The Next CMO Podcast: Mastering SEO with Bryan Phelps

Episode Notes


Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most cost effective growth channels for any marketer, but it takes regular effort and patience to make it happen. Learn how leading experts make those most of their web content with smart SEO practices. In this episode, we speak to Bryan Phelps, the founder and CEO of Big Leap. Big Leap is a specialized SEO agency that Bryan founded in 2008.

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Full Transcript



The next CMO podcast explores topics that are on the minds of forward-thinking marketing executives from leadership and strategy to emerging technologies. And we bring these topics to life by interviewing leading experts in their fields. The next CMO is sponsored by Plannuh makers of the world’s first AI based marketing leadership platform.

Peter Mahoney: [00:00:25] And hosted by me, Peter Mahoney, the former CEO of Plannuh along with my cohost Kelsey Krapf

In this episode, Kelsey and I talked to Brian Phelps, the founder and CEO of big leap. Big leap is a specialized SEO agency. That Brian founded back in 2008 and we do a deep dive in all things. S E O I hope you enjoy the show.

Kelsey Krapf: [00:00:53] thanks so much for joining us today, Brian, this afternoon on the next CMO podcast, I’d love to learn a little bit more about you and what you do.

Bryan Phelps: [00:01:02] Yeah. So I founded big leap in 2008. I got started in the digital marketing industry a few years before that I in the, yeah, in the SEO world, that’s always been my background and specialty, but I started just learning it.

They didn’t really teach it at schools and it was still early. And the SEO world. So yeah, it was a lot of trial in there. So I built my own websites. I optimize them, got them ranking well and were able to, was able to monetize those sites and actually make a few bucks doing that, which was fun.

I was just really, I just found it really fascinating, but yeah. It started. And eventually, and like I said, in 2008, started big leap and we’ve grown a bunch since then. And we’re a digital marketing agency. So we provide SEO and content services for other businesses. We’ve like I said, since about 2018, it’s 2021 we’ve grown to about 90 people and work with some great brands, both big and small, and we just love helping other people improve their SEO.

Peter Mahoney: [00:01:58] That’s great, Brian, and I assume big leap refers to what it took for you to actually go out on your own and start your company. Is that a fair?

Bryan Phelps: [00:02:05] Yeah, that’s always a tough time, when you’re launching that and trying to get something started there. So I get a lot of people assume that and can or resonates with people that have done it as well.

Peter Mahoney: [00:02:16] Like I can tell my wife can probably probably also appreciate, or I don’t know if appreciate is the word she can understand. I did the Santa raid commiserate. Thank you. One of those, one of those. So that’s exactly right. So I’m really excited about this conversation, Brian, because I know you guys do a lot relative to digital marketing, but you’ve really cut your teeth and got really deep in SEO.

And that’s a topic that Kelsey and I have been talking a lot about lately and we thought it would be cool to dive a little bit deeper into SEO because it’s something that most. Marketing organizations and most marketers are focused on at some level today because certainly I think people are woke when it comes to the idea of building great content, but they don’t especially know what to do to make sure that they’re ranking and getting listed correctly, et cetera.

So maybe to set the table, you can give us just a super rudimentary view of what in the world is SEO.

Bryan Phelps: [00:03:20] Yeah, that’s a great point. It’s changed and grown and become a lot more common, which is I think a good thing. So a lot of people have a good general knowledge. Of course we hope we can take it a deeper level.

There, a big leap where that’s all we do. But to really, I, like you said, set the stage, with SEO, we look at that and say, what are the activities required to perform well, get content and websites and videos and images and all those things. In search results, obviously with the goal of, users potential customers typing those things in and finding, our customers are our clients, generating new customers from that.

So we break it down to, to maybe make it a little bit more tangible, in some ways into three buckets. So the first is the technical side of things. The code of the website how easily Google can find it and index it. The Google bot that comes to the site, they can actually find all the pages and content.

