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Harnessing the Power of AI in SEO: A Practical Guide to Making Your Mark Online

In Conversation with Steve Wiideman

For this episode of E-Coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Steve Wiideman, CEO of Wiideman Consulting Group, an advertising agency located in La Mirada, CA. They Dive into the fascinating evolution of SEO over the past 15 years, unraveling the shifts from keyword stuffing to the current era of AI and core updates. Steve shares insights on leveraging AI in SEO, dispelling fears, and highlighting opportunities. Gain valuable tips for enterprise brands, from securing buy-in to navigating testing processes, and building relationships for impactful SEO outcomes.

Watch the episode now for more insights!

Adapting to change is essential in the SEO landscape, recognizing that expertise and talent will always find their place.

Steve Wiideman
CEO of Wiideman Consulting Group

Hey, hi everyone. Welcome to your show E-Coffee with Experts. This is Ranmay here, your host for today’s episode. Today we have Steve Wiideman, who is the CEO of Wiideman Consulting Group with us. Hey, Steve.

What’s up, Ranmay? How have you been?

All good, yeah. How are things set on your end?

It’s been fantastic. This year is something we’re all excited about. 2024 is going to be so much better, I think, with all the excitement around search and AI and large language models and automation. It just so exciting to be in a year with so much technology at our fingertips.

Absolutely. Exciting times ahead, for sure. Great. Steve, you have been at the forefront of SEO for over 15 years now. How have you seen the landscape shift the most in that time and what do you see as the biggest trend on the horizon now?

We could do a whole session just on the history and evolution of SEO. My background stems from as early as 1998 when we were building websites with tables, and then we started doing tableless design and Sites like CSSN Garden were getting upset because we were using their code to create faster websites that would rank well in Google. We went through all sorts of zoo of algorithm updates in the early 2000s from the Google penguins of 2012 that penalized spammy links to pandas, that penalized and demoted low-quality content. Now we’re in the realm of core updates, and they’re very boring. They don’t have exciting, fun, cute names for us to refer to. But there are some really neat technologies and evolutions, I think, that we can be excited about from even just several years ago with RankBrain being introduced and being able to handle longer queries, AI becoming a bigger part of how search engines are serving results, maybe even a little too much recently. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but some of the searches I’ve done recently have provided some less-than-helpful results in Google anyway. The way that I’ve seen search evolve, maybe even too fast, has to do with them getting smarter and trying to focus, again, around the things, not strings of ideas.

That whole mantra of we want to make sure we’re solving for what users are intending to find what they’re looking for, not just a page that has keywords shoved in titles and headings and file names and so forth. I think that’s, again, just going back and looking at where we are now is now we’re in a much more vibrant, knowledge-based, built, AI-built search ecosystem that comes with its own challenges. I’m sure we’ll go through a lot of those today, but I feel like we’re in a time now when we don’t have to worry about trying to follow a process from 2005 that used to work like, Hey, let’s just take the keyword we want to rank for. Let’s get it into our title and into our meta, into our heading. Let’s put some internal links to it. Let’s blast some links out all over the internet to try to get that page to rank, and then wait three months. That just doesn’t work anymore. There’s so much more involved now in trying to provide helpful content. I know we’re going to get into it in the questions coming up, but I feel like now we can express ourselves as brands, as businesses, and showcase what we’re good at and obsess a little bit less over the keyword stuffing process of the 2000s.

If nothing else, I think we’re in an exciting time that allows for those willing to put the time and energy into it to create some cool things that will attract new customers from all types of search engines, from Google to TikTok to Amazon to YouTube. So many ways people find information. The fact that Google’s losing so much of that search is an amazing opportunity for us to explore different publishers and different sites to address searches that are happening beyond Google alone.

