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Skyler Reeves, CEO of Ardent Growth Shares How to Use Topic Clustering to Rank on Google
Episode 3813th December 2021 • Mesmerizing Marketing™ • Dimple Dang
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Welcome to the mesmerizing marketing podcast, where we take a deep dive

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into the latest marketing trends, tools, and tips, and provide you with

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the top resources you need to thrive and make your marketing mesmerized.

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And now here's your host dimple.

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Dang.

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Hi there.

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Welcome back to the mesmerizing marketing podcast.

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And today I'm super excited to be here with Skyler Reeves scholar Reeves is

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a founder and CEO of ardent growth.

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He's on a mission to blend data and creativity to make the web a better place.

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Skyler holds a degree in computer science and philosophy, and

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is also an Iraq war veteran.

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Welcome Scott.

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Thanks for having me on yeah, super excited.

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So today we're going to be talking about topic clustering and how, other

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companies and corporations and you know, businesses can outrank even the bigger

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websites like HubSpot by utilizing.

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This topic, clustering method, some really intrigued by this.

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So first of all, you know, want to backtrack to when you first, had

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this idea, this conception of launching ardent growth, what was the

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problem in the marketplace that you saw that you were trying to solve?

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So when I first launched starting growth, I was working in the,

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in a complete different industry.

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I was working in the transportation industry.

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Focused on solving the algorithm problems related to routing and had

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heard about this black box of Google with SEO that no one knew how it worked.

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And that's what I've basically been working on since our time was

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trying to solve unsolvable problems.

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And it seemed interesting.

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So I figured I would give it a go.

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That's where I started the topic clustering thing though really came from

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this This frustration with never knowing what's, what's the right type of content.

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What content should I be making to get the best results as fast as possible?

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And all the recommendations out there on the web just kind of said that pick

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topics and group them together, but it was all based on gut gut feeling.

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And I didn't like that.

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So that was, that was the initial frustration.

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And why we kind of set out to solve this problem.

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Yeah.

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I mean, I think there's so much information out there, right?

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When you look online, there's so many things that you hear, there's

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so many different tips and some of the information is accurate

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and some of it is not accurate.

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So even on Google, it's a search engine, but just because information is listed

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on Google, it doesn't make it accurate.

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Right.

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As consumers, I think, people get confused because they

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don't know where to start.

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They don't know what to believe.

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And sometimes they fall into the trap of believing methods

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and ways of doing marketing.

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That really aren't, Ethical, or they're not like the appropriate measures.

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Right.

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And I think by, taking those shortcuts, like companies and brands, they end

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up hurting themselves in the long run.

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So when you saw a need, you know, in the marketplace, and before

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even launching the company, what steps did you have to go through?

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Like, did you do some market research?

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What was your, you know, research process prior to launch.

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Well, there really wasn't much of one that it was my first time launching a business.

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And so I come from an engineering background.

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And so usually the only thing that's needed to require for us

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to actually go tackle a problem is that there there's a problem exists.

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It's interesting that we want to solve.

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So a lot of it's driven by curiosity.

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That's not what I would recommend.

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A lot of founders go to.

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I mean, I've learned a lot since the end of like, okay, we need to think

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about doing some market research thing about finding product market

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fit, you know, understanding kind of lean startup concepts, you know,

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but at the time it was just, there was a problem I wanted to solve it.

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Yeah.

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So wish I had a better answer than that.

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I think don't follow the exact path I fall.

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Yeah, but I think step one is, you know, finding that problem.

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Right.

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I think having a business and being able to sell a product or service to someone

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is all about solving their problems.

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Because if you can't solve a problem or they don't have a problem to solve.

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You're not really going to be able to monetize and grow a business

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that way you have to be able to solve a problem that they're having.

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That's a pain point and that's, you know, in the marketplace.

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So you identified the problem.

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And what did you do after that?

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So from, from that point forward, you know, we're still iterating through it.

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I think a lot of the way other founders do, you know, we're still trying to really

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define what is product market fit here?

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We we've gotten what we think is it's pretty close.

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And so now we're kind of thinking like, all right, how do we scale this thing?

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But at the same time, we're not, you know, we're not a software

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company, we're a consultancy.

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And so we, we go back and forth with this constant identity crisis

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on whether or not we want to stay consultancy, or if we want to just

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turn this thing into a SAS company.

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But yeah, really the first thing is to say, okay, like, you've you solved?

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A problem they have to understand is like, is the market.

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That, you know, is there a demand enough there to warrant this actually

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being a sustainable business model?

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And, and can you really find product market fit where, people

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are constantly coming to, you know, exactly who you're serving.

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And from there you can pour gasoline on things and actually

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begin to scale it and go to market.

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Okay.

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And in terms of your ideal client avatar, like, can you give me some demographics,

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some details on, you know, who's your target audience, who's your target client?

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So we've, we've worked across a lot while, while we've been figuring this out and.

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Yeah, the technology itself is applicable to any audience, but as far as who we

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like to work with, because there's, the tech can do everything for it.

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You've got to have a human being on the other side, capable of critical thinking

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and really understanding how to put this all together into a cohesive strategy.

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So for us, it's it's B2B sale.

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And interesting lay enough is that's not even like the easiest way to

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for us to apply our technology.

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It actually applies really well to e-commerce when we've worked

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with a few e-commerce brands, it's delivered great results for all them.

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It's very clear.

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There's a lot less ambiguity there, but in terms of the actual work that's

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being done and the interest that goes into it and who we're working with B2B

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SAS tends to be Who would click much better with, on a on a more personal

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level and a collaborative level.

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Okay.

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Thank you for sharing that.

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And Skylar, for the audience, like, I would love to know, you

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know, to you, what the definition of content marketing to you?

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What does content marketing mean?

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So content marketing to me is.

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Uh, Succinct definition would be it's, you know, it's whether it's on your

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website, whether it's on social, whether it's on video, , it's the idea that

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we're creating content out there for people to consume that directly serve.

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The overarching business strategy.

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If you're just creating things that don't serve the business strategy that aren't

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moving business objectives forward, that's not content marketing, that's just

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content creation and there's a difference.

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So in a nutshell, any sort of content, no matter what, the medium that helps

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drive business objectives forward.

