David Finberg was first introduced to computers by his dad at age 6 before the internet was really a thing.
However, it wasn’t long after this that he started building websites for friends and family and made his first dollar online. At age 9, he put together a website for his grandfather and made $20!
He’s come a long way since then and is now the founder and CEO of Peaks Digital Marketing, an agency focused on content marketing, web design, and SEO. Dave joins Jake Cain on the podcast to share his story.
Watch The Interview
Dave was lucky to have a natural capacity for working online. He found it easy to get started building sites, even before WordPress and all the other help we have today!
There was a lot that went on between those early website builds and when he got his first job in a digital marketing position, and he talks about this period in the podcast.
This first digital marketing job was at an SEO company as the content manager. As content manager, Dave was responsible for overseeing the production of hundreds of pieces of content per month.
It’s where he learned a lot about SEO, including:
- What works and what doesn’t
- What goes into a campaign
- How to set up analytics and tracking
This business ended up closing down, which is when Dave came up with the idea for Peaks Digital Marketing. He imagined it as a great community for employees and a great experience for clients.
In the podcast, Dave explains:
- How he started his digital marketing agency
- How he got his first client
- What’s working to get clients now
- Leading with value to draw in customers
- Dealing with imposter syndrome
Once things took off, as they did, he was able to start hiring and building a team. He explains how he developed as a leader of the business and moved it through the inevitable growing pains.
Peaks have used interns in their business as well. Dave shares how this has worked out for them and how to go about doing something similar yourself.
Jake asks Dave ‘how can you get to page one of Google’ and we get a ton of valuable insights and strategies. He goes beyond the usual standard answers and shares what’s been working on his client’s sites.
Listen to the podcast to hear strategies and methods for:
- Visitors to spend a longer amount of time on site
- Higher conversion rates
- Better engagement
- The number of ranking keywords to increase
There are SEO strategies for link building, content, page speed, paid ads, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and much more.
Dave has a huge amount of experience in the digital marketing space and there is a lot to learn from him in this interview. You can also check out the Peaks blog to learn more about what they do.
His final tip is to try out the Keyword Magic tool in SEMRush and use the questions tab to help direct your content. His team has been having a lot of success with it!
Read the Full Transcript
Spencer Haws: Welcome back to the show. It’s Spencer here, and I’ve just got a quick introduction before the interview here. It is with Dave Finberg. From peaks, digital marketing.com. They’re a digital marketing agency. They do SEO for all types of clients, local clients, mostly small mom and pop businesses.
And the interview is actually with Jake Cain. He’s pinch hitting for me here again. And so he’s conducting the interview. You’ll quickly see or hear him in a second. But they go through and they talk about Dave’s entire story, which is pretty interesting because he’s been building websites since he was in grade school.
Back to the dial up internet days is where he had his chance to build this first website. And then he quickly went on to building websites for family members and friends, and then that just kind of expanded into an entire career. And so I’ll let him tell the story of how he went from. Yeah. Building websites for personal or family, friends.
Then to actually making real money in a job and now owning his own digital marketing agency. And so along the way, Dave is going to share some tips about hiring and building a team and how he got his very first client and how he goes about getting clients now and what’s working well there. But then also he’s going to jump into some really great SEO strategies to talk about everything from link building, content, page speed, and everything else that goes into digital marketing and SEO.
And so there’s going to be some great takeaways here for anybody from local businesses to small business owners. And certainly even for the affiliate marketers. Out there talks a lot about different tools that he’s using and some unique things in SEM rush. And some, some little strategies that he’s using there that you can look at to analyze your site and make sure that you’re doing your SEO properly.
And so overall hope that you enjoy this interview with Dave Finberg. And if you want to follow along with what he’s doing again, you can find him at peaks, digital marketing.com. Thanks a lot.
Jake Cain: Welcome everybody to another edition of the niche pursuits podcast. My name is Jake Cain. I’m going to be hosting the podcast today. Really excited about our guests. Dave Finberg who’s joining us, Dave, how are you doing today? Hey
Dave Finberg: doing well, Jake, thanks for having me on very cool, man. Thanks for
Jake Cain: being here.
So we’re going to dive in, right. And Dave, I’ll let you kind of introduce yourself if you wouldn’t mind to kick us off. Tell us a little bit about your background, you know, personally, professionally, whatever you want to cover, and then what your, what your business is and kind of what you’re into these days.
Dave Finberg: Perfect. So you know, got started in this industry you know, building websites for friends and family geo cities, angel fire, you know, the, the dial up days, so to speak. And you know, today w you know, I run peaks, digital marketing the CEO basically, and we, we offer websites, content and high level SEO, you know, on page link building on the whole gambit of classic services the small, medium and enterprise businesses.
So a lot of my background is in content. It’s in strategy, it’s in, you know, actually being a former mechanic, which you know, many people don’t know. I used to be a master Mercedes mechanic. I’m very much a technician at heart. And, you know, over the last seven years, we’ve, we’ve been building up peaks and, you know, becoming a, you know, kind of shifting into more of a managerial role, but.
My background is heavily in, in the process and in the, the facilitation of the SEO. So you know, whether it’s SEO ad words or websites or analytics, you know I’d say those would be probably my, my core kind of core competencies. But yeah, I got started on, you know, the 28, eight modem dial up days, making websites for my grandfather and for friends and family.
And you had a lot of fun, crazy, man. That’s
Jake Cain: that’s pretty awesome. So why don’t you talk a little bit about the I think I read in your bio that you built your first website at age nine or something like that. Talk to us about the old days of the internet, man. There’s probably people that are listening to this right now that think you’re speaking a foreign language.
You’re talking about dial up internet. What, what were some of the like what, when you were a kid or however old, like what got you started? Like, how did you even know this was a thing, like, what were some of your first websites? Like what was, how did
Dave Finberg: it get going. It was funny. You know, my dad introduced me to computers at like around age six or seven.
And, and fortunately for me, he was, you know, very much a techie kind of engineer kind of mindset. So he went out and we had a computer that we bought at the store. And at first he didn’t have internet. Right. It was just the computer and just word and maybe a couple of games. Right. So you know, over time we, we ended up, you know, you said, Hey, w we have this thing called the internet now and we’re getting it.
And here’s what it is. And you need it, you can go and make websites and around, you know, year after that, when I was, I was like in grade school, it was pretty crazy that to think that grade school was like teaching kids how to code, there’s actually a web development, kind of like an afterschool program where you would make a website.
And so to, to the people that don’t know about dial up or don’t have a recollection of, of what websites look like back then, it was literally a. Very simple. Right. It was a background, you know, maybe a couple of pictures, a couple of animations, or they call them gifts at the time. Right. These little kind of a story reels that you could put on and kind of, kind of like what you sent in a text message now, right?
Like that was your website. And you know, so I started building websites and they had these free sites that you could go and you could set up your own website and it was very, you know very easy to get started and low friction. Right. So you’d go, you’d pick your URL out and it’d be like angel fire backslash, you know, Hobbies, backslash cars and people would just, almost like a social media profile, just post things that they wanted to share with, with other people and have it accessible through the internet, just to be able to like type it in and say, Whoa, like, Oh, you can, we can share this experience.
