(The Owner and President of Spellmann & Associates, he’s an expert in Web Development, Social Media Marketing, Traffic & Leads Generations and Email Marketing)
The Best SEO Plugins, How to Avoid SEO Scams, the Differences Between Bounce Rate & Hits and Context vs. Keywords? Best Ads Services out there?
How to Pick a Web Address (Domain Name) Correctly?, The Differences Between Primary & Secondary Domains? Which Program to use to Identify the Legal Pictures?
As a Texas Panhandle native, he earned his MBA from West Texas A&M University.
Websites & Social Media Links
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Hi everyone, this is Ahmed Al Kiremli and welcome to Be Efficient Tv. The mission of this web TV program is to boost the efficiency of your business and life through tips and tricks from leading experts and today I have with me Eric Spellman he is the owner and president of Spellman Associates, he is an Internet marketing expert, web development expert, expert in traffic, email marketing and social media, welcome to the show Eric.
Eric Spellman: Thank you very much I’m looking forward to this.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: My pleasure, tell us more about your background and how did you start in the Internet
Eric Spellman: Well my background is more education than anything. When I started I worked at a local university and it was back when they were first connecting the Internet, back when the public didn’t have access to the Internet so my job was to teach the professors at the University why the Internet was useful. So I had to learn a lot about the Internet during that time to do that so I quickly realized that teaching technology was something that I really enjoy.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What year was that?
Eric Spellman: This was back in 94 or 95, very early, back when the public really didn’t have access to it. It
was primarily universities and government here in the United States. Ahmed Al Kiremli: What did you study?
Eric Spellman: I have an undergraduate degree from West Texas a and M University in computer information systems, basically a programming degree and then I got my Masters in business, my MBA from the University as well.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: If you went back in time would you do the MBA again or would you say an entrepreneur like this? Do you think it’s a required to be entrepreneur or not?
Eric Spellman: Getting your MBA helps if you want to start a business, it was wonderful I highly recommend if you ever have a chance to get your MBA do it, because it will help fill in the gaps and give you a lot of information that an undergraduate degree wouldn’t give you as it relates to starting your own business, I love it, it helped me immensely.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the services that you provide through your company and how did you start your company, how did you do this transition from education into opening your own company?
Eric Spellman: The company was started back in 2001 as a computer training company remember I said teaching is what I like doing, it was starting is a training company where businesses could send their employees to my company and they would learn Microsoft Excel or Word, programs like that that were not offered back when those people at the school so we get a lot of hands-on daily training and then the local university decided to start offering that to and their prices were much cheaper than mine so as an entrepreneur I had to change or die. I had to do something new, I had to quickly turn so I bought a small web design company and started building websites and started doing that and then I realized that simply selling a company or website wasn’t good enough and too many people thought that a website was just a glorified pamphlet, an online brochure when in fact the website should generate leads, should generate sales but only if they are built a certain way so our niche if you will our specific area that we target very much has to do with helping the customer understand that correct Internet marketing generates leads or sales and that can be, the metrics on that can be measured, I’ve always that of the opinion and ensure you are to that you
cannot manage what you cannot measure. A lot of people think that the goal of website is simply hits, traffic, and what I’m teaching my customers through our Internet consulting which is what we do now but I’m teaching my clients is the goal of website or online promotion is not traffic, the goal is conversion. A conversion from an anonymous looker if you will to lead her to a sale.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You bought the company or restart of the company from scratch?
Eric Spellman: I had my company and then I bought a very small web design company and incorporated it into my company so my company switched from being a training company where we had computers and we taught people how to use computers to a web design company. As an entrepreneur and let me tell you that was a scary thing to do.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is that?
Eric Spellman: Because if I didn’t make the change I would be out of business. Being an entrepreneur there are so many scary things about it but it also makes it exciting because you see something coming down the path.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you feel that the educational. Was over and you wanted to mix education with web development or your model in terms of education was like networking and you said, you mentioned that you have to add another service to of the company to make it work?
Eric Spellman: Keep in mind I was offering computer glasses because no one else in this area was. All of a sudden a big competitor showed up and I could not compete with them, I knew I would not be able to compete.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What year was that?
Eric Spellman: This was maybe 2005 maybe. I knew I couldn’t compete so my company had to either
change or go out of business.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How many people did you have when you bought this company how many people did you have in the company and how many people you have now?
Eric Spellman: Back then I only had two people but when I bought the company that came with a web developer so that helps. Now we have between 13 and 15 people and hundreds of contractors around the world.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Outsourced. So what are the things that anyone who wants to build a website should start with our ask himself or ask the developer to deal with like what are the things that we should look at before we start building a website for our brand or company.
Eric Spellman: Before you ever pay anyone to build a website, before you go get one of those free that website or something, you as a business owner must ask yourself the question: what is my goal with the website? How will I measure success when it is all said and done, too many people think that a website is an online billboard, a virtual pamphlet if you will so as a business owner a website can’t simply be one of those little check off the list and go to the next thing, I’m starting a business or get a website done. Keep in mind that the website will be the number one way people find you the number one way.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the 10 website mistakes and don’t you think that most people build their website just as a digital catalog that they put on the net for their company to have like a property of the Internet.
