An SEO Entrepreneur Going Global with Paul Kemp
Kris Reid, The Coolest Guy in SEO and owner of SEO business Ardor Media Factory, spoke to Paul Kemp from The App Guy Podcast about how his business began to take off online and what life is like as a successful SEO entrepreneur.
Starting as an idea in his head that became the foundations for an SEO business that has since gone global, Kris speaks exclusively about how Ardor Media Factory has exploded into the world of SEO and the tools and tricks that got him to where Ardor Media Factory is now. Learn from this entrepreneur podcast about how to be an entrepreneur online, the ins and outs of being and online entrepreneur and exponentially starting an SEO business no matter where you are in the world.
Paul Kemp -
Podcast SEO Host of The App Guy
The App Guy Paul Kemp is a podcast host for The App Guy Podcast that posts regular podcasts each week on his main website The App Guy. His work is focused on making high quality applications (including SEO Apps) and interviewing experts in various areas of online marketing, as well as delving into the question of how to become a successful entrepreneur online.
PK: Before I start this show I do confess that I had a little bit of technical issue with my microphone. So I have edited down my side a little bit just to make it a bit easier for you to listen to. You still get the content from the guest I still think it is very good episode. Apologies for a little bit of crackling on my side but let me get into the episode now.
Welcome to another episode of The App Guy Podcast I am your host Paul Kemp. I love this podcast, I seriously love it. I say every episode it is a global podcast, we do go around the world and that is what I am doing for you. I go and interview and chat with some of the most interesting entrepreneurs that are just making it inroads into what they are doing and crushing it, and when I say global I mean global so here we are I am chatting with someone who is calling in from Cambodia okay so, his name in Kris Reid and he is the founder of Ardor SEO you can go and actually check out his website just by going to ardorseo.com and I will have full show notes at theappguy.co episode 321 and you can get links to his website. Kris is here to talk to us about SEO websites and I think it is going to be very relevant to us app entrepreneurs so Kris welcome to The App Guy podcast.
KR: Hi Paul. Thanks for having me man.
PK: Yeah thanks for coming on. I tell you the thing that the listeners will be really wanting to know is that we are app builders. We do a lot of stuff with apps but we do know that we need websites. We need websites to draw traffic to because that ultimately then leads to more downloads. What could you help us with in terms of like just having a web presence and sending traffic to the websites?
KR: Well I mean that is a pretty big open-ended question just there (laughs). But, funnily enough, that is how I kind of got started in the game myself. Years ago-I am a software engineer and I was playing around, building an online game just kind of to learn some new skills. I have never done internet programming before. As the little game was coming to fruition, I started wondering how I am going to get people to play it? I started researching about SEO and then I developed my business from there. Obviously, if you are an app developer you don’t really want to be an SEO yourself because it is a whole different ball game - it is a whole industry in itself. I mean to keep it simple you want to get your apps out there solving some sort of problem like whether it is to help scheduling or bookings of something or whatever your app does, then you should clearly have that on your website.. It is generally when people go to Google, they are looking to solve a problem so they are typing in “how do you fix some scheduling problem” or "how do you solve this”. So if your website clearly states that that is what you do then it should be pretty easy for Google to pick it up and, you know, show you at the top, but it depends again how competitive your niche is.
PK: Listen I mean this is actually very relevant because what we are learning is that there is a big divergence between how people search on the app stores and how they actually search within google. But you just reminded me that of course all the apps tend to solve some problems. Why are we not making more use of the internet and Google search and putting websites up that would then direct traffic to certain solutions of those problems that ultimately then go to the download page.
KR: Yeah, for sure. I mean, Google is trying to help the user, you know, it's their goal to make searches easy as possible for the person that is visiting Google to find what they are looking for. Generally, if you've got a niche app there is not going to be that much competition in the market place, I dare say. I mean, you know, If you had some sort of hotel booking app then you're competing with booking.com and hotels.com. - it is going to be different, you know, it depends on the value of that niche to how competitive the search is going to be, so yeah you're going to have to work that out for yourself.
PK: Kris, I kind of skipped over this and again this is kind of for an inspirational podcast I have had people who are listening to this right now and who have changed their lives because of listening to the guests. You have a very inspirational life because you are there in Cambodia working with very good internet speed and on an online business. Perhaps you can take a minute to describe your surroundings and what it is like to actually be based in Cambodia.
