Key Strategies to Dominate SEO

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Justin Smith. Justin is the CEO of OuterBox. OuterBox is a digital marketing company that helps companies increase their sales and learn how to dominate SEO.

How to dominate SEO in the for your targeted keyword phrases? Many companies struggle with finding answers to this question. This is why there are digital marketing experts that can save your day!

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Justin Smith. Justin is the CEO of OuterBox. OuterBox is a digital marketing company that helps companies increase their sales and learn how to dominate SEO.

The conversation started with Curt and Ira introducing the guest. After this Justin gave a brief introduction about himself and his company. He told that he started his company in 2004 after dropping out of college. Adding to this, Justin said that in college he knew more than his teachers. This is when he thought that he is better off starting his own business instead of college.

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After this Justin said that his company is at such heights of success now that they get 200 to 300 phone call leads without trying. By the middle of the conversation, Justin shared a presentation he prepared. While sharing that, he said that many manufacturing companies who did traditional marketing are now shifting to SEO.

Apart from this, he said that he has 150 clients on board right now. According to him, what differs his company from the crowd is its strategy. What they do at his company is that they keep a database for every client they work with. Doing so gives them a lot of leads that they can work with for future clients.

This is how Justin thinks you dominate SEO in online marketing. After this Justin talked a little about choosing the right keyword. He said that it doesn’t matter what product you sell, you can always find keywords that will increase your SEO ranking.

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Adding to this, he said that when you choose a keyword you have to think of what people want generally when they search for a particular thing.

By the end of the conversation, Justin talked more about how to dominate SEO. He said that if you want a particular product to show on top you should have the keywords accordingly. Moreover, that page should also open a large number of categories because google ranks the pages that have more options available.

The conversation ended with Justin talking about optimizing your product catalog. With this, Curt and Ira thanked Justin for his time.

Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.

Thanks to Justin for sharing his time and knowledge with the group.

MFG eCommerce Success

Learn from the experiences, methods, and tips of other business owners from all niches within eCommerce. Get to know their success stories and get ready to achieve yours.

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keywords, manufacturers, justin, seo, website, page, search, product, link, great, clients, question, rank, people, ira, talk, dear friend, article, selling, build


Ira Bowman, Curt Anderson, Justin Smith


Ira Bowman  00:00

Hello everybody. Welcome to another manufacturer series of e commerce manufacturing services. This is this is Kurt show really I’m just filling in for Damon.





Ira Bowman  00:12

Kurt if you don’t know runs b2b tail he is bald and beautiful like me. Well,


Curt Anderson  00:19

I think I think Justin feels left out right now. Don’t you think IRA he


Ira Bowman  00:24

isn’t. He’s got all his hair. He’s got a nice smile. He’s got everything I don’t have. He doesn’t.



He feels totally left out with us up here. So



his razor works. I


Ira Bowman  00:33

mean, this is this guy. He’s in Oh, ah, I Oh, so he is. So hey, I’m


Curt Anderson  00:39

a book guy. So Oh, ah, I Oh, Justin. So hey, guys, welcome. My name is Kurt Anderson. I want to give a huge huge thank you first to my dear friend, Ira Bowman. If you’re not connected with IRA, if you’re not, I don’t know how I don’t know who on LinkedIn is not familiar with IRA Bowman. So please drop your LinkedIn profile in the chat box. Justin, I have yours. I’m going to drop it in in one second. So for those of you that come to our program weekly, we had a little little sad news, our dear friend Damon, who’s my co host from exit your way his father passed on this past week. So our thoughts and prayers are with Damon.

He’s fine back home today. He’s been gone for three weeks. So our thoughts are with Damon but I wrote is filling in IRA is just absolutely amazing, incredible Bowman digital media. So our guest today. We man I am Justin, I’m unable to sleep all week, dude, I’ve been just so fired up for this. We’re here to talk about key strategies to help manufacturers dominate SEO. We talk about that all the time. How do we dominate those search keywords for your manufacturing operation? So let me just tell you a little bit about my friend Justin Smith. So Justin, young man, again, jealous of the hair.

But 19 years old, he decides You know what, I’m leaving college, and I’m going to start an internet marketing firm and just want to find out how that went over with friends, family, whatever, started outer box 2004 and has built it into 75 employees I believe was up 40%. Last year, he has a he was the coveted Inc 500 no less. So Justin, welcome. Thank you for joining our program. Hi, good. So let’s talk about 2004. What was that leap of faith going from college to starting this firm?


Justin Smith  02:20

Yeah, I just really, you know, it was that time where I decided that I would rather make money than spend money at school, and honestly, digital digital marketing programs and website design programs. I was going to the Art Institute. And it was right. It was actually the first year they had those programs. And the teachers were asking me to help teach the classes because I knew more than they did. And no joke, the teacher came to me and said, Hey, if you want a degree, if you want a piece of paper, you know, you can get one.

But you’re not gonna learn anything in the next four years. Right? You know, I decided to go for it. I think everybody in my family thought I was crazy dropping out of school. But, you know, the reality was, I was four years ahead of where I would have been starting the company in 2008. And the amount of SEO companies and web development ecommerce companies started in those four years would have put us way behind so it’s, uh, it definitely worked out getting into it when I did. That is awesome.


