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Welcome to the Success with Soul Podcast! Today I deep dive into all things SEO and AI with SEO National founder, Damon Burton. We discuss what you really need to know on a practical level to get more organic SEO traffic, and then also how to get that traffic to convert better than even paid ad traffic.
Table of Contents
I have written before how I used SEO to completely quit social media altogether. Today we’ll be exploring SEO and AI and the evolution we can expect. Our guest, Damon Burton, compares the relationship between AI and SEO to the evolution of music technology. Just as music formats have transformed over time, from records to cassettes, walkmans to MP3 players, and now smartphones, the core concept of music remains unchanged. Similarly, SEO will continue to play a vital role in getting products and services in front of buyers, even as AI evolves. AI acts as an amplifier, complementing the efforts of SEO by tapping into existing knowledge and amplifying marketing fulfillment.
Thanks so much for listening in this week! If you enjoyed this episode, here are some ways you can join our Success with Soul movement:
AI and SEO work together synergistically to enhance our understanding of the science of SEO. AI-powered tools can analyze vast amounts of data and provide valuable insights into keyword research, content optimization, and website performance. By leveraging AI algorithms, we can identify patterns, trends, and user behavior, enabling us to make data-driven decisions to improve our SEO strategies. AI also helps automate certain tasks, such as analyzing competitors’ websites or generating SEO reports, saving time and increasing efficiency in the process. Overall, AI empowers us to gain deeper insights into SEO and make informed optimizations for better search engine visibility.
Staying on top of industry trends and best practices in SEO and AI is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge. To do so, it’s important to follow reputable industry blogs, attend conferences and webinars, and participate in online communities dedicated to SEO and AI. Industry-leading platforms like Moz, Search Engine Land, and HubSpot often provide valuable insights and updates on the latest trends and best practices.
AI is set to have a significant impact on the future of SEO. With advancements in natural language processing and machine learning, AI algorithms are becoming increasingly proficient at understanding user intent and delivering relevant search results. As a result, we can expect more personalized search experiences, where search engines provide tailored results based on individual preferences and context. Voice search and virtual assistants are also expected to play a larger role, requiring SEO strategies to adapt to conversational queries. AI-powered content generation and optimization tools will continue to evolve, making it easier to create high-quality, optimized content at scale. Additionally, AI can help identify emerging trends, predict search behavior, and provide valuable insights for SEO strategy refinement.
Not all topics or SEO keywords are created equally in terms of their impact on qualifying leads. Some keywords may generate high search volumes but attract users with different intents or interests, leading to lower conversion rates. On the other hand, specific long-tail keywords or niche topics might have lower search volumes but attract highly targeted and qualified leads. Understanding the intent behind keywords and aligning them with your target audience’s needs is crucial for attracting the right leads. By focusing on keywords that have high relevance to your offerings and align with your target customers’ interests, you can improve lead quality and increase the likelihood of conversion. Careful keyword research and analysis, combined with an understanding of your target audience, are essential for optimizing lead qualification through SEO.
Sabrina Gebhardt 0:00
Hi, my name is Sabrina Gephardt and I'm a member of Kate Kordsmeier Is the incubator. I have loved being a part of this program and I want to share three of my favorite reasons why. So first and foremost is the community. Being surrounded by people who are going through the exact same thing has been absolutely incredible. The incubator is a group of women entrepreneurs, a lot of them are moms, some of us are in different seasons of life. And just understanding the struggles between work life balance, and balancing motherhood and balancing a career has been so wonderful. This is a community where we are able to share our wins and losses and be vulnerable and ask questions and I have loved that so much. I also love the ideas that come out of the incubator, not only ideas that come from Kate and her team, but also again, being surrounded by those like minded entrepreneurs. Being surrounded by women in different industries with different levels of experience brings different ideas to the table. And that has been invaluable. And the last thing I want to share is having access to so many people who are experts in their field, tech experts, SEO experts, copywriting experts, money, mindset experts, and so many more. So a lot of masterminds or programs focus on one specific thing, and that's great and you learn that thing, but the incubator offers insight and access to information about so many different areas. And that is awesome.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:31
You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast where we believe empowering women is the key to creating a brighter future for us all. Whether you're an entrepreneur, employee or stay at home mom, this podcast is for you. I'm your host Kate Kordsmeier and ICF life and business coach who has made over 2.2 million while working less than 25 hours a week, raising two toddlers and quitting social media. I'm here to transparently share my expertise and help you create a life and business you love. Together with my diverse team of passionate women many of whom you'll hear from on this podcast. We empower 1000s With holistic strategies, personal development resources and mindset tools to find freedom, flexibility and fulfillment and business and beyond. Every week we offer life coaching for Busy Women who want to improve their relationships, self care and overall well being and business coaching for coaches, course creators and consultants who want to make money sustainably. We believe personal growth and entrepreneurship are powerful tools for creating social change. And the world is a better place When more women find their voice and create their own money, power and freedom. Expect candid conversations and insightful interviews with experts that will inspire and support you on your path to intentional whole living and Success with Soul on your terms. It's time to ditch the hustle and find inner peace. Here we go.
