Podcast: Ranking Above Amazon on Google
March 24, 2020
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- The first question Bryan Phelps asks prospective clients
- Do most clients have specific goals set out for their business?
- How Bryan’s company gauges the market size for a specific keyword
- How brands can work with Amazon’s ad and how Bryan’s team approaches buyer interest in keywords
- What people need to focus on in order to build a powerful brand
- What are third party cookies and how does it affect the future of online privacy
- The importance of building brand personality and how this will affect your SEO strategy
- How Big Leap makes use of SEO for the clients and how often brands should optimize and revamp their website content
- Big Leap’s style guide when working with certain brands for specific audiences
- The best way to collect customer information and how Google can impact a business’ reputation
- How to differentiate an ad from an organic listing and how businesses can optimize voice search to market their products
In this episode…
Going toe to toe with Amazon when it comes to putting out ads is no easy business. They’ve got the machinery to work on keywords for related brands and a lot of the competition plays out through Google ads. So how can brands with less recall promote their products in the competitive world of online marketing? How can they come out on top of Amazon ads in Google search?
Bryan Phelps, the Founder of Big Leap, joins Eric Stopper, host of the Buy Box Experts Podcast, to talk about how to build a business on and off of Amazon. Bryan shares his top tips on optimizing a website for SEO marketing, the importance of having a focused niche, and how businesses can build their personality into their brand and come out on top when keywords are used to search for items related to their products. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Buy Box Experts
- Big Leap
- Purple Mattress
- Bryan Phelps on LinkedIn
- Bryan Phelps on Twitter
- Big Leap on Twitter
Sponsor for this episode
Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.
The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.
Buy Box prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.
Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.
Eric Stopper 0:18
Hello and welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast. This is Eric stopper. This episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts who takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. We have a team of consultants that are, they’re gonna look at your listings and they’re gonna tell you where you’re doing it wrong. While you’re doing it right. We now have brand new analytics that Amazon has given to us and so we’ve been playing with that, lots of insights to gain from there. So if you’re an Amazon seller, and you want to make more revenue, then go to Buy Box Experts.com click on the free analysis button and you’ll be connected with me and a member of my team. We are We’re going to start charging for it. And so, in the next couple of months, it’s not going to be free anymore, just because we have so many people clicking on that button. So please just go and hit it. Come and talk to us before we start charging for it. Now today, we have Brian Phelps, the founder, and CEO of a big leap, a team of trusted marketing experts who specialize in SEO, marketing, social media, reputation management, and marketing automation. If you look online for big leap, you will see quote after quote that includes one keyword. I wanted to run an analysis just to see how often their name showed up next to this word, but it was trust, trust, trust, trust just all over the place from colleagues from clients Google reviews Trustpilot. That’s been the whole brand Brian has made a deliberate effort. To build his company’s reputation as a transparent and what I can only see as this refreshingly honest group of experts. Brian built his first web site when he was 12 years old in exchange for paintballing beer. And he’s been building and optimizing websites ever since. Brian is a family man. And I am bringing him on this show because He is an expert. His focus is on website SEO, and we’re gonna have him teach us a thing or two about how to build our businesses on and off of Amazon. Brian, welcome to the show.
Bryan Phelps 2:29
Awesome. Thanks, Eric. Thanks for that intro. That was really, really kind.
Eric Stopper 2:33
Of course. Um, now the first question that I have. So the people that come to me, they sell products, right, and they are in various stages of selling those products. Some of them are brand spanking new. Some of them have been selling for a long, long time. And so I kind of want to take the seat of one of your customers and I want to understand like, why What kind of questions they ask you? And what kind of questions you ask them. So when somebody comes to you, what is the first question that somebody asks you when they’re looking at working with your company?
Bryan Phelps 3:10
What’s the first question like a client would ask us?
Eric Stopper 3:13
Yes, yes. And then and then what do you ask them?
Bryan Phelps 3:16
Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, we, when we go in those conversations we’re after often starting with just trying to understand, you know, what some of their goals are. And not everyone has that, you know, dialed in some do that. Some say, Hey, we want to drive X amount of revenue through organic search, or whatever it may be. But most people don’t, they don’t know. They just know, hey, I want to drive more traffic. And that’s a great start. And we can often help from there. But we also have clients that come and their goal may be something different. And maybe, hey, we, you know, if you google our brand, there are lots of kinds of mixed reviews and we won’t help, you know, getting more good reviews and case studies and testimonials from our client base. So when people research our brand, it’s more positive. So we just started that baseline trying to figure out what’s true On the main objective, and that’s where we can really start digging in some of those details. So that’s where we start, you know when we’re asking clients and those kinds of first meetings?
Eric Stopper 4:09
And do they typically have a good idea, of what their goals are? Or do you kind of have to bake that in for them and help them understand what their potential is?