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I'm a firm believer of creating content.

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And I think that, you know, every business, every even solopreneur,

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anyone who has like a business, right.

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They should be creating content on a consistent basis.

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And for some people.

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I know that that's a challenge because there's a lot of roadblocks to that

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there's time then there's, ideas.

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Some people are not good when it comes to creativity.

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And then, you know, the biggest thing I think to me, that really stands out.

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That's important that the normal average business owner and corporation

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doesn't necessarily know about is SEO is search engine optimization.

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Because if you, you can produce content day in and day out.

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But if that content is not discoverable, If people can't find it on Google, they

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can't find it on the search engines.

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You're not going to get traffic back to your website.

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You're not going to get traffic back to that blog article.

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Right.

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And I think the main thing is like making your content discover.

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Yeah, I think it's depending on what type of business that you're in would

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kind of dictate on what channel, right.

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That you're going to play your distribution strategy.

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So, you know, if SEO falls into the plan distribution strategy, yes.

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You've got to create content.

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That's capable of ranking.

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You've got to align it.

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We see a lot of people where they try to fight.

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You know, when you, when you search for something on Google, you can just look

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at the titles that it's ranking and get, and get a sense of what are people

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wanting when they searched for this.

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And if you try to create content.

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Is, controversial to that, or it's just a complete different format.

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Sometimes it can rank because Google does sometimes want to

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show a variety of perspectives on things, but for the most part, it's

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fighting, fighting search intent.

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That's what we call it.

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You know, the search intent is trying to fight that as it's

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fighting an uphill battle.

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So you have to do have to understand a little bit of research, therefore

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should go to create content.

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But that doesn't mean though, that SEO is all.

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The best distribution strategy.

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We focus on SEO.

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That's what we prefer, but we'll tell people right off the gate, you know, if

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we, if we began to assess the market and the way their business operates, whether

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or not we think that that's actually the strategy that they need to be pursuing,

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or if they need to pursue more of a social distribution strategy or, you

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know, email marketing or things like that

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yeah, absolutely.

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And you know, when it comes to this whole topic clustering, what is that?

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Because I haven't heard that term before, until I met you.

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And it sounds fascinating.

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in the world of computer science, it means something a little bit different

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than Whitefield plotted in marketing.

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You've probably heard of hub and spoke before how squad kind of brought that term

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up and two and 17 it's, it's very similar.

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It's a, it's another way to think about that.

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It's the idea that you're going to create content hubs around the central topic?

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I think the reason why topic clustering is sort of another way to look at it

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in terms of the verbiage though, is that it's this idea that we're actually

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creating an algorithm model around how to structure that content instead

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of just picking a topic and then.

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Ideating you know, again, using your own your own kind of gut instinct

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about what you think the topics need to be around it to connect together.

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This takes a much more algorithmic approach.

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Yeah, I bet there's a lot of research involved with that too, because how do

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you come up with all of those topics that cluster together around the main topic?

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So what is it that your company does to make this process, feasible a lot easier

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and how does it tie everything together?

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So there's, there's two general approaches to it.

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Currently.

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One of them is to use.

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A more natural language processing model, which is sort of like machine learning.

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We don't actually like doing that.

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We don't think that's as helpful because Google has its own

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natural language processing model.

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And so the way we look at it, If you just rely on what Google's telling

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you, they've already processed it.

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They've already determined the intent and determine what these words mean.

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So if you use that as an indicator to start from that's how we work.

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So what we do is we say, okay, let's take as many broad level topics as we possibly.

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And whether you're using a tool, there's SEO research tools out there like H refs

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and SEMrush and you'll pull in everything.

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You can use your search console data as well, pulling every single

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topic related to your industry.

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Effectively mapping out your Tam from a keyword research perspective.

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And then we feed into our, into our algorithm and our algorithm

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will go and pull all the search results from Google for those terms.

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And it will begin to find where things are related in terms of

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what pages are ranking for what?

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And.

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By doing that, we're able to see, okay, if Google's going to group the exact

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URLs together across these, 80 different variations of these, of these queries,

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then it's reasonable to assume that that actually all needs to go the go together.

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And so what that tells us is whether or not we need to create one page

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or two pages for particular topic.

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An example of that would be recently, we were working with

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an e-commerce brand who had a C.

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Product collection page about maternity and nursing bras.

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And we found that whenever we did our analysis, that they actually

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needed to be two separate pages.

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They were performing really well for a maternity bras, but weren't

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performing very well for nursing brows.

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They separated them out and created a separate grill collection page

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immediately shot up to the first page for that secondary query as well.

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So the way we do though, we just collect all the cases.

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Process this data from Google it can become uh, the initial problem after we

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first built this was, it was a lot of noise because you're dealing with hundreds

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hundreds of thousands, if not millions of.

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And so we built a, we built our own product priority score and relevancy score

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into this to help us kind of filter out the noise and focus in on what's actually

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going to be more relevant to the business.

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But we can do that in like a matter of weeks.

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Whereas if you do it by hand, it would take literally like half a year to do So.

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Is this providing the ideas around the topics or is it actually doing the work?

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Are you guys doing the work as well for, you know, for these

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businesses, we've done a bit of both.

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We'd like to stay more strategic when it comes to the actual, like

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telling them, okay, here, here's the pages you need to create.

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Here's the order.

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You need to create them.

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And here's how they need to connect to them.

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You know, here's your effectively, your content plan

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for the next 12 months, right?

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We've created content for people in the past.

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We sold the, for some of our current clients.

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We, we really try to get people to create their own content though.

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And I'm old coach them and train them and help them find writers if they need to.

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And the main reason is that I don't think anyone ever creates content.

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At quite the same level for, for a company or a brand than someone who internal

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would versus hiring an agency or just a a freelancer, you know, things like that.

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It's it just doesn't, it never really hits because a freelancer or an agency doesn't

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understand the unique problems that your customers face, the way that you do as a

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founder or the way that your cells your sales team or your customer success team.

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A freelancer and I seat it would take them a while to really understand that.

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And you're far better off hiring someone who is capable of doing really

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good interviews with the founder or with customer success, or with sales

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going through gonged recordings, things like that, to understand how

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the product really solves the unique problems as it fits within that topic.