Eric Spellman: Yes there are so many mistakes that people make if they just thought about it if they just sat down and wrote about these mistakes would not happen me give you some examples: one of the first mistakes people make is choosing a bad domain name, a bad web address. It needs to be something that you can tell someone over the phone and you don’t have to spell it, I tell my customers never ever have a-in your domain name even though it’s technically all right people never remember that so when you tell them over the phone your whatever.whatever they don’t hear that so they end up typing something else. Also You need to use a domain extension whether it be.com or.whatever that your customers are used to using. Here in the United States we have.net.org and.everything that I tell my customers you need to use.com because you can tell them.work all day long and people will still take.com. Also one of my rules concerning your domain name is that it doesn’t have to be the name of your company can be what you do and from a Google SEO standpoint that can actually help you. And that’s just the domain. When we look at the website, when I look at someone’s website, what because I have a lot of people call me up and say Eric look at my website and on what you think. When I go to it I give it five seconds, I land on the home page and I scan it the same way everyone else does from the top left to the bottom right and I’m looking for a picture of Fraser a title that somehow communicates that these people might meet my needs. Because that’s what people do, too many websites have too much text and that’s all it is, keep in mind no one is going to read all about the first time they went on your page. Also no one scrolls, 80% of first-time visitors to your website will never scroll. If they don’t find something that gets them in the first few seconds, five seconds I say they are going to head to the back button and go to the next guy on Google.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So they just have a look as it is as a square on the screen without scrolling and then they will decide if they want to scroll or go to another page.
Eric Spellman: Exactly, the goal of a homepage is to simply convince someone to click, that’s it. One of the most important web statistics that I point out to business owners is called the bounce rate, a lot of people think it’s your traffic, most important statistic is traffic but no to me the most important Internet statistic to measure whether your website is working or not is the bounce rate, let me explain what that is. The bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on your webpage and then they bounce off and leave and don’t click on anything in other words there was nothing on that page that got them to engage, nothing on that page that got them to go deeper. The bounce rate for most businesses should be below 30%. But I’m finding if the statistics are available on a website, most of the people who come to meeting help their bounce rate is upwards of 70 or 80 or even 90% which means 90% of the people for the first time living on that page don’t click on anything, they leave. So to me it’s one of the best ways to measure whether your website is connecting people you are trying to reach. If people look at their Internet statistics, if any of your viewers go to look at their Internet statistics and they don’t see bounce rate, typically the best way to see the bounce rate is to make sure you have Google analytics installed, Google does show the bounce rate. To me it is the most powerful statistic to know whether your website is working.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What makes people bounce out of the website like what should we change on the homepage to make people stay more or do we just keep testing and measure through Google analytics?
Eric Spellman: That’s a great question, the key is to think like one of those potential customers, what I tell people is that everyone who was on the Internet doing searches for a company, they have a need of some sort, whatever we have a need from a marketing standpoint we make decisions as a human being for only one of two reasons, every decision is for one or two reasons, we are either trying to avoid pain or desire something we don’t have, that’s it, every decision you make is based on either avoiding pain of some sort, financial pain or physical pain or you want something we don’t have. So we realize that when people go to Google and the type something in its based on that so for instance if someone who sells cars as a website, why is someone looking for a car? Maybe they are trying to avoid the pain of a car that no longer works or maybe they desire a nicer car than they currently have, you said I’m saying? Understanding why someone is searching for you can help you design the page in the first place. The key is that you have to have something
on the page that make someone want to click. Let me give you an example: here in the United States when someone buys a house they buy it from someone call a realtor someone who sells houses. And a realtor needs a website. A lot of realtors don’t realize is what should be on their website. I tell people all the time that buying or selling a house is the largest financial transaction most people will ever make so there’s a lot of fear, how will I choose a realtor who will get a high price for my current house at five me a house for a good deal? There is a lot of fear so you are probably saying Eric what are you getting at? If a realtor came to me and asked what I need to get a my website to lower my bounce rate I would tell them this: you put a little square on it, a little button and it might say 10 mistakes you can’t afford to make when buying a house. That’s it. Because what’s going to happen is someone who doesn’t understand the first thing about buying or selling a house goes to a website and they want to be educated, they don’t know if they’re going to make a right decision or not, so if you help them make the right decision then you become more of an expert than a salesman. Everyone would rather do business with an expert than a salesman.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So each website has to have a blog or even if it’s a landing page to explain, to cure the pain of the visitor to the website.
Eric Spellman: Exactly there needs to be something that speaks to me that the pain of the desire of the person going to the site. Because of it’s not, if it’s simply a listing of prices and product descriptions is not going to connect as much, you have to connect psychologically.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Me ask you question is for the audience to understand, what is the difference between.com and.org or.net or.co?
Eric Spellman: In the old days.com stood for commercial so any for-profit venture was a.com,.net in the old days was primarily an Internet service provider, someone that provided networking, and.org was primarily for nonprofits. The rules surrounding that don’t exist anymore so basically anyone can choose those. The problem we run into is when a client comes to me and says hey Eric a competitor has already got the.com I want so I’m going to get the.net and I say no don’t do that because if you get the.net version then you tell someone chances are they are still going to put.com on it and then they’re going to go to your competitor which is what you don’t want.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So we have say be efficient.tv, do you think it’s a mistake should be go for.com?
Eric Spellman: No not necessarily what I recommend, because that is how your branded, if be efficient.com is available grab it and redirected as well, you still brand yourself as be efficient.tv and that’s the one you put on everything but just understand that a lot of people I forget the.tv and put that on there, another thing I’ve seen another mistake I’ve seen is you may want to get be efficient TV.com because you can tell people yeah go to my website it’s be efficient TV, and they don’t hear the ., other members be efficient TV so they type in be efficient TV.com so you may want to go register that and redirected as well. I’ll give you a good example my name Spellman has 2 names on the end and no one remembers that so I registered Eric Spellman with one and and you know that half of my traffic is going to the misspelling of my name and it still comes to my site.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is the difference between primary domains and secondary domains?
Eric Spellman: The primary domain is the one that stays up in the address by the whole time when you’re on the website, it’s how Google knows you, back in the day you can register hundreds of domains helping to influence Google from a keyword standpoint, that’s gone. Google now only looks at the primary domain and once in the primary domain is what stays up in the address bar so if you typed in Eric Spellman with one and.com and hit enter it was show up as two ends at the top it would redirect, the primary domain is the that is slowing some of the website so what is the perfect size for the images that I should use my website?