Absolutely. You touched upon AI, which has been the burning topic for more than a year now. It all started with ChatGPT. At least it hit the industry with ChatGPT coming around December of 2022. The journey of people being scared about their jobs when it hit our industry to six months, nine months down the line, people who started using the platform to the benefit of their day-to-day jobs, or let’s say, adopted the technology faster, they started getting high-paying jobs. We all saw that shift happening. What is your take on AI machine learning? Exciting time ahead for sure. But what do you think? Where are we heading with all of this?

The good news is the whole clickbait of SEO is dead. As long as human beings are performing searches somewhere, SEOs will exist to make sure that our clients and our brands appear wherever, whenever, whether it’s via voice search, whether it’s via chat search results. Wherever that search happens to happen, our job as SEOs is to make sure that our clients are prominent there and as visible as possible with all the different ways that people are going to see that content, whether it’s just a text link in a search network or it’s going to be a video thumbnail, image thumbnail, maybe some FAQs, whatever it happens to be. We want to try to make sure no matter where we are, AI or otherwise, that we’re visible there. In terms of taking jobs away, I think the only ones taking jobs away are people who are scared to step up. If you can’t be as passionate and excited about this new technology and you’d rather be somewhere comfortable and safe, then this is the perfect time to move into PPC and paid search, and maybe even into social media, or just focus on content development.

As opposed to trying to be an all-in-one SEO. That’s okay. I get it. I’m pushing 48 myself here, so I know how it feels to be a rock star at doing something and then having the whole landscape change. Now you’re the rookie again because you’re in a completely different search environment, and that’s scary. But I don’t think that those who have a lot of talent and ambition and passion for our industry have anything to worry about, especially if they’re already starting to experiment with prompts and prompt engineering and coming up with some really neat ways to extract entities from the search results and to build a table of contents from that that becomes a catalyst to an amazing piece of long-form content that you were writing in-house, not with AI. We could talk a little bit about that, too, just thinking about the jobs in SEO alone. There are a lot of folks who are just spitting out thousands and thousands of pages of AI content. You read stories in the news about sites that have lost traffic because savvy SEO figured out a way to make the content come off and appear natural and read natural.

They’re just stealing all the URLs from an XML site map and pumping them into ChatGPT and saying, Generate better content than this, and then using some really smart apps to automatically put those on a WordPress website and steal traffic. Now, I think short term, those types of things work because Google’s, Oh, something new. What’s this? I don’t have this in my index. They read it, Oh, there I have some keywords in here. Let me try it in my search results and see how it works. Maybe for a little bit, it gets some click-through rate, and people are starting to click on it and like, All right, let’s keep testing this for a while. Then what I’m noticing is all those, most of the ones that I’ve seen so far are the ones that just strictly generate their content from AI and don’t write it themselves, they start to see this downturn. Oh, great. We’re doing good. Then all of a sudden, it just crashes. Nearly every single time when we look at… We get a call from someone saying, Hey, we just lost our traffic. What just happened? Hey, did you guys build this with AI?

Yeah, we just launched like 6,000 pages with ChatGPT. I’m like, Don’t do that. You’re missing out on the key elements of what your customers are looking for. Forget about Google. Google will rank you quickly. You notice that you see it in your search console. But what they’re going to pay attention to, and you saw this in their Google Court case documents, is user behavior signals, the user data that when somebody performs a search, whether they click on your listing and stay on your URL as the final URL or not, that’s the long term determining factor of whether you were helpful. In the short term, yeah, you’re going to see a boost and you’re going to see yourself show up there because they’re testing tons of new URLs. But in the long term, they’re going to watch that user behavior and go, You know what? It looks like a lot of users who hit your page didn’t find what they were looking for. They came back and chose a different URL. Probably more than 50% of them do that. We’re just going to keep demoting you over time until we see that your page becomes more helpful than the pages that are already above you.

