Why is it that some websites rank on page #1 of Google, while others (that look seemingly great) fail to get attention and attract an ideal audience? Today, you’re going to find out!
I’m speaking with Sagi Shilo, Founder of Purely Branded, a boutique web design company focused on delivering digital marketing and branding solutions for business owners. Sagi is also a successful YouTuber (Tech Gear Talk) who truly understands the digital marketing landscape.
What I love is that Sagi’s team took the time to really dig into our business and identify the key areas for improvement. And the results have been awesome!
In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:
Is your website helping to positioning you as an authority and attracting your ideal target audience? If not…
Hi. This is your host, Andrew Rafal, the founder and CEO of Bayntree Wealth Advisors and I wanted to personally welcome you to Your Wealth & Beyond, a podcast that will empower you, the entrepreneur and business owner, with the insight and information you need to effectively manage and control your personal and professional finances. My goal is to help each of you get your fiscal house in order so that you could take your business to the next level. We’re going to be looking at things through a financial lens. I’m going to help you focus on growing your business, building your wealth, and most importantly, finding purpose in what matters most.
[00:00:47] Andrew: Welcome everybody to another episode of Your Wealth & Beyond, the podcast built to help you, the entrepreneur, build your business and find purpose. Today, I am very excited to have on the show not only a good friend and business partner but one that I truly value his overall guidance in regard to all things branding, search engine marketing, and continue evolving with the video side of things. And today, I have the owner and founder of Purely Branded, Sagi Shilo. How are you doing today?
[00:01:23] Sagi: I’m doing great, Andrew. Thank you so much for having me on. I’m really excited to see you incorporate this podcast into your overall strategy. I think it’s a really smart move on your side. And like I said, I’m super excited to be on.
[00:01:36] Andrew: Awesome. And when we look at the podcast and we look at what we’re trying to do here, we’re trying to help you, the business owner, you the entrepreneur, continue to build not only your culture but I think, Sagi, from the standpoint of branding and what each company is striving for to get the messaging out, that is one of the catalyst that can make or break a company. And quick background, I believe you’ve been in the branding and marketing side of things for almost two decades now. Can you talk through a little bit before we get started here who Sagi is and your passion for this side of the business as well as for you becoming a serial entrepreneur all these years? Where did you get that passion?
[00:02:16] Sagi: All right. You pretty much hit the nail on the head there. I’m an entrepreneur by nature. I started my first company 17 years ago when I was 24. I actually went to the University of Rochester and studied Developmental Psychopathology and I was on my way to getting a PhD in clinical psych, but I realized very quickly that that wasn’t the right choice for me. So, I ended up taking a six-month class in computer programming and then pretty much learned everything else I could on what wasn’t even Google back then. And after about working on the product for about six months, my friend and I launched a cloud-based property management system back in 2001. Again, back then when it was completely unheard of to do something in the cloud. And one of the features of that system is that we integrated with our client’s websites where we would literally take a part of their site and build a theme in our system to match it. And as boring as that may sound to most people, it offered me a pretty unique opportunity to literally take apart thousands of websites and see how they’re built. Some were successful, and most were not but it provided invaluable insight.
[00:03:25] Andrew: And when you were doing that back in early ‘01, ‘02, I mean, obviously there was no WordPress then, was this just straight HTML coding and was that the technology that was being used at that point?
[00:03:36] Sagi: Absolutely. No one was really using content management systems back then. It was just a static HTML site and that that moved into include files even. But even that, yes, it’s just basic static websites back then.
[00:03:49] Andrew: And before I got into the financial services space, back around that same time, I actually started with a company out here that did search engine marketing and back in 2001 and 2002, and this is before Google was Google, we were as I’m sure you as well, we were trying to position a marketing aspect that didn’t really exist to these companies. So, I’m sure that that was something that you probably found challenging as to try to impress upon these business owners that this is the evolution. This is where it’s headed but you were really an innovator at that time it sounds like.
[00:04:20] Sagi: And you know, what I ended up finding out is that I would sit there and talk to our clients because that wasn’t the focus of our business back then. I would just keep giving them advice saying, “Do this, do this, do this, try this, you’re doing that, implement this strategy.” And finally, they came to me and they said, “Well, why don’t you do it?” So, I think that I immediately identified a need there but at that time we were growing our other business and so this wasn’t really the focus. And it wasn’t until a few years later when the product was more stable, and I started my first web design company in 2003, and then I realized we’re doing a lot more than just web design per se and we’re really helping these businesses create an online identity. And basically, I like to tell people that until proven otherwise, you are what the Web says you are.
[00:05:08] Andrew: Yep. And I think part of that is maybe your clinical psychology background was helpful there as you were trying to learn and guide the clients as to what you think is going to be most beneficial for them. Do you find that to be something that was helpful?
[00:05:22] Sagi: I think you’re right there. There’s such an emotional component to everything that we do. And those are the types of things when you talk about brand and you talk about messaging, all the subtext that exist, if someone is on your website and they have a feeling, they probably can’t describe it but when they leave a website, they either had a positive experience or a negative one. And it’s really not important for them to be able to say, “This is why.” The fact is what it is. And I think it’s very important for business owners as they think about their website to really understand the implications of all the decisions that they’re making and that’s what consumers are using right now to make buying decisions.
[00:06:08] Andrew: And so, you’ve worked with dozens and dozens of businesses over the years and obviously, technology has changed and evolved which we’ll get into but kind of looking at things high level, what mistakes do you see a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs do with regards to their digital marketing from the website to how they’re positioning themselves to their messaging?
[00:06:31] Sagi: I think that one of the biggest challenges that face business owners is they don’t actually listen to what their clients want. So, when we have initial conversations, they may say, “Well, our clients come to our website for these four reasons.” But then we may look at the analytics of their website and say, “Okay. But 80% of your traffic is actually going to these pages right here,” and I think it’s sometimes a lack of research and work done upfront to actually identify the needs, the true needs of your clients that sometimes gets in the way of developing and I’m starting that digital presence with the website but of course that we expand from there.