That’s a really important part of it. That’s one bucket. The second bucket is content, which is a pretty big, broad bucket. So that’s everything from. The what the title tags on the website say to the actual written content on the, on a product page, for example, and then even the content from blog posts and infographics and any kind of visual content videos, all that kind of stuff.

We could in that content bucket. And then the third bucket is promotion and popularity. So it’s great. If you’re a brand and you go out and produce great content and your technical SEO is all done well. But Google looks at that third bucket to understand, Hey who’s popular in this space who should rank higher.

And so one of the major ways they do that is to understand if people are talking about this brand or this content through links. So as other websites. Linking to, or mentioning this other brand. And so that’s a big part of what we do as well as how do we actually go out and promote and make sure our clients, content and websites are getting linked to, so they rank well in the search.

Peter Mahoney: [00:05:15] Excellent. It’s a great great summary of where to begin here. And one of the things that I like about how SEO has evolved over the years is that everything that you talked about is about creating a great user experience. And it’s about making sure technically it’s everything from your pages are loading quickly and they’re they’re efficient and they’re organized the right way.

And obviously the content is meaningful and relevant and referenced appropriately. And then third is the idea of popularity and sort of the web policing itself and saying, is this something that other people think is relevant? And so the goal, and I think Google has gotten quite sophisticated as well as some of the other search engines around building their algorithm to optimize for that.

And what I like about this is that it’s actually doing the right thing by content we’re in the past. You literally had people copying and pasting keywords over and over again, to try to get their stuff found. And now it’s about creating a great user experience. Am I thinking about that correctly or am I just totally a Pollyanna?

Bryan Phelps: [00:06:24] Oh, you’re exactly right. So if you go back to when I got started and the 2004, 2006 range. Yeah. Everybody learning tips and tricks and forums about how to game the system. So you mentioned one about just, loading keywords. And I don’t remember the last time I saw that, which is good, but used to see that at the bottom of websites where there was just this string of texts that, absolute nonsense at the bottom of website and then people took it to the next level and said I’m going to make this text the same color.

How’s the website because then users won’t see it, but Google isn’t at that time, wasn’t actually looking at the website. They’re just looking at the code. So they would see that. So yeah, it used to all be about gaming the system and, you’d see these no-name type brands and things ranking for really competitive keywords because they were better at gaming the system.

And as we mentioned, Google’s done a great job, especially at, evolving that. And so they’re better able to understand who are the real brands, that should run. For those different types of keywords and actually penalizing people in some cases, if they’re trying to manipulate the system.

So that’s what we love about SEO and why I think SEO has value even outside of just showing up. What’s showing up in the search results. We do what you described of trying to make sure that at the end of the day, we don’t even need to focus on Google. We focus on potential website visitors and say, what’s gonna make the best experience for them.

And in turn, that’s going to help us perform better on the search results. Can you

Kelsey Krapf: [00:07:47] can Google always staying on top of the algorithms and constantly changing, what is the best way to stay consistent so that you’re always staying ahead of and keeping those results that you currently have with here.

Bryan Phelps: [00:08:02] Yeah, I think that’s an important part of it. And some people especially I think early people in their careers are getting into marketing. And as we’ve talked about, people maybe that are aspiring to be CMOs, look at it as as a one-time thing almost where it’s oh, I’m going to do SEO this year.

And then we’ll see next year. But it doesn’t really work like that. It’s the best I think analogy that I’ve heard or seen as it’s almost like working out a little bit, right? It’s this consistent thing you have to do. You can’t. Okay. I got a six pack last year. Now I’m good for the rest of my life.

Like I don’t have to maintain that. You have to keep working on that and working, muscles and things like that. And so it’s this ongoing effort and there are times where you might need to put in more effort because you have competitors that are doing the same. And sometimes maybe you can lay off a little bit.

If you feel like your results are where you need to be. But that’s really the key, I think for most brands that perform really well in search is that they do have the consistency you talked about. It’s an ongoing effort, but they’re always tackling and maintaining.

