Today digital marketing specialist Matt Diamante shares his insights about SEO for small business owners.
We talked about crafting SEO-friendly content, handling client expectations, and incorporating keywords effectively.
Connect with Matt:
Understanding SEO (free course)
1. Matt emphasized the importance of small business owners understanding and implementing their own SEO:
2. Matt gave an analogy of a website being a physical store:
3. Matt mentioned the benefits of using platforms like Shopify for e-commerce:
4. Tips beyond basic SEO:
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This episode is machine-generated and has not been fully edited for errors.
[00:00:00] Brittany Herzberg: Welcome back to the Simple and Smart SEO show. We are so excited to have you.
And we also have a super fun guest with us today. So say hi, Crystal and hi, Matt. Hi, Matt.
[00:00:10] Crystal Waddell: Hi, B!
[00:00:10] Brittany Herzberg: Hello.
You know that I love giving you the backstory.
So Matt and I actually met in a, I don't know if you guys have been in them, but there are these like weird Instagram chat situations.
Where it's like a group and it can be a little bit overwhelming.
It's like a Facebook group, but in Instagram.
[00:00:25] Matt Diamante: It's not weird. It's not weird.
[00:00:27] Brittany Herzberg: It's awesome.
But it's like for me it was overwhelming.
Which is why I like ducked out after seven days.
But while I was in there, I met Matt.
And of course I'm always like trying to find amazing guests for the podcast.
And he took me up on the offer to pitch us and here we are.
So we're going to be talking about what small business owners should be doing to improve their SEO.
Especially before you decide to hire that out.
If that is something that's in your future.
So Matt, you want to kick us off and tell us who you are and what you do?
[00:00:56] Matt Diamante: Yeah.
My name's Matt Diamonte.
I run a digital marketing agency called Hey Tony.
We specialize in SEO, website design, and social media ads.
And I don't do organic social stuff anymore.
I actually started my career doing that stuff for huge brands.
And it was fun.
But I hated how long it took to actually get a facebook post up.
I've been doing seo since 2011, 2012 something like that.
So it's been a while i've learned a lot made a lot of mistakes.
And gotten a lot of results.
I think our clients all together, have gotten over 50 million visitors to their websites.
Just through our SEO efforts.
[00:01:31] Brittany Herzberg: That is wild.
I have to ask you, though, why is it called Hey Tony when your name is Matt?
[00:01:38] Matt Diamante: I get asked this question literally... every single day at this point.
Long story short, I overheard these two construction workers talking.
And they're working on like streetcar tracks downtown Toronto.
They're like big, burly, muscular, manly men, right?
Like not the kind of guys you would expect to say what I'm about to tell you.
So, the one guy goes, "Hey, Tony, always know how to put a smile on my face!"
And I was just like.
When do you ever hear like that type of person genuinely express, Hey, man.
You make me happy.
You put a smile on my face.
Maybe it's like, you brightened up my day. And I was like, that's the kind of like transparency and just.
Ethos or whatever the word is.
That I want to have with my business.
Between myself and my clients and myself, like full transparency.
Let's just have fun.
Let's put a smile on each other's faces.
So that's the, hey, Tony, that's where it came from.
[00:02:28] Brittany Herzberg: That is amazing. I'm so glad I asked that.
[00:02:30] Crystal Waddell: I am too. You know what I'm really interested in?
I'm interested in some of those mistakes you made.
[00:02:38] Matt Diamante: Oh my God. So many mistakes.
[00:02:40] Crystal Waddell: Give us a, like a top three or a top one or cliff notes or something.
[00:02:45] Matt Diamante: Okay.
So recently, and this is like this year. 2023.
So I have a client's website that we built. And we usually put, website powered by Hey Tony.
Or designed by Hey Tony in the footer.
And link back to our website.
I put, built by Hey Tony in the footer.
And I didn't realize how massive this site was going to be.
Because it was like a community site.
So there was forums.
There was posts like.
It ended up being there was like 400,000 links from this one website.
And that website ended up getting linked to from a bunch of other spam websites.
So they had a high spam score on that site.
And since I had 400,000 links, which is absolutely insane.
From this one website in the footer.
My spam score went up to 50 or 60%.
And I was like, oh No.
Because I manage that client site I went through.
And we're not doing SEO for this client.
We just built the site and they're taking it, doing whatever.
So anyways, I logged into the website.
And I just removed the, Hey Tony, link from the footer because it was just doing more harm than good.
And there's a couple of other sites as well that I had to go in and message and be like, Hey, we don't want a link from you.
Why are you linking to us? Kind of thing.
And of course those sites are like, it's going to be 50 euros to take the link off.
And I'm like, Oh my God, this is such a scam.
So anyways, I paid a couple of these people to take it off.
And our spam score went from like 50 or 60 back down to 1 percent where it should be.
So that was one mistake.
This isn't necessarily SEO focused or related.
But in 2014, I'd started a website called the Plaid Zebra.
It's still up there.
We don't do anything with it. We primarily use it for backlinks for clients kind of thing.
Within the first six months, I bought the domain, built the website.
We had writers and all this kind of stuff.
And within the first six months, it blew up from literally zero traffic to four million visitors.
So the mistake was.
We weren't prepared for that. We didn't, I didn't know anything about how to do hosting for something that large.
How to do any caching. Like we were like trending on Reddit for so many articles.
Like number one on the whatever home feed. Like it was just insane.
And so that crashed the website.
And then once we got everything back sorted.
We didn't have the ads set up properly.
Like the display ads on the site, that's how we were making money.
I think we still made like $20,000 or something.
Within that first month.
But we left so much money on the table because the ads weren't set up properly.
Because I didn't know what I was doing at the time.
So it was like a " learn while you're on fire."
[00:05:17] Brittany Herzberg: Oh, wow. That's crazy.
[00:05:18] Matt Diamante: Fortunately, those instances were with my own companies and Nobody else lost money or got hurt.
[00:05:24] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, that's always a benefit. I'm curious. How do you find the spam score?
[00:05:29] Matt Diamante: You can use Moz.
Moz will tell you the spam score.
Or if you just do a search for Domain Authority Checker.
