WriterAccess Webinar Archive
WriterAccess T4 Webinar
Monday, March 26, 2012 – 1:00 PM ET
Join co-hosts Mike Roberts and Byron White, founders of SpyFu and WriterAccess, for the T4 webinar, discussing tools, techniques, training and trends to grow your business organically—the content marketing way.
This webinar is designed for SpyFu customers and fans of Recon Files looking for answers on how to put the power of reporting to work for your business. This will be a Q&A-style webinar, so we will quickly get to the answers that matter the most to you.
The slidedeck from this webinar is available for download.
Byron White: Welcome everyone to the first in a series of webinars powered by WriterAccess and SpyFu. I’m here with Mike Roberts. Mike, welcome.
Mike Roberts: How’s it going, Byron?
Byron White: Good.
Mike Roberts: My phone just rang...
Byron White: Well, it wasn’t me calling, so I'd ignore it. We’re excited; Mike and I have been talking about doing something different, something unique, something that we think everybody needs out there and that is a good, hard-core educational series talking about tools and techniques and training and trends happening in the marketplace as Mike and I advance our business models with SpyFu and WriterAccess. We think there's a huge void out there and the net is, a concept focused on selling SEO services and focusing on reports and data and information and on showing the return on investment for content and how it affects SEO. All kinds of other fun stuff that we been racking our brains on for about four or five months now in trying to sort of make an appropriate debut with a webinar like this.
So, without further ado, we’ve got a bunch of stuff we’re going to go over today. Fun stuff we’re going to go over today. For starters, Mike’s going to walk through about a 10-minute demonstration of the webinar. As the invite indicated, this is a webinar focused on SpyFu customers and fans of recon files. We’re taking a look at a very exciting release that Mike has coming out tomorrow and a brief explanation about which we’re going to dive into today. What we’re dying to get from everybody is queued questions you have. We’re hoping you could start firing your questions into the toolset that would go to the webinar here on and really let us know what you want to learn about today; what questions you have as Mike goes through his explanation.
So without further ado, we’re going to have a 10-minute presentation by Mike and we’re going to go full-bore, all-out with questions. Bring them as fast as you can; we want to answer all of your questions. I, of course, as the host of this webinar will have several dozen questions. We’re gearing the presentation towards people who want to learn more about recon files, which of course, is an incredible tool that SpyFu has developed. So further ado; Mike over to you.
Mike Roberts: Cool. Thanks, Byron. Basically, we looked at the demographic of the people that attending this webinar, because we wanted to know if everyone was existing recon file users or whether there are a lot of new people out there. We found out that about 20 percent of the people are existing customers and about 80 percent are people that are new to it. So I want to go through real quick and bring everyone up to speed on what are recon files. Then we’ll spend the latter part of the whole thing on what’s new. What is this new keyword ranking report; how is it different and how is it going to solve your problems for you?
Byron White: Hey Mike, quick plug for Lance. Thanks for the question Lance, I love this. Show me how to get more clients at $2,000 or more per month? That is exactly what Mike and I want, is everyone asking questions. We're going to take these questions and pinpoint lots of different answers as we go through. I’m sorry Mike, go ahead.
Mike Roberts: I love that question, and we’ll definitely get to that because this new keyword ranking report will lead the conversation a little bit better to target those high-value clients. I talk about that specifically, but I love that lead-off question before we even jump in. and maybe I’ll even talk about it as I go. So real quickly, I’m going to show you what recon files are; SEO recon files and how they make your life better. Then we’ll get into what kind of feedback we’ve received from customers and what have we done with it
This will all be Q&A; just you and me going back and forth. I know that this is all about this product launch, but I want to make sure that it’s not just me monologing about something that we’re doing, because I think that this really applies to the overall thing that we’re all going for, which is showing the value proposition of SEO and highlighting opportunities for customers. That’s what we’re all about; I know it’s a product launch, but I think that there are things we can do here that transcend talking about a specific product.
Now, I’ll you tell how the keyword ranking report that we’ll be launching tomorrow is different from the domain dashboard, which is where the SEO recon files currently are. We’ll talk about the specific problems like how to get big clients, $2,000-a-month clients. Then we’ll go directly to audience questions and if we’ve got time, we can talk about new tactics we’re using during this launch. You can probably see how we’re leveraging remarketing, or if you haven’t noticed, we kind of dialed it up today and you'll see it all during launch week. I’ll talk about that if we have time; I don’t know if we’ll have time.
Real quick here, Seedra wants me to ask everyone to tell us what you like the most about the keyword ranking report. If you post it to our wall or tweet it with your answer, you’ll get our giveaway which is a free month of recon files and a SpyFu T-shirt. So, get in on that; there are a couple of giveaways on this thing, right Byron? What are you offering to customers?
Byron White: I am tossing up there for all attendees who sign up at WriterAccess for a $50 account or have an existing account at WriterAccess $50 in cash to anyone and everyone that wants it. It’s easy to do and I’ll tell everybody the secret sauce when we get to that point. So we’ll let people hang tough for a little while here, and then I’ll announce how to do that and how to cash in.
Mike Roberts: Yeah, the other thing that I didn’t actually put in one these slides but we talked about in the webinar emails, is that at some point in our conversation here, we’ll reveal a secret password. If you hop on SpyFu live chat either now or right after the launch, like tomorrow on launch day when you sign up for recon, we’ll give you a thousand free credits, which is about a $200 value, actually. So, it’s a pretty cool giveaway.