Bryan Phelps 4:19
Yeah, I mean, most, it’s completely understandable don’t really have some super specific, I mean, obviously, you know, everyone’s kind of that same boat, they want to drive more revenue and sales and everyone kind of comes from a different background in SEO, a lot of e-commerce brands generally have a good you know, background and understanding kind of what it is or what it can do. But they ultimately kind of rely on us to really get into the weeds and details of that and figure out, you know, what are the right you know, keywords, we need to optimize for how much search traffic is there for that and from there, we can kind of calculate out the potential and see, you know, if there are 1000 searches for, you know, a certain kind of backpack that you maybe you sell, we can figure out based on What our click-through rates and conversion rates and things like that to figure out what’s the actual financial opportunity. So when most brands have had the unfortunate opportunity, maybe have gone into that kind of blind, and just saying, Hey, we want more traffic, and you know, someone takes their money and says, Okay, well, we’ll figure that out. We try to go a little bit deeper into that and actually see, hey, what’s the? Yeah, what’s the financial opportunity for certain categories? And that helps us prioritize those efforts.
Eric Stopper 5:25
And do you have off the shelf software that helps you figure out this potential? Do you have your own internal stuff that you’ve built to really engage the market size for a certain keyword?
Bryan Phelps 5:38
Yeah, a little bit of a combination, we use some tools to help us pull, you know, things like search volume, there are lots of different studies out there about you know, click through rates being, you know, position you rank for, and the search results, but we kind of take all that data, and then that’s some tools and spreadsheets and things we built to help kind of figure out those next steps. And then there’s just a huge kind of human component on have been able to look at the search results and look at a brand kind of seeing where they’re starting from to know, you know, how real realistic is it for them to really compete, you know if they’re starting, you know, brand new trying to compete against an established brand can take a long time. And we’ve helped people with that. But we’ve also had brands that are maybe a little bit more established come to us and been able to help them optimize and the timelines returns, things like that are drastically different. So there’s a big human element of that and experience that comes into play.
Eric Stopper 6:30
And you’ve worked with enough big and small companies to be able to kind of gauge those what those growth metrics are gonna be, or is it always kind of a moving target?
Bryan Phelps 6:41
Yeah, I mean, it does move, but we again, see just kind of based on where you’re starting from, you know, how long things can take and, again, realistic it is, you know, again, obviously, you know, with Amazon’s a great example, you know, if we do a little analysis and we’re looking at a search result and Amazon is in the top two or three positions. You know, we may want to set our expectation that hey, you know, realistically, you know, we may be able to rank, you know, third or fourth behind Amazon. And it’s possible sometimes we’re able to rank higher than amazon for a specific keyword. But that’s where that human element comes in where, you know, the click-through rate for that first about where Amazon is going to be really high, and the third or fourth, maybe a quarter of that. So when we’re doing those calculations to figure out the opportunity, we really have to take that into account. So again, just kind of depending on where they’re starting from, you know, a bigger brand is, you know, there’s a different opportunity, a different potential for those brands.
Eric Stopper 7:38
Okay, that actually leads me into one of my questions is a perfect segue. So I’ve had probably 15 calls this month, where people are saying, so Amazon is like bidding on my brand name on Google. And I heard that Amazon is one of Google’s biggest customers in terms of ad buying. So more and more vendors are finding that you know, Amazon’s advertising for the branded searches on Google and Bing. And essentially, to me, it seems like they’re putting an extra step into the buying process. So they’re kind of like systematically pushing these brands down on the list as you said, you know, it’s hard to rank above Amazon. So there are two or three or fourth on the list. So what do these brands need to do for that specific problem that they’re running into? Should they just say, hands-off? Like, I’m just going to let Amazon take that and hope that it routes to me? Or is there a way that you can get that specific Amazon ad to link to their products?
Bryan Phelps 8:44
Yeah, I mean, on the paid search side is interesting. And we don’t do that as a service. I’m somewhat familiar with it, but when Nestle claimed to be an expert there, but you know, that’s the good and bad I guess about building a good brand is you know that Amazon kind of takes note and starts bidding on you And you know, they may send it to your page, they may send it to a broader page, right, where you maybe lose some traffic. So, ultimately, there’s maybe not a ton, you can do, right? You can’t go and complain and get that change. There are trademark rules and things maybe that comes into play. But ultimately, that’s, that’s part of the game. So you know, where we would help people focus as if someone is, you know, doing a Google search for your brand. You know, if Amazon showing an ad, obviously, you can bid on that as well. And typically, you’ll be able to show ahead of Amazon, if it’s your own branded term. And the costs for that typically aren’t as crazy as a non branded, you know, type search. So that’s one thing to start is just make sure you’re bidding on your own brand. And but from an organic search perspective, we really try to optimize and make the organic listings stand out too. And make sure you know, if you’ve seen if you’ve done a search for a brand you’ll see kind of that main listing and then sometimes you’ll see sitelinks underneath of it where there are more links so that one organic listing can take up a lot of real estates and hopefully You know to drive traffic you know to your own you know a website which you know can be ideal if they’re in someone’s you know searching for you on Google by name most people would rather you know that route you know to their own website
Eric Stopper 10:12
so this is such a fascinating issue to me right because these brands are being forced to compete with Amazon on these on these branded keywords one thing that I’ve wondered right is we view the funnel as not like what’s his name Russell Brunson or whatever that guy’s whole deal is Click Funnels, not that kind of funnel but the actual the funnel that that looks at buyer intent, right when somebody is searching for just take nomadic for instance nomadic travel bag black small, right, like, that’s cash money for nomadic that’s a sale as far as I’m concerned. But if I’m searching for like men’s travel backpack, then there are a lot more people searching for that, but maybe there’s a little less purchase intent. Does your process as your team focus bottom and then move up the funnel? Or do they attack all different stages of the funnel? Kind of how do you guys approach the different stages of buyer interest in keywords?
