In this episode Adam (@AdamVazquez) and Carlton (@CarltonRiffel) are joined by Tim Lowry (@timtiptopsm) who is the Founder of Tip Top Search and Marketing. Tim gives a deep dive into what SEO actually is and how companies can use it to drive revenue.
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* (2:32) Heard Hot Takes
* (6:23) Have You Heard
* (9:20) Tim’s journey from publishing books to search marketing
* (13:12) What “SEO” done well looks like
* (21:10) Making content that will rank for Google’s algorithm
* (28:12) Selecting a CMS platform that will fit your growth goals
Links & Resources:
Transcription generated by Otter.ai
Adam Vazquez 00:06
Our guest today is Tim Lowry who is the founder of tip top search and marketing where he helps brands leverage SEO to get better awareness and conversions online. A quick caveat I have worked in and around the marketing industry for over 10 years now. And SEO continues to be the one area that is most fraught with wasted, spend scams and fly by night marketers and I’m putting them in air quotes, who have no idea what they’re doing, but we’ll charge you $1,000 a month to do it. Tim is the antithesis of all of this. He’s one of the few people I know personally, who actually understands what SEO is how to leverage it effectively, and he has the capabilities to actually do it. On behalf of his clients. He’s worked with authors and brands all over the country to get their names out there. And I trust him if I were launching a project of my own, which is really the biggest endorsement that I could give. During this episode, Tim explains how companies should be thinking about SEO in 2022 and how he would start getting a brand momentum today if he were starting over he also has the best accent of anyone on this show so far. Bar none I thoroughly enjoyed this episode with Tim. I think you will too. Let’s get into it with SEO specialist Tim Lowry.
Adam Vazquez 01:39
Alright, welcome back into content is for closers. We’re back yet again with another exciting episode for you. As we said in the intro, we’re talking to Tim Lowry. And this is probably one of the deepest episodes we have in terms of the actual material. I’m very excited to get to it. But before we do, Carlton, the masses have been clamoring for another, another installment of our hot take segment. So so hit us with it. What do you have for this week?
Carlton Riffel 02:03
Yeah, man. So we’ve got this hot take segment. And sometimes we’ll be current with our events. But sometimes we got to mix it up because this show is not recorded live. So this is kind of a general advertising slash marketing question. But do you think that more personal ads are creepy? Or more beneficial? So more creepy? Are you creeped out by him? Or do you think people are creeped out by him? Or do you think that they’re more helpful and more beneficial than if we didn’t have these super personalized coincidental ads?
Adam Vazquez 02:38
Gotcha. And so last time, I dove in and then wished I would have gotten more clarification. So I need a little extra detail here. Are you talking when you say personalized? Do you mean? Like, they’re the like, when people are like, I was just talking about this mug? And then I got an ad for it. Are you saying like, Hey, Adam?
Carlton Riffel 02:56
Yeah, so no, that’s a good question. Because sometimes it is coincidental. But yeah, you’ve got this trend of just becoming more and more personal right? Advertising. So yeah, I guess like some people think that that’s just in general creepy and annoying. And then like, some people think that it’s actually better because they see what they want to see. And what would be most helpful?
Adam Vazquez 03:19
Yeah, I don’t know. That’s a good question. I guess I just generally speaking personal ads, or personalized ads or whatever, don’t bother me, probably because I’m in this is what we do. To some degree. And and then part of it is because yeah, I’m not trying to see and no offense to anyone who is but I just, I’m not interested in buying Tampax or whatever. So like, I’m just not looking for specific ads on that. And I keep my stuff pretty curated in terms of digital consumption. So having having ads that align with that are more helpful to me, I
Carlton Riffel 03:53
guess. Yeah, no, I probably, as much as I like to disagree with you, Adam, I think I’m gonna say the same place as you because
Adam Vazquez 04:02
you committed to a bad executive regime at Twitter, just to me, I
Carlton Riffel 04:06
just, I just disagree. So in my opinion, I’m annoyed by a couple of things with advertising in general. But one of those is ads that don’t have any relevance to whether any, whether you know anything about me and then the second thing is, if I see an ad, and I’ve already bought the thing that’s annoying. So it would be nice if there was some like some button where you can just be like, already got this or, like, not applicable, and they can even make it more personalized and I wouldn’t care. So I do think there’s like privacy issues around water. What is that threshold of security and privacy? That’s being overreach. But in general, I tend to actually invite our advertising overlords take a hot take to some degree.