Welcome back to Success with Soul. It's Kate. I don't know why I'm singing today. But I am in the mood to jam. Hey, y'all, it's been a while I have been really just leveraging the power of my amazing team to help support me with the podcast. And I mean lots of things behind the scenes, of course. But I have missed you guys so much. And I'm excited to be back. I've got some really fun episodes planned. I am feeling very much in my creative flow these days. I keep saying I'm in playground mode. We're trying out a bunch of new things and just having fun. And so here I am back having fun with the podcast one of my favorite things in the world. Today, we have a very cool episode. If you have been living under a rock, you might not have heard about Chad GPT and all the amazing AI stuff that is happening right now. And amazing might be good, it might be bad. It's for you to decide. Currently, I am in the Holy shit. I can't believe how cool this is. I can't believe how much time this is saving me. I can't believe how helpful it is to have somebody with infinite knowledge to brainstorm ideas with and I have been using AI a ton lately to do exactly that. To help me name things to help me create more structured frameworks to get ideas for what kind of blog posts or podcast episodes might be popular for you guys might resonate. I'm not in a place where you can just like copy paste what it takes. I feel like it still takes me a lot of manual effort to make sure that things feel authentic to my voice to our values to the brand and that we're truly serving y'all but I have had so much fun just testing out dozens of different
tools. I use chat GPT just the open AI itself every single day. I mean, I have used it even for things in my personal life helping me plan a birthday party for my daughter helping me come up with ideas for my dad's 70th birthday gifts. Which by the way, one of the things I got him was because I found it on chat GBT, he is a big bourbon drinker. I ended up getting him a custom like an engraved decanter that says his birth year and then aged to perfection on it. That was all chat. GPT Thank you. We actually use it so much in our business that we have named her Guinea. And yes, it's a her. We have named our chat GBT robot Guinea in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And we were just like, who's the smartest woman we know. And that is what Chad GBT has been for us. So if you haven't checked it out, obviously, I have no skin in this game and do what you want. I see and understand so many of the arguments against it. And I'm a little afraid to sometimes there's things that are like, so crazy that it can do. And some of these AI tools are so just out of this world that I'm like, oh, gosh, this could go south really fast. So let's talk about it. Okay, we have today on the podcast, Damon Burton, he is a husband and a father of three. And he actually beat a billion dollar company by outranking, their website on Google. So we have Damon on the podcast today to talk about SEO and AI. And basically, we're gonna let you I'm gonna let Damon tell you his story rather, but all brag on him for just a minute, because what he probably won't tell you is that since founding his company, SEO national in 2007, he has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, Buzzfeed, USA weekly, and he helps big and small clients alike make more in a month than they used to make in a year. So y'all know, I'm obviously a huge fan of SEO and content marketing. And we talk a little bit in this episode about how I have used SEO to completely quit social media altogether. But what we're really talking about today is some of the like, what you really need to know on a practical level to get more organic SEO traffic, and then also to get that traffic to convert better than even paid ad traffic. So I'm excited for this conversation. I'm super curious to hear what you guys think about AI and SEO and everything else that we're talking about in this episode. So leave us a review, send us an email, come hang out with us in the Success with Soul group. And let's get into it.
Damon, welcome to Success with Soul.
Damon Burton 7:52
Well, it's okay. Thanks for having me. Yeah, I'm super excited to chat.
Kate Kordsmeier 7:56
I love talking about SEO and AI and all the cool new techy things so we can geek out a little bit. And you have such a cool story, which I mentioned a bit in the intro. Tell me about your experience. outranking a billion dollar company on Google. That is not something most people can say.
Damon Burton 8:13
Yeah, so the fun story. Over the years, I've done it a couple times now. But the first one that always comes to mind was before I had to agency and it was when I was first getting into SEO. So I was really into watching The Bachelor finale with my wife. And what I had remembered from previous finales was they leave a cliffhanger. And so it was like, Hey, come back in a couple weeks we start the new season, find out who the new Bachelor is. But this time, they said, wait until after the commercial, and we'll tell you who the new Bachelor is. So the early stage entrepreneur, in my mind, at that point, it started wondering, that was intentional, but why? So I started to look up this guy, his name was Andy Baldwin. And for me understanding search engines, I could find very little about this guy. So I got thinking, if I'm familiar with navigating search engines, I'm not a diehard fan. And I can't find anything. Imagine all the other people that aren't as familiar with search engines that are diehard fans, and their frustration. So I told my wife, I said, I'm going to be in here for a couple hours, I'm gonna build a website about this guy. So I spent that night I think I spent just like two hours and I went and found whatever I could about the guy. And it was like little pockets of just a little paragraph here on one site and the sentence on another really few pictures. And I pieced it all together into an organized format. And within just a couple days, so I added whatever SEO I knew at the time, and within a couple days I was outranking ABC, a billion dollar brand for their bachelor brand. So you know, in retrospect, there's a lot of interesting things in that story. So one is I realized I solved the problem. And this applies to just entrepreneurship in general is unknowingly solved the problem of people wanting easy to access information. And then, of course, hunky shirtless pictures of this guy. So between the two it's funny, but you can have
High that whatever is in your industry, right is like just what the other competitors are doing isn't necessarily directly your competition, like you can choose a different path. And ultimately, you just got to decide what is it that the consumers really need? And how do you present that in a way that's better than the competition?
Kate Kordsmeier 10:16
Right, right. So the same is possible for anyone, then anybody with the right knowledge and skills could do the sale.
Damon Burton 10:26
Yeah. So I mean, we do it consistently. Now. I mean, we've outranked a couple billion dollar companies and had a couple billion dollar clients. So now there's a process of ad agency for 16 years now. But before I started the agency, I had repeated similar things with other, you know, maybe not billion dollar companies, but 10s to hundreds of million dollar companies. And it was a process, the process was the same throughout all of them was, how do I deliver this in a way that's easier for people to access? It was really simple.
Kate Kordsmeier 10:52
So a lot of our listeners are coaches, do you have like an example of how they could think about that concept of packaging something up in a way that's easier for people to access.
