Shaping SEO Success for Businesses: Transparency, Expertise, and Compelling Content

In a recent edition of the Coach Yu show, where we interview successful entrepreneurs to uncover their strategies for the benefit of all, we had the pleasure of hosting Caleb Kingston.

My journey with Caleb goes back six or seven years, during which we shared numerous experiences in various locations. Caleb is the driving force behind Brain Spin, an agency that excels in both its achievements and its grasp of running businesses.

The conversation is a treasure trove of wisdom, particularly valuable for fellow agency owners and those aiming to unravel the complexities of search engine optimization (SEO).

If you’ve been seeking insights into the world of SEO or a peek into the mechanics of thriving agencies, this discussion promises to provide an enlightening experience.

Unveiling the Digital Marketing Journey: From Creation to Transformation

The journey of Caleb Kingston into the world of digital marketing is a tale that rewinds to the early days of Brain Spin. At its inception, the company’s focus was on developing impressive medical apps and sleek websites. As Caleb and his team refined their skills, an insight emerged – their creations were craving the touch of marketing magic.

Clients began seeking guidance on expanding their website’s reach, triggering a realization. It became evident that guiding clients toward success was far more impactful than simply delivering a website and moving on. This prompted Brain Spin to delve into the realm of SEO, even enlisting the expertise of in-house professionals to master the nuances of the game. This experience marked a turning point, revealing the path to marketing expertise.

The story didn’t stop there. The introduction of paid ads followed suit, with clients expressing interest in platforms like Google, Facebook, and YouTube. While setting up Google Ads wasn’t a formidable task, deciphering performance metrics across diverse platforms posed a challenge.

Then came the unexpected entry of “remarketing,” a term that initially puzzled Caleb. However, his commitment to honesty prevailed, and he made a promise to explore it thoroughly, supported by the trust garnered through their successful SEO endeavors.

Caleb took my advice to allocate a significant portion of the budget within a funnel and implement the dollar-a-day strategy. This prompted Caleb to delve into the intricacies of custom audiences, tracking, and leveraging various platforms.

A leap in time transports us to a transformative workshop in Phoenix, where Caleb absorbed a wealth of knowledge that catalyzed a pivotal transformation within Brain Spin. The ultimate outcome was a game-changer – clients reaping astonishing eightfold returns on investment.

This remarkable shift revolutionized Brain Spin’s approach, solidifying Caleb Kingston’s journey as a testament to the remarkable potential of evolution within the realm of digital marketing.

The Magic of Remarketing and Multi-Touch Marketing

Paid ads and remarketing have a neat trick: making special groups of people or custom audiences is easy. For example, we can show them a certain ad if they watch most of a video. We can put Facebook ads in front of them based on what they like on YouTube or show YouTube ads for things they’re into on Facebook or your site.

And guess what? People who were on your site in the last month, especially those who nearly bought something but didn’t, they’re the ones who give the best results.

Imagine this – those ads that seem to follow you around, from YouTube to CNN and other websites. It’s like magic, but it’s really about the clever tech stuff – the digital plumbing, pixels, and tracking – that make it happen.

The 70-Touch Magic in Marketing

In marketing, the rule used to be that it takes around seven interactions to turn someone into a customer. But can you guess what it is now? Maybe 30 or even 50? Surprisingly, it’s a whopping 70 touches. Why? There’s so much noise on different platforms, and people crave more info.

Google introduced ZMOT, the Zero Moment of Truth, showing how people Google everything, get insights from friends, and it’s a journey. Especially if you’re selling high-cost services, a single Facebook ad won’t seal the deal. People want proof and expertise – it’s about convincing them, given the noise.

Think about dinner plans. Have you and your spouse decided two hours before eating? Most likely not. Around 25% haven’t. So, what happens next? They chat with friends, see a place on the road, and decide. Many decisions happen spontaneously. It’s like Chick-fil-A – you’ve heard about it, seen retargeting, then a Facebook ad or TikTok nudges your memory, tipping the choice.

Each touch counts. A big electronics company needed 60-70 touches for sales. TikTok’s research? Over 70. But that can be costly without smart retargeting. Like Carls Jr. ads on TV and then Facebook. They ensure every dollar hits 70 touches. It’s not just TV or Facebook – it’s all platforms working together.