Kelsey Krapf: [00:09:00] That’s great, good analogy as well.

Peter Mahoney: [00:09:02] So tell us a little, a bit about the business case for focusing on SEO. What’s the cost of not doing it. What’s the benefit of focusing on SEO? How should marketers think about that?

Bryan Phelps: [00:09:16] Yeah. I think if you look and there’s lots of stats that are out and changing, unfortunately Google, and which makes complete sense, right?

If they’re proprietary data and algorithms, they don’t exactly say here’s how to rank and exactly what you need to do. So the stats are usually third-party numbers, but there’s really interesting stats about that, about how many people search for specific keywords. And then we can estimate from there.

Okay. What percentage of people that search are going to find you, and then, based on your website, conversion rate, how many customers does that turn into? We really try to use data like that to estimate what is the potential, no return on investment for something like that. And just over the last 10 plus years, as we’ve done this a lot as we’ve looked at brands big and small fortune 500 down to, an independent owner business owner type person those that have focused and performed well and spent the time and consistency on sta.

It’s almost always their best performing channel from a cost perspective. There’s great channels, right? There’s Facebook ads and Google ads. And there’s not that those are necessarily easy, but there are quicker. And so a lot of people focus on those because they, they need more immediate type, quick results.

But it’s the challenge with that is just over the longterm. You have to keep doing that, keep paying that you don’t build any of your own equity brand equity there from a search perspective. So we don’t, we’re big supporters of, Facebook ads, Google ads, because there’s a place for that.

But the risk, I think if you don’t shift some of that focused organic is that you’re at their whim for. Potentially a long time. And every time, Google needs to increase profits as an earnings call, what do they do? They’re going to start increasing the cost. And we’ve seen brands that were able to get a great return from paid search, for example, but just as click costs increase, it almost prices them out where like they have a hard time even getting a return, even if their performance is.

From a Google ads perspective. So there’s some, I guess that’s a math we can do to show like the opportunity, but and I think the risk of not doing it as is what I just outlined there of just being a little bit too reliance on some of the paid channels.

Peter Mahoney: [00:11:19] Yeah. And obviously you’re reaching out to different segments of the audience with with SEO and search optimization and in paid because obviously.

SEO is assuming someone’s actually searching for something. And there’s some level of intent versus someone who may be passively focused on something else. And you’re going to stick an ad in their face that may or may not be relevant. Hopefully it’s relevant if your targeting is done correctly.

So it really is, it is an end for most people. And I do believe you’re right. That you can’t ignore it as long as it’s is, it’s aligned with your overall strategy. So do you have examples of companies who shouldn’t care about SEO? Let me put it.

Bryan Phelps: [00:12:06] Yeah. So we’ve talked about this a lot recently and just talking about, who we’ve had success with in our business.

And I think there’s almost always a fit and, but the level of importance definitely can vary. One example that we’ve had with new brands and startups that have an opportunity to do that, to, to focus on SEO and see results. But sometimes it’s more, even from a. Brand branded standpoint. So literally like the branded keywords people are searching for.

So if I have a new app or something like that, and someone goes and searches for it in my app, my business app doesn’t even show up. It’s a little off putting maybe Hey, is this a reputable, app or whatever it may be. So we think there’s that brand component for them, but we’ve worked with some startups that are paving a new path and there really isn’t search demand.

At this stage at for them. So in those scenarios, we’d say, Hey, let’s make sure from a branded perspective, things are looking good, getting your website. The technical bucket that I talked about is optimized well, and we’re creating content that can target the right audience, even if they’re not super aware of you yet.

And we’ll shift our focus a little bit more to those kinds of things versus an example, like one of our clients is Avis Carrera. A lot of people, millions of people search for car rentals around the country every day. And they have the right intent that you talked about. And so it’s a no brainer for a big brand like that when your product is just well-known and people are searching for it.

