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The Content Revolution: How SEO Emphasizes Quality Content

In conversation with Greg Jarboe

For this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Matt Fraser interviewed Greg Jarboe, President & Co-Founder of SEO-PR, a content marketing agency located in Acton, Massachusetts, United States.

Digital marketing expert Greg Jarboe discusses the evolving SEO landscape, emphasizing the importance of conversational content, voice search, social media as search engines, video engagement, and data-driven insights in SEO practices. Greg shares valuable insights on YouTube’s success, emphasizing authenticity, consistency, engagement, collaboration, paid promotion, and staying informed about trends.

Watch the episode now for some profound insights!

Successful SEO requires a holistic approach that combines technical optimization, content strategy, and user experience.

Greg Jarboe
President & Co-Founder of SEO-PR

Hello everyone. Welcome to this episode of E Coffee with Experts. I’m your host, Matt Fraser, and on today’s show, I have with me a very special guest, Greg Jarboe. Greg is the president and co-founder of SEO-PR, a leading content marketing agency and a recognized authority on video marketing. He is the author of YouTube and Video Marketing an Hour A Day, a book that I have read and has contributed to several industry publications.

Greg is an executive education instructor at Rutgers Business School, a content marketing faculty at Market Motive, and a frequent conference speaker. With over two decades of experience in the field, Greg’s contributions to the digital marketing community have earned him recognition as a senior fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Greg, thank you so much for being here. It’s a pleasure to have you on the show.

Wow, Matt. That was a wonderful obituary.

Yeah, guess so. We stand here honoring Greg.

I remember Greg when he was, yeah, never mind.

Hey, this has become my signature question. How would your university professors describe you as a student?

I have university professors at the University of Michigan. Who would say, who is he? Mostly because in the lecture hall, they would be standing up in front of an auditorium full of students.

And that’s just the way lectures worked. On the other hand, I spent my junior year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Oh yeah. And they would refer to me as the bloody yank because Bloody Yank. Yeah. Because for some reason I was the token non-British anomaly that didn’t quite fit in.

And I had all these strange ideas, like among other things I would say, Cookie instead of a biscuit or I’d say, yeah, sidewalk instead of pavement or, oh, it was bathroom. It’s just the bathroom or the Ws?

What do you guys refer to is, because I know Canadians say some funny things that Americans find funny.

All I learned in Edinburgh was if they shouted gardy Lou Gar, it means somebody was gardy lou meant somebody was throwing slops out of an upstairs window and you didn’t wanna be underneath when it hits the street.

Wow. That’s interesting. Okay, so can you tell us about your background? How do you get started in digital marketing after graduating? Forgive me my memory can’t remember the degree that you graduated with, but I know it was not digital market related

History. It’s one of those liberal arts subjects that teaches you that things change over time, which is pretty useful when it comes to talking about digital marketing. Ah, so how did I get into digital marketing?

Okay. By accident, I was the director of corporate communications at a company called Zif Davis Oh yeah. In 1995. And the company decided, you know what? We should probably invest in one of these things some people were calling them search engines, and other people were calling them portals. It wasn’t quite clear what they were gonna get called. Yeah. But I was on the due diligence team that took a look at a little startup called Yahoo. Oh, wow. And I got to meet Jerry Yang and David Philo, and I got to learn that Yahoo was a joke in terms of the name. It was yet another Hierarchically, officious Oracle. In other words, they didn’t want to call it Jerry and David’s website. So they came up with this funny name and amazing, we amazing decided that was the company to invest in. Okay. And, as a consequence of that investment, I was shipped off to Europe to launch Yahoo, France, Germany, and the UK because it was a joint venture with Yahoo and Ziff Davis. Ok. And how did I get in here? Random.

Wow. Just the right timing, right person, right time.

Yeah. It wasn’t like there were a whole lot of experts in front of me. Wow. Nobody knew what was happening there. And when it came to launching Yahoo Europe, it was like there was no precedent.

There was no model. It was just go-do stuff.

Who created your job role then, like your duties and responsibilities? How was that determined?

It was lovely. It was lovely. Yeah. The company was still headed up now by Bill Ziff Jr. Okay. Who, when I had initially been hired in the company, gave me half a job description and told me to spend the next six months figuring out what the other half probably should be.

Okay. Yeah. But then I went to work for the president of the company, Erica Poe who was trilingual. He was born in France, but then started a business in South America and then come to the United States so he could speak French, Spanish, and English better than most of us could fluently think thinking one language.

Yeah. And so the notion they, Z Davis had never published magazines outside of the United States. So the whole notion of let’s go to Europe was a departure. They had no experience in it. But one of the things that we learned, and this is probably worth sharing with your listeners.

Yeah. One of the models I was given to embrace in this, we’re gonna send you off on a mission, but we’re not quite sure how to describe what you’re gonna do. What was the Marine Corps in the United States? Okay. Believe it or not, at officers candidate school, young Marines who wanna be officers are trained that if you set your goals and objectives and meet 70% of them, yeah you’re doing well because we don’t know everything ahead of time.

You’re gonna get there. You’re gonna learn some things that, nobody knew and couldn’t have warned you about. And if you adjusted them, then guess what? 70% success rate they call it the 70% solution. If you hit 70% celebrate now. Yeah. That’s fascinating. Most of us grow up in organizations where, boy, you better be 95% or above.

Yeah. And unfortunately what that does is take all the risk out of any endeavor. There’s no risk-taking, there’s no learning, there’s no experimentation there’s no trial and error because there’s no room for it. You have to be perfect every time. And you know what, absolutely, in this world, if you’re doing 70%, man, you’re clocking it.

Wow. That’s interesting because even when I was at the dealership, the expectation was every single campaign that I did had to hit it out of the park. And thank goodness that I was able to achieve the success that I did. But anyway, so that, it’s mind-boggling. Like you were around when the internet started what? 1997?