Bryan Phelps 11:20
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think with a lot of brands, you know, when someone does a really branded search, like that example you gave, you know, a lot of times they don’t have anybody bidding on them. And so, you know, they already get a large chunk of that traffic. And so, people that are in that scenario, we’ll probably learn more towards, you know, trying to find those non branded opportunities to drive you know, new visitors that aren’t as familiar with them to just increase their total traffic and sales. But we do you know, excuse me run into that a lot where people and you fit on it a lot of just the ads taking up more room and things like that. So people feel like hey, I’m losing, you know, some of our branded search and stuff. to, you know, feel entitled to for good reason. So you know that that’s a tougher one. And so we try again to help people make sure their brand stands out, but it’s just a big push if you kind of takes a step back a little bit. You know, a lot of these conversations I’m recalling from a friend of mine, his name’s Alex McArthur, who’s the CMO of the purple mattress. And obviously, I have a crazy story. And I’ve done amazing things, but something he’s kind of taught me a little bit and he’s taught me a lot over the years was the importance of, you know, really building a brand I think over the last 10 years and digital marketing people felt like hey, you don’t really have to spend money on a brand because you can just buy ads and get Google rankings and kind of trick the system or work the system in a way to drive sales and that can work and has worked and probably still work in the long term. But if you really build a brand like purple, as you know, people may skip over the purple Amazon listing to go straight to Purple’s website because they know hey, I’m actually maybe there is a better experience to be had on Purple’s website. And I mean, I’ve seen that stat that says something like 80% of product search happens on Amazon, which is awesome and crazy at the same time. But you know, I think brands and e-commerce brands need to be the thing a little bit more like purple maybe and how do we really build a brand and build a community, I guess that people are going to want to come to our website over, you know, Amazon or whatever other you know, marketplace.
Eric Stopper 13:24
Okay, you mentioned a bunch of stuff there. Alex joined Kissick to recently yeah to company and man they got I think Nike invested in them. I read that. He’s Yeah, he’s a great guy. building a brand is has been huge for him. The team at purple did an amazing job. You talked about the customer experience. You talked about building a community. You talked about even using these various marketplaces to boost up your brand, I guess in and this is probably an unfair question, but in your experience? What are the most powerful aspects of building a brand? Like if you’re going to tell someone to build a brand? What should they focus on first? And then what should they move to next after that?
Bryan Phelps 14:13
Yeah, no, really good question. And I wish I was here because I could defer to him because that’s his world. But yeah, I think, you know, if the core thing most people are kind of familiar with just the success of purple, I think I mean, grew to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and there’s just so many pieces to that, right. I mean, it’s there. I mean, of course, their website and messaging and what they did there, I mean, a lot of it comes down to the products and what they were able to do, I think it’s wrong to probably assume like, a brand is completely organic, and you can just, you know, build that from scratch. I mean, again, purple did a lot of that into a video. But of course, a lot of money gets spent on, you know, going out and promoting that. So, I think one thing that they did, for example, of course, in their videos where it really stands out as just having that personality in their video and helping people relate to it and it may exclude some people. I think Seth Godin talks a lot about this kind of finding your tribe, like finding the people that are a good fit for what you do and not worrying as much about the ones that aren’t, you know, like that don’t
Eric Stopper 15:13
sell into your love.
Bryan Phelps 15:14
Good Brown. Yeah. So I think there’s a big component in that. And but yeah, there’s a lot they can do. And I’ll say, I think that’s going to continue to be a big trend. I mean, Google just recently announced that there were the next couple of years, you know, getting rid of third-party cookies on Google Chrome, Apple, and I think Firefox has already done that. And so there’s going to be a bigger need a bigger focus on having people on your website and getting you to know, your own customer data as much as you can. And, you know, may mean needing to and this is something you know, it’s kind of educated me on and introduced me to, but it may mean that you need to offer something in return for that, you know, customer data. So if it’s a discount or free shipping or whatever it may be that Really collect more of your own data to be used, you know, on your website and advertising. So it’s gonna be a big shift over the next few years.