Damon Burton 11:06
I mean, for coaches, what comes to mind is the approach that I take as a as me as a personal brand, right? So one way you look at things is whether your one on one coach, or one to many, or you have coaches beneath you that you serve a greater audience. Ultimately, people buy because they trust you. So like with my agency, I have a team of 50. And they pay my company, but they buy because they trust Damon. And so that largely comes from sharing online and being vulnerable. So I've built out a multimillion dollar business without spending $1 on ads. And so our main lead source historically had been just referrals from delivering what you're good at. But in the last couple of years, what's matched or outpaced that is coming back to your question is just me as an individual showing up and giving away everything for free. Now, a lot of times people have a hesitation with that. But free has become the single most profitable source of lead generation for us. Because if you think about it, like for coaches, it's highly unlikely that you, as a coach have a unique thing in your mind that they can't find on Google or YouTube, right. And so it's not necessarily the knowledge that people are buying from you. It's the trust and ability to implement. So when I give away everything for free, from my perspective, there's only three types of content consumers, and it's largely probably the same for coaches. So you have the first content consumer is the person that takes your advice and runs. Well, great. They were never your client anyway. So you didn't lose anything. But what you did gain is now you increase your reputation and credibility. And then the second type of content consumers, the person that says, okay, maybe I don't need it now. I might later or I know somebody that does. So great. Now you increase your credibility, and you potentially got to lead the third type of content consumers, the person that goes, this coach knows what they're talking about, here's my money, and then they just buy. So with few and far excuses in between, I find no reason not to give everything away for free, because the knowledge isn't technically what they're buying is the trust enablement implementation.
Kate Kordsmeier 13:05
Yeah, for sure. I mean, it makes so much sense. And it's why we always say, like, even about our Mastermind program is, yeah, there's a portal and it has tons of tutorials and strategies and how to do the things. But that's like the least valuable part of the program, because what is actually valuable is coming and coming to the coaching calls. And when you get stuck actually being able to work through things with people and like, have somebody reflect the thoughts that you're having, and see how that's affecting the way that you're showing up. And, you know, it's all of the implementation and accountability and things like that, like actual information you could technically find anywhere.
Damon Burton 13:43
Yeah, there's a lot of studies out there that say courses, the number one reason for failure is an excessive amount of information. So it's the opposite of what we think, right? We're like, this is vomit, everything, but it's overwhelming. And so you bring up another another good point is, in addition to the trust and implementation, it's the community and relatability. I'm in three, high level masterminds now that are all 50 grand or higher apiece. And in those masterminds, the first year, I bought in because of the curriculum and what I could potentially implement and then grow my business. In the second years that I've renewed, it's because of the community
Kate Kordsmeier 14:21
100%. Yeah, and that's saying, like, what we even say about our mastermind is like, you're not going to renew because you didn't get the result, per se, you're not you're going to renew because you want to stay a part of that community and you realize how valuable it is to surround yourself with people who are like you doing the same things understand. I mean, I think all of us entrepreneurs can relate to most people in our real lives, no matter what niche we're in, or just like, I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't know what it's like to own your own business and the stress and the, you know, challenges and personal growth that has to happen during that process.
So yeah, the community is just the invaluable piece. It's like stay forever for that.
Damon Burton 15:05
Yep, yep. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 15:07
Okay, so you said a couple of things in there that I want to go back to. And the first one was that you were able to grow to multiple seven figures, I think you said without using ADS. And so I think that's interesting that you weren't able, you weren't using ADS. Were you using social media? Or was this all SEO.
Damon Burton 15:26
So I'm like the anomaly and largely hypocrite, so for running a marketing agency. I did very little marketing, but it was intentional. So it was not SEO. And that's the intentional part, we get leads from SEO, obviously. But surprisingly, we don't put a lot of effort into that. Because, for me, SEO, SEO going for SEO is like I have a real high expectation of the types of clients that I want to engage with. So for me, you know, hopefully, listeners get to a point where in their business, they have the freedom and opportunity to say no to people, like they're not stuck in a position where they have to say Yes, sometimes. And so I've been fortunate to really value that at an early position, where to me, it matters. Once you get your basic needs met, like after a certain financial accomplishment, it becomes way more about freedom of time and peace of mind. And so for me, there is no amount of money you could pay me to take on the tiniest bit of drama and a client. And in fact, we have, you know, about two, three years ago, we updated our contract. And we have an entire full page that says reasons not to hire us. And what that is, is it's just weeding out all the people that we don't want to deal with. And what's interesting in that, so you know, something has some of the bullet points in there are like, you know, you're hiring an agency, not an employee, so don't tell us what to do. don't micromanage us, you're paying us for our expertise. So we're going to do those things, you are not paying us to train you and log all those things. So we're going to do and move on one of the ones that's that seems to be like a crowd favorite is this title, new sheriff syndrome. So when anytime it says something along the lines of businesses evolve, and as you have team leads change, that's fine. But just because you have a new team lead comes in doesn't mean we change direction. And so there's like all these things that we implemented in there proactively that are either things we don't want to deal with, or things that inhibit progress. And if they inhibit progress, it's on our reputation, even though it's not our fault. So I just put all those things in advance. And what's interesting is, is it serves an obvious purpose. But at a 20 people, I send that contract to five of them say nothing, 14 of them are complimented. And so it actually builds a level of trust, because they're like, Oh, damn, Damon knows what he's talking about. So let's move forward, because I trust that confidence. And the one person that complains is exactly the person that I don't want to do business with. But it's an ant to weed out. So I went down a rabbit hole, what was your original question, bring it back?