I think it's like Website SEO Checker or something like that.
I think it's owned by Moz or Ahrefs or something.
It will tell you the spam score on the site. Awesome. That's good to know.
[00:05:45] Crystal Waddell: I think too, if you install the Moz Google Chrome extension.
It'll show up on every single search result.
[00:05:52] Brittany Herzberg: I may have that.
And just not have been paying attention to it.
[00:05:55] Crystal Waddell: I never know which which extension does what.
People are always like, how do you get those numbers over there?
And I'm like it's an extension.
[00:06:03] Brittany Herzberg: Okay, jumping back in.
I like asking people how they define or how they explain SEO.
And there's no wrong answer.
I just, I love getting the variety. So floor is yours.
[00:06:14] Matt Diamante: So what I've learned from posting on Instagram.
Because I post daily on Instagram, all SEO tips and stuff like that.
What I learned is you really have to scale it back to something that everybody can understand.
So what is seo? Seo is showing up on google.
That's it. Like, plain and simple.
Showing up on google.
[00:06:31] Brittany Herzberg: Done This is perfect. Great job. Bravo.
Yeah, what do you both think? How would you describe us?
You're gonna go crystal.
[00:06:39] Crystal Waddell: Oh, gosh.
Yeah, it's like all these times over here.
B has like her solid answer.
So I can't take her tagline.
The way that your brand shows up on the Internet.
[00:06:49] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah.
What she's talking about is that I, because of what you said.
With where you need to have something simple that you can just rattle off for clients and make it easy and digestible, like really quickly.
I found myself saying that SEO is how you show up as the answer to a Googled question.
So, very similar to what you said.
What you both said.
[00:07:09] Crystal Waddell: So I have a couple of follow up questions to your stories of failure.
Which I love. I just, I do love.
[00:07:15] Matt Diamante: Yeah, let's just stay there.
Let's just hang out in my failures.
[00:07:17] Crystal Waddell: It's because it's where we all can learn.
But in all seriousness. My specialty is Shopify stores.
Some of the things that you said brought up questions.
Website hosting for high traffic sites like e commerce sites.
Is this something that website builders and CMS providers like Shopify are built for?
Or is there a threshold?
Can you talk a little bit about that?
[00:07:40] Matt Diamante: Yeah.
So if you're on Shopify, you're good.
Cause like their platform scales.
And you're on their servers.
They take care of everything for you.
To do your SSL certificate.
Like literally everything.
So unless you're Kylie Jenner.
You're not going to crash a Shopify site.
And even now.
I don't think that she could crash their servers.
Because they have everything in place for that.
[00:07:58] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. So how does that work?
What do servers do?
I've always wondered, like, what is this technology that powers the internet?
[00:08:06] Matt Diamante: That's a little bit technical.
I'm not like a server guy.
But a server is basically a computer with a hard drive that is connected to the internet.
And displays your website.
Ideally you want to use some kind of server. That is decentralized. Is that the right word?
I don't even know what I'm talking about at this point.
[00:08:22] Crystal Waddell: Put those keywords out there!
[00:08:24] Matt Diamante: Yeah.
So. It's basically if you use something like Google servers, for example.
Are all over the world.
So, if one server goes down or one whole server, That farm server warehouse, wherever they keep them.
If one goes down, there's so many other servers that are going to be able to serve up the content.
So using something like Amazon web services or Google or Shopify or anything like that.
Like the chances of your website going down are very minimal. From like a server error.
[00:08:55] Crystal Waddell: Although it's happened though, right?
I just remembered there was not too long ago, maybe in the last year or two.
There was a bunch of sites that went down in one day.
And Amazon was having like this massive failure.
And I was like, Oh my gosh, all of the companies that are experiencing this blackout are on AWS.
Like that wasn't said. I saw all these other huge websites having problems.
I was like, Oh my gosh, I understand that. I know what's happening right now.
[00:09:18] Matt Diamante: Yeah, It's absolutely insane.
But the good thing about using like something like AWS for hosting your website.
If you're using WordPress or something like that.
Or, another CMS that doesn't have their own hosting.
Like Squarespace and Wix, they have their own thing. That's fine.
But if you're using WordPress and you're managing everything yourself.
Using something like AWS is great because you can scale your plan.
So if you start getting a lot of traffic, they can accommodate that amount of traffic.
And they'll just charge you more money for it.
[00:09:45] Brittany Herzberg: That's good to know.
[00:09:47] Crystal Waddell: If you want to keep it simple, just go with a CMS like Shopify.
[00:09:50] Brittany Herzberg: Just
[00:09:52] Matt Diamante: Yeah. If you're selling a product.
A hundred percent Shopify all the time.
I have shops that are all set up on WooCommerce.
Like through WordPress. And it's great.
It's easy ish to set up.
Not as easy as Shopify.
But there's so many things that can go wrong.
People might not get their delivery order email.
The payment might not go through.
Your payment processor could become disconnected from your site.
There's a whole bunch of things that can go wrong.
But if you're doing any kind of sales website or service.
Like service based business or website or blog. Use WordPress because it's going to be the best.
Squarespace and Wix, like they're great to get up a quick website.
Something that looks decent.
The SEO on those platforms that you can do. Is not amazing.
[00:10:36] Brittany Herzberg: This is good to know.
I get this question a lot from potential clients or even just friends who are like, where should I host my website?
And I'm like I've had good success with these. My question is, what have you noticed with certain platforms where it did like mess with their SEO?
It impacted them in a negative way?
[00:10:53] Matt Diamante: With Squarespace and Wix, stuff like that.
You can't fix any of the technical issues on their site.
So, when you're talking about technical SEO. And like page speed, and user experience and stuff like that.
There's just certain things that you can't do. Because you don't have access to the back end.
And I actually, I did a video about trashing Wix about what their backend is like.
And even their front end.
And if you go to wix.com to their blog posts.
They have the same problem that their users have.
That like my clients have, using Wix.
And it's their heading 2 tag. And I'm not sure. I haven't checked this week.
But they're heading 2 tags.
They have one at the bottom of every page that says recent posts.
And you can't change that.
You can't change recent posts from a heading 2 tag.