A better approach is to still build out that site architecture plan of all the content you want to have siloed under those important, we’ll call them competitive keyword targets, build out that supportive content as a roadmap, and then work with the experts in your company, in your team that knows how to stand out. We do this thing differently because of. People have trusted us for 15 years because of our experience spans in these different areas over this period. Our expertise is in these different niche areas of this particular topic Here are all the different mentions that we’ve had across news and TV and mentions and local awards we’ve won. All of those different proof of concept evidence for the user gives them confidence that, Hey, these guys know what they’re doing. They’ve got a great page that shows examples images and videos. They’ve got all these awards that they’ve won. They’ve shown that they’re affordable. Oh, God, they have a guarantee on here, too. That’s fantastic. Boy, it’s really easy to find what I’m looking for on this page. I know exactly what I should be doing when I’m here because there’s a call button at the bottom that I can click on or I can send them an email or a text easily without having to try to figure out what I’m supposed to do on the page.

I think when it gets down to AI, I think there’s some great opportunity to source ideas and research and strategy from that that translates into your company, your team, your experts, your salespeople, your SMEs, really helping produce some amazing content. I think that’s where we’re heading right now and where I think we’re going to be from there in a year from now. Is that content going to be content that shows up when we start detaching ourselves from these mobile devices and start using more of the voice search technologies that have been around for a while, but we haven’t all learned the best way to use them? The companies that we patronize haven’t taught us how they want us to interact with voice and some of the things that we can do with voice yet. But this is the year that they’re going to learn because now there’s going to be technology like little pins you put on your shirt that will allow you to talk and have normal mobile voice communication without carrying around a cell phone anymore. It’s going to get interesting, but I’m excited for everybody in SEO who’s excited about AI.

If you’re nervous about it or you’re scared about it, by all means, give me a call. I’ll make you feel better about it and give you more examples of what we’re seeing and how you can adapt your strategy. But I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. I think, again, as long as consumers are searching somewhere, an SEO needs to be there to make sure our clients are found.

Absolutely. This is exactly what I say to my team. Till the time the consumers are humans searching for your business somewhere, we are in the game. So nothing to be worried about. Because the content at the end of the day is consumed by humans to trigger that decision-making to purchase a product or a service. Even if we talk a lot about AI and whatever that emotional question is still missing in terms of giving the content that life, that storytelling piece of it, we are still in the game and we will be there.

I think Lily Ray calls it first-hand experience. She uses that phrase a lot. She’s so good at the whole experience, expertise, authority, and trust. I feel every day she’s got to be spending hours on that topic because she’s so well-versed and she understands it so well. Lily Ray, if you want to Google it, if you’re listening, Lily Ray.

Yeah, I know Lily. I know. Perfect. Steve, you also say that SEO is so much about three things: content, visibility, and user behavior, you explained in a very extended manner. Go ahead, spill the beans. How do you make these things work together like magic for your client?

That’s a great question. I think we always base our SEO approach on core principles. Before we even get into the details of it, if we’re talking about web search, somebody’s going to Google.com and they’re performing a search, The three principles are making sure that we’ve got relevant content to what the user is searching for. I still get the question once in a while, or I ask the question to clients, What are you trying to rank for? They say this keyword, What page are you using? To try to get visitors to your site they say their homepage. I’m like, Obviously, your homepage is your brand. That’s what people find when they search for your company. But what you do, the services and the products you offer are dedicated pages on your website that need to be optimized. Do we have relevant content to solve the query? The second is off-page visibility. Are search engines still finding our name and those words and context on other pages. Are relevant pages, traffic-driving pages that have already earned links of their linking to our content and give us still a little bit of that page rank that exists out there from 1998’s Larry Page study.

Then the third part, of course, is, are we providing useful, helpful content in a way that impacts user data signals? The on-page part is important. The off-page part is still important. But the helpfulness of our listing in the search results through richer results, perhaps a thumbnail, perhaps some site links, perhaps just a really strong title and description that are more compelling than the other nine results that appear above the fold, before the scroll line of endless scroll, now that we don’t have pages anymore. I think those three principles are the same. When you look at what you’re doing, you ask yourself, is this affecting one of these three things? Am I improving the relevancy of my content? Am I improving my off-page visibility? Am I improving my search appearance so that I’m going to get clicked on more often than my competition? If it’s one of those three things, then you’re looking good. Going beyond those three principles, how do we get our specific page of content to rank? I know we went through a few of those a moment ago just broadly with EEAT and first-hand experience. But I think having a construct, having a template that you work with and a process that starts with some really smart keyword research is going to be the foundation of what makes your pages outperform the competition.