So my grandfather was like, Oh, I heard you build websites. And he’s like, I used to own some restaurants and he was a chef and he wanted a website that kind of highlighted his his story and had some, you know, just basic kind of photos and talking points. And effectively what that turned into was, you know, me building websites for.
All kinds of, you know, friends, family. I started building them they used to have this service called flash that the internet kind of graduated into, into more of a you know interactive, better quality websites, right. More animations and games. And so, you know, there are these different platforms that you would use back back then before it was WordPress or before it was Magento or HTML five, you just had HTML and you’d go in you’d code in your, your taxed.
And you’d put a hyperlink in there. It was very crude. It did not look, you know, you looked at it now. You’d, you’d probably gag just looking at it kind of thing. It was still the basics of how the web works today, which is pretty interesting. Okay. So
Jake Cain: you, your start then building websites for other people.
So people were just like, you were like the website guy, people were coming to you and are they just paying you to build a website or are you doing this all for free? Like is building websites for others, sort of how you. Made that first dollar online.
Dave Finberg: Is that what got you started? Yeah, exactly. I was doing it for fun.
And and my grandfather was like, no, I’m going to pay you 20 bucks for this. And I’m thinking 20 bucks, you know, as a nine-year-old you’re like, that’s a lot of candy or whatever it is, right. That you’re buying. So you know, I was like, Whoa. And then, you know, my aunt ended up. Having her own business and wanted a website for her candle business.
And next thing you know, you know, there’s a couple of freebies in there too at the first dollar made, was was through my grandfather is, is 20 bucks. I’ll remember it like it was yesterday. I thought I had hit the lotto. It was funny and it was a blast and he really enjoyed it. He had something called web TV, which probably no one here knows about, or maybe a few have heard about, but you could actually browse the web from your television.
And all they want to do is just be able to log in and show his friends and, you know, colleagues like what, what his website was about, which is a cool to share.
Jake Cain: Awesome. And so, so what was the sort of the evolution from there? I mean, you, you built some websites, people were giving you sounds like a little bit of, a little bit of money, you know, you’re a kid, right?
So it’s a lot of money as kid, but as you get up teenager,
Dave Finberg: you’re graduating high school. I don’t know
Jake Cain: you went to college or what, but sort of like, how did you go from. Building websites for grandpa
Dave Finberg: and
Jake Cain: friends and family too, I guess, more, more serious business if you will.
Dave Finberg: So, so the next step it was more of a personal step, right?
It was creating a flash website, actually, when, you know, back then they had different forms and places you could go to collaborate with people and learn things just like they do today. So I met a mentor kind of like a virtual mentor, so to speak that taught me how to code websites in, in different platforms and make more advanced websites.
And so one of them was like, I dunno, delirium 2000 two.com or something like that. Right there. These were kind of just art pieces, right. That I was putting out there and you know, they’d have music and really just try to push the envelope on like what a website could be. And that later evolved into just kind of fast forwarding through, through, you know, some of the professional experience and then, you know, work obviously.
And then. I actually w was a mechanic for a while. Right. So I learned quite a bit about cars and computers and what the process was in terms of like fixing something and having, having kind of like a technical guide of, of, you know, how to create a content and the experiment, and really get, get down to the, to the nitty gritty of, of actually doing the work.
And I had a friend who they owned an SEO company and they said, Hey, why don’t you come intern for us? Like, you know, it was clear at that point in time, you know, I was actually studying to be a network security expert. Right. So more of like a, an ethical certified ethical hackers kind of what they call it.
And it was, it kinda took me off guard in the sense that I had never really considered, like what my strengths were, they, their technical, there’s also a lot of content. Right. And writing and creativity that, you know, I was making these art pieces as a child. Right. And so thinking about it from that perspective, I thought, well, This seems like a, like a perfect fit.
It’s a little bit of technical. It’s a little bit of creativity. So I took on a content manager position at a company on DC, which is kind of the area that I’m originally from and basically got to work. Cranking out like one or 200 articles a month on anything from sports to virtual office space, right.
We just had this kind of gambit of clients. And so it was a really great opportunity to learn more about what SEO was, be able to leverage some, some of the skill set that they inherently have and also get an opportunity to be part of a team. And so what that kind of evolved into was company grew. I ended up becoming, you know, full-time with that organization managing the entire digital department, learning more about what goes into SEO.
And at that time, the company that, you know, the company’s model, wasn’t nearly what SEO is today. Back then people were doing what they call private blog networks. And you’ll still hear some of that in, in today’s world. It’s just not in my opinion, the more innovative approach to SEO. So, you know, I got to learn about what worked, what didn’t work, what kind of goes into a campaign, how to set up the analytics and the tracking and.
You know, it got to this point where the company was making money. We just weren’t keeping it and known as you know, really at a, at a level of, of, you know, I like to take responsibility and accountability in everything that I do. So I don’t want to make this sound like it’s just management or is just the C level exec so that at some level the money was not being managed properly and individuals were having trouble getting paid and just didn’t make sense.
It’s like, wow. As a company we’re making, you know, close to seven figures and no one’s. Getting like a consistent paycheck and like repaying so-and-so’s mom’s ran, but like what about our web developer? And like, what about these other people that are actually working? Right. And so the company in short disbanded, and that’s where I came up with the idea for peaks, which was You know, having an opportunity to make an agency that, that, you know, creates a great community for our employees creates a great experience for clients.
And there are a few things that I learned in that, in that journey of, of kind of growing into more of a managerial role coming up from, from kind of the content role, obviously having some background help, right? Knowing how to work a website, knowing how to edit code and facilitate that, that was really kind of the turning point in, in a turning point.
It’s kind of like a fork in the road that I wasn’t expecting. Like I thought the company was, it was going to continue growing. I thought we were going to see continued success and that we were going to overcome our hurdles in the infancy of this company. And it was kind of a slap in the face or punch to the gut, right.
When that, when that opportunity no longer made sense and didn’t work out. And so, you know, the decision at that point was, well, you know, clearly we’ve had some great success. I was interested in it. I found myself. Doing it just like you know, engaging in SEO and thinking about it all the time. Just like I was, you know, earlier in my youth, like staying up all night, creating a website.
Yeah. And so I thought, okay, well, why can’t I do this? You know, and create a new experience. And that was when I decided that. I was going to move out to Colorado. We I came up with the brand name, peaks, digital marketing, reach your summit, like start putting together some of the pieces and made a game plan.
It wasn’t immediate. It wasn’t, you know, everyone starts in the same place, right. With zero clients usually. And you know, I had to take on a job. I took back on a mechanic job, which I thought I was never going to have to do again. I thought I’d close that door, you know, half a decade prior. And you know, in the meantime, while I was doing that, when the shop was slow, it was making my website and trying to work, you know, work on a client list and just kind of continue through that process.
And that’s, that’s really the short summary of like how it started versus, you know, where it began.
Jake Cain: Yeah. That’s pretty wild, man. So what year is this then that you were kicking off the your own agency, roughly what’s the timeline on that?
Dave Finberg: It was a, about November, 2014. So the gay get the previous marketing combinations that gig with the company disbanded more around maybe October, 2014, November came up with the logo, came up with the branding, right.