Eric Stopper 16:09
I’ve got like six questions. Okay, um, explain the third party cookie thing like I’m five for those that aren’t experts in SEO and clear their cache and cookies and get mad every time they have to do it because they lose all their passwords.
Bryan Phelps 16:22
Yeah, and there’s it can it’s a good question can get pretty complicated and technical, and I again wireless things I’m not necessarily the biggest expert in because it probably gets into more of the advertising side of things. But generally speaking, third party cookies are law the biggest second guess, a component is the ad networks. So when you go to a website, you’re served an ad and cookies and then you know, you go to other websites and you have retargeting and display ads that kind of follow you around. So that, you know, it’s kind of dying over time and something will probably come to replace it but the big driver for that as probably, you know, privacy concerns and it started with, you know, GDPR and then California recently came out with a version kind of GDPR. And then Google and, and others are kind of pushing that. So it would prevent those third party cookies, you know. And so if I go on to cnn.com, CNN could give me a cookie, and that’s fine there. That’s the first party cookie, but all the ad networks that they use, maybe wouldn’t be able to in that scenario. So having your own again, customer data and things like that will enable you to just again, know more about that customer be able to tailor that experience to them in a different way. So it’s Yeah, and again, I wish I was more of an expert I think shift retargeting and things that people can become used to.
Eric Stopper 17:38
So this does not represent the opinion of Buy Box Experts in any way. But for me, I am you know, privacy. Maybe it hasn’t affected me as bad as affected other people have been asking a lot of folks like okay, what like, what’s your concern like? How privacy And important to you why like what is being stolen from you what is being used? And I think Alexa likes to listen to me baby, like, tell me what I need. I you heard that I am complaining of chronic neck pain and you know, the size of my sheets, because of my last Amazon purchase and you know, roughly my discretionary income and you know, when I get paid, serve me the perfect purple mattress ad right. Like, that’s, that’s my opinion. You mentioned that you’re not quite sure where the shift will turn, you know what, what those display ads will be replaced with. But look into the future with me a little bit. What do you think, from your experience and the trends that you’ve seen? Where will privacy go, you know, like, are the people going to win? Or is this something where the corporations and the businesses are just so big, that that big data is never going to go away? And we’re not actually going to get the privacy that people are asking for it?
Bryan Phelps 18:57
Yeah, no, great, great question. you know, it’s What I’ve read from Google’s announcements recently, they’re talking about this. They’re called privacy sandbox. But yeah, so I think a lot of it, there’s still kind of interest, you know, based things and demographic-based things. But I think the intention and, again, could be wrong on this stuff but is to prevent the, you know, to really identify an individual. And so I think retargeting is potentially a good example that where you have, you know, you look at a specific product and kind of follows you around, where you may see a shift again, it’s just based on your interest demographic, or the types of sites you’re on, you know, you go to a golf website, you know, you’ll see ads for whatever, you know, light fixture you looked at on Amazon, you may see a shift where the ads are more relevant, you know, to the website you’re looking at than just your, your search history. So I think that’s some changes. That, you know, you may see from, you know, SEO perspective, which is more of our expertise, that stuff, a lot of it doesn’t really come into play. Yeah.
Eric Stopper 20:01
So, earlier you talked about having personality in your brand, right? And I think purple did their video with the Harmon brothers.
Bryan Phelps 20:14
Right? Yeah. bleep bleep. So,
Eric Stopper 20:16
God loves those guys. But um, where does that personality come from? For a brand? Is that a CEO thing? Is that a marketing thing? Like, where should the Where should that soul come from in the business? In your opinion?
Bryan Phelps 20:30
Yeah, no, it’s a good question. I, I think it can be different places. You know, when we kind of hit on at the beginning we were talking about you mentioned my introduction about trust and has been intentionally having on our website, we, you know, we go out and talk to clients where that originated was from talking to clients and asking them, Hey, what do you like about Bigley? What do you think’s different about big leaps and other people you’ve worked with? And so we’ve gathered that and that came from you know, and the big leap was just me It started with one person and you know, spread to Around 75 or 80 people that we have now. And so that’s a personality it’s also kind of part of our core values and things like that that we incorporate so I think in that example it’s something that we’ve tried to start from a leadership level and spread I think you know some brands and I think Purple’s a good example probably was a little bit more marketing lead I I don’t know the owner super well maybe it is similar to them but from what I understand and that scenario I think it came from you know, that marketing team out there you know, Alex and there are many others they’re the kind of leadership and talking about wanting to have you know, personality those videos but humor and different things so they found what they think they kind of shaped that personality of the company and really stuck with that through all the videos they’ve done all you know, the website the content they create, they’ve been able to really incorporate that across the brand.