[00:07:18] Andrew: Right. I think, too, being a serial entrepreneur and kind of it’s nurturing your baby, you probably when you look at this is things when you look at branding and if you come into the mix after a company’s been built and they’ve got their logo and they’ve got their mission statement and you’re looking at it and saying, “You know what, this probably isn’t working.” But it’s hard to go back to that business owner who may have an ego involved in it, right, in saying, “This isn’t going to work.” And I think from your standpoint you got to, I assume, have to massage that. You have to be very, very – cover the provisions of not stepping on their toes but when you know it’s not working and you try to leave that to the client, has that been an issue in getting them to make those changes that you know fundamentally will work to their benefit?
[00:08:03] Sagi: And you crushed it there. That’s a big, big pain point because especially like you said if it’s an established company and this is how we’ve been doing it for four years back then. Like you said, the owner was probably the person who came up with the logo to begin with and they have all the emotions, that huge investment in what they have so far. And a big part of my job is really to educate about why this particular approach might not be the best for you. And what’s important for business owners to understand is that they’re not designing a website for themselves and they’re not even designing a website for me. It doesn’t matter if I like it. It doesn’t matter if they like it. What’s important is their clients like it.
[00:08:52] Andrew: And I think, too, that so important there is looking at putting yourself in that client’s shoe and making sure when we look at website from our side and you helping us in establishing our branding within the digital world, so many sites we see today are not mobile-friendly. So, no matter how good your content is, no matter how good the logos and the colors are if you’re not evolving with where the people are going which is whether it be mobile, iPads etcetera, but not having that mobile-friendly website, you’re dead in the water there. I know all of your sites now have that but is that something that – do you see that as still a big issue with some of those sites out there where they spend a lot of money and they’re just living six, seven, eight years in the past?
[00:09:38] Sagi: It really is and it’s surprising to look at larger companies even and the website is not “responsive” is the term we use now. So, we used to use mobile sites where we’ve designed one website for a desktop version and another one for cellphones back in the day when they’re all pretty much the same size. But now as you mentioned with laptops and iPads and tablets, I can hold it vertically, I can hold it horizontally, a responsive design is called there because it responds to the width of the device that you’re using. And there are lots of advantages there. First of all, you only have to manage one website and it will reconfigure itself to whatever device the user is using. And also, we’ll touch on this more a little bit as we get into talking about search engine optimization, Google’s actually made a shift where it considers that part of the algorithm. So, if your website is not responsive or mobile friendly, it is being penalized in the search engine results.
[00:10:38] Andrew: So, if I’m a business owner, I’m thinking to myself I’m listening to this podcast and I’m like, “Oh my goodness, I don’t know if I’m mobile responsive,” or I guess responsive is the term. So, what’s a real quick way for somebody who’s listening to the podcast, who goes on right now to Chrome and wants to identify on their site if it’s mobile responsive? What would I do?
[00:11:02] Sagi: So, the easiest thing to do would just bring up your website and then slowly shrink your browser from right to left. So, literally click on the right edge of your browser and drag it slowly to the left making it shrink horizontally. If you see a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom at any point, that means your website is not responsive. That means when someone goes through it on their phone, they’ll either have to swipe left and right in order to read all the text or they’ll have to zoom in and out with two fingers in order to be able to read your text.
[00:11:37] Andrew: Very, very great advice there. So, listeners, I would recommend whether you do it after the show or even right now is check on that and if it isn’t mobile responsive, you need to make a phone call to your web design company. Part of after today in the show notes you’ll have the ability to contact Sagi’s team at Purely Branded. They can do a quick consultation for you. But I don’t know what the percentages of now that people are going online and viewing websites and company pages on mobile and tablets. Do you have any idea of what that percentage is versus the regular computer?
[00:12:12] Sagi: You mean in terms of access?
[00:12:14] Andrew: Yeah. So, you take the consumer. What’s that percentage of people that are going to your website on a mobile, a cell, a laptop, tablet, etcetera?
[00:12:21] Sagi: So, what we’re seeing, and we manage hundreds of websites, is that it’s above 50. So, your average user is using their cellphone primarily and all research points to the fact that desktops are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
[00:12:38] Andrew: Sorry, Dell, you’re the past.
[00:12:41] Sagi: Absolutely.
[00:12:42] Andrew: So, and think about it, like if I know personally if I’m on my phone which I’m only on like 23 hours of the day but if I go to a website and it’s not responsive, I’m gone. See you later. You may have gotten me for maybe 12 seconds but I’m not sticking around. Would you agree?
[00:12:56] Sagi: Absolutely. If the experience is not optimal there, if I’m having to continuously scroll left to right, I have to zoom in and out, every time I try to click on a link, I can’t, it’s too small for my finger, I tell all of our clients that they need to always remember, their website is always one click away from someone closing you and just go into the next one. If I search for anything on Google, I’m going to get hundreds of results. Even if you show up first, I’ll go check out your website. But if I don’t like what I see, one click, next result. It’s just that simple.
[00:13:29] Andrew: And we’ll dig a little deeper, but we talked earlier and just right now about being able to identify what pages within the website that consumers are going to, how long are they on that page? Are they then jumping off at that certain page? How does a business owner or the business owner in the marketing team, what type of technology are they using to identify that?
[00:13:51] Sagi: So, we primarily use Google Analytics. It’s a free tool. We can just go create an account and you go to GoogleAnalytics.com. And once you create an account, you install a little snippet of code or your web designer will do it for you. It goes on every page and that tracks the behavior of your clients and it gives you tons of valuable information.
