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Welcome to episode 47 of the Launch Yourself podcast.

In This Episode

In today’s episode, Jarod Spiewak shares how he built his agency in an unusual way—through a freelancer exchange platform. And because he’s an SEO expert, we spend about 20 minutes talking all things SEO, google search, what’s working right now, and what to stay away from.

For the first half of this episode, Jarod shares how he learned SEO and used Upwork to build his clientele, gain social proof, and learn a new skill. Over time, he has changed how he leverages this platform, but he still finds high-paying clients on the site and is able to find team members for his own agency as well. Definitely, a platform to consider that has likely not been on your radar.

During the second half of this episode, I ask all of my SEO-related questions, and Jarod shares so many insights, tips, and knowledge bombs about what’s working with SEO right now, and what’s not working. If you have a website, you definitely want to listen to this part of the interview, so you aren’t wasting your time or money on the wrong SEO-related activities.

Resources Mentioned

Learn More About Jarod Spiewak

Jarod Spiewak is the founder and lead strategist of Comet Fuel (formerly Blue Dog Media), a boutique, strategy-first, agency that helps service-based businesses run sophisticated ROI-positive marketing campaigns to fuel long-term growth, without all the typical agency BS.

Jarod got his start in the world of marketing at the age of 14 by needing to figure out how to make money online to pay for college, which he started attending at 15 years old, after months of writing content for less than $0.01 per word and working for next to free through Craigslist’s “gigs”, Jarod received a job offer to join the marketing team of a local corporation.

After working in corporate America for a year and deciding it wasn’t for him, Jarod ventured back into the world of online marketing where he “absorbed knowledge like a sponge that discovered cocaine” working for $5/hr on the side to hone his skills.

This quickly led to a lucrative job offer from a marketing agency. During the course of his two-year tenure, Jarod continued to learn everything he could about running businesses, marketing, and beer pong. After two years of working for that agency and building up his own client base, Jarod went from full-time to part-time to no-time after he decided to make the leap into full-time entrepreneurship.

Jarod didn’t feel as though the agency that he wanted to work for existed, so he started it instead. A boutique agency that values results, honest communication, transparency, education, and cutting through the BS. Comet Fuel’s focus is on generating an ROI – or – helping clients make more money than they invest.

Some of Comet Fuel’s success stories include helping a personal injury law firm increase their organic search call volume by over 170%, reducing the cost per conversion for a couples therapist by 75%, and improving the conversion rate for a criminal defense lawyer by over 320%.

As a boutique agency, Comet Fuel works with a limited number of businesses at a time, as their focus is on getting results and improving the quality of their services, not making another sale.

Jarod’s website: Comet Fuel

Melissa Anzman (00:00): This is a launch yourself podcast, episode 47 with Jarod Spiewak. Welcome to the Launch Yourself podcast. My name is Melissa Anzman. I'm a best-selling author and the CEO of two businesses, an employee experience company in launch yourself where I help entrepreneurs diversify and scale their business by launching digital products each week, you'll hear mindblowing interviews where we peek behind the curtain of other people's launches, as well as actual tips and strategies that you can implement in your daily work life to create launches that actually make you money. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now let's get started. I am so excited to share this episode with you. Jarod shares so much information, and we talk about a ton of things. So little bit about Jarod before I get more in depth on our conversation, he is the founder and lead strategists of comic fuel a boutique strategy first agency that helps service-based businesses run sophisticated ROI, positive marketing campaigns to fuel long-term growth without any of the typical agency BS.

Melissa Anzman (01:13): Some of the comment fuels success stories include helping a personal injury law firm increase their organic search call volume by over 170% reducing the cost of conversion for a couples therapist by 75% and improving the conversion rate for a criminal defense lawyer by over 320% as a boutique agency comment fuel works with a limited number of businesses at a high at a time as their focus is on getting results and improving the quality of their services, not making another sale. And we go deep for the first 20 minutes or so of how Jarod started his business and learned SEO from a really young age and what tools he use, what platform you use. And it's a super interesting take that I have never heard, and I've been in the game for some time. And then of course, you know, I'm not going to let an SEO expert get off our interview without dropping some extremely helpful and knowledgeable tips about SEO that you can take and implement in your own business right now. So I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed meeting. Jarod, let's go. Thank you so much for coming on today's episode, Jarod, I'm really excited to meet you and even more excited to have you on and share your story with us. If you could, can you share a little bit about your business and background?