And some of the taglines, and by January, I say like 20, 15 things, you know, we had a website where actually ready to do business. Yeah.
Jake Cain: So what did you do then in the early days? So you’re back to being a mechanic, you’re sort of doing this, you know, moonlighting, which I think a lot of people listening can relate with.
A lot of people that, that was me years ago, you know, working a nine to five job and then doing this stuff at night, hoping one day you can quit your job and, you know, work from anywhere. And that whole thing and kind of live. The dream, so to speak. But in your case, when you were doing that, I mean, what was, how did you get your first clients?
Like, what were you calling people that you’ve worked with in the past where you, like, what were you doing? Like, how did how’d you start getting work and how did it, how did you get some momentum?
Dave Finberg: There, there are a few things that I did at the beginning. You know, the first, just the kind of context of this was I really was not in a good position with my nine to five.
I was making money. It wasn’t consistent. I was, you know, basically a new guy in in a town that I’d never been. Right. And like in the shop with, with people that for whatever reason, just it wasn’t a warm environment. Right. It was just kinda like showing up, making your money go home. And so it was, it was kind of a traumatic experience in the sense that like, Two months earlier, I was, you know, managing a digital agency now almost felt like I was taking a step back and in an environment where there’s some adversity there.
So I was very motivated, very, very motivated to take some action and make, try to make something happen for myself. And I, you know, I did reach out to old clients over the course of the following year, that kind of took some time to come to fruition. It did come back around and some of the people that, you know, managed at the other agency coming on board, which is a great win.
I was literally printing out flyers, dropping them off at businesses. I was asking people in my apartment building for referrals and for, you know, Hey, are you guys looking for someone that can help you with your digital campaigns? I’ll do any, you know, you know, any major, your social, your website. Like at that point, I wasn’t saying no to anything.
Right. And I had a guy in my building who wanted to create a website, right. That. You know, it’s like, I got 500 bucks, I need a sign. It’s like, let’s do it. Right. Like you’re, you’re not thinking about anything other than like, let’s get a couple people in the door. And now looking back, it’s like, you know, a website for $500 is it’s like massive.
Right. But like, at that point mean, it was, it was like, let’s get this started. So I got a laptop. Like, I, I didn’t have, I was pretty much broke. I wasn’t broken in the sense that I wasn’t making rent or didn’t have a place to stay or didn’t have a car, didn’t have a job. It was every money, every dollar that I made, like went towards something.
And there wasn’t much, you know, maybe a hundred, 200 bucks a month that I had that I could spend on other stuff. So I went to a pawn shop. I found the best laptop I could write, went to like seven pawn shops. And I was just looking at it as an opportunity. To say like, Hey, I’m confident. I know I can add some value.
It’s like, whether you need a basic website or you need something more comprehensive, like I can help. Eventually what happened is one of my neighbors worked at a software company and it was a smaller kind of family owned business. And they had mentioned, Hey, we really need digital person to help with ad-words and with paid ads.
And they, they had gone through some algorithm updates. They were spending a ton of money on ad words, not getting results. And, you know, I made sure that the price was right. You know, it was like a $2,000 a month. Starting contracts is still not enough to live off of it enough to really get a nice chunk of the business going.
And I just kept working, working that deal to the point where they really had more work than, than. We were solving within that budget. So we were able to increase that budget and that’s where I really made the transition. And from there, right, you get a couple of old clients, right? Ye you keep working your leads and you reach out to friends, to family, to colleagues to, I mean, I was just doing anything that I could, in the sense of like warm leads.
I wasn’t just, you know, I mentioned I was dropping flyers off. That really didn’t work. Right. One thing that I did that work was I started a mastermind on meetup.com. Okay. All right. Just becoming a thought leader, source of water for people in the desert and trying to establish myself in a community where might not be the person attending your mastermind.
It could be someone that they know or right. Obviously referrals start coming in as, as business starts to build it from square one. That was really what it looked like. Yeah.
Jake Cain: Very cool. So on that last note, there was meetup, like how did that, how’d you start getting traction with that? Like how did people find out about it?
I mean, it sounds like maybe it worked.
Dave Finberg: Did you find clients by doing that? I found one. Very solid client. A lot of it was, you know, it gave me some confidence to, to continue going. I had people in those courses and they would say, you know, just to maybe back up, right, like the, the course itself. I, I created a meetup group all about SEO, all about helping small businesses.
And I was giving away tips and tricks. Right. Which is what a lot of people do. Right. And it’s effective, right. People need help and you can give them a, an effective tool and tip or trick. Right. That’s always good. So it was just leading with value, which is something that I, you know, I think every, every great business person does today.
So leading with that value and in saying, Hey, you know, We’re going to put on a I put like a lot of detail into the posts. Like here’s all the things you’re going to get. I used to do a couple of Kickstarter campaigns or in the past, I’d done a couple of Kickstarter campaigns in the number one thing that people have reservations about when they’re like opting into something is like, am I going to really get any value?
Are they going to do what they say they’re going to do? So trying to make it extremely. Concise and clear, but still having like brevity to it, but actually giving them like everything we’re going to go over. So I turned it into almost like a little mastermind. Right. I pick the restaurant, you know, right down the street from my, from my apartment and reserve a table with the hostess there and bring a bunch of people and we’d get some food and like invested a good bit into getting people to see the value.
And some people literally would just come and eat the food. And I’m like, why here? And they’re like, Oh, you know, I thought it was cool. You know? And you’re like, here’s a little kind of pissed. I’m like, what? Like, you’re just here to eat food. A lot of people would come up and you’re like, I’d say out of 10 people, like for after the event, what caught me like that was so valuable.
Thank you so much. By the way, like let’s grab emails, let’s stay in contact. And then out of that, you know, one or two clients out of that one specific one was like a local business that, you know, someone just came looking for strategies is looking for value. And so, yeah. That was like, I think that’s the magnet for people to really take away is, you know, just add value, add value, add value, find the things that people want to know.
Like people want to know how to optimize their blog or what, what is the right way to write a meta title or description. Right. And like, even though these are objective things and a lot of it’s just classic SEO at the other end, like, you know, it’s, it’s super valuable. What you might think is basic to someone else’s is going to be immensely, you know, powerful to them and might be part of the foundation that gets somewhere they want to go.
So yeah, that’s, that’s, you know, that was the meetup kind of exercise. And we did probably four or five meetups and had some, you know, some really good talks and some conversations. And it just gave me like this perception of Of myself, of being an expert, which I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with that first is like the imposter syndrome and the confidence of asking someone for the sale.
And maybe you don’t know exactly how you’re going to do it. Maybe you have a good idea. So, you know, being able to take that leap of faith was, was something that I walked away with with more ability to do as a result of, of some of those meetups and got a little bit of business, which was great. Oh, absolutely.
Jake Cain: Yeah, no, that’s, that’s a great point. I would say to that, I remember feeling a lot of those, those same thoughts when I first started working with Spencer on niche pursuits and just writing you just feel. Just like you said, kind of that imposter syndrome, but you forget that, you know, I would say somebody that’s a regular just niche pursuits reader and listens to the podcast.