In that process, you’re probably going to bucket into different groups. The first group is going to be strategy. What’s our strategy here? Let’s look at the competitive landscape. Let’s extract the entities and topics of the pages that already rank. If we already have an existing page, let’s go into the search console and see what search terms are performing well for this page. We can tell a little bit by click-through rates and so forth. Let’s look at perhaps some additional keyword research by taking the competitor’s URLs and seeing what search terms their pages, and their version of our page is getting traffic for. Then let’s go to our AI tools and let’s start doing some fun things there. Let’s start using those AI tools to help generate a table of contents based on the entity’s topics and keywords that we extracted from that three-point keyword research we did. Now we’ve got a list of the different topics we need to address. Now let’s get into the focal points of the page that’ll enable us to have virtual results, perhaps schema. If you’re already using schema markup by default with a plugin, then you’re probably just using some very basic markup that tells search engines this is a web page and some very basic information.

If it’s a product page or category, you might have a product schema or item list on there. That’s okay, but most sites have them by default now, too. How do you stand out? Let’s talk specifically about what the entities are on the page and correlate them to something in Google’s knowledge base. We know they use a lot of Wikipedia, so we could use the schema type of About. There’s a service at inlinks.com that you could use where you put in a URL, perhaps a competitor’s URL or even yours, and it’ll help extract some entities and it’ll run a little markup generator for you to show you the two or three About terms that you want to use on the page and maybe five or six mentions terms. Then, of course, they all cross-reference Wikipedia. Google now knows, when they call that page, the meaning of the words that you’re using. You already set yourself up for success by helping Google understand the content that’s on your page by defining what those words mean. Now you’ve already cross-referenced your content to their knowledge graph, and you don’t have to worry as much about the entity piece of it.

What other markup could I use? I’m using an image. Maybe I can use an image object so I can show up a little bit clearer in a Google Images search and maybe even have an image thumbnail next to my search result. What about the people who also ask, Oh, let’s do some FAQ on our page as well. There are tons of tools that you can use to get questions that people are asking about the keywords that are important to you. Take care of your pick, or you could even just go right out to Bard and say, Give me some questions somebody might search who would be interested in this product or service I offer. They’ll give you a ton of ideas to start with to get that going. Now we’ve got schema markup beyond just the basics of what our CMS puts together. We’ve got a custom schema that helps define the entities of what’s on our page. We’ve got a strong markup so that we stand out in the search result and improve that third principle, the search appearance. Now we’ve got to look at the EEAT stuff. Let’s think about and let’s ask our internal team, how can we show our expertise in this particular area over what our competitors do.

Let’s maybe even test using the word expertise in context. As we’re writing our content, we can talk about that expertise and mention the term expertise in context. Maybe there isn’t a correlation, but in doing that, we get our mindset on making sure that we’re always talking about our expertise, our experience, and why they should trust us over the competition. We circle again with the team. We get those EEAT topics covered so that our content includes elements that we know our customers care about that will reduce the likelihood of them going back to the search result choosing a competitor and staying on our page. Then we’ll take that page, we’ll hand it off to an SEO consultant, and say, Beat it up. Tell us what we could do better. Tell us what’s wrong with this page. Tell us how you would improve it. Here’s our keyword research that we came up with. Here are our data sources. Have them give it 110% of what that page could entail. Then that page goes live. Then we watch, we monitor, and we put an annotation in whatever tool we happen to be using to track our progress to see how that page is improving.

