- Traitware: A faster, more secure way to login with WordPress
- Pantheon: Get ready for Gutenberg. Sign up for a FREE account today.
So far this season we’ve looked at starting an SEO agency and an SEO product. But what we haven’t looked at was a good strategy – especially when it comes to Pay per Click and the like. Well that changes this week with our guest, Pam Aungst. She’s an SEO expert with her own agency that wants to make sure SEO is a personalized strategy. She tells us how in this episode.
- Pam Aungst
- Pam on Twitter
- Hallway Chats
- Episode 21: Liam Dempsey and WordPress Meetups
- Lighthouse for Chrome
Welcome to episode 92 of How I Built It! In this episode, I’m talking to
Pam Aungst and we’re talking about SEO Process. So in the last couple of
episodes we talked to John Doherty about his product, and before that we
talked to Jeremiah Smith about how he built his agency. In this episode we
talk to Pam about process. And I really like this episode because I had
some immediately actionable advice. Essentially as soon as we hung up, I
applied some of what she taught me.
Today’s episode, by the way, is brought to you by Pantheon and Traitware.
You’ll hear about them both later, so for now, on with the show.
Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of How I Built It, the podcast
that asks, “How did you build that?” Today my guest is Pam Aungst. She is
an SEO expert and we’re going to talk a little bit about her process. We
were introduced to each other formally by a friend of the show, Liam
Dempsey of Hallway Chats. I’ll link that in the show notes. Pam, how are
Good. Thank you for having me.
Thanks for being on the show. This is a little bit more nebulous. We’re not
talking about a specific product, or thing. We’re talking more about SEO
process and strategy and things like that. Why don’t you tell us, and the
listeners, a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Sure. As you said I’m Pam Aungst, my company is Pam Ann Marketing, and we
also now have a sister company which is also an offering. Which is Stealth
Search and Analytics. Both companies offer SEO, PPC and analytics services.
Pam Ann Marketing works directly with clients and Stealth Search and
Analytics works on a private label basis through other agencies that want
to offer those services, but not hire in-house staff to provide them to
Gotcha. Cool. So you’ve got a little bit of the client services going, and
then some of the white label services going with agencies and folks who
might want to outsource their ability to do SEO stuff.
Yes. We were getting requested to do that so often that I had a light bulb
moment, and I was like, “We’re getting these requests without even saying
to the world that we are capable of doing this. I wonder what would happen
if we said to the world that we were capable of doing this?” And that’s how
Stealth was born.
That’s fantastic, and a great name for that service because you are being
stealth in who exactly is doing the work, I guess. This is not a question I
decided to ask until right now, but why would somebody or an agency, or
another company want to outsource their SEO strategy?
It’s primarily because of the fact that SEO is so complex. And PPC, and
analytics. All three are very complex. SEO does have the most moving
pieces, though. And it’s just really hard for design focused firms and
branding agencies, or just broader scope marketing agencies. It’s really
hard for them to fully understand it, and if they did they probably would
hire in-house. But it’s hard to provide a service and hire and train people
to do something that you yourself don’t know how to do.
Obviously, they could try to hire someone that claims to already know it,
but how do they know they already know it? There’s some comfort level with
not having to go through all of that training, hiring, sourcing talent,
training them, managing them for something that they really don’t
understand. There’s just a comfort, and it’s easier to turn to a firm that
has got all that figured out, and has got a good reputation already. Then
they can just capitalize on what’s already been built.
Absolutely. If you want to be an effective manager you should at least
understand the people you’re managing. I’m not going to go hire an
illustrator because I can’t tell an illustrator how to do their job.
I’m going to hire an independent person that I don’t need to manage. I just
say, “I want this. Go do that.”
Yes. It’s certainly simpler. And sometimes too they don’t have a full time
need, they don’t have enough of the work. It’s only a couple clients that
are asking for it, so they couldn’t even justify hiring a full time person
or even a steady part time person. They just need it on a project basis.
Yeah, and that’s a great point. I asked that question not skeptically, I
knew full well why. I just wanted to hear it from you because SEO is a full
time job. Just like how people scoff at social media managers. As somebody
who’s trying to do it all, including managing my social media queues, that
takes a large chunk of my week. If I want to do it right.
