Marketing SEO Transcript
Season 1 Episode 15

This is a written Transcription for the episode: Here’s What Every Successful Omaha Entrepreneur Does.

Hightower Reff Law on the Omaha Podcast

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt Tompkins: Hello and welcome to the Omaha podcast, where Omaha’s most successful entrepreneurs help you grow your business. I’m your host, Matt Tompkins of Two Brothers.

Creative people like to use a lot of terms in business like B2B, COB, CRM, ROI, BFD, which is my official position here at Two Brothers and CEO is a big one. It is crucial to the success of your business. If you’re not utilizing SEO, it’s like starting a business and not telling anyone you’re open. On today’s episode of the podcast, we’ll give you the simple no cost tips for your business to follow. When you should hire an expert and find out if you really can do your own SEO marketing. I want to paint a picture of what I think most small business owners go through and experience.

We start something and you have this idea now you have a storefront maybe, or a website, and eventually you get to the point pretty quickly that you you have to advertise, you have to market to bring in new customers. And so that’s a pretty overwhelming moment because I don’t think anybody really knows what they’re supposed to do. And so we default to that like nostalgia of, well, when I was a kid, all the ads I saw or heard were on radio and television.

Matt Tompkins: So we go to that or print and we completely ignore the reality that we’re in today, which is if you don’t exist online, you don’t exist, period. And I think a lot of people are in denial about that. I don’t need a website, but eventually it does become a problem if you ignore it.

Even putting together a not so great website can be worse than just not having one. I remember working in radio and I just thought there was no way to prove any of these ratings. You can’t see how many people actually heard your commercial, how many changed the channel because we all do that when the commercial spot blocks come on, We don’t hear an eight minute lineup of commercials. So how effective is it really?

And there was a stat once they said you have to hear a commercial on the radio 35 times just to recall any of the information in it. So the answer is online. But I think today, Joe and Christopher, you can really help. I think a lot of small businesses here in Omaha just giving the basics like what do you do specifically with SEO? That’s a term we throw around like SEO. What is it? What is it? What does it mean? What’s it stand for?

Christopher Slater: I’m just going to sit back and let the whizzer talk.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, Yeah. Joe, Joe’s ready for this. Joe could do, like, a whole podcast just on SEO, I’m sure.

Joseph Kenney: Well, it’s important to just note that small businesses close at an alarming rate, and it’s not because they don’t have a great product or great service or a compelling selling, compelling value proposition.

They most certainly do. They closed for other reasons, and one of them is they don’t know how to go to market with their product or service, or maybe they know how to do it, but they don’t have the money to do it. And I think it’s important just to take a step back and just kind of assess the tools that you have available to yourself as a small business owner. And SEO is one of those tools. And somewhere along the way, SEO is has gotten a bad rap. You know, we got into this business nearly a decade ago and at the time it was considered to be snake oil because you didn’t understand what SEO meant. But it stands for search engine optimization flavor.

Christopher Slater: Is that what it is? For ten years I’ve been telling people it’s like super effective.

Matt Tompkins: It’s a really good salesman. He doesn’t need to know the product.

Joseph Kenney: He’s okay. I’ve long said that Christopher struggles to spell SEO. Yeah, so search engine optimization, in a nutshell, it is the manipulation or the organization of information so that Google can find that information and serve it up to those that want to find it.

Google wants to be known no longer as a search engine, but a knowledge engine. So as a small business owner, it’s important for you to be able to connect with those that are searching for your product or service. So if you are a barber in Midtown, you want to be able to connect with consumers that are searching for Barber near me. If you are a home builder, you want to be able to connect with people that are searching for either a custom builds or a home builder in the Omaha area. If you are a lawyer and I think we’ve all seen the I-80 lined with billboards, you want to be able to connect with the type of person that’s searching for the type of law that you practice. So if you are a DWI lawyer or a DUI lawyer, you want to be able to connect with them.

So what is SEO again, and how do you do SEO and can you do it yourself or do you have to pay a company? So search engine optimization is a way to organize content on your website or on properties that are outside of your website, like blogs, news articles that point to your website and support what you do.

Matt Tompkins: Your credibility.