Let’s put it this way, the Netscape Navigator brought it all to our attention in 1994. So we were early into the internet, but we were not there at the gory beginning. But I remember in 1994 watching a fellow named John Dodge, who was our editor at PC Week launch a version of PC Week on a website. And his historic moment, I decided I had better be there to witness. Yeah. And John Dodge’s famous statement was it didn’t crash. Wow. And that was a success. We got a website up and it didn’t crash. Alright. Okay. We’re cooking here. Yeah.

That’s amazing. It’s amazing how much it’s changed now with, the old HTML tables and I don’t think CSS existed, just the case may be, it’s just crazy how much I’ve seen that happen and change over the years.

Hey, can you tell us about your experience during the dotcom busts and how it impacted your career?

Oh, sure. I was the vice president of marketing and a company called Web ct. They were headquartered both in Vancouver, up in Canada, and as well as Peabody in Massachusetts. Ok. And my job was to try to get courses online.

That was the mission. Oh, and faculty didn’t wanna put their courses online because you know what? I have tenure. I’ve done it this way forever. Yeah. Why would I wanna change? Yeah. And what we found was, is that there was an interesting way to work with either the adjuncts or the junior members of the faculty who wanted to become tenured.

Let’s put it this way. There was a group even within higher ed that wanted to do things better than the old guard. Okay. And so we started focusing on them, and we were able to triple our install base within two years. But because we were at.com, the way the business model worked was all of this was gonna get funded because sooner or later we would sell ads to college students.

Okay. So was ad the monetization strategy ad-based?

Yeah. And all of a sudden in the middle of that brilliant campaign, we were tripling the install base. Our investors said, oh, we are not gonna be able to monetize this with ads. Okay. Lay off half of your marketing department.

And that’s when I took a hard look at what worked and what didn’t. And one of the things that had worked well was this funky little thing called search engine optimization. Yeah. They didn’t even call it SEO back then, cuz nobody would do what the acronym would stand for.

You had to spell it out. And I thought okay, if I’ve gotta update my resume and I did, I might as well go focus on this SEO stuff. Cause boy, even in a world where things were imploding faster than anyone could have predicted, it was the one thing that worked better than anything else.

Yeah. So in 2002, I ended up as the chief marketing officer at an SEO firm based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Wow. What was it exactly that drew you to SEO? Just the fact that it worked. Was there anything else that you thought

I confess as the VP of marketing, I had enough budget to do market researcher tests or experiments, so I did a test and I found that if I put an ad in a campus newspaper If I spent about $200 on that ad, I would get one lead.

Oh, wow. And if I bought, and if I bought a spot on a campus radio station, it would cost me $20 to get a lead. Okay. And if I optimized the page on a website, it cost me less than $2 to get a lead. So did I wanna spend 220 or two?

Okay. So I understand how to track that today. How were you tracking that back then? I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m assuming there were no call-tracking numbers.

I didn’t use call tracking. No. But it turns out you can use what are called tracking parameters on the end of a URL you use exams. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, they exist. They’ve been around for a while.

Yeah. Yeah. Dan McGall asked me if I knew what UTM meant, and I told him, and I can’t remember. You’ve been around for a long time. I said, yeah,

This is not new stuff. So the answer was, yeah, you could track. And I did. Okay. Wow. And I still have,

well, can you talk about how SEO has evolved over the years between then and now? Sure. Oh, day. Yeah. I know that’s a very broad question.

Oh I’m old. I’m old enough to remember when, in the very early days, of course, we’re talking, Ulta Vista was the leading search engine. Yeah. And there was Lycos and there was Excite, and there was Infoseek. And oh, by the way, there was this silly little startup called Google. But, whatever, who, whoever they are. And one of the things that you needed to be, was technically proficient. So successful SEO was I’m gonna say 80 to 90% technical. 10 to 20% was content. Okay? And the only thing you had to do with the content, frankly, was to put the keywords somewhere in your title, maybe in your lead paragraph, possibly in your title tag.

Everyone knew that the meta description tag didn’t matter, who knows? You threw it in there as well as the keyword metatags. Cause Ulta Vista still paid attention to keyword metatags. Yeah. Even though Google ignored it. But we were ignoring Google at the time. So there was a little bit of content there.

And, the success was all technical. Here we are in 2023. Yeah. Reversed. There is still 10 to 20% technical. Yeah. But you know what? 80 to 90% is content. Yeah. Now, for a liberal arts major that’s oh, thank God. I know that stuff.

For a lot of the technical people, I’ve got my schema markup here. What do I do? Content has now taken over. Content creators are now gonna determine whether you win or lose. And if you can’t create the content yourself, you better go find people who can.

Okay.

On that note, what about the role of, Chat GPT just launched last year and gain a million users in five days?

Oh. Bigger than that. They launched 90 days ago and they already have a hundred million downloads making them the fastest-downloaded app in history. Pardon me.

Didn’t know that. Not that I’m, not that I’m tracking this closely, but yeah, it’s huge. It’s, yeah, it’s probably a bigger game changer than anything we’ve seen since the launch of the iPhone.

I would 100% agree with you. I’ve been saying that to people and they’ve looked at me like I’m weird. No. As I said, you have no idea the world changed. What would you say to this? For instance, I said to someone, if you could mark the day on the calendar that the Industrial Revolution started which I don’t think you can, but if you can mark on the calendar, the day the world changed in regards to the history that we’re living in.

The day chat GPT launched, I would say, yeah. People five years from now will look back and go, that was a pivotal moment in the history of mankind that shifted everything.

November 30th, 2022. Not that I’m paying any attention to this. So do you think that it’s interesting, everybody’s been saying that Google will, you’ll get Google slapped? If you create AI-driven AI-assisted content, you’ll get d index de-ranked penalized here. Google has said ahead. No, Google had to clarify. We want quality content and how you create it as well. That’s to you. Exactly. But we want quality content.