KR: I first came to Cambodia about four years ago and I was just kind of passing through on my way to the Philippines. I already had lots of online staff in the Philippines then, and so I was heading there because Philippines got excellent English skills and I have been living there the last three years and built our office there and it is growing really great. Our office manager, she worked with me online beforehand. She’s been with us six years now and she is able to manage the whole office without me there. I then came back to Cambodia because I really like it here plus it has-there is a lot more expats so you know— we are at that level that we can now afford to hire native English speakers which is you know- they generally have a bit better skill set, which is what we are after now like- since moving to Cambodia which was in November, we only opened the office here in January. Since then we have hired Serge, our project manager. He is from Belgium and he's got so much knowledge that we don’t have so he is bringing so much more to the team and allowing us to get a lot more out of our team and, you know, grow a lot faster.
PK: So let me understand where you are in your entrepreneurial journey then, you're building out your team from Cambodia.
KR: Yeah. I mean, like as I've said, there are so many expats cause it is really a fun place to live, Phnom Penh, and so there is a lot of people that want to experience something different, like another guy just started working with us, he is a British salesman. He works great. He now focuses on our British clients because people always have a better rapport from people with their own country, like the majority of our customers are Australians because I deal really well with Australians so I am hoping that he will have the same success in the UK and really grow our business there.
PK: What sort of budget do you need to have to live there, in Cambodia?
KR: Well, it varies. I mean that's one thing I do love about Phnom Penh. You can go get dinner for a dollar or two and, you know, then there is all the expensive restaurants where you can go and eat for- in fact, there was a French restaurant that nearly blow my head off the other day. I went "man you wouldn’t find something this expensive in Paris". So, it's got all ends. But, generally, a nice restaurant will cost you like five, six dollars for a really nice meal. My bestfriend from university, we both have been building our own business over the last couple years and he is based in the UK these days and it just blows my mind, like the struggle that he has, because yeah he has got to pay for getting around the UK, and living in the UK, and he is looking at hiring his first salesman now and just the expense of it - it blows my mind, I'm like "wow, move out to Asia and hire five salesmen here."
PK: Right. OK. So let’s talk about your journey with Ardor SEO.
KR: I mean Ardor SEO is an ever-moving game. It is kind of us against Google all the time. Google is trying to provide the best search without anyone doing anything, and that would work fine, but until someone starts doing SEO then everyone has to do SEO. It is whoever has SEO'd their site the most is going to get all the traffic. You know, every key word is worth a lot of money like you know Plumber New York - can you imagine how much that’s worth, you know? So what we generally do is we work with website design companies and SEO companies and they deal with the customer and the on-page sort of stuff. They make sure that the pages describing the products that the customer has and the solution that it fixes the problem, and that kind of stuff.
So Google knows what the page is about and what we do is build the authority of that page and the trust of that page with off page- it's called offsite SEO. One of the fundamental things with Google –so if you've got two websites that have pretty much the same product and the same quality, which one is it going to put on top of the other one? It is going to be the one that has the most trust and the most authority, and that comes from whose linking to you. So you can imagine if you are- you know, you got a pod- an app about whatever and the BBC has written an article about you and are linking to you then that’s going to give you so much trust and credibility with Google. So it's who is linking you and who is talking about you that Google is looking at and then they'll throw you on top of your competition - and that's what we do, that’s what we do.
PK: If you are genuine, hopefully there will be a genuineness come back and you tend to get the best from the internet if you are open and genuine and transparent.
KR: Yeah, I mean, I've actually got some evil guy at the moment that's kind of cyberbullying me and trying to harass me. You know, I just take it like- that it's just that I've got to a level now that I that I kind of have criticism and it kind of makes me like a celebrity. You imagine how many people say bad things about Paris Hilton, not that she is awesome or anything. It’s just like she's just got to deal with it - that is her celebrity status. So if you are going to be on the internet at some point in time, someone is going to say bad things about you. Does it really stop you from doing what you got to do?
PK: How expensive was the whole last year?
KR: I mean that is really hard. It's, the return on investment, you know, you can start off very small or you can go real big. Imagine how much corporations spend on SEO, but one thing that a lot of corporate companies like is, like Google adwords and Facebook marketing, because you get - you can instantly see what the results are. Like SEO it's a lot, it is hard to judge what is getting you there, because you have to do so many different things. You know, manipulate your website, make good content, get links there, get social traffic and your rankings go up, but it is hard to ascertain exactly what it was that made your rankings go up and Google wants to keep it that way. Like I think, with Google's updates about two years ago when they brought out the penguin and panda, which really scared the devil out of everyone, was to shake a lot of money out of SEO because Google doesn't make any money from SEO, they make money from adwords when people pay for advertising on Google. And so I think it scared a lot of people out of the SEO realm so rather-especially big businesses, they just don’t want to touch. They rather spend the money on adwords because you know what you are going to get. I mean, it's very expensive but, you know, you know if you spend a 100 dollars you going to get X amount of clicks.