Joseph Kenney: Credibility. Credibility is exactly right. Essentially, there is a credit score for your website and we call that domain authority. The scale is from 0 to 100. And that domain authority basically ranks like a credit, personal credit score ranks. How much of an authority you are on what you say you do. So if you are.

Christopher Slater: According to Google.

Joseph Kenney: Well, not according to Google, but according to the independent resources. So like the credit bureau, they are not. They are not the federal government. But there are independent credit bureaus that report on people’s credit. And sometimes there are small differences depending on the algorithm that they use to score your personal credit. So the same would be true for websites But Google does place a fair amount of weighting on the information that goes into how authoritative are you on a particular topic?

So if you are a sports massage therapist in Omaha, you have to convince Google, Yahoo, Bing and any other search engine that you are knowledgeable about sports, massage. And if you’re searching for customers in Omaha, you want that information to be very targeted. It doesn’t just happen. It’s you have to as a small business owner, you have to take a strategic approach. But if if I am selling cookies at a cookie shop,

I want to make sure that as many people know about my cookie shop as possible. And the easy thing to do is to try to reach out to a radio station, reach out to a billboard company, post an ad online. So you’re doing paid advertising, which is same search engine marketing. Maybe you do some flyers, you do the vowel pack. We’ve all we’ve all received the vowel pack, and what do we do with it when we get it?

Christopher Slater: It never makes it into my house.

Matt Tompkins: Or the worst is the is the. And this time of year to the the political mailers, the I was shocked to see how many tens of tens of thousands of dollars they spend. We’re talking 50, 60, $80,000 on these flyers. When has that ever changed your mind or influence how you think? I just don’t I wonder. I spread them all out on the kitchen, on the living room floor. They covered the whole whole living room. And I said, not one of these has an impact on me because there’s no trust. There’s no like you said, there’s nothing to substantiate what they’re saying about their opponent or themselves. So it does nothing.

Joseph Kenney: So as a small business owner, you have limited resources to get as much done as as possible and by as much done as possible, I mean limited resources to try to connect with as many people so that you can feel successful. You know, being successful in business is also how you feel. The more successful you feel, the more positive actions you’ll take towards being successful in other areas of your business.

So you want to try to get some of those early wins, and one of them is to make sure that somebody comes in off the streets and says, Hey, I found you on Google. Well, that doesn’t again, that doesn’t just happen. So if I’m a small business owner, how do I get started with SEO? The first thing I would do is read up on it. You aren’t going to learn this overnight. It’s taken us a decade to learn what we know now, and it’s ever changing. There’s been 3000 algorithm changes in the last 12 months.

We’ve had three really large algorithm changes just in the last three weeks, so it’s hard to keep up on it, but you can still take some really basic steps to be more successful and to have a chance at being found. So one you need need to have a website. We prefer to have websites built on WordPress. For the average small business, it’s a very stable platform to build your website on and it has very good SEO properties. It’s easy to nudge Google, Yahoo and Bing and let them know that, Hey, here’s our website. It’s about this.

The next step would be once you have a website to put good content in there, are you serving the customers well with the information you have? If you have a a pickleball website and you don’t have a lot of content about what pickleball is, then you’re not really making your case that you’re an expert.

Matt Tompkins: Wait, what’s pickleball?

Christopher Slater: We to go to the website.

Matt Tompkins: This a sport it’s like I could have been really good at pickleball had I known about it. You still.

Joseph Kenney: Can. And for those of you listening, Matt’s behind the times. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. Okay, so check it out. A little.

Christopher Slater: Known fact. You know why it’s called pickleball?

Joseph Kenney: Let’s hear it.

Christopher Slater: There we go. The people that invent it. So pickleball is like a it’s like a wiffle ball. It’s like a plastic ball. We are digressing, but.

Matt Tompkins: We’ll get we’ll get back to.

Christopher Slater: The people that invented that amount of the game. Pickleball It was their dogs. Ball Their dog’s name was Pickle.

Joseph Kenney: There we go.

Matt Tompkins: Is there pickleball? Because that is that might be a new one. We could do that. All right, let’s let’s continue. Joe, where were you?