Quality content. That’s what I think. A human being can create crappy content and a human being can create content.

How is the content created, what does it matter, as long as it’s creating great content and a great experience?

And in the old days we used to create content with, a chisel on that stone tablet, on the wall. And then along came Gutenberg and I was like, oh, wow. We revolutionized how that content got created. And oh my lord, I learned how to type on a typewriter. So do I look it up in Yeah? Wikipedia nowadays. Yeah. What’s a typewriter? And by way of phone, they don’t even know what the typewriter, or keyboard was engineered to slow down typing so that the keys wouldn’t stick.

We still got to the same keyboard to this day. Yeah.

Yeah. But anyhow so the answer is yes. Whatever you wanna call it, a chat, GPT generational ai chatbots. Yeah. Whatever will change the world as we know it. Going forward now.Yeah. How will it change? It is probably still up in the air. Yeah. And I just had to write an article for a search engine journal trying to predict how long it will take before it changes the world. Oh, wow. What do you think about that? Four years? Yeah, four years. And do you know how I figured out Four years? No. Please tell me, when was Google launched?

Oh, Google was it 97 or It was 97, wasn’t it?

98 is when it launched. When did it finally pass Alta Vista to become the number one search engine? I don’t remember. 2002, four years later. Wow.

Wow. I remember when I bought my invite to get my Gmail address. I remember that.

So I’m sitting here thinking, yeah, okay, this could change the world. Yeah. How long did it take for the world to change? The last time we saw a world change, which was Google and I said four years. I said, okay, so how do we figure out where we go from here to the next four years?

Or what about the iPhone? In the iPhone? Revolutionized.

Revolutionized but it was launched in 2007. Yeah. And it didn’t impact more than 7% of the traffic on the websites I was working on until 2011. Okay. And so 7%, you go 7%. That was it. Yeah. It took a little longer. And part of that was because Apple constricted things in such a way.

And it wasn’t really until Android came along that we began seeing the real impact of using your smartphone for web searches that had the profound impact that we now all take for granted.

Yeah. Do you know I had a Dell Axiom XV 51 Pocket PC in 2006? I was right into that stuff.

The first how do I say this portable phone that I had looked like a brick. It looked like a walkie-talkie. Did you have that big Motorola?

Remember the big Motorola?

Oh yeah. Yeah, it took a while. Yeah.

The creator of Gmail, came out and said that chat GPT has the ability or the possibility to put Google out of business in three years.

You think that’s even plausible? He’s being aggressive. I would say four years, but yeah, three to four. Okay. Yeah.

Do you think Google’s gonna be able to pivot? Bard or whatever, their client was an absolute total disaster. They lost a hundred billion dollars in market valuation. No, I could be out to lunch.

Was it a disaster? Sure. But pardon me? It was an iteration number. What one? Yeah. Okay. You don’t think they’re gonna, yeah. Some of the early versions of chat GPT produce some pretty funny stuff. Sure. But they keep learning. Yeah. And that’s the amazing thing, is how fast these things are learning and discovering, oh, that was wrong.

Then, here, let me come up with another iteration. The last time we saw this kind of horse race Yeah. And we’ve seen it before, was between Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Explorer. Explorer and what ended up winning the war and Microsoft ended up winning was they didn’t have the best browser initially and they didn’t have the best browser the second time around and they didn’t have the best browser, even the third time around, but they kept iterating.
Okay. And so again, that’s why I take this as a four-year horse race. At the end of four years, we will know who iterated faster. Google or Microsoft now. Yeah. Cuz that’s not who it’s now, isn’t it? Yeah. What will be the gating factor?

Not capital and talent.

No, they both can hire that. Okay. They both have the money for the Wazu hardware. It turns out it takes Chat GPT 10 times more server capacity than Google, to answer a question. So if you do not have the world’s largest server farm, how the heck are you gonna process that?

Now, Google already has the world’s largest server farm. Microsoft has a big one, but it’s not the world’s second-largest. Turns out the people sitting on that are Amazon.

Yeah, that’s what I was just gonna say to you. I was like, Amazon has the world’s largest server farm, do they not

second largest, but that’s okay. But the point is, there is a player to be named here called Amazon that will pick sides in this war of the worlds. And the question then becomes, do they develop their own for Alexa, or do they partner with Google or Microsoft? Watch this space like a heart.

What would you, if you were the decision maker, who would you choose?

Oh, I have a history that probably biases me. Okay. Once upon a time, from 1986 to 1988, I was the director of corporate communications at Lotus Development Corporation. Ok. We made Lotus 1 23 a spreadsheet. Yeah. I remember.

Yeah. Our biggest competitor was Microsoft. Okay. Early in my formative years, I learned to hate Microsoft. So out of that, yeah. Okay. So I’m probably biased. I do not have the same kind of feelings for Google. I’m a little more neutral there. So yeah. Yeah. So don’t ask me to come, judge, because I probably am not the most objective person in the world.

I would like to see them choose Microsoft to create some actual competition in search.

Wouldn’t we all? Yeah. Yeah. I remember the days when the debate in 2002 among SEOs and I went to conferences, SEO conferences. In 2002, the big debate was whether you targeted five search engines or 15,

shut the front door. So I wasn’t that involved in the search community industry that at that time.

Yeah. And on panels, I got the assignment of arguing for 15. Yeah, but I, privately felt five was sufficient.

Yeah. Absolutely. Now it’s, really, do you optimize for anything else like Google?

Not, what, 92% market share. Why would you? Yeah. Do you know what the second-largest search engine is?

I think it might be duck Do go. Oh, YouTube. YouTube. Okay.

Of course. Yes. Guess who owns them? Yeah, Google.

Yeah. That was the smartest thing.

