The UnNoticed Entrepreneur - how to overcome being overlooked.

How to achieve +163.2% Increase in Conversion Rate using SEO with this fuel.

September 14, 2021 Jim James
The UnNoticed Entrepreneur - how to overcome being overlooked.
How to achieve +163.2% Increase in Conversion Rate using SEO with this fuel.
Show Notes Transcript

Jarod Spiewak is the founder and CEO of CometFuel, a New Hampshire-based SEO specialist who explains not only how SEO works for entrepreneurs but also how he uses UpWork to secure six-figure contracts for his agency and sharing his tools with affiliates to generate leads.

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Jim James:

Hello. Welcome to this episode of the UnNoticed Entrepreneur today, I'm delighted to be joined by Jarod Spiewak. Who's joining us all the way from New Hampshire in America. Jarod. Thanks so much.

Jarod Spiewak:

Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

Jim James:

Now Jarod we've met because you are an expert on SEO and that most businesses are wasting a lot of money on SEO. So how can you help an entrepreneur not waste money on SEO and still get noticed?

Jarod Spiewak:

Yeah. So when it comes to SEO, it's really that bandwagon marketing tactic right now. It's that really sexy, appealing thing that everybody wants because. Everybody uses Google to find anything and showing at the top, it's part vanity it's part revenue, it's oh, this is free because once, you know, cause it's not like ads they have to keep paying for every click, but you know, it's not free to get there necessarily. So it is a thing that everybody wants. But the reality is that there's a limited amount of space. And once you earn a position, doesn't mean that it can't get taken away from you. And so what I have found over the years, mostly through trial and error is that there are just, unfortunately a lot of companies who are investing in SEO that either make very little progress, make very slow and expensive progress. Good progress and then have it quickly taken away from them, by somebody else in their space. And one of the biggest determinations is, having a brand that builds that momentum that starts a snowball effect. To give you a very quick example, we were working with a company. That did an internal correlation study and found that cities where they have billboards, their CTR, the click-through rate was higher on Google. And so just by having a more recognizable brand, we go back to psychology 1 0 1 things that we're more familiar with, we're more drawn to. So even if they rank lower, they would get more clicks than a competitor would presumably. In that position, meaning that each position was worth more to them than it was to a competitor. Not only that, but when it comes to the sophistication of the algorithms is something called a re ranking in which a higher than expected click through rate within a designated search position for a designated keyword may influence Google to say, Hey, more people than expected are clicking on this result in let's say position four. Maybe this should actually be positioned three. So we get the additional benefit and not just more traffic, but also an easier time moving through those top positions because their performance is higher than expected for what Google would see from other competitors. And that's the benefit or at least some of the benefits that having that brand does that makes it much more difficult for somebody to compete against that.

Jim James:

so Jarod, if you're a big company, you can afford to build a brand and you can afford these billboards. That's great. But does it mean that being on the front page of Google, if you sell something is impossible and B the only route to success.

Jarod Spiewak:

It's not, it's just that these, larger companies have distinct advantages. If we look at the link building aspect of Google, larger companies are going to attract more media attention with for far less cost. And sometimes without them even having to do anything compared to smaller companies. And so smaller companies may have to try harder in order to gain that attraction, but it's still very much so possible to beat out bigger brands. It's just that the methodologies you use to achieve that are a little bit different.

Jim James:

Yeah, let's just talk about that. Cause when you about links, Jarod, for example, because you're an expert and you've been doing this since the age of 14, by all accounts, and you've been running accounts for many clients, just, simplify it for a little bit, especially for us older members of the community. Uh, the listening links, SEO, fundamentally w hat are we talking about? Make it so that we can understand it.

Jarod Spiewak:

Very quick history lesson. If we go back to pre Google, all search engines just looked at what you told them about yourself. Everybody wants to say that, Hey, we're the best in. Keyword stuffing, just throwing saying, Hey, on the best is what ran rampant. Google decided, Hey, what if we use other people saying that you're good at what you do? That you're a reputable business through the use of hypertext links, which is when you click on something and it brings you to a different website or webpage because if other non-associated sources say, just if you look at any sort of journal you want to cite your sources, if other people are recommending resource it's a stronger indication that they are actually good at what they say that they do compared to them just saying that they are good themselves. So that's what the link is.