Like, you probably know more about SEO than 98% of the people that you come in contact with, you know, people that are running local businesses and stuff like that, that, you know, they’re running their business. That’s not their thing. And you’re exactly right. You think, you know, I don’t, I don’t have some big, special knowledge, but a lot of times
Dave Finberg: what, you know,
Jake Cain: can help a lot of people, you know, and that’s pretty cool, man.
So you started leveraging that out then and start, it sounds like building up a little bit of the client base. How long did it take before you were able to step away from your job as a mechanic and sort of be all in, on your agency and what does it look like today? I mean, it looks like you’ve got a team in place and I mean, what, what kind of clients are you working with?
Like how how’s it going
Dave Finberg: now in 2021? That’s great. Yeah. So, so kind of pivoted about six months into Into things that I made the transition to, you know, really try to upsell my clients. They came to me saying like, Hey, can you do more? It was almost like just perfect timing. And you know, obviously people see your passion, they see like what you’ve started to do and they, they want to see what else you can do.
So, you know, it took another, I would say year, year and a half to really build up enough. Client-based to have enough resources to start hiring. So where I kind of started was internships, right? Like going to Boulder CU at the time I lived in Boulder, Colorado you know, going to see you and finding like a web developer or someone in, you know, that can help with some of the design and graphics and things that people, you know, ultimately were asking me a lot for.
So, you know, trying to be resourceful was, was really like the first year, year and a half, once it kind of converted to full-time. You know, today we work with over 25 clients in niches from finance to medical SEO to info you know, like courses and, you know, I don’t want to say infotainment, but like, you know, educational courses and materials.
In addition to some home services, local mom and pops, I mean, there’s, there’s a few niches where we kind of say, Hey, like, If it’s a great business and, and we can get excited about it. Like the SEO is, is, is I don’t want to say standardize it. The process was relatively the same. It’s more about just understanding the nuances of the niche.
Yeah. But today, you know, we’re working with anything from, from local businesses who, you know, want to take over the Denver area or maybe another area, Los Angeles, DC. You know, kind of nationwide, so to speak. And then all the way up to enterprise where they’re thinking about, you know, international SEO and how we can roll out an impact websites that, you know, are part of different sub domains and really standardize more of the process.
And at that level, it’s like a bigger boat with a smaller rudder. And so our bread and butter is really small and medium-sized businesses. In, in the past couple of years, we’ve gotten more into the enterprise side of things, but yeah, it’s, it’s crazy. There’s a full team here. You’ve got web developers, content experts, you know, OnPage experts, you know, backlink outreach, it’s, it’s really turned into into this team that, you know, it has, it actually kind of reminds me of a point, which was at the beginning.
I thought I was almost better off being a solo preneur, especially when you’re in that first kind of initial traunch. Right. Because you’re making actually more money than you have. You get to this level where you’re like, Oh, now I have a couple, two, three, four clients and. You’re very busy, right? Things are progressing at a rate where it feels good.
It’s just a little hectic. And you’re thinking, okay, like, wow, I could get used to the salary. I could get used to this paycheck every month. Right. And then, you know, it was really with I have a couple of mentors and people that were like, do you need to take this up to the next level? Like you can start hiring a team and you really need to start.
Taking the steps to turn this into something that you can scale out across the nation or the world, or, you know, what’s your dream like start taking some more steps. And in that process was another challenge. It was like, I was more of a technician. I was used to doing it on my own. I was used to not asking for help or having limited amounts of help and really being more of the, the wizard of Oz man behind the curtain, pulling the levers.
Right. And so to, you know, over the last, I would say three to four years, it’s really evolved in, in the sense of not only as the business evolve, not only as the client base evolve my evolution as a leader and as evolved in doing things, I really, you know, the nature of a mechanic is to be by yourself and to just work with the car, just work with the website, right.
In the case of an SEO and You know, that’s, that’s been kind of a milestone in the sense of, of building this team and watching it grow and watching people contribute their own artwork. Right. And doing things that like inherently, I would’ve never thought of. And seeing just the level of collaboration and watching the culture evolve is it’s been super rewarding if you had told me, you know, six and a half years ago that, that, you know, it was going to look like it did, I, I would have called, called myself crazy.
Right. But then on the other end, it’s it’s kind of exceeded my expectations in other ways. That’s, that’s you just made like a lasting impact in how I approach every, every part of my life now, which is pretty cool. That’s awesome.
Jake Cain: And when you when you first brought, like who was the first person you brought on to help and when you did it, were you just immediately, like, why didn’t I do this sooner or did it take a while to get in the groove a little bit in sort of, I feel like a lot of people have a hard time.
Handing stuff off because maybe you’re a little bit of a perfectionist or you’re worried that they’re not going to care about it as much as I do or do as well as I do. Like, did you have any, any of that going on or was it pretty easy? And you’re like, Oh yeah, this is, this is great. Like right from the outset.
Dave Finberg: No. Yeah, there was a lot of that, you know, I’m a perfectionist, but by nature and that’s, I guess you’ve really kind of touched on, that’s kind of what I’ve, I’ve changed over the last, last, like this journey of seasoned the business has been not being, not seeing that as the solution at first, the way that it looked like it was kind of like a sign wave, right?
Like you had these ups and these downs. So at first it was like, Oh, this is great. We’re getting a lot more throughput. We’re I’m getting some feedback on what I can do to make the processes better to have, Hey, we need to ask the client for this next time we’re doing this. Right. And just kind of working through the checklist and the day today and where it started to Unravel was like, you know, you’re sending someone a job and there you’re thinking it takes, you know, X amount of time and it really takes Z amount of time or right.
There’d be like these challenges where they become almost more interpersonal than they do technical. And they’re like, well, why are you sending me this? And I’m like, Oh, I thought we were doing the web mock up. And they’re like, well, we have no brand guidelines. I’m like, what’s that? You know, you’re like learning through it.
Right. So now it’s like, Oh, I know. Okay. I knew what brand guidelines. I just didn’t know what that entailed. It’s your fonts and your colors. Okay, cool. Right. So there was a lot of especially when you’re, you’re having The, you know, it was kind of a gift, right. Of being able to find someone that has these technical skills at an intern level that can help and then inherently, right.
My, the people that I’m training are younger people and have different perspectives and it was awesome to see them collaborate and add, you know my first role was a web developer, also a designer, which is actually pretty rare, like most developers, aren’t designers and vice versa. And so she was really kind of a a double, you know, you call them like triple threat, like act dancing, right.
She could like design develop and do branding, which was really remarkable. So we were able to come up with it really helps me come up with some great value ads for clients and really understand more of like what goes into. Typography and like more of the traditional kind of web design, classic web design principles that I didn’t learn in school on the reverse end, right.
It, there was, there was this kind of frustration. When you think you’ve sent someone off to something you think it’s clear and then you’re in a meeting and they’re pinging. You like ticked off that you didn’t give them what you need or just frustrated. I wouldn’t say necessarily ticked off. It’s like, Hey, where are you?
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I need my stuff. And you’re like, Whoa, now I’m dealing with two things at once. And now I’m, maybe it’s taking some of my attention away from the client and it becomes like a muscle, like you’re trying to work this muscle that you haven’t worked out as much, or at least in my case. Right. I hadn’t worked out.