Jarod Spiewak (02:45): Yeah, sure. Let me give you the elevator pitch if you will. So my business, blue dog media, currently rebranding to comment field, depending on when this comes out, depends on when you'll find it, but we're a boutique strategy. First marketing agency that helps mainly service-based run sophisticated ROI, positive marketing campaigns to fuel long-term growth with all the typical agency BS. That is my you know, sales pitch, if you will, in terms of myself I'm from New Hampshire pretty much born and raised here, been here just about my entire life. I started getting into the world of business and online marketing. When I was 14, I graduated high school. I started college at 15 graduated high school at 16, the year discrepancy there's cause they kind of screwed me over. But anyways, so from there I started freelancing online, making a little bit of money online, trying to figure out how to get stuff to work. I did a little bit of corporate marketing for about a year transitioned into a full-time role at a marketing agency, which eventually led me into having my own business. And here we are a couple of years later.

Melissa Anzman (03:46): That's so amazing. Okay. So I like your elevator pitch. I'm not going to judge her or anything. I know someone who does that. But can you tell us in layman's terms, what that is? So you gave a lot of really cool buzzwords, but a lot of our listeners are like either super into your space or not at all. So can you just they're like at opposite ends. So for those that may be on the other end of it, what do you do? What does your agency do?

Jarod Spiewak (04:12): So there are two specific,uor primary services that we offer, which is Google ads marketing, which is PPC and,uSEO, which is showing up higher on Google search.

Melissa Anzman (04:23): Yeah. So this is, this is how you get found on the thing called the internet through Google ads or through search. Okay. fantastic. So Jarod here at launch yourself, we really like to talk about launches and it doesn't have to be launching a thing, but a specific point in time where you launch to something new or launch your self forward. So with that in mind, what launch would you like to talk about today?

Jarod Spiewak (04:47): Yeah, sure. So I think it would be really interesting to talk about how we were able to kind of propel ourselves and launch from you know, being essentially a full-time employee into having my own agency using a third-party platform that not only at the time w less so now, but definitively at the time back in 2017, 2018, everyone said wouldn't work, doesn't work. And even after I was on other shows, explaining, step-by-step how we do it. People still said, Nope, this guy is full of BS. He's, you know, it doesn't work. And that platform in and of itself is called Upwork.

Melissa Anzman (05:25): Okay. So I absolutely love that. We're going to talk about this. And Jarod and I chatted a little bit before we hit record, which is always where the good stuff happens. Right. But we chatted a little bit before I hit record. And I was so into this topic because Upwork is this place. It's a website. For those of you who don't know it's for freelancers, essentially, that's what it was started on and where you can find freelancers to help you do your work. Or if you're a freelancer you can become available for work. It's like a matching place for that gig economy back when it was started. And as someone who's used it on trying to find people to help me with work, I've actually had, you know, not great experiences finding qualified talent. And I think that's the thing is that it's in marketplace like anything else.

Melissa Anzman (06:13): And you have to sort of do your work to find the right talent, but I never actually put my own shingle up on the other side of the fence, even though they offer the services that I could provide because I never thought about it. Instead I would sort of default to like a fiver mentality of like, Oh, well, I don't really want to be on Fiverr. And they're very different. I mean, same in concept, but different in level of talent and what you can execute. So I was so excited that you wanted to talk about how you did this because it was truly, it's not just a full-time job to have my own business thing. It was really like working the system in an interesting way to get sustainable clients here on out. So I'm super excited to hear more.

Jarod Spiewak (06:53): Yeah, it's a, it's a platform that I started on with the intent of using it as a way to learn and propel my own skills rather than something that I really ever expected to be worthwhile in terms of customer acquisition, which was that at the time when I first signed up, I think it was 2015, 2016, one of the two, I was a corporate marketing employee for a real estate company and I hated my job and I needed to find something else. And previously years prior, I had heard about this thing called SEO. Didn't really dive into it a whole lot at the time and I wanted to learn more about it. So I started learning a little bit more about it. I wanted to get some real world experience. So I signed up for the platform, which was a merger between oDesk and, hnother company that's slipping my mind right now, but two companies merged and that became Upwork. And I had been on one of those platforms before I never got work on it. So went to one redirected to the cycle upwards. I had never heard about it. So I signed up and started working for $5 an hour. And funny enough, it's very common in our industry for people in the U S to outsource work in the Philippines. Well, my first client was somebody based in the Philippines outsourcing work to me in the U S wow,