[00:14:11] Andrew: And one of the things we’ve seen by using Google Analytics, having the rebrand of Bayntree over the last now two years, one of the things and I assume this is probably the same aspect for other people’s website is that really the most trafficked page on our site besides our homepage is the About Us, meaning who is the Bayntree team? So, when we’re armed with that information then I can go back to you and say, “Okay. Sagi, this is where the traffic’s going. Let’s make sure that we’re fully utilizing and optimizing that client experience,” and we’ll talk through a little bit later on maybe how to get opt-ins and how we use a technology called Sumo.
But for you listeners out there, if you aren’t on Google Analytics, get on there today. As Sagi said, it’s a free add-on and as you learn it and you dig into it, it helps you identify where these viewers are going, where they may be dropping off, what keywords people are finding you on, even real-time. You can see how many people are on your site. So, if you’re running something, maybe you’re doing a Facebook ad or a Facebook Live, you can actually track to see who’s on the site at that particular juncture and what part of the world they’re actually coming from. So, from our standpoint is I think information is power no matter what and especially in the marketing and branding site.
[00:15:27] Sagi: And to build on what you said, you’re then making strategic decisions. You’re not guessing. You know for a fact, for example, on your website that the second highest ranked page is the About Us page. You don’t think it is. You know it is. And so, when you invest in optimizing that page and creating a call to action and directing visitors to another page from there, you know that that funnel is true. You’re not guessing.
[00:15:54] Andrew: So, when we think of Google, and there’s life before Google and then there’s now, thinking back when we both got in the business in the late 90s when Google was just trying to find its way, the search engine marketing side, it was kind of the Wild West. And, listeners, you may not even recall this, but it was all about trying to trick Google and, what else, Alta Vista. Remember Alta Vista? That was a big one. Netscape. But these were all the search engines that were there and there really was no rhyme or reason right there. We’re trying to tweak their algorithms but what companies do is create these dummy pages. They would trick the index into leading them from let’s say somebody is searching for Madonna. Obviously, that’s a high-trafficked word back then. Well, it leads them to a site that might be into financial services. It had no rhyme or reason and what you were just getting to the business at that point so I’m sure you kind of had a deal with some of those situations where then they sort of block you and things like that.
[00:16:49] Sagi: Exactly. And what we saw is that we would deal with customers after they got blocked because the advantage of those, let’s call them black hat techniques, is that they work in a short-term. So, they really did. Someone went and they put Madonna in white text on a white background a thousand times at the bottom of your website and no visitor would see it, but the search engine couldn’t help but read it. So, they actually worked. The penalty was pretty harsh that once Google realized that people are doing it, your site was blocked completely like you would not show up for any search results even if they typed in your URL exactly into the Google search engine. So, what we were dealing with is clients that were promised something, I suppose it was delivered in a very short term, and then now they’re sort of dead in the water without a website.
[00:17:42] Andrew: And for you, millennials, don’t worry, in our show notes we’ll have in there who Madonna is and you’ll be able to find out a little bit more about her. Now when we think about this moat that Google’s built and thinking in terms of I wouldn’t even say an oligarchy. It’s a monopoly. The key is if you’re not coming up within Google whether it be organic or figuring out which we’ll talk a little bit about the page search, nobody’s really finding you. Any competitors out, I mean, is Bing close or really Google is what we have to focus on as business owners in trying to market the site?
[00:18:14] Sagi: I mean, Google is crushing it. So, Bing is not close. And if you think it’s worth spending a few minutes on explaining how search engines work or do you think the average listener understands the concept?
[00:18:26] Andrew: I think one of the things I wanted to pick your brain on in how you’re using it with clients is when we look at organic search, obviously Google’s always changing their indexing and that cat-and-mouse games but walk the listeners through maybe high-level of what the reasons are why certain sites are on page 1 versus another site that may look great but is on page 10 within the Google rankings.
[00:18:50] Sagi: Okay. So, essentially what happens is think of the internet as a library and every website is a book there, and basically, Google’s behaving like a librarian. So, when it read all the books and then you as a visitor come in and you say, “I’m searching for a Cleveland heating and cooling company.” And so what Google does is it looks at all the websites that are out there and then it orders them in the order that it thinks is most relevant to you. And as you just touched on, there are two types of results that Google serves, organic and paid. So, organic are the results of the actual Google algorithm. That’s what Google believes is the best result for what the person is searching for. The paid results are paid ads and we’ll touch on that later on and there is a certain way that those are sorted based on the amount of money that you’re willing to pay. Now things for people to think about. Google, as we said definitely the largest search engine in the world if you believe it or not, returns more than 3.5 billion searches or search queries a day. It just is what it is. It’s what people are doing. It’s how we look for information and businesses that have failed to recognize that are losing.
[00:20:03] Andrew: So, when you think about this, this keyword density, right? So, you talked about this Cleveland heating cooling company, four or five phrases there. So, when you look at that, if I’m a consumer and I’m in Cleveland and I’ve got a heating issue, I’m not going to just type in heating company.
[00:20:19] Sagi: Exactly.
[00:20:20] Andrew: I’m going to get detailed and get granular there and if I’m the heating company, if I’m a local Cleveland Company, I don’t want somebody who’s just looking up heating company because, number one, I’m never going to get found but, number two, that could be somebody that’s all the way on the West Coast in Seattle. So, walk us through how a business then when we look at content and keyword density, what can a business do to become relevant for those three, four, five, maybe even six keyword phrases that the real person, you, me, everybody, when we’re googling something, that’s what we’re putting in?
[00:20:55] Sagi: Okay. So, there are several things that I want to touch on and I broke them down in terms of what drives the rankings. I’ve got strategy, content, backlinks, mobile, technical, and then finally I’ll talk about a little bit about measuring. So, let’s start up with strategy. So, as you mentioned, being found for heating and cooling company is just not going to be successful. If I’m here in Cleveland and someone in Arizona finds me, that’s a waste of a visitor. People are going to leave my site immediately and it’s really not relevant for them. So, I’m much better served by going after what we call localized keywords or phrases, so Cleveland heating company or Cleveland cooling company or cooling company in Cleveland, something that is much more relevant and localized. And so, this all begins with strategy and I think that if you’re working on or thinking about redesigning your website, start out by spending some time to figure out what information needs to be on that website before you even think about how it’s going to look or before creating a content.