So you want to have the right people in place if you want to be effective
with that stuff.
Yeah. And the process is part of what we sell, to touch upon that, because
we said we were going to talk about the process. Having the process figured
out is a whole separate thing from knowing the theory. I find in my hiring
for my company, that people who haven’t had a lot of work experience in the
field yet, they may understand the theories behind a SEO perfectly well and
thoroughly but practical application of a theory in the real world where
things are messy and there’s constraints and there is layers of red tape,
and maybe even politics within the client’s organization that are
restricting them from being able to do things a certain way.
That “In the wild” type of experience, having a process that is nailed down
that can navigate all of that real world, practical application, and know
those challenges. It’s another reason for subcontracting an agency or
company who already has that all figured, out as opposed to hiring an
Absolutely. Having somebody that can navigate those waters is important.
It’s like when you’re playing baseball. It’s easy to say, “Square your
shoulders, keep your eye on the ball, swing and follow through.” That’s
great if somebody is throwing you a fastball and you’re expecting a
fastball. But if somebody throws you a curveball and you’re expecting a
fastball, then you’re going to miss no matter how well you keep your eye on
the ball. So you want somebody who can be prepared for that.
Yes, absolutely. And have a process in place that takes into account all
the different types of balls whether they’re fast or curved, or whatever.
You’ve got plans and processes and ways of dealing with it already figured
Absolutely. Let’s get into this then. Talking about Stealth, you got this
idea because people were already asking for it. When it comes to maybe
starting that company, and then moving into your process, what kind of
research was involved in that?
Like you said we did get asked for it. We didn’t really have to research if
there was a demand. Although I did do research on the competitive offerings
that were out there, because I needed to come up with a way to, if we’re
going to expand this, to differentiate ourselves and come up with marketing
messaging and whatnot. And what I discovered in my competitive research was
that obviously there’s a lot of other companies out there offering this.
But what seemed to me to be missing, and what I was hearing from the
prospective agencies that we had that wanted this from us, I was hearing
that they needed a custom approach. And a lot of the white label offerings
SEO re-seller programs that are out there are very cookie cutter, pre done
packages. You just sign up slap your name on it and it’s unable to be
customized. We have agencies asking us all the time to just do one piece of
our process for them or to handle a unique challenge for a client.
What’s interesting is that a very comprehensive process that we developed
for Pam Ann Marketing over the last seven years, we’re actually cherry
picking individual pieces of that come up with custom offerings through the
other agencies on the Stealth front. Because that’s what they want. Like I
said, most of it is project basis. That’s one of the reasons they’re coming
to us, they don’t have a full time need. They just have this one project at
It’s got these unique challenges. “How can you help us?” We can hand-pick
pieces of our whole process and put together a custom approach for each
agency, for each project for each agency. They really like that. So my
research helped solidify our marketing plan and our marketing messaging,
because I realized that most of what you find is this cookie cutter package
type approach. We do have a very solid process that’s repeatable but we are
willing to customize it. And that was an important piece of research and
strategy for this.
That sounds really interesting. It almost sounds like the companies who are
doing the cookie cutter stuff are thinking, “This white label service will
just be passive income for me,” or, “Semi passive income.”
Yeah, perhaps. And also perhaps there are agencies out there that want
that. They want something that’s incredibly predictable, the same every
time. I guess it just so happened that we attracted agencies that wanted
these unique solutions. And I don’t know, maybe because of our reputation
we got approached with more complex things that they knew weren’t a fit for
a cookie cutter program. For whatever reason it just so happened that these
were the types of inquiries we were getting. There very well may be
agencies out there that want the cookie cutter stuff, and that’s fine, but
the niche that we’re going after is those that need something unique.
It all depends on your needs and your budget. Maybe you want something
cookie cutter until you know what you want, or until you know what you
need, maybe, is a better way to put it. Just, “Give me what most people
have.” And then you take that and you’re like, “All right. Now I understand
the process a little bit more. I don’t really need the leather seats in my
car just give me the regular seats, but I want a really good sound system
in my car. So give me that.”