Melissa Anzman (08:14): That's super rare. It's done

Jarod Spiewak (08:15): A complete one 80 there. And,uso I was working for $5 an hour at the time. Not, not trying to make money, just trying to figure out is this a skill that I have? Is this something that I want to pursue? And eventually that led,uto me,ubeing a lot more involved with the platform by just increasing, you know, what I was,uyou know, charging and just over time, it kind of propelled my freelancing. I ended up at a full-time agency job because of that platform as well. And,ukind of over the years, what I had done was really,ustudied the platform. I've been on long enough to see a lot of, lots of trends, kind of come and go, and, you know, the good times and the bad times were, and I'm more happy to dive into the details, but where I find a lot of people,ukind of,ufail, if you will, or kind of misjudge the platform is that they either have one or two initial bad experiences, or they don't actually try to, u,ke it work. I mean, imagine you were trying to acquire a clients by sending cold emails or something like that, and you send two emails and you go, well, it didn't work or you send it to,

Melissa Anzman (09:19): And so many people do that, right? They're like, ed, we're done this online marketing. Thing's not working. Yeah, exactly.

Jarod Spiewak (09:26): Unique to any individual channel. You know, you spend $5 on Facebook ads, it didn't work, you know, Facebook ads, it doesn't work for us. Do you want to spend $5 in Google? Nope. Didn't work for us. So it's really just a matter of sitting down on that platform and where I feel as though I was fortunate enough, is that it's much more competitive nowadays on this platform. And because I was able to get really, I have such a profile where I don't really ever log in out and really ever manage it. It's very, it's very hands-off if you will.

Melissa Anzman (09:55): Yeah. So you, the platform almost becomes like, not even the platform, I should say your reputation on there, the stars that you've earned, the comments that you have, the work that you can feature really becomes part of your proof, your social proof of that. You can do the job that people need based on you being there and being consistent up there, even at $5 an hour, which a lot of people are like, I'm not working for that, but you did to learn it and to probably start establishing that proof.

Jarod Spiewak (10:25): Right? Exactly. Because one of the first things that, one of the things I did very early on was I signed up as a employer on the form as well. And then I just copy and pasted a job that I would have applied to. And I just saw what, how the platform worked from the other side. So I saw what someone would see. I saw, you know, how are things formatted? You know, how much of, what you write in your message is seen before somebody clicks on you? How, how are the profiles displayed? How many people, how quickly are you getting responses? Where do the quality of the other response is? And so I was able to kind of figure that out. And one of the things is that, u,ey changed it right now. It's called like your job success score. They had it something else beforehand, which is honestly a much better metric in my opinion, u,at I can't really remember, but how likely they really promote that were like, Oh, here's someone that has that 90%, 95%, a hundred percent success.

Jarod Spiewak (11:14): If you're brand new on that platform, you don't even have that bar. So it's very unlikely. Someone would really want to give you a kind of invest in you in that process. So one of the things I would always recommend to people is, and I just happened to do by chance is take on quite a few, like five or six small pay, small time to complete jobs just for the review so that you actually have money aren't on the platform. You have reviews, you have a rating because then that's what people are looking for in the first place. I, as a Hank, as someone who makes hires on there, first thing I do is anyone that has an earned money on the platform. I just automatically deny them all because I'm not looking for that.

Melissa Anzman (11:51): Right. You're looking for more, what types of roles would you say this little, getting off course here, but what types of roles would you say do really well? Like, so I'm, I'm thinking about the freelancers out there who listened to this, who may not even identify as a freelancer, but the work that they do is maybe more done for you or agency type, which types of roles do you think would have the best success at using this platform.

Jarod Spiewak (12:18): So that is changed a bit over the years. When which was specifically within the two things I would look at as one is freelancers versus agencies, which is that you always have to take the approach of a freelancer on the platform. If you come off, even if you are an agency, if you say that you're an agency, you know, you almost always get denied. So that's one thing is that over time, people have gotten less and less interested in working with those, for magazines to identify as an agency on the forefront, but it become with it as a person, a person. And then you just also happen to be an agency that works pretty well every once in a while going to be like, yeah, nevermind. But it's pretty rare in my experience. The other side of things is for the actual skills.

Jarod Spiewak (12:57): It kind of just depends on the supply and demand. When I first was starting on the platform, there is a very high amount of low skill SEO's on the platform. People working for like $3 an hour that really couldn't speak English that really didn't know what they were doing. So while people were getting a ton of requests, like 30, 50 people, like applying to your job within like an hour or two, sometimes they all, it was just something that you probably wouldn't want to work with unless you have like a very low budget. And so it was,uwhat was kind of easy there is that there were very few people,uthat I would really compete against in the U S directly. So all I had to do to really compete there was just, you know, Hey, I can speak in English.

