Outstanding Content Marketing and White Hat SEO – An Interview with Neil Patel

Neil Patel

Outstanding Content Marketing and White Hat SEO – An Interview with Neil Patel

Neil Patel is a top online marketer and founder of some very popular online marketing tools such as Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. Neil is well known for his great blog posts and content marketing which he uses to grow his own business and his clients businesses.

He’s exceptionally good at creating incredible content that goes viral all over the internet, drawing in massive traffic and getting ranked high in the search engines as a consequence. In this interview he shares his secrets…

Just click the play button below to listen to the interview or read the full transcript below…

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Joey Bushnell: Hi, welcome to The Online Marketing Show! This is Joey Bushnell, today I have a very special guest with me, his name is Neil Patel and he is a very famous internet marketer. Go to quicksprout.com to find out more about Neil.

Neil, thank you for being on the show with me today.

Neil Patel: No problem, thank you for having me.

Joey Bushnell: Neil, how did you get into this industry?

Neil Patel: Sure, I got into this industry because when I was younger I started my first website and I thought if you put a website up online you automatically get traffic to it. I was really naive, I didn’t know any better but I ended up learning that you have to market your site online, just like how you would market your offline business and I didn’t have a ton of  money so I had to learn how to do it myself.

Joey Bushnell: You said you were young when you started learning this stuff, how old were you?

Neil Patel: Around 16

Joey Bushnell: Wow OK, so you’ve been at it a long time!

Today we are going to be talking about various traffic and online marketing topics.

My first question is… On your website you talk about being a growth hacker rather than a marketer, can I ask what is the difference between a growth hacker and a marketer?

Neil Patel: Yes, as Sean Ellis says, a growth hacker is someone who has their nose that points true north. A a growth hacker, let’s break it down without using too many complicated terms, but in marketing you’d be like “Let’s rank my site in Google to get traffic and let’s grow that way” there are many ways to grow a business. You can also grow a business by modifying your product. Such as if you want more space in DropBox but don’t want to pay for it, you can invite more members. Or if you’re on YouTube and you want more people to watch your videos you can create and embed code so people can embed videos on their site. Those are all examples of how you are leveraging a product to cause engagement and users and make more growth in essence.

Joey Bushnell: You’ve worked with some top companies Neil, some huge websites that we’ve all probably heard of. Can you tell us what you are doing to drive traffic to these major websites?

Neil Patel: The big thing is, there is on page SEO. You’ll be shocked how many of these big companies mess up on the basic things like not knowing how to correctly optimize their title tags or they have to put better descriptions on every page.

The other thing we help them with is content marketing. How to write the content, get it out there, promoting it via social media and all those types of things, that way the content spreads and creating infographics, so on and so on.

Then we also help with conversion optimization because a lot of them have visitors but they aren’t converting a lot of them. So we look at what is causing people not to covert, how can we modify elements on the page, the copy whatever it might be, to maximize conversions.

Joey Bushnell: So who are these big sites and companies that you work with?

Neil Patel: I’ve worked with quite a few different sites over the years… Tech Crunch, Amazon, Zappos, NBC, MTV, General Motors, Walmart, Microsoft.

Joey Bushnell: Wow that’s incredible, hats off to you Neil, that’s quite an impressive clients list you have there!

One thing I noticed you are quite good at and especially on your site Quicksprout.com, is as you mentioned content marketing. So what does it take to get mass traffic to a piece of content because a lot of people are creating content but it’s not going viral, people aren’t taking much notice of it. So what do you do differently?

Neil Patel: So one thing is you need to make sure the content piece is exceptionally good. There are too many people doing content marketing these days and unless it’s extremely good it’s not going to do well.

The next thing is you have to promote it. People spend all their time creating the content but they don’t spend anytime promoting it. You should be spending 50% off the time promoting it. Email other bloggers and say “I’ve just released this, feel free to share it with your audience and feel free to tweet it out.” Find other twitter users who you think may like it, try to get them to tweet it out. Find others with Facebook fan pages and see if they want to share it with their audience. Spend a lot of time promoting it don’t just spend time creating the content itself you need to do both.

Joey Bushnell: OK, so the content itself Neil, does it need to be lengthy? I know on your site you have a lot of definitive guides and it’s what I would call epic content, it’s a bit above and beyond what everyone else is doing.

Neil Patel: Yes, the overall goal is just go above and beyond. If you go above and beyond like I do on Quicksprout, eventually you’ll do well. We do the same thing on kissmetrics, just go above and beyond with the content.

Joey Bushnell: In the past I’ve heard you say that infographics work well, why do they work well for getting natural links?

Neil Patel: The reason they work really well for natural links is the fact that they are showing data in a visual format not everyone enjoys reading. But if you can show data in a visual format, that is pretty powerful. So you have to consider, how you can you end up justdumbing it down and showing really complex data in a very simplistic form.