Eric Stopper 21:50
Yeah, and for anyone who hasn’t seen the purple mattress videos are great or just look up Harmon brothers, they’ve cut it a bunch of amazing stuff. So For the people who are on, they’re starting their SEO journey, even those that are just starting their company journey. A couple of questions, right? It almost sounds like you need to have your brand’s personality worked out before you really start implementing a rock-solid SEO strategy because, right like if I were to search for an SEO company that I can trust, I haven’t done that. But I’m assuming that you guys would be pretty high on the list because of this core value that you’ve built. And so would that be a point of counsel for these people before you start looking at SEO and developing strategies for that you should have your core values and the thesis of your company and kind of the point of all that worked out, or can you just say, you know, forget it, and we just want to like, you know, target the words that people are searching for in our category?
Bryan Phelps 22:51
No, it’s good. Good question. I think, I guess in that ideal world, like having that thought, and it’s not really unique to SEO, but I think from a sales perspective, There’s literally hundreds of bed in box brands like purple and Casper and, and all those. But I think one of the reasons you know Purple’s been so successful is because they did have kind of a personality that made them stand apart from all the copycats And me too, you know, brands that jumped in after them, right? They proposed necessarily the cheapest out there, like there are other options, right. But people, you know, resonate and connect with that. And what that does, I think have an SEO application, sometimes is when you do that, and when you build that personality in that brand, you know, people start searching for you by brand name. So many people have seen purple mattress videos and things like that, you know, there’s a lot of searches, again, just for their brand, which Google recognizes and, and ultimately, you know, where we’ve come over the last, you know, 20 years with Google search, as Google’s trying as much as they can to really identify brands and promote brands to the top of the results is why you see Amazon and Wikipedia and wayfarer and all these big brands. Yeah, at the top of the searches So that helps people rank better because they have a brand out there. They want that Google wants that that’s a good user experience for their searchers.
Eric Stopper 24:08
Yeah, there’s a quote from one of your articles, says, organic search results used to be an area where nearly anyone could compete regardless of company size. And this went for Amazon to the same exact thing. While small companies can still compete, it’s not as simple as it used to be. Search engines favor high authority sites for short and long-tail terms. Think Wikipedia and Forbes. So let’s take the perspective of these little product companies. Right, How I mean, what do they establish authority over or even can they just rely on that Amazon at the top?
Bryan Phelps 24:49
Yeah, no, I think so. I think part of it. And we’re big believers in this as an agency where we prefer to focus on fewer things and be better at less. So again, as an agency, we Do your SEO and sorry, SEO and content marketing is kind of our, our bread and butter, we do some other things like marketing automation that help people convert better, but 90% of what we do is kind of in the SEO world, I think as much as people can, from a product company perspective, focus on a niche and be specific, like, you know, travel bags versus like a broader bag category or, you know, photography bags and things like that, I think someone can really own a brand and that and rank and perform well, from a search perspective, it doesn’t mean Amazon’s not gonna rank but surely have a chance versus a really broad term. You know, just like even travel bags, kind of broadly like a, you know, suitcase, duffel bag, whatever, that that gets really hard to compete in from an SEO perspective, but it’s again, kind of going back to the Seth Godin thing like finding your, your tribe, your niche. And there’s, with you know, as big as the web has gotten now and continues to grow, even something small niche, there’s a lot of opportunities, and so it’s just about kind of specialized. And become an authority in something specific.
Eric Stopper 26:02
Yeah. So for those of you who are scratching your heads wondering, okay, I sell silicone or bamboo straws, right for sustainability, but you’re really just trying to make money operate within that niche, right, like identify your customer and understand the things that they care about and tell stories. You know, I saw a travel site recently it wasn’t even a travel site. No, it was a production company that was talking about like the five best places in America to get ice cream. And they were selling. Yeah, just some random product for travel. So find a niche. And specifically for Amazon, this is a council for everybody. incremental innovation, right like find, find something that is popular, but make a little tiny change that’s perceivable and then just fills the ether with good content that is Seo rich now On that note, I, on a previous podcast, I talked about how people don’t read the bullet points on Amazon typically. Are you an Amazon Prime member? I am. Yeah.
Bryan Phelps 27:16
self-report? Right? How often do you read the bullet points? I’m I know the trend is people don’t read. And I believe that. I’ve seen that. I’m weird. I read detail from time to read. I think so I think I do.
Eric Stopper 27:32
Typically people use heuristics to, quote-unquote, read bullet points, right. They’re kind of looking for key syntax and fifth-grade level reading or so. Now I said that and we have a team of what I think are some of the best Amazon copywriters in the world. And one of them came to me and was like, hey, like, we’re writers like we are authors, artists, I would they would say, and I said, No, that like, that wasn’t my intention. You Guys like we sell your service and it’s and it’s amazing and so for you guys, you have these content writers on staff walk me through the philosophy and the process of how you do your keyword research and how you write this copy and how you make it engaging for the people who are going to arrive on your site.