[00:22:06] Andrew: And I think there what you got to do is put yourself back into your avatar client and put yourself in their shoes. What would they be looking for? And then build the message around that.
[00:22:17] Sagi: That’s exactly right. There are two audiences for every website and you’ll always have to keep them in mind. There are the visitors, the human visitor that’s reading your website and is looking for your service and there are the search engines. As we mentioned, let’s say we’re talking just about Google and even at this stage you need to make sure that you’re addressing both of them.
[00:22:37] Andrew: And so, we look at strategy and I assume that that ties into the second then which is this content?
[00:22:42] Sagi: That’s right. I like to look at content and I don’t know if we touched on this. So, really, SEO is the process of creating a website in a way that’s aligned with what the search engines are looking for. All right. And what the search engine is looking for is content. That’s all it can see. It can’t tell what your website looks like if you have great pictures even if you have great video. All it can do is read the content that’s on there. And I like to think of SEO as a process rather than an event. What I mean by that is in order to be successful, it’s something that you’re going to do on an ongoing basis.
[00:23:19] Andrew: When I grew up, my family said, “Don’t toot your own horn.” Not the best thing but, you know what, let’s toot the horn of Bayntree right now. Because we work together on this and I think if we use some examples here, what we’ve done working together because I understand this world maybe more so than other business owners which makes I’m sure you’ll love working with me, Sagi, a guy who understands this world versus somebody who is not. No, I’m just kidding. But ultimately, when we look at strategy and content and let’s tie that into what we’ve together built within the Bayntree site, I was told never toot our own horn but let’s jump in here and do it because we’ve been pretty successful here at positioning Bayntree within those localized words that are effective in getting my target audience to find us.
So, Sagi, obviously, me knowing this world that made it a little bit easier as we were constructing the website but one of the key areas that I think has been successful for us is writing and developing that content that is relevant and, as you stated earlier, continually updating with new content, with new modifications to the website, new videos. That’s been I think instrumental in helping us achieve page 1 ranking and in some cases number one when you type in something like Phoenix financial advisor or Scottsdale financial planning. Obviously, financial planning isn’t going to get me anywhere and I’m not going to get positioned there and I don’t want that person. But if somebody types in Scottsdale financial advisor, I want Bayntree to be up there top of the list with the rest of the big dog companies, and we’ve been able to do that in a short period of time. What do you think beyond some of the things I just touched on, what do you think some of the things that we’ve done with this site to get us positioned there?
[00:25:02] Sagi: Well, I mean, I think that, first of all, what you mentioned was a huge part of it, the fact that you had 100% buy-in into the strategy. I meant that we spent very little time on talking about it and we spent our time and energy on executing. Some of the things that you’ve done that have been hugely successful are looking at your analytics and using the analytics to create a baseline for where you rank at any particular point in time and then using that data to guide you in your content creation. So, as I mentioned before, that it’s an ongoing process. So, when we built the website, we sat down, we crafted content for all the relevant pages that we thought the customers would want, and then once we launched, as we both know, ongoing creation of fresh content is an absolute must.
[00:25:58] Andrew: Yep, and making it relevant, not just putting things up because here’s the thing is if you try to load in a bunch of keywords and say, “You know, I’m going to just Phoenix financial planning in Scottsdale.” If it doesn’t make any sense, and Google’s smart enough to realize that you’re just we call it stuffing the keywords within the content, they’re going to penalize you for that. And they’re getting, you know, it’s that cat and mouse game but Google is always ahead of the game there. So, don’t think you can outsmart it by just stuffing in 80 different keywords that you think are relevant.
[00:26:25] Sagi: And not just that, the next visitor that comes to your website and starts reading that article and realizes that it’s a complete nonsense will know exactly what you’re doing and now you just lost all credibility. You worked so hard to build the website, drive traffic to it, you’ve got someone there, and then you’re losing your credibility immediately.
[00:26:46] Andrew: Let’s talk about backlinks because that from our side is we can talk once you go into why that’s so important. I can touch on how that’s helped Bayntree site.
[00:26:55] Sagi: So, backlinks refer to other websites linking back to yours and the reason why that’s part of the algorithm is that if you look on a macro level at that, what that means is if I put a link on my website to your website, that means that I think your information, your service is valuable. It was valuable enough for me to go through the work of putting a link to it. So, I’m guiding people to your website. So, Google looks at that and says, “Huh, if all these websites think that Bayntree.com is an excellent resource for wealth management information, okay, I’m going to use that as I decide how to rank the websites.”
[00:27:41] Andrew: And so then, when you look at the – does Google then favor sites that are more prominent like Forbes or CNBC or Yahoo versus the local heating and cooling company in Cleveland?
[00:27:54] Sagi: So, absolutely. So, as you said, Google is always ahead of the game and one of the things that people did early on when you’re touching on all these black hat techniques is it’s very simple for a company to build 100 websites and just link back to their main websites. And, Google very quickly realized that it needs to weigh the more popular and established websites and give those backlinks more credibility. Now if you think about it, you do the same in your real life if you’re talking to an expert in heating and cooling. You’re going to value their opinion more so of Joe Schmo that doesn’t know anything about heating and cooling.