So yeah. So real quick,
Jake Cain: I want to get into Some SEO specifics, you know, and some of the things that you’ve learned and things that you see that are working well and have worked well over the years. And before I do that, I wanted to ask you real quick. You mentioned internships and I thought that was interesting.
I’m just kind of curious, are you still hiring interns? That’s something I’ve, I’ve heard about and like casually looked into I’ve heard that it’s a good way to find talented people and not pay, you know, the, an extreme rate that you might have to pay some it’s more experience. So I would imagine somebody that’s maybe running some websites and, or doing a startup or something like that, that that could be an attractive option.
Was that something that it sounds like it worked out well for you, but like. How did you even begin? Like, how did you look for interns? How did you know what to pay them? Like that whole thing? Like, did you use the service? What
Dave Finberg: what’d you do? So, so we always did paid internships and we tried to pay people more than what they would be paid somewhere else.
So like a lot of internships would be like minimum wage. Right. And we would try and differentiate ourselves of like, Hey, we expect a lot for this position, but we, we see the value there’s opportunities to pivot into a full-time or part-time role right after this. Right. And so it’s really just kind of like being transparent, honest also, you know, the weight of starting that was to answer your other question was looking at like, there’s actually specific ways that you need to post internships for certain colleges.
Right. And so it usually involves going, reaching out to, like, I think I just reached out to someone at Boulder CU and I was like, Hey, how do I get an internship? Like on your guys’ platform, I’d love to, you know, give. Can you give back and get, you know, get back to right. And so we need some help and this would be a great opportunity for someone.
So kind of like leading with value again, of like, Hey, we’re going to train you. You’re going to learn all this stuff. You’re also going to be paid. It’s going to be better than this other internship is going to pay 1250 an hour or whatever it is, $10 an hour and there’s room to grow. And so that was, that was like, what gets people thinking about Ooh, right from there.
It’s really, it’s really when the dust settles, looking at the people that are actually have that potential, and it’s not always obvious, like some people it’s skills, like in the case of our first web developer, Hannah, it was skills, right? Like she is in this. This track of like web designer branding development.
And so it was, you know, very easy to say. Perfect. Right? Yeah. It doesn’t always come like that. And so what I’ve seen is that there are people that are hungry that really want to learn that not only, you know, want to learn that want to add value, and it’s finding those people that, that have that kind of mindset that is really what you need in a startup, because you can have someone that has the perfect skillset and like can’t thrive working on two projects or three projects at once, right.
Or can’t thrive in an environment where. The answer. Isn’t always there. It’s like, not like school, like school. It’s like, just look in your textbook. It’s right here. I started here, like, I’m still making the process. Like, I don’t even have this ready for you, but let’s start building it and building the plane as we take off.
And so finding those kinds of I think cultural fit is, is innately important. You have to have cultural fit and if you can find skills great, and just go to your CA like local colleges, places that, that, you know, have good programs and start looking for people in these specific programs, they have web developer almost.
I’m sure every university now has these, these kinds of, of, of tracks for, for students. So in differentiate yourself, right, like try to get the best of the best and give them a, give them a fair shot and give them some opportunities that maybe they wouldn’t get anywhere else or some culture that they wouldn’t get anywhere else or an experience they wouldn’t get anywhere else.
And you’ll find that that many of those people will, will stay for long, long periods of time. Very cool, man. That’s
Jake Cain: awesome. Cool. Well, let’s talk a little bit then about we’ll dig into SEO. And I want to talk about a few things and then, you know, just sort of what you, you see that’s working for clients.
Obviously you’ve been at this a very long time, but I’m assuming that when you get a new client, even now, when you have these discussions people don’t come to you saying, Hey, we want to try and get to page three of Google. Right? Everybody wants to be number one
Dave Finberg: for whatever it is, if it’s a local business, that sort of thing.
Jake Cain: talk us through that. I know I’ve read in your bio, you know, you talk
Dave Finberg: a little
Jake Cain: bit about SEO, roadmaps different strategies for getting to page one. I mean, I know that’s a big topic, but you know, when you start having this discussion with a client. And I would say, you know, that a lot of the folks listening to us, the niche pursuits audience is a lot of solo preneurs people that are building up a websites, you know, the affiliate marketing space, maybe some e-commerce, maybe some digital advertising, you know, and I know Spencer always talks a lot about keyword research and things like that.
So I think that that’s a lot of the audience that you’re listening to. Maybe probably don’t have a big team. It’s not a big local business. It’s kind of the one man show. So with that in mind, I mean, where do you, where do you start that conversation? When we talk about, Hey guys, how are we getting to page one of Google?
Dave Finberg: I’m going to try and give you guys the full playbook here really like lean into the value. So what, what I typically tell clients and what I tell them. To just anyone that wants to learn about SEO is there’s about six to seven core areas. Right? You’ve got your on-page backlinks, you’ve got citations, you’ve got you know, your content, you’ve got your web experience.
You’ve also got your page speed and more of like the technicals behind, like how the site is being rendered and how it loads you’ve got reputation. Right. And so it used to be, you know, and, and this is maybe dating a bit, but it used to be, you didn’t need all these, you just needed like great backlinks and great on-page or like really good backlinks and like good page speed.
Right. And it’s, it’s no longer, especially in these more competitive, you know, markets, like if you’re pursuing something that, that, you know, you’re, you’re trying to generate revenue and luckily 18 other people are doing the same thing. And so now what we look at are these seven to eight different core areas, and that’s where the roadmap begins.
Like you need keywords, you need. All of these, you know, classic SEO, titles, tags, keywords on the other end, it’s really like doing a SWAT analysis on like, what is the experience of your site is my page speed. Great. Right. We have the core web vitals update coming out in June. We’ve got other page speed updates and places that say, Hey, if your site loads and under four seconds, your conversion rate doubles or triples, especially for e-commerce stores.
Right. And so what’s your checkout process? Like what pages are loading fast? What aren’t like, what are we starting with? So we can actually map out the right plan of attack, as opposed to just doing what everyone else does with just keywords and backlinks. Right. We’re on page. So it’s really understanding, okay, what are we strong in?
Do we have a good page speed? How’s our content? Do we have the right LSI keywords? Do we have the supporting information and FAQ’s and like comprehensively covering our topic in-depth at scale, right? Or maybe not at scale, but just done, done correctly and scaling it, you know, the right way. And so that’s really where I start with is like, what’s the content look like?
What’s the website look like? How’s the speed of the site. Are there calls to action? Is that optimized for conversions? Right? Do we have the right foundation and like bones in place so that when we drive traffic, it doesn’t just leak out the bottom of the bucket, right. From there. It is so much strategy.
Right. And what I see oftentimes with the more classic stuff like keywords, right? It’s everyone knows the obvious keywords, but they don’t know the low-hanging fruit or the synonyms or terms that people aren’t bidding on yet. And for some times there’s good reason. Like sometimes those terms aren’t as high converting, other times it’s just hidden gems or fruit that people haven’t done.
