Late Night Listener Feedback
I was hanging on Twitter, as I often do. I will often ask people, “What is your biggest internet marketing struggle?” I’ll throw that out to find out what’s going on. I do that for two reasons. One is sometimes I can help you with your biggest internet marketing struggle. Other times it just helps me keep a pulse on what’s going on out there on the internet with people who are trying to make a go of it on the internet.
I put this tweet out there and say, “Let me know what your biggest struggle is.” I get this response back from Ivan Raiklin. A lot of you probably know Ivan. If you’ve been to conferences lately, you may have seen him. All you have to do is stand around and Ivan is one of those guys who will seek you out and introduce himself. I once heard Ivan say that his goal was to actually meet everyone on the planet. He’s kind of an amazing guy. This is a total aside, I really want you to meet Ivan some time. He is a former U.S. Army Green Beret, a diplomat, a lawyer, he’s an angel investor, the guy is everywhere, he’s really an interesting guy. If I’m remembering, I had dinner with him at Social Media Marketing World – him, Michael Stelzner, Cliff Ravenscraft, and a bunch of guys. I want to say that Ivan even ran an ultramarathon. I’m just trying to pain this picture for you because Ivan’s answer just cracked me up on several levels.
His answer was he has trouble hiring extremely motivated and passionate people that are self starters. When the Green Beret, ultramarathon running lawyer, diplomat tells you that you’re not motivated enough, I don’t know what to do with that. I don’t know where the bar is for Ivan, but I’m scared, I’m very scared.
I’m sure Ivan has very reasonable expectations for his employees, but the flip of that is I do see a lot of this entitlement mentality and it freaks me out. I’m kind of old school. I’m older than a lot of these Millennials and the internet set, the young people that are trying to make a go of a living online, they’re looking for lifestyle design and doing that kind of thing. That’s super cool, I totally dig it, but what I see sometimes – not with everyone – is this entitlement mentality. “I just want success now and I don’t really want to wait. I’m ready now. I have my six months of experience and now I’m ready for the big time.”
I see some of this in corporate America, too. We work very hard to sort of ferret that out in the interview processes that we have in place at my corporate job. I can imagine Ivan seeing these people who after three or four weeks they want to know why they’re not enjoying the same success as Pat Flynn, after all his success was overnight, right. Not. Not at all, but it seems that way from the outside looking in. I’m sure that Ivan is running into that.
My advice to you based on that short conversation with Ivan is you have to be realistic about where you’re headed, what you’re doing, and what the dues are. I think there is a nice balance that you can strike between being aggressive and ambitious and having very high expectations for yourself, and being a little impatient and wanting more as soon as you can get it, but being willing to do the work and respecting the fact that you have to earn things in life and so forth. There’s this nice balance and I think that like a lot of things in life you have to strive to find that balance. If you want to work for Ivan, I think you have to be a lawyer diplomat ultramarathon runner if you’re going to make it happen.
This week I also got another piece of feedback from Phil Zeto on a totally different topic. I mentioned that I’m considering doing Facebook Live and I might use OBS Studio or Telestream to do this, trying to gauge what the interest would be, recognizing that Facebook Live is increasingly important in internet marketing and I don’t want to miss that opportunity if it’s a way that I can reach people and help them.
Phil says he has some experience with Facebook Live and he finds it difficult to do the interaction, in part because there is such a big live streaming delay on Facebook Live. I’ve noticed this. Phil was wondering if it’s his equipment, if he’s running at too high of a bandwidth for video, should he be running at something less than 1080, and so forth. Those are a lot of questions that are super technical about live streaming that are better directed at someone like Luria Petrucci. Maybe we’ll get her on here and have her talk about what’s going on.
What I would say in general from an overall technical point of view, what’s happening is you’re capturing the video on your machine, it’s getting compressed in some way, it’s getting sent to Facebook in a stream, Facebook is doing the magic that they do to replicate it out on their CDN, and then they’re buffering it in the app because they want users to have an experience in the app that doesn’t show a lot of choppy video. Based on the connection between where you are streaming live and where the video is ending up (in New Zealand or wherever) they’re making a decision about how much video to bugger, probably dynamically. That’s where a lot of the video buffering is coming from.