So without further ado, let me just launch in to what these reports are, what are SEO recon files and how are we different? I put this in as big a font as I possibly could because this is all we focus on when we build these reports. These reports are designed from the ground up to help you land, retain and upsell clients. We’re giving out information; these are for you to give your customers at the end of the month. They’re for you to give your customers, to tell them how valuable the work you are doing is, and what the opportunity is for SEO.
At the end of the day, this isn’t just a status report, this isn’t just a spreadsheet, this isn’t focused on the technical accuracy of how you moved up in rank on this keyword. This is a sales document that helps you to increase that retention rate of your customers, moves it up several percent, right? That’s the whole goal, right? If we can move you up from retaining a customer for a certain number of months to more months, that’s what this is all about because it’s designed to create value in your customer’s mind, show them the opportunity and really articulate that value you're creating.
So, how do we do it? The reports are structured so that we show the customer clear value and the key to this is, we don't talk to them about ranks and we don't talk to them about just clicks. Of course, we talk to them about ranks and clicks, but then we move them up into dollars. This allows them to compare, right? Customers understand the value proposition of PPC very clearly because it’s all about how I put in five dollars; I get six dollars back, right? So we set you up; here's what we did for you last month: you moved up in ranks on 21,000 keywords, all those new gains added up to 126,000 clicks and all of those are worth about $105,000.
The reason we do this is to showcase new content; nobody else is doing this sort of thing. All that new content we wrote; maybe using WriterAccess or whatever? This has got to be perfect for you guys, right? It's like if you’re doing content marketing, you know one way that you can show the value of that is, “Hey these got indexed, and not only did they get indexed, but they picked up about 32,000 clicks worth about $20,000, right? Again, we’re talking about moving you up the value chain from. “I ranked you on this keyword or I wrote this content for you” to “I got you this number of clicks worth this much money.”
So, it’s not like crazy, right? We’re not doing anything insane that your customers are going to question; we’re just doing things that other people haven't quite done, and it’s because we’ve thought about it from the very beginning. We thought about moving you up the value chain; that’s the whole purpose. I’m going to help you celebrate wins along the way. Another sort of showing the value; this is all the great stuff we did for you last month.
So, these are new keywords, Ok? These are new keywords you’ve never been ranked on before. Because of the great work we did for you, you now rank in the top 50 on 60,000 keywords; that equates to $52,000 a month. We start to show the opportunity in this one, right? We’re saying all of those keywords represent an opportunity leading to as many as 2 million clicks a month. This report is structured so that we start out with a value and we transition you to the opportunity. The value is, you love us and you’re going to keep paying us to do this great work, right? That’s where the retention is; opportunity is the upsell, Ok? We transition very smoothly; it’s like, “Ok, this is opportunity; now we’re moving into opportunity, right?”
How much value is that if you continue to use us as a resource? You rank in the top 50 on 29,000 Google phrases. Landing the number one spot on all of those searches would trigger 5 million additional clicks per month. By the way, this isn’t like a cookie cutout, right? See these little snippets that you can copy and paste and send to your customers?
For each of these sections, we try 20 different things to find the best one given the circumstances, right? Because every month isn't an up month, Right? There’s Panda, and there's Panda 3.4, and whatever. There’s things that will throw a wrench in your plans; it’s all about being at the mercy of the algorithm and what we do is spend of all of our time calculating; that’s why these reports take time to generate. We have these supercomputers spinning their wheels trying to figure out the best way that we can articulate value and opportunity to your customer, right? You could do this with your brain but we do it automatically, saving you that time.
The other thing that we can do to show them opportunity is to contrast what you're doing in SEO with their existing AdWords campaign, right? You rank in the top 50 on 2,000 keywords and you also buy on Google AdWords. By improving your position on those keywords alone, you could save up to $10 million a month. Now, this isn’t necessarily going to save $10 million a month for your customer. But again, what was the very first question that came in? I want to see customers that are paying me nearly $2,000 a month, right? Well, these reports are the differentiator between you and every other SEO firm, right? We’re articulating this value for you.
One way to claim some money for your SEO budget is to contrast this, to show them how you can save them money in AdWords. That’s like a really great trick, especially internally; when you’re an internal resource and all you want to do is SEO because you understand the value and you just want to articulate that to your CMO, right? You take this and you say, “Look, dude; we spend a hundred thousand dollars a month, or $10 million a month, or $20,000 month on Google AdWords, but you can only ever get 20 percent of the clicks on those things. Plus, I can save you money by just increasing the keywords we already rank on. It's a huge selling tool.
The final thing that we do in terms of the structure is that once we tell them, “Here’s the value, here’s the opportunity.” Then we’re like, “By the way, your competitors are already moving on this, so act now.” It’s a little slap to move that client, move that internal CMO, right? So, we say this month we increased 3,000 clicks by improving our position in organic searches that you also ranked for, right? They’re already moving.
So, this whole thing is all about selling, right? Everything that I’ve got for you is about helping you. I mean, you're giving these reports to your customers at the end of the month; you're doing this anyway, right? Why not put your best foot forward? I want to show you how these reports can be used in every stage of the sales cycle.
Right now, a lot of our customers love the SEO dashboard because it lets them type in a domain, and take it to a client, and look like a genius; look like they did a lot of work. These are all white labelable, meaning you can brand them with your own logo; that's the whole point. How cool would it be if you could just get this exact stuff in SpyFu; that’s not the point, right? These are all white labelable, so you take these with you on your presales.