Jarod Spiewak (13:41): Yes. I know what I'm doing. You know, fairly local, whatever it may be. And that stood out a lot more. And then over time that has shifted where now there's a lot more competition within the U S and now it's a lot more of a quote unquote, head to head battle, if you will. Same thing with, on the ads front, very few people used to use that platform for ads, but now what has happened is there are a lot of how to start your business, you know, your online business courses that they've been popping up quite a bit over the past few years at insane velocities. And a lot of them are now recommending, Hey, go sign up for Upwork. So now what has happened is there's also a immense increase of people within the digital marketing community, signing up for this platforms that all have like new profiles that are all using fairly the same techniques so on and so forth, which has made those areas more competitive.

Jarod Spiewak (14:32): And there's plenty of other areas on this as well. There's like, you can sign up if you're a lawyer, you can sign up. If you're a CPA, you can sign up if you're a writer, so on and so forth. So what works, what doesn't work tends to change over time? I found that there are I think it was last year was pretty lackluster on the platform overall where 18, it was insane, like 200 people a month, like we're reaching out. And it was ridiculous. There was a point in time where I was on the phone, like four times a day with different people. You know, Monday through Friday, sometimes even on weekends, then 2019, for whatever reason, it seemed like it kinda like died down quite a bit pretty quickly and early on in the year. And towards the end of the year, it started picking up. So it kind of comes and goes. But that's one of the advantages of being on there long enough is you kind of see some of these trends.

Melissa Anzman (15:19): Yeah. So it, I mean, I'm like, so this is so interesting to me, cause I never knew and I'm like use the platform, right? Like, I'm that weird person that actually has used the platform, but never really understood that there was this type of juice behind it. So with this, like, what I'd love to know is how this platform still works for your business or in your businesses or as part of it, like, cause you have an agency correct me if I'm wrong there, but you have an agency that's so big on Google search and Google ads. Right. And so for me, my thought is, well, how, how does Upwork fit into your agency? So how does that work now?

Jarod Spiewak (16:02): Yeah, sure. So one of the biggest changes that has happened over time is just as, as we've gotten,umore popular, if you will, our prices have had to increase as well. And this is one of the biggest questions that people have when it comes to these third party platforms is, Oh, everybody has a really low budget, which there are a lot of people with very low budgets, but they're also, I've signed five figure a month deals off these platforms as well. So, hver time, what has happened is gotten, heally honed in on the types of words and phrases and the types of people that will post, hobs on there. We're very quickly, we might be able to go, okay, there are 50 new people who have posted jobs of these, five of them are worth actually reaching out to and, hust over time home the system for it.

Jarod Spiewak (16:48): And what it plays into is just very easily, you know do you have a budget? This is what we do. If it's aligned, you know, then let's work together. It's not all that different from if somebody comes from us from, you know, listen to a podcast that I was on or reading a blog post you know, this the biggest differences is that if someone comes to us directly, they're generally only talking to maybe one other person where on these platforms, sometimes they're talking to three to five other people in which case sometimes we'll just back out because it's just, you know, people like to play games, especially when they're like, you know, you know, this person saying this, this other person saying this, this other person saying this, you know, it's just not a good fit. So over time, which has gotten a lot more,uselective, if you will,uwould just, you know, there's a fewer number of qualified businesses for us on these platforms. Uyeah, I guess that's the, and unless there's something specific that you think that

Melissa Anzman (17:45): No, I mean, I think the cool thing, like the sort of missing gap is that you still use it as lead gen for your business, for your agency. Like you have an established business now you're not on there taking $5 an hour jobs anymore. Right. Thankfully, but it is still a lead gen opportunity for you. And you said you find people there too to work on your stuff. Like, so it's definitely become part of your business. It sounds like.

Jarod Spiewak (18:14): Right. For sure. I, I used to track this a lot better. I I'm I'm pretty anal about tracking things. If you see anything else I put out there, I constantly talk about tracking. And one of the things that I did when we were, when I was much more bullish on the platform,uwhich was just tracking every opportunity that came in, how much is that actually worth? And just looking at how many, basically we were getting reached out to on a monthly basis between 50 and 75,000 and new lifetime revenue, if they were to close. And so it was very much so worth it because we won't sign every single one of those deals. But even if we only signed, you know, five, 10, 20% of them, that's still quite worthwhile. And what it actually did, huite historically, is that even though, as we grow, there was a lower percentage of people that we could actually take on our client base because we focus on, hou know, I just call it being boutique was just means we limit how many clients we work with.