I would say 20 seconds of video buffering, and sometimes I’ve heard reports as high as a minute or two, is inherent in this sort of video streaming technology in 2016/2017 technology terms. You’re not going to be able to get around that just by reasons of physics and how long it takes to transmit data around the world.
However, Phil’s point is it makes it really hard to deal with comments because I’m saying something, I’ve finished my point and moved onto the next thing, and then I look at the screen and, bam, here comes a comment about what I was just talking about. I would say two things about that. One is there’s not going to be a way to keep that from happening. Some people that are doing this are using assistants and so forth to help them queue those questions up, manage them, and control the flow of the conversation. It still doesn’t change the fact that the comment comes in after you’ve already moved along.
I see some people that just don’t answer those comments, they go ahead and answer them in the chat later after the show is over and they say something like, “If I didn’t get to your comment, I’ll be hanging out after the broadcast and I’ll be answering comments.” So that’s one way to do it.
Another thing that I see people do a lot of times is they’ll solicit input and questions ahead of time and they’ll do a long segment in the front and then they’ll allow people the opportunity to queue up questions while they’re doing that long segment and then they’ll handle those. That still doesn’t get around Phil’s basic issue, but there are ways that you could imagine to structure your livestream to help with this issue.
I hope that helps a lot, but I want to reassure that it’s not possible to do Facebook Live without some amount of delay. I was listening to a Live from Amy Porterfield and I did notice that she was getting delays. She accidentally turned on the audio on her cell phone and I was able to detect that she had a delay that was running around 5 to 10 seconds. That’s a pretty healthy short delay that you can more easily manage, so maybe the technology will improve with bandwidth. But from what I’m hearing, the average is around 20 seconds and that’s something that you’re going to have to deal with. Hope that helps.
This Week in Internet Marketing
In the news this week I wanted to tell you about some cool things that are going on over at ConvertKit. December 6th Nathan went live and announced a bunch of new features that they were releasing for ConvertKit, a lot of them were automation related.
A lot of you will remember that I switched from Aweber to ConvertKit because I was interested in this kind of automation. You can do a lot of things that revolve around tagging your subscribers. I have big plans, some of which I’ve already implemented, about how to identify subscribers that are interested in different things.
For example, if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re a brand new affiliate or internet marketer, there might be one of kind that you’re interested in, some getting started kind of stuff. But if you’re someone who has been doing affiliate marketing for seven years, then there’s a different kind of content that you’re going to be interested in. If I can identify you, I can tag you and give you more of the kind of content that is really appropriate to you.
ConvertKit has been able to do that for some time at the autoresponder level and you can tag people. Nathan introduced a bunch of new features that take that to a considerably more granular level, both in terms of scheduling where you can start to pick the day of the week inside of an autoresponder. Normally we would set an autoresponder and we would say this goes out every Monday, or it can go out on weekdays but it can’t go out on the weekend, and that applies to the entire series of mails. They’ve brought that down a level and now you can set specific mails in the series to go on particular days.
Maybe you have three or four emails that can go out any day of the week, but there’s one particular email that you only want to go out on Monday inside the series, because maybe every Monday you’re starting a new course or you have some on boarding process that starts on Mondays, so you want to constrain just that email and not the whole series to go out on Mondays. Basically just taking it up a notch, down a level in the hierarchy so you can get finer control over when emails are delivered. This is kind of magical for all of the different scenarios that you can envision regarding sales funnels and contests and all the kind of stuff that you do that starts on different days of the week. It’s just a really powerful idea.
They’ve also added in the idea of particular times, so you can start to think about scheduling a particular autoresponder series where at the end of the autoresponder, maybe near the time when a cart is closing, you have an email in the morning and then again in the evening on that same day within a preprogrammed series so that you can really get your marketing automation to the next level. In my experience, these kinds of advanced features are things that you’ve had to rely on very expensive software (like Infusionsoft) to do in the past. Nathan is bringing these kinds of features down into this price range that’s really affordable, so it’s super cool.
Another thing that is super amazing is this behavior on tags. You can decide in a preprogrammed sequence that maybe it’s an autoresponder with 15 emails but three of them are really heavy sales pitches, so you don’t want to deliver those to people who have already bought your product. You can say within a sequence if someone has a particular tag we’re just going to skip that email because they don’t need that email.