Yeah. Perhaps. Also though, one of our core values all along has been that
we don’t believe that cookie cutter approaches work. Because every single
business is different, every single website is different. They’re like
snowflakes, they’re each completely different. So although we have a
predictable, repeatable process, that process allows for and accounts for
those differences and has flexibility in it to account for those and take
those into the strategy and deal with those. So I don’t think that a truly
cookie cutter package approach gets the best results anyway.
Again, that makes sense. That segues perfectly into, what is the research
process for maybe when you have a new client? First of all, when you’re
dealing with maybe not the agency stuff and when you’re dealing directly
with clients, who do you deal with mostly? Is it e-commerce people, or a
certain type of business that you work with?
We work with businesses across all verticals. But the common thread is more
the situation that they’re in. They tend to be more established businesses.
Because we’re niche and we only offer a few services, two out of three of
which are focused on search engines, we’re perfectionists about our
approach to SEO and PPC and everything. We like to go in deep and cross
every “T” and dot every “I” and be thorough with our strategy.
We’re just a better fit for helping companies who have the basics in place
already, to take their strategies to the next level. As opposed to a new
mom and pop shop that just opened up and they don’t understand the role the
website’s going to play for them, and they don’t understand what a SEO is
yet. We’re just a better fit for established businesses that need to take
things to the next level. That’s the common thread as opposed to certain
industry or type.
Gotcha. OK. If I can put you on the spot just a little bit. My podcast has
been around for over two years at this point. I get a decent amount of
downloads but I want to take it to the next level. If I were to approach
you, what would your process be for, “Am I a good fit for you, and what
should my steps be?”
Sure. That’s a great way to discuss this, to use a real world example.
First of all, are you a fit? I can usually tell that right away just by
talking to someone about their business, and making sure that they are
already at the point where they know the role their website plays, and they
know it’s important. They know they have to invest in it. I could tell
pretty quickly that you’d be a serious prospect that would be able to work
effectively with us.
And that’s not just being picky because we don’t want to work with the
other kind, because we find it annoying or something. We can’t be as
effective unless we’re working with someone who really understands the role
their website plays in their business and understands at least at a high
level how SEO works and why we need to do what we need to do. Once that’s
all vetted out, then we’ll move into, if we’re officially kicking off and
working with someone we’ll move into what we call our Phase 1 planning
That starts with a deep dive discovery conference call where we have the
client pre-fill a questionnaire and then we go over it together and flesh
it out even further. About the company, the company’s history, what makes
the company different, who their target audience is, keywords they want to
get found for, wording that they don’t want to be associated with and so
on. A deep dive on the brand and the company.
We then take that and we do our keyword research process, which is very
in-depth. We go through thousands of potential keywords that could possibly
be a fit for that site. We just hoard it all into a big spreadsheet of good
potential candidate keywords, and then we cull it down based on
supply/demand calculations. We’ve come up with a couple of our own metrics
that we use that measure the size of the difference between the search
volume, and the competitiveness of phrases.
To find good opportunities for those that are searched often enough, but
not too competitive. And we come up with a list which is still pretty long
of phrases that are really good contenders, then we zoom out and we look at
that from a 30,000 foot view and come up with some key takeaways to discuss
with the client.
Just to stop you there for a second. When you talk about “Choosing the
keywords,” in this example I wouldn’t want “build” or “podcast” because
that’s a super common keyword. But I also wouldn’t want “podcast on how to
build super specific WordPress plugins.” Both of those are bad for
Those are opposite ends of the spectrum. The single words, like “build” or
“podcast,” or sometimes even two word phrases if they’re really popular,
are too popular. But we don’t want to go to the other end of the spectrum
and pick phrases that are too long and too specific that are hardly ever
typed in but may be very easy to rank for, but they’re hardly ever typed
in. So we’re going to find that sweet spot in the middle.
We also focus on right-sizing our selections for the client’s existing
traffic. If their website was getting, let’s say 900 visits of organic
search traffic a month. We would not want to pick a key phrase for you that
was searched 90,000 times a month because, to try to explain the rationale
behind this. If Google was willing to, or any search engine, I just
reference Google a lot as an example.
But if Google is willing to rank your site for a keyword that had 90,000
searches a month, your site would probably already have more than 900 total
hits a month. So it’s not an exact science and it’s not an exact math
formula, but we use that to stay in the realm of what would be attainable
for that site. If that makes sense.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I guess, to go back to baseball. It would
be like if I just decide one day I want to play for Major League Baseball.