In fact, we recommend that if they're going to a customer that have SEO right now, run a report for one of their customers. Show them where they could be, right? Take them both. Compare and inherent contrast, but this presales cycle we’ve got nailed, right? Everyone is using their reports all day long; I’m talking not mom-and-pop SEO shops. but some of the biggest SEO companies that you’ve heard of. Thousands of customers using our reports to drive their sales channel, presales, onboarding, planning, retention, upselling, right?
You don’t have to think about it, you don’t have to be the account manager guy; you don’t have to be like, “Oh, I’m thinking all about sales.”
All you do is put in your keyword just like you currently do. You put in your domain and you put in your keyword, or you just put in your domain; that’s the difference between these two reports, right? You either put in your domain, or you put in your domain plus the keywords that you’re already using anyway. For you as an SEO, it’s not like you have to start thinking about this cycle, but I want to show you how you can use it to get customers to bring them on and save time doing it.
To plan your execution, retain and upsell your customers; from the presales I’ve kind of already covered it. I don’t want to spend too much time on everything I’m talking about here; I want to get right to the Q&A. One thing that I do want to talk about is the on boarding process. Byron, remind me real quick; when you guys are putting together a content plan for a customer, how long does it take to do that stuff?
Byron White: on the low-end, 200 hours; on the top-end, 450 to 500 hours.
Mike Roberts: Right, huge. You pretty much either have to charge them for it up front because you’re onboarding a new SEO client, content marketing whenever. It’s actually probably easier with content marketing, because they know what they’re getting into. But even just if you're doing on-site optimization and so on, you still need all this planning; you need to figure out what you're going to do. That process, and I talked about it, is like a pill that you have to get somebody to swallow, right? It’s like a $10,000 pill. So how do you guys do it? Do you charge? I don’t know if you currently do this stuff or not, but you used to do it? Did you charge them up front or did you wait for the engagement?
Byron White: It took months to close deals and we needed to charge cash upfront for it to be able to staff it. There’s no vision; it's just grinding. That's why we’re out of that business; because your report is changing this business. Keep going because this is good stuff. Talk about this on boarding part of it though, and the ease of setting these reports up because it’s just jaw-dropping to me. Keep going.
Mike Roberts: A good process, and the process that I’ve spoken about at various events. Basically, I’ve talked to a 100 SEOs, but they're all kind of the same. The basic idea is that before you do anything, you need to do a lot of keyword research. You need to figure out which keywords we want to rank on, and customers will talk to you about the keywords that they think they should be ranking on. There’s some sort of divine-edict keywords of course.
Then there's the set that just makes sense from the products, and you do that research and you figure those things out. You identify the low-hanging fruit, and I always advocate that position. You want to be able to show customers some movement, so that when you start executing, you don’t necessarily want to go for those big ones. Just go for the ones that are easy wins; it doesn’t matter what they are, just so that you can show some momentum, because you don’t want to go back to them in the first month and you’re like, “We did a lot of things, but we didn't really make any improvements, right?
So there’s a variety of things, but ultimately, what you end up doing is you take this list of keywords and you break it out into keyword silos, right? That’s how you do it. It takes a huge amount of time, because you're ultimately making a list of 500 to 2,000 keywords. You’re taking 10 to 100,000 keywords and finding the best ones and that ends up being 500 to 2,000 keywords. In SpyFu’s case, in our case, it’s a couple of hundred keywords, right?
You create keyword silos out of that; you create a structure of content areas, or keywords that basically correlate to content areas. The recon files report that we have in the SEO dashboard and the keyword ranking report does that automatically. We build keyword groups in a nested cluster and we basically say, “Here are your biggest ones and here's your highest-opportunity ones. Now go out and build some content around this.”
When you look at a domain from a large perspective and you look at the entire structure of that domain, that’s one thing; but if you're allowed to focus on these hierarchies that you and I have talked about, it really aligns the way that you’re reporting with the way that you’re working. What I estimate on this onboarding process is that we save people 50 to 60 percent of that time; we’re not going to completely replace your 200 hours or your 500 hours, but we’re going to cut it down to at least half of that, and I’m being conservative. I really think that we can do better than that, especially in the first month because we automatically have something for you to execute on.
That’s one of the core premises of SpyFu recon files, either the keyword-tracking report or the domain dashboard; the keyword-tracking report is the new one. Patrick’s shaking his head; I have several people in here with me today. So you start executing immediately, no base lining necessary. You don’t have to wait time to deliver results to your customers, and that’s going to build the momentum. It’s bigger than the 200 hours, because now you’ve got momentum with your customer; you executed from day one, day zero, right? We have automatic history on everything.
Byron White: Mike, I just want to pause and ask about that for one second. I want everybody to understand this point because I think it's probably the most critical element at least for getting started with this report. So, if I have this straight, I can go load in my keywords that have been organized into categories. I can load in my logo and this report, this new report that you’re launching tomorrow basically starts running and begins to establish the baseline. There is no complexity, it's fast, it's easy; on boarding is simple, is that correct?
Mike Roberts: Absolutely, and you know what Byron? You’ve talked to me about this and I’ve heard it from customers. You put in the list of keywords, we don't have them. You’ll see those keywords show up immediately, right? Not necessarily exactly immediately, but within an hour. We have weekly tracking of keyword positions on the top 100 results, right? So it’s a pretty big difference and a pretty big game changer from SpyFu’s perspective is that now the results are alive, or at least no more than a week old.