I remember when they bought YouTube. That was, I was like, and they shut down Google Video,

1.65 billion in October of 2006, not that I remember. Yeah.

Speaking of YouTube, you wrote the book YouTube and video marketing an hour a day. so you got an SEO and then boom you’re into video. How did the venture into video come about?

It’s my son Brendan’s fault. Your son Brendan. Okay. So one of the things, when you’re the president and co-founder of your own company that you have the perk of doing, is hiring your kids during the summer.

Yeah. So Brendan was going to Bates College, Uhhuh but he came and worked for me in the summer of 2006 and it was like yeah, fine, whatever. We’ll find something useful for you to do. And that summer I got an emergency phone call from the Christian Science Monitor. Interesting. And they had a reporter named Jill Carroll, who’d been held hostage in Iraq for 82 days.

Okay. Who they thought was gonna be for sure killed because her translator and driver had been killed on the first day. So there was no hope that she would live. And then all of a sudden she was released and she went home to Ann Arbor, Michigan to spend a little time with her family, and then came back to work and wrote an 11-part series on what it was like to be a hostage.

And the editor in chief at the Christian Science Monitor said she finished writing the story and it’s August, but isn’t everyone on vacation in August? What happens if we break the story now? Is anyone gonna read it? And if we sit on the story until September when people come back, isn’t that wrong?

So in that very convoluted circumstance, I got called into, can you optimize a press release announcing that Jill Carroll’s gonna write her 11-part series? And it was like, oh, sure, we know how to optimize press releases. We’ve been doing that since 2003. I went to pitch the story to CN and MSNBC and Huffington Post, and the usual suspects. And I said, I’ve got a 150-word excerpt and a photo, an image which I can give you under embargo if you will break your story on the following Sunday evening, cuz I had six days warning to pull this project off. Okay. If you’ll hold your story until Sunday evening at seven o’clock then you can break your story and you can quote from the first article in the 11-part series if you link to us, that was the negotiation you link to us in your story.

I can give you an advance. Yeah. Okay. Alright. Yeah. Advanced PR five editors in a row said, do you have any video? Oh, wow. And I didn’t have any video uhhuh. And I thought you need a video. And my son Brendan says, Dad, I can put together a YouTube video this afternoon. Wow. And I said, with what he said he said we’ve got photos.

We can do the pan-and-scan thing that Ken Burns does in his civil war documentaries. Yeah. Add a little movement. All I need is a narrator’s voice. And we can put together, a 45-second clip this afternoon and that’s all they want. Yeah. I didn’t know that’s all they wanted, but I went back and I called each one of these editors at all these key media and I said I have a YouTube video, will that work?

In the first 24 hours, we generated 450,000 unique visitors to the Christian Science Monitor website, to the Jill Carroll landing page. Got lots of links and oh, by the way, that was seven times greater than their average daily visits. We had a million page views, which was eight times more than their average number of page views.

Wow. And I thought this video stuff, wow. It has legs. Yeah. I thank you, Brendan, for teaching your old man. Yeah. Wait a second. He was in college, he was 20 years old. Wow. What course are they teaching this in? And he said it’s not a course Dad.

It’s just what we do around the dorm, and it’s Oh, okay. What the heck? Wow. So how did I get into the video? My son showed me the way. And so by 2008 I was speaking at conferences on how to optimize a YouTube video for video search, it turns out YouTube’s algorithm is different than Google’s algorithm.

Okay. Fine. Whatever. And there I was speaking at a conference in, I think it was San Jose. One of the people in the audience was a book editor at Wiley who came up to me afterward and said would you write a book about this? Yeah. And that’s how YouTube and video marketing an Hour a Day, which was published in 2009 in August.

Yeah. Came about. And by the way, the title of the book was a compromise. I wanted to call it YouTube Marketing. Oh, and he said yeah. He said yeah. There are other places where video exists. So why don’t you include, Vimeo and some of the others?

And I went this reminded me, do you target five search engines or 15? And I said, yeah, okay. If you want me to, I will try to squeeze in the other places where you can find videos into my book but it’s YouTube dub, YouTube. That’s, but anyway, that’s how the book is up.

Are there other places though, to use video besides YouTube and still get results? Is my thought that I was thinking like, the video marketing part? No. Here’s what I’m getting at. For instance, If I was to launch a landing page personally. Yeah. And depending on what the goal of that landing page was like, you see some people do this. It’s the reason why Wistia and self-hosted video platforms exist you don’t want the related videos. There’s another, you can put a call to action with a form at the end of it to get people to subscribe, and so on. So that’s just all I’m saying. I know YouTube said 98% of it, but maybe talking about that 2% of what you can do with video marketing in that regard. Just other ways to use video in marketing is all I’m trying to say.

I would use YouTube. I would embed YouTube. Yeah. I’ve advised clients to use YouTube. Ok. But believe it or not, some people insist but there’s gotta be other ways. And so to a pure objective, After I’ve made up my mind.Yeah. Believe it or not, I said, fine. Then let’s take a look at what you can do with, oh, Instagram reels or what you can do with TikTok or what you can do with, video and other platforms. Yeah. And if you want, let’s do a horse race and see which one generates the best results. Okay. And by the way, nobody has taken me up on the horse race part. Yeah. Because everyone’s at 95%. No. Just tell me what the results of that’s gonna be. YouTube. Okay. Yes. And here’s why. Here’s why YouTube, a couple of years ago, passed Wikipedia as the most likely result in Google search results. So not only is YouTube the world’s second-largest search engine, it’s the most likely video to be found in the world’s largest search engine.

Why is YouTube dominate the market? What is it about them? Is it the algorithm?

Is it they were at, yeah, they were there at a crucial, they weren’t the first to market the singing Phish.

It was owned by AOL and was the first to market. Oh if being first to market won you anything, we’d all be talking about singing Phish, wouldn’t we? But no. YouTube was late to market.