Joseph Kenney: Yes. So it’s important to have really great information, content on your website, very specific to what you do. It lists the services very specifically. We want to have some geographical information that denotes where you’re doing your business. So if you’re a pickleball company in Omaha, Nebraska, you want to make sure that that’s noted on your website. And then you want to have recent and updated information along the way. And by recent, I mean Google is is awarding search traffic to those businesses that are supplying recent and authentic information about their business. So, again, if you’re a pickleball business, you want to create as many stories, articles, updates, press releases, news releases as possible.

So maybe you you open up a new Pickleball Court that’s newsworthy. You want to get that out on your website as quickly as possible, and then you want to make sure that it it is it is written from an original first person standpoint. Google is rewarding businesses for writing content that is not in the third person. Why? Because they feel like if it’s in the third person, it may not be real. It may not be authentic and may have been written by a software. And then certainly Google my business. It’s a social platform owned and operated by Google.

This is a real catalyst for change for small businesses. It’s how we’re found. Whether you have a juicery, a vegan restaurant, an HVAC company, a law firm, it’s how we’re found. It’s called the Google Business Profile. And there you can input pictures about your business, interior pictures, exterior pictures. You can add video. Google likes to see pictures about your business products, services when you’re at work. They also ask that you input what holidays are you taking off? What are your business hours? Right. It’s also the place that we can leave reviews for businesses, right? And Google rewards you for having that Google business profile there. And then I think all of us have had that opportunity where we’ve said chocolate shop near me, right? We’ve all used Siri to do something like that. Were you following.

Matt Tompkins: Me this morning and last night and yesterday morning? I may have a problem with chocolate? I don’t know.

Joseph Kenney: It seems like a basic request when we talk in to talk to Siri and we ask her for a suggestion and whether it be food or services or mechanic near me. Well, it’s a little known fact that those results are based off of an agreement with Yelp and Apple.

So unless you have a Yelp profile, unless you are cultivating Yelp reviews, you could be standing in the center of a chocolate shop, say chocolate shop near me, and they would send you across town to Papillion to a wonderful little chocolate shop there. And you’re frustrated as a chocolate shop owner in Omaha. So what gives? It’s that you aren’t playing the SEO game correctly. You didn’t use the free resources that are available to you as a small business owner to try to capture some of that traffic. I think business owners would be shocked at how much traffic is out there, how many people are looking for businesses just like yours. Remember what I said at the beginning of the podcast that businesses are closing at an alarming rate? That’s true. That’s fact. But I also said that there are very few that don’t have a great product, a great service or a compelling value proposition. They almost all do.

So why are they failing? Well, most of them are failing because they fail to connect with consumers that are already searching for them. We help hundreds of small businesses be successful.

We help them grow their businesses. But I would say about 60% of them, when they contact us for the first time, are struggling. They’re struggling to connect. Sure, they have the same challenges that other businesses do with staffing capital, human resources. Yes, yes, and yes, that’s that’s just part of doing business. But the not being able to connect with consumers that are searching for you, that’s actually easier than you might. Think. And you don’t just have to throw money at a billboard or to your point, Matt early, you don’t have to just spend it on radio spots and just wonder if it works or not.

Christopher Slater: A shotgun effect like that is not nearly as effective as snipers having your right in front of the person that is literally looking for what it is that you provide. And they may not know that you exist and you have to be able to show up in that search.

Matt Tompkins: I mean, to really a really basic, simple analogy, I think would be you’re at a party and they keep drawing names out of a hat and everybody around you is winning and you’re not. And that’s because you just didn’t put your name in the hat. You know, you’re not even in the game. You can’t win the game if you’re not in the game. And we actually have some episodes we’re going to be doing coming up about specifically why businesses fail and Google my business, because you’re right, that’s an excellent tool to have. And I think it is it is surprising how much I guess it’s not. It’s surprising. But then just look at how much you search on your phone or on Google.

Any time you have a question, you know, every time we’re watching TV at home and, you know, Wendy and I start arguing, when did this movie come out? Well, I don’t find out. 2 seconds. You know, it’s the same thing when we’re hungry, when we need anything, that’s just what we do. So to sit there and pretend like, well, I don’t I don’t even want to put myself on there. How do you expect to connect with those people? How do you expect to reach them? Right. Right.