So, you might have some crazy keywords that we’ve never even thought of adding, maybe some branded ones or some trademark keywords or something like that.
Byron White: Super long-tail for finicky customers that care about these crazy product names that no one ever does searches on or something.
Mike Roberts: And for a while, you’ve been able to add your own keywords to SpyFu, but never before have you been able to add those keywords and see those keywords hours later.
Byron White: A lot of people on the phone; this is what you have to battle with right now and how we actually used to use SpyFu. This is how I want people to understand this shift right here, because it’s pretty radical. We would go to SpyFu, and we would use your great tool that says “show me a competitor’s name,” put in a domain name, and we could instantly suck out in minutes through SpyFu every single keyword that domain name was driving organic traffic from, right? So we go to like five or 10 different competitors, suck out all these keywords and have this massive universe of 60,000 keywords or whatever the hell it was.
We’d have to manually look at the pay-per-click price, the search volume, which SpyFu would deliver to us, and somehow magically carve out our final list of keyword phrases. But at that point in history we didn't know where the customer was placed for any of those keywords. Let's say the customer site sucked, and they didn’t have any listing permissions, right? But now is the game changer, because now a good SEO specialist is listening and that’s going to be like, “Okay. I can build silos out, no problem,” but all I’m doing is I’m building those silos out, loading them into this report and this sucker is ready to start delivering performance measurements.
Mike Roberts: A feedback thing that we’ve done for customers, and I guarantee that you would tell me this exact feedback, is that I use the domain dashboard to get myself customers; but once we come up with a plan for that customer, we use something else. We use another tool because we choose those keywords silos and those are the ones that we want to report to our customers. The reality is, if we don't talk them about the exact same set of keywords that we all agreed was the plan, it's going to be distracting to them. We need to lead the conversation; we need to control where their focus is and if we have other keywords in there, it’s just the first thing they’re going to bring up to us there.
Obviously, I’m already going to rank on my branded keywords; that’s what they always say. I’m automatically going to rank on SpyFu, you know? You would assume that you’re going to automatically rank on every variation of WriterAccess. Why are these even in my report; I don’t even want to see that. Time after time, I’ve heard that feedback and the reality is, in the SEO dashboard, you can actually hide keywords.
I don’t want to sell out the SEO dashboard; it’s very useful. You can type in a domain, we can look at it and see that there’s some keywords in there that you want to remove. You can go in there and remove those, we built that in there from day zero, but you don’t want to do that every month.
Byron White: Can you reprint the report?
Mike Roberts: Absolutely. Yeah, we’ve been able to do that for a long time, but the way that people work with keyword ranking tools is they expect to do it exactly like we do. You go to web position, you go to web CO, you go to wherever, right? Raven tools; you’re going to type in a domain, you’re going to type in a list of keywords that you have in your spreadsheet, and they’re going to track them for you. SEOs know how to work with these tools; we make it so that you work with it the way you want to work with it. Of course, I mean, top 100 keywords, weekly ranking.
I’ve heard today that we’re already working on Bing. We won’t be doing Bing and Yahoo during launch; I’m not going to commit to a date, but it will be shortly afterwards. I was actually surprised that we’re already working on it; I wasn’t planning on mentioning it at all, but I do know that's in the process, and I expect it to be reasonably soon after launch.
So pretty much, we’re in the same category. We’re doing a lot of things that people already use but our differentiator is that we’re thinking about it from the perspective of how to help you increase the number of customers that you get; how to retain them and how to upsell them. We also use this at the sales cycle, right So, I’m at this planning piece and that's this course thing, right? That’s the thing we're talking about with creating a content plan. I’ve already talked about this, but retention I’ve also kind of talked about. We all hopefully understand, since I’ve talked about how we’re selling and retaining customers.
These reports help you to retain customers, because we talk about how great you're doing and then, of course, we talk about how much opportunity there is, and that’s the sales cycle right? You’ve got presales, onboarding, planning, retention and upselling. Planning, retention, upselling; that’s kind of how it works. Am I missing anything?
Byron White: We want more questions but there's a great question that came in that relates to this and it’s, “What is the best way to prospect for new clients?” I would argue, why not run these reports for new clients, why not show a little love?
Mike Roberts: Absolutely; build some mini keyword silos and keyword maps, pop your logo on a report and send it to a client that you’re hot prospecting after you meet them at a tradeshow or something.
Byron White: This data is where it’s at. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Mike Roberts: Historically, I’d say that the SEO dashboard is the best thing that ever happened to SEO prospecting, and I think that’s probably still the case largely. If you know a little bit more information, so if you're cold calling or if you don't know much about some of their concerns are, then the SEO dashboard is perfect. You type in a domain name; you send it over to a customer. Let me show you something. These days you can put in all your information; prepared by, presented to, that type of great stuff that makes it seem real customized for that client. Now, we’ve got that keyword ranking report.
So, if you know your customer already advertises a lot on Google AdWords, and your pitch is you’re going to help them save money, you take a list of keywords that they're advertising on AdWords, like maybe from SpyFu, and you paste that into a study, and you make a keyword-tracking report out of that. If you know that they're launching a new something or other, or they have like a new product line, or if you only want to deal with a specific segment of their business, you take the keywords that are relevant to that business and you pitch them on that.