They didn’t spend, they spend an hour in SCM rush instead of three hours. Right. They looked at two competitor websites instead of every competitor in the niches website, in different locations and really understanding like. Every single opportunity that’s available. And so strategy is by far most important site map strategy, combining the two, right, creating the right content, creating the right experience for the user, understanding what those expectations are on what a page should look like for these terms.
Right. And then ensuring that the technical and the speed is up to date. And like you’re not starting behind the finish line because your site speed is 10 seconds or when the industry standard is five or whatever it is. So those are, those are like kind of the first I say, non-negotiables of any successful campaign and your tools like SEM rush everyone probably knows about these, these tools already.
For those of you who don’t there, these tools can help you write the content and understand what the LSI terms are, and really start to take a look at like what, what needs to be on this page. I also do a bit just classic marketing, like. What I should say the team, right? What we, what we do, you know, we look at these pages and we identify like, what is, well, let’s do a SWOT analysis on everyone else’s page.
And let’s start to make a wishlist of like, if we were to create this experience, what would we want to see and what would a user want to see? And so now we’re thinking of things, not in terms of, of copying. And I think there’s a big misnomer that you just copy what everyone else is doing. I think that’s, that’s a low-hanging fruit for people.
It’s not always, what’s going to get you to the finish line. It’s something that you can take inspiration from it. You should be trying to do it better than everyone else. Right? You shouldn’t be trying to create something if you want, you know, the page one is a statistical outlier. 90% of websites will never hit the first page.
It’s that stats are out there. Right? So like what’s at stake is Like the expectation should be that it’s going to be hard in that. You’re really going to need to Excel in all of these areas to give yourself the best shot of hitting number one or page one or top three or whatever it is. And so. Very
Jake Cain: cool, Dave, so talk to me then.
Maybe if you have an example and I don’t know if you can share like an actual client example, but I heard you talk about under content strategy using the tool. I can SEM rush to take a look at a competitor, and I’m assuming you’re talking about, you know, keyword research and some of the low hanging fruit.
You mentioned LSI keywords, but do you have just a success story that comes to mind that you could share or, you know, you could even talk hypothetical, but just kind of explaining how that might work, you know, taking a topic or whatever, and sort of redoing a piece of content or if it’s a new piece of content and kind of how you would do that.
Like w where would you start? You, you pop in SEM rush. Where
Dave Finberg: do you go from there? So up in SEM rush, there’s a tab called OnPage right. Co checker. And what you’ll do is you’ll put in your landing pages and once you’ve done the keyword research, or at least have some bones around the keyword research, you’ll pop those keywords into the on-page SEO checker.
And we’ll actually give you it’ll check the top 10 pages in in the search results and tell you kind of what they’re talking about. And so they’ll identify terms, we’ll say, Hey, semantically, you need to be talking about, like, let’s say it’s like a personal injury lawyer, whatever it is, you know, you need to be talking about trial and case, and you’re not talking.
You don’t have the, these terms in your content or It could be a variety of different kinds of like, you’re basically taking a big topic and breaking it into smaller chunks. Right. And so there’s usually a few chunks that are missing and what this on-page SEO tool will help you uncover are different kind of like LSI terms or different terms that it’s expecting to see.
Right. They’re expecting to see settlement and court and injury and these different things. Right. And maybe we talk about that, but there’s usually a few that, that always just kind of missed the list. And so this SCM rush on page SEO idea. Tool will actually help you uncover some of those opportunities without having to manually go through each and every site.
And like visually compare. What I actually would recommend starting with is I think at the top five questions and the, the, the pain points, like going back more to traditional marketing of like SEO is the icing on the cake. You need great content and you really need to understand where your client’s pain points and needs are and how your product or service empowers them to meet or exceed their expectations around these needs.
Right. And so it is so much the keywords, right? We need all these things that that’s the icing on the cake. That’s not the cake. Right. And so in the context of providing value, really just focusing on. What are those five things that, you know, everyone asks you about this? What are the reservations that you or someone in your industry might have about utilizing a product or service like this?
Like start with the meat of it. Just go straight in for what you already know. People want to know. And from there you can go in and add an LSI terms and uncovered different topics. Another thing that I like to do is we call it a content gap analysis where we’re actually analyzing, like, what are the headings and the topics like we’ll go through 10 articles and.
Really uncover, like, what are the things that people are talking about here? And instead of just taking that at face value, let’s go research those topics and figure out truly like how we can create an exceptional piece of content around it. And then from there we can add in the keywords, the headings, the LSI terms, right?
So it’s, it’s very much in the planning stage, right? Where maybe you already have a page. That’s great. We can build upon that. Right. It’s always great to update and improve existing content. It helps with your SEO. It helps with your impressions. It’s Google automatically start split testing your new content and identifying that you have these new terms as it recalls your website on the other end, right?
We’re we’re thinking of, you know, what is every question, desire, pain, point frustration. And instead of making it all about ourselves and giving us the power and being like, Hey, we’re the best and we can help you solve this. How do, how about we talk about that in the context of the customer. Yeah, right.
So less eyes and wheeze and more used more like how this is going to help you. Hey, you’re, you’re, you’re suffering. You’ve been in an accident. Like you need a lawyer that understands personal injury. You need a lawyer that understands these things, as opposed to being like, hi, we’re the XX law firm. And we can help you with personal injury.
And by the way, we do car accidents and this and that, it’s like, great. Like everyone does that. Right. How do we really speak to these, these users and make them the hero of the story instead of ourselves? And if you do all those, like. Three to four things you’ll really find people will spend longer amounts of time on the site.
They’ll engage with your brand more, you’ll have a higher conversion rate. You should see more rankings in Google for your keywords should start to expand, right? Just start moving up and you just keep kind of running through those ideas, keep running through, you know, questions as, as questions and market data comes in like actual data from real clients or prospective clients comes in, like, how can we incorporate that into the site to use as more of a sales tool and really educate them.
So by the time they’re coming to you, it’s like, They already know your business. They know what you offer, they know your values. They really just want to learn how you know, which package they should get in or how they can get started. And it’s all kind of contextualized to what you’ve said on the website, which makes it an easier close.
Jake Cain: Yeah. Yeah. So when you’ve got. I like what you said about the, you know, starting out with more, I guess, traditional marketing and what are the questions that you’re hearing in real life from your clients and that sort of thing. So when people go through that ideation process, are you having them, are they sort of just creating blog posts on each one of those?
Like, does each one become a blog post and you, you answered that in a question or is this sort of are you doing it some other way? Like, are they building out like a full content plan where they’re going to have X number of new pieces of content that they add to their site? Is that what they do
Dave Finberg: next?
Well, that’s a fantastic question. I’d say there’s, there’s two quick things you can do. You can plug those questions into SEM, ration and see, right. You can also, there’s a questions feature. So if you’re like wanting to rank for a certain term, you hit questions, it’ll show you the questions that they know of that people ask is not always as good as.
Going straight to the source of your client, right? From there, you can decide whether it’s, you know, some topics, it can be comprehensively covered in a few sentences or a few statements that could be like an FAQ that you just add to the bottom of your service page, or you incorporate somewhere within the like aid framework, whatever kind of framework you’re using to write your content.