Joseph Kenney: If you’re a small business owner and you think that you can’t compete against the franchises, the corporations, the online behemoths, you’re wrong. You absolutely can.

Time and time again. Time and time again. I’ll give you a good example. About five years ago, we had a young woman contact us and tell us that she was ready to leave the massage therapy school or clinic excuse me, the clinic that she worked at, she wanted to go off on her own, but she was scared, fearful, naturally. How is she going to compete against the massage? Envies the massage heights the companies with all those corporate dollars, how could she possibly compete against them? And we said, Well, let’s let’s take a look at what types of massages are you going to give? And she was specializing in sports, massage bodybuilders, athletes, very technical massage. Christopher Yeah, pretty much, yeah. For people just like Christopher and.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, Are you blushing right now? Is blushing this guy, he’s blushing.

Joseph Kenney: But after after we have some fancy software, after running some basic, basic reports, basic SEO analysis, we discovered that those online behemoths and big corporations like massage heights and massage envy, they were missing the boat on the SEO side of the fence, that there were really unique opportunities for us to work with this massage therapy business and help them be ranked for the types of services that she offers. And now, five years later, her business is booming. She if you Google Sports Massage Omaha, she’s the number one listing that comes up. She’s booked months in advance. So as well as her other massage therapists booked months in advance.

And that’s all because of SEO. So again, if you’re a small business owner at home and whether you sling pizzas, whether you sell dog toys, cookies, whatever it might be, pickle balls, pickleball, right. Whether you string tennis rackets work on a car, HVAC, you build homes, you detail cars, whatever the business is that you’re in, give us a ring. You reach out to the show and ask us to to run a report. I think you’d be shocked.

Our reports will tell us how many people are searching for the services that you provide in the Omaha area. Our reports will tell us what your competition is doing and it will tell us how difficult it is to be ranked for those key words and phrases that are life changing, business changing. We get texts all the time. I never thought I’d make this much money, and more often than not, it’s because of the SEO services that we’ve provided to those businesses.

Matt Tompkins: I think, you know, so kind of I want to recap a little bit the basics and then ask there’s one last thing I want to talk about related to SEO. But you know, you have to have a website, you have to be there, utilize the free tools that you have, like Google my business and reach out because getting an SEO report doesn’t necessarily cost you anything. I mean, you can reach out, you can reach out to the show here, you know, you just want to find out and then you can make that decision. Which leads me into the last thing I wanted to talk to you about when, you know, unfortunately, you mentioned like snake oil earlier, unfortunately SEO or people in. As wasn’t was an SEO itself. They they took advantage of the fact that this it can be complicated that most people don’t really understand it or know a lot about it, and they can talk right over their heads. You know, I know we we have a client right now that was just frustrated. They didn’t know how much money they were spending.

They didn’t know what it stood for, what it means. And they said the reason we left is because that company is that every time we talk to them, which was hardly ever, they just talked over our heads, made us feel stupid. We’d get a monthly report that was way too long in a PDF that we we didn’t even know what this meant, all these abbreviations. So it is challenging to to know is this is this company I’m looking to hire legitimate or is this how much I should be paying? So maybe just give us some some tips on how to avoid going with the wrong decision or the wrong company or know that you you’re being taken advantage of aside from learning the fundamentals of SEO yourself.

Joseph Kenney: Yeah. Chances are that the average business owner isn’t going to want to invest their personal time into learning SEO. You know, as as digital strategists and business coaches, we believe business owners should work at their highest value. It’s taken us a dozen years to get to this point. So if you’re going to rely on a company to help you with SEO, it’s important that you find reputable companies that have a strong track record, proven business success, and they’re changing lives.

Yes, there are a lot of SEO companies that over the last decade have taken advantage of businesses. They use unethical practices. And in this digital age, as you can imagine, you can go on fiver and ask anyone to do just about anything for a business. So if you want to send 1000 quick reviews to Yelp, you can probably get that ordered. But that’s unethical. It’s not approved and it will bite the business in the long run. We hear those horror stories every week. It’s actually why we got into the business is because we are consulting with a small business. We came across a line item that was $700 a month at the time.