Adam Vazquez 04:53
Yeah. How do you feel about things like this isn’t necessarily but like, for instance, You mentioned this earlier, that’s why I’m bringing it up. But like the Spotify wrapped feature that everyone’s posting about right now, yeah, obviously that is an engine that’s giving you predictive content based on your content. But people don’t see that as an ad for some reason.
Carlton Riffel 05:13
Yeah. Cuz it’s, it’s like, I’ve willingly pushed on all these buttons, right? Like, in general, we like things figured out for us. So especially when it comes to like, Pandora was the first version of that, right? Like, like, I just want to hit like a style or some genre. And then I want you to like, find out what I like, and only play that I will. I will come around Apple Music for a second. Like, they are terrible at knowing what I like, like, like, you’d think something as simple as acoustic folk would be easy to figure out and like not play a brace of songs. But it’s like this, this five minute within playing it, and it’s already playing some like random all song that’s annoying. So
Adam Vazquez 05:53
yeah, it’s bizarre how they aren’t. I just want to appreciate as well, you definitely are a fan of that music by the fact that you pronounce the L and folk or folk. I just feel like that’s the sign of a true believer. So yeah, so shout out to you. Um, cool. Well, obviously, we’re about we’re gonna get to the episode here shortly with Tim, before we do Carlson, what did you hear this week, that would be helpful for the audience.
Carlton Riffel 06:17
Okay, so I’ve got two things written down. And I was trying to decide a last second, but I think what will be most helpful is this website called App Sumo. And they basically have limited time deals. So this kind of falls in the spirit of like Black Friday and, and the holiday season. But essentially, what they do is they’ll have people that will launch their app, and make it available on App Sumo. And then they will heavily discount it. So if you get it within that time, and you’re one of the limited seats that gets it, then you’ll get like, maybe $1,000 app for something like 30 bucks or 50 bucks, and there’ll be the lifetime subscription. So it’s a clever model that you kind of have to be careful, you don’t you’re not just buying software, because it’s cheap. But if you like software, and your may be fine, trying to find like niche or smaller solutions for some of the things that your business does, like email, or like calendar related things, like it can be a really cool place to find some powerful software that’s just up and coming. But also quite affordable.
Adam Vazquez 07:25
As a great one, not just buying software, because you need it. We just went through yesterday, you and I, the kind of accounting of like, what do we have? What are we paying for? And that list went a lot longer than I was expecting it to? Yeah,
Carlton Riffel 07:37
if it makes you feel better than Adam, I was talking to a CFO of a company today. And they were saying that every single year. He estimates now that they’re they’re bigger company of maybe 50 people, but that they spend around $150,000 on software licensing. Wow. So I was like, well, we’re lower than that. Yeah, we’re
Adam Vazquez 07:58
not we’re not even close. We’re probably a 10th of that. Or yeah, or less even. So. Yeah, that’s cool. But speaking of planning for next year, I kind of talked last week about traction. It’s a book that has helped us and so for this for this week of Have you heard I’m going to do pull up Carlton and tell you about a project that I’ve been working on we’ve been working on here at herd and that is our content, snacks episodes. If you haven’t heard I know you haven’t some of you because I look at the analytics. Some of you only come for the interviews, and then you bail, which is fine. But specifically, as you’re looking at, you’re planning for next year, last week’s episodes, and the week before Thanksgiving, we’re both kind of dedicated to explaining in full detail how we are going about that process. And especially when it comes to content, I think some of you would benefit from hearing some of those episodes like because the question gets asked all the time, how do we how do we execute what what does this actually look like in detail and all those sorts of things. And that’s exactly what we talked about over those two weeks of episodes. So I would highly encourage you if you’re just a an interview listener, welcome. Thank you for coming here. Go check out all these other ones. I think you’ll enjoy them.
Carlton Riffel 09:07
Awesome. Hey, well with that, let’s jump into the episode with Tim Lowry.
Adam Vazquez 09:21
All right, we’ve got Tim Lowry from tip top search and marketing. And you’ll quickly discover if you’re listening to this Tim has easily the best accent of any guests that I think we’ll have on kind of what is it Tim? Your background Irish?
Tim Lowry 09:35
Yeah, Northern Irish. So from the Belfast area initially and then yeah, having spent many years here it’s kind of became a blend of everything.
