Episode 129: A clever SEO idea for MSPs

Episode 129 May 02, 2022 00:28:41
Episode 129: A clever SEO idea for MSPs
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 129: A clever SEO idea for MSPs

May 02 2022 | 00:28:41


Hosted By

Paul Green

Show Notes

Episode 129 includes:

Featured guest

Thank you to SEO expert Nick Rubright from New Reach Marketing for joining Paul to talk about how to improve your local Google ranking.

Nick is the founder & CEO of an SEO-focused marketing agency. Nick and his team have worked with large brands like Webex, smaller ones like Finance-able, and local ones like Willis Lawn Services to build and run scalable SEO campaigns that drive revenue.

Connect with Nick on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-rubright-29225047/

Show notes

Episode transcription

Voiceover: Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast. Paul Green: Well, hi there. And welcome to the show. Here's what we got coming up for you this week. Nick Rubright: I didn't know that it was like SEO. I didn't know what link building was. I kind of just did it, like reading stuff on the internet and following advice, and I did it with this website this way. So if we try it again, it'll probably work again. And it did. Paul Green: That's Nick Rubright. He's an SEO expert, search engine optimisation, and he's come across an amazing new methodology where you get local media attention for your MSP and actually turn that into some SEO juice. You use the local media attention to get a better ranking for your business within Google. He's going to be here later on in the show explaining exactly what you can do. We're also going to be talking about big new ideas. I don't know about you, but I have new ideas all the time. And these days I've started letting them soak a little bit. What do I mean by soak? I mean, slowing them down, seeing if they're worth pursuing or whether they're something that's just actually going to be a distraction. We'll look at whether or not you should do that for your big ideas later on in the show. Voiceover: Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast. Paul Green: Pricing is always an emotive subject for MSPs to talk about. In fact, if you were listening back in February, I think it was episode 117, and I did a reminder, like a six month reminder to put your prices up. But one of the things we didn't talk about back then was the psychology of pricing. And I think the psychology behind prices is absolutely fascinating, because it could be that right now you're charging a per user or a per device fee that you could actually increase without psychologically there being any impact on your existing clients, or indeed any impact on any prospects that are looking at your business. Paul Green: The psychology of pricing is all about how people perceive prices. So let's say for example, you charge 31 pounds or dollars a month. So it's 31 per user per month for whatever it is that you're currently selling, whatever you're bundling together right now. From a psychological point of view 31 is the same price as 32, 33 or 34. Paul Green: So you could charge 34 pounds or $34 per user per month. And psychologically that has the same impact on the buyer as does charging 31. So if you are currently charging a one or a two or a three, you can nip that up to a four. And it's the same if you're charging, if you're charging 35, that's the same price as 36, 37, 38, 39. Now, when that changes is when you jump up to a new level. So let's say for example, you're currently charging 31 per month, 35 is a new level. It's like, because of digits. You know where the word digital comes from, don't you? It's from our hands. If you look at your fingers right now, we've got five fingers on each hand. This is where digital comes from, because our brains think very easily in units of five and 10. So we see a five and a 10 as the start of something new. Paul Green: So if you're currently charging 31, 32, whatever, and you pop it up to 35, that is a jump up to a new level. And that's where there is an impact. So if you're charging 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, they're all the same price. You start charging 35, that's the price going up. But then 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 are all the same price. Whereas 40 is the start of a new pricing level. Does that make sense? So you can see there our brain, because it's thinking in units of five and 10, when we move on to a new unit of five or 10, that's where the impact is. So there's two opportunities here. One is to put up your existing prices without that impact. So if you're not at a four or a nine, you can bump it up to a four or a nine with very little impact. There won't be a massive impact if you're doing that. Paul Green: The other thing to be aware of is that when you do go onto a five or a zero, that you are moving onto a new level and you need to be ready for maybe some little pushback. I don't typically see a lot of pushback from happy clients when you increase the prices and inflation, all that stuff, prices have to go up at least once a year. But just to be aware