To paragraph text.
Or heading four or something like that.
I don't think that's gonna have a huge impact on the seo.
But it's definitely one of the things that we look at.
It's all your heading two tags should be relevant to that specific page.
[00:11:49] Crystal Waddell: We have a friend over at wix and I have to say: Even though your H2 tag on that recent post thing might be messed up.
We still love you.
So I have another question.
You were talking about how you built this site for somebody, but you didn't do the SEO and then they just ran with it.
And this is something that I think, especially smaller business owners.
And people who are just getting their businesses up on the internet.
I know, personally, I didn't realize this: when you start your website, essentially you're just putting an address out there.
SEO is not built in.
And a lot of people associate having a website with having searchability.
And so I just wondered, like, how do you explain that to your clients?
Or how would you explain that to someone who wants to get a website up and going?
Like what are the elements that they need to think about rather than thinking.
Oh, all of a sudden I'm going to put a website up and I'm going to get traffic?
[00:12:43] Matt Diamante: So, think of your website as like a physical building, a physical storefront.
Big, small, whatever size you want to imagine it.
And now we're going to just say that building is in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere.
That's your website, right?
There's no roads going to it. Nobody knows it's there.
You do have a poll with your address on it. But there's no roads going there.
So essentially what seo does is.
You're building all these roads. And you're building the infrastructure.
So that people can actually find it.
So instead of that one business, you make it more of a destination.
Where you have all this information that people can consume.
The questions that they're looking for.
Answers all that stuff and then people start coming to you.
And like I said, it's more of a destination instead of just You know, but storefront in the middle of the field.
[00:13:30] Brittany Herzberg: I think that's such a good explanation.
I have a segue question into the bigger topic for today.
Why do you think small business owners really need to understand and do their own seo?
And build those roads and get all of the information out there?
[00:13:44] Matt Diamante: So one of the things that I hate the most is when somebody comes to me and they're like. SEO sucks.
I've done it, and I haven't gotten any results.
And the last company wouldn't even tell me what they were doing.
They're sending me like these reports I didn't understand.
And all that kind of stuff.
And I'm like, Okay, so the first thing we're going to do.
We're going to sit down and I'm going to tell you what goes into SEO.
And why things are important.
So what is a title tag meta description?
What are the different heading tags? Why are those important? What is good content? Should you be using bullets? Should you be using lists?
Like how to break out your content.
Images and like all that kind of stuff. So I really want them to understand.
What goes into SEO? What is SEO?
And that way, whether they hire me or not.
They're going to be better informed moving forward.
And a lot of business owners want to write their own content on their website.
And they want to write their own blog posts.
You can't just write content in blog posts and be like, yeah.
I'm doing SEO.
It's gonna rank.
They need to be informed.
Like, your blog post should be like a thousand words at minimum.
750 at the very minimum.
I want them to be able to have the tools to know how to do it themselves.
Not that they need to, but yeah.
[00:14:55] Crystal Waddell: Okay, I love your what do you call those?
Analogy? Yes, analogy! I'm totally stealing it, okay?
That's going to be my new thing.
[00:15:03] Matt Diamante: I literally just came up with that before. Yeah,
[00:15:07] Crystal Waddell: I see. I'll totally give you credit, but I'm totally stealing it.
Yeah. SEO is the internet roads that lead to your business.
I love that. Such a great explanation and visual of the fact that, yeah, you can have a website.
But it's in the middle of nowhere and nobody knows how to get there until you build the roads to get there.
And that's why you need SEO.
It's so hard sometimes for-
[00:15:25] Matt Diamante: yeah.
[00:15:25] Crystal Waddell: Me as a self taught SEO to really explain the value. I can explain the results.
Okay, this is what I can do for you. And this is what's going to happen.
But like the why of how it works. It's been like a journey for me.
And I'm constantly like, Oh, that's why that works! I know it works.
[00:15:44] Matt Diamante: Yeah.
We're all kind of self taught SEO. There are courses online, like I have courses.
I have a mentorship program, all that kind of stuff. But everybody's Really self taught.
Like I had two or three SEO courses and when I went to college and it was like very basic stuff.
And that's actually where I started like falling in love with SEO.
I'm just gonna take you guys back to 2011 or 2012 something like that.
I'm in college. I have this SEO course.
And We have an assignment.
And it's basically like you need to create a website.
Like an html website.
Because I also had an html class, whatever.
Very basic stuff.
You need to create this website has to be 10 pages. And you need to optimize all the pages.
Has to be a live website that exists in the world.
So. I was like 10 pages isn't that much for a website.
I ended up doing a restaurant reviews website.
I made a bunch of fake reviews.
This is before Ai, obviously.
I took real reviews. I modified them. And then I was like, replace these keywords here with the command F or whatever.
Search and replace.
And I made fake reviews for four or 500 restaurants in the city that I was living, going to school.
Part of the assignment was you had to print out the code for every page.
Because they're not supposed to be like, long pages.
That's how you submitted the assignment. You had to print it out.
So, like an hour before I have to submit it, I'm in like the computer print area or whatever.
And I'm just like, like all these pages are just printing out.
And my buddy's what are you doing? I'm like, I'm printing on my project.
He's dude, that's like a hundred pages.
And I'm like, yeah, but that's not even it.
I remember being like a full stack.
It was like three, four inches thick.
And I had to punch holes like 10 pages at a time.
And then I took string, and I used string to bind it.
Because I didn't think ahead to get like a big binder or something like that.
And so the teacher heard about it, or the professor heard about it before we I actually went in.
I go in and slam it down.
He's what is this? I'm like, that's my project.
And then I got a job working for him as a summer internship.
Like for a business that he owned, doing SEO.
[00:17:50] Brittany Herzberg: Nice job! That is freaking impressive.
[00:17:53] Matt Diamante: And the thing that is funny.
I forgot about that website, left it online.
And I started getting emails from some of these restaurants being like, we don't serve sushi here.
We're an Italian restaurant.
Yeah, so I had to take it down.
But, it was a fun, fun project.
[00:18:07] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. That actually, so I'm glad you answered the question that you didn't know that I was going to ask.