Adam Vazquez 09:43
Yeah, that you’re in the south, obviously. So that brings its own thing but yeah, if nothing else I wanted to have him on so that we can all collectively hear you talk because but no really appreciate you coming on and obviously going to talk about some organic content today going to talk about what SEO actually is and how customers can think about it. But before we get into all that, I would love you have kind of a unique story. And I think a telling story in the sense of where you came from, and how then you started tip top and how that’s shaped how you view organic content. So we just love for you to give the the quick synopsis on how we got to this point.
Tim Lowry 10:18
Yeah, for sure. And thanks again for having me on Adam. So yeah, my background is not traditionally in digital marketing, I started a different journey. I started out in traditional publishing, which would have been in the market of paperback books, hardback books, working with the major retailers for that. So Barnes Noble, also, Amazon, obviously started to shift in that digital aspect of selling books online. And then of course, all the other mom and pop stores that used to dominate and fill those spaces, and really, that helped get that understanding of what kind of content what do you need to create, to publish, to put out there to get that sell through a big pivot kind of came along as ebooks and started becoming a thing as people started looking for more of that UGC, like user generated reviews, things like that, that helped kind of sway that. And then, of course, the online presence of authors being able to find and discover the authors that you like reading and learning more about them are being influenced, and other ways through bloggers, affiliate sites that would be doing reviews of books. And then of course, they’ve put in Amazon links. And that just kind of triggered off some of that interest in like, Well, how do things? How do we make this visible online, we no longer can, you know, pay for an end cap in a store or for, you know, some other placement that you would have done through the traditional methods. So it was starting then to create those micro sites for authors optimizing listings, so that they’d be more visible for specific keyword searches, working with, again, bloggers, who already had built in networks of readers, how do we get our authors, their books featured or reviewed by these people. And then you see that direct correlation of like, oh, this person, done a really great review on their website, and the next 24 hours, we spiked on Amazon and sold, you know, 1000 copies of this product, because this one influential person spoke about this product. So that really, that got me a little bit excited. There’s kind of that adrenaline kick, you get to see if that just instantaneous of like this done over here. Here’s the result over here, and it’s very easy to see. So yeah, that was that was my journey into that. And then from there, some opportunities came along, that got me into more of the E commerce side of that, and eventually started helping on some e commerce sites and learning SEO along the way. And now, seven years down the road, have my own agency for the last five and a half of those years. And primary focus is largely with E commerce clients. It’s creating that intersection of content and commerce, and then also working with some b2b. But typically, they have a commerce aspect of what they’re they’re doing, there’s something that they may be selling and the lead times just a little bit longer, but again, helping them in the same kind of strategy, but more of a b2b style. So
Adam Vazquez 13:09
Right. Cool, thank you for that. I want to get into some of this. So obviously, we actually worked together on one small project a year and a half ago, or maybe two years now time is a I don’t even time to amaze nothing anymore. Yeah, for the last couple years, but and so I got to see firsthand, and I think your unique perspective when it comes to content, because even just in telling your story, you have this unique blend of First of all, knowing the purpose of content, right, right off the front, which is conversions for dollars, essentially, right? Like how do we take content and make it drive business. But a lot of times when folks have that sort of mindset, it can come off as scammy or overly salesy. And your foundation I think, won’t allow you to do that, because you were working with authors who are working with artists, who really, really believed in the quality and the craft of their work. So a lot of times, I think when it comes to SEO, when it comes to organic content and thinking about it in that commerce sense, people get hesitant because they’ve been burned before, or they have heard the term SEO, but have no clue what it actually, you know, entails or how to do it well. So I guess maybe just lay a primer on what what does good SEO SEO done well, what does that look like? And what what can the outcomes of that be?