Curt Anderson  03:25

And just out of curiosity, friends, family, parents, you know, when you come home and say, Hey, I’m no longer going to college, I’m starting my I’m choosing entrepreneurship. How did that go over with the folks and family and stuff? No, I


Justin Smith  03:38

mean, it went over fine. I didn’t live at home, I lived on my own already in everything. So you know, when you’re doing that you can you can make your own decisions, but I’ve always been pretty driven. So I think everybody knew if I was gonna do something, as I’ll figure it out,


Curt Anderson  03:54

that’s awesome. So our program here we target manufacturers, so you know, manufacturers, you know, 30 employees, 50 100, couple 100 employees, and a mark, you know, and they’re selling widgets, manufacturing great products. Here you’re providing a service and have just crushed it. I know a few folks on your team, Alicia, Daniel, you know, big shout out to those guys for making this connection. Talk a little bit from an entrepreneur standpoint. When When did you know that like you’ve turned the corner like I really have a good solid business here. When did you kind of see taken off the runway?


Justin Smith  04:25

Yeah, honestly, it was it was interesting because we got into it first when we started the company. We really just website design build an e commerce websites. And SEO came about because we realized we needed to do or I realized I needed to do SEO myself in order to get new products. In then that kind of got the ball rolling. We ended up ranking number one on Google when you search ecommerce website design, probably back in 2006 2007.

We might be number one or in the top three right now still ecommerce websites design, e commerce, website development, those type of keywords. And once we got those positions leads started coming in, you know, and I say we grew our business organically and organically for us means a little. It’s a little different organic search.

So when we got in those positions, the ball just kind of kept rolling, we got leads coming in, people were calling us, you know, and now that we’ve grown the company, we have these rankings, we we get 200 to 300 calls a month for new projects. Now. I mean, those are people calling us we don’t do any outbound sales. It just shows the power of search engine optimization when you do it, right, and how it can totally transform your business. Like you said, we’ve hired 75 people, and we’ll be well over 100 pretty soon. And that’s honestly all from doing SEO. I mean, it’s 99% of our leads come from our own SEO efforts.


Curt Anderson  05:59

Right, isn’t it so you’re not talking to talk you literally you practice what you preach? You’re taking these proven strategies. You’ve been doing it since you know, prior to the 2008 crash, and just you’ve built this up, and just folks for we have great friends in the program. My friend Laura and Nancy, they’re surviving the snow Joyce john, thank you for joining us. Gail just talked to Gail today, my buddy Dave Bonnie’s on the call. Love you, Bonnie, Alicia’s here. So guys, 2012 Justin hits that coveted Inc. 500 and so now in last year, 40% I saw I read an article that you guys put out 40% up, do you feel that COVID was a big escalator for you? Or like what was going on in 2020? For you?


Justin Smith  06:42

Yeah, 2020 just like everybody, you know, it felt like the world ended in March. And, you know, we didn’t get one lead for about a month, which, you know, for us, we’re usually getting 10 a day. So that was a little scary. I think everybody felt that, that weird pain one way or another for for a month. But you know, after that ecommerce businesses in general, which, you know, we really focus on e commerce, whether that’s b2b b2c, you know, they all realize that, obviously, e commerce is the future.

So, yeah, I mean, it didn’t, didn’t hurt us by any means. You know, I think this year is probably going to be even bigger for us. We already felt like we were on that growth trend and trajectory. But this is accelerated things. And honestly, our biggest The biggest challenge for growth right now is being able to hire people quick enough and get everybody up to speed. Awesome. So,


Curt Anderson  07:42

guys, so I’m going to jump right into our program. So Justin, I know you have some slides, some powerful examples that you want to show us again, I want to give a big shout out. Hello, Jeff. Jalen, everybody on the call today. If you guys are just jumping in, please drop your LinkedIn.

Let’s all connect let’s network. We’ve got IRA Bowman here, I put Justin’s LinkedIn profile in the chat box, pleat. Let’s make this interactive. Please put questions. If you’re a first timer here. When we’re done with Justin, we hang out, hang out with us. We’re going to go go back to what’s called tables. And we can have an opportunity to chat further. So Justin, if you want to go ahead and share your screen, let’s take a look at what you’ve got going on here.



Sure, let’s do it.


Ira Bowman  08:20

And while he’s doing that, he said 200 to 300 inbound leads come in without any sales efforts, bro. That’s awesome. Seo. That’s that’s what SEO is, as manufacturers


Curt Anderson  08:31

Think about that. Just think about just getting that that consistent constant lead flow. And that’s what he does for OtterBox. And that’s what he does for his clients.


Justin Smith  08:39

Yeah, I mean, it’s crazy. There’s so many manufacturers, and I’ll talk about this a little bit as we get going that, you know, they’ve really never stepped in the SEO space. And the trend that we’re seeing is far as manufacturers are, obviously trade shows are not happening, right. So there’s a lot of money and a lot of budgets that were traditionally used in other places that are being they’re being moved and they’re being moved around. And a lot of those are going towards search marketing and digital marketing.

So it’s becoming more and more competitive to rank for keywords that a lot of manufacturers were not worried about. It never thought about it’s just they’ve been doing business for 100 years in a different way. So it’s important now to get started on a campaign. It’s a lot easier to get to the top and stay there than it is to let all your competitors get to the top and then decide you’re gonna try. So manufacturers are definitely going full speed and SEO right now.


Curt Anderson  09:37

Isn’t it crazy? And you’re seeing all sorts, all sorts of opportunities and a great thing with manufacturers, you know, on the retail side, you know, flowers, restaurants, food, flowers, you know, the, you know, shoes, you know, the the everyday products are so competitive. You know, Justin and I know what we’re seeing with manufacturers is there’s just great opportunities on keywords. niching down Focus on, you know, their specialties of what they do.


Justin Smith  10:03

Yeah, you can get results a lot quicker, that’s for sure. Because it’s not as competitive. And a lot of times the average sales a lot higher. So it’s a it’s perfect. Okay, you can see my screen, correct. All right, perfect. All right. So let’s talk about is SEO for manufacturers really any different? You know, people, people always come to us and they say, well, isn’t it different in our industry?