[00:28:39] Andrew: And one of the things where we’ve been fortunate on, I sometimes have the opportunity to help reporters when they’re writing articles on financial planning, investment management, Social Security planning. So, over the last few years I’ve been in articles ranging from Forbes to CNBC to Yahoo Finance and what’s happened is, is they quote me, so they quote Andrew Rafal of Bayntree, a lot of these sites then we link back to Bayntree’s website. So, if you think of the power there of a Forbes.com linking back to little old Bayntree in the eyes of Google, they’re going to look at it and say, “Well, we got this little company here in Scottsdale, but they’re connected to Forbes and CNBC and US News and World Report. That’s a strong correlation there to position me as a more prominent site than the other local firm that I’m competing with.” Am I accurate in saying how that backlink does help us in positioning better?
[00:29:35] Sagi: Yes. And so, it’s two-fold. So, you’re able to, A, reap the benefit of having that backlink and, yes, because you’ve done so much work. And just to be clear, it’s hard work. It’s a lot of work that Andrew is doing. This is in addition to what he’s got to do every day. He’s making a concerted effort to go and be vocal and reach out so that he’s building these relationships in these links. So, not only are you reaping the benefits of the backlink, you’re then also able to present to your website visitors that you’ve been mentioned in Forbes or USA Today or in any of the big websites that you have, and that builds credibility once we already have them on the website.
[00:30:20] Andrew: And, listeners, one way for you to try to get in touch with these reporters, this is kind of a little side note but it all helps back, it all leads back to the search engine positioning. Well, there are two ways. One is you can hire a PR firm which most of you out there don’t want to do but the other is there are certain sites that are out there and one that has been beneficial for me over the years is called Help a Reporter Out. And this will be in the show notes but every single day even sometimes three or four times a day, I get an email from Help a Reporter Out and it’s going to break down all of these different articles from a lot of different industries. Obviously, I focus on the business and the investment side of it but everyday reporters whether big papers, newspaper outlets, online outlets, or small ones, they’re looking for experts. They’re looking for you to help in their article.
So, what will happen is it’ll say, “Hey, we need an expert in real estate investing in Oklahoma.” Well, if you’re that person, you can then shoot back to them either a quick quote, a blurb, or say, “I’m open to talking with you.” Talk about free publicity. I mean, for me over the years I’ve hired both a PR firm which has been great but then Help a Reporter Out, what happens there is it’s free and then as I continue showing that I am part of these articles, you start building your own credibility and then reporters actually start looking for you and tracking you down. So, Help a Reporter Out, there’s a couple of other ones. We’ll have them in the show notes and I highly recommend no matter what business that you’re in that you spend the time and you look at it throughout the week and all of that then leads back to helping to build credibility which helps with your website which helps to bring and drive more traffic which hopefully will generate more revenue.
[00:32:00] Sagi: That’s a super tip right there.
[00:32:02]Andrew: What was then – I know there was one more key area of search engine marketing.
[00:32:07] Sagi: So, the second to last part of it was the technical aspect. So, obviously, and that’s not so much what the business owner needs to worry about as much as the company that you hire there. There are fundamental technical elements that go into how a website is structured and built that are important. So, things like using H1 and H2 tags, the right keywords, you touched on keyword density and making sure that you’re not keyword stuffing so use the right number of keywords but don’t overdo it, as well as appropriate anchor text to help highlight and then connect to various section of your website. So, as I mentioned, that’s not so much for the business owner as much as it’s something that your development company should take care of it for you.
[00:32:51] Andrew: Excellent. And I think this may lead into a couple of different areas but also with regards to search engine marketing and the power of YouTube, we’re starting to use more video whether it be hosted on our YouTube page, whether it be bringing into the website or whether we’re using it with Facebook ads. So, talk the listener through the power of YouTube and videos first with regards to search engine marketing and then in the scope of everything else. And then I’d like to even touch on how you’ve created in a sense a side hustle, a side business in regard to your passion of all things tech and tying in YouTube and some of the revenue that you’re generating that way.
[00:33:30] Sagi: All right. And so, this is definitely another area that I’m so passionate about and what’s interesting is a lot of times when I talked to a client about video, and let’s use YouTube and video interchangeably. We know that there are other platforms to use. YouTube’s obviously the biggest but we’ll use that sort of interchangeably. So, one of the first things that I hear is clients say to me that, “My clients don’t watch YouTube.” They’re telling me that their clients are not using YouTube. So, let’s dispel that for a second. First of all, YouTube, believe it or not, not Bing, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
[00:34:08] Andrew: So, let’s let that soak in for a second, listeners. YouTube is the second largest and most popular search engine in the world.
[00:34:17] Sagi: And it’s the website with the second highest traffic in the world and it’s only second to Google which obviously owns it. So again, let that sink in.
[00:34:27] Andrew: You talk about a good investment almost a decade ago. I mean, how much did YouTube sell for? A couple of billion?
[00:34:34] Sagi: I think it was like 4.5 billion and everyone thought that was crazy.
[00:34:38] Andrew: I mean you look at the multiple of how that drives the revenue for Google right now. I mean, if it was a standalone company, it would probably be worth close to I’d say close to 80 billion, maybe more.
[00:34:48] Sagi: Yeah. Maybe more. So, I’m just going to throw some more numbers out to you. 1.3 billion users. That’s essentially a third of all Internet users.
[00:34:57] Andrew: Well, plus then as you’ll talk about but like video, the power is that they can see you. They can get a feel for who you are as a person, as a company and that is so powerful beyond maybe even putting dollar signs around it. They can touch you and feel you before they even see you.
[00:35:14] Sagi: I mean, absolutely, but even to the dollar sign, 68% of YouTube users have watched the YouTube video to make a purchasing decision. I mean there’s no question too. I think we’ve established the why. And I want to go into a few fundamentals so that you know if this is something that you think of doing, you’ll know what to expect, and I’ll just go through them fairly quickly. First of all, YouTube and video it’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. Don’t expect immediate results. You’re not going to put up a video and then all of a sudden, the next day see sales shoot up. Expect to create, create, create, give, give, give, give and then you’ll get. And I think once you frame it that way, set your expectations, you’ll see the results.
