sleep until you hit those tasks
and complete all of them.
Do that every single day.
And what you'll notice is,
maybe the next day you don't make money
or the next week or next month,
but if you fast forward a year,
you'll notice a huge difference
in your business growth or your income,
as long as you're not going to sleep
without completing those tasks.
- Mm, I think that's a really good piece of advice
because a lot of people,
they're all talk and they're no action.
And so this ensures that they're taking daily action
and being consistent.
And I agree, that's the recipe for long-term success.
What would you say your secret to profiting in life is?
And this could go beyond just business and financial.
- So I try to be content in life.
I don't think a person, like when you're really happy,
it's a state and then you go back down to reality.
I try not to be where I have crazy ups or crazy downs.
And I always realize when things are going really well,
keep in mind someone else has it better than you.
And when things are going really bad,
people have it much worse than you.
There's people in this world without a home,
without clothing, without food and clean drinking water.
Like a lot of us are so blessed
when we just really think about it
from the grand scheme of things.
And I try to stay really content and levelheaded
because then allows me to think logically
and appreciate what I have.
- Mm, and I think that's really great advice
for entrepreneurs because as an entrepreneur,
life is a rollercoaster
and a lot of my listeners are entrepreneurs,
so you got to keep an even keel
in the highs and the lows, like Neil says.
Neil, where can our listeners learn more about you
and everything that you do?
- neilpatel.com is where I blog.
NP Digital is my ad agency.
Thank you so much for all of your wisdom today.
It was an absolute pleasure.
- Thanks for having me.
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