You can drill down and customize your sales pitch even more, and that's where things really start to happen, right? You want the customer to feel like you really know them, but the thing is, you don’t have to know them that well; you can just kind of like guess. But it's a very specific report now, right? Or maybe you’re at a tradeshow, and you had a brief conversation with them, and you call that out. You build a report based on the couple of hundred keywords that you want to talk to them, or about 1,000 keywords, and you put that in there. It’s not like the report is just based on their domain; it’s based on the exact thing that you were talking to them about.
That’s the relationship build; that’s bigger sales, right? Talking about $2,000+ sales; that’s a bigger deal if you put a few more minutes into it. Driving some keywords that are going to be important to them; that’s a conversation starter, they’re not going to ignore it. Make sense?
Byron White: It does indeed.
Mike Roberts: Yeah, I mean, I just want to go out and start an SEO company right now.
Byron White: You’re pumped up with some good data here. What’s left in the slide presentations here? There’s one more; yeah, there we go.
Mike Roberts: Roughly, I want to talk about the difference between the two reports; basically the idea is that there are two reports, but one goal. We’re leading the conversation and it’s pretty much what I just talked about, so it’s the perfect question; you kind of stole my slide there. The idea is that you want to drill in, and give them presentation from a sales perspective. If you want to give them a more detailed presentation, you can do the keyword ranking report. Really what this is about is once you have signed your client, once they're on board and you’ve already won them. The keyword ranking report is the tool that you use to really control the message.
Now, I would personally run a dashboard report and keyword ranking reports; that’s how I would do it because each of these reports gives you something to talk to your customer about, right? Maybe you had a bad month; maybe you’re managing something for Home Depot and you had a bad month in the lighting aisle, but you had a great month in terms of the overall things because you ultimately restructured the site.
So, overall, everything just catapulted; you got 10,000 new pages ranked that were never ranked before, right? So, you would want to run an SEO dashboard for that, and when you talk to your customer, don't talk too much about the lighting aisle report. Does that make sense?
Byron White: It does, and there’s so much with these reports, it's really crazy. I’m dying to get to some of these questions, because there are some really great ones coming in.
Mike Roberts: We’re almost there.
Byron White: Keep going, keep going.
Mike Roberts: The one thing I want to make clear is that, of course, you can brand these reports. These are white labelable reports; not only can you put your own logo on them, but you can choose your own style, your own theme. You can add your own commentary; that's actually a new function. You want to control your message, right? Everything’s about leading the conversation. So, you can say who is this to, who is this from? Here’s a summary of everything that I’m seeing here; add your own personal touch to it.
Finally, the top 100 weekly tracking results; you're able to share that access with your clients just like you can with the report, but you can literally share it with them, and they can pass it around and it’s totally a shareable thing, right? So they can see how their keywords are changing, but you don’t have to. You're the SEO, you're the one in charge; it’s all about controlling the message and adding perceived value. Everything’s all about selling the design to land and retain clients, right? So, everything we focus on is our differentiator. With that, that’s pretty much my last slide, without a demo, Q&A and stuff like that.
Byron White: We might have some time to get to that if we can, but I want to go back to one of these first questions which was, “Show me how to get more clients, you know, $2,000 or more per month, right?” So, that was one of the first questions that came in, and I think that what we saw here is something pretty interesting and that’s the following: your prospect customers see you clearly as a commodity, right? You, the SEO firm, the agency, you’re a commodity. You’re one of many people who would love to work with them; they typically have zero awareness of you and they perceive that you have zero awareness of them, right? They pitch to my business, but what do they know about my business, right?
Clearly, this entire marketplace is now being driven by ROI, by return on investment, and when you have tools like this at your disposal that offer insights into customer’s performance, and there are multiple tools out there. When you can take a few minutes, put together some mini silo maps or a little mini group of keywords, whether it’s 50, or 100, or 200 based upon some science, and explain that to a prospect customer, and say, “I’m excited about the opportunity work for you. Thanks for your time today on the phone. As a follow up, I put together report for you that helps me better understand your business and how you're performing right now.”
Mike Roberts: Byron, that’s the way you guys used to do it, right?
Byron White: That’s how we improved 20 to 50 percent a year for five years.
Mike Roberts: I’ve seen those reports before and they’re great.
Byron White: Yeah, well we’re pitching half million dollar pieces of business on the content frontier, right? Our problem was we really had to dig deep with customers to earn their trust and their confidence. So, companies like Wal-Mart were like. “Yeah, I know you want to create content for us, but how do I know that you know what to write about? Like what’s your methodology to do this?” So, not only do we show hem our methodology and how we approach content strategy with the planning process and 400 hours of planning, which blew them away. We’d show them these big thick reports on content plans, which ironically were great in the early stages, but not on the “How did I do this month?” which is kind of what your report does right now, right?
We were relying upon Word Vision technology, but back to Lance’s questions. Let’s face it, with prospect customers, it’s turning them from browsers to believers and believers to buyers. You do that by earning trust with them, and building a relationship with them and deepening your relationships. You have to understand that their perception of you is that they are an SEO guy, which by the way has its own connotations, and Mike and I were talking about that just the other day.
Mike Roberts: Yeah, you get Tweeted every year. Everyone gets cold called or an email.
Byron White: We can get you a first-page listing in the search engine, bullshit I’d rather see. We will never get you on the first page of the homepage listing for the term car insurance, right? But what we can do is to take a closer look at how you're performing; hence look at this report. And number two, look at your overall goals and objectives you related to what your strategy is to achieve those goals and objectives.