How does Google, you know, figure out who should rank in really, Google’s algorithms always the same, Google’s algorithm isn’t changing, depending on if it’s a b2c keyword, or b2b keyword, Google’s algorithm is always the same. Now the way it shows results may be a little bit different. When you’re searching for shoes. Like you said, Kurt, you might get, you may get shopping results, you may get some different things there. As far as the way that the results look, when you’re searching local, you get the maps at the top and things like that.

But really, Google’s algorithm is the same, whether you’re b2b or b2c. Now, the nice thing about that is it means that you can learn from b2c businesses and b2c websites that may have a similar website format or product structure. So even though they may sell a product, that’s $10, and you may sell a product $1,000, or they may have an Add to Cart button, and you may have a get a quote button, there’s still a lot of things you can learn from other websites and other efforts. Really what we try to do it out of the box, and it’s one of the biggest reasons that people work with us is that we’re working on 150 plus SEO campaigns every month right now.

And what we do is we take all of that data, and we store it in a database. So when we’re talking data, we’re talking, what tasks did we do, what pages did we build? What links did we build. And we actually store all of this in a database that we built, it’s great, because it allows us to do monthly reporting for our clients and show them everything that we did throughout the month. But it also allows us to then analyze all that data and see what’s working. So when someone comes on board with us, we can look at other clients that have been successful for the last six months.

And we can say that they did this, this, this and this in these orders. Well, if we can do that and apply it to your business, you’re going to have the same results. So what we’re really trying to do is take the guessing out of it. And again, having 150 plus clients and being the size we are gives us a lot more data than most agencies have, especially when you get in the e commerce and catalog space. Right? And when what you’ve done, you know, you have such a vast database and sampling of customers clients, that you’re it removes the guessing, like you’re not guessing you’re taking proven systems, proven processes, and really moving the needle quickly for your clients.

Yeah, for sure. So that’s, that’s a, that’s a huge thing. So typical challenges that we see in the in the b2b manufacturing space. It can be tough to find keywords that have search volume, right some some clients have very niche products, their manufacturing parts and all kinds of things that it can be tough to find keyword volume, need to beat out thomasnet and other directories, sometimes that can be challenging. They have a lot of domain authority and authority and have been around for a long time. not always easy to come up with blog posts and article topics.

I know it’s it’s not always sexy to write about manufacturer type products. So that can be a challenge. We see a lot of manufacturers that don’t even have an article section or a blog section because they say, you know, what the heck would we write about we sell a screw? Right? So that can be a challenge, right? Um, you may have a lot a large product catalog with lots of products, but not much product details or product information. Because sometimes clients have 50,000 or 100,000 skews. Clearly, you’re not going to write extensive product descriptions about every screw sighs You know, when you have 1000s of them.

A lot of websites in the space we see powered by grps. Again, because they’re using that VRP to store all the product information and they may use that same year p system to power their website, sometimes those aren’t the best. And also it can be challenging to find link building opportunities. Again, if you’re selling telescopes, there’s a lot of astronomy blogs, right? If you’re selling shoes, there’s a lot of fashion blogs to work with and do guest posting on when you’re selling. You know, top washers are selling plastic sheeting or whatever it is. There aren’t too many blogs about those topics. Well, that can be challenging and finding link opportunities. Definitely.


Curt Anderson  15:02

Absolutely. And so this is a great topic. And so so many manufacturers like we talk quite often on our program and with manufacturers, you know, in just in you know, you know, hey, what do you do? I’ve been metal, I cut steel, I’m in CNC, I do injection molding, or I make circuit boards. It’s something very broad again, like shoes, flowers, and my dear friend, Laura. Laura. Hello, Laura.

We had a great conversation the other night. She’s a great manufacturer up in Washington, Seattle area. And, you know, we’re talking about how do you like really niche down? So instead of like, trying to capture CNC, or I fabricated metal, you know, like, what do you encourage your clients on, like, trying to get like, you know, in our language that those longtail keywords, but how do you, you know that that the manufacturer doesn’t quite get that? How are you helping them walk through that process to find those great keywords?


Justin Smith  15:52

Yeah, so let’s talk about choosing keywords. So, like you said, you can go after the big ones, you can go after TNC, this client, one of ours, they wanted to go after extruders and extruder machines and things like that, they ranked number one for extruders. Right now we got them from number 90 to number one. So it’s possible, there’s no reason not to rank for big keywords.

But at the same time, what you’ll often see is that those niche keywords are going to convert better, because someone that knows they need to buy an extruder they’re typically going to search for a rubber extruder for a pellet extruder for you know, food, extruder whatever it is, that makes sense for them, because they know what they want.

So these big keywords, while they’re great, don’t get too wrapped up in them, because they don’t always convert as well anyways. You know, so it’s kind of thinking, working with your sales team and thinking, you know, what would someone really search for? What would they really be looking for if they knew what they wanted? And they were farther down that sales funnel?


Curt Anderson  17:00

That’s exactly right. So again, what we really encourage manufacturers, I think, where are you in the supply chain? What are your core strengths and competencies.

And, you know, we always talk about like that entrepreneurial curse, where we try to be everything to everybody, manufacturers, you know, like, hey, we’ll do any CNC job or any fabricating, you know, and all sudden, they, you know, they get an RF cue, it’s really not in their strike zone, and they’re there, you know, it’s not a good fit, you know, but if we targeted CNC for a certain type a certain part or a certain engine, like Laura and I were talking about, like, you know, turbine engines for motor, you know, injection molding, but like, taking it one step further can is you’re saying can really, you know, hit those golden nugget keywords,


Justin Smith  17:43

oh, yeah. And the conversion rates are so much higher on that. So, you know, I’m, like we’re looking at here, don’t lose sight of those small keywords, we have to talk clients into going after them quite often, because there’s like a, you know, it’s not people aren’t searching for it that much. One, one thing to look at is if you’re using search volume tools, using h refs, you know, SEO Moz, whatever it is sem rush.