Kate Kordsmeier 17:52
original question was, how did you grow to build millions without ads, and now without SEO,
Damon Burton 17:58
so because of So I mentioned that contract, because that's why I don't do SEO for us, because when you optimize for, let's say, the phrase SEO company, there's no ability to prequalify that lead. And so because I'm at a fortunate position where peace of mind matters more, I'd rather not spend my team count, have them spend countless hours of time on leads that aren't qualified. So the opposite of that where we have gotten leads is largely only two places. One is referrals, because of the results that we drive. And we still have, I've had the agency for 16 years, and we still have a dozen clients from year 16 years ago. And so our track record is through the roof, and then that's a compliment to the results we drive. And then because of that the clients share those results. And then it's a compounding effect where one tells two and two tells foreign foretell 16. So I could probably connect the dots on 80 to 90% of our clients with a stringy yarn back from one client to another client to another client. So up until the last three years, it's mostly been that and then three years ago, I got to a point where same thing, peace of mind and productivity was at the time, I was largely only on Facebook. And I had a hard line between business and personal use. And back then it was completely personal. So I wasn't really vulnerable didn't show a lot of business stuff. And if a client would add me I just ignore it. And I decided one day I was just going to delete Facebook, not because of drama, I was really good about filtering that out. I just realized it wasn't productive. And so what I did is we all know that if you delete Facebook, it doesn't really delete it. And so what I did is is I said okay, if I'm going to disable this, I'm gonna truly wipe this out. And so my wife was amazing. I had her login and she spent three weeks, a couple hours a day deleting every post I've ever made, going to every post that ever commented on and deleting every comment I had ever made on friending every person I was connected with going through my private messages and deleting every conversation I had ever had and just wiped out everything. Then I hit delete. So
What happened after that is a couple of weeks went by. And I realized I had, you know, one client that started as a friend. So they were in my Facebook, but now I can no longer contact them on the business side of things. And so I said, Okay, well, I probably need to turn it back on. But if I do that, how can I do social media my way? And I didn't know what that meant, but I was willing to figure it out. And so I what was going through my head was okay, how do I, how do I be productive with this? And that means I had to eliminate the boundary between personal and business. But then the next question is, how do I provide value for the things that I like to talk about, which is business and entrepreneurship and SEO without boring friends and family? And how do I talk about my appreciation for my wife and kids without boring clients. And I got to a point where I said, I don't care. Both of those are me. So I will just post about both of those. And then what began to evolve was over about three months, I started to get more traction than I had previously, nothing substantial. But I started to notice the difference. And then in about six months, of being vulnerable, and sharing about client results, and then also talking about how proud of my kids I am, then I started to notice substantial increases in engagement. And then at about nine months, I realized I had had some leads come through. And so I went back and quantified it. And at that nine month mark, it added 150, grand and reoccurring contracts. And so since then, it's probably added, I don't know, six or $700,000 a year in reoccurring contracts. And so at that point, I said, Okay, well, this is working, I enjoy this I can give value, while also sharing and you know, this being an opportunity to voice things. So I continue down that path. And there's I've systematized it since then. But ultimately, it's just showing up and doing what we talked about earlier, which is just giving away all the advice for free. So if you go look at my posts, or anything that's business related, there's no call to action. It's here's the problem. Here's the answer. Here's how you do it on your own. And then where they convert is they follow, you know, the coaches, they follow you for the business advice that they convert on the personal. So an example would be Hey, Damon, I know you do SEO, we'll talk about that in a minute. But that was really cool. What you said about your wife, that's the majority of how things convert is when they finally click and relate as a person.
Kate Kordsmeier 22:12
Yeah, I love that. So true. So the second piece of that, which is a perfect segue here is kind of talking about building more of a personal brand versus, you know, a company where I think, especially a lot of coaches and consultants, myself included, started out with just my website was just my name, right, Kate kordsmeier.com. And then I have gone on from there to build several different brands. But it's been an interesting process of figuring out the balance of still kind of being the face of the brand without being the one who does everything or that when people join our programs that they expect to only see me and are disappointed if I'm not the one they're doing something. How do you manage that?
Damon Burton 22:59
It's simple. It's just how you set expectations. So if the client is disappointed, it's because you missed an opportunity to set that expectation. So I'm in a similar position, right? I mean, everybody sees me on social media, they don't see my team of 50. But the difference is I mentioned the team. So like, a lot of the times instead of me saying like, hey, we accomplished XY and Z for a client, here's a screenshot, look how cool. It is just like one change. Look what my team accomplished. So it's still me talking about it's still my face. But it's very clear representation that there's a greater body behind just Damon. And then when it comes into the time to do a transaction, I set the expectations in multiple points. So I no longer take onboarding calls at all. But when I transition after the deal is closed, we have a kind of templatized intro email, where it says, Hey, Jane Doe looking forward to working with you to set expectations. Here's how the next few days will look. Day number one is so and so is going to send an intro and day number five and day number, whatever. But let me start that now. Please me Vlad, our CEO. And then I as I segue out, I say they're going to take over from here, but I'm always available if you need anything. So I make it very clear on whose responsibilities or what
Kate Kordsmeier 24:20
Damon Burton 24:21
and that I no longer have any recurring engagement, but I give them the support that like hey, if you really need hit me up, and it never happens,
Kate Kordsmeier 24:28
Damon Burton 24:28
And if it were to happen, then you still you don't get sucked in still, then you're like great question. Give them the answer or transition it back to the person that should take it over from there. So even if you do have the answer, you can still not give it but facilitate the transition so they don't get in the habit of always coming back to you.
Kate Kordsmeier 24:48
Yeah, yeah. Such a good point and expectations for sure. Everything. Okay, let's switch gears a little bit. I want to talk about some AI and how that is playing with SEO right now. So
Well, how do you feel like they currently are working together? And could they help? Could the combination of the two help somebody kind of grasp the science of SEO without having to like fully understand all of it themselves.