Joey Bushnell: How does social media affect SEO?

Neil Patel: Social media affects SEO because the search engines have explicitly said “we look at social signals when ranking sites” so it is part of their algorithm these days.

Joey Bushnell: OK, and is it as strong as having a back link? Or not quite as strong? Or would you say they are equal?

Neil Patel: Yeah, at the end of the day I would say back links would be the majority, social media helps but it trickles down from there drastically. I would say back links as the majority, then on-page optimization covers many different factors and then things like social signals start coming later down the road.

Joey Bushnell: Do you bother with traditional back linking strategies Neil? A lot of people, rather then trying to do great content marketing that gets natural back links, they are trying to get back links in other ways. Do you do that at all or is that something you don’t really do?

Neil Patel: Not really, I used to back in the day but I haven’t done that sort of stuff in a long time.

Joey Bushnell: So the back links that you get, you’re just creating such good content that people link to it naturally?

Neil Patel: That is correct

Joey Bushnell: OK. You talk on your site about turning traffic into relationships, can you give us any tips on how we can do this?

Neil Patel: So the way you would convert them into relationships is simple. You would help people out. That is what most people don’t want to do. Take the time. If you have a blog, respond to comments, if someone emails you, email them back. Help them, don’t always look for money. Help people because you want to help people. So all of those are ways you can end up converting traffic into relationships.

Joey Bushnell: And then relationships often become customers, is that the idea?

Neil Patel: That’s correct, just keep helping people out you’ll be surprised how many of them will become a customer.

Joey Bushnell: Cool, how important is it to have a mobile friendly website? Does that affect our search engine rankings at all?

Neil Patel: It does for mobile and it’s really important, the reason being whether we like it or not everything is moving to the mobile web. iPads, mobile phones or android devices, whatever it might be, the growth rate of mobile devices is growing at a much faster pace than laptops and computers.

Joey Bushnell: So if our site isn’t currently mobile ready what would you suggest we do? Start again from scratch? Or are there any little plug-ins we can use to make it mobile responsive?

Neil Patel: There aren’t any really good ones that I know, I’m actually trying to think of one. There is one for WordPress but I don’t remember the name and it didn’t work quite well. It doesn’t make your design responsive, it just puts an ugly skin on it and it’s like “Hey now you can consume peoples content in a friendly way” but I don’t know of a quick way to makea website responsive other than doing it manually and getting someone to modify your CSS.

Joey Bushnell: So it might be a bit of a pain in the butt but it’s better to get it over and done with now, just get a mobile friendly site.

My final question Neil, was about analytics. I know you have two products that give people extra insights about the visitors coming to their websites. One of those is Crazy Egg and the other is KISSmetrics. Could you tell us about those 2 tools, how they can help us and what extra insights they can give to us?

Neil Patel: So let’s start with KISSmetrics, the insights it provides is it gives more details on your customer. For example you use Google analytics to see what happened on your website but it doesn’t tell you who did what. Kiss metrics answers that “who” question that Google analytics can’t answer.

So they will tell you who is doing what, on your site. With that data you can determine how to decrease your churn or increase your conversion rate or increase the lifetime value of your customer or increase the average selling price. If you know more about your customers, in a non-creepy way, you can figure out how to give them a better experience which provides a win-win scenario in which you’ll make more money and they’ll be happier with what you are providing them.

Crazy Egg on the other hand is usability analytics tool in which you look at your data in Google analytics, which is a great tool by the way, and it shows you the numbers of people visiting this page you have “x” people buying. But it doesn’t visually show you how people are interacting on your pages. So what crazy egg does is helps you visualize where people click and where they don’t and it does this through heat maps.

It will show you hot spots of where they click a lot or hold their mouse a lot and cold spots for where they don’t. It also shows you how far people scroll down your page, it lets you segment that data off of search engines, different keywords or different browser devices, laptop mobile or desktop. We actually track mobile, iPads and even laptops so you can see how do your mobile visitors interact with your website differently than laptop users, so you can figure all of that out through the use of Crazy Egg.

Joey Bushnell: Awesome, thank you so much for taking the time to be with me today and answering my questions. Where can we get more of this kind of information and content from you?

Neil Patel: I’ll be cranking out content on a weekly basis so hopefully it all helps you guys grow your businesses.

Joey Bushnell: Is that over at quicksprout.com is that the place to be?

Neil Patel: Yes quicksprout.com, there is blog.kissmetrics.com, there is blog.crazyegg.com, all three of those sites.

Joey Bushnell: Awesome. That’s the end of today’s episode, thank you for tuning in. Neil, thank you for being on the show today.

Neil Patel: No problem at all.

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