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yeah, we do creation sound, but we really try to push people more

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towards building up their own team.

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If they don't already have one and we'll help them build that.

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Yeah, that makes sense.

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Because when you think about, you know, a brand and their brand voice and, all of

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that, that can really just come from them.

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It's hard for someone, especially if it's being outsourced right.

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To understand a brand.

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And that's why even social media marketing is so difficult because

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when you have someone else posting on your behalf, there's limitations

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to what, you know, they can post because they don't really know.

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They really have to have a very deep understanding of your personality,

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your tone, like, do you like to be sassy in your social media posts?

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Do you like to be.

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Funny, you know, like what's the personality of that company.

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What's that brand personality.

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And I think same thing with content, you know, content can be written so many

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different ways and it can have so many different variations and connotations

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and the style, even now, when you use like some of these content writing tools, it'll

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ask you, well, what tone do you want?

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Do you want professional?

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Do you want casual?

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And, and all of those things have to be determined.

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So I think the only way to really get something, Don in a way that it's

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going to be really relevant to your organization is to have an in-house

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person are to have one person that, you know, they can be from the outside

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that they, work for you where you can have a conference call with them.

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You can jump on zoom and you can talk about it.

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It's not just via email.

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You're typing in a request.

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Oh, Content on, you know, these 10 e-commerce items that I want to sell.

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It's more like, okay, let's have a conversation.

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Let's make sure you understand.

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What we represent, what our mission is, what our values are, what are

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the problems that our customers were facing five years ago versus now?

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Because I think again, even for the organizations that are creating

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all this content, it's all about solving, a consumer's problem.

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And if they can solve that problem, They're going to make that sale are they

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can create this perception that there's a need for what they're selling, right.

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There's a need for that product, or this product is better than product a, and

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this is why you should buy this product.

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You know, I think all of those things come into play with that.

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Yeah, so, and that's why you, hit it there on the mark.

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So being able to say this is why product a is better than product B.

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That's something that outside freelancers until they've worked with you for a while,

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they don't, it's so rare for them to understand how you're uniquely positioned.

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Against the competition in a way that's going to be persuasive.

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Right.

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And , that's the essence of content working right.

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Is do, is to really sell for, for that content to, to be more product led

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or service led or company led, you know, depending on your model, but.

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You know, when, when you do work with external folks, like it

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can work, but it's, it's going to be a very two-way street.

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You have to make sure you hire the right people.

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That's difficult.

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But once you do hire the right ones, what you're looking for is

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you're looking for people who are inquisitive, who can push you.

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When they're interviewing you to keep asking why, you know,

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you answer a question, they dig in, they want to go deep and.

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Every answer that you give, leads them back to the product, because then

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they're able to take that and actually put that into content and your words

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that they wouldn't know how to do, because they don't have the experience

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that you have and the rich knowledge.

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And if they just write it without that insight from you as a founder, as a,

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CMO or a head of sales or anything.

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It reads as being amateur versus coming from someone who really understands

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the customer and the product.

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So, again, it goes both ways.

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On the business end has to be able to provide that feedback and coach the

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writer as well, and to, to help give them the information that they need.

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They, you know, they don't.

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Come with it automatically.

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So it's a, it's an evolutionary.

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Yeah.

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So to me, I mean, it sounds almost like a journalist, right.

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Would, do an interviewer story, is that to have that content writer, , interview,

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the person who's going to be explaining details about a particular concept or

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topic or product, and really dive deep and, you know, dive so deep into it where

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it's like, okay, they answer one question.

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And then you dive deeper into, another aspect of it so that you have a

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very thorough understanding right.

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Of, of what is that product?

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What does it do?

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What are the benefits?

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who are the competitors?

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How does it, differ from, from other products that are

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similar in the marketplace?

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Because when it comes to writing that content.

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a lot of people prefer content, especially if it comes to e-commerce.

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Or even in anything, even if someone's hiring a lawyer and a law

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firm, they're going to go online, they're going to go to Google, right?

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They're going to type in a keyword phrase.

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Let's say they type in, New York divorce attorney and they're

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going to get search results.

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And they're going to probably go to, two to four websites.

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They're going to check out the content are maybe they're going to type in a key

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word and they type in, should I have a prenup agreement, you know, be before I

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get married and then someone has a blog article that's titled exactly that title.

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So what's going to happen is a blog is going to render high on Google.

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And if it happened to render on page one, then that person's

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going to discover that attorney.

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And they're going to go to that website.

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And in the same way, I think it comes down to.

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Really knowing who the audience is for that company, for that product

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and what appeals to them, right.

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Because you really have to even speak in that tone, in that voice, that's

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going to resonate with them and that's going to get them to take action.

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And I think, you know, it's important to have the right tone.

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Yeah.

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And you know, w one quick, kind of little tip there too, whenever you're

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doing that, let's say you're working in any sort of baby, is that the way you

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write strategic content and tactical content are for two different audience.

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The tactical content, you can have a much more familiar tone of area.

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You can go a bit deeper with things, very step-by-step.

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You're talking to the people who are going to be doing the work, right.

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And that's very different from the way you're going to be talking to the CMOs

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or VP of growth or anything like that, or head of growth, where you need to

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be much more strategic in your content.

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You don't have to dive into the weeds.

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You can get frameworks, you can Use a few analogies, how this applies, right?

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Cause they don't need all the details they need framers they can work with so

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they can apply it to different things.

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And so just understanding even when you're tackling a similar keyword,

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depending on how you want to tackle it, if you tag tackle it from a

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strategic level versus a tactical level, that's how you can change your tone.

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You don't want to put them both together in one article though, but yeah, so that's

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what, that's what we've always done.

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That helps really well.

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Because if you write tactical level content for someone who's going to

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be consuming it from a strategic.

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It's just not, it's not as interesting.

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And that's usually here trying to sell to as well as is the

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more, senior lower roles.

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And do you have any, guidelines?

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Thank you like to say.

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Okay.

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So if someone's going to produce content based on the strategy that

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you're providing for them around topic clustering, do you say your

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content should be around this many words to this many words?

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Like, do you have a criteria or you leave that up to them?

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I'll leave it up to them for the most part.

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I mean, there's, there's certain like kind of like minimum threshold standards.