At 32 years old if I want to play for Major League Baseball I probably
would have already been on that path to play Major League Baseball. I’d be
playing Triple A ball or something at this point. I can’t just knock on the
Yankees door and be like, “I want to play for you guys.”
Right. That’s something that needs to be worked up to gradually. That’s the
approach that we take, so we can use higher volume keywords eventually over
time. But the way that we get there is we pick a whole bunch of right-sized
volume keywords and get traffic going for those until the point where the
site’s average is bigger and Google’s willing to trust it more. And then we
can work our way up.
That’s very cool. And I like that you said the word “trust” there. Because
that’s what you’re trying to do with good SEO, is Google’s almost like that
friend who you’re like, “Who’s the mechanic I should go to?” Google is
trying to be more like that now.
Absolutely. They want to show the results that are trusted resources for
the information. And there’s a lot of signals that go into showing Google
that your site is trustworthy, and one of them comes from ranking for a lot
of keywords and getting a good amount of traffic for those keywords that
are all ancillary angles of a single topic.
I describe it like building out chapters in your book. Showing Google that
you not only have a single page about this thing, but you have a whole
section on your site about this topic. Google’s indicated in the patents
they’re applying for that they’re trying to become more of a topical match
engine, showing up sites that holistically represent a whole topic as
opposed to a single simple keyword match engine. So that’s another reason
to pick a bunch of right sized smaller volume longer tail keywords, and
build up a whole portfolio of those, because then Google will eventually
trust you more for the broader or higher level higher volume general topics
that you’re trying to represent.
Gotcha. So if I want to become an authority within Google on podcasts, I
shouldn’t just write one blog post with a keyword. Maybe it’s the perfect
podcasting keyword. But it shouldn’t be one article, it should be, “How to
interview?” And, “How to pick the music?” And, “What editing software you
should use, what’s the best microphone?” I have an entire section now
dedicated to podcasting authority.
Exactly. To use podcasting as an example. There’s a bunch of legs about
that topic. Like you said, equipment and marketing of the podcast, getting
sponsors, etc. And some of those subtopics may even have more subtopics.
Hardware could have, the microphones versus the processing. That wouldn’t
be hardware, but the equipment could have hardware and software and other
subcategories so you can build out an outline.
You can just use Google search suggests to see what other terms come up
when you start searching a certain topic, and build out an outline to work
off of so that you fully flesh out each angle of the topic. And that’s the
next step in our process. Once we’ve gathered all those keywords, we look
at it from the perspective of, “How do we build this into an outline?” Then
we compare that to the sitemap and the existing content on the site, and
look at that from the perspective of what’s missing.
Now we know all these good keywords we want to use, all these good angles
of the topic we want to cover. What do they already have, what needs to be
built out, what’s the fit for the main part of the site to build out there
versus what are we going to do with blog content? So we really strategize
about what content we’re going to put where and how, and how to flesh that
topical outline out into a sitemap of pages and articles.
Gotcha. So once you have the right sized keywords, you come up with content
strategy. Is that reasonable? Is that a reasonable thing to say about it?
Or is it more like, this is the type of content you should build your own
content strategy around?
It is content strategy to a degree. We come up with at least a high level
content strategy, and we focus a lot on information architecture because
the way the content is organized and how it’s linked to each other and
whatnot very much matters for a SEO. So I would say it’s a content strategy
step but heavily focused on information architecture planning.
Gotcha. When I blog I notice that Yoast SEO, the plugin always yells at me
for not having an internal link. Is it stuff like that? That you talk
about? Like, “You’re going to write a post about this, and you should link
to a post you wrote about this. Because it’s important to forge that
connection.” Or is that oversimplifying?
Yes, that is a simplified version of what interlinking is and why it’s
important. We do try to look at it a little more holistically and look
ahead a bit, because we want to build out hubs and spokes of interlinks
that are very logical. Whereas on the lightest level, yeah, you can
absolutely just make sure that each of your blog posts is linked to
something else. That’s similar. But it’s even better when you really plan
it out in advance and think about what kind of content hubs do we want to
have on this site and how are we going to link them together? And that
keyword research data really helps visualize that from the get-go.