Oh. Man, I was asleep. Trust. I can’t remember what I was doing back then.

Yahoo video came before it. Google Video came before it.

Singing Phish. Yeah. Google came before it. Ok. I remember covering a conference in the December of 2005 and the panelists didn’t include YouTube. Yeah, it has. Wow. Amazing. And it was, again, it was again my middle son, Brendan, who said, Dad, how could you even write about this topic and not include YouTube?

And it was like they weren’t on the panel, son. Anyway, never mind. You gotta listen to your kids. But the bottom line is YouTube was late to market. But it did several things brilliantly and blew everybody else outta the water, including Google Video. And it, it was the only game in town until about, oh, about the time that Mark Zuckerberg had his video’s first epiphany.

Yeah. Which I think was about 2014 or 2015. Yeah. The answer is yes. There are other places where you can find videos, but Google dominated for a long time. And as a consequence, there are a lot of people creating a lot of content that they’re uploading to YouTube. And oh, by the way, the New War.

Since we’re talking about chat, GPT, and other things like that. Yeah. The New War is where your content creators are making the most money. If I can make more money creating TikTok than I can YouTube videos, I’m going to TikTok. Yeah. And all of a sudden the creator base shifts out from underneath it.

But it turns out billions of dollars are spent every year by YouTube on content creators. Yeah. They do a better job of monetizing their cash cow. And TikTok, I have got, oh we’ll take a look at you and we might give you a little, few pennies here and there. Yeah. We’ll let you starve until we figure out a business model here.

And as a consequence, the people who have experimented on multiple platforms, I’ve discovered at the end of the day, make more money on YouTube. So yeah, again, do your horse race, if you don’t believe me, YouTube is the right answer.

Excuse me Elon Musk is now trying to implement video into Twitter and actually, and attract content creators. Wonder if he’s gonna be successful with that. Do you remember? Do you remember Vine? Vine? I do remember Vine. I remember when they bought it, and I remember when they shut it down.

Yeah. So it’s oh, he’s now discovered video too. Yeah, good luck to him and the Red Sox. Yeah.

Do you think that it’s because YouTube just has too much? People doubted whether I’m just gonna tell you devil’s advocate. They doubted whether he would be able to create a spaceship launch, a space, a rocket.

Do you think he has that on his side? Like they. With his, I heard the guy has an IQ of 2 44 that he might be able to pull off.

All I know is I’ve got friends in Boston that he hasn’t paid rent to.

Okay. I don’t know anything about that.

Yeah it’s pay your bills.

Yeah.

You should pay your bills.

You should, no matter what, you should pay your bills. Just pay your bills.

Sorry. So yeah no. He doesn’t impress me. And by the way, if you look at his Twitter feed Yeah. And you use any of the tools out there that will tell you how many fake followers. Yeah. 70% of his followers are fake. Oh, wow. That’s interesting. Which is more than anyone else that I’ve ever seen. Yeah.

never really softens the chart. Yeah. I’ve never delved into that

so is he in the old days they used to talk about George Hamilton, who was well known for being well known.

Yeah. I think just like the Kardashians. Yeah. He’s internet famous because he’s internet famous. Yeah. Yeah. Is he brilliant or is he just Yeah? Got gotten lucky a couple of times. Yeah.

Interesting thing to discuss, that’s for sure. That being said, if someone were to want to start, if someone were wanting to start a YouTube channel today, what would you do, is it too late? Is YouTube too saturated?

No. I’ve seen some channels that have started, recently that have motored off into phenomenal success. So yeah. It’s still doable.

Yeah. What are the keys to success then on YouTube?

Counterintuitive, intuitive, counterintuitive. Everyone tries to shoot for a broad market. I need to reach billions and billions of people. Yeah. And as a result, they are creating How doing. Yeah. And that was mildly interesting. I’m not gonna subscribe to it or come back and watch your second video. And so the people who are doing it well are picking a niche.

Okay. Focusing on it. And having a rabid, not just an interesting audience, but a rabid audience that can’t wait until your next video is up. Now, let me tell you, big brands can play this game too, okay? And some of these brands have been in video for a while, so you would think, oh wow, this is, they’re just leveraging what they learned 10 years ago.

And the answer is no. We all have to relearn all the rules every three years. And why every three years, it turns out on YouTube, Every part of the algorithm that you can understand changes about 33% a year. So at the end of 18 months, 50% has changed. At the end of three years, a hundred percent has changed.

Wow. And you’re starting over again. Okay. So there is no such thing as a learning curve. Oh yeah. I learned this a long time ago. I’m just milking it now. It’s fascinating. Anybody in the business has to keep relearning and relearning, which is why there’s a lot of burnout in the industry.

But it turns out there are some brands who have learned to pivot and pivot again and pivot yet again. And one of those brands is Red Bull. Oh, yeah. And I’ve watched them not only become successful on YouTube. Okay, fine. Got it. Then become successful with a new set of strategies. Oh, that was interesting.

And I wrote about that. And lately, I went back for an article that hasn’t been published yet, and I took a new look at them and it’s damn, they are doing new things yet again. It’s working. It’s, yeah. Here’s a little energy drink company, hidden away there in Austria.

That has figured out how to learn the new rules and succeed at them. That’s amazing.

Okay. There are so many questions. I’m just trying to think, without being said, what is it they’re doing that’s successful, for instance, is it storytelling? Is. Can you just, can you maybe discuss the importance of storytelling and video marketing? Is that what they’re doing?

Some of its storytelling. Okay. So that, yeah. That is an element that hasn’t gone outta style, that’s still worth learning. That’s good stuff. Okay. But I will tell you that the vast majority of the videos that they’ve uploaded in the last 365 days are YouTube shorts. Okay. Less than 30 seconds. And no less than 60 seconds. Less than 60, okay. So there is a way to tell a story in less than 60 seconds, but boy, it’s a heck of a lot different story than I would’ve thought that they had mastered, oh, let’s say 3, 4, 5 years ago. But then shorts didn’t exist 3, 4, or 5 years ago.