So those are the two ends of the spectrum, I think, as we look at it let me

Peter Mahoney: [00:13:31] tell you my my story about rental car search. We used to get. Inbound phone calls from consumers, confused consumers all the time, because they were searching for budget and customer service. And what they ended up finding is our customer service page.

Related to marketing budgets, but what they really wanted to reach was budget rental car. And I get these really unfortunate consumers who were dealing with a a complaint or an issue or something like that. And and they’d often call in. It’s very early stages of my company. This happened a lot and I’d pick up the phone and I’d be dealing with an Oakton, a G Octa Najarian or and in listening to.

This person complain about where’s my refund or something like that. And so that’s, obviously that they must not be a customer. And and I suspect that if I searched for Avis customer service, Probably have a much better outcome.

Bryan Phelps: [00:14:36] I’d say it’s funny, I guess in budget, our own it’s called Avis budget group.

They’re actually owned by the same organization. And so that’s an interesting example where search engines have I think gotten better in the last year, especially the last few years of understanding. Some of that, but that’s, you can you can imagine from a computer’s perspective, right?

Like that confusion. We had a similar example with a group we worked with that does customer support outsourcing. So people were doing exactly what you did. They had searched for best buy customer support or whatever, and find their site. And so they’d get a lot of those calls. So yeah, that definitely can happen.

And hopefully, yeah, the brands are showing up there too, but from a. The demographics of people searching sometimes there’s that confusion and they can end up, clicking on the wrong listing and calling their own

Peter Mahoney: [00:15:20] group. One thing that I’ve noticed that’s a little bit tricky for for brands is that Google is really encouraging as an example, this sort of structured content model where maybe you can get exactly the answer you’re looking for without having.

Deep onto the, to the page and just have it show up in the search results and that in some cases it’s great for the brand because it may be. For instance, if you were wanting to find Avis customer service, my guests these days is that you’d literally see that as a number showing up in your search results and you could click it or call it from there.

And same thing with looking for contacts or lists of things, et cetera. But sometimes it discourages the consumer from experiencing your site. How do you think about that? Trade-off between providing convenient information to the consumer. And attracting them to actually come to experience your website, where you may be able to get them to do something else.

Bryan Phelps: [00:16:15] And that’s probably one of the biggest debates in the SEO world is what you described. Like that example you gave, if you do search that nevus, this number shows up there with their logo right next to it. And like you said, from a user perspective, if that’s what you want, that’s great to get that quicker, but maybe.

Do a live chat or, send through their email system. And obviously you can still click through and do that. So as Google’s experimented with some of those structured answers and things like that in the search results, a lot of what the studies have actually shown is that. Like in some ways you’d expect it actually does reduce your traffic.

And so in some ways if your main goal is purely traffic, you can almost be better offering second for a search term than first because your first one you’re giving them the answer and then sometimes people scroll past and then start clicking. Cause they don’t understand or recognize they can click on that first result.

And so it’s been this a little bit of a debate. It’s Hey, do you want to try it? Optimize for that. It’s a little hard, harder with SEO than like paid, for example does say, I want to be second versus first. Like Google’s kind of determining that at the end of the day. And so it’s something that we’ve.

Done a lot of work in Google has actually changed that they’ve I think most recently actually reduced the amount of featured answer snippet type of things that they’re doing there, but we just look at it overall, as in the SEO world, we just don’t have that much control over saying first or second.

And so we’re just at the end of the day, going to optimize the best we can and we’ve had good success with that. Clients is a HR software company. And so they’re big keyword. They want to show up for as HR software. And we focused on that and had some good success, getting them to rank in those featured snippet areas.

Because we really focused on creating great content where they weren’t there before. So at the end of day, we look at us like, Hey, from a brand perspective, we’d rather be there at the top. The not. So we’re gonna, we’re against, still optimize for them.

Kelsey Krapf: [00:18:06] Definitely. I just have a question on when it’s appropriate to fit SEO into your overall marketing strategy, because say for instance, a startup there’s a lot that is going into your marketing.

