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SEO School for Beginner E-commerce Store Owners

In this week’s episode of the Ecwid E-Commerce Show, we have Alan Bush from Ignite Visibility to get back to basics to discuss how to shape thought leadership and rank for more keywords by selling ideas.

Show notes:


Jesse:: Richie! Happy Friday! How are you doing?

Richard:: I’m doing great. Another Friday, another recording session. Looking sunny. I think for the most part.

Jesse:: Nice and sunny.

Richard:: The smoke from this fire is here.

Jesse:: By the way, I did rechange our release date, so now people are going to actually hear this on Fridays so they can get into the Friday spirit of ‘What I need to work on my business?’ this weekend, and hopefully get some tips along the way. We’ve been talking about all sorts of fancy features lately, all this automated Google Shopping and Instagram and kind of a lot of the fancy stuff. I think today is a day to maybe get back to basics. And I’m thinking of this as a little bit of an SEO school day.

Richard:: I love it. All right.

Jesse:: Today we’re bringing in Alan Bush from Ignite Visibility. The reason we’re bringing in Allan as the SEO school day is because he teaches a class on an SEO at UCSD. What’s going on, Alan?

Alan:: What’s going on? Thanks for having me.

Jesse:: Yeah, absolutely.

Alan:: Great to be here. I love the studio.

Jesse:: Yeah. I know you’re a little jealous here.

Alan:: I was. This is my house.

Jesse:: That can be arranged. Do you have an extra bedroom in the studio? I don’t think I get away with that. All good.

Richard:: Spring a cot.

Alan:: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Jesse:: Well, definitely come on in anytime. This is our Friday recording. Can we call you the professor?

Alan:: Yeah, it’s weird because I do have people call me professor or instructor or ‘Teacher, Teacher!’ or Mr. Bush, like Professor Bush. It’s so strange, I’m like ‘I’m just Alan’. OK.

Jesse:: Just a guy.

Alan:: Here’s the guy, I know.

Jesse:: So what about a lot of the other people listening here. They probably saw this podcast title thinking: ‘All right, SEO. I know I have to do this. I want to rank. I want to be on page one for Google. Every single term. What do I do?’

Alan:: It’s now is as real estate.

Jesse:: Let’s give us some realistic advice here and things that people can apply. How do you start off your classes?

Alan:: It really starts with educating people on what SEO is of course. Search Engine Optimization is basically free quote-unquote free traffic that when people do a search they’re finding your website, and they’re gonna make a purchase hopefully. But a lot of people think that they need to rank for the top term. Back in the day, was all about ranking for the thing you’re selling and that’s it. And you win off of two or three different terms but that’s not the case anymore because now there are so many different ways of digesting content, digesting information, asking questions. It’s not just about ranking for one term but a myriad of terms that you really want to be a part of. So I think that people need to refocus their energies and provide value and become thought leaders in whatever it is that they’re selling.

Jesse:: Thought leaders is a big word though. You know like ‘What if I just want to sell some stuff here’ (laughing.)

Richard:: So let’s let’s break that one down too because ‘thought leader’ even gets thrown around.

Alan:: It does. So many people talking about it.

Richard:: Really what you’re referring to at its basic level because I get the joke Jesse saying here. But it’s basic level. Thought leadership is just creating content of which you show your thinking about this subject. Hence thought. And you’re putting something down. Trying to lead some sort of belief or idea or education or whatever depending on what you’re doing.

Alan:: Yeah, but my biggest thing is that if you listen to Simon Sinek ‘The Power of ‘Why?’ That changed 100% how I think of what SEO is what marketing is in general because he gives the example of… and I advise anybody should listen to Simon’s lesson ‘The Power of ‘Why?’

Richard:: We’ll put a link on the blog.