You can include that in there. If it’s, if it’s something that can be more comprehensive and isn’t a service, like I separated into two levels, like it’s either a service, like people want to buy, they want to, you know, move forward on, on something. Or they’re in the discovery phase. If it’s discovery, I typically do that as a blog post.
So you’re, you’re driving different types of traffic. You don’t just want all, I mean, everyone just wants people that buy, right. But like inherently someone that reads a blog post about you, you’re giving them that, that information. You’re the source of water in the desert. Guess what happens when they’re thirsty again, they’re going to come back to you, right?
Or you can get crafty with a very efficient, inexpensive retargeting campaign. Right? It can take people up to seven times to engage with your business actually opt in. Right. And so you’re kind of playing both sides of the field of like, yeah, we want to help educate and give value to our community. And granted, a lot of people that come in on blog posts might not be qualified buyers, some will.
And then you have your service based content where maybe the question is can be more succinct. Like, Hey, what is shipping like or how do I return this? Or what is the policy for late appointment or whatever it is where you can maybe have that in a, in a service specific page or on a FAQ section, or it doesn’t need its own blog posts.
You just kind of have to make the decision of like knowing what kind of comprehensiveness that the question has. And if it’s shorter, just put it as an FAQ. It’s a longer blog. Post is great. Gotcha. Okay.
Jake Cain: So talk to me a little bit about, you mentioned link building is one of the things that’s been, you know, a part of the SEO picture for a long time.
There’s varying opinions out there on how important it is and whether you should spend a lot of time on it, or if it’s just one of those things that kind of occurs naturally as you build good content.
Dave Finberg: Where do you stand on that?
Jake Cain: And then what sort of link building do you see that works consistently for your clients?
Or do you have any favorite kind of go-to link building strategies that you could share?
Dave Finberg: Certainly. So, so I mean, we were all about relationship building, right? So we have relationships with over 5,000 sites over the years, you know, you just keep adding more and more, a lot of it is outreach, right? You can reach out to communities, reach out to people that you know, would be interested in this content.
Just try to add value. You can oftentimes get. Backlinks without having to, you know, send out a D in dozens and dozens of emails, if you’re just going for the right groups and the right people at these groups. So outreach is a huge component, whether that’s, you know, if you’re doing it yourself or getting a VA to help you, or I think personal touch is always better.
I think going for communities and really making connection with people is one of the better ways to build back links. Obviously as your content gets shared more you know, I put on social media at post in social media groups, right? There’s a lot of social sharing backlinks that you can get. Right?
Of course, everyone in there, their mothers probably got an email from someone saying, Hey, I can sell you this back link on this site. Right? Like, that’s great. I stay away from that stuff. I think, you know, you have to, you have to be very strategic in the types of links that you build and the quality of those links.
And so I think outreach is a great place. I think forms are a great place. So we can hop on a form, add some consistent value, share articles. If people are actually, if you’re writing valuable content, people will respond to it. They will engage with it. They will share it. They might put it on social. They might put it on their own blog, right?
There’s also competitor backlinks, scraping, where you can look at competitors, see where they’ve lost backlinks, or maybe, you know, ATF has a video on this, on their blog, right? Like going and finding sites that have broken links and saying like, Hey, notice this link is broken. Think our site would be a great resource for your user base.
Right. There’s a lot to be done there. Of course. Your web 2.0, is your mediums. A lot of, some of them are no follow that’s. Okay. Google still counts those backlinks. And if you’re contributing valuable content, you know, inherently, you’re going to get some shares in some engagement. I would not, I would not.
I want to underline that a little bit of like web 2.0 is our great place to start. Outside of that, you know, we’ve got outreach, we’ve got social sharing, you know, trying to kind of your traditional kind of classic SEO stuff. I think message boards are really great place. I think core is a great place, right?
Like trying to find a niche backlinks I’d say would be like the most important process part of the process of like, it’s not just about getting the back lane Google’s engine, RankBrain kind of understands the context of that backlinks. So if you’re just getting on some like social bookmarking site, like that isn’t enough anymore, right?
Like, yeah. You’ll get a backlink from it. Is that really from a community that like has a lot of authority? No. Is it a community that people really trust? No. So like, Get rid of all the like chintzy stuff and just, it’s not always about quantity. It’s about quality. And so you got to start there. If you start there, your backlink profile is going to be concise, right.
If you’re just going out and building and there’s people out there on five or there’s all kinds of stuff. Oh, I’ll boost your domain authority. And. Sometimes there’s a jammer too in there, but by and large, just from what I’ve seen with other guys and gals in the industry, like you really want to focus on more of the heart’s heart face to face, look at your competitor’s backlinks, use some tools to uncover opportunities where you can add value and reach out.
You can just reach out sending, you know, sending different, you know, of course there’s guest posting and other things that you can do. That’s sending articles to people and effectively, I’m trying to add value to their communities, which, you know, you can have some levels of success with it’s really just thinking about what types of backlinks would differentiate you.
So I like to start with citations. I think citations for a small business are one of the most important things you can do. There is a caveat. You do need to have a physical office space or Google business location to do that. Those are quality backlinks. They may not have. You know, this super relevant, contextual, like niche down approach that something like an outreach would provide at the end of the day it’s it’s, it’s about creating that solid foundation and, you know, getting taking kind of that omni-channel approach, like forums message boards, social media, outreach, guest posting you know, how do, how do we get some PR how do we get, you know, maybe a news story pod, you know, podcasts get backlinks as well.
Right? So there’s all kinds of different opportunities that you can do with backlinking. I’d say what’s working really well for us right now is we’re doing a lot of outreach, a lot of manual outreach. We’re doing a lot of kinda like brand and collaborations trying to, you know, tie together communities and just leading with value.
Like give someone something before you just ask for the back link and the, the, the easiest way to think of it is even with. Looking through like a traps and looking at broken links that of your competitors used to have backlinks for like in a way that’s adding value, like sites that have four, a fours and have broken links on them.
Don’t rank as well. So likely that side seeing an impact too. It’s not just the site that we’re linking to. So yeah, there’s plenty of opportunities to, you know, I’ve seen people go as far as to audit continent. They’re like, Hey, I love your site. I noticed you had some errors over here, right. Just leave with some value, think outside the box, reach out to your communities.
And, and don’t think of it as an approach that you just need to, you know, go buy a backlink package from someone there’s a, there’s a lot more that you can be doing to, to move the needle. And, and you’ll find that in doing the work you’ll actually, regardless of what the domain authority is or trust flow and all these metrics, you actually see that the niche backlinks work really, really well.
Jake Cain: So it sounds like relevance is. Maybe one of the keywords staying tight in your niche, that that’s more valuable than just sort of a generic link. So when you are setting up like a manual outreach campaign with a client, are you guys creating content that would be like a link magnet or whatever you want to call it that you think is going to be something outreach worthy?
Like I’ve heard of like the skyscraper technique where you try to create this really, you know, Epic piece of content and that sort of thing. Like, are you starting with that? Or like, what are you when you’re approaching people with manual outreach? Like, what are you asking them for? Like, Hey, will you include us on this page?
Or, Hey, I want to let you know, we just published this and that sort of thing. Like what what’s kind of typically your pitch that you’re,
Dave Finberg: you’re leading with. Yeah. So our, our picture is pretty simple. It’s it’s Hey, we want to add some value. Here’s five to 10 topics that we think would be fantastic for your user base.