Eric Spellman: The key is to understand the mobile platforms, realize that more people after this year, more than half of Internet traffic will be for mobile devices either smartphones or tablets so understanding that people are using their data plans and wireless you want to make sure that your graphics are optimized so I prefer to use.PNG files versus JPEG, they seem to be a little bit more compressed but offer better quality.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You feel that PNG is better than JPEG?
Eric Spellman: That’s my personal opinion, actually have developers who work for me to disagree with me
on that but that is just my personal opinion. Ahmed Al Kiremli: Why?
Eric Spellman: Well because everyone has their favorite on how they optimize. On a web platform you don’t have to optimize the images or you don’t have to have as high resolution images as you would in print but the problem is a lot of new web developers and business owners will upload these monster pictures better print quality but way too big for the web. Because one of the statistics I like to share is that your website needs to come up within three seconds, it needs to totally come up with an three seconds or people will get bored.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So PNG will compress automatically even if it’s a big like example if you upload a picture on WordPress you choose usually the size that you want to pick for the picture when it’s coming on the blog posts or on the page that you are adding the picture but if you have added it in the original size and it’s a PNG will Google still read a small picture or will not slow down your website or what do you mean by it is optimize better like it looks better on phones than JPEG?
Eric Spellman: The reason I like PNG is because when it does compress it doesn’t get as jagged as JPEG does so the compression looks better, the algorithm is more efficient, smaller sizes retain the quality of the image.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Okay that’s great. How to know that my pictures are legally, our legal and I didn’t take it from somewhere or somebody has taken my pictures?
Eric Spellman: One of the easiest ways to do that is to search for your own pictures and what I mean by that is do a Google search, a Google graphic search, when you go to Google there is an option to go to images and you can do an image search and then you can simply drag your image file and drop it onto Google and Google will go find any image that looks similar to that and that is what most people don’t realize, you can just drag-and-drop images onto the Google search bracket and Google will find similar images, it’s an easy way to know if someone is copying a photograph or your logo or anything, I remember I got a little bit of notoriety around here when I diSEOvered that a local city had a brand-new logo and I simply did a Google image search and I found that whoever did that logo actually borrowed it from someone overseas and there was almost some legal trouble over that and they had no idea that the person hired to build their logo have done that.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Sometimes the designer, I always asked the designers if they come up with that 100% and they say yes but sometimes they do take it from somewhere else. Just to explain it more to the audience, we take it from Google images and then we track it into and not Google.com to Google/images they have a certain website.
Eric Spellman: All you have to do is go to Google and type in Google image search and it will come up with the URL and then you have the image and its JPEG format and a folder and you can just grab the image and then drop it onto that webpage and Google will do the search.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Okay how to on my rights, my website writes because some developers build the website for you and they still on your website.
Eric Spellman: Make sure that if you are not an hour or a business owner and you have someone else build your website, make sure that in writing in the contract we states that you the business owner own the intellectual property rights to everything and I mean the graphics, the content, the entire website, the easiest way to do that is to say hey if I become angry with you Mr. web developer and I want to take my website to someone else to host, is that possible? And that will be one way for them, for you to know whether they allow that are not. Really you needed in writing where you own everything, let me give you a good example, I’m in Texas and the state laws in Texas are that if anyone build your website even if you pay them to, by law the person who built to the website owns the rights to the pieces they built in that website. I’ve seen situations where a web developer will hold it hostage, someone says I don’t want to do business with you anymore in the web developer says fine and keeping your website and that poor business owner has to start completely over.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And most people don’t know where to buy domains through Go Daddy or another service and they don’t know how hosting works with domain so they don’t have control over the website they always keep it with the web developers and the web developer sometimes take advantage of that.
Eric Spellman: That’s a good point, they need to make sure by doing a WHOIS search on their domain, they need to make sure that they the business owner is listed as the registrant, there is multiple contacts in a domain but the most important one, the legal owner of that.com or whatever is the registrant.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So they can buy it for me through their Go Daddy account and they put my name as I am the owner for the website, not necessarily that I have a Go Daddy account and I purchased the domain myself.
Eric Spellman: Correct, a lot of people don’t know how to register domain, so they need their web developer to do that for them, just make sure that when the developer registers the domain that the business owner is the registrant, not the developer.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: But even if I am a business owner and I purchased the domain still they own the rights for the pictures of the designs that is why I need to have a contract with them saying that I own everything for this website. Because most people when they outsource they don’t do for example even myself I have so many people outsourced I work with them, from their trusted experience sometimes I don’t really sign a contract with them for my new website so that is a great point.
Eric Spellman: If it isn’t on paper it doesn’t exist.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So how do I find the right company, the right development company to build my
website for design it?
Eric Spellman: The key is to ask questions before you sign something, too many business owners think that they don’t have enough technical knowledge to ask the right questions and so they think that buying a website is strictly something that is priced based, that whoever the lowest prices is the best solution when in fact there are a lot of questions like very good points you brought up, ownership, take a look at their portfolio, see what they’ve done, talk to some of their previous customers to find out if they had a good experience, get a timeline, how long will this take, find out if they have other employees or if it’s just them and see if they have another full-time job somewhere else and they just you websites at night, you follow me? How long have they been around, there are a lot of things that you need to find out because your website is the number one way people are going to find you, the number one way, if you are going to spend promotional money anywhere I believe the biggest piece should be spent in the online arena.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So as a web development company how much usually on average do you charge for let’s say a WordPress blog or an e-commerce site or membership site, just give us a range of your prices.