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I think we usually Tell them about Clare scope or market means are these

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tools out there that they can use to help kind of guide them along the

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way that provide recommendations.

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But, but we tell them these are just tools, right?

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Like humans, work tools, tools, don't work, humans.

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And so sometimes you can have an outlier of the way a lot of these tools

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works is there'll be one outlier out there who wrote a 10,000 word article.

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And that skews the average, right.

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Really what you want, what you want to be looking at is the.

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We tell them right.

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As much as it takes to actually cover this topic in depth thoroughly.

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And we usually like to spend more time going back through the article and

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editing more things out than anything else to make it more succinct and clear.

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It can be a bit different with tactical content because you want to make sure

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you're including plenty of images and step-by-step instructions perhaps.

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But yeah, ultimately we worked countless.

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It's not necessary.

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As long as you've provided a very robust outline about here are the things that

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need to be discussed in this article.

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Well, you can't discuss those things without writing a

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sufficient amount of content.

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You know, they wouldn't write 400 words to be able to cover it.

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Most of the time, it's a little average, a thousand to 2000.

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A lot of times just depends yeah.

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That, that does that make sense?

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And what about, SEO?

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Do you give them any best practices to follow so that when they

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are producing all this content.

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That they're doing it in a manner that's going to be SEO optimized.

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So a lot of times it depends on what kind of CMS, what kind of system that they're

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built on if they're built on WordPress?

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Let's say it's WordPress.

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That's like the most common one.

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So yeah.

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So if they're built on WordPress, we don't give them a ton of recommendations.

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Like other than like the baseline of, we give them a recommendation of,

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here's how you structure a good title.

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Here's what you need to, you know, great headings subheadings

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making sure they understand about internal linking and the, probably the most

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important is really the slug, because that's something you don't want to change.

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So what the actual hyperlink is of your article because everything else

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you can change and adapt over time, you can always change the permanent link,

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but we want to avoid it as possible, but that's a bulk of it because WordPress.

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We'll handle most of everything else for you.

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When it comes to, the basics of where does it go on the site, how,

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you know, how are things structured together in terms of your post format?

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And you know, it was the content and the body and all of that.

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So we tell people most of the time you're you're far better off just,

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follow the, the base level guidelines.

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But more importantly, if you just focus on really good content that, that solves the

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problem or answers a question for your, for your consumers, you're targeting.

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That's that's half the battle is just getting it out there.

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Not to let the perfect, become the enemy of the good so to speak.

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Yeah.

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, it's about getting it out there, which I think is a challenge

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in itself for some people.

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But yeah, some of the pointers I give, in terms of one process,

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there's a plugin called Yoast SEO.

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So they can download that and they can, follow the best practices.

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They can make sure that all the images.

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You know, have all tags behind the scenes because that is how Google

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can tell what an image is about.

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Also images are discoverables and people can find them.

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And, it's important to, to have content behind the images because

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Google cannot read images by itself.

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Um, So those are some things I would add to that, but, you know, let's dive

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really deep into this whole topic, clustering, strategy, take us behind

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the scenes of, of your software?

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Like what does it do?

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Yeah.

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So the, these, this way to think about I'll use the example I used earlier.

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If we're looking at something like McCarney browser nursing browse, or if

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you're looking at another example would be we were doing this so we're working with.

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There's some type of clustering for QuickBooks recently where you're

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looking at expense reports and then you have like expense report software.

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Okay.

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So the article on the site was initially covering both of those

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topics and one single page.

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Well, the way you can start to figure out like, okay, do things

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seem to be separate is take those two pages or take those two keywords.

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If you want to do it manually pull up two Chrome browser windows side by

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side on Google, put in both keywords.

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And the first thing you want to look at are the titles and the URLs that

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are ranking for each on the first page.

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And if you see a high overlap of similarity between each URL,

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then those two keywords can go together and collapse into one.

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Now that's a very manual, painful process to do.

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Especially because Google doesn't just display the URL anymore.

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You know, they kind of, uh, you have to like right.

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Click it or hover over it to see down in the status bar, what that your old is.

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So trying to do that for, you know, if you're trying to plan 10 20

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keywords, just to see where they fall, it's not so bad might take you.

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15 to 30 minutes, but when you're trying to, let's say you're a startup and you

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know, that's you know, let's say you're, can't take Canva back to the beginning.

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Right.

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And Ken was like, okay, we want to heavily invest in SEO.

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What's the best way to go about doing this because they want

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to reduce opportunity costs.

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They want to get results as fast as possible.

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And they want to know that where they're investing their money is hedging the

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best way they can in their favor.

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So.

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To do that.

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You have to look at a lot more data than just 20 keywords.

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You need to really form out the entire plan.

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So we start by saying, okay, like I mentioned earlier, take

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these broad level keywords.

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Let's say it's QuickBooks, you've got things like, I'm gonna look for

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everything related to invoicing invoices.

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Expense expenses, expensing time-tracking right.

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W2, all of that taxes filing account, right?

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Found all these very singular sort of broad keywords go into

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the keyword research tools that you use, whether it's a true.

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We'd like to put them in and get all the like essentially can think of it,

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like broad match, modified keyboards.

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It's anything that has that word in it.

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And some variation doesn't matter how it's ordered just some variation

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and pull all of those keywords in.

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So oftentimes so like for QuickBooks or something, you're looking at

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four or five different keywords.

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cause they offers us such a robust set of services, especially now.

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MailChimp.

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So they imagined doing that side by side thing for, you

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know, even a hundred keywords.

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It takes forever.

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So we will now read them and do it where we can collect and process this data.

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And then basically just spit back out the results to tell you, okay, here's

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all, how all of these grouped together.

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Here's what the matching.

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We also built it in a way that we can, like I said, calculate priority score

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or relevancy score, where we can put in.

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Where, where are you ranking for these currently?

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Where are your competitors ranking for these currently?

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And then from there you can calculate, things like what's the value of this.

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You know, where does it fall on the funnel?

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We, we map all of that out, rhythmically that way.

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When it's, when it's all said and done, we've got a list of here's the exact

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pages you need to make on your website.

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Here's the order that you need to make them in.

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Here's how they need to be grouped together.