Which was what made you want to learn more about SEO?
Also hearing you talk about that made me go back and reflect on kind of something earlier that came up in the conversation.
Which is that your website doesn't come to you with an SEO strategy.
But One was gifted to me because I didn't know what I didn't know.
So I was ranking for these key terms that I didn't necessarily want to be ranking for.
It was like, I was, my first website was just about massage therapy because I was a massage therapist and I had my practice.
So, just let your brain take you on a field trip about the keywords that I might not want to show up for.
And that was really when I was like, I don't want to be showing up for this.
How do I make sure that I show up for these other things?
That's when, Crystal's learning about SEO. I was learning about SEO. We were on Clubhouse together.
My boyfriend was learning about SEO. So he could put his website together.
So it's like I was in the right bubble and then I just love learning.
All of us love learning. So it's like, what can I discover? What can I find out? And to your point, There's lots of little trainings online.
And I say little because they are.
They're like, here's a snippet of what SEO is. And then you take and you run with it just based on what you're doing in your own world.
Or what you're doing for your clients.
And you are like continuing to learn on the fly.
Plus the technology just. Hello, AI. That really wasn't a conversation last year.
Except with Crystal, and now it's like everywhere.
[00:19:27] Crystal Waddell: I know!
I'm still sharing conversations that we had in Clubhouse from back in 2020.
When I was talking about Jasper and AI and different things.
And people are like, what?
Or some people are like, I tried it and it was in beta.
And it sucked or whatever.
But it like got so much better.
But it's everybody's having these conversations now. And I'm like. What?
I went to SEMrush and took a lot of their content led SEO or SEO led content.
Or whatever you want to call it courses.
That's where my journey started.
And that's why my foundation is so strong in content.
Keyword research is like my favorite thing in the world.
But what is good content?
When you're, explaining those things about, having bullet points or whatever.
This list of things that you were just talking about.
How do you explain to a business owner what could make good content on their website?
[00:20:14] Matt Diamante: So when you think about when you're doing a google search.
You two or anybody listening.
You do a google search.
You find something like I think this is what I'm looking for.
You click on the link.
And then it's just like a giant wall of text like paragraph.
Nothing's really broken up.
You can't find what you're looking for.
Even though the answers to your questions might be in there, that is a bad piece of content.
Because it's not organized. It's not easy to read. It's not easy to find the information that you're looking for.
And like Google's whole, I don't know if it's their motto, or like what their purpose is.
To serve the best results.
To the person looking for, whatever they're looking for.
So. That's not going to be the best result: giant wall of text.
The best result is going to be something that you know has a nice featured image.
That isn't necessarily a stock image.
It's going to have heading tags.
It's going to have heading two tags like subtopics in there.
Just branching off on whatever the main topic is.
And then you're gonna have photos. You're gonna have graphs.
You might even have a video. You might have bullet points.
You might have a list of things.
If you look at a recipe, for example.
Recipes have bullet points.
Recipes have a list of items that you need or ingredients to make your recipe.
Then there's a numbered list.
Step one, step two, step three, step four, step five. And so on.
I will say I hate recipe sites because they're littered with ads. And I know that's how they make money.
This is a good example of like good, bad content on a recipe site:
I took my son to Soccer one day and I got this idea for this recipe.
And it was inspired by this....
And I'm like, I don't need all that stuff.
Tell me how to make like the turkey meatballs. Okay, I'm hungry.
[00:21:49] Crystal Waddell: Jump to recipe. I like that button at the top.
[00:21:52] Matt Diamante: But you need a lot of words on the page.
And like the relevancy of the topic that you're talking about. In order to rank on Google.
So you can't just put the recipe.
Like, you need all that other stuff.
If we're working with a dentist, for example.
And we're doing an article or a blog post on like how to brush teeth for a toddler.
Or I don't know. I don't have kids, so I don't know when kids get teeth.
[00:22:13] Brittany Herzberg: They do have teeth by then. Yeah, we're good. Yeah.
[00:22:16] Matt Diamante: I don't know what the age ranges are. So it's how to brush two to four year olds teeth. We'll say that.
And then there are articles, like, why should you brush?
The teeth or why should you brush your toddler's teeth?
How to brush your toddler's teeth, five easy steps, whatever it is.
And then it's the importance of proper oral hygiene or oral care for toddlers.
And then maybe what happens when their teeth start falling out?
How do you brush between the gums? I don't know. Stuff like that.
So you want to elaborate. You want to get really deep on that topic, but you want to keep it centered to brushing teeth for toddlers.
That's the keyword you're trying to rank for.
So everything that you're talking about on that page should be related to that topic.
And this is what I say to clients.
Make it the most complete information on that topic.
If you look at the top three search results for whatever keyword you want to rank for.
Read their articles. You don't have to read it.
Just look at the headlines. Grab all the headlines.
Even grab some other headlines and ones that you want to add as well.
And then basically write a huge piece of content that includes everything that everybody else is talking about.
Don't steal their content.
Don't copy paste.
That's not going to work.
But rewrite things.
Add your own expertise, your own authority. All that stuff.
[00:23:28] Brittany Herzberg: Sometimes I like I feel like a lot like recipe bloggers and photographers who have a blog.
There couldn't be more perfect situations for someone to have their own content.
Because they're constantly working with people.
They are constantly coming up with these ideas.
And then they want to share them.
It's funny because as you were talking about reading the story at the beginning of a recipe blog.
Two times out of ten, I will want to read the story.
But if I go to a photography blog, I always want the story.
[00:23:55] Matt Diamante: So my partner, my fiancée.
She is a wedding photographer.
And people go to her site and they're like, why aren't you doing SEO?
Your partner is an SEO person!
That's what she does for a living. And she's... She's it's just so much work.
And I have to write these long blog posts just to show my pictures.
All this kind of stuff.
And, as a photographer, especially a wedding photographer.
Like you're busy. Like you're shooting a wedding, like 10, 12 hours, whatever you're coming home.
You're editing, like you don't have time to do all that.
So the people who do take time to do that, do rank.
Or not take time, have time to do that, will end up ranking better.
[00:24:31] Brittany Herzberg: And becoming known, and like blowing up.