Are you going to rely on pay-per-click? Not a good idea; pay-per-click prices are going up, not down. The marketplace is getting more and more competitive because it does show somewhat of a return on investment right? But I think what you need to do instead is to say, “We believe in SEO, we believe in content, we believe in improving your listing positions in the search engines with a steady stream of content that's optimized for the right keywords that deliver the right kind of performance that give you the ROI that you need.”
So how do you win that for your customer? Well, I’ll tell you what you don't want to buy is a bunch of sale-schmoozing, we’re the best in the business, rah rah, tooting your own horn. Where you win that business is very clear to both Mike and I at least; and that is with good data, with good information, with building a case that’s rooted in science, that's rooted in performance, that you can deliver a customer month after month, and showing them simple reports.
Mike Roberts: In my opinion, I think you’re the authority, right? We’re great at building this data and stuff, and building these reports, but it doesn’t get any bigger than Wal-Mart. That’s huge.
Byron White: Well, what we’re trying to do now is to take the type of approach that you have, Mike, which is, “Why can't we do this for thousands of people?”
Mike Roberts: Landing a big client like Wal-Mart; I mean, he’s asking about how to land a client that pays $2,000 or more a month, and you're talking about how to land Wal-Mart, literally with the authority to say “I’ve had Wal-Mart as my customer.”
Byron White: If anyone is approaching this with cheap as the mindset; if you think you’re going to win more business by lowering your prices, you're actually in the end of the day competing yourself. You’re competing yourself; it makes no sense. Agencies are picked because they like them and they trust them; period, the end. Not because they're cheap, and Mike, I hope you have a section of your new report which actually reports bad news by default.
Mike Roberts: Yeah, I agree; we talked about the bad news report.
Byron White: That would earn trust; that would help earn trust.
Mike Roberts: I think you’re right; there are certain customers where you want to show them the good news, and there are certain customers where you want to show them the good news and the bad news. And quite frankly, there are some people where you only want to show them the bad news. We wanted to make these things more or less safe for people to use, and our initial thing was, “Well, let’s not put the bad news in this report.”
Customers have asked us for the bad news report, but they’ve asked us more for the keyword ranking report. They’ve asked us more to be able to put in keywords, and so, I think we’ll end up producing a bad news report eventually. Bly. But again, controlling the sales message, making sure that what’s in here is positive spin on value and opportunity. And the only negative spin, frankly, is that your competitors are on the move; that’s the thing that kind of makes you nervous.
Byron White: Ok, let’s go to questionnaire. Richard wanted to tell you that the report showed dollars. To appeal to UK companies, what about reporting it in pounds?
Mike Roberts: Oh, that’s a good point. Currently, we don't have recon files for the UK. Hypothetically, what I mean by that is, SpyFu has always had Google.uk and Google.com numbers; we don't have anything for Google.uk. Richard, can you clarify that? Are you asking for recon files for the UK, or are you asking for us to just change the currency that we use? If you can just hop up, then that would be sweet.
Byron White: Yeah, cool. Ok, here’s another one. Do the reports show both traffic and rankings for keywords?
Mike Roberts: Yes. We talked about moving up the value chain, but we don't eliminate the ranking and I think that tells a story. It says, and I’ll go back to one of those slides, you want to move them up, not just talk to them about the dollars or something, so it’s like you moved up in rank on 20,000 keywords all of those clicks added up to $105,000.
Byron White: Another question here; and keep the questions flowing. This is so much fun I can hardly stand it. Seriously, Mike and I just love questions; it's so much more engaging and interesting. Ok, here’s one: One of my client’s competitors is way ahead in keyword ranking and continuously stays ahead without PPC. Are there any tools out that will help me find out how they're doing it? Competitive intelligence tools.
Mike Roberts: Well, to be honest with that question, I would say that in terms of SEO, if you want to know what they're doing, I would use Majestic to see what their links look like and try to reverse engineer that. I see that Richard replied. It says he just wants to change the report format, so he still wants the report on Google.com and just change the dollars to pounds. I think that’s brilliant; I’d have never thought of it. We should do it, because there’s no reason not to. Well, I’m not going to talk about the technical details, but we can do that. I’ll add that into our requests.
We actually use User Voice, and we actually use that to prioritize things. That’s actually how the keyword ranking report was born; customers came to us to have feedback, they posted them into our User Voice, and they posted it in large amounts, and voted for it, and kept talking about it on live chat, and then e-mail, and at tradeshows, and we’re like, “Ok, Ok.”
I know we’re working on the PPC recon report but we’re going to change direction and give these people what they're asking us for. I mean honestly, between you and me, and I guess everyone on the phone, SEO recon has at least doubled what I expected it to do. People love it more than any product we've ever done.
Byron White: Super exciting; another question. Looking at price plans, what does 200 recon report credits actually get me in terms of actual reports?
Mike Roberts: That’s a good question. For the keyword ranking report, we have a very simplified pricing model. It is one credit gets you two keywords, right? So, if you want to do 100 keywords, it will cost you 50 credits, and that’s credits roughly equivalent to about $.10 each. So, you're looking at like $5 a month for those 100 keywords. So, it’s relatively inexpensive; we priced it to be exactly competitive with every other keyword ranking report because there is a thing here, right? Why not be exactly price competitive and deliver a ton more value? So that was kind of my theory; we can price this high because it’s a premium service; I’m not trying to undercut anyone, but I’m pricing it exactly where you know there's no decision be made. It’s exactly the same; it’s just that ours is better for getting clients and better in a lot of ways, actually.