A lot of times, you’ll see that there is no keyword volume. So it’ll show zero and say no one ever searches for this, I always say, you know, take a step back from that. And just sometimes try to think logically, if you’re, if you’re selling a certain product, people call you and they ask for that product and they say certain type of words, someone, they’re going to search for it as well. So even if a tool is so showing zero search volume, I think it’s always beneficial to say, hey, let’s build a landing page for it anyways, and let’s see what happens.

Often we’ll see pages driving 50 to 100 visits a month, on keywords that say there’s no volume. So if you’re getting 100 visits, it’s probably searched 500 times in just showing your volume. So there can be a big benefits to doing that. And, you know, don’t lose sight of it, just because it doesn’t show that there’s a ton of volume in it. Those pages are creating a lot of leads for our clients every month, and they can be really high dollar sales. You know, there’s there’s keywords that even if you get five visits a month, if you get a lead from it, even if you get a couple leads a quarter that that can pay off an entire campaign. So definitely don’t lose sight of small keywords.


Curt Anderson  19:28

Now that that’s a great point I ran I were just talking the other day about you know, some Pay Per Click strategies and like and again, folks when you’re going after those longer tail keywords and like my little goofy, simple example I run I have teenage daughters, I would say like hey, instead of targeting shoes, or even one step further running shoes, what if you know if you sell pink running shoes with purple shoelaces, very specific so if I saw those, like just insane even if there’s no search volume, that’s the page that we want to have. That’s a keyword we’re going after. Now if our teenagers Orders want pink running shoes with purple shoelaces.

That’s a good match. Now taking my simplistic example and we convert that to your pay per click strategy or your keyword strategy, I bend metal for gas engine, you know, data or you know, again, whatever your specialty is, you need want like just insane one lead that turns into a five figure a six figure RF cue. Was that worth it? Absolutely on pay per click, you might only be bidding a quarter 50 cents for that keyword as opposed to if I bid on CNC and I’m bidding $20 for that keyword. So again, Justin, kudos to you. Great strategy here. And I love how you’re defining don’t don’t ignore, don’t be defeated by the lack of search volume. Love that.


Justin Smith  20:45

Yeah. And it can’t hurt to build landing pages, right? The worst thing that happens is you spend some time building and maybe spend some money with an agency if you’re using an agency. But you know, it’s not gonna hurt anything, right? Maybe it doesn’t get any visits, if it doesn’t. So I always say, you know, if you don’t cast the net, you don’t put it out there, there’s no chance to


Ira Bowman  21:04

show trends change to you know, sometimes these small keywords can turn into big keywords, and you’re at the leading edge of that you could you could skip a lot of fish.


Justin Smith  21:12

That’s, that’s for sure. So, you know, looking at industry pages, looking at application pages, all those kind of things. I know, even without a box one, this is a good example I can use because you know, I have the data. But I at one point said, Hey, I wonder if people search for SEO Services specifically for Google. So I looked at the keyword volume for the keyword Google SEO services, or Google SEO service.

And it said there were no one ever searched for it. And I was just like, I don’t see how that’s possible. So we built a page around Google SEO services. And I’m pretty sure if you go on Google right now and you search Google SEO service, I think we’re number one, or maybe Google’s number one or number two, but we’re right up there. And we’re getting 10 to 15 leads a month from that page. It shows zero search volume. So it’s it’s


Ira Bowman  22:00

searched every minute of the day. It should. Yeah.


Justin Smith  22:03

So you sometimes have to use common sense and not a keyword research tool.


Curt Anderson  22:08

Hey, and just real quick in the chat box. So just a couple of things. So again, my dear friend, my love of my life, Bonnie talks about our purple purple laces. But joy says I want search for sparkly tennis shoes, found them and bought them. So again, think about those niche keywords, we want to get to you know, get away from CNC or I’ve been metal or you know, whatever it is, but take it a couple steps further. So choice, great example, Craig, is there a benefit to building landing pages on your main website URL, or on a separate your separate URL associated with a landing page builder?


Justin Smith  22:44

Yeah, I would, I would say definitely build it on your main website. Because the problem is when you start using other domains, then you have to do link building for those domains, you have to build the domain authority. So really, what you want to do is you want to create as much content as possible around your topics on your one site, and you want that site to become an authority on the subject. Some of the strategies we’re going to talk about are how you become an authority. Because once you are an authority, you can rank for everything. So keeping that all under one name and one domains is definitely going to be


Curt Anderson  23:16

most powerful. Perfect, real quick. I missed one here. JOHN. I just met john yesterday, john, thanks for joining us. Great guy one. I’d love to talk more. His comment thomasnet has a huge drive was a huge driver of referral traffic to my website. When I was with my previous company. Have you had any experience with with Thomas? No, I really I haven’t gone deeper. Tom. It’s not just in a view.


Justin Smith  23:38

Yeah, we’ve seen it work for for some of our manufacturers, for sure. I mean, they’ll come to us, and they’ll say, hey, we’ve been on thomasnet for 10 years. That’s how we used to get all our leads. Yep, I seen that going down for sure. You know, people might they may have had 100 leads a month from now they’re getting 30.