Jarod Spiewak (19:13): We only work with 30 accounts at max right now, is that because we have a good retention rate, we don't need, you know, 10 new people coming to us every month. You know, I signed on maybe one or two people a month if that, you know, depending on, you know, our availability. And so because of that, we can pack off back off quite a bit and be very selective with who we're working with, which works in our favor of, hou know, if there's a bad time on this platform, there's just nothing worthwhile. Then it doesn't matter if it's really good. And there's a couple of great deals, great. You know, let's take it home. Maybe we're overworked for a bit, you know, but you know, we'll kind of figure it out.

Melissa Anzman (19:44): That's so interesting. It's just so interesting that you're leveraging the platform and as you grow, it's, it's growing with you in a different way. So I, I love that type of launch, but you know, as the expert in all things, Google, I am not going to let you get off this podcast without sharing some what's working. What's not. So usually I ask these hard questions when it comes to the launch itself, but I think you've shared some great info information about the Upwork platform about how you lead gen through there and what to pay attention to. So instead I'd love to know I'm going to from like a Google SEO perspective or even PPC what's working right now, like what is really crushing it for your agency clients, maybe for you, like what's really working right now.

Jarod Spiewak (20:32): Yeah. So what it's really working is one tracking. This is I get an, I mentioned this all the time. I cannot tell you how often I get into an account, whether it's a business that does like 200,000 a year or $10 million a year, and they don't have simple conversion tracking set up and they spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a month on their advertising. And you cannot tell what is actually generated leads. And they go, well, I feel like it's working. Oh my gosh,

Melissa Anzman (21:02): Stop it for everybody. Yeah, no, I'm like, listen, I am all about metrics. I teach a course on it, but I still don't have my conversion tracking set up in Google analytics. Like it's so bad, but it's, I get you. It's really important. Okay. So having your tracking is number one.

Jarod Spiewak (21:22): Yes. And the reason why it's number one is that everything you need to do to optimize an account,uwithin Google ads or to make, you know, to determine the success on a SEO has to be based off of that because you're investing in marketing because you want to make more money, not just because you have a whole burning in your pocket. Right? And so what happens is when you actually have conversion tracking set up, you're able to narrow down,uyou know, if you're in the wrong with PBC, what zip codes, what cities, what counties really drive the best result, what days of the week drive the best results, maybe Thursdays get you fairly cheap clicks. So you've been super happy about that, but they really suck for converting people. And so your conversionary on Thursdays 6%, where on average, the rest of the week, it's closer to 10, 12%.

Jarod Spiewak (22:07): So what you can do in there is lower, what you're willing to pay on Thursdays. So your cost per click goes down. And so if you do get clicks on Thursdays, it's worth it. Cause you've kind of hedged your bet, but with the cheaper clicks and you can spend more money on the days that actually work better. And that's a lot of the nuance that surprisingly a lot of, you know, regardless of the size of the business, I still don't see a whole lot. What I do see is a lot of micro changes where here's a plus 5%, here's a minus 5% for a bunch of different areas that don't really make a whole lot of sense. And so that's when that's one of the big things is that tracking allows you to actually optimize your account based on what's working for conversions. Uanother thing is if you want to get more,utechnical, if you will, is to take a strategy first approach, which isn't just, Hey, let's just set up our search ads and run.

Jarod Spiewak (23:01): It is actually look at what's going to work best. I got off a phone call with a company who said, okay, great. Here's our search ads. You know, we want you to take it over re we're ready to pay you. I told them no, because I looked at their business, their modeled their market. And I said, video ads are gonna work really great for you. Do you have a video? No. Okay, great. I'm not willing to work with you because I know for a fact that video in their market would drive the lowest cost per conversion and that they had a product that would really engage with people on video, but they're on a price battle on search, competing against household name brands that can drive them into the ground if they want it to. And so for them, you know, it you know, really thinking about what your actual strategy is before you just start to dive just makes a whole lot more sense.