Byron White: Another question from Tom, thanks Tom. Any plans to move beyond the US domains? We work with clients in Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America and would love SpyFu for them too.
Mike Roberts: Currently, our plan is to do as well as we can on the US and the Google.com market. Of course, we’re doing them with them weekly tracking, but our goal is to be as good at what we do as we possibly can without expanding. If we achieve that nexus of uneasiness which we’re going to have here then we would expand, but I want to keep everything focused on one market. Yeah, well, that’s what we do.
Byron White: I will be working extremely hard to change that mindset, Tom, so I’m heading to Europe as soon as possible with WriterAccess; I’m going to drag Mike along with me kicking and screaming. That’s a no-brainer; that would be simple. I’m a graduate of the London School of Economics. I’ve got to conquer the world with WriterAccess; that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m going to bring in Mike along with me.
Ok, so let’s see. I’m an affiliate marketer and I have dozens of sites. I don't need white labeling since I’m only looking at my own reports. Do I need agency subscription to accommodate all my domains? What about that flat rate fee you pay for like an unlimited or a gazillion reports and white labeling?
Mike Roberts: Yeah, there is an unlimited report. There’s unlimited reporting with recon files; it’s $9.99 a month, that’s basically a $1,000 a month. A lot of people like that. That's actually a pretty big seller and basically, the only thing that comes without white labeling is the SpyFu subscription. The base SpyFu subscription comes with 200 recon credits but you can’t white label it. On everything else, white labeling comes for free. We could charge more for it, but let’s just keep things as simple as possible. We know that people pretty much want to white label this stuff, to put their own logo, choose their own theme and stuff like that. So, no price savings there.
Byron White: Well, someday we’re going to do a poll on how our business models are set up at WriterAccess and SpyFu. We’re going to get some polls in, but I was just having some good fun with Mike saying, “Mike, you know we spent a lot of time talking about this webinar and all your products” and Mike was acknowledging, “Yeah, it is kind of complicated now, how our products are laid out and our pricing structure and our points and our this and our that.” I would love to hear some feedback and Mike would, of course as well, with anybody who wants to pop in the question box with thoughts or opinions on the way SpyFu is set up. Maybe we can get a special poll going for that.
Mike Roberts: I’ve just got another question by Richard, though.
Byron White: He probably wants his commission on his idea, which I love.
Mike Roberts: He says, “In contrast to getting Wal-Mart as a company, my business model approaches SMEs.” I assume that’s small medium enterprises. “Do you think that SpyFu would give too much info for an SME?” I can tell you that people who have lots and lots of customers, thousands of customers, that are relatively small, maybe $300 engagements, are some of our most active clients, right? I’ve gotten lots of good feedback from those guys because they love the ability to type in a domain, and let it run, and have it automatically sent to their customers. They really don't touch them very much, because they know that what we do is give them good information. We’re frankly not giving them the bad news, so their customer which is a small business, is able to look at it and always feel good. There's not really that much extra touch that month for them, so they love those guys a lot and there’s a lot of agency accounts that are doing hundreds of thousands of reports per month.
Byron White: One interesting way to look at that question is a different way, and that is to say a common mistake people make when they’re pitching new accounts, going after small businesses versus large businesses, is they tend to want to beat their chest, and they want to pitch the blame and not the people at your company, right? If it's the people of your company you’re pitching, namely you the SEO expert, you want to be showcasing reports and data and information, Right? You want to show your intellect and your mastery of their performance, so I don't care if your business is small or large. They are going to respect you the individual for having access and producing reports, whether they can thoroughly understand them all is quite irrelevant; you’re showcasing your ability to track their performance.
Mike Roberts: You know what? It makes it look like you've done so much of this work all yourself; that’s the whole customizing, and putting your name on it, and their name on it, and your logo and their logo and it's like, “Wow, this is for me by you.” In reality, what you did is, you went to SpyFu and you typed in a domain name, and put in a couple of keywords, and it ran automatically, and it gets sent to them every month, I mean it's like super, super simple, but it looks like a million bucks that literally cost us more than a million dollars. So, you build it yourself it costs you not a million dollars, but whatever you’ve sunk into it so far.
Byron White: Well, keep up the good investments, Mike. There’s a bright future for all of this stuff; I’m certain of it. We’re approaching the end of the hour and we want to stay on track to make this a good hour here. Mike, do you have any closing thoughts. Let me see, another question.
Mike Roberts: We want to get the secret password out. The deal is, if you hop onto SpyFu live chat, go anywhere on SpyFu, there’s a live chat button. I gave it away; you hop on live chat and type in this phrase: Ninjabreadmen vs Unicorns. We didn’t quite get to it yet, so it’s out of context. How do I get this stupid thing to close? There we go, sorry. Let me pull up in SpyFu real quick here.
Byron White: Hey, while you're getting there, I’ll tell people the easy link they can go to access a $50 credit at WriterAccess for killer content. So, two ways you can get to it; I promised our existing WriterAccess customers if they are customers they can get this $50 deposit, a $50 additional bonus cash credit, by simply using the support desk and just login saying hey I attended the SpyFu webinar give me another $50 and Aaron Robinson, our director of technology, or whoever is servicing the board will immediately credit your account $50 and get right back to you.