Alan:: Yeah that’d be great. Yeah. Because I’m not gonna work for the guy you know, it’s just good. This is something that just changed my thinking. So I’m basically saying people will follow you. They don’t necessarily want to just buy your product, they follow your belief system. They’re willing to… I use Apple as an example. They sell an idea rather than sell a product so you try to buy it out. I’m kind of paraphrasing but you almost think it’s absurd to buy a music device from Dell for example. Because they’re a computer company. But in reality, we buy that type of stuff because we’re comfortable with the way Apple sells their messaging. So we’re willing to buy almost anything from iPhone or buy up the music device or buy a computer or buy a monitor. You know all those devices. A watch! It’s from Apple. Yeah because we believe in their products and believe in their belief system and not just their products. So I think it’s important that people convey that they believe what their consumers believe and they get them to be on border-related to that and that will help drive your SEO. Trust me because people are really more about the types of content that you put out there will be more related to how you believe and then rather than just selling your product.

Richard:: Sure some people sadly enough believe it as deep as I do that they even keep their boxes. I still have all my Apple product boxes. That’s the only product I buy that I still have a box. It’s just something stuck in my soul.

Alan:: Yeah, I need that logo in front of me all the time.

Jesse:: That’s weird. That’s weird, man. You should just throw boxes away.

Richard:: Notice that next time you buy a new phone. Open that box and tell me you’re not impressed.

Jesse:: Yeah. It is impressive. And people make videos about it (laughing.) So for somebody that wants to be a thought leadership, a thought leader in their niche, right. I think that’s a good way to think about it because being a thought leader also allows you to figure out ‘All right, what the heck am I gonna write about?’ You know like taking it down to the basic level is ‘All right. I have this product, everybody’s told me to watch this some cynic and be a thought leader. What’s the first step? You know what do I write about? Actually, we had some very cool ladies on the last pod. So if you’re listening there is an order. I’m trying to think of advice that we would give them specifically. They sell glasses, it’s like reading glasses but it only has one side so they can put on makeup. If you want to put on makeup and you want to do your eyes and stuff you get this little glass that you can flip over.

Alan:: How funny.

Richard:: Yeah, but here’s what… Just because I want to tack on to what he said. The fundamental thing is we came to realize that no one knows about this product yet. So fundamentally, what would they do for creating thought leadership and search terms when nobody knows? They need to be educated first.

Alan:: And that’s exactly it. You have to educate the public what’s the benefit of having this type of product with these glasses or people that are in. You think about people who are nearsighted or farsighted or they need things like you said to read. If they’re avid readers. What kind of people are avid readers? Then what we can talk. Target that demographic because there are people that are there. I would imagine if they’re reading a lot, then they may be educated or they have a job where they have to read a lot so they might be editors or librarians or whatever it is. Then so then you hone in on your persona. It’s a fancy word for who’s buying your product most. Right. You develop a persona and say: ‘OK, hey these people are the types of people that we’re really targeting’. I imagine since you mentioned those makeup related, primarily female.

Jesse:: Primarily older females.

Richard:: Because they need they need reading glasses but they still want to put their makeup on.

Alan:: Yeah right. Exactly.

Jesse:: You can’t see. Yeah. You have to take your glasses off to put on your makeup. That’s right.

Richard:: So basically you get to see with one eye at a time while you’re doing the makeup of the other eye and then you flip.

Alan:: Have everything focused. Yeah. That’s pretty clever.

Jesse:: It’s a clever little product but it’s kind of weird, you’re not wearing these around right out probably talking about that much, you just want to put on your makeup. You can’t wear your regular glasses. Well yeah.

Richard:: And you don’t even know what to type in. ‘One eye makeup glasses’? (laughing)

Alan:: It’s like monocle or whatever it is.

Richard:: You have to create the new term for the correct…

Jesse:: Yeah, the term we talked about was makeup glasses. So how do they become thought leaders using the term makeup glasses?

Alan:: Well, that’s the thing. That term probably doesn’t really get a lot of searches. We would probably use a tool to figure that out. I mean there are tools out there like SEMrush where you would you could plug in a keyword and see how much search volume this has. It’s something that I think that is a paid tool so you have to look around for things that actually give you a little bit more information like SpyFu is another one. And I know we’ve talked about this a little earlier before the show. Just see if there are any searches around that term.