Very cool. Very cool. So we are chugging right along in this interview. I
know that we’ve talked a bit about coming up with a keyword strategy, you
also mentioned PPC is something you focus on, right?
Yes. SEO is not a fit for everyone. It takes a lot of time and effort and
resources and patience. So paid search and other forms of PPC are perfectly
suitable ways to get traffic quicker. Obviously, cost needs to come into
account. One of the analysis that we do there to determine if PPC is a fit,
is the estimated cost per click for the keywords they want to come up for.
And that’s important for setting a monthly budget. Because you have to cast
a wide enough net. Not every single person who clicks is going to become a
paying customer, so you have to make sure you get quite a good amount of
clicks out of your PPC effort. And if you set something like a $1,000
dollar a month budget for keywords that are averaging $30 dollars per
click, a thousand dollar a month budget boils down into approximately a $30
dollar a day budget.
So you’re allowing for one click a day. That’s not going to work. Then
you’ve got to go back to the drawing board and look for either more
longtail phrases, or just more specific aspects of the service or the
competitive angle or whatever it may be that might not cost as much if
that’s the fixed budget. Or, just use the PPC data to set a higher budget.
keyword analysis is very important in advance of deploying a paid search
strategy to make sure that it’s going to work and that you’re casting a
wide enough net.
Gotcha. So when we talk about PPC, “pay per click.” Those are the ads that
you’ll see on top of a Google search or perhaps Google ads embedded on
other sites. Do you consider things like Facebook ads part of that
strategy, or is that something completely different?
I do. I consider anything that you can pay for on a per click basis, or
even a per impression basis, to fall under the realm of PPC. We do other
types of PPC advertising like Facebook ads, YouTube ads, LinkedIn ads,
banner ads, retargeting, etc. But we highly encourage people to start with
paid search because even though the targeting options on those other forms
Particularly Facebook, the targeting options are great and you can be
pretty sure you’re going to get in front of the right type of person, but
it may not be the right time that they want or need something. There’s just
nothing like the high level of intent to buy that comes with someone who’s
sitting in front of a search engine and typing something in. They’re doing
that because they want or need it now or soon.
I see. It’s like driving past a billboard versus actually going into a
Exactly, yes. If I drive past a billboard and I happened to be the type of
person that likes Coca-Cola, maybe that will make me think of one and make
me want to go out of my way to get one, or get one next time I’m in the
store or whatever. But there’s just nothing like the likelihood of
purchases of, “I was a paying customer with money in my hand already,
walking into a store, or searching for a store that carries Coca-Cola
because I intend to get one right now.”
Gotcha. Wow. That is really fantastic advice. Usually people are just like,
“With Facebook ads just offer something for free and you’ll get more sign
ups.” And I don’t experiment that much with Facebook ads. I’ve been
thinking about it for one of my courses, but if people don’t care about
Gutenberg or don’t need to know about Gutenberg while they’re browsing
their Facebook profile, like you said. It’s not going to convert very well.
Right. And it does have its role, and it can convert some of the time. You
can catch those people who happen to be thinking about Gutenberg while they
happen to be scrolling through their Facebook feed. It can work. And it is
less expensive, so that is something to take into consideration too. Less
expensive on a per person reached basis than paid search. Paid search can
be pretty pricey.
Sometimes the budget isn’t there for that and then Facebook ads can be used
as a secondary choice, or if paid search is already in place and working
well and the brand wants to just get in front of even more people,
something like Facebook ads can be layered on top of that strategy. We just
encourage people to consider paid search as one of the primary tactics
first for budget allocation.
Very cool. We are coming up on time here. I’m going to ask you a very
nebulous question, I guess, based on how much of your process you have
described. What major part of your process, if any, are we missing? How do
we wrap up? Or is there a big piece in the middle that you’re like, “We
definitely should talk about this.”
Yeah sure. There’s probably just two more things I want to make sure to
touch upon to round out our Phase 1 planning process. The steps that we’ve
talked about thus far, the kickoff call, the keyword research step, the
information architecture content strategy step. That’s mostly content
strategy, so to wrap up and finish out content strategy, we do one final
step which is keyword mapping.
Now that we know the keywords we want to have and the pages we’re going to
have, we do more than one to one match up of exact phrases to exact pages.