So that’s definitely been going down. I feel like Thomas that used to rank for absolutely everything. And now people are beating them out. And manufacturers are spending time and energy and becoming an authority on the topic and Google rewarding them with that and ranking them above thomasnet. So their rankings are falling down. But you know, 10 years ago when manufacturers didn’t even have websites at the time. thomasnet was everything. It was like the Yellow Pages.


Curt Anderson  24:24

Exactly. And I think my dear friend Nancy, from from Seattle is on Washington State is on the call. She’s a wire harness manufacturer. And Justin, you made a great point about you know, creating that content. And, you know, in manufacturing, it’s not the most sexy or most exciting, but you know, what, if there’s an engineer at Boeing, or there’s an engineer at Halliburton, or whatever we talk about, you know, your ideal customer, you know, I call them those soulmates.

And your soulmate out there has a problem today and they’re doing a Google search, and it’s something that they don’t know or don’t understand, but you’re an expert at and you’ve typed up this little blog piece by them. Article could be the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen, because you’ve helped me solve a problem.

You know, as manufacturers. We’re not just making you know, we’re not making great products, we’re solving great problems, you know, so, so again, encourage all of you think about that content. You know, Bonnie crushes it all the time with our video content, wrote another quick question. Dave in Buffalo asked, What would we change meta tags for each new keyword on a landing page,


Justin Smith  25:27

see your meta tags, you know, you want to change your title tag, of course, your meta description, your meta keywords tag, your meta description really will not impact SEO, but it’ll impact your click through rate. So the meta description, you know, we search on Google, you see your title. And then below, you see the description. That’s your meta description. So that can help you get more clicks by making that enticing. So it is beneficial to have a unique meta description for every page. Meta Keywords at this point, you don’t even need them, you could just get rid of that and totally not even have a medic keywords tag.


Curt Anderson  26:04

Perfect, excellent tip. And lastly, gal says this is the best explanation. I’ve heard of SEO, especially for manufacturing. So great job, Justin. Gatlin, I just met today had a great call. So thank you for joining us gal. So I’m just gonna go ahead. I don’t want to distract from let’s talk about this slide here. Yeah.


Justin Smith  26:22

So article topics. Again, the whole goal here is to be an expert in your industry, and to show Google that you’re an expert. If you can be the expert, and you can have the authority in Google’s mind, then you can rank for everything that you want to rank for. It’s why we rank for tons of SEO keywords, tons of e commerce keywords, because we’re always putting out good content.

And we’re the thority on the topic. So one way to do this, because it’s not as easy for manufacturers is what questions do clients typically ask your sales team potential clients? I even use this because we’re running out of topic ideas sometimes. And I go to my sales team, and I say, hey, what questions are people asking what what questions?

Are they asking when you review a proposal with them? You know, and you can get a lot of really good questions out of that people ask, Hey, how do I set up my shipping? Or how does this work? Or, you know, how are we calculating tax during checkout? for different locations across the country? Use those questions that your sales teams getting asked and go write articles. Like you just said, you have someone bowing they searched a certain question, and you have an answer that’s very valuable content and often leads to them feeling like you’re the expert and wanting to contact you and work with you.


Curt Anderson  27:41

Absolutely. Ira in our dear friend who’s a friend of the show, Greg, Misha always talks about the know, like, and trust know, like, and trust. And by just putting that article out there, they’ve already potentially liked you. They’re already starting to trust you. Right, Ira.


Ira Bowman  27:55

Yeah, and one tip for everybody, I just did it last night, if you want to see an example, I wrote a post, it was five components or five ingredients that all marketing campaign should include to be successful, then I made a blog about it, because you know, the post, you can only do so much. So expanded. And I’m like, this would make a great video, because sometimes people don’t want to read that much.

So you can capture all everybody and build your keyword authority in rank, if you just like, keep that formula in mind. So posting, blogging, and videos. And then if you want to really cheap, make sure that your backlinks are in your in your description of your video, and then go in and insert the link to the video inside the blog. So they can read blog and watch the video. You know what I mean? That just those tools can help you so much with your SEO?


Justin Smith  28:48

Yeah, for sure. And that’s, that’s a great example. I totally agree. You know, creating product guides, buying guides, how it works, all those kind of things. In the one I have the lowest pricing and cost articles. People don’t think about this often. But every product in the world there every service people wonder how much it costs. They’ll search, how much does this machine cost? How much does a extruder costs? People search, you know, for one of our best pages, obviously on our site, if you search SEO pricing on Google, I think I think we might rank number one for that. In that in just like you said, if you go to that we have a video in there.

It’s a couple minute video with me talking about you know, when you’re getting quotes for SEO Services, what to think about why some people charge 200 bucks a month and other people charge 10,000? What’s the difference? So those pricing and cost articles can be great. And often you’re getting people that are really in the mindset of buying, you know, they’re like, Hey, I got tasked to buy this service or I need to buy this product. And I just wonder how much it costs is I’m looking at companies here. So let me see So, really high converting art articles.


Ira Bowman  30:03

Not all SEO is the same guys. Right? So $100 service is not going to be the same as a $10,000 service at least I hope not.


Curt Anderson  30:11

Well, you would, you would think anyway, anyway, Justin, another comment from our dear friend Bonnie. So Bonnie is in Manhattan. And she’s a she’s a manufacturer, women business owner. She’s dynamic. She’s crushing it on Tic Tac millions and millions of views on Tick tock, she’s the video Queen on LinkedIn, please connect with Bonnie, her question or comment?

What’s your best advice for company creating a new category in their space, her company is called goal lids. And she’s come up with this incredible solution. You go to Starbucks, Dunkin donut, any fast food, you walk out, you have your soda, you ever drink your coffee, she’s created a plastic or recycled plastic piece that goes on top. And you can put your sandwich fries hotdog, if you’re in a ball game, whatever. That’s her cool cutting edge product. So again, her question, what’s your best advice for a company creating a new category in their space?