Bryan Phelps 28:21
Yeah, no that’s a great question we’ve again been doing this for me personally, I guess it’s been 15 plus years and that’s evolved so much I mean, literally days of SEO It was really just stuff keywords and copy and you’d rank well and frankly at work you know, you get if you can go back a while I haven’t seen in a long time but you go to a bottom of a website and you just see like keywords and sometimes they’re like almost the same color white text Yeah, exactly that kind of thing color and that would work and help people rank better and you know, you fast for a little bit Google kind of you know, killed that but even within your website copy, you know, people would just sound like a robot, right? You can read it and it sounds good. really fake and not even worked for a long time, Google’s gotten a lot better since then, of just understanding themes and concepts, and measuring other kinds of metrics that help with that. So instead of just saying, oh, how many keywords they have on their site, they’re looking at more specific metrics of like, at how much time are people spending on-site on their website? Are they clicking on the search result? Are they skipping over the number one result and going to the number two result because something stood out and the copy on the search result list? And so where we’ve shifted with that, over the years is, you know, kind of following along with that, but really focusing on writing Copy that, like he kind of said those artists, right, the people that are writing for conversion, mostly educate people, trying to help, you know, make that flow. And so your points are examples, you know, where we adapted to and maybe need to keep changing but, you know, working in the video is a big component of that now trying to, you know, show how things work through video and imagery. Again we keep talking about purple that only like approvals website they do a great job of educating people about the website and it’s engaging as you can you’re not reading just a block of text and you’re kind of following along and, and learning more about using their products and throughout their blog and other places you just learn more about, you know, comparisons they do a great job of showing like why to choose purple over a memory foam mattress or things like that. So yeah, there’s a lot that goes into the copywriting side of things and you have to keep updating it to that I think that some people forget as they write it once and leave it for years and that feeds fast,
Eric Stopper 30:37
how fast how often should they be revamping their content on their page pages?
Bryan Phelps 30:44
Well, with I think with certain, you know, there are some products that are temporary, that kind of maybe change every year and so when a new version, a new model comes out, it’s an opportunity to revamp that but a lot of that can kind of come down to the again the kind of value of that product I mean purple selling, you know, a handful of price. products and, you know, thousand bucks plus they can really spend the time regularly to be testing and constantly changing and modifying that if you’re selling something that’s maybe a smaller ticket item, you know, it’s a little harder to do that you may need to extend the frequency of that, you know, yearly or something like that.
Eric Stopper 31:17
This is all very interesting. So I have a, I mean, I have a whole bunch of theories about how marketing should be done. You mentioned some of these sites, they educate, and they’re not big block text. It’s almost like you follow along and it kind of guides you through pictures. I was on a website probably two months ago and I the Buy Now button didn’t say buy now it said I deserve it. Right, this kind of almost conversational content on their page. Is Is that like they got in my mind and they’re and I’m talking about them right now. Maybe I don’t have a great brand recall, but Is, is that a strategy that that is, you know, that has the wind in his sails that people should start looking at is almost like selling as if you’re in somebody’s head? And do you guys write with that style? Like, what’s kind of your style guide for when you approach a brand? And you’re writing for them? Yeah.
Bryan Phelps 32:18
Well, it’s a good question. I think part of that ties into the whole brand piece, right? Like, if you’re, you know, if you’re appealing to maybe a certain audience, like something trying to be kind of cute, like that maybe doesn’t fly, right? And they don’t like that just doesn’t, it doesn’t match with, you know, kind of the audience and so you have to be aware of that, first of all, second pieces, I think, you know, whether it’s, you know, I deserve that or, you know, a different kind of something different than the traditional wording, you know, we’ve seen can be really successful. It’s one of the things you definitely want to test and you can do that through conversion optimization, a B testing, you know, type software because we’ve seen kind of both sides of that something that stands out can be really great because people it’s kinda like banner blindness that you have big banner ads, you can have the same thing with a Buy Now type button in some cases. So it can be really helpful and maybe increase, you know clicks to the buy now. But if it’s not intuitive enough, it can also that can be a detriment. So if you’re getting kind of too cute with it and confusing people, you could actually see a decrease in performance on something like that. So I think first and foremost, just yeah, how does that whole experience its part of the customer experience you talked about? How does that tie in? And can it work with the brand? One example I read in a book as a weird memory is about, you know, web design, and I was actually on a jury. So I was just waiting for a jury. I was on the jury for a murder trial in Provo, Utah. And I had to get in for about five days. And I read this book was there, but it gave this example of like your shopping cart, you know, as a common term, and people have tried testing that with different things and people have shopping bags, sometimes if you’re Nordstrom or something like that. And, you know again, the same idea, though. You know, testing that and making sure that even if it’s on-brand that it’s not too far of a departure from what people expect and not causing a decrease in.