that it's psychologically more of an impact. Even if the increase is only one, it's one pound or $1. If you're moving onto a five or a zero, there is that psychological move onto a new level. Paul Green: Now, the other aspect with the psychology of pricing is how the price ends. So for example, if you charge someone a full amount, so let's say you charge them 35 a month. That feels like an artificial price. In the same way that if you were to charge 34.99, which is kind of the same price, isn't it? Again, that feels like an artificial price. It's a price that you as a retailer have decided to sell it at. And we've been trained our entire lives by shops that something that's for sale at 34.99 is, it's a clever retail price. It's designed to hide the fact that you're actually playing 35 for that item. Now, that wouldn't necessarily impact on a price you were charging per user per month. Paul Green: But let's say for example, you were selling them a new service. Let's say they bought a, I don't know, a new security service from you. And you said to them, "Well, the price per user is 12, it's 12 pounds or $12 per user, per month, whatever you're charging. That feels like you have made up the price. And there's nothing wrong with that. But you may get a little bit more pushback because that's an artificial price. The way to make that price look less artificial is to end it in an unusual figure. So for example, instead of charging 12 pounds, you charge them 12 pounds 58, or 11 pounds 97, actually, no, you wouldn't go in 97, 11 pounds 87, something that doesn't look retaily and salesy, and something that shops wouldn't do. Paul Green: And the beauty of this is you can hide your increased profit margins by hiding your unit cost in an unusual figure. If someone's buying something for 20 pounds 12 or $20.12, it seems as though you're just buying something in and putting a bit of margin on top of it. And actually you could be putting 10 to 15 pounds or dollars of margin on top of that. They don't necessarily know that, but what they see is something that feels a little bit more right to them. Paul Green: So that's only a couple of very basic things on the psychology of pricing, but actually these things can make a big difference. And often it's not people thinking about this with their brain, it's just them going with their gut feel. If their gut feel says, "Hey, that's a retail price. You're making this price up." Or they look at it and they think that you're pushing it past a barrier. You're moving it onto a new level, onto a zero or a five. That's where you can get a little bit more pushback. If you understand how our brains work and how our emotional reactions are to these kind of price changes, then you can safely put up your prices without having to worry too much about it. Because you know the point at which people are going to notice, and you know the point at which they're just not going to. Voiceover: Here's this week's clever idea. Paul Green: I don't know about you, but I have new ideas all the time. I mean, literally all the time. And not just for improving my current business, but new business ideas, new exciting opportunities. I read widely, I read lots of books. I listen to lots of podcasts. I'm involved in lots of different forums and at least an hour a day I'm just kind of researching, looking to see what people are talking about, what's new out there, what's exciting, what are people getting annoyed about or excited about? And inevitably all of these things generate for me new ideas. I use a piece of productivity software called Todoist and I adhere to the principles of Get Things Done, which is by David Allen. It's a great book. I think it's called get things done, or Getting Things Done. I highly recommend you go and read it. Paul Green: And one of the concepts of Getting Things Done is that when you have an idea, you don't leave it in your head. You get it out your head as quick as possible. And the way I do this is I have an inbox in my Todoist. So if I'm reading things or even just driving or thinking about stuff, as I have an idea, I dump it into my inbox as quickly as I can. And often I'll get to the end of a Friday and there'll be just a ton of ideas waiting for me in my inbox, far more ideas than I can actually implement. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it means I've always got something new, something exciting that we can do with the business or some other new project that I can pursue. And maybe you're the same. This is the thing about being an MSP, there's so much discussion and you're used to change anyway. Everything changes in technology every, well, every seven years, I guess it completely changes. But there's always something new going on. Paul Green: The problem I have and maybe you have this problem is that sometimes I'll get really excited about an idea and I'll start to pursue that idea. And then a few weeks down the line, I realise I've made a mistake, and actually that wasn't such a great idea after all. Does this happen to you? These days before I start taking action on an idea, I let it soak properly. And the way that I do this is, if I