Justin Smith  31:03

So I assume it’s asking because there’s probably not much search volume around that yet.


Curt Anderson  31:08

Great. And I wrote, and I’ve been dealing with this. So so you know, if you’re not selling a commodity, it can a coke can or you know, running shoes, like we’ve talked about? So it’s a new product category like Bonnie or some manufacturers are getting into a new product. If I’m found the question correctly, how do you create that new category? That new category? What would your advice be?


Justin Smith  31:30

Yeah, I mean, I would, even though you feel like there might not be much volume around that yet. I would create it and I would think, you know, try to think in the future, what will people search for? You know, they might not be searching for it yet. But as it becomes popular, what will they search for, and it’s always beneficial to be out there first, because years from now, someone may try to knock that off, there may be other people searching for it. And you know, having that up in in reading now, being ahead of it means you’ll be the first one there, and we’ll probably stay at the top. So it’s, it’s always beneficial.


Curt Anderson  32:07

Right. And I think the great thing is, again, as marketers for manufacturers, you know, a common thing is, you know, it’s overwhelming or intimidating, you know, I’ve been I’m a manufacturer, I’ve been making a widget for 30 years now, this whole new internet digital thing is kind of thrown me off. And it’s really like, how did you talk? How do you talk in person? How would you talk at a trade show? How would you talk on a sales call, bring that to your SEO strategy, bring that to your content creation, bring that with your videos, you know, we don’t we, you know, let’s simplify it not make it more complicated than what it needs to be.


Justin Smith  32:38

Yeah. And we’re creating categories. I mean, you want to make sure you have content on a category page, not just products, because, again, what Google is looking for is you delivering great, great content. And they want to see that not only are you trying to sell, but you’re trying to inform. So if you can have your products, and then you can have a good few paragraphs of content below those products on that category page, and then you can link out to articles from that category page, to buying guides to different things that makes that category page a lot more powerful than just a page that has 10 products.


Curt Anderson  33:18

Absolutely. I want to be respectful of your presentation. So I don’t want to hold you up in it. Good question. So you’ve got search intent? Yeah. Talk a little bit about search intent on on, you know, as far as strategy for your clients,


Justin Smith  33:29

yeah. So I think the biggest thing is this, often we’ll see someone and they’ll come to us and say, hey, we’ve been doing SEO for two years with somebody or ourselves, whatever it is, and we’re not getting results yet. And you know, I’ll say what keywords are you trying to rank for while we’re trying to rank for x keyword. And you know, what, what page? Well, we’re trying to get this page to rank for it.

Well, if you’re trying to get a product page to rank for a keyword, for example, the first thing to do is go to google search that keyword and see what comes up. Because often what you’ll see is if someone searches again, just using your shoes topic, if someone searches running shoes, well, you’re not going to have a product page that ranks for that you’re going to have category pages that rank for that. Because what Google is assuming is if someone searches that keyword, they want to see a page that shows 20 different options or 100 different options.

So it’s really important to think about the keywords you want to rank for search for those on Google and see what types of pages are coming up that will help you to then determine should you build a product page to rank for that keyword? Should you build a category? Should you build an article? Because depending on what Google feels like the intent of the searcher is in what information they want to find. You have to be able to provide that type of information.


Curt Anderson  34:46

Perfect, great, great answer. And again, I don’t want to I mean we could talk all day do this. Justin, this is I I had high expectations you like you’ve completely crushed it but another My dear friend Nancy, I think she shared with me. She’s getting hit with a snowstorm. I live in snow country. So Nancy, I feel you. We’ve been hesitant to post pricing online because we fear Well, it will help our competitors. When we’re in competing for business. What’s your experience? Any thoughts there? Justin?


Justin Smith  35:15

Yeah, I can understand that. Again, sometimes maybe you can post price ranges, we do a little bit of that I understand. Because Same thing for our services, I don’t really want our competitors knowing exactly what we charge for our SEO services. And I don’t want people just like you may not I don’t want people to see a price. And leave because they think the price is too high, before you’ve been able to talk to them about the benefits and why the price is what it is.

You know, it’s that old saying whoever talks price versus losers. So it sometimes it’s, it’s better to just try to get a conversation going, you can explain the benefits of your services or your products. And then the price makes more sense when you have the ability to do that. So I understand from from that perspective, also, I guess I’ve always felt like these days, every competitor probably knows what you already charged, they probably seen your proposal, they probably called in and acted like a customer if they really want to know your pricing that bad. So I can tell you this much. I’ve seen lots of proposals for companies floating around on the internet, with our


Ira Bowman  36:29

business to business sales for 20 years, I ran sales teams, both as a sales manager and a district sales manager, I can tell you that your competitors, if they are interested, they’ll know your pricing, because most clients are going to get three quotes. And then a lot of people will say, Oh, I got a cheaper price. Well, let me see it so I can make sure it’s apples, apples and all that stuff. So you know, your pricing is not a big mystery, as you might think it is. I think what Justin said is brilliant, that, you know, I in full disclosure, I publish my pricing.

In fact, I put it in the comments if you guys want to look, because I’m on the other side of this coin, like I’d rather somebody know up front and not book my time for consultation, when they’ve got like $5 and it’s gonna be a fire. You know what I mean? So there’s different ways to think of it. But what you said about the value, it’s not the price, it’s the value, because that’s that’s ultimately what this is value propositions and pricing are not the same thing. Go back to what we said about the $200 SEO service versus a $10,000.