That’s a really powerful idea. I can imagine in my internet marketing business if I had a long sequence of emails, some of which were appropriate for all of my audience, some were advanced and some were for beginners, I could imagine skipping the beginner emails or the advanced emails depending on your tags. There are lots of things you can imagine doing in these kind of scenarios when you have this kind of granular control.
This has been true with broadcasts for awhile in ConvertKit, but the idea that you can set all of this stuff up in advance and run your business on autopilot based on when someone joins your list is incredibly powerful.
I think the thing that gets me the most excited about Nathan and the way he’s handling this whole thing over at ConvertKit is they just continue to push it, they’re not stopping. He mentioned on this broadcast they have 10,000 customers now, which is a nice sized company, and growing very quickly. I really like ConvertKit, I can’t speak any more highly about an email autoresponder service than those guys.
If you’re interested in ConvertKit you can check it out at LateNightIM.com/convertkit. I will tell you in full transparency, they’re not perfect. They’ve been working through banned blacklisting issues, deliverability, and all these kinds of things that email autoresponders work through. They’re normal, they’re human in that regard. But, gosh, the customer service is just completely transparent and on top of things. The CEO of the company is in the Facebook group and answering people’s questions. I don’t know what you can ask for that’s better than that.
So that’s in the news. If those are the kind of features that you interest you, check out ConvertKit. I also want to mention this release party webinar that the ConvertKit guys gave last week so you can see these features and what I’m talking about. Super cool stuff, I know you’re going to love it.
Easy SEO Strategy for More Traffic
I’ve become inspired by the people over at aHrefs. A lot of you know that I use a super cool tool that Andrew turned me onto a long time ago called aHrefs. This is a reference to the HTML code for creating a link inside of an HTML page. The purpose of the service originally was to catalog backlinks and tell you the relative authority of sites, kind of like SEOmoz.
We’ve been using the site for a long time to do analysis on competitor sites and so forth. They do a lot more than that. They have this training department, which is kind of impressive, they put out these training videos about how to use the tool. It’s kind of a combination of SEO training and training about how to use their particular tool. It’s incredibly valuable for the people that are their customers.
Last week they published this video from their Chief Educator, Kathryn Aragon. I don’t know her personally, but her videos are really great. In the video Kathryn is talking about this technique that when I saw her describing this I thought, “Wow, I haven’t talked about this in a long time. I bet people either don’t know this or maybe they’ve forgotten about it.” So I thought I would tell you about it.
The idea is that there is this low hanging fruit in search engine optimization. It’s kind of an age old principle of engineering. There’s stuff that you can work on that matters and stuff that doesn’t matter so much, this idea of low hanging fruit, 80/20 rule, stuff like that.
All of this kind of tactic that I’m going to describe to you is based on the fact that your position in the search engine rankings just really absolutely doesn’t matter unless you’re on the first page. The vast majority of all of the traffic that comes from Google comes from the first page because most searchers don’t click past the first page. In fact, data indicates that well north of 70-75% (depending on whose data you look at) of all the traffic that comes from search engines comes from the first page.
If you can rank in the first position on the first page you’re going to get 30-40% of the traffic. It falls off pretty fast after that. Well less than 20% for the second position, then everything under that is down at 10% of the traffic or less.
If you are at the bottom of the first page you’re getting basically very little traffic. For every 100 visitors that searched that term in Google, you may see two or three clicks. But if you can move to the top of the page you can increase that by a factor of 10.
Moving from the bottom of the first page to the top of the first page is an incredibly high leverage activity. Moving from page three to page two doesn’t do you any good. Moving from page 10 to page two doesn’t do you any good. But moving from the bottom of page one, or the middle of page one, to the top of page one can really pay some dividends. That’s the low hanging fruit, that’s where you want to work.
One approach that you can take to instantly get more traffic to your website is go and identify all of the keywords on your website for which you are ranking 1 – 10. And of those #1 you’re already done, #2 or maybe #3 – #10 you want to do whatever it is that you need to do to move those up to the top of the page. Every notch up that you go from ranking #10, or maybe you’re at the top of page two ranking #11, everything that you do to move up into that sweet spot of rankings #1, #2, #3, can make a huge difference in the amount of traffic that you can get.