Jesse:: So for anybody out there now, for Donna and Andrea, you can go to the SEMrush and type makeup glasses. But for anybody else out there, think about the word that you think you want to rank for. Like ‘This is what I sell, I’m pretty sure of it’. Go to or and type in those words, and you’ll start to see a bunch of results. You don’t necessarily have to pay for these either. There’s there’s paid versions of these that are all sorts of fancy stuff you can get but the basics are ‘What do I sell?’ and then ‘What does Google say?’ How many people are searching for this? And then how do you take that into becoming a thought leader? What is… Taking those two terms, there are two words. How do we turn that into a… How are they going to read a blog about this?

Alan:: You don’t want to just start off writing a blog about makeup glasses. No one knows what that is. No one searching for it, so you got to think of the reason why someone would need that. And then the people that are utilizing that, and what’s the benefit of having the glass that teaches that I can crowdsource and get ideas from people and say: ‘OK, hey everybody tell me what the first word you think of when we think of makeup’ for example. And I’ll make a list of different things and the people will give me ideas and a roomful of a lot of different demographics there. OK, what about glasses? ‘Reading, or this, vision. I need to see’, etc. Ok, great. And then we spun off into different ideas because you could actually connect the dots between the categories that we assigned and then make an idea out of that. I would think that also there are tools that will even help generate ideas if you need like just typing a word, reading, or makeup, or whatever it is. And it will give you a list of questions that people commonly ask. Common pain points or prepositions that relate to ideas that people are typing in because right now like I said, with Google back in the day, it was like you type in one or two words and you get a bunch of things that you need. Now people are asking questions and people are typing in full sentences. Then with the advent of like the audio, I mean one of the big things for me now is is how do we prepare for voice search. People are buying products, they don’t want to leave the house and they don’t want to go to a computer anymore. They just want to yell out something: ‘Hey, whatever the little…

Jesse:: Give me some toilet paper.

Alan:: Yeah, toilet paper. What’s the best toilet paper? What’s the softest toilet paper out there? And then that might become a query that a lot of people are asking. Then you would just generate some content around what people are asking, what pain points people have and why they need your product. Then you funnel them into what you do. And I think it’s better to capture that audience that isn’t aware of it. And I have an acronym that I use called ARC, A-R-C. It’s awareness, you need to be aware of. So think about what terms would bring people aware of your product. What is that? Okay, then you funnel them into. Maybe they’re doing research. That’s the R. All right, how does this product compare to other products of like, why can’t I just wear my reading glasses? Why can’t I just use a magnifying mirror? Well, it’s it’s more portable. I think of ideas of what the contrast, why people would question what you’re selling. All right, it’s a portable thing and if you’re on the go, if you’re on a train, if you’re on a plane, you’re in a bus you’re with a guy named Russ, we could do the doctors. But essentially you can give them reasons why they need your product then you funnel them into ‘You want to buy this’. Buy online and they need you. That’s when you use words like online, purchase, buy, cheap or inexpensive or value. And I think most people understand what they sell. So the conversion words are very easy to do but it’s really for SEO. I feel like the benefit is generating content either through blogs, or through graphics, or a video, or audio as we’re doing now to bring people aware and cast that wide net of ‘Hey, this is the top 10 tips for a vision and here’s a really interesting thing. Makeup glasses’. What’s that? You tie it into something that actually exists. Like ‘Oh, we have these things, we have a magnifying mirror and we also have makeup glasses’. Then people get ‘What’s makeup glasses?’. ‘Oh, I’m glad you asked.’ And then you say that and then they’re like ‘Well, why would I need makeup glasses? I have a magnifying mirror.’ Well, it’s portable, etc. I get on the bus, whatever it is. And then there’s like ‘I didn’t think about that’. She really clever concept and then you want to buy one. You’re capturing them tying it into something that exists that’s really good that you’ve given the research and then you give the conversion point.

Jesse:: That’s good. I think I heard there was you had these keywords that you want to rank for don’t necessarily go for the jugular there. Don’t just say these two words, I’m going to rank for these, I’m going to just type these words over and every social profile. Maybe take a step up from that and say: ‘OK, what subset are these words a part of?’ And maybe make an article about that or a list, you know lists are in.