Jarod Spiewak (23:48): So for example, something that depending on who you ask, they either like, or don't like his competitor name bidding is you know, bidding against when your competitors, some people like it because Hey, it's very common in the SAS space. E-Commerce as well as service-based businesses, it's more of a debate. But what a lot of people will do, will they go, okay, great. Let's spit on company, A's name and company B's name, but what happens, especially in the service based business world is most people when they're searching for that, they're already a customer of that business. You have a 0% chance of converting with them. Sure. You might get clicks. You might actually get calls, which shows you, you actually get conversions. And this is where the tracking comes in. We might not actually get any sales from that. So back to the tracking, you also need to be tracking within your CRM, the source of all your leads. So you can actually, you can tie it back into what actual keywords drove customers and not just clicks. Now, if your e-commerce assassins all built in, cause you probably tracking your sales through analytics. So that's a little bit different story. But I digress there. So tracking very important. So yeah, so understanding what's actually you know, converting for you and going to work. Yeah,

Melissa Anzman (24:57): Yeah. So interesting. And also I'm sitting here like head in hand of like, Oh my gosh, I'm failing. Uso that's good. It's good. I have lots of room to improve on that front. What, like, so there's more people at home. There's more people searching right now. There's likely more people competing for ads on Google. Uand so has, has the current situation changed a lot for your clients that you're seeing or not so much, if you have a good strategy and tracking,

Jarod Spiewak (25:29): We've seen swings in both directions? So for one of our clients is,uone of is one of, if not the largest, u,D retailer in the U S within their specific market. And they saw daily sales better than black Friday, as soon as the fall hit. So they, you know, they were all like, okay, great. Let's all drink every night and party because you know, sales are absolutely insane right now. Whereas for other clients such as, u,try-level we work with the, in their local area, I've managed to find a statistic for them. So I don't know how true it is, but within their area that they serve driving was down 54 to 91% and they focus on car accidents. So they're immediately they're overall phone calls dropped by about 60, 70% for another client who is a family lawyer. What was predicted was everyone's home with their spouse.

Jarod Spiewak (26:22): There's going to be a lot more divorces happening. So what happened was they didn't see too many changes during the you know, March, April, which is where I would say most things start to drop. Like they did see a decrease, but not as extensive, it may be like 20, 30%, I'd say off the top of my head ever. Once everything is kind of you know, things are start operating relatively normal where they are, they've their conversion rate on Google ads has gone from 20 something percent to over 40%. And it's been like that for like a month or two. However, as like, we always, pre-phase, we've pre faced so many reports with them so far as like, we expect this to drop at some point. Cause it's, it's just not maintainable at that rate, but they've seen a massive drop in their cost per conversion and a massive increase in their conversion rate. And my theory behind that is just that people are just annoyed and they're, they're like ready to go.

Melissa Anzman (27:16): Right, right. They've hit their limit. They're sort of seeing what's out there. That's so funny. Not on their pain, but just in general, like how humans are, that sounded really terrible. Anyway. what would you say is just not working, right. So what is, what has either maybe worked in the past, but totally just not working right now. Or just you're seeing that working right now, especially for more service businesses like coaches, consultants, online course creators, like, what do you see is not working right now? And everyone should just immediately stop or re-examine their life.

Jarod Spiewak (27:51): Sure. So what's, what's not working is being a for lack of a better term up me as well kind of brand, which is just, I'm a coach, everybody's a coach nowadays. Like anybody, you talk to their, their coach, their consultant or something, you know get constantly targeted by ads from, you know, a million different, you know, here's how to make your business work and so on and so forth. So what really matters here is the brand and the creative way more so than anything else, what you do outside. So when, when businesses pay us for their ads, their SEO, whatever, they're paying us to generate more traffic to their website, they're paying us to manage their ad, spend to test their ad creatives and so on. If the ad creative sucks, the results are going to suck. If the brand sucks, the SEO is going to suck.

Jarod Spiewak (28:49): And so what happens is a brand isn't necessarily thought about first before, Hey, let's invest heavy, heavily into SEO. And then you get all this traffic and you're not getting conversions because they click on your website. And then they click on three other coaches website. When they put in that Google search, that's what people do they shop around. They look at other websites and they're like, huh, everyone looks the same here. And so, you know, who do you contact or maybe contact all four of them? Same thing with, you know, Google ads it's, you know, does your, is your display ad really catching? Does that really look that different from all the other 10,000 coaches in the same space, targeting people in the same way versus your YouTube video? Is it really understand out? So if you create a ad at that level, or you're competing against ads at that level, you're, you're not gonna win.

Jarod Spiewak (29:38): Yeah. You're just not going to win it. So that's, that's one thing. Another thing that I see way too often nowadays, is that SEO has been,uromanticized where it is that thing that can drive you forward. It has that snowballing effect where, you know, over time it can grow bigger and bigger. But what has happened is that a lot of people have decided to start investing in SEO. Then they wait six, eight, 12, depending on your competition, maybe 24 months to really see that, you know, that kind of growth that you wanted and then nothing happens. And you invest all this money all this time. Nothing happens because you didn't, pre-test the SEO with something like Google ads. You didn't, you're a,uI don't know, let's say you're an, what, what kind of let's use an example? What kind of coach you want? Yeah.