Damon Burton 25:15
So the way you phrase that is interesting, I don't think that it would make it easier to understand the concepts. I do think it's an amplifier if you understand the concepts, because the trick is, it could help you better understand it, but you don't know what you don't know. And because you don't know that you don't know what the prompt AI to say, helped me learn this thing,
Kate Kordsmeier 25:34
Damon Burton 25:35
And so if you do understand the core concepts and pillars of the fulfillment of SEO, then you can dig deeper and get more familiar with it. But it's who's gonna win with it is really who better understands how to leverage it. At least as of now, I don't think it will replace SEO, I think it'll evolve it. Um, it's funny that we're talking about this, because a couple of weeks ago, I would have probably deferred it a little bit, because we don't use AI in the sense of providing final output. Because there's still too many quality control issues, there's too still too many liabilities, at the quality level that I the standards that I hold our output to, it takes just as much time if not more, to correct an AI output than it does to write it from the ground up. So from a copywriting perspective, we only use it for ideation, we don't use it for output, but it's like, okay, we came up with these ideas, are there more that we missed, then we take that and then do our manual writing. But here's where things have changed. Why I say, talking about this now versus a couple weeks goes is an entirely different conversation is because I have a good friend, I went to dinner with just a couple days ago who's always on emerging technologies, and is just interested in those things. And he has been an AI for years. And he's the type of guy that just programs things around his house for fun and automates them and teaches his kid how to do it. So I had this conversation with him. And I said, you know, I don't think SEO is going away in the next couple of years. But do you think it would change the perceived value? Would clients because of the perception of AI? Adoption? Would it devalue the price points to when they say okay, $3,000 is too much. And now I think what you're doing the same thing, basically, I think it's only worth $1,000? Because I couldn't tell you why, but because of AI. Right? When he had an interesting reply, and he he agreed that AI isn't going to replace SEO, it'll evolve it because at its core, SEO is not what you're doing with SEO, what you're doing with SEO is you're getting a product or service in front of a buyer. And so AI may evolve that and he gave a really great analogy. So if you think about music, so over the years music, I think the two words he used were models and executors. So like the model would be music. And the executor would be a record player, which evolved into a cassette, which evolved into a Walkman, a disc men, mp3 players, and now phone. So the cassettes died, but music never left. And so it's kinda like that, right? So the concept of what SEO at its core will never go away. There's always a need to, especially on newer products, to how do you educate an audience that doesn't know a thing exists. And then that's a limitation of AI, because it only knows what it has access to tap into. And so if this thing doesn't exist, it can't tap into it. So it can't create the fulfillment, the marketing fulfillment for it as easily. So I think it's just an amplifier.
Kate Kordsmeier 28:32
Yeah, that makes total sense. And, you know, I've been playing around with some AI tools for the last couple of months. And I've found like, it's such a great starting point. And it's really helpful for getting me brainstorming and bouncing ideas off of like feeling like kind of talking to somebody else with ideas and doing research and help. But I mean, who knows if it'll one day get to that point. But I agree that like, if you have any kind of quality control on your content, that you're probably not able to just give it a prompt, copy, paste it and move on with your day and be like, Well, that was done in 30 seconds. But it can save you a lot of time from doing all of it by yourself.
Damon Burton 29:13
Yeah, yeah, I mean, it's as good or as bad as the input you provide it. So you know, the better you get at understanding using it and prompts in particular, than the better the output will be. So it's really the potential is really based on the user.
Kate Kordsmeier 29:27
Yeah, for sure. Where do you feel like tools like chat GBT? Or some of the more content specific ones like Jasper copy AI or any of those like, where do you think they might miss the mark when it comes to SEO?
Damon Burton 29:41
The first thing that comes to mind is the conversation I've had with our copywriters and so you know, I got to nearly two dozen in house copywriters. And as we talk about this, understandably, one of their concerns is like, Hey, am I going to lose my job or lose ours? And the safety net that they have and from my perspective, is you can't
To replace the human storytelling capabilities, it'll probably get close, it'll obviously improve over time. But the ability for somebody a human to birth, an idea from nothing, is substantially different than something requiring input. Right. And the other thing is the relatability. Ai, we'll get better at better personalities and things like that. But, you know, for the most part, even the best written AI, there's just something that feels off. Right, you can just kind of tell, even if you're not sure you at least question it.
Kate Kordsmeier 30:35
Damon Burton 30:36
So I think the safety net is storytelling.
Kate Kordsmeier 30:39
What about in terms of like, the technical aspects of SEO, like keyword research, and, you know, making sure you are including the right keywords within your posts and things like that.
Damon Burton 30:51
So the research versus post fulfillment, I would split off because in the hospital film, and it depends on your process. So that's kind of like a similar answer where it's, it depends on the user. So a lot of people can use AI to say, create a post with, you know, these variables, this length, this density, whatever. But for me, I've always taken the opposite approach where I tell my team, don't focus on word count, don't focus on keyword density, instead, focus first on relatability and solving a problem. So that's where the value is. And that's where the unpaid sticking time is, is like if people want to continue reading it. So sure, you could create 10 to one articles versus manually. But did they have that X factor of people wanting to read and continue? So if that's your thing, then then yes, you know, you can use that to do that at scale. For me, it's not my thing. But on the research side is where we've shifted gears and are adopting it more, we're actually adopting it more on the research than we are in the copywriting side. But and this goes back to what we were talking about where the your abilities to leverage AI are going to be as good or as bad as your familiarity and your ability to feed at the right prompt. And so there's different tools out there.
