You are What You Eat: How to Grow Your Vegan Business with SEO
Stephanie Harter, the Eating Like You Give a Damn podcast host, had a chance to chat with Kris Reid, the founder and CEO of Ardor SEO. In this 40-minute podcast interview, Kris and Stephanie talk about what it's like being a vegan. They also discuss some marketing strategies vegan businesses can use to grow.
But before we proceed, let's learn more about the host of this podcast show.
Getting to know Stephanie Harter
Stephani Harter is not just the host of the Eating Like You Give a Damn podcast. She is also an award-winning author.
As a regular jane from Orlando, FL with southern roots, she ate like any other American from the south. She used to love eggs, cheese, and bacon. Well, that is until she learned the bitter truth about animal products and how they negatively impact her health, the animals, and the environment.
So, from then on, she started following a plant-based diet and has never looked back. And, as she delved deeper into veganism, that's when she realised that she could also help others shift to a vegan diet. She also learned that she could make money out of being a vegan, which she uses to help vegan businesses grow.
Who is Kris Reid, and how did he become a vegan?
Kris Reid, a.k.a the Coolest Guy in SEO, is the brain behind Ardor SEO.
Before he started Ardor SEO, he used to work in the finance industry as a software engineer. But, when the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis single-handedly destroyed his career, he decided to travel the world. This was when he had a lot of realisations—and those included his diet.
From founding Ardor SEO to completely changing his diet, Kris was quite productive during his time abroad. However, in this interview, Stephanie wants to know how his vegan journey started and what pushed him to embrace veganism completely.
According to Kris, he discovered yoga, and it really changed his life a lot. As he kept repeating the same sequence over and over, he realised how meat impacted his health. So, he started cutting back on meat products and, actually, felt better. He didn't do it on any ethical grounds; he just noticed how well his body is responding to his meatless diet—and that was all his motivation then.
Then, he had a little chat with Eric from the Happy Cow—an online website that lists sources of vegetarian and vegan food—about the dairy industry and how it was worse than the meat industry. Needless to say, Kris was shocked by what he learned.
What is Veganuary
Throughout the podcast, Kris keeps mentioning Veganuary. So, what is it exactly?
Veganuary, a non-profit organisation, started a movement in 2014 to challenge people to take up veganism for the whole month of January. The movement began in the UK, it has become so big today, with over a quarter-million participants. Some of the high-profile supporters include Mayim Bialik and Joaquin Phoenix. Now, when the Joker tells you to eat your veggies, you do it! No questions asked.
Kidding aside, weight loss is a nice "side effect" of veganism, but that's not what Veganuary is all about. It is a movement that aims to protect the environment and prevent animal suffering, while helping improve the health of millions of people.
How does Ardor help vegan business owners with SEO?
Now, Stephanie segues into the topic of SEO. She wants to know what it is exactly—and Kris is more than happy to answer.
Search engine optimisation (SEO), according to Kris, is the best way to grow your business. It's about getting your message in front of the people who are actively searching for precisely what you offer.
While interactive marketing is a really great strategy, it can also disrupt what consumers are doing. For example, while listening to the radio, watching TV, or browsing their FB feeds, your ad pops in front of their faces. It's really annoying. Even if it's a really good ad, they still wouldn't care if it's not relevant to them.
On the other hand, SEO isn't as intrusive because consumers would have to actively search for the keywords relevant to them on search engines. For example, when they type "vegan restaurants in Maine" or "vegan leather boots" and your page comes up on the search results, it isn't as annoying. After all, you didn't impose your product on them; they searched for it—and that makes a huge difference.
Kris also emphasises that you don't necessarily have to invest so much money in a really beautiful website—unless you sell something visual. Kris insists that you should have a clear message first before having a website setup, or you might end up spending $20,000 on a website that doesn't generate any income. It doesn't matter if your website is not that pretty, as long as you have the right product, people will still buy from you.
Kris also advises that you do market research. If there is no one searching in your town for your product or service, then it's really going to be hard to sell them. For example, if there is no one searching for vegan restaurants in your town, then setting up one in that area may not be such a good idea. This is another area SEO can help you with.
Vegan business marketing tips from the expert
If you have a relatively unknown brand, people won't really care about you. In fact, most people don't generally search for brand names when looking for products. So, a better strategy is to put your product on the title of your page instead of your brand—and see how much traffic and sales you get.
Another tip from Kris for business owners is to sell the benefits instead of the features of your product. After all, people are more interested in what they can get from the product, as opposed to the technicalities, like its features.
Additionally, if you don't have the same budget as Google and Amazon, it's best only to have one website. Don't spread yourself too thin and not be seen. If you don't have the budget or manpower, pace yourself. Rushing things can cause more problems than good for your business.
You also don't have to be on every social media platform. Know where your target audience is and focus there. You can get all the leads you need on LinkedIn if that's where your audience is.
Stephanie and Kris are in agreement that if more vegan businesses emerge, they would have more impact on fixing the world. That's why they are both very passionate about helping vegan businesses grow.
If you want to listen to Kris and Stephanie's entire conversation about veganism and how SEO can help grow vegan businesses, you can go to the Eating Like You Give a Damn Facebook page.