We make a spreadsheet of the sitemap, this page should use these primary
phrases, these secondary supporting phrases, and so on. And we map that out
for the most important content on the site. Then we put together a
PowerPoint and wrap up the whole content strategy for the client.
And that rounds out the content strategy. But there’s a very important
piece that I didn’t mention yet, which is the technical planning. That runs
concurrent with the content planning during our holistic Phase 1 planning
process, and there we’re doing technical auditing of the site and checking
it for about 50 different technical best practices. We like to go deep and
cross every “T” and dot every “I”.
And we truly believe that crossing every “T” and dotting every “I” is
necessary for brands to compete well in the SERPs. I definitely don’t want
to glaze over the importance of that process, because that is something
that is super important, and we believe plays a very crucial role in any
SEO strategy. So the technical planning and auditing process when we take
on a client is very much a key part of the process.
Gotcha. I’m a developer by trade, so you’re speaking my language now. What
are maybe some of the most common things that people miss? What are the
things that you see come up in a lot of your technical planning audits?
Sure. Actually, some of the basics are often overlooked nowadays. I guess
there’s an assumption that some of the simple stuff isn’t needed anymore,
but we do see it make a big difference. For example, XML sitemaps. Making
sure you have one that is dynamically generated and that it’s submitted to
search console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools. Those small
little basic best practices still very much matter and have an impact.
We do see those skipped, and the number one thing we’re dealing with right
now is speed. Site speed has been in the desktop algorithm for several
years, so we’ve been focusing on it for some time. And it’s going to be
included in the mobile algorithm as of July of this year, and over 50% of
searches occur on mobile on Google. So that’s going to become even more
impactful. That is something that’s like the number one thing we see
developers, designers, and everyone turn a complete blind eye to.
It never occurred to them to develop the website to load quickly. And it’s such an important thing, not only for SEO but for conversion rate
optimization, too. The falloff stats for every second of page load time in
conversion is just unbelievable. But a lot of people, clients, developers,
designers. They are guilty of not paying attention to it at all. And so we
end up having the conversation for the first time, and sometimes it’s very
far off from where it needs to be, which is three seconds or less. Google
wants that on both desktop and mobile. That is definitely a huge part of
our technical analysis now.
Gotcha. One of my favorite stats, if you’re an e-commerce person, is 80% of
people will abandon their cart if it takes more than four or five seconds
to load. I just think about that. If you have a slow website, you could be
losing 80% of people who have already decided to purchase your product.
Wow. That’s an impactful stat.
Do you think that’s because people assume their content management system
handles that for them, or they’re willing to sacrifice speed because
they’ve got these big beautiful images and background videos? Or some
combination of the two?
I think it most of the time just hasn’t occurred to them. Probably because
they just never got to the point where they were personally frustrated with
the load time of their site, which they may not realize that other people
have a different experience than they have. If you go to your own site so
much, you’ve got the content cached in your browser. It’s not taking all
that long to load. You don’t think of it as unacceptable or problematic in
any way shape or form, and they don’t realize that it can differ for other
users. So it’s just not on their radar.
Here’s my developer tip for those of you making websites and you want to
test the speed. Go to an airport, Philadelphia Airport is great for this
because their internet is so bad, and connect to their Wi-Fi. Or go to
Starbucks on a very busy day, like Saturday afternoon, and try to load your
website and see what happens.
That’s another great point. Because a lot of people don’t realize that most
of the world may have a slower internet connection than them, and that
Google wants you to optimize for 3G mobile speed, not necessarily the 4G or
LTE or whatever you may happen to be lucky enough to have. They want you to
optimize for 3G connection.
So they came out with a tool recently called Lighthouse and it’s in dev
tools in Chrome. You can also get it as an extension. And that emulates a
3G cellular connection. And that is what we believe they’re going to use,
that testing technology, is what we believe they’re going to use for the
way they judge mobile speed on sites with this upcoming mobile speed
Gotcha. So we today have the ability to test the exact way Google will test
our sites for speed, and determine–.