No, they didn’t. Yeah. What they have done brilliantly. Yeah, it created this microfocus that I told you about. Yeah. Oh, with a microfocus on a gazillion different micro sports. So if you are really, which is bloody brilliant, which is if you are totally into cliff diving. Yeah. Where do you go for the latest cliff-diving videos? Red Bull. I have no idea.

I’m assuming Red Bull. Red Bull. It’s amazing. Red Bull has targeted the extreme sports and the micropores that you’re talking about. Because even up here where I live, there was some extreme winter thing. They built this, they built, I can’t remember, halfpipe snow, for jumping, like we have a stadium that seats 60,000 people and they built the stadium in, they built the halfpipe into the seats, into the seating, all the way up.

And then we had another thing where downtown they built, it was like A downhill, like a, I can’t, you know when they go downhill on there, yeah. I can’t remember what the sport is called. Crazy sports.

They have an event that they made up called Flu tag, where you try to create a machine that will fly, it’s more like a glider, but the point is it’s gotta fly on the air and the more outrageous the machine, the better you score.

Wow.

So they have targeted a persona. They’ve created

personas they have created. And they’ve started scores of personas.

That’s critical then, isn’t it?

Yes. But they have micro-targeted people who are passionate about sports, but instead of generic sports, cause oh by the way, you can go see some of that on ESPN.

You can go see some of that. Yeah. Wherever they are giving you the sports, you can’t find anywhere else. Exactly.

And so they found a, they found a, they found an opportunity in the market.

Yeah. They found zillions of opportunities in the market.

Yeah. Right now though, I’m asking myself, how could a small business leverage on a smaller scale?

The answer is they need imagination. And the good news from Red Bull’s point of view is they do not think like an energy drink marketer. No. They don’t. They think like a media company. Yeah, they,

yeah. It’s amazing.

They create different content for different audiences and they just realize that the audiences that are already taken are expensive to go fight for.

Yeah. So they look for all the underserved audiences.

That’s key, isn’t it? How important is it? Is video production quality? And what level of quality should businesses aim for that aren’t Red Bull?

It, the answer is, it depends. If you’re gonna create a music video, then you better have really good quality because every other music video has really good quality.

Okay? If you’re creating gaming videos, it can be rudimentary, but I’m more interested in your insight. You have a cheat that’ll get me to the next level. The answer is, it’s a variable. Okay? What is not a variable is you better give your viewer either insight or better entertain them or better enlighten them.

You better educate them. You better, okay, you, you better make this worth watching. So it’s the content that’s more important than content, the production value.

That’s amazing. For instance, Mr. Beast, who I believe is on track to become a billionaire, the first YouTube billionaire spends a month making some of his videos. He now has a hundred people working for him. He, him, and his friends, spent I don’t know how many years, 12 hours a day, every day, the four of them figuring out what does and doesn’t work on YouTube. Yeah. And so obviously his production quality, I don’t think he started with the same production quality as he has now.

I’ve been afraid to get on YouTube. I’ve been working with WordPress since 2006 and because of the imposter syndrome, I’ve never launched the channel or put myself out there. And yet I have a thousand articles in my click-up.

Yeah. And YouTube video ideas and, it tying this all in, like you said it’s based on the audience. So for instance, Mr. Beast has to create phenomenal videos because, the expectation is there, is it not? And it’s, and it’s it’s entertainment. If you were in education his best video idea last year, which became one of YouTube’s most watched videos of the year. Yeah was coming up with the idea of I’m gonna create a Willy Wonka-like chocolate factory and the winner of this contest gets the factory.

Wow. And it’s and I’ve watched it and I’ve watched it again and it’s like the production value is Okay. It’s okay. Okay. I haven’t seen it. Sorry. I just won’t be doing this.

Let’s put it this way, the chocolate waterfall doesn’t quite fall. Okay. Okay. It needs work. It needs work, but brilliant. Yes. Watch by everybody and their cousin. Yes. Except for me.

I feel stupid. I gotta go watch it. My dad doesn’t even know who Mr. Beast is. He watches YouTube all the time. And the production quality of the videos he watches is so garbage that I’m on there going, man, if these people can make money doing YouTube and they’re not even doing very good technical changes, or they’re not even using very good cameras or microphones, you can hear the echo.

So I guess what I’m learning from this is, number one, it’s not too late to start you on YouTube. And even now, like we just tie this in, Chat GPT you could come up with video scripts and video ideas.

You can certainly come up with the ideas now. Yeah. What you wanna do if you’re gonna use chat GPT and understand what it’s good for and what it’s bad at? Because it’s like anything else. If I hire a person and they come work for my firm, after a while you do the evaluation, you learn what they’re good at and what they’re not so good at. Ok. Yeah. So if you’re gonna use this tool, terrific. What is this blind spot? It has a couple of blind spots, one of which is any information after 2021. Why? Because it got trained on data that was available back in 2021. So if Chat GPT has to come up with anything that happened in 2022 or heaven forbid in early 2023, it doesn’t know that.

How hard would it be though for them to feed it that data?

They’re gonna have to go back and retrain it. So the answer is someday they will, they’ll probably get around to that. They haven’t yet. Okay. Interesting. Now what’s another limitation that it has?

I don’t know.

No, it doesn’t have imagination.

No, it does not. Thank you very much. It does not have imagination,

so it’s not good about stealing commonplace ideas. And weaving them together in sentences. Okay, fine. That was the conventional wisdom. All right.

Thank you very much for conventional wisdom, and if you think that your script can get by with conventional wisdom, God bless you, and good luck.