For any new customers that want to try the new kid on the block, WriterAccess, we’re got about 5,000 writers super happy to have you try them all out. I think you’ll find the prices to be incredibly fair and competitive and the work higher quality, so give it a go. We set up a special page for this; it’s called WriterAccess.com/SpyFu50. You get 50 bucks for any SpyFu attendee of the conference or even Mike could go crazy and wild with this, and blast this out to some other SpyFu friends if you want to. We’re SpyFu fans, so we’re happy to have them.
Mike Roberts: We should do that; Sedra should be listening. We should send that as an extra bonus in the recap e-mail that we’re going to send out today or tomorrow. We’ll get that out.
Byron White: Happy to accommodate it; we’re just excited to be talking about this topic with you, Mike. I think that we’re on to some super big things here. People need help; they want to make their businesses better. I think Mike and I come from some pretty good vantage points on helping people grow their businesses.
Mike Roberts: So you see that live chat button? There’s a live chat button pretty much on every single page, but here’s where it sits in the buy pipeline. Also, this storage right here, so anywhere you want hop on there; Ninjabreadmen vs Unicorns. By the way, that’s a little nod to what we've got going if you're browsing the web. I’m sure you may have seen this, but we’ve got a bunch of ads that we’re running that will have a ninjabreadman on it.
Byron White: Hey Mike, someone had a really good question. This has been hard for us and I want you to get to this because it’s really important. How come the report does not show accurate local results? Can you talk about that?
Mike Roberts: Yeah, you can do local now with the keyword ranking report. The keyword ranking report won't run a generic search using your local DMA, but what you can do is pizza delivery Phoenix or Acura Scottsdale or real estate like Tempe. You would basically combine your localization phrase is what I’m calling it, but what I really mean is like a city, or a zip code, or a state or whatever, and you can track any keyword you want. So, you put those keywords in; we’re going to show you the instant results, and then they go into the report as well so you can build that report now. You're doing localized SEO; it’s brilliant, that’s a great question if you’re doing local SEO. Usually, that's how that works out. It's like, “Well, I’m never going to rank on ISP.”
I know a guy that I do colocation with who uses our reports, and I was helping out with some SEO. Well, I can't compete with RackSpace or something on colocation, but for Phoenix, he owns it because we’ve worked out and he does Phoenix ISP, Phoenix colocation, Phoenix rack mount and stuff like that. Just a bunch of different random terms around that sort of thing and that’s a really strong approximation when somebody types it in. I mean it’s excellent because it’s actually better terms, but when you type in ISP in Phoenix from a Phoenix DMA, it produces very similar results to Phoenix ISP. Does that make sense?
Byron White: Yeah except we’re going to have to do a whole explanation on the way your methodology approaches this, because it’s a really important question and it’s worth a five-minute explanation. Real quick; we really quickly need to help Todd out. He asks a great question as a follow-up; he says, “What will the $79 rate cover because the $99 price range was out his ballpark with a gazillion plates that he has, right?
Mike Roberts: Sure, the $79 a month is for SpyFu access if he’s got a bunch of websites.
Byron White: And he wants to look at performance on his sites.
Mike Roberts: You’ve got many different options. Here, it’s not just $9.99 or $79; when you go into SpyFu recon files you can pick up the $89, $199, $399. Basically what you need to figure out if you're doing the keyword ranking report is you just need to figure out how many keywords you need to track, and then divide it in half so it’s across all of those affiliate sites. Say you have 4,000 keywords; divide it in half to get the number of credits that you need. It might be 2,000 credits, for example, which would be $399. Alternatively, you can use the credit calculator right here and you can type in domain name.
So you type in SpyFu and WriterAccess, and apparently these could be the only ones that I care about. SpyFu is going to be interesting; I’ll calculate this, but I want you to understand that SpyFu is pretty expensive. It actually works in real life; it doesn’t work right now because we’re rolling out a new version of the site. One second, we need to go back to SpyFu.com/recon. We’re putting out a bunch of things, and little bits are broken here and there just as we’re rolling things out. That’s how it has to be I guess.
Normally, you can click on this credit calculator and it’ll tell you how many keywords. This has happened to me before; you go into the SpyFu plan, and you click on this calculator, and you put in the domains that you care about. It’ll tell you exactly how many credits you need to run the SEO dashboard; those won’t change, but let me say this: NewEgg.com, for example, has a hundred thousand keywords.
Well, we’re not going to charge you $50,000 credits when you run a domain dashboard. You end up spending like 300 credits for a domain dashboard but when you have a small domain and it’s got like 20 keywords that you care about or a 100 keywords, the keyword ranking report is actually a little bit better deal and it sort of scales a little bit differently. It kind of depends on whether he wants to use keyword ranking reports or domain dashboard. I think that as an affiliate, you probably want to do a domain dashboard so you should use that credit calculator.
Byron White: Got it. Well, once again, I want to thank everyone for tuning in to today's webinar. Mike, thanks for a great explanation.
Mike Roberts: Thank you, Byron. I just want to throw this up one last time: remind people to enter into this giveaway. Just post something, Tweet something at us or post to our Facebook wall. WWe’re going to want your feedback, what you think that you’re going to be able to do, what you like most about the keyword ranking report. We’ll obviously use your quotes in some way, like put it on a website or something, and that will also give you a free month of recon files and a SpyFu T-shirt we’ll mail out to you.
Byron White: Great thanks for tuning in everyone. Kid in a candy store over here, some good stuff and we’re going to talk about that on our next webinar as well.