Unveiling the Power of Remarketing: A Real-Life Example

From Caleb Kingston’s perspective, this illuminating client story perfectly captures the essence of digital marketing finesse. The client in question was all about orchestrating these sprawling, in-person courses across every single state in the nation.

Here’s where it gets interesting – hone in on the world of Google searches. Imagine typing in a keyword and then wondering: how many people are signing up for a course right after punching in that search term? It’s like the heartbeat of the game, really.

This journey takes a sharp turn into the intricacies of keywords, where everything hinges on the numbers. Caleb highlights a crucial point – not all keywords are created equal in terms of financial viability. Some just don’t stack up well when you start calculating the numbers.

But the real magic unfolds when the spotlight shifts to the dynamic landscape of Facebook and the enchanting concept of remarketing. Caleb excitedly shares how remarketing sparked a skyrocketing in conversion rates.

And then comes this intriguing observation – sometimes the numbers on Google might not tell the whole story. Let’s say the Return on Investment (ROI) isn’t hitting the mark, even if you’re shelling out a considerable sum and getting back some revenue.

Caleb unveils how they seamlessly synchronized their approach. When they decided to ease off a bit on Google, the volume on their Facebook campaigns got dialed down a tad as well. When they amped up that Google volume, it synced perfectly with their game plan.

However, Caleb goes on to unveil that the beauty of remarketing isn’t just about gauging the success of one ad group or campaign. Nope, there’s more to it. You need to pull back the curtains and take in the entire funnel. That’s where the true insights lie.

This client he’s talking about? Well, they’re no small fish. We’re talking about in-person courses that spanned the entire nation, with a jaw-dropping 400,000 students scattered all over. This was a whole new ball game – firearm safety courses. Imagine those courses that unfold at places like Cabelas, and Bass Pro.

Now, let’s delve into the cool tricks they pulled off in the realm of remarketing. There was this app in play – a guide to firearm laws across all 50 states – and they were slapping a modest $2 price tag on it. But then, it occurred to them – why not dish out this app for free? But it didn’t stop there. They added a dash of metrics into the mix.

Think about it – tracking who’s intrigued about firearm laws in Utah or any other state. However, the real gem was using this app as a stepping stone to spotlight their high-ticket, in-person courses. They went full throttle with this strategy, keeping a watchful eye on app traffic, the learning journey, and how it correlated with their Facebook ad game.

And the result was amazing. The story of a $2 app per user wasn’t exactly sending shockwaves. But when they revamped it with free content and plugged it seamlessly into their grand plan to promote those game-changing, in-person courses, the numbers didn’t just impress – they exceeded all expectations.

From Videos to Bestsellers: Unveiling the Power of Sharing Expertise

Imagine this: the training you possess can be turned into a goldmine. All it takes is recording a bunch of videos and running them through tools like DeScript and ChatGPT. The result? Your very own book. I’m a firm believer that anyone in the services business, armed with knowledge, should have a book. It’s the modern way to share expertise. The process? Simple. Record a series of short videos based on Google’s “People Also Ask” (PAA) questions. These are the queries Google suggests.

Take a day to answer these questions in your videos. Transcribe them using DeScript, then put ChatGPT to work – it’ll organize these gems into chapters, polish it up, give it a catchy title, and voila, your book is ready for Amazon. Not to mention, running a “dollar a day” campaign on Amazon can make you a bestseller in your category. This dollar-a-day technique is my current favorite thing on Amazon.

Now, here’s the wisdom nugget – when you put your knowledge out there, initially, you might seem like you’re losing money. It’s like a lead generation strategy, you’re giving to gain. Some might try it themselves, but most realize they need your expertise and decide to hire you.

Caleb also recalls having conversations about this with skeptics. The classic question arose – “Who’s going to hire you if you’re giving it all away for free?” But out of a thousand people exposed to your free wisdom, maybe one will attempt it themselves. The rest? They’ll recognize your value and opt to enlist your services.