Like agent GPT is one. And then there's another one that I was just exposed to, and it was called god mode. And so there's all these different ones that are beyond just input output text,
Kate Kordsmeier 32:11
and you say God Mode,
Damon Burton 32:13
I think it's God Mode dot space, if I remember, yeah. So all of these can tap in to open a eyes API. But what they do is different. And so they leveraged that and do other things on top of that. And so for example, instead of just input output with copywriting, a lot of these have their own API. And because they're learning models, you can tell those API that you can tell it to connect its own API to somebody else's API, and it can create the own, it can code itself to do other things. And so what we're building out is how can we use these apps to do the things that we already do that are very specific. So like, for example, like if we're, if we're doing a competitive analysis and keyword research, we have very clear hyper granular steps where it's like, you know, go to this tool and input this tag with a seed word to extract it to get multiple other words to consider. Then take those other words, run them through these quality filter through this tool, this tool, this tool. And so it's very step one, step two, step, step three, step four, but it's across like five different tools. Because we want the broadest picture available to look at things as a whole. And so these other AI tools have API's, then as long as you basically feed it the super prompt to do so. And you get really granular where it's like, do step one, by connecting an API to this tool. Here's our API token. And like, if you feed it, all the literal things, it's going to suck to build out. But the amount of time you will save is astronomical. That's the our main focus is pulling data. And so we can take what normally takes us two to five days to because we go super deep, like if you think about SEO, you want to really make sure you got the right path locked in. Because six months later, you don't want to go crap, we made the wrong decision here. And then you have to throw away six months. So we spend a ton of time on the front end going, where's the money for the client? Is this the right path? And so we're using that expedite, two to five days worth of competitive analysis and keyword research down to 20 minutes, and then taking that and going okay, well, we have similar steps. Once we get the keywords approved from the client, then we have another granular process of how we ideate the topics that we write to support those targets. So then we can take that and go okay, can we expedite the ideation and then part of what we do? Like I was really surprised with my team when we were talking about this. They said a huge amount of their time they spend is after we create the content calendar. What we do is the research team. The research team's goal is to create the best, most detailed blueprint to then just
passed to the copywriters so the copywriters can minimize their homework time and focus on writing quality content. And so then they get this, this blueprint that says, here's everything available, you can write about this. And here's the intent you want to focus on. Now, what I didn't know is in that output that they give to the copywriters is, we do like a one to three paragraph summary of the intent of the topic that they should write about. And I knew we were doing that, I didn't know that that was like 30% of the time, just like these two or three paragraphs. And so when I walked through how we could use some of these AI tools, it was visible how surprised and excited they were, that they could eliminate this, like nuanced annoying, pound your head against the wall, but you have to do it anyway. repetitive thing, and still maintain that quality control. So we're going heavy on the research side.
Kate Kordsmeier 35:51
Yeah, that's cool. So for somebody who doesn't have all of the tools and API's and resources and everything that you have, like, if I just want to go to, you know, chat GPT and type in, like, help me do keyword research for this post or something like how would you recommend kind of Jane Doe, using an AI tool for for SEO, research,
Damon Burton 36:14
feed it resources. So anything that's public data, you can feed it, so any public facing URLs, you can feed it. So you have to, you have to give it the intent. So even though you don't have API's to maybe sets of data, you do have Google to go find examples of the the ideal output. So go to Google, find an example of what you're looking for. And then in your prompts, it becomes do keyword research for put in your clients URL, and include at least these keywords, whatever, once you know, so far, and compare the targets that these five competitors go after. And then AI can go through there, and you can go further, right. So that's just a really basic example. But now you've told it, what the intent is, what your end goal is, and then it can better fill in the blanks. And then you can go further and and again, it's as good or as bad as how you feed it the prompts. So you can get more granular and say, as you scan those five sites also return the title tags, you know, the first five links on the website, the return that whatever you're looking for. So it's up to you to define the variables of what you're looking for. If you can get really clear in what you're feeding it, it will give you exactly what you need. But if you're off, then you can't be lazy with this. Yeah, you have to be very clear. And the better you are at your intent that you feed it, the better results you'll get.
Kate Kordsmeier 37:41
Yeah, and everything you just said, I think just kind of proves the point that if you don't even understand what a title tag is, then you're not going to know what you need to feed the AI in order to get what you need. So really having an understanding of how SEO works is crucial.
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Damon Burton 39:25
Yeah, well, you know, good point to circle back to that when I was testing one of them. I can't I just throw in like a random prompt to see what it would give. And it was actually on this topic. I said, Give me a blueprint for an SEO campaign for personal injury attorney, something like that. And it actually returned. Here's the top ranking currently ranking websites and here's their title tags. Here's their H ones. Here's their bla bla bla bla bla. So even if it can feed you those things, if you don't know what those things are, you still can't use them. So you either need to know what they are to feed it to it to get the results or you need to know what they are in cases.
gives it to you, and you otherwise wouldn't know what they are.
Kate Kordsmeier 40:03
So if it came back and it said, Okay, their title tag was, I don't know, give me an example of what the title tag would be for posts on personal injury, internal injury,
Damon Burton 40:13
top five reasons you need a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas. Okay.
Kate Kordsmeier 40:18
And then that tells you what, what do you do with that information then?
Damon Burton 40:23
So you look for patterns, right? So a really simplistic way is to reverse engineer what you see. Because if you look at the top results in a search engine, it's more or less implied that patterns contribute to why those are ranking. A good example is there's an acronym called TF IDF stands for Term Frequency inverse document frequency. Now, it's not an official part of any algorithm. But if you look at data, it could be implied that it probably is informally part of algorithms. And what it means is the term frequency means basically, content length, keyword length, keyword density, things like that, then inverse document frequency is look at who's ranking and then reverse engineer those content characteristics. So you go type in, let's say, you got, you know, my personal injury attorney vegas.com. And then that's your client, or that's you. And then you use a TF IDF reporting tool. And then you say, compare my website, here's the domain, and I want to rank for the words personal injury attorney in Las Vegas. Well, then what it does is it goes and says, Cool, Damon, here's the 10 websites that currently rank for those words, and you told me your domain. So now I'm going to reverse engineer the gaps between your website and what I see as the top 10 on page one, and it'll break it down and say,
out of all the title tags, if you're ranking if your goal is to rank for personal injury, Attorney Vegas, nine out of 10 of them have this exact match phrase, and yours doesn't. Six out of 10 of them have more than 1622 words on the page that ranks and it actually tells you the page that ranks not the top level domain, it could be a sub page. And so it gives you the very specific results and reverse engineers to patterns in it. So as long as you understand what the variables are, then you can look for the patterns in those variables. And it's informally implied, those are contributing factors to how to show up higher in search engines.
Kate Kordsmeier 42:28
Okay, fascinating. That's really interesting. I mean, I know, there's a lot of SEO tools out there, of course, that claim to do kind of the same thing like that you don't have to know how to do all of the prompts. And I'm not even saying AI specifically, but just general SEO tools, right, that you can type in a truss or SEM rush or whatever. And Uber suggests that's one of our set we use a lot. It's like, they claim to be able to tell you the same kind of information. So you don't have to understand all of the AI and the prompts and everything. You could use a potential tool like that instead, or of course, hire it out to somebody like you and they could do it for you.