Seo service, there’s a huge difference, at least there should be, you should be charging $10,000 for $200 worth of work. So like, go back to what you said in the beginning of this whole presentation, you’re getting 200 to 300 inbound leads a month, from your SEO work. And what is that worth? When someone wants to nickel and dime you now about? Oh, it’s $500 a month or it’s $5,000 a month? But how many deals? Actually book from this to 300? You know what I mean? It’s gonna pay for itself in spades. So that’s the kind of stuff we’re not showing the price, excuse me for hitting the microphone.


Justin Smith  38:07

Yeah. And I always say with SEO, it should be your favorite check to write every month. You know? Yeah, it’s super powerful. And, you know, we’ve had plenty of clients that we have meetings and they say, you know, we asked them, what’s their budget and say, our budgets about $2,000 a month. That’s an arbitrary number that they’re coming up with, because they feel like, Oh, that’s what people should spend on, right?

Maybe they write an article. That doesn’t mean they don’t have 10,000, they just, you know, you have to explain why it’s worth it. And it’s the same thing with our services, or your services and your products. You know, if you have $100,000 product, well, you have to explain why it’s worth $100,000. And the value can bring them you know, if it can make their processes quicker if it can help them to have less people that need to run whatever they’re trying to run, then if you can justify it, it’s easy. So


Curt Anderson  39:03

yeah, and I think for Nancy, I think phenomenal question. I don’t you know, I don’t know as if there is a true right or wrong answer. Um, you know, when I first connected with IRA, that’s how I learned about IRA I knew exactly where he’s at. And it’s, you know, we’ve been great partners. You know, I talked to a lot of clients, I think what’s critical is we can focus in like, keep things you know, to the vest, what’s most important for the customer? How can we make it as easy as possible?

If putting our price out there for the customer makes their life easier? Let’s do it. If it prevents them from maybe they see the price and they’re gonna engage with you quickly. That’s great. If they see the price and they leave, you might have done yourself a favor because now you didn’t waste a phone call. Like IRA said, like, we’re not a good fit. Anyway. So anyway, Justin, we’re I apologize, man, this is so good. We’re, where are we at with the program I feel like I’m


Justin Smith  39:55

let’s keep going here. So we’ll get moving a little so optimizing the product catalog, this, we often see manufacturers that may have lots of products or skews, even down to little bolts and sizes. And you know, we have a quarter inch and eighth inch and all these things. And a lot of times, they’ll just have more of a category page that just, you know, lists these things out. But they don’t actually have product pages for them. Building product pages can be super powerful. If you have 100,000 products, even if you get one visit per month on each product page, on average, that’s a lot of visits.

So I definitely recommend trying to build out product pages and product detail pages, if you can. You can optimize those for part numbers and skew numbers where it makes sense. Again, thinking about how your customers look for your products. You know, are they looking for specific skews. You know, I had a link in here to a case study that we did for a company that sold Fanuc parts. And, you know, we help them to increase their their online revenue by almost 600%. And organic search traffic by 250% really quick by helping them get their 75,000 products and skews online, getting product pages for that.

And also what we figured out is when a part breaks, people go, they look at that part, they look at the serial number on it, and they go to Google and search it. So if you can optimize for skews or product numbers, and that makes sense for your business, definitely try to take advantage of it. And again, those can be those are super high converting keywords, right. It’s exactly what someone’s looking for, they get right to the product page. So it’s, it’s perfect from a user experience perspective. Alright, so website platform challenges, I’m not gonna hit on this too long.

But consider the fact that you know, working with an E RP e commerce platform, or having your website powered by an ER p platform can definitely make it challenging to do SEO, it may make sense to export data from eirp or from a CRM and integrate that with a website that you build custom, or build it on a you know more SEO friendly platform than it is trying to fumble around one of these, these platforms. That’s just something to consider is that a lot of manufacturers get stuck on some of these platforms and stuck on running their website off of them.

And it’s really holding them back. They make the change, we helped them get a new website get SEO going. And you know, their traffic explodes. So it’s definitely a challenge in this industry. All right, let’s talk link building for a minute. Again, finding niche links can be tough, not a ton of people, not a ton of blogs, and articles and news outlets to go around when you’re a manufacturer. So looking at specific industry organizations and groups that you’re part of asking them to link to you, you know, joining some of those getting links that those ways can be really beneficial.

And again, just asking, you know, if you’re part of an organization, asking, Hey, can we get a link, often we’ll give you one. Press Releases can be a really great way to build links. Especially when you’re building new categories, you’re building landing pages, like we talked about, we’re building articles, like we talked about, if we’re doing those things, now we need to get links into those so that they’ll get indexed, they’ll rank higher. And so one of the easiest ways is to do a press release once a quarter.

In a press release, you can typically put anywhere from five to seven links depending on who you’re using. Typically, we use news wire, press release is going to usually run to about $400 to send it out. But getting five to seven links in is a great way to boost those new pages. I’ve seen the difference be a new page launches, you do a press release, it might rank in the top five and Google within a month. If you don’t do a press release, it might be buried on page five.

So getting those links in especially when you’re not going after super competitive keywords can be the total difference and a press release can do it for you. Another thing to look forward to guest blogging guest posting on other websites if you can find relevant blogs and news outlets, you know, just reaching out to them and saying hey, can we write a piece of content. Typically when you do that you’re supplying them with good content. They’ll supply you with being able to link back to your site somewhere within that when you put that link in there, you want to make sure you send that link from keywords within your article.

So that’s the anchor text, you know, the keyword XYZ link from that within your copy over to the landing page that should be ranking for that keyword. And then reviewing competitors, backlink profiles, there’s a lot of tools that you can use to look at where your competitors getting links, who’s linking to them, and then looking at those and going to those opportunities, going to those websites and saying, Hey, we see you linked to this person, how can we get a link as well? You want to add anything into the link building conversation?


