This interview with Michael Fleischner of Upward SEO is part of our Convirza Webinar Series, where we interview marketing experts from across North America. To see, hear and read the transcript of Michael’s entire presentation visit our webinar library. The transcript of the Q&A portion of the interview can be viewed below.
McKay: Okay, so what are some of the aggregator sites you recommend, Michael?
Michael: So there are a number out there ranging in price. Let me give the names. So there are two that I recommend in particular. One is Moz, M-O-Z which is really SEO software, but they also have a local option where they work with all of the really four big data companies. So that’s a low cost option that I recommend, the other is Yext, which is more expensive, but it does let you publish expanded information about your website, so those would probably be my favorite two. Others folks could check out would be UBL, Universal Business Listings, and there may be some others. But those are the ones that come to mind.
McKay: Great. Let’s see here, all right, is it better to claim your local listings site by site? Or go to one site that has partnered with several sites? Does that question make sense Michael?
Michael: Yeah, yeah, and really there again that’s kind of the data aggregation model, and just by way of how things have evolved with Google and online, I strongly prefer the data aggregator, it just gives you more control and more publishing power out there on the web as opposed to going site by site. It’s just, it would take forever and quite honestly it’s pretty sketchy at this point.
McKay: Okay, talk about the quality of the leads you get from various sources so like … obviously 82% of clicks Tom via organic. But do you have data that shows the leads from organic or better the leads from paid search for example, is there any data that you know of that points to that?
Michael: Yeah definitely. So the data that I’m looking at is obviously data that I’ve acquired over many years across many companies and industries, and really to be honest with you the best leads are referrals. But following referrals organic search seems to be the best in terms of the web or digital lead. It really all depends on your funnel in terms of how well optimized your paid leads are. But all of those are in the same bucket in my, you know, from my perspective. They just can’t compare to the quality of an organic lead.
McKay: Yeah, our data is still similar when you’re talking about phone calls specifically; lead scores for AdWords related leads are not as high as organic. Lead scores for organic calls. So yeah, I agree, organic is worth that, it’s just a matter of getting clicks. Okay, let’s go through a couple more. What if a company doesn’t have a physical address if it’s wholly online, some asks will that impact you with growth you need? Do you need to have a physical address associated for Google to list you?
Michael: It’s so interesting because that question always comes up. And my immediate answer is whether you’re doing business online wholly or not, you still need a physical address, even if it is what used to be called a P. O. Box, now they’re called virtual mailboxes. But you could kind of rent an address from a company like Regis and the reason you need that is because Google My Business needs a physical address to send a verification postcard and they want to make sure that you’re legitimate business. Most legitimate businesses have an address where they receive invoices, where they have a home base, So if you are a completely online business, and for whatever reason you don’t want to list your house you can rent a virtual mailbox.
McKay: Okay, you mentioned Google prefers a strong brand that you said that was a quote according to Jeffrey I didn’t keep track but Jeffrey did. He says okay, so what makes a strong brand in the eyes of Google? So Google prefers a strong brand what makes it a strong brand? Or is it just the name that you would know if you if you … we’re talking about a specific industry?
Michael: Yeah, so a little bit of both right? Within your given industry, like currently I’m doing work here at Caliper and we’re in the human resource assessment business. Right? So we’re all about helping companies hire and develop the right employees and in our niche, there’s really only, I don’t know, six companies. Imagine meeting somebody at a party who is from your niche, if you were to say your name they recognize you? Would they know who you are and what you do? And that’s essentially what you want to be able to create online, for your specific niche. Right? So if you’re selling baseballs, you don’t want to really compete against Capellas or a Dick’s Sporting Goods, or one of those companies. You want to compete maybe around other baseball manufacturers for example. The way that you create that strong brand online is really using all of these integrated channels. Meaning if someone goes to Twitter, and they’re doing a search they can find you. If somebody goes to the Web they can find you. If somebody’s doing a local search, You’ve used data aggregators they can find you.
A lot of that begins with a well optimized site, some basic SEO strategies, obviously I’ve talked about it in my book SEO Made Simple, but you guys could also go out on You Tube or do some general research, to find out what those things are. But by doing a lot of those things right, it really helps you to be pervasive when people are searching you through any digital channel. Good, good point.
McKay: Okay, final point for you Michael. In terms of onsite SEO, so I think you’ve explained super well like link-building, what do and not to do, etc. In terms of the on-site stuff, is it really about the meta data and the title tag? What else can people do on their site to gain cloud in the eyes Google?
Michael: Yeah, so well, you touched on two really important ones, and oddly enough when I go into large companies to talk about SEO, not all of them do that well. So don’t overestimate the power of meta data. Those are title tags and description tags. The other thing is on site, believe it or not, having a well organized site, where things are easy to navigate to, goes a long way, I believe that, that is definitely part of Google’s algorithm. Are people finding things they need to? Are they engaging with the site? And a lot of that comes down to basic fundamentals. Do you have a simple to follow navigation? Do you have a site map accessible through your site? So the Google bot knows where all the pages are? Does the site load quickly? Is the URL structure easy to follow? So on and so forth. And there are probably 30 or 40 things that you can do, but those are the big ones. Again think about the user experience. Is it easy to find things on your site? Can people get there quickly? Does it give the information that they want? So on and so forth.
McKay: Makes sense. Awesome, Michael, thanks man, we appreciate it. Everybody, thanks for attending today, We will send you an e-mail tomorrow that has the webinar recording attached to it, also I’d encourage you as Michael said, register for other webinars as well. Tomorrow for example, we have a webinar titled:
It’s with Andrew Bolt who is the CMO at ‘White Shark Media’, a very large AdWords agency. So we’re having it on the organic site today and the AdWords site tomorrow. You should be covered there. That’s at 2:00 Eastern as well. So Michael, thanks again for your thoughts.
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