Eric Stopper 34:10
Yeah, people recognize the terms shopping cart. And so I’ve seen even like, yeah, the little back, right? That’s kind of become ubiquitous as a symbol of a shopping cart. And I don’t like it. I always try to opt for just having a little shopping cart symbol. So you, you talked about data acquisition, right? Knowing these customers, and how they operate and how they interact with your products on your website. Amazon believes us in the dark, a lot of the time, there’s very little data that we can get other than like, what terms people are using to find us and how much the bid was for that term. So on the flip side of the coin, right, everybody should be collecting data to better understand their customers. So when somebody lands on a site You have, like email garnering pop-ups that you can collect someone’s, you know, information with what have you seen as the best way to gather the maximum amount of information with the minimal amount of barrier for website traffic?
Bryan Phelps 35:19
I think that’s an important part because it’s like you said it’s ideal. We all want to collect as much information as we can. But we’ve all you know, heard the concept of like a reduce friction. And again, I’m not going to this from you know, things I’ve heard and learn from different people over the years, but with the change in third party tracking and things like that, you know, the advice that I’ve heard, and I think it makes sense, and it’s maybe a tough one again, I always advocate testing these things, but saying that even though you know, having guest Checkout, on your own website, reduces friction, you know, we may need to make that shift and you know, be forcing people that too Create accounts so it doesn’t, you know, again, there’s that risk, I guess, of losing out on that. But if you have a good plan in place, I guess to you know, take you to know that customer data and do something with that. So now that you have their customer info if, you know if you’re purple and you sold a mattress, you know, in a couple of weeks, maybe you’re following up with the mattress protector and the sheets or different things where if that was a guest Checkout, or I don’t know. Yeah, with Amazon, I don’t know. You could educate me on this. Like if someone buys something from Amazon. Do you do Amazon pass along any customer? No, you get
Eric Stopper 36:35
nothing, man. Now they don’t give a crap about the seller. Yeah, no, that’s a fact.
Bryan Phelps 36:41
Yeah, so that’s a good example that where you’re kind of tough and it’s a tough balance, right? Because Amazon’s huge and there are such sales to be out there and you don’t want to not be there. But we also you know, again, it’s this Choose Your Own Adventure thing. Do you want to go the path of least resistance may be now or go down this path of building a And collecting information and data and trying to not be completely reliant on an Amazon or someone like that?
Eric Stopper 37:08
So I’ve got, I’ve got two more questions for you. The first one is very, very general. And I’m, for those who are listening, I know you’re gonna knock this out of the park. But what are the impact that Google can have on your business and your reputation, your reputation?
Bryan Phelps 37:27
I mean, it can be huge. So when I got started in digital marketing and SEO specifically in the early 2000s, I was able to just as a kind of one-man show and I even had some operation stuff in India, some writers and things like that, build my own website, get it ranked organically and make money from advertising networks and affiliate networks, including Amazon as an affiliate there before they close to like a while. Yeah, and then they This is a long time ago, but they moved. They just have like a 30-day cookie or something. And so I would get commissioned Forever on Amazon stuff and eventually close that up pretty, pretty quickly. But I was able to do that. And so from an impact perspective, I was able to build almost this whole company just completely on the side of, you know, websites and doing that. And, you know, that’s basically almost impossible. Now, I mean, there are other affiliate opportunities out there and people doing that well, but you really have to build basically a brand as an affiliate, to be able to do that, where you still kind of cut those corners. So the opportunity is still enormous when you look at even though there’s a lot of ads showing up now. And Google’s kind of pushing people to their own, you know, ads and their own sites, still something like 6040 to 60% of people when they do a search, click on an organic listing. It searches only like 5% that’s it’s interesting. It’s recent data done by a company called jump shot, and then there’s still a large amount of people that just don’t click on anything, because they get an instant answer depending on what you’re looking for. So people are talking about that and people have been talking About you knows SEO dead for as long as I can remember. So Google, of course, you mean you can look at their earnings, things like that they’re making a lot of money off ads, and they’re trying to get people on ads. But even if the organic opportunity has decreased over the last five years, it’s still, like I said, 40 to 60% of clicks, you know, going organic, which is really incredible. So again, still a ton of opportunity to drive traffic and sales, you know, through organic search. And then the other part of your question about how can I add harm or reputation, I mean, again, people do their research now and they look at Amazon reviews, they look at just other, you know, blogs, forums, things like that. And that’s what’s showing up on those branded search results. So like I mentioned kind of earlier, that’s where we’ve helped some businesses with their online reputation. And our version of that is really specific to the search results. When someone Google’s your, your company name and brand name, what shows up, and we try to make sure we try to emphasize all the good stuff out there. And, you know, just kind of put your company’s best foot forward and the sun
Eric Stopper 40:05
That. Yeah, that’s some That’s amazing. So can people not? I guess people can spot an ad. People know what the difference between an ad and organic lists the listing result on Google?