Eric Spellman: It truly depends on the SEOpe but typically what we like to do with clients is have a relationship with them, if they just won a website with no help, we build them a website and they take it and they update and everything, then we simply charge around US$3000, one time for the website however the majority of our clients don’t do that, the majority of our clients pay us a monthly fee which includes us writing a lot of content for them, actually writing a lot of these articles we talked about, helping them build it from scratch but meeting on a regular basis to go over there social media and their statistics and to help them set all these pieces up, and email campaign, we in the sense become their full-time Internet employee and for that we charge 1299 a month, basically $1300 a month.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: That includes how many posts per month for your copywriter, like SEO, including what?
Eric Spellman: Exactly from a content piece it includes us writing 2 600 word articles a week in order to help them from an SEO standpoint. Because content is king, SEO is King, you could have the best website in the world but if Google doesn’t know you there is no point, I tell people all the time if you go to Google right now and you are to tell you how to rank well in Google, type that in, I am number one and I have been that way for a year and a half and it’s because I have the content that Google wants to read, I don’t she Google, I give Google exactly what it wants and that is the key, you don’t want to hire an SEO company that is trying to trick Google, you want someone follows Google’s rules so that Google truly does believe that your website is more relevant than all the rest.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: In a minute we will talk more about SEO, let’s go back to domains like what is the cheapest way to buy domains, many people use Go Daddy and they buy the domain for $10 and then every year they pay $15 to renew the domain, is there any cheaper way to buy a domain if I am saying Internet marketer and I have 100 domains so that really concerns me to bring this cost down on an annual basis and I can let’s say if I purchase a domain through Go Daddy can I shifted to somewhere else with cheaper price?
Eric Spellman: Yes you can transfer them around, I’m a fan of Go Daddy mainly because they are a big company and they have been around and I know they probably will continue to be around but if you go to Go Daddy if you have a bunch of domains they have bulk pricing and as long as you don’t include all of their extra services you can do much better than $10 per year.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Okay, which CMS do you prefer, system content management system do you use, do you use WordPress or something else, some other frame?
Eric Spellman: I like the newest WordPress a lot from a CMS standpoint but I also like Weebly, my customers tend understand it thoroughly easy, it’s very drag-and-drop and for than they need that, I have a lot of non-technical customers so I need to find one that I can maybe show them in a video how to use it and they get it. So I like WordPress and if I had to choose another one it would probably be Weebly.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Which favorite theme provider’s you prefer, do you buy themes is it sometimes easier to use a ready theme for a website it’s already optimized with the mobile for the mobile users or do you just custom make the design based on your customers need?
Eric Spellman: We don’t have a specific theme provider that we are huge fan of we typically search for themes by color and graphic style and whoever is doing that, that’s what we go with and even then we tweak it a little to make sure that it is very specific to the client.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How about hosting if I have a small website which is a digital catalog and I don’t have that much traffic where should I host my website and if I have a huge traffic where should I host my website?
Eric Spellman: A lot of it depends on what kind of traffic is it, if they are watching videos or if it simply a lot of people downloading webpages it truly depends, I try to sue the big players, a lot of it has more to do with the host of the website rather than the software used to build the website so once again some of my customers have huge amounts of traffic and they host on Go Daddy because Go Daddy can scale, from a really huge customers we put them on the Amazon cloud because it’s highly redundant but Weebly is good to especially if there’s going to be a huge strike of traffic here and there. We have agreements with some small providers who maybe have the servers in a data center somewhere, but when you don’t have redundancy and multiple service centers around the world like a handle outages and things then sometimes you may get cheaper prices but you will have more downtime.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you don’t use like WP engine or some of the other names coming up in the last few years.
Eric Spellman: Those are great platforms especially for WordPress because they understand it, blue host is a great provider, I don’t have anyone on blue host but I do have friends and they love it. A lot of it just depends on how much traffic and what kind of traffic you have.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is the difference between leads and sales?
Eric Spellman: That’s a critical question, most businesses think their goal is sales, their goal is sales a technically in the end the way you are going to make money as a sale but it depends, when I say sale as it relates to online as a website, I’m saying that they can put something in a shopping cart, purchase it and give their credit card and then you ship it to them, that’s a sale. Any other website where you are strictly trying to get people to call you up a contact you and then you actually make the sale, that is a lead generator. So every website can basically be divided into one the generate sales or generates leads. The only ones that generate sales are the ones that have shopping carts. All other websites, their goal is to generate leads.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Now I built my website, how do I start marketing from a website to get traffic?
Eric Spellman: Well I would first go after Google organic SEO, you want to make sure that you are showing up when people search for products and services like yours. So the key is content, you got a make sure it’s there, second you can do an email campaign, first of all get your email contact list and make sure those people are okay with you sending them something it always has to be opt in and then start sending something on a regular basis maybe once every couple of weeks of something and then grow that list, everyone who calls and say hey would you like to get my newsletter with some free tips? They will say yes and then you have a new email address. My email goes out to 15,000 people once a week and you’d be surprised how many leads I get from that and there are from people who may have been subscribed to me for years and then all of a sudden they need my help and because of my email list it is top of mind awareness, I was the first one they thought of because even though I hadn’t personally talk to them in four years they were getting my emails every week and so they were reminded of who I was, so SEO and email campaigns and then social media but social media only if your target customer, your target demographic the people you are going after only if they are on social media. People say Eric which is better Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter or whatever and I say it’s not a matter of which is better it’s a matter of where your customers already are. The question to ask is where are your customers already hanging out and that’s where you need to be.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So how many times should I send an email or use an autoresponder to send an email to my list because recently the marketers have kind of ruined the email marketing like the space they really ruined it by spamming people so how can I be nice and keep my list without lots of opt outs?