That's how I first met Jasmine Star.
And Jasmine star is how Crystal and I met.
[00:24:36] Crystal Waddell: And I think it's interesting that the top two businesses that I've connected with, for whatever reason.
Obviously Shopify e commerce sellers, right?
Etsy. That's what I started. I've got a great relationship with people like that.
But then also, photographers. And I sell photo props.
So that's probably, how that relationship happened.
But those are the two websites that I feel more than any other struggle with copy and words on the page.
Has that been your experience as well? E commerce as well as photographers?
I feel like some of the e commerce sellers I've worked with have given me some pushback. On adding more words to the page.
But like with Shopify.
It's Hey, we don't have to add it to the top of the page.
We can let your products shine.
[00:25:16] Matt Diamante: I think that people just really need to put their egos aside.
And like shop owners.
Because if you're hiring me or you're hiring somebody to do your SEO.
And I'm saying you need a thousand words on your product page. Talking more about your product or whatever it is.
Then let me do my job.
And at the end of the day, are people actually going to read that?
And the people who are reading it are probably going to enjoy it.
Because that's the type of person who reads, you know all the terms and conditions. Like all that kind of stuff.
And, Yeah. It's just let us do our job.
If we want to change the name of your product to something that people are actually searching.
Then, that's something that we need to do.
And if they don't want us to do it, then. i'm like, cool.
We'll do everything else. But just so you know, you are blocking us from actually doing the full job.
And that was two scenarios that have happened before.
Where I'm like, look, I know your website person designed this site for you.
But that word is not what people are searching for.
So therefore that word in that particular spot is not helping your business. You should put this word here.
And I recently went back to somebody's website and they changed it.
Because aesthetically, it looked a little better to have just these one word, whatever's.
But the one word whatever's is not going to get the traffic that you need to get your website known on the internet.
I recently had a client who said, I'd like you to rewrite this copy on this page or, give me some feedback or whatever.
And I was like we at least need to have this many words on the page. And he's, Oh, we don't need that.
I was stunned.
Because I'm like.
Do you want me to do it or not?
Because that's what I was just thinking to myself.
When you said that, it so resonated with me.
Because I can't do my job if you don't let me do my job.
That is the job.
It's not, Oh, we don't need that.
That's what you need. In order for SEO to work for you.
Yeah. So one of the things that I've started doing in the last year is clients do not get to improve blog posts anymore.
And like we, for our clients we'll write like four to eight blog posts per month.
Like all like SEO research, keyword research, gap analysis, all that kind of stuff.
And so we're writing these articles.
And the first couple, I'll send it to them and be like, Hey, can you just look over this.
And make sure that you can approve all of them moving forward.
And that we actually know what we're doing, like the copy is good, all that kind of stuff.
And now people are just like, yep, this is good.
I don't want to worry about it. And we are just publishing content onto their website.
It's obviously like we're looking over everything. We're making sure that it's all optimized.
We're making sure we're not making them sound dumb, all that kind of stuff.
I've done this in the past where clients have to approve every piece of content.
There's a bottleneck with a client. They don't want to read 2000 word articles. They don't have time to do it.
And then they give feedback and the feedback is usually like useless and just make work kind of stuff.
And you're just like, I'm now losing money on this.
What we do now is here's the topics we're going to write about.
Here's 10 topics, choose 8.
Or approve all of them and we'll just roll once into the next months.
And then we just start publishing content.
So, we're doing this right now for a client.
He started three months ago, so June, July, August.
So we're in the third month.
Halfway through the third month now.
And I just got a google search console.
Like i'm sure you get those emails. It's like congratulations!
You just hit x amount of visitors per month or in the last 30 days.
Last month we got one that said 400 people this month.
We got one that I today that said 800 people Is there a site in the last 30 days.
And i'm like that the seo is working and he just lets us do our job
[00:28:48] Crystal Waddell: I got one today for a client that said they got their first thousand clicks in 30 days.
[00:28:53] Brittany Herzberg: Yay!
[00:28:53] Matt Diamante: Amazing.
[00:28:54] Crystal Waddell: Yeah about to post it on instagram, too. Yeah, so pretty happy
[00:28:58] Brittany Herzberg: There were a couple different threads that I want to follow with both of you said.
One thing is changing the headline. How it reads, what copy is in there.
There's a couple different things.
One is that I love what Crystal has talked about. Especially with products.
Putting social proof, putting the testimonials in the headline, in the product headline.
That could be one way to beef things up slash combat anyone.
Who maybe doesn't want the new and improved keyword in the headline.
The other thing is just yesterday a very well known like niche famous person in the copywriting world.
Wrote to me to ask an SEO question because he worked with an SEO.
And Here's what I noticed.
It dawned on me.
There's copywriting where it's like all personality.
Which is great once you have the people on your site, but then there's copy that's SEO copywriting.
That's the findability copywriting.
And I have found.
And this person said the same thing.
That it's very hard to find someone who is in the middle, who can straddle both worlds.
And that's something that I've noticed is one of my superpowers.
And I was like, Oh. I see what you were trying to do here.
And I see what she was trying to do here. What if we do blank?
So, I'm actually going in and helping. To pull.
He was so far with the personality and she was so far with the findability with seo.
And so i'm like, okay, this is where we need to meet, guys.
And that is very interesting to me.
Because I'm like, why isn't everybody doing this?
That's why we need to have Both of these.
[00:30:23] Matt Diamante: Having the personality and not just being like a robot.
That's why Google has their E A T, their E policy.
Whatever you want to call it.
Where like you need to insert your experience and expertise into a post and AI can't do that yet.
It will be able to.
And it will probably be able to mimic and write better than all of us.
But if you look at a lot of, marketers.
Especially look at Neil Patel's site.
I'm sure you guys all know Neil Patel.
I'm sure it's not him at this point writing the blog post.
But the way that they write the blog posts, it's like, Two words on this line.
And then it's like a sentence.
Then it's like another sentence.
So it's really broken up and it's more conversational.
Then you know, it's like not just like here's all the information. Here's all the information.
You bridging that gap between the seo person and the copywriter who has like more of the personality.