Alan:: Lists are in. And I think it’s also to understand you’re casting a wide net of things so you may not rank for that one thing but you might break for several small things. And if you’re going after the big fish all the time you miss all these other fish that are going to buy you. So unless you have a huge budget you want to do paid ads or whatever. If you’re a small mom or pop shop it’s better that you target the demographics that you know how to handle. Hey, who would buy that product? What are they talking about? Let me talk about that with them so they understand what my product is. Then they’ll buy my product. You can’t just keep going like you said go for the jugular. I think a lot of especially small businesses they misunderstand that SEO is all about ranking for all your key terms. Well, actually you could rank for several questions that revolve around the language around your keywords. Yeah. So it’s like orbital language around your words you could actually rank for those and to get a step up and then start ranking for that big step later. You’re going to start off with the stuff that you know that you get some money.

Jesse:: Maybe you won’t rank for makeup glasses right away. But if you start writing a bunch of content or recording or doing a video that you say ‘Well, how do I put on makeup when I need to wear glasses?’ And answering that question or 25 other questions that I can’t think of right now. Eventually, you do ring for a bunch of stuff. Maybe it was you didn’t realize that was the right word but. What are people yelling out there, ‘Alexa? Alexa, how do I put on makeup, I can’t see.’

Alan:: ‘I can’t see, where are you, Alexa?’ (laughing)

Jesse:: So, yell at your voice device.

Alan:: It’s interesting too because there are tools to help with that too. I think we alluded to that before the show is that there’s a tool that I love called Answer the Public. you type it in and you see this kind of creepy old guy that’s looking at you waiting for you to do something about it. But when you type in your word you maybe put makeup glasses or you put reading glasses just as a general thing. Sure it’ll give you a list of questions and prepositions and such and so. That I think will help guide you about what people online are asking. That could lead you to write content or either write a blog answering that question or creating an infographic or creating a video that talks about something really popular. So it’s really helpful if you’re not aware of, if you don’t have a crowd of people to kind of crowdsource then you can go to tools like that, It will actually give you answers. Now it’s interesting too, Google actually provides that. So if you just type in, you see that right with a little search coverage on it. This suggested things if you start typing something in, lists of things will actually go up. And if I’m not mistaken, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page (which no one does), there’s a list of suggestions there too.

Jesse:: Oh there’s a there’s a bottom? (laughing)

Alan:: Exactly, right.

Jesse:: I didn’t realize that I just click on the first thing on the top of Google.

Alan:: Yeah, exactly. Mostly will do, unfortunately. But there is value just people scrolling down. You’ll find that you’ll have a lot of resources already available to you for free and that you don’t necessarily have to go reinventing the wheel. You can look at what people are doing and see ‘Hey, I can actually add this to my website.’

Richard:: So from a 101 perspective, because this is perfect right here.

Jesse:: Yeah, this is I think is when you could pull over your car and write this down.

Richard:: So they now decided ‘we’re just run with this makeup glasses’. They decided they’re going to start creating content around this. They have different questions like you said: how do you put on makeup when you have read glasses on, whatever the phrase is. They are obviously not putting this in their product description.

Alan:: Right.

Richard:: So what exactly does this call-to-action for this beginner look like? They’re writing this on their blog and then they have a link that goes back to their product page for the ‘Ask if you want to buy it here’. What’s a good way for them to just start thinking about this as a process?

Alan:: All right, we’re talking. We’ll just take a subset of this travelers, you’re now reaching the travel people that like to read. So if you feel like to travel you like to read here’s a benefit and we’ll write a blog about that and show you benefits of how this product can help you. And then I would write a blog and then hopefully you have some kind of social media profiles that you may want to do ads. I would think like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest if you have a visual product. There’s a variety, Instagram. Yeah.

Jesse:: That these days.

Alan:: Yeah. Oh yeah. These kids. Get on Instagram and TED talks and your vines.

Jesse:: No, no. Don’t go crazy, everybody. Get your Facebook.