Jim James:

Okay. and you can put the links to other people's websites on your own website, for example, can't you. So it is possible to, participate in this through, for example, your blog on your website. So take us then Jarod, through your company comment fuel, can you tell us sort of an example or a case study? Of how you've helped a smaller business. And I know that you've got a way of actually profiling the clients you want to work with as well. So can you take us through, who you chose to work with them, what you did for them?

Jarod Spiewak:

Yeah. Sure. So when it comes to how we profile, it's something that's really based on e xperience, which is that I spend a lot of time talking to a lot of different people, in marketing or C-level positions, depending on the company. Depends on who we're talking to to determine. If I feel also that they're a right fit for us, if they're going to, take, suggestions that we make, or if they're really going to be, it's our way or the highway. if it's going to be basically a good, mental state, if we're on the same wavelength with what we're doing. Cause if we're not, if we just don't agree with each other, it doesn't matter how good we are. It's just never going to make that connection. when it comes to. Uh, cases there's some businesses I can mention by name some that I can't, but, one thing that I'll mention and talk about one that I can maybe talk about a little bit further is. Yeah, podcasting is actually really great example. podcasting is still a relatively new medium when we're competing against really large organizations. If they want to get into podcasting, what does that look like? That looks like employee number 87, reaching out to their boss who says, Hey, I think we should do this podcasting stuff. Okay. I guess I can look into that. Of course, amongst a thousand other things, and then it goes. Weeks months, potentially even years of deliberation, who's going to be the spokesperson. Oh, is it this person? What happens if they leave the company, then how are we going to record this? What are our KPIs and metrics? How can we get the budget approved, et cetera, et cetera. We're a smaller company. We're either talking to the decision-maker or one person removed from that decision maker. And we. Hey, we think you have a cool story. Let's do some podcasts. They go, okay, great. Book me on them and I'll be there tomorrow. And so the speed of execution can sometimes massively outweigh the, the excessive amount of resources that another company has because it's a matter of, are they able to effectively deploy that capital where, A podcast, think of they're going to invest in all the best equipment. They have to make sure its brand representative is up to par where you can be like, yeah, you're like, I'm fine with, buying a $50 blue snowball from, from best buy and just, popping on with my webcam. making the rounds, you're going to be able to compete at a level that sure is your competitor has gotten into it. They'd probably be a lot more professional about it than maybe you are at the moment, but guess what? You're going to have a year of experience on them before they even start.

Jim James:

Yeah, and I think that's essentially a wonderful message for, the unnoticed entrepreneur that, that speed not scale, in the digital age is actually, a key success factor. Isn't it? If you can get on. And I think the same, for example, about mobile as well, mobile marketing, because many people now, especially in China, for example, where I was based for 13 years they really do everything. the viewing and the shopping on the same device, actually on the same app Jarod how do you get SEO to cross over from the desktop to the mobile? Is that the same? What about location based SEO? You mentioned earlier on about, for example, the billboards.

Jarod Spiewak:

So with almost anything SEO, there is some amount of ambiguity because of Google, obviously for proprietary reasons. Can't lay everything out there for everybody to look into, but from my understanding and how I would phrase it is Google has moved towards a mobile first index, meaning that when they crawl your websites for most websites nowadays, not everybody, but for most websites, they look at your mobile version. So take out your phone and see how long it loads. That's what Google is experiencing. See how the navigation works. That's what Google is. Because we've moved towards a mobile first world when it comes to locations, there's local, international, national, et cetera. When it comes to local versus national, usually that's just a matter of. If you're a national based company that also has locations, then usually you have some sort of location-based structure on your website to make it more clear what that's relevant to internationally. You might have different languages on your site. You might have different TLDs. You might have a.us versus a.fr et cetera. People will approach that different ways.