That is the perfect blend and what you need in your content
[00:31:10] Brittany Herzberg: Totally.
So there was one other thing, which was the working with ideal clients.
I have to credit Brittany McBean with this because I worked with her very early on in my copywriting business.
And it has helped me not have some of the issues or the problems with working with people who don't trust me.
It hasn't completely combated everything.
Because some people are really good at getting through the gate and then being like, Oh, just kidding. I'm actually wearing this mask.
There are some things that we can do.
She calls it like building the bat signal.
So when you're putting out your messaging.
When you're marketing your stuff. When you're sharing information.
There are things that you can be subtle about, but you can see it in where it's.
It's very helpful to attract those clients who want to completely hand it off and trust you with things.
But it can be so frustrating when we work with clients who don't trust us completely.
And something that I like doing is if they don't want to change that keyword.
I just want to record this video and show you.
When someone does this search, this is what shows up. And when someone does this.
So if you can actually demonstrate things to them. Versus just I'm right.
No, I'm right. No, I'm right. No, I'm right.
Because that's gonna get nobody anywhere.
They're gonna have a bad experience and you're gonna have a bad experience.
And everybody's gonna be frustrated and swearing at each other at the end of the day.
[00:32:20] Matt Diamante: Yeah. So it's funny you say that.
Because when I do my discovery calls with a potential client.
Somebody wants to you know, potentially hire me.
And like why should we hire you kind of thing? And i'm like, okay.
I'm just gonna share my screen with you.
Like I don't take like phone calls where we can't see each other and share screens.
I actually don't care if we see each other I just want to share my screen. Because I want to show them everything that's going on their website.
And show them where they're at. And explain the entire process.
And all the numbers to them.
So what I do is, I get on a call with somebody. And I'm like, cool I already have their website in advance.
So I take a quick look.
And I do this like literally two minutes before I jump on the call.
I load up their website.
I open up SEMrush put in their website there.
And then I go to the call.
Start talking to them, whatever.
And then I'm like, I'm going to share my screen.
I'm going to show you where you're at.
I haven't looked at this yet.
We're going to look at it for the first time together.
And I'm going to explain what's doing well, what's not doing well, where you're at.
We're going to look at the keywords.
We're going to look at your domain authority.
And I explained to them that their domain authority or the page authority is made up of backlinks. And what backlinks are.
And, I treat everybody like they don't know anything about SEO because most of the time they don't. Okay.
And if they do know about SEO.
Then they're like, okay I get that. I get that. Cool. Let's move on. Move on.
But a lot of the time, we'll start looking at the keywords.
I'm like, you're not doing bad with the keywords.
You might have 20 keywords in the four to seven position.
Whatever they are.
Or like you might be on page two for a bunch of the keywords that you really want to rank for.
And they all have a really easy keyword difficulty.
So I'm like, this is very easy for us to rank for. And here's what we would do to do that.
And I'm not hard selling anybody.
I don't want to rip people off.
I don't want people to go away with a bad experience.
Oh, that's not what I wanted. Like I didn't get what I was promised.
Like all that stuff.
So it's here's the situation. Here's where you're at. We can fix it.
We can help you.
And you can as an SEO person, you can never guarantee results.
You can't say you're going to be number one for this keyword.
Or these 10 keywords.
You can't guarantee that. So if anybody ever said that to you. Don't go with them.
Because they're either doing something shady. That's going to maybe have a short term benefit and a long term deficit.
Whatever you want to call it.
What I've started saying is, we can guarantee one thing.
And that's that you will start ranking for more keywords.
I can't tell you how many or what position, but you will start ranking for more keywords.
And oftentimes like we'll have clients that rank, number one for 20, 30, 50 keywords.
Whatever it is, within the first six months.
But I can't promise that I know we can achieve a reasonable results.
But. I can't do that because as soon as you set that expectation.
Like why aren't I ranking number one for everything?
[00:34:54] Crystal Waddell: Yeah. And B asked that question, like why don't more people do this?
I don't really know the answer to that.
Because I started smack dab in the middle of Semrush with the content led SEO.
And that, that resonated with me.
Because I'm like I have a product that I want to promote.
And I want people to, come into my funnel and come into my world.
And have it make sense, to then buy my products at some point.
So, it's okay, duh.
Content led SEO made absolute sense for me as a business owner.
So I just think that sometimes, again, the idea of what a website is created to do.
Just to make a purchase. Just to check out or whatever.
I think people sometimes forget.
That there's an opportunity for relationship building within that whole sphere.
And until somebody can see it.
And I love how you do that, Matt, how walk them through and show those different things.
That really gives people a taste of how it can apply to them.
Yeah. This conversation is like one of my favorite ones ever.
I have two questions that I wanted to get in if we could.
The first one you just hit on it a little bit about just like managing expectations.
Because that's something that I struggle with.
My background is not in sales.
I'm a teacher, I've a master's degree in education.
B and I've talked about this before, like having these servant hearts or whatever.
Although I'm pretty confident that you're going to see something spectacular.
Especially if you've never done anything like this before.
You're going to see results.
How do you manage the expectations of your clients?
[00:36:25] Matt Diamante: That's a good question.
I don't do benchmarking. I'm not like you're starting here and we're going to get to, 10,000 hits a month.
I don't do that, because that's unrealistic.
And why 10,000? Why 20,000? Why 5,000?
We are going to grow your traffic organically.
And it's going to get as big as it needs to and as it can.
And we're going to do our jobs to attract the right people to your website.
So in terms of managing expectations, like what we do.
Here's what my proposal looks like, what we promise.
We will do X number of articles per month.
So whether that's five or 10 or whatever it is.
We'll say five. So we do five articles a month.
You got four backlinks a month from high domain authority sites, so high ranking sites.
And then you also get like the technical SEO stuff.
We'll go through every page of your website. Make sure all that stuff's good.
And then we'll also like, fix any technical things if we can.
So if it's WordPress, we'll fix like the page speed stuff.
All that kind of stuff.
They're seeing that work is being done.
I used to do SEO campaigns where the clients paying, let's say, $1,000 a month.
And they're like, okay what did you do?