Alan:: Select few that you would be good at and then you could syndicate that blog or that image or whatever it is across those networks. But as you alluded to when you have these things that you’re syndicating, for example, you do want to link back to your product or back to your website or back to a call you actually want them to take because everything has value for SEO. I mean internal linking actually does help. I mean from a technical perspective, search engines looking at your website a little better but also from a practical perspective. You’ve got people, you want to show you a blog. ‘Hey, look at this article. Oh great, that’s a great article. Now what?’ You know like they’re just reading on that. ‘That’s wonderful. Now I know about the product.’ Now you’re relying on them to go research the product and try to find you or you give them access point in your video, in your infographic, in your blog. Make sure you make a lead there, a link or at least your brand somewhere in there or sponsored by so-and-so, or if you are the influencer, for example, put your name in there or whatever it is. So that they follow you, know about your product, know about your brand and hopefully click on that link and go back to your web page. We have more information.

Jesse:: And basically for anybody that missed the part about the link. The link does not mean ‘Here’s the name of my store. Go google it.’ It means dub dub dub dot U R L dot com.

Richard:: Or slash your product name.

Jesse:: Yeah. Go directly to it, that’s a link.

Richard:: Basically the easy way around it is go to the product and look at it on your site that you’re looking at. Go up to the top URL, copy paste.

Alan:: Copy paste. Exactly. And I think people forget.

Jesse:: CTRL C, CTRL V. Just break your way back down.

Alan:: And I always realized that some people had to be led to the product. It’s so funny that I talk to my students about that all the time. This is a great image you have here in front of your цebsite but there is no call-to-action telling me what to do.’ And you’d be surprised how many people need that. ‘Book here for best value.’ ‘Look here for the product.’ ‘Here for reading glasses.’

Jesse:: Here’s the store. Buy now. Shop online. Any of those words mean more than ‘just look at this pretty picture.’

Alan:: Exactly. Exactly. You don’t just assume that they’re going to find it. You got to guide them in the right direction.

Jesse:: Don’t assume people will spend more than two seconds looking at either.

Alan:: And then just bam.

Jesse:: They want it now.

Alan:: So true.

Richard:: So now they have a blog post. We got the call-to-action back. They’re going back. They have this formula. Now is there a certain amount of time that they should be putting into this? They’ve got a lot of other things to be doing.

Alan:: That’s a great question.

Jesse:: Hopefully, they’re shipping products left and right.

Alan:: They have to spend time counting their money, sacks full of dollar bills that they got. No, I think it’s important to allocate resources and/or time for generating content. I would say on average, blog once a week if you can but at least once a month at least I say twice a month and at the minimum. And then once a week if you’ve got some resources. If you can’t, maybe you hire someone to help you, get an intern or a family member to write some stuff about what you’re talking about. And it also sometimes helps to have a different voice. So it may be good to have somebody else on board and do that. This is a thing I would do. This is a really basic thing but it requires a little bit of effort.

Jesse:: All right. Ah, effort. I thought I was just going to be…

Alan:: Oh, I got to work here? (laughing)

Jesse:: Click an SEO button here.

Alan:: That’s the thing. People think you just spend some money you get SEO. No, you got to put in a little time and effort. That’s what any marketing every successful…

Richard:: Sometime a lottery though.

Alan:: Yeah, I know. Exactly. Any successful marketer, anyone who is really on top of their game puts in that effort, that extra effort, puts their voice into it.

Jesse:: Help me with the effort.

Alan:: OK. So what we’ll do is we’ll create a video about whatever being what we just described what we discuss. Right. Maybe a five to ten minute long video. Now you have a resource. All right. It has audio in it so we could rip that. Put that on SoundCloud or whatever audio sources that we want to syndicate to. We’ve created a podcast or an audio lesson. Then we also have the transcription of that audio which becomes a blog post, right which we could then put on our website.

Jesse:: Where do you get the transcription?

Alan:: You have to transcribe it, either write out your script or you can have a service that will do that for you.

Richard:: R-E-V, will transcribe it. They’re like a buck a minute.

Alan:: There you go. So you five minutes, you got five bucks. Right? There you go. So you got a five-minute video. You put that on YouTube. Now you have a place to syndicate and you can there’s other places you like Vimeo, a couple other places. You’ve got on YouTube, that link back from YouTube. You’ve got the audio, you got the link.

Jesse:: How do I get this link in there?

Alan:: Put it in the YouTube description.

Jesse:: So you upload the video, write a little title there. Maybe you’re using your one of your favorite words here that we learned from, these other links. And then the link is in the profile. Right. OK. Correct.