Tim Lowry 14:29
Yeah, big question. So I’ll try and distill it down as best as possible. But SEO done well is not just traffic growth, its revenue growth. And ultimately, what you’re doing is providing value for your users. If you go into it, if the mindset of we just want to rank a ton of keywords, and we don’t care what we have to do to rank those keywords, then you’re going to miss the marks on those other things. The users aren’t going to necessarily have the experience so it’s finding that blend of where is it that we’re going to optimize ate things. And where is it that we’re solely focusing on the user and SEO really blends in just more than content. There’s everything from how a site functions, how Google’s able to crawl the site and understand the context of what this site is about. There’s metrics like the PageSpeed, Google pays attention, if you have a slow, clunky site, if it’s not secure, then you have a bunch of other technical things. And then alongside that, architecture, can Google crawl its way through your site? Or do you have a lot of silos or things that are just orphaned off where nothing links to it? If those things happen, then you’re not really flowing equity, well, through your sites. So there’s the two different parts of the technical SEO? And then there is the kind of more glamorous or more fun on page like, why do we create optimized do, and you need that foundation of technical to be right, for the other part to work, and once you bring it all together, and you do it well, then for businesses, then that’s, that’s where it happens. That’s where the growth can be, I was gonna say the sky’s the limit. But really, the limit is the key words of what your audience are looking Yeah, like that’s a true ceiling effect. And for some businesses, it really is the sky’s the limit, where you can have millions of users per year, all their businesses, if they get 500 users per month, that could be huge for them. And that could equate to 10s of millions of dollars. And it just depends on what you’re selling and what you’re doing.
Adam Vazquez 16:23
So pragmatically, I think you mentioned a few times there, the keywords being either a limiting factor or, or the thing that can really fuel your growth. How do you go about just practically speaking, figuring out where your people are spending time in terms of keywords? What, what’s gonna resonate with them? From a messaging standpoint, those sorts of things?
Tim Lowry 16:44
Yeah, there’s a few different methods. So of course, the first thing is learning the business, like what do they what do they do? What are they selling, understanding their process, what makes their product unique, or their service unique, and then figuring out how those customers are searching for that. Some of that is done just through making the searches, taking a look at what the result page says, a business owner might be like, we do x and then whenever you Google up, but x is the competitors that are on there are not competitors to their business, they view themselves incorrectly. So sometimes finding out like, what is that specific thing. And the big thing is really the intent of the result page. If you’re if you optimize something, but the intent is not correct on the page, then you’re not going to get the results. But if you optimize correctly towards the intent, then you’re going to perform better because you’ve now met the expectation of not just Google, but the user that Google is saying is going to be on that page.
Adam Vazquez 17:40
So real quick, let’s pause there. So intent. You said, if you’re not matching the intent, if your explain what that means. So yeah.
Tim Lowry 17:48
So you could you could Google something up. And if you look on the result page, and all of the results on that page is content. And your goal is to have your service page rank on that page, the intent and the page that you’re optimizing to try and get on there, it doesn’t matter how good you make it, Google’s determining that the search intent at that stage is more informational than transactional. So it’s knowing where the user is in the journey. So you want to meet them and intersect at different stages of intense so if there, I kind of think of that around like you have your informational intent, then you have your commercial intent keywords, and it’s knowing when to time for those and what pages to optimize for that.
Adam Vazquez 18:33
Cool, super helpful. And I think that’s something that people can often it’s just that it’s an easy mistake to make, right? You found Yeah,
Tim Lowry 18:40
it’s, it’s so easy. And it changes so often, because, again, Google, they’re constantly, they’re updating, and you can look at something now and six months later, they’ve changed how that result page, all of a sudden, there’s an answer boxes up at the top, there’s people also ask these questions. And really, Google is an answer engine. And your goal is to provide the best possible answers to what somebody is looking for. And if you do that, then they’re going to have more comfort around you your brand, because you’re displaying that expertise, and you’re meeting them at the different intersections of their journey before they make that purchase.
Adam Vazquez 19:17
Right. Right. Okay, good. So, so we started off, we’re assuming, and obviously the the business owner, the marketer, whatever needs to verify this individually, but that the technical side of things is buttoned up, let’s just Yeah, everything. So that’s step one, step two, you know, you find the these keywords, you recognize what the intent is both on the on the search side, as well as what you’re trying to provide. And then talk to us then about then going into optimizing on page. How do you think about that? What’s the process look like? Yeah, so
Tim Lowry 19:46
just to, at its simplest, like core foundational level, so you have a few different elements to the page. So the first thing we’ll talk about is title and meta description. Those are what people will see in the result page and Recently, Google is starting to scrape the page now. And they might do more of a dynamic meta description. So that makes you think like, Okay, well, what I see on my page better be good, because the more quality there is to that, then the more opportunity Google has to grab things and put them out there. And that could increase the click through rate. So your title needs to be clear. It needs to be natural language, that’s a big thing. It’s like there’s keywords, but you don’t want to stuff something with keywords just to get them in there. It has to be natural and incorporate the keyword, it doesn’t matter if you put that keyword to the front of your title tag, or in the middle of a sentence. It’s knowing how to construct it in a way, kind of like Google ad copy, like what’s going to make somebody click on that.