This strategy didn’t just push Caleb’s courses to $7,000 a month in sales. It brought astounding opportunities, like partnering with Adobe. Caleb is now an enterprise instructor for Adobe’s creative applications. Teaching over 300 companies, including Fortune 500 giants, exposed him to diverse teams and their design workflows.

It’s like a backstage pass to peek into the intricacies of how these big teams operate. Although Caleb has never been a part of a company with hundreds of designers, this experience gifted him with a comprehensive understanding of various design stacks and workflows.

Boost Confidence: Interviews and Call Recordings for Compelling Content

In today’s digital age, businesses often face the challenge of embracing video content creation. Many are reluctant to step in front of the camera or create selfie videos

To make content creation smoother for them, consider interview-style content creation. Record conversations where they naturally explain their offerings. This can help build organic and authoritative content. And it’s all about repurposing – one comprehensive video can be sliced into various content pieces like articles, blog posts, social snippets, and even books. That’s the essence of the Content Factory.

SEO Success

Moreover, tapping into client passion is key. They might not be comfortable on camera initially, but by recording conversations and getting them to explain their expertise, they’ll become more natural over time. This approach can also be useful for service businesses – record conversations with potential clients, then repurpose the content for various purposes.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that tracking user interactions can yield valuable content ideas. For instance, by recording and transcribing calls, you can pinpoint exact user pain points and inquiries. You can then use AI-powered tools to analyze these interactions and identify the best headlines or topics to address in your content.

Another valuable tool Caleb uses, particularly beneficial for clients in call-based businesses, is an app called CallRail. It records conversations during calls, providing a valuable resource. It’s an effective method for tracking e-commerce activities. While it’s straightforward to track dollars spent and earned for marketing, this approach doesn’t always suit service companies where precise dollar connections might be elusive.

Implement call tracking to attribute calls to their sources, such as Google, the website, and other channels. Beyond just tracking, extract insights from these conversations. Some of these 30-minute exchanges are brimming with content potential, such as discussions about understanding services, payment queries, and more. This practice has proven immensely valuable for creating relevant content.

For instance, consider a Portland pest control company. By recording and analyzing calls or user feedback, they could uncover unique pain points that serve as excellent headlines. For instance, “Pigeons in My Trash” or “Raccoon in the Backyard.” These customer-expressed issues become powerful copywriting hooks that resonate with the audience.

The use of tools like CallRail, along with transcription tools like DeScript, facilitates the extraction of conversation content. These transcriptions can then be further analyzed through chat GPT or similar tools to identify the most compelling snippets and insights.

Effective SEO: The Synergy of User Intent, Engagement, Reputation, and Industry Expertise

When it comes to SEO, the principles of user intent, engagement, and reputation emerge as fundamental. Google aims to match search queries with content that aligns with user intent. This involves assessing various signals, such as user behavior and the credibility of backlinks. Engaging, relevant content and quality backlinks build a website’s reputation, which is pivotal in SEO success.

However, distinguishing between ethical and unethical practices in the SEO landscape can be complex. The core principle remains the same: focusing on user intent and providing value. The caution against purchasing low-quality backlinks—akin to purchasing weight loss shortcuts—applies here as well. Authenticity, relevance, and genuine engagement are the cornerstones of sustainable SEO strategies.

Being an expert in SEO is crucial, but it’s not enough without industry-specific knowledge.

For instance, someone well-versed in Sony and Zeiss lenses can offer valuable insights. Similarly, while SEO expertise is pivotal, it falls short without industry-specific knowledge. This specialized knowledge keeps users engaged, and video content also contributes to user retention.

Grasping user intent demands expertise. A profound comprehension of the industry is essential for decoding user intent. Whether assisting a videographer or advising a consumer on camera equipment, expertise is the linchpin.

In these scenarios, subject matter expertise serves as the core of SEO. The effectiveness of SEO now hinges on industry-level expertise. Mere familiarity with on-page elements doesn’t suffice; you must possess comprehensive industry insights.

Balancing AI and Expertise: Crafting Credible and Authoritative Content

The current landscape raises concerns when it comes to leveraging technologies like ChatGPT. For instance, one might assume that industry expertise isn’t necessary due to the availability of tools like ChatGPT, where one could input competitor data and receive suggestions. However, upon implementing ChatGPT into our operations, we encountered a crucial realization. While the content generated appeared well-crafted, it lacked subject matter expertise.