have something that excites me, I'll sleep on it. I'll just literally push the idea away, push it to the back of my head and I'll sleep on it. And you know what? Overnight my brain and all of its amazing problem-solving capacity, it's all in locks while I sleep. It's exactly the same in your brain. Paul Green: I'll wake up in the morning and in the shower I'll have ideas about this idea suddenly coming at me. It's like a torrent of answers, a ping, ping, ping, ping, ping. Things I could do, places I could take it. Other ideas that are related to this. And often that's the point I'll get excited. And then because I'm a person of action, I'll just start taking action on it. So I'll bring in one of my colleagues and say, "Hey, I've had this idea. I think we should do this. Let's do this and this and this." And I'll set stuff up and set up meetings. And what I've learned over the last couple of years is actually that's a danger point, because at that point I've only had around about 18, maybe 20 hours for that idea to soak, and that's not long enough. Because at the beginning of an idea at the germ of that idea, of course it seems like a good idea, because it's new and it's exciting and your brain has fleshed it out for you while you sleep. Paul Green: But here's the thing. Just because it's a new, exciting idea doesn't mean it's the right idea for right now. Maybe it doesn't fit with the strategy you've got for growing your MSP right now. Maybe it's a distraction. Maybe that idea of, "Hmm, must switch PSA," is really not a good idea at all because you switched PSA six months ago. And I know that that in itself can be a habit. Hmm, let's switch PSA every six months, not a good habit to get into. Paul Green: So what I've started doing now is when it's a big idea and it's exciting, I've started soak testing even more. Once I've got all excited about it I write it down. I almost write out a project plan. It's just some notes in my pad. I'll flesh out all the ideas, all the different variants, who I'd want to be involved, how it could work. And then I will deliberately forget it for a few days. Now, because I used to do this quite extensively, I'll actually schedule myself a timed task for three or four days down the line to come back at this and have a look at it and ask myself some tough questions. Does it fit within our current strategy? Is it a distraction? Does it help us get to where we want to be faster? Or is it actually going to hold us back? Paul Green: And so three, four days down the line I have a look and I ask myself this question, I've got to be honest. The vast majority of these new ideas, they do not pass the stress test. Because they were great ideas and maybe they're things I should do down the line, but they're not right for right now. When I have a particularly exciting idea and it's a real big one, I'll take that a step further. I will actually jot the name of the idea down on a Post-it Note and put that Post-it Note on my bathroom mirror. So I've got my own bathroom connected to my bedroom, so I'm the only one that sees this idea. And that means that at least two or three times a day I'm seeing that idea there on the mirror in front of me. It's almost like a reminder for my brain to revisit that idea and start to think through different elements of it. And the benefit of this is sometimes the idea is so good that I reject it because it's huge. It's a massive idea and it would completely swamp what we're doing right now. Paul Green: You see, what I'm trying to do here is not reduce my creativity. I'm not trying to reduce the number of good ideas that I have. There's always good ideas to act on. What I'm trying to do is make sure that the new ideas get me and my team and my business to where we want to be going without too many sub roads, distractions, side avenues, whatever you call them. And sometimes to do that you have to let those good ideas soak in a little bit. What's your system of assessing and rejecting good ideas? Perhaps that's something we can talk about in our MSP Marketing Facebook group. Voiceover: Paul's blatant plug. Paul Green: So that Facebook group that I just mentioned, it's a great place for you and me to have a conversation. Now it's only for MSPs. It's very easy to get to. If you go into your Facebook app, go onto the little search bar up at top and type in MSP Marketing. Go onto groups, you'll see my little face and you can tap on that and apply to join. And in that group we talk about so many things. I mean, I'm just scrolling through it now. I've got a thing here about productivity time trackers, because I fell out of love with something called Timeular. I now I've talked about it loads in this podcast and now I'm trying something different called Clockify. Paul Green: So we've got a good old discussion there and there's a whole series of comments. It is an interesting post. We're talking about putting up your prices and that's got 20-odd comments as I look at this. There's all sorts of different subjects that we talk about in this group, but it's only for MSPs. So if you want to join, go onto your Facebook app, you can join there and it'll be great