Richard:: And now you’re going to do is do that. You don’t even have to do the copy. See this time because you’ve already done it prior. You just copy.

Jesse:: CTRL V. 

Alan:: Then make sure when you put content in other locations if there’s an ability to write a description and put a link in there, link back to your website because you’re getting a free link from the place you’re syndicating your content to. And so you put the video there. You put the audio on, or maybe iTunes if you want to start a podcast or something. That’s a whole other thing, we’ll get into it. But then the transcription is a blog post that you put on your own website. Then if the video has some compelling imagery you could either create some kind of graphic out of that or maybe it’s a series of pictures that come from the video that you can put in Pinterest, for example, another other social media platform because they may be examples of what you’re to be talking about. If you want to get really clever, you could tell the story through a slide show rather than just a video. So people who are on the go and don’t want to watch a video and there are other places like which is actually owned by LinkedIn. So now you’ve taken one idea and converted it into five pieces of content for different audiences that digest information differently. I loved when I’ve done podcasting, and I do podcasts as well. They told me that they were listening to me on the way to work. So I didn’t even need to be in front of a computer. And I’m reaching you now. And that’s what’s cool about that method of doing things. You take a really hard thing then break it into five things. Now you have exponentially increased your awareness and value by taking the time to do that one thing.

Jesse:: This is all coming from one five-minute video.

Alan:: Right. That’s the hardest thing to do though. Not everybody has resources and time to do that. But if I had the resources and/or the time and the knowledge that’s what I would do at a prior. Hire someone to help me with the video and stuff that you could do that’s not that expensive.

Jesse:: And you could just have your friend hold up a phone and push their thumb you know like that.

Alan:: Yeah, just a demonstration video.

Jesse:: That’s a start.

Alan:: Yeah. Start small, start simple. A lot of this stuff doesn’t happen overnight. You got to start simple and you’d be surprised how many of the biggest names in the business. You’ll take Richard Branson, he started with a local record store. Now he’s a billionaire. He was broke. I’m not saying you gonna become Richard Branson, but I mean he started somewhere and he took it exponentially built upon what he already did. That’s the way to think about it. That’s how SEO works.

Jesse:: There is work. All right. But when you think about what kind of video you would want to make, going back again to these words that you want to ring for and answer questions that people are asking. Pick up your phone, five minutes, if you have a friend with better video equipment, better audio, that’s better.

Alan:: Your phone takes really great videos nowadays. It used to be a lot harder.

Jesse:: Yeah. You can pick up your phone. You do a five-minute video, record that. We talked about all the things that Allen did. There’s audio, video, there are multiple social pieces that can come out of that. And I suppose you can do a blog post on that too. Yeah. A five-minute blog post is how many words is that? A couple hundred words probably?

Alan:: Maybe more than that. Depends how much you’re talking airing the video. If you’re yammering on about stuff it could be probably eight hundred thousand words. Maybe it’s a series. It’s actually happened with a client. The guy took our idea and expanded upon it for two thousand words. We’re like ‘This is too long, man.’ So what we did is we just made a series. All right. This is this product. Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3. People started following. They’re waiting for the next one. So you created this series out of this whole thing. If you have a really long video, cut it up and then make, now you have five videos that are each three minutes apiece or whatever. Or maybe it’s more than that. You want some little more compelling. And then each one of those has. So if you made let’s say 20-minute long video, four or five-minute videos each one of those, do the exact same method I just mentioned, exponentially reaching five pieces of content per video, you may have 20 pieces of content. All about the same thing. So it’d be really easy, not easy but effective way of marketing yourself without putting a lot of time and effort every little thing.

Jesse:: So creating content doesn’t have to be that hard. People that are listening right now don’t have to be ‘All right, I’m gonna go home with my pencil and paper and have to write two thousand words down’. This is doesn’t have…

Richard:: You don’t have to go to a cabin at the top of the hill in the woods (laughing.)

Richard:: Spielberg magic.

Jesse:: You just need to pick up the phone and go and talk about things that your business sells.

Alan:: You don’t have to hire Pixar. It’s OK.