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Here's how this maps to your, to your funnel distribution, depending on what

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type of business you are, would kind of dictate whether you need more top

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of funnel or more bottom of funnel.

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And we mapped that out and give it to them and say, okay, now you're ready to go.

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Like, these are the topics you need to go create content over.

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And you could take a shot in the dark and do this, like, just kind

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of like a manual gut instinct way to, or look and model after

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competitors is what a lot of people do.

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We just didn't like doing that because we knew that there was a

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lot of opportunity out there that the competitors weren't aware of.

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Right.

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If you're always trying to.

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Play catch up with them.

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You never get to become the leader.

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And so that's why we said, okay, let's, let's actually assess what the Tam is.

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Let's really understand what this company's total addressable market

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is, so that eventually people are trying to play catch up with those.

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We're able to find the opportunities before anyone else had.

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And so that's our approach.

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And the benefit of it is when you do create content in the order

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that we recommend, you were able to rank much faster, you still kind of

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have an initial period that it takes time to ramp up and get Google to

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index your site and establish what we call topical authority, right?

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To really, for Google to really trust.

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This is what your site is going to consistently publish content

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on and they can trust you.

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But we've been able to do that consistently for several brands without

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even building back links or anything.

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we took this one small niche, niche, niche e-commerce website from like

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zero to like 60 K traffic per month.

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They only saw like four products took him like seascape travel month.

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Didn't build any backlinks.

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I think they're like They have like a domain authority is what we call it.

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An SEO of I think like 14, you know, and they're less than 18 months old.

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So we've replicated that several times.

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So that's really the nice benefit too, is you're able to create content,

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focus more on content creation and the quality of the content and not have

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to spam people requesting back links.

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And, you know, trying to go through that whole side of the process too, which saves

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money whenever you don't have to do that.

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Also, I think there's many reasons.

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Let me just clarify the, I think there was some industries.

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Still sort of table stakes.

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If you're in finance, if you're, if you're trying to compete with NerdWallet, like

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you're going to have to build backlinks, you know, but again, depending on the

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business model, we'll assess it and say, okay, here's what you need to do.

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Like you can get away without building backlinks.

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We didn't try it first.

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Right.

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Versus if you're in something like insurance or finance, like.

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You're probably just gonna have to, Yeah.

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Anytime.

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I mean, if you don't have to do backlinks, I mean, I have been able

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to get my own sites and clients' websites to rank on page one of

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Google, multiple times for multiple keywords, you know, by using a strategy

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that is a content creation strategy.

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It's creating, you know, SEO, optimized, blog posts and.

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In a way it might even be doing topic clustering.

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I just didn't realize that's what I'm doing, but I feel like it is.

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And this was something that I was doing years ago because I just remember that.

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I have this job and I had spare time.

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So I said, okay, let me research how we can, you know, rank

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high for, for the organization.

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So they're like, sure.

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So, I built a blog just to test it out and see, and I was able to get that wog,

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you know, traffic and get it to rank.

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And then I was like, okay, I'm onto something and everything, you know,

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that I've done is it's creating content.

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But I haven't really, I've done like literally zero backlinks.

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Like if they have backlinks, that's one thing.

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And those sites have been able to rank high and like for my own web.

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You know, once I submitted it to, to Google, and built a site map, so

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they know, Hey, here's a new website, indexes and index these pages.

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It was like on page one within like four or five days of launching the website,

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which is pretty good, but it was all.

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A very strategic thing.

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It was a content marketing strategy based on picking the right domain based

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on writing content and writing blogs based on a specific keyword or topic.

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And then even the pages, the way that they were titled named the

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content, it was all very strategic.

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So, you know, when I hear you talk about the order of, what they're

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doing, the order is very important.

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I want to dive deeper into that because, How does that, how does that work in

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terms of how do you determine what order to put, you know, different

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topics and, and different ideas, because I think that's something that

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if they were doing it manually, I don't think it would be an easy task to do.

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Right.

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But your technology is coming up with these, Hey, this is an order as well.

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Let's talk about the order.

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So, I'll see if I can come up with a way to explain this without like, given

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like the proprietary details, the way.

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Our initial problem, whenever we were facing ordering, like, cause we'd

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used some other like topic clustering methods, even like after we'd

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initially built ours were like, great.

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We have topic clusters.

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We know we answered the problem of what pages I need to create and

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what pages do I not need to create.

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Right.

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That way we didn't have two pages competing with one another.

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Cause that was something that we ran into a lot too.

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And it was like, okay, great.

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I now know what content and maybe.

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What order do I create the center?

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There's a lot, there's a lot of different paths I can take here.

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And so that was the next problem is trying to figure out how to solve that.

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So depend on how robust the website already is, if they already have a lot

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of content, it becomes much easier.

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If they don't there's another way to, to kind of approach that to.

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The way that we were doing it prior, and that a lot of other people in content

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marketing or SEO will approach it as they'll look at things like what's called

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keyword difficulty and the various tools out there that say, this is a, this

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is not a very difficult keyword to go after you should go after the first.

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And we didn't like that.

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Primarily because of what we just talked about, all of those Katy

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metrics on difficulty are all dependent upon backlinks as, as their primary

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variable that calculates them.

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And we just, we're seeing the backlinks just through random chance

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where we get lucky a few times we sold it, the backlinks, we were

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able to rank things without it.

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So I didn't want to rely on a metric that, you know, Another variable that I didn't

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really think was as relevant as a, as a means of determining where to start.

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So the way we determined priority, let's say you have a

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site with some existing content.

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Doesn't even have to be a lot, but if you've got some things ranking or if you

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got any content out there currently, What were you look at as we look to understand

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where are you already ranking with?

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So if we build out the topic map from this cluster, some of your

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pages you already have are going to be ranking for some of these topics.

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They may not be ranking on the first page, but some of them are

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going to be ranking in the top 100.

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And so we use that based on your positioning to understand where is

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Google ranking you at for this topic?

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Because that's a gauge on how authoritative you are on this.

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And the more content that you have, the easier it makes it though, where you're

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able to say, okay, where does Google see me as being most authoritative?

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And then where does Google see me as being least authoritative?

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Right?

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And from that the way our, our score works, as we looked at.

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What are you ranking for currently?

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How well are you ranking for it?