Eric Spellman: That is that a question of what I have diSEOvered in my experience because I send out tens of thousands and I only get one or two unsubscribes per newsletter and what I have diSEOvered is that the more content the more useful content and not advertising but content you put in the newsletter the fewer people will opt out. It’s a balance, you have a certain amount of advertising you want to put in their maybe banner ads or whatever but then you have content that they want, if you have more content and advertising then more people will read it and then read the next time and the next time. If you have too much advertising and not enough content to make it useful they are going to start deleting and deleting and eventually hitting unsubscribe so for me for my company and keep in mind it is different for everybody but for mine I have diSEOvered that it’s about 80% content and 20% advertisement. If I go too much advertising more people unsubscribe so my content is video that’s the other thing I love to send video, people would rather watch something than read something.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How much do you charge if you send 4 newsletters a week, if you are just sending it or if you are creating and sending it?
Eric Spellman: Keep in mind us helping our customers create these newsletters and send them out we do that as a part of what we charge in the 1299 but we suggest that our clients use an email service, my favorite is mailchimp. The reason I like mailchimp, there are some others but my favorite is mailchimp because the reason is the interface is very easy for my customers to use but also it is completely free up to 2000 subscribers so I knew business who doesn’t have a lot of money to spend as they are building their email lists can use mailchimp totally free up until they had 2000 subscribers and I’ve had a lot of success with it.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So if you do only the part of the package of $1300 if I am a customer and I want you to do only the content for me four times a month and send the content the list how much would you charge me for that?
Eric Spellman: Just the content keep in mind the content is an extremely labor heavy piece because we review it three times, it can exist anywhere else on planet Earth or Google won’t value it so basically if someone just wants content we charge $150 per article. If someone want to do 2 a week for a while we would give them a diSEOunt an offer that at $975 a month and that is two per week.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How do you see the future of social media?
Eric Spellman: Social media is evolving, Facebook is hurting right now more and more young people are leaving Facebook and moving to InstaGram, Twitter is picking up and Pinterest is okay those are the main ones I’m seeing activity in, LinkedIn unless you are in a business to business environment I just don’t see that much and LinkedIn except for people trying to find jobs but Facebook is still kind of the place where the majority of my adult customers hang out but if you are going for people under 30 years old then I would start recommending some of the younger social media places like InstaGram.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Let’s move to SEO, what are the techniques that you use for off-site and on-site SEO?
Eric Spellman: I’ll tell you my secrets right now, getting to the first page of Google is the goal, number one would be a dream but first page should be every business owners goal. No one goes to page 2, people will change their search refer they go to page 2 so your goal is to get to page 1 to even be considered. The key to understand is with the latest changes to Google they are primarily looking at content it’s no longer about meta-tags and some of those things it is about content, Google wants to only show the most relevant websites with so does a search in order for them to consider your website relevant your website must have three things: number one, it has to have conversational content and when I say content I’m not talking about pictures or videos I’m talking about text, the only way Google can measure one website over another is text and so it has to be conversational, when I say conversational it has to be something that people understand, something written for a 10-year-old to understand. Sometimes people put text on their website and it’s up
here at the high school or college level, Google doesn’t like that because very few people will understand it so it has to be conversational, that’s number one. Number two, the content must be unique it must not exist anywhere else on planet earth because only the first person to have that content will have SEO credit for it everyone else gets nothing. If I have a client who says you know what a manufacturer has given me permission to copy this information and put it on my website I tell them no don’t do it because it won’t help you. You have to have unique content that doesn’t exist anywhere else. That’s number two and number three is that you have to be adding content all the time, that is how we came up with the 2 a week we diSEOvered that our clients start climbing the ranks fastest when we add around 2 4-600 word articles or blogs a week, by changing the word here changing your there, now it’s about adding content, the more content you have the more valuable Google sees your website.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So every website in other words has to have a blog.
Eric Spellman: Not necessarily, a blog can be it but what I do for my customers and I’ve actually seen Google give better preference over blogs if someone will actually create a static webpage for an article, the entire page is for that article not necessarily in a blog database. Google tends to give a higher value to a static page.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: But you cannot create so many static pages within a same website, you should have like a system like a blog to keep adding the content right?
Eric Spellman: You should have a table of contents for instance if you look at my website I don’t have a blog on it and yet my website ranks number one around the world for a whole bunch of things and I have around maybe 60 or 70 pages but I’ve created kind of a table of contents for it so that Google understands but then every one of those goes to a page totally about that topic. Basically this is how I came up number one for some things.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So how much should I focus on SEO like you just now said that everything changed and people should create more content and more often they post content, so if I do zero SEO and I have great content how much will that affect me if I focus 80% on content, if I don’t do any SEO how much will I be affected?
Eric Spellman: If your content is good Google will like it too, that really is the key, forget SEO, which are your page names a relevant like the name of the title of the article, don’t try to keyword loaded page, Google’s onto that, if Google senses that you wrote an article because you’re going after certain keywords they will spank you hard and maybe even do list you for trying to trick them so when our writers write an article we don’t give them keywords to go after we give them topics and the writers write a topic and if they are writing it well enough certain keywords will naturally show up. Too many business owners make the mistake of trying to mention certain keywords over and over like 13 times thinking that is the key and it is not the key. Google looks at that and if Google thinks you are trying to force them to rank you better they are not going to do it.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So no need to do the meta-tags?
Eric Spellman: I still do it, but what I’m saying is the primary thing that Google looks at now is content. I do the meta-tags for Google to understand what the pages about but the primary thing is content it truly is an Google will even tell you that.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Which one has more effect on my website traffic is it on-site SEO or off-site links?
Eric Spellman: On-site. Back links are not nearly as important as they used to be because too many people abused it with link farms so Google is looking more at the Continental website them how many people are linking to them. Now how many people link to them is still an important factor not as much is content. I
have a number of links back to me but I do not directly solicit them, I focus solely on content and it has gotten me number one so many different things.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: When a client comes to you and he says that you are an experienced web developer and I have this website for you, will you tell him that for these keywords I will rank you a number one page and within how long usually on average is a take you do that?