Adam Vazquez 20:43
It’s a real trick. Yeah, the idea behind natural to add to that you’re saying like, because some people may or may not know. But in back in the day, whenever this was, you would just sort of stuff, some of the keywords that you hope to
Tim Lowry 20:56
buy, like a Thanksgiving turkey, you just fill that thing for the keywords. And there’s people that still they think that SEO, you can still do that. The reality is, it’s you know, probably been close to a decade now that Google has really frowned upon something like that. But you’ll still find it occasionally you’ll land on something, and you read it and you’re like, Oh, my, it’s like, it’s just It’s uncomfortable to read, because it feels so rigid.
Adam Vazquez 21:19
This has been a long time since I’ve seen this. But there would be some sites where you’d be on the page. And then you’d somehow accidentally highlight something. And you realize they had a bunch of text on like a colored background, but they made Yeah, that was the best lead you stumble across
Tim Lowry 21:35
that sometimes, yeah, there’s none of that stuff gets through now. It’s like Google, their algorithms are way smarter than we are. And what they’re looking for is genuinely what is giving value to the user and their algorithms are able to tell that. So whenever you’re trying to rank for a keyword, it’s not just one single keyword, you’re trying to rank around all of the different related terms and ways that people can talk about this. So that’s known as LSI. So latent semantic indexing. So Google, now they look for this word, but anybody that talks about this subject, what other themes and words that they use that surround that. And by incorporating that into how you’re, you’re creating your content, how you’re optimizing your page, that’s going to present more value and opportunity, because now all of a sudden, your page isn’t just rigid, it flows, it’s easy for people to read, if they look at it for a different way of saying it, they’re finding it on there. So really, it’s that incorporating of those. And then of course, on the page, you have your h1 tag, your header tag, super important. Your H TOS H threes, structuring it in a semantic order, that makes sense, you don’t want to have all your headings out of order, because then think of it as your h1 is the title of your book, your h2 is basically the chapters and then the h3 are the subsections of those chapters. You don’t start a book with a subsection and then go to the title and then go to you want to have something where Google can break down that information that allows them then for the likes of those answer boxes, whenever you see numbered lists that are pulled in, or bullets that are pulled in. They’re usually based around the heading structure. And if Google has that clear heading structure, it helps them to be able to scrape that into the result.
Adam Vazquez 23:24
Super helpful. So I want to talk about picking platforms and how you advise clients on doing that. But before we do, the one other thing that I would say, I really learned from you, and just the importance of it, when we worked on that project together was your mindset was constantly like, Okay, this is what we’re doing today. But we need to put in either measurement or reminders or whatever, to check in three months, in six months, in nine months to see how this content is performing, how the marketplace has changed, and what we need to alter as a result, how important is it to come back and refresh content? And how do you go about that, when especially an E commerce site, like some of the people you work with are gonna have hundreds of pieces of content that they, they need to think about that for?
Tim Lowry 24:11
I literally was just doing that yesterday, I have a client and in the winter time, we have a winter riding boot post last winter, it was heroic, it drove tons of traffic, great revenue. And there was products that are no longer in stock and straight away in my mind. It’s like, okay, we’re about to enter September, once October comes, Google’s going to pick that thing back up again. And if we have dead links in there, if products are out of stock, so it was going through and it’s like what are our new products for 2021 that are going to be big this winter. Let’s go ahead and refresh the post a little bit. So it’s thinking around seasonality. So that’s one of the things if there’s seasonality to your post to your product or whatever’s in it, making sure that you have just those reminders whether you use a something like apples reminder or If you just have Google notifications, whatever you want to do, set up those reminders, so you know, to go back, and then the other one would be best off. Guys, if you do a best off something 2021. If you don’t update it, by the time 2022 2023 comes around, you can be sure that Google’s gonna drop that because it’s lost its relevancy. So just going in updating the date, refresh the intro, maybe add a new one to the list, drop one off the list, and then just push it back out to Google, they will then keep you in that position. So that way, you’re not really aging your content as much. So yeah, it’s, it’s really, it’s one of the things like it’s a little bit more labor intensive. And like you said, if you have hundreds of pieces of content on the site, but what you have to do is a little bit of benchmarking and pen attention to like which ones are worth going back and doing, when should we be doing them, not every post is created equal, some are going to drive way more traffic, some are going to drive more revenue, some of them are created, because they’re going to get shares and build links. And it’s knowing which ones to pull the lever on at the right time. And again, we try to do a holistic approach and how we create content and some of it is going to be trying to drive that commerce and revenue. But we also know that Google likes sites that are linked to from other sites, so we’re going to create content that people want to link to and want to share. And that’s going to help pass more equity, and then anything that we link out of that, then that basically becomes a hub that can help things run quicker. So again, it’s you have to build different pieces into your strategy that are going to have different goals and what they’re doing. And not piece may not necessarily drive the revenue, but it’s going to allow you to rank all their pieces that do drive revenue. So it’s that fine balance of knowing how to do that.