Curt Anderson  45:40

No. And again, we could talk all day. You know, I we could go on and on on each slide. And again, because I want to be respectful because we do need to wrap up soon. Super fast question duplicate content. Justin, we had a great quote, we had a nice discussion up in Seattle the other day with a group of manufacturers and the duplicate content conversation came up. What’s your team’s perspective on duplicate duplicate content?


Justin Smith  46:06

Yes, I wouldn’t post the same content in two places. So if you’re doing guest blogging, if you have a page on your website, don’t send them that content. You have to write unique content. When you do guest blogging. It’s pain. I know, it feels like you’re writing content to put on someone else’s site. But to get that link, it’s worth it does take some time. doesn’t always have to be the highest quality posts ever. Because it’s still on someone else’s site. Not on your own. But it’s still got your name on it.

So it’s gotta be pretty good. Yeah, but yeah, so you don’t want to mess with duplicate content. Now, if it’s on your own website, it’s little pieces and parts. That that doesn’t necessarily hurt you. But you don’t want to be sending the same content in multiple domains.


Curt Anderson  46:48

Okay, quick question came from our dear friend gal and Ira gal. You’ve got to connect with gal. She’s absolutely hysterical. But she is not sure if I understand the links in the news release. So can you just explain what what that is real quick?


Justin Smith  47:01

Yeah, sure. So basically, when you’re doing a press release, is going to allow you to put links in there so I can pull up an example real quick. Let’s just search OtterBox press release. Okay, so this is the press release that we did. This is December 28 2020. And so you can see within this press release, there’s links out to pages on our website. So, you know, b2b, b2b e commerce, if you click that, it’s going to go over to our b2b e commerce page. So putting links within these to your landing pages from the important keywords, is really going to help those pages to rank that.


Curt Anderson  47:54

Perfect. Yep. Great, great explanation. And then I missed a question from our friend Craig, some of your favorite tools to research competitors, backlinking profiles.


Justin Smith  48:04

I would use h refs. Or you could use sem rush. I would say those two are probably the best ones to perfect,


Curt Anderson  48:14

excellent tip. So sem rush. Justin, we do need to kind of wind it down. Yeah, we’re good. We’re word. What would you like to any last thing on your? You had a great presentation? I know you had a few other slides here to go right. This is about it. That’s what I was longing for is my daughter’s a redhead. I think I think you have a redhead. I saw this picture. And Justin, send that presentation over. I love it. So


Justin Smith  48:38

yeah, no, I mean, I know I’m throwing a lot of information out we all are. So you might not be getting all of it. But if you need help, and you have questions afterwards, you know, here’s here’s my contact information, we’re happy to help. We’re happy to do an SEO checklist is to look at 26 things that we feel like are really working to see if you’re utilizing those things. And are you doing them correctly. Now. We’re happy to do a proposal a blueprint and really look at what we could do for you and just areas of opportunity for what you’re trying to accomplish. So if we can help in any way, reach out,


Curt Anderson  49:14

and what I love, so and you also offer a paid search on it.


Justin Smith  49:17

Yeah, yeah, we have a whole paid search department as well. It really can be beneficial to have your SEO and organic campaign, working hand in hand with your paid search campaign. So we have both teams here.


Curt Anderson  49:32

Awesome. So again, I’ve put I’ve dropped Justin’s LinkedIn profile a couple times in the in the chat box, please, please connect with Josh Justin. He’s in a great State of Ohio. OtterBox. Here’s his email phone number. Just I think do you have a couple more slides after


Justin Smith  49:48

this? No. We’re really just talking about what’s in the SEO checklist. So our SEO checklist is just to help kind of figure out where you’re at now. Understand why you’re actually there. So people don’t understand why they’re where they’re at, and understand what needs to be done to be successful and capture the low hanging fruit. There’s a lot of easy opportunities that people don’t know about that.

You know, sometimes I joke with people, but I’m kind of serious that I could make your website right rank a heck of a lot better in 10 minutes. There’s just basic things, sometimes you’re missing. So this checklist can really help with that. And then again, the paid search audit, basically, a lot of the same things, you know, looking at 77 best practices, and are you using those best practices? And if you’re not, we have lots of opportunities, you know, to decrease cost per conversion on the base.


Curt Anderson  50:44

Awesome. God, this was IRA. What do you This is so good, man, Justin, thank you. This was just absolutely phenomenal. I want to thank Daniel from your team was how we first connected last summer’s Matter of fact, I was, I was at my patio and we ran a zoom call together. And so now I’m inside because I think Justin, we’re probably both in snow. But this was great.

So guys, again, thank you, everyone, for taking time to join us today. Happy Friday. Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody. Once again, we’re sending our thoughts and prayers to Damon for loss at his family. Ira. I can’t think enough brother, my brother from another mother, can everybody please connect with IRA for being a step in guest host? and Justin, Inc 500 founded your company at 19 years old? 75. Growing to 100 is there is there a ceiling for Justin Smith? Or what’s that? What are no,


Justin Smith  51:38

we’ll see we got we got a long way to go. We’re just getting started.


Curt Anderson  51:41

just getting started. So to thank you for your time Everybody, please reach out to OtterBox reach out to Justin. Thank you guys for joining us, Justin. Thank you. Please stick around. We’re gonna go to the tables. You want to talk to Justin one on one. Talk to IRA myself. We’re gonna leave here go to the tables and we’ll see you over there, Justin. Thank you.



Thank you. Appreciate it. Awesome.

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