Yeah, so the answer is I often will use it as a Kickstarter. Yeah. And then by the time that I’m done, there’s nothing left in what I’ve done that got generated by a chatbot.

So you’re using it as kindling? As kindling to start a fire. To start a fire. Creativity.

Yeah. I got a blank-page analogy staring me in the face. Yeah, I, I don’t know. What am I gonna say? I don’t know. Let’s try this. It’s good at iterating. Okay, that doesn’t light my fire. Let’s try that.

That doesn’t, oh, but that then gave me an idea that, oh, by the way, didn’t come from chat G P T, but it got me going. Yeah. And all of a sudden then I create something wholly original, that is the third time around because I threw out the first two, serious suggestions that, yeah.

Okay, fine. Cool. I like that a whole lot better than what you came up with, but you got me headed off in this weird direction. Yeah. Interesting.

Now you think that the keyword research can give you the inspiration to help with Chat GPT?

It should. Too often people will use keyword research.

And so there, there’s no imagination. I’ve always tried to use keyword research, like market research. Okay, this is the language my prospective client or customer is using. What are they telling me? Because you really wanna get to what is called user intent or search intent, yeah. What were they thinking when they typed this into the search box? Yeah. And in a lot of cases, that’s not obvious from what they gave you. They only gave me two or three words. I can’t tell what they were thinking. Yeah, I gotta go until they give me four or five or six or seven words. Now I’ve got a better idea of what they were thinking. Yeah. That’s one of the reasons why I love using the tool called Answer the Public. Oh Yeah, you take a two-word term, you drop it into answer the public, and it will spit out 78 variations of what people are looking for, where that’s the route.

But it now tells you where, when, why, and how they went off in various directions. That gives me more insight as to what’s on their mind than the two or three-word term that I dropped into, to begin with. Yeah.

So Craig, let’s talk about this for a minute. You touched on something that people weren’t even talking about when not only when you started.

When I started, that was keyword intent and search intent. Like it’s from what I have gathered, there are four different types of search intent and, I can’t remember what they are off the top of my head right now.

You can forget about three of them. Yeah. Yeah. One of them is navigation. It’s like I’m searching the keyword in boring.

Yeah. Who cares? Yeah. Yeah. Type Google commercial into Google. Yeah. Yeah.

How important has that become, though, in figuring out what search intent is in regards to creating your content, not only video content but text-based content? It’s part of the strategy for search. Is it not to consider,

it’s where the money is.

The money is. Yeah. Sorry, I didn’t mean to finish your sentence. No. You and I both know what Willie Sutton said, Willie, why do you want Rob Banks? Because that’s where the money is. Yeah,

exactly. So how can we figure it out,

let’s go back to, let’s go back to chat.

GPT is okay. Sure. Drop into it, what do you think people are looking for when they search for, fill in the phrase they think a phrase. Pick a phrase. I don’t care. Cars, since you’re into cars. Okay. Yeah. What’s the difference between looking for a new car versus a used car?

What do you think people are searching for when they search for a new car search for,

should I ask what you think the search intent is? Yeah. What do you think the search intent is of people who are searching for?

That’s gonna gimme based on the query paragraph. Yeah. It says likely people have a general intent to research and explore their options for purchasing a new car. They may be looking for information on the latest models, features, prices, reviews, and new cars from various manufacturers. Interesting. Duh.

Okay, wait. Yeah. And some users may be looking at specific information in the car buying process it’s almost that is at the top of the funnel, it’s Okay. So let’s park here for a minute if I could. Yeah. Okay. They’re at the top of the funnel and local dealers could never compete for new cars.

They could never compete. There are certain words they just couldn’t, we couldn’t compete for, and it wasn’t worth us going after.

Oh. But it is, it’s just you have to figure out how to go after it.

It was hard to compete with Autotrader. 1, 2, 3. And there are so many backlinks they have. Like I’m talking to organic search. It was really hard.

So am I. Okay, so where’s their blind spot?

Great question. I don’t know. Guess what? Guess what they’re doing? They’re optimizing pages for web search. They’re trying to find a ranking in the old 10-blue links. Yeah. Guess what? They’re missing? They’re missing a video. Okay. Guess what turns up in a lot?

The local dealers missing video? Yes. Oh, I knew that though. Here’s the thing. Did you know what? Oh my gosh. Do you know what strategy I told them to do that they never took me up on? Okay, I’m gonna share it with you. Yeah. This is three years ago. Okay, so first of all, when I got to the dealership, if I may just, I don’t wanna make this about me, but if I may, Just share a little bit.

Go ahead. When I first got there they were driving traffic to empty VDPs now a VDP is a vehicle detail page, the page that is the product page of the dealership. So on an e-commerce website, it would be a single product page. They did have, they had no pictures, no descriptions, no images, no video, no nothing.

So I had to invent the entire merchandising strategy and position, even choosing a merchandising platform to merchandise the inventory with my friend who was on the cover of N A D A magazine, as one of the top internet marketers in the United States of America. He helped me and I met him at a conference in Vegas and became a friend of mine.

And I set up the merchandising part and we did 30 vehicles. The more pictures you take of a car, the more it will, the faster it will sell. Just for car dealers out there who may be listening, but, so we did. Pictures. We started to use descriptions and this was, we were using a service that had a description library of all the year make model of vehicles and they’re pre-written for you.
Before that, they had used car salespeople writing descriptions that had no copywriting expertise whatsoever and were writing terrible descriptions. But anyway, so we started to do walk-around videos, just short 90-second walk-around videos, and put them on the YouTube channel and it just, I swear people would come in asking for the merchandiser to buy a car from, and he didn’t even sell cars.

Yeah. If I was a dealer, I would train my, nobody would go on the floor unless they’d been a merchandiser for six months and I would constantly, or maybe a year, I would constantly be using that as a tool to train salespeople. And the churn rate is so high, it’s because they don’t learn the product well.