Melissa Anzman (30:26): Let's, let's use a course creator, correct?

Jarod Spiewak (30:29): Sure. So let's say you help people create their online courses and you decide to in this case, let's just use a certain network. So someone types in, you know, how to create an online course or, you know, coach for online course or whatever it may be. Right. And you spend all this time, money and effort ranking on SEO, you know, six, 12 months. What are you going to expect? You have no idea what to expect until that has happened. So you've invested in this space. Probably I'm assuming probably between two and five grand a month, if not more, depending on the competition of that space, I'm not really sure. Ufor, you know, three, six, 12 plus months, and then nothing happens because you could have very easily taken grand, two grand, three grand a month, put an SEO, I'm sorry. Put it on the PPE bid against the same exact keywords, right? The same exact landing page, and then figured out what's your conversion rate? What's your lifetime value from this? What's your customer acquisition cost.

Melissa Anzman (31:23): And if they're the, even the right people, right. You can test that as you go. Yeah.

Jarod Spiewak (31:26): And then you can test against that. I mean, we have a, I can't share too many details here, but we have a client where we've increased their call volume off the top of my head, maybe about 50% or so. And they get just as many customers as beforehand, because what happens? We can see the calls go up. We can see that they're qualified calls. They're just not converting them. But they're also this individual client's a bit stuck on where they refuse to admit that the problem is on their businesses end. But if they had done something like PPC, right, they would have, they wouldn't have had to await this like year to reach this milestone where they great. You know, when we Google this, we show up and we're at the top. Why aren't we getting any more, you know customers from this? Well, if you had started on PPC, you would have known, it makes no sense for, okay, I'll rephrase that for a lot of businesses. It does not make sense to invest in SEO before you have a solid PPC campaign, because so many facts,

Melissa Anzman (32:17): This is gold. This is mindblowing by the way. And the re and it's probably, I mean, you're such an expert, it's probably not to you, but for so many of us who may know enough to be dangerous about all those things, right. The gold standard out there is like SEO, SEO, SEO, just make sure you optimize SEO, optimize your keywords on your blog, post your images and your, all the things. Right. And so when people are doing that, they're thinking, okay, I'm really optimizing. I'm going hard with SEO. I don't know a ton of coaches who actually hire SEO. And I think that's a mistake in a little way, but only after they've now tried the PPC hiring. But it's the same thing is like, we know SEO is a long tail and yet we don't know what the results are going to be. And we don't even think to test them with a PPC ad. Like that's crazy to me now that you've outlined that

Jarod Spiewak (33:07): It's a matter of pre-testing and know something you'll you'll most likely do long-term with PPC is you'll have a dedicated landing page that you only send paid traffic to, and it will convert better. But typically what I advise people is if they is to send it to the direct pace that they would rank on SEO to pre-test that pace, you know, the conversion rate of the page, and then build out a landing page, which will most likely convert higher because then you know what that page is working as well. And then you can also use that for conversion rate optimization testing is if you don't want to set up something like VWO or Google optimize or whatever on your main website, you can test that through Google ads. You can, you know, test your messaging on there. You can give you one to two, if you don't even know if your product or service is going to work, spend five, $10 a day, promoting it on Google ads, even if you don't have it yet, it's kind of a, you know, kind of a gray header, if you will.

Jarod Spiewak (33:57): Okay, great. Here's my offer. Are people actually signing up for this? No. Then why am I going to, you know, promote it through my other channels? It's a matter of matching your marketing to your market, if you will. Which is kind of funny because SEO might not even work for you in the first place. Facebook ads might be the best route forward for you. It might be that you're really good in person. Like you just have an amazing personality or a great people person and doing anything that isn't you know, right up in front and personal is going to work for you. I mean I've I have a buddy who is just in Kentucky and he's like, you know, if you want to do business here, you need to meet them in person. You need to be face to face. Cause that's just the way that they operate.

Jarod Spiewak (34:37): So if that's your target market, you know, doing stuff a little bit more impersonal might not be related to that culture, especially when you get into like Southern us. It's just how it tends to be around there. So you need to match your market with your market, with your marketing. And so it's, again, it just kind of goes back to taking a strategy first approach, which is, you know don't just dive in and just hope for the best another big mistake that I see, especially this year, we have so many people with everything with COVID turning their side business into their full-time business, or finally launching that project, or they got laid off and like, okay, great. This is what I'm doing now. And the first thing they do is, okay, great. Let me hire an SEO. If your website, isn't at least a year old don't

Melissa Anzman (35:17): Right. That blows my mind. That that's like what the first thing they're doing. Cause that's not what you should eat. First.