for you and me to have a conversation. Just for MSPs. It's a vendor free zone and it's the MSP marketing Facebook group. Voiceover: The big interview. Nick Rubright: My name's Nick Rubright and I'm the CEO and founder of New Reach Marketing. And we do SEO and PR-focused link building. Paul Green: And that's why I wanted to get you onto the show today, Nick, because you have, well, I think is actually quite a unique methodology for boosting your websites by using your local media. And in fact, as a former journalist myself, when we were discussing this, I instantly saw the power in this in that it can give you some valuable credibility in your local market and some incredibly valuable back links to your website. So we'll come onto that in a second. Let's first of all explore you. So what's your background, Nick? And how have you got to a position now where you're running an agency and you're teaching people how to do this stuff and doing it for them? Nick Rubright: I started in college actually. After college I had no money and I never wanted to work for anyone. So I built my own blog. That was a, well, I was building a music streaming app and that's why I kept skipping class. I was working on coding this app and stuff. Got into the app store. It was a Spotify competitor. I had trouble negotiating with record companies for music licenses. So I went to get musicians onto the platform. And that's where I started learning about cold outreach is I was reaching out to record companies, reaching out to musicians on Facebook and just trying to get them on the app. Nick Rubright: And I was like, "Man, this is tough, dude. It takes a lot of work to get one." So I was like, "I need to get more. I need to figure something out." So I built a music blog and I got it ranking in Google for things like music marketing, music promotion. And I eventually monetised it with affiliate revenue and made $2,000 a month through Amazon's affiliate program. So at that point I was kind of living good enough. And I was playing Xbox, just kind of had this passive income stream. And then I got hit with a Google algorithm update and it tanked everything. And I lost all my money, and literally overnight. Nick Rubright: From there I just became an Uber driver for two years. And I just kind of was like, "Where am I even going, dude? I don't know what I want to do." And then after I was doing Uber, I went to my parents and I'm like, "That blog I built that made me money, I bet other people would like to make money like that. What if I sell that?" I didn't know that it was SEO. I didn't know what link building was. I kind of just did it, like reading stuff on the internet and following advice. And I started doing freelancing and then I was like, I told my first client, I'm like, "Look, I don't know a lot about this stuff, but I did it with this website this way. So if we try it again, it'll probably work again." Nick Rubright: And then it did, I did the same thing for all my other clients. And then eventually I was like, "Man, I'm doing the same work for everyone. I could just teach this and outsource it." Tried hiring people in the beginning and it didn't work out because it was really tough to figure out how to manage a team and grow and everything and have them do this PR style marketing that I do. Eventually I had clients come my way going, "Dude, we need help." I had WebEx, I had some other bigger startups with large budgets and I told them like, "I can't work with you unless I can hire someone." And they were like, "That's fine." And I was kind of like, "Oh really? Oh man." So then I got my agency, now I have an agency. And then in one year we've gone from kind of not really $0, but me making around 80K a year. Like whatever regular salary to 800K a year. Paul Green: Wow. Nick Rubright: After one year. So it grew pretty fast and we just do our own work for us. I do the same stuff I do for my clients for us. We do the content marketing, SEO, guest posting, PR style outreach, just the same thing. Paul Green: So I think the problem a lot of MSPs have when we talk about this kind of content marketing and link building and all of the things we're going to talk about in this interview is, I think there's a very healthy dose of, or scoop of skepticism that goes with it. I talk to lots of MSPs and I don't have anywhere near as much technical experience as you do in actually doing this stuff. I'm more of a marketing strategist, but I know it works. I've seen the benefits for myself. I've seen the benefits for some of my members of the MSP Marketing Edge service. Paul Green: I've seen it. In fact, I worked, I ran an SEO company for six weeks for a friend. He bought it and he was selling it. And I saw what a difference that company made for its clients when they did the work properly. So do you experience this? Because I know you do work with some MSPs, but do you experience this with lots of other business owners as well? Or is this just technology people who have that element of skepticism? Nick Rubright: I think it's everyone because it's hard to understand. And it's like this weird blend of art and science. Because you have