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How quickly were you able to rank for it and use that to establish what is your own

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personalized you know, topical authority in this current niche, as it stands

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right now, and then we can trace a line.

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It would be hard to explain with words, but in, in graph three, we're able to

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take notes which are like topics and edges, which are connections between these

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topics, how they relate to one another.

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We can trace edges between these nodes.

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And you're able to share your screen if you want.

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I mean, you can share your screen and show that if you want the okay.

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' cause I think this whole thing about, the order of the content,

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it's fascinating because I think that people don't really think about that.

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Right.

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And then again, it comes down to marketing strategy and strategy on, creating

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the right content at the right time.

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Because the order that you're putting it in is going to impact the

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results it's going to impact where you rank, how you rank, if you rank.

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Right.

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And, and I think, you know, for me, like everything I do with

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marketing is very strategic.

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So I love.

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Hearing things that are very strategy driven.

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And to me, when you say, Hey, content, it has to be produced in the right order.

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And it has to be posted in this particular order.

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I think that's a big marketing strategy.

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There's a reason behind that.

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Yeah.

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And I, and I'll clarify and say that it doesn't have to be a, you're

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going to get better results if you, if you do it in a particular order.

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You know, we, we tell people that.

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you don't have to there's a, there's an optimal way, an optimal,

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efficient way to do things.

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And then there's, just, I mean, doing anything is often better than doing

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nothing, but if you've got, you know, if you've got the budget and especially if

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you're trying to hit certain goals, it's like, okay, like invest in something like

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this, or invest in a very well thought out strategy, at least so that you're not just

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throwing things at the wall to see what's.

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To really, you know, have a plan that you're going to tackle.

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So, there's an immaterial material on the home page.

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This is probably just the easy kind of way to sort of show it.

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But you can think of each one of these kind of circles here as a topic and all

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these lines that connect between them.

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It's kind of like how you would kind of visualize a site a visual site map.

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If you're using a e-script crawling tool that showed you site architecture.

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But it's applying it to the topic itself.

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So the close to the circles are.

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That's content that relates more closely with one another.

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So you could imagine that being something like there's this

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concept called bridge topics.

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So something like this little circle right here that kind of sits far

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away from this one kind of middle way between these two kind of, hubs here,

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the blue ones are hubs by the way what that serves as a bridge topics.

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So an example of that.

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Would be something like, let's say we were doing probiotics and prebiotics

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they're similar, but they're separate.

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You're eventually gonna have a topic like probiotics versus prebiotics.

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Can I take probiotics and prebiotics together?

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Right.

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Those kinds of questions, those service bridge topics to get between the two.

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So with one company we worked with, we created a bunch of

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content around probiotics, and then they wanted to start with.

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Came up with a new product and prebiotics.

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And so it's like, okay, now we want to start ranking for this.

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So what we did is we started instead of just going in grading I mean they

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have their product and collection pages, but instead of grading content

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around prebiotics, like what's the best prebiotic best provides for women best

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pre blogs for men, things like that.

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We said, let's start because we're already ranked them well for pro.

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Let's create content about what's the difference between

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probiotics and prebiotics.

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Can you take them together?

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We started creating those articles first and they were ranking very quickly

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because we already had established topic authority about probiotics.

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And then we use that to then blend over into prebiotics.

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And that's how you can start to move between individual subject areas.

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Now, if you're a brand new site, There are other considerations to take into account.

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You, you have to assess what type of market that you're in first.

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What, what kind of vertical you're in, if you're in a volatile vertical, if

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you're in a sort of mutable changeable vertical, or if you're in a very stable

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vertical if you're in a vulnerable vertical where the top 10 ranking pages

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for a given topic are constantly changing very frequently You have to take bets

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because there's no way to actually know.

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So if you're in like crypto right now, or NFT or something like that, like you've

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got to just try things because it's, it's too early to know exactly what's going.

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If you're in a much more stable market though, say mortgages, right.

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Or home loans or anything like that.

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We'll talk about legal maybe like, because I worked on lots of lawyers,

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so let's talk about law firms.

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Is this, strategy and concept something that even law firms can apply

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and, can it be like a smaller firm or does it have to be more so a that's.

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Who is this ideal for?

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Because I know like there's a lot of even solopreneurs.

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There's like law firms that have, maybe just there have a partner or maybe

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they're under staff and 10 to 15 people.

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Is this strategy something that you would recommend for them as well?

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And if so, what are some tips for getting started?

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Yeah.

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So again, I can definitely talk about logs.

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We've worked in that space prior, and we saw some clients in it.

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They're just kind of like a local friends, but more in the perspective

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of personal injury law which tends to be the more competitive side of law.

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So, yes, it works for them.

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It works for for the people that we've worked in that.

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It's just a question of scale, right?

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How much content are you going to create?

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What does your budget look like?

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How quickly can you create that content?

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Can you find the right people to create content that's going to, adhere to your

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state's, like, you know, bar ethics guidelines with respect to advertising.

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Right?

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So, what we've done there in the past is we said, okay take

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all your content together.

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Let's say you're a brand new website.

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We actually did this with with an attorney.

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We've built this website from scratch.

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He didn't have anything.

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And, and did this with him.

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He's you know, I think his city that he's in has about may be 180,000 people.

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It's a pretty small city.

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He's getting a bout 10,000 traffic per month, which is good for.

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Dr.

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You know, I was his brand new website, Dr.

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Like seven website with only about 20 pieces of content.

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And that's pretty good.

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Yeah.

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So we we started you have to just kind of say, okay, like

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where do you want to start?

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Do you want to pick a more.

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If you're at, let's say your personal injury, you don't want to go after car

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accidents first, if you're just starting out with your website, feel free to market

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and advertise yourself that way on social.

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Right.

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, and, advertising billboards, TV, whatever.

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But from your website standpoint, you want to start with something that's

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a little bit less competitive so that you can begin to get some traction

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and start showing Google that you have that you're developing top authority.

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So motorcycle accidents, slip, and falls, right.

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Wrongful death can be.

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It's kind of, kind of depends, but workman's comp things like that.

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Right.

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So going after and building out content around each of those types

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of hubs, the one that we did it with, we started with, semi-truck accidents

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still pretty competitive, but far less competitive than car accidents.