So that’s easy to understand. Let’s work on the pages where we’re ranking in the bottom of the top 10 and let’s sort of ignore everything else. That’s the first thing.
Then you ask, “How do I do that?” Kathryn talks about some things that we’ve talked about on this show many times. The first thing you want to do, and you should be doing this anyway, is figure out what is it about your content that is not as good as your competitor’s content and how can you make your content better.
There are lots of reasons you want to update your content and with it your publish date. Google likes fresh content, they like to see you update your content. They like long form content, so if you make your post longer that’s going to help you. When you add more content you’re going to be adding keywords that are related to your content, so this idea of the semantics of your page, having a greater weight around keywords that are related to the thing that you’re trying to rank for. All of that improved content is going to help you rank.
Even if it doesn’t help you rank right at this very minute, even if you don’t see a change today on that, we know that Google’s long term aim is to rank the best content first. If you can do something to improve your content over the long haul, you’re going to move up from the bottom of page one to the top of page one, and that’s what you want to really get high leverage, so make your content better.
Another way you can get your page to move up from the bottom of page one to the top of page one is to make sure that you’re following the 14 Critical SEO Tips for Bloggers that I offered you in Episode 109. Maybe your title tag is not quite right or maybe you aren’t using the keyword in your headings of the article, things like that are things that you’re going to want to check. Don’t forget there is an SEO checklist there that you can download right in the post of Episode 109 that will help you remember what it is that you need to do on every post that you’re trying to optimize.
Of course the other thing that you can do, and the thing that aHrefs will tell you about, is you can go get backlinks to that content. You can do that by contributing to other people’s blogs in the form of guest posts and linking back to the content. You can do that sometimes by leaving incredibly helpful comments in various places, like forums and blog comments, and linking back with a single link back to that content. Usually the best strategy there is to completely and thoroughly answer the question or add some value with a 100 – 200 word comment and then say something like, “If you’d like to read more about this, I have a full blown blog post on it here,” so that you’re not just spamming someone’s website with links back to your website. Things like that are the ways that you’re going to want to get backlinks back to your content and that is going to help you rank.
Then, although it’s hard to understand the social signals importance, we know that social signals are of increasing importance. You may want to consider re-promoting this piece of content in social media. That has this potentially direct effect of tickling whatever social signals are in Google. Again, we don’t think they’re very strong right now, but we know they’re not zero.
It also has the possibility that somebody is going to see that content and choose to link to it on their own. For example, I saw this video from aHrefs and I’m going to link to it because I saw it in social media. That’s the kind of thing that you’re looking for is increased backlinks to that content.
One question is how do I know which of my pages are ranking in the top 10 on page one, how do I know what their position is. There are lots of ways to know that. Most keyword tools, the good ones particularly, will have some kind of rank tracking capability built in. In addition to that, tools like aHrefs and SEOmoz (and others) have this capability. That’s of course what this video from aHrefs talks about is how to use this capability that is present inside of aHrefs.
There’s also Google Webmaster Tools (which is now called Search Console). That will give you some information about what pages are ranking for which keywords. Of course, you can always check keywords that you know are important to you manually. Just be sure that you’re in an incognito browser and logged out of Google when you do that, because if you don’t your own search history will influence the rankings that you see there in the search engine tool.
I will tell you that if you do this eventually you’ll tackle the 10, 15, or 20 pages that you have ranking and you’ll wonder what to do next. I think there are two things to do next.
One is create more content. You may be targeting a keyword or two (or 10) for your website, but the fact is if you have a substantial website you’re ranking for hundreds or thousands of keywords. When you look at a tool like aHrefs you will see an amazing number of keywords that you’re ranking for that you had no idea you were ranking for. Create more content and that will create more ranking opportunities like the ones that I’m talking about.
The other thing that you can do is start working on things that are ranking on page two and try to move them to the bottom of page one, then repeat the process that I just described because now you have new keywords ranking in that #3 – #10 range so you can do it all over again.
I hope this helps you. If you get some results that are interesting, I’d love to hear about it. You can leave me a comment on the show notes for this episode.
That does it. I’m really excited that Christmas is coming and I hope that you are having a fantastic holiday season, as I mentioned at the top of the show. I will talk to you soon.