[00:35:56] Andrew: Yeah. I mean, one thing too is that where a lot of the business owners out there say, “Well, how do I get started?” Do I need all this powerful equipment? And yes, you could have all the powerful equipment and some of the stuff that you’re doing in regard to your Tech Gear Talk site that you’ve built within YouTube but one of the things we do here, and I think has just as much of an effect is we use an iPhone for a lot of our recordings, right, and it’s definitely not the most professional but by having that work, it’s more real. I think it sometimes resonates with our clients and the different prospective clients that we’re going after.
[00:36:30] Sagi: That’s right. If you look at the YouTube as a whole, there are three types of content out there. There is hub, help, and hero. Now hub is really community building, just very quickly, help is just the how-to, and hero, those are going to be those types of very well-produced big videos. Maybe you do one or two a year about some big product release or something like that. For those, and again, that should be a tiny percentage of what you do. For those other two types of videos, production value, a baseline production value is important, but you really don’t need to overdo it and I agree that the fact that it seems like I’m sitting in a room and you’re talking just to me really resonates with clients.
[00:37:15] Andrew: Yep. Just like with the podcast and people do radio shows is that the listener can get a feel for who that person is and get that personality and see if it’s a fit. So, that then you’ve got a warmer potential client than somebody. It’s almost like that pull-in marketing, right? We’re putting out really good content.
[00:37:30] Sagi: Totally.
[00:37:30] Andrew: You’re putting out good content. It’s give, give, give and then all of a sudden, “Hey, I want to talk to that team because they provide extra value.” And I think even with these millennials, this is the way marketing is going and beyond the fact that I love doing this type of podcast and talking to business owners and learning more about how we can grow our business and helping you guys, it’s a great marketing vehicle for us to be able to push out good information. And, hey, I may never get a client from it, but I think overall, we give, we give, we give, and then all of a sudden, we’ll find that right client that will be a fit for us. But it’s not why we went into it.
[00:38:06] Sagi: And like you, I’m a huge believer in giving the value upfront. Obviously, as a marketer there, you’re worried about brand awareness, establishing authority, lead generations converting. Let’s start with giving the value upfront. I promise you it’s going to lead to exactly what you want at the end. But you can’t start with the ask. I mean, that’s just not going to work.
[00:38:28] Andrew: We haven’t earned the trust yet, right? You haven’t earned it in today’s world. Maybe years ago, when it was cold calling and you are selling a commodity but today you have to earn the trust and that starts with give. That starts with pushing out good content without an ulterior motive.
[00:38:42] Sagi: That’s right. So, for example, let’s go back to like a heating and cooling company. So, let’s pretend you start putting out videos like five tips to prolong the life of your boiler, three tips for preparing your home for the winter. So, those are things that presumably are fundamentally in contradiction with your revenue model because you actually make more money when my boiler fails. Not the longer it lasts. But guess what, if I’m watching your videos for two years and I’m following your tips and that eventually, my boiler does fail, who do you think I’m going to call? Like who’s the person that I trust? You’re the person that I come to when I need tips and information. So, then when I need someone to come into my home and install a boiler for me and my family, I’m going to call you. And maybe in a shorter term, you can educate me so like, why it’s critical to have maintenance completed on my boiler every year? And then again, who do you think I’m going to call for that maintenance?
[00:39:35] Andrew: So, you’re going through some good stuff there. So, this call to action, this little mini white paper, this little three or five tips on what to do, any business owner can create that. And when you create that, then that’s a valuable asset that you can give and by giving, that’s allowing you then to try to or you’re only giving it if the individual opts in. So, talk through on some of the ways that through the digital side that a business can collect these prospective clients that they’re giving valuable information to. How can they get these people to opt in and get information whether it be email, phone or both?
[00:40:10] Sagi: Okay. So, and I actually was referring to it in two ways. Yes, you could create a piece of content with this information and I was actually suggesting that in addition to that, create that in a video. So, I’m sitting there and listening to you explain this. And as you mentioned before, now all of a sudden, I’m used to hearing you talk about this. And again, when I need someone who I trust to come into my house, you’re going to be the one that I’m going to call. Now as far as a tool for creating a list, most people who are going into video have already done something like this. They already maybe have a white paper. They have 10 tips that they’ve used as a lead magnet on their website.
What you can now do because one of the questions that you asked was, how do I get started? We always get the question of what are going to be my videos about? One of the strategies that you can implement is to use some of these lead magnets and create a video about them. So, the video will address the same topic that your white paper does and then you can add a link in the description, you can use the info cards. You can actually give verbal cues right in your video to go to your website and visit this URL in order to download this video. And now you’re repurposing this lead magnet that you already created and you’re getting more results out of it.
[00:41:35] Andrew: So, let’s talk on that. So, you have kind of a side business right on top of the marketing that you do and the building of the branch with the hundreds of companies that you’ve worked with. So, Tech Gear Talk which is your YouTube channel, I love the slogan, Buy Nice or Buy Twice, I guess this falls into that help side of things of the how-to but walk the listener too if they’re going to the site which will be in the show notes why you went down this path, how you’re utilizing it to build your brand and what your overall goal is when you built out the site over the last year or two.
[00:42:07] Sagi: So, I basically started it because I’m kind of a nerd. I’m totally interested in technology and gadgets. And I was sitting around one day, and I was thinking, “You know what, I’m going to start a YouTube channel. I’m going to do product reviews.” And I was interested in both educating people about the products and the technical aspect of actually producing the video. So, it was twofold for me. And what happened was I was contacted very early on by Netgear actually. I did a product review of one of their products, the Orbi, and they reached out to me and said, “Hey, we want to talk to you.” And that sort of led me down a growth for the channel that was unexpected for something so young. At the same time, I realized that in addition to just reviewing the product, I have this wealth of information from years of doing branding and development that I’d like to share with people. And so, in addition to product reviews, I’m also including how-to videos to help people create, start and grow their YouTube channel.