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Right?

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So we started with truck accidents that we did slip and fall,

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and then we do workman's comp.

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Now he had all of the service pages on his website.

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Car accidents and for you know, the broad personal injury, all of that, , we had

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all the service pages, but the actual blog content, we focused on trucks,

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slip and falls, workman's comp, and then worked our way into car accidents.

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And so here's what the impact of that's been.

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We published an article not too long ago about like chest injuries after

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a car accident and within 48 hours, he was ranking on the first page.

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So, you know, that's, that's very difficult to do in personal

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injury, even though it's tends to be more local based, it's a

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highly, highly competitive industry.

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You can find out from the UI, you can do some DUI, you can do this in divorce.

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Those are actually far less competitive.

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Right.

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And then be honest with you.

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If it works in BI, it's going to work in those apps.

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Yeah, but structurally you definitely want to start with all of your

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service pages first and your local pages for the cities you're in and

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the areas you want to operate in.

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That's your, that's your website content.

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Now your blog content, right?

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From your blog content.

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You want to start with the questions that people are asking, you know,

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Kennesaw kind of truck driver use their cell phone on driving, right?

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that content doesn't necessarily drive leads.

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So that's, something important that we always have to convey to people is that.

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That's up a content isn't necessarily going to drive a lead.

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What it does is we're trying to prove to Google that we are

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credible to talk about this topic.

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And as you do that, then you can start to talk about, what to do if you've

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been hit by a semi-truck, do you need to Sue the driver or the company?

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Right.

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You know, the, how to report it, how do you get in contact?

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You know, like all of that sort of things, right.

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You work your way into that.

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Now, if you start to see yourself getting traction, this is why we

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run our clusters pretty frequently.

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Usually once over 30 days to see, to reassess where they're at with things.

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If we start to see it, cause it recalculates the priority score.

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Every time we see them gaining traction in an area very, very quickly then

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we will sometimes well the prior score, we'll flip it around the topics

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that was recommending us go after.

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And we'll actually start putting more competitive terms at first, because

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once you see you're starting to get.

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Then you can definitely go after those more competitive terms immediately.

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And that's how you would approach it.

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If you're not using like our technology and having us do it

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for you, you know, you would just say, okay, let me try some things.

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Let me take some bets.

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And if I see that I'm getting a foothold, then double down and, you know, I think.

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Generally the way you'd planned to most things in life and

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you're trying things, right?

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So that's our approach.

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Yeah.

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I love that.

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I mean, so you start out, more niche and you get, rankings for those,

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you get that content out there.

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So Google recognizes that, you know, your website Is authoritative in terms

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of topics related to very specific personal injury, questions and topics.

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And once you can rank for those and it understands that then you can start slowly

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going a little bit broader and broader.

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And, and I think.

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That's really important.

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Like what you just shared because a lot of lawyers are under this

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concept of especially in personal injury right away, they want to go

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for the car accident, lawyer, Los Angeles, and those kinds of things.

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And it's very competitive, whether you're doing paid like PPC sponsored

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section or whether you're doing SEL, it's very competitive and.

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It, it can take months right.

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To, to rank.

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But in the meantime, if you can start producing content where it's

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effective to get you to rank on a more niche level, then you can expand.

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And as you expand, I think your website's going to become more powerful

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and authoritative because when you think about the websites that are,

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rotative like a HubSpot or, you know, you think of lawyers.com sites like.

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The reason why they are ranking on page one is because they have thousands and

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millions of pages of content, you know?

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And that is why a website that has 10 pages versus a website that invest

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in writing 10 pieces of content.

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And after the end of the year, they have 120, right?

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And after three years they have 360 pages of their website.

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Versus our competitor might only have 20 pages.

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Google's going to say, Hey, your website is more powerful and

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authoritative than your competition.

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As a result, we're going to reward you for that.

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And we're going to rank you higher.

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And that's the thing is it's about creating content.

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And I think one of the mistakes that I see some attorneys.

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They put all of their eggs in one basket, they will invest in paid campaigns, PPC.

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And, and I know those guys used to sell those back in the day and

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they'll put a lot of money into it.

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And for pie, it is the cost is just going higher and higher and higher.

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But then what happens is where, how are you going to build the company

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long-term growth and sustainability when.

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Yeah, you have to turn that campaign off or you don't want to pay for

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it or it's not working anymore.

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And then you don't have any organic rankings.

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Right.

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And that's why, to me, I'm a firm believer in content marketing.

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Cause I think content marketing is really, what's going to set

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up your business for success.

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Like if you want to sell your law firm down the road, or you want to show to

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investors, if you're a startup that.

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You have built a company that's sustainable that someone can take over

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and they can, they can run you, you have to create that digital presence online

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because everything's online nowadays.

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And I think content is how you do.

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what, I've what I've tried to explain to attorneys I've worked with in the past.

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And I'm, I'm still somewhat uniquely qualified to talk about this because

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if, if anyone anyone's ever heard of there's, what's it called?

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Rankings IO run by Chris dryer.

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He works heavily in the person who space.

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we write their content like, for them, we, we manage their content

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marketing along with Chris.

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So, we, we still kind of keep one foot in the door.

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We just don't directly work with personal injury lawyers and things

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like that ourselves anymore.

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But but again, we're still involved with it.

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So what I was trying to explain to them the past is that it's not as if, because

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this is the angle that we're taking with the content on your website with the, with

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the blog strategy that you can't, like I said, Advertise or have initiatives going

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for car accidents or the more competitive things on other marketing channels.

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This is, this is not a, like you mentioned, you don't put

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all your eggs in one basket.

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You need to take a much more omni-channel approach.

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More importantly, really what I think that attorneys need to do more

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than anything else is get really good attribution tracking going on

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and really understand how they're getting their traffic from their

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resources and, and what's converting.

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And also to understand.

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The way marketing works these days, it is not this linear path from they

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come to your website and they convert.

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That's just not the way it works.

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You have to really understand at a holistic level how your

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entire funnel fits together.

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Right.

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So if you're advertising, someone comes into an article about you know, their

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chest hurting after a car accident.

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Right?

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Well, we don't know how injured they are.

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Right.

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But if they later on search for a Carson that longer, we

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now know they have our intent.