I'm like we did keyword research and we did this. And we did this.
And we added two paragraphs to these three pages on your site this month.
And that's all we did. I'm like, why am I paying $1,000 for that?
And I'm like, it's all the stuff that you don't see.
That now your website is like ranking higher.
So I make sure to say like you get X amount of words per month. So maybe it's 5,000 or 10,000 words written on your website per month.
And you get X amount of backlinks per month.
And then we can show them all the work that's being done.
And it's a lot more expensive now than a thousand dollars.
But we're doing a lot of work.
And I guarantee you will get results, but it might not be, number one.
[00:38:01] Brittany Herzberg: The other thing that I just want to offer is that.
What's helped me with my clients in managing expectations is asking upfront. What are you really hoping to get out of this? What kind of support are you looking for?
And then I just keep reminding them of that.
Remember you said you want to blah, blah, blah.
Like I do that. Especially on the SEO audits and I'll put it at the top of the document that they get.
This would be whatever I say, like this would be amazing if .... And then I put their answer in there.
So then I can make sure I'm achieving that on the document.
I've included like some extra resources before because someone said they wanted a certain thing.
I've included an extra like video or whatever it may be. So if they're telling me I want this.
If I at least make sure that we knock that out of the park.
They're going to leave feeling like they got what they wanted.
And they're going to be pretty happy and pretty seen and heard.
[00:38:51] Matt Diamante: A hundred percent.
And so one of the things that I've been doing is.
Before a client even hires me, usually I will have them go through a course that I have.
It's a free course called understanding SEO.
And it's just, here's what a title tag is.
Here's what a meta description is. And like literally everything all the way down to what is crawled depth.
What does that mean for your website?
So they have a really great understanding of what goes into SEO? So when I'm like, it's going to be X amount of dollars per month, minimum six months.
So wow, that's a big investment.
But I know all the stuff that goes into it. Like this person is not like BSing me on any of this, like all that kind of stuff.
And a lot of the people who are contacting me have already taken the course.
Like I'm not even putting them through.
Like they're taking it on their own. And I'm like, okay, like I want to work with this person and their team.
[00:39:38] Brittany Herzberg: Very smart.
[00:39:39] Crystal Waddell: That is fantastic.
It's putting it out there as educational.
And then letting people raise their hand and self identify.
That it's yes. That is the path that I want to take.
I think that is so smart.
[00:39:49] Matt Diamante: Yeah. A hundred percent. Thank you.
[00:39:51] Crystal Waddell: Good job.
So one thing I wanted to just mention really quickly, and then I'll ask my last question.
[00:39:56] Matt Diamante: Yep.
[00:39:57] Crystal Waddell: How do you feel about conversion rates?
And just so you understand where I stand on this.
I have a beef with conversion rates right now and just the whole idea of conversion rates.
And so I'm like, yeah, I'm toying with this thing of like profit rate optimization, like trying to rename.
Just understanding that I'm coming from that perspective.
What is your, what are your thoughts on conversion rates and SEO and conversion rates?
[00:40:24] Matt Diamante: Okay, so it's a good way that you phrase that.
Like profit optimization kind of thing or profit conversion, right?
Profit conversion. What did you say?
[00:40:34] Brittany Herzberg: There were
[00:40:35] Brittany Herzberg: lot of words in there. It was good.
[00:40:37] Crystal Waddell: Yeah, profit rate optimization.
[00:40:39] Matt Diamante: Basically I'll just use my own website as an example.
So we probably get 10-15,000 people to the website per month.
And right now per day, like I just put on our like a pop up like an exit intent pop up.
So when you leave a pop up comes up and it says, Hey, do you want to learn more about SEO?
Here's a free course, blah, blah, blah, putting an email.
And I'm getting maybe 10 or 15 people filling that out per day.
Which is fantastic. Is that a great conversion rate? It's terrible.
For the amount of people coming to the website.
So let's say 300, 400 people out of, 15,000.
Not a great conversion rate. I'm not even tracking are these people converting into clients?
Because the profit or the revenue rate conversion.
Revenue conversion rate or whatever is if I sign up, 5 clients.
And they sign up for 6 months.
It doesn't matter if I have 15,000 people to my website if I can make 20,000 dollars per month from that traffic, right?
Or $50,000 or whatever it is depending on the month or whatever.
Yeah, I don't like conversion rate. I don't know.
Just to give you an example as well.
A month and a half ago two months ago when my videos on instagram started or my reels started getting a lot Of views and a lot of attention.
I got flooded with emails.
Like hundreds of emails people being like I want to set up a call with you I want you to do my seo all this stuff.
And I didn't tell them how much it cost before we booked a call.
So I probably did 50 plus calls.
And I think we got Six- seven clients from that.
Which as a conversion rate like is that bad?
Is that good? 10 12 percent conversion? I don't know.
It took a lot of time and I was exhausted. Yeah, I can tell you that. But yeah.
I don't really look at the conversion rates and....
[00:42:21] Crystal Waddell: He's just named so many things that really need to go into that Consideration.
Because it's profit. It's effort. It's energy. It's time.
And there's just so much more to it than just a simple "conversion" rate, and so i'm so glad you mentioned all those things. For sure.
[00:42:38] Matt Diamante: There's email conversion rate There's click through conversion rate. There's open rates on emails.
Then there's like the purchase rate.
There's so many different points of conversion.
A lot of people get caught up in the numbers and the data.
Sure, you can have an overall view. Like you got this many people visiting your website.
Great. We got this many people on our email list.
Don't dive like as deep as you can into the numbers. Cause it's a waste of time.
Especially if you don't know what you're looking for and you're just making like correlations or like connecting things that might not be connected, all that kind of stuff.
And then, if I have a client who does that, I'm just like.
You need to chill. Are you making more money? Yes or no?
[00:43:15] Crystal Waddell: Yes.
[00:43:15] Brittany Herzberg: Yes. What does your life look like on a day to day basis are you meeting is your life better? Are you feeling better? Are you seeing more like qualified clients?
That's the kind of thing even i'm thinking about like I had a conversation with a mom recently.
And she's like I want to have more clients But I'm still like living the mom life.