the business people who are so data driven, but then you have the people who actually do the good work and they're more like artists. They don't know why it works. They're just like they care about their audience. And I'm a musician myself as well. So I think having that hybrid of being a musician and a data-driven marketer is what gives me a perspective on why this stuff works. Paul Green: Do you want to just explain and talk to me as if I'm five, eight maybe, and explain it to me as if I don't know marketing, as if I don't know what's going on and sort of take us through what it is that you're trying to achieve, why you're trying to do it and what the benefits are? Nick Rubright: All right. I had a lot of practice trying to explain this to my mom, so here it goes. When you're trying to rank in Google locally, you're often trying to rank in Google Maps. And when Google use its map listings, they're looking for localised signals. And part of those localised signals they look at is the back links. You can get back links from other websites that say things like, "Oh, lawyer in New Jersey," or whatever, and that'll help. But if you get a back link from a local website that Google knows is local, because it covers top subject matter in the area, that's a better target. And the best targets for that is local news sites. If you get a back link from a local news site, basically what I'm saying is it will help improve your Google rankings on Google Maps as well as in organic. So it's the most valuable back link for a small local business to go after. We research the market inside the client, I'm going to speak to you as kind of as if you're going at me like a client. Paul Green: Yeah, sure. Nick Rubright: Sit down with a client. I would research the market. So I'm in Tampa, Tampa, Florida. So I would research Tampa be like, "What is everyone talking about around here? What's the culture? What are the journalists like? What questions are we trying to answer? What stories are they trying to tell?" And then you focus on developing on your website story-focused content. And a go-to I do for that is infographics, but we can't just make an infographic and it's going to work. It has to be something that's like, make the infographics something that when the journalist looks at it, they go, "Dude, I could totally use this in my story about whatever. Or I could use this to keep telling my story." Nick Rubright: The example I have is a law firm we worked with in New Jersey. We were, it was around the holidays. The law firm had been gathering all this data on car accidents and most dangerous roads around the city for the clients and stuff. So we built a car accident statistics map, infographic of like just color coding all the most dangerous roads and areas. And we pitched it to journalists and then they liked it. Because the pitch, the angle was, "Watch out travelers to New Jersey. Here's the most dangerous roads, so find a safe route." So it's almost like we built this campaign designs to help journalists help their audience. And it worked, we got the infographic on TV, got it on their website. And we got two awesome back links from it. Paul Green: That's amazing now. So here's the thing. So I was a newspaper reporter for a few years and I did 10 years on radio as a presenter and I was the breakfast show news reader and all of that kind of stuff. And then my very first business I started was a traditional PR agency, because that's what journalists do when they start their own business. And what you've done there is a classic example of generating a story out of nowhere, which you know the local journalists are going to be all over. And it's a genius piece of thinking. Because the trick with any marketing is to look at the other person and think, "What do they want? What do they want? What do they need, or what are they scared of?" Paul Green: Now that's the case with all marketing. When you do it with PR, you're trying to put the journalist in your head and say, "What does this journalist want?" And this journalist wants entertaining stories that their audience will be entertained by. And don't for any second think that news is anything more than entertainment. That's really what news is. So you, and that's a genius example, putting together a map of the most dangerous roads in this area and having a lawyer do it as well is utterly, utterly brilliant. So, that's completely genius. So you've now generated, I think you said a dozen or a couple of dozen back links. So back links being where the media has written about this story and they have connected. So they've actually connected to the lawyers' website. So how did you get them to connect to the lawyer's website? Nick Rubright: Well, trick in doing that and using it for link building is to make it necessary to link out for their readers. So, because we created the infographic and it was hosted on our site, they pointed to us like, "Hey, check out the infographic that this firm made." And then they link for credit. Even if it's just a credit link, in that case it's still as this local authority. And that's what we want for Google Maps. I don't know anyone