Jim James:

so that's very interesting. So we are going to a sort of geography specific. SEO level then aren't we is what you're sharing there because from a PR point of view, we were at one place all local, and then it went regional, 15, 20 years ago. And now it sounds at the search engines are going back to being local. And for example, PR and it sounds like SEO needs to talk to the local audience. As much as the regional or the global. does that then create challenges when it comes to content creation, Jarod though, how do you handle that comet fuel for clients that are local and regional and global.

Jarod Spiewak:

So it does depend on the type of content where, informational content that doesn't, it's all about intent. So there's no local intent based on that search and it doesn't matter where someone's based out of, for example, we saw a bunch of ants in our house and we were like, oh no, how big of a problem is this? So I did some searching as to can identify the species. Is this like a small issue? Or is this one where it's going to be like 50,000 of them, like behind my wall that I have to deal with. And so the pest control articles that I found was from a pest control company, a local service company. That's nowhere near where I live because that Google just decided that was the best one. Cause I didn't search specific enough. Now, if I had changed that search to what ant species are in New Hampshire, I'm much more likely to find New Hampshire fishing game websites or New Hampshire government websites or other people that have written articles about that. So it depends on the intent of the search. When it comes to people who are focusing locally. so we have some clients in the cannabis space. And so depending on where you are in the U S some where it's legalized completely somewhere, it's just record. It's recreational other places, it's medical, some places it's still completely illegal and every state will have different rules. So if we want to talk about getting a dispensary license. we might have a general page about, how to get a dispensary license at a high level, and then depending on how we want to play it, we might have subsections on that individual page that will go into detail about individual states or what we can do is create individual pages. That is how to get your dispensary license in Michigan, in California, in Colorado.

Jim James:

so very interesting. So let's just talk then a little bit about content, because this does sound like really a content centric approach is what we really talk about now. And in PR we talk about really content centric, replacing relationship driven, PR How do you think companies are faring Jarod, especially small ones about content. Do you think they should outsource the content creation to a copywriter or using the AI tool. What's your guidance on that? Because it sounds like a lot of this comes down to the quality of the content.

Jarod Spiewak:

If you look into anything SEO related, PR related, et cetera, always see, it's always about content quality, but if you search for something that you you personally know really well and look at what ranks on Google. You'll often times be disappointed in the actual quality of that content. A lot of the times it's fairly generic. It reads the same. You look at the top five results and you're like, okay, cool. I got 95% of the information and one of these articles and it just sounds spun. unfortunately what happens quite often. Is people outsource content to just someone who is maybe a professional writer, but they aren't necessarily aware of what happens in this space. And it can be because it's a lot cheaper, it's much cheaper to pay somebody to just look at what's currently on the web and just essentially rewrite that in a way that isn't plagiarism and then say, Hey, here's a unique content in the sense that it's, you're legally fine and that it can rank, but it's still no more helpful than everything else out there because its more cost prohibitive to have somebody who is not only a great and engaging writer, but also who is able to learn about your industry are already involved in it. And who is also able and willing to sit down with you to ask you questions, to actually understand your internal methodology, because if you were to take any SEO article out there on the web or any agency article at the web, I can almost guarantee. The way that we approach that is different. And it would be very hard for anybody to write about how we do stuff. It might be hard for anybody to write about how you guys do your stuff without having a conversation, because that article on the web, it says, oh yeah, hourly based pricing is standard. I, we've never done that. so it wouldn't be relevant. So without that conversation with other understand, Theingonly thing you could ever get is fairly generic content when it comes to AI. I'm not as well-versed in AI content production, as I would like from those who I know that do it effectively. And at scale it's usually all enterprise level stuff that you're going to do good enough quality out of. And usually it's more so basic content where it's let's write about our store across our thousand different locations and just use it through an AI to do

Jim James:

Yeah. So it's, it's the origination, isn't it. So somewhere the entrepreneur or the business owner needs to be involved. Don't they, even if it's making audio recording and Jarod, what about how you as an entrepreneur get your business? Is it all SEO? What's your source because as an entrepreneur, you like me are trying to find leads as well.