Joseph Kenney: This is nearly a dozen years ago, and the business couldn’t definitively tell us what that was for, whether or not it was making an impact on a business. It’s important to just just speak at the same level of your customer. So if somebody is meeting with us, it’s important for us to say, okay, let me spell it out to you. This is the key word. This is it’s important to you.

This is why we’re trying to help you be found, because there’s 3300 people this month that are searching for that particular keyword phrase in your targeted location of Omaha, Papillion, La Vista, Gretna, Bennington, wherever it might be. And if you were ranked in the top one, two or three on Google, you’re going to garner about 40% of the search traffic. If you can’t be found on the first page or second page, it’s not going to impact your business whatsoever. It would be really rare. Somebody I mean, just think about it. When was the last time you went to page two or three on Google to to investigate or research or find a business you want to trade with?

Christopher Slater: You just don’t. And it’s it’s not uncommon for us to run these reports and to do these baseline audits for people, which really for a business owner, it’s a really great exercise for them to be able to try to determine what their keywords even are, what do they want to be found. For many, in many cases, they haven’t even considered that or thought about it. So it’s a really good exercise for them as a business owner to understand what people are searching for or what they even want to be found for. And oftentimes we find that they’re not within the top 100 listings at all. They’re not even on the top ten page.

Joseph Kenney: Yeah, most yeah, most of the reports, let’s say if you’re selling ice cream most of the time, I would say the businesses that we run reports for are not found in the first ten or 12 pages of Google. Well, what’s the point? I mean, you want to be found, you want to connect, and then you read stories about these same businesses that they just couldn’t make it, that the business wasn’t there. They didn’t have the capital. No, it’s not that complicated. We just need to help you be found. We can even run a gap analysis report. So if you called up and or contacted the show and said, Hey, these are the two competitors that I go head to head with, we have the ability to run a gap analysis on those two competitors and your business. And we can come back with the report and tell you exactly where you are winning on Google, where you’re weak, where Competitor A has the edge, and where competitor B has the edge. And then we can lay out a strategy that in pretty short order starts to. Come together comes into focus very clearly and you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel where you’re like, Gosh, now I can get back to doing what I love to do in a business, which is spend time with your customers.

Matt Tompkins: And you mentioned with the audit. I mean, you did that recently for for someone for us, and we found out that they’re responding to reviews in a way that they weren’t thinking, hey, everybody’s going to see what I just wrote. And it doesn’t help the image of the business. It doesn’t leave a happy customer.

I want to mention this. We’re going to have links in the show notes for I mean, do you have some articles about SEO, maybe? Absolutely, yes. Okay. So we’re going to have a bunch of articles about what is SEO, the things you can do yourself to get started and get that basic understanding, and then also contact information to reach out. Of course, if you want the pros to help you out here with one of those SEO reports, I think it’s good to close on this because it’s kind of a cold water to the face moment. You mentioned the business is failing and I only had this on hand because we’re going to be doing an episode about why businesses fail. But apparently 33% of businesses fail in the first two years, 50% fall within the fail within the first five years, only 33% make it to ten years. And actually only 25%, 25% of new businesses will make it to 15 years or more.

Joseph Kenney: It doesn’t have to be that way, Matt.

Matt Tompkins: It does it because I guarantee you every single one of those businesses didn’t think they were going to be one of those businesses. We think, Oh, no, that’s not going to be me. And then we just don’t do those these things. We don’t know how to do them, so we just don’t do them and they will come back to bite you. I mean, sadly, it’s just a it’s like gravity. I mean, it’s just going to happen.

So again, thank you for your wisdom here today. Joe Joseph is he’s the wizard. He is the wizard. Like I’ll call him with like the nerdiest questions about, hey, I got a nerdy question for you, Joe. You got a minute about SEO? And he’s calling me back in, like, 2 seconds. Yeah. Yeah, Well, yeah. What do you got? Yeah, he loves to talk about it, and I love to talk to you about it to help you out.

Thanks for joining us here today on the Omaha podcast. Be sure to hit subscribe so you never miss an episode and we want to hear from you. Let us know what resources you need in upcoming episodes. So yeah, we can do something about it when you think you don’t. The Omaha podcast where Omaha. Successful entrepreneurs help your business grow.