We make some notes, we create a slide, perhaps in our Looker Studio for that specific page to show the progress of how the SEO is doing. We also perhaps set up some alerts of the competing pages, especially if it’s a competitive word you’re going after. I like to use visual ping. That’s my favorite. I’ll go with this free visual ping tool. You can upgrade and get some points spend a couple of bucks and get more frequent alerts when your competitors change their page. Oh, look, the competitor just added a new H2. Oh, the competitor just added an image to their page. You can pay attention to what the competition is doing before their ranking even changes, before you even see it in your rank tracking tool, you’ll be able to know what the competitor is up to and add that to your list of things that you want to test to make sure that you’re not resting on your laurels and making that single page of well-optimized content, the absolute best that’s available from what’s already available in Google. I think that’s the foundation of how we take that keyword we want to appear for and we just blow the competitors out of the water.

That approach includes that framework. It includes a place that everyone on the team can be comfortable working with, that construct, and it’s repeatable. Even if you did one a week, that’s 52 amazing pages a year. If you can do one a month, you still have 12 amazing pages that a year from now could be the catalyst for additional traffic to your website from Google.

Lovely and very nicely explained, very detailed. Great. Steve, you have worked with major brands like the Skechers, public storage and all, what are some of the unique challenges and opportunities you would have encountered by developing SU strategies for such diverse businesses?

Sure. I think there are three. I think that the first, of course, is getting buy-in. Before we start recording today, we’re talking a little bit about that challenge. A lot of larger enterprise businesses have limited resources. Getting a resource allocation set up to do anything marketing-related is hard to quantify. You’ve got to do your research and make sure that you’re going in with a suggestion that’s backed by data. Otherwise, the client just won’t go for it. We have a client that we’ve been trying I don’t know, four years to get them to implement first-party reviews on their website. Stop giving all your great content to Yelp, Google and Facebook when you could publish it and do intake on your website and use that as keyword-rich user-generated content to support your SEO efforts. Getting buy-in can be a really big challenge with a lot of large enterprises. The way that we’ve gotten through that is through the idea of testing. Hey, would it be okay if we test a couple of pages? We have a theory based on some examples that we’ve seen and some experiences that we have, that this may generate extra traffic and revenue from Google.

Could we do a test? Can we just test for, I don’t know, maybe 90 days? 90% of the time, as soon as that test is halfway through, you already see incremental traffic. It’s a no-brainer to be able to do a full rollout of it or may get a permanent change. The second is going to be, I think when it comes to the enterprise brands anyway. We have buy-in. I think the second is going to be… I was just thinking about it top of my mind a second ago, and I lost my thought. It has to do with what is it. With the large enterprises we’ve got, the first part is getting them to buy in. The second part is going to be quantifying buying right after. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got someone who’s a web data analyst who can go in and prove that something worked. Even if it worked and you see the rankings, they don’t care about that. They want to see the data and what it generated for you. I think that’s the big part of proving that something I think the third thing when we look at why enterprise brands can be challenging is simply because they have finite processes in how to do things, and they don’t have a testing infrastructure in place to be able to do them.

They have a Jira board most of the time, and you’ve got to get on the Jira board to get anything accomplished. What’s going to happen, that’s going to be labeled as a backlog or Martech, and it’s just never going to happen. It’s going to sit there and ferment forever and ever. Getting something to push through in an enterprise brand for SEO can be a real challenge. Here’s my tip. It’s making friends with the developers, making really good friends with them, have off conversations in different chats. If they’re local, hang out with them for lunch, just become their friends and show them some cool stories and get them to say, Wow, that’s neat. Why don’t we do that in our brand? Oh, we have it set up in Jira. It just never really got them the backlog. Really? I could push that through. Then the next day, they make a change, they get it through, and the job gets done. A lot of it’s going to be about the relationship building of what you do with the individual resources you’re working with. Don’t be the one that comes in and says, You need to do this and this, because they’re just going to shut the door on you.