Damon Burton 43:07
Yeah, no, I'll play devil's advocate, though. We very rarely use TF IDF. We do in very specific instances. But as a whole, we don't and I can I can tell you why. And then here's the thing you have to keep in mind when you use these other tools that tell you what to write. Earlier, we talked about the importance of storytelling and solving problems. So depending on what the topic is that you're writing about, if you can solve that problem in 800 words, but TF IDF tells you to write 2000 words, well, now you write 1200 words of fluff. And so then it devalues the readability, and that which negatively impacts the on page staying time. And so there's all these other things like it's a given, it's, Hey, I'm not saying do or don't use TF IDF or these tools, but you have to be aware of their pros and cons.
Kate Kordsmeier 43:53
Yeah, for sure. Okay. So do you have any tools that you suggest for content creation, SEO, especially for more? SEO layman's,
Damon Burton 44:07
the first thing that comes to mind is we talked about your trajectory, make sure you pick the right trajectory first. So not so much on specific topics. But a tool that I found out about a couple months ago that I was surprised I hadn't heard of, is a lot of people will be familiar with answer the public. But there's another one that's like that, that I actually like better. And it's called also asked.com. And what it does is basically the same thing as answer the public. But it drills down deeper. So if you're not familiar with hands with public, you go in there any type of word that maybe you want to rank for, and it goes cool. Here's the queries that people are asking about that. And so that way you can get in front of the existing search and buyer demand without guessing, but it's very one layered in the results. But if you go to also asked, it'll do the same thing, but then out of all the results that returns you can click on one and it'll drill deeper. And then you can click on one
It'll drill deeper. So you can find multiple paths. It's not a singular layer, and you go down rabbit holes and get more granular and go down tangents and paths. So it helps you find more potential topics from a quantity perspective, but also theoretically would improve your quality, because you go deeper on the intent and relatability of the topic.
Kate Kordsmeier 45:21
So one of the questions I always have when I use tools like answer the public, I haven't heard of also asked someone to have to check that out. Thank you is that the search volume for those more granular questions is usually quite low. Does that matter? Like is the goal? So if I'm writing a post about hypnotherapy, and I answer the public.com, or also ask.com type in hypnotherapy, and there's, you know, a bunch of questions that come up, like, am I supposed to take those questions and use them as like headings inside of my post? And then answer the related questions in there? Like, what do I do with that information?
Damon Burton 46:01
So quality matters more? A really simple way to look at this is, would you rather have seven people by out of 10 visits, or one person by out of 1000? So of course, it's seven out of 10. So when you look at search volume, search volume is not my primary indicator of what to target. It's probably like third, what is first is buyer intent. Does that target imply a more qualified buyer? So earlier, we talked about why I don't SEO for the phrase SEO, because there's no pre qualification of that term. And so I don't want 10,000 visitors to my website, none of them are pre qualified. Half of them are agencies, other people or other ones or people that don't have a budget, whatever it may be. And so I always look at the implied intent of the phrase or sentence or query way more than the search volume.
Kate Kordsmeier 46:55
Okay, so if I'm a coach who sells hypnotherapy sessions, what is an example this may not be obviously like we're not doing the research live here on the call, but what would you think like how does buyer intent come into like okay, I sell hypnotherapy sessions. I want to write some posts so I can get quality people to my site and then get them to buy a session what would be your first step
Damon Burton 47:22
so figure out what either what type of client you'd like to focus on more or which type of client has a higher profit margin and so you know, I'm know little to nothing about hypnotherapy other than the classes I went to with my wife for our third child. You know, I imagine in forgive my ignorance, for all the hypnotherapy experts out there, but I imagine there's you know, hypnotherapy for
depression hypnotherapy for confidence hypnotherapy for quitting smoking, hypnosis, like, what do you do in hypnotherapy? So for me, I don't target SEO. So if I were to target it, it would be something more specific, like I would probably actually go for the lower volume ones, like most expensive enterprise SEO agency, not that we are the most expensive, but that implies a better buyer for me.
And so you know, you could if you just go after broad hypnotherapy, and you focus on, you know, the hypnotherapist we went to was it was for like child birthing.
Kate Kordsmeier 48:25
Damon Burton 48:25
So it's like, they want nothing to do with helping somebody quit smoking. And so you got to figure out or clarify what your niche or specialty or interest or profit potential is, beyond just the broad terms, is there on term
Kate Kordsmeier 48:40
that makes sense? So that I think that for qualifier makes a lot of sense. And so it'd be hypnotherapy for childbirth hypnotherapy for quitting smoking. And depending on what kind of coach or therapist you are you at target those specific ones that apply to what you sell.
Damon Burton 48:58
For sure. Yeah. And then tying that back to the volume you know, hypnotherapy is probably has 10s if not hundreds of 1000s of searches per month. But if you do hypnotherapy for childbirth thing, it probably has hundreds to 1000s like 10% or less of the other one. But then if you go further and you go hypnotherapy for child birthing for a woman that has had historical specific type of birth complication,
then when you're the lead, which is one in 1000, when you see that you don't hesitate to buy because you're like that person knows exactly what I need.
Kate Kordsmeier 49:36
Damon Burton 49:37
Well, you focus on the intent of the people you can serve best.
Kate Kordsmeier 49:40
And then in the post itself, just to continue using this example. Are you right? So if the post is like hypnotherapy, hypnotherapy for childbirth for a VBAC? So somebody who's had C sections before and now wants to have a vaginal delivery, and so they want to use hypnotherapy to help them do this
Then in the post itself, are you using the post to, like now by my course by my coach, you know what? How do you incorporate the by piece into the content?