else who's figured that out of the local links and the maps and stuff, but if I'm looking at the evolution of Google and how they improve their algorithm over time, they're getting a lot better at reading back links. And it's almost like, "Dude, you just want to do it right now." The right way is kind of this PR angle. Paul Green: It's absolutely genius. And do you know what I like about it? It's simple. But what we haven't talked about is the authority of that law firm being able to say, "Oh, we were featured in this newspaper, this radio station, this radio station." And that's huge. Now, that in itself is very unlikely to generate leads, but it gives credibility. Because people perceive that journalists pick the best experts, and they don't, they pick the most convenient experts who've come along with the most entertaining storage. And I know that because I had a 13-year career doing exactly that. And the journalists in New Jersey will be exactly the same as the journalists in virtually any Western world. Nick, tell us a little bit more about your agency and how can we get in touch with you? Nick Rubright: The agency's website is newreachagency.com. It'll soon be redirected as we're rebranding. We just do content links. And then we do consulting for technical stuff. We mostly focus on SEOs. So if people are wanting something that's PR, but with an SEO focus, that's something that we would do or just link building, or just content marketing. Anything where it's like build a page on my website and promote it and get it to the top of Google, that's the kind of stuff we do. Paul Green: So Nick, thank you so much for your time on the podcast. Now, you and I are going to continue our conversation. We're going to move over onto YouTube for our extended interview. And I've got a whole list of things here I want to talk to you about. I think you were saying earlier, you've gone from revenues of sort of 80,000 to 800,000. And I wasn't sure if that was annual or monthly. So I want to talk about the hell of rapid growth, because actually growing that fast and that intensely can actually be quite stressful. Although, everyone wants growth, I think that that kind of uncontrolled growth can be quite stressful. So I want to look at that. Paul Green: You talked about SEO, search engine optimisation being a blend of art and science, which I want to explore a little bit more with you. Also, some of the cool stuff you talked about, like you're in a band and you've had half a million plays on Spotify. So I want to talk about what that's like and what it's actually like to try and start a competitive something like Spotify, even if Spotify wasn't as big then as it was as it is now. So we're going to do that over on YouTube. If you want to come and enjoy the rest of this interview with Nick, join us right now at youtube.com/mspmarketing. Voiceover: Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast. This week's recommended book. Miles Walker: Hi, Miles Walker here from Graphus. And the book I like to recommend today is The Big Con by Tony Sales. I got the chance to interview Tony a couple months back. And Tony is known as Britain's greatest fraudster. The book details his life from growing up as a kid to now. Insightful stories, horrific stories and tales that you really wouldn't imagine. Voiceover: Coming up next week. Andrew Moon: Hi, I'm Andrew Moon. I run a company called Orange Nomad. I turn hustling entrepreneurs into calm, unstoppable CEOs. I'm excited, I'm going to be on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast next week, talking all things linked in, all things entrepreneurship. Tune in. Paul Green: We'll also be talking next week about something called imposter syndrome. Have you ever had that feeling where you sat with a client or a prospect and suddenly it strikes you that you're an imposter, you don't really know what you're talking about, which is kind of crazy. Because you've been doing this for what, 5, 10, 15 years, right? We all sometimes have that feeling of imposter syndrome. And next week we'll talk about what it is, what causes it and how you can overcome it. We'll also be talking next week about the power of going for a walk with your team, even if they're remote. And yes, you can take them for a walk if they're remote, it's just, you're going to be walking in different parts of the country. We'll talk about the power of going for that walk and why so many big business leaders from history used exactly that to get the most out of their team. Paul Green: So don't forget our extended interview with Nick Rubright is on YouTube. You can go and access that on YouTube now on our show about the show. Another bite that's going to be on YouTube this coming Thursday. You can access both of those at youtube.com/mspmarketing. While you're there, please do subscribe to us on YouTube. And of course, subscribe wherever you're listening to this podcast. Join me next Tuesday and have a very profitable week in your MSP. Voiceover: Made in the UK, for MSPs around the world. Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast.

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