But if you go in saying, Hey, I’m excited to work with you. I love some of the things that you’ve done. I see a lot of potential and some really neat opportunities. I’d love to get your thoughts on what you think of some of the things that we’ve seen with some of these other brands and some of the ideas that we came up with. What do you think? What are your feelings? What are your impressions? Having that dialog as opposed to coming in and being the I know everything can be night and day with whether you’re able to push something through. And by the way, if you don’t, that client is probably not going to hire you again next year because you weren’t able to see results because they weren’t able to do them. After all, you weren’t able to convince them. After all, you weren’t able to build a relationship to not need to convince them.

Absolutely. Absolutely. Very valid point there. I agree with Steve. One final question before we let you go. A couple of them. Steve, you have been there for quite some time now and built a legacy. What is that piece of advice you’d want to give to our listeners today who are probably trying to make a mark in the digital marketing space? Probably they might be working in some agency, some brand. You might be trying to start your own. We all know how difficult it is. What are the challenges of building your agency? But to the ones who are trying to make a mark in the space, what is that advice you’d want to give out to them today?

I have a couple ideas, First is build your brand. Establish yourself as an expert, whether you have to use the Hero service and be interviewed by magazines to start establishing that. Put some time into your LinkedIn. How do you want to be recognized and seen and what’s the narrative of what your brand is and what you’ve accomplished with testimonials and reviews from, hopefully, some influential folks. I think building the personal brand part also establishes trust. I did I did that in several ways in the 2000s, I did a lot of ebooks. Two years ago, my co-author, Professor Scott Calleigh of the University of Michigan, and I wrote a textbook for universities. I think it’s some 40 universities or so have adopted it into their curriculum now for online learning. That credibility goes without saying. When those marketers go into the market in the next few years and they’re remembering all they learned, like, Oh, yeah, there’s this guy, Wiideman, who did this book that I read that helped me get to where I am. That’s why Bill Hunt’s story, by the way. That’s one of the reasons I’m where I am because my boss, Terry Cox from Disney, said, Hey, here’s a book from Bill Hunt called Search Marketing Inc.

You should read this. It’s amazing. It completely changed my perception of how I approach search. The information was so helpful that I’ll always remember Bill Hunt as a hero and someone I admire. If I had a major brand that I couldn’t handle that was way out of scope for me, Bill would be the first one that I’d recommend. It works that way. Part is Building your brand, and coming up with a CV file. Even if it’s not real, put some things in there of where you imagine you want it to be, and then make that happen for yourself. Say, Hey, I helped a brand increase their e-commerce revenue from search by 200% Then take your e-commerce client, even if you have to do it for a break-even to get the experience to have the numbers there. Take that e-commerce client, get them to that number, and then put that number on your CV resume file that says, Helped an e-commerce brand increase revenue by over year over year. That’s the first part. The second part is keeping a personal development hour or at least half an hour on your daily calendar. I think building that discipline is something that takes some time to do.

But I get up every morning and You can look at my calendar and I think you saw a preview of it earlier before the call. It’s a workout, it’s drive time, and then personal development time. Today, I shifted things around a little bit differently, but most of the time, I have an hour set aside where I look at specific things. The first is the Twitter list of all the top experts in the industry right now. I’m following that Twitter list to see what they’re talking about, what’s new, what’s happening, and what’s the big news in SEO today. Is it a new AI thing? Is it something else? I also have a Fedly account, F-E-D-L-Y, Fedly, and I import all the top blogs based on their specific niche. If it’s a blog specifically about local SEO, it goes in my little local SEO news section. If it’s a blog about CRO conversion rate optimization, it has its section. If it’s broader SEO in general, then it just goes into my favorite SEO blogs. At the top, I have all the news sites, the Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal. Every day, I get to read the news on Fedly, not sitting at the table having breakfast, and doing what my grandfather would have done.