Jesse:: Excellent. We talked a little bit about helping Flipzees for instance so that was a good example that we could talk about. I wanted to also kind of pick your brain on live advice because people that listen to this podcast before or remember some of our previous guests and kind of taking the same methodology. So we had a customer on probably four or five ago the name of the URL is CakeSafe. So they sell, it’s a like a plexiglass container that you can ship cakes in, real fancy and thousand dollars, multi-thousand dollar cakes. Yeah. So for them how… take the same methodology, a one or two minutes synopsis, what advice would you give them?

Alan:: Who needs a CakeSafe?

Richard:: Bakers.

Jesse:: High-end bakers.

Richard:: There you go. High-end bakers, wedding bakers, people who are really going to make corporate events.

Jesse:: Super fancy cupcakes, there TV shows about cupcakes.

Alan:: Yeah, I’ve seen it on  what they call it  Netflix. There’s a whole show about the fancy bakeries.

Jesse:: So for them… I mean we know, we talked a little bit that some of the questions were ‘How do I ship a cake?’ I think they have followed the path to become thought leaders in that one.

Richard:: It’s interesting that made me think of do you always even have to create the content? How much of curating content and adding an opinion to it can actually help you? Something Jesse just said made me think about the Cake Wars is one of the shows. And I think even one time they had talked to them about sponsoring something like that. At one point they’re like ‘Oh yeah we love it, but we can’t use you guys because a large part of the drama of the show is transporting the cake from where they did it to make it over to the table’ and they wanted it to fall sometimes.

Jesse:: Make everybody cry.

Richard:: It’s part of the show. What I just started thinking out loud was listening to you guys talk was what if you took, I don’t know the exact rules, but you took a video that’s out there of the cake falling. Then you’re like ‘Hey, don’t let this happen.’ There’s some form of…

Alan:: You could make back off, that’s a really good point. You can say: ‘Have you seen Cake Wars? You see those people with their faces when they dropped their cake that they had? You don’t want that to happen to you. You run a business, you’re not on a TV show. This is your business, this is your money on the line, so what you need to do is to get something to protect your cake. And I’ve got the thing for you and this is a product that actually protects this cake’. This, that and all these speeches, and high-end bakers use it and it’s CakeSafe. Build a video or a piece of content, offer that idea, taking from something that’s already popular. As I mentioned before you using an idea of that is just already out there and tying it into your idea, because people may not have heard of CakeSafe but they understand the drama and what better drama than on the TV show. I mean you may not be able to use a video clip but you could say ‘Have you seen that?’ Maybe make your own video, drop a cake or whatever it is, make an animation of dropping the cake, whatever it is. With a blog post, for example, you don’t have to try, you can just make an article about that and then put hashtag #CakeSafe on social media, or even #CakeWars or even hit them up because a lot of times what I would do even with a podcast, mention somebody that I covered on a show, SEMRush for example. Reach out to them, mention on them on the show and on Twitter. And you’d be surprised so many people be right back: ‘Thank you’, or ‘I love it’, ‘That’s great’. They promote your own product just talking to you. In the case of Raven tools, they send us T-shirts and gave links to our website. It was really fun. Don’t expect all that, but that would be the perfect example where I would take that product, tie it into something that everyone knows, everybody who was paying attention including bakers. Because those are the people who really listen to the show.

Richard:: Yeah, it’s interesting you said something else that keeps inspiring other thoughts. So I know we’re not lawyers, check with someone on the exact nuance of this, but what would be a basic just saying ‘Oh I got this from this website’, maybe referring back to Cake Wars or something like that because at least if they feel like they’re getting some sort of credit for it, that it was theirs, it seems like in some way ‘Why?’ Why, unless you were a real nitpicky business, why would you care because it’s another link back to you, they’re talking to bakers, they want bigger you know. Is there ‘do at least this’, say reference the site you’ve got it from, give credit to somebody, is there some basic structure that someone should follow?