Jarod Spiewak:

Yeah. So there are a couple of things that we've done throughout the years. One of one of which is the more longterm is we've produced some tools that we have made public and free, and which case we have sometimes gotten agencies to use our tools internally as their main tool, which then can sometimes lead to leads coming to us or businesses who are sometimes familiar with the tools that we have created over the years. Also, the content that is created I've had people reach out and say, Hey, like I first heard about you, four years ago, been keeping up with their content ever since, and now I'm ready to try and work with you so content production is another big one. another one is referrals that everyone gets, but what was interesting is my background. prior to owning an agency was freelancing. I freelance for about six years full and part-time before I started an agency and how I got started was that with that was on a site called Upwork right after the merger of oDesk and Elance, and so it's primarily known as a freelancing site while I was freelancing. That was my primary source of leads, and I built up a very strong profile that still sits there today. And I'll get, people reaching out better still, mid four figure or five figure a month contracts, which, you know, mainly because the profile is established enough that it will attract those types of people. And so it's something that I've been able to essentially just leave there in organically, turn something that, is somewhere in between an inbound and outbound channel into a purely, almost, inbound channel just by having that over the years.

Jim James:

Yeah, that's very interesting because the sort of reputation or positioning of UpWork in my mind has been for the sort of outsource low value, almost admin job so you were saying that as an entrepreneur selling five figures. 10, 20, $30,000 projects are being posted on Upwork. And is that from multinational corporations posting on Upwork or is it from other smaller businesses? Is it now becoming a procurement platform? Do you think.

Jarod Spiewak:

It's hard to say now because they just recently went public and I don't know where their intentions are going to be, because now they have to worry about share price quite a bit. But over the years, when I first got started on the platform, it was mostly that it was mostly admin work. It was mostly lower quality, like cheaper. Like it's a little bit better than Fiverr, but like, that kind of, stuff. And at the time. There were very few US-based people offering a medium to higher and quality SEO services. So I was very aggressively using that platform. Very little challenge over the years, I got a little bit more competitive and then over time it had moved into a lot of agencies, at least on the marketing side of things where it's, in my opinion right now, when we try to hire somebody as a freelancer to help us with a project or for a specific task, it's very hard for us to find someone that isn't an agency on it, for better, for worse. There are a lot of lower end people on it in terms of the businesses that are creating jobs. But there are also plenty of enterprises. I can't mention the business, but we did get some work for a company that's owned by $15 billion company. And they're a brand that if you go into any supermarket, you'll recognize some of the brands that they own. Now. They weren't. What they're essentially looking for is a one-time engagement for an initial project, but there are companies of that spies that are searching out. We've had multiple, six favorite six-figure contracts come out of that. there's a good mix in there, out there. If you stand out enough to attract that kind of attention.

Jim James:

So it's interesting. Jarod, you've got a number of things. You've created some applications to share your sort of skillset, and then you've got the content and. A big part of what I'm hearing on a repeated level is that is the importance of being on a platform, whether it's on Etsy for selling merchandise on spring or on Amazon, or as you're saying on Upwork, the need to be somewhere where other people are shopping, sounds really important. And Jarod, if people wanted to find out more about you. And the Comet Fuel business that you're running out of New Hampshire, how can they find you? and, I mean, I guess they can type in hero for SEO right and find you, but where else can they get?

Jarod Spiewak:

you can, uh, yeah, you can go to cometfuel.com or you can find me on LinkedIn and I'd love to connect with you there.

Jim James:

Jarod Spiewak thank you so much for joining us. Joining us today on the unnoticed entrepreneur show, it's been a real pleasure and a real education. It really is a whole new art and science. So thank you so much.

Jarod Spiewak:

Thank you for having me.

Jim James:

So you've been listening to Jarod Spiewak over there in New Hampshire and he's. CEO and founder of a company called Comet Fuel, which is doing some amazing work on SEO. And for all of us who have grown up without SEO, having a guide like Jarod on board is absolutely essential. So thank you to him very much for joining us on the UnNoticed show. And until we meet again, I wish you the best of health, a profitable business,