[00:43:21] Andrew: Which I think on that scope and we’ve been toying with this idea of quick how-to videos, how to login to your Social Security benefits statement or how to look to see what the best tax rates are for you. I see on your site, most of the videos range between 3 and 10 minutes so you keep it short. Are you doing all the editing yourself?
[00:43:40] Sagi: So, yes, I’m actually doing everything. I’m doing everything from research to scripting, to shooting, to editing, optimizing, and promoting. So, in my case, because I actually enjoy doing it, I do it from start to finish.
[00:43:55] Andrew: And are these companies that you’re promoting, that recent one you did, is it Sennheiser, the hand mike?
[00:44:01] Sagi: Sennheiser.
[00:44:03] Andrew: They’re not actually like for Sennheiser’s not paying you per se to market their device?
[00:44:09] Sagi: So, there are different types of relationships that would have. So, there are companies that have reached out and have said, “Hey, we’ll just send you the product and you can review it,” and there are companies that would want to do what’s called a sponsored video at which point you are being paid for the video. And I make sure that it’s very clear in the description that the nature of that relationship is very clear. Now I’m not going to say anything that I don’t think about the product. So, if it’s a product that I’m not going to like, I’ll just tell the company that, again, I’m going to say what I think about it and if that doesn’t work then we’re not a good fit. But I’m very clear about the relationship that I have with each company because I think otherwise the review of the product is just not genuine. And I think it’s not authentic and people can tell.
[00:44:55] Andrew: And what you’re doing here too is you’re building that credibility. You’re building the Tech Gear Talk credibility. You’re obviously really good on camera. Is one of your goals to expand it where you build the brand and then have maybe others that will do the recordings and that way you kind of build that economies of scale?
[00:45:13] Sagi: So, right now my focus is, has been, I’m really optimizing my process. So, to give you an example, and this is something that’s coming up in a video that should be published next week is I’m really trying to optimize how I go through the process of creating a video. So, in the beginning, what I would do is I would research, script, shoot, edit, optimize, publish, and then I’d start over. And then what I realized is when I do one video, there are like three or four other related videos. So, I’m better off researching and scripting four videos, shooting four videos in one day, sitting down and editing them, and then staggering the publishing schedule. So, for now, and I think that’s a really good tip for businesses that are starting out. I think a good starting point for any businesses not sure what to do on YouTube is I would ask you, what are the top 10 questions you get from either current or potential clients? You know what they are. You wouldn’t even have to think about it. If you have an FAQ section on your website, that’s a great place to come up with topics.
[00:46:17] Andrew: Yeah. And as a serial entrepreneur, I mean, not every business owner will have the time or the tech background and the wherewithal to do this, but you think about what you saw as here’s a niche. Here’s something I’m passionate about and I’ve got the knowledge to be able to do it. So, let’s do it. Let’s have some fun and then I do notice on the revenue side on some, if not all the videos, that you do have is the video plays, there’s an ad that will play that then somebody can, I guess, click off after a few seconds.
[00:46:44] Sagi: Right. And so, one of the ways and this is more for individuals, I wouldn’t really recommend that a business would do it, to monetize these videos is to create an ad. And in that case, yes, if someone were to click on that ad, I would get a couple of pennies. Another way to monetize for me is I can have affiliate links in the description. So, if you click on a link and buy a product through it on Amazon, for example, doesn’t matter what you buy even if it’s not this product, again, I get a commission off of those sales. Now obviously for a business, your profit is from selling your product or having a person go to your website and then having a chance for you to convert that.
[00:47:26] Andrew: Right. So, listeners, I know that not all of you will go down this path but if we take it back to the value and the importance of having video and having your own company YouTube channel and branding it so that it’s similar to your other digital offerings, this is going to help you three ways, search engine positioning, build that credibility, and then create and leverage the information that you can push out there to more people.
[00:47:52] Sagi: A 100% and, remember, consistency is the key on YouTube. Just keep doing it. Don’t forget that a video that you produced two years ago is still out there on YouTube getting views today and maybe you didn’t convert that client back then but they’re still watching your content.
[00:48:11] Andrew: And I think as you mentioned the production levels, we have a couple of different ones at our Bayntree site as well, one where they’re very impromptu and, two, we do webinars that we record that then we position on our website but then you have to opt-in to get it. So, you can actually create videos, put them on YouTube and unlist them so nobody can find them unless they get to the specific page that you’re marketing. So, there’s public, there’s unlisted and there’s private. Private is obviously only going to be people that actually you’ve given access to. But then what we’ve done is over the years we’ve spent the money and we’ve had some real high-level production come in and give a real good in-depth view of who we are at Bayntree, our mission and that way it’s an investment on letting others know who we are here and what we’re doing. So, as a business owner, look at this as part of your marketing budget and definitely as you look at allocating your budget in 2018, do not shy away from paying a professional company to come in because, Sagi, as you said, once that’s on YouTube, it’s there forever and you don’t want something on there that you’re not proud of.
[00:49:19] Sagi: And I would also say that YouTube is a great opportunity for business owners because it’s very likely that your competitors are not doing it. So, do it first. Dominate the conversation in your space and then, Andrew, as you said, become an authority, become a leader. And when your competitors finally realize two or three years down the road that they should’ve been doing this all along, now they’re going to have a really tough time playing catch-up. It’s a very similar concept to that of search engine optimization. If your website is ranked number one, you’re not really thinking about it. But all of a sudden when you drop to number 10, you go, “I need to do work.” But wouldn’t have been great to have been doing the work all along and to stay number one? This is the opportunity that business owners have right now. Be first.