When does it make sense for a company to really structure their marketing plan? Figure out how important it is to include SEO in their marketing plan and strategy.

Bryan Phelps: [00:18:28] Yeah, that’s a great question. I think the answer is it’s, there’s always a place, like we talked about a little bit earlier for startups, but yeah.

When do you really, maybe dig in a little bit more and for us that really is guided by search demands. So we’ll look and that’s what we do with all of our clients. As we try to take this big inventory basically, of what are. Searches search terms people are doing. And that totals up to, whether it’s a hundred thousand or a million searches per month, that’s where we can start applying that, that model on that map and say, Hey, what’s the financial opportunity.

And that’s where a lot of. Customers start to look at it. And again, that can still just vary a lot depending on their type of business. So if someone was getting out and starting we have a client that’s launching a brand new mobile carrier, which is really cool and exciting, but it’s a startup and it’s funded and they’re working on it, but we can do that research and know, Hey, there’s plenty of search demand now.

So they’re jumping right in and getting started with SEO from the beginning of their life. Whereas that other example is more of a B2B app. That may make a little bit more sense to wait until that, that industry’s developed and yeah, a little farther along.

Kelsey Krapf: [00:19:34] I was going to say, I think one reason why people do get discouraged with SEO is that they go, they look and they pull keywords and all of a sudden a monthly search volume is not, where it’s supposed to be, but that’s because you have to create that awareness first in order to get people to actually search for those terms to begin

Bryan Phelps: [00:19:49] with.

Yeah, we’ve seen some great brands that really create the search in the non branded search. Like they pave a new path. There’s even, these brands that have really picked away whether it’s Airbnb or any food delivery, like just all the changes and with, new services, things like that, someone paves the way, and then it creates a lot of search behind it.

And so sometimes that first brand. Benefits from that. And they get all that, but sometimes you’ll see the second and third commerce take advantage of that.

Peter Mahoney: [00:20:18] So one of the things that we’re seeing these days in the industry is. Is that if I search for, I just searched for HR software since you have a client that does this.

And and I suspect, I won’t say which one, but I suspect yours is near the top, or if not at the top here, but the key point is that before you get to the Oregon manic results, there are 1, 2, 3, 4 ads. There’s a sort of a structured content thing underneath one of the ads. And then there’s another structured content thing.

So I literally have to scroll. To get to the first organic result. How is that affecting consumer behavior around engaging with organic results versus paid?

Bryan Phelps: [00:21:03] Yeah. And so that’s been a big change. It’s been a few years ago, Google added that fourth app. And instead of having them over on the kind of the side rail, and know, what’s interesting is, there’s a lot of people that recognize the ads and skip them completely.

One thing Google’s doing better at, I think we’ll, you’ll continue to see this. They want to make the ads a little more engaging and more on point versus, sometimes you get, see these ads that you don’t even understand why they’re showing up for, and it makes sense to skip over them. So overall, when we look at that and all the different, like you said, the snippets and the people also ask boxes and things like that as if you compare it.

You know how much traffic the very first organic result gets today for a search versus 10 years ago, as a percentage that’s actually decreased. But the interesting part is that the amount of searches increased enough to surpass that. So there’s still a ton of opportunity with organic. The amount of traffic has actually increased.

But Google has done a little bit of a good job, on their part or from their advertisers part and trying to chip away at that a little bit. So it’s something, yeah, we’re always paying attention to and looking at, but the organic results still, I don’t remember the exact stat, but it’s something like 80% of traffic of search traffic still goes to organic and less, going to paid.

But that number is definitely increasing a little bit, a little

Peter Mahoney: [00:22:22] bit each year. That’s fascinating. And I got good news for SEO marketers obviously is that there’s still lots of opportunity to be recognized and I guess probably good news for for paid advertiser because their ads seemed to work.

So it seems like they’re trying to keep the balance there and keep everyone happy. One thing you brought up a couple of minutes ago, Brian was really interesting to me was the idea of using SEO to do really strategic research and answer questions for your business. And in really understanding search traffic is an interesting thing and I suspect it’s something, not enough people do.

To understand what’s changing. Is that what I’m curious to see if is that something a big leap helps with people helps people with in general and into what kind of creative applications have you seen of using search research to to make business decisions. You brought up this great example of a emerging mobile carrier saying, Hey, there’s enough opportunity here to do it, but I suspect there are other interesting one.

Bryan Phelps: [00:23:26] Yeah, exactly. And most people you the staff it’s over the years have shown like the number of keywords in a search term have increased almost every year. They get longer and longer because Google’s better and better at showing relevant content. And there’s much more content available out there to them.

And so one of the things we really focus on is, yeah, what are the questions people are asking that, we can answer and a lot of brands. Especially, newer brands too, just don’t have that content available yet. So we can go out and do is again, if you do a search term, you’ll see Google say, people also ask, or the auto suggestions as you start typing in keywords, we can gather all that information.

And then we inventory that against our client’s content and say, Hey, what are the questions that we just haven’t answered yet? And let’s focus on that and get then get people, get our website showing up. People that are relevant, right. Audience, looking for us. And yeah, we usually go through a big effort there.

The other point about, how are brands, taking advantage of that or what are they doing? We’ve seen everything like that example. And that’s a great way for a new brands that are getting into a competitive market. Like a wireless carrier is a great example to take a little bit of an advantage because some of those big carriers are maybe thinking about all these questions people are asking.

But when we look at literally thousands of questions, people are asking, it adds up to potentially millions of searches per month. So that’s a great way to break into a competitive industry. And then we’ve also seen it for big brands, like an Avis car rental, best buy at and T you name, whoever it is to improve the user experience for their customers.

So that’s a little bit more on the branded side. So what are all the branded searches and questions that people are asking? And is that brand answering it? The brand of course would rather, probably be the one to answer the questions and control that conversation versus, the guy in YouTube in his basement, and maybe answering a question that may or may not be accurate.

That’s a great, thing, especially for bigger brands to make sure. Whatever showing up in the search results about their brand is accurate and helpful. I

Peter Mahoney: [00:25:23] assume you can also, if you’re a big enough brand to your point a minute ago, Brian, I assume if there’s enough volume and you start to see searches about how do I get rid of my, or replace my brand X thing then that might be a cause for concern.

And that brings me to this question. I’ve been wondering a lot lately is the idea of should we be How should we be managing the strategic decisions around search in a marketing organization? Cause you think about it. These issues span the entire life cycle of marketing, from research all the way through customer acquisition, to customer service and everything in between.

So it’s a broad and strategic thing, which is tricky. In fact, We had one point I was the CMO of a good size company before a large public company that had a lot of divisions to it. And we had literally parts of the company bidding against other parts of the company for different keywords.

And so we ended up saying, Hey, let’s stop doing this. Let’s try to centralize it. Is that something w where does it belong in a marketing organization? And in, how should you think about the role of managing sort of the strategic SEO topic within it?

Bryan Phelps: [00:26:41] Yeah. I We’ve almost always, I think have seen SEO of course fall under the big umbrella of marketing.

It usually lives there. And big brands may have internal SEO teams that are managing and maybe focus in different areas. Like we’ve seen some international companies that have someone over in north America and, just different countries or continents to touch to try to, target that overall.

But that is one of the interesting things I think overall with SEO is that, a lot of times people want to lump it into its own channel, and measure it against paid search and social and all these different things. But at the end of the day, SEO really is just. The collaboration of lots of different things, right?

So you have your web dev team, which maybe is under it. Maybe it’s under marketing PR and digital PR, which, maybe in our communications or the marketing team you know, content. And like you said, there could be lots of different owners across a big organization that kind of own content. And so I think at a big company, especially a successful SEO person really, they’re not probably tracked in their own channel, but they need to be a person that can work across all these organizations.

It just can’t live only within marketing and be really successful. So it is, I feel like it is really unique and different than a lot of other channels because they can really focus on, their own bucket and their own channel and kind of stay in their lane. But it’s a, it, especially if there’s anybody listening, that’s looking out for, how do I structure this?

Interview the right people for SEO. That’s one of those skills that you probably should be looking for is how do they collaborate? Coordinate project manage across lots of different organizations

Peter Mahoney: [00:28:14] that makes a ton of sense. And knowing from my past that sometimes it doesn’t end well, if people don’t collaborate through these things, I imagine that kind of a person is would be super valuable.

So one, one thing I was wondering Brian is there one thing. That every marketer should do relative to to, to SEO that they’re not as specially doing. So what’s, if you could give people one little thing, one piece of advice to do that everyone should be doing. What do you think that is?

Bryan Phelps: [00:28:48] That’s a great question. I think one thing that is interesting about SEO that most people, even if you’re not an SEO professional could use and take advantage of that journey. They can make each other efforts better as the research side, the keyword research side. So a lot of the people in marketing teams, want to understand the customer better.

They may go out and do surveys and polls and things like that. But there’s so many interesting tools that are available that are focused on SEO, but can give you so much information about the exact thing you’re looking for. So again, what are those things? People are searching for? What, what what are their pain points?

That you get that answer through their search terms. So it’s a really a broader set of data and numbers to answer some of the questions that, whether you’re a PR person, content person, those are the questions you want to know as you’re focusing on customers. And so understanding that and how to use some of those tools, I think can help you in your job, even if you’re not an SEO professional, but also of course help your SEO campaign to make sure.

Solving those pain points and creating a great user experience for your, hopefully your website, visitors and potentially customers.

Kelsey Krapf: [00:29:56] I couldn’t agree with you more and also to continue to go back to those keywords that you originally found and constantly update, constantly find the new words that people are searching for, because I know it’s always evolving, but what other digital marketing strategies are often overlooked when it comes to just in general or sta.

Bryan Phelps: [00:30:16] Yeah, the strategies. I think it can be the, especially if you’re an in-house marketer to you’re focused on, you’re probably, managing several channels and things like that. And so it’s easy to lose sight of what is. A new new customers experience, right?

Cause you get to know your website well, you know how to go find that page with the pricing information or whatever it may be. So we think it’s helpful for us, even if we’re, again, just focused on SEO or it’s I think definitely helpful through over website, user experience as well. Monthly, quarterly, annually, whatever makes sense for you as to try to replicate that experience.

And there’s some tools that you can use that record visitors as they come in the site, but even through, it’s Google analytics or Adobe analytics, you can filter down to those new users and see, how much time did they spend on the silo pages? Did they go to. And really focus on that segment of one of your goals is to drive new people into the site, make sure it’s, just a great experience for them regularly.

I think we do that often when we launch a new website or it’s a, maybe a once a year thing, but it really should be more frequent.

Peter Mahoney: [00:31:23] I’d add to that, Brian, that you should do the same thing with your competitors. So it’s really interesting when you benchmark your own initiative. Visitor experience to what your competitors are doing.

And I’ve done this before and sometimes you feel really good about yourself and sometimes you discover that, oh my God, I’m so far behind some areas and in it’s everything from the, that first experience, and the best thing to do is, open up an incognito browser or private mode or whatever you’re using.

Show up to, start from search, follow your way into the site, give yourself a task and give yourself the same task for doing the same things to your competitor’s site and see what it feels like. And and it can be really interesting, obviously it’s gonna vary a lot based on the kind of business, but I spent a lot of time with B2B.

Technology businesses. So a lot of it was what’s the lead experience. And am I going to go all the way through, find what I’m looking for? Am I going to get followed up with and get a response and things like that? And in it obviously is something that can be scary when you identify those things for mud.

See what the differences are from your competitors, which can be startling from time to time.

Bryan Phelps: [00:32:35] Yeah, I know we’ve watched, new visitors on one of our websites or our client’s website. And you’re sitting there watching this recording, but you want to yell at him no, it’s right there.

It’s so obvious, but obviously it’s not. And enough people do that and you really recognize that it’s not as intuitive as maybe you thought it was. I love your tip there too, of looking at competitors. Cause it can be easy to couple of years ago you launched something new in that way. New and cutting edge at the time, but maybe a couple of years have passed and, a new competitors created a better, flow into a lead or a checkout process that maybe you hadn’t thought about.

Peter Mahoney: [00:33:03] I can tell you from our own personal experience that our focus on SEO has been really rewarding and Kelsey started. Redoubling our efforts on an SEO and we pretty quickly got to first page results for a lot of the key keywords that we were trying to get like marketing budget, software, marketing, planning, software, things like that, that are really important to us.

And it makes a huge difference and it can pretty significantly contribute to to your business if you focus on it. So this is it’s it’s one of the things that inspired our interest in having this conversation, Brian, and in certainly can’t recommend enough that if people aren’t. Doing much or haven’t done much lately with our SEO.

If you’re not doing something lately, you are not doing it is probably the point right. To you probably don’t have those six pack SEO abs anymore. Brian. And so w with that in mind, thanks so much for being here. I think a couple of quick, last things before we let you go. One we’d love to hear just a little bit more about how how people can learn more about big leap and get more of the giant Brian Phelps sprain on.

Bryan Phelps: [00:34:11] Yeah. So definitely check out, big We have our main page there. You can check us out as well as our blog on that side as well. And then outside of that, we probably spend a little bit more of our time on Facebook and LinkedIn, of course. So if you search for big leap and then you could search for Brian Phillips on there as well, it’s a big leap and that’s where I usually like to connect and we really do love to just, help and talk through those things.

So if you do have, if anybody’s out there listening, yeah. Questions or a unique scenario. We’d love chatting about that. So definitely check us out on LinkedIn.

Peter Mahoney: [00:34:44] Great job with your SEO. If you type big leap two words, it is the first organic result, which is hard to do with two very generic English words.

Well done, Brian. I shouldn’t be surprised in with that. I think Kelsey probably has one more time. Yeah. So

Bryan Phelps: [00:35:00] I’m

Kelsey Krapf: [00:35:00] sure our listeners have caught on by now that this is the last question we always ask. But what advice would you give to those that are CMOs or aspiring to be one.

Bryan Phelps: [00:35:11] That’s a great question.

And we work with, like I said, everything from, yeah. People just getting started at career-wise in the marketing field to smilie experience CMOs. And I think one of the things that’s really fascinating to us as we talk about them as the different approaches out there. And we love brands that are doing the really interesting new cutting edge things.

Tons of value in that, the one thing we kind of counsel, with some of the younger group on is a little bit of what we’ve talked about today is that, SEO Has so much value and it really creates this a foundation really for your marketing efforts. So if you’re a B2B marketer, like we’ve talked about, SEO, and hopefully it should be growing and you’ll have maybe a down month here or there, but it should be growing.

And that really creates a stable base that your company can rely on. And then go do those other, the Facebook ads, Google ads, some of the, and maybe even more interesting, shiny things, but don’t forget about that foundation. We all want to go out and have some big wins, and you can definitely do that by doing some new and new things that people are doing.

But don’t forget about that base baseline and really focus on, making that successful and really stable which your CEO’s appreciate what your sales teams really appreciate when they can really have that baseline to count on. And then. Yeah, look forward to some of the new, fun, exciting things that you may be working on too.

Kelsey Krapf: [00:36:27] Great. This has been a wonderful conversation. Thank you so much for your time today, Brian, and make sure to follow the CMO and Plannuh on Twitter and LinkedIn. And if you have any ideas for topics or guests, you can email us at the next CML at Plannuh dot com. Have a great day,

Peter Mahoney: [00:36:44] everyone.

Bryan Phelps: [00:36:45] Thanks, Brian.