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Right.

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And so.

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Pixel them, you can read them, re target them with advertising because

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you can bring for the one as my chest hurt after a car accident, it's, it's

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far less competitive because all the other attorneys are more focused on

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the bottom of funnel terms, right?

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The people looking to hire one, but if you can get them to your site, then,

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then you can retarget and advertise for that car accident longer term.

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And yes, it's expensive, but you're going to be advertising to

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a particular individual who has already been exposed to your brand.

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And so you're spending far less money than what you would, if you were.

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Constantly bidding on that term.

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Right?

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Same thing on.

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Right.

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You can retarget them on social and just kind of stay top of mind and figure

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out like, are they engaged in this?

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Do they want to learn more?

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So maybe they come to your site about my chest is my chest hurt enough?

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Christ, what do I need to do?

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Is there anything bad going on here?

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Right.

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How do I heal?

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How recover?

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That's a very interesting point.

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They're going to be Googling those things as well, because it's immediate they're

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maybe they have pain, they're suffering from the ramifications of what happened.

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It could be physical, it could also be emotional.

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It could be traumatic what happened and they can be Googling

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those types of things in.

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But what's interesting is most attorneys, they don't even think that way, right?

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Since about broadening their horizons and not the attorneys, but I mean,

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everyone, even like eCommerce startups, everyone broadening their horizons of how

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people search online is not just the main key word they're actually looking for.

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Again, solutions to their problem right there.

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They're trying to find answers to questions.

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And also when you are grading content, a lot of the times when you post your

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content in the form of most commonly asked questions that people are

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already searching for an asking for online, like that has the propensity.

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To rank high on Google and it gets, you found, it gets you discovered,

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you know, so they think that's huge.

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Is there, is there anything else you would like to share with our audience today?

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Nothing immediately comes to mind.

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Nothing.

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I think, I think I've rambled on a decent amount, about a variety of things

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if you want to learn anything about in-depth content marketing, like we have

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our own resources on learning growth.

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HRS is a really great resource to go on, learn about content marketing.

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If you're in the B2B SAS space, super path as a community built

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by Jimmy daily, that's a fantastic resource to go, to be able to kind

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of connect and network and from.

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Content marketers, if you're in the legal space there's a

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variety of great blogs out there.

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I'm a little partial to rankings IO because I, I write a lot for

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it, but but there's plenty of really great resources out there.

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More importantly, I would say like, just don't believe everything that you hear.

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I need you to test things and, think about things in a much more holistic way.

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And once you've like picked up land, like, follow it through the execution.

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Don't, don't get distracted every, every month and try to change things up.

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So, especially with SEO, because it will not work.

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Yeah.

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So have a plan and then focus on that plan until you accomplish

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what was in that plan before you just try to do too many things.

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I mean, yeah, that's great advice.

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I can totally relate to that.

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And anything exciting new that, you know, in terms of features or

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functionality that you're launching for, for Arden growth that, you know,

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you want to tell the audience about?

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Yeah.

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So we we're constantly iterating on the tool to make it better and better.

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It's.

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It's extremely, extremely fast.

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So that's always nice that we can develop these strategies very quickly.

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We're working on a way to be able to map this into the second phase of

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things of the actual creation process.

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Like we can never like create content for you.

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Like people have to make content, even with tools up there like , but

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being able to help inform the structure of that content.

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What the subheadings need to be.

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You know, those sorts of things.

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We're working on launching that here in the relatively near

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future, we already calculate things like what's the search intent?

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What where's it mapping the funnel?

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What's the value of it?

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What's the potential value?

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What's your priority?

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What's your relevancy.

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We have hubs main keyword subgroups.

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We it's a ton of data, but it's a lot of things that, unless you're in the know.

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It's overwhelming.

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Right?

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And so that's why we take it and distill it down into these strategy documents that

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make it very clear what you need to do.

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And we kind of remove all the noise.

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We still give it to you if you, you know, if you want to dive into it.

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But but yeah, so the next step is really trying to bridge the gap between

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now we've clustered things together.

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We've mapped out the, how the plan needs to be executed.

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Now let's take it one more step further into that sort of outlining

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and brief creation process before it gets handed off to her.

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And if someone wants to work with your organization, I mean, what's the process.

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Is there like a, you know, set pricing plans that they can pick from?

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Or is it all custom or how does that process work?

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We've been playing around with pricing.

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It, a lot of times it depends on.

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Really what you're needing.

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If, if people just want say a topic cluster built for them to understand,

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like, you know, how they need to create content if they want to go

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execute and they don't need us to make strategy documents like we'll

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make those for you go for like $5,000.

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Cause our algorithms so fast now that it's, it's, it's very easy for us to do.

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Now, if you're looking for more longterm, strategic assistance

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throughout the process, everything.

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We do the research for you.

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We cluster things together for you.

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We're helping you make briefs.

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We're guiding you along the way of the content creation process.

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We're helping you find train writers.

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That's, you know, it's a big, that's a time intensive task.

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That's when it gets a bit more custom and we have to kind of understand, like

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what's the scope of the project look like.

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But yeah Perfect.

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Love all that.

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Well, thank you so much for being on the mesmerizing marketing.

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And do you want to share any websites or social media handles where

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people can connect with you guys?

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I said art and group.com.

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That's our main website and probably the best place to connect with

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me, your name from our growth is going to be on LinkedIn.

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We're not very we're not active on Facebook.

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So there's not always the best place for that either.

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So I think LinkedIn, LinkedIn is one of the best places, just search

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for scholar Reeves on LinkedIn, and you'll be able to find us.

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Okay.

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We'll definitely link that in the show notes.

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Thank you so much for being a guest today.

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Thank you for listening to the mesmerizing marketing podcast.

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If you found this episode valuable, please subscribe to the show.

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So you don't ever miss an episode and also share it with your friends.

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Dimple would be so grateful.

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If you could take a minute to leave a review and visit the podcast website,

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to check out all the latest episodes.

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At www.mesmerizingmarketingpodcast.com that's www.mesmerizingmarketingpodcast.com

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and follow a dimple on clubhouse.

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Her handle is marketing expert and also join her mesmerizing marketing

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entrepreneurs and business owners who want to mesmerize their marketing.