[00:50:07] Andrew: Right. And I think having the multiple funnels because you don’t want to have everything geared to organic search and then Google changes their indexing formula and all of a sudden, your website’s now down from the first page to the 12th page. If you’ve got multiple ways of marketing and today we’re not going to have the time to focus on the social media marketing but if you have social media marketing, if you have the organic search, we won’t even be able to get in today, Sagi, paid search, and then you’ve got your YouTube videos, if they make a fundamental change on one side, most likely it’s not going to affect the entire picture of the branding that you’ve been building. So multiple funnels is very important.
[00:50:44] Sagi: And you can probably draw some parallels to investment.
[00:50:47] Andrew: True. Well, in the scope of what? Investing in?
[00:50:50] Sagi: In terms of diversifying what you’re doing. You’re not going to go and put all your money in one thing.
[00:50:55] Andrew: Exactly. Diversification on our side is key. There’s no perfect asset class but if we align everything together and put those pieces together, it creates a nice plan. The same thing here. There’s not going to be a magic bullet. There’s no perfect solution. Obviously, I think if we look at, if what we could take away today, organic search is probably the core. But to get to that organic search, there are so many other things that you can do to build that up and with YouTube now and spending that time there, I think that’s going to pay off for you when you look back, business owners, two years, three years, five years from now.
So, Sagi, we’ve gone through a lot of great stuff today. In the show notes, we’re going to hit on some of the things granular that we talked about so that you can do additional research and you’ll also have the opportunity to speak with Sagi and his team. Walk us through like what a consultation would look like in the scope of looking at somebody’s website or some of their marketing and branding.
[00:51:50] Sagi: So, normally, what we do is we do a lot of listening. We probably do more listening than any company that you’ll deal with because no one knows your business better than you. So, the first thing we’ll do is we’ll jump on a call and we’ll ask you a ton of questions and listen to you talk. Then we’ll take the time to go and analyze and assess your current assets. So, let’s look at your website. Maybe your website is doing just fine for SEO. Maybe there are just some few tweaks that we need to do rather than implementing a whole new campaign. Or maybe it’s time to redo the whole thing. We’re only going to know once we put in the work to learn about that.
Once we do that, again, we’ll go ahead and we’ll give you a proposal and then we go through again a very, not a very detailed, but a detailed discovery stage where we learn as much as we can about your company, about your target audience, and that takes me all the way back to the beginning. It’s the strategy before you start doing anything that’s important. So, we really focus about that and then we go ahead, and we start the design development, deployment, and then finally, as I said, we got to measure the results and then start the process over again on a smaller scale.
[00:53:00] Andrew: Yeah. I mean, it’s about building and envisioning out where you want to be and building that roadmap or that blueprint. We call it the Bayntree retirement blueprint. What we want to focus on too is what our client’s goals are and then what’s the best measure to get to that point. And that’s something that you and your team have been instrumental on and I think it’s because of your experience, your passion for it and your continued evolving, this technology evolving, you stay on that forefront which is so important in today’s world.
[00:53:25] Sagi: Thank you. And I think that’s a really smart parallel that you brought up there. If someone asks you, “What should I do with my investment?” You couldn’t answer them unless they identify their goals. There’s just not a blueprint that you can just give to everyone. So, absolutely, we take the time to learn about you and we think that’s critical to, actually, the success of our project and your business overall.
[00:53:47] Andrew: Wonderful. And before I let you go today and this has been great, and we’ll probably have you back on because I think we can have the whole show about page search and social media marketing and so forth, but I think beyond all of what we talked about, most importantly is both of us being Cleveland guys, what’s going on with the Cavs? Do you think we’re going to be able to make this roster work or having problems with all of these Orlando and barely beating New York last night? What’s the deal here?
[00:54:13] Sagi: I’m glad there’s no live feed of my thoughts last night in the Knicks game. Truthfully, I’m not very confident in our current roster. I think we look old and slow. We’ll see what happens when Isaiah Thomas comes back but I was really hoping to have him healthy so that we can have a rested and healthy Rose come to playoff, but we’ll know more in January.
[00:54:38] Andrew: Without Isaiah and Lebron, this team maybe win ten games this year. It’s tragic out there. It’s a hodgepodge of a team. These guys, not even all of them that older. Just Rose is an old guy in a young man’s body.
[00:54:49] Sagi: I just can’t believe that with the talent that they have, and you know, it could come down to coaching. I don’t know. I’ve never been a huge fan of Tyronn Lue and at the same time, it’s probably pretty difficult to coach Lebron.
[00:55:02] Andrew: True. But like look at Brad Stevens in Boston. I mean they lost one of their best players and it just shows you how instrumental Kyrie was to our success and without a lot of superstars, they’re running away with it. So, I think coaching just like in college, just like in our industry we’re coaches, you’re a coach too, coaching separates the good from the bad. So, anyway, we hate to digress there for you, non-basketball fans, but I had to throw that in there. So, again, the way that you’ll be able to find out more information on what we talked about today will be in the show notes as well as then a call to action for you to be able to speak with Sagi’s team. As always, we appreciate the time that you put into Your Wealth & Beyond. Be on the lookout later this month for additional episodes and if you like what we’re doing here, please go to and leave a review for us, that’s how we can get the messaging out there. As you could tell, we’re passionate about what we do in bringing to you, the business owner, ways that you can achieve success, build your wealth, get your fiscal house in order and then find purpose to what it all means. Thanks, everybody. Sagi, have a wonderful rest of the week. We’ll talk to you all soon.
[00:56:08] Sagi: All right. Again, thank you very much, Andrew. I felt like whenever I’m on or whenever I talk to you, I learn as much as I can teach. Thank you so much.
[00:56:15] Andrew: Awesome. Thanks, Sagi. Bye.
Thank you for joining me for today’s episode of Your Wealth & Beyond. To get access to all the resources mentioned during today’s podcast, please visit Bayntree.com/podcast. And be sure to tune in later this month for another episode of Your Wealth & Beyond.