What are your thoughts? That’s it. We’re not really asking for there’s some times where it’s like, Hey, would you mind sharing this blog? We’re going to put some links in here. You can be transparent about it, but it’s not just like, most people are like, Hey, we want a backlink for this post. Like I get these calls those all the time.
And it’s like, okay, great. But what if you actually have like 10 topics that people really wanted to know about? Right. And it’s like, Whoa, you guys don’t have this on your site. I’d love to add this value. It’s going to be well-written. We’ll tell them how many, you know, Hey, we’re going to write you like a comprehensive article that has some quality to it.
It’s not just a guest post, like fluffy article it’s. And, and that’s to everyone’s benefit, right? Like you want that content to be shared. Cause then that back link might be twice as powerful after people share the article that you guys posted on. Right. So there’s all these, these different ways. And then sometimes you only have to do an article like there’s infographics, there’s video.
I mean, there’s so many different things that you can different mediums that you can add to differentiate yourself. Right. We did one for a residential treatment center. And we did an infographic for a very specific niche within that, you know treatment. It was like an LGBT service, you know, the service offered specifically, I believe, to transgenders and people experiencing gender dysphoria and create an infographic and reach out to some communities that are like, wow, this is great.
Right? And we put that in a blog, we put the infographic on a blog on the website and now people are linking back to that infographic and that link. And there’s other sites that you can share info graphics on. And really just like, how do we just add some value? And it doesn’t have to be a 2000 word article.
It could be a really cool infographic or a white paper or a, Hey, don’t forget to write, do this kind of checklist kind of thing. So there’s, there’s a lot of different ways you can get creative. And I encourage you to just think about like what you think your users would want. Yeah. Okay, very
Jake Cain: cool. So as we’re starting to wind down here a little bit we talked a little bit about link building and talked about content keywords a little bit.
Anything else got in, in the SEO toolbox that you’ve got, that you’ve seen, that’s really producing results for you and your clients. In 2021, it just seems to really be moving the needle that you think would be time well
Dave Finberg: spent for folks. I think it’s definitely check out the keyword research tool, a keyword magic tool.
If you’re using a steam rush and questions tab covering those questions actually helps. Google is looking for high levels of main content and supporting content. And so those blogs, while they may be, you might consider a main content. They’re supporting your services, they’re supporting your sales process and they’re driving new users to your site.
So if there’s one opportunity, it’s, don’t go straight for, you know, don’t ask the person out on the date until you’ve talked to them for five minutes, right? Like give people a little bit of context around some of these discovery-based terms. Think about how you can really add value, that’s going to actually help you rank for your core terms, whether you know it or not.
So that’s number one. Number two is take a look at your page speed. It’s not always about adding more leads to the top of the funnel. Right? Of course, we all want to increase traffic. We all want that exponential growth and you’ll get there doing the things that we talked about on this podcast today. And I’m sure you’re already having results for yourselves in many of these areas.
One statistic that’s out. There is a site that loads under five seconds, statistically, as like an expert, in some cases I think is can double conversion rates. So core web vitals updates coming out. There’s a lot of people that are jumping off the ledge with this thing. I don’t think you need to go crazy with, take a look at your page speed, hire a great contractor hire from, to help you with, you know, getting your speed optimized.
That is not only going to help you with your rankings is going to help you with your traffic. And it’s more importantly, aside from adding any new leads to the top of the funnel, it’s going to help you better convert the leads that you have. So that would be my. Tippy top priorities for you guys. Very cool.
Jake Cain: You got just curious, you got anybody that you recommend for that. You mentioned hiring it out. I feel like a lot of people, myself included when it comes to like speed optimization, you can, your head can start spinning very quickly. I don’t know. Is that something that you do? Is that something that you guys do, or do you have any other contractors or people that you sort of go to or would refer people to that that want to get into the core web vital stuff and look at their
Dave Finberg: site speed.
We actually got an in-house team that handles page speed, optimizations left and right. Like a good score that you should shoot for on mobile would be like a 60 or 70 on desktop. You should be able to get like 90 to a hundred If you’re, you’re interested in, you need some page speed and you can check us out at peaks, digital marketing.com.
I felt a contact form. We’ve got a team that can turn it around in a week, week and a half, two weeks and get your speed really improved. It does depend on sometimes there’s some limitations with themes and websites. So, you know, it’s a case by case basis that said there’s not a lot of barriers to entry on the page speed stuff.
I definitely encourage you check that out. If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer and you want to try to take a shot at page speed, there’s some plugins that you can take a look at. Auto optimize is one plugin and WP rocket is another I think there’s image of fire image, like image. If I is also like an image optimization plugin that works really well.
Many cases you’re like changing the loading order of the site and the code and how things behave on the backend while preserving the look and feel of the site on the front end. So full disclaimer, you can break your site with these tools that can actually cause some serious problems. So. Start small ask for help when you need it, we’re here to, to support you.
There’s a lot of resources online as well. That can kind of walk you through how to set up some of the less advanced, less risky features in some of those softwares. And inherently, you know, there’s, there’s quite a few contractors and things out there that you could probably find on, on Upwork as well.
If you’re looking for for some page speed stuff, you just have to be careful you’re giving that, that individual or that firm, the keys to your website temporarily, like they’re going to need your server dashboard. They’re going to need, in some cases, your domain registrar, they’re going to need, you know, FTP access.
Like you’re basically giving that person route access. So it’s, it’s important not to maybe like. Be careful with just hiring any person to do that on Upwork. Cause it’s, you don’t want to be sending your credentials over open airwaves and having, you know, some kind of issue happen or generally people are pretty good.
Right. But there’s, there’s a lot of detail that you need to pay attention to when and to have someone that you trust do it. Sure. Yeah. That’s some good ratings at least. Yeah. Would
Jake Cain: you recommend doing it on a staging site first and you’ve got access to. Create a staging shy. If somebody is gonna try to DIY this thing, probably do it on staging and then make sure
Dave Finberg: you don’t break something first.
Don’t do it on the live site, whatever you do, don’t do it on live site, please. Right? You’ll you’ll kick yourself for it. And, and if you don’t have a staging site, you know, you can hire a webmaster to set set. When I was on super hard to set one up just about every, it’s very rare that someone says, just do it on the live site.
And if we do, we actually pulled the website down to a local host, edit it and then upload it after it’s been been done. So you could also pull it down, but that’s a bit more advanced, just see you can get a staging site set up and that’s like one of the best pieces of advice that we needed to include in that statement.
So I appreciate that. Yeah. Cool. Okay.
Jake Cain: All right. Well Hey, I appreciate the time. And if people want to you know, follow along with you, get in touch with you anything like that we’re working, they find you and any just kind of final things
Dave Finberg: you wanted to say. I appreciate the, the opportunity. If you wanna check us out, go to peaks, P E K S digital marketing.com, or you can find me on social media David a Finberg on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and yeah, had a, had a great time on the show and appreciate the platform and opportunity and look for the next time.
Jake Cain: All right, man. Thanks Dave.
Dave Finberg: Thanks for being on the show. .