They would stop the churn rate by teaching them the product so they can confidently talk to customers and can sell the vehicles that were in their merchandising. They’re doing you new and used all the time. But one thing I told them to do, Greg, was to generate geo-specific Mazda model domain names not for ranking.

So Chicago mazda3.com. Yeah. Yeah. It wasn’t to rank necessarily. It was a microsite. Yeah. To put all the information that they could on that site. And I built it, by the way, with my friend. We were doing some cool stuff, but one of the things I wanted them to do was every year that the new models came out I can’t forgive myself, I can’t remember when they came out in September. Yeah, September. Whenever they landed, I wanted them to start creating videos for each one of those cars. And they and they were staggered by the way. The release of the vehicles was staggered. They didn’t always come out with ’em all at the same time. Each model didn’t come out in September.

It was staggered a little bit. Yeah. So I wanted them to create a walk-around video. I wanted them to create just an interior video. I wanted them to create specific videos about the specific features of the car. I wanted them to create a test drive video, a virtual test drive video where they pretended it would’ve cost money to do this.

But they did high production quality, like product somewhat with the cost of production, the cost of technology coming down so much. They easily could have done it. And I wanted to create a virtual test drive video for each model so that people could come and test, drive the vehicle from a point of, with certain point-of-view shots in there. You put a bloody camera on the tire, all of that stuff for each car. Yeah. And there were so many ideas I had. And they wouldn’t do it. They wanted leads, but they thought that I could just wave a magic wand. They didn’t realize that you needed content to do marketing.

Again, it, I’ve worried about this for a long time, partly because I’m also an instructor and I teach in addition to doing Okay.

And it’s like how can people be so dense? And the answer is, ah, it’s because they were taught what to do in the last generation. And so guess what? You’re still doing what worked. Thank you very much in the 20th century. It’s not the 20th century anymore. That’s not, and it hasn’t been for 23 years.

Yeah. So guess what? You know what’s new Yeah. The new stuff is, what is working. And again, the good news is there are companies out there like Red Bull who realize, oh, I gotta think like a media company, not a soft drink company. Yeah, exactly.

So car dealers or home innovation companies, or pick your mortgage brokers, realtors, home inspectors.

You need to think like a media company, even if you’re small, I think there’s a guy in your area. My dad watches him. He’s a plumber. The guy curses like the dickens and he just does these crappy videos that are so bad. But you can get so many views. It’s unbelievable.

When our washing machine broke down, what did my wife do?

She watched a YouTube video, figured out what the part was, and then went to the hardware store already knowing what the part to order was before she got there. Okay. Yeah. So again, behavior has shifted. It’s shifted big time during the pandemic lockdowns. Yeah. So if you don’t think your customers do this, guess what?

They learned to do it to survive over the last three years. Yes. And they are doing it now by habit. And so again, if you’re not dealing with the new world, then God bless you. Good luck. And when you update your resume, I hope you find work.

Yeah. It’s so true, isn’t it? It’s mind-boggling.

It’s almost like us, we started this, these, we started these interviews as a result of the pandemic. And we couldn’t go anywhere. We couldn’t go to marketing conferences. So we thought why don’t we reach out to individuals such as yourself and try and create a resource library of value for our target market?

And here we are.

Hopefully this has some value. Yeah,

I hope so. Hey. With that being said, it’s, there are about 50 other questions I could ask you, but I would love to have you come back on the show again. If you would be so kind that would be amazing. But how can our audience connect with you online if they choose to do oh,

Believe it or not, I still have a Twitter account. Okay. Although I’m rethinking that, it’s at Greg Jarboe okay. But yeah, that still works. I have a LinkedIn account, so if you look for Okay. Okay. Greg Jarboe that’ll work. Okay. If you need to send me an email, believe it or not, I still have a Hotmail account.

Oh, wow. Does that tell you to tell you how long I’ve been at this? Yeah. So it’s g underscore jarboe@hotmail.com.

I sent it down a long time ago and I have an Outlook one now, but I got rid of my Hotmail one for some reason.

My kids say, Dad, you should get a Gmail account like everyone else.
And I said, then I’m like everyone else. Why would I wanna be like everyone else? Why would I do that?

I have both because I find the need for both in many different instances.

I do too, but I keep my Gmail account secret, yeah, of course. Yeah, of course. We’ll go with the Hotmail account, whatever. Absolutely. Where else can you find me? LinkedIn,

I think that’s fine. LinkedIn, email, Twitter, on your website

if you wanna, if yeah, go to the website, which is SEO-PR.COM. And in the old days, the hyphen mattered. But whatever. Yeah. Yeah, I’m around.

Right on. I’ll make sure people, I’ll make sure we put all that information in the show notes.

Hey, it’s been an absolute blast. I really wanna thank you for taking time outta your day, to be on the show and spend some time with me. Thank you very much.

No problem, Matt. No problem. And I hope that we’ve at least sold a car. Sure. Go ahead. Go ahead.

No, let me end on this personal note. Yeah. Okay. My father was the director of marketing at Os. Okay. And he launched an ad campaign in the late 1980s that proclaimed, this is not your father’s social bill

that was a brilliant campaign.

It was a brilliant campaign. Brilliant. Except every year sales went down. Oh, I did not know that. Oh yeah. When he started the campaign, they were selling a million automobiles a year. By the time they pulled the plug on the campaign, they were selling half a million per year, a percent drop, a 50% drop. So he went to his he retired. Okay. So this is a painful story. So he went to his ad agency and said how are we measuring success?

And they said, GRPs gross rating points. Yeah. And he’s, he said how many GRPs do we need to sell a car? So if in today’s, discussion that we’ve had, yeah, if this podcast sold a car, we may have done something his big ad agency couldn’t do way, way back.

Yeah, hopefully, we have. Anyway, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you very much.

Okay, Matt,

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