PK: I mean obviously our goal here, for the audience, is to send people to a website that will ultimately gets them to click that little icon that says "download our app", and it can either be the Google Play app or the Apple App store app.
KR: Certainly split testing is very valuable. There is a tool that will come to me in a little bit - Neil Patel’s tool.
PK: Now here is an ex guest on this show. You just reminded me.
KR: He's got a great tool for split testing. Maybe you should put it in –it's got a really funny name, but anyways maybe you should put it in the –crazy egg! Crazy egg! That’s it! I finally thought of it. The thing that I wanted to kind of suggest is, well this is what I did when we were quite small, and it could probably work in the app zone, too. It's like know who your customers are so know what they want so you know about your app, but then you can also get their reviews. It's like, get them to like your Facebook page, get them to follow you on Twitter. It's something that I have been testing out with Twitter recently, which I always get people following me. I don’t even tweet anything so I don’t know why. I have been tweeting directly to the people who follow me and hashtag something like SEO or marketing or content marketing, and then I get a stream of new followers. And it just keeps growing.
PK: So let us break that down. You get someone who follows you, you then do an act back to them. Is this a physical thing or are you using a tool to do it?
KR: No, I am doing it manually. So when someone follows me, I get an email and then I send them a direct message through Twitter, you know, it's public to everyone. I say, “Oh thank you, Paul for the follow” #SEO, #marketing and then ten minutes later, I'll have three more followers.
PK: Wow, okay, there is a good tip.
KR: Yeah for sure. Like I mean, even those tweets - quite a few of them get favourited by other people. I'm still trying to work out what’s going on there, but it certainly builds your profile.
PK: Yeah, that's good advice. Now there are two things that we like to do actually Kris before we say goodbye. I do this with most guests, is one that we like to try to come up with new ideas for businesses or apps. Would you be able to give us a like a big pain point that you currently experiencing in your work?
KR: The real pain at the moment is that I am out of my depth of knowledge so, as I said, I am a software engineer and we're currently building a sales team. I've always been primarily the sales guy but now we've got a couple sales guys and it’s something that I don’t know how to do. So I'm not sure how you solve that problem. If I did, I'd have it solved. I am reading a lot of books and trying to learn how to- that's the primary reason why we have a Belgian project manager now. He is taking over so much of my job to manage all of the other stuff and allow me to focus on sales and building that sales team.
PK: I think you've come up with a very interesting idea. There are some apps that potentially solve this already but I think there is more room to get to what they say niched down.
KR: Communication is speaking with peers about your business and their ideas. I mean, there is a great website that I joined recently, I have not been included in a member yet but it's called…where is my brain. Mastermind. You know that people have masterminds where they discuss their business plans and how things are going and what not. Where you signed up of this is really good. It had like, you know, where your business at like, are you part time are you full time, estimated revenue, and then kind of like how important is it for people in the mastermind to be your level higher or lower or the same time zone or same country. I thought, hopefully it would be able generate some good people to speak with, but my best friend is going through a similar journey. We have Skypes regularly and discuss. He's a completely different business, but we discuss each other's businesses all the time and try and throw around ideas of what works and what doesn’t and, you know, help each other grow.
PK: OK, here is the app idea. This is a genius idea. There's a lot of different apps that do different things, but there is no app that is dedicated towards masterminds and specifically like channels or certain types of masterminds. And if you had an app that was like a curated list of masterminds and then had all the tools within that app so you can record the conversations during the mastermind and refer back to them when you need to, and you can maybe get- when you are having the mastermind, you have a virtual assistant join that mastermind and they transcribe the content and put that into your notes. How cool could that be?
KR: I'm in. I'm buying it right now.
PK: So what are the one or two apps that you can recommend that you think we may not have come across before?
KR: For a computer geek, I am not that geeky. I don’t really use many apps. I mean, the main thing I use is my Google calendar on the front page of my home screen; that's the main app that I use.
PK: Kris, this has been wonderful. I honestly wish I was there with you in Cambodia. I think I will be pretty close to you at some point, in Bali, which is not too far away. But thanks for coming on the show talking through Ardor SEO. Is there anything that you think we missed out on?
KR: No, not at all. I mean, anytime any listeners want to have a chat about SEO, I mean, I live and breathe it, feel free to contact me any time and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.
PK: How can we do that? How do we contact you?
KR: My direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org
PK: Great! And I'll say, I'll make sure that goes into episode 321 of the show notes. Kris, wonderful. Enjoy the rest of the day there in Cambodia and thanks for coming on the App Guy Podcast.
KR: Awesome, Paul. Thanks very much.