Jarod Spiewak (35:23): It takes so long to get results in the, the weaker, the website is the longer it will take. And the complexity of SEO is that there are things that you can do without ever knowing the SEO exists and still improve the SEO of your website, because there are an unknown of factors. And it's a lot more to give you a mindblowing example, if you will, we have a client, there are, they operate on a national basis. They did an internal correlation study with their own internal marketing team. So it's not like me just like pressing off this data and being like, Hey, here's some like BS thing is that they found that in locations where they have billboards, they get a higher Google through rate. Meaning they get more traffic from Google because they're billboards. Yeah. That's not saying that your billboards, Google goes, Hey, you know, we found a billboard on a camera.

Jarod Spiewak (36:05): Let's rank you higher, but their brand name is more recognizable. So they have, so people are more likely to click on them, which just goes into the psychology of marketing. People are more attracted to things that they feel more comfortable and familiar with. So the brand name recognition, even if it's just a subconscious, rather than conscious, it's going to drive more clicks. And if you want to get into the tinfoil hat of marketing Google CTR, or getting more clicks on Google can improve your rankings. And this is actually just developed in Congress where I can't remember the name of it, but where every year Google, Amazon, Apple and their, their CEOs have to testify against Congress basically of like, Hey, you know, should we consider you have a monopoly yet or not basically. And Google had gave over some documents.

Jarod Spiewak (36:45): Some of which said that, Hey, you know, we have the systems in place that we can use clicks to influence rankings is big kind of thing. There's a couple of people industry that said a couple of funny things. I won't dive into it just for sake of time. But what's interesting is that you can then say to a certain extent that them potentially having those billboards not only increase the brand presence on Google, where people are maybe more likely to click on them on Google, but also may actually lead because they have a higher click through rate may technically possibly lead to in some cases, higher rankings, depending on who you asked, depends on what it says. So it's just a much more complex system. Google has systems where they can use your phone. Oh, we're not on camera. So that doesn't matter that I just held up my phone.

Jarod Spiewak (37:23): So they can, they have a patent where they can use your phone to determine how popular your business is by how many people enter your business, your storefront be by just using location data. When you go on Google maps, you can see what times of day is, is business more popular. They could use that information to go, okay, well, this retail store gets 500 people per day. This other store gets like 30. This one's clearly more popular again, just because they have a patent on something doesn't mean that they actually use it within their algorithms. But this just kind of goes to the complexity of it, where for smaller businesses that don't have one of the business acumen, but also the marketing acumen. It tends to be a waste of money. And in my opinion, this is where a lot of the bad reputation that SEO kind of gets is one. There's a lot of people that enter the space that don't know what they're doing. That's true. But two, there's a lot of people that dive in and want don't get good advice from the people that they're hiring, which is a big issue. That's on my industry side of things, but also diving into early and without knowing that you can actually expect and how this actually works to a certain degree.

Melissa Anzman (38:18): Oh my gosh, this was, wow. My mind is blown. I'm like, so Jasmine, I could talk about this for hours, cause I'm super nerdy about it and you're the expert. So I would just take notes up and down the wall. But in the interest of time, let's sort of have everybody, where can they learn more about you, Jarod? Where can they find you online to, to work with you, to learn more about what you do, what your agency does, where, where can they find you?

Jarod Spiewak (38:45): Yeah, sure. So my super unsexy CTA is just go to comment, fuel.com, C O M E T F U E L a.com. And that is where we're rebranding launching sometime in the next month or two. So depending on when this comes out, it'll either be a blank website or the website will finally be live. Umut you'll be able to check out some content. There it'll link to like my personal socials. I just asked, Hey, come check out some content. We have some free spreadsheets and stuff. If that's your thing that you can come and download, but I don't have any, heart cells, but if you want to get in touch, feel free to yeah.

Melissa Anzman (39:17): So awesome. Jarod, it has been such a pleasure to learn about your story, how you grew your agency, and then also all of the craziness with your knowledge with Google. So thank you so much for being on the show today. Thank you for having me.

Melissa Anzman (39:32): To join the Launch Yourself workshop where you'll learn, why your digital products aren't selling nearly as much as you planned for and how to diversify and scale your income by launching the right way. Text: launchyourself, all one word to: 44222.