Alan:: If you generate a blog, any kind of thing with your borrowing ideas and or content you definitely want to reference the content, don’t borrow images, I’ve learned that they would call the trademark, and the company Getty, they will come after you. And I had a poor lady I was talking to and she borrowed an image from an online source and then basically what happened the Getty came after, they said that she owes them money, seven hundred bucks or something for an image — crazy. Anyway, long story short, you definitely want to curate your own or maybe even ask permission, if you know Cake Wars in this scenario. They had it in and they said: ‘We can’t use you’. ‘I understand that. Do you mind if I use your video as an example?’ In a lot of times under parity you can get away with it anyway but why not get permission from them: ‘Yeah, sure. That’s great, promoting our show.’ Look at the drama and you can make it a positive spin — ok, we want to help the people that are not on TV. And then you kind of tie it together and make a friendly thing. And I think that if you have those kinds of ins and you’re in the right place but if you don’t at least give credit for an idea or something like that. And a lot of times when you give credit, then you’re actively promoting them, so therefore they’re really grateful for that.

Jesse:: They are happy, and that’s why you start getting likes.

Alan:: Exactly, and that’s why you say: ‘Hey, Cake Wars on Twitter, I mentioned you on my show, or my video, or whatever it is I had’. They’ll probably thank you for it.

Jesse:: So we’ve used a couple of URLs here, so I think we have to apply this strategy. So Speedy, when you do the transcript here and we talked about SEMRush, we mentioned on the podcast. That’s the idea, mention people and give a link to them. Yeah, we want some links.

Alan:: Yeah, there you go. Maybe SEMRush will at least give you a shout out on Twitter. Why not?

Jesse:: Yeah, free count. We want some free stuff.

Alan:: All right, what you want too to mention. BuzzSumo. It’s actually a great one, because if you’re looking for people to reach out now that you’ve built your content, go to BuzzSumo. It’s a paid service but you get a couple of searches for free and you can find influencers in your space. So you could type in a cake, and then whoever mentions cake, it’ll show you articles and/or Twitter people and who’s the most popular and who is the most likely to respond to you, so if you don’t know who to write to…

Jesse:: So it has the most likely to respond.

Alan:: Yeah, like reply-retweet ratio. Someone has a thousand followers, and retweet ratio is basically ninety percent versus someone who has a million followers but the ratio is zero. So I probably follow a thousand people because they were likely to promote my content, and sometimes you can find real gold nuggets there, a lot of times you don’t know about how people are really into your product and then you reach them and they’re like ‘Oh my gosh I really love that thing’. I think it’s so…

Jesse:: So follow them, send them pictures, maybe this five-minute video that she created, and the blog posts that’s attached to it.

Alan:: Absolutely, that’s how to get to amplify your voice, you could take that idea, take everything you going on there, and go on a tool like that. Talk to the right types of people, bakers, promoters or people that are really into pastries or weddings even. And then get them to help you promote your own products.

Jesse:: Perfect. I think that’s a really good kind of a refresher for SEO for me. I know now I could think of a couple ideas for my side projects that I need to start working on, I’m probably to make Rich hold up his phone. I’m going to do a five-minute video and make all these pieces of content, and I hope the people that are listening right now on the workout or in the car thinking ‘I can do this too, I could do a five-minute video, create all these pieces’. So listen again, think about this and check out the blog post for all the different things we had on this, that we talked about. If you don’t remember them they’ll be in the blog post. Show notes and everything. So, Alan, it’s awesome, you teach a class, professor Bush.

Alan:: Instructor I should say. UCSD, University of California, San Diego.

Jesse:: So for other people that want to hear more from you, I mean where else are you online?

Alan:: Yeah, I’m on Twitter, Alan H Bush at Twitter. I’m also the VP of Operations Director and the Head of SEO Department at Ignite Visibility. So if you need to see a thing, go to Ignite Visibility. You can reach me as I said, Alan H Bush on Twitter, on LinkedIn I’m Alan Bush I believe.

Jesse:: Were you able to get Alan Bush in all?

Alan:: Yeah, pretty much everywhere. H is my middle name, so basically you can reach me Alan H Bush almost on everything but a social media that I’m most prominent on are Twitter and LinkedIn and then of course just reach out I would love for anybody who wants some advice.

Jesse:: That’s perfect. Alan, I really appreciate you being on the show, Richard, another good show. It’s Friday.

Richard:: Yeah, a good stop, ready to get to work.

Jesse:: Everybody out there, make it happen.

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