But I get to see what’s happening in the industry and in the different niches that I’m interested in within an hour. I’m up to date, up to speed, and able to see real examples, and case studies, and sometimes even connect with some of the authors and ask questions. Because I’ve gotten so integrated into the industry, I simply reach out and say, Hey, I saw what you wrote. I have a couple of questions. Do you have a few minutes today? Can we hop on a call? Here’s my number. I’m making friends with some cool, amazing, smart people who write and experiment, and test things in the industry. I think if you’re going to break through and evolve to your next phase of where you are in the industry, start with your brand, maybe even ask ChatGPT, what things I can do to build my brand. The next is to stay current by allocating at least 30 minutes a day to follow the top experts, to see the news and what’s happening in the industry, and to make friends with some of the folks who are producing that content.

Lovely. I’m sure these tips are going to help our listeners today. Steve, before we finally let you go, I’d like to play a quick rapid-fire with you. I hope you’re good at it.

Sure.

All right, let’s start then. What was your last Google search?

My last Google search… Oh, Jesus, this is a tough one. I would say I was doing some keyword research for a client, and I wanted to learn a little bit more about manufactured homes. I think it was a manufactured homes query where I was trying to find out what a particular acronym meant. I think it was SFA. Yeah, single-family attached. That was my last query.

Let’s go back a What did you with your first paycheck, Steve. First paycheck of your life.

I probably spent it on my wife. I don’t do anything for myself. I probably bought her some flowers.

That is lovely.

The first big paycheck I got in my career was when I left the corporate world behind and I spent a whole month on the street talking to car dealerships and trying to pull in clients I bought my wife the Chevy Tahoe she wanted. I pulled in some $17,000 the first month, and then I had to figure out how I was going to get all that work done when I spent the whole month doing sales and not doing work. It was a very grueling second month of doing double shifts, but I was able to get her the car she wanted and break free from having to be imprisoned by the whole idea of working in a corporate environment.

No, that is sweet. Lovely. Talk us through what is that thing that you like about our job or our industry at large. That one thing.

I love the collaboration. We can get together and have mastermind groups and be happy and get together at conferences and share tips and ideas and secret sauce, which I love because then it makes us more and more suspicious of companies that aren’t willing to share their process. We build our whole model around transparency. When we start working with a client, there’s no secrets, there’s no holding back. We fire-hose them with all the information we know and help them prioritize it in a way that we get the job done. In an agency that comes in and says, Yeah, we don’t share how we do that. We don’t share how we do our keyword research. I’m like, I’ve got a whole free course you could take. It shows you exactly how we do what we do. But I promise you, after you watch it, you’re going to be like, Yeah, I’m never going to do that. That’s exhausting. I love that sense of camaraderie, friends like Jim Christian and Brett Sbacky, and Lauren, just all the SEO folks who work to bring us together as a community so that we can all share ideas and become better.

You won’t find that in other industries. I love that about what we.

Absolutely. We’re so open as an industry, sharing our tricks up our sleeves in terms of what has worked on a particular project, sharing all those details on a particular group, letting everyone know, Hey, this worked for me. It’s a particular niche, a particular domain. Why didn’t you try this out? Anyone else in another industry would be hesitant to share what has worked for them for a particular client.

There’s a network for all of us out there. For those folks who are worried about losing to an agency that they’re sharing with, I promise you, there are millions of businesses out there that need what we do. If they chose a competitor over you, then that’s because you need to up your game on your presentation. As a brand, and as a business, take it as a learning experience. Don’t take it as a threat. I think all of us can grow and improve everything from client acquisition to our sales process, our presentation style, our proposals, and our statement of work. All of those things are constantly up for improvement. If you lose a client because you shared something, that’s not because the client suddenly thought that they could get something the same from them. They thought that the brand did a better job of presenting it. Anyway.

Absolutely. Great. Lovely, Steve. It has been a brilliant conversation, and I’m sure our audiences have benefited a lot in terms of the insights that you have shared. I appreciate you taking your time and doing this with us. Yeah. Thank you so much. Anytime.

I’m here for you. Thanks so much for having me on the show.

Great. Lovely. Thank you, Steve.

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