And I don't want to be flooded with clients.
And it's okay, cool. That's good to know of like where we're at with increased traffic.
But we don't need to have everyone under the sun chasing you down.
[00:43:42] Matt Diamante: 100%.
[00:43:44] Crystal Waddell: Okay. So last question. I promise, Matt. It's been like a pleasure.
B, you meet the coolest people and I'm so grateful.
[00:43:51] Matt Diamante: Thank you both so much.
[00:43:52] Crystal Waddell: Yeah, I love how it's us. Okay.
I was wondering, where does AI fit into some of your workflows?
[00:43:59] Matt Diamante: Oh AI is great.
I guess it's not really AI that I'm using. I was just going to describe like automations.
[00:44:05] Crystal Waddell: That works too.
[00:44:06] Matt Diamante: Yeah, we're not necessarily using AI in terms of automation.
But in terms of coming up with content ideas and content outlines. We use like chat GPT and like I've used Surfer SEO and stuff like that.
But it's really great to come up with content ideas and content outlines.
And then you can go in and write it, rewrite it.
Fill in the blanks.
And then really do the optimization stuff that you need to do.
So make sure you have the proper heading tags.
Make sure you're doing internal linking, external linking, all that kind of stuff.
And making sure that the actual content is good.
So AI definitely is useful for writing content. But not fully writing content.
[00:44:44] Crystal Waddell: That's all I got. Love it.
[00:44:46] Brittany Herzberg: All right, Matt. Now that we have turned everyone into a Matt lover. Where can they find you?
[00:44:51] Matt Diamante: My website's heytony.ca.
I couldn't get the dot com.
Somebody owns the dot com and that's fine.
Because they will never rank for Hey Tony now because we're doing our own SEO.
And then also on Instagram, just HeyTony.agency, same on TikTok, Facebook, whatever. All that stuff.
If you look up HeyTony or Matt Diamante, you should be able to find me.
And one thing I will say about SEO is as much as you can get things onto Google. You can keep things off of Google.
So like for years I was like, I don't want anybody to know who I am.
So I got all the pictures removed of myself from my Google images.
And any social links and stuff like that.
But now they're like, they're back and what I want is up there. In terms of business.
[00:45:30] Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. This actually ties into, I was curious why you didn't have an about page on your site.
Yeah, so okay think about this.
What do you put on your about page? About the business, right? What about you?
What do you put on the home page?
The same it's pretty much the same content, right?
Like you want to learn about me? About the business? And the thing is an about page isn't gonna rank.
Cause the content is going to be so similar to the homepage.
And we find this with 99 percent of clients.
Like the content is very similar.
And you're just like, put that on the homepage, right?
People are learning about you for the first time.
They're going to scroll down.
They're going to see your picture. Your bio.
Like all that kind of stuff. Do you disagree?
It really looks like you're like, I hate you for saying that.
In my brain, I'm running through my website copy that I've written for clients.
And I can see where, yes, but, and. I lean into the story heavily.
And if I'm thinking about myself as a user. I want to go learn about the person.
I want to go see their history. I want to feel connected with them because then when I feel connected to someone, I want to work with them.
And I don't feel like I get that always. Sometimes yes.
But I don't feel like I always get that from the info blurb or the bio blurb on a homepage.
It's an interesting like proposition. I'm like, huh. So I'm pondering that's what I'm doing.
[00:46:46] Matt Diamante: So while you're saying that.
I'm doing it through social media where people are getting to know me and know more of my story.
And then when they come to my website, that's when they're like, okay what does this person do?
What are the services?
What more information can I learn from them?
So, it's interesting you say that. Because my Instagram is basically my about page slash blog page at the same time.
[00:47:05] Brittany Herzberg: But then what if Instagram goes bye bye?
[00:47:08] Matt Diamante: Oh, that's why I have my email list.
[00:47:10] Brittany Herzberg: But yeah, not everybody is on there.
That's the goal.
[00:47:14] Matt Diamante: You need to convert some of those people into email subscribers.
Because the people who subscribe to your email are going to be the ones who are most not dedicated,?
[00:47:22] Brittany Herzberg: Dedicated came to mind when you were saying that.
[00:47:25] Matt Diamante: Yeah, the most dedicated potential customers.
They want to learn from you, they subscribe to your email list, all that kind of stuff.
And if you want to future proof your business, you need to get people off of Instagram.
Off of TikTok, off of your website and onto your email list.
Have their contact information.
So that you can send them an email, Instagram, TikTok goes by tomorrow.
You're like, cool. I still have 10, 20, 30, a hundred thousand.
However big your email list is. I can still contact these people.
And whatever new platform comes out or whatever replaces all this stuff. You're going to say.
Hey, I am now on TikTok 2.0.
Whatever it is.
You can follow me here.
Or, I'm still going to be doing my email newsletters, whatever, giving you tips, tricks, deals, whatever.
And you're not starting from zero.
[00:48:08] Brittany Herzberg: it's very interesting.
[00:48:09] Crystal Waddell: Okay.
I have to say this! You're talking about you're the bridge between those 2 people.
I feel like I'm a bridge between these 2 trains of thought.
And this was that thing where I said, clients would change words.
But I felt the same way about the about me and contact page.
I felt like there was so much overlap there.
And also I think it's no matter whether it's an about me page or whatever, it's still about you, the customer.
Who's buying from me and making you feel comfortable to buy here.
So my solution to that was actually using one of the keywords that we hadn't been able to optimize for on the homepage.
But it was still an important keyword.
That was the keyword for the about page.
So that's how I, bridge those things together to where, everybody felt good about it.
Because people are used to seeing it.
So I love that you guys are having that conversation.
Cause I was like. I know a solution to this.
So that's cool. Yeah.
[00:48:55] Matt Diamante: I love that. Awesome.
[00:48:58] Brittany Herzberg: Now I have to make a weird exit because I have to go.
[00:49:00] Crystal Waddell: This is so fun, Matt. Thank you for being here.
[00:49:03] Matt Diamante: Thank you both.
This is awesome.
[00:49:04] Brittany Herzberg: Bye friends.
[00:49:06] Matt Diamante: Alright, see ya.