We assume it’s the exact way. We’re inferring that they’re going to, just
to cover our own butts here. We’re inferring and assuming that that’s the
method they’re going to use. That does rely on the computer, and you can
get some differences between different computers. So take it with a grain
of salt. They have said that a plus/minus fifteen point score difference is
expected between machines. But do make sure that you’re testing incognito,
logged out of your WordPress admin, and with all browser extensions
disabled. To minimize those variances.
Man, that is some great advice and a really good way to wrap up the show.
Except I need to ask you my favorite question. You just gave us a bunch,
but do you have any trade secrets for us?
Yes. My trade secret is to not keep your trade secrets a secret. I’ll
explain that a little more. We have found that one of the best ways we have
succeeded in growing a reputation, growing a business, winning clients is
to be completely transparent about all the ways that we do things. All of
our expertise. How we do things. We will train, if a client doesn’t want to
pay us to do it, we’ll train them. We’ll show them how to do it themselves.
We don’t care, we’re not being protective of anything that we know.
And that’s really set us apart, especially in this space which is full of
snake oil sales people. What’s been important in setting us apart and
building trust, is that we’re willing to tell you exactly how we do what we
do and exactly what tools we use. It definitely builds trust. And we’ve
even been paid to train some of our competitor’s staff. And I’ll do it, I
There’s plenty of business to go around. I don’t worry about it. Obviously,
I don’t publish everything that we’ve built over the past seven years for
free on the internet completely, but we do intend to turn some of our
process into online video courses that we can make money off of and
whatnot. I guess I should just rephrase it and say, don’t be overly
secretive with your trade secrets. Obviously there has to be some degree of
Absolutely. But even training your competitors. Sure, I’m a developer, and
I have a development course. I could be training my competitors, but with
development I’m sure much like SEO. Part of it is not just knowing it
today, it’s knowing how to know it three months from now, or six months
from now, or five weeks from now. You could teach a person all you want but
you can’t force them to keep their knowledge updated if they don’t want to.
Yeah. And there’s also something to be said for that real world practical
application and experience. Teaching the theory does not give away our
competitive edge at all, because a big part of our competitive edge is how
much experience we’ve seen in the wild, applying that theory with real
world practical application in all those messy situations, and knowing how
to navigate that. I’ll teach theory all day long and I will not be worried
that we’re going to lose any business for giving away our secrets.
And bringing it back to the baseball, the batter analogy. The Yankees in
the early to mid-2000s always hit Pedro Martinez well even though he was an
incredible pitcher, because they saw him pitch a lot, and they knew what to
expect and how to handle things. It’s a lot like that. The more pitches you
see, the better hitter you will be. So, awesome.
You really like the baseball analogies.
I love baseball. And at the time of this recording the Yankees are on a
tear right now, and they’re my team, so I will stick to that as long as
Awesome. I’m not too big of a baseball fan, but I could talk football with
you someday maybe, if you like football too.
Absolutely. I love football. Are you from Pennsylvania?
I’m from New Jersey, so I root for both of the local teams. The Giants and
the Jets, but more so the Giants because I’m forced to. All my good friends
are Giants fans. Except my boyfriend will kill me for saying this, because
he’s from Virginia and he’s a Redskins fan, so I have to root for them too.
Gotcha. Understandable. So you are from northern New Jersey, it sounds
OK, cool. I’m from New York, so I am also a Giants fan. Very cool. Pam,
where can people find you?
I can be found at PamAnnMarketing.com. All of the social medias that go
along with that. And our Stealth site is StealthSearchandAnalytics.com.
StealthSearchandAnalytics.com. I will link both of those in the show notes.
Pam, thanks so much for joining me today.
Thank you so much for having me. This was fun.
What a great conversation. I really liked what she said about Pay Per Click
vs. Facebook Ads and how Facebook Ads are kind of a billboard. I also like
the tools she told us about, like light house.
And Thanks again to our sponsors Pantheon, and Traitwar. Their support is
For all of the show notes, head over to howibuilt.it/92/. If you like the
show, head over to Apple Podcasts and leaving us a rating and review. It
helps people discover us! Thanks to those reviews, the show is currently
#22 in Apple Podcasts for Technology podcasts, so thank you so, so much.
You can also join the Facebook community over at howibuilt.it/facebook/. I
want to build a strong community for this podcast, and Facebook is the
place to do it. I ask the question of the week over there too. And until
next time, get out there and build something!