Adam Vazquez 26:49
Yeah, it’s I love I love especially talking to someone like you who really, you know, enjoys it and understands it, because it is such an art and science. But behind it, there’s so much that I feel like if you as a consultant or a vendor or an agency owner can understand or have a feel for what is going to work in the in the ebbs and flows of it. That’s almost more or it is more valuable. I think the technical the scientific part is important. But knowing what to emphasize and what to get behind is probably the most important thing. So when people are thinking about when when brands, when businesses when he comm commerce platforms are thinking about where do I go? Like where do I spend my time, obviously, there’s going to be on site stuff, but there’s also off site platform building stuff. And I know from your from your days supporting authors to even now you talk about selecting the right platform to invest in, think about that and advise people with that.
Tim Lowry 27:46
Yeah, it depends a lot of times on the business and what they’re doing and their goals, like if you’re a large e commerce, then choosing the right ecommerce platform is essential. Do you go with you know, Shopify, or you at a Shopify Plus level, is big commerce a better option Magento do you need to incorporate a very high level ERP system that works with it headless, not headless, there’s a lot of different decisions that are made along the way. And if you make the wrong decision, you’ll find that you quickly out scale the CMS that you have, or it doesn’t allow the functionality of what you’re trying to do. If you sell two or three products, but you want to do really highly customizable pages, then maybe it’s going for more of like a WordPress iteration with a headless e commerce integration into that. So is knowing knowing the goals, if you’re just purely b2b, WordPress is probably going to be your better option. But the second the E commerce comes into it, then you really want to have something more than a WordPress site with WooCommerce. Because you’re going to your hands are going to get tied pretty quickly. Whereas if you run a Shopify Plus the amount of other apps and integrations that you can use, by way of email marketing, for your ads, for social, everything else, there’s so many other ways that you can optimize your sales channels, even if you sell through Amazon, you can then start integrating your Amazon sales that are populated through that CMS. And it’s trying to think about holistic approach your business or maybe you just use Amazon as your only sales channel, you might decide, I can’t, I can’t provide the marketing engine that is needed to get it out here. But I can put my time into three or four listings on Amazon and really drive revenue through that. And for some businesses, that’s that’s where they go they go to Amazon. The only downside is versus that direct to consumer is of course, Amazon is going to get their, their cut from whatever you’re selling. But the plus side is to you is that you have this totally different search engine than Google and 60% of commercial end 10 searches will start in Amazon, people will go there, and they’ll look for that iPhone case or for you know, running shirts, whatever it might be, they might start their search there. And if you have a listing that’s performing really well, then all of a sudden you’re capturing that audience and you can, you can really scale a business. And I’ve seen some businesses that have had just exponential growth through Amazon, I’ve seen some that sell through their own site and through Amazon. And now Amazon is bigger than their own site, just because that’s where their audience have now started shopping. So the other component is, where is your audience shopping? Do they shop on Amazon? Are they the people that are researching and looking through Google and then landing to the product, and it’s really going to come down to what it is, if you have a really high end product, odds are people aren’t going to Amazon for it, they’re going to go to your site, if you have something that people want quickly, they want something that’s good, but they don’t want to pay the premium price, then they’re probably going to go to Amazon and look for that iPhone case, or whatever it might be on a much quicker, I just want to refresh my case, I’m tired of how it looks. And they’ll jump on there. And if your listing is optimized really well, you’ll find a ton of what I would call kind of no name brands that are selling and the ranking high. And they have 20 30,000 reviews. And you’re like, I don’t see spec or any of those other brands, what’s the other one with like the really thick shield, that’s for the otter otter box that you know, you don’t like there’s no otter box, that is to the top of Amazon, there’s going to be a knockoff otter box, that’s probably a 10th of the price. But they’re crushing that channel for their sales. And for them to go into Google and to try and compete does not make sense. But for otter box, they have that brand recognition, and people are going to pay the premium to buy a really tough resistant case of their site. So again, it’s knowing your audience.