Eric Spellman: Keep in mind no one can guarantee someone first position because no one knows how Google ranks, no one knows the exact mathematical formula that Google uses except for Google.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: First page unnecessarily number one.
Eric Spellman: Yes and first phase always tell people, the way we measure our success is if we can get your business to first page and it depends on the competitiveness of the topic and how many people are actively going after it but we have had some customers where we make changes and we update it and we tell Google about it and within two hours they showed up on the first page. Within a couple of days they were number one so it depends, other people it may take a month or two it just depends on how many articles are created that are relevant to that and also how often Google is going and checking check your updates but that’s why I recommend every business owner when they set up their website goes ahead and set up their Webmaster tools account with Google because it’s the best way to tell Google about new pages you have and also the best way to see what Google thinks of your webpage from the search standpoint.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: But like let’s say you rank me within two months or one month on page 1 then I will just keep continuously creating the same content that I usually used to create, is that enough or should I still take it in terms of SEO and you should maintain it for me to make sure that it will stand page 1?
Eric Spellman: What I recommend is that you go after multiple topics, notice I haven’t use the word keywords, because you need to think in terms of questions, one of the best questions I could give you if you are one of my customers would be this: what problem is your company the solution to? What question on Google are you the answer to? If you can answer me those I can help you get found. You have to think in terms of what our people typing into Google. Women typically type actual questions into Google while men type in keywords, Google is looking more at the questions then the keywords now so keep in mind what you do, good example of what you do is a whole bunch of things so there are thousands of potential searches in Google that you would consider yourself the most relevant for and so once you start showing up on page one for say one question you go after the next and you go after the next because it’s like putting multiple fishing lines in the water you are going to catch more fish the more fishing lines you have out there.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is your favorite SEO plug-ins for WordPress?
Eric Spellman: I don’t know, SEO moz, I use the little bit but when it comes down to it I don’t have any specific plug-ins except maybe as it relates to helping me quickly do some meta-tags but I really don’t depend on plug-ins it’s all about the content, I focus on the content.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So now for your on-site you just create content you don’t need to add the meta-tags or all these different things?
Eric Spellman: I manually enter meta-tags when I create a new article or when my team creates a new page we manually enter that and then we create content and move on and we go to the next one and I have so many pages out there that Google is starting to see my site as relevant for a number of things. The key is content and not to stop.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How to avoid SEO scans because SEO is the subject that is a weird subject and very
difficult to be understood for most people.
Eric Spellman: Definitely and that is a huge problem because when I tell people I can help them get found in Google a lot of times they’ve already been burned by someone scamming them so it is difficult and when I tell them is this, the very second you want your website you are going to get calls all the time from someone promising you the world so here’s what I tell them: if someone guarantees you number one spot in Google like number one, hang up because no one can guarantee you number one. Also keep in mind that a lot of people throw SEO out there when really they are just going to set up an ad words account for you, if they say that we will have you there in two hours they are probably talking about an ad words account so if they are talking about pay per click that is not the same as organic.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So it’s like advertisement for the audience to understand, how much do you charge for only SEO?
Eric Spellman: Keep in mind that’s where the content comes in so writing the content. If someone just wanted to consult with us and they were going to write all the content and we were going to evaluated and help them get it right then we charge $600 a month. For all the content they want to do.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So if they write the content you charge 600 and if they don’t Eric Spellman: then it’s 975 for 2 per week.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is the difference between bounce rate and hence?
Eric Spellman: Bounce rate remember is the percentage of people who went on your website but don’t click on anything and they bounce off and hits is simply a file transfer, one of my favorite topics, people sometimes brag about the number of hits their website gets and it’s really misleading, if you want to look at traffic on the website it is better to look at page views, let me expand very clearly: a hit is simply a file transfer and what most people don’t realize is that one webpage may be comprised of a bunch of files and every pictures its own file so let’s say I have one webpage with 100 pictures on it than one person visiting that one page once would generate 101 hits, 100 for the pictures and one for the page. One person visiting ones would generate 101 hits so when someone says I get 50,000 hits a day or million hits a day I just laugh at them because it doesn’t really speak to what is being seen. Page views is a better view if you are looking at traffic but bounce rate is whether your website is actually working.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What our unique visitors, is it like the first time ever business the website?
Eric Spellman: It depends on your host but unique visitors are typically tied to an IP address so that is how Google looks at it in its own analytics, one person visiting your website once counselee’s unique visit, if that same person comes back five times that may appear page views but it will not up unique visitors. Unique visitors is the best way to know how many total people look at something versus how many times this people looked at it.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: If I have integrated my website with Google analytics what are the most important three things that I should look at in the reports of Google analytics?
Eric Spellman: Great question, number one is bounce rate because that tells you whether people are going deeper in your site, number two would be time on the site, how much time are they spending on the site because obviously if it’s a very short time they’re coming and going and leaving and then finally, how many pages are they going to and you can look at that, Google has a measure of the past three your website you can follow the path of how most people are going, how many clicks are they going into your site, those are the three most important statistics to me.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is the difference between context and keywords?
Eric Spellman: Context is more general, keywords are very specific, when we talk about context Google is trying to figure out what your website is about. Yes it is looking at keywords but it also understands that this keyword also means the same thing as this keyword so Google is trying to figure out what this is about so for instance if I have a website and I’m talking about the importance of content as it relates to getting found on Google, Google is going to say you know what, the context of what he is writing about is SEO, even if I never mention the word SEO, that is the context of what I’m typing. Keyword is obviously well if I use the word SEO that is a keyword.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the best automatic services that you use for adds like other than Google ad words, does Google ad words really make money, I’ve seen in many websites now they don’t really use it and they focus on content and products that they sell or do you recommend that we put Google ad words for whatever site that I’m building?
