MF 179 : Moving Forward with Greater SEO, with Phil Singleton
Updated: Jun 17, 2022
[Website visitors can get a sneak peek of this episode now. The episode will be available on all major podcast channels on Tuesday, July 24th.]
Phil Singleton is an author and entrepreneur who specializes in web design, SEO and podcasting. Today, Phil will share a great primer on SEO and tips on how to increase your business web visibility.
Successes at a glance:
Web designer, SEO expert at Kansas City Web Design & SEO.
Founder of Podcast Bookers.
Award-winning author of SEO for Growth.
Phil went to school thinking he was going to work on Wall Street afterward. Things didn’t quite pan out that way. Instead, Phil ended up working for an insurance company in their bond department. He describes his three years there as a “soul-crushing cubicle job.” While Phil was grateful to have a job out of college, especially during a bad economy, the days were really long and he wasn’t happy. Phil saw the people around him who had been there for 20 or more years and felt like he was being “pulled down someone else’s destiny.” Phil decided it was time to change the trajectory of his career and his life. As he describes, Phil “lost his mind” – he quit his job, sold everything and moved to Tapei, Taiwan. Phil met his wife there, came back, got his MBA and then moved back to Taiwan again. This time, Phil was in the world of pre-investment IPO opportunities which he pitched overseas. Somewhere along the way, Phil got into software with a company that created a program that made digital backup copies of DVDs. In the early 2000s the company did really well until the company got into a lengthy legal battle with major Hollywood studios. While this didn’t bode well in the US, Phil continued to grow the company overseas. Phil noticed a trend: most of the sales were coming from affiliate partnerships via blogs, websites, all driven by Google. Phil saw the future. At the time, there were no SEO experts so he had to figure out everything on his own. Phil sold the software company and moved back to the states. He bought a used car and it was while talking to an auto detailer that Phil suggested that the guy’s businesses needed a website. At the time, the auto detailer was selling his services to dealerships for $25 a car. Phil suggested that with a website, he could sell his services directly to the consumer for $250 a car. Keep in mind, Phil had no idea how to build a website but offered to create one for him. Phil ended up building what he admits is the “world’s ugliest one-page” website. Sixty days later, the auto detailer called Phil to tell him that he’s changed his business and his life. And this is when Phil finally knew, in his mid-30s, what he wanted to be when he grew up.
Phil’s big why:
When Phil heard the auto detailer’s voice on the phone telling him how much his service had changed his life and business, that’s when Phil discovered his big why. Today, he gets most excited when he helps small businesses move forward while making money doing it.
Biggest challenge today:
While there are technical components to SEO, there’s also an art to it. For Phil, this makes achieving scale a big challenge. It’s also an identity question: on the one hand, Phil loves the idea of achieving the benefits of scale but he doesn’t want to lose touch with his customers.
What is SEO:
Search Engine Optimization: getting found on Google. Optimizing really means the activities, content, and output you create to drive traffic to your website which in turn makes your product or service more visible to someone searching for related terms.
One tip for organically increasing your visibility and SEO:
Look at your website with open eyes: in other words, don’t look at it as a digital brochure but more of an active marketing hub. In that regard, a website should be an archive for all of your best content.
Do a search for Google quality evaluator guidelines: a free pdf guide on how Google trains its army of independent contractors. This is Google’s handbook guiding lay people to look at E.A.T. criteria on websites: expertise-authority-trust. This is a great insider’s look at what Google looks for to rank websites.
Learn more tips from Phil’s book: SEO for Growth.
Phil favorite productivity app or tool:
If Phil had to give up everything else, he would pick a SEO tool called Ahrefs: you can plug in your or a competitor’s URL to see what powers it (social engagement, traffic, backlinks) plus it will calculate your organic traffic value based on adwords pay click dollars.
How is Phil moving forward today:
Running a small company, Phil is a self-admitted control freak. Phil’s goal is to make sure that everyone who deals with him and his company has an outstanding experience. Phil takes customer feedback very seriously. To make sure every customer interaction a great one, Phil is making sure that his employees are part of a culture that puts this front and center.
Support the Podcast:
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Who is Phil in five years:
Phil will be someone who has achieved scale and stepped away from the local agency model by bringing on the right people. Phil will also have more passive income streams so he can pursue ideas he’s had in the background for some time.
“Anybody can be a jerk but it takes effort to be a nice guy.”