Adam Vazquez 31:59
Yeah, and the one thing I would add to that is is I mean, I think you’re not necessarily giving people branding advice. With that you’re saying like channel, the attention channel, the traffic, the one thing you do have to think about from a brand perspective is let’s say your, your, you know, competitor to otter box, there’s nothing and Amazon has proven at this point, stopping them from starting Amazon box to and being able to bumpy. So whenever you’re using rented land like that, just at least being aware of it. And then thinking through ways that you can incorporate little add ons to drive them to your own owned media site is important.
Tim Lowry 32:36
Exactly. Yeah. And you You nailed it, like Amazon is great as it is. It’s like Google ads and all those other things. It’s Facebook, it’s rented land, and at any stage that can be taken away from you, there can be new rules, there can be a higher margin that they want to take. Or if you get enough complaints, they’ll just pull your listing and they won’t care. And for some seven figure businesses on Amazon, they can be turned off overnight, because Amazon has just decided that it’s not right, right getting complaints, they’re not holding up to our standards. And that’s that person shut down on your own site, you have a little bit more control. There are limitations as to like Amazon, ethically how they allow you to get traffic back to it your own site. But there are some really clever ways that I’ve seen I’ve seen people like I bought a a wet bag for like, whenever you go out paddleboarding or cat kayaking, and you put all your gear in it, you roll it up. So it came with this little card on a tutorial video of here’s how to use this bag properly and get the most out of it. And that took me to a landing page on their website and had a tutorial video. And that was their way to drive somebody back into their site. So again, how do you how do you do that? You can’t necessarily say like, go to my site and leave a review for the product or do this. But can you give a value add in some way that’s going to make somebody want to come over to your site? For me, I was like, Sure, I’ll check out the video. I want to make sure that I don’t damage my my phone or whatever else I throw in it when I go kayaking, so it was just a really clever way.
Adam Vazquez 34:06
Yeah, especially if you don’t have a Amazon Otterbox then you need to you need to figure out the hole.
Tim Lowry 34:12
Exactly. Yeah, I’ve had that with phone cases to here’s how I go to this to figure out how to put the screen protector on with it. And it gives like this gimmicky 32nd video, but they got the traffic to their site. Yeah. And at that stage, if they cookie you or whatever way they want to do it, then they’ve got a little bit more that they can work with. So
Adam Vazquez 34:30
yeah, that’s great. This has been super helpful. Tim, I think one of the most practical just in the weeds conversations that we’ve had to this point. So I really appreciate you sharing Yeah, I love that. My last question for you before we let you go is if you were donated you’re gifted a check right for $150,000 which is not life changing but it’s some money and but stipulation is you have to use it for for advertising purposes, either for yourself or whatever client x where you Where are you looking? First, what’s your first thought to where as to where you’d invest that money,
Tim Lowry 35:04
really, there’s three parts to how I would I would use that first, of course, is going to be SEO because for me, I see that as kind of the driver for so many things, you can do really great email, but you’re going to hit a cap, if you’re not growing your audience, you’re going to get the email, signups you can do great things with paid. But once you spend that 150,000, then it’s gone. With SEO, if you could take a percentage of that and invest that into optimizing your site creating the content, you’re then growing something that’s going to consistently bring traffic back month over month, year over year. And if you do it right and do it, well, you will scale that up. And that will become its own method for driving traffic and awareness for you. The second part then would be learning on email, if you have a really good email integration, especially whenever it comes to e commerce and you’re building out those flows. So you’ve got your welcome series, you’ve got your abandoned cart, your Winback series, you start segmenting your audiences, that allows you then to maximize the value of the customer that’s coming. And at that stage, it’s become an owned audience. Once they’ve opted into your list, you then own that audience, and you start to learn the behaviors and the ability to talk to them. And then the third part would be then Google ads, but the maximize the ads, you’re retargeting off your organic audience. So you’re not trying to pay for cold leads into your site, you’re retargeting off the people that have already had an impression. And you can retarget based upon the type of product or the page or wherever they were. So that’s kind of the three ways that I slice it up, there would be more layers to that. But I would definitely say like, those are the best ways you got to scale the audience. The other things are, are great. But