This issue stemmed from the fact that ChatGPT sources its information from the vast expanse of the internet without being able to discern genuine experts from unreliable sources. Given that a substantial portion of online content is of questionable quality, ChatGPT tends to generate content that may not accurately reflect authoritative knowledge. Even when ChatGPT crafts content that seems plausible, inaccuracies or misinformation arise.

Hence, while we’ve adopted ChatGPT as a starting point, we emphasize the indispensability of subject matter expertise. We require our team to overlay ChatGPT’s output with their industry knowledge, ensuring that the content aligns with factual and reliable information. This practice of human oversight is essential to maintaining the accuracy and credibility of the content we produce.

Caleb extended this approach to industries ranging from limo rentals to roofing companies. While certain industries offer room for generating informative content based on research, there are domains, such as camera equipment, that necessitate a deeper understanding of technical concepts. Crafting content that presents itself as authoritative but contains inaccuracies can severely damage a brand’s reputation. Therefore, it’s crucial to combine the potential of AI with the expertise of human professionals.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that even if ChatGPT-generated content were technically accurate, relying solely on it will eventually backfire. Search engines like Google, which used to emphasize expertise, authority, and trust (EAT) as ranking factors, have now changed the criteria to EEAT, the extra E being experience. While ChatGPT-generated content might align with EAT criteria to some extent, it cannot replicate the authentic experience and knowledge that comes from industry insiders.

This emphasis on authenticity and expertise is pivotal because the search landscape values what is hard to replicate. For instance, speaking at conferences like Adobe or getting featured on reputable media outlets can’t be achieved without a solid foundation of industry knowledge and genuine expertise. Similarly, generating quality blog posts, podcasts, and videos that offer unique insights requires a depth of understanding that goes beyond what ChatGPT can provide.

Addressing Transparency and Client Engagement: The Crucial Shift in SEO Success

One crucial aspect is building trust with clients, especially in the realm of SEO. Transparency is paramount, but it can be challenging to showcase the intricacies of our work, especially when dealing with month-to-month contracts. These short-term arrangements can lead to premature dissatisfaction, as SEO results might not manifest within a few months. Educating clients about indexing times, competition levels, and the complex nature of the process is crucial to establishing realistic expectations.

Agencies often encounter situations when despite achieving remarkable results—tripling call numbers and traffic—a communication gap persists. Despite sending emails inviting clients to review progress, their lack of availability hinders discussions. The stark need for client awareness optimization is evident.

Here’s what Caleb faced. After a year of outstanding growth, one scenario unfolded: they were let go. The absence of transparent communication could erode trust. Despite the record-breaking success, the absence of dialogue left the client in doubt. The challenge lay in building trust when they remained uninformed. Defensiveness clouded explanations of six months’ worth of achievements.

However, a transformative solution emerged: the power of frontloading transparency. Monthly management reports detailed accomplishments in depth. They showcased keyword improvements, domain rating placements, and a tangible roadmap. They simplified comprehension with screenshots and links, granting a comprehensive view. The clincher was a call-to-action: discuss strategy or continue with focused efforts. This proactive approach revolutionized retention.

Clients, busy as they were, embraced accessible information. It ensured engagement without the need for time-consuming calls. Preparing clients during the onboarding process with upfront expectations became invaluable. This approach resonated: we were investing in their success, and they understood it.

Frontloading extended beyond reports, linking their actions with real-world impacts. Demonstrating precisely where links originated and clarifying strategies built trust.

Contrastingly, other SEO companies often hide behind vague efforts, leaving clients skeptical. Caleb’s approach showcased genuine efforts, strengthening partnerships.

Furthermore, quarterly strategy discussions created meaningful connections. Clients who invested time in these sessions experienced remarkable growth. Those who neglected them faced stagnation.

In SEO, collaboration is a key ingredient. One hour of client engagement monthly is a modest commitment that yields exponential growth. Your investment in transparency and involvement sets you apart and ensures you’re not outperformed by competitors who prioritize engagement.

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.