Bryan Phelps 40:18
Yeah, Google does a good job of trying to blend them. They actually just today and yesterday started rolling out the same display that you have on your mobile phone to your desktop, which just from like the design perspective, so where it’s labeled ad is much more obscure and kind of harder to see. And so yeah, I mean, they want people to click on those paid ads, but most people in their early is differentiation in your age and demographics. Younger people tend to not click on ads as much. It’s kind of you to know, that trend. People know it’s an ad they don’t want to fall into the trap, I guess.
Eric Stopper 41:10
16 2018 let’s go back in time a little bit optimized for Voice Search. Talk to me about that voice I have an Alexa. We’ve got Siri she heard me Oh my goodness. We’ve got these voice tools. What does that look like? Like? Tell me like, do all businesses need to be considering voice results? And what stage should you start thinking like okay people are asking Alexa about questions that I that my product can answer? Do you guys do that first of all, and then where are we headed? Right like which companies should start looking at voice heavily?
Bryan Phelps 41:59
Yeah. Voice Search is super interesting to me. And I think it was about a year and a half ago, I did a presentation on it at a conference in California. And so I spent a lot of time kind of looking at that and digging into it. And there’s a lot of misinformation about it and how it impacts businesses and a lot of ways, there was a stat that everybody quotes, you look up any stats about voice search, and you’ll see this one that says by 2020, which is now 50% of all searches will be Voice Search. And if you keep kind of going down the rabbit hole on that quote that people always use, maybe not all the context, it was a quote by an owl, I can’t remember, it’s been so long, but someone in Asia from maybe Baidu, or somebody that worked there, and this was probably 10 years ago that he was predicting this. And so he’s really kind of looking out into the future. And in some Asian countries, voice searches, more popular and common. So he’s really kind of predicting down the road, but people still use that stack, kind of saying, hey, it’s 2020 50% searches or voice search, and that’s that hasn’t really, you know, held up over the years. There is a lot of voice search. We don’t we’re not saying I’m not saying that you completely ignore it, but you have to really think about how it’s being used or potentially being used, you know, with your brand. So, when you talk about, like b2b brands, for example, it’s a lot less common, you know, people aren’t asking, you know, Alexa about their product management software or anything like that so much. With some b2c brands, I think, you know, it can be a bit more common, but when, when Google and other people put out these stats about, Hey, there are a billion voice searches, they’re also counting a lot of stuff that isn’t really searched. So they’re talking about, set a timer for five minutes when I’m putting my kid in a timeout, and remind me to do whatever. So voice search and interaction has grown a ton and there are, you know, Alexa is a good example where you can just you know, order reorder products directly from it. But it really hasn’t had a huge impact on most businesses that you know, we’ve really seen, again, something to be aware of, and There’s a lot you can do to even prepare for it now. And so kind of the gist of some of that presentation about, hey, what should you do now, if you really have a good SEO campaign in place, you’re already in a way preparing for it. Google years ago came out within partnership with other search engines website called schema.org. And it’s just a way to mark up your content to say, hey, these are the reviews for this product. This is the price point for the product. And it just clearly in the code tells Google that this is what it is. And so that helps them kind of structure their data. And so they can answer your questions through Voice Search. If you do a search, and you see those kinds of instant answers up at the top, you know, if you search for a, you know, as this has done a search today, I’m telling you what a lot was about a ceiling fan, you know, and it just gives you the answer from a search result. When you ask Google like Google Home devices or your nest devices, that’s where that answer is coming from. So a lot of the things to prepare for voice search you should be doing for regular search. Right now, so if you’re not really aware of, you know, where that overlap is, or if you’re feeling like, Hey, we’re not working on our kind of instant answers and Rich Snippets and structured data, then you might be behind the curve a little bit there and want to maybe jump on that from an SEO perspective.
Eric Stopper 45:15
Yeah, I always say, if you want to know how people are searching for you just ask Alexa right and act as if you were a new customer. And we prompt CEOs to pitch us about their company. And that’s just filled with all kinds of golden nuggets, right? How they describe it. So if you’re selling a product, understand what people are asking their robots, right, understand how they’re engaging with searches on Google and which terms you are the right solution for. Brian, thank you so much. Where do I send people to get in touch with you on your team?
Bryan Phelps 45:50
Yeah, I mean, our websites big leap.com and so you can always connect with us there on all the major social networks. Me personally if you want to reach out to me LinkedIn as a great place to find me on Twitter and kind of built my handles that are just my name Brian Phelps.
Eric Stopper 46:05
Awesome. Thank you so much, Brian.
Bryan Phelps 46:07
Yeah. Thanks, Eric. It’s fun.
Eric Stopper 46:10
Thanks for listening to the Buy Box Experts podcast. Be sure to click subscribe, check us out on the web, and we’ll see you next time.