if you spend all your money in Google ads, and then you’ve nothing left, that’s gone. If you don’t have a huge audience, and you’re doing email, then there’s only so much you can harvest from that list, you can’t generate more sales. So you need that mechanism that’s constantly growing, that base of traffic to be able to work from and that’s where SEO really has that long term value to people it takes longer. It’s not that quick win or silver bullet that overnight, all of a sudden, you’re page one for all these different things. But if you consistently do it, you will notice that month over month, and then the year over year is where it really starts to get fun, where you look back and you’re like, Wow, a year ago, we were here. And a year later, we’re twice the volume of traffic now. And that for all the other things just makes it way much more fun for your email for your paid and everything else. Because then you kind of shooting ducks in a barrel at that stage. So yeah,
Adam Vazquez 37:41
I just need to say I did not prepare Tim for that question that that was off the cuff. So that was by far the best answer we’ve been given. Very thorough. Thank you. And I totally agree. I think one question that follow up question I had was with email, your time on the flows and everything. And you may or may not have an answer to this, but any favorite tools to manage all of that. So
Tim Lowry 38:01
I’m going to give a plug for my friend Robbie here because we do work closely together with E commerce clients and clay Vo is hands down probably the best, semi creepy, how much you can tell you everything else, but it is a phenomenal tool. And just the ability to segment your audiences, building flows, everything else, that would be the tool recommendation, but you are going to be hand tied a little bit and that you have to be on like an E commerce CMS. So you’re gonna have to be on like a Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, something like that in order to be able to use it. So it’s not something that you can put into your b2b site. But also just again, just think of different things like the ability to a B test the box that people sign in on, like, it gives some crazy stats and being able to know, specific customers how many times they’ve viewed a product, and then when to drop that email. It’s just that sweet moment of, hey, they’ve viewed it so many times, now’s the time to let them know that this is just went on sale or for the next 24 hours. It’s 10% off. It’s just a really great platform for that kind of thing.
Adam Vazquez 39:08
Yeah, it sounds, it sounds awesome to me, which means it’s probably as creepy to normal people.
Tim Lowry 39:14
It’s that balance. And again, it’s it’s like all things in marketing. I tell people, if you didn’t have all these things, it would be the Wild West like you wouldn’t find what you’re looking for, you would be getting ads that are not relevant to you, you would go on shops, and you’d never know when they’re sales. So all of these things are trying to create a more tailored experience. Unfortunately, there is some abuse that happens where it is like, Okay, that was that was too far or that was too creepy, but these kind of things. They’re not done in a way to be creepy. But if you genuinely want that pair of running shoes, and they’ve just went on sale, and you’ve looked at them five times, it’d be really nice to know, hey, these are on sale now. So you’re providing that value and through content when it’s done well. It’s all about educating and providing value And if you don’t make it salesy, then that’s when it becomes content that converts, because you’re just truthfully giving somebody that overview of like, here’s what you need to know, here’s how this works, here’s why this would be good to have. Here’s some other alternatives to this. And you’re just you’re educating them. And if they leave the site, and afterwards, don’t make a decision, you’ve done your part. But they will probably use what you’ve taught them to continue their search. And if you’ve optimized your other pages, well, you’ll probably show up in front of them two or three more times before they do something, and they will come back. So it’s just again, it’s all about providing value to the user. And that’s, that’s what you get rewarded for.
Adam Vazquez 40:39
That’s great. Couldn’t have said it better. Tim, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all this with us giving us some insight as to what to do and what like SEO can be and then how it should look. If people are interested in what you do or just catching up with you or seeing what you’re up to what’s the best way for them to follow follow up?
Tim Lowry 40:57
Yeah, definitely. So you can go to the website, it’s tip top tip, T O P s m.com. And that same handle can be used on LinkedIn. So you can find him tip top. And the same thing for Twitter. Those are typically the best ways to get me but if you go to my site, it has the links over to those, so I’ll just make it easier for you to find me.
Adam Vazquez 41:21
Awesome. Thanks so much, man. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll catch up soon.
Tim Lowry 41:24
Yeah, thanks so much. Good to talk to you.
Carlton Riffel 41:27
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