CEO of Ardor SEO and the Coolest Guy in SEO, Kris Reid, sat down with Deb Krier of the Business Power Hour to tackle about search engine optimisation and its various elements.
During the one-hour discussion, Kris shared insights about SEO and some helpful solutions for certain problems entrepreneurs encounter while operating and navigating the digital marketplace.
Who is Deb Krier?
She is a professional speaker, marketing and social media adviser, and a trainer with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations. Her passion is to provide “professionals the tools that they need to make themselves and their businesses as successful as possible”.
The Business Power Hour, on Mile Hi Radio, is one such tool where businesses get to share their stories which, as written on the website, is the secret weapon to capture and keep customers.
Stories are likened to the Trojan Horse of the marketing world that allows a message to be delivered directly to the mind and emotions of potential customers.
This time, it’s Kris’ opportunity to share his story and that of his business, Ardor SEO.
How Kris stumbled into the world of SEO
Kris started out as a software engineer, working for several big-name companies until the Global Financial Crisis where he lost his contract.
With money saved up, Kris went backpacking for about a couple of years, trying to work out his next step.
He then developed a web game. It was the need to promote the game he made and get people to play it that led him to learn about SEO and digital marketing. He started creating tools designed to increase website ranking,which later became the foundation of his company Ardor SEO.
Story behind Ardor SEO
Ardor SEO started out as a backlinking company.
Kris describes a backlink as basically a link from one website to another, the hyperlinks people click to travel around the internet.
It was Larry Page who discovered the importance of links in increasing website authority. He used the analogy of a book being referenced by other books.
This amazing discovery led Kris to play around with link building, and he then built a system to manage links. And he also built a team to pump out links.
It also made him realise several other things that led to the creation of Ardor SEO.
- SEO companies as a catalyst for growth
SEO companies need links the most and Kris can leverage their clients to grow his company exponentially.
- Ranking is not just about adding links
From monitoring his customers’ rankings, he discovered that some ranks when links are inserted while others don’t. As it happens, a website that is in good shape ranks when links are added to it.
- Website structure and content are correlated to ranking
Upon checking on some of his clients’ websites, Kris discovered that some of them have bad content, website structure, and the like. This prompted him and his team to run a site audit.
After all, if customers don’t get results, they’re likely to pull out their business.
This gave birth to other services to go with link building, turning into full-service SEO.
- Having his own retail customers has major advantages
While it was good working with SEO companies, Kris realised that they were charging more than what they are paying him and his team. So why not have his own retail customers?
And so Ardor SEO was born.
On working remotely and with a remote team
Ardor SEO’s main headquarters is in Phnom Penh, Cambodia but has staff in Australia and in the Philippines, and a growing number of remote staff.
Working with a remote team started as a means to eliminate the limitations of finding staff just within the expat community in Phnom Penh and the shortage of highly skilled individuals in the Philippines.
Having a remote team proved to work fantastically, what with most of Ardor SEO’s clients being more concerned about results rather than who and when people start working.
The level of flexibility that staff gets to enjoy also resulted in better performance.
Deb agrees that it is a great concept since time is not important as long as the job gets done. She also thinks remote work is one of the reasons that home-based businesses are taking off.
However, she did admit to having difficulty with the concept since most of her clients have office hours. She also wanted to avoid having clients intrude on her personal hours.
It is different for everybody, but she recommends knowing what best works for you.
Why Hire an SEO Company?
This question has been around for a long time, but Deb provided an answer that hits the bullseye – as a business owner, it is very difficult to know how a website should be optimised because it changes.
Link stuffing used to be the norm. Deb calls it cheating the system, where website owners stuff an article with plenty of links pointing to a popular website such as the USA today. But not anymore.
It is the inability to keep up with all the changes and how Google is tweaking their algorithms that make it very important to work with companies like Kris’ Ardor SEO.
- Focus on what you do best
Kris recommends that business owners should understand enough about digital marketing, but their focus should be on what they really do and what their company is all about. What they do is their business and not anything else.
- Access an entire team, not just an individual
Kris shares his experience about working with a single account that didn’t work out quite well when changes came. Now that he’s working with an accounting firm, there is continuity and sustainability. In the event that something happens to the person handling the account, someone else can take over without causing any problem.
Deb agrees that there is a benefit to outsourcing, but it must be done appropriately. You just need to know enough to know how to hire the right person rather than worry about the technical aspects themselves such as link building.
- Better returns on investment
Hiring a fly-by-night SEO specialist may cost less but the work will lack the stability needed to build a stable brand. There is also a risk of being penalised and de-indexed for one reason or another.
- Get a full-service SEO plan
Kris shared his experience with one client who’s spending a lot on AdWords but, as it turns out, was unaware of the basic things that matter, such as average customer worth and website conversion rate.
Simply put, the client doesn’t have an idea whether or not their ads are effective.
SEO is great. But Kris recommends it being accompanied by search engine marketing (SEM) and AdWords, especially because Google earns from both.
- Targeted advertising
Deb suggests that business owners should get in front of the right people with their ad and content to avoid wasting their time.
Kris backs up this idea with a story about side-of-the-road ads lined up on the street. People would rarely stop in front of them and make a note of the phone number or email address. They will be reminded of what they need, like a personal injury lawyer. But when they do get home, they’re likely to search online and call the first one that appears in Google’s search results.
This shows that SEO can ensure targeted advertising, not a commercial run during a Super Bowl, especially if your target audience does not watch the Super Bowl, in the first place.
- Professional copywriting
Kris stressed the importance of professional copywriting with the right call-to-action (CTA). According to him, you need to have a purpose as to why you’ve drawn people to your site and asking people to do stuff gives that purpose. Doing so will increase the number of people that do it.
Deb also shares about how a lot of people think they need permission to comment or leave a feedback. Many business owners think it is obvious that they expect people to leave a comment or take the next step, but without the permission or CTA to do so, opportunities are missed.
She also said that even the simplest CTA, such as “What do you think?” would lead to engagement, which is getting people interacting with your content.
- Improved page rank
Deb asked Krisabout page rank and whether or not people should still care about it.
Kris gave a bit of history about page rank and defines it as a measurement of a page’s authority. Every domain and page geta rank that ranges from 0 to 10.
New websites have a 0 page rank.
A page rank of 3 or 4 is considered a high page rank. Only a few big sites ever reach 10, such as Facebook and YouTube.
The more links you have to a page or website the higher the page rank will be. Both inbound and outbound links are considered, making the page rank an important ranking factor.
Page rank used to be shown publicly.
Kris further explained that page rank is higher on just 1 page than if it is diluted to over 100 pages. But a website can be structured in such a way that Google will know which page has more authority and should get a higher page rank.
- Getting backlinks
Kris advises helping other people to get backlinks, which is one of the best way for them to rank higher on search engines and catch people’s attention. Help people solve their problems and get links in return. Providing value often guarantees a juicy backlink.
- Access to reputation engineering
Kris explained the difference between reputation managementandreputation engineering and the work involved to do both. The former is more about rectifying a problem affecting a reputation after the fact, while the latter is building a reputation that will remain intact even when nasty things start popping up.
How home-based businesses can get on Google Maps
Deb shared a dilemma about sharing the physical location of her home office online. While she wants her business to appear on Google, she didn’t want people to know where she lives and showing up on her doorstep.
Kris admits dealing with the problem is tricky. But it is important to have a business address that will show on Google Maps.
Markups could also help.
Get on the First Page of Search Results
As Deb said, if people can’t find you, you basically don’t exist. This underlines the importance of hiring an SEO company.
If you want to know more about Kris Reid, pull up a Google browser and type in “the coolest guy in SEO”.