Damon Burton 50:13
So we'll blend that answer with topic earlier about social media, where you give away the advice, you give away the answers. So if and when it's appropriate to transition to a call to action, it's after you've over delivered on value. Well, it's nowhere in the top, it's nowhere in the middle, it's always in the bottom, like, establish the trust first. And then because what we talked about, they're going to buy based on the trust and implementation, not so much the knowledge, but the knowledge is where you communicate that you are the person that they can trust.
Kate Kordsmeier 50:45
Okay, so you figure out, okay, the search intent of somebody who's typing that in is that they want to figure out how to use this tool to have a successful feedback. So the post is going to tell them how hypnotherapy can do that for them. Why it's a good option. And if they want to have one on one support to implement this, then they could take the next step with you.
Damon Burton 51:13
Kate Kordsmeier 51:14
Okay, cool. So let's see, we are coming up on the end here. I have a few extra questions. But just so we don't run out of time, what is something that you feel like coaches, course creators, consultants, kind of practitioners in this online space? What did they ask you about SEL that they need to know?
Damon Burton 51:34
Nothing so much comes to mind with SEO, but I would say there's a trend of like, keeping up with the Joneses or like just doing stuff that other people do. Whether you know, it's effective or not, one of the most powerful things I've done is stopped caring what other SEOs do. So years ago, I stopped reading industry blogs, I stopped going SEO conventions. And coaching is probably the same if if not more impacted by this, where people just regurgitate other people's stuff. And so like one person says, just one tiny thing, and then somebody else spins it on theirs, and it becomes a bigger thing. And then somebody else regurgitates it and spins it on there, and then it just gets completely diluted in it and inaccurate, but everybody's saying it's, we think it's true. So there's a lot of power and freedom in not feeling obligated to do things the way that everybody else does.
Kate Kordsmeier 52:24
Yeah, I love that. That's definitely something we work with our clients on. It's like putting on your blinders and forgetting what everybody else is doing. Even if it comes to something like pricing. And then people will say, Well, I don't know any other parenting courses that sell for over $300. So I can't price my course. Over $300.
Damon Burton 52:47
Kate Kordsmeier 52:48
exactly. And if you do, you're gonna stand out. And there's going to be I mean, you have obviously have to be able to deliver on the value. But yes, total opposite experience. So if you have your blinders on, how do you stay up to date on trends and things that are happening in this industry and best practices
Damon Burton 53:07
by our own trial and error and implementation? Yeah, so I want to know what works because I've seen it work, not because I read it on a blog. And I also want to find things that work, because we experimented on our own and not waited for, for other people to figure it out. So the most impactful strategies that we've implemented are all things that I've read a little to none about or heard other people talk about. Now, the variable that we use is talked about, but the way in which we implement it, I don't see other people do. And so that goes to support. The same thing for coaches is like, look, I don't have any proprietary thing above other SEOs, I just use them those same tools better. And so it's the same thing with coaching, like, you probably don't have a patent or a trademark on something that nobody else can literally physically use. You are generally all using the same resources and tools. But if you figure out how to be the best at using it in your own way, you're going to stand out and be more effective.
Kate Kordsmeier 54:14
Yeah, so true. Okay, as we finish up here, what advice do you have a lot of our listeners or people who want to implement more SEO, but just don't even know where to start? If they've never done anything on their site through an SEO lens, and they just either are just starting their site? Or maybe they've even been established, you know, in their business for a while, but they've never factored in any kind of SEO into it, then what would you recommend, like their first step be like what's the first most powerful action they could take to improve the rankings?
Damon Burton 54:49
So long term? Well, expectations is actually the most important thing is understanding that SEO is not a quick thing because you are building up the credibility of your website and the
logistics behind doing that means content creation. And you know, I'm gonna kind of skip all the technical stuff for now. But you know, there's a lot of moving parts, and it takes time to do those things. So that's the first thing is having realistic expectations. Now, the second thing of the actual fulfillment is focused on what you're an expert at, like, why are you different? Why do you stand out? What skill set do you have an experience is different than the others, and then showcase that knowledge. So a really simple way to understand SEO is you can only show up on Google for what it can read of you're not contributing, it's not going to find anything to read to rank you uniquely. Now, if you don't like to write, which is understandable, then get on your phone and do a selfie video, you don't have to publish it. But what you can do is just ramble, like, get that expertise out of your brain. And then you can take that and drop it through a transcription service, you know, something like the script, and then you drop that in there. And then within 30 seconds, it's taken that 510 minute video, and put it in a Word format that search engines can now read, only to take a minute or two to spell check it and things like that. But consistency is key. Like when you think about, you know, social media, people talk about how YouTube will reward you for consistency, podcasting will reward you for consistency, Facebook will reward you for consistency is the same thing and publishing on your blog. So figure out an approach in which you can consistently create content, and then figure out how to transition that into a readable format. So sharing your knowledge is the easiest go to with the least resistance.
Kate Kordsmeier 56:30
Yeah. And do you feel like there is any kind of magic number for the frequency that you'll you know, get the best results? If you post something new, once a week, once a day, once a month?
Damon Burton 56:43
I would say no more or no less than twice per month. So every other week, I would say is kind of a minimum. Now there's no such thing as too much good content if it's unique and value added. So if you can do more than Yeah, do weekly. If you're super gangster, I can do more than that and do multiple times a week, but don't do it at the expense of quality.
Kate Kordsmeier 57:00
Right. Got it. Thanks so much for being here. Damon, this was really interesting. I hope everybody learned a lot. Can you tell everyone who's listening where they can find you and how they might be able to work with you?
Damon Burton 57:11
Yeah, I appreciate Okay, kind of on the last topic you mentioned is learning more about SEO. I wrote a book a couple years ago and I give away for free and got a free SEO book.com There's no upsell on the thank you page just invite you to an upcoming Facebook group. And it's the whole book. It's a book book. It's like 130 pages. So it's our entire processes. And if you put in the time, the answers are there.
Kate Kordsmeier 57:32
Awesome. Thanks, Damon. I appreciate you.
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