Eric Spellman: If you are looking to, are you asking if you have a content site and you are trying to make money from the advertising which ad engine I like the best?
Ahmed Al Kiremli: I’m asking if say I want to diversify the streams of income that are coming out of my blog, or website?
Eric Spellman: Chances are you are going to set up an AdSense account with Google where the ads appear on your page and you get a piece of pie when someone clicks on it but Amazon also has a great affiliate program, a lot of really good affiliate programs if you don’t want to use Google AdSense then one of my favorite managers of affiliate programs is called commission Junction, it’s really good and it also has ad campaigns that you can add for all sorts of subjects and you can make a little more from an affiliate program because the key is how you are going to get paid, are you going to be paid by the impression, number of people who saw the ad or based on the clicks or are you going to get paid on if it was a click through and they actually bought something from the company and you get 10% of the sale? So there are a lot of different ways to make money and it just depends on how you want to do it.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So commission Junction is an affiliate that you have to register as an affiliate with the website and then they have like generated ads for all their products on the site and when somebody clicks and then buys a product then you will get a commission out of that, it’s not a pay per click?
Eric Spellman: They have all the versions of it, I’m just saying those are the two biggest ones that I have seen the most success with.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the best techniques to sell ads to sponsors on my site?
Eric Spellman: The key to selling ads and by the way if you do a search on Google, of how to sell ads a website, I’m on the first page, again I have a whole video on that but the key to selling ads is to communicate the value of the real estate of your website. When you go to a sponsor and say hey you will pay me US$100 per month I will put your banner appear regardless of the clicks 100 a month I put it up there and that advertiser gets a feel that they are going to receive more than $100 worth of value to having that add up there, when people click on it or not. So the easiest way to do that is to talk about your traffic and I mean your total traffic, you need to be able to go to them and say 5000 people a day, people you want to do business with, 5000 people a day go to this website, would you like your ad to be up there and I’m going to charge $100 a month or day or whatever. So the key is statistics, a business owner must understand their statistics if they are going to communicate value to people they are selling ads to.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So how does the relevancy of Google work, you mentioned you rank number one in terms of selling ads and let’s say I have interviews show and I interview maybe 100 guests and I asked them the same question, but still your website will rank number one why is that?
Eric Spellman: The key is relevancy, understanding how Google ranks, you want to make sure that when people type the question that most people are going to type that you are relevant for that, Google understands that when people change the words you’re there so you will shop for a variety of things but in the end you want to come up with the titles for your content to be very similar to what someone might actually type in to Google so for instance when I did that one video with the transcript on it for how to sell ads on your website I thought long and hard, what do I think people are typing into Google? Because the closer I can get to that the faster and move up in the rankings. I am more relevant.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How to calculate the ROI of my website?
Eric Spellman: If your website is one that sell something in the ROI can be one of two things, can be your total sales which is easy or what a lot of the major shopping cart sites are using now is a measure of success is something called AOV, the average order value, in other words the average dollar amount or the average currency amount of one sale so instead of selling it to dollar item 1,000,000 times I would rather sell a $50 I don’t million times so keep in mind the shipping cost doesn’t change that much so if I can sell more per sale I keep more of the margin, more of the money so a lot of shopping cart sites the goal is not necessarily you want to increase sales it’s that I want to increase the AOV because that increases my profit margin so that is how a sale website would measure it. A lead website, the way you measure that success or that ROI is basically how many more leads you are getting than you were getting before. You are saying well how do you know if it came from the website and not from business card? What a lot of companies will do is they will go get a phone number that will only be seen on the website, we call it a tracking number and then they are able to look and see how many people call that phone number because the only phone number that is ever listed as on the website so it is a good way to know how many leads came in that way. So there are ways to measure the ROI and it just depends on what you’re trying to do the website.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Do you offer a service for some of your clients that you charge them a commission per lead or sale?
Eric Spellman: No we don’t do that with our clients although I do know someone developers who do that. Our customers pay us a fixed fee and all the success they get they get to keep.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is the most efficient strategy to add content efficiently?
Eric Spellman: I think the most efficient way that content is regularly, Google is actually watching how often you do it, the little spider bots from Google are looking to see if anything changed so I would rather someone be adding something new every day rather than seven articles a week, one time, if Google sees that your website is constantly growing you are going to see more value so that is my strategy and to just keep adding content and I’ve been doing this for years and it has paid off, I get more calls from around the world about our services because we are showing up in Google, that is why SEO is so important, you can have the best website in the world but if no one can find it what is the point? Or you can have the worst website and if I send 1 million people to it and everybody gets there and goes eww and leaves that is also failure. To be successful you have to have two things, have a website that converts an anonymous person into a sale or lead and then you must be found in Google for the things your potential customers are looking for.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the best tools to measure traffic other than Google analytics?
Eric Spellman: Google analytics is the primary but also remember that wherever you host is also going to give you some raw statistics, what a lot of people don’t know is that Google analytics doesn’t show you
accurate totals, Google analytics is looking so it is not a good place to look at for total traffic, for instance when you see page views in Google that is not accurate at all, that is truly not the total pages you got, Google only measures enough traffic to come up with trends and so what I look at for the actual true number of page views, quantities I go to wherever I am hosting on the hosting account but if I want to see trends what percentage of people are mobile versus on PCs, what time of day or the coming, things like that, what’s the bounce rate in all of this I go to Google every time but if I want to see a true measure of page views then I will go to the hosting account and the statistics offered there.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Let’s go deeper on a personal level, how is your daily life and work routine look like?
Eric Spellman: Basically when I come in since I am the owner of the company, I have to make sure that everyone is okay and everyone is happy and everyone is busy so that is a big piece of it, making sure that everyone keeps working, also I have customers who call me and ask questions so a lot of my day is answering those questions but keep in mind my passion and my heart is teaching so a lot of what I do on my videos for my website that helps to bring customers in.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you go every day to the office?
Eric Spellman: I do, every single day and that is mainly because I don’t live that far from my office and also
I meet with my customers face-to-face quite a bit. Ahmed Al Kiremli: Who is your number one mentor?
Eric Spellman: My number one mentor his name is Don Taylor, he was a local gentleman who was passed away now, he is the one who taught me probably the most important thing that is made my company successful and it was this: he taught me Eric, if you give it away they will pay and at first I didn’t understand what that meant but basically what he was saying was Eric don’t keep any secrets, once you learn something new tell everyone about it so I started creating videos showing how to do everything that I do, and I tell my customer that if you watch every one of my videos and actually do that you don’t need to hire me, we don’t keep any corporate secrets for instance I just told you the secret to showing up in Google, if you do those things you will show up, we don’t keep it a secret until you pay us, I teach and what I have diSEOvered is what my mentor meant by all of that was that people go and watch my videos and they start to see me as an expert another salesman and people would rather do business with an expert than the salesman so it has generated all of this free content that I put out there has generated a lot of sales and a lot of leads back to me.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You have passion for teaching, no plans to write a book?
Eric Spellman: Not yet, I speak at a lot of conferences also so that keeps me busy traveling around the
country talking to small business groups but yes I am thinking about a book at some point. Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the top three apps that you use on your phone?
Eric Spellman: I am a huge Google apps person so on my phone I have Google drive, I use that all the time, I also use my Gmail app all the time and then of course I have chrome for my web browser on my phone. Those are my top three.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the habits that you are trying to develop to stay efficient?
Eric Spellman: Probably delegation, the hardest part for me is delegation, and other words trusting someone
else to handle some things for me.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you think you’re perfectionist and you want to do it yourself time?
Eric Spellman: I am but the problem is once your company grows to a certain size you just can’t anymore and you have to trust someone else and you have to realize they are going to make a mistake and you have to be okay with that and no one is going to do it is perfect as you would but that is okay. That is been the hardest part for me because I would rather do it myself but when I look at all of the things I would rather do myself I can’t do it anymore.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is the secret for Hawaiian shirts that you wear, is it like that you like Miami and you like the beach?
Eric Spellman: Know it started years ago when I started making videos I thought oh my gosh the people I am talking to our small businesses who maybe aren’t technical and I don’t want them to think that technology is boring and cold and corporate, I want them to think the technology is fun so I find it makes what I’m saying maybe come out a little bit more fun and also people tend to remember to and for a small business you want to brand yourself, you want to stand out from all the other people making videos even if it’s all that’s the guy in the Hawaiian shirt, so brand yourself in some way that makes you stand apart from all of your competitors.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Your top three favorite books?
Eric Spellman: My top three favorite books, I’ll be honest I don’t read nearly as much as I want to but the emyth is probably my favorite of all, and then there is one called the blue which explains a way to manage your employees, that was very good and then after that I’ll be honest, it gets more fun at that point, game of thrones. Not a business book, but that’s important, every business owner has got to be able to step away from their business and have a real life. You cannot be consumed by your business 24 hours a day seven days a week. You have to have a life outside of it.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are your other hobbies like out of work and business, what do you do, sports? The read fiction? What else do you do?
Eric Spellman: I like to hike, I like to take walks, I like to backpack and I love nature, I love the mountains and I love the beach, I love to travel quite a bit so that is what I do but also I play a lot of Xbox. I love Xbox.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you are a gamer.
Eric Spellman: That’s right and trust me that gets rid of a lot of stress, you come home and then you start
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So here’s a new question, top favorite three games?
Eric Spellman: Okay I would say resident evil is one of my favorite, I love shooting zombies, and then after that Halo, I love the Halo series and then after that it’s kind of tough, I don’t know those are the ones that I’ve spent the last couple of years focused on are those two.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Top three people that you are inspired by?
Eric Spellman: Top three people, Don Taylor my business mentor, he shared so much at no cost to me when I was a kid and had no idea, my parents, because they kept telling I could do it even when everyone else was saying I couldn’t. And then after that it’s hard to say of course of course God fits into that too but you said people so I guess my employees because they remind me sometimes when I make mistakes they remind me that not only is this my business but it is their business too and they depend on it and what I do depends on them too.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Do you listen to any music while you work?
Eric Spellman: Not typically, but that’s only because I get distracted very easily. I can have the TV on, I don’t listen to music, if I listen to music a lot of times it’s just to relax and believe it or not I like the top 20 pop.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Do you follow any routine to sleep?
Eric Spellman: I do actually, as a business owner it is very easy to be thinking about your business all the time. I try to watch a show, a TV show or something that is totally different than what I do just to get myself relaxed or maybe I read game of thrones or even play a videogame, I have to get my mind off of business and that’s what I do.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the things that make you really happy?
Eric Spellman: When I’m actually able to help customer and they see success because of what I’ve taught them. When I am speaking in front of a large group of people and some of them have said Eric I will never understand this but then at the very end after I finish they go Eric you are the first person to explain this in a way that I understood. That gives me chill bumps, when I’m able to educate someone and I see the light go on in their eyes and they get it and I have made a difference.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Last question, how can people contact you?
Eric Spellman: The easiest way is to visit my website Eric Spellman.com, I have videos there, it’s all free, learn from what I’ve learned from and that is probably the easiest way but of course I do have a phone number, 8063530004 in the United States and my email address, my personal email address is simply Eric@EricSpellman.com.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Thank you so much, really Eric I like your honesty and your straightforward style and your energy, thank you so much for being on the show, I really appreciate it.
Eric Spellman: Thank you I really enjoy this I hope it was helpful.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Thanks everyone, be efficient and stay efficient and see you soon with another leading
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