2018 revelations mean a big 2019

by Jim December 18, 2018

This is the final show for the year and what a year it has been. Our learnings and expertise has helped shift our focus away from SEO and towards a revenue model for retail clients. Our ad spend returns with the new model have been crazy, and we’re looking for a few new clients in the New Year that want to boost their bottom line.

What I learned

  • 2019 will be the Year of the Dollar
  • Brand is the SEO tiebreaker
  • Technical SEO is still important
  • Technical SEO boosts ad spend returns
  • The revenue model isn’t for everyone


Hey! Welcome back, Rankers. Final show for the year! Wow! This is number 13. Year 13, not show number 13. 700 and something, I think.

Thank you to everybody who has supported us this year. It’s been a really interesting year. Lots and lots of stuff has happened. We’ve learned a lot and you’ll hear me speaking less specifically about SEO next year and more just about making revenue, making coin, making the dollar because what we’ve learned this year is that, you know, the deciding factor, when it comes to SEO, the thing that’s going to be the tiebreaker is always going to be brand, providing everything else is equal. And sometimes a brand can be stronger than the best technical SEO out there.

Technical SEO Isn’t Dead!
So you might have rubbish technical SEO, but a really strong brand, and you’ll rank anyway. So once learning that you go, “Okay. So we still do the really, really good technical SEO.” You’ve got to do that. And, as I pointed out last week, not only do you need to do it for your users because a lot of the technical SEO stuff is actually user experience stuff, you need to do it for some of the paid media products like Google A.I. ads.

Like, we had one last week and I put it up on Facebook and the guy was getting, for every dollar he spent, he was getting $50 in return. I’m going, “This is crazy! I’ve never seen this before!” Anyway, turned out the numbers were wrong. He was only getting $30 for every dollar he spent through a Google Ad product.
Now, you might say, “Well, where does that leave SEO, Jim?” Well, I’m glad you asked because they work together, right, as they always have. So paid media, you’ve always used that to go, “Okay, we want money now.” And if you are getting 1200, 1600, or in the case of this bloke, 3,000 percent return on ad spend, surely you’re going to keep spending it.

If I say to you, “Hey. If you give me a dollar, I’ll give you 10,” you’re going to give me a dollar, right? So it makes sense to do those things. Where SEO and organic fits in, it’s this long slow burn that just keeps gaining strength and as you’re working on all of those SEO things, they’re helping you with your Google Ad products and your Facebook ad products and all these other ad products that are using A.I. and need strong structures and speed around them because remember all of these things help the user at the end of the day and that’s what we’re trying to do is make it as easy for the user to transact with you as possible.

And for us, the model that we’re moving to, as I said, is a revenue model. So because we’ve worked out that the main difference with SEO campaigns, a lot of the time, is going to be brand, then we can work with the client to help grow their brand, work with them on what they’re doing online, making sure those two things are matching. So many online experiences and offline experiences, you don’t see that brand gelling terribly well.

>Do You Fit the Revenue Model?
So it’s making sure you’re doing that, making sure that you are active, and this is what we’ll be doing because we have to find our buyer persona now. We’re looking for about two or three more clients early next year. And we’ve got to be very selective about this because this model does not suit everyone that we’re doing because it’s quite speculative on our part, so some of the things that you will have to do sometimes, it might be recoding a product, a plug-in so that it’s not as heavy and doesn’t slide down the side as much, something like that.

That’s quite speculative and quite time-consuming, so that’s a risk that we have to assume. So therefore, if we’re going to do that, we’ve got to make sure that the people that we’re targeting are the ones that are going to fit this model because not everyone will. Like some clients want you to go and do keyword research. We’re not doing that in this model because this is for retailers, right? We know what products you have.

Keyword research is hardly even necessary now with a lot of the products and the way that users approach the net. So for us, it’s about, you know, the business has to be ultra-entrepreneurial, they need to be in business for a couple of years, they need to be in a growth phase, and they need to have a certain culture around them that says, “Okay, we’re going to grow this and we’re going to get going. We’re going to get moving.”

So it doesn’t suit some larger organisations, for instance, but certainly, ones that are looking to grow, it really does. So we’ve got to be very, very careful about who we bring on in that context because we don’t want to bring on the wrong client and it costs us too much money, right?

So we’ve got to bring on the right ones and that’s what we all have to do, right? We have to focus on where our buyers are and then make sure that you’re growing your brand with those buyers. Make sure you’re doing solid technical SEO to cover all of those things because whilst you’re doing solid technical SEO, you’re fixing speed, you’re fixing all these things, you’re fixing the structure, they are all going to impact the user experience on your site as a whole.

So then all you’re doing, pretty much, at the end of the day, is working out where you should be spending more money, where you should throw more money. And that’s what we’re doing at the moment, at the end of the year. We’re going, “Hey, this thing is getting $15 for every dollar we spend. Can we throw more money at it, please?” Yes, no-brainer, right? And those things only work that way as long as you’re doing that solid technical SEO.

Hopefully that’s helpful. Thank you again for everyone this year and have a great saffy … saffy? Well, have a saffy if you want it. I don’t even know what that is. But have a safe and